Lets face it, baby registries are more daunting than a teenager’s packing list for summer camp. For starters, most of us have no experience what-so-ever in the baby world (assuming this is your first), so any indication on what you’ll really need is a complete shot in the dark.
I was lucky enough to have a holy grail of registry recommendations from a few friends that had culminated one hellofa spreadsheet, but even that left me overwhelmed and still clueless. The baby stores don’t help either – their lists might as well be bound into a directory of everything you must have before bring the baby home. Must I have 3 different strollers, and 8 pairs of onesies for every month of the baby’s first year?
The truth is every baby is different, so it really comes down to trial and error – which is what every new mom-to-be does not want to hear. I am painfully Type-A, so my mentality was I’d rather be over prepared than under prepared once this little bundle of joy comes home – a strategy that I’m now rethinking. Am I happy that I have 100 swaddle blankets? Yes. Babies are messy. Do I need 20 wub-a-nub pacifiers for every room in our house? No. No I don’t.
After a short 5 weeks, I am certainly no expert on what items you must have, but at this point these are the products that have been on heavy rotation in our house. Warning: lengthy reviews below. If you have any favorites, please share!
4moms Mamaroo: With an iPhone connector, sound machine, and 5 different rocking motions, we’ve quickly named this our “cheating device”. I can walk around the house all day rocking baby Jack to sleep, or I can put him in this swing and he immediately zonks out. It’s pricey, yes, but SO worth the moolah.
ErgoBaby 360 Baby Carrier: I like to call this one the baby backpack on steroids. The Ergobaby in my opinion is one step above the BabyBjorn carrier – since it allows the baby to sit in several different positions, and can adjust as the baby grows. Right now we’re using the infant insert so Jack can curl up as snug as a bug while I do chores around the house. We’re still getting use to this one (Nick was embarrassed to even step out to our front yard wearing it – get over it pal, our ‘cool days’ are over), but I know we’ll get plenty of wear out of it throughout the year!
Nuna Pipa Car Seat: Most important feature here: it’s the lightest carseat on the market. I repeat, the lightest. Car seat + baby = one heavy girth to carry around all day, so at a measly 8 pounds, this makes my load a little lighter. My second favorite feature is the sun shade that pulls all the way down in the front – I didn’t realize how much sun gets in my little guy’s eyes until I see him grunting and squinting for dear life any time the light creeps in – hi, I’m raising a vampire.
Life in Play Tote Organizer: Put this on the top of your list. Now. If you all have read my previous posts, you know I was constantly on the hunt for a diaper bag. Bad news is I never found one (yes, they’re all still ugly), good news is I found this gem. I feel like the most organized Mary Poppins rock star with this insert – it honestly stores everything you can imagine, and sits upright in your bag so you never have to dig. When going out of the house requires you to take everything but the kitchen sink, you’ll be SO glad you have this.
Uppababy Cruz Stroller: We REALLY like efficiency here in our household (obviously, I’m married to an engineer) – so when we were told we would need at least 3 strollers to get through parenthood, we got irritated. First of all, I’m not a runner nor do I plan to start, so we could quickly nix the Jogging stroller even though I was told you don’t need to be a jogger to need this one. We went on the hunt and did extensive research on strollers to find one sporty enough to cover all of our “jogging” needs, but versatile enough that we wouldn’t have the need to go out and get another one right off the bat. It ultimately came down to the Uppababy vs. the City Mini. Even though the City Mini was lighter than the Uppababy, I was won over with the rotating chair and massive basket on the Cruz. I love how easy the Uppababy is to maneuver, and the learning curve is quick.
Gerber Newborn Onesies: As much as I’d love to say we dress Jack in stylish duds every day, the reality is most days he spends in these little white onesies. At $10/5 onesies, they are practically disposable. Also, with all the spit up and accidental blowouts, it’s amazing how many you’ll go through in a day.
Aden and Anais Burp Cloths: Like I said earlier, babies are messy. When I initially created my registry, I was not super jazzed about these burp cloths, but I added them anyway and BOY am I glad I did. These things are life savors. I love how they fit perfectly on your shoulder, and are thick enough to withstand any amount of spit up. Bonus, they can also be clasped and used as a bib with the nugget gets older. Put several of these on your list!
Little Giraffe LOVE Blanket: Hands down the softest blanket I’ve ever put my paws on. My only issue with this blanket is they don’t make one for adults. Nick has caught me several times trying to curl up under this little blanket on the couch, which is a little sad #imnotsmall. This blanket is perfect for putting on any surface to lay Jack down, throwing over him on walks when it’s chilly out, or wrapping him up when he’s fussy.
Pottery Barn Rocking Chair: With all the late night hours we’ve clocked, a comfortable chair to curl up in was always at the top of my registry. This wingback rocker from PBKids is the perfect size for us – I can easily rest my arms on the armrests and lean my head against the side while rocking nugget to sleep.
Swaddle Me Blankets: Swaddle blankets are essential. That being said, Jack is the swaddle Houdini, and always manages to weasel an arm out, so I need something more like a straight jacket. These Swaddle Me swaddles are suuuper soft, relatively thin material (we have a sweater on our hands), and velcro in all the right places so our little magician can’t bust out. They also come in the cutest prints.
Elephant Wub-a-nub: Consider these the cutest pacifiers on the market. They’re easy to find around the house, and give Jack something to grab onto when we’re doing the feeding fake-out (which is really the only time he likes a pacifier right now).
Little Giraffe Luxe Blanket: Little Giraffe has quickly become one of my favorite baby brands. The Luxe blanket is just as soft as the Love blanket, although its furry and fluffy. This one is better for cooler weather and is also perfect for taking out with us when we go visit friends – I always like to have something soft to lay Jack down on.
Aden and Anais Swaddle Blankets: I know, there are a lot of blankets on this list – but they’re all used for different purposes. These are definitely the most popular blankets out there – mainly because you can use them for everything: burping, swaddling, traveling – you name it. There is a huge difference between the regular A+A blankets and the A+A Bamboo blankets – I prefer the bamboo because they’re much softer and thinner.
Boon Lawn Drying Rack : I never understood why everyone was putting these on their registry…until I had to start washing bottles. For all the hours I spend washing bottles and pump parts, this drying rack is crucial for cutting down drying time.
Dr. Browns Bottle Warmer: This is another product I laughed at pre-baby – why in the world would I need to have a contraption warm bottles when I could just warm them up in hot water? Because you go through 1,000 bottles a day, and when you’re holding a crying hungry baby and only have one hand to get the bottle ready, you don’t exactly have the time to fumble around heating up water. This bottle warmer lets you pop the bottle in, and 2-3 minutes later you have a perfectly warm bottle (warmed by steam). We use this numerous times a day and at an easy $20, it’s a no brainer.
4Moms Bathtub: When it comes to bathing a newborn, I am terrified; they’re slippery, squirmy and easily agitated. This tub is another miracle worker – it tells you the temperature of the water (and lights up green when it’s a good temp), and has a small seat for the babe which makes it hard for him to go anywhere. There’s also several drains that get rid of the dirty water easily, but sits high enough to keep him warm. Jack now loves bath time, which I consider a huge win!
Bobby Feeding Pillow: These pillows are everywhere, and for good reason. When we brought Jack home, I was amazed how much I fumbled at getting him in a good position to feed. Where are the mother nature instincts!? Truth is, when they’re so small they are harder to maneuver and this pillow makes it so much easier to prop them up.
Dr. Brown Bottles: The best bottles out there, according to my limited research – but I like how they minimize air bubbles and are easy to travel with.
Munchkin Disposable Changing Pads: Buy several packs of these, and thank me later. The odds of you changing a baby without any mess is slim, and these are basically the equivalent of a puppy pee pad for babies. I haven’t had to change my changing pad cover in 5 weeks, thanks to these bad boys. Also, they’re perfect for travel.