Even though I have a baby, I would never classify myself as an expert on what to register for. What works for me could be the opposite of what works for you. That said, I am going to share what has been the most useful for me and what my baby has loved. You are going to receive so much from so many generous people, but really it comes down to what makes your life easier and what makes your baby comfortable.
I used myregistry.com to consolidate my items into one site. That way you can register items in many different stores, but people will only have to visit one site.
Baby On the Go
Strollers are a very personal choice. My only advice is to go and get hands-on with them and see what you like best. I went with the UppaBaby Vista. It is light, easy to manage, and comes with so much to grow with you and your family. It has a bassinet included, which I used with this Bassinet Stand in the house (turns into a hamper after done using). I got two stands and kept one in my room and one in our family room so I could transport him without waking him. I also loved that you could add a second seat later. The Organizer, Infant Snugseat, and Car seat adapter are the accessories I actually ended up using most.
The JJ Cole Bundle Me is perfect for the car seat or stroller when it is chilly outside.
Diaper bags can be so ugly and not cute. I really love my Marc Jacobs diaper bag. It is functional, holds a ton of stuff, and I like that it could easily not be a diaper bag later on.
Everyone seemed to love the Chicco KeyFit Car seat and I am glad I went with it. Easy to install, click the seat in, or even carry the baby in the seat itself.
I am all about easy set up and the Aprica pack and play took about ten minutes. Plus, it takes even less time to pack it back up.
You can't go wrong with the classic Baby Bjorn carrier.
Video monitors are great for spying on your kid who does the cutest stuff when you are not around. Not the easiest things to set up, but we use the MobiCam.
Play and Lounge
The Mamaroo looks like a baby spaceship. Essentially it is a bouncer that plugs in and has a bunch of settings to take your baby for a ride. My baby did not love this right away, but others do. He liked it much better after a couple months in.
He loves the Baby Bjorn bouncer. Easy seat to sit him in while cooking dinner or folding laundry as it is light and easy to move around. Also packs up flat to throw in the car. Only down side is that you have to bounce it for them.
The Nap Nanny is fantastic. Great for babies that have reflux or just those that want to hang out in something soft and comfortable.
Things you convince yourself will get your baby to sleep through the night
While nothing really helps right away, there are certainly things that make babies more comfortable and more apt to do so. Swaddling is universally the go-to trick. I used a few different kinds. At first these Swaddling blankets from Giggle worked best because they were soft and stretchy. I also loved how soft and light these Aiden + Anais bamboo swaddles were. I still use those.
If your baby busts out of swaddles there is a straight jacket in your future. Looks crazy when putting it on your baby, but the Halo Sleepsack Swaddle is the best. I used these for months.
The Happiest Baby on the Block DVD is magic. Watch it before the baby arrives.
Babies love white noise and a noise machine of any kind works great. I got the Graco sound machine and I like all the different sounds as well as the iPod jack to play music.
Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child by Dr. Weissbluth from Children's Memorial in Chicago is a great sleep book with legit science behind the methods. If you do not have time to read it page for page, there are some fast references for bleary eyed parents. So far, it has worked great for us.
Some babies do not even take pacifiers. Mine did from the get go and uses it for soothing. Get a bunch of different kinds, because he will have a preference. We landed on Avent Soothie and that is all he likes.
It is amazing how a breast pump quickly becomes the most important appliance in your life. I used the Medela Free Style and was strapped to this thing for months. I loved the bustier bra so I could go hands free, which is the funniest thing for your husband to come home to. The freezer bags are great and I loved the sanitizing bags for quick cleaning bottles and pump parts.
There are a ton of brands that make nursing pillows, I got the bare naked pillow with the organic cover. It also made a great little seat for him to hang in the nursery.
Aiden + Anais burp clothes are cute and super soft after washing. Get a ton, they work as bibs when the drool starts and for feeding.
Babies also dictate what they want to use when it comes to bottles. I tried a few and had success with Dr. Brown's bottles. The parts are annoying, but I have a few sets and then throw everything in the dishwasher to sanitize. That way I only have to do that once a day.
Diapering, Bath, Etc.
Though babies can survive without it, a
e warmer makes for a happy baby.
A diaper pail with a lid works for any nursery. The Diaper Dekor has been successful in that the nursery does not have a whiff of dirty diapers.
Everyone loves the smell of a baby and I worship Noodle & Boo for lotion and bath items. They smell amazing. I also love
Muestela which cleans really well and the bubble bath is fun.
Wrapping your little guy up in hooded towels after baths keeps them cozy.
This Safety First Deluxe Health Kit has everything to get you started health wise. Including a pair of finger nail clippers that will be the hardest thing you do as a new mom. Just make to make anyone else feel better, I have drawn blood on a few occasions.
When we got back from the hospital I pretty much dressed him in Snap t shirts, diapers, and a good swaddle to keep him warm. Then we moved onto kimono onesies, which are easy to get on and off. Hanna Anderson sleepers are super cute and great for bedtime. So are these sleep gowns since they make changing a diaper a lot easier at 2am.
Another great book I want to share is The Best Birth. It has a ton of information on what to expect for your delivery, things that no one tells you, and a great approach of doing what is best for you and your baby. It is great for all moms because it covers delivery for those going all natural, to those who want drugs the second they walk in the hospital door, and everything in between.
I hope this list is helpful for those expecting and if you have any questions, just email me Erin@ImperfectPolish.com.