Saturday, December 19, 2009

Baby Registry Advice

Last year, a friend of mine who was pregnant sent out an email to several people asking for input on putting together her registry. I have referred back to my responses and passed them along to a few other moms, so I thought I should just go ahead and post them here for future reference. These are her questions, and my responses, plus a summary of the feedback she got from everyone she asked.

1. What kind of breast feeding pillow (if any) did/do you use? What are the advantages and disadvantages of what's out there that you know about? If you didn't use one, why? So far, I pretty much seem to be finding Boppy and My Brest Friend out there; any others I should know about?
I have a Boppy, but it didn't work for me. Tons of people rave about it, but I could never really get the hang of using pillows at all. I've heard a lot of great things about the My Breast Friend pillow as well.

2. What are some things that you didn't register for or get as gifts that you wish you had?
I didn't get hardly any toys. I didn't register for them, because I figured people would just pick some they liked, but most everyone stuck to the registry (which is kind of rare). So I ended up buying toys after Little Missy was born. Also, I didn't bother registering for stuff for slighter older babies - like babyproofing supplies, a convertible carseat, etc. - but it would probably be a good idea.

3. What are the top 5 things you couldn't have lived without in the first 6 months - 1 year?
Bouncy seat (Boppy brand), swaddling blankets (big cotton knit blankets when she was small and SwaddleMe as she got bigger), white noise generator, swing (Graco Luvin' Hug), Pack n Play with raised changing table attachment Runners Up: digital monitor (we have the Graco vibrating monitor with 2 receivers), excersaucer, quilts (we use them as rugs basically), sling (I have a hotsling and a Munchkin brand, and I want to get a Maya ring sling b/c they are supposed to be easier to nurse in), Bebe Au Lait nursing cover, recliner
ETA: I never got a Maya ring sling, but I really would have liked one when she was little I think. I'm kinda bummed that I didn't have one. And I used my nursing cover a lot when she was little because I'm somewhat modest and it took a lot of finagling to get her latched on and nursing well at first, but eventually I didn't feel like I needed it anymore and I haven't used it in ages. But we do use the Boppy now for than ever - Little Missy likes sitting in it when she gets to watch TV, and she likes playing with it on the floor.

4. What are things you registered for or got as gifts that you didn't need, didn't use, or go too many of?
We got way more clothes and blankets than we know what to do with! I didn't use the Boppy (as I mentioned), those hand covers, burp cloths (we use cloth diapers instead), bottles, pacis...

5. Lots of people have told me that I don't need to register for blankets, pacifiers, booties and those hand-cover things, and clothes. Is this true? Is there anything else that I'll get a lot of that I don't need to worry about buying or registering for?
Register for blankets if there are certain ones you really want, otherwise don't bother registering for any of those things. I would recommend trying different bottles/pacis and then only stock up once you figure out what your baby actually likes. If you see an outfit you really must have, just buy it - nobody wants to buy clothes off a registry.

6. What did you decide you wanted to get yourself instead of relying on getting it as a gift?
I didn't want to register for a breastpump (I thought it would be weird but maybe that was silly). I bought the Avent Isis manual pump, which I tried to use once and hated it (but most people love it for a manual), and I ended up buying the Ameda Pump In Style double electric (they used Ameda pumps at the hospital, so I knew I liked Ameda pumps and it's a LOT cheaper than the Medela pumps and just as good from everything I've read). I have also bought nursing bras/tanks, baby toys, medicine, diaper rash creams, diapers, wipes, bottles, pacis, more baby hangers, more SwaddleMe blankets...

Other things we liked:
  • Graco SnugRide carseat (lower weight limits than the SafeSeat, but lighter to carry as a result) - and get a second base!
  • Chicco high chair
Thoughts on strollers...
Everyone seems to have different opinions about strollers. I wanted the travel system personally, and I really like it, but I HATE how hard it is to get in/out of my trunk (not a problem in Paul's Sentra oddly). I don't use the stroller when shopping - I just hook her carseat on the cart, but our stroller has been handy other places like July 4th, doctor's visits, and other places without shopping carts. Other people like just the stroller frame because it's cheaper/lighter, but if you do that, you need another stroller for when they outgrow the infant seat. We also have a Maclaren umbrella stroller, but babies can't use umbrella strollers for the first few months, and those strollers aren't big enough to carry around a big diaper bag and stuff. Also, some people really like jogging strollers, but I don't know if I'll ever want one, unless I start walking a lot more.

Summary of everyone's feedback:

I got the following email back from my friend...

Thank you so much for your prompt response to my request for registry help. I thought you might be interested in some of the things that you had in common:

--just about EVERYONE loves and recommends the Exersaucer!
--many of you swear by swings
--many of you think that the Boppy is AT LEAST good as a pillow, if not for breast feeding
--most of you haven't used or didn't register for pacifiers and bottles
--Diaper Champ is more popular the Diaper Genie
--many of you encouraged me to get plain white burp cloths
--slings are kinda popular among you
--Baby Bijorn is not as popular
--Now I know that hospitals give you all kinds of helpful things, including healthcare supplies and the little hand covers
--made-to-swaddle blankets are, for most of you, the way to go
--many of you suggested the Ultimate Crib Sheet
--I shouldn't register for blankets, toys, or clothes. We'll get plenty.
--every mom should choose her own breast pump
--thinking about baby stuff is so much fun!!

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