I have a few friends who are expecting babies over the next few months. Over lunch one day last week I asked one of my friends, who is due in May, if she had fun registering. “Not really”, she said. “It’s all a bit overwhelming.” Thinking back I remember feeling the same way. The baby stores make recommendations on what to register for but it seems like a ridiculous amount of stuff. It’s so hard to know what you’ll really need and how are you supposed to chose between the 10 different kinds of bath tubs when you’ve never given a newborn a bath before? For this reason, I decided to offer my opinion on the matter. I’ve created two lists. The first one is what you’ll use in the first 6 months and the second one has a few items you’ll use a little later on. Almost all of these items are things that I would call the “essentials”. You’ll see I included the brand on some of the items but not all of them because sometimes I don’t really think the brand makes a huge difference. Also, there can be a huge difference in price for essentially the same product.
Things you need in the first 6 months:
– Car seat (Obviously safety is most important but the weight of the car seat was also really important to me. Also, you’ll want to get a car seat that is compatible with your stroller)
– Extra base if you have more than one car
– Stroller (This was a really important one for me. I went out and tested strollers several times. Make sure you take them for a test drive and also practice folding them up and opening them. I ended up choosing the Bugaboo Bee. My second option was the City Mini. The UPPAbaby and the Bob are also very popular. There are other great options as well depending on your needs.
– Crib and/or bassinet
– Crib mattress, mattress pad cover, and sheets (bumpers are NOT recommended anymore)
– Breast pump (If you chose to breast feed.)
– Hooter-hiders (again, if you chose to breast fed)
– Diaper bag. I had a few different ones and I ended up using the Marc Jacobs bag. A good thing to keep in mind is that the diaper bag will take the place of your purse for quite some time so make sure it’s a bag you want to carry everyday
– Bath tub. I had two but I love the 4moms cleanwater collection
– Baby monitor- If you can go without one, then go for it but I couldn’t do it. I have the Summer Infant baby touch and I love it
– Burb cloths, bibs
– Diapers (lots of them), wet wipes, butt cream
– Pajamas, undershirts, socks, and clothes
– Swaddle blankets and sleep sacks for later. We tried the swaddle blankets with the velcro and Brooks HATED them. We ended up using the classic aden + anais swaddle blankets. Even though he hated to be swaddled it immediately calmed him down and he slept much better. After he started rolling over we switched to the sleep sacks. I like aden + anais as well as the Halo SleepSack.
– Bottles- I would start with the Medela bottles if you plan on breast feeding. I was told that babies can be very particular about what bottle they prefer but Brooks never really cared. We have a variety of different kinds of bottles but it’s easiest to use the Medela since that’s what I pump my milk into.
– Pacifiers- if you chose to use one. I was somewhat worried about nipple confusion so I waited 3-4 weeks to give him one and he immediately LOVED it. It always helps to soothe him and in retrospect I think I should have given him one sooner. Most experts now say there is no such thing as nipple confusion.
– Changing table, changing pad, and changing pad cover
– Bottle drying rack- I love my Boon
– Pack n play if you plan on traveling
– Activity mat- This is really the only “toy” that you need in the first 4 months
– Swing or vibrating chair. Brooks loved his swing and would sleep in it for naps quite often in the first few months. He also liked the vibrating chair and I would use that when I was in the shower. Some babies don’t like either the swing or the chair so it’s hard to know what to get. A swing is a good product to share with a friend if possible because you don’t need it for very long
– Baby carrier- This isn’t a must have for everyone but if you plan on traveling I would highly recommend it. (I’ll write more on traveling with a baby in a future post.) I have both the Ergobaby and the Baby Bjorn. The Ergo is much more comfortable to wear in my opinion and I prefer to travel with it. I’ve used the Bjorn more in the last month or two though because it allows Brooks to face outward and he loves to be able to see everything around him.
– Toys, books
– Blankets- You’ll most likely get a few as presents so don’t buy too many blankets but you do end up using more blankets than you would think
– An Exersaucer is a nice to have. I don’t think it is essential but you’ll need something to put the baby in and it’s stimulating for them. You can use this when your baby is able to hold his head up on his own (about 4+ months old).
Things you’ll need around 6 months:
– High chair
– Bowels, spoons (I like the Nuk soft bite), more bibs, containers for food storage
– Babycook if you want to make your own baby food
– Freezer trays (again if you want to make your own food)
– Toys, books
I may be forgetting something here but I think this covers most of the basics. I hope this helps make registering more enjoyable and less stressful!