Saturday, August 17, 2013

The Baby Registry

Quite overwhelming but ultimately a necessary thing that every expecting couple must tackle. 

So my advice is this – take it slow. Start early, do your research, and return if you need to do so. Tackle the biggest items first.  Go over to friend's houses and trial baby items if you can. See what you like.

When we went to register, we started off super excited that we could park in the stork parking – not really knowing what was ahead of us. I had no idea how long the process would actually take. I was starting to get anxious somewhere between diaper bags and car seat covers. My ever-loving husband suggested we go get something to eat when I began to throw some sort of tantrum that was on par with my 2 year old's tantrums.  After sitting for the first time in a few hours and giving my body and baby some much needed energy we went back to it and finished with no further incidents. But we seriously needed that break.

A prego friend of mine told me about the Baby Bargains book (listed on my blog page as recommended reads for parents). Right away, I ordered this book for another expecting friend of mine, knowing how much it would have been useful when I was going through this process. I perused through it one evening before giving it to her and became seriously overwhelmed.  There was so much information in there; I couldn’t imagine having to go through it all and CHOOSE THINGS!!!!

So when you too, undoubtedly, begin to feel overwhelmed - STOP - whether it is while doing research or the physical act of shooting that scanning gun at endless baby items – STOP – before you begin to hyperventilate.  Your baby needs that oxygen that you are blowing out faster than a marathon runner.

That being said, I have compiled my list of favorite baby things. It’s a long list and I have considered shortening it because, in reading it, I fully expect the expecting mother to become overwhelmed by it. But all the items made being the mother of a newborn and toddler a little easier for me. And I truly LOVE them – I mean LOVE like if I was still in elementary school, and someone asked me, ‘Then why don’t you marry them?’ -  I would!!

There are both big and small things. I hope you find this helpful, and not too overwhelming.  And all you mommies out there who have already been through this process, please share which items you would marry if you could!!

Baby Gear:

Car Seats: -

Chicco Key Fit 30 pumpkin seat and stroller 

Pro:  absolutely the best car seat with highest safety ratings on the market. Con: a little pricier
Tip: Go for the car seat with highest  weight range  – whether you choose this brand or not. You’ll hear a lot of people say they didn’t want to lug the pumpkin around, but just leave it in the car then – infant car seats are the safest!

Graco MyRide 65: convertible car seat

Pro: very high safety ratings on Consumer reports, child really does does look comfortable       (they now  sell higher weight ranges too).
Con: it’s BIG! Doesn’t really fit into our sedan.
Evenflo Triumph 50: convertible car seat (this one is for smaller car).

Pro: smaller, very easy to tighten child restraints (turn dial versus pull strap)  
Con: lower weight range, safety ratings not quite as high, little harder to install
-  Infant Bouncy Seat: Fisher Price bouncy seat  - it’s small and inexpensive – it’s the one that only cost like $25-$30 Pro: Fit perfectly in my tiny bathroom while I took a shower. NO cons.
-  pack & play: Graco
-  Bumbo seat
-  Boppy
-  Breast pump: Medela: I've never tried another pump so I have no comparison but I'm very satisfied with my pump and accessories.
o   Medela has the most comfortable sleep bra 
o   They have  microwavable steam bags for sterilization of parts(not absolutely necessary but ideal when pumping in a hospital, like me).
o   Medela also has great wipes for accessories (for emergency cleans )and freezer bags that attach directly to your pump
-  Basinnet:  Arm’s Reach Co-sleeper 
-  Exersaucer of Jump-A-Roo: We have the Evenflo exersaucer.
Baby can use an exersaucer at 4 months but not quite as much fun as the jump-a-roo but baby needs to be 6 months for those (better head control).
-  Booster Seat: Fisher Price - we actually prefer this over our high chair. And as long as your baby can sit supported, you don’t even really need to buy a high chair if you wait until 6 months to give baby solids.
-  Double Stroller: Joovy Ultralight Caboose too-  sit and stand -  we  LOVE this stroller. Seriously, one of the best items we have.  We flew across the country with this stroller and were so happy to have it.
-  Baby Carrier: ergo: THE BEST carrier. I have 2 other carriers and I like them but this is the best.

The Smaller Stuff 

Diaper bag: Skip Hop 
Travel Potty: Potette Fold Away Potty chair
B   bottles: Playtex nurser drop-in -  

The biggest con to these are that they have disposable liners and it’s wasteful and more costly but this just worked extremely well for decreasing gas. I have heard other people like the Vent Air brand.  

***Special Note: the only nipple flow you ever need is SLOW flow!!**** 

  Bibs:  Bumpkin pocket bibs  
 Soap/Shampoo: Yes! To Baby Carrots - organic and smells wonderful  
Sunscreen: Baby Ganics – one of the safest sunscreens on the market that is a reasonable price.  We also love Baby Ganics alcohol-free hand sanitizer, on the spot stain remover, and disinfecting wipes. It’s a really great brand!  
B   Burp cloths (cloth diapers): Gerber - really just make sure you get the kind with the highest ply count                         


Here is my most cherished learned mommy wisdom on baby clothes: For at least the first 6 months of life the only thing a baby really needs to wear is sleepers (night and day) and preferably ones that ZIP!!
Onesies substitute same as above for warmer months  (important: Carters onesies better than Gerber)

Halo swaddle sacs - they zip from the bottom up (great for night time diaper changes)  and then have a Velcro swaddle. Alternatively, the Summer brand Velcro swaddle sacks  are also nice.

 List of Things NOT to register for:

-          Clothes – really of any kind (but you know this already)
-          Shoes
-          hats
-          Receiving blankets
-          Baby rattles and toys that hang on bar 

   Things you can't have TOO MUCH of:

-              burp cloths
-              wash cloths
-           teething bibs/pocket bibs
-           teethers
-           children's books

A little, fun fact I learned about receiving blankets: They are only useful for swaddling for about the first 2 weeks but since I have about 30 of them, I found many other uses: nursing cover, arm support while nursing, baby head support, sun cover (in car windows, over car seat, etc.), baby doll blanket, snot rag (way better than tissues), massive spit-up cleaner, cuddly blanket (my toddler sleeps w/ 2 or 3 every night). And probably many more uses. Just not swaddling.

And that's really the point. Until the baby arrives, you won't know what you will or won't use or which bottle or swaddle your baby prefers. And through all my careful planning, I still ended up with duplicate items and not getting many of the things that are truly necessary. Try not to fret. It will eventually come together...even if it feels like your baby will arrive before the carefully researched crib you ordered arrives and is put together, you have found room on the shelves for all the bottles and miniature dishes, and the adorable clothes are washed and really will all come together.