Wednesday, June 9, 2010

What is Necessary?


SuperFutureDad and I are beginning to wade through the massive 'must-have' lists that come with opening up any baby gift registry. Seriously? Do we need to invest in disposable bibs and potty training devices (already)? And all those toys out there!!!! It just seems like so much.... stuff!

Do we really need all these baby-rearing devices? Or is this a clever marketing ploy churned out by a man-behind-the-curtain partnership between merchandise companies and retailers?

I turn to you, seasoned mummies and daddies of the world:

What did you really need from your baby registry?

What things were you surprised you needed?

What do you wish you had registered for?

And what items and/or contraptions are still sitting in their wrapping on a closet shelf?

Please advise. 

Over and out.


  1. What did you really need from your baby registry?
    1) Clothes from newborn to a year. You go through them fast. You'll also find what types/brands run big/small and what you and SuperFutureDad can take on and off easily.
    2) Pack-N-Play
    3) Angel Care Monitor (w/ 2 sensors) - I have the single sensor one and it doesn't work that well in the crib now that the little one likes to sleep on the edges at 16 months. It sounds an alarm if baby stops moving for 30 seconds. False alarms can onset a panic attack for Mom/Dad, but it is still good peace of mind. It also does not broadcast a video feed to anyone watching.
    4)Dr. Browns BPH free bottles - we tried several vented bottles to reduce reflux. These were recommended by Children’s Hospital in Boston. They work well.
    5) ERGObaby Carrier - These rock. We used a Moby and several slings. We used the Bjorn for a while but the little one outgrew it and it is only a front carrier. ERGOs go front, back, side and the 16 month old still sits in it with room to grow. The ultimate bonus they actually support your back. It also has a flap to pull over their heads for naps. My wife and I cannot say enough good things about these carriers.

    What things were you surprised you needed?
    1) Formula! If baby has trouble going the natural route they still have to eat! It pays to have a little in the house at 3AM.
    2) Milk storage supplies. Some people make just enough while others can feed a village. If that's you then you need a place to put it. 3) The Velcro saddlers also came in handy afterward. We never mastered the art of a tight swaddle like the nurses at the hospital.
    4) Gift cards - we spend a few hundred bucks a few days after baby was born. Save some if you find you need to make some big purchases right after baby is born.

    What do you wish you had registered for?
    1) A good jogging stroller
    2) A car seat

    And what items and/or contraptions are still sitting in their wrapping on a closet shelf?
    By far the worst thing we got was a wipe warmer. It's amazing how fast wipes cool in 4 feet. Also, we got a cool mist humidifier and it just ended up being a mold factory - stay way! In general you should remember that the majority of what you buy good or bad during the first year - things you pay hundreds of dollars for - ends up on the shelf in a few months. Spend your money on good strollers, combo car seats, and carriers.

  2. All we really 'needed' for the first year was the car seat, the jogging stroller and the sling!

  3. Mom of four here...
    Aside from the obvious needs (car seats, stroller, monitor, sturdy changing table) we found that other musts** included:
    1. Baby swing - get a small travel size that you can easily move up/down stairs or to grandparents' houses.
    2. Sling - most babies need many hours of human touch... so many cute choices these days, check out
    3. Convertible bath basin - with all four kids we used the same one, converts from an infant counter/tabletop style to an upright bathtub support seat.
    4. Forehead Thermometer - one that doesn't require refills of caps/protectors. Some say they aren't as accurate, but you'll know when your child has a fever and needs Tylenol/Ibuprofen and an appt with their ped.
    **Notice not a single toy listed... after baby is born, set up your child's wishlist that relatives can access for gift ideas at bdays, Cmas, etc. Amazon is great for this.

    Things to forego:
    1. Blankets - you'll get soooo many, unless there's one that you absolutely have to have.
    2. Cool mist humidifier, as Dan mentioned.
    3. Health Kit - the hospital sends home many of the same items... aspirator, baby brushes, rectal thermometer (which I've never had to use, thankfully!) etc. Register for your baby nail clipper, however!

    Things we didn't register for, but received and found very helpful (surprised we needed):
    1. Wipes warmer - have to disagree with Dan, those middle-of-night changes went so much better with the warmer!
    2. Robeez shoes (or Target knock-offs) - keep the socks on. Regular shoes slip off easily and if you're out & about you can bet you'll lose both shoes and at least one sock. ;-)
    3. If breastfeeding, Lanolin - greatly helps with soreness in the first 2 weeks. Breastpads or Lilypadz reusable - went through these as fast as diapers. Breast pumps - both a Medela and a travel/manual one.
    4. Small waterproof lap pads - I keep one over the changing pad at all times and when Baby goes through their blowout pooping stage (trust me, it happens!) lay one under Baby on top of the crib sheet... cuts down on a lot of emergency laundry. No one likes to have to change entire bedding in the middle of the night!
    5. Mesh laundry bags - keeps all those tiny socks in one spot during laundering, I keep mine hanging within reach above the change table.
    6. Cloth diapers - I would never had tried it had it not been a gift. Four kids and 8 years later, it's still my diapering method of choice! Many options out there, my fave's are Kushies and gdiapers.

    ~Janelle Leiseth, Executive Home Specialist
    (yes, that's a made-up title)

    Good luck with your journey into motherhood!

  4. hey missy-
    back in the old days, well 4 years ago to be exact i didn't register....the only thing i insisted on buying was the crib and carseat/stroller combo. everything else was up to the friends and family. let them use their imagination and i was extremely happy with the stuff we got. 2 pack in plays come in handy, one for downstairs and one for upstairs. also the portable swing is an excellent idea for when you travel or the tot goes to the babysitters (that's me). we loved, well, not we, but the boys loved the wipe warmer, it cut down on alot of screaming. also, lots of onesies, see boys pee alot, everytime you take the diaper off they pee so if you aren't ready, the outfit gets soaked, the changing table or whatever they are laying on gets a hose down, and you probably will get hit with a spray a time or two. so, have lots of onesies on hand, booties work for their hands if they scratch, and k-med works for butt rash. and remember these along with a million other tips from other moms are to be taken with a grain of salt!
    heather v.