Baby Registries

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

There are a lot of things about having a baby that are overwhelming. Creating a baby registry falls solidly into that category. There are aisles and aisles in different stores filled with dozens of different car seats, bottles, strollers, pacifiers, and breast pump set. They all look almost identical, but are apparently wildly different. 

Before attempting to register for any baby showers, I've been trying to research each one of these categories. I've been reading reviews and consumer reports on car seats and mom blogs on the best carriers. Honestly it's a bit exhausting.

I'm also relying heavily on some of my good friends recommendations. A few of them are veteran moms or new moms and they have all been so generous in sharing their experiences with their favorite (and least favorite) products.

So I'd love to know from all of you moms out there, what baby products do you love? Which ones can you not live without? And which ones did you buy or receive and never use or decided you hated? Help a pregnant lady out.

Photo from here.


Anonymous said...

Favorites: Medela Nursing Stool, Boppy Nursing Pillow, Bumbo Floor Seat, Little Tikes 5-in-1 Adjustable Gym

My youngest is almost 7, so the fact that I remember those products is a testament to how much I used and loved them. :)

As for the specific products you mentioned, I can't be much help as a lot of those products have changed greatly in the past few years. I will say that my son's favorite pacifier was the free one they gave us at the hospital! My daughter never took a pacifier (and thankfully never sucked her thumb either). Also, while the big strollers have their uses, a little umbrella stroller is so much easier to use.

Meg @ write meg! said...

Hmm. Favorite must-haves so far: muslin blankets, like those from Anais + Aden; soft onesies with snaps on bottom (anything fancier is just too time-consuming to take on and off for each diaper change); cloth diapers to use as burp cloths; Burt's Bees soft cotton bibs (they're so convenient!); and tons of flannel receiving blankets, because you will use them for everything and wash them constantly. Especially with having a baby in winter!

Since Oliver is only 4 months old, we haven't tried out much furniture or the like... but we do have a Rock 'n' Play that he has basically lived in since he came home, and he sleeps in an Arm's Reach Co-Sleeper in our room, which is awesome!

Highly recommend getting one of those, especially if you're breastfeeding. Baby stays nearby and safe, and it's very comfortable and breathable for them. Before Ollie was released from the NICU, I had a major panic attack about SIDS -- and the co-sleepers were specifically recommended because they tick off lots of SIDS prevention boxes: baby can sleep in your room; baby is surrounded by breathable material to help prevent getting overheated; baby is flat on back; etc.

There haven't been too many items we've disliked or not used so far, though I will say that we received more blankets -- handmade, flannel, knitted, cotton -- than we could ever use in a lifetime. Don't buy anything like that until after your shower -- and the same goes for clothes! :) Folks were so generous with those sorts of things, and people LOVE to buy baby clothes. You'll more than likely be all set for a while! I wouldn't bother registering for either of those things, because people will buy you what they want!

If you're anything like me, Melissa, you will get totally overwhelmed the first time you walk into the baby store to register... just remember that it's normal and, with time, you will come to know what ALL that weird stuff is for! :) It's so funny to think of how panicky I was just six months ago, and now I whip through the aisles like it ain't no thing. We initially registered for little stuff, and I wound up going online to add things gradually when we had time to research them. You have time, so don't sweat it! :)

Loni said...

Medela breast pumps. Baby Einstein exer-saucer. Sleepers with zippers are so much easier for middle-of-the-night changes. A play mat with things that dangle from overhead. A comfy rocking chair, we splurged on mine, made sure it matched the rest of the furniture and I spent more sitting in it than any other piece of furniture in the house, for months. I never used a breastfeeding pillow. Regular pillows worked really well for me, but I know some people loved their breastfeeding pillow.

When we registered, there was actually a very helpful saleswoman there, who walked through the whole store with us and explained all the products, the differences between brands, how much you would actually use something, whether we needed it, etc. I liked her because she was a fountain of information, but we never felt like she was trying to steer us to one particular item or make us spend more. It was also nice having someone there with us, who had experience and made it feel like a conversation rather than any kind of sales.

Good luck with the registry! I know it can be overwhelming, but remember to listen to your instincts too.

Literary Feline said...

My only advice is do not go off the store's recommended lists. You'll end up with a lot of stuff you do not need. LOL

Beside the obvious, it can be hard to know what you will use and won't use. I had one friend who said a changing table was useless and another who swore by one. It really depends on the individual. And while I received some of what I registered for, most people did not bother with the registry at all. I think where we were saved the most registry wise was with the bigger items like the crib, bassinet and pack-'n-play.

I wish you luck!

Melissa (Avid Reader) said...

You guys are awesome! I know each mom and kiddo is different and you never know quite what will work for you and your baby, but this is so incredibly helpful!

Nina Shimmin said...

My husband and I are in the same boat you're in. We're expecting our first in December and have been totally overwhelmed with the process of registering. One of our friends who now has two toddlers recommended the book 'Baby Bargains' by Denise and Alan Fields, and it has really been helpful. The title makes it sound like a book of coupons or something like that, but it really functions more like a Consumer Reports for all baby products. It goes item by item, giving general shopping advice, but then also rates individual brands with letter grades A-F. Really helped us with the important items such as car seats and cribs. Only about $12 on Amazon and has been worth it. Good luck, and congratulations!

Melissa (Avid Reader) said...

Nina - That's a great idea!

Andi said...

I remember walking into Babies R'us and being completely overwhelmed. To the point that I threatened to leave Greyson's dad stranded there at the store by himself if he made me continue! We lived in a fairly small space, so I was really concerned about not bringing more crap into the house than we could really handle. Our must-haves were NUK bottles from Walmart, a great high chair because Greyson sat in his a lot...recreationally. We also loved our Boppy pillow, a good swing/bouncy chair, and those are the biggest things I remember.

Trish @ Love, Laughter, Insanity said...

I LOVE to talk about this kind of stuff, so hit me up with any questions you have. I'll try not to be that annoying person who thinks she knows all the answers (because after two gos, I still don't have it figured out), but I still love talking about babies. :)

I wrote a post about this a while ago (, but to sum here's my list:

1. Aden + Anais Muslin Blankets (I actually just bought another package for newbabe as I love these so much).

2. Moby Wrap or Ergo soft carrier. I like the Moby for when the babes are little and the Ergo for when they're sturdier. Moby is overwhelming but I still love it.

3. Boppy Bouncer (yes we put this right on the kitchen counter/table) and the Fischer Price Little Lamb swing (we have one of those mamaroo things and never used it).

4. Fisher Price Rock N Play. Evie basically slept in that in our closet for almost 5 months (when she started rolling over). I LOVE it, plus it's so portable.

5. SwaddleMe Wraps.

6. Boppy Nursing Pillow

7. (would add to the list) - White noise machine. Both girls sleep with a dohm-ds White Noise machine.

I have a Medela Pump in Style (I think) and like it...though I HATE to pump. :) As far as carseats, we've always gone with Graco...but I haven't done much research on what's supposed to be the BEST. We've always felt safe with Graco.

Yay babies!!!!! And really--so much of it is trial and error. You'll be fine. And either way you'll probably end up with much more than you NEED...babies and kids tend to do that. They will take over your space!! LOL!

Melissa (Avid Reader) said...

Andi - Thank you! I think Babies R'us and Buy Buy Baby are particularly overwhelming places. I want to make sure we are getting what we need, but not a crazy amount of extra stuff because we have limited space as well.

Trish - I actually bookmarked that post of your's and then reviewed it a couple weeks ago. You have such great recommendations! I will probably be emailing you with more questions as we get into all this madness :)