Posts Tagged ‘registries’

Recently a mom-to-be asked for my opinion on baby gear must-haves, so without listing the obvious (crib, stroller, car seat) and without further ado…


– This is a double-edged sword, but: A video monitor will both ease your mind and make you stare at a tiny screen for hours because sleeping babies are CUTE! We have one from Summer Infant, and a backup one for travel (and just in case) from Levana. The resolution on the Summer Infant one is better, but the other one shows the temperature in the room and acts as an intercom, nightlight and lullaby player. And now some feed the image to your phone.
Because there are so many, with varying features, I’ve found a review of the top picks for you.

– A Pack-n-Play with a bassinet attachment or inset; we have a pretty standard Graco one. Some people use it in lieu of a bone fide crib, and it works well as a travel crib. It’s also a great place to park a kid when you need to brush your teeth/take a 3-minute shower/breathe for a few minutes (I still use it this way). Baboo slept in his until he was 4.5 months old, when he started sleeping in…

– A swing. It’s somewhere safe and happy for the baby to hang out, and if they have trouble sleeping, it helps immensely because it makes it earlier for them to handle the transitions between sleep cycles. Baboo slept in his for a few months. Look for one that folds easily so it won’t be a pain to move or store.

– A floor gym is great as a place to park very young babies and is designed to make tummy time more fun. ‘Cause heads up: Most babies hate tummy time.

This version of a Boppy pillow is a nice cozy place to park newborns, and our boy loved to sleep in it.

– An umbrella stroller is great if your primary stroller is a tank like ours. Much easier to travel with, maneuver in stores, and pop in and out of the trunk.

– A white noise machine will mask household sounds and approximate the soothing sounds of the womb. Ours has six sound loops, lets you hook up an iPod if you want your own music, and has a nightlight, which is handy for nighttime changes and feedings (low light means baby stays mellow and goes back to sleep quickly).

– An infant carrier like Baby Bjorn or Moby. Great for walks as well as soothing a fussy wee one by carrying him. Go look at them before picking one — we had a Bjorn and it was kind of complicated to use, and could only be worn on your front. And still, I used the crap out of that thing.


Sophie. She’s cute, babies love to gnaw on her, and she makes a great squeak (which you’ll want to disable if you have dogs).

– Books:

    For you

, The Baby Whisperer by Tracey Hogg is a really sensible approach to dealing with babies and their sleep issues. Baby 411 is comprehensive, reassuring, and crammed with common sense. We called it our Bible in the early days.

    For the wee one

: Classic baby books like Pat the Bunny, The Very Hungry Caterpillar and Goodnight Moon are classics for a reason. Buy them or ask for a baby book shower. This finger puppet book is engaging for very young babies (we started with it at 6 or 8 weeks). Locally, the Missouri Botanical Garden carries the whole series; we have Little Fish and Little Bee.

– A lovey, meaning a small stuffed animal without stuff the baby can pull off and eat. I believe the professional term is “transitional object.” You’ll want this when the baby turns six months old and can safely sleep with one. We have this bear, and we bought a backup in case of loss, and so we can wash one when the other becomes too drooly or soiled.

– A projection mobile. Ours has a detachable canopy, and the baby still mellows out to the light show on the ceiling as he falls asleep — and chills out to it when he wakes up.

– A low-tech mobile to hang above the changing table. It was amazing to see how early Baboo noticed it, and he still loves it.

– A small lamp with a 4-watt incandescent bulb. (Dimly lit 3 a.m. feedings tend to help the baby go back to sleep faster and easier.) A standard nightlight would work, or you can look for something cute to make things more fun for you.

– A bottle warmer. My older brother insisted we needed one, and when we suddenly had to start the kid on formula at a few weeks old, it beat the hell out of running downstairs to microwave water to warm the bottle while the baby was screaming.


– Either kimono-style shirts or long-sleeve Onesies, about six, in each of several sizes (meaning six in Newborn, six in 3 Months, etc.). People will give you all kinds of cute clothes, but the basics are what my kid lived in most of the time.

– A couple of idiot-proof swaddlers like this one (receiving blankets never stay tight enough).

– At least three zip-front sleeper PJs (snaps become unbelievably complicated at 2 a.m.). Again, worth getting in several sizes. Babies can grow fast.

– Dreft, for washing all those adorable clothes and blankets for the first few months.


– A Diaper Genie, duh, and at least three refills.

– Several kinds of diaper cream (you and the baby will have your preferences), tons of wipes, and more diapers than you think you need. (Running out to the store all the time will suck for a few months.) You can set up regular deliveries of these and other baby staples through Amazon Mom if you can stomach their labor policies.

– A contour changing pad, so you can set up a remote changing station. This was a life-saver when I had an unexpected C-section and had to restrict my stair-climbing. Changing the baby’s diaper was one of the few things I could do, and was actually, weirdly, a nice way to connect with him. We kept a bin of changing supplies in the living room, and he slept on the changing pad in the very early days. Don’t forget to get a few covers for it (though bath towels work just as well).


– Housecleaning services. I wished I’d had someone handling this for the first six months.

– Blackout curtains for the nursery and your bedroom. You will need to sleep during the day and so will the baby. Target has cheap ones in a variety of sizes. At the very least, get a good sleep mask for yourself, and earplugs so you can really disconnect and rest when someone else is on duty.

– Pacifier tethers. First for pacifiers, then for clipping little toys to the baby, the stroller, the carseat….

– A good pair of rubber gloves, for washing bottles in scalding-hot water.

– Aquaphor or Neutrogena Hand Cream for your hands (you’ll be washing them after every diaper change, and you’ll be doing that roughly eight times a day…).

– Infant Tylenol and Ibuprofen. (Running to the store when the kid is sick will suck.)

– Nail clippers and an instant-read thermometer (not the in-ear kind, which is not as accurate).

– Unscented or all-natural baby wash, shampoo and lotion or oil. Weleda makes a great calendula oil that I love for baby massages, and the Aveeno line of eczema products is great. For bubble baths, the California Baby line is really nice, too.

– Snacks. You might be too tired to eat a meal, but a granola bar? No problem!

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I'm over 50. I'm raising a fifth grader. Sometimes he posts too.


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