June 21, 2016

The Complete Splurge, Skip, Borrow list for your Baby Registry

I absolutely hate clutter, even though my house is a total mess. When I got pregnant, I spent countless hours combing through blogs on what were the must-have registry items. I was careful about taking the time to really assess what I would need and ignore anything that wasn't necessary in hopes of cutting down on the crap that was about to overtake my entire life. Even doing that, I really did find things that I really wished I had, and others that I wish I would have known better. Below is my list of the items to splurge, skip, and try to borrow from friends and family. I tried to go off only things I had tried and used to make this the most useful list I could.  

SPLURGE

Ergobaby Original Carrier – I thought about this one long and hard at the end of my pregnancy and when Cooper was born. I thought the price tag for this was absurd when there were so many cheaper ones. I ended up ordering a cheap version first and boy, do I regret wasting my money. There is just no comparison. This carrier is heavily padded in the shoulders and distributes baby weight so evenly that it is so comfortable to wear. Having the shade cover for baby’s head is also a huge plus. And it has pockets on the front!!! I’ve stuck my keys and cell in there while walking around. Cooper was visibly more comfortable in the Ergo than he was in the cheap carrier I bought. Worth the splurge! Purchase here. $119

Ergobaby

Wubbanub – Another ridiculously priced, but brilliant item. The Wubbanub is a Soothie pacifier with a plush toy attached to it. Sounds like nothing for the $15 price tag right? Oh, contrar! This thing was amazing. Soothies are the only pacifier Cooper will take. When he was a newborn, I couldn’t stand how the pacifier would continually just plop right out of his mouth. Knowing he already had a monster grip, this was a life saver. Coop was able to hold onto the toy part to keep it in his mouth. And when he wasn’t holding it, I would just tuck a blanket under it to hold it up. The downside to this is they don’t sell them with anything other than the 0-3 month Soothie pacifier. So as they get older, you’re kinda s.o.l. I was looking at it closely though, you can probably just rip off the old pacifier and hand sew on a 3+ month paci instead. Also, I’m sure these are super easy to make if you have any of the old McDonald’s Happy Meal mini beanie babies (circa 90’s) and any pacifier. Purchase here. $13.95 (prices vary online.)

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Baby Bum Brush - Don't you hate how when you apply diaper rash cream to your baby's bottom, you always seem to get some stuck under your finger nails? It's the cream that never comes off! Your prayers have been answered. This bum brush is so simple and so useful. You never have to touch diaper cream again. Plus, it spreads the cream on your baby's bum more evenly so you don't have to use as much and go through it as fast. Purchase here. $7.99

baby bum

Bottle Drying Rack – We started by using our regular dish drying rack for bottles. It was okay, but the bottles constantly kept falling and the bottle nipples were falling through the cracks onto the counter. I kept seeing the Boon grass bottle dryer in the store and then decided to try it. SO much better! It holds the bottles straight up, has a fully covered bottom so your counters don’t get wet, and the grass can be picked right out of the base to be washed. I love it. Worth the extra dough! Purchase at Target. $17.99

boon

Aden & Adais swaddle muslin blankets – Formally known as the insanely overpriced blanket. No no. I purchased a 3-pack of these with a Nordstrom store credit I had left over. They are the SOFTEST blankets I’ve ever felt. I want one for myself! Cooper hates being swaddles, but he loves cuddling up with one of these super thin blankets. They are perfect for cooler summer nights where he just needs something thin to cover up with. All of the other cheaper comparable blankets I found to this were just not as soft and cozy. I wish I could buy a thousand of these. Nordstrom. 3-pak for $45

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A handmade Minky Blanket – I wrote a review of the blanket I purchased from Etsy. And it was well worth it. This is a blanket Cooper will grow up with. It’s perfect for his car seat and for cold nights.

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Dock -A-Tot – Ok. I’m actually a little embarrassed to admit I spent this much money on what appears to be a glorified dog bed. But the Dock-A-Tot is sooooo much more than that! When Cooper was 2 months old, he wouldn’t sleep for longer than 3-4 hours at a time at night…if we were lucky. When searching Pinterest for tips on getting baby to sleep longer, the Dock-A-Tot appeared. I could talk about it all day, so instead I’d go read about the specifics on it here. I ordered the Dock-A-Tot out of sleep desperation, and I’m so happy I did. The first night we had it, Cooper slept 5 hours straight! Since then, he’s been sleeping 7-8 hours a night without waking up in his Dock-A-Tot. The best part is the dock is totally portable. Take it to the beach, day care, sleepovers at relatives. And he never realizes he’s in a different place to sleep because he is still cozy in his dock no matter what. They come in two sizes, up to 9 months and then one for toddlers transitioning to beds. If you are having trouble with a sleeping baby, make the purchase! You’ll thank me later. Deluxe $165-185 Grande $260-290

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Car Mirror with a light/music – My best friend swore that I needed to purchase a mirror with a light. I told her she was insane and the regular old car seat mirror I got was fine. After the first night driving home in the dark, I was singing a different tune (anxiety ridden mother – activate!). The store only had one that played music also. I’m so happy they did! He loves the lullabies it plays. I personally think the music sounds like a dying Speak-n-Spell toy, but it keeps him quiet and puts him right to sleep if he’s crying. Brica $26.99

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SKIP

Microwave Bottle Sterilizer – While I didn’t spend much on this (I think I got the Babies R Us brand), I literally only used it once to try it out. I honestly don’t see the point of sterilizing bottles constantly. We just wash ours and air dry them and Cooper is still alive. Who knew! I believe the bottle sterilizer to be a gimmick created to exploit vulnerable new parents into believing their kid is a porcelain doll (targeting coddlers). With that being said, we do still sterilize things like bottle nips, teething toys, and pacifiers every now and then, but I think it’s way easier to just use a sterilizing bag. You can use one bag 20-30 times and they cost a fraction of the giant plastic container that will take up your entire cupboard. Sterlizer  $19.99 Bags 6-pack $7.99 

Newborn clothes – Do not waste your money! Most babies will wear these for a week and then grow out of them. Not to mention you’re not leaving the house during that time, so there is nothing you will need other than plain onesies and warm pajamas. Plus, people will get you all sorts of outfits at your shower and when the baby is born. 

Newborn Shoes – So pointless, and virtually impossible to find a pair that will stay on. Opt for socks and slippers (if you must have something additional). I found “crib shoes” on Etsy that I still put on Cooper. He’s four months old. He’s not walking, therefore does not need to be wearing uncomfortable sneakers. 

Play Yard Extras – My Pack ‘N’ Play came with a napper/changing station and these cheap Velcro hanging toys. I used all of it NEVER. I ended up ripping it all off. Baby is not interested at that age for any of that. Plus, Cooper napped in his Rock n Play, not the play yard. Save yourself about $40 and just get a basic play yard. I will say the only “extra” I really did use a lot was the clip on piece that raises the floor up higher for small babies. Cooper slept in that up until a week ago. The only extra I will say are worth it was a play yard mattress. It added a little extra padding to the hard surface. But skip the play yard sheet. A regular crib sheet tucked in the edges will work just as well. Pack N Play - $79.99 Play yard mattress - $14.60

Crib Bedding - Save the money!! Your kid will never use it. Not to mention you aren't even supposed to have blankets in the crib...although, I won't lie. I cheat and use thin receiving blankets (sorry, I'm not Mom of the Year!) I ended up having my grandmother knit Cooper a blanket to match the theme of his bedroom instead to hang over the edge of the crib. This was something much more convenient to use to cover him when we cuddled on the couch rather than a stiff comforter. I did still end up getting the crib bumpers (another faux pas...oops!) and the curtains. They worked amazing with our vintage sports theme

Diapers – I cannot stress enough how much of a waste of time “stocking up” on diapers is before you have your baby. You have no clue what sizes you are going to need, and even though you can exchange them, you’re still going to have to make that extra trip to the store, so why bother? We also had a premie baby, so we had no newborn diapers at home thinking he’d be almost out of them by the time we left the hospital. Cooper ended up being in newborn sizes until he was almost 2 months old. If you must buy diapers ahead of time, I suggest purchasing one large box of each size and store them away. This way when you realize baby’s diapers are getting tight, you will have the next size up handy until you can get to the store to purchase a new box. If you aren’t sure how much longer baby will be in a certain size, get a smaller package. There is nothing worse than buying a huge box and opening it, only to use 5 diapers before you have to move a size up.

Formula – Wait, wait, wait! This is a personal item for baby. Each baby has a different way they digest it. It turned out for us that Cooper could only take Enfamil Gentlease after I stopped breastfeeding. Everything else I had to get rid of. Luckily, there is an easy way to hold you over. When you are pregnant, sign up on Enfamil & Similac’s website. They sent me tons of samples that I was able to try with Cooper to see what worked well for us. And they are good size samples! What I couldn’t use, I asked other mom’s on Facebook if they could use it and gave it away or exchanged for those who had Gentlease to get rid of. Enfamil Family Beginnings Similac Strong Moms  


BORROW (where possible)

Baby Swing – I didn’t purchase one of these. I didn’t want my son to get used to being in one and we end up letting him sleep there. Instead, Tim’s cousin had a 4moms mamaroo that she wasn’t using anymore and offered to let us borrow it until they decide to have another.

Hand-me down clothes – This was the best. My best friend’s son was born in January, three years prior. Because of that, all of his old clothes (which she thankfully saved in neatly labeled bins) fit Cooper at the same time he would need them. We decided we’d start swapping, as they plan to have another child within the next year. She gave me 2-3 bins at a time, and when I am done with them, I add Cooper’s new clothes that I got to the bins and swap out for the next size up. It has saved us so much money! And now our kids have a huge wardrobe. I don’t think Cooper has ever worn the same thing twice.

Car Seat Bases – Not always possible, but if you can find someone who has used the same type of infant car seat in the past, consider borrowing car seat bases. Luckily, a friend of mine had 3 car seat bases she wasn’t using and they were taking up space in her apartment. This saved me $150 not having to purchase them for everyone.

Share with me your must have and have-not's for baby items!

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