Thursday, October 3, 2013

The Bare Essentials Baby Registry

Okay so since I have had the privilege of helping two people close to me set up their baby registries (and by help I mean domineer haha) recently I have realized how much I really like being able to give advice and help with a registry.  So I have decided to do a few blog posts about what my registry would look like if I could go back with the knowledge I have garnered after two years of having a child.

I am going to have a few different ones.  The one in this post is the bare bones these are the things you need to reasonably raise a baby.  And of course all that a baby truly needs is a boob or bottle of formula, some diapers, and a safe place to sleep with something to wear to keep it warm.  This list will have more than that but not all the bells and whistles that make having a baby easier on the parents or are just nice to have if you have the finances to get them.  That one will come next maybe this weekend, possibly next week, at some point.  Then I will probably do another one for the luxury type items such as my awesome glider/ottoman combo or the adorable bedding set that is useless but adorable or the nursing cover that I never used but had to have.

Edited to add the two other registries mentioned above.
Expanded Edition
Super Duper Expanded Edition

Also if you have or plan to have registries from more than one store, be sure to check out  Baby List  You can add items from any store.  This would have been awesome for me since I had a registry at one online store and two brick and mortar stores.  I ended up putting multiple items on each of the registries and then having to stalk them, delete things, and then had a lot of returns.  There was just things from each store that I couldn't get elsewhere.

Feel free to comment and let me know if the things on this were necessities for you or not and what things you would add to the list.  I might just add them in case some pregnant first time mom stumbles across this post one day.  I know when they handed me the little you need this crap list when I first started my registry I was like there is no way that a baby needs the sheer amounts of crap on that list.  I mean one of the ones I looked at with my sister the other day had 2-4 sheets, 1-2 waterproof mattress pads, and 2 sheet savers.  Or 4-8 swaddle or receiving blankets, 4 crib blankets (and really what is that?), and 2 wearable blankets.  Holy blankets to register for especially with that being an item that you typically get a lot of anyways at baby showers or as new baby gifts.

So without further ado here is my list of the must have baby items (and a link to my favorite items in that category in some instances in case you are wondering.  Feel free to ask why I like that particular one.  I love to share my thoughts.)

In the clothes category, there are none.  Shower guests like to buy cute little outfits for you.  Also clothes are hard to find from a registry in a store since they are on racks typically and not numbered aisles.   I will do a post down the road on what I consider newborn clothing necessities though so stay tuned.

Crib My crib isn't sold on Amazon, but is Baby Cache brand and I love it.
Crib mattress  Sorry guys no opinion on this.  A friend gave me their like new mattress and it worked for us. 
Swaddle blankets(Receiving blankets which you typically get in abundance at showers also work for this unless you can NOT swaddle a baby like me and then actual swaddling blankets are a necessity.)  I absolutely loved the summer infant swaddle blanket.  I would get at least two in case baby dirties one and you don't feel like doing laundry immediately.

Car seat (For a bare minimum registry, I would go with a convertible seat since you can use it for a newborn and then on through toddler hood.)  My recommendation is the Diono radian RXT.  I love this car seat far more than I probably should.
Diaper bag  I have a Carter's Fashion Tote Bag and really like it and it wasn't completely outrageously priced which I liked even more.

Baby gear
Baby swing (This truly isn't a necessity, but since my kid didn't sleep except in his swing for the first five months of his life I am inclined to think it was necessary.)  My recommendation is the Fisher-Price Snugabunny Cradle 'N Swing,  This was the only thing that kept my sanity the first two months.
Worth it's weight in gold

Breast pads  I recommend the Lansinoh Nursing Pads.  They worked quite well for me even though I think I am going to try to use cloth nursing pads next time around.  
Lanolin   My favorite type was Lansinoh Lanolin.
**You can also use olive oil and it works well!
Nursing pillow (This could be contested but I had such trouble with latching Kai at first that it was necessary.)I really loved my Boppy Pillow.  I used it until Destructo was quite big and never had problems.
Burp cloths  My favorite were actually not burp clothes, but old time cloth diapers.  These were large enough for even large messes, but absorbed well and folded small and compactly.

If you are going to be a working mom, then I would add these items:
Breast milk bags  I used Lansinoh breast milk bags and never had problems with them.
  **I did notice last time I was at Target that they had a store brand milk bag that was considerably cheaper.  I have asked two pregnant friends to try them out and report back to me.
Breast pump  I used and loved (you know when I didn't hate being a milk cow) the Medela Pump in Style Advanced.  It got me through exclusively pumping for the few weeks and then pumping while I was at work from 3 months to a year and was still going strong.
**Check with your insurance to see if you can get a good pump provided by them.  In talking with friends it seems to be hit or miss with what they provide, but it is worth a call.  The money is well worth it to get a double electric pump if you are going to be a working mom and have to pump every day.
Bottles  I recommend The First Years Breastflow  bottles.  These actually helped improve Destructo's latch when he was having nipple confusion issues switching between bottle and breast.  I made due with two 5 oz bottles and two 9 oz bottles and just washed them nightly.
An extra set of slow flow nipples.  Again I recommend The First Years Breastflow Slow Flow Nipples.
Bottle brush  I loved Munchkin Deluxe Bottle Brush as it had a big one and then a teeny tiny one that fit inside the bigger one with a suction cup to stick to the sink.  

Bottle feeding
For exclusive bottle feeding, I would recommend having at least a set of four small bottles and a set of four big bottles since you use a lot more.  I would also use a different type of bottle if I was formula feeding. I would use Playtex Playtex VentAire bottles.  I loved these when I worked at the daycare and they have a lot less parts than the Breastflow ones.
**Oh and I forgot to add that babies can be quite picky about bottles.  It can be a lot of trial and error in finding one that they like so this could be something that you put two different brands or at least keep in mind to not open any except one pack to try them out until you know if baby will take that kind.  Tape any gift receipts to the package in case baby hates them.  
Burp cloths  (See above for my recommendations.)
An extra pack of slow flow nipples  
Bottle brush (See above)

Solids feeding
For a necessities registry, I would leave all this stuff off since you won't need it until the baby is around six months old.

See this post for my entire fantasy cloth diaper registry

Baby wipes I always say to put 5 cases of wipes since they don't go bad and you will use them for everything and to put one small pack that you can refill.  I used Huggies Natural Care Baby Wipes. and would recommend them especially since Destructo never had problems with them and he has very sensitive skin.  I would have liked to have used Seventh Generation Free & Clear Baby Wipes but they were a lot more expensive and coupons aren't as readily available so I went with the cheaper option.
Diapers  I wouldn't put any newborn size diapers since you get some from the hospital,  these are the ones people end up buying for you if they aren't following a registry, and you just don't know how long your kiddo will be in this size.  I would put 2+ boxes of size one, 2+ boxes of size two, etc.  I recommend Seventh Generation diapers.  They are bleach free and a bit more ecofriendly.  But they are pricier and if I had to pick a cheaper option, would most likely pick huggies diapers.  In my time at the daycare, these were always the ones that leaked the least. 
**If you get gift receipts for diapers, tape them to the box and don't open the box until you need them.  That way if your baby grows out of that size before you use them, you can easily return them for a bigger size.  
Diaper ointment (2)  I have always used Grandma El's and love it.  It is ecofriendly and safe for my cloth diapers and it smells awesome.

Hooded towels(2)  You can use regular towels, but I always liked being able to put the hood part up on Kai's head to help keep him warmer when he was just an itty bitty.
Baby wash clothes (1 pack)  I used the Target brand and they have held up well.
Baby body wash (2+) I always used BabyGanics Foamin' Fun Foaming Body Wash & Shampoo.  I love that it is plant based so if Kai decides to eat it (which he has) it is safe and it is a lot more ecofriendly as well.
Baby lotion(1+)  I always used Seventh Generation Baby Lotion.  Ecofriendly (do I sound like a broken record?), safe for baby, and it works well even on my dry hands.
Baby oil (trial size just because it is nice to have on hand if baby has cradle cap)

Baby nail clippers (1) or baby nail scissors.  I found that I liked Safety 1st Baby Nail Clippers for his toes and the Sassy Soft Grip Scissors for his finger nails.  And these scissors held up far better than other scissors I had tried out.
Baby thermometer  I liked the Vicks Baby Rectal Thermometer.  It was very fast and small so I didn't have to worry about hurting him.  Once he was a bit bigger, I just used a plain old digital thermometer for under arm temps until I got my forehead thermometer.  
Snot sucker(unless you get one at the hospital which you probably will)
I used a lot of these with Destructo since he was a gassy/ refluxy baby. They really did help. I used the Target brand typically.
Gripe water (1)  This also helps calm newbies stomach aches.  I can't remember which brand I used, but it was the one that didn't have to be refrigerated.

I already mentioned swaddle blankets in the nursery category.
Pacifiers  (1-2 packs)  We used The First Years GumDrop Pacifier and Destructo took to them right away and never looked back.  

So there you have it, my bare essentials registry.  I am going to try to get the others done some time in the next week or so and will link them all together.