As a mom of (almost) three, I have used a lot of baby products. With my first baby, I wanted every product and every shortcut there was. Looking back, a lot of those things went unused or were simply not liked as much as I thought. The biggest issue I’ve found is that it really depends on the kid. There are some things my first liked that my second hated, and vice-versa. There are things that I never, ever used (or even considered buying) with R, but I was at Target in the middle of the night getting it for L. So, here’s my experience with a few of the basic baby products that everyone seems to talk about.
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Rock ‘n Play Sleeper
I know a lot of moms have tons of mixed feelings about the Rock ‘n Play, but I absolutely loved it! Both L and R seemed to sleep so well in it. Other than the sleeping, it was super easy to move around. I could keep it next to our bed, take it to the living room and kitchen, and even pack it for vacation easily. L liked the coziness of it and didn’t like to be swaddled while he slept there.
Pack ‘n Play
I think the Pack ‘n Play is on nearly everyone’s registry, which is great since it has so many different uses. There are some more expensive models that have a whole lot of features like basinets, changing tables, and mobiles. That’s what ours has. However, I absolutely don’t think all the bells and whistles are needed. The changing table was nice so I didn’t have to bend over in the middle of the night in our bedroom (especially right after giving birth). But the thing is most of the models come with a higher setting on the “mattress.” It’s usually just called a bassinet setting. That’s what we used for a long time as a changing table. This one is over $30 cheaper than the one we have, and it still has the higher setting.
And of course, you’ll use a Pack ‘n Play for several years for traveling. Many moms use them as a playpen, but our kids did not like to be contained. You’ll just have to see what works for your kiddos.
Also, get sheets for them. They don’t have to be the fancy ones, but something you can throw in the wash after a blow-out or lots of drool.
Boppy or Other Nursing Pillow
I have mixed feelings about the Boppy. I tried it a couple times with R and did not like it. My hard let down contributed to that. It always seemed like I was making a mess and needed to wash the cover constantly. So, I shoved it to the back of the closet and didn’t use it anymore.
Then L came along. I don’t know what the difference was, but I LOVED using it at night with him. It stayed next to my bed, and I grabbed it when he would wake up at night to eat. Maybe it was because I figured out how to lie back and prop him up rather than hunch over at two in the morning. I also used a towel over it so I didn’t have to worry about spraying everything down with milk.
One of the other great things about the Boppy is you can get the “naked” one and get a cover to match nearly any decor or style you want. I’ve also heard great things about the My Brest Friend, but I’ve never personally used it. Twin moms especially seem to like it.
I can’t talk about these enough! Everyone needs at least a couple. There are some babies out there who don’t like to be swaddled, but these make it so much easier for the ones who do. Both of my babies slept so much better when we used velcro swaddlers. Yes, you can use muslin (or any, really) blanket to swaddle, but that was such a pain to redo in the middle of the night. And babies move around a lot. These kept them really secure and happy.
I recommend having at least a couple of these before you bring baby home. If your baby hates them, regift them. But if he or she likes the nestled, close feeling of being swaddled, these will be a life-saver in the middle of the night.
A Car Seat
A car seat is a necessity (unless you never plan on taking your child anywhere or live in a very walkable city). This is one of those things I am paranoid about buying new. I want to know it’s safe. But keep in mind that safe doesn’t necessarily mean most expensive. The expenses generally come when you choose more features. I prefer the infant bucket seat. That’s the one that has the carrier you take out of the car. Most moms choose this one. And it’s great having three under three, because you can use the same one for all of them.
If you plan to baby wear a lot, go straight for the convertible car seat. It will last for a very long time and can be turned forward-facing when they’re older. This one stays in the car, so it’s a bit bigger. You’re little baby will look so tiny in it, but he or she will quickly grow into it. Both of my older kids are in convertible car seats now (similar to this one), and it has been great for us.
These are some of the things I think everyone needs on their registry. Obviously, there are a lot of other things that you should register for. I would recommend some kind of baby monitor, and I’ll have a whole other post on my thoughts on that. There are a LOT of options out there. Diapers (especially on your registry if you’re planning on cloth diapering). Wipes. A bathtub. Adorable baby towels and baby shampoo/wash.
Unless you absolutely love something, I wouldn’t recommend registering for clothes or toys. Everyone will buy you clothes and toys. And they will pick what they think is cute. You get a lot of baby clothes at showers. It’s great, but rare that you get exactly what’s on your registry in that regard.
What would you add? What did your kids love? What did they hate? What’s the biggest purchase you made for baby gear that you wish you hadn’t?