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Registering for baby is confusing. Especially if it’s your first one and you have no clue what you will need and use. After having two babies, I feel at least a bit qualified to help weed through the “must-haves” and the “don’t needs”.
It doesn’t matter where you register. Each place will have a ridiculously long list of what you need to get.
The big stuff you actually will need:
1. A crib or co-sleeper. Baby will need a place to sleep. We have a 4-in-1 Stages Crib. We chose this one because we liked the color. Since using it, I like it because the gates don’t go too terribly high, so I don’t have to lift baby up too much to put him in. (Our daughter’s crib gates were a lot higher and it was really difficult to lift her up, then lean down to lay her down.) When you’re registering, practice leaning in the crib as if you’re laying a baby down to see how it feels. (The way they’re set up at the store is usually the highest setting, for an infant. You will use the crib for a long time and it won’t be at the high setting for very long, so just keep that in mind-you’ll have to lean down a lot lower.)
2. Crib Mattress . Because the crib and mattress do not come together.
3. A Pack N Play. We have a Graco Pack ‘n Play. I love it because it folds down quickly and easily and fits in small spaces. Both of our children slept in their pack n play in our bedroom for their first six months. And it’s easy to take on vacations so baby has a place to sleep or play.
4. High Chair. We have a Graco Highchair and Booster and we love it. Make sure you get one with a 5-point harness because the first few times you put your little one in it, they probably won’t be able to sit completely up on their own. You won’t need this until baby is about 4 or 5 months old.
5. Stroller. We have an Eddie Bauer Travel System. I like it because it grows with baby. It cames with a convertable car seat that attaches to it and then goes in the car. Then when the little one is too big for the car seat, you leave it out and the stroller is great up until you have a rambunctious toddler. It folds down for easy storage so you can throw it in a closet or fit it into your trunk.
6. Carseat. The convertable car seat that comes with the stroller is awesome for the first 3 months, (Depending on how big baby is-our son was out of it by the end of the first month.) After that, you’ll need a bigger carseat that can grow with baby. Don’t skimp on this one. Make sure you get a brand new one that is in good condition. And learn how to install it properly. We have a Britax Car Seat and I love it because it’s easy to install and it’s comfy for baby.
7. Monitor. We have a Summer Video Monitor. Our babies sleep upstairs and we sleep downstairs, which is why we have such a great monitor. This one is awesome because we can move the camera in baby’s room just by touching the screen. Also, it supports up to four cameras, so when we had baby number two, we just had to order another camera and sinc them together. So easy!
8. Breastpump. Only if you’re planning on breastfeeding of course. You can see which breastpumps I’ve had the pleasure of using here.
9. Bouncy chair. Because sometimes mama needs a break. We have a Fisher-Price Jumperoo and it has saved me so many times! You can’t put baby in it until they are able to support their head, so like the high chair, you won’t need this one right away.
10. Baby Gate. My son is 10 months old and we just got a baby gate. It is already my savior! I’m annoyed at how long it took me to realize I needed one. We got a Summer Walk-Thru Gate It stretches up to 141 inches and has a walk-thru gate in the middle. I. Love. It.
Ok. So maybe you don’t NEED numbers 9 or 10, but I guarantee they will make your life a lot easier!
The stuff on the “must have” list that you don’t need:
1. A changing table. It’s a nice thought. Get a changing table that matches the crib. But you will not use it past three months. It is no longer safe to change a baby on a table of any sort after they start moving around. You will be changing them on the floor or your bed. I promise, skip this one.
2. Any other furniture that may go in the nursery. There are so many other things that the money can go towards-things that you will really need and use (diapers, anyone?). (Okay, so baby will probably need a dresser. Get a much cheaper one at Good Will and paint it.)
3. Glider/Rocker. I literally have six different rockers/gliders at my house. When nursing is awkward and uncomfortable, it’s going to be awkward and uncomfortable anywhere. When you’re more comfortable with it, you’ll be able to make any spot work (on the ground at the park, anyone?). Any chair will do. You want to be comfy while nursing/feeding baby? Add pillows.
4. Infant Swing. My kids never liked these, and the babies that do, grow out of them so fast it hardly seems worth it.
5. Clothes. (I know, not a big item, but it needs to be said.) Do not register for baby clothes. For some reason, people LOVE to buy baby clothes. Maybe because they’re crazy cute? Your friends and family will love picking something for you off of your registry, then they will impulse buy and outfit or two. “I couldn’t resist!”
Be sure to register for the brand, style, and color you want. Don’t worry too much about price. Your baby is worth it, and people love going in on gifts together. Not to mention the gift cards you will receive, those suckers add up!
Registering for baby should be exciting. It’s definitely fun to be at the store with the little scanner gun, scanning everything in sight. Just remember, you can always leave and finish registering online if you get overwhelmed.