Entries Tagged as 'BABY'

A GUIDE TO // THE BABY REGISTRY

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Sunday

I’m back and with the longest post ever!!!! The baby registry, otherwise known as, “OH MY GOSH I need all of that stuff?!?” registry. This is the one you think you are going to be so excited about until you sit down one night and suddenly panic sets in. I need that? Where am I going to put it? I need that too? And then you give up and wish you could just order a pizza and down a pint of ice cream, but you remember you have gestational diabetes and so you just have a string cheese and a few almonds and binge watch your favorite YouTubers instead.

I can remember sitting down in front of my computer to start our baby registry and trying to navigate my way through an overwhelming amount of information – sites claiming I couldn’t have a baby without this item or that item, blog posts of moms raving about items they couldn’t live without, stores curations of must haves, it was information overload and I was overwhelmed. I wanted to be practical in my choices and I didn’t want to fill my home with loads of baby products I’d never use. I spent hours upon hours researching and looking at posts (some of which really helped me to streamline my thoughts like THIS post from the Fresh Exchange and THIS post from Kellie Murray), adding and deleting items from my registry, sharing the early stages of the registry with my mom, my sister, my coworker moms, my friend moms, I asked for help from every woman willing to lend an ear. And still, looking back, I didn’t get it quite right, but I feel pretty good about where I ended up. And so I felt like I needed to share my final outcome with anyone else out there doing the same search! I hope this provides you some support, assistance, aid, guidance, or at least a little comfort knowing you aren’t alone. The struggle is real!

Please know that what worked for me might not work for you and it’s ok to place 3am orders on Amazon for buzzy seats and scour Craigslist for hours in search of the MamaRoo you wanted and let other moms talk you out of because they said you didn’t need it and there are other less expensive options. (I found a MamaRoo at 3:17am on Craigslist after a fit of panic one night and falling down the rabbit hole of online forums and discussions from other moms struggling with babies and belly issues I knew I had to give it a go. It has turned out to be one of my most beloved baby items. I wish I would have pulled the trigger sooner!) So use this as a starting point, but don’t take it as baby registry gospel. Feel free to add and delete as you see fit. In the end just remind yourself that all you really need to bring that sweet bundle of joy home from the hospital is a car seat, a place to sleep, diapers, a way to feed them (bottle or breast is totally up to you!) and although probably not a REAL necessity I couldn’t live without swaddlers. (The hospital will likely give you a few blankets, but those wonderful nurses are swaddling pros. I couldn’t work those hospital blankets into the burritos like they did, but I do cherish those sweet blankets still and use them to cover up our lady bird in her car seat! I personally needed the stretch and give of a muslin blanket. My favorites are provided in the post!)

Let’s start with where to register. I registered at Amazon and Target, both of which give you a completion code for a discount on items that don’t get purchased! BOOM! That in and of itself is a win. Amazon also has a wonderful Universal Registry option and so I was able to add items I couldn’t find on Amazon to the registry! This was important to me when looking for places to register. However, as awesome as these two sites are I wanted all of the information to be organized in one location for everyone. In comes the BUMP I linked my two registries here and it was the perfect solution. This also allowed us to only have to provide one link to the shower guests in the invitation and the guests commented on how easy it was to use!

Onto the registry items. All items should  be linked! 🙂

CRIB: If I were a normal person a crib would be the number one item in this category, but I’d be lying if I offered up my opinion here. I’ll show you the one I ogled, but we are still in the middle of a remodel so for us a crib went on the backburner. Honestly, if you plan to sleep with that sweet baby in your room the first few months (which worked/is working for us) a crib is something you won’t use right away anyway.
*Don’t forget to register for the mattress, two or three crib sheets (one for the bed and one for the wash) HERE  and HERE  and a mattress pad cover!

BASSINET/CRIB/PLAY PEN (HOME + TRAVEL): For sleeping I could not have lived without my Lotus Bassinet and this is like the transformer of sleep stuff when it comes to babies. I registered for the Basinet Kit + Crib Bundle  and here is why. It grows with your babe and couldn’t be easier to take on the road. So far I’ve only used the Bassinet (at home and on the road), but as she gets bigger it converts to a travel crib and will make the coolest play spot with the easy in and out feature! The bassinet has been a blessing. It is made of mesh which was important to me when I was searching because I knew if she ended up against it she would still be able to breathe (which I would check to make sure she was doing every 30 min. for the first month of her life). You can also easily convert it to rock or stay stationary. In the early weeks I used it as a rocker which made it super easy to try and rock her back to sleep when she would stir in the middle of the night. It’s also available on Amazon!

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that if money were no object I would have snagged one of THESE.

MOSES BASKET: This was the first thing I knew I wanted and ended up purchasing for myself! At first I thought I could get away with just the basket, but ended up ordering the rocking stand shortly after. Given a do over I’d probably go for a stationary stand only because I found that she would wiggle and it would rock which would work in my favor sometimes rocking her back to sleep, but in the early days her startle reflex would get the best of her. I used this for naps and kept it in our living room so for me rocking wasn’t/isn’t a necessity! I was registered for a Moses basket on Amazon, but it sold out so I ended up purchasing my basket from Etsy seller babymosesbasket. I would suggest getting the bundle HERE  with the futon and fitted sheets. (after two orders of sheets and a mattress from Amazon that didn’t fit I ended up back on Etsy ordering sheets and a matress anyway!)

STAND: Because I purchased this off registry I ended up getting the stand from Bed Bath & Beyond. They had the best prices, offered free shipping and I had a 20% off coupon!

SWADDLES: I use these everyday! Larken was a swaddle baby and these worked wonderfully. They also function as burp rags, changing pads and nursing covers in a pinch or on the road. Have a few on hand. You won’t be sorry. My favorite brands are Aden + Anais and Little Unicorn.

SHEEPSKIN: I LOVE THIS. Yes I’m screaming about it! It keeps her cool in the warm weather and warm in the cool weather. And it’s great as a playmat!

CRIB: Jenny Lind White Crib $599 | BASSINET/TRAVEL CRIB: Lotus $299 | MOSES BASKET: (with sheets and futon) $130  | MOSES BASKET STAND:Jolly Jumper $49 | SWADDLES: Aden + Anais$ 50 ; Little Unicorn $40 | SHEEPSKIN: Bowron $50 

My piece of advice for this category. Get out and travel. The earlier you do it the less scary it will be. Take them to lunch, parks, dinners, friends houses, on weekend adventures! At four months old I don’t blink an eye now when I need to pack up Larken and hit the road – even solo.

CARSEAT: There are so many amazing car seats out on the market so this category was a hard one for me. I actually had a few more expensive car seats picked out, but in the end went with the Graco SnugRide Click Connect 35 for a couple reasons. You have two options when it comes to car seats – infant seats and convertible seat. For me I wanted something I could easily lug around (I mean as easily as you can lug an 8 pound human on your forearm) and something that could be attached to a stroller. Also, I knew that I’d have to upgrade when she got bigger so spending money now on something I might replace in six months didn’t seem like the right move for me (this also played into my decision on a stroller. More on that later.) So I went with a dependable, affordable car seat and am very happy with it! Bonus is the extra bases for this bad boy are less than $40 bucks! Happy dance and car seat bases for everyone!

STROLLER: I registered for two strollers. 1. The Graco Snugrider Elite Stroller and Car Seat Carrier for the infant car seat that I literally checked the price on over ten times because I was sure they forgot a 1 in front of the price and 2. The UPPAbaby G-LUXE stroller that would grow with her for the rest of her stroller sitting years! I’m so glad I did. The Graco isn’t by any means an off road stroller, though I’ve taken it for many trail walks. If you’re a runner this isn’t the stroller for you, but for shopping trips, outings and walks on rather stable ground it fits the bill. The G-LUXE was the most suggested stroller from friends. They pretty much warned trying to save a penny in this category (think crazy shopping cart in the grocery store). For $360 I have two strollers and I’ll never need another.

STROLLER ORGANIZER: HERE and only needed for G-Luxe. Coffee. Nuf said.

DIAPER BAG: I think this category warrants its own post. I’ll have to do a “what’s in my diaper bag” post, but for now we will just leave it as here is the diaper bag we agreed on! I love that Larken can use this as her own later in life if she likes it. If not Chris and I will fight over which one of us gets the honors!

CARSEAT: Graco SnugRide $127 | CARSEAT BASE: Graco $39 | CARSEAT STROLLER: Graco Snugrider Elite Stroller $85 | STROLLER: Jake G-LUXE from UPPAbaby $280 | STROLLER ORGANIZER: Ethan & Emma $ 30 | DIAPER BAG: Deluth Pack $160

BABY WEARING ||

Who doesn’t love two hands? I mean you’ll get good at one handed everything and suddenly you become ambidextrous, but when you can free up that second hand… look out!!

RING SLING: Look no further than the Wild Bird ring sling. This is my go to everyday sling. I don’t leave the house without it. This will be my go to gift for new moms and second time moms (just got one for my sister).  I’m sure I’ll still be using this sling a year from now. This sling was a god send. This wasn’t the first baby wearing apparatus that I purchased either, but I found I needed something a little quicker to put her into and this fit the bill. This sling made for easy trips to the farmers market, lunch dates and walks up and down the driveway lulling my lady bird to sleep. THE BEST. This sling has also been the best when I’ve had to nurse in public and don’t have time to pull out my cover. Check out the VIDEOS http://www.wildbird.co/tutorials-2/ on their website if you aren’t familiar with how to use a sling.

WRAP: The Solly Baby Wrap is the softest wrap I have ever felt. I love it. I’m not that quick at getting it wrapped around me, but when I do it’s a great way to carry my babe. We both love it. Baby wearing is the best. Studies show that carried babies cry less and if your baby is fussy like mine was in the beginning you’ll be happy you can keep them close and happy. Tutorials can be found HERE. (http://sollybaby.com/information/#tutorials)

BACK PACK STYLE: Truth be told I got this because I thought my husband would do more baby carrying, but I’ve been the one to use it. I took a hiking/yoga trip last month and this was perfection. Plus how cool is it that it can be used in four different positions. This gave me the extra support I felt like I needed on this trip and Larken loved it. She slept the entire two hour hike!! This comes without the infant insert too if you don’t plan to need it in the early months.

RING SLING: Wild Bird Ring Sling $65 | WRAP: Solly Baby Wrap $65 | CARRIER: ErgoBaby 360 $180

Every parent told me I needed a swing. I received a travel version from a coworker as a hand me down and I’ve used it maybe 5 times total. Now remember every baby is going to be different. Your baby might LOVE a swing, but maybe not.  So I say if you can borrow or buy your seating second hand do that. Here is what worked/works for me.

BOUNCER: I love that this seat is convertible and folds flat! I turn it around when my niece comes over so that she can have her own little lounge seat. This will grow with Larken and for that I say it’s worth every penny. It has a few different lounge levels too which I love. However, if your little one needs a lot of movement you’ll have to look elsewhere in the early days until their little legs start bouncing the seat or you don’t mind providing the bounce.

MOVES LIKE MOM: As I mentioned in the beginning the mamaRoo was a blessing for us. After some research on fellow acid reflux babies I went on a mad crazy mom hunt for a used version and found one on Craigslist at one of our 3am feedings. I wouldn’t look back. Larken loves it – still. I took pictures of her the day I came home with it happily rocking in the “moves like you” seat. It was the first time I was able to put her down without her crying which of course brought me to tears! I LOVE IT!! The only unfortunate thing is that the Bluetooth never worked, but I don’t even care and I was convinced for the first few weeks that the old owner would throw on some tunes and I’d hear them belting out of the speakers.

BUZZY SEAT: I didn’t think I needed this, but we use it A LOT. I don’t really use the vibration anymore, but I did early on. It was what kept her happy while I showered and what new mom doesn’t love a good shower. After my mom lovingly Amazon primed me one of these and I started talking about it I was offered like 20 more so if you don’t want to register for one I’m sure this is an item you can get on loan or as a hand me down! They aren’t modern or pretty looking, but they get the job done! We went for the least expensive version the Bright Starts Playful Pinwheels Bouncer!

BOUNCER: BABYBJÖRN $160 | MAMAROO:4Moms $216 | BUZZY: Bright Starts $23 

CLEAN || I might love bathtime more than she does!

  • Tub: My sink is a little big for this, but if you have a smaller sink this is the way to go. It lays flat for easy storage
  • Hooded Bath Towel
  • Wash Clothes
  • Bath Wash: I’m currently working my way through all of the stuff purchased for us at the shower. I got A TON of baby wash and lotion and honestly I just use coconut oil for lotion. I feel like it’s a better alternative to the scented ones plus we have already had a run in with eczema. I’m dying to try young livings kid scents line. I’ll have to wait to get through my stockpile first though.
  • Diapers: I’m still in a search for our favorite and working through boxes that were gifted to us! I’ve only purchased one box of diapers so far!
  • Wipes: These are my favorite.
  • Diaper Cream: I registered for Aquaphor and it’s great, but if I’m being honest I just ended up using coconut oil here too! It works for everything even cradle cap!
  • Changing pad + Cover + Liners: Yes, liners. My sister suggested these and I was glad she did. They are easy to throw in the wash and have saved the changing pad cover on more than one occasion.
  • Laundry Detergent: call me crazy, but I didn’t realize babies needed their own detergent! When I realized this it  really made me think about what I was using on my clothes plus as mentioned before we’ve already had a run in with eczema so I need to be extra careful. For the first few months I used Targets Baby Detergent, but I am currently making the switch to Young Living’s Thieves Laundry Detergent so I can use one bottle for the entire family. I’ll let you know what I think!
  • Nail File and Clippers 
  • Brush + Comb Set: Larken has so much hair this was a necessity from day 1
  • Thermometer: The verdict is out on the thermometer I bought as I haven’t had to use it yet, but I’m sure it’s just great. Just make sure you have one. I hear great things about the ones you touch to their foreheads as well.

My big piece of advice in this category is don’t beat yourself up if you have to buy 17 different bottles to find the one that finally does it! I registered for the beautiful Life Factory bottles because they were glass and could convert to sippy cups later in life and Larken won’t take one. I’m convinced she actually squeezes her lips tighter when you bring them around. So her preference trumped function and design in this category! Here are the things I suggest:

  • Breastfeeding pillow: I borrowed this from my sister who made an adorable cover for hers. I no longer use it, but it worked wonders in the first month!
  • Burp Clothes: I read somewhere early on that cloth diapers made the best rags and boy I wish I could remember where and give that person credit. I have two packs of 10!! And trust me you’ll need them.
  • Bottles: I wish she loved the life factory bottles as much as I do, but alas we use Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature.
  • Pacifier: I wasn’t really into using a pacifier, but Larken had other plans for that in the beginning. I no longer use one, but we used one in the beginning when that’s what gave her comfort when she wasn’t hungry.
  • Bibs: In my opinion nothing is cuter than the bandana bib. I just can’t stand it.
  • Breast Pump: The hospital worked with my insurance company to make sure I left the hospital with one and it does the job! Do yourself a favor and purchase extra bottles!
  • Manual Pump: This has come in handy quite a few times
  • Breastpump accessories: As a working mom I should really do an entire post on breast pumps, pumping, etc.
  • Dish set

In all honesty you don’t need any toys in the beginning as your baby will be super entertained by the ever changing world around them! But if you want to try and control what comes into your home you’ll want to put a few toys on the registry as a guide. Like some other Mama’s I look up to, I’m trying to stay away from anything plastic, electronic with flashing lights and noises for as long as I can. I already have a very alert baby so I feel like it’s my motherly duty to make sure she doesn’t get overstimulated. Additionally, I read from a lot of other moms and agree that, you can still encourage play, imagination, and learning without all those bells and whistles…maybe even more so! (Enter the… in my day… speech here.) The one thing I did use from day one has been books. I LOVE books. Take any and all book suggestions from moms. Those moments you read to them will be treasured memories for you both for many years to come.

I chose neutral clothing  because I felt it was easier to mix and match and honestly I’m just not that much of a pink person or purple for that matter. People always call Larken a him though, but I think you risk that regardless. I wanted soft, comfy options and things that would launder well. I bought a lot of pieces myself from Zara and H&M and registered for what I considered to be the basics, knowing that people love to buy baby clothes!! That’s pretty much all my sister got at her baby shower. On top of the basics, I bought a few cute outfits for bringing Larken home from the hospital. Something about getting us all dressed up and ready to go home was really special to me so if that rings true to you get yourself something special too! What aren’t pictured here are my favorite socks. Old Navy makes these baby crew socks that I could not figure out how to download the picture but you can find them HERE! They don’t fall off and ALL baby socks fall off.

Holy cow this post is so long…

That’s it! In a giant nut shell. What did I miss? I’m sure, even though this post took 22 pages of notes to compose, I had to have missed something! I’d also love to know what your favorite, must-have, go to baby items are/were! Please share.

Want to see a what was in my hospital bag post? What’s in my diaper bag? How I recovered and am still recovering from child birth? Let me know! I want to give the people what they want, you know! 🙂

Thanks for following along. With all the information available on the internet it feels good to know a few of you check in and choose to spend your time here. (BLUSHING!) Thank you for being my biggest supporters.

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