Monday, January 12, 2009


Registering is hard work. So much to decide about things we know nothing about. Registering for our wedding was easy - we had already lived together for years. We knew what we liked and we what didn't like from years of experience. We know nothing about babies - what they need, what features are good, what's really important, etc. So we've spent the last week registering and have gotten advice from various friends. I'm compiling it here in case you are interested. Of course we aren't getting everything on this very comprehensive list, and luckily we've gotten lots of things given to us and from freecycle. But it's nice to see the comprehensive list and then go from there to decide what we want.

Stroller/Car Seats

For the first few months, before the baby can sit up, get the Graco Snugride Infant Car Seat and the Snap N Go stroller attachment. The Snap N Go frame is super small, light, and handy for urban areas, small homes, and small cars. Then for later, when the baby can sit up, get the Maclaren Umbrella Stroller, also light and small.

Reusable Diapers
From A: We went with Bum Genius 3.0 one-size pocket diapers that should fit babies 8-30 lbs. but I also liked and read good things about Happy Heiny's and Fuzzi Bunz(they also come in adjustable one-size now).

(We went with Bum Genius because they sell them at Target and we can put them on our registry)

Other notes from A & C based on their experience:
baby socks-you need a lot and few people bought us these
baby shoes - if you want the soft soled robeez type shoe...they are expensive.
laundry detergent (this depends on what type of diapers you're doing, what type you will be looking for)
nursing clothes/bras
diapers and wipes- (you can never have part of the invitation for a friend's baby shower they had a contest / prize for whoever brought the most diapers and wipes)
baby lotion/shampoo/soap- we're not going through this too fast but nice to get consumables
rectal thermometer
some kind of health kit that includes an eyedropper for giving medicine (it may also have the thermometer, etc)
baby Tylenol drops and saline drops
bedding/mobile/decorations for room
diaper bag (make sure it has a changing pad and some kind of compartmentalization -- I found I wanted to put dipes, wipes, my cell, water bottle (very important for nursing!), baby bottle, toy, keys, blanket/spit up, and a book of some sort in it)
smaller diaper changing pad (I forget what this is called...we have one and like having this in addition to the diaper bag for quick trips)
BPA free bottles with slow flow nipples
BPA free suction cup bowl and utensils
high chair
pumping milk bags
pump-medela pump in style
breast expressions bustier (ok, maybe not to register for, but invaluable for pumping at work -- I really miss it when I don't have it!)
hand pump could be useful as well for quick day trips --- some people found this worked better for them
inflatable my breast friend
towels and washcloths (we go through a lot of washcloths)
stroller-might be nice to have new-these get a lot of wear and tear
humidifier (if you think you need one)
16-20 reusable diapers
spray bottle
cloth diaper wet bag (for transporting dirty diapers back home)
safety stuff-we haven't really figured this out yet

At our pregnancy support group last night, one of the members' sister-in-law compiled this comprehensive list for her and she shared it:

Book – "What to Expect: the first year"
Baby nail clippers – usually comes in a grooming kit for babies
Baby thermometer (oral and/or ear)
Baby gas drops
Baby Tylenol and baby Motrin
Several bottles of hand sanitizer (one for changing table, bathroom and diaper baskets & bag)
Travel WetOnes – for diaper bag
Burp cloths (lots)
Bottles, formula (go with one your Pediatrician recommends or one that is for sensitive stomachs)
Sling/or baby carrier of some sort
Baby blankets – 3-5
Pacifiers. Some come with a hole at the end, where you can purchase an optional pacifier clip (ribbon runs from pacifier to clip on baby’s shirt). It helps when baby is constantly spitting out the pacifier
Baby gates
Big stroller – make sure: wheels can move in any direction, can fold easily and fit in your trunk, you can pick it up/carry it and walk it up the steps with dog and baby in tow.
Umbrella stroller (small stroller – about $20 – bare bones)
Potty chair
Car Seat/Baby carrier/covered sleeper thing – for winter (looks like a big blanket that covers the car/baby carrier)
Nightlight for the baby’s bedroom
Baby monitor
Padding for baby's head while in car seat.
Bobux baby shoes (they are the only ones that stay on!!!!!! - can only be purchased online

Diaper Crap:
Diapers (all sizes, pampers or huggies)
Desitin diaper crème and/or Aquafor (couple of tubes)
Diaper bag. Tip: carry an extra plastic garbage bag for the soiled clothes
Portable changing pad – usually comes with the diaper bag
Disposable changing pads – for when you are traveling
Wipes (lots)
Contour changing pad to put on changing table. You can buy covers for them, but I found that I ended up washing the cover all the time b/c baby would spit up on them when laying down, drool, pee or poop on them, it got to be hassle, so I ditched the covers.
Disinfectant Wipes (i.e., Lysol or Chlorox ) - to wipe down changing pads. I kept one in my diaper basket and one for the changing table.
You may want to think about having an extra basket or caddy, on every floor, with an extra set of everything (diapers, crème, changing pad, wipes). I found that very handy.

Baby wash cloths
Baby hooded towels
2-3Liquid soap (all in one – again sensitive skin)
Nonallergenic lotion (Aveeno is good)

FOR Breastfeeding/MOM:
Breast crème/salve (purple bottle, brand is called Lansinoh).
Also, look at Lansinoh “Assist” – may help with baby latching on to nipple if your nipple is flat/inverted.
Absorbent Breast pads!!!!!!!!!!
Nursing shirts
Boppy pillow (nursing pillow)
Breast pump machine? Expensive but worth a look. I ended up doing half and half with all the kids.... Half breast milk and half formula, b/c my boobs needed a break! Warning: the breast machine made 7 years ago was not exactly comfortable — and you end up feeling like you belong on the dairy farm. However, it was a lifesaver for me, when both Libby and Riley were in the hospital for a week, and I couldn’t be with them at night. I was able to pump and put it in the fridge. You may want to ask the hospital or research the area to see if there are any machines that can be rented by the week/month.

Sleeping wedge for the crib
Head padding for car seat
Waterproof crib mattress pads – at least 2-3
Bumper pad for crib

Training cups and sippy cups
Bibs that velcro – no ties and NO pull over the heads. Register for 2 kinds 1) newborn bibs – absorbent/easy to clean/wash. 6-12months+/feeding – with pouches to catch spill/easy to clean
High chair – get one that’s easy to clean and easy to get the tray off (one handedly – so you can hold the baby in the other hand). Also, look for folding - to take to the beach??
Baby spoons – softbite tips (different sizes/stages you feed/and selffeed) any toddler plasticware - feeding bowls

Mirror for the car – hook on to rear view mirror to see baby in the back
A larger car seat for when the baby is past newborn/more a toddler (has sippy cup holders that pullout).

NOT ESSENTIAL/Your choice:
Looked interesting – grocery cart/seat – padding thing
Bouncy seat (our kids loved it). Was able to feed baby in it... When first starting out.
Swing with timer and music – some kids love it, some don’t. Libby loved it.
ExerSaucer (Our kids loved it)
Sound machine for bedroom
Diaper Genie – it does help with the poopy diaper smell (might be good if Lily gets into the trash). However, your kitchen trash can would be just fine. Then you’d have one less thing to empty and would not have to pay for refill bags.
Window screens/sun shades that stick on to rear windows

You don’t need:
Baby oil or baby powder
Dreft Laundry detergent (just use a dye free, i.e. Tide Free – works the same)
Baby wipe warmer

Do get:
A swing if you have space in the house for it. Excellent for naps, hanging out and watching Mommy cook dinner when older, godsend. I chose that over a bouncy seat, and it worked well, never missed a bouncy seat.
One of those bucket carrier seat/stroller/car seat combos. They rock and we still use the stroller.
No more of 3 of any clothing item (socks, sleepers, pants, onezies, etc, pjs) in any size to start. If you find the kid is a spitter and you change every 5 minutes, by all means go get some more. Seriously, they grow so fast we had WAY too many 3 mo. onezies/gowns/sleepers because we didn't get that at the time. Who knew? Have people get you larger sizes...that first year they grow FAST. Your kid will be in 6 mos clothes in 5 minutes if she weighs more than 5 pounds to start.
A copious supply of bottles and nipples if you bottle feed, same for pump accessories if you're going that route. We had enough so we could do bottles/pumps once a day, and when we finally figured that out, life was way better. Otherwise, you're boiling constantly and/or running a not-full dishwasher constantly, neither of which is good from a sanity or energy stand point. 8 on the bottles is a good number to start (every 3 hours on average) and I pumped 4-5 times a day, so at least 4 sets of breast shell thingies and corresponding storage bottles.
a 10 pack of cloth diapers (burp cloths, all purpose rags).
(I thought this was a GREAT idea - and if you don't have time for a party, maybe everyone who is coming to the shower can bring a pkg. of diapers). Have someone who loves you throw you a "diaper dinner" if you're doing disposable diapers. Have a potluck and people split up the diaper sizes by last name, a's-c's buy newborns/ones, d-g buy size 2's, and again weight more on the larger sizes. Charlotte was in size 2's quickly, no newborn sizes, ones not very long, she's been in size 4 for an eternity. We literally got 1200 diapers from this dinner and didn't buy diaper one for 8 months or so. It rocked. If you have the storage space and 15-20 friends, it will save you TONS of money. My daughter did 10 diapers a day easy in the early days, so you can get how many diapers that a kid will do in the first year. It's a LOT and the cheapest ones are still 13 cents a piece on sale, name brands run closer to 30 cents each.

Do not buy:
New baby clothes. Buy clothes at consignment. Really. New kids clothes are ridiculously pricey for how long they wear them, and you can get them CHEAP by not paying retail. Conversely, diapers and formula are EXPENSIVE. Save the $$ for those essentials. We ended up taking back a ton of stuff (see 3 of each rule) so that we had credit for larger size clothes.
A bouncy/jump seat. Too hard to hit the weight, height activity phase just right, and for $25 you could have 2 boxes of Target diapers or a can of soy formula.
Newborn toys for the first 3 months. We have literally 20 of those soft squares of cloth (some with animals, some without) which are totally useless. At first, they can't see much or do squat except eat, sleep, poop and cry, and you are the best toy they need. After 3 months, the light goes on a bit, and they start to do some small fairly quiet rattles, toys that hang over the bassinet, etc.

Ok, with my son, I think by far my favorite (and his) was a butterfly mobile that attached to his changing table. ALWAYS keep him occupied while we changed his diaper.
The Fisher Price Intellitaner is also great. I used it with both my daughter and son. Still have it in fact. It's the next step up from an exer-saucer (sp?) and can be used from baby to toddler years.

Must haves:
baby swing, onesies, sink tub, drink cup holder for stroller, washcloths, hooded towels, lots of socks, wish I could have had a glider. I almost forgot the Sony baby monitors (Babies "R Us), those were great.

1. Forget the diaper genie!
2. Baby Bjorn is great, but I also loved the sling.
3. Gotta have a bouncy seat (the kind for infants that you can put anywhere). No brand preference here.
4. Stroller/infant carrier seat combo...wish I'd had one of those!
5. Baby monitors...I still use 'em to make sure my big kids are doing what they should when they're supposed to be sleeping!

1. Portable swing. If she is a swing is a life saver and can double as a feeding chair and place to nap when traveling.
2. Bunting bag (2-for when one is dirty) for inside the car seat (the bucket car seat).
3. Bucket car seat. Jacob slept in his the first few days after we got home. I sat it in his crib so he would get used to the surroundings.
4. Quilted changing table pads - we used a stack of them. If anything got messy, just peel one off and toss in the wash. That way the terry cloth changing pad cover didn't have to be washed so often. This is probably more applicable to boy mom's and the peeing when the air hits them.
5. A good (little more spendy) lightweight stroller with harness straps. I spent about $100 for mine and got my money's worth....especially if you travel. I hardly ever used my big stroller except for walks in the neighborhood or big trips to the mall when someone would stand outside the stores and entertained while I ran in.
6. A clean up all the food dropped on the floor.
7. Soft leather shoes that you turned me on to....Bobux or Robeez. I hear that Target even sells them now. I like them so much that they are my standard baby gift.

Don't get.....
any thing to sterilize your bottles, nipples, etc. Run them in the dishwasher or wash them in water so hot you have to wear rubber gloves to wash them.
I never used a bottle warmer or a wipe warmer ever.
Baby socks.....just put them in feeted all in one outfits. I

Can't Live Without:
Vibrating Bouncer Chair (a life saver when I wanted to shower!)
Swing (my boys loved to sleep in them)
Good baby reference book (I liked Dr. Sears "Baby Book" -- it's purple)
An easy to use stroller
A great diaper bag -- I'm partial to Kalencomm which comes in lots of styles and has a vinyl exterior so it's easy to clean

Can Live Without:
Wipes Warmer -- got one, never used it
Dreft laundry detergent -- use All Free or some eco-friendly $$
Brand name baby soaps, lotions -- use the store brand, plus babies don't need lotion early on anyway
Video monitor -- we did just fine with audio only monitors, and have friends who had expensive video monitors that burned out
Ear thermometers -- the one I got didn't work well, plus most docs want a rectal or underarm temp

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