registering for baby items

registering for baby items

I have been meaning to write this post for forever now. I don’t want to turn this into a baby blog, but of course I don’t want to ignore that aspect of my life either. :-) I thought it might be interesting to post this though, and see what responses the rest of the moms who read my blog have!

A few weeks ago, I emailed five friends and asked them their advice about what to register for a new baby. All five of them have had babies in the past year (except for one, who is due with #3 this summer!), all five are frugal-minded, and all five live in fairly small quarters. Some of the moms use cloth diapers, and some use disposable (and some have done both!), and all five have breastfed their babies.

They all sent me great responses to my query and I have compiled them all here! It was fun to get all the different opinions, because I know that every baby is different, and that I won’t know for sure what exactly I’ll need until Sparkleberry gets here. In the meantime, though, I need some sort of idea of what things to add to my registry for baby showers.

My original email said that the only thing I had right now was a crib (without a mattress), that I plan to cloth diaper, and I plan to breastfeed. I don’t know what I’m doing in regards to cosleeping or not. Since it’s the first grandbaby on both sides, I’m not expecting any hand-me-downs. Space may or may not be an issue, depending on if we end up moving before the baby comes or not.

Carseats and Strollers
The moms I emailed each tried something different. One mom didn’t care for the convertible car seat (and said that she knew a lot of people who also didn’t like it). She highly recommended her Chicco infant carrier. Another mom liked the travel system she got – Baby Trend Single Snap N’ Go stroller
and car seat. A third mom liked her convertible car seat, and said it worked with her baby at his smallest, less than 6 lbs. Her only complaint with that car seat was that it could be a bit tricky to tighten in the rear-facing position because of the location of the tightening strap. She said that Babies R Us will let people test the floor models in their car, which is helpful to know (especially since my car is on the smaller size!). She doesn’t have a stroller yet, but plans to get an umbrella-style stroller as soon as her baby is able to sit unassisted.

All five moms used slings, ranging from thinking they’re indispensable to using them only occasionally. One mom complained that it was hard to get the baby in and out of the carriers so it was easier for her just to carry the baby in her arms. She thought the Ultimate Baby Wrap was good for front carrying, and Dr. Sear’s sling/carrier was good for side carrying, though she found the latter dug into her shoulder. Another mom recommended the Baby K’Tan sling. She also suggested getting a structured carrier for the dad to use. A third mom suggested the mei tai and Ergo carriers as being good for both the baby’s development and for the mother’s back. Two moms disliked the Snugli carrier, one mom pointing out that it’s not good for the baby’s spine.

Activity Centers and Toys
Four of the five moms highly recommended swings and bouncy seats for the baby. One mom said that the swing was especially good for her colicky baby. One mom suggested trying to get a swing with an AC adapter to avoid the constant replacement of batteries. One mom also said that her baby loves the door jumper and the Exersaucer. Her baby likes mobility, so he didn’t care for the Boppy very much or the play gym. She suggested just putting a blanket on the floor with toys. As for pacifiers, one mom recommended the Soothies brand as her favorites.

Two moms recommended the MyBrestFriend nursing pillow (both stating a dislike for the Boppy nursing pillow). Three moms specifically mentioned Lansinoh cream and disposable nursing pads as being the best, and one mom liked La Leche League’s washable nursing pad. One mom recommended using prefold diapers as the best burp cloths, and another mom said that the warmer/sterilizer was unnecessary. The moms said that a high chair isn’t needed until the baby is about 6 months, and that all the fancy features are unnecessary. If space is an issue, two moms suggested just using a booster seat or a compact chair that can fold up. One mom was a big fan of color changing spoons and vinyl bibs for solid feeding, and another mom said the only bib worth having is the Bumpkins SuperBib.

Bath and Grooming
Three moms love their infant bath tub, and one mom thought it was a waste of space. One mom said her favorite hair and body wash was Method, and thought the Aveeno lavender lotion really helped to calm the baby. Another mom thought that a baby hairbrush and baby nail clippers were useful tools to have around. (Since Paul and I have both had very thick hair from birth, we totally expect our kids to have the same, so it seems like a baby hairbrush would be useful!) One mom thought that bath toys were essential!

As I mentioned earlier, some of the moms I emailed cloth-diapered their child and other moms used disposable. One mom loathed all generic diaper brands; she recommended Pampers Swaddlers/Cruisers for preventing diaper rash, and Huggies for preventing leaks. Her favorite diaper cream is Balmex and her favorite wipes are Pampers Sensitive. She felt that a diaper pail only encouraged you to let the diapers pile up. Another mom, who cloth diapers, recommended just getting an inexpensive diaper pail and thought the Wahmie’s pail liner was worth the extra money. She thought that diaper stackers were a waste of money and space. She recommended getting 18 Baby Kangas, 6 prefolds, and 2 diaper covers. Several moms agreed that a changing table is not needed; just getting a couple of changing mats would suffice (or even a towel). They recommended having at least two mats; one for home and one for travel. They said that a diaper bag is useful, and one mom liked the in-between size of a backpack diaper bag that she had originally gotten for her husband. Another mom said a generous diaper bag was essential because there is so much stuff to keep track of! One mom thought that a mobile and mirrors were lifesavers for changing time.

One mom suggested waiting on getting a crib until later, because most likely the baby will sleep with the mother (at least in the beginning). Pack n plays can be used in the meantime, and are good for visit other peoples’ houses. One mom said to get a wipeable mattress, and another mom uses a waterproof crib pad as well as Gerber multi-purpose pads to put under the sheet in the crib (also nice for diaper changes). One mom got a foam mattress for her crib because it was so much lighter. One mom got a co-sleeper, but the baby was too long for it. Another mom recommended a bed rail for the side of the parents’ bed for nighttime nursing. A waterproof mattress pad was also recommended for the parents’ bed, to protect the mattress from stains. One mom suggested getting a lot of receiving blankets (her number was 12) for swaddling and keeping the baby warm, but another mom said that her baby preferred to swipe and kick and didn’t care for being swaddled. One mom said to get a warm mist vaporizer to use during the winter. Another mom said to make sure we have a place to store stuff, either a dresser or a rubbermaid storage container to keep under the crib.

One mom suggested having on hand: Mylicon, Little Tummies, and Tylenol, for shots or teething fevers. She said that Little Remedies worked the best for teething pain and that small frozen water ring teethers were also good. Another mom said that under-the-arm thermometers were the most accurate, and she suggested getting a nasal aspirator as well.

Most of the moms cautioned against buying too many clothes myself because apparently they are a favorite item for gifts. Also, that I will get more than enough 0-3 month sizes. One mom suggested trying to exchange 0-3 month clothing for bigger sizes if I get too many as gifts. They said that you can’t have too many onesies, and having a lot of burp rags and receiving blankets on hand is useful. One mom said that newborns really do need mittens. She also said the only thing she hasn’t liked was the snowsuit she had for her baby; she thought that just bundling her baby in coats, hats, mittens, and blankets worked better. (I appreciate the advice, though to be honest snowsuits were the farthest thing from my mind! ;-))

11 thoughts on “registering for baby items

  1. What I was thinking while reading this post:

    “And 4 out of 5 dentists recommend Colgate!”

    Seriously, though, it was great to poll your recent-new-mom friends. So many good tips!

  2. Wow! I hope you’re not overwhelmed by all that advice. I know it’s hard to take two conflicting things and try to figure out what might work for YOUR baby, beforehand. Good luck!

    Wanted to update you … after testing three other highchair booster seats, we found one we love:

    If you get it, be sure to get the “deluxe” as it is more adjustable. We love how you can just wipe it clean or put the tray in the dishwasher, and we like how we can take it to restaurants or other people’s houses without much fuss.

    Be sure to follow up when your baby is a few months old and let us know what items worked and didn’t work for you!

  3. I felt so overwhelmed at first, so I also emailed some Mommy friends and got a list. Opinions are so varied and our baby might not like what every other baby liked, so I am holding off on buying too much. I put some in the registry though. I have a hand me down crib, so that is one thing out of the way. And I got a brand new convertible car seat as well for $20 from the FL Highway Dept for attending a child seat safety training course.

  4. I vote for a co-sleeper (can use it as a changing table too, and there’s plenty of storage space underneath for blankets and diapers), an Ergo, and a booster seat. Those are my staples.

  5. Becky: I want to get that co-sleeper you have. I checked into the Ergos and man are they expensive! But I know a lot of people say they’re worth it, and I enjoyed seeing you use it. I will have to look at our Baby Budget again.

  6. I have an armsreach co-sleeper. I love it! I didn’t have one for my first child and wish I had. My oldest loved the swing and bouncy seat, my second hated them both and only wanted to be worn (he had colic) Each child is SO different and I think it ends up being trial and error. Keep in mind, what you don’t use for this baby, you likely will at some point with one of your kids. :-) I’ve done cloth AND disposable. Keep in mind it doesn’t work for every child. My first pooped out of the pre-folds so badly I got tired of washing his clothes (didn’t realize I had other options for cloth diapers back then) My second broke out in horrible yeast rashes from the cloth diapers. I really hope this 3rd baby is the charm and my cloth diapering is much more smooth. I would suggest you DO use disposable during the first few weeks…it’s MUCH easier and they poop CONSTANTLY! :-) Good luck with your registery!! My sister is throwing me a baby shower this Saturday (it’s our 3rd baby but first girl) I didn’t bother with a registery since we have most everything we need as far as “big items” It’s a lot to think through!! Have fun!

  7. Great idea! I’ll add my 2 cents. I am just now packing up some of my 8-month-old’s baby gear (sob) so it’s fresh on my mind.

    We use the MINI Arm’s Reach Co-Sleeper. He is just now pulling up on the sides enough to make it a safety hazard. We actually don’t attach it to our bed, but it rolls right next to my side and then moves back to the wall when we’re not sleeping. You can see it here:

    They will give you a nasal aspirator in the hospital–and, yuck, but you will use it a lot!

    We have done a combination of cloth and disposable diapers. Our ped dermatologist advised told us to make sure to give a baby 1/2 hour to an hour of diaperless time a day (on a towel). Even the generic disposables never gave our kids diaper rash.

    I like a sling for the snuggly infant stage and a Baby Bjorn for the head-upright, I-want-to-see-the-world stage. We use a convertible Britax car seat with no problems and skip the fancy travel system altogether.

    I keep a few bottles on hand but my kids love to nurse and then go straight to a cup. For example, John at 8 months drinks easily from a cup. He holds the sides and I hold the bottom to minimize spilling.

    Look forward to seeing what works for you and Sparkleberry! It’s so much fun!

  8. I was looking at the Arm’s Reach website last night, and was like “Ack! There are choices! Which one do I want??” :-) Hehe So I’m glad to hear that you got the Mini one and that you like it – I also remember your post about being able to roll it from room to room.

    The travel system question is one I’ve been pondering recently. I have been told both ways, that it’s nice to have and also to skip it and go for the double stroller after the second child.

  9. Just fyi, the mini is the one that Becky and I both have as well :-). I LOVE LOVE LOVE my mini co-sleeper!

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