Making a baby registry was definitely one of the most difficult lists I’ve ever compiled. A wedding registry was cake; I’m all about kitchen gadgets, cookware, china and silverware. But when it came to baby gear, I was at a complete loss. Having never had a baby, how was I supposed to know which bottles were best, why one bathtub was better than another, or which stroller fit our needs?
Ultimately, I spent a lot of time scouring friends’ registries and blog posts trying to determine the absolute essentials for our own list. Now that we’re almost 4 months in, it’s fun to look back at that list and check off which items really were essentials, and what we could have done without.
Here’s a rundown of our favorite things…
As I mentioned in my sleep post the other day, Annie LOVES the swaddle. I think it was night one in the hospital that Jim got a swaddle tutorial at 3 a.m. from a helpful nurse, and little girl’s been swaddled to sleep ever since. We often used a swaddle blanket for naps, but at nighttime we rely on swaddle sacks so we don’t have to worry about them coming undone. The two sacks we’ve liked best are the Halo Sleepsack and SwaddleMe Sacks. We’ve used the Halo version more, just because she quickly outgrew the SwaddleMe. Unfortunately, as she gets closer to rolling our swaddle days are coming to an end, but the second Annie is swaddled her eyes get heavy and she’s soon passed out. Life saver!
There are SO many days that I’d accomplish absolutely nothing without the help of a carrier. In the first few weeks A would pass out for literally hours in the Boba Wrap while I did housework, so I didn’t feel trapped to the couch for hours on end. More recently she likes to be held upright so she can see what’s going on, and the wrap is still a great place to do that. I love having her all snuggled in and will miss this when she outgrows the weight limit!
The Ergo 360 hasn’t gotten as much use… yet! We use this for walks here and there, but it’s been a little hot for all of the layers during the summer. As Annie is getting a little bigger and gaining head control (and the weather cools off) I think we’re going to be using the Ergo on a regular basis.
UppaBaby Vista Travel System
This wasn’t a registry item; admittedly it’s a little pricey for a stroller and we didn’t feel comfortable asking for it, so we purchased the Vista during a Black Friday sale. I don’t have experience with many other stroller/car seat systems, but the UppaBaby has to be one of the easiest! We love how everything easily pops in and out of the stroller or car seat base, and a major selling point was the ability to convert for up to three kids.
One of my favorite features so far is the bassinet, which we use for walks as well as a portable place for Annie to sit. It’s come along on both vacations this summer and could have been used as a bed in a pinch. Again, this was one of the more expensive items that we picked, but it’s been well worth it!
We picked out the 4moms Breeze for one reason: pre-baby I was NOT all about the bright colors that seemed to go along with every single baby item and this play yard/bassinet was black and white. I really tried to pick neutral items that wouldn’t look so obnoxious in our house, and I realize now how obnoxious that sounds! (And I’ve quickly changed my tune- we have lots of bright-colored baby stuff and I realize that babies like that!) Luckily, it all worked out because the Breeze is awesome! It’s literally a breeze to set up and is light enough that I can tote it around on my own. Annie has slept in the bassinet since we brought her home from the hospital, and until we transitioned to the crib this week she had been using the bottom play yard to sleep for about two weeks. We’ve used it on three trips so far this summer and although it’s a large item to pack, I’m not sure that it’s any bigger than any other pack and play.
Angelcare Bath Seat
i spent way too much time researching bath seats. Did you know there are literally buckets for bathing babies? These seats can get kind of pricey, and the baby grows out of them pretty quickly! The Angelcare seat was under $20 and has been super easy to use from day 1… or rather day 10 when she started taking real baths. The entire thing dries quickly and Annie seems to like it while being secure, even when slippery. It’s not a life-changing product, but I’m including it on this list because after all of the research I’m glad we picked this one!
I was probably most excited about this product just because I thought it looked so neat! Why aren’t there adult seats like this?! The MamaRoo is basically a high tech bouncy seat with 5 settings for rocking styles, 5 speeds, and 5 white noise options. Annie has really liked it and it’s nice to have a permanent spot near the kitchen/living room where she can sit while I’m cooking, working or doing whatever. This doesn’t happen anymore, but during the first month and a half or so, Annie would nap in the MamaRoo, giving my arms a little rest!
These things are everywhere, and I thought they were a little ridiculous until I realized how practical they are! Spend a day picking pacifiers off the floor and you’ll be happy for a WubbaNub. “Gerald” the Giraffe does end up on the floor every now and then, but for the most part he stays put. This is especially helpful in the car when I can’t reach around to replace a pacifier!
I know this is a relatively short list, and we received SO much great baby gear, but at (almost) four months, these are the top items we’ve found ourselves relying on the most.
On the other side of things, there are a few items that I think we could have done without…
Now I’m not saying that you shouldn’t have a diaper bag at all, but I think I could have just used a tote bag that I already had to the same effect. I was fortunate to receive a really nice Kate Spade diaper bag (similar to this one), but so far I really don’t find myself carrying it. It’s basically used when Annie is staying with someone else. I keep a large, zippered pouch in my regular purse (which is a tote bag, incidentally) that holds Annie’s ‘diaper bag’ essentials: 2-3 extra diapers, small pack of wipes, changing pad (love this one), extra pacifier and a fresh onesie. I also keep a canvas bucket basket in my car with the same items, so I always have what we need on hand and don’t feel the need to carry an extra bag. That said, if you’re going to do away with your purse I can see how a nice diaper bag would be a good fit. Maybe as Annie gets older this will change, but I haven’t found myself carrying a ton of extra stuff for an infant.
This is a little bit of a contradiction since the MamaRoo is on the first list, but in all reality we could have done without the MamaRoo. The biggest downfall is that it’s not portable, and definitely not travel-friendly. We’ve actually been using a hand-me-down bouncy seat that Annie likes just as much as the MamaRoo. If you want to splurge on a cool gadget that stays put, this is a good purchase; it’s not a necessity. Just a little insight for anyone on the fence about this one, since it’s not a small purchase!
Bottles & Pacifiers
Another caveat: I’m not saying that you shouldn’t register for any bottles or pacifiers. I would suggest not requesting large quantities of either. We received a few sample bottles and pacifiers, and I registered for specific brands of both. Guess what? She doesn’t like either of the brands that I registered for. Luckily we had the samples so we could test them out and find out which she preferred. (In case you’re curious, we ended up with Philips Avent Natural Glass Bottles and Mam Pacifiers.)
What baby gear do you consider ‘must have’? Anything specific for 3-6 months?
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