10 Items no one really talks about…that you should really consider for your newest family member
These articles are everywhere, so, this is hardly a unique read. All you have to do is type “what do i need for baby” into pinterest and BOOM! Tons of article pictures pop up with witty catchphrases and simple promises of sharing a golden parental knowledge that you “think” exists. Well, I love to pop bubbles so i’mma pop this one for you right now….ready?
There is no magical 10, 15 or 20 perfect items that will make our lives bliss as a new parent. Why? Because everyone is different and all of our needs are different. Sorry to break it to you, POP. Parenting is hard, guys! You will love items that your best friend hates and that your neighbor thinks is silly. BUT, there are items that everyone does need/are really helpful that most people gloss over or that aren’t stressed enough. And after 2 babies in 2 years, I feel like I have a pretty good take on what I need to bring a precious bundle home and what I definitely can live without for months and months (aka: what I don’t absolutely have to put on my registry). So put those swollen feet up and keep reading because here are the 10 registry items no one really puts a lot of effort into, that I think are super important to include or highly consider for sanity purposes!
#1 BIBS – Nobody. I repeat, Nobody told me just how many bibs a new parent needs. If you can get a truckload delivered, do so. I’m just kidding, kinda…and here’s why. Babies aren’t great at eating initially (shocker) breastmilk or formula-it’s going somewhere and that somewhere is all over you, the throw pillow and whatever else if you’re not careful. Also, they get nasty and I mean really nasty. Sometimes in the parental fog, we forget that horrible pile of baby laundry for a couple days and guess what, your bibs have grown mold or gotten really funky and sometimes you just can’t get out the funky, so into the waste bin it goes. Finally, babies are eating multiple times a day and night and sometimes that bib is soaked after a feeding and can’t be reused, no matter how much you let that sucker air dry. Do yourself a favor, register for a lot of cheap ones, preferably with that lovely crinkly, plastic-y, protective layer in the middle (to protect your babes’ clothing) and call it a day. As for quantity, I have about 15-20 bibs for each kid at this point and I’m still always running out/buying more, FYI.
#2 BURP TOWELS/KITCHEN TOWELS/CLOTH DIAPERS – This is another one that you don’t hear a lot about. Much like the bibs, buy them. LOTS of them. And if burp towels aren’t your thing or they’re too expensive, kitchen towels and flat cloth diapers work just as well and in my opinion, better. A pack of kitchen towels or a pack of flat cloth diapers tend to be bigger and more absorbent than their cutesy burp towel counterparts. And if they’re kitchen towels, then hey you have a lot of great ones when you are done with the milk/formula stage, win-win.
#3 BABY SLEEP PILLOW – I had one of these with my second and let me tell you, this thing is better than sliced bread. Swaddling gets all the attention for keeping baby wrapped and snuggly. But what they don’t tell you is swaddling isn’t good enough for most babies. Babies want to feel “held” for lack of better words and they are used to feeling surrounded. Swaddling is great to help facilitate that feeling, but then if they are put in an open crib or bassinette it still can be too much space. Imagine one pill rolling around inside of an, otherwise, empty pill bottle. The pillow hugs around their body making them feel secure and cozy, while decreasing their mobility, I cannot recommend one enough. I didn’t have one with my daughter and I could have saved myself a lot of sleepless nights if I would’ve known about this glorious invention. I have the Snuggle Me and it’s perfect without totally breaking the bank. It also comes in organic cotton, if that’s your thing.
#4 STORAGE – Sure, there are adorable Pinterest baby closets with perfect organization. Get that idea right out of your head unless you have the cash to put a beautiful closet system into your home. If you do, awesome, however, most of us don’t. So, my suggestion is to opt for ones that you can buy from Target or Amazon that work with what you’ve got (aka one closet rod and closet doors). Also, most people neglect storage in other areas of the home that get overtaken by baby items: The Kitchen, Bathroom, Livingroom & Your Bedroom. Therefore, the rest of your home, HA! Let’s start one room at a time.
______The Kitchen – If you are planning to bottle feed or pump, clear a cabinet out or whatever room you can spare and get some great kitchen cabinet storage for all of your bottles, pump equipment, pacis, baby meds and etc. Also, a great dry rack is essential. I, personally love the Boon system.
______The Bathroom – Where are you storing the baby bath, baby soap, washcloths, etc? Figure it out now (before you are scrambling around with a non-diapered baby trying to find the rash cream-trust me this scenario doesn’t end well) and, yet again, clear out a bathroom cabinet or space of your choosing and store all of baby’s bathroom essentials in plastic storage containers that are reasonably priced.
______The Livingroom – Find a dedicated corner/nook to store playtime essentials like the playmat, playpen and all of those lovey toys. The best thing for toys is a simple, deep basket with a cloth liner that you can store in a low bookshelf or by the sofa for easy access and quick pick up.
______Your Bedroom – The reality is that your babe will most likely end up in your room for a while. Unless you are really determined to go from room to room multiple times a night, (I don’t have the mental or bodily stamina) then you will want to clear out a dresser drawer or some closet space to have a place for some of baby’s clothing – we’re talking night time essentials here: swaddles, t-shirts, wearable blankets, etc. just in-case you have a spit up quick change in the middle of the night. You’ll also need a place to change baby. This can be as simple as a change mat you put on the bed, a changer you place on the bed or a full-on dresser with tabletop changer system. Every space is different, so find out what works for you. We really love this changer that can easily go from dresser to bed and easily stores on its side against a wall. And, of course, if Baby is sleeping in your room, you’ll need a mini crib or another spot to safely put Baby.
#5 A GREAT BABY BATH TUB – I’ve had so many baby bathtubs…ugh. I HATE them. They are clumsy, hurt your back and where do you store that clunker without having to move it around every time you want to shower. Ladies and gents, I give you the greatest baby bath ever and the only one I ever want to use: PUJ. Check it out, it changed my baby bath game. And it hangs flat in your shower!
#6 A MINI CRIB – I love my gigantic crib, I really do. But, I wish I would’ve gotten the mini crib and waited to see if I really needed it before I needed a toddler bed/big kid bed. My daughter transitioned out of the crib right at two into a twin bed and honestly, she probably would’ve been fine in a mini crib until then. My son is almost 5 months old and he has so much space in it, it’s hard to imagine him filling it out before then. The great thing about mini cribs too is that they are so much more reasonable than a lot of standard cribs. We love our DaVinci mini crib and it also rocks (love!), which takes the place of a bassinette. You can read more about our mini nursery, featuring our mini crib here.
#7 BABY SOCKS – I never have enough baby socks. Between them getting lost in the dryer or out and about, I’m always and forever short one sock….always ONE! So, do yourself a solid and get a lot of them in one or two colors. But, all baby socks are not created equal. You want to get ones with a fold over top that is tight. I love Gymboree baby socks. They have a nice strong cuff for wiggly baby feet. Also, don’t get socks that are too big, remember socks stretch. I, usually, get baby socks a size smaller so they stay on crazy baby feet.
#8 PACI CLIPS – Hey, new mama or dada, want to keep washing that Paci 25 times before you put it back in your baby’s mouth. Get the paci clips, use the paci clips, keep your sanity. Aim for about 5. I really like the NUBY with the really strong plastic clasps because they won’t rust like the metal ones if you toss them in the washer and then air dry.
#9 XTRA BOPPY COVERS – Whether you are using the Boppy (I love mine!) or another breastfeeding pillow, you need more than one cover. I would suggest 2-3 for washing and spit-up/milk accident purposes.
#10 A COMFORTABLE ROCKING CHAIR – I have a family heirloom rocking chair. My mother passed it down to me and I’ll pass it down to my children. I love it for that reason, but because it is wooden, the seat is very uncomfortable. I got a simple dining seat cushion at Ballard Designs that fits like a dream (they come in multiple sizes so you can get a great fit). If you were not lucky enough to inherit your rocking chair, just make sure it’s comfortable and preferably nap-worthy (trust me, it will happen).
This is definitely not a comprehensive list of essential baby items. But I feel like these items don’t get the recognition they deserve in the registry world because they’re very basic. However, a great basic, much like great wardrobe basics, can make all the difference. 😉
Congrats Mama and Happy Registering!