I realized the other day that I know a fair amount of women (both in real life and through social media) that are expecting their first baby. Oh, what an incredibly exciting and overwhelming time! You may be where I was – not worrying about some things and mildly freaking out about others.
While I loved my pregnancy and birth with Olivia and wouldn’t go back and change any of that in any way, I would go back [in a heartbeat] and redo my registry.
I was so overcome with all the STUFF out there for babies. What do you actually [need] and what is just a [nice to have]? I’m sure you look at things and think, “Will I really use that?”
Or, even better (worse?) – you’re sure you’ll use something and use it once, then never again.
*cough* embroidered burp cloths *cough*
So, last night, I put a call out on Twitter to all my mama friends and asked them a simple question, “What 1-5 things would you recommend to a new mama-to-be?”
The responses were [awesome] and here they are in all their glory. I’ll summarize at the end and then give you [my] Top Five.
@TouchstoneZ wrap, ergo, prefolds, wool longies, nursing bras
@Ivreniel Clothes, diapers, baby carrier, car seat, something for baby to sleep in like an Arms Reach- loved it as a new mom.
@teedubtweets Lily padz, a good bf pillow, dipes, wipes and a babysitter.
@thek8escape A diaper wipe warmer. Nothing is better than a warm wipe on a cold night. & It reduces your chance of getting peed on.
@exlibris slings/carriers, bouncy seat, cloth diapers, diaper bag, monitor
@Athenabee My nursing pillow is my life. Baby carrier. Breast pump. Go ahead and register for diapers! Zipper sleepers. (Hate buttons)
@Sewsillyleigh 1-5 things: 12 cloth diapers, bouncy seat, waterproof pads, wipes warmer, bottle warmer, nipple basket, bottle brush, white noise nite lite w/mp3 jack, backpack diaper bag, baskets, white onesies 0, 3, 6 mos, footie pjs 0, 3, 6 mo, car seat, space saver high chair, ring sling, Moby
@babywearingitup Moby wrap, convertible carseat for extended rear facing, guard gate, diapers, playpen (great for travel or small spaces)
@hippiejennie baby carrier, a functional diaper bag, stash of cloth diapers
@SilverDewdrops 1. Diapers (cloth/disposable) 2. Good baby carrier 3. crib, bassinet, etc 4. breast pump 5. Boppy
@ejfbelt 1 video baby monitor 2 car seat 3 ergo baby carrier 4 co-sleeper/pack & play 5 swing
@nataliejanette moby, aiden & anis wraps, diaper cream, hand lotion, twitter account for moral support
@thecorbettkid nursing pillow, lansinoh or other nipple cream, vibrating chair & receiving/baby blankets, some sort of carrier/sling!!
@marlatiara Cloth diaper sampler pack or gift certificate. Breast pump if going back to work. Ergo (or Beco or ABC). #biased A white noise machine is nice to have. Lots of burp cloths/towels/prefolds for cleaning things.
@goodbadfamily Angel Care breathing monitor. Hands down best baby product I own.
@jayesel nursing pillow, nursing cover (for NIP), swaddle blankets, chapstick, water bottle.
@sarahbartlett Lanisoh lanolin (lots of it), aden & anais swaddlers, ring sling, diapers (inserts and envelopes) and disposable liners.
@pocketbuddha good ring sling or wrap. Undercover mama nursing tank. A slow cooker. … That’s all I can think of. It’s what I wld want!
@mamarolf Clothes, blankets, diapers, patience, love ~ all you need
@chainedangel diapers, sling, bottles or breastmilk storage bags, extra hands… Oh. You can’t buy extra hands? Better get that sling!
@gmunsey lansinoh lanolin! And cotton-gauze swaddling cloths.
@cillakat Top five for new moms: great sling & guaze swaddle blankets.
@ashleakoo baby carrier. Breast cream/pads. Cloth diapers/wipes. Car seat. Bed rail.
@ItsJustDi Diapers, wipes, burp rags, & receiving blankets
@2bKate a ring sling or ergo, frozen meals or someone who will come help, a swing or @mamaroo, nursing tanks, a huge water bottle. oh and olive oil worked better than the nipple cream (and cheaper)
@evolutionarypsy I believe I used the boppy most of all.
@1smileygirl 1. Kimono style buttoned up half shirt onesies. Won’t rub against umbilical cord 2. Miracle blanket swaddle 3. Baby feeding journal (not only great to keep track of feedings & diapers but great way to mark down milestones) 4. Ergo baby 5. Video monitor. Hope this helps.
@AzureSkyyes I agree with a ring sling but a woven wrap is awesome too! nightgowns-easy diaper changes at night.
@Dakotapam you can never have too many crib sheets or bibs, boring maybe. . .but used every day!
@OurLittleAshley Oh, AGREED. I hated registering. I’d say cloth diapers, a Moby/infant carrier/sling (or all!), co-sleeper. Bam!
@JoyfulAbode ring sling and a friend to show you how to use, gDiapers+gCloth, bravado nursing tanks, arms reach cosleeper, big blankets bc “receiving blankets” are basically useless and you’ll get a million. Large lightweight slightly stretchy is better.
@SkaterMomma15 A jumparoo! It’s pricey but once they hit 4 months love it. It’s the only way I can shower/cook.
@_Biscuit_ moby wrap, vibrating chair, bath sponge to lay them on, noise machine, good music/light mobile.
@UrbanMamahood bumgenius diaps, a mei tai, swaddle designs blanket, sleepsacks and pacifier teethers
@swonderful a good baby carrier, king sized bed, benetint and dry shampoo (good one megan), nursing tanks, someone to do her dishes, nursing pillow, gigantic nice water cup, aidan & anias blankets, footed zip sleepers
@MeganBoley Diapers. Boppy pillow if she is nursing. A million cheap cloth diapers to use as burp rags. Frozen meals. Dry shampoo.
@RockStar79 A BOPPY!!!!
@MojoLeonie nappies/diapers, basic clothes e.g. Onesie, babygro, carseat to come home in, sling or wrap, somewhere to sleep….a blanket for swaddling… Wouldn’t of got through the first few months without swaddling…
@windwardskies baby carrier, car seat, cloth diapers. I like the gowns for nbs to make diaper changes easier. That’s it!
@TaraMcKernin babies need somewhere to sleep, carseat to come home in, diapers, sleepers and undershirts, stroller. The rest is gravy.
@TurtleParade for me: a boppy, nose tweezers, a GOOD double pump, extra sheets, a good rectal thermometer. Everything is is just extra!
@bigcitybelly The essentials: a car seat, a place to sleep, diapers, pj’s, maybe a breast pump
@milonguera breast pads, miracle blanket and uh, that’s it.
@MaryCraig Monitor, breastfeeding pillow, stretchy blankets for swaddling, pacifiers, exersaucer
There is a LOT here but, if you look over the list, you’ll see some common themes. Here’s a good Ten to start:
- Diapers – cloth, disposable or both
- Car Seat
- A place to sleep – cosleeper, side car, bassinet, pack n play
- Giant Water Cup – Double insulated with a straw
- Nursing Clothes (if breastfeeding) & good bra
- Footie PJs / Onesies
- Moby / Ring Sling / Woven Wrap / ERGO / Etc.
- Swaddle Blankets
- Breast Pump & Storage bags
I pretty much agree with just about everything on this list.
Honestly? Even with a registry, you will have a few folks who will show up with things you didn’t ask for. I can pretty much bet you they will be either clothes or receiving blankets.
Do you want to cloth diaper or go disposable? If you go disposable, I cannot recommend Pampers Swaddlers enough. We were given the mondo Sam’s Club box of them for Olivia’s arrival and it actually made things really easy. One less thing to “figure out” while we were getting used to the waking up every hour or two.
If you want to go the cloth diaper route, I would do two things: Get some gDiapers (both cloth and the flushable refills) and get a mix sampler pack of a few of each kind from Kelly’s Closet. I use a mix now at home and gDiapers flushables when we go out. Easy, fun, awesome.
2. Car Seat / Travel System
Invest in a quality car seat. You can do the travel system route with the infant seat and the stroller. Or you can get a convertible car seat that lasts them a bit longer and ask for a stroller separately.
3. Sleep Place
This one is totally up to you and what you, as a parent, are comfortable with. We did a combination of co-sleeping and rooming in. Olivia slept either in a bassinet on the floor next to my side of the bed (we have a low platform bed) or, actually in the bed with us curled up against me. I, personally, believe co-sleeping is a wonderful thing and can be very rewarding if practiced safely. If you are curious about co-sleeping, this is actually one of my favorite articles on how to do it safely.
Olivia graduated from the bassinet to the pack n play to her crib after six months. My brother and his wife used a mini-crib (supports up to 50 pounds) until their boys each moved into their own room.
4. Nursing Clothes and other Paraphernalia
I cannot stress the need for a good nursing bra. Go get measured and fitted in your last trimester – around 37 weeks or so. That’s close enough so you can get a good fit. A nursing bra should still be supportive when you aren’t “full” but not tight when you’re engorged. It should be easily manipulated with one hand. Practice that in the store when you try it on. You should be able to undo it and put it back with one hand with minimal effort.
Nursing tanks with built-in bras are also awesome. Nursing shirts with slits and other cleverly hidden panels are great for nursing in public if you don’t want to buy a separate cover or if your kid simply doesn’t like to be covered.
I pulled them off, apparently.
A Boppy or some other similar support pillow is a definite must. Your arms get TIRED and there are times that you just want to sit and rock and hold your little bean and the pillow in your lap allows you to do that for so much longer. PLUS, that pillow provides excellent support when your baby can kinda sit up but not really.
5. Moby / Ring Sling / Woven Wrap / ERGO
I have such the love affair with babywearing. I cannot recommend it enough for every mom. I have used it from pretty much day one and, at almost nine months, I still use it almost every day.
For newborns and beginner babywearers, a ring sling with the Tummy to Tummy carry is a good, easy, secure carry. I love my woven wrap and use the Front Cross Carry when we’re out and about and the Rucksack Back Carry when at home.
My favorite YouTube channel for learning all sorts of carries with a woven wrap is Wrap Your Baby. Amazing tutorials with babies as young as 12 days to 4 year old toddlers.
Of course, I can’t talk about babywearing and not pimp my favorite babywearing supplier, Babyette!
That’s my top five.
But, but, but what about clothes and blankets and pacifiers and bottles and, and, and…
You will get them.
I have about 842 baby blankets, 459 receiving blankets, 53 bibs, a brazillion sets of pjs, rompers, onesies, pants, shirts, socks, etc.
Of what I received, I only had maybe 2 blankets, 1 set of receiving blankets, no bibs, and one or two outfits actually on my registry.
So, new mama, your baby will have everything it needs. Take care of YOU and make sure you have the essentials. Everything else will come over time.
and, good luck…..it’s a crazy, grand [awesome] and tiring adventure….
enjoy. every. moment.