A Pregnant Pause

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

There’s a mini baby boom afoot. I know of at least eight new wee ones who will be making a debut over the next six months. And, as expected, everyone’s excited.

Recently, a few of these mamas-to-be have asked me the same question (a tinge of panic rumbling under their voice): Holy hell, what do I really need to buy for this baby? Plus, most of these baby registry checklists? Overwhelming doesn’t quite capture it.

knit baby booties

Photo Credit: normanack/Anne Norman

I had put together an e-mail with a few of things I found useful when QB was fresh on the scene and sent it along to those inquiring moms. Then I remembered how helpful it was, especially in those early days, to get baby gear Intel from another mother who had walked a few steps ahead of me. You know, report from the trenches-style.

So I decided to not only share my e-mailed list of Gotta-Get products here, but also to turn it over to you moms (and dads!) reading this post and ask you to readily add to this list. Call it a community project.

Please add to this list in to the comments section below. Thanks, “Whoa, Mama!” Village.

The “Gotta Get” Baby Registry Checklist

  • Sleepers and Onesies: For the first three months, that’s all the little love bug will be sporting, so have plenty on hand.
  • Wash cloths and burp cloths: Actual bibs didn’t come into play until month four or five, especially if nursing.
  • Swaddling blankets: Highly recommend swaddling le bébé for as long as possible. It may seem like she/he doesn’t like it, but do it anyway. Works wonders for calming and sleeping*. We really liked theses blankets by Kiddopotamus. They have velcro sections that help keep the burrito-like fold job together. Nice and easy.

(*Connected to swaddling and sleep, check out the instructive book “The Happiest Baby on the Block” by Harvey Karp and the matching DVD. Another good book on sleep habits and babies is “The Sleep Easy Solution.” It’s written by two psychotherapists/sleep specialists and covers things like naps, setting schedules for different age groups and sleep problems.)

  • Receiving blankets: Most of the ones we initially bought just weren’t big enough. Then someone recommended these swaddle blankets by aden + anais. They are 100% muslin, huge, cute, and have so many uses. A bit pricey (maybe 40 bucks for a pack of four), but so worth it. You’ll use them for everything.
  • Hands-Free Seat/Swing: The hands-free part is for you, Mama. You need something—a bouncy seat, a swing, something—that you can safely rest your little one in while you get a break … and your two hands back to take a shower, say. It’s hard to know what your child will take to before he’s here. For instance, our son really liked the Fisher Price My Little Lamb Cradle ’n Swing. The bouncy seat we got as a registry gift? No, thanks, he said. It might have been too low to the ground for QB’s tastes.
  • Consider a white noise/sleep sounds machine. At first I kind of chuckled at this idea, though it a tad precious. I quickly came around on that once I saw how easily our son went to sleep to a white noise rhythm in the background. We bought a great one (on the expensive side, though) from Brookstone called Tranquil Moments Sleep Sound Therapy System.
  • Bottle set: Even if you plan to nurse for a year or more, having good bottles in your closet is a wise move. We liked this Dr. Brown’s set. You can skip the bottle warmer. Ours never even made it out of the box!
  • Playards: These used to be called play pens, but then someone (or  some study?) came out with talk of “playpen” connoting prison pens. Call it what you like, you should register for one. They are cribs away from home, baby chill-out space, play area, quick change stations, Mama’s hands-free break, and more. Ours was from Graco, which seems to be the king company for playards.

As for cribs, car seats and strollers, that’s your call, Mama Bird. I can make a few suggestions, but if you have your mind set on the Royal Family level of stroller ($2,995.00), then what’s going to stop you? Hey, we can bring you right on up to the water, but drinking it … that’s all you.

I hope you veteran parents share your wisdom with the newbies. And I thank you for your help.

  • 1

    Diapers, diapers, and more diapers!! Unless you’re planning to use cloth diapers. I always create a diaper gift basket for my friends because I know that was the main thing I needed when I had my daughter. I’ve found that most babies grow out of a size 1 fairly quickly so stocking up on 2s and 3s is my suggestion.

    Oh one other thing that people seem to forget a lot: a grooming set. You’ll need to clip those cute little nails from time to time.

    • 1.1
      Ms. Mack says:

      Good Lord, yes! Diapers and more diapers. Thanks, Chineze. For our baby shower, we asked folks to bring a package of diapers–any size–and be entered in a little raffle. And you’re quite right about the size 1 diapers. They are in those jammies for a hot minute and that’s it.

      The grooming kit is also smart. Although, I was so nervous about clipping my son’s nails at first.

  • 2
    Nailah says:

    Good list! I’m sure any mom to be (or clueless no-children having person buying for a new mom to be) would appreciate these tips.

    PS – the little shoes in the picture are Ah-dorable!

    • 2.1
      Ms. Mack says:

      You know, I didn’t think about that … this list is also helpful to folks BUYING things on those registries. Good point!
      And, yes, isn’t that photo just sweet and simple?

      Thanks for the comment, Nai!

  • 3
    anne says:

    I’d add music that you can sing to your baby. Collections of lullabies got me through a lot and helped me connect with my baby, even though I sing really badly. Babies don’t tend to care. :-)
    Most of these things are to help the parents as much as the baby — excellent plan. It is very difficult to have patience or a happy attitude, or even to enjoy the baby, when one has had maybe two straight hours of sleep in the last few days. The books you mention will be a godsend.

    • 3.1
      Ms. Mack says:

      This is Anne? As in Anne, snapper of wonderful baby booties picture? Yessss! Thanks for stopping by Ms. Mary Mack.
      You’re so right about music. We still sing all the time around here. And I mean *all* the time. Everything’s song … from bath time to nap time to putting the toys away, there’s a song for every one of these moments.

      Take care, Anne. Come back soon. And your photograph is so appreciated!

  • 4
    Quick Facts says:

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