Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Oh, Baby! 2

Today's topic? Registries.

Some people think registries are they're own personal shopping list, some people think they're incredibly offensive and greedy.

Here's my 2 cents as both a gift-receiver and a gift-giver: Registries are a useful tool to convey the overall tone of personal tastes and an idiot-proof guide for the clueless. That doesn't mean you should go overboard scanning everything in the store--ahem, Dads.

The following is a list of items you should register for:

Changing:

Diapers--There's a reason this is first, you need lots! Register for all sizes Newborn through 5-6. I think Pampers Swaddlers and Pampers Cruisers are the best, but every child is different.

Wipes--Ditto on needing lots. My favorite is actually the Wal-Mart Parent's Choice unscented or the Playskool Cottony Cloths at CVS. They're thick and durable--right where you need something to be thick ;)

Ointments--A&D works great for prevention of rashes, and choose another for healing like Desitin Creamy or Boudreaux's Butt Paste

Diaper Bag--It's handy to have two of these. Little pockets and compartments are great.

Travel Wipes Cases--At least 2

Changing Pad--Get the sturdy one-piece style. We had a two piece foam insert kind with our first child and it was horrific.

Changing Pad Covers--At least 2, so you can wash the poopy one. Trust me.

Bathing:
Hooded Towel--You can get by with 1-2 of these. My daughter has the one pictured and I LOVE IT! So plush and absorbant. ($14.99 at Babies R Us--It was a little bit of a splurge but worth every cent!)

Washcloths--5-10

Baby Wash--Johnson's Head to Toe is a classic

Hygiene kit--Brush, comb, nail clippers, etc.

Medicine:

Mylicon--for gassiness

Tylenol--for fever & pain

Orajel--for teething

Saline nose drops--for stuffiness

Feeding:

A lot of this depends on whether you're breastfeeding or bottle feeding.

Breastfeeding moms need:

Breastpads--Johnson's in the blue box is my favorite.

Breast Pump--Depends on your situation and how much you'll be pumping. I have pumped maybe a dozen times with three kids. I had a cheapie little manual one and it turned out to be faster and more effective to just use my hand. If you'll be working full-time though, you will most likely need an electric double pump. Unfortunately, the more the cost, the better they usually are. Also unfortunate, most friends and family aren't going to buy a breast pump.

Lanolin Cream--Lansinoh is the most popular brand. Start using this a few weeks before your due date to condition your nipples--they'll thank you for it later.

Formula Fed Babies Need:

Formula--Talk to your doctor about this one.

Bottles--More is not always better. Sometimes it's just more to wash and pile up. I'll tell you more about my favorite bottle later.

Gear:

I recommend that "gear" like car seats and playards be gender neutral if you're planning on having more children.

Stroller System--We have the infant seat that snaps into a base in the car or into the stroller. The stroller can also be used independently, and it has cup holders, compartments, and great storage underneath. If you have two cars, an extra base is a great idea.

Convertible Car Seat--You can use these right from birth, but I prefer the infant carrier mentioned above for the first several months. After your baby is too big to tote around in a carrier or stays awake for longer periods, a rear-facing seat is needed. After the first year, you can face it forward. Around age 3, it can adjust to a booster.

Baby Containers--These are the swings, the bouncy seats, the jumperoos, the exersaucers, etc. Your baby will like some and not others, and you won't know which until you already own it. Go ahead and pick a few that you like personally.

Playard--Most moms put one of these in their room for the baby to sleep in for the first few months. Then it's great for playtime as they get bigger. Also makes a great travel bed for toddlers.

Wearable Carrier--You can use a wrap or a harness style.

Nursery:

I am pretty unconventional when it comes to the nursery. The only "Baby" furniture in my Bebe Girl's room is the crib. I used two microwave carts in my nurseries. One served as a changing table and I used the other for storage and some pretty display items.

Crib--It's a good idea to get a convertible crib to get more use out of it as a toddler bed and beyond. I also chose one with a trundle drawer for blanket or toy storage.

Bedding--Everybody wants it to be pretty. But before you spend $100's, think about this: Your sweet baby is a little ball of bodily functions. This beautiful bedding will get pee and poo and puke on it. The can't even use the comforter until they're older. Large chains like Wal-Mart and Target have very reasonably priced bedding sets that are super cute and durable. You can also go the "A La Carte" route and register for just the pieces you want. For my oldest son, we only had the bumper and the sheet, whereas my daughter has the whole kit & kaboodle.

Waterproof Mattress Pads--At least two, for when the diapers don't hold it all in.

Sheets--At least two for the same reason.

Blankets--Register for blankets of different weights and breathability. You'll need thin ones, heavy ones, swaddling ones, snuggling ones. And people love buying cute blankets.

Swaddling Wrap--OK, I never had one. I always used receiveing blankets. I'm a PRO swaddler, but it's an artform and not everyone can do it. Newborn babies love being snug-as-a-bug-in-a-rug, and this will help them wake less. That's always nice when you're sleep-deprived.

Burp Cloths--Pretty ones or the plain Gerber cloth diapers work the same. You'll need several.

Here are some items I think you can live without:

Bottle Warmers--Ever heard of a bowl of hot water? (They say not to microwave because of "Hot Spots". I do it anyway.)

Wipes Warmers--What happens when they're used to the warm wipe and you don't have it when you're out and about? I've heard they don't stay warm by the time you get it to the booty anyway.

Diaper Genie--I had one with my first child and just didn't feel like it contained the smell enough to warrant $5 refills.

Baby Sling--I wanted this sooo bad and it absolutely killed my shoulder. The buckle was in the wrong place and it always seemed like she was upside down no matter how I adjusted it.

Special Breast-feeding Shirts--Too complicated for ease of use.

Pacifiers--Not that you won't probably use them, but your baby will probably have a preference. Wait until you know what they like or if they like them at all.

Where should you register?

Wal-Mart--Great for in-store and on-line. Has a pretty lax return policy. Registry is very user-friendly.

Target--Super cute stuff. Difficult return policy. They cycle through merchandise quickly, so if you register early in your pregnancy, some items may be gone by the time people are buying gifts. They send out coupons :D

Babies R Us--The best selection. The best one-on-one service. Somewhat lenient return policy, especially with a registry. Not the best prices.

I don't suggest registering for clothing or toys. Those items are usually more difficult to find on a registry and people just want to buy you what they think is cute anyway.

I am all about practicality and getting the most for your money. That doesn't mean I'm cheap and won't buy quality items.

When I had my first two children just 18 months apart, I searched high and low for the perfect double stroller. I wanted a jogger style with side-by side seats and it had to have a swivel front wheel. When I found it, I plunked $180 down and I've never once regretted it. It was heaven-sent and I have gotten many, many miles out of it.

Of course, this list is not exhaustive, and, as I continue this series, I'll focus on some specific items. I may even throw in a "VLOG". Whatcha think?

1 comment:

Terra Jones said...

Great list!

We have a diaper champ and LOVE it. we were given a genie and the champ works a billion times better.

We use cloth diapers, so we didn't register for any disposable diapers, we just buy one pack every other month or so, same with the wipes.

We also prefer Hyland's teething tablets over orajel.

Thanks for sharing! :)