Hi folks! I’m Ryan’s wife, and I’ve been asked by my wonderful husband to write a post about the dizzying world of baby registries. Why? Because Ryan is smart enough to avoid things that make one dizzy. So in exchange for researching the baby registry, and I was bribed with a massage. (OK, maybe not that last one, but it wouldn’t hurt!)
How to make a baby registry
Research is key when planning a list of needs/wants for your baby. Baby products are a huge business, and sometimes it’s hard to distinguish between the necessary and more frivolous items. My mission was to determine what is necessary and to find quality products.
I read reviews of baby items from Babies R Us, Target, and Wal-Mart. I read online parenting and mommy forums. I also devoured the book, Baby Bargains. (Thank you, Mom, for giving this to me on my birthday! It’s been an enormous help!)
I quickly discarded the Babies’ R Us suggested registry list… Actually I laughed at it. Half the items are a waste of money, in my opinion. (But yes, it’s fun looking at the pictures of those beautifully coordinated nurseries!)
I concluded that what a baby needs is: a place to sleep, a means of transportation, food, hygiene, temperature control, a sense of security, and lots of love. I planned our baby registry list with these in mind.
For sleeping I listed a Play Yard, fitted sheets, and a protective mattress pad. That’s it! No crib. No coordinating wall boarders, lamps, and curtains. Nothing that shakes, rattles, rolls, or plays the 1812 Overture. Just your basic Pack ‘N Play to start with. We can put it right by our bed, take it downstairs, haul it to Grandma and Grandpa’s, and give this baby a comfortable place to sleep while saving loads of money and space in the house! When our baby gets a little older we will reevaluate her needs and buy a bed that fits her.
Next up: means of transportation. A car seat is non-negotiable. In fact, most hospitals won’t discharge you until you bring in the car seat and put baby in it! Hubby and I took a hands-on approach with this item. We spent an entire afternoon looking at car seats, travel system strollers, lightweight strollers, and stroller frames. We finally narrowed our choice down to an infant car seat and stroller frame. The cost ended up being less expensive, and the stroller frame was lighter… which makes lugging it around much easier for me! When baby is able to sit up, we’ll look into lightweight strollers.
Food: Here’s where we can save a substantial amount of money! The food will be free because I will be providing it from the confines of my body. (Apologies if this is as far as you can read.) I also listed a manual breast pump, several bottles, and milk storage bags for those days when attaching baby to the confines of my body just wouldn’t be convenient.
Bathing. If you’re still with me, hoorah! I applaud you. Let’s move on to the next necessary item: hygiene. We’ll need warm water, a gentle baby wash, a basic, no-frills, baby bathtub, soft washcloths, and a hooded towel. A baby brush would be good too, especially for styling that baby curl coif.
Hey, did you know there are baby bathtubs – excuse me – SPAs on the market? It’s true. These tiny tubs have jets and shower heads and probably aromatherapy and mood lighting. Shoot! I’m putting one on the registry just for myself!
Diapers, etc. We’ll also need diapers, diaper wipes, a pad on which to change baby, a diaper pail, and perhaps some A&D ointment. We’re considering cloth diapers, but that’s another post altogether…
Temperature control – How do we keep baby at an ideal temperature? Clothing, blankets, and the thermostat. I listed Onesies (actually, the technical term is “bodysuits”), sleepers, receiving blankets, a couple of hats, a few cotton t-shirts, and baby booties for the hands to prevent baby from scratching off her face! (Baby mittens just fall off the moment you put them on.)
We’ve already received several baby outfits as gifts, and I imagine we will continue to receive more. So, I think we’ll have this area covered. If we need more, I know of a great consignment shop close to home that has good quality baby clothes in all shapes, sizes, and colors.
Security and love. OK, so you can’t really buy the last items, sense of security and love. Hubby and I have to provide these by being attentive, patient, and loving parents who hold, cuddle, talk to, and care for our baby. Is this not the most important?
So that’s our baby registry! Well, not quite… some other items I listed were: thermometer, baby monitor, bouncer, sturdy diaper bag, Boppy, and a baby wrap (I hear those Moby wraps are fantastic!).
And now that’s it. I bet you can think of other items to add to my list… maybe even items you would delete, but this is what works for us. Sure, there are other items we will need in the future, but I figure we can always add to our baby stuff as we learn and grow as parents. It’s all a learning experience.
My brain is burning from all this thinking. I believe it’s time for my massage now!
Ryan says: Thanks for writing this article, Love!
For those of you keeping track at home, here is a rough outline of what our baby registry looks like. You may find that your situation calls for additional or fewer items; we prefer to start small and add as we go. We linked to some of the items we chose on our registry, mostly based on recommendations from Baby Bargains and personal preference.
- Baby Bargains (not actually on the registry, but this helped us better understand our needs and is full of great reviews and important information. I HIGHLY recommend this book!).
- Pack ‘N Play and accessories (fitted sheets, mattress pad).
- Infant car seat (we will need to get a larger car seat when the baby outgrows this one).
- Stroller frame (we will get another stroller when our baby outgrows the infant car seat).
- Manual breast pump, baby bottles, and milk storage bags.
- Baby bathtub, soft washcloths, and a hooded towel.
- Diapers, diaper wipes, changing pad, diaper pail, ointment, etc.
- Clothing – Onesies, sleepers, receiving blankets, hats, cotton t-shirts, and baby booties
- Blankets, burping rags.
- Baby monitors.
- Diaper bags (2 – one large to cover most situations, one small for convenience. Both unisex in appearance).
- Baby wrap or carrier (We like Moby wraps or an Ergo baby carrier).
Do you have anything to add to our list?