You’ve determined what you don’t need on your baby gift registry. But what about all the items you do need? Walking around that baby superstore and looking at all those items you supposedly have to have will make your mind spin. So we’ve gathered a list of what baby items are truly useful.
Here are 10 baby gifts you should register for:
1. Baby monitor. These offer such peace of mind. Register for a video monitor (or one that is compatible with your phone) so you can watch your little one sleeping (or not, as the case might be). Otherwise, you’ll just be listening to sounds – or quiet – and wondering what’s going on.
2. Nursing stool. I got one of these and it made feeding so much more comfortable. Whether you breast feed or bottle feed, you’ll want your feet up.
3. Rocking chair/glider. If you think someone or a group of friends might chip in for this, trust me, you’ll appreciate it. You will spend A LOT of time feeding so you might as well be comfortable. If you don’t receive one as a gift, search out consignment sales or consignment shops or Craigslist.
4. Swaddler wraps with velcro. Babies love to be snuggled – they’re used to being crowded in the womb, not having their arms and legs flailing about. Wrapping my babies in these little “burritos” calmed them down immediately.
5. Holiday and special occasion clothing they will wear only one time. Frilly underpants with the words “Baby’s 1st Christmas” written on them? Bunny ears for Easter? Thanksgiving booties that look like turkeys? Yes! Okay, so they’re not practical, but you will love the photos for years to come. (I still have the photos of my son wearing the Thanksgiving turkey booties.) When your kids are older, they won’t put up with this nonsense – now’s the time to enjoy dressing them up!
6. Wipe warmer. Okay, a lot of people are going to disagree with me on this one, but I swore by mine. Just imagine wiping your behind with a cool and clammy wipe. Not so appealing, right? Now imagine that same wipe at a nice, warm, comfortable temperature. (Now if only the ob/gyn would make it so that ultrasound gel wasn’t so cold!)
7. Frivolous bath products. We had bath paint, foam, crayons, coloring changing tablets, you name it. And the kids had a blast! It’s a child’s JOB to have fun. Plus, while they are discovering texture, smell and being creative, you get the chance to wash their hair… and maybe even take a breather for a second to watch them play.
8. Lullabies. Calming music can help a baby wind down. Rockabye Baby makes twinkly, baby renditions of your favorite bands’ music, including lullaby renditions of songs by The Foo Fighters, The Beatles, Bob Marley, Elvis, Eminem and others.
9. Hooded towels. Again, not everyone will agree with me, but I found these to be incredibly helpful (as well as adorable). After a bath, I’d lay one out on the bathroom rug, place the baby on top, then towel dry him, dry his hair with the hood, then wrap him up. Perfect!
10. Electric swings and bouncy seats. These things are lifesavers when you need your baby to stay put while you take a shower, do the dishes, prepare food, or any activity that requires free hands. My pediatrician advised against exersaucers because they put they create poor posturing, poor standing position and a poor sense of balance control. For this reason, I never had one. But the fact remains that sometimes you need your baby to be contained so you can get something done. That’s where an electric swing or bouncy seat comes in handy. I would talk to my baby and sing to him the entire time I was chopping vegetables or taking a bath. If you don’t get gifted one of these, check yard sales, consignment sales and consignment shops – just make sure to check that they have not been recalled.