December 28, 2009
I have read posts where other bloggers ask for help with registering. The problem is that most people suggest big items: strollers, car seats, etc. And that's what most people register for. But I've been working on a baby for three years, and after all that time, I have most of the big stuff. I feel like, if I'm bringing a child into the world, I ought to be the one to pay for all this crap, not my friends. So I have been to several garage sales and consignment shops to get what I thought I needed. I also have wonderful friends who are done having children and have been very generous with their hand-me-downs. I can't thank them enough for all the stuff they've given to me. Thus I have all the big items.
What I need help with are the little things.
There are a bazillion different types of pacifiers, bottles, nipples, rattles, sippy cups, and gadgets. Do babies really want a mirror in the back seat of a car so they can see forward? Has anyone used the tray on the Bumbo seat and is it worth having? Do you need those concave holders to put in the crib? Bottle warmers? Sun visors for the back windows in the car? The cloth blankets that go in grocery carts? I have a Boppy but how many covers do people usually have?
This is all that's left for me to get. I have the big items: I have two "travel system" strollers, a pack-n-play, a high chair, two bath tubs, a crib, three bouncy seats, etc. I am more than squared away in that department. I also have more clothes than this baby will ever be able to wear in her first year, unless we change outfits every two hours and get her picture made at Sears every weekend. Seriously, I went way overboard this summer. But I need the boring little accessories. This is the stuff I don't have, but to me it's the stressful stuff. For example, I know most babies have a pacifier preference and you just have to figure out what it is...so do you register for one of every kind? It feels dumb to register for a $2.39 pacifier, but that's really the stuff I need at this point. I think someone could go in and buy my entire registry for $20 right now. (Hell, I was tempted to just buy my entire registry today, but that defeats the purpose of a registry.)
What I'd like to know is: What were the little gadgets you thought were the most useful? What brand did your kid prefer and do you know why? How many of each thing did you have, like crib sheets, bottles, etc? I don't want to go overboard, but I also don't want to do laundry and dishes every five minutes either. Is there something you had but didn't think was worth it?
Posted by: R1 at December 28, 2009 06:59 PM (gEuss)
I can sit here and tell you that Little Man preferred the Gerber pacis but your daughter may abhor them. It's a lot of trial and error for those things (pacis, bottles, etc.). You tend to buy what you need WHEN you need it. That's where the gift cards come in handy.
Or you can ask for diapers - you KNOW you'll be using those (most likely regardless of brand. Personally, Luvs worked for us but not so much for others.). Or you can tell people that you have an ESA or 529 plan set up for your child for their future education.
But don't feel obligated to add to a registry. If you don't need anything right now, that's perfectly fine (and wonderful to boot! Yay for yard sales and gently used items!). And try not to get overwhelmed. Dove or Ivory soap works just as well as Burt's Bees or J&J. If the Gerber pacis don't work, go grab a Nuk. Maybe buy 2 or 3 different kinds to have on hand at home so you're not running out every 45 minutes. But like AWTM said, they really don't NEED much.
I'm so freaking excited that you're TO this point. What a blessing to be overwhelmed by the minutae.
Posted by: HomefrontSix at December 28, 2009 07:10 PM (umhCJ)
If people ask where you're registered - say Tarzhey and only have diapers on your list. Seriously. You'll go through a TON of those. And ask for the bigger sizes, because everyone seems to buy newborn. My son NEVER wore newborn. He was too big when he was born. I would experience serious tears of joy when people bought me diapers for a baby present. BEST GIFT EVER.
And wipes. Although you can't really plan ahead for wipes because some babies need non-scented, some babies smell particularly bad (my second daughter smelled like mustard fairly frequently for some reason, and we had to use the strongest scented wipes all over her body), and some babies don't have any preference.
All the other stuff... You'll figure out what you need as you go along. I know how flippant that sounds, but seriously - a lot of this stuff just ends up as junky clutter when you realize that your particular kid doesn't need it. And if you do need the nose suckie thingie (I never did, aside from the actual homebirth event), it's about 4$ for the super deluxe version at any grocery store. Easy to get.
You could also use it as an excuse to weird people out. Get some really interesting stuff on that list...
Posted by: airforcewife at December 28, 2009 07:35 PM (uE3SA)
Sarah - I would echo the others. Diapers and wipes are good. I suspect folks will get you gift cards so you can get what you need once she is born.
For me, in terms of bottles, I LOVED LOVED LOVED Dr Browns. (This was after trying playtex and various other kinds)
Also, if you're planning to bfeed, you could register for a nice pump. I bought a medela brand and it was nice (or your hospital might rent for a few weeks while you determine if its what you want to do). Folks might not want to buy you a pump, a little personal, I suppose, but you could then use the gift cards towards it (They are about $300) - just an idea.
Posted by: Keri at December 28, 2009 08:38 PM (dtvJC)
Donations to her college fund perhaps? lol. I suggest mass selecting it ALL and maybe being cutsy creative on any baby shower invites like 'need all the small stuff' and 'more colors than just pink pretty please.' ::sigh:: Good luck! I'm sure you'll be showered with good will and plenty of hugs once that boy of yours gets home
Posted by: Darla at December 28, 2009 09:02 PM (XvIN7)
I know someone who thinks the cloth grocery seat cover was better than the invention of the internet. I can drop an email and see which one survived her sons best.
I thought the mirror in the back seat was so mom can see baby as well. Mind you, I only have a cat and she hates the car so I'm no expert.
These days at work when someone has a kid, we do the gift card/diaper route. It's a known EPIC WIN, especially when you're not sure what the person already has.
But you probably have a couple of internet friends who would love to log on to Target.com and buy one of every pacifier to not only send a gift but save you a trip to the store. There are other people who know and respect the power of a box of diapers and that's the route they'll prefer. Gift cards are a classic as well because they can be tucked inside the cutest baby card ever with a personal note. The gift givers are as different as the gift recipients and so maybe you try a few different angles? I know, this doesn't make it any easier.
Of course you have to register here for your weird friends like Chuck: http://www.thinkgeek.com/geek-kids/newborn-infant/
And it's pretty funny that my longest comment ever on your site was about baby stuff... heh.
Posted by: Code Monkey at December 28, 2009 09:09 PM (LRsbE)
Posted by: Sarah at December 28, 2009 09:14 PM (gWUle)
Posted by: Tracey at December 28, 2009 09:33 PM (x+F0t)
Posted by: MN NG Wife at December 28, 2009 10:15 PM (dH8av)
The mirror in the back seat was a life saver. When it was up, they stared at themselves the whole ride, if not, they screamed.
Buy your own diaper bag, there are tons of choices and you'll want one that fits your needs.
Posted by: Susan at December 28, 2009 10:18 PM (Y8ZGj)
Hmm... my vote is for baby hoodie towels and diapers. And baby nail clippers. I swear - they evaporate. You'll probably want like, six, so you can keep a set in every room plus your purse, LOL... maybe two for the bathroom.
Aside from that, the "every baby is different" is SO true - if you have older-baby-ed friends, you might try borrowing the stuff like swings, Johnny Jump-ups, etc., once Baby's old enough. Ours didn't like his swing until he was around 5 months, and then he LOVED it. Hated the jumpers, though.
At any rate, this would probably be a good way to stock up on whatever type of diapers you'd like - we loved Pampers Swaddlers for newborns & then moving up to Cruisers with their mesh lining to keep Kiddo's skin cleaner; if I could do it over, I'd probably do cloth one-sizers with snaps and NO sleeve-style inserts, but Pampers ROCKED for us.
A sling is pricey and awkward; my friend just uses 6 yards of a fun fabric to wrap her little one up and carry her around (although I'm not sure of the technique) - whatever the situation, Baby will LURVE to be held.
Have fun! Trust your instincts as her Mommy... we all learn as we go!
Posted by: Krista at December 28, 2009 10:47 PM (sUTgZ)
First of all, some of the best gifts are ones you don't register for or really even think of!
As far as registering for needed items - if you have a dishwasher, you'll need one of those little baskets to put all the little parts of bottles (and cups as she gets older) in so they don't get away. Also good to stick the pacifier in to sanitize. You'll need plenty of burp rags (wether fancy or just cloth diapers) and small receiving blankets. Although you won't need them right away, baby proofing items are always good to put on the list! Outlet covers etc. Also keep in mind that if you get a ton of diapers, just stack the boxes all up & see how they work. You can always return/exchange them for the brand and size that you need.
I LOVED the mirror in the back. When I was driving by myself, I would panic a lot less when I could just take a look & see baby's little face & know she was perfectly fine. Especially if she had a cold or was coughing.
Although some people swear by the wipe warmers, my mom always said she never got one because she didn't figure it was fair to have a baby used to a nice warm wipe & anytime you're away from home they get suprised by a cold one!
Posted by: sharona at December 28, 2009 10:54 PM (BeRta)
Posted by: Krista at December 28, 2009 11:23 PM (sUTgZ)
Posted by: awtm at December 28, 2009 11:47 PM (4TV/d)
I agree on books! Rusty LOVES books and he got tons of them for Christmas, but I feel there can NEVER be enough! Maybe think of the future?? Like, things you might want for her as a toddler? I find that now is the time when we are like, oh we wish we had this or that!
Posted by: Stacy at December 29, 2009 12:20 AM (Yd8ew)
Maybe register for a few different kinds of pacifiers and then use those as your trial and error for which ones she'll like. Then it's not your dime!
You can never have too many sheets for the crib! My boys wet through their diapers a lot in the beginning. Although, your daughter might not seeing as my boys basically did that because the whole front of their diaper was waterproofed with vaseline for the first week of life LOL (protecting their little boy parts from sticking to the diaper after the circumcision)
Register for lots of diapers, wipes and butt creams~you know you'll need those! Also, lots of spit up rags! My oldest didn't spit up much, but my 2nd born had reflux and we went through 5 or 6 a day for about 8 months.
don't worry about registering for the small stuff~that way your friends on a tight budget have lots to choose from!
Oh, if you are going to breastfeed~I used this thing called "My Breast Friend" (lame name I know LOL) but it was AWESOME! I am large busted and I had to use the "football" hold for my boys and that thing was a lifesaver for supporting them while they ate.
Posted by: Tracy S at December 29, 2009 12:25 AM (3N/bf)
We ended up getting much of our big items second hand, as well as much of our son's clothing. The rest was trial and error (and Target was my VERY VERY FAVORITE PLACE ON EARTH EVAR -- at least, you'd think so, judging by the receipts in my wallet . . . ).
Ian didn't suck well at first, so pacifiers were a big mystery. Finally, I got a tip from The Baby Whisperer that you need to try to find one shaped like your own nipple, and since I had plastic shields, I needed a wider pacifier (bulb-shaped, rather than orthodontic). They were the only kind he would take! It improved his suck significantly. Now, as he grows older, he's more accepting of other shapes, and I try to get bigger ones as he grows. Gonna hafta break him of it, soon, though.
Nursing cover (or "Hooter Hider"): You're probably more of a home-body than I am, but if you can't nurse in public without a big production (that was my problem) you probably want a cover that has a strap to go around your neck, and a stiff band at the top that bows outward and allows you to look down at your baby without having to lift the cloth. This will also allow you to nurse when your baby is distracted by everything.
Nursing tanks: I lived in my nursing tanks. Then Target's Gilligan O'Malley stopped making the "ultimate", and I had to find a new brand. GlamourMom (can be found online or at Motherhood stores) tanks are okay, but have little support. There are other brands out there worth taking a look at, including ones that sell shirts with built-in bras or support. I hated nursing bras, because, well, I hate buying bras. Nursing tanks were SO much simpler.
Nursing pads: I hate to be one of those people who say YOU MUST BUY THIS BRAND IT IS THE ONLY ONE FORGET THE OTHERS, etc., but I went through every brand of nursing pad, and, honestly, the only one that held up, soaked up, stayed in place, and didn't actually make me look like I was wearing a nursing pad was Lansinoh. I buy them for baby showers, because I think every new mom should have them. They have goodies in their boxes, too, like wipes (they make great wipes, which I use mainly for freshening up or bathing a stinky baby, and Target makes a great off-brand version of them) or diaper cream. Beware of any adhesive-to-your-skin brands: Aside from leaving adhesive on your breast tissue, they might also cause milk to become backed up, resulting in clogged ducts or mastitis.
Also, Lansinoh lanolin cream for sore nipples is da bomb: You buy one tube (maybe two -- one for the bathroom and one for the diaper bag), and you can bequeath it/them to your daughter when she has babies. I kid you not. It lasts forever.
The wipe warmer: We had one given to us before Ian was born. My husband disdained it. I was afraid to plug it in, because my husband would make fun of me. I finally did, because I needed something heavier than those cheap plastic tubs the wipes came in when I was down to my last couple wipes and flinging the tubs around to get them out before Ian could pee on me. Now, I can't live without the darn thing. Gets sticky poop off like a charm! Yes, wipes in the car will get chilly and make baby angry, maybe, but Ian hasn't complained. I can warm those with my hands.
Bottles: Can't help ya there. Ian didn't really care for bottles. I hated pumping (SO. VERY. MUCH.), so he didn't often get bottles. Just do some research, read some reviews, and then buy ONE (1) at a time to see if your baby will take it. If she won't, keep it for later or for her to use for her dolls when she's older.
Pumps: Medela. Oops, there I go, being all particular again. Honestly, though, once I did start needing to pump so I could get away for more than three or four hours, I bought a Medela Harmony manual pump, which, I have to say, is totally awesome. It can get messy, but, hey, you'll be used to sticky bodily fluids by then! I bought an electric pump from my sister-in-law's "No More Babies!" garage sale she was having with her friends (it's not recommended to use an electric pump for more than one person -- it voids the warrantee -- but I knew all the people who'd used it, so I knew its history), and it was also awesome. You really cannot go wrong with a Medela Pump In Style. It's expensive, but worth its weight in gold when it comes to quality, relatively trouble-free and long-lived electric pumping. From what I read, it's also more user-friendly. By the time I'd used it a couple times, I could do it all in my sleep. And since the only time I could get anything worth keeping was 5am, I pretty much had to.
Diapers: More trial-and-error. I love Huggies (especially their newborn diapers with the cutout for the umbilical stump). But I also like Target brand. And the cheapest ones from Wal-Mart. Totally preference and what doesn't give your child a rash. Beware of Luvs and Pampers: They are cushy-soft (and expensive), but they have a fragrance. Sometimes that is rash-inducing. If someone is insisting on holding a baby shower for you, tell them to hold a diaper shower, where people bring diapers and wipes. You will need them. In great quantity. You might find you're enjoying your Costco membership more than you ever have, or if you're not a member of Costco, you'll find yourself becoming one. Seriously: Best prices on diapers (though I don't recommend Kirkland brand) and wipes (I recommend Kirkland brand). I have to buy Overnights for Ian now, because he will wet through a diaper at night like no one's business, but other than that, I get all my diapers and wipes at Costco.
Boppy: I didn't have a lot of success nursing with a Boppy. It was too overstuffed, and slid out of the way so that I was holding Ian up, anyway (though it's perfect for the hospital). The recommendation of the Breast Friend above is a good one: It belts around your waist and is flat and wide -- perfect for nursing. I will probably get one with the next baby! During the night, though, I curled my Snoogle so that it supported my back and wrapped around my waist so I could nurse in bed. I was not at all skilled at laying down to nurse, so that was my favorite thing to do to nurse in bed. Got a lot of books read that way, too.
I think that's all I can think of right now, and this comment's long enough. OH: One thing you need BEFORE baby is born is a good rectal thermometer, preferably one that reads in ten seconds or less. You will not get a better reading on a newborn or infant than a rectal. It's a pain in the -- well, you know -- but if you get a two- or ten-second thermometer, it won't be such a struggle to take a temp. It's also something you don't want to be trying to buy at midnight when you're paranoid, hormonal, sleep-deprived, and sore. Trust me on this one.
Well, I guess I decided this comment wasn't long enough. Here's just a little bit more . . .
***A quick note of caution on baby carriers and backseat mirrors:
Baby carriers (not slings, but the kind that look like a backpack): Though they are expensive, it's best to go with a front/back carrier like a Beco or Ergo, or a well-made mei tai. You want something that will not allow the baby's legs to dangle straight down, because baby is essentially hanging by its crotch, and that is bad for blood flow. Baby needs to look like s/he's sitting in a chair, with legs splayed or bent naturally. You also want something that is going to allow for some of baby's weight to rest on your hips. Baby Bjorns, Snuglis, and the less-expensive brands you find in Target or Wal-Mart usually leave all the carrying to your back and shoulders, and that can get pretty uncomfortable pretty quick -- and you're already going to be dealing with back strain when your milk comes in and bending over to change diapers, etc.
Backseat mirrors: If you belt your child's car seat in without a base, this isn't an issue. However, when using a car seat base, in the event of a collision, the base can swing upward and the backseat mirror can pose a striking hazard. That said: Most of those mirrors are shatter-proof, anyway, so I think the concern is kind of overreactive. Despite that information, I still wanted one, because it would have been nice to see what Ian was doing by just checking over my shoulder, rather than stopping the car or waiting to check till I was stopped. But we quit using a base early on, because it was just easier to strap his car seat in with the belt, and we don't have headrests for the back seat.
If you get a mirror that attaches to your windshield so you can see into the back seat (usually best after baby is in a front-facing seat), go for the Munchkin brand. I used two others before I got that one. It telescopes and swivels, and the funhouse mirror effect is minimal.
As always, I've provided much overinformation. Hopefully it's a little helpful, even after all the comments pretty much saying the same things. I love passing on my tried-and-tested recommendations, though. It makes some of the frustration of testing them worth it if I can save someone else a little time.
Posted by: Deltasierra at December 29, 2009 02:49 AM (/Mv9b)
Posted by: stephanie at December 29, 2009 08:08 AM (3Xb0i)
Posted by: HChambers at December 29, 2009 08:17 AM (fPi9F)
Things I recommend:
-Hooter Hider if you're going to breastfeed. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE that name, LOL!
-Other breastfeeding items that worked for me: Lanisoh ointment (can't recommend this highly enough!), Johnson's nursing pads, and the Avent Isis Manual Breast Pump. A bonus is that you can pump directly into the Avent Bottles and them pop the bottle right into the freezer for storage. Don't get the humungo sized bottles -- the small ones are fine for a long time.
I see that others recommended a wipe warmer -- I wish they would list a specific brand, because the warmer I bought with my first cooked the wipes ... literally. It dried them out and made them crunchy and hard. I've been afraid to try one again.
We've tried every diaper in the book, but I swear by the Pampers Swadlers because they didn't leak everywhere!
For the first month at home, we liked to dress our babies in the "Gerber Short Sleeve Side Snap t-shirt" under a baby gown. The side-snap t-shirts are indispensable when they still have their little umbilical stump hanging on. Since they can't really extend their legs at first, the gowns just make it easier to get dressed and for quick changes.
I couldn't figure out how most slings worked, so we didn't use one with our first two boys, but with our third we discovered the Bjorn carrier. LOVE it!
Make sure the bouncy seats you have have that "Vibration" setting. OH. MY. GOODNESS. That setting is a lifesaver for a crying baby and a sleep deprived mom in the beginning!!! Make sure you have enough batteries to never let it run out.
Hope this helps! Have fun! :-)
Posted by: Heather at December 29, 2009 10:17 AM (GWm43)
Quick tip ~ You can warm up wipes by rubbing them around in your hands a bit. I had this habit and my babies never complained. It's also a nice trick for on-the-go when a wiper warmer (which I never used) wouldn't be available anyway.
Oh, congrats again - how exciting you'll be holding her soon
Posted by: awiv at December 29, 2009 09:30 PM (lyq1I)
This is my favorite carrier contraption. These are a personal choice kind of thing as there are so many. Just say the word and I will send the snugli, metro mama wrap and jelly bean sling down your way from some try before you buy, but my vote totally goes to the linked one. I seriously use my baby k'tan every day as he likes being close and I like getting to use my hands.
If you are going the wipe warmer route this is kind of a waste, but if you don't think you will be changing her solely on the changing pad in the nursery, this thing is for realz awesome! They have different patterns, but it has little pockets and dividers for wipes tub, diapers, butt stuff, nail clippers, thermometer, burp clothes, bibs, onesies .... basically whatever things you might find yourself needing to grab/use while you and baby are in a room or moving around the home. I loved it so much we have one upstairs and one downstairs. Hella useful. And purty. Even though Mark hates wicker and by extention any basket of any kind.
This dohick is fantastic. It is something that won't get used for awhile, but this is great for traveling and visiting family and friends. It is compact, comes in different patterns, works well and adapts to A LOT of different chairs. We use this quite a bit.
And I never thought of the mirror as being for the baby! What a doof. I am terribly uneasy if Mark moves the seats around and doesn't put it in place and went and bought another one when he somehow broke the other one. Both boys' heads would flop down no matter how I tried to avoid it and when they warn you of their lack of neck muscles and air in the windpipe getting cut off, this momma checks that mirror to see what's what way more than is necessary. Especially to see if I need to reach back to adjust their head back up into the padding.
I really recommend the under tshirts or onesies that are long sleeve with the fold over part. Even with cutting his nails, Cooper still manages to scratch his face more often then not. So I usually put one on underneath his I AM THE BESTEST KID EVAH AND THEN SOME onesies. Babies have velociraptor claws and it really is nice to keep them covered.
I might come back if I think of anything else.....
Posted by: wifeunit at December 29, 2009 09:57 PM (4B1kO)
A booger sucker. Or, in fancy terms--a nasal aspirator You will likely get a blue bulb syringe at the hospital, but know you will want more than one b/c you will inevitably lose it & you will need it at the most inopportune times.
Posted by: Guard Wife at December 29, 2009 11:33 PM (wsy47)
Posted by: Jen D at December 30, 2009 03:12 AM (h8XAc)
A dozen old-fashioned cloth diapers. Useful in hundreds of ways. 28 years later still have and use a couple as cleaning cloths.
If they still exist, that springy seat you hang from a clamp on the top of a doorframe - set the height so she can just about stand up (once she gets to that point, which will be before you know it) and she can push and bounce. And once she can walk you can still put her in it for a few months more of periods of time where you can actually divert your attention briefly.
Posted by: Glenmore at December 30, 2009 10:31 AM (h/mwe)
I just realized that I do have a tip/suggestion. Make sure you have extra crib sheets and waterproof pads. Then layer as many as you can on the crib mattress. Pad/sheet/pad/sheet/pad/sheet.
I could get three sets on mine. Then if you have a baby with leaky diapers or happens to have reflux like one of mine did, you can just pull off that first set of sheet and pad and the new one is alreay in place. At 3 am, you really appreciate not having to put on a new waterproof pad and crib sheet.
Also, have you looked into getting an Arm's Reach Co-sleeper. My younger two slept in one instead of the crib. It was so much easier to tend to them all night and we all slept better.
Posted by: Sheila at December 30, 2009 01:07 PM (GAcKJ)
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