The Ultimate Baby Registry Guide, according to this Brookwood mom

Isn’t it funny how building a wedding registry list & and baby registry list are two completely different experiences? Most of the time, the bride know exactly what dishes, appliances and towels she wants and wastes no time adding to her list. But building a baby registry list sometimes isn’t as easy.

This time around, building the list can feel a lot more challenging and sometimes, even overwhelming, especially for the first-time mother. Women are left to ask themselves, “How am I supposed to know what I really need until I need it? How do I know what my baby will actually use?”

Help is here! First-time mother Laura Kaetz delivered a healthy baby girl named Kerri under the care of Dr. Jamie Routman in May 2018 at Brookwood Baptist Medical Center and is speaking out to help other first-time mothers get started on their registries. 

LAURA’S ADVICE

After the initial shock of my pregnancy wore off, it was time to buckle down and get ready for baby girl’s arrival. Thinking about everything you’re going to need for a new baby, especially a first baby, is very overwhelming.  Before even stepping foot into a baby store, I sat down and made a list of what I thought were essentials.  Once I had a general list, I began to research brands.  I read reviews and blog posts from other people who had used those products and particular brands.  I used that information to make my general list more specific.  This way, when I went to the stores to register, it wouldn’t be stressful or  time consuming.  I had already done my research and knew exactly which products, brands, and models I wanted to register for.  Now, six months postpartum, I feel like I have a better idea of my must-haves, nice-to-haves, and things I really didn’t need.

Hopefully these tips will be helpful to you!

Must-Haves:

  • SwaddleMe Swaddles: I say this is a “must have”, not a “nice to have”, because my baby started sleeping through the night when we used these as a newborn.
  • Changing pad and with accessories like a cover and liners
  • Diaper Genie: Some people say they never used one, but personally, I didn’t want to have to walk outside to the big trash can after every dirty diaper.  What if it’s cold or rainy?  And I didn’t want my kitchen trash to stink!
  • Rock-n-Play: Great for naps!  My newborn didn’t sleep well in her bassinet for a couple of months, but would sleep great in her rock-n-play.
  • Rectal Thermometer: These are definitely the most accurate.
  • Noise Machine 
  • Drying Rack Lawn 
  • Dishwasher Basket 
  • High Chair
  • Transitional Bathtub: We use a Fisher Price tub that comes with a sling for when your baby is really small, but can be removed for when your baby is ready to sit up in the tub on their own.
  • Hooded Towels
  • Washcloths 
  • Car Seat Mirrors 
  • Car Seat Canopy: Keeps your baby a little more protected from germs when you’re in public.  And random strangers from touching!
  • Diaper Bag: I would get the backpack kind. I didn’t, and wish now that I had.  When you have a bag on your shoulder, and you reach down to get or put your baby in the car, the bag falls down from your shoulder and gets in the way; it’s super annoying!
  • Bottles: We use Tommee Tippee.
  • Pacifiers (0-6 month)
  • Bottle Brush
  • Mesh Bumpers: I was against any kind of bumpers because of the suffocation threat, but once our little one was rolling over and on the move, her arms and legs would get stuck in the crib spindles.  Before I had a baby, I was against the mesh ones too because they weren’t “cute”, but they really are a must have.
  • Grooming Kit (with brush, nail clippers, nail file, etc.)
  • Baby Monitor: I would recommend a video one over just audio.
  • Muslin Blankets 
  • Car Seat: And possibly an extra base, depending on how many vehicles your family has.
  • Stroller : We got the car seat and stroller together as a “travel system”, which is nice because then your car seat can connect to your stroller when they’re really little.
  • Pack n play
  • Bibs
  • Burp Cloths
  • Bassinet or Cradle

Nice-to-Haves:

  • Heater for bathroom: They get cold easily when they’re itty bitty, so having a nice, warm bathroom makes for a more pleasant bath experience…for mom and baby!
  • Baby Einstein jumper
  • Play Mat
  • Nose Frieda: You could always use the bulb they give you from the hospital, but this is just such a great and easy to use product.
  • Baby Carrier
  • Humidifier
  • Head support for car seat until baby can hold head up: The Boppy Noggin is what I used.
  • Wipe Dispenser 
  • Paci Pocket 
  • Bumbo Seat
  • Sleep Sacks: Don’t get the newborn size, but maybe the small and medium. Once we stopped swaddling in the SwaddleMes (when she was able to roll over), we put our baby in these at night to sleep in.
  • Laundry Hamper 

Do-Not-Need:

  • Sheet Savers : This was one of the many things on the Buy Buy Baby registry checklist, and I have literally never used it.  Usually newborns don’t sleep in their cribs immediately, and by the time they’re in their cribs, they’re moving around which makes the sheet saver pointless, in my opinion.
  • Forehead Thermometer: I have one of the highest rated forehead thermometers, but it is still incredibly inaccurate.  When my daughter was sick and clearly had a fever, the forehead and rectal thermometer differed by TWO WHOLE DEGREES!
  • Wipe Warmer:  You’re not going to have a wipe warmer when you’re not home and have to change your baby’s diaper.  And more than likely, if your baby goes to daycare, they won’t have one either.  If you’re concerned about it being too cold, hold the wipe in your hands for a minute.
  • Boppys: I didn’t use my nursing Boppy much, and my baby hated the lounger Boppy.  But I have friends who have loved both.  This was just my experience.
  • Mini Travel Sound Machine
  • Bottle Warmer: Heat bowl of water, lay your bottle in it, shake it up. Or, if you bottle feed, use warm water when preparing the bottle.
  • Newborn Mittens: Most newborn sleepers have built in mittens.

Other General FYI:

*Pampers and Huggies are the best diapers; Luvs diapers are not my favorite.  I don’t find them to be absorbent enough, especially for nighttime use.  If you get some as gifts, maybe just use them for daytime use.

*You’ll get a lot of bibs as presents or at least I did. Don’t take any back. I didn’t realize how many you use and so quickly too.  I took several back and wish now that I hadn’t.

*I would try my best to stay away from snap up sleepers, and try to get as many zip up kinds as you can. At least do this for newborn and 3 months sizes.  Until your baby starts sleeping all night long, you are NOT going to want to do ALL those snaps on those little sleepers when it is 2:00 AM and you can barely keep your eyes open.  A quick zip is best.  Trust me!

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