Baby number one due in T-minus 4 months. What should I register for?
March 2, 2015 6:57 AM   Subscribe

Having my first kid. Need to get stuff. Looking for for some tips!

I've seen thing question and it is super helpful. But you know, I'm trying to get excited about doing this baby-thang myself, so I want to ask anyway :)

We are going to have some kind of shower, and register. Though I am not someone that usually goes over the top for these things at all, we don't have a lot of money to start with, and getting some things for bebe would be a big help.

We already have a bassinet, some clothes, and a thing you put your baby in that plays music and rocks a lil bit, and some stuffed animals and a few books:) My mother-in-law is insisting on getting us a crib, even though I'm not sure we need one right away. And I would love to get the stroller/carseat combo (even though we have a perfectly good hand-me-down carseat as well, the system just sounds like a lifesaver.) I know every baby is also different, and what one family loves, the next not-so-much.

So I guess my questions are:

a) Where should I register? (I'm thinking Target or Babies R Us so I could also return/exchange stuff in my area.)

b) What do I really need the first 6 months- 1 year (and beyond)? What was useful for you, and what was not-so- useful?

Links to specific items you loved very helpful as well!!
posted by Rocket26 to Human Relations (30 answers total) 22 users marked this as a favorite
I would register two places- whatever brick & morter baby store is most convenient for you & local shower guests, and an online place like Amazon (great for books!). I think Target's baby selection is lacking and I hear their register is a huge disaster (stuff doesn't fall off when it should, etc).

Do you have a rock n' play? It's a total lifesaver! Place for baby to sit, and sleep, if they don't like going down totally flat. I guess they vibrate now, too- our old one doesn't and I still love it.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 7:04 AM on March 2, 2015 [2 favorites]

Seconding Babies R Us, or maybe Buy Buy Baby (a sister store to Bed Bath and Beyond) if your town has one.
posted by JoeZydeco at 7:16 AM on March 2, 2015

A good sling or carrier will change your life. All of my friends who had Ergo carriers loved them. I used a regular sling, like a Maya wrap with both of my girls all the way up until they were 3 or so. Just read up on safely using one (always carry a tiny baby close enough that you can kiss their head) before you choose the one you want.
posted by dawkins_7 at 7:16 AM on March 2, 2015

You won't need one right away, but a video baby monitor is pretty great if you can get someone else to buy it for you. We have an audio one, which works fine, but it can be really reassuring to have a video monitor to be able to see if your baby is ok.

-A decent thermometer for taking their temperature is key to ease your stress somewhat
-Something to measure the temperature of the bath (we have a temperature duck) can help
-Ewan the dream sheep is pretty great. It pulses red light and can play white noise (as well as whale music)
-We found sleeping bags really nice, because they are easy to put on your baby and prevent the paranoia of their heads going underneath the sheets
-A jungle gym is pretty great, they will like it from fairly early on and you can easily see them develop (beginning to reach out to hit parts of it)
-A decent baby sling can be really useful, especially if you want to go somewhere by train, as prams can be inconvenient. Note decent is important here, as cheaper ones can cause serious back pain (I speak from experience). That said there are some nice videos on youtube for home made slings which work rather well.
-In terms of early toys, things that shake and rattle are good
-A baby bath, while not essential, can make early bathing much less scary
-A baby bouncer is pretty fun
-Not really a baby registry thing, but if you have friends/family available to produce food to go in your freezer it will make your first few weeks easier.
posted by Cannon Fodder at 7:17 AM on March 2, 2015 [4 favorites]

Not Target! I have had the worst experiences buying things off baby registries at Target for some reason.

Babies R Us and Amazon for sure.

Get a new carseat. They are critically important and if the old carseat has fallen on the ground or just been through tough everyday life, it could have some invisible stresspoints on it already. Get the new carseat with whatever system makes sense.

I'm not at all against secondhand things, but getting a new carseat is the ONE thing I'd insist on.
posted by barnone at 7:26 AM on March 2, 2015 [1 favorite]

I too thought a "travel system" might be convenient. Then I had an infant and decided it would be nightmarish to have the infant in a hard plastic outer casing. The convertible car seat never left the car (worked great for me) and I didn't buy a stroller until the kid was 2 (worked great for me)...

But that was me. My advice here is to please make sure everything is returnable, and don't open it until you have an infant to test it with. Research things you think you might like to have, so that when your kid is four days old you can say "I would like you to go to the Fabulous Infant Emporium and get me a XXX, in the lavender colourway. Here is the $63.99 and tax for it" to somebody offering to do you a favour.

Stores are still open after the kid is born and there is just so much you won't really need, even stuff that six people have sworn to you was the best product ever. It is better to wait and see what needs you and your particular baby have than to load up on stuff. Note the number of still-in-the-box items at consignment stores! You have most of what you need already; I would only add diapers and a soft carrier. Much as I want to say you absolutely require waterproof-backed changing pads, half a dozen or so, this brand, you may find you do great with old towels. Baby what-not involves a lot of manufactured needs.
posted by kmennie at 7:45 AM on March 2, 2015 [1 favorite]

The Halo sleep sack with swaddle was a lifesaver in the early weeks. We also used a ton of SwaddleMes, but if I had to pick only one I'd pick the Halo.

Nthing some sort of carrier; I found that the Boba wrap was perfect for our guy when he was very young, but started to feel less secure once he hit about 15 pounds. Once he outgrew the wrap, we started using the Ergo. We have yet to use our stroller.

One thing that I don't see on many baby registries that I found really useful: a mobile. I think most people think of mobiles as part of the nursery decor and assume you'll get one to match your curtains or whatever, but they're also a pretty big source of entertainment for tiny babies, who can't do much besides look at things for the first couple months. We were given this one, which moves on its own and plays music, and our little guy loved it. (Babies outgrow crib mobiles by about five or six months, once they can reach for them, but by that time they're capable of playing with tons of other things.)
posted by Metroid Baby at 7:46 AM on March 2, 2015 [2 favorites]

To expound on Cannon Fodder's response, you don't need a special branded baby monitor. We use a Foscam web can, has night vision and works great. Don't get an angel monitor, it just increases your anxiety, there is no evidence it decreases SIDS.

"Sleeping bags" = the zip up sleep sacks. I'd recommend some Swaddlemes for a newborn too, then the Halo sacks with option for swaddling the arms.

I also love the Rock N Play. You DO need a crib so let your mom get one for you, one that converts to a toddler bed. If you're not going to use a crib initially, what are you planning for baby to sleep in? Bed sharing is dangerous, perhaps an Arm's Reach cosleeper? The large size is kind of unwieldy but I do like it anyway.

I recommend Lucie's List as the best comprehensive resource on what to register for. If you give us some specifics on how you plan to do things with baby we could give you some tailored recommendations (ie. Cloth diapers? Going to do outdoor stuff like hiking? Etc).
posted by treehorn+bunny at 7:48 AM on March 2, 2015 [1 favorite]

Don't open stuff until you need to use it. That way you can still return it if you decide you really don't need it.
posted by dripdripdrop at 7:51 AM on March 2, 2015 [2 favorites]

If you haven't done it yet, flip the carseat over and check its expiration date to make sure it hasn't passed. I was shocked to learn that this is A Thing. I would also tend to lean toward buying one new over taking a hand-me-down if you can at all afford it.

W/re to swings, bouncy seats, wraps/carriers: be aware that your tiny baby will come into the world with his/her own preferences and it's possible that yours, like mine, will hate any and every fancy accoutrement you provide. If possible I would lean toward seeing if you can borrow, or obtain some gently used, so you (or your loved ones) don't outlay a bunch of cash on things that are really only good for inspiring junior to go red and start howling.

There are swings that only go back and forth, and swings that go back and forth as well as side to side. Baby may prefer one type of movement over the other. Another thing to consider (and another reason to borrow before/instead of buying if you can).

I did really like being able to return things to my local Target store (protip: if you have a registry at all you can even return stuff that wasn't purchased from it and they'll take it no questions asked) but I have to agree that the online registry is kind of a hot mess. Items purchased did not update, things got sorted in strange ways, et cetera.

If I were to recommend one single thing that I really wish we'd had right from the start, it's this floor pillow/lounger. baby muffins is 9 months old now and still uses this for bottle feedings.
posted by trunk muffins at 7:56 AM on March 2, 2015

Adding -- if you're going to breastfeed, do get a nursing pillow (+ waterproof cover). You can get a lot of use out of a Boppy - it can be repurposed to prop up baby, support tummy time, and support while learning to sit up. We only just retired ours last week.
posted by trunk muffins at 8:03 AM on March 2, 2015 [1 favorite]

Things we found useful that our friends and family were kind enough to get us: white noise machine, lots of extra nail clippers (they are never where you left them and baby nails grow SO FAST), the Bjorn babysitter balance, a travel crib / playpen, an organic crib mattress, very soft brush for cradle cap, a Mei Tai carrier which is great on the back and works well for big tall folks, sun hat and tiny swim trunks for summer, and if someone can put together a breastfeeding gift set for you - with lanolin and breast pads and steam sterilizing bags - you'll be very glad to have it.
posted by sestaaak at 8:04 AM on March 2, 2015

BabyList works as a registry and allows you to pull items from all different locations. They have a browser extension that will let you do it in one click, even! My pregnant friend was quite happy with it, and selections items with guidance from Lucie's List, which has very detailed reviews of necessary vs nice to have vs frivolous baby gear.
posted by deludingmyself at 8:04 AM on March 2, 2015 [2 favorites]

Where do you live? Cold or warm climate? Are you mainly pedestrian city dwellers, or suburban car users? I am a firm believer that the right stroller can make your life a breeze, as the wrong stroller for your needs will make you hate your existence.

I have a (secondhand) Bugaboo Frog. Yes, it's the yuppiest stroller around, and yes, there might be cheaper ones. But I live in NYC, and I walk everywhere. This stroller is my car. It carries vegetables from the market, it clips a skateboard on back for an older child, it has suspension to mitigate the cracks in the sidewalk. I don't have a car, so it doesn't have to fold, and it's lightweight enough that I can heft it down the subway stairs if I have to. I hated the Graco system that we temporarily used, because it handled so poorly and got caught up on every single crack. Once I drove the Bugaboo, there was no going back.

Your needs may vary. With the second child I carried her in a variety of slings and carriers, to have a free hand to keep on the older one. Try driving a few strollers and think about how you are actually going to use them, as well as try out a few wraps/carriers.
posted by Liesl at 8:08 AM on March 2, 2015 [1 favorite]

Best answer: my sibling was pretty minimalistic with their baby and had a high hit-to-miss ratio:

- crib (of course)
- white noise generator, low light lamp
- cloth diaper service
- ikea shelving unit (lay it on on its long side) with baskets for clothes
- baby change pad (not table, just a pad) on top of ikea shelving unit
- baby misc: wipes, petroleum jelly, baby meds
- soft tile floor mat
- that temperature duck for the bathtub
- baby mini bath tub
- one of those soft baby seat things like this with detachable mobile dangly thing for playing
- baby bjorn carrier
- car seat and mirror (so they can see themselves.... hey who's that baby!)
- bottles, sippy cups

and that was kind of it.

- people gave them clothes and toys so they didn't really have to buy that stuff or register for it, except for:

- sophie la giraffe toy (natural rubber! great for teething). Maybe I'm just sentimental, but Sophie is super cute. But do shop around, it's pricy in north america.

they did not need: bassinet, jolly jumper, playpen, complex jungle gyms or lots of fisher price toys etc. (although my friends kid rocks that jumper, so...). Said friends also make great use of a breast pump with vacuum seal freezer bags as well.
posted by St. Peepsburg at 8:11 AM on March 2, 2015 [2 favorites]

You don't need every last baby accessory known to the industrialized world, but your family and friends want to get stuff that make your life easier and more pleasant. Register for the big stuff - crib, nice stroller, car seat (if you want). Then add smaller (more modestly priced items) that reflect your tastes.

Everything else is so individual. For example, my first kid loved every kind of swaddle blanket, wrap, or bag. Second kid - so far, only 1 blanket is acceptable. So it's good to have that sort of thing on hand but you don't need to stock up. I thought baby swings were dumb, but they turn out to be really useful for about a month. That's the sort of thing you should borrow if you can, because lots of families have a perfectly fine one collecting dust in the garage.

Stuff that turned out to be well-used with both kids: changing pad and covers; Boppy nursing pillow. I would have never bought a Boppy but we received one as a hand me down. Then between kids it got infested with spiders in our basement, and I bought another one when I had my second kid.
posted by stowaway at 8:18 AM on March 2, 2015

This baby bjorn bouncer chair was a hand-me-down for us and was indeed amazingly helpful.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 8:37 AM on March 2, 2015

If you have one of those babies that will only fall asleep when rocked in one's arms and eschews all mechanical rocking devices (we had one), then may I suggest a Hushamok. That plus a Beco carrier are the only baby geegaws that I think we really needed. But I am p. minimalist when it comes to consumer goods, and Someone Else In My Family would have a very long list of stuff you Need To Own.
posted by BrunoLatourFanclub at 8:39 AM on March 2, 2015

General tips:
I cannot recommend Lucie's List highly enough.

We went with because you can aggregate items from multiple sites. Another big advantage is that it has spaces for services, etc. so you can have people sign up for meal service or babysitting or whatever you put on there.

Mainly, the registry and shower will get you through the shock of being new parents. By the time you're four months in or so, you'll be shopping at Goodwill and at least one major piece that you swore was essential will be gathering dust. Every baby is different. Some babies will sleep in a swing for their first six months; others will consider a swing their own personal iron maiden.

So stay away from the bigger things that you don't think you'll use until the baby is over six months old. By that point, you'll know more about what the kid prefers and what you're willing to spend, plus you'll have a better sense of the network and who has equipment they'll just foist on you for free.

Case in point: we got not one but two exersaucers for free from a friend who had himself inherited them, and we still have a Jumperoo, too.

Re: clothing:
We put our baby in footie PJs every day (Carter's is the same at JCP, Target, Kohls, etc.; Gerber is lower quality). They're much less complicated than anything else. She's warm; they don't go over the head (this is key), so the baby is happy; it's easy to access the diaper; they stay in place and don't bunch or ride up; you only have one thing to worry about (forget about socks until the kid is at least six months old). You'll undoubtedly have a few novelty onesies (this is my favorite for many reasons), but we live in the northern U.S. and she needs multiple layers over them.

The snap-up ones are better because they open down both legs, and when the kid has nearly outgrown them, you can get a little more time out of them if you don't have to wrestle one leg into the non-zippered side.

Also, you know that "newborn" is not the same as "0-3 months," right? The former goes up to about 8 pounds; the latter is the next size up. I know I'm not the only one who messed that up :P

Greatest things ever:
--Get the best rocking chair/glider you can afford; this is a perfect registry item for people to go in on. We got basically an upholstered living room chair on a rocking base; we'll probably put legs on it later. You will spend a loooooot of time here.
--A crib mattress is obvious, but it's another good larger registry item.
--Rock 'n' Play, all the way. It's good for sick time (colds and digestive) when you want a little tilt; it's light enough to carry from room to room; it's snuggly; it's a fabulous baby-putter-inner; it's a perfect travel crib. Our kid is nearly too big for it, but she sits up in it and rides it like a boat :) Note: I couldn;'t figure out what the difference was between the regular and Deluxe versions, but I guess the Deluxe version (My Little ___) has an extra sort of animal-shaped pad. Which we flipped away anyway. Both have vibration, so that's good. (Buy a ton of batteries.)
--Old-school cloth diapers. For EVERYTHING. Leave a pile in every room. Keep in mind that there are a few different kinds: there's something called "birdseye" fabric, which I think is kind of mesh, and there's the plain weave one. But somewhere in there we haven't managed to find the really good ones that we bought early on that had a little bit of padding.
--If you are pumping, you MUST have at least two pumping bras. Simple Wishes is the best and most adjustable. They're a little hard to find in person sometimes, so online is best.

Bought on our own:
--a ton of velcro swaddlers. We bought both Halo and SwaddleMe, but I don't think it made a huge difference.
--Keep Me Dry pads. I think the flat crib-sized ones are the most useful (the other options are fitted crib-sized and flat lap-sized); we could fold them to be smaller and drape them over the Rock 'n Play for the week that the baby was sick for no reason. They're great for layering with sheets so you can strip the crib quickly in the middle of the night. As kmennie said above, you could just use towels, but our daughter is a very talented puker and could soak through just about anything.

Didn't expect to love:
--Boogie Wipes. I thought they were the biggest waste of money, but we use them all the time because she is a fountain of snot. They really should probably be about half the size, but if you cut them and put them in a third-party wipe dispenser, for example, they'd probably dry out. So whatever.
--Fluffy blankie. We got this one at the shower and bought this one later. So incredibly soft and snuggly -- hell, it's kept ME snuggly, regardless of size.

Less useful:
--All of those flannel or muslin swaddling blankets. The flannel ones didn't seem like they were big enough, and the muslin ones got loose no matter how good we got at wrapping that little burrito. (If you're thinking about making your own reusable wipes, though, i think the flannel ones would be good.)
--Co-sleeper. This was a surprise to me. The Rock 'n Play was more snuggly and more portable (so we didn't have to move HER, just the RnP), and she went in the crib pretty early. Both the crib and the co-sleeper are flat, so it made no difference to her when she wasn't thrilled about sleeping on her back.
--Bottles. We just use the Medela six-ouncers for pumping, storage, feeding and supplementary formula.
--The Pack 'n Play is currently set up at Grandma and Grandpa's as a crib. She probably won't use it as a play spot until she can crawl, around 8-10 months or so. We've used the RnP as a travel crib instead.
posted by St. Hubbins at 9:55 AM on March 2, 2015 [3 favorites]

Nth-ing the swaddle blankets - either Swaddle Mes or Halo Sleep Sacks. Before Little Fluffy arrived, I thought it was silly to buy special blankets for swaddling when I could just use one of the million receiving blankets people had given us and swaddle her ourselves, but the special swaddle blankets with zips and velcro are lifesavers!! Swaddling in a regular blanket was a lot harder than it looked...especially when I was a zombie during the first weeks.

I love our carseat/stroller set. We have the Graco Click Connect which is super handy. It's easier for me to take the carrier in and out of the car than reaching in to buckle her up - although when she gets much bigger (she's 4 months), the carrier is going to be way too heavy so YMMV. It probably depends on how much you'll be out and on the go with your little one as to whether this is a want or a "need."

Baby bathtub as someone else mentioned... and hooded towels aren't just super cute, they're great for completely covering up a cold, wet baby straight out of the bath.

I wish I hadn't bought any newborn clothes or diapers myself. I don't have a large family or a million friends but we received SO MANY (didn't register for them) that she outgrew a lot of things before she had a chance to even wear them.
posted by 3fluffies at 10:02 AM on March 2, 2015

We liked the swaddle and sleep sacks too, much more than the loose blankets. Also, be prepared for baby to not like wraps and slings. Or anything, really - they can be quite fickle. Keep tags on until you try them, in case it doesn't work. For us, she hated being worn until around 4 months, then only liked the basic bjorn. She's good with a Mei Tai now, which is great because it's really easy to fold up and put in a bag.

Best purchase, hands down was the swivel/rocker recliner that we bought for the nursery from a local furniture store. I've logged a lot of hours and many nights in it.
posted by bizzyb at 10:27 AM on March 2, 2015

So much seems dependent on what you want and how your baby is. My baby is around 7 months old now. We were in a small apartment, so I did not have too many things to start with. He didn't have his own room until we moved (at around 4 months because I needed the space).

The things I found the most valuable were:
  • A number of different swaddles. We had the blankets, the swaddle me, and the woombie. He broke out of regular blanket swaddles almost immediately, and the woombie and swaddle me wraps worked for him at different periods depending on his size.

  • A set of cloth diapers to use as general mop-up and spit cloths. We started off with the newborn size, but we got the medium size later and they are bigger and a little more useful, though I still use the tiny ones.

  • A boppy pillow if you're breastfeeding. I didn't think I'd need one at first, but it did help a ton, though we've outgrown it now and I can just use a regular pillow or even a rolled up blanket. It's so much easier once they can hold their own heads up.

  • A bouncer chair. I just got the cheap Fisher Price kind and it has worked great. He had a period where he didn't like it, but now he loves to bounce himself and go crazy.

  • A stroller system. I got the Chicco Neuvo system with the Keyfit 30 and I love it and am super happy to have the stroller and the ability to just move the baby in his car seat and click him in the stroller and the car. Their new set "Bravo" looks really nice, too. I managed to get my set on sale at Target.

  • I didn't feel like I needed a changing table--we just used a pad on the floor. My baby is an awesome baby and was not the type that needed to be held all the time, so while I do have a carrier, it's used more sporadically. He did have a period of time where he really hated being still in his carseat, but he outgrew it.
    posted by that girl at 11:10 AM on March 2, 2015

    The one thing I got that I could not have done without was one of these booster seats. I used it as a high chair - just put it right on top of the dining room table when he was a baby, then moved it to a seat. I took it everywhere we went - not only to restaurants but to friend's houses, and just popped him in there with some toys or Cheerios or whatever.
    posted by lyssabee at 11:26 AM on March 2, 2015

    I want to third Lucie's List as a great place to start. She distills down to what you need and is not tied to any store or brand (though her links generally go to Amazon for the commission, but you can find the stuff elsewhere if you are anti-Amazon). My baby just turned 6 months and I was using Lucie's List as recently as last week for product referrals.

    Babies and parents are different, and things may not go as planned. For instance, we use our changing pad all the time- easier on our poor backs and we had all the stuff in the same place. It was totally worth the extra money to get the Keekaroo Peanut that can be wiped down (rather than a regular pad with covers that would need to be washed). We'll be using the changing pad for many more months so that's worth it.
    If I was going to do it over again, I would have installed a diaper sprayer on our toilet from day one. There have been a lot of diaper blowouts and then you have to deal with poop on the clothes- I wish we'd had a place to spray those out.
    I'm glad we didn't get the whole infant car seat stroller system. It's only a fleeting amount of time that they can't sit in a regular stroller. Ours could sit up at 3-4 months and now, at 6 months, is already getting too big for his infant car seat.
    posted by aabbbiee at 11:35 AM on March 2, 2015 [1 favorite]

    petroleum jelly

    Our first pediatrician recommended Desitin (or the generic equivalent) over vasoline-type jels, and NO baby powder! That just gunks up and is more likely to cause irritation over time. Little babies pee and poop a LOT (we have our second now, and I forgot about how much they pee).

    You won't need any fancy diaper pail that contains stinky poop pants for a while, because breastfed baby poop (and formula poop, would I think) smells like a sweet/sour milk byproduct (because it is). Things get stinky when they get a more diverse diet. With that, a closing trash can thing is great, as you can load it full of diapers and empty it once a week.

    LOTS OF DIAPERS! Not as many wipes!

    Burp rags - we like cloth baby diapers, as they're a good size, quite absorbent, and fairly soft when you have to wipe down a slimy baby face. Any towel will also work, but hand-towel size is the biggest you'd really want.

    A sufficiently large diaper bag, for whatever you need to carry for the baby, plus places to zip up your goods (wallet, phone, water for you).

    For whatever reason, we didn't use baby carriers so much for #1, and now I love our mobi wrap. It takes some work to figure out the best tie and hold, but it's been great way for me to rock #2 to calmness, if not sleep, while getting other things done.

    We have a high chair that could potentially fold up, but it's been residing open in our dining room area for quite a while (kid #1 used it, got too big, but we didn't bother putting it away, as kid #2 is here now). The best features: easily removable vinyl-covered padding, and a little bar that goes between the legs of the little one. This keeps them from sliding out the bottom, without needing to strap them in.

    If you miss bigger items now, the used market for baby goods is FANTASTIC. $20-$60 is often the going price for great quality items. Gliding rocking chair: $100-200 new, $40 from Craigslist; Baby changing table with shelves: ~$100+ new; $20 on Craigslist; etc, etc, etc. You can also get bags of clothes for similar price ranges, which is great when they grow like weeds.
    posted by filthy light thief at 11:59 AM on March 2, 2015

    Register for stuff that will help take care of you too:

    1. Prepared meal delivery (if available in your area)
    2. Cleaning services

    Some people may turn up their nose at purchasing something like this for you. Recent parents likely won't.
    posted by Kabanos at 12:29 PM on March 2, 2015

    "Ours could sit up at 3-4 months" should read "ours could sit up in a regular stroller at 3-4 months".... so it was only a few weeks that we would have really used the infant stroller system, and I mostly did babywearing for that time period.
    posted by aabbbiee at 12:34 PM on March 2, 2015

    My daughter got lots of advice and stuff thru a moms-of-twins group. There are many things you only need for 6 months or less, so hand-me-down works well. I'd suggest trying to hook up with a mutual support organization of moms.
    posted by SemiSalt at 12:56 PM on March 2, 2015

    This really depends on the baby (and parents), but the things we got the most use out of were:
    1. Baby carrier. Get a good "soft structured carrier" like an Ergo, Tula, or Boba - NOT a Baby Bjorn, which is more uncomfortable with larger babies and also bad for their hip development. Wraps are also good, but the Moby doesn't work very well for large/heavy babies, and ring slings are a bit tough to figure out. Most babies I know loved being worn, provided their parents started wearing them as infants.
    2. Infant car seat that clicks into a base. We got a travel system and almost never used the stroller (baby wanted to be held/worn), but being able to move the seat in and out of the car without walking the baby was super.
    3. Nursing pillow. Absolute must if breastfeeding to save your back, and I imagine it would be helpful if bottle feeding also.
    4. Swaddlers. There are many different types, maybe get a couple different ones, and buy more when you know what your baby likes (due to frequent spitting up/peeing/pooping you'll need more than one).
    5. Yoga ball. To bounce the baby. But my baby greatly preferred bouncing over swinging/rocking, so this will definitely vary.

    I also personally love the wipes warmer we use with reusable (fabric) wipes, but it's definitely not necessary. Other parents swear on their electric baby swings.

    Amazon is the best for baby registries, because you can find anything!

    Also - buy used. We have a ton of kid's consignment stores where I live, and you can find anything you would need if you look around (don't buy a used car seat, or a crib with a drop-down side, and check to see if any other large items have been recalled). Or, Craigslist if you don't have consignment stores.
    posted by Safiya at 1:42 PM on March 2, 2015

    Also also, remember that baby stuff is like wedding stuff: you can use just about anything, but label it "baby" and it'll cost more.

    So we got big items that we knew would grow with her: no changing table, just a white Ikea dresser that will last (close enough to) forever. No hooded towels (although I hear they're nice), just a few hand towels that we intended to be for her baths but are too small to wrap a decent sized baby anyway... but now we have nice hand towels that match our bathroom, so nyah.
    posted by St. Hubbins at 1:57 PM on March 2, 2015

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