Baby Registry Essentials — Part II

Today’s post is all about babies. Baby registry essentials, to be exact. Last week we examined cribs, carseats and strollers in Baby Registry Essentials — Part I. This week we’ll dive into more of the everyday things that are must-haves before bringing home your sweet little bundle of joy.

This post, along with Baby Registry Essentials — Part I {and all other future Baby Registry Essentials posts}, will live on The Kiss List page for easy reference. And as always, feel free to ask questions and add in your own must-haves in the comment section!

Let’s begin, shall we?

 

Baby Registry Essentials — Part II

Feeding

1. Boppy & Boppy Cover — No matter if you’re nursing or bottle-feeding, a Boppy is a must-have. It helps support your sweet little bean so they are comfortable during their feedings– and so are you, since your arm isn’t asleep from propping the babe up just so. Extra bonus– it’s a little mini-recliner for the baby to snooze or play in, and when they get older, it’s an excellent support for when your baby is learning to sit up.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

{Protective fuzzy schnauzer not included}.

There are tons of cute patterns to choose from– girl, boy and gender neutral. You can always switch out the covers if you need a change as well. We bought a new cover for Baby H, and I’m glad we did– it’s nice to have a fresh one for the new baby!

2. Bottles — Even if you are planning on exclusively nursing, you still will need a few bottles handy, just in case. This is strictly personal preference, but both of our girls have done fabulously with the Dr. Brown’s bottle system. They are vented to help the milk flow in a steady stream without a buildup of pressure– keeping your little one from sucking in unnecessary air {which obviously equals a gassy, fussy baby, which means no one is happy!}.

We knew that we’d be bottle-feeding after the first few initial weeks of nursing, so we registered for two sets of the 4-ounce Dr. Brown’s bottles and three sets of the 8-ounce Dr. Brown’s bottles. That is the absolute most you would ever need– in fact, I’d say you could definitely get by with less.

Also, make sure to register for a variety of nipple sizes to go along with the Dr. Brown bottles– Level 1, 2 and 3’s. I’d recommend getting as many Level 1 nipples as the number of bottles you register for, and then for Level 2 and 3, I’d register for six nipples total. Your baby most likely won’t go through more than 6 bottles a day once they are big enough for the Level 2’s {for reference– at 6 months old, Baby H is going through 4 bottles a day, plus cereal and Gerber Step 1 baby food}.

In the same category as bottles and nipples– dishwasher baskets! Since we went with Dr. Brown’s bottles, we also registered for the Dr. Brown’s dishwasher baskets {2 of them}. These things are fabulous– I can’t recommend them enough. We have a Munchkin dishwasher basket as well {I swear, most of our dishwasher’s upper rack is consumed with baskets!} for Little O’s sippy cup parts, plastic utensils and the random rattle/teething ring that needs to have a heavy-duty dishwasher cleaning.

Along the lines of the dishwasher baskets is the drying rack. We actually have two of these at the moment– the Munchkin Drying Rack for Little O’s sippy cups/parts/utensils and The First Years Spin & Store Drying Rack for Baby H’s dozens of bottles and bottle parts. Both are great for different reasons– the nice part about the Munchkin drying rack is that it’s smaller, so it’s more portable. That one usually comes on vacations and trips with us. However, The First Years drying rack fits a TON of stuff on it– which is definitely nice in those first few months when you have lots and lots of little parts to dry. Usually we run the bottle/sippy cup parts through the dishwasher in the baskets, and then take the parts out and let them dry on the drying rack. Plus, you always know everything you need is to the right of the sink at our house!

And last– but not least– in the bottle category– the Dr. Brown’s Formula Pitcher is a lifesaver. If you know you’ll be bottle-feeding, this is essential. It eliminates the need to make formula every single time the baby needs to eat. Instead, you measure out a specific amount of water, add the correct amount of formula powder, and mix away. The pitcher is stored in the fridge and anytime you need to make a bottle, you just pour the formula from the pitcher into the bottle and then warm up the bottle. We hadn’t found a bottle warmer that we like, so we just use a big plastic cup of hot water. The bottle is warm in a few minutes and everyone is happy. You’ll be incredibly thankful for the formula pitcher at 3am when you can’t think straight and your baby is screaming out of hunger. Trust me, I’ve been there.

3. Bibs & Burp Cloths — For the early months, any kind of cotton bib will work for your little one. Some parents find they don’t actually even need bibs at the beginning, because their little ones don’t spit up much. Not an option for our girls– both loved to projectile spit-up {Baby H still does, as a matter of fact!}, so bibs were–and still are– a wardrobe staple.

Once your little one starts to venture into oatmeal and baby food, I highly recommend getting plastic bibs. The best we’ve found are Bumkins Superbibs {I’m linking to the gender-neutral Dr. Seuss bibs, but Bumkin has cute girl and boy patterns as well}. They are pricey but worth it– Little O’s Bumkin bibs are now 1.5+ years old and have been washed about 1,000 times each– and they are still standing! We also have four of the Sassy EZ-Clean bibs, and so far, they are washing really well. They also have a large crumb-catcher, which is nice for little ones when they are just starting to feed themselves {and miss their mouths– a lot!}.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As far as burp cloths, my personal philosophy is to save the cute ones for going out in public. We bought a 12-pack of the basic Gerber white cloth diapers to use as burp cloths around the house, and they have worked out great. Our batch for Little O was so stained from use that we bought fresh ones for Baby H. A bonus: we use the old ones as dust rags around the house– they work great!

I really like the interlock burp cloths, since they seem really absorbent. We have a few packs of these Gerber burp cloths, and we love them {we got them at Target, and they also have cute boy patterns}. I like to take these with us when we leave the house– they are cute, absorbent and I don’t mind having one permanently on my shoulder.

4. Feeding Miscellaneous — I’d go ahead and register for a pack of baby spoons {we’re fans of the Munchkin Soft Tip Infant Spoons}, plastic bowls {you’ll need them when your baby starts cereal– we love the Munchkin Bowls, they’ve been washed 2,000 times and still look brand-new!}, a set of snack bowls {once your child can feed him/herself Cheerios, you will love the Munchkin Snack Catcher} and maybe a sippy cup or two {there is a lot of trial and error in sippy cups, but Playtex’s The First Sipster Trainers seems to be a good starting point}.

If you’d like to get flatware for your toddler, we love The First Years Take and Toss Flatware. Contrary to their name, we don’t toss them at all, except in the dishwasher. They are sturdy and perfect for little hands– plus they wash amazingly well. We just bought a second set of these, we love them so much.

Seating

1. Bouncy Seat — There are tons and tons of bouncy seats {or “bouncers” as Babies R Us likes to call them} on the market. In the end, you have to pick one that works for you {and, might I suggest, that has good safety reviews}. The best advice I’ve gotten on bouncy seats came when we were pregnant with Little O. Someone told us to make sure you pick a bouncy seat with a pattern you like, because you will have hundreds and hundreds of pictures of your little one in it.

Very true story. It seems a little superficial, but you will have endless pictures of your baby in this bouncy seat. Pick one out that won’t drive you crazy!

For Little O, we registered for a Carter’s bouncy seat {see picture below}– the exact pattern is no longer available. It worked well, although it was a tad upright for the early few weeks. As she grew, it also turned into our baby food feeding station, since she wasn’t quite big enough for her high chair yet. I liked the neutral colors {it looked great in pictures}, and Little O seemed to like the music/vibrations options.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When Baby H was born, we decided to buy another bouncy seat for the first floor and keep the Carter’s bouncer in the basement. It was mostly a logistics issue with trying to juggle a toddler at the same time– I needed somewhere that I could safely put the baby in the basement playroom, on the first floor and on the second floor. We bought the Fisher Price How Now Brown Cow Bouncer from Target, and it worked out fabulously. It was on a little more of a relaxed incline as well, which Baby H seemed to really like. We have a gazillion pictures of Baby H in this bouncer, and it also served as a baby food feeding station until just a few weeks ago.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In my opinion, a bouncer is a must– they aren’t super expensive and they are so portable. You can take them anywhere in the house or travel with them, ensuring that you always have a safe place to put your little pumpkin.

2. Swing — A swing is not a baby registry essential, per say. In fact, we didn’t even register for a swing– I was pretty convinced that we had more than enough baby stuff to have us covered already, and I didn’t want one more thing cluttering up our house. When Little O was three weeks old, we went over to our friend’s house to visit her and her newborn son. My friend offered up their swing for Little O, who was getting a little fussy, and I took her up on it. I flipped the switch to turn it on and poof! Little O was out like a light. Needless to say, we went out and bought that exact swing the next day.

There are tons and tons of swings on the market, including expensive ones that simulate womb rocking. I do know lots of babies who have loved their big swings {Cousin M being one of them– she has a fabulous swing!}, but for us, we wanted a swing that could travel with us or be moved from room to room or floor to floor. We’ve gotten a ton of use out of our Fisher Price Take Along Swing {we have a different pattern, but it’s the same swing}.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We have never had a problem with ours– in fact, both girls have loved it and napped exceptionally well in it during the early months– but I did notice while putting this post together that the reviews aren’t very good for this particular swing at Target. I’d recommend that you do more research before deciding exactly which swing to get– Baby Bargains can help point you in the right direction. In short, you need to consider if you’re okay getting a big swing that is not portable, or if you’d prefer to have a swing that you can easily move around your house. For us, the latter was more important, but that’s simply personal preference.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. High Chair –We have the Chicco Polly High Chair {in Discovery, I think}, and it has been great for us. It has wheels that lock, so you can easily wheel it from it’s storage spot– currently, our dining room– into the kitchen and then back again once you are finished using it. It adjusts nicely as well– you can tilt the seat back for when your little one is small, and the height is adjustable so you can wheel your toddler right up to the table if he/she decides that they’d like to sit at the table with you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I feel like the tray is a little difficult to do one-handed, but the two tray inserts are great and wash up really well. The high chair in general washes well too– the fabric is a waterproof vinyl, so it easily wipes away any meal remnants. Just like with anything, crumbs/drips/etc. get caught in the cracks, so once every few months the Hubs & I take the high chair apart and give it a good scrubbing. We’ve really liked this high chair and we’re getting lots of use out of it for the second time with Baby H. Plus, it matches our downstairs Pack N Play {see #5}, so both pieces look nice together.

There are lots of great high chairs out there– I’d recommend you read reviews and play around with them at the store. You’ll see what is comfortable for you, and also what looks durable. You want to make sure to buy something that’s going to last– and that your little monkey won’t be able to climb out of!

4. Booster Seat — This is my mother-in-law’s favorite gift to get people off of their registry, and with good reason. You use it ALL the time! We have the Fisher Price Healthy Care Booster Seat {not this exact pattern, but there are a bunch of colors to choose from} and we LOVE this. It’s one of the best things we’ve bought. It has been on countless vacations and to dozens and dozens of restaurants. When we’re not traveling with it, Little O is sitting in it for breakfast, lunch and dinner, since we use it as a booster seat at the kitchen table.  In short, completely worth $25. Plus it washes up great {even crayon comes off fantastically– speaking from experience}. My parents, my in-laws and my sister all have one of these– in fact, we’ll be buying another one shortly when Baby H is ready for it!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5. Pack N Play — I definitely recommend getting a pack n play– its uses are endless! We have two– the Chicco Lullaby LX Playard {just in a different color} and the basic Graco Pack ‘N Play {again, just in a different pattern}. Why, you might ask, do you have two?

We decided on the Chicco pack n play because it looks really nice. It’s sturdy, it’s made out of a nice fabric and it came with a changer attachment, which we really liked. The Chicco pack n play has lived on our first floor since a month before Little O arrived. We’ve never taken it down; we’ve only moved it from one side of the room to the other. We’ve used it for hundreds and hundreds of diaper changes, naps when Little O was tiny, then as a playard when Little O was big enough to sit up, and then as an area of safe play once Little O was able to move around and get into trouble {as in, I needed to take the dog out, switch the laundry, start dinner, etc. and didn’t want our little one wandering away}. We now have the changer attachment back on the Chicco pack n play for Baby H, and we use it many, many times a day. It’s nice that I can change diapers on the first floor without having to make multiple trips up and down the stairs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We also registered for the Graco Pack ‘N Play as our “travel” pack n play. This is the pack n play that gets taken down, folded up and put back together multiple times a month. It travels great and both girls have never had a problem sleeping in it away from home. It’s easier to take down/put back together than the Chicco pack n play– in fact, I think the Hubs can get it set up in less than 30 seconds. When we’re not traveling with the Graco pack n play, it’s set up in our dining room as a timeout for Little O. Needless to say, we’re definitely getting our money’s worth out of both pack n plays every single day.

Which type of pack n play should you register for? It depends on what you’ll be using it for. If you’ll be traveling a lot, you might want to think about getting one of the basic ones for easy set-up and take-down. If you’re planning on parking it in your family room for the next five years, I’d go with the higher-end one. There are also pack n plays that have a bassinet option, which is a great feature if you’d like the baby to start off sleeping in your room before moving him/her to the nursery {we had a family bassinet, or else we definitely would have done this}.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Most models are out on display at your local baby store, so check them out in person and see what you feel most comfortable with. I think you’ll be surprised at how many uses you’ll find for the pack n play…a few years ago I never would have guessed we’d be using one as a time out for Little O!

 

That’s it for today’s Baby Registering Essentials post! Stay tuned for next week…we have lots of must-have nursery products to discuss! If you have any questions or would like to leave your feeding or seating recommendations, I’d love to hear it! Leave a comment in the section below.

 

Counting My Kisses: It’s fun to go back through and remember our thought process for purchasing so many of these baby items. It’s especially fun to see how things have turned out– how many of the products we use countless times a day and couldn’t live without {formula pitcher, pack n play, booster seat– to name a few!}. With so many products on the market, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. Hopefully this list will help you narrow it down a bit!

4 thoughts on “Baby Registry Essentials — Part II

  1. Love the post and seeing pictures of Little O when she was a wee little one. The bibs look like a great suggestion, I will look into those in a few months! We have the FisherPrice Space saver too – I love that we can move it around the house!

    • Glad you like the space saver– it's fabulous being able to move it around!🙂 And the bibs are definitely a must-have once baby food enters the equation, they are so easy to toss in the washing machine– and so durable! Who wouldn't love that?🙂

  2. Amy–

    Thanks for writing this post. As I’m starting my baby registry this is a great starting point. I love the brands and suggestions. It’s quite overwhelming, but this helps to provide some clarity. Thanks for sharing all of your suggestions!

    Love watching your girls grow up on the blog! Can’t wait to meet Cousin M’s little brother or sister too!
    🙂 Stacey

    • Stacey~ so glad it was a helpful reference for you! We’re super excited for you guys, congrats!! Of course if you have any questions on anything, feel free to shoot me an email, I’m happy to help!

      So glad you are enjoying the blog, we are so excited for Cousin M’s brother or sister too! Woo!!🙂

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