If it is time to start making your babies registries, I am sure you are feeling overwhelmed. At least I was when trying to figure out what items were necessities. There are so many baby items jammed onto the shelves at stores, it can be hard to tell what you need.
After two kids myself – and one that was colicky – and speaking with hundreds of moms in the studio over the years, I put together a top ten list of things you need. Not necessarily specific items, but the 10 big things baby’s really need. Some include specific items that have been mentioned by numerous parents as a must have. I also included some great non-essentials that help as honorable mentions at the bottom of the list.
This is a MUST. Hospitals won’t even let you leave without verifying that you have on in the car. There are few different options, and the most popular is the infant car seat with the removable carrier. This is the easiest way to get around with a baby. Just click it in and out of the base, and you can take a sleeping baby with you easily.
Did you know you can also have your car seat installed by a professional? Car seat technicians, certified in installing a wide variety of car seats in different vehicles, will do all the hard work for you. Reach out to your local hospital or police department for more information on setting up an installation
What and how to feed your baby is always a huge question for moms to be. There is so much information – and strong opinions – out there, it can be a challenge for moms to know what is best. Short answer – do what it best for you and your baby. No matter if you breastfeed or bottle feed your baby, you will need some feeding basics.
Bottles – some babies are easy babies and will eat out of any bottle. Other babies are super picky and only like certain bottles, nipple shapes, nipple flows, and formula. Don’t register for just one type of bottle. Register for a few, and then you have some on hand to try if baby does not like the one, or ones, you have already tried.
Formula – there are so many types of formulas available for babies. Since it may take a few brands or types of formula before finding what works best for baby, you can skip adding this to your registry. That way you don’t end up with a bunch of formula you won’t use. Most OG/GYNs have samples of different formulas on hand that you can try. Just ask if it is something they have available when in for a visit.
Somewhere to Sleep
Again, where you baby sleeps can be another difficult decision for parents. No matter where baby sleeps, they need a designated sleeping area. In their first few months this can be their crib, or options that can allow baby to sleep near parents, since they wake multiple times a night to feed. Some options for bringing baby closer to you are: Pack-n-plays, bassinets, Moses baskets, or other approved overnight sleep area.
For napping babies, there are options like swings and dock-a-tot (which parents all seem to love right now). Be sure to always supervise in these types of sleeping areas that are not approved for unsupervised sleeping.
Babies will need clothes. And people love to buy clothing for babies as gifts. So much that you can almost skip adding it to your registry.
When registering for baby clothing, these are the most important things to keep in mind. Look for sleepers that have a zipper and not buttons. Trust me, those 2 am diaper changes are so much easier when you can just zip baby up. Onesies are also great for baby. They are easy to put on, easy to take off (they can slide down over the shoulders in case of a blowout), and can be worn with or under other outfits.
Diaper and Wipes
Register for them, lots of them. No matter if you are using cloth diapers or disposable diapers, baby will need a lot of them. On average newborns have 8-12 dirty diapers a day. That adds up fast. Have enough on hand that you won’t run out, or won’t get stuck with them all in the wash at once. Register for diapers, in all sizes too. That way when you outgrow a size you have some handy. Most stores will let you return unopened diapers too, so don’t open the boxes until you need them.
You also want to consider a changing table, or a designated changing area. Changing tables in the nursery is what most parents end up doing. With my first, we spent a lot of time on the main level, away from her room. I kept a small basket of diaper and wipes and a folding changing pad in the living room for quick changes.
And you can never have enough wipes. My kids are both out of diapers, and we still use them regularly for quick clean ups on the go, and anything else where a prewet wipe is helpful. I keep them in my purse and car all of the time now.
Babies love to be swaddled. Even the parents that come to the studio that tell me their baby doesn’t like to be swaddled end up loving it. They are great tools for keeping a newborn sleeping too. There are traditional swaddling blankets, muslin blankets, and Velcro swaddles. We had great experiences with both kids using Halo swaddles. They make then in multiple sizes too, so you can keep baby in them as they grow.
Baby Care Items
These are the things that other parents always seem to buy off registries. It’s all the stuff they know you will need, but doesn’t fit into the normal “fun to buy for baby” gifts.
Things like Tylenol, Ibuprofen, thermometers, gentle lotions, nasal aspirators, baby q-tips, gripe water, diaper rash cream, shampoo, and more.
Stollers & Baby Carrier
Babies are tiny, but they can get heavy fast for moms recovering from childbirth. Be sure to register for a stroller. There are a variety of stroller styles, and look into what works best for your lifestyle. One thing to consider is that many of the newborn car seats have a model stroller that they will fit into. So you can take baby right from the car in their carrier, and safely click them into the frame of the stroller.
Baby carrier are a popular baby item too. They also come in a variety of styles. From carries that wrap around you like Moby Wraps and ring slings to more structured carrier like BabyBjorn and Erobaby. These are all personal preference, so consider what type you feel is the best fit for your family.
If you decide to use pacifiers, I recommend looking into the brands that offer glow in the dark options. I did not realize how amazing of an idea that was, until I was hunting for pacifiers in a crib in the dark at 2am. Ones that offer a soft glow as night are a huge help to exhausted parents.
Photographer – Birth, newborn, fresh baby pictures.
Another thing that parents are adding to registries recently are photographers. It is a great way to have friends and family that want to give you the perfect baby gift, give you a gift that will last forever.
If you are in the Northfield / Minneapolis / South metro area, I have an amazing photography registry program. I offer parents the option to have family purchase gift certificates to be used toward their session, or specialty items like an album from the session or a large print. Just let me know you are interested in the registry program when you inquire about a session and I can give you all the details. Plus I have the cutest little cards to include in baby shower invitations to let everyone know about it.