When it came time for me to register for my wedding, I was all over it! I actually convinced my husband-to-be to register on Super Bowl Sunday. I promised him that we could have lunch after church, register and not miss the pre-game… and we were sitting in front of a TV before the coin toss!
When it came time to register for the arrival of our precious baby, I approached it with the same excitement. I printed off a suggested registry and we hit the stores. About five minutes into the process, I looked at my husband and said “what is half of this stuff?” So for those of you that are currently having your first child, here is my list of must haves for your registry.
1. A video monitor
My husband and I went round and round about getting a monitor. We don’t live in a very big house, and I was convinced that a monitor would just keep me up at night and make me crazy watching our little one’s every move. We ended up getting one anyway and I am SO glad we did. The monitor has been great in helping me not run in every time Caroline makes any kind of noise. (As a side note, make sure you research the type of monitor. We didn’t really and ours does this buzz thing every time Caroline cries and it adds to my anxiety to hear continuous crying on top of the monitor continuously buzzing.)
My husband and I took a baby care class and we practiced swaddling a baby doll. And let’s be honest, haven’t most of us been practicing that since we were about two? I was really good at it… but for some reason every time I swaddled my real baby, she woke up with her leg sticking out or the blanket up around her neck (which was another thing I worried about). We bought these swaddlers and they were SO AWESOME! There are several brands that I’ve heard good things about, but we always went with the Summer brand swaddlers. They were light so I didn’t worry about her being too hot. Caroline spent the first three months of her life in either a diaper or her swaddlers. She was so adorable all cocooned up. These also worked great when she got too old for the swaddle, we were able to slowly move her out of them a little at a time.
3.Fisher Price Sea Horse
My sister got this for our baby based on a recommendation from a friend. Caroline loves it!! She still sleeps with it. It’s super portable so it can travel with us. Any kind of soothing toy is a good idea. The sea horse stays in Caroline’s crib and lulls her to sleep for all of her naps and bed time.
The day we brought Caroline home from the hospital, my parents brought home some food and Caroline was asleep. I remember sitting down at the table and looking at my husband and saying “where do we put her?” That’s why everyone should have a swing! I can’t stress that enough!! Caroline never spent a ton of time in the swing, but there were some naps she finished up in her swing early on. It was also a peace of mind item. I knew that if it was 2:00AM and Caroline wasn’t sleeping and I was feeling a little nutso, I could always put her in the swing and she would sleep at least a little. Caroline did sit in her swing in the kitchen while I made dinner, or in the bathroom while I took a shower. It was a nice place for her to go and be near me while I was able to do a couple of other things.
5. Electric Pump
If you’re planning on nursing, an electric pump is such a nice thing to have. Having a pump gave my husband the opportunity to feed our baby (which gave me the opportunity to sleep). Definitely spend the money on an electric pump, or you don’t want to invest in your own, you can rent one from the hospital. Check with your insurance first, it might be covered. Also, as of 2013, breastfeeding supplies are tax deductible!!
6. Nursing Pillow
So like every one else in the world, I registered for a boppy pillow. Now, for some of you (who are thin and wonderful right after giving birth) a boppy pillow might work great. For me, it didn’t. It never stayed around me, and I still had to hunch over to feed Caroline… This pillow, the BreastFriend Pillow, is designed for nursing. It clips around you. You can actually get up and walk and it stays in place!! It has back support, you can make it as high or low as you need it… AND it has a pocket!! This was life changing for me! We still used the boppy pillow for Caroline to have tummy time or be able to sit in, but for nursing, this was the best! It also comes in an inflatable travel version and a twin version! Check it out!!
7. Pack N Play
Here’s my mommy confession for the day… Caroline only slept in our room for maybe a week. I couldn’t sleep with her in there. Every noise she made I was wide awake wondering what she needed or was doing. So we didn’t use our pack n play for her to sleep in a lot. I did try to get her to take naps in the pack n play so she wouldn’t have to be in her bed every time to take a nap. What I did use the pack n play a lot for, was independent play time! I love the idea of my kids playing and discovering things on their own but in a controlled environment. When she was younger, I would set her in the pack n play with toys that I changed out every few days and I would get work done while she would play. First for 10 minutes at a time and then we worked up from there. Now that she’s older, she plays in her room, by herself, for an hour every day. It’s so fun to watch her discover different things to do with her toys and watch her while she looks through books and talks about what she sees (this is also where a video monitor comes in handy).
8. Infantino Squeeze Station
Did you know that the baby food industry has been slowly declining? There are several companies that are actually changing the design of their packaging and the type of food they offer. All of this to compete with the people who are taking away their business… YOU. More moms are making their own food and its all thanks to gizmos like this! After I discovered that a jar of sweet potatoes cost $1.00, and I could just bake a sweet potato and puree it with some water for $0.40, I was hooked on making my own food. I used Wholesome Baby Food as a guide and would spend one day a week making food for the whole week. It’s really not that difficult when it comes down to it. The Infantino Squeeze Station makes it possible for you to put your baby food in the squeeze pouches. It even has accessories like spoons that screw on to the pouch so you can feed right from the pouch. I still make my own yogurt and apple sauce and put it in pouches for Caroline! It is fantastic for on-the-go snacks!!
9. Activity Mat
Maybe I’m the only one, but I always wondered what I should be doing with my newborn when they were awake. I could sit and stare at her for hours, but I wanted her to be stimulated and discovering and learning things. So we got this Activity Mat. We loved it!! It’s soft, it folds up nicely for travel, and Caroline was always so excited to lay on it and look at all the things hanging up!
10. Baby Bath
Ahh the joys of bathing a baby! I love it when they get out of the bath and they smell so wonderful!! But man is it hard to hold them and bathe them all at the same time. This is the bath we have and we really liked it. It didn’t necessarily fit in our sink like I was hoping, but it did nicely in the tub. We used it all the way until Caroline could sit very well in the tub and then we transitioned to the whole tub. If you’re going to be giving the baby baths by yourself, you definitely want some type of baby bath!
These are things that I found super helpful!! As a side note…when I was registering, a friend told me not to register for any clothes. She said, the clothes are in the same section and they’re so cute, people will buy them anyway, register for what you need. That might have been the best advice ever! Caroline has never lacked for outfits, and her first three months, she just wore pajamas most of the time anyway
What are somethings that you couldn’t live without?? What are somethings that you definitely would leave off your registry?