Baby Registry Must Haves

Recently a friend of mine was about to go register for the first time and as a brand new mom she asked me what my favorite items and “must haves” were for myself and for our new baby.. This is definitely not everything you “need” or should register for but a general list of all of my favorite things (from birth to 3 months) in alphabetical order.

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4moms mamaRoo Plush Infant Seat

This is our “downstairs” bouncy seat (you need 1 on each floor). We love the different sounds and movement options. It’s great at soothing our little one. This is less mobile than others- its not super heavy but not super light either. We just leave it in one corner in a room downstairs and don’t move it much. We also bought the infant insert for this and used it the first 10 weeks or so.

Screen Shot 2014-08-12 at 1.24.48 PM aden + anais® Small/Medium Easy Swaddle™ 

We used one of these every night until our son was about 10 weeks old. It is so soft and I love the snaps. It makes swaddling really easy. We have three and rotated them pretty regularly.

 

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aden® by aden + anais® 4-Pack Muslin Swaddle 

We have two packs of these blankets and I honestly could use more if my husband would let me. These are the perfect blankets for wrapping your little one up during the day or for on the go. So soft and lightweight and they have so many adorable patterns. I use these for everything.

 

Screen Shot 2014-08-12 at 2.00.09 PM aden + anais® Rayon From Bamboo Fiber Snap Bib

Can you tell I love this brand!? Soft bibs, cute prints and colors and it snaps on the side/front to make putting it on and off your wiggly baby much easier!

 

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AVENT Classic Natural Feeding 5-Pack Bottles

We have 2 sets of the 4 ounce and 2 sets of the 9 ounce bottles and could probably use more. Each bottle has 4 parts so not too much to clean (bottle, nipple, ring, top).  I’ve been really happy with these.

 

Screen Shot 2014-08-12 at 4.10.57 PMBaby Connect (Activity Logger)

App to log diaper changes and feedings- definitely need this info for dr appointments (they ask how many wet diapers, dirty diapers and feedings). There is also a timer feature when you are nursing which is very helpful.

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Baby Jogger City Mini GT Single Stroller

I absolutely love our stroller. It is so smooth and easy to use. I can lift it with one hand (helpful when baby is in the other hand). Great for outdoors as well. Get it on sale or amazon to save $$. Totally worth it. (There is a easy to use Britax carseat adaptor for this stroller when your baby its still little).

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Baby Trend Snap N Go FX Universal Infant Car Seat Carrier Stroller

Finally a snap n go that fits the Britax car seats. This is the newer (2014) Baby Trend model (available at Babies R Us). It’s super convenient to have a light weight stroller option for quick in and out trips instead of lugging around the “big” stroller. Also great if little one is asleep in his carseat. Just snap him in and go!

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Bath Wrap

You certainly don’t need this “Nursery Critter Wrap” by Pottery Barn Kids but you’ll want it 🙂 Who doesn’t want to have cute pics of their baby wrapped in a cuddly animal towel. We have the lion and elephant.. ADORABLE! 🙂 (If you opt against the animal towel you still need regular hooded towels for your baby)

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Bedding

I love cute bedding for your nursery! This set is from Pottery Barn Kids. You need 2-3 sheets. The rest is pretty optional. The bed skirt looks good now but once you drop the crib mattress down as baby gets older you can’t use it anymore. In the beginning you can’t use the bumper until the baby can move and roll on its own. Quilt looks cute but again isn’t really necessary or used.. So up to you.

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Boon Lawn Countertop Drying Rack

I love this drying rack! Air gets under bottle and pump parts easily. I love how big this is so we can dry many at a time (and trust me- there are lots of bottles and pump parts to dry). You can also buy a “stem” or “flower” as well to add to your lawn for hanging bottle parts as well.

 

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Boppy® Waterproof Changing Pad Liners

We have 2 packs of these to protect the changing pad. These get changed out a lot due to messes and accidents so makes it easier and cheaper to have a lot of these and fewer of the nicer fabric changing pad covers. I like these because they don’t curl up at the ends like some other brands.

 

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Breastshield w/ Valve and Membrane for Medela Breast Pumps

If you don’t fit the “standard” size breastshield that comes with the pumps then you’ll need to order a different size. This made a world of difference for me when pumping- and its only one piece so less hassle with the washing as opposed to the two piece breastshield that comes with the pump. I’ve ordered 3 sets of these because I love them so much.

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Britax Back Seat Mirror

So you can see your baby and relieve any concerns that he is actually completely fine when you are on the road.. this one is shatterproof so shouldn’t be a problem if you were actually in an accident.

 

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Fisher-Price® My Little Snugapuppy Deluxe Bouncer

Our “upstairs” bouncer.. yes you need 1 for each floor.. or some sort of option for each floor to put your baby in. This one vibrates which our boy loves and plays music. I love that this is lightweight and easy to move around from room to room.

 

Screen Shot 2014-08-12 at 3.10.33 PM HoMedics® SoundSpa® Sound Machine

You need a good sound machine with white noise. This really helps set the tone for sleeping at night as well as for nap time. We even travel with this.

 

 

Screen Shot 2014-08-12 at 3.47.43 PMLansinoh Brand Items

Lanolin Topical Breast Cream – helps heal your nipples. You need this… especially in the beginning. Trust me.

Disposable Nursing Pads – for WHEN (not if) you leak. I mainly use these at night, especially now that my little one is sleeping through the night. That way you stay dry until morning.

Screen Shot 2014-08-12 at 3.52.53 PMSoothies Gel Pads – expensive but so worth it those first few weeks when you are getting the hang of everything and your nipples are so sore. Really helps soothe and give relief.

Breast Milk Storage Bags – my favorite bags! Softer plastic, easy to open, location to write notes (dates, ounces, etc). Love these bags.

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Mamas & Papas Classic Carrier

I thought I would just use this for hikes (which we do) but I’ve also discovered that this really comes in handy for trips to the grocery store and for shopping. It’s great when you can’t or don’t want to use the stroller but your little one is still too little to sit up in the grocery cart on his own.

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Medela Pump In Style Advanced Double Electric Breast Pump – The Metro Bag

I’ve been SO happy with this pump. It comes with a cooler too & I really like that the pump comes out of the bag. I use it with one of the Medela hands free bras. Perfect if you’re going to be pumping a lot. My insurance completely reimbursed me for this. So save your receipt and call your   insurance company.

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Medela Quick Clean Breastmilk Removal Soap

Probably a first time parent item but we use this daily for cleaning bottles and pump parts in a bowl in our sink. Then we drop everything in the dishwasher for a good cleaning about once a week.

 

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Moms on Call

GREAT reference book for getting your baby on a schedule for feedings and eventually sleeping through the night. It also included tips on swaddling, bathing, illnesses, etc. This is a great resource and super easy read.

 

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Motorola MBP43-2 3.5″ Color Video Monitor with Pan/Tilt/Zoom

You definitely will want a good video monitor. I like this one because it has two cameras so we can view him at multiple angles when he’s laying in his crib. It also tells you the temperature and zooms in and out and moves back and forth and there is two way communication. Pretty cool.

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My Brest Friend Fireworks Original Nursing Pillow

I hate the name but I LOVE this pillow. It works so much better than the boppy for nursing. It stays in place and fits more snug against your body (esp when you still have a post-baby bump) so the baby stays in place. I literally use this with every feeding I find it so helpful.

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Nursing Cover

Doesn’t matter where you get this – they are all pretty similar- but get a cute nursing cover so you have the option to be among people if you choose to 🙂 I keep one in my diaper bag and one in my pump bag at work. I like this one from Pottery Barn Kids because it is longer and wider than others I’ve tried.

Screen Shot 2014-08-12 at 3.12.06 PMSkip Hop Alphabet Zoo Activity Gym

Play gym for tummy time and just play/awake time. Each animal has a different feature; either a rattle, crinkle, mirror or some sort of other sound to entertain and engage your little one.

 

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The First Years Breastflow Milk Storage Organizer

We got something similar to this as a gift and its awesome (not sure if its the same brand or not). Its an easy way to store your milk in bags in the freezer. It compresses them to make them freeze flat. Highly recommend this.

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Washcloth Set by Circo®

 We got these washcloths as a gift- they are super thin and small so not helpful as a washcloth but they are helpful in covering our little man’s body part so he doesn’t projectile pee on us when we change his diaper. The pee pee tepees are cute but not very functional (they fall off when your baby wiggles around) – I like using these or using a burp cloth better since they are bigger and stay in place..

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WubbaNub™ Pacifier

Our boy won’t use anything else. We have 3 of these (1 for upstairs, 1 for downstairs, 1 for the diaper bag/daycare). Avent also makes the same pacifier without the animals on them. We have a couple of those as well however now that he is older (3 months) he likes to hold on to the animal while he sucks on the paci.

Screen Shot 2014-09-11 at 3.51.17 PM     Tommee Tippee Travel Bottle and Food Warmer

  Great for heating bottles on the go. The thermos keeps water  HOT for hours!

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No Bake Oatmeal Peanut Butter Balls

My husband and I are officially trying to lose the baby pounds. As an avid baker and dessert eater I’ve had to find some healthier alternatives that satisfy those dessert cravings but don’t pack on the pounds. Here is one of my favorites:

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No Bake Oatmeal Peanut Butter Balls

  • 3 cups old fashion or quick oats
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  • 1 1/4 cups crunchy peanut butter
  • 3/4 cup honey (use local honey if possible)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl, mix everything together
  2. Form into 1″ balls and place on a baking sheet.
  3. Put them in the refrigerator for 15 minutes and voila…they’re done!
  4. These can then be put into zip lock bags or containers to store in the refrigerator (or freezer for longer term storage). Enjoy!

Original recipe available here.

Front Door Decor

imageNow that our son is officially 2 months old I decided it was time to take down our “It’s A Boy” wreath from our front door and put back up my Spring/Summer wreath which I purchased last Spring. I love this particular wreath purchased from ChicWreath on Etsy. I’ve gotten so many compliments on this wreath as well as so many people asking, “Did you make this!?” Of course not. 🙂  I love having personalized items for our home but I don’t want to (or really have time to) take the time to figure out how to make them myself. Which is why I absolutely love Etsy. So many beautiful, creative, fun and helpful things to choose from that someone else wants to make for me! Perfection!

Bringing Home Baby

Before you bring home your baby for the first time there are a couple things to remember that are best to get done ahead of time.. and not once you have a newborn at home.

  • Prep the Nursery
    • You don’t have to have everything in your nursery done but you should aim for it to be as complete as possible. You really won’t have much time to finish it once your little one arrives so do yourself a favor and create an awesome oasis for you and your baby to come home to.
    • Key items include furniture, sheet and mattress cover on the mattress, changing pad and cover, diaper pail or trash can, rocker (if desired). Paint the walls and make it a special place you want to spend time in.
  • Take classes at your local hospital
    • If your hospital offers baby preparation classes I highly recommend you check them out and take part in at least some of them, even if you have watched young kids your entire life there are LOTS of things you still don’t know and will need to learn.
    • Some of my favorites include Infant/Child CPR, Breastfeeding for Couples (its not as awkward as it sounds and helps your hubby feel included and be able to help you) and Baby Essentials (tips on bathing, swaddling, diaper changing and all those general things you might not think to ask about)
  • Pack your hospital bag.
    • You want to be well prepared and not throwing things in a bag at the last minute. This includes items for yourself, your baby and your husband.
  • Hire a Photographer
    • Decide now if you want to have professional maternity and/or newborn pictures done and go ahead and schedule those. Most maternity sessions are taken between 30-35 weeks but this number fluctuates a lot based on the sites you read. Basically you want your belly to be large enough to be showing but you still want to have that cute glow and not the swollen uncomfortable feeling as you get closer and closer to 40 weeks.
    • Newborn pictures are usually taken within the first 10 days. The sooner the better so your little one will sleep a long time and their limbs will be flexible for posing. The older they get the easier they wake up and harder it is to maneuver them.
  • Wash your baby’s clothes
    • You don’t need to wash all of them but definitely all the newborn and possibly even your 0-3 month clothes (newborn clothes only fit up to 8 lbs so bigger babies will skip newborn sizes all together).
    • Don’t forget to wash your baby’s sheets, blankets, bibs, burp cloths and anything else that may come in contact with his/her skin.
  • Buy a Baby Book
    • I made the mistake of waiting until my little one was 2 months old before finally purchasing a baby book. Most baby books these days include some pages for your pregnancy and showers and of course labor and delivery. The farther away you get from these events the harder it will be to document and remember.
  • Spoil your Pup
    • I am a HUGE dog lover. I absolutely love our English Golden Retriever. We even have gotten in the habit of calling him our first born. But as much as I love him having a newborn is exhausting and demands a lot of your time. You will still love your pup and still be able to take him on walks and play with him but your time will be limited (especially with those 2-3 hour feedings). So do yourself and your dog a favor and spoil him in those last few months, buy some extra treats and toys to have on hand to give to him while you are at home and unable to play as much as you’d probably like to.
  • Design your Baby Announcements
    • Go ahead and check out your favorite websites and get an idea of the type of baby announcements you like, how many pictures you will need for it and what orientation that need to be (landscape or portrait). This will help you get them put together, printed and sent out faster and also tell your photographer exactly what you need when planning out your newborn sessions.
  • Print 2 sets of address labels
    • I read the recommendation to print your Baby Announcement address labels before your baby arrives and thought it was brilliant. Who has time to sit and write out addresses with a newborn?! But one thing I did learn is I wish I had printed TWO sets. One for the Baby Announcements and then one for thank you notes. Often times the people you are sending announcements to are also the people bring you meals or sending a cute little outfit or another fun gift for you after your baby arrives (even if they already sent you a shower gift). So do yourself a favor and print TWO sets. Oh and while you’re at it get some thank you notes ahead of time as well.
  • Read Moms on Call
    • A program started by two pediatric nurse-mom’s with over 20 years of pediatric experience and eight children between them this book goes over the same basic principles as Baby Wise but is a lot simpler to understand.
    • This book will walk you through how to start a schedule for your baby’s feedings and naps and eventually will help he/she sleep through the night. Our little one started sleeping through the night at 6 weeks! This book and their tips are game changers and are SO helpful!
  • Look Ahead
    • Check out your calendar for the first 2 months you will be home with your little one and note any special birthdays or holidays you need to pay attention to. Go ahead and buy cards and gifts if possible. It’s amazing how much work it is to get out the door with a newborn for the first time and how quickly time flies when you are nursing every 3 hours. So do what you can and save yourself the stress of trying to figure out gifts ahead of time.
  • Join Amazon Prime
    • This is for everyone out there! Baby or not Amazon Prime will save you time and money! Free two-day shipping and extra discounts on diapers, wipes, etc when you join Amazon Mom. There is really no reason not to do this. Oh and for all of your non-perishable kitchen and household items check out Amazon Pantry as well. Lifesavers!
  • Get the newborn sizes
    • The majority of the clothes and diapers we received started at 3 months and size 1. This is great if you have a big baby but if your baby is less than 8 lbs as you are nearing your due date (you’ll find out at your ultrasound) then make sure you have some newborn clothes and diapers on hand. Our little one was born at 6 lb 12 oz and was in newborn clothes and diapers for a little over a month. I definitely wasn’t expecting him to be in the smaller sizes for so long and had to stock up on some extra supplies after he was born.
  • Take Care of Home Projects
    • I can’t tell you how many “projects” I had planned for the 3 months I was on maternity leave.. And the first was started and completed 3 weeks AFTER I went back to work..
    • You think you may have a lot of time on your hands but taking care of a newborn takes A LOT of time and is amazing and exhausting all at the same time. So give yourself a break and save those house projects for another time.
  • Spend time with your husband
    • When you don’t have a newborn in the house its hard to appreciate the flexibility in your schedule and your ability to get up and go whenever you want. Make sure to prioritize your husband and your relationship and do some fun things together. Go out to a nice dinner, go to the movies or to the lake. Yeah you can do these things after your little one arrives and grandparents are God’s way of providing awesome babysitters pretty much whenever you need one but take advantage of your freedom and do some fun things together as man and wife.
  • Take Care of Yourself
    • Don’t forget to take care and prep for yourself – not just everyone else.
    • Go ahead and get a couple nursing bras and tanks (wait as long as you can and as close to your due date as you can- your breasts will increase once your milk comes in!)
    • Get your nails and hair done
    • Get some “in between” clothes or be prepared to wear your early maternity clothes post baby.
    • Take naps.. lots and lots of naps.

I hope this helps to prepare you before the big day! Once he arrives your life will change forever- and for the better!