Since I had some time on my hands, I decided I would start a baby registry just for fun. An employee set my registry up, and gave me a scanning gun. Then she told me that if I registered for 50 items I'd get a gift pack full of free stuff. Woo hoo, I thought! I love free stuff. Surely finding 50 items I wanted wouldn't be a problem?
Oh. My. Goodness. I walked up and down every aisle, looked at every shelf, and I found a total of 2 items I wanted:
- New valves and membranes for my breast pump
- Hydrogel pads for nursing (so sore the first few weeks)
I wanted my free stuff, so I clicked a ton of random items, and then came home and deleted them :P
Anyhow, I was surprised how much of the stuff I already had, but I was mostly surprised by how much of the stuff I had but it was completely unnecessary.
I was chatting about this with some first-time-mom friends and they asked me to explain what I mean, so... here is an obnoxiously thorough breakdown of what I mean.
I'll show you what I mean, using the Babies "R" Us "Must-Haves Registry Checklist"
Section One: Baby Nursery
Everyone loves setting up a nursery for their baby; it's sort of like a rite of passage I think. We set one up for Aias before he was born. This new baby won't have one, because s/he will be sharing a room with their brother. And to be honest, if they are anything like Aias, they will probably be sleeping with me until forever anyway.
Crib & Mattress- We bought a really nice crib and mattress set. Once Aias was born, it became abundantaly clear he would never use it. Actually, that's not true. We used it as a changing table for a few months, then we side-carred it to our bed.
Dressers- We did buy a dresser, and we did and do use it. It also has a change table on top.
Change Table- See dressers.
Glider with Ottoman- We didn't get one. I sort of wanted one, but people kept telling me they got them and didn't use them.
Bedding- We got a cheap set from IKEA. Honestly... you don't need bedding. Babies aren't supposed to sleep with bedding until they are a year old, and they never need crib bumpers. Expensive bedding sets are really just for show.
Room Décor Items- We made some and got some as gifts, but we didn't go crazy.
Diaper Pail- We got one through our diaper service.
Crib Mobile- We had one, he ignored it.
Monitors- We bought an Angelcare Monitor, it's still in a box in his closet.
Sleep Positioners- These aren't even safe.
2 Waterproof Pads- Not a bad idea.
2-3 Crib Sheets- If you use a crib, yes.
2-3 Blankets- Yeah babies need some of these. You'll get a ton as gifts.
Night Light- We didn't use or have one. Your baby isn't scared of the dark. If you need one to get in and navigate the room, go for it.
Lamp- Babies don't really need special lamps.
Section Two- Baby Layette
They list tons of items under this section, and I can't really disagree with any of them. Basic things like sleepers, socks, onesies... yeah, babies wear these things. if you are having your first child and you are planning on having more, get some good quality and gender neutral ones. They don't fit these items long and they stay pretty clean, so you can put them away for your future kids. I was shocked at how many of these items Aias grew to fast to wear and how many I have put aside.
The only items we didn't use AT ALL were bibs. He wasn't a drooler, so we have tons of unused bibs laying around.
Section Three- Baby Home
Bassinet- We had one for like a week and gave it away. He didn't use it.
Safety Devices- If you are having a huge baby shower with tons of people coming, sure, register for these. But if you are buying all your own stuff, don't worry about these things yet. You won't need to worry about the baby getting into any danger for at least 4-5 months, probably more like 10+ months.
Playards- Aias refused to use his, but we also got it when he was probably 6 months old. We've been using it ever since as a place for the child-care kids to nap, since it's sleep rated. I'm eager to use the infant attachments when #2 is born.
High Chair- Another thing to register for if you think you'll get one as a gift, but don't feel pressured to spend your money on one before your kid is born. This is another item you won't use for half a year. If you live in an apartment or small home, you'll start to resent the space it takes up before you even get a chance to use it.
Safety Gates- Another thing to register for if you think you'll get one as a gift, but don't feel pressured to spend your money on one before your kid is born. This is another item you won't use for half a year.
Section Four- Baby Travel
Car Seats & Accessories- If you drive a car, you'll need a car seat. As for accessories, you don't need any. Most accessories are unnecessary and also unsafe.
Strollers & Accessories- Even if you don't think you want one, get one. Maybe you will carry the baby always, and maybe that will work out. We wanted to do that, but it turned out we were given a baby that didn't want to be carried in a carrier (only in arms) and would ONLY nap in a stroller. Go figure.
Baby Carriers- I bought lots of carriers, because I loved them! Aias tolerated the Moby Wrap for a while, and then later on he would tolerate the Beco Butterfly II. He hated the Ergo. Once he was three he finally started liking the Mei tai carrier!
Diaper Bags- I cheaped out on this with Aias, and I got the most basic utilitarian diaper bag, a plain black Columbia bag. This time, I'm going to get something cute. You carry that thing everywhere, for a LOOOONG time.
Section Five- Breast Feeding
Remember that if you are planning on nursing your baby, you probably will only NEED yourself.
Breast Pump- We bought one because I was paranoid. I used it, it was fine. I pumped a lot of milk, it ended up going bad in the freezer because Aias wouldn't take a bottle. If you are planning on pumping for while you are at work or something, get a GOOD breast pump. Preferably a hospital grade. I had a Medela Swing and it was fine, but I didn't ever express much.
Breast Milk Storage Bags- If you are pumping, get these.
6-8 Bottles- Seems like a lot, but decide how often you want to be cleaning them.
Nursing Wrap/Cover- Never had one, never used one.
Nursing Pads- I had to wear breast pads every day for 2 years. I got four pairs of re-usable ones. They were bamboo, soft, and awesome. The disposable ones seemed like a waste, but worse, they were crunchy and uncomfortable.
Support Pillow- I loooooved my support pillow. For the first month I used My Brest Friend. After that, I used a simple Jolly Jumper peanut pillow. It's also the same pillow I used between my knees when I was pregnant. We still have the pillow and I'm going to use it again. It was a shower gift, one I didn't even ask for, but it was probably one of my most loved and most used gifts.
Section Six- Bath
3-4 Hooded Towels- We used these. Aias really loved them as he got older.
8-10 Washcloths- I never really understood why we "needed" special baby ones. We could have used regular ones.
Soap & Shampoo- Maybe this is gross, but we seriously never used soap on Aias until he was like 3. Water gets everything off, and we were paranoid about the chemicals. Babies smell nice and don't need lotion or soap.
Infant Bathtub- We had three and used none. We have a sink in our house soo... :)
Section Seven- Infant Care
Thermometer- You should get one of these, and get a good one. I suggest the ear one that takes like 2 seconds, otherwise your baby will get ragey and you'll question the validity of the temperature you get.
Pacifiers- We tried to get Aias to use one, and we are forever praised for having a kid that didn't use one. Whatever, we wanted him to. Some people say not to use them because of nipple confusion.
Cotton Balls/Swabs- I literally have no idea what people do to babies with these items.
Ointments- I don't really get what ointments you'll need, other than something for diaper rash. We had one or two that were cloth diaper compatible, and I'm pretty sure we used them once.
Diapers & Wipes- It's true, you'll use these :)
Nasal Aspirator- People say these are awesome, but I could never get them to work. People have suggested I try "Nose Frida" instead of a bulb, though. Luckily my kid rarely had snot.
Nail Clippers- Aias hated these. We were told we could use a glass nail file, but that didn't seem to work out either. In the end we ended up using nail scissors.
Baby Oil or Lotion- I literally have no idea what people do to babies with these items.
Humidifiers- I could see this being helpful if your kid gets sick.
Baby Toothbrush- We used a washcloth with Aias. We will get a baby toothbrush for #2, if only to get them into a routine and to become familiar with toothbrushing because it was a bit of a struggle with Aias at first.
Brush & Comb - We never used these items with Aias and he ended up with dreadlocks. He won't let us brush his hair to this day. I'll probably use a brush on #2 for the same reason I'll get a toothbrush.... just to get the baby adjusted so there aren't battles in the future.
Section Eight- Baby Play
Bouncers- We didn't want one of these because we said we'd just always hold our baby. Turns out sometimes you need to shower. We were given one as a shower gift and we loved it. He would tolerate it just long enough for us to shower, pee, poop, or do a quick task that couldn't be done with him in our arms or in a carrier.
Learning Toys- The world is your baby's learning toy. Some toys are fun, though. Try not to get out of control or you'll end up with an apartment full of these things like we did. Our new kid is basically getting nothing new as a result.
Swings- I had big hopes for our swing. I fantasized that it would lull my child to sleep... it didn't. It may work for you, though.
Exercisers- They don't need these and I don't think they are necessarily developmentally useful.
Jumpers- Aias loved it, but I felt weird about them. I felt like it was going to make his spine grow strangely. We won't get one next time.
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