I was sort of the first of my close friends to have a baby, so I needed a lot of help figuring out what I needed to buy/register for. Old friends, old friends of friends, old colleagues, and good friends I had lost touch with were INCREDIBLY helpful in this regard. The line that stuck with me the most was “you need places to PUT the baby!”
One friend recommended the book Baby Bargains (by the same people as my other bible, the Baby 411 book). This book, plus Amazon.com reviews were a lifesaver.
The awesome thing about Baby Bargains is that it has a “Good-Better-Best” section for every category of item. So if you’re in a hurry and know money is no object and just want the “Best” carseat, you can find it easily. The main objective as I was planning for all of this was to get stuff that we could use for a long time.
So here is a rough guide for what to register for, with an emphasis on stuff you will need or want either right away or within the first 3 months or so. After that, you will be so consumed with mommy-hood that you will have a much easier time figuring out what you need or want to buy in terms of toys, feeding accessories or clothes!
I’ve linked to many items on Amazon, but I actually recommend doing a registry with Target and/or Babies R Us. They make it easy for people to access your registry online or in store and returns are easy as well in case of duplicate gifts. If I really had to pick one, I’d say go with Babies R Us because if you sign up for their membership before you register, you can return unwanted items (in the original packaging! read the fine print!), even without your receipt. Also, they never have a long wait in the return line like at Target! If many of your gift-givers will have access to Buy Buy Baby, try them as well. They have an especially nice selection of diaper bags!
Cribs are an overwhelming purchase. We were treated to our nursery furniture so we opted for one of the more expensive, well-reputed brands; Munire. We went all out and got a convertible crib, so our son is going to have this furniture FOREVER. The only big downside to this (so far) is that it might be weird to have his first “real” bed be a double instead of a twin. But I think it goes from crib to toddler bed to double bed, so I think we have plenty of time before we have to deal with that conundrum.
UPDATED TO ADD: Since writing this, my son CHEWED on large areas of his expensive crib, necessitating the purchase of crib rail covers to hide the teeth marks. Needless to say, if I have another one, I will probably go with Ikea. Also, Checklist Mommy tells you to get Ikea cribs and I like her. Frankly, looking back, I almost got an Ikea crib but they weren’t available when I was pregnant because they had all been recalled and were being redesigned. ANYway…
UPDATED AGAIN TO ADD: Since Baby #1 chewed the paint off his expensive convertible crib AND we recently discovered the main part of it had broken off from the convertible crib rail, I am now officially ANTI-CONVERTIBLE CRIB. I got an Ikea crib for Baby#2 and it’s fine. The boys are going to share a room, so I will very soon purchase 2 Ikea regular twin beds- one for the older one right now and one for when the baby is ready.
– Crib mattress (yes, it’s extra)
– Dresser/changing table
I am against the purchase of changing tables. We got a wide 6-drawer dresser. We have plenty of room for a changing pad, plus a few canvas baskets to hold diapers, lotion, washcloths, wipes, a little thermos of clean water, plus a gallon of purified water and a big container of formula and a little dop kit of grooming and basic first aid items
– Comfy chair that glides or rocks
The most popular glider/rocker is this type of style. I wouldn’t bother with an ottoman, but try it out in a store and see how you feel. Just be warned that this type of chair is notorious for toppling over if you put too much weight on the front of the seat. I also think they are hideously ugly. I made it work by custom-ordering the upolstery for the pillows, but if I could do it again, I’d get an armchair-style rocking chair.
– Storage (like a bookcase)
We have a bookcase close to the dresser/changing table. The bookcase holds lots of books (duh), but also extra diapers and wipes and lotions (within arms reach of the changing table!), receiving blankets, and all the stuffed animals we got as gifts but are afraid to let baby play with yet.
You will want a decent rug for you and baby to play on. I got cotton because I was afraid wool would be scratchy, but now I wish I had chosen a cushier wool rug. Baby Bargains recommends a website for cheap rugs, but I’m crazy for the rugs at The Land of Nod and wish I could buy almost all of them.
– Organization accessories (baskets, boxes, whatever)
For organization accessories, try Ikea, Bed Bath and Beyond, or The Container Store. Don’t get that kind of stuff at a baby store- it’s a rip off. And don’t get anything too cutesy. You will want to be able to reuse them! A few little open containers for your diaper stuff and a few bigger containers for the floor are a good idea? Why the floor? So you can throw baby’s too-small clothes in them as soon as you realize they are too small. Then when baby’s older: toy storage!
– Side table(s) for next to your comfy chair
You will want some sort of surface next to your comfy chair for books, pacifiers, burp cloths, your breast pump, whatever. Don’t spend a lot of money on this. Just get something cheap and functional. If you can find something that will double as storage, all the better. We got 2 unfinished wood storage tables at Ikea (my husband spray painted them a fun color and they look great), and used one to store all the super-big (like 12-month size) clothing gifts we got. Now it’s empty because that stuff is all being washed for when baby starts to fit into it in like a month and a half!
– Diaper pail
I resisted the need for a diaper pail for awhile and thought I would get a nice expensive garbage can instead. But expensive garbage cans are EXPENSIVE. I like the Diapor Dekkor. It’s easy to take the garbage out and not too disgusting. Yes, you will need to buy refills. But get a Babies R Us points card because they are pretty generous with coupons. You could also find them cheap online.
– Laundry hamper
Don’t spend a lot of money on a cutesy laundry basket! Get one your baby won’t be embarrassed to carry when you make them do their own damn laundry in like 8 years.
– Nightlight, so baby isn’t trained to sleep only in complete darkness. Also, so you can see baby when you inevitably wake up a million times to check that he/she is breathing. We got LED ones like these.
– Lamp(s), so you don’t have to blast all the lights when trying to put baby to sleep. I recommend one near the changing table and one near your chair. UPDATED TO ADD: When Baby starts moving around a lot they will love nothing more than KNOCKING OVER YOUR LAMPS. We moved the side table lamp to the top of the bookcase and kept a tall one in the corner of the room.
– Sound machine. I still use this regularly to help baby wind down for naps. We got something like this.
– Mobile for crib. I registered for a random one I found on the Target website. It plays a crappy version of Brahms’ lullabye but baby has been rocking out to it steadily for 7 months, so go figure.
Baby Gear (Places To Put The Baby)
– Infant carseat.
You definitely need this pretty soon as they won’t let you leave the hospital without one. Look at Baby Bargains, but Graco carseats are very popular. One warning, I almost got the Chicco car seat but reviews said the canopy was shallow. This is important because babies aren’t into the sun shining in the faces! I have a Graco Snugride 30 and it’s fine. What will make you crazy are the variety of patterns. I changed the carseat in my registry a million times because the ones I chose kept selling out before anybody bought them, so we finally just ended up going to the store and getting it ourselves. Another thing to consider is the fabric color and texture in hot weather. I saw a lot of nice seats that had a sort of velvety fabric in dark colors. I went with a neutral pattern in a more nylon-type of fabric. It washes easily and doesn’t get too hot in warm weather.
– Activity mat.
This is a big one because baby will spend a TON of time here. I have this one and it’s been great. Get one with a wide area of fabric for when baby starts rolling around. This is also why I wish I had a cushier rug! UPDATED TO ADD: Baby played with this for almost a year. It’s great. This one is also pretty awesome.
– Play Yard/travel crib
We got the basic Graco kind with the bassinet feature. This is great for keeping baby close in the early days, because he/she will outgrow a little bassinet very quickly. Also, a lot of the bassinets available are pretty expensive and not the greatest quality. In my opinion you don’t need anything too fancy for this. We used it a lot for baby to sleep in the early weeks and we’ve since used it as a travel crib. Right now it’s folded up in a closet, but when baby gets mobile I will consider taking it out as another safe place to put him where he can move around but still be contained.
– Bouncy-vibrating chair
There are tons of varieties of this type of product with different music settings and fancy features. I wanted something that would last, so I got an infant to toddler chair. We used it so much that we got the travel version to keep downstairs and put the original one in baby’s room. We’ve also traveled with it! These come in tons of fabrics and every store only has certain fabrics (I’ve found this later on for high chairs, too), so try not to go too crazy tracking down the fabric you like. UPDATED TO ADD: My son went through a phase of constantly climbing the chair, but now (at 18 months) we STILL use the travel one. It lives in the kitchen, where he sits in it to read or drink his milk.
I had heard you should try your baby out in a swing before buying in case they hate it, but we got ours the second week home and luckily baby loved it. If I could go back and do it again I’d have gotten a travel swing, but the one we have was amazing.
For the first 4-6 months or so, you will probably keep baby in the infant carseat and use a stroller adapter. I got a Snap n’ Go and it’s been fine for errands, but the tires are lousy on bumpy sidewalks. There are other versions of the Snap n’ Go by Graco and Chicco, so see what their tires are like. I also registered for the Citi Mini, which can adapt to hold an infant car seat securely for about the same price as a Snap n’ Go. Evaluate what your stroller needs are, look around and see what people are using. I’m very happy with my Citi Mini because it has a great sun canopy, it fully reclines, you can open and close it with one hand, and the tires are great on bumpy sidewalks. There are also some very ritzy options out there; I am particularly intrigued by UPPAbaby‘s stuff. Check out YouTube for detailed stroller reviews, but my recommendation for an affordable system is just the latest Citi Mini with the car seat adapter bar. UPDATED TO ADD: Another great thing I’ve discovered about the Citi Mini is that if my son is using the tray attachment to eat his snack while we’re shopping, the stroller seat is deep enough that his crumbs wind up under his butt and not all over the floor of the mall. A small, but important detail, IMO.
– Baby carrier
In the beginning, you don’t even REALLY need a stroller. You can wear baby. Look at Baby Bargains, but the best carriers are by Ergo or Beco. As you can see, these aren’t cheap, but if your baby really wants to be worn and you really like wearing them, you will obviously get a lot of use out of them. The Ergo and Beco are pretty similar with several key differences: the Ergo has a cute zippered pocket to put your keys or whatever and you have to buy an infant insert to safely wear a newborn. The Beco has no zippered pocket, but it comes with an infant insert and also seems a bit easier to put on by yourself. That said, I’ve put the Ergo on by myself without too much trouble in the backseat of my car in the Whole Foods parking lot. Also, I registered for a Baby Bjorn before I knew any better and I found it horribly uncomfortable. I also got a Moby Wrap. This one is a bit intimidating to use, but there are lots of YouTube videos that explain how to do it. I actually used the Moby quite a bit around the house in the first few months.
Look these up in Baby Bargains. You won’t be able to use it for about 4 months, but our pediatrician actually recommend we get one so baby could spend less time leaning on something. I got the cheapest one that was best-rated, the EvenFlo Splash-Mega, but if you want to spend more, there are tons of super-fancy ones. Baby is still happy with his after 3 months of use, so it’s fine.
– Bumbo-type chair.
You don’t NEED a product like this, but I’ve found mine valuable for helping baby learn to sit. Like the exersaucer, you won’t be able to use this for around 4 months at least. I tried the Bumbo for about 5 minutes (before they were recalled) and didn’t like it. The seat was too small for my average-sized baby, even at 4 months. If you want to give baby extra help sitting up (and have an extra place to put him/her), I love this one. I’ve been keeping it on my kitchen floor (far away from the stove!) and baby is great to sit in it and play while I cook dinner.
You don’t need to get this right away as baby won’t be eating solids for at least 4 months. Even if you start solids at exactly 4 months you can feed baby in his/her car seat or rocking chair if you need to. Baby Bargains says the best highchairs are by Fisher Price or Graco. I didn’t want to spend a lot of money on this, so I got the cheapest one with the best reputation, the Fisher Price Space Saver. We’re happy with it so far. FYI, it looks like they all say the trays are dishwasher-safe, but in reality it seems like all the trays are too big for a dishwasher. We just wipe ours off and it’s fine. If it gets really gross, I rinse the whole thing in the sink. We also got a Fisher Price Booster Seat which we used for traveling and I now keep in the car to use instead of restaurant highchairs when I take baby out. It’s great so far.
– Fitted crib sheets (2-3). You can get away with 2. We have 5 (one was an unexpected gift) and we really don’t need all of them. Get 100% cotton with elastic all around the edges. I wouldn’t get the T-shirt material ones because I find those get sweaty and gross pretty easily. Try to get dark colors or prints! There are going to be lots of messy sheets in the beginning. We panicked and ran out to buy “sheet savers” in the first week at home. We washed them and took the tags off before realizing that the strings weren’t long enough to tie around the crib slats. One thing that worked to get another day or 2 out of a sheet was to just spread a receiving blanket out and tuck it very tightly into the sides of the mattress. UPDATED TO ADD: Definitely get prints, but spit up shows up like anything on dark colors. I got a few new sheets for Baby #2 and they are all prints on a white background so you don’t see the spit up as much.
– Fitted crib waterproof pad (2) Obviously.
– Changing pad covers (2-4). In the beginning, these get stained a lot!
– Sheet for playard (2). The reviews for sheets that fit a Pack n’ Play are pretty depressing. I got one sheet by Graco and the quality isn’t great (thin and scratchy), but it’s been fine for our purposes. Avoid the quilted Pack n’ Play sheets: I tried one and it pilled all over the place.
– Washcloths (TONS At least 10. AT LEAST). They come in multipacks and you will use them a lot. I registered for a few fancy organic cotton ones, but the multicolored packs from Babies R Us have been just as good. Just don’t get the super-thin kind.
– Baby towels (2-3). Don’t spend a ton here and don’t bother with baby bathrobes. Just get a few of the cute hooded towels and you’ll be fine.
– Receiving blankets. (8-10) I was told to get burp cloths “like they’re Kleenex” and think I must have 16-20 of these flannel blankets and they hardly get used. They come in multipacks in cute flannel patterns. The muslin swaddling blankets like this are also very popular. I didn’t use them a lot, but they have been good this summer for covering baby’s legs when it was sunny. Don’t intend to use them for swaddling, though. I never heard of baby who can’t break free from a blanket-swaddling. We didn’t use blankets for swaddling outside of the hospital. We used the flannel receiving blankets a lot to tuck around baby when we went outside (instead of a coat or snowsuit, which aren’t recommended when baby is in a carseat, FYI). We also used them as burp cloths, but we also have some burp cloths, too.
– Plush blanket (1) We got one as a random gift and ended up using it quite a bit for outings on extra-cold days
– Burp cloths (10). I think I was sort of confused about what burp cloths were and that’s why I went so crazy getting receiving blankets. It’s not a big deal. I was fine with the cheap kind from Babies R Us. You can also get the super-cheap multipacks of Gerber cloth diapers (which are too thin to actually use as cloth diapers!).
– Swaddlers (3-4). We loved the Summer Infant swaddlers. Used them for the first 3 months and even had to upgrade to the large size. By then, baby was wriggling out of them within 10 minutes. We also registered for a few of the zippered Summer Infant SwaddlePods and I don’t recommend them. We tried one in the very first weekend home, but we didn’t like how tight it was and how the zipper was all bunched up so close to baby’s cheeks.
Don’t get a ton of stuff in this category until you know for sure if you are able to nurse. Don’t spend a lot of money on a breast pump, either! You can rent a hospital-grade one. I knew about this but was too intimidated to try it. I bought a very good breast pump, the mid-level Medela Swing, but I hated using it and might’ve been better off with a double pump that worked quicker and wasn’t such a pain to hold in place.
– Boppy pillow and 1 pillow cover
The nursing pillow most recommended by lactation consultants is actually by My Brest Friend, but you can use the Boppy for other stuff, like tummy time and helping baby learn to sit up. If you can, get both.
– Avent bottles (4 oz and 9 oz) (get 8 of each, but you probably won’t need the 9 oz bottles for a few months)
I’m recommending Avent because they are (as far as I know) considered by lactation consultants to be the best bottles to avoid nipple confusion if you plan to both breast and bottle feed. This is what I’ve read and this is what my lactation consultant told me. We’ve been using them and they are fine. I’ve heard it recommended that you get several kinds of bottles because you never know what baby is going to like. I think this is silly- baby will like whatever his first bottle is. Our baby never had trouble with a bottle and he was exposed to a very easy, fast-flow nipple before he tried an Avent nipple. The only nipples he had trouble with were mine:(
I also recommend that you have a few bottles washed and ready in your hospital bag. If you’re exhausted and want to let the nurses give baby formula but you still want to nurse, it will help if baby uses an Avent nipple instead of the nipple that comes with the the little Similac bottles in the hospital.
You could probably live without this (we certainly have when travelling), but it’s great to use at home. In our house if bottles are on it, they’re clean and ready to go.
These are great for making it easy to keep all the bottle stuff contained.
You don’t need one of these at all because you don’t actually need to sterilize the bottles. But it wasn’t expensive and it’s easy to use. I guess we’re a bit paranoid because we use ours even after the bottles come out of the dishwasher. If you’re a fanatic about cleanliness, this is a good option to sterilize stuff.
– Bibs (1-2)
You won’t need feeding bibs until baby starts solids, but get something cute that is BPA, PVC and phalate-free. Like these. One thing: make sure they fasten with velcro. I have one that snaps and my velcro one is much easier to use. You only need 2 because they rinse off easily and dry like nothing. Keep one at home and one in the diaper bag.
– Cups/bowls (4-7)
– Spoons (1 set)
I’ve only been feeding baby solids for a month or so and I haven’t bought too much in the way of feeding accessories. We’ve been fine with this cheap set of BPA-free cups and this cute set of spoons. When baby tries finger foods in a month or so, I will probably just put them on his highchair tray.
This is a tough one because you will get tons of clothes as gifts. When everybody says babies grow fast, they aren’t kidding! Get mostly 0-3 month sized stuff, but have a few newborn-sized outfits for when you want baby to look more “put-together.” Of course, this is unless your sonos say baby will be huge, but they are often wrong.
If you get a lot of clothes as gifts, keep them with the gift receipts and make sure they have no loose drawstrings or scratchy appliques. Make sure they would be easy to put on and easy to change a diaper in (snap crotch, easy necklines, stretchy fabrics!). If not, exchange them!
One thing to note: you will definitely need a pants-and-socks type of outfit (i.e. not a one-piece) to leave the hospital because they keep the lo-jack and ID bracelet on baby’s ankle until right before you are released. We used sweatpants, a kimono shirt and a hoodie in newborn size.
Another thing: baby gowns. I was nervous about the umbilical cord stump and bought tons of those gowns in multipacks. But when the time came, I hated them and only used one of them once, for baby’s bris. They were so big and hanging off of the shoulder and I liked the diaper area to be more contained for blowouts.
As for brands, this is a particularly fun chapter to read in Baby Bargains! I can’t recommend Gerber’s clothes except for the stretchy hats. Carter’s is great for basics. I am very picky because I don’t like clothes with writing and a lot of Carter’s multipacks have at least one item in the set with a silly saying on it. But for plain bodysuits and knit pants that wash well and are easy to put on, they’re great. I am a huge fan of Baby Gap (sales or coupons!), H&M and the Little Me brand (which I’ve seen at Buy Buy Baby and Nordstrom). Old Navy is also great. Baby Bargains doesn’t like the Circo brand from Target but I have some things from them that have been very good. With the exception of the occasional Baby Gap item that is too cute for me to resist, I generally operate under a <;$12.00 rule for any one item. You should also keep an open mind for discount places like TJ Maxx, Marshalls, and Century 21. I have found some very nice quality items for more than 50% off. Obviously you should sign up for emails about sales whereever you can. Carter’s always has great sales and email coupons. They also own Osh Kosh b’gosh- another great quality brand that I only recently discovered. UPDATED TO ADD: After 18 months of buying baby and toddler clothes, I am now particularly in love with H&M for their style and value. And I have even more Circo stuff from Target that have been great!
– Footie pajamas (7-12? A LOT). These will be the mainstay of your newborn’s wardrobe. Expect to change them 3 times a day. I liked the ones with the zipper, as long as there was a little tab that buttoned over it at the neck. We got tons of the cheap Gerber ones in multipacks, but I wouldn’t do that again because the sizing is so inconsistent (some of the 0-3 month ones were tiny, some huge), and the zippers are cheap. Footies are also great because obviously they are easy to put on and take off. If you’re a new parent, you will probably be terrified of breaking baby, so footies are easy.
– Kimono snap T-shirts (4). They dress baby in these at the hospital. They are good for layering and good for leaving the umbilical stump to dry up and heal.
– Knit hats (2-4). I actually liked the Gerber hats I got at Target, but they have cute solid color ones at Buy Buy Baby and trendy ones at H&M. Baby needs a good hat wardrobe in the beginning.
– Short-sleeved undershirt bodysuits (4-6). Get some long-sleeved ones if you have a winter baby. Classic, simple, good for layering.
– Knit, elastic waist pants (3-5). You’re not going to be dressing baby up to go out too much at first, but just in case, get a few pairs of baby sweatpants or something similar. Carter’s plain knit pants are particularly nice.
– Socks (3-6). Get a multipack of 0-6 month or 0-3 month socks. You don’t need the kind with sticky stuff on the bottom until baby starts to stand up.
– Hoodie or cardigan (1-2). Stick with a zippered one if you’re paranoid about buttons falling off and becoming a choking hazard. This is what we used as a “coat” for our February boy. For walks and trips to the doctor he was fine in a bodysuit, pants, socks, and hoodie with knit hat underneath. With a receiving blanket tucked over him, of course!
– One-piece knit jumpsuits (1-2). I was ridiculous and got tired of seeing baby in pajamas all the time so I got 2 cute little cotton footless one-pieces that looked more like “clothes” to me.
– Cloth bibs (10). These aren’t for eating, they’re for spit up and drool. I hardly had ANY of these until I bought a pack of 10 when baby started drooling like a faucet at around 4 months. Something like this is all you’ll need.
Baby First Aid and Toiletries
I wasn’t too picky about a lot of this stuff, except when it came to skincare. Most of the “regular” baby shampoos and soaps are actually full of harsh ingredients. I stick to gentle skincare products for sensitive skin, or “green” brands like Mustela that are free of parabens and phalates.
– Baby bathtub.
We have this one and we love it. I guess this item fits in the “you don’t really need it” category, but this little thing has been invaluable. It fits perfectly in the kitchen sink and drains easily. The sling was great when baby’s circumcision and umbilical cord stump were still healing.
– Diaper and wipes (duh). The main thing to know is not to get tons of diapers in newborn size. Start with one or two packs (unless your sonos say baby will be huge!). Your diaper brand is a very personal choice. I bailed on cloth but I still didn’t want tons of bleach and chemicals on baby’s skin. We use Earth’s Best (the diaper’s AND wipes), which are a bit more expensive than Pampers or Huggies. The cheapest place I’ve found them is through Amazon’s Subscribe and Save, but I know a lot of people who get their diapers through Diapers.com. A veteran mom I know likes the Target brand, and I seem to see a lot of people using Pampers Swaddlers.
– A&D ointment
Amazing for preventing diaper rash. This stuff is really great. Just put it on after EVERY diaper change and you’re golden. It’s also great on rashes and scratches.
– Baby hairbrush and comb
– Nail clippers and a pack of baby nail files
You can get grooming items in a big value pack. I don’t think you need to be picky.
– Baby saline solution
If you’re paranoid that baby is too sniffly, a little squirt or 2 of saline will help.
– Nasal aspirator
Good to have if baby actually gets stuffy. There are YouTube videos that show you how to use these. UPDATED TO ADD: I’ve seen some stories about mold in those aspirators. Get the Nose Frida instead.
The best way to take baby’s temperature is rectally. Get a digital one. I think we have one that can work rectally, orally AND under the arm.
– Baby Tylenol.
You’re not supposed to give this to a newborn without talking to a doctor, but that’s because if a baby younger than 3 months has a fever you’re supposed to go straight to the hospital. Our doctor told me to just go ahead and give baby some Tylenol after his 8 week shots. It’s also a good, safe way to easy baby’s discomfort during teething because Baby Orajel and commercial teething tablets aren’t recommended.
We still mostly use Cetaphil to wash all of baby. I have a nice-smelling Mustela all-around cleanser that works well, too. And I received a set of organic products as a gift, so when we run out of the Mustela, I will try them. This gift set by Mustela looks great.
Eucerin Calming Creme has been great for baby’s constant patches of eczema. I think any lotion for sensitive skin is fine. Scented stuff might be irritating for baby.
You’re not supposed to use sunscreen on an infant younger than 6 months, but an all-natural brand (i.e. mostly zinc), like Badger should be ok. Don’t freak out, because I’ve also heard you can put a bit on them as long as you wash it off as soon as they’re out of the sun. Just know that even Neutrogena and Aveeno “Baby” sunscreens are pretty toxic!
– Baby monitor
We opted not to get a video one for now because we were afraid of hackers. This one by Sony has been great. We never get any interference and the batteries last a long time. We will probably research safe video monitors when baby gets more mobile, but for now, we’re fine. UPDATED TO ADD: Yes, we finally caved and got this nice Motorola one that’s very easy to use. We love it.
If you know that you have a circumcision ahead of you, get lots of gauze 4x4s and Neosporin!
– Diaper bag. You can probably live without it at first, but you will be very excited to make sure it is all packed and ready to go to baby’s first doctor’s appointment. I have endured much trial and error with diaper bags. Obviously, you have an idea of your own quirks, budget and aesthetic needs. I recommend you start with the brands Skip Hop and Ju Ju Be. There are TONS of diaper bag videos on YouTube. Zappos.com also has a nice selection of different brands with good pictures and videos. If you can get to a Buy Buy Baby, they have a nice selection in their stores with a full length mirror nearby.
Seems silly, but I can’t live without this damn thing. Consider buying this right away. I only started putting Baby in the shopping cart at around 7 months, so for all this time I mostly shopped for groceries with a store basket hooked onto the stroller with this hook
– Teethers (3-5) Rattles (3-5)
Baby probably won’t be grabbing stuff for about 3 months, but you will want some safe toys to shake in his/her face! Get a variety of teething toys/rattles for baby to track with her eyes, then eventually gnaw on. Sophie la Girafe has been amazing. I also like this feeder, even though it gets pretty messy! If baby seems particularly cranky about his gums, I’ll put a piece of frozen banana or an ice cube in it.
For rattles, try to find things that are small enough for baby’s tiny hands to grab. You want high-contrast colors and ideally eco-friendly (BPA-free) materials.
I mentioned a breast pump in the “Feeding” section above. I wouldn’t bother registering for a ton of nursing accessories unless you’re sure it will work long-term.
However, some things to think about include: breast pads, nipple cream and milk storage. These are things that you can always get people to bring you in the first few weeks at home. Remember, it takes a few days for your milk to come in anyway.
– Shopping cart cover.
I just got one of these. I haven’t tried it yet, but the reviews are great. This is definitely in the “you don’t NEED it” category, but I think it will be useful. You definitely won’t be able to use it for at least 5 or 6 months unless your baby is an amazingly early sitter-upper.
I think I covered just about everything I can think of in terms of how to get the items that will be most useful to you in the beginning. It’s also fun to look at videos on YouTube- you wouldn’t believe the number of ladies who make videos showing their favorite things, and the items they couldn’t have lived without!
I think I will have to do another blog post about getting ready for the hospital, but this will suffice for starting a registry. Have fun! If you’re a very organized type, start printing address labels for the zillion thank-you notes you will eventually have to write.