By Rachel Hoeing
Today’s post is not only for new moms. Today we need a collaborative effort from all you veteran moms, too! New moms need help when it comes time to register for baby gear. I have compiled a list of the top items recommended from some of our readers. These are just suggestions, and we know that every family has different priorities, so please add your thoughts by commenting below and letting us know what baby items you loved and which ones were a flop. New items are constantly coming out, so if you recently registered, please share any new items with us that you added to your list. Here are our MUST HAVES:
A Diaper Disposal System
Favorites are the Diaper Genie and the Diaper Champ. I personally thought they all still smelled bad, even if they claimed to be odor free. I thought the Diaper Champ was the easiest because you can use your own trash bags without buying refills. It was also very easy to use one-handed. The best thing to do to keep your nursery odor-free is to empty the disposal system often and clean it often. Or in the words of one friend, “They all stink. I just get a bunch of plastic grocery bags, tie off the diapers and throw them out the door on the back step and trash them when I leave the house. Keeps the bad guys away too."
This is supposed to be for nursing moms, but it is multi-functional! I used it to sit on when I was just home from the hospital! Nice! It is also great for propping up baby to give him head strength. Make sure to get a slip cover for easy washing.
One favorite is The First Years Sure Comfort Deluxe Newborn-to-Toddler Tub. It is easy to reach baby and also has a little bump to sit them on so they are not sliding all over the place. Another favorite is the Safety First Tub because you can put the bath cradle inside the kitchen sink when they are little or in the real tub as they grow. Then when they are beginning to sit up, it has an attachment that helps them sit upright. This can then be removed once they are sitting on their own. One more favorite is the Safety 1st Space Saver Fold Up Tub that hangs on the bathtub wall. Check them all out and see which one appeals to you most!
I must admit that I never used mine at home much because my kids napped in their cribs from the get-go, but it was essential to me for traveling. Other readers have used it as a play-yard, time-out, travel, changing table, and for napping in different places in the home. Most agree not to bother with too many of the added accessories sold with these. Graco seems to be a favorite brand.
Many different options for these, but be sure to check out the ones that sit close to the ground and are easy to close up and move. They take up less space and are so much easier to move from room to room in the house. They are also less expensive!
These have many names: the saucer, the megasaucer, the stationary entertainer. These have taken the place of the walkers that our parents used for us when we were young. They are terrific! As soon as your child is able to support his head on his own, you can use these. It is so nice for baby to sit up and be able to see everything happening around him instead of always lying on his back. It is great if you choose to let your child watch baby videos, too. Many come with little toys surrounding it. I honestly think some have too many toys though! Can you imagine all those things sticking up in front of your face and not being able to get away from them? I would personally pick one with a few attached toys, but not too many.
There are over a million choices for strollers! You can register for a folding stroller which holds the car seat carrier. Most of these are pretty bulky. Depending on your personality, you will love them or hate them. If you do like it, you will use this stroller for quite a while. Get one that has plenty of storage under and around it. Mommies always have lots of gear. Once your baby is out of the carrier, you will still use this stroller without it. Other options are the basic framed stroller which holds the carrier. One example is the Graco snap-n-go. It is easy to transport, but you will not use this once they are out of the carrier.
When babies are out of their carriers, another favorite of our readers is the Chicco Capri stroller that folds up and can be carried on your shoulder.
Jogging stollers are great, too, but will not work well for trips to the mall or Target. Some have wheels that do not turn, so if you are not a big walker or runner, skip the jog stroller. A good thing to consider is that a jog stroller works much better when walking with baby on trails.
Of course there is the infamous umbrella stroller. They run about $10-$20 for a basic one, so go ahead and put it on your list. Kids who are 4 can still use these when their little legs tire out at the zoo or at a street festival. You can keep them in the car and they don’t take up much space.
Remember that you can register for as many different strollers as you feel you need, but keep in mind that storage can be a problem. I personally only registered for two because we do not have a garage or shed for storage. (One stroller for baby years and one umbrella stroller for older years.) With just two strollers, they were easy to keep in the minivan for whenever we would need them.
Again, numerous options here from the sling to the Bjorn. Sling works well, but only until a certain age. Our readers say to make sure the one you buy has an adjustable ring. This has been a life-saver for some babies with colic. The Bjorn Carrier can be used for quite a while since infants face you and then as they grow you can turn them around to face outward. Some are also designed to then be used on mommy’s back. Whichever type you choose, just make sure you choose at least one! It is better for your back and your sanity!
Most parents I have talked to have said do not get the video monitor. You will become obsessed with watching your baby and checking on him all the time. (But hey – if it makes you feel better as a mom, go ahead and get it!) Our expert Moms have said to get a basic sound monitor with two attachments. You can keep one in your room at night and one in the kitchen, family room, or wherever else you may be while your baby naps. Fisher Price, Sony, and Graco seem to be the favorites.
You can purchase a classic highchair if you want one that is going to be stationary in your kitchen. Just make sure it is easy to wipe clean. You will be amazed at the little grooves that food works its way into!
You can also opt for a “hook-on” chair once baby can sit up. Chicco brand was a favorite of these. These chairs hook on to the side of a table. The best part is that you can fold them up and take then along to grandma’s or a restaurant.
Another option is a basic booster seat. The Fisher Price Rainforest Booster straps to a kitchen chair and also travels easily. The tray is removable so they can use this as they grow and move out of a highchair.
This is a pad/mat that you put on top of your crib sheet or cradle sheet. You only have to change out the mat if the baby spits up or leaks through a diaper. The last thing a mom has time to do is replace the sheet every couple of days, so this is a great option. Advice from one Mom - don’t get the one that ties or snaps to all corners.
One with an attachment out front that can be removed works well. The vibrating option is great, too. Just always make sure to strap in your child! You will be amazed how the tiniest of babies can slide around in these.
I guess in baby terms this would just be nail clippers. Remember that baby’s nails grow very quickly which results in quite a few scratches on their sweet little faces. You can also get the lightweight mittens that baby can wear to keep him from scratching himself.
What do you recommend?