Off to register we go...and we need your help.

October 09, 2012

This weekend, Chris and I are going to start our baby registry. It's the only weekend over the next four weekends where we will actually be in town or not entertaining visitors, so I wanted to go ahead and get started.

But I'm kind of, slightly, pretty overwhelmed.

I have already somewhat started one online, but I will be checking that list off in person when I see the items on the shelves. I just have so many questions.

What do we really need?

What's a waste of money?

What are the pros and cons of a regular crib versus a convertible crib?
And will the convertible crib save us money in the long run?

What kind of stroller is the best kind of stroller - logistically?

And many, many more.

So please, sound off in the comments. 

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  1. Registering can be overwhelming for sure. My sis-in-law (who was already a mom) helped me narrow it all down... Here's what I remember using/not using the most:

    baby bassinet: I didn't have one for Sela (we used the pack n play), but I learned quickly that babies like to feel "surrounded" --at least my girls did. So I think it's worth it to have a bassinet that you can fit in next to your bed. We had a movable one on wheels, which was nice because I could roll her into a different room if I say wanted to fold laundry in my room while the baby napped. Ours also came with a big shelf underneath --perfect for storing a stack of diapers and wipes to use in the middle of the night.

    blanket sleepers: I used the "bag" ones when they were newborns and then moved to the footed ones when they started to roll over. I would wrap my girls up tightly in blankets at night (baby burrito style), but they were little houdinis and they would always find a way to wriggle their little arms out. Once they do, they would inevitably fuss and fight going to sleep. Blanket sleepers worked way better because they're like sleeping bag that they wear --they can't wriggle out of them :-)

    onesies: For days when being comfortable is more important than looking cute --especially when it's hot. I had tons of them and sometimes I would go through 3-4 a day (because they spit up or their diaper leaks or whatever). Then when (if!) it ever gets cooler, you can put them under other clothes to add an extra layer of clothing and keep baby warm.

    baby carrier: I hardly used mine. I was not a carry-baby-around-all-the-time kinda momma. I wanted my babies to learn how to sleep without being held, and whenever I would put them in the carrier they would inevitably fall asleep. So the only time I used mine was when I needed to hold them and have my hands free (and then most of the time I would just use the stroller.)

    baby blankets --the soft, washable ones (you only need a few fancy pretty ones): I used them all the time --I rolled them up and stuck them around my girls feet, so they felt snuggled while sleeping, I used them in the stroller, on my lap (in case their diaper leaks), and I would lay them on the floor, so baby could lay on the floor and play.

    one of these my girls loved the stimulation --especially the mirror. The bright colors and high contrast totally captured their attention.

    a diaper genie or something like it: There will be lots of diapers and these keep them from smelling up the place!

    We didn't do a convertible crib because we were having more than one kid. And by the time 3 girls used the crib, I don't think we would have wanted to keep using it as a bed. But that's just us.

    I'm sure there are other things.... If I think of them, I'll let you know.

    Enjoy this time of preparing!

    P.S. If you're not going to register for the little kit with the nail trimmer, bulb syringe etc., then bring the bulb syringe home from the hospital. It works better anyway and I definitely used ours a lot. It's the only thing you can do to get the snot out of their little noses when they get their first cold :-(

  2. We have a 2 year old and a newborn, so we have the wisdom of experience as well as all of it being quite fresh in our minds! Here are a few of our "must haves" and a few not to waste your money on...

    Must Haves:
    Boppy/Breastfeeding pillow-- we use ours all the time and not just for nursing. It's great later on too to provide a little support to a baby learning to sit, etc.

    Swaddle blankets- we love the Swaddle Me brand but I'm sure there are others. Our older son used them til he was about 4 months old and made all the difference in his early sleeping through the night (6 hour stretches starting at about 6 weeks).

    Automatic Bouncer seat- we have the Bright Starts Ingenuity but I'm sure there are other good ones out there. Honestly, we use these for the first few weeks as the night time sleeping place when laying on their back on a relatively hard surface is completely foreign. Helpful during the day too when you need to put them down as it is mobile enough to move from room to room.

    Moby wrap- I love wearing my babies. This is a personal preference/philosophy thing but I just know that I will never look back on my life and wish that I had held my babies less. The Moby lets me do this while still being able to get stuff done.

    Gowns--so much better for night time wear than sleepers with a million snaps. Trust me on this one. Once they outgrow the gowns, go with zip up sleepers rather than snaps. We love The Children's Place cotton "stretchies". So much so that we replaced all of the snap sleepers we had used with our first with the zip up kind.

    White noise machine. Our toddler still uses his and we bought a second for our newborn.

    Bumkins feeder bibs- they really are worth the little bit of extra money...they are the only bibs we have that have held up so that our second will be able to use them. In fact, they are almost good as new while all the others are cracked/peeling velcro closures/etc.

    A few working mom must-haves...
    If you are planning to breastfeed, a great breast pump. I have the Medela Pump in Style. 

    A handsfree breastpump bra like this one: It will let you pump on both sides at once and still type at the computer.

    Enough bottles that you don't have to wash/sterilize everyday if you don't want to.

    Don't waste your money on...
    Newborn socks/shoes- Yes, they are precious but our kiddos were never able to wear them.
    Wipe warmers- babies get used to room temperature ones just fine and have to when you are out and about anyway
    Bottle warmers- a bowl/coffee mug of hot water does the same thing
    Changing Table--just get a large dresser instead. They can keep using the dresser for years to come but a changing table is only good for the first couple of years.

    On convertible cribs...ours is a convertible but I doubt that we will ever actually convert it. By the time we needed a toddler bed, we had another baby on the way. We didn't find that the convertible cribs were more expensive. We got our crib from and have been super pleased with it. It was way cheaper than what we could find anywhere else. Just read the reviews and you should be pretty safe.

    That's all I can think of for now!

  3. We had such a hard time registering too! It was so overwhelming but the best advice I can give is to go check out all the items in the store, take notes and then come back and finish up online. I would register for a few of the bigger items - a lot of people will go in together to buy them! Henry lived in a seat like this... A jumper is also good, an activity mat and a swing. I'd be more than happy to email with you more specifics on brands and other items if you are intersted!

  4. I'm not a mother so I can't say from experience, but a blog I like just tackled this! Hopefully it is helpful for you!

  5. The one thing I can think of right now that was a waste of money is like baby towels and wash clothes. They can only use them for a few months before they are worthless. If you really want hooded towels, they are super easy to make, just look online. Other things I thought were worthless were the "safety kits" that have like a bulb, and fingernail clippers and stuff. Just buy a pair of clippers and call it a day. My favorite are red cross, and they are the ones with the magnifiying glass ( I don't use that but they are super sharp)

    I love my Chicco travel system. I still use the stroller for Graham. If you will be doing a lot of walking on a dirt trail or on uneven ground, I recommend getting a stroller that is "all terrain" and has rubber wheels. I again, looove my chicco, so I recommend them for a carseat. Great safety ratings, and light, and easy to install.

    I also found a bumbo to be a waste of money, I can count on two hands how many times one of my kids have sat in it. And that's two kids!:)

    The only swaddle blankets that are worth anything are the huuuge aden and anais ones, they have a version for target. The little carters ones are not big enough!

    I think that's all I've got!

  6. Yay! Baby talk!
    I remember feeling overwhelmed when filling out our registry, too. There are so many choices, and so many opinions on everything! I kept wishing that I could wait until after she was here, when I would actually know what we would need, to fill out the registry...but then, who's going to buy it all for you? :-P

    I blogged about some of my favorite things here back in January, but a few things have changed even since then. For example, I looove my Chicco travel system, but I really wish that I had a stroller that was smaller and more lightweight, too. We went with the Chicco mainly because it was "tall" enough for both of us. If your husband is over 6' (and will be spending time pushing the stroller) handle height is really something to consider. Jesse and I spent a lot of time at Babies R Us pushing strollers through the aisles, and found that we kept kicking the baskets with our long legs or stooping over to reach the handle.

    I echo Lindsay on the washcloths/bumbo advice. Don't even bother registering for washcloths or baby towels. They are evidently irresistible to gift-givers, and you'll get a ton whether you register for them or not. I ended up with 56 washcloths somehow. Ridiculous, people! And the Bumbo...between the recalls and the pediatric evidence that it teaches babies to sit using the wrong muscles, it's not a winner in my book.
    One thing that I didn't opt for but wish that I had was a video monitor. They're crazy expensive, but if having it will make you more comfortable when baby moves out of your bedroom, I really think it's worth it. I would love to be able to check on Kayleigh without her being able to see me. She does crazy things like get her leg stuck between the crib rails, and her cries all sound the same. If I could look at a screen and know that she's just not happy about bedtime, I'd rest a lot better :)

    One of my favorite things that I've found since writing my list is this . I love it! We just bought it last week after trying all sorts of mobiles and the Sleep Sheep (which I absolutely love--stick the travel one on your registry!). It has 10 different sounds, a projector for the wall/ceiling, and my favorite part, voice activation. If Kayleigh wakes up and cries in the middle of the night, it cues the music/projector again and lulls her back to sleep. Awesome! Also, Kayleigh is at the age where she is so impressed by the projector. Every night when I turn it on, she points to the ceiling and says, "Whoa!" It's the cutest thing :)

    Sorry that this turned into a's one of my favorite topics! Have fun with registering! Isn't it special to get to choose the things you'll use in just a few weeks? Yay!

    ♥ Bethany


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