Scour the web, and you’ll find hundreds of “must-have” baby registry essentials. I, myself, utilized a few of these lists as I built my registry. “Of course, I need the latest BPA free bottles – at least 20 of them,” said the woman whose baby still doesn’t take a bottle. “And at least 3 hooded towels. My adult towels won’t do with that delicate baby skin!” As if pregnancy and impending motherhood are not stressful enough, enter the Babies R Us checklist of 87 “must haves” to adequately care for your baby. Do I really need exactly three books, ten-twelve body suits, and four changing pad covers? Why yes, of course you do.
Or perhaps not.
If you’re of the same mind I am, less is more (unless it comes to diapers – then more is definitely more). How did cave women raise capable children who would grow to fight off sabertooth tigers without boppys and butt paste?
Though I’m a minimalist (except when it comes to ice cream), there were a few items I found (and continue to find) myself using almost daily. For me, these are the items that have emerged as my essentials.
Must-Have Reigstry Essentials (probably not on your list)
1. Beba bean swaddle blanket – this made dreary-eyed swaddle sessions a breeze, and required some serious ninja moves to escape from.
2.Boba wrap – though I used a Moby, I’ve since learned that the Boba is the way to go – it doesn’t stretch out after carrying baby, and fits more securely next to your body when babe isn’t in it. While you're at it, checkout this fun article we did last week on babywearing!
3. Nose Frida – to say this is indispensable is a gross understatement. Since infants are obligate nose breathers, it can be very stressful for both baby and caregiver when baby gets a cold. Enter: the Nose Frida. This contraption not only sucks the snot out of their nose, but helps clear their sinuses too, resulting in snotless baby and happier mom. Plus, after reading this article on bulb aspirators and mold (eek), I appreciate that you can clean every piece of the Nose Frida.
4. Video monitor – this was one of those things I thought we’d never use. It seemed like complete overkill. Yet, we use it every. Single. Day. It’s fabulous on vaca, when baby is sleeping downstairs at Nana’s house. Being able to both hear and see baby brought me amazing comfort. Here is the one we went with and love it – great picture quality, night vision and range. However, there are ones that sync with your smartphones and tablets, providing remote parents the ability to sneak a peek of their babies (or teenagers) – super cool spy mom.
5. Happiest Baby on the Block – few things made me feel more prepared to be a parent than reading this book. It’s an easy read (hello, treadmill), and fill you with confidence that calming a cranky or colicky baby is doable. And, after seven months of parenting, these strategies work like a charm. It’s almost creepy.
6. Car seat strap covers – my cute, crafty mom crocheted us some (a frugal and super easy solution), but if you don’t need another item on your to-do list, pick some up. If your car seat doesn’t come with some, the straps on your car seat can dig into baby’s neck, leaving angry red marks that moms and dads (but rarely babies) find disturbing. These are a cute option.
7. Bumbo – though you won’t be able to use this immediately, once you can, you’ll likely love it (as long as your baby does). It was like having an extra set of grandma arms around (a creepy mental picture) to hold baby while I cook, clean or drink an espresso. When my back would like a break from babywearing, the bumbo is an awesome option.
Each mom is different, and some of the below items would be on many mom’s essentials list, just not on mine.
Top five items I was “certain” I needed, but didn’t:
1. Boppy/nursing pillow – lots of women swear by this, but after the first week, I never found myself using this. However, it does make a nice sit-up support for a 6 month old
2. Moses basked/cosleeper – baby always hated it and preferred snuggling in next to mama – no surprise there.
3. Crib – seven months in, and we’re still a very happy cosleeping family.
4. Natural baby soap - yes, I’ll probably use this in the future, but so far, good ole’ water has done the trick – when I do start using soap, here is the kind we’ll use.
5. Natural baby moisturizers – we use coconut oil (and breastmilk) for everything – cradle cap, eczema, rashes, dry feet, etc.
What baby item could you not “live without?” Perhaps you LOVED one of the items on our “non-essentials” list, and would like to write an ode to it? Great! Leave your comments below or send me a message at Kelsey@CordMama.com. I’d love to hear from you!