Baby showers are such awesome parties, but the timing can be a little awkward. Everybody wants to set the new family-to-be up for success by stocking the nursery to overflowing, but Mom and Dad are usually way more prepared to know what they need AFTER they’ve welcomed junior home.
Figuring out what products work best for you and your family before your baby shower is no easy feat. The learning curve of all things parental is steep, and trial and error quickly adds up to wasted dollars and lots of baby junk clogging the main arteries of your once lovely uncluttered home.
So what to do?
Google is most definitely your friend here – and enough cannot be said about the customer review section of a product website – but don’t forget the people you know in real life. There are Moms and Dads who’ve gone down in the parenting trenches before you who would LOVE to share their experiences with you.
We’re talking puppies and babies here. It is never not appropriate to exclaim over the cuteness of someone’s puppy. It is equally never not appropriate to ask a parent what they’ve learned from their baby!
Poll your Facebook friends and talk to the mommas in your playgroup. Stop a stranger who’s pushing the stroller you had your eye on to see if they’re happy with their purchase. You’re likely to get way more information than you asked for from a comrade-in-arms, and who knows? Maybe even a friend.
Since you’re here, I’d love to throw my two cents into your growing pool of baby registry information.
Some of my inspiration for this list comes from the fact that between babies one and two, we moved from a large house to a small one, and therefore our baby things needed a little weeding. I’ve also given consideration to the things that we’ve had for all three babies we could not have done without. Portability and storage are big selling factors for me – but functionality still reigns supreme.
Aside from the basics that everyone registers for (a high chair, car seat, pack n play, crib . . . you get the idea), here’s what I should have scanned:
I was once a firm believer that bassinets are a waste of money because babies only use them a couple months. They are not! Babies actually sleep better when they are in a smaller space, and realistically if baby’s living in your room you only have so much floor space to share.
This was the only “crib” that fit in our room when we moved into our smaller home, and it has a tad longer shelf life because the bassinet function drops to the base like a pack-n-play (bonus points for easy portability). Ours was shared to no less than four other families, sleeping seven different kiddos including our own. At less than $100 this was money seriously well spent.
Everybody gets at least one of those blue baby bath tubs that fit over the kitchen sink for when baby is a floppy mess in the bath – but they only last so long. Babies surprisingly get bigger and more difficult to maneuver in said position over the kitchen sink, but can also have a really hard time transitioning to the enormity of your home bath tub.
With three kids we’ve used several transitional pieces – some of which are no longer considered safe to use – but have settled on the really simple, really inexpensive inflatable tub inside the tub. I’m sure I have made fun of these before, but they work. So much so that baby number three is STILL using this piece at almost two years old.
Simple storage, simple assembly.
Ameda makes a good breast pump that is also less expensive. I’m just realizing now that if you use your breast pump a lot, you’ll need to buy a new one with each baby.
Fresh Food Freezer Cups
Who knew I would become one of those moms? Haha! These have made making and storing my own baby food painlessly simple.
Gummi Crib Rail
Inevitably baby will start teething and chewing on the beautifully expensive crib (that someday is supposed to be a double bed). Oh to keep it looking nice forever . . .
A good Humidifier
Unfortunately I haven’t found one I like yet. We been through lots of leaky noisy ones so I welcome any suggestions :).
Pack-n-Play’s are great as far as playing is concerned, but they are not so comfortable when it comes to sleeping. I found this site extremely helpful when deciding which mattress to purchase.
Shampoo Rinse Cup
Simple and inexpensive solution to an otherwise impossible bath chore.
Lots of Sleep Sacks in lots of sizes
Thankfully Grandma is a firm believer in sleep sacks and has purchased nearly all of them for us (through the 2-year-old-footed kind!).
I wish I would have registered for a Quattro Tour Duo Stroller (anticipating two plus kids) a SnugRider Stroller (for baby’s carseat instead of a carseat/stroller combo) and either the IPO Stroller or the Twin IPO Stroller (the verdict’s still out on that last one).
Tommee Tippee Bottles & Sippee’s
This brand was not around when I registered, but I use them exclusively for baby number two. I love their bottles and am intrigued by their Sippee’s – all designed to move baby from bottle to sippee cup in small, less noticeable increments. Ingenious.
Portable Video Player
Indispensable tool on the road, at weddings, anywhere your small child will need to sit still and be quiet.
What about you? What would you have added to your registry now that you’ve got your mom-groove?