Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Look for the bare necessities...

This post is dedicated to a very dear friend of mine who will be welcoming her sweet little girl into the world next year.  However, I think this post can be useful to anyone who has ever braved the land of the baby registry - whether to register for your own shower or to purchase items for someone else's.  Even as a mom, I still can't always decide what to buy on that neverending list of crap.

I have read some amazing blog posts recently about creating the best and most essential baby shower registries possible.  You can read those here, here, and here.

Honestly, I did absolutely no research prior to registering for my baby shower on what was really important and what I could skip.  I don't even think I asked any other mothers what they considered to be essential/non-essential items.

I...don't even know what this does.
Since they’re not paying me, I won’t specifically name where we registered, but I will say it’s a very popular big box store to register for your baby.  Their “MUST HAVES” Registry Check List (no, seriously that’s what it is called) has roughly 150 items on it.  One of those items is a new home - you’ll need it in order to store all of that crap.

However, being the inexperienced mother I was (well, am) I followed the advice of Big Box R Us to the letter.  This resulted in a FOURTEEN page registry list.  I know this because I’m holding it in my lap right now.  I registered for everything.  Stuff that didn’t make any sense.  (For example:  I registere for cloth diapers and all of the accouterments even though I NEVER intended to use cloth diapers.) 

So, instead of telling what you should register for and why, I am going to tell you what I wish I hadn’t registered for and why.  In no way am I saying these are items you won’t eventually get a use out of or that other people haven’t found to be “MUST HAVES,” but it’s likely that you’re registering when you are greater than 20 weeks pregnant and Lord knows it would help if this process went by quickly.

The items listed are from my actual baby registry (don’t worry, I don’t think I received any of them).  I can’t help but read the list, laugh at myself, and say, “What was I thinking?

Four Pocket Organizer (Color: Sage) - I put this on the list because, A: I honestly have no idea what it is and B: I am laughing at the word “organizer” because all semblance of organization left my house the minute I returned from the hospital.  Seventeen months later, it still has yet to return.

Crib Pads, Sheet Savers, etc. - This made the list because I have literally half a page of “potty pads” and the like on my registry.  Save your time.  If your kid is sleeping long enough that they’re soaking through their diapers and wetting the bed, you need to thank your lucky stars.  You also need to switch diapers.  Plus, on a serious note, padded materials are not recommended in cribs to reduce the risk of suffocation.  I didn't register for it, but baby position-ers aren't necessary for the same risk of suffocation.

Little Boutique Mesh Wall Hanging - I forget what it looked like, but this was a little decoration for the baby’s room.  It was made of mesh and cost almost $20.00!  Save yourself (and your shower guests) the money.  Your kid won’t notice wall hangings until they’re at least 3 0r 4.  And if you’re having a boy, he’ll never notice.  As evidenced by my husband who can’t even tell you what color our bedroom is painted.

Sleep Sacks - I only say to skip these because they are difficult to use and not all babies like them.  However, I registered for them on the recommendation of a mom who said both of her kids couldn’t sleep without them.  For me, it felt like I was placing TIH in a little baby straight jacket.  And, to make matters worse, he turned himself into a little baby Houdini and I found part of the sleep sack wrapped around his neck once.  Yeah.  After that they were thrown away.

Car Seat Headrest - SAFETY ALERT.  Car seat accessories that are sold separately have not been crash tested with the car seat, therefore they reduce the safety rating.  Most, if not all, car seats come with their own newborn headrests if you find these to be necessary.  Those have been crash tested with the car seat and are safe to use when installed properly.

Breast Pump - I am not telling you not to register for your breast pump.  On the contrary, they cost nearly $300.00 and you will be happy to use the registry completion for a nice little discount.  However, I just want you to imagine with me that moment at your shower when you open your breast pump in front of all of your guests.  AWKWARD.  Spare yourself.  Register for it at the last minute and then buy it for yourself.

Pacifiers - I registered for pacifiers knowing fully that I was going to at least attempt to breast feed.  Pacifiers are not recommended for the first few weeks of breast feeding to prevent nipple confusion.  TIH didn’t like pacifiers anyway, so I never really had to worry about that battle, but the reason I tell you not to register for them is this: the hospital will give them to you for free. FREE.

Child Proofing - Your child will not be able to open the cabinet that has all of the cleaning products in it for at least another 6 months.  Give yourself a break on this one and purchase what you need later.  The same goes for baby gates.  If your baby is trying to climb the stairs within the first few weeks of birth, don’t even bother with the baby gates.  Get yourself an exorcism.

Utensils, Bowls, and Sippy Cups - Again, you won’t really have to worry about these for at least the first four months.  TIH is almost a year and a half and only just now has started to effectively use the forks I registered for.  You will already have to completely remodel your kitchen in order to make room for a host of bottles, nipples, pumping supplies, etc.  Save yourself the space by picking these up when the time comes to actually use them.

Clothes - I’m not saying you shouldn’t stare longingly at all of the tiny little onesies and booties and socks...oh, God, the tiny little socks...because everyone knows how fun that can be.  But, trust me when I say, people are going to buy you a shit load of clothes whether you register for them or not.  Then of course, there will be the loads and loads of hand-me-downs you will hopefully receive.  Anything that you feel like you can’t live without, just try to purchase yourself.  And also make sure you buy clothes in a variety of sizes.  Footed pajamas seemingly shrink overnight and you’ll be rushing out to the store to get the next size up before you know it.

Toys - Everything I said about the clothes?  Same with the toys.  People can’t resist.  So, don’t worry about registering for them, but having a few toys around, even at the beginning, is a great idea.  It helps to have something for the baby to stare at that isn’t your boob for a few minutes.

Okay, so if you're feeling even more overwhelmed after reading this, I'll give you a bare bones registry of what you need before the baby arrives:

  • Your boob (or bottles/formula depending on your feeding preference)
  • Diapers
  • Wipes
  • Somewhere for the baby to sleep

And that’s. about. it.
Anything to add, mommies?


  1. I almost didn't even bother with a registry, because my mom and grandma bought us all of the essentials (all the furniture, stroller, carseat, clothes, etc) before I even hit 5 months.

    What we did end up getting at the shower when I was 7 months was diapers, wipes, diaper pail, refills for 6+ months for the diaper pail, and clothes.

    We actually have not spent a single dollar on anything for the baby. We have over 600 diapers and 750 wipes and he isn't even born yet. So blessed.

    PS garage sales! You can buy almost everything you need at a garage sale for 5-25% of what it would cost brand new. The kid will just spit up or poop on it anyway.

  2. I'd like to add that my mom bought me a very expensive top model dual breast pump- retailing around $300- on eBay for $40! It was used a few times by the owner, but came with all the parts, instructions, and was easy to sanitize. So even if you need one of those, get it second hand if you can.

  3. @Last Name - You are blessed! You won't believe how quickly you'll burn through diapers and having them in the beginning is SUCH a life saver.

    And you're right - some breast pumps are okay for multiple users. So, if you know someone who has one and is willing to let you borrow or if you find one for purchase that saves A LOT of money. You can also RENT a breast pump for a nominal fee. That usually ends up costing more in the long run, but it's less of an investment up front, which is nice. Be aware that not all breast pumps are meant for multiple users, but it will say that pretty blatantly somewhere on the pump itself if that's the case.

    You're getting close, aren't you? :) GOOD LUCK!

  4. I always go down the baby checklist: Eat, sleep and poop. Anything that doesn't help them do one of these things, isn't needed. Ha! I even use the list when we travel with our 2-y-o to this day@!

  5. i'd add 'transport system'. I needed to get out of the house with beeb even when she was but a week old. so we had a stroller and ergo all lined up. started using ergo at 10 days and it was a life saver!


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