Saturday, February 2, 2013

Registry Must Haves for the First Year

As a new mom, there are a lot of things that I have had to learn. When it comes to being a mom, you try to be prepared as best as you can be. I read countless books and articles and would spend hours researching things online. But, in my opinion, no advice or book or article can prepare you for motherhood. Some babies are polar opposites of others, so one thing that worked for someone else, might not work for you. I am sure that it is probably easier with the second baby you have, maybe labor won’t seem so scary. But for a first time mom, the process of getting ready for the baby can be quite stressful. I can remember going to register and bringing along 3 different checklist of “must have registry items,” and while that was a tremendous help, I had no idea just how MUCH I really needed.

I found myself asking questions like, “Do I really need a wipe warmer?” or “Will I need this use the cold medicine before it expires?” I had no idea how fast babies grow up. My daughter is advanced in my eyes. She held could sit up in her Bumbo at 3 weeks old, she was holding toys shortly after, she said her first word at 4 months old, she took her first steps a 8 months old and could walk completely by 9 months. It’s amazing how fast they learn. One minute, she had just learned to sit up, and the next time I look, my baby was crawling away. It definitely didn’t occur to me how many toys and teething items I needed for the first year!

I made a list of 1st Year Registry Must Haves.. this doesn’t mean that you should buy ALL of this before you even have a baby. But just keep in mind, that these are the things that will help your baby grow and develop throughout the first year. It is definitely expensive, especially on top of food, clothes, and formula. But babies grow up so fast in the first year, and these toys and items are just for stages, they will grow out of them fast! Enjoy your little one’s while their little. These are the toys and products that I have found to be the most helpful throughout my babies first year, all divided up into separate categories!  I hope this help as you plan for your baby and enjoy their first year of life! 

1. Boppy Pillow: I loved this. You can use it when you breast feed, for propping up a small baby, for tummy time, and as a safety pillow for when baby is learning to sit up!  
2. Mittens: These are for a newborn’s hands so they won’t scratch their face with their nails. Keep in mind, that the Carter’s Sleepers in Newborn and 3 month size, have a hand cover built into the sleeves.

3. Sleep N’ Play: Love these for a newborn! They keep them warm, are easy to change, and are easy for diaper changes. A must for a newborn!

4. Bassinet: There are a lot of different varieties of bassinets, some are available for sleeping next to mom and dad’s bed. Pick one that works for you! These are great for newborns so they can sleep in the same room as you, babies get up so often when they are that little. It keeps the nerves away, some mom’s worry about if her baby is ok, this way they are right by you to check on. I love the ones that have night lights, music, vibrate, or rock. The storage containers are great for a quick diaper or clothes change in the middle of the night!
5. Activity Mat: This is a great developmental toy. Babies love to just lay back and look at their toys or some even have mirrors! Eventually they will pull their toys and roll over on this mat.
6. Infant Car Seat: A must! I love how easy these are to carry babies out with you when you leave the house. They sleep so much when their little and baby can sleep in this when you’re out. There are convertible car seats that will fit a newborn, but I prefer this for a younger baby.
7. Security Blanket: It’s never too early for a security toy, which will one day be comforting to your baby. I have a few, my daughter will sleep with one.
8. Pacifier and Pacifier Clip: If your baby will take a pacifier, the Nubbie brand is the most popular and the one that most hospitals use. There are thousands of designs of clips and pacifiers to choose from!
9. Teething Rings: Babies teeth very early, these little rings can go in the fridge to help sooth your babies gums and they are small enough for your baby to hold it themselves when they are old enough. You can hook these to the pacifier clips, so that your baby won't drop it on the ground and get it dirty! 
10. Hats: A newborn babies body temperatures need to be regulated. Even if it is not cold to you, a newborn is very small and not yet used to regulating their body temperature. Make sure you have a few hats on hand, especially at night. Remember that the hospital will give you one when you leave.
11. Receiving Blankets: Newborn babies love to be swaddled! It reminds them of the womb. They do sell a specific blanket for swaddling, and wearable blankets, but you can also use a receiving blanket as long as you know how to swaddle!
12. Pack N’ Play: For me this was a must. If you live in bigger house or a house with more than one story, it can be challenging to have to keep going up the stairs so often! Whether it be to lay them down in bed, change their diaper or change their clothes. I put this in my living room when my baby was a newborn. I could lay her down in the same room when we had company over, and it has a changing table built into it. I used the play pen part to store diaper rash creams, medicine, extra burp clothes and clothes.. anything! Then when they are old enough, you can just have a play pen. These also fold up, and they work well when you go out of town.
13. Lap Pads: I am so glad I had these when my baby was a newborn! A lot of newborns have diarrhea, and it comes from their body getting rid of jaundice. Some babies will start using the bathroom right when you go to change their diaper! Trust me, these make clean up so much easier! They will keep your changing pad and changing table clean.  
14. Waterproof Teething Bibs: These are a must for teethers who drool a lot. These are expensive for bibs, but it beats changing clothes 5 times a day just from all the drool!
15. Bouncer: Babies loved to get soothed by the gentle bouncing motion.
16. Sophie the Giraffe Teether: A teether’s best friend!
17. Infant Bath with Sling: There are many different type of baths. I prefer one with a tub and a sling. I never washed a baby in the sink before, but I know they make slings especially for that. The sling is great for a small baby with an umbilical cord and when they can’t sit up. The tub is great to have for after the umbilical cord falls off and when baby starts learning to sit up.
18. Swing: Another soothing toy that comes with many different varieties of features. 

1. Crib and Bedding: This is where you get to have fun decorating! The new cribs will be available to convert into a toddler bed and then into a headboard for a bigger bed. I would advise having at least 2 bed sheets for middle of the night changes!
2. Changing Table: Make sure there is storage for all the diapers, wipes or clothes!
3. Changing Pad and Changing Pad Cover: I would advise having more than one cover, babies will make a mess!
4. Diaper Pail: A must to keep those smelly diapers locked up.
5. Glider with Foot Rest: Pick out a comfortable one, mom! You will probably be spending a lot of time in it!
6. Mattress Cover: So those baby mattresses are hard, right? And I know they need to be, but I found this mattress cover that goes under the sheet to make it a little more soft and its waterproof!
7. Noise Maker/Music Player: I highly recommend this. It will help babies sleep, know that it’s time to sleep and some will even play a mom’s heart beat!
8. Diaper Caddy: this is great to carry around the house all the things you might need.
9. Mattress Pads: these go under the sheet and make for a very easy clean up when it comes to messy diapers in bed, a leaked through diaper or a sick baby that will throw up!
10. Black Out Curtains: I love these. It helps to keep the room dark when it’s time for baby to sleep and it’s hard to do that during the day. These work great at keeping the sunlight out when it’s nap time or bedtime.
11. Diaper Organizer: to store all your diapers for easy reach, and they will match the crib bed set! 

1. High Chair/Shopping Cart Cover: I love this. It keeps all the germs from other kids off of your baby and it go into the washing machine. The one I have has storage pockets and hooks for toys.

2. Car Seat Strap Covers: Some car seat comes with this, if they don’t, I suggest getting one. They are padded and can protect your child during a car crash and can make them more comfortable in their seat.

3. Baby Sling/Carrier: these are great for going somewhere that you will be walking around a lot, or to just take a walk! It’s great for new mom’s trying to exercise and loose that baby weight.. some moms will put this on and do squats with their baby!
4.  Car Seat and Stroller Combo: I love how these hook together, so you can use a stroller for a small baby!   
5. Car Seat Head Rest: A lot of car seats come with these. The body part is great for a newborn or a preemie baby. It gives them extra padding and comfort. 
6. Bottle Case: An insulated case for breast feeding moms.
7. Convertible Car Seat: Love that these can transform into a booster seat!
8. Car Seat Cover: These are great for places with snow, and during cold weather. It will also protect baby from rain. You can buy a custom cover or use a receiving blanket for an infant car seat.
9. Pacifier Case:  Keep babies pacifier clean and in the same place, so you don’t have to search forever for it!
10. Diaper Bag with Changing Pad Cover:  A diaper bag is a must. Most come with changing pad covers, but make sure you have one.. it works great for public changing tables, or at someone else’s house. You would be surprised at the public places that don’t have a changing table!!

1. Breast Milk Storage Containers: They are available in either containers or bags.. pick one that works best for you and the bottles you have!
2. Nursing Pads: either disposable or reusable gel ones that sooth at the same time. I’ve heard of some that collect breast milk, but the reviews weren’t great.
3. Nipple Cream:  Helps to sooth sore nipples from breast feeding and is safe for baby!
4. Nursing Cover: Perfect for nursing your baby in public and they come in such cute styles for Mom!
5. Breast Pump: Available in single or double and electric or manual.. you choose what is best for you! This will also help increase your milk supply.
6. Burp Cloths: A must for either breast feeding or bottle feeding!
7. Bottles: I personally recommend the Tommee Tippee brand, I love ALL their products.
8. Dishwasher Bottle Organizer: has a slot for straws, nipples, and lids!
9. Bottle Brush with Nipple Tip: gets all the milk out every spot! 
10. Formula Dispenser: Great way to store your formula in the diaper bag.

1. High Chair: A must! There are also portable high chairs, so baby can sit and eat at the table at someone else’s house!
2. Bowls: Lots of these.. for baby food or snacks, and some with lids to carry with you in the diaper bag.
3. Silicone Bib with Pouch: these are wonderful! They wash right off with water and the pouch will catch all that dropped food!
4. Baby Bullet: Great for the Mom who wants to make homemade baby food!
5. Sippy Cups: lots of them, try a lot of different brands if your baby doesn’t like one.
6. No Slip Baby Mat: these are perfect for when your baby starts picking up food. It keeps its place and some will even suction a plate to it.
7. Soft Tipped Spoons: soft for babies delicate and sensitive gums!

1. Inflatable Bathtub: these are very useful for a baby who is just learning to sit up, it will keep them safer than being in a regular bath tub! And it looks like it would be fun! They also make bath rings that your child will sit in, similar to a pool tube. If you don’t use a tub, make sure you have no slip floor mat in the tub.
2. Bath Rinser: These are great for rinsing off the baby in the tub, and they come in a variety of colors and themes.
3. Towels and Wash Cloths: Wash Cloths can be used for a variety of reasons around the house for your baby.. such as treating diaper rash, cleaning spit up, washing babies face or hands after feeding. I love the hooded towels!
4. Bath Thermometer: this will make sure that the bath water isn’t too hot. There also some that are sold, that just light up hot when it is too hot.
5. Bathtub Corner Toy Caddy: I love all the bath time toys, but you need somewhere to put them, and this works great. Keeps all the toys organized in a no-mildew container.
6. Bathtub Toys: These cups are a great developmental toy, baby can spend time dumping water out of containers. I also love the letters and shapes that stick to the walls when wet.
7. Faucet Cover: This will protect your baby from accidentally hitting their head on the faucet and it looks cute! They make some that make water come out like a waterfall or has a slot for bubble bath to mix in. 

**A lot of these items will come in a baby's first year medical kit or some might be given to you at the hospital when you leave**

1. Gripe Water: treats colic and the hiccups.

2. Tooth and Gum Cleanser: great for a teething baby and to clean teeth after they come in, it gets the child in the habit of learning to brush their teeth.
3. Gas Drops: gas can be painful or wake a baby up, so keep them comfortable.
4. Pain Reliever and Fever Reducer: most Pediatrician’s will tell you to give the baby a fever reducer medicine if a fever occurs after having vaccinations or due to teething. Have this on hand before you need it, just in case! Make sure you have the right dosing by asking your Pediatrician, there is concentrated drops and a liquid suspension with different dosages!
5. Zout: So far this is the BEST stain remover for baby food stains. I went back and cleaned clothes I had already packed up and the stains still came out!
6. Laundry Detergent: babies have very sensitive skin, so use a no perfume and no dye laundry detergent, such as Dreft or All.
7. Humidifier: this is a must to have for when babies have runny noses or colds, some people will leave theirs running constantly.
8. Baby Cold Rub: for when a bad cold starts, have this on hand to make baby feel better. Look at the ages before giving it to your child.
9. Pacifier Wipes: these are good to have in the diaper bag for when a pacifier falls and you don’t have the resources available to wash it off.
10. Saline Spray and Nasal Syringe: the hospital will probably give you a nasal syringe, but make sure to use the saline spray to get the snot loose before cleaning out a babies nose.  
11. Hyland’s Teething Tablets: now, every Mom is entitled to her own opinion. I researched it, talked to my Pediatrician and put care thought into it before giving my child these. Some people have negative reviews and some have positive. They worked great for my child. They have no pain medicine in it, which is great because a lot of babies will run a fever when they teeth, which could be dangerous. My baby slept through the night and played during the day when her teeth came in, she was completely happy. I suggest looking into it or talking to child’s Pediatrician if you are unsure if these are right for you.
12. Natural Essentials Fever, First Aid, and Nose Wipes: I haven’t used these yet, but I plan on buying them. The fever wipes would work great for a sick baby.
13. Nail Clippers: babies nails grow fast and the will scratch their faces or their ears, so cut them when they get too long. There a variety of nail clippers to chooses from, so have lights, gripes, or a magnifier on them. Be careful not to cut the babies fingers, they have extra blood vessels in the tips of their fingers at this age and it will bleed pretty bad.
14. Vaseline: they make a kind especially for babies, this will be useful for heat rash on the face, diaper rash, irritation due to spit up, or taking babies temperature.
15. Boogie Wipes: I love these! They are saline covered wipes and they take dried on snot right off! And they are grape scented, they smell so good!
16. Thermometer: most hospitals will give you a generic thermometer when you leave. There are also others that are taken on the head, have removable tips, are taken in the ear, or one that doesn’t even have to touch your baby. A thermometer is a must, fevers can be dangerous for babies!
17. Safety Swab Q-tips: I love these, you can clean your child’s ear out, and know that it won’t hurt them because of the safety guard!
18. Boudreaux's Maximum Strength Butt Paste: this is THE BEST diaper rash cream ever! It will clear it up in the same day! This is a must!

1. Bumbo Seat with Tray: I love this! The seat helps babies learn to sit up on their own. You can feed your baby in this when they aren’t big enough for a high chair yet. It is so easily portable! The tray is sold separately, but makes it easier to feed them and let them play with toys.
2. Stuffed Animals: even boys like stuffed animals. The one in the picture is actually a Scentsy Buddy, and I want one for my little girl so bad!! I think it would be cute to watch her smell it!
3. Riding Toys: there are so many different types out there, but I think they are so fun and are a great learning toy!
4. Saucer: babies won’t play in these much after they start moving around and wanting to explore. But these are great for when they start learning to sit up. There are a lot of different varieties; some even have a jumping pad on the bottom!
5. Car Seat Toys: these toys can hook onto car seats, saucers, swings, high chair covers, activity mats. Definitely get a few of these, even if your baby can’t hold them, they will love to watch them move around in the car.
6. Books: this is a huge learning and developmental toy. It also makes for a great bonding time, by reading books together! This is my daughter’s favorite thing to do. We literally have hundreds of books and she is only 1!
7. Push Toys: These are a great learning toy for a baby learning to hold themselves up or to walk. There are some to buy that lay flat for them to play with until they are old enough to push them.

1. Door Knob Covers
2. Wind-Up Window Blind Cords: these could be a choking hazard.
3. Baby Gate: A must! Keep your baby away from the stairs or the kitchen without putting them in play pen.
4. Stove Knob Covers: for gas stoves, this is essential to protect a very fatal situation.
5. Oven Door Lock
6. Refrigerator Lock
7. Car Baby On Board Decal
8. Cabinet and Drawer Locks
9. Baby Monitor: there are many different kinds and some are quite expensive. There are regular noise monitors, video monitor, hand held monitors and even Wifi camera monitors. Some will allow you to talk through the monitor to your baby, tell the temperature or measure a baby’s heart beats.
10. Table Corner Covers: get the expensive kinds, the cheap one’s will tear up your furniture. And babies might chew on these, so be careful.
11. TV and Furniture Secures: for babies that will pull up on things, this is essential to make sure a TV or book case won’t fall on them.
12. Nightlight: be able to see into a baby’s room without turning on the light, and they might be comforted by a little bit of light.
13. Car Mirror: great for keeping an eye on your baby while you drive, some mirrors have lights and some will play music.
14. Outlet Covers: some need a magnet key or coin to unlock to get off.
15. Car Sun Shade: keep the sun out of the your babies eyes!

I hope this helps, these are what has helped make my life easier and what my little girl LOVES.. leave a comment about your favorite baby item at the moment!! I'd love to hear from you! :)


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