Friday, March 21, 2014

Registering for Baby 101 {Tips and Tricks to Creating the Best Registry for your Baby}

As some of you may know, we {the four ladies behind Huckleberry Love} all met through a Moms Group on almost four years ago. We've been so incredibly fortunate to have made strong, lasting friendships with each other and the other Moms in our group. In fact, our group is still around today and our kids have become the best of friends! It's been a huge blessing to us all.

Recently, Lydia and I were discussing individuals we knew who had registered for "all the wrong things" when it came to their first baby registry. Then it dawned on me, there are MANY women out there who don't really know what to register for! They may not have friends or family who can help them register, so they idly walk around Target with a gun scanning any cute baby outfit that pops up in front of them. That, my friends, is not how you register for a baby!

So, I asked the other Moms in our group to spill the beans on what baby items they could NOT live without. There are {almost} 26 kids between the 10 of us, so these women definitely know what they're talking about! (The following links are affiliate links. You are not charged a fee when clicking on them, but we will receive a small amount of compensation which helps us keep our site up and running if you do choose to click. Thank you for supporting us!)

Registry Must Haves

1. Aden and Anais Swaddling Blankets- These blankets are lifesavers. They're soft, thin and large- great for wrapping baby up, to cover up while nursing or as a nighttime blanket once your little one gets older.
2. Boppy (or other nursing pillow, such as My Breast Friend)- If you plan on nursing, you will need a nursing pillow. Bring it to the hospital to use once baby has been born, and be sure to order extra covers for when baby spits up.
3. Pack 'n Play- An absolute must. I prefer the ones with the vibrating bassinet and changing table for when baby is rooming in with you. It makes things much easier for you and more comfortable for baby. Also, this is an item that you will use for YEARS!
4. Pacifier- Even  if you are convinced that your child will not need a pacifier, it's worth the $5 to atleast infest in a two-pack of these little gems! I prefer the NUK brand, but really it's your preference. Be sure to sterilize them and throw them in your hospital bag to have on hand once baby is born.
5. Portable Bouncer and/or Swing- Another lifesaver. One of my boys was a bouncer addict, the other was obsessed with his swing. They make very large stationery swings, but they're huge and take up a lot of space- a luxury we don't have in my small home. The portable swing/bouncer is great for moving baby around from room to room with you.
6. Changing Pad (with multiple covers)- These days you don't need a changing table, as much as a changing pad. They make a whole slew of varieties, but the contoured pads with the no slide bottoms are very popular with our Mommas. Be sure to order extra covers for those blow outs!
7. Diapers- I cannot stress this enough. Register for diapers. Say it with me, REGISTER FOR DIAPERS! Your baby will go through a box of diapers in a few days. These puppies are a money suck, but an absolute necessity. Trust me, you WANT to register for diapers.
8. Summer Infant SwaddleMe Wraps- One of the best items I ever registered for were these Swaddles. They just came out with a new zippered design that I ordered for my third little one and I can't wait to try it out!
9. Ergo Carrier (or other type of Sling or Wrap)- Everyone prefers something different when it comes to a baby carrier. Do your research and decide what is best for you (and your hubby) when it comes to baby carrying. Me? I love my Hava Sling, but other Mommas swear by their Ergo or Moby Wrap. Regardless of what you choose, it will make trips to the store, long walks and outings much easier when you're able to wear your little one.
10. Nursing Pads- There is nothing worse than waking up in the middle of the night and having your shirt, bra and sheets covered in milk that leaked from your breasts. Nothing. Be sure to have a huge stock of these puppies on hand at all times.
11. Lanolin Nipple Cream- Nursing hurts. Raw nipples hurt more. Put a tube of this in your hospital bag, along with the above mentioned nursing pads. You'll thank me later.
12. Bumbo- Once your baby is a little older, you will love putting them in the Bumbo. It's great to use to help baby sit up, but to also read stories, feed your little munchkin, or just to play a game of patty cake.
13. Temporal Artery Thermometer- So much better than trying to use a regular old thermometer rectally or in the armpit. You get an extremely accurate reading within seconds. You will want to kiss this little miracle machine the first time your little one gets a fever.
14. Sleep Sheep- My two year-old still falls asleep with his. There are four different sound features to choose from to help baby drift off to sleep. Added bonus: it's cute and cuddly!
15. Nighttime Turtle- Another awesome product that you will use for years. My 4 year-old still uses his every night. He loves to look at the stars as he falls asleep. :)
16. Fischer-Price Healthy Care Deluxe Booster- If you don't want to invest in a high chair (or simply don't have the space), this Booster is awesome! Strap it onto one of your kitchen table chairs so that baby can sit at the table with you. It's also small and compact, making it easy to take to restaurants so that you're not stuck using one of their dirty high chairs.

Honorable Mentions: Baby snap t-shirts, White onesies, Glider or Rocking Chair, Nose Frida, Medela Microwave Steam Bags, Bottles and Bottle Warmer, Dishwasher Basket, Drying Rack, Infant Bath Tub

Obviously the above is not all that you would register for. They're just items that we could not live without once we had our babies. There are many great registry lists out there- be sure to utilize one when you're registering!

Tips for Registering
*Don't be afraid to register for expensive items. Adding a quality breast pump, stroller, car seat or even nursery furniture is a GOOD thing! Many times your friends or family members will pool their money together to buy you a large ticket item. So go ahead and add a few more expensive items to your list, you never know what someone may want to get for you!
*Try not to register at more than two stores. People can get overwhelmed looking at multiple baby registries. Most stores will have just about everything you need.
*An add-on to the above point, don't assume that the only items a certain store carries is what you see in their actual store. Be sure to check out their website. For instance, Target has a whole slew of items that they only sell online. Take a look at what their online selection has to offer, you'll be pleasantly surprised.
*Try not to register for too many clothes or toys. As much as you want to register for every adorable, teeny, tiny outfit that you see, resist the urge. Most of the time, people will buy clothes based on what they think is cute, not what you have on your registry. The same goes for toys.
* Be practical. This doesn't need too much explanation. You'll know what something is a bit over the top. Try and use your better judgment. ;)
* Do your research. You may be tired and it will definitely feel overwhelming, but this is your baby we're talking about. Research items. Find out what things you feel will fit best with your lifestyle and which items you really won't need. Every baby is different. Every family is different. Discover what will work best for you.

Tricks of the Trade
* Use your registry to keep track of what you need to buy, even after your shower has been thrown. It's a great way to see what items you still need to check off your list. Every time I would personally buy something for my baby, I'd add it to my registry (if it wasn't all ready on there), or I'd mark it as "bought.". Your pregnancy-addled mind will be happy to have all of that information there right in front of you, so that you won't forget that you all ready have a bathtub or two car seat bases.
* Be sure to check out second hand stores (and local consignment sales), such as Once Upon a Child for barely used or new items. There are usually a great assortment of barely used swings, bouncers, and baby clothes just waiting to be purchased at these places. Don't overlook them, especially if you're trying to save a bit of money!
* Register for neutral items. The minute you find out you're having a girl, resist the urge to go out and buy every pink or purple item that you come across! Later down the road you may have a little boy and I guarantee you won't want to be pushing him around in a pink stroller.
* Don't forget about you! You're important too, Mama! Be sure to treat yourself to a few quality nursing bras and nursing tops. You'll want to feel comfortable and will enjoy the convenience of these items once baby arrives.

Hopefully this post has helped you a bit with the anxiety that comes along with registering for baby! We all know that it can be an anxiety-ridden, overwhelming experience, but it should also be a fun one. You're preparing for the arrival of a new life! Just remember to give yourself plenty of time to get ready- don't wait until the last minute! :)

Looking for more ideas while you await baby's arrival? Check out these great baby-related posts!

Do you have any baby registering tips to share with our first-time Momma readers? We'd love for you to leave them in the comments!

Sharing with these parties:

1 comment:

  1. lovely post. This is a great list! I completely agree about all the sleep essentials. My little one wouldn't sleep without that sleep sheep, and the angel care monitor definitely helped me rest a little easier. babychortle