Thursday, August 31, 2006

registry hell

Since I don't like to upset the delicate balance we've crafted of "doing nothingness for the baby", and because I like to uphold my jet-setting image (yeah, right), I'm off to my home town of San Francisco for the weekend. My parents are meeting me at the airport, and I expect 4 days of pure pampering and holding court over the belly. Okay, maybe not that extreme, but I'd like to not clean my house, or take care of the dogs, or worry about baby lists and furniture hunting and scheduling. I'd also like to hit some cute baby stores while we're there ; )

My title might be a tad bit dramatic, but that is what it feels like these days. I've been holding off on registering or purchasing anything until we returned from vacation, and now, of course, we're back and I'm starting to panic at the lack of productivity. Last weekend was a whirlwind of activity, between visiting furniture stores, arguing over necessary baby items and starting registries online, and planning out the baby's closet at the Container Store. I'm not sure why I'm shocked when I find myself exhausted at the end of the day.

My blogging buddies, I need your help. I have read multiple guides to baby necessities, and I am overwhelmed. I've decided to compile a list, in the hopes that you will share your advice on what you couldn't live without, and what was a total waste of money. Some of the things on my list aren't really necessities, but things I'd just like to have so just ignore some of those. Help!

Baby-to-be List
Crib mattress (is foam fine?)
Dresser (I can't find a changing table that fits in the room!)
Rocker with ottoman
Crib bumper
Crib skirt
Fitted sheet (4-5?)
Waterproof mattress pad fitted (2?)
Waterproof mattress pad flat (2?)
Blankets (for stroller or chair or floor- how many? 2? Do I need to register or will people just get them?)
Car seat
2 Bases for car seat
Umbrella stroller
Bouncy seat
Curtain rods
Table lamp
Diaper bag
Towels (4?)
Changing pad (for floor or bed or chair, since I won't have a changing table)
Burp cloths (how many? 20?)
Bundle me car seat cover
Diaper caddy (2?)
Baskets (3?)
Sling and Baby Bjorn (sling purchased in Amsterdam- at least I can carry the baby around!)
Playpen/Pack and play
Playmat for floor
Baby monitor (does anyone have the video ones? Are they a waste?)
Safety gates
First aid kit
Diaper pail (which one?)
Snowsuit (for my December baby!)
Breast pump
Breast pads/shields (what else?)
Bottles (what brands? How many if I'm planning on breastfeeding?)
High chair
Bath tub (can I wash baby in the sink?)
Bath accessories (lotion, soap, etc.)

And??? I feel like this list is so long already, but something tells me that I don't have everything. What about things that I think are unnecessary, like wipe warmers and bottle sterilizers? Should I register for outfits? Or wait to receive them?

The only decision I have made is on the bedding, thank goodness, or you'd probably have a hysterical Halloweenlover on your hands. We decided to go with a unisex bedding, since I couldn't bring myself to pick both a boy and a girl bedding, so this is what we chose. I love it! I wish my room could be decorated in this pattern!

I welcome any and all advice, so please share! But be gentle! I am a hormonal pregnant woman! In the meantime, I wish you all happy Labor days! And I hope you labor very little during this time!


ccw said...

The only thing on your list I have never used is a diaper pail or a bathtub. Our kitchen trash is taken out so frequently that diapers in it have never been a problem. As for the tub, it just seemed like another big plastic thing to store. I have used a sponge on the counter with all 3 until they were old enough to go in to the sink.

People always buy clothes. Baby clothes are too cute to resist so you will probably get more than the baby will ever be able to wear.

Baby nail clippers and a snot sucker. Make sure you take the clippers to the hospital with you because they no longer provide them.

chatty cricket said...

Ok I am emailing you with my take on the list (needs and do withouts but could be fun to haves)...but firstly, don't bother with the wipe warmer or the sterilizer. Your dishwasher will do a fine job steralizing, and if you want to do a big job every so often, just boil the stuff in a pot of water.

I LOVE the bedding, and yes, it all seems so overwhelming, but just remember you do have plenty of time! Do a few things at a time, or at least get the no brainer basics down and then you can have fun adding cute things and you can ALWAYS change what you have on your list.

ccw said...

Oh, I forgot to say that the bedding is very cute! That was my choice until we decided to find out Nonami's sex. Then we went with PBK's train junction bedding.

Melissa said...

I would recommend you have medicines as well. Mylecon for gas, Infant Tylenol, and some saline nose drops to go with that nose sucker. In my experience, those were the things no one thought to get me and we ended up having to make emergency runs to the store. I also wouldn't bother with the wipe warmer or bottle sterilizer. We had a diaper genie and it was hard to figure out how to use at first but fine once we figured it out. My only complaint was always having to buy refills! As for blankets- you'll most likely get tons- I still have some we never used so unless you want a certain color to match the room(CUTE, by the way!) then you might not need to register. I found most people didn't seem to pay much attention to my registry anyway.

I've enjoyed reading your blog!

donna said...

From what I learned caring for my nephew when he was an infant (the best preparation for this baby I will ever get!) you need a lot of blankets, but people will buy you a lot of them or make them for you. I registered for several but don't have my heart set on any of them. I know with him, we would just most often put him on a blanket rather than a playmat because they are easier to wash.

I am a big fan of the Diaper Genie, but some people don't like them. I say register for it (it's only $20) and I'll bet someone buys it. If you don't like it, give it away.

I have heard that Avent or Dr. Brown's bottles are the best for keeping baby from getting gassy and spitting up. I chose Dr. Brown's because more of my friends like that brand.

I think you might have to try out monitors and return what doesn't work, because what works in one person's house may not work well in yours - very much like cordless phones. Depends on what is around your house that could cause interference.

I also say no need on the wipe warmer. I really couldn't feel much of a difference between a wipe that came out of the warmer and one that came right out of the package.

The bedding is ADORABLE! Don't stress, you have plenty of time and people are going to start buying you more stuff than you know what to do with.

Summer said...

Good list, but let me add a few comments. First, don't worry about registering for too much stuff. People would rather have too many choices than too few. And yes, people will buy clothes and blankets without you registering for them; also it's v.v. difficult to find specific clothes that are on registries at BRU or whereever. Do register for boring basics like onesies, in multiple sizes.

Car seat: register for your convertible seat, too! Babies grow out of the infant seat quickly, some as young as 4mos. For a convertible seat, you can't go wrong with a Britax.

Stroller: I had a January baby, and only got an umbrella stroller (a Maclaren, which I HIGHLY recommend. The cheap ones are crap, and our Maclaren is still in good shape nearly 4 years later.) because I didn't forsee myself doing much "strolling" in midwinter. You can use the umbrella stroller at 3mos, and before then, it's easy to wear the baby in a front carrier or sling.

Snowsuit: don't bother. The car seat cover will be enough.

Bottles: get several different brands. You never know which one your baby will accept. You can register for sippy cups (you'll need them soon enough) and spoons and bowls and such.

Fitted mattress pad: don't bother. Crib mattresses are already waterproof. You WILL need the flat mattress pads, 2-4 of them, and then you can make a "lasagne bed" with layers of fitted crib sheets and flat mattress pads.

Get a contour changing pad for the dresser, and 3 terrycloth covers.

I didn't think I wanted a wipes warmer, but I got one anyway, and used it. V. good for winter babes.

Instead of a high chair I got a strap-on feeding chair. Safety 1st and First Years make them. Love it. It takes up less floor space than a high chair, and becomes a booster seat when the kid's old enough to sit up at the table. Still using ours. Also get a portable version that folds up (Safety 1st or Fisher Price) to take with you to dinner parties or foreign countries.

Are baby washcloths on your list? And bibs? You'll need lots of both.

Oh, and for the breast pads -- don't open the boxes until you need them. You might be like me and never leak at all. Actually, don't open most of the stuff until you actually need it. BRU is very good about returns, even without reciepts, and some stuff you might find you never need. I never used (and then returned) my Pack n' Play, for instance, and that money became many things that my kid DID need.

I'm sure there are more comments I'd want to make, but I ought to get some work done today!

Girl said...

I know two things about baby stuff...1) don't get a high chair, get one of those plastic fold up seats. They can go ANYWHERE. 2) EVERYONE will give you a blanket (and a stuffed animal) at your shower. Blankets are to baby showers as wine is to dinner parties.

Deep breath's, HL!! And have fun this weekend!

KathyR said...

What Summer said about the lasagna bed. Here's how we did it:

1. cute fitted sheet that matches all the cute bedding goes on the bottom.
2. next layer is one of the flannelized rubberish large cloth/blotter things (someone help me with what these are called). We used that instead of layers of mattress pads.
3. top the rubberized thingy with one of these amazing flannel crib sheets we found that are flat and have velcro at each corner so you can just lay them down on the bed and do the strips around the corner posts of the crib
4. repeat layers 2 and 3 to the point of ridiculousness.

Then, when you have a middle of the night leaky diaper, you just pull off the top flat sheet and the top rubber thingy and put the baby back down on a clean dry sheet. No stripping and remaking the crib in the wee hours while the baby shrieks.

That is the total of my ancient wisdom on the subject. Have a great time in SF!

mamatulip said...

First of all -- have a wonderful time in SF! You deserve to relax and be pampered!

And the bedding is adorable. I really like it.

I think I'm going to copy your list and then email you my thoughts on it. So check your email in a little bit, okay? :)

Rev Dr Mom said...

I am older than dirt, and my kids are 14-31, so my take on things is likely out of date, fwiw.

But that won't stop me:) What about a dresser with a changing table top--do they still make those?

Sheets and blankets--you can never have too many, but likely you'll get a lot. It helps to have blankets of different weights.

Snow suit--if the baby is born in Dec. you may not need an actual snowsuit this year--getting an infant into arms and legs in a snow suit is a pain. A bunting may be better.

Ditto what others have said about MacLaren strollers--observing people in NYC with strollers, they really looked like the most versatile and sturdy. But you may want to wait til warm weather--they take up a lot of room.

You can wash a baby in the sink, but a tub that fits over the sink is easier.

I think if I were having a baby now, I'd be tempted to get a co-sleeper.

Good Luck, and I hope you get lots of pampering.

jo(e) said...

Wow, that's a long list. How big is your house? All that you absolutely need is a crib, a crib sheet, a car seat, diapers, some undershirts, and some receiving blankets. And a sling is really nice.

People will give you tons of cute clothing as presents after the baby is born -- and they will get outgrown very quickly.

I never had room for a changing table or a playpen or anything like that, and none of my kids suffered for it. (The safest place to change a baby is on a small blanket on the floor. No chance of the baby falling!) So I would stop and think about where this stuff is going to fit in your house.

Yes, you can wash a baby in the sink, but since it's your first, you might want to buy one of those plastic bath things. It's a horrible feeling when your precious baby knocks his head against a faucet. So for your own peace of mind, I think the baby bath thing would be worth it.

When I was breastfeeding, I would buy different color plastic Gerber baby bottles. When I would fill a bottle with breastmilk, I would write down the color of the bottle and the date on a sheet I kept on the door of my freezer. That way I could look at the list and see which bottle of frozen breastmilk to use next. It was a color coding system that worked pretty well.

I never used breastpads because I thought they were uncomfortable and looked weird. I used to buy men's cotton hankerchiefs. After you wash them, they are nice and soft. You can fold them and put them inside your bra.

I hope all of our advice isn't making things worse!

Phantom Scribbler said...

I want to just chime in with jo(e). All of the things that you list will be pleasant to own when the baby comes, and probably will make your life a little easier. But if the shopping is stressing you out, it's OK to step way way back on it. Car seat, warm covering or bunting to cover teh little sweetie when he or she is in the car seat in the winter. Diapers. Onesies. Packages of cheap receiving blankets that can double as spit-up rags. That's all you absolutely have to have to give your baby everything he or she needs for the first couple of months of life.* Everything else you can acquire as necessary as you go along.

*Yeah, I didn't put a crib on the list. This is not because I'm a militant co-sleeping hippie freak. This is because we underwent MAJOR! STRESS! about the procuring and furnishing of the crib, only to see child #1 use it not at all for the first six months (and child #2 use it NEVER). Your mileage may vary, however.

Whymommy said...

Hi there! I’m two weeks behind you in the pregnancy game, but this is my second baby, so I have some opinions to offer on your list. Sorry to eat up bandwith on your blog comments, but hopefully this will be useful to you.

First, you’re going into this with just the right attitude. Don’t get sucked into the whole wipe warmer and baby kimono racket. Get just what you need, and try to enjoy the process a little bit. Most of the huge range of choices are all okay, and nothing is so critical that you can’t run out to Babies R Us or buy it online after you get home and figure out you need it. Well, except for the car seat. They won’t let you take baby home from the hospital without one!

So here are the things I totally don’t think are necessary to put on your registry:

Bassinet – get a pack-and-play with bassinet feature instead. It doesn’t have to be fancy, but do get a reputable brand and one that you like, as you may be hauling it all over creation for the next two years for baby to sleep in on the road. The most important feature is simplicity in putting it up and taking it down, as you will be doing this late at night in a strange hotel room if you travel. Baby can sleep in this for the first 3 months in your room if you like too. That makes it easy to hear her in the middle of the night, and is cozy too, unless one or more of you snore. 

Dresser – just a comment here – do try to find one with a changing table area on top or just nail some wood trim around the top of an old one to keep baby from rolling off. OR get the fancier pack-and-play with changing table attachment OR use the bassinet attachment to change diapers. Be careful not to strain your back by changing all the diapers on the floor. Back strain (often called “mommy back”) can quickly become a problem for new moms.

Quilt – not necessary or useful, as she can’t have one on her bed until she’s two. If you must have one, go ahead and get a quilt rack to display it on. Same logic with crib bumper, but you can use that for the first couple months – if you’re using the crib instead of a pack-and-play or bassinet. In general, though, matched sets cost more money than they’re worth, since not all the pieces are usable at the same time, and the sheets will probably be quite worn by the time your toddler can use the quilt safely.

Blankets – you will probably get these without asking. If you care which ones you get, register for them. If you’re more laid-back about it, though, don’t worry about it. You will need both fuzzy blankets for your December baby to snuggle in as you dash from house to car and swaddling blankets, also called receiving blankets, to swaddle baby in EVERY NIGHT if he has trouble sleeping at first, as many do.

Umbrella stroller – this can wait until later, as you can’t put newborns in one. Plus they give them out free at Toys R Us now and then with $75 purchases. Or just get an umbrella and not a travel system type stroller. Either way, you probably don’t need both (caveat: unless you travel on a major city’s metro system a lot and want one that folds up with one hand).

Diaper caddy – just one is fine, unless you want to set up changing areas upstairs and downstairs and look all matchy matchy. But I do really like the one we have, and we’re still using it after 2 years.

Baby Bjorn – not necessary, since you already have a sling that you like. Slings are fabulous.

Safety gates – essential, but they can wait 6 to 9 months.

Snowsuit – your call, but think about how often you will actually be out in the freezing elements with your newborn. Probably not as often as you think, unless you stroll every day outside. And will you be doing that with a newborn before March?

Breast pads – go disposable. Lanisoh makes fabulous ones. Not sure that I’d put them on my registry, though.

Bottles – totally your call. Except it isn’t. It’s your baby’s call. Buy one or two of several different brands, like Avent, Playtex, or Dr. Brown’s, and see what the baby will use. Most babies have their own ideas about this one. Especially if you breastfeed.

High chair – this is interesting. We actually never bought a high chair. Baby Widget sat in our lap or slept in his sling during meals until he could sit up, and then we used the Fisher Price booster chair. It worked like a charm, and he got to be at the table with us from the start.

Bath accessories – Johnson’s, Johnson’s, Johnson’s and a baby washcloth are all you need. Use the allover baby wash at first, cause it’s simple, and then add the shampoo. No need to get fancy here either.

Baby clothes – buy yourself some itty bitty ones, cause in my experience everyone buys 3-6 month or 6-9 month clothes as gifts. And they’ll choose what appeals to them, bless their hearts. No need to put them on a registry.

One thing to add? An extra Boppy cover if you see one, as they quickly get milky and yuck. You can also drape one of your many receiving blankets over it when you use it, though, if you prefer.

I love love love the bedding you picked out. It’s absolutely gorgeous!

Best of luck to you!

gedditogethere said...

Dear HL,

We never had a changing table. We just bought one of those changing pads and a couple (you'll see why, hee, hee) of the covers that go with them.

The crib bumpers are ador-frickin'-able, but they kind of made me nervous for some reason so I never used them. The baby can't move when they are supposed to protect them - and then by the time the baby can move around, you're supposed to take them out. Verdict: cuteness factor - thumbs up. Practicality - thumbs down.

I LOVED, LOVED, LOVED, my snap and go stroller. It lasted for both of my kiddies. It was probably one of my best investments. Did I mention I LOVED it?

Ditch the diaper caddies and stick with baskets, bins, heck...the top of the t.v. You'll understand soon enough. ; )

My house is teeny, so I didn't even use the regular baby moniter. House small, baby lungs large.

Can you rent a breast pump from the Hospital? I intentions and all that, but the pump is expensive so just make sure that if you do buy it, it is returnable if you do not open it.

I never used a diaper pail, like one of your posters said, and ditto on the lasagna bed. You'll love it in the middle of the night when your wee one does a wee, or not so wee, one.

I did not get one of those plastic bath basins. Instead I got this meshy sling thing that you set in the bathtub. I got it at BRU. The brillant thing about it is the water goes through the mesh, so it's easy to rinse baby thoroughly and if baby pees or poops...right through the mesh!! No baby sitting in pee water!! It was like $13 and was another one of my best "investments."

Okay, thanks for listening! : )

I'm so excited for you!!!!!!!!!

Oh yes...snot sucker bulb is a MUST. Ditto on the other posters' advice: washcloths

Don't forget to think about you... Unless you feel like running out to Target 3 days post-partum (you won't)...get nursing bras BEFORE you have the baby. Trust me. ; ) Just go up a few sizes and wing it from there.

lostinthemiddle said...

Foam mattress?? As in the mold-to-your-body "comfort foam" type? Or, as in just regualr ol' yellow/brown foam?

I don't know much about the 1st, but I'd hesitate. Seems squishy.

The second is fine for the changing table pad and even the bassinet pad, but I wouldn't go that route for a crib mattress.

I think it is worth getting a good quality mattress for the crib. Babies are little and don't need much support, but (if your child takes to the crib) s/he will sleep there for at least 2-3 years. S/he may even use the mattress longer if you decide to go the toddler-bed route down the road. The less-sturdy mattresses really don't hold up.

Another small piece of advice: don't buy a stroller. Just get a frame you lock the car seat into (They're not expensive and highly portable). Once baby is here and you figure out when an where you'll actually being using your stroller (mainly at mall; on city streets; or whatever), then you can shop around for the kind that will actually serve your purposes best (and save you from buying multiple strollers, which is a pretty common phenomenon).

Swings are nice, but they don't get a lot of use.

The exersaucers take up a lot of room and don't get that much use. See if you can get a hand-me-down or loaner.

You might want to check out _Baby Bargains_, too. Despite the title, most of their recommendations aren't towards the "bargain." We found the book helpful for identifying how to assess what are needs were, as well as what features are important and what are just bells and whistles. Consumer Reports has a similar book, but it was a bit out-of-date last I looked.

(Please forgive the typos. It's late; I'm beary. I'm exhausted and yet can't sleep).

Gawdessness said...

We were broke with our first baby.
My doc looked at me when I was freaking out about it and asked if we had a safe place to lay the baby down in? Yes. Then she wanted to know if we had a safe place for the baby to be sat in.
Diapers? Yes. Some clothes? Yes. Food? Yes.
She shrugged her shoulders and said that we were set to go and you know, she was right.

The other funny thing is to start with a little less and add things as you need them.

Our first loved the baby swing, it was the only reason I was ever able to shower for the first three months.

Our second one, didn't like it at all.

One liked sleeping in our bed, one didn't.

For us a sling, a baby bouncer chair, and a baby basket (portable bed for sleeping in) were very useful and important with both kids.
I liked having a rocking chair, and a baby moniter too.

If you have a long counter in your bathroom or it is big enough to put a change table into, that is a great place for that kind of thing - there is warm water always at the ready and all the surfaces are washable.

Good luck !

Bethiclaus said...

Okay, I hate leaving long comments, but here we go.

I don't know if foam is okay for a crib mattress. All the books say "firm." We just bought a firm one from Target.

We bought a crib bedding set that came with a quilt, but she can't really use that for a long time, so if you're buying separates, you might want to forgo the quilt.

Do NOT register for blankets! We got, like, 30 because it is the generic gift people will give you. Some might even be handmade [:)]!

I love my Boppy now that I have breastfeeding down, but one of the best purchases I made was a FIRM nursing pillow. The Boppy is just too squishy in those early days when you need as much help as you can get.

While I totally get how people could love the Diaper Genie, I can't stand owning something you have to buy specific refills for, so we have a Diaper Champ and I love it. Even if you run out of medium sized trash bags, you can just use plastic grocery bags. Every diaper pail will eventually stink, but I think it does a pretty good job controlling the odor.

As far as bottles go, I would really suggest Playtex Natural Latch bottles. They come in reusable or disposable and the nipple is wide so that the baby has to work pretty hard for the milk. I'd buy at least four if you're planning on bottle feeding while you're at work.

Once baby can sit up, you can certainly bathe him or her in the sink. I would suggest getting one of those cheap-o bear-shaped yellow sponge things. When you're still doing sponge baths, they will keep baby comfortable and the surface you're working on dry.

As far as clothing goes, no one will care what you register for. They will simply buy you what they like. That actually kind of goes for everything on the registry, unfortunately. Personally, I love to know I'm getting you something you want, but I guess not everyone feels that way.

Holy crap! I'm a bit long-winded. Sorry.

mc said...

As if you need more advice at this point... I'd second the bit about getting just the snap & go frame as a stroller at first until you figure out what you really need in a stroller. You will probably get some BRU gift cards, too, so you can save those to buy the swanky stroller you really want once you know what that is. (We have the Snap & Go and a bigger travel system from Graco that was a hand-me-down from a friend, but I think in the end we're going to get a Maclaren umbrella with the gift cards.)

As far as slings/Bjorn go, I don't think it hurts to have a couple options. We used slings exclusively for the first couple months, but now that Ess is bigger and more wiggly, my husband is putting her in the Bjorn more often. Think about what Josh will be comfortable using, so that you don't end up always being the one with the baby strapped to you!

But really, don't stress too much about the STUFF if you can help it. Everyone is right -- what you *really* need is very minimal.

SRH said...

I have never had a child so my advice is pretty much worthless (and this is not that pretty) but it is space efficient:

SRH said...

sorry, not sure if it showed up. It's from ikea, it's a foldable table attached to the wall.

liz said...

I agree with jo(e) and PS that you don't need a whole heck of a lot. For one thing, you probably know people who could hand stuff down to you. We got a baby swing, bouncy seat, and the baby activity center that way.

If your house has 2 levels, you might want a bassinet or pack-n-play as well as a crib so that you can put your baby down for a nap no matter where you are.

If you decide to get a high chair, practice with it at the store. How easy is it to raise it? lower it? angle it? move it? remove the tray? Is the tray machine washable? what about the seat cover? Those things get totally disgusting.

Bottles are machine washable.

Pass everything on as your baby grows out of it (except one or two of your favorite cutie outfits), if you have another, you'll get it back or get something new.

Audrey said...

We're due in March and one of the only things we've bought (because we got a GREAT deal on it) is an Arms Reach co-sleeper. We got the "original," as it converts to a pack and play -- one less thing to store, one less thing to buy. I am more comfortable with this than "true" co-sleeping and like the idea that it is attached to our bed, unlike a bassinet. Like you, we're not finding out the sex (and I had already fallen in love with the bedding you just chose), and we got the co-sleeper in a neutral color -- natural.

I've been told no on the diaper genie -- there's another product very similar to it, but you don't have to buy brand-specific refills for it; it works with regular garbage bags (stress, time, and money-saver).

When I nannied, the diaper changing station was in the family room -- made more sense than trekking to the babies' rooms each time someone needed to be changed. Could be set up on a low bookshelf. And, I've been warned by multiple people about the "mommy back" that several other commenters discussed.

I'd be interested in seeing you final list and knowing how successful your registries are (and where you are registering). Good luck and HAVE FUN!

Dee Dee said...

You won't need a quilt unless you want to hang it on the wall for decoration. I wouldn't bother with a snow suit either - the bundle me will be enough unless you plan on lots of walks outdoors in the winter or hiking. Skip the bassinett and get the Pack N Play with a bassinett attachment - many of them also come with a changing table. The countoured changing pad is all I ever used... we didn't have a changing table and didn't miss it at all.

I do think you need a bath tub - ours fit in/on the kitchen sink so we weren't hunched over.

I've used the Diaper Genie and the Safety First diaper pails and preferred the Safety First one. I thought that it contained the smell better.

I think the waterproof mattress pad is NOT a waste. It saves you from having to spray the mattress down with smelly cleaners if there is an accident.

I'd buy a regular Simmons or Sealy crib mattress - not so sure about a foam one. You want it firm.

Good luck! Hope this helps from a mom of 2. Have fun registering.

amygeekgrl said...

First of all, I hope you have a wonderful, pampering, relaxing weekend in SF. :)

As for registering - I think your list looks pretty good. I'll give you my .02 on some things, but take it all with a grain of salt. What worked for me, may not work for you. ;)

Crib and bedding - Honestly, you might not ever end up using this. It's hard to say where your baby will want to sleep (i.e. with you or in your room or in a crib) and hard to say how you will feel about having your baby in another room from you. I know a lot of moms who never thought they'd cosleep, but found out that baby slept best with them or that they couldn't get any sleep w/ baby in another room. We personally used a co-sleeper for the first 4 months, then she came into bed with us. Night nursings are so much easier if the baby is right there beside you and you don't have to get out of bed (or even wake up very much once you learn how to nurse in the side lying position). So my thoughts on cribs and bedding (which we had and never used other than to decorate the nursery) are just know that you may not end up using them.

I can't comment on diaper pails since we cloth diaper.

Booger suckers and good nail clippers are a must.

I used the bouncy seat a fair amount with Ava, but she didn't care for the swing and it got used maybe 10 times. Other babies like it. It's hard to say.

We did use the baby bathtub in the kitchen until she was a cpl months old, then I just took her in the bathtub with me (which was more fun anyway!). :)

I don't know much about bottles or sterilizing since I never bottlefed, but I know moms who had to try different brands of bottles til they found one that worked best for baby. So you may want to register for a cpl diff. kinds. I have heard good things about Dr. Browns.

I have to agree w/ what everyone has already said about blankets - you will get a TON! I have so many I don't know what to do with. I got at least 5 handmade quilts, some afghans, plus other blankets. Definitely more than I could ever use or know what to do with.

We never had a changing table either - just used the floor or bed. Make sure you get several changing pads or covers because they WILL get peed/pooped on - often.

I agree w/ registering for your convertible carseat. We have a Britax Marathon and love it. Ava moved into it at about 4 months I think, but she was a big girl. ;)

We never did the high chair - just have one of those Fisher Price booster seat things and that has always done the trick just fine. :)

I think that's all I have for now. Try not to get too overwhelmed and have fun registering. :)

Piece of Work said...

Have a great weekend, HL! I'll agree with the other posters who said you don't need much other than the carseat, a crib and some diapers.
Skip the bumper and the quilt unless you want them for decoration. Skip the diaper caddies, wipe warmer etc etc. The pack n play you'll only need if you travel, and you can usually rent them. We used a moses basket instead of a bassinet which was much more functional (and cheaper). The snap n go stroller that goes with your infant car seat is cheap and you can open it one handed. If you want to get the umbrella stroller now, you can, but remember you wont' need it until the baby's six months or so. Ditto exersaucer. I have the Maclearen Volo and I love it, have used it for 3 years now and it's great. If you want to register for the bigger carseat (they grow out of the infant seat at 20lbs) I'd recommend the Britax Marathon. It's expensive, so it might be nice to have someone else buy it for you. I wish I'd thought of that. The plastic baby bath tubs are cheap and I preferred that to my sink because the baby was so slippery and my sink is HARD. I'd skip the swing and get a bouncy seat instead--takes up less room and it's less expensive. Some babies don't take well to the swing. We never used a moniter because our house is small. We do use the Diaper Champ which I prefer to the Genie. (we used the Genie for the first year; it was a gift) As for bottles, neither of my kids used a bottle at all while I was breastfeeding, and you don't want to buy a bunch of them just to take up space in your kitchen. If you must have a few I'd buy the Avent ones.
Dont worry, HL, you'll be fine even if you didn't have anything! Have a great weekend!

Mrs. Chicky said...

POW took most of the words out of my mouth. The quilt you won't use until the kid is about a year. Wipe warmers? You never need them. We did like our plastic baby tub that we threw on top of the sink when our baby was very small, but we only used it until she was around 8 months and then we moved to a larger, blow-up tub that we placed in our larger bathtub.

Good luck!

trillwing said...

Some thoughts:

Crib mattress (is foam fine?) - get a good-quality mattress that allows for air circulation. There's a recommended # of mattress springs for a good-quality mattress. I think a real mattress is a nice defense against SIDS.

Bassinet - Didn't think we'd need this, but it ended up being a godsend in many ways.

Dresser (I can't find a changing table that fits in the room!) - we planned on using the top of our dresser as a changing table, but then--and this is really sad--our kitchen counter became the changing table because it was so close to a sink, trash can that gets emptied daily, etc.

Rocker with ottoman - we skipped this. Our baby preferred to be carried and bounced.

Crib bumper - we hardly used ours. Someone told us it can contribute to SIDS if the baby's face gets pushed up against it. And as soon as we put it in our baby's crib (when he was a little older), he was putting his hands and arms behind it.

Quilt - nope, 'cause of the SIDS danger. Flannel and waffleweave cotton swaddling blankets were fine for us. We bought an expensive bedding kit (bumper, crib skirt, quilt, curtains, etc.) and all we ended up using much at all was the fitted sheet.

Crib skirt - didn't need it

Fitted sheet (4-5?) - we've gotten by with 3.

Waterproof mattress pad fitted (2?) - yes, one has been sufficient for us

Waterproof mattress pad flat -we placed a small extra waterproof pad under the section of sheet where he sleeps. It mostly saved the mattress from sweat and drool, not urine, since we rarely had leak problems.

Bouncy seat and Swing - lifesavers!

Exersaucer - we didn't use this as much as we had hoped, and it takes up a lot of space.

Mobile - cute, but our boy wasn't too much into it, and we had to remove it from the crib pretty quickly (by 5 mos.)

Playmat for floor - ours loved the kind with the crossed arches and dangly things.

Diaper pail (which one?)- any garbage can with a tight-fitting lid will do. Don't spend a bundle on a tiny little thing just for diapers.

Breast pads/shields (what else?)- lots of lanolin ointment. I liked the pads that were a combination of terrycloth and dry-weave fabric. The disposable ones are useless.

Bottles (what brands? How many if I'm planning on breastfeeding?) - Avent is great. For the first year, we've gotten by with four 4-oz bottles and four 8-oz bottles, and we fed a combination of breastmilk and formula.

High chair - you don't need this for awhile.

Bath tub (can I wash baby in the sink?) - yes, you can wash the baby in the sink, but it's kind of difficult to hold up his head and wash him at the same time. The blue plastic tub that they sell everywhere was very useful to us.

Bath accessories (lotion, soap, etc.) - we only ever used the Target brand baby wash.

Buy some Mylicon (simethicone) drops for gas. There's a more organic kind out there, too, but the name evades me--something water, I think.

Get a tub of Boudreaux's butt paste. It's terrific.

Also, our little guy only fit into newborn-sized diapers for 3-5 days. It's good to have size 1 diapers on hand.

purple_kangaroo said...

Some of the things on your list, like the exersaucer, you won't be using for many moths yet. So go ahead and register for them, but don't worry about buying them yet if you aren't given them as gifts.

I gave you the link to my registry post already, didn't I?

ppb said...

Okay, so I don't know jack about babies. I think the most important thing you need is this:

Fancypants Law
Class of 2032

Everything else is just gravy.

purple_kangaroo said...

trillwig, I think you were thinking of gripe water. I've never tried it, but thanks for reminding me to look into that. Baby E is allergic to corn, and simethicone is made from corn.

Whymommy said...

There is one item that is never on the registry and website lists but is essential when setting up a nursery. A smoke alarm. Please add one to your shopping list today, and get it set up before you leave baby alone in the nursery. And if you'll be leaving her in there with the door shut to nap or sleep and your house is large, be sure to leave the baby monitor on as well. Recommendations from the US Fire Association brochure on keeping kids safe,

Oh, and on a more fun note, if you do get an infant mobile, consider hanging it high over the changing table area after the first few months over the crib. Presto -- months or even years of distraction for baby while you change messy diapers!


Whymommy said...

Sorry, that last link didn't work because it was too long. I posted the links on my website ( morning, or you can search for United States Fire Association and kids to find their recommendations and products to help kids learn about fire safety.


SuzanH said...


Congrats and I hope you enjoy your visit.

Just a couple of things:

*Instead of baby clippers, I used a soft nail file. No chance of clipping flesh (blech) and they aren't remotely scratchy. You can do it while the baby sleeps.

*Never used a changing table for my daughter. I used my bed/floor and a diaper changing pad. Also, a friend lived in a 2 story house (I live in a ranch) and she'd leave a set of changing things - diapers, wipes, pad - in a drawer in her entertainment center. Very handy.

*Waterproof mattress pads are amazing. And you can use them after the transition to a regular bed.

*The best thing I ever got was a Lands End diaper bag. Amazingly durable and amazingly put together. I still use ours (it's black) 9 years later for quick overnight trips.

Good luck and don't worry. It'll be GREAT!

Anonymous said...

Stumbled across your blog and just wanted to say:

Get it all. You only get to be a first-time mommy once. You'll figure out what works best for you and your baby. I have 4 children. I would never have survived without a changing table and a stroller. My babies HATED being in the sling! I had a zillion strollers. Diaper pails.. without one, you are walking all through the house with stinky/leaky diapers. yuk. Much easier to toss it into a pail next to the changing table, especially with a newborn. Don't just assume you'll breastfeed without any trouble. My babies would have died. They didn't care which bottles I used, I bought them more for what kept me entertained. They just wanted to eat! Portable highchairs rock. My babies loved swings and bouncy chairs, but yours might now. By the way, a bouncy chair is how I managed to shower. Put baby in it, right next to the shower. Even if your baby starts to fuss, you will be amazed at how much a quick shower will revive YOU! Good luck and enjoy your baby!

Yankee, Transferred said...

1. Birth control prescription
2. Voter registration card
3. Small refrigerator for room
4. Absentee ballot

Oh, never mind-that's MY list.

I was poor as a church mouse when OD came-she had a crib (because I need my sleep) and a changing table and a stroller. I made my own wipes (because I was so poor) and used cloth diapers because in those days, they were cheaper than paper. The bedding you chose is just beautiful-I went with non-sex specific colors, too, and loved my baby's room. The walls were pale gray, the trim was bright white, and the crib stuff was lavender, aqua, and sage green.
Now I'm doing dorm room in huge dots.

Dawn said...

We never used the bathtub, I just took her into the bath with me. She liked to nurse.

Bouncy seat so Mama can take a shower, and baby can watch Right outside the curtain.

Get the Good Bulb syringe, not that crappy one they sell in the stores, but the real one they give you at the hospital. I absconded with 5 from the hospital. The other one gives NO suction.

And you don't need all this stuff at once. For the first two months, the baby will be with you, on you or right next to you. Longer term stuff like Exersaucer etc doesn't even come in handy until 5-6 months of age.

Bunches of cloth diapers for wiping up vomit. (oswaurs are still in great shape 8 years later)

and Baby Tylenol Suppositories. It was the only thing in my med cabinet I forgot, and when I needed them.....I needed them.

Mom of Three said...

An old mother-of-three's take on The List:

Baby-to-be List

Crib: Nice, but since it's easier to sleep the whole night with your boob popped into the baby's mouth, it's really only used for hanging laundry.

Crib mattress (is foam fine?: Heck, plywood would be fine, considering it's just for show!

Bassinet: Get one with wheels so you can wheel the little guy around from room to room while sleeping AND get a vibrating one!

Dresser (I can't find a changing table that fits in the room!): No matter, you'll do most of your changes on the couch.

Fitted sheet (4-5?): The great news is that these also fit the toddler beds, and thus can be used when the little one finally does sleep alone.

Waterproof mattress pad fitted (2?)
Waterproof mattress pad flat (2?): No need for these if you have the fitted ones.

Blankets (for stroller or chair or floor- how many? 2? Do I need to register or will people just get them?): You'll get more blankets than you can shake a pacifier at. The soft cotton ones are best. Ones with loops or weaves get the baby's fingers caught up in them. Ones with fringe on the ends get swallowed. Old Navy's are cheap and good.


Car seat

2 Bases for car seat

Stroller: Get one that the car bucket clicks into. That's a must.

Umbrella stroller: I never liked these flimsy things, and there is never any storage. Go to Target and pick out one of their slightly heavier types that are still small, i.e. Combi.

Bouncy seat: Fisher Price makes a good one that vibrates and has a play bar with fishies and lights on it.

Swing: Two of my kids loved this, one hated it. DON'T get the cheapest one that has an A-Frame. Those plastic things pop off all the time and it wants to collapse. Get one where you can put them in right through the top.

Exersaucer: Our favorite contraption, ever.

Curtain rods
Table lamp
Diaper bag: A regular backpack works great, too.

Towels (4?)
Changing pad (for floor or bed or chair, since I won't have a changing table): Or couch.

Boppy: Absolutely! I had one with each of my kids. Loved them!

Burp cloths (how many? 20?): Truthfully, you'll be grabbing your hand towels since the kitchen is nearer. I always had beautiful gifted burp cloths and never once used one.

Bundle me car seat cover: Yes! Ours had froggies on it.

Diaper caddy (2?): Easier to put the diapers in a dresser drawer and pull out a few at a time to put on top by the wipes.

Baskets (3?)
Sling and Baby Bjorn (sling purchased in Amsterdam- at least I can carry the baby around!)
Playpen/Pack and play: Never used ours. Sold it with the tag still on at a yard sale last month.

Playmat for floor
Baby monitor (does anyone have the video ones? Are they a waste?): Truthfully, with the sound ones you can carry the little radio around with you while you garden, put it on your nightstand (right next to the baby, who is sleeping in your bed), and is sort of more practical. But the prices have come down on the video ones as well.

Safety gates
First aid kit
Diaper pail (which one?)
Snowsuit (for my December baby!)

Breast pump: Medela Pump in Style RULES!

Breast pads/shields (what else?)
Bottles (what brands? How many if I'm planning on breastfeeding?) Avent were great AND you could also get the Avent Isis hand pump to have a tiny, portable, manual one. I had both but I ended up using the Isis much more because it fit into my purse and it adapted to the Avent bottles I had.

High chair
Bath tub (can I wash baby in the sink?): All my kids were washed in the sink, it was just fine.

Bath accessories (lotion, soap, etc.)

Snot suckers in every room, saline drops, GAS DROPS, tons of binkies if they're going to use them. Good luck, I love SF, used to live in Chico, and date a guy on 24th St just past Wawona.

Jessica said...

I'm not much's been 16 years since I had a baby and you are WAY more organized than me.

One thing - and I didn't see this on your list - that I think parents can live without is one of those wipe warmers (heating element for baby wipes so that kiddo doesn't get an unpleasant shock during diaper change). My son HATED having his bum wiped but I found it just as effective to hold the wipe in my hands for a minute or two.

Robin said...

I wrote about this a while back and got some helpful tips.
If you have some time,check it out.

FYI,I rarely bathed Lillianna in the tub.....we had a nice double sink in the kitchen that was perfect.

By the way,did you ever make the dill dip??

Karyn said...

My advice is this: Register for everything. You can change your registry at any time and delete the wipe warmer (scary to me) or the sterilizer ( I have one and used it exactly two times ).

About 200 blankets. Waffle weaves, cotton receiving blankets, two pretty blankets. You can never have enough.

We loved Isis bottles. Good for formula or breastmilk, whatever the juice du jour was around here.

Foam mattresses scared me; too squishy. A vinyl springy one is best - no chance of suffocation, plus you can just wipe that sucker clean as needed.

They do sell "snot suckers" or "booger balls", but I love the ones the hospital gives you, the one they use to suction the baby at birth. They are just so perfectly sized. Babies hate them but oh, you will be so happy to have it.

We didn't have space for a changing table either so my kids were changed on the bed, the floor, or on the little foam tray we belted to the top of the dresser. That was fine and we wound up using the bed more often than not anyway.

Make sure your stroller RECLINES and has ample storage and I know this sounds indulgent, but a cup holder will make you SO FREAKING HAPPY later on.

Pack & Play is invaluable too although they have so many bells & whistles now that I am a little intimidated by them.

I registered for cloth diapers , not to diaper the baby, but for burp-cloths. I loved them. I still use them to wipe up sick faces or use as tourniquets or as cold packs on feverish heads... They are like twelve bucks and totally versatile and wicked absorbent. My 2 cents - get some.

The high chair isn't necessary but you could register for one...totally up to you. It took me five hours to register, because I tried everything - reclining, folding, unsnapping, etc., to see how it worked and whether I could see myself making it do what it was supposed to. This turned out to be a good good thing to do.

A playmat is good too, as is a Baby Mozard DVD - my eldest was fascinated with that from about 6 weeks onward. It was the only way I could cadge 15 minutes to shower or whatever and the music is so pretty.

This is making me wistful. And sleepy. I will be thinking of you!