Now that I have shared my brief list of things that you DO NOT need to register for, let me share my list of BASIC things you DO need.
1. Swing: If this is not on your registry, put one on immediately. We used our swing daily until Kendall was seven months old. The only reason we stopped using it was because it was in the place where we needed to put our Christmas tree. It was our saving grace and she loved being in there. Admittedly, she spent a couple of nights it there during that first week home when she would not sleep for anything. We used the Fisher-Price My Little Lamb Cradle 'n Swing.
2. Boppy: For those of you that plan to breastfeed, this is an absolute must! However, the boppy is much more than just a prop for feeding. It was also helpful to sit Kendall up, prop her on the sofa with me, and later practice tummy time. I will never forget watching her as she learned to push herself up and over the boppy while on her tummy. She thought it was the best! Our Boppy.
3. Bassinet: The first four months of Kendall’s life she spent every night right next to me and I loved it! I would probably still have her right next to me if she had not grown out of her bassinet. Alas, she did. Yet I cannot say enough good things about having her in a bassinet. It allowed me to check on her through the night, gave her the comfort of having mommy right near her, and helped to teach her how to sleep flat. Some friends have said that the transition from the Rock and Play to a crib was difficult because of the sudden shift to sleeping flat. I cannot speak to that, but I will say that once Kendall got over the change of scenery moving from our bedroom to her own, she did just fine. We used the Simmons Gliding Soothe Bassinet
4. Wipe Warmer: Before registering I too had read lots of lists regarding what to avoid and what to include. The wipe warmer was typically on the “avoid” list. So when I received it as a gift from my brother-in-law I will admit that I was less than enthused. Did I really want to “spoil” my baby with warm wipes? What would happen when we were out and those warm wipes weren’t available? Surely, I wouldn’t use it. WRONG! When Kendall came home from the hospital I did not have her wipe warmer set up. Yet the first time Jonathan and I were changing her I grabbed a bunch of wipes, gave them to him and told them to hold them in his hands to warm them. It was at that point that I realized I needed that wipe warmer. She never had an issue with diaper changes and the wipes never dried out. Add it to your list! We used the Prince Lionheart Wipes Warmer
5. Play Mat: Until your little one can sit up on their own or scoot around, their play time is pretty stationary. Be sure to register for a good play mat for them, something that will offer some different sights and sounds that will be (somewhat) of interest. It also helps to not only have things hanging overhead, but also lower, as you may be doing tummy time on this same mat. Luckily, our mat had some toys that hung at eye level when Kendall would pick her head up. These are the same toys she first learned to reach for as well. We had the Fisher-Price Rainforest Melodies and Lights Deluxe Gym
All of those products are great, but these by far are my favorite!
1. The Miracle Blanket: If you have nothing else for your child, please be sure to purchase one of these. It is the greatest invention of all time! My mom had ordered me one of these months before Kendall was born, yet for some odd reason I didn’t pull it out until she was a few weeks old. What a mistake! Jonathan and I agonized over swaddling her in receiving blankets, fought to try to keep in wrapped tightly, and struggled with a crying newborn. However, once I remembered The Miracle Blanket, the fighting stop! It is a cinch to use, wraps the baby tightly, and stays in place! We were able to use it until she was about eighteen weeks. And it wasn’t difficult to wean her from her swaddle, as you are able to unswaddle one limb at a time for an easy transition. We bought ours here.
2. Blooming Bath: Bathing an infant is no easy task. They are slippery when they are all wet and soapy, too tiny for a full-size tub, and are hard to maneuver when bathing them in the sink. However, I found a product that is AMAZING! The Blooming Bath was perfect to use in our sink when Kendall was an itty bitty newborn. It fit well in the sink, allowed her to recline comfortably, and Mommy to bathe her without worry. Once she was too big for the sink, we simply moved her Blooming Bath over to our bathtub. She was (and still is!) able to sit on it and not slip or slide around, again allowing Mommy some stress-free bathing time. I am thrilled with this purchase as it is something that we are still using, a full year later! I plan on buying these for a few friends who are expecting and using them to hold other small gifts. There are a variety of colors, so choose your favorite at http://www.bloomingbath.com/.
3. White Noise Machine: Your newborn is used to hearing all sorts of sounds inside Mommy’s belly. Food digesting, blood rushing through your veins, your heart beating…they are all sounds of comfort. So it makes sense to try to recreate these sounds to ensure that your baby feels safe and secure. If you do not want to get a specific white noise machine, there are many products out there that are similar. Now I have been using a white noise machine since college (it helped drown out noises in the dorms), so Kendall listened to that while she was still in our room. Once she moved to her own room she listened to the Sleep Sheep. It has a few options for different noises, but we like the sound of waves the best. For those instances of incessant wailing and crying, we reached for our smart phones, opened up YouTube, and played Baby Got Colic. I don’t know what it is, but the ambient noises are miraculous when trying to console your devastated child. In any case, white noise is your friend!
I have many other products I am happy to give feedback on, so feel free to ask in the comments section for other recommendations. In the next few posts I will be sharing my favorite items for breastfeeding moms and suggestions for gift-giving, so stay tuned for more baby products!