Paging Rosie: Baby Registry Must Haves
With the plethora of amazing equipment, gadgets and toys available it is often very difficult to navigate through the baby registry landscape. Many future parents ask me what I think are the best things to register for and what things can simply wait until your baby is no longer a newborn. I have compiled a general list of ten things I think are must haves for any baby registry as well as some don’ts.
Most of all remember that the main thing about being prepared is to make your life easier while giving you the confidence to be able to enjoy your new arrival. Of course many have done just fine without all the equipment but the right things can certainly help make your life easier and I’m all for that.
So when you are freaking out in the isles of Babies r’ Us in tears that you can’t fold a stroller or feel unable to decide which is in fact the best pack n’ play for your baby, remember that all of this equipment makes so much more sense once the baby has arrived, once you get to know your wee ones and figure out your own needs you’ll be able to make better choices for the rest of the equipment you will need. So try and relax and get ready for the greatest adventure of your life.
My Ten Registry Must Haves:
- Car Seat with Snap and Go frame or stroller that can adapt to take a car seat. You will almost certainly need to bring your baby home in a car and so a safe car seat is a must. Also, nothing gets a baby to sleep faster than a wee walk around in a stroller so be sure you have a way to push the car seat around.
- Bassinet or Pack n’ Play. Your baby almost certainly won’t sleep in the crib right away. Most people feel more comfortable having their baby closer and sleeping in their bedroom. However, they need a safe place to sleep so a bassinet or pack n’ play is a great option. In addition, a bassinet with wheels is a great thing to have as you move from one room to another during the day and you want to keep your baby close by.
- Swaddle cloths. Everything your Grandma said is true when it comes to swaddling. It really does help your newborn baby sleep longer and feel safer so be sure you have safe swaddle cloths and know how to swaddle. If you didn’t learn in a childbirth education or parenting class, be sure to get one of the nurses at the hospital to teach you before you leave, they are usually swaddling pros and if you get home and need a refresher you can check out the MomPrep video tutorial on swaddling with MomPrep Expert Rosalie Hunt, RN.
- Bibs and Burp cloths. You can never have enough bibs and burp cloths and I promise you’ll go through many each day. To minimize the frequency of laundry you’ll be doing make sure to have a really good supply of these two things. Cloth diapers make excellent burp cloths. For bibs I prefer 100% cotton that button at the sides as Velcro can rub on your baby’s neck. Bibs that snap at the back can be difficult to attach or detach (especially when your baby is sleeping). Side snaps are easiest.
- Endless supply of sterilizing steam bags. You are going to be doing a lot of sterilizing over the next 12 months so be sure to make your life a little easier with sterilizing steam bags that allow you to sterilize bottles, pacifiers, breast pump supplies all in a few minutes in the microwave.
- Interference Free Monitor. No matter how small your home or confident a parent you are having an interference free monitor really helps you worry a little less. These days there are so many phones and internet connections and handheld devices that are worth splurging a little to be able to hear your wee one clearly on the monitor
- Baby Jungle Gym. This is actually one of the activity toys it does make sense to buy for your newborn. Being able to stimulate your baby with colors and sounds is very important and a jungle gym is an excellent place to do so. It is also wonderful for beginning tummy time.
- Safe bath tub. As soon as the umbilical cord stump falls off you are going to want to start to give your baby a bath. This can be a wonderful bonding time especially when followed up with a baby massage but it is important to feel confident and be very careful and so a safe baby bath tub is a great way to start. If you are nervous about the first bath you can watch a the MomPrep video tutorial on bathing with MomPrep Expert Rosalie Hunt, RN.
- Safety and grooming kit. This should include diaper rash cream, thermometer, nail files, baby safe clippers, and soft hair brush. Babies tend to come out with long and rough nails and you’ll want to file them down in the hospital. It is also important to have these pieces at your fingertips when you first bring the baby home from the hospital. You’ll certainly add to this little kit of necessities but this will start you off in good stead.
- Baby Carrier. I am a huge fan of baby carriers especially if you already have a toddler. They are a great way to keep your baby close and safe but also be able to move around and use your hands. While you probably won’t use one in the first days they are great to have at hand the moment you are ready. Try and get one that can be both forward facing and outward facing
- Don’t go crazy buying bottles and nipples. It is hard to know which ones your baby will like and so best to start with one or two before buying the whole collection.
- Don’t go crazy buying bouncers, walkers and other toys. Your newborn won’t be using them straight away and they take up a lot of room. It is best to purchase as you need and again as you learn about what your little one likes.
- Don’t go crazy with buying diapers. Many people stock up on newborn diapers and find their baby grows out of them before they finish the supply. While a newborn may use as many as 300 diapers in the first month they also gain weight quickly and so may need a bigger size before the month ends.
- Don’t buy many different strollers. While the average number of strollers per household in the United States is three, it is hard to know which one or ones best fit you and your baby’s lifestyle. Start with one and then move up to others if and when you find you need one. When you make your first stroller purchase think of what is important to you the day your baby comes home and find one that best fits those needs rather than trying to buy a stroller you think will be good for the long haul.
Hope this takes a little mystery out of baby registry and while these are the bare bones of any registry they are my “can’t live withouts”!