She gave me the best advice I had heard: "You are all your baby needs. The rest of it is mostly for us, anyway."
And she's right. Did my baby come home from the hospital unable to contain the excitement of seeing her new nursery? Did she care that I had carefully chosen a light switch plate that coordinated perfectly with her crib set, or that her closet was full of beautiful little tiny pink hangers?
Nope. She wanted to be held. She wanted me to feed her. She wanted me to love her.
I take joy in doing all of those things. But there are also many things that I'm thankful we don't have to do without. Here are a few to share with you :)
This wonderful little bouncer is our favorite thing. Ever. It is soft and cozy, and deliciously pink! There is a newborn insert that snuggles little ones securely, and a 3 point harness to hold them in safely. It has two reclining positions, and control for music and vibrations. My sweet girl is three months old now, and we have used this bouncer every single day. One thing that I absolutely love is its battery life. We've only changed the batteries once. I have to admit: originally, it was the absolutely adorable "Vintage Garden" pattern that won this bouncer over for me. But through the last few months, I've come to love it for the safe way it cradles our baby, the way that she is soothed by the vibrations, and the two reclining positions that give her the ability to recline and fall asleep, or sit up and bounce away. Hands-down, best thing we own!
(For those of you out there with boys on the way, don't worry! There's a cute blue one for them, too!)
2. Summer Infant SwaddleMe 3 pack--$33
Swaddling your baby provides ultimate comfort and gives them the same sense of security they had when they were snuggled securely in your womb. Summer Infant makes swaddling a cinch with Velcro just where you need it to hold your wrapping in place. Our sweet girl loves being swaddled. It's the best way to get her to sleep! Plus, Summer Infant's 3 pack is the perfect amount to have on hand. And they're just so gosh darn cute!
Is it silly to say that my favorite thing about this play yard is its changing table? It's wonderful! Every family should have a play yard for traveling purposes, but since we live in a two story apartment, I have put this play yard to daily use. We used it downstairs for newborn naps (so that I could be near her at all times when I was cleaning house, blogging, or working on a new craft), and since she is still small enough to only take up half of it, I use the other side to store extra clothes, diapers, and blankets. The changing table portion is wonderful. It keeps me from having to go upstairs 27 times a day for diaper changes, and the little cubbies on the outside are perfect for holding diapers, wipes, a nasal aspirator, nail clippers, and all sorts of other baby necessities. It's kind of ridiculous to see play yards on the market that cost upwards of $400 when this one--less than a hundred bucks--does everything I need it to. The Bright Starts play yard also has a "Sleep Easy Incline" which helps baby to rest at a safe and comfortable incline (which is what researchers are recommending we do these days). This is also the only play yard on the market that you can collapse without having to remove the entire bassinet portion first. Love it!
4. J.J. Cole Mode Diaper Bag--$48
Forget designer diaper bags with catchy names--I love this one! Every surface on it is one that you can easily wipe clean, it comes with shoulder straps, handbag straps, and stroller straps, and it can hold everything my baby and I need for a day out of the house. There are tons of pockets inside and out, and it comes with a matching changing pad. So handy! Instead of noisy, annoying velcro closures, this diaper bag has a magnetic front closure, and a zipper across the top. That way, everything is closed securely, and I don't have to worry about anything falling out or getting lost. I also really like all of the patterns this bag comes in. Mine is "Black Magnolia," but there are other great patterns to choose from!
5. Moby Wrap--$45
The secret to tying one of these baby-wearing wraps may look intimidating, but it's really not. The Moby is a lifesaver! My baby loves snuggling up against me and feeling my heart beat. The tight wrapping reminds her of being in the womb, and she's asleep within minutes! The Moby is the only way I can do grocery shopping on my own (her carseat takes up the entire basket of the shopping cart, so I leave that sucker in the car). It's also much more convenient to take to crowded places than a stroller is. There are so many colors to choose from that I was overwhelmed! I eventually settled on black because it goes with everything. Take a look at their website to see their full range of colors, patterns, and organic options!
As a breastfeeding momma who was concerned about nipple confusion, I searched long and hard for the best bottle option for when I had to be away from my baby. I was very excited to find Closer to Nature! The nipples on these bottles are much more realistic looking and feeling than the narrow, brown rubber nipples that were on most bottles when I was little. My baby switches back and forth between breast and these bottles with no problem--much to my joy! Now I can leave her with a friend when I have an appointment, or just pump ahead of time and have bottles on hand when we're in public. She's still getting momma's milk, and the shape and texture of these bottles keeps it as "close to nature" as possible. The Newborn Starter Pack was all I needed. Since bottles aren't an everyday thing in our family, I'm happy to just have two of each size. This set also comes with two formula containers for those who are using formula, and a handy bottle brush to keep everything clean.
Ok, so this isn't the one that we registered for, but I sure wish we had! We got a plain old simple car mirror. It does it's job, no complaints. But when travelling at night, I can't check on our baby to make sure she's safe and sound. This mirror, on the other hand, comes with a parent remote so that you can turn on a little light to check on your sweet sleeper. I haven't seen it in action, but I like the idea. Plus, this one's only $4 more than the one we have, so it's not a huge sacrifice for that added comfort. Sounds like a win!
8. Just One You Travel Swing--$60
I was pretty surprised to open this at a baby shower--we hadn't registered for it, but, boy, are we thankful to have it! Our baby girl loves this swing. I do, too. It's the only way I get to take showers when my husband has already left for the day and my sweet girl is wide awake. I just set it in the bathroom near the shower so that I can check on her, and she swings happily away (and usually off to sleep). It's cute, pink, and has three swing speeds. It also has about 7 different melodies to choose from, but they're each about 15-30 seconds long. We usually forgo the tunes :) Since our apartment is a two story, I love keeping the bouncer downstairs, and this swing upstairs. That way, I don't have to carry one around with me and the baby! Since it's a travel swing, it fits much better in our tiny apartment than a regular, full-size swing would have (the primary reason we didn't register for one in the first place!) but it still has all the capabilities of a full-size swing. Plus, when you need to take it somewhere, it folds up handily so that you can pack it away.
9. Munchkin Deluxe Bottle Brush--$10 (two pack)
We don't have a dishwasher in our apartment, so making sure our baby's bottles are clean is very important! I love my Munchkin bottle brush. It has a large head that does a great job of scrubbing bottles clean, and a nipple brush that unscrews from the handle to get into those tiny, hard-to-clean parts. I think the best part of this brush for little ol' germaphobe me is that this brush stands alone without touching anything. I like knowing that I can stand it upright and it won't be collecting yucky germs from the sink or counter (not that there are any germs in my kitchen, but...you know!) ;-)
10. MAM Start Pacifier BPA Free 0+ Months--$5.99 (two pack)
These were the first pacifiers I bought for Kayleigh. Before she was born, I had decided to be a pacifier-free parent. But when she was born, our nurse suggested giving her a pacifier to strengthen her sucking reflexes. She loved these right away, and I did, too. MAM makes some stinking adorable pacifiers! I've shopped around and tried others (Nuk, Gumdrop, Soothies) but these are the only ones our baby will take. I don't feel bad about that, though, because these are orthodontic and BPA-free. They also are lightweight and, unlike Gumdrops and Soothies, don't fall out of her mouth as soon as she stops sucking. They also come in handy little containers that make them easy to store safely in our diaper bag. Now, I'm a believer!
Does my baby need these things to survive? Nope, but they sure make parenting easier on me!
What are your favorite registry items?