Calling All Mommies: What Do I Actually Need?

101/365(Me and my friend Eva)

I am in the midst of picking out things for our baby shower registry.  Oh my.  This is harder than registering for our wedding.  I mean, at least when you’re getting married, you know how to use pots and pans, you just want better ones.   You are basically just registering for shiny new versions of things you already have – so that you can then hand all your old faithful hand-me-downs to someone else.  So that couch can continue to live on, on someone else’s college town front porch.  Until it gets set on fire…but I digress.

I have been trying to prepare for several years for this time in my life, when I would have to actually DECIDE what we wanted to get for our baby.  I’ve listened to my friends and family and watched them go through this whole process, making mental notes about the stuff they said they couldn’t live without.  When I had my wits about me I even found the stuff online and bookmarked it.  But now, as the deadline approaches I am still feeling a bit overwhelmed with the ridiculous amount of choices.  Dude.

Now, I will say that I have done my fair share of research on all the furniture/decoration stuff and I have some pretty clear opinions about how that’s going.  And there are a few must-get gadgets that I am going to get because my friends swear by them and I have actually seen them in action and think they are awesome.  But I am a long way from done.  So, I am sending out a big ask to all you mommies out there with little ones.  I don’t want to get into any discussions about how something is better than something else.  This is a purely data gathering post.  So if you would be so kind to answer the following question by leaving a comment here or on the Facebook link, I would be very very grateful.

What are the TOP THREE ITEMS that you could not live without during the first Six Months of your baby’s life?

And if you leave me a link to whatever you’re talking about I will send you extra happy thoughts!!  =)

Don’t worry about what others say – I need to know what was important to you (even if it’s sounds entirely silly, or has more to do with mom sanity that anything else)! Because everyone is different and I figure if enough of you respond with your must haves – then I’ll have a fighting chance at getting this registry/must-get-list thing done right.   I appreciate all the help I can get.

Thank YOU!!!!

And hey, maybe someone else will read this list and get some ideas out of it!!

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  • Katy - I may not be a Mommy yet, but I’ve been a nanny long enough to have my own faves! I’d have to say a Boppy, a blanket big enough for swaddling, and a white noise cd/machine. But then again I wasn’t the one staying up nights with the little ones or breastfeeding, so I’d imagine the Mommy suggestions might be a little different 🙂

  • gretchen - kimono tops (great for NOT going over baby’s head), boppy newborn lounger, and a Zo-li Buzz B Electric Nail Trimmer (

  • Katie (Can't Get There) - 1) A BABY SWING. Both girls practically lived in it.
    2) The baby book “Harvey Karp’s Happiest Baby On The Block” This book saved my life overnight with my first and vastly improved my magin of sanity with my second. 🙂 IT WORKS.
    3) A really good camera!

    But I think you have that covered, so…

    3)The kind of carseat that is a carrier that snaps into a base. We registered for one of those and an extra base so we could just take the carrier no matter whose car we used. Gracie and Bee moved from our arms to the swing to the car seat carrier. Some nights that was all Bee would sleep in!

    Honorable mentions: a good pacifier. And don’t be alarmed if you have a try a few out before your baby will take one. And Carter’s cotton dresses or onesies depending on whether it’s a She-baby or He-baby! If you’re due in April-ish (?) your little one will live in these all summer long. Soft, easy to change, and breathable in this Texas heat!

  • Sarah - I would say a boppy newborn lounger, swaddling blankets (multiples as they never stay clean) and a swing (one that plugs in is preferred…so you don’t go through lots of batteries…oh and a good monitor for the babies room. Sorry I know that is four….

  • JaNae - The Woombie (–my kids loved to be swaddled and this was so easy to use once they could break free of their swaddle
    Bouncy seat that actually bounces (not just vibrates)–Target is really the only place that has one.
    A pitcher from pampered chef–This was AWESOME for mixing a big batch of formula at a time. You just dump the formula in, fill with the right amount of water, and then lift the handle a couple times and it mixes it all up. So much faster than making individual bottles and much less bubbles than shaking it.

    A few things that you might not register for, but we loved–teething tablets, gas drops, and the disposable placemats that you just stick to restaurant tables for when they are feeding themselves, then you just throw away.

  • Cheryl - 1) Baby Bjorn bouncy chair
    To me, this is the only one worth getting. My son was in plenty of other ones at other homes and they were all crap by comparison.

    2) If breastfeeding: Philips Avent pump
    The only way to have half of a life while breastfeeding is to have a super-duper pump.

    3) Mobile with animals facing *downward*. All other ones are for the parents, not the baby. We had a jungle one and it provided me precious hours of free time while the baby lay in bed talking to the animals and the tree.

    4) Baby carrier, I had and liked the one from Baby Bjorn.

  • Heather - I’m getting there. Really.

  • JaNae - Ok, I thought of one more, even though that means I’ve done 4 instead of 3.
    Lap pads are the best! They come in several different sizes and I put one under my kids in the crib/pack n play and on the changing pad. They are basically just rectangle pieces of absorbant cloth, but they will save you time and from doing tons of extra laundry–especially if you have a baby that spits up a lot! If they spit up/pee/etc on it, all you have to do is change the pad, not the entire sheet.

  • Heather - Ok, first must note that I’m going to follow your three-item request, but modify that to “per comment”, because I will think of 3 better things as soon as I hit “submit”. Also, I know these are not exactly registry-quality items, but they are, in fact, my answers to your question. : )

    1) Cloth diapers. No, not for actual diaper use, for burp cloths. The old-fashioned plain ones, not ones intended for easier cloth diaper use. I know there are millions of sweet looking and adorable burp cloths. But you know me. And they are changing pad/spit-up catcher/diaper failure backup for laps, and so much more. Cheap, easy to wash, no guilt when they get so terrible looking that you must pitch them.

    2) Eric’s contribution: baby orajel. Eric is a Baby Orajel addict. I’m sure he nearly overdosed some of our children on Baby orajel. But when you are nearing the 4-5 month mark and get so terribly excited because he is sleeping so well and long through the night and you are finally getting some quality sleep and your brain starts functioning again? And then he inexplicably starts waking up every 2 hours like a newborn and you want to scream? That’s the start of teething, and you will send flowers to the inventors of Baby Orajel.

    3) I knew this would be hard. Let me agree with other commenters first: Bjorn carrier is awesome, bouncy seat is essential, Avent breast pumps are the best and actually the manual pump worked the best for me (except for with the twins, when I rented an industrial milker, no kidding). It’s hard to choose but I would say finding a diaper bag that holds up and is well designed is an essential thing to do now. I love Lands End diaper bags, so that would be my first choice. But there are a lot of good ones out there. Make sure it’s big enough without being cumbersome and has compartments where you can put totally digusting clothing without it contaminating the rest of the bag. : )

    Love ya!

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