As a mom-to-be, with my first child, I know how overwhelming it can be to prepare for baby. Living in a materialistic world with constant advertising, it almost seems like one needs to buy a new house for all the baby things we apparently need!
It can make registering for baby a bit dizzying. But after much research, talking with other parents, including my own, I’ve been able to wrap my head around what are essentials for my baby, what is nice to have, and what is truly frivolous.
When it comes to figuring out what you need to get before baby arrives, you should take a few things into consideration:
Your Lifestyle – are you sporty? Do you have a tight income? Do you plan to have another child relatively soon? Are you living close to a park? These can all play a part in what would be useful now and possibly for future babies. Purchasing things that are more gender neutral, for example, is wise if you plan to have more kids in the future.
Family Hand-Me Downs – if you have a few moms already in your family, they might be ready to impart some of their own baby-related items to you.
Your Baby – While there are some things we know are absolute essentials (diapers, bottles, bibs, etc.), sometimes what is absolutely essential for one baby may be completely useless for another. Be prepared to fudge your way through figuring out your baby’s needs and behaviours.
Today I am joined by three other mommy bloggers to share one baby product they absolutely love and one they really regretted! At the end of the post, I have a Baby Registry checklist available for you to download for free! Stay tuned!
First off we have Jenny, from Paint & Pillows:
“My #1 absolute must-have baby item is some type of swaddle device. A blanket, a sack, a strap . . . whatever keeps those little arms contained! Swaddles have been a lifesaver with both of my babies, helping to get them to sleep long stretches from an early age. Both of my girls started sleeping through the night at 6-weeks-old and I definitely think that swaddling had a lot to do with it! This time around, I’m especially in love with the Swaddle Strap from Anna & Eve. It’s woven, not knit, so it doesn’t stretch out like regular sacks. And it just goes around the arms, so I don’t have to worry about whether or not my baby is overdressed and overheating while she’s sleeping.”
The baby item I regret the most was one of those large, full-size strollers. It was big and bulky. The only way to use it with the infant seat was to put the seat all the way back, which then blocked the storage basket underneath. Since I was usually trying to use the stroller while shopping solo with the baby, not having a place to put my purchases was more than a little inconvenient. And forget about trying to navigate the clothing racks at pretty much ANY store. I was mowing down merchandise left and right! I think I used that thing half a dozen times before it got relegated to the garage to collect dust.
Jenny is a wife, mom, Potterhead, and lover of books, donuts, and DIY. She blogs about motherhood, home, and (of course) all things DIY! Check out her blog over at Paint & Pillows.
After asking a few moms this question, Jenny is not the first mom to mention a swaddle blanket as their one must-have baby item. Sounds like something worth investing in!
Up next is a mom with a baby boy who is ready to take on the world!
“My number one must-have would probably be my little man’s motion gym. He’s a very inquisitive bub, and at first nappy change time was his worst nightmare. He hated being put down on the change table, and would cry his head off when I put him back in his bassinet to wash my hands. When I put him down on his motion gym mat, he’d stop crying and start trying to hit the dangling toys and smack his little heels on the floor in excitement!”
“A wasted product, for me, would have to be my electric breast pump. I used a manual one to express my son’s last feed of the day due to extreme pain while breastfeeding for the first few months. It give the “girls” a bit of a break! I kept getting cramps in my hands, and it would take so long to get enough milk into the bottle. However, before I could use the new electric pump, it got quicker with the manual one. And he also stopped needing a bottle every day. So I still haven’t actually opened the electric one! I wonder if I can still return it …?”
Romina is a first time mum to a beautiful baby boy1 She is also a writer/editor/publisher, astrophotography admirer, musical theatre buff, and eternal student! There are a lot of things going on over at her blog at Mini Mummi Blogger.
It’s a shame we can’t test out breast-pumps ahead of time to know which one will work best. But be encouraged by the fact that every single mom has to navigate through these waters of feeding newborns.
Next up is a mom who not only has tested out products with her own kids, but several foster kids and babies as well!
“This is more of a mommy-must have than a baby must-have, but still totally a must-have! With my first foster daughter I used to have to pull everything of mine (wallet, make-up, etc.) out of the diaper bag when she went to visitation. I thought there had to be a better way. So I started using a pouch. Basically a large wristlet, to put my personal things in instead inside the diaper bag. Every time I dropped my bag and baby off, I just pulled out my pouch and left all the baby essentials. Once I moved past the diaper bag stage I kept using the pouch because it makes switching purses a breeze! And, I loved that I could still feel pretty and polished with an adult wristlet when I was carrying a diaper bag.”
“Having 5 kids, anything that was overly pricey, complicated and not multi purposeful had to go. I gave up on bottle warmers, complicated baby clothes, and specialty feeding items because I just couldn’t carry everything when we went out. The plus side was that my kids stayed flexible. My advice would be to repurpose things! My favorite diaper bag was actually a beach bag and I used plastic grocery bags to tie up diapers. So easy and it was oftentimes much cheaper which is important!”
Baby Registry Checklist
Now, I wanted to make a print-out of a baby registry checklist that wasn’t overwhelming or too basic. Instead, I wanted it to cover all the basics and take into consideration tips I have heard from other moms.
The one category I left out was clothing, simply because I feel it is a whole other category on its own. Also because I personally would rather pick my baby’s clothes instead of having well-intentioned people buying them. You can end up with way too many in a size the baby will quickly outgrow, and end up with clothes that baby never got around to wearing.
If you’re a mom-to-be, I hope you find this checklist useful! Download it by clicking on the preview below!
Once again, thank you to the moms who shared their thoughts and experiences with baby items! I know I certainly learned from them, and I hope any new mom will too!
Do you have a must-have or regret you want to share with other moms? Do you have a question about a certain item that you’re on the fence about? Let us know in the comments below!