I specifically remember the day when Bryce and I were sitting on the couch in January and we decided we should probably actually start preparing for our new baby, and start our registry. I had no idea where to begin…so I posted on Facebook. That was REAL DUMB. I ended up getting over 200 comments on my personal Facebook page from tons of well meaning mom-friends (maybe you were one of them)…
“Get the Rock and Play…it was such a lifesaver!!!”
“DON’T get the Rock and Play…it will give your baby a cone head!”
“You NEED the Pack N’ Play!! My baby lived in it!”
“Forget the Pack N’ Play…you’ll never use it!”
Needless to say, I was completely overwhelmed by how many things there are for babies, and I couldn’t handle all the choices. I contacted my friend who was due with a baby boy the week before Max, and I asked if I could see her registry. I literally ended up nearly replicating her registry just because I didn’t want to deal with decisions…. We ended up getting plenty of things for our baby boy (including TONS of clothes even though we didn’t register for a single item of clothing). I thought I had everything covered…but then Max was born and I realized after the fact that there were plenty of things I should have registered for that I totally didn’t. These are the things that we use the most and that we can’t live without! Here are our baby registry must-haves…that never actually made it on to our registry. Thankfully…the gift cards we received help us to acquire all of these items!
I had the idea while nesting to make some burp cloths, and they have turned out to be one of the most-used items since Max was born. I purchased some large bath towels from Old Time Pottery, cut them up, and sewed the pieces to my favorite fabrics. Having so many patterns helps me remember which ones I’ve already used, and which ones are clean. These were a cheap and simple DIY, with each burp cloth costing only about 30 cents to make! Click HERE for my DIY tutorial!
Diaper changes + newborn boy = pee (and let’s be honest…poop) everywhere. I learned this really early on, and figured out that we needed a barrier between the diaper changing zone and the baby’s face. I purchased about 15 washcloths and kept them by the changing table. They definitely came in handy. We also learned early on that the nice changing pad cover we registered for was going to be permanently in the washing machine if we didn’t put down a towel. When the towel gets dirty, we can just throw it in the wash and replace it with a new one. Now that Max is older and only pees on himself once in a while during diaper changes, the washcloths come in handy for wiping up spit, cleaning his baby-food-ridden-face, cleaning up spills, and get this….BATHS!
We spent ALOT of time at the hospital practicing our sick swaddle skills. We thought we mastered it….and to be honest…we kind of did (Bryce especially). But you know what’s worse than waking up to change a poopy diaper 13 times a night? Having to swaddle the dang baby back up after each said poopy diaper change. Plus…
Houidini Max was skillfully mastering the art of escaping from blanket swaddles as early as Day 2 on this Earth. We went to Target the day after we got home from the hospital (I got to drive the coveted scooter) and we bought 4 Velcro swaddlers. We would go through 2 or 3 a night because of the pee and poop that would end up on them (our diapering skills were not as great as our swaddle skills apparently), so it was good to have back-ups.
After the swaddle stage (around 8 weeks), Max graduated to sleep sacks. These are the best for keeping baby warm, and for keeping appendages out of crib slats. We’ve been acquiring sleep sacks from all over. We have sleepsacks in a variety of fabrics for all weather types here, here, and here. We found ours at IKEA, Aldi, and Amazon.
At about 5 months old, Max’s slobber became out of control. The poor kid had THE NASTIEST neck rash on the planet and nothing would clear it up. I realized that it was from slobber, and figured we needed some more bibs. We had registered for two bibs…I don’t know why I thought two would suffice…but 6 month pregnant Morgan thought that would do the trick apparently. Well… 5 month mama Morgan realized we needed MORE! I purchased 8 bandana bibs from an online yardsale, and loved them so much, that I ordered more off of Amazon. Unlike the bibs with the annoying puns written on them, these look like adorable little scarves. They go with virtually any outfit, and they’re affordable! (I may be ordering more here before long, now that our little man is officially teething).
The same day that the lactation consultant told us, “Definitely don’t give him a pacifier until he’s six weeks old,” we gave our one week old baby his very first taste pacifier. I swore we wouldn’t be those parents that gave our baby a pacifier. HAHAHAHA! Yeah…not only are we those parents, we clip that little sucker to his bib so it’s always within arm’s reach. And boy…am I glad to have that thing on a leash. Those pacis are easy to lose!
Now…I never actually registered for this item, however some of these were gifted to me at my shower. I never even knew that you needed a separate tool to wash bottles. I thought I could just use a dishcloth, or the sponge that we use with our dishes. I had no idea that your kitchen sponge could transfer yucky germs onto your bottles and nipples. We use these bottle brushes every day…fifteen times a day…to wash out bottles, nipples, pumping parts, pacifiers. Basically…everything baby-related. I try to always have a couple extras under the sink so I can easily swap it out when one gets torn up, or I’ve been using it for a month.
First time mama over here…didn’t know how deadly it can be to strap a baby into a carseat with a puffy winter coat on. That had been my plan before I joined a Mom Group on Facebook (seriously…I don’t know how I was allowed to become a mother…I knew NOTHING about any of this stuff). When the weather started getting cold, we started putting a blanket over Max after we strapped him in to his carseat…however…our little Houdini would find multiple ways to escape, the blanket would drag through the wet ground, or we’d simply forget it, period. I didn’t even know carseat covers were a thing, until I went to Aldi. I picked one up for about $15. It’s not super fancy…but it is perfect for keeping Max warm, safe, and protected from the elements. I found a comparable one on Amazon, here.
My friend Katelyn told me about this one…I had registered for a Diaper Genie, but quickly did the math in my head and decided…NOPE. I wasn’t going to deal with the refill cartridges. The Bubula is made of steel, which holds in the odor. You don’t have to use fancy cartridges–we use trash bags that we purchase at Aldi which keeps the cost down significantly! And the best part…the secret trap door that lets your diaper disappear into the pail without any of the dreaded diaper wafts hitting you in the face.
If you want to read about how I went from an F in baby-booking to an A, read my post here. I wanted so badly to be the best at recording everything that happens with Max, but it turns out…I’m really busy and I forget. Qeepsake sends me baby-book journal prompts via text everyday at the same time, and I can text my answers back. After I have accumulated enough entries, I can order a baby book! Turns out I’m not actually failure after all (especially since entries can be back-dated and no one will be none-the-wiser!)
I really had no idea that babies grow so fast. Like…when we sat down to register, I didn’t even fathom that three months after Max was born, he would want to be standing up and batting at toys. The kid LOVES his Baby Einstein jumper that Gammy and Grandpa bought him. I can cook dinner with him happily playing and jumping next to me, and not worry about him rolling away. It’s height is adjustable, so it grows with him! I don’t know why we didn’t register for it…because we literally use this thing EVERY SINGLE DAY.
When Max first started rolling over, his head would SLAM onto the hard floor. The rug did nothing to cushion the fall. Fast forward three weeks to when Max first started sitting up, got distracted, turned around too quick and BAM….head to floor contact. This purchase was Bryce’s idea actually. He works at the YMCA and wanted to get some of those big exercise mats that people use when working out, or that kids do gymnastics on. We found one at the brand new IKEA that just opened up near us for about $30. It’s perfect because it folds up when company comes, it’s lightweight, easy to clean….and it makes a good Christmas Tree barrier.
We play on the floor ALOT. We lay on the floor ALOT. When I saw this pillow at Aldi, I saw a solution to my sore butt. Now, playing on the floor isn’t so uncomfortable. We lay on it, sit on it, and lean against it. I imagine this pillow will also get a lot of use from Max as he gets older as well. Here’s a comparable pillow found on Amazon.
Okay….we DID register for a tub, and someone graciously gifted it to us. It was a tub that has a working waterfall…if you are the type of person to have size C batteries just laying around your house. Oh…you’re not one of those people? Us either. We never got to use the waterfall feature on this tub. Also…Max was too small for it for about 2 months. When he finally did fit it just right…the bottom was so slippery and we still had to hold him up. Then 3 weeks later….he was too big for it. Plus, it was big and bulky and we could never find a place to put it. Thankfully, I saw an inflatable tub at Aldi (can you tell I love that place??!) for $4.99 and I snatched one up. It has a color-changing sensor that tells you if the water is too hot, plus it has a little leg holster doo-flingy (official term) to keep baby from slipping down into the water. The tub has a hook on it, so we can hang it up inside the tub and no one has to see it when they come visit. Guys I’m not sponsored by Aldi in anyway shape or form….so believe me when I say…seriously…go to Aldi. If your local Aldi isn’t selling tubs right now, here’s a comparable one on Amazon.
If you made it to this point…chances are…you are a desperate new parent like us. And like most parents…this whole parenting thing has been a shot in the dark for us so far. We too are building this plane as we’re flying it. It’s the blind leading the blind over here. We’re figuring it out as we go along. Basically…we’re clueless. We never knew these things would be helpful to have around…but it turns out…these are in fact THE MOST helpful things we’ve used since having a baby. What are some other helpful things that you wish you would have put on your registry?