10 crucial baby items and why they should be on every expecting mommy's newborn registry
I am sitting at our kitchen island, the only tidy spot in the living room – granted I pretty much just wiped everything in the sink. The rest of the living room is in its semi-permanent state of pig sty: it’s engulfed by toys, random clothing items and stuffed with basic kiddy gear (play pen, a changing table, high chairs,…) When I was pregnant with our first I wouldn’t have believed you if you had told me this was what my household would look like in a few years. With Elliot we had an overthought, elegant registry and my aim was to make as little changes as possible to our pretty decorated apartment. Why would we want to stuff it with ugly, bright-colored kiddy items? There were many times I thought, what will I even need this for? Why is everyone getting a play pen? Why do you need an unseemly BabyBjörn balance sitter? Well, now that I am, and have been for a while, officially a Mom with a capital M, let me enlighten you.
A family home
When we first had Elliot, I was afraid to become, well pretty much what I am now really. Let me clarify. I was desperately happy with having become a mom and didn’t want Elliot to miss out on anything but I didn’t want to have a home that shouted out “kids rule this place!”. At that time, we were still enjoying city life and had a cute apartment I had proudly decorated in pastel colors. Everything on our registry fit nicely in that color pattern. We kept plastic toys at bay and had some pretty wooden ones on display, and some in a decorative box.
This lifestyle is totally possible but I have had to let it go. With a second child, it became more interesting to have a home in which everything was safe and more or less entertaining for children as one-on-one play wasn’t always possible anymore. Anyways, when you’re still an expecting mother, there are many items people expect you to put on your registry, and I myself often questioned them (mostly because I found everything so ugly) – but along the way I’ve started to appreciate them so much that I’ve been advising people to get those same basics now! Let me discuss a few.
Infant car seat (maxi-cosi)
B and I hated this – let’s be honest – ugly thing but there’s no way around it: you need some type of infant car seat to be able to drive your baby around safely. We hate it because our babies refused to be in it and it made car rides (especially with Elliot) pure horror. We were happy to switch it for a next level car seat after nine months (in which they were perfectly content). However, this is one of the very first items you will use because you will need it to take your baby home from hospital safely. Put some covers on your registry to brighten up the thing and to keep it clean. If you have a calm little newborn - unlike our bawling monsters- you can even pop it on the stroller wheels in the supermarket or – although this is completely alien to me – go for walks with it in the park. Also very strange to me is the special shoulder strap to carry the car seat around comfortably. I have no idea why anyone would want to do that! With our babies the thing didn’t make it out of the car very often...
So how did we carry around our little baby when we arrived somewhere by car? Often in the stroller, and a lot of the time in the carrier. I am now a major baby wearing fan and have quite the collection but before I was a mother, it seemed a bit of a hippie/tree hugger item to me. I’m really happy that my midwife talked me through its uses though because I couldn’t have gone without it!
BabyBjorn balance sitter
So why does everyone have this? Well, a little baby can’t really do much but lie around and stare, sleep or eat and ideally you’ll want to change him/her from place to place a bit. This is better for your baby’s back and neck and it will simulate your newborn to look around and learn about his/her environment. A balance sitter is not a must with a new born but it really is very handy! Your baby is tilted upward a bit so she can see things she wouldn’t be able to see from the play pen or the ground. Moreover you can easily take it with you, to the bathroom while you shower for example, or to the kitchen so your baby can watch you cook or to a friend’s house or on vacation. Not a big fan of the clean design? Again, you can get a cover to spice it up a little.
There will be times that you want to put your baby down in a safe place so you can go to the bathroom, clean up or simply be without your baby being glued to your body. Again, she’ll learn a lot from just looking around and might enjoy a music mobile to look at (They have gorgeous wooden, minimalistic ones, but I have to admit; the ugly plastic ones are much more of a hit). When she gets bigger, you can lower it so that she can learn to pull herself upright holding the bars and play.
I love our bright blue play pen from Childwood/Childhome but with Elliot I got rid of it quite early, now with Amelia I keep organizing little play moments in it so that she is ok with being in it when I have to tend to Elliot or another matter and want to be sure that our fearless adventurer is safe.
Elliot was born during a very hot summer so I didn’t get the purpose of a sleeping bag in the first few months. Why had everyone insisted on putting these on the registry? That only became apparent when Elliot became stronger and started kicking away his blanket. It had become chillier and now the sleeping bag proved to be a very handy baby article because this way he was actually wearing his blanket. Aha moment!
Big swaddle blankets
Even if you’re not planning on wrapping up your baby like a burrito, best to get some of these anyway. Swaddling really is a good way to get some babies to sleep and otherwise you can use them as towels, summer blankets, sun covers when you’re out with the stroller, covers for the play pen,… very handy to say the least.
Silly maybe, but as an expecting mom I didn’t really know why babies always wore onesies. In my experience it’s because it covers their diaper fastening so they can’t take off their diapers by themselves. Once they start potty training, they start to wear regular two-piece underwear. Did you know that the onesies’ well-designed envelope sleeves permit you to roll poop drained onesies down over your baby’s shoulders instead of lifting it over your baby’s head? Tip of a lifetime. You’re welcome!
Soft soled baby shoes
I didn’t put any soft soled baby shoes on our registry because, personally, I thought they were downright hideous,… but then it was winter and Elliot was learning how to crawl on the cold floor. He’d worn socks up to then but he kept slipping away with socks on,…in came the Bobux shoes and the (I think, a bit cuter) Easy Peasy shoes. (By the way I loved Sock Ons to keep Elliot’s and later Amelia’s socks,…well on).
First of all, do you need a pacifier? The answer is simple: no. I wouldn’t put any on your registry and I wouldn’t take one to the hospital with you. Elliot never had a pacifier and I was actually really happy about that. Amelia only started taking one when she was 10 months and suffering from what was almost an ear infection and now she’s become an addict. We limit it to when she’s sleeping but lately she’s been teething and it’s been a lifesaver during the day. So I can really see the benefits of a paci, but I’m already worried of when and how to start weaning her off it!
If your baby does take a pacifier, a paci cloth might come in handy. Until recently I had no idea what it was for. But now I stuff the cloth in her collar when she goes to bed and she can easily find the attached paci by herself at night,…
For most mommies this stuff is basic parenting 101, but as a new mom I found it hard to find my way in the big new world of baby gear. What was a product you only got the essence of once you became a mom? Tell me on instagram: mommoiselle_com!