Pretend to Be Poor Baby Registry Recommendations
Once most of your friends are married, you can breathe a sigh of relief. That expensive season of weddings, bridal showers, and bachelorette parties has passed.
But wait—baby showers may be just around the corner.
Luckily, celebrating your friends’ new baby is often less pricey than their nuptials. And of course, who doesn’t love buying tiny, adorable clothing? It’s a fun event to shop for, but what are the items new parents need most? (Hint: it isn’t onesies!) And when it’s your turn to pop out a little, where are the best places to register?
Products We Loved
There are hundreds of lists already out there on what to register for, from minimalists/natural parenting lists that even eliminate the crib, to the buybuy Baby recommendations which would have you register for nearly everything in the entire store. Sure, all baby really needs is you, but some baby gear will make your life a whole lot easier.
My list isn’t meant to be comprehensive, but here are the items we used most in the course of having three kids, including a few less obvious favorites.
Thermometer—this is one of the best gifts I received. Our first night at home was grueling. Baby was fussy, we finally realized he had a heat rash, and couldn’t get an accurate read with the cheapo thermometer that came with the mostly useless baby grooming kit we registered for. (I’m still using the nail clippers, though.) My friend overnighted this thermometer to us and it’s been such a trusty parenting tool. It’s still going strong 8.5 years later. Plus my kids actually enjoy getting their temperature taken with it!
Rechargeable batteries—an endless number of other gadgets operate on batteries, and while it’s wise to pick out items with electric options, sometimes you just can’t. Enter rechargeable batteries, the least expected but invaluable baby shower gift.
Travel white noise machine—we are not homebodies and definitely took our kids out and about a lot. White noise helped them sleep on the road and while we host at home.
Light-blocking curtains—I really believe these made such a difference in our babies abilities to sleep, and I’m not the only young mom to say so. Sure, taping cardboard over the window works too, but I like to be able to let in sunlight when it’s not sleepy time.
Stroller frame—if you have a smaller car or just don’t want your stroller dominating your entire trunk, consider getting a stroller frame that fits the car seat (also essential). It doesn’t have an actual seat, and you’ll need a different stroller when the baby outgrows the car seat, but by then they’re ready for a jogging stroller or umbrella stroller anyway.
Jogging stroller—if you want to do any off-sidewalking, I highly recommend a jogging stroller. Most regular strollers have smaller wheels that don’t do well on grass. I’m not acquainted with the fancier, more expensive strollers, but the standard brands don’t do well off pavement. Even bumps in the sidewalk can be a lot for many strollers to take. We’ve used our jogging stroller for hiking, camping, walking, and, of course, jogging.
Ergo carrier—the nice thing about the Ergo carrier is that it allows you to wear the baby from a very young age up through toddlerhood. It transitions from front to back (and can be worn on the side as well, though I’ve never tried it).
Bath tub with sling—this is far from a necessity but we loved ours so much and the babies loved it, too. It’s a small plastic tub with a mesh sling that clips on for infants. It made bathing their slippery little selves so much easier. And when they’re able to sit up, it was a nice shape for them to keep bathing in without the sling, until they were steady enough for the big tub.
Pack n play—we used ours a ton. Didn’t get the fancy model with the changer attachment, though. It still seems too low.
Baby book—you’ll want to document the first year.
Battery snot sucker–Just got one for baby #3 a.k.a. Snotlout and it’s way more effective than the aspirator yet totally gentle.
Space saver high chair–This high chair sits atop a regular chair and is easier to move and store. We also got a lot of use out of our booster high chair which is good for travel, when you have other kids over, and when you’re baby is a toddler. In fact, our kindergarten just asked to bring it back to help her sit still at dinner!
Play gym–We got sooo much use out of this play gym. The babes loved it from about one month till they were crawling.
Baby swing–I didn’t love ours and never found it to be the silver bullet for crabby babies. But again, many parents swear by them, especially for infant naps. If you get one, opt for something that looks cozy; I think ours was too hard.
I’ve included affiliate links to the products we liked, or similar, but of course, if you can find some of these used you’ll save a ton. I’d recommend getting a new car seat, pack n play, and stroller if you plan to have multiple kids, as it seems like the normal-priced baby items are only designed to go last for 2-3 kids.
Don’t Register For:
Clothing—you’ll get it anyway. Especially onesies.
Bowls that claim they won’t spill—they will spill. Toddlers are geniuses at spilling things.
What to Expect the First Year—there are one million copies of this in the universe already. Get a used one. Or just talk to another mom.
I found I did not get a ton of use out of my Bumpo seat or doorway jumper. Didn’t need a video monitor. Didn’t need a Scandinavian snot sucker. Sophie the Giraffe is not worth $20. Wouldn’t get a diaper pail that doesn’t use regular trash bags. Or anything really gimmicky or trendy unless you are trying solutions for a specific problem.
I loved registering on Amazon. There are so many options, which can be overwhelming, but also means you can get what you really want. The reviews and ratings are also very helpful. I liked that I could register for non-baby items like curtains, a lamp, a hamper, a nightstand, and books.
Registering for a baby can be overwhelming. I hope this list helps. I also recommend going to the store with a mom you trust and getting her tips and tricks.
What was the most useful baby item in your opinion? What was not that worthwhile?