in no particular order, what we found useful (and not so useful) from our registry
THE LIST - MUST HAVES & CAN LIVE WITHOUTS:
- Dr. Browns wide neck bottles (whether your pumping and pouring breast milk in or using formula) these bottles are AWESOME and I've tried them all. (medela, tommy tip, etc.) We have the glass Dr. brown bottles too but the nipple is a lot longer and sometimes my daughter would gag on it. The wide neck ones have a shorter nipple and are excellent.
- MAMA AND PAPA SEAT - it grows with them with age. My daughter is one and I still haven't had to take the insert out yet. Get one with the tray and a couple suction toys! My daughter loved it it every age and it goes up to two years old at least without the insert.
- GRACO SWING- We had the Rockaroo (the fancy tech machine gadget) and despite all the negative reviews about babies hating it, I insisted that it would be just fine. I liked how small it was and the sleek look and despite the negative reviews, we bought it. After a month, I realized my daughter wasn't sleeping more than 15 minutes in the Rockaroo. (My daughter had silent reflux so she would only fall asleep reclined and with movement so laying her in a crib was not an option). I gave in and purchased a swing and it was a lifesaver! Whenever she got sleepy, I put her in the swing and she would sleep in there for up to two hours. I dont have any particular recommendations because I think they're all great. The one we have is the Graco Easy Sway that went side to side. They have swings that go both directions. but this worked great for us. She stopped using the swing at around 7 months.
- BRITAX B-READY STROLLER - We originally had the Britax B-Agile but my daughter did not like how reclined the seat was (it does not sit up at a 90 degree angle) and it only faced outward. I sold it on craigslist and bought the B-Ready a couple months later. I so WISH I had gotten it from day one. The B-ready seat goes both directions so it faces me (similar to the Stokke stroller but half the price). Super easy to click in and out. And if you plan on having another baby, there is an infant seat that connects onto it and it turns into a two seater. I couldn't love a stroller more!!! It's pricey at $500 but I used a 20% off coupon at Buy Buy Baby just by signing up with an email address.
- ROCK N PLAY - My daughter slept in this as a newborn and never used her bassinet, especially because she had silent reflux so the incline was helpful. It's easy to move too bc it folds up easily and you can bring it places or just move it around the house. When she would cry, she was right next to us and I would just pull her into bed with me to feed her. It is recommended babies stay in your room for the first 3 months at least so this was really great to have next to our bed. My daughter is a year old and is still in our room. What works for us may not work for others but for nursing I found that co-sleeping worked best for us. Studies are showing many benefits connected to co-sleeping. It's natural and what mothers do all over the world. America seems to be the only country to frown upon it. Here's an article on the benefits - cue the unsolicited advice :) http://www.askdrsears.com/topics/health-concerns/sleep-problems/scientific-benefits-co-sleeping
- A PLAY MAT - Olivia uses hers every day. Has toys that dangle from it. It's great! I do not have any particular recommendations.
- PACK AND PLAY - not a necessity- I got one with a strong diaper changing attachment and set it up off of the living room. We kept bins with toys, books, diapers and wipes in it and use it as a changing station instead of having to run upstairs every time she needed a diaper change. Looking back, it was completely unnecessary and we only used it for a few months until she grew out of the diaper changing attachment. Half the time I changed her diaper on the floor; I just laid a soft blanket down.
- SOUND MACHINE- We actually bought TWO!! There's a lot of research done on how important it is for babies to have a sound machine to make them feel like their still in the womb. They call it the "fourth trimester." We have two because one is in the playroom off of the living room that we have set up with black out curtains, sound machine and swing; the other is in our bedroom (and eventually her nursery one day). This one is excellent and the white noise is great and doesn't sound creepy. It has heart beats, waterfalls, music, rain forest etc.
- BLACK OUT CURTAINS - A MUST for wherever you decide to put baby for naps during the day. Olivia was hardly sleeping as much as she should for a newborn until I got these and sleep is so important for brain development. I found these reasonable ones on amazon and they work great!
- COMFORT TOY- I would put this next to Olivia when she would fall asleep.
- MAM PACIFIERS- She tried so many others and loves the MAM. My friend's daughter wouldn't take a pacifier for four months. I told her about MAM and now she takes a binky! I gave my daughter a pacifier from the week she was born. It never interfered with her ability to nurse. I also introduced a bottle of pumped milk early as well and she went back and forth between all three with no problems.
- Newborn Version of the MAM pacifier
- BABYGANICS DIAPERS & HONEST DIAPERS- Regular diapers are filled with chlorine and toxins linked to cancer. We avoid huggies, pampers and those heavily marketed ones. We've tried seventh generation and they didn't do a good job. Babyganics has been great! Honest is also wonderful as well! Cloth diapering is also a great option for those who do not want to use disposables.
- WIPES WARMER- This was not necessary. It was nice for the middle of the night diaper changes for the first few months but we stopped using it after that.
- EARTHS BEST WIPES- so soft, organic and natural. Tried a ton and these are the best! Honest wipes were too dry. Babyganics wipes are great too.
- NOSE FRIDA- An absolute must, along with saline drops- sucks boogies out gently and works better than anything else.
- ADEN & ANIS BIBS AND BURP CLOTHS
- ADEN & ANIS swaddle blankets
- BOPPY PILLOW - Great for all stages. We've used it since day 1 and then when my daughter started sitting up with assistance, we would put it behind her for support.
- DOCK A TOT: I wish we had bought one sooner! It's amazing and they have the newborn size and toddler size.
- BATHTUB- This one has been great!!! I had a sling one and disliked it. I have no complaints with this one and it's very reasonable. http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000056OV0/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o08_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
- SKIP THE BLOOMING FLOWER- We had the blooming bath and absolutely hated it. Maybe our kitchen sink was too deep or something because it did not work very well.
- SKIP THE BOTTLE WARMER- We got the Koozi bottle warmer and did not like it at all. It was more of a pain to use. To thaw out frozen breast milk or warm up a bottle, I put the bag or bottle in a cup of hot water and let it sit for a few minutes and it worked just fine. Or running it under hot water worked too. It took the same amount of time.
- BREASTFEEDING: Medela electric dual pump. First, no one prepared me for how challenging breast feeding would be. My recommendation is to ask to speak to the lactation specialist after the baby is born. Most hospitals have them, it's free, and they really support and help you when it comes to breastfeeding. However, some of them are extreme and even if your milk isn't in yet, they refuse formula for the baby. Because of this, my daughter became jaundiced. I wish I had supplemented just a little organic formula to prevent this and continued to pump. My milk wasn't coming in right away so they had me pump every two hours. I was producing collostrum which is the first thing you produce when a baby is born. If your pump is not covered by insurance, I would rent one from the hospital. They will send you home with the breast shields and all of the parts for free. I have a whole tub of stuff from the hospital. Then you only have to pay the rental fee each month. I didn't do this because my pump was free through my insurance but just in case, it's always an option.
I may have missed some items and if so, I would love to hear what items you loved or didn't love in the comments below. Thanks for reading and I hope I have helped out a little. What worked for us, may not work for you and the most important advice I can give is that you will figure it out and do what works best for you. Good Luck! You're going to be a great mama!! xo