When it came to making a registry for Julian when I was pregnant I did not even know where to begin! I went to Target to set up a registry and of course they give you a pamphlet with 101 "must-have" baby items. Me, being a first time mom, asked for EVERYTHING--and when I received some of what was on my list my reaction was, "okay GREAT, now what the heck do I do with this thing?" I'm sad to say quite a few of the gifts I thought were ESSENTIAL, didn't even get used!
So here's a list of just my favorite things that I think no registry should go without:
This is kind of obvious right? But maybe, as a first time parent, I didn't realize HOW obvious this was. If I could go back and do it over again I would just ask for diapers. Think of it this way. People have babies every day. People's babies outgrow their clothes and toys every day. When this happens people want to GET RID OF those toys and clothes as fast as they can. Result? Pregnant women are bombarded with free barely used clothes and toys all throughout their pregnancy. Much of Julian's wardrobe for several months consisted mostly of hand-me-downs. Many of the toys he still plays with are also secondhand. Most of the stuff I was given was in "like new" condition when I received it.
Therefore, clothes and toys aren't exactly the most important things to ask for in a registry. That is unless of course you're the kind of person that needs all new everything, but I'm not even going to go there.
BUT diapers cannot be handed down. I mean, I received a few spare diapers that babies had outgrown before they could use them, and I gave away diapers Juju couldn't fit too, but those are hardly enough to cover a day let alone several months.
I am SO GRATEFUL to the people who bought us diapers! For the first three months we did not have to buy diapers because of the stock we had! It was wonderful!
I think it's important to note, however, that certain sizes are more important than others. Newborn sizes and 1s will be outgrown pretty quickly, 2s semi-quickly, 3s will last some time, and 4s will be used for quite some time. So I would strongly suggest requesting larger packages of 3s and 4s than the smaller sizes--it'll really help out!
I didn't go the reusable diaper route, but next time around I might give it a shot. I'll probably use disposables in the beginning since they grow so fast and once baby has reached a pretty standard size use reusables, size 3 or 4. I'm thinking about even starting now with Julian since I'm potty training him anyway.
I actually didn't think this was very important when I was making my registry. Thankfully, a friend visiting us at the hospital was kind enough to pick one up for me after Julian was born. I was very clumsy with the breastfeeding, in the beginning. Julian was soooo small and I was so nervous. My Boppy nursing pillow made the process so much easier and more comfortable. I still use it to this day! Terrance didn't use it, but I do know that some people bottle feed their babies with the Boppy too. It's just so comfy. :)
A couple of extra covers for it is not such a bad idea either.
Julian has only very recently started sleeping in his crib. He is the kind of baby that needs movement to sleep. If it weren't for his swing I don't know what the heck we would have done. Some nights that was the absolute only way he would sleep restfully. Some people say it's a bad habit, but I'm in the parenting school of if it makes baby happy and it makes mommy happy, than what is the BFD? Plus swings are one of the S's in The Happiest Baby on the Block so that's good enough for me.
It doesn't have to be a super expensive or luxurious swing either. Those kinds of swings are definitely pretty cool, but ours just rocked back and forth and not much else. That was perfectly fine! Terrance and I were actually able to sleep at night thanks to our swing's simple ability to rock back and forth.
Do NOT go without a swing! Just don't do it to yourself! This is definitely a MUST!
One recommendation though, try finding a swing that plugs in or ask for rechargeable batteries because you will go through them really fast!
I wouldn't say this one is as important as the swing but I did use both very frequently. I had a little vibrating bouncer for Juju to sit in. I'd bounce it with my foot while I was crocheting until he'd fall asleep. Or sometimes he'd get really fussy and just want to be left alone so I'd sit him in it and let him stare at me, lol. He didn't like being left alone in his crib and he could not be nosy in his bassinet, so his bouncer chair gave him the perfect seat to observe. I think it was also comfortable for him because he always had a stuffy nose so being tilted instead of flat on his back made it easier to breath.
Not an absolute must but it was definitely nice to use along with the swing so Juju wasn't spending 90% of his time swinging.
A good stroller is definitely a must! I am so lucky to have the mom I do because she invested in a Peg Perego skate system stroller for us. It has a bassinet, a booster seat (which Juju now uses), and a carseat. It also has all of these great accessories too like a grocery basket, a winter cover, a cup holder, a plastic shield, the option to have the care seat and booster seat on at the same time for two babies, adjustable handles, and just a bunch of great stuff. A stroller like this is EXPENSIVE but it is an investment. It is a sturdy quality stroller that will last you a really long time. Unless you want to also buy a lightweight stroller, this will be the only stroller you will ever have to buy. The quality is so good that it will last you not only this baby, but the next. In my opinion, it is worth every last penny put into it. I absolutely love my stroller!
If not the Peg Perego, which I highly recommend, I'd say convertible or all-in-one strollers are the way to go. Some are clunkier than others, but I think they are a lot more convenient!
I'm totally an advocate for baby wearing! Not only is it great for baby, it is so so nice to feel your little one next to you. Ha, I spent nine months waiting for him to pop out only to tie him back on, huh? Lol. The Moby wrap is my favorite and I actually received a few different carriers, since I didn't know which one would be best. I was able to move a lot more freely and securely with the Moby wrap than I was able with the others. Overall, I just felt safer and more comfortable in it.
However, now that Julian is older I now use an Infantino so that he can face forward and move around a bit more without tumbling out. He is a very active and curious baby. He needs to see what's going on around him at all times, so a forward facing carrier is very nice. It's fun going on walks with him too and pointing out things we see.
I'm afraid I may have to stop carrying him soon. It's making me a bit sad. He's getting to heavy and I am kind of weak. :( If I can find a more supportive carrier, maybe one that goes on the back, it'll probably be better. I will do an update if I find anything useful!
I breastfed near exclusively so bottles weren't especially important in our house. I did like the Playtex drop-ins though. You can push the air out of the bottle so there's less chance for excessive gassiness. Not the most eco-friendly though.
I was so so scared to bathe my baby. I'm so serious. I can't make this up. I was terrified I was going to drown him or hurt him or he'd slip. I was petrified. I just wanted Terrance to wash him because I was so frightened. It seems ridiculous now that I was so nervous. I nice baby bath eased my worries. I'd say any baby baby with a little seat type ledge or some way to position baby so s/he can't slide around is perfect. It doesn't have to be super expensive or fancy. You're probably not going to use it for more than a few months. Once Julian started sitting up on his own I started taking showers with him and that's how he gets washed now; in the shower with me or his dad. It's just more convenient that way.
A kit with thermometer, bulb syringe, nail clipper, and medicine syringe is wonderful. You could keep aquaphor or diaper rash cream, orajel, a toothbrush, and a clean wash cloth in there as well. Very very nice to have those things in one place.
Those are my absolute favorite things. High chair can be added to
the list of must-haves, colorful toys and teething toys too, a nice
diaper bag is good--though now-a-days I just use whatever I have on
hand. Books are great and anything that makes noise or encourages investigation. I've found that Juju is not very interested in stuffed toys just yet, but that could change in the future :)
I hope this helps anyone who is putting together a registry for the first time! I REALLY hope this helps someone who is trying to find the perfect gift for a baby shower! How happy will you be if several months from now you get a call from your friend or relative thanking you so much for your super amazing, useful gift? :)