by Nancy Flanders
Creating a baby registry is one of the most exciting and overwhelming moments of the new parent preparations. But, there are too many unnecessary and gimmicky items out there. When it comes down to it, you won't need that baby bathrobe, Bumbo baby sitter seat
, or huge changing table as much as the ads might make you think you do. You only need a few key items in order to survive life with a new baby.
Some babies won't need a pacifier, but if yours is like my first, you'll be desperate for one. It was either give her a "binky" or lose a nipple to the constant nursing. Babies are comforted by the act of sucking. So even when my daughter wasn't hungry, just sleepy, she wanted something to suck on; being able to give her a pacifier helped immensely.
Place to Sleep
You may not want to put her down, but your little one will need a spot to sleep, and you'll need the downtime, trust me. So whether you opt for a co-sleeper
, bassinet or crib, definitely purchase a safe place for your baby to rest.
Among all of the adorable baby clothes people will be showering you with, make sure you have plenty of "onesies" on hand. These cute little shirts button at the bottom to avoid riding up. They are comfortable and keep baby cozy and warm.
Babies have no control over their bodies when they are born. Their arms and legs twitch and jerk. Plus, they've spent 9 months all tight and cozy in your womb. Swaddling a baby is an art, and helps her stay peacefully asleep. But you don't have to have the skill in order to successfully swaddle your little one. Just use a SwaddleMe
or The Miracle Blanket
Carrier or Stroller
Even if it's the middle of winter, you'll want a way to get around without having to carry your baby everywhere. Front carriers are great for shopping, strolling, or even moving around your house hands free without actually having to put your baby down. In good weather, strollers are a great way to bring baby along on your walks. Infant car seats often come with a matching stroller that the seat fits in, making for a seamless transition from car to stroller and back.
Baby bathtubs are key to getting that baby clean. She may not do much, but that tiny baby dribbles a lot of milk down her neck and spits up on herself. A baby bathtub will make it easy for you to clean her safely and comfortably.
First Aid and Grooming Kit
These must-have kits include some big essentials in small packaging, like nail clippers, brush, and thermometer. This one by Carter's
even includes emery boards and a pacifier medicine dispenser.
Diapers and Wipes
Unless you want to wear baby pee, diapers are an obvious necessity when you have a new baby. Wipes to clean that baby bottom are handy too. If you want to go the green route, invest in cloth diapers like gDiapers
. They are a cinch to use, super cute and not at all as bulky as the original cloth diapers were. If you want to go super green, don't even bother with wipes. Instead, buy separate baby washcloths and use those to clean up the poop. Just toss them in the wash with the cloth diapers and you'll be producing less waste and saving money like a champ.
Baby monitors are one of the best baby inventions ever. These days, not only can you hear your baby, but you can see her too. Our video monitor turned out to be the best $90 we ever spent. Being able to look at both of our daughters without having to creep into the room and disturb them has helped us sleep better at night.
A car seat is the most obvious baby item you will need. Even if you don't have a car, you'll need one if you ride in a taxi or want to go for a ride with a friend or family member. There are tons to choose from, but you can narrow down the choices quickly with some research into the track records of the different companies. Check for recalls, how the seats are safety tested, and how long the company has been around. You can also look at parent reviews to find out which seats are the best. I found infant seats to be very convenient because you can take the whole seat out of the car in one click and avoid waking up a sleeping baby.
Of course, your products list will grow along with your baby. Bottles, sterilizer, and breast pump will come in handy once you are ready to leave your little one for more than two hours. My favorite item was a temporal artery thermometer
. It costs around $50, but I love being able to get a temperature reading with a single swipe along the forehead (works great on my husband too). Just remember that most items are unnecessary and some have even proven to be dangerous — like those sleep positioners. So choose your baby products wisely and when in doubt, ask grandma. She'll tell you which baby products are great and which are just a waste of cash.