Friday, April 5, 2013

Preparing for a Little One Link Up

My friend Kaitlyn and I came up with a great idea that I absolutely love. 

As you know, Kaitlyn is expecting her first child. This can be so overwhelming and I know that other first time moms probably feel the same. She has so many questions and would love to hear the opinions of moms who have already been through this a time or two before.

Because of this, we are hosting a weekly series for a few weeks to try and get some answers to some of the most common questions.

We divided the series into two mini 4 week series grouped into questions Pre-Baby & Post Baby. The first mini series will be:

Friday, April 5: Registering (Everything you need to know, Must Haves, Don't Bothers, etc...)
Friday, April 12: Nursery Organization & Ideas
Friday, April 19: Packing For The Hospital: For you & the baby
Friday, April 26: Birth Stories (The good, bad, and ugly) / Birth Plans (yes? no?)

So without further ado, let's get on with Week 1: Registering! 

Registering for your first baby is one the most exciting things during pregnancy.  I know I couldn't wait to register and was overwhelmed when it actually came to getting the scanner and walking the aisles.  There are so many different and new products than there were when our parents had us and so many questions to go along with them.  What brand should I choose?  Do we really need this?  What is better for baby?  

Here is my take on advice for registering.  

Choose 2 places to register.  You don't want too many and you don't want to register at only 1.  Most likely not everyone lives and shops where you do, give your friends and family options but not too many.

Register for some items online and some in store (if available).   When you register online only it can frustrate people because they can't go to the store and get your items.  Not everyone likes shopping online.  The same goes for the flip side, not everyone wants or is able to go the store and sometimes when you register in store, the items are only available in store.

Each place you register will most likely give you a checklist, use it!    These are great guides so you don't forget a category or something you might not have thought of.  With the same token, you DO NOT need everything on that list.  Don't feel you have to register for something on the list if you don't feel you need it.

Use other mommas.   Research what other moms have liked and disliked.  Facebook or blog polls are great for this.   Ask what others have found to be great products.  This is also great for decision making such as breastfeeding or not and disposable vs. cloth.

Research and read reviews.   Some items are super cute, but lack on function and features.  This is especially important on the bigger items.  The biggest concern for items like your car seat should be safety and usability not look or you will be disappointed later.

Don't just think baby items think about the whole first year and a half.    Babies are expensive and there are many things you need after the infant stage like the silverware and safety items like outlet covers.  You might not need them right away, but you will.

Don't register for the big gender specific items.  This happens more often with girls,  yes I realize the car seats and gear are cuter with the girl patterns but what if you have a boy next, you don't want to have to buy another car seat, stroller, or swing.  Save money, get something that you can use on both sexes.

Prioritize.    Yes I know you want everything, but make a list of needs and wants.  Make sure you get the needs first and the wants second.  This is a great tactic to use if you have more than one shower a few weeks  apart, for the first one have everything on it you NEED, then if a lot of it gets purchased, add some more items that you WANT.

Now for the items we couldn't live without.

Infant Carrier/ Stroller -  Jogging strollers all the way, they are so much easier than traditional strollers.  If you can't find a travel system you like, find a jogging stroller that fits multiple car seats so you have the option to put in the stroller for the first 6 months.  Once baby can sit up, they are usually fine in the stroller without the car seat.

Convertible Car Seat-  You will need it before you know it.  My first outgrew his infant carrier at around 6 months.

Bedroom Furniture-  Crib, Changing Table and Rocker  ( We purchased a crib from Wal-Mart and have loved it.  The same crib was sold at lots of other baby stores but we found the best price on it there.)

Swing-  Noah hated the swing but Carson loved it, so you never know but with Carson we had a swing that went back and forth, and had the option to swing side to side.  These are great!

Bouncer-  (or vibrating chair, not sure why they are bouncers because they don't bounce unless you do it yourself)  Noah lived in his bouncer for a long time.  He loved it.  The vibrations are good to calm baby and and great to bring with you all throughout the house.

Monitor- We have never had a video monitor, always just the regular one and we never had a problem.  If you are wanting to save some money somewhere, I would recommend getting the less expensive regular ones.

Crib Machine or Mobile-   We had much better luck with the crib machine.  Ours had a scene of fish that moved and could play music or water sounds.  It also had a parent remote so you could restart it from the door without having to go back over by baby.

Bumbo and tray

Jumperoo and Walker- Two of the greatest inventions ever, loved them with both!

High Chair or seat chair-  We have both and the high chair we have collapses to be very thin for storage or against a wall, look for that feature!

Moby Wrap or another version of a baby carrier.  We had a ring sling, moby wrap and a strap on carrier.  I wasn't much for the ring sling but loved the moby.

For the Bedroom
- Mattress
-Crib Sheets (at least 3)
-Mattress protector (we have survived with 1)
-Bumper pads, love the breathable kind.  Ours that came with our bedding was very poofy and never fit our crib right.  Breathable bumpers were much better and I felt better about using them.
-Pad for changing table
-Blankets and swaddling blankets.  I was never much  for  the swaddlers but I know some people love them.  We always just used a thing swaddling blanket.  Carters had awesome small blankets and they always have cute different prints.  Aden and Anais are also a little bit more expensive but great for swaddling and a little lighter blanket.
- Hangers and closet organizers

-Diapers-  Some people don't put them on their registry because they assume they will get lots of diapers at their shower and you are right but if you put them on  it lets people know which ones you prefer.
- Diaper creme, we loved Butt Paste
-Diaper Genie and Refills-  We have been using ours for 3+ years non stop, and still working great!  The refills do get expensive but I saw on Pinterest how to make your own.

Bath Time
-Shampoo/ Body wash- We use aveeno
-Hooded towel- If you know of anyone who makes them, ask for one.  Homemade are the best.
-Lotion- We use Aveeno as well.
-Baby bath seat, ours could fit into the sink or be used in the tub, loved that we could use it in the sink as well.  Much easier when they were newborns.
-Bath toys

-Boppy, used this for most feedings, loved it for nursing, for bottles, to prop them up on the floor and also great when they are first sitting up
- Burp cloths and more burp cloths.  You will go through a ton of these.  I loved all the cute ones, but the ones that really work are just the plain cloth diaper ones.  The oval ones, are cute but about worthless in my opinion.
-Bottles-  Don't get the smaller ones, just register for all 8oz that way you don't need new ones once they start eating more.  We used Dr. Browns and I had Tommee Tippee as well.  If you are going to be nursing as well Tommee Tippee ones are great, if not Dr. Browns are awesome.
-Bottle rack
-If you will be nursing, I used the Medela Double Pump in Style I believe.  Any of the Medela electric ones are great.  You will also needs lots of nursing pads in the beginning (Lansinoh were my favorite) and Lanolin creme.  Also don't forget nursing bras, but be prepared to go up a size or 2.  Nursing covers are also great for nursing around people.  I had a Hooter Hider and really liked it.
If you plan on pumping you will also needs bags for your milk.
-Bibs- the Wipable ones are great.  They also sell disposable ones that are great for the diaper bag.  
- Bowls- we have some with lids that are great for travel and also the ones with the top they can get through to stop spills
-plates, sippy cups, and spoons.  We go through a lot!

Random other Items
- Pacifiers
-Play Mat
-Baby Necessities like Thermometer, nail clippers, files, nose suckers ( you can usually find kits with all these items together)
- Baby Safety-  Outlet covers, cabinet locks, toilet locks
-Medicine- Pain relief, teething tablets, and orajel
-Baby gate if you need one
-A few toys
-Diaper bag-  Look for one with pockets.  I changed what I wanted a bunch of times.  With each stage it seemed like I wanted the bag set up differently.

Wow, babies sure use a lot of stuff.  Sorry for the longest post ever.   I will never forget my shower and how fun it was to come home and organize all the fun stuff we got!  It seemed so real after you have your house all ready with all the baby goods.

If you have any questions on specific items I'd love to share what exact items or brands we used and if we liked or didn't like them.  Just email or comment below!  
Happy Registering Mom's to be! 

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