I'm getting to that age where it seems like all my friends are starting to have babies. Being that I am one of the first in my group to have one already, I am asked a lot about what to put on the registry. Now, I was a very involved aunt to my baby niece and had nannied for a decade before I had a baby of my own so I was overconfident I knew exactly what I needed. I didn't do much research at all and just winged my registry. Hence, some of what is on this list is stuff that I never actually on my registry but had to buy after the fact and/or will have next time around. So here goes, and not necessarily in order of priority...
1. Swing/vibrating seat. I had an Ingenuity ConvertMe that easily folded up to transport. I even took this on our cross-country road trip when Charley was two months old and it is what she slept in at the hotels. She napped in it a lot, too. It could be either a vibrating seat, a swing, or both and plays music. This is what allowed me to shower for the first several months. I have friends that swear by the Mammaroo so I may consider one of these next time around, although they are not as easily portable as this swing.
2. Pack N Play with Newborn Sleeper attachment. Charley slept in this thing until her feet were literally hanging off the edge. She loved it. I also liked that I could pull it up right next to my bed almost like a co-sleeper. I think a Fisher Price Rock N Play would be comparable to this and easier to move around, so I would consider getting one next time around.
3. Wubbanub . Charley found her thumb at about 2.5 months but we loved the Wubbanub up until then because it kept the paci in her mouth during stroller rides, car rides, etc. Love these things!
4. Play mat. I used this thing from the time she was a few weeks old. People would make fun of me that she was too young for it but she liked looking at things without getting overstimulated. It is also great for tummy time. When she got older, I would put her in the Bumbo on it so she could touch the toys.
5. Boppy Pillow. Not only did I use this for breastfeeding, I used it to prop her up and as a seat for me to relieve the tremendous pain of my tailbone after labor (which lasted 3 months). Loved it.
7. Summer Infant SwaddleMe (Sorry about the crazy picture; it was the only one I could find!). I discovered these when Charley was about five weeks old. Prior to that, the longest stretch of sleep I could get was when someone was holding her or when she was on my chest. These kept her swaddled with velcro and allowed her to sleep securely for longer stretches. A true miracle worker! When she was old enough to roll over, I started using the Halo SleepSack and we still use these every night. Not only are they safe than a blanket, they prevent her legs from getting caught in the crib slats.
8. Noise Maker. I have two, one for traveling and one that stays in her nursery. I love the HoMedics SoundSpa Lullaby because it also projects images on the ceiling that keep her entertained for middle of the night diaper changed with just enough light.
9. A Good Jogger! This is one of those items that I didn't splurge for that I wished I had. I had a decent jogger (Graco) that came with my Click Connect Carseat. I never had an issue with it until I tried my friend's BOB stroller out one day and realized a huge difference! The BOB was so much easier to navigate and smoother to push. I will definitely be getting a double BOB next time around. These seem to be plentiful on Craigslist and for-sale forums.
10. Honest Company Products. We recently switched to all Honest Company Products and I really wish I had done this from the beginning. I decided to make the switch recently for several reasons including environmental (the diapers are biodegradable) and health (no harsh chemicals). I have come to love all of the care products. I was initially turned off at the price but it is actually not bad when you do Bundle and Save with the monthly plan. I found that I only needed a shipment every 6 weeks, not monthly. I had high hopes of cloth diapering in the beginning so this is the compromise I have made instead.
11. Breast Pump. I had two but my favorite was the Medela Pump In Style. We had a love hate relationship because I pumped for so long that I actually celebrated the day I put it away for good. It was very efficient though and much stronger than my Ameda.
12. Bottles. This is one of those that I'm unsure if I will stick with the next time around. I used Dr. Brown's Bottles which have two extra parts to clean. This doesn't seem like a big deal until you realize that you have to clean them very thoroughly or mold will develop in the crevices. I never had an issue with them and I think they really helped reduce gas but they are annoying to clean. I also loathed my Dr. Brown's Bottle Warmer as it was impossible to clean and therefore smelled like rotten milk. Next time around, I will consider Tommee Tippee bottles as I have heard lots of good things. I will probably just use my Keurig to warm my bottles and not bother with a bottle warmer at all.
13. Video Monitor. I did not have one of these and I wished I did. We put our ADT security camera in the nursery and we had an audio monitor, but I really wished I had opted for the video monitor. This Withings Smart Baby Monitor seems pretty awesome as you can watch from your phone from any distance and it monitors the temperature in the room.
14. Diaper Pail. This one seems like an obvious one but I have people ask me if it is really necessary. YES. Once you introduce solids, the sweet buttery popcorn smell of breastmilk poo turns pretty rank. Also, I have had to live without my Diaper Genie for the last two months in Nantucket and it has been pretty shi**y, literally. We pretty much have to take the trash out every day or the whole kitchen smells like urine and poo. I can't wait to get home to my own bed, and my Diaper Genie.
I hope this helps a little bit if you are deciding what to register for. These are the basic, major necessities that I couldn't live without. I didn't receive any kind of compensation for this post; just true personal opinions of all these items! More to come with infant and toddler must-haves.