A pregnant friend recently asked me what I would suggest she add to her registry; what I liked, what we used, what was crap.
So here it is, my ideal baby registry if I had to do it all over again ... which I am most certainly NOT.
Carter's white onesies in various sizes and sleeve-lengths. (They are longer in the body than Gerber brand onesies, so they tend to fit longer.) You might think you won't use them given all the cute clothes you'll be getting, but trust me ... you'll need them. At least one pack of each size in each sleeve-length is probably a good start.
Halo sleep sacks or Carter's Sleep & Play or 1-Piece Fleece Pajamas. I would have originally gone with only the former, but as it turns out not all babies like sleep sacks. Baylor loved them, Mollie hates them. Neither liked swaddling much so I can't help you out there.
Gerber flannel burp cloths. They are super absorbent, big but not too big, and are soft to the touch. Even if you're kid isn't too much of a spitter-upper, you can use these for face-to-floor protection during tummy time, a lightweight nursing cover, or a make-shift changing pad. Because make-shift times happen, you know?
Carter's or Just One You by Carter's wash cloths. We own probably twenty or more of these and use them constantly. They are soft and still manage to get the job done during mealtime.
Newborn-to-toddler tub. It works in the sink or in the bath tub, and it comes with a sling to use for when your little one is extra tiny. And when your kiddo can finally sit up, just turn the tub around and he/she can sit up during bath time.
Hooded towel. Bath time is a great time to get kiddos warmed up, but as soon as you take them out of the tub, that cold air hits and they start to freeze. A hooded towel is a great way to keep them warmer longer.
Glamourmom Nursing Tank. I tried other nursing gear at night and this was the best ... by far.
Boppy with two cotton covers. It is great for breastfeeding, bottle feeding, general baby holding, and it can act as a support when your baby starts to do more than sleep and wants to sit up to see things. Have at least one extra cover on hand in case of spit up, excessive drooling, poo or pee leakage, breast milk leaking, or any other mishap with bodily fluids.
A basic bouncy seat. I am not all for the frills some bouncy seats come with, but I will say that I think it's nice to have two if you have a two-story house. I kept one - purchased at a consignment store - upstairs in our bathroom so I could take a shower every morning, and I kept another downstairs for use the rest of the time. I tried schlepping our swing up and down stairs all the time with Baylor and it about drove me crazy. Plus, it took up a ton of room in the bathroom.
Baby Einstein Play Mat. Apparently they don't make the one we have anymore, but the one I have linked to has the same star we have and that is, in my opinion, the important part. If you can't find this play mat, however, I think any play mat will do; it's just nice to have something for your little one to play with when he/she is very little.
Medela Swing breast pump. (If you're planning on going back to work, I'd get one of the Medela pumps that can do both sides at once.) I tried the hand pump thing with Baylor and it was torture. I am not a huge fan of pumping anyways, but at least with this one I have one hand free and can keep myself from being mind-numbingly bored while I pump my breakfast away ... every ... single ... morning. Yeah, I pump every single morning so Mollie (and Baylor before her) can have breast milk in her oatmeal. I also pump every morning so I can have some stocked up in case I actually get the chance to go out without her. It's what I do, but I know it's not for everyone.
Safety 1st nail clippers with files. I don't like filing a baby's nails, but sometimes you have to in the beginning. That aside, this nail clipper is awesome; so awesome that my husband would use it exclusively if I didn't shoo him away from it all the time.
Rectal thermometer. Just man up and do it. I consider this a rite of passage for any new parent. Plus, it's tried and true, proven for decades to be accurate. The kiddo won't mind it. And this is probably a little TMI, but it might come in handy if your kid is ever constipated. 'Nuff said.
Little Noses by Little Remedies nasal aspirator and saline. You can buy them as a set and this is, hands down, the best nasal aspirator I have used. (Not that I've used a lot, but hear me out ...) It can be taken apart for easy cleaning, it is angled for ease of use, and the tip of it is clear so you can see if you got anything with it. Get it before you need it ... you'll thank me later.
Sony Baby Monitor. We started out with this Graco one, but the battery life on it is awful. The Sony one is much better, has several channel options, and still won't break the bank. I don't think you need a video monitor, but there have been a couple times when I've wished we had one. That said, we have friends who struggled to find a good one and it all seemed a little creepy to me. But that's just my opinion.
A baby's first year calendar. If you can find it, get a 13-month one. Having that wall calendar up will make it easy to record all those amazing little milestones without needing to get out the baby book and trying to find the right page. Just write it on the calendar and you can record it in the baby book later for posterity.
Chicco travel system. Don't bother getting the Chicco Key Fit 30 ... you won't want to carry a 30 pound baby in an infant car seat; together they'll break your back. Just stick with the one that goes up to 22 pounds, and be ready to get a bigger, stationary car seat sometime within the first year (if your kids are anything like mine). We have been really happy with the Chicco brand, though thankfully we haven't had an accident to really put it to the test. The stroller steers well, though, and the car seat is extraordinarily sturdy. It might make your kiddo a little sweaty while in it, but you can purchase covers for the car seat that will cut down on sweatiness a little bit. Ooh! And they now have a Chicco double stroller that will fit the infant car seat ... so no worries there!
A simple pack n' play with a changing table attachment. I don't see the need for the high-tech fanciness going on with some pack n' plays. We had a really simple one that just had the bed, the infant "hammock" insert (I don't know what it's called, but that's what it reminded me of), and a changing table attachment; we kept it up in our living room so we didn't have to change the kiddo on the carpet, and it worked really well for a long time. If you have a single-story home, this might not be as much of a problem, but we also used this as a crib and changing table during a couple vacations and it worked well.
Diaper Genie II. It's great, but here's the catch ... as far as I'm concerned, NOTHING can contain that smell - you know, poo smell - entirely or for very long. It just doesn't happen. We haven't tried any other diaper pails, but we like the Diaper Genie II for its ease of use and how difficult it is for a toddler to get into it (if properly shut). If you're going to do disposable diapers, I think this is the pail to go with.
Cloth diapers. I like them, I do. We use prefolds, a Snappi, and a diaper cover, along with assorted doublers and inserts. They work well, keep diaper rash at bay, are good for the environment and the pocketbook, and that diaper pail stinks WAY less than the one with disposables in it (since you flush the poop out and all). But they are a commitment. It's doing two or three extra loads of laundry a week on top of all the laundry you already do. It is carrying around a urine-soaked piece of cloth if you're out and about. They also are quite bulky and give your kiddo the "Sally O'Malley" look most of the time. It's a personal choice every mother has to make. I personally use both cloth and disposable, as I have found that it's tough to carry enough cloth diapers with me if I'm going out with both kids (particularly if it's for a long day). Also, none of the other people (besides my husband) who might care for my kids are too hip on using cloth (and I'm a stay-at-home mom), so if you're thinking of going back to work, check to see if the daycare/grandparent/etc. you'll be using will use cloth diapers. If they won't, maybe just get enough for the weekends. I can't speak much to other kinds of cloth diapers, but I think the best advice is to do as much as you can. If you can handle cloth diapering exclusively, do it! And go you! If you can't handle it at all, that's okay. It doesn't make you any more or less of a mother either way.
If you're not up for cloth, I recommend Pampers Baby Dry for everyday use, and as the kiddo gets older, Huggies overnights for nighttime.
In our kids' rooms, they each have a crib, a dresser, a changing table (or a dresser with a contoured changing pad on top of it),a hamper, a glider, ceiling fans with lights, blackout cellular shades, and a dim lamp. I am of the strong opinion that controlling the amount of light in your child's room is essential, and for what it's worth, neither of our kids have had a problem with being in the dark. Baylor will even shut himself in a pitch black closet once in a while to play hide-and-seek and he never gets freaked out.
As for diaper bags, I'm sort of in the mindset that having an assortment of options is ideal. I have two big diaper bags - one I love and one I haven't used since Baylor was a baby - and I use the one I love pretty much all the time. It is a JJ Cole and it is wonderful. And super cute to boot! But I also have a bunch of purses and a backpack I use when the mood strikes or the occasion calls for it. A number of Vera Bradley bags make great diaper bags and can be thrown in the washing machine in case they get dirty. The ones I use the most are the backpack and the On-The-Go purse. No need to schlep the entire diaper bag for a trip to the grocery store or the bagel shop, you know?
And because your kiddo is going to be eating exclusively breast milk or formula for only so long ...
Munchkin White Hot spoons. They are small enough to scrape the corners of baby food jars and sneak into your adorable baby's mouth during that brief moment he/she decides to stop clenching his/her lips.
Suction bowls. They are awesome! They come with lids for use while on the go, they keep the kiddo from tossing them (at least without a little effort), and they don't tip over very easily, especially when the little one is learning how to self-feed.
Graco Contempo Highchair. This highchair is great; it folds up nice and flat for storage (or for when you are cleaning the kitchen/dining room floor), it usually comes with two covers - both of which are removable and easy to clean, and it can either have a three-point or five-point harness. Baylor still isn't able to get out of this highchair ... it's that awesome.
Hippo Chair. For when you're on the go, or if you need seating at a bar, this is an ideal solution. We use this all the time, but it does only go up to 37 pounds which Baylor is quickly approaching. In any case, it is a great little chair.
Oh, and I've been wanting to post my top three bibs for a while now ... so here they are in no particular order:
The Bumkin Waterproof Superbib. This, right now, is our go-to bib for all meals. It comes in various sizes and patterns, it can be thrown in the washing machine for easy cleaning, and it folds up teeny-tiny so you can bring it with you pretty much anywhere without adding a lot of bulk to your bag. Awesome!
Carter's Teething Bibs. These are bibs for non-mealtimes. For kiddos who drool, these thick bibs are the only thing that can slow the wetness from getting to your kiddo's clothes. And I say slow because, quite frankly, drool is insidious and it will get through anything. It is just a matter of time.
Dexbaby bibs. These bibs are peculiar, in my opinion, but we love them. They unsnap for easy cleaning, and nothing ... NOTHING ... can get through this sucker. But it's stiff and bulky, so it's really not for use outside of mealtime.
So that's it. I have probably forgotten something, and if I have there is a chance I posted about it earlier in the blog. If you want to make sure, or want other ideas for gifts or registries, check out my "baby supplies" and "gift ideas" labels on the side bar. Hopefully what you need is in there. If it's not and you want to pick my brain, just drop me a line either on e-mail, facebook, or in the comments of this blog. And if any of you moms out there have anything to add, please do!
I hope this helped! Have a beautiful day!
IMPORTANT UPDATE!!! I did forget something, and my sister called me on it. The Innobaby Packin' SMART Stackers are hands down one of the most useful baby supplies I have. I use them pretty much every day - which is probably why I forgot them; they are so much a part of my routine that I just assume they're there. Great for toting dry cereal, Cheerios, puffs, even little cookies, this is a must have for any mom! Thanks, Christine, for buying these for me (and for catching my mistake in their omission)!