I agonized over over my baby registry. The first, and even the second time, I had a baby I was completely out of my comfort zone. Preparing for their arrival was one of the few ways I could feel in control. Now that my babies have wandered half clothed into toddlerhood I’ve begun the task of packing away and selling off these new baby treasures, and have come to some realizations. Some of the baby items are still in their original packaging, but others survived 20 odd months of abuse and transitioned smoothly with us into toddler land.
So without further ado, I give you my 5 star baby registry items.
1. Changing Pad
The Keekaroo Peanut Changer– I happened upon this product in a blog post as I feverishly researched the best products for my first baby. I loved the idea of no cover and less laundry. The anti-microbial surface and the ability to hose away blow-outs is genius. The price point is quite a bit higher than a traditional changing pad, Amazon has them advertised right now for $131, but when you add in the cost of cute covers, laundry detergent, and replacements for poop-wrecked covers, I think it’s well worth it. My first baby is now 3 and a half and we still use hers on a regular basis to clean up accidents and the like. It’s practically new.
2. Baby Proofing
It seems like the older my kids get, the more things I need to defend from prying little hands. I am constantly moving things to an even higher shelf. If you ever want to have time to put away groceries or read an email, a simple baby proofing kit is worth its weight in gold.
3. Sound Machine
One of the great challenges for new parents is teaching a baby the difference between day and night, and setting up a regular sleep routine. One great tip is to differentiate day from night by keeping nighttime quiet, dim and non-stimulating. Using the same sounds, sights and smells every night as part of your routine will help signal to the baby that it’s time for bed. A big part of that for us was our sound machine. Even back when baby was waking up every 3 hours, the sound machine went on as part of her routine. Today it remains part of the evening routine. The sound machine helps my kids begin to unwind from the day and once in bed, it helps to block out outside noise.
I have one from Graco for my girls that is no longer available. But I like this one from Pure Enrichment. This machine has the advantage of not being too babyish and can be used for older children as well. In addition, it has a plug for an iPod, which would come in handy for impromptu dance parties.
4. Baby Monitor
This one was a toughie. I must have read a thousand reviews in hormone-fueled angst. The choices and price points are endless: analog, digital, Bluetooth compatible, parent units, range, internet connectivity. Then you start reading reviews, “This one picked up truckers on the freeway!” “Interfered with my television.” Then there were the horror stories about people hacking into the monitor and SIDS. Do I need a motion sensor? Okay. Deep breath. This will be the first of a million agonizing decisions you make as a parent. That said, yes you need a monitor. Yes, video monitors seem weird, but believe me, you want one. Like all of your decisions from here on out consider your needs, consider your finances, and then blindly choose the one on sale. I jest.
This is the one I ended up getting by Motorola. It has two cameras (one monitor 2 bedrooms), a moderate price point, and is not connected to the internet so I don’t have to worry about creepers.
You Might Also Want to Consider: If you haven’t already check out The Owlet, a pulse oximeter your baby wears on her foot that alerts you if your baby stops breathing. It may seem excessive to some but if you struggle with post-partum anxiety and depression the hefty price tag will be worth it.
5. Convertible High Chair
Honestly, for my first baby, I didn’t even register for a high chair. It wasn’t until my little girl was ready to start solids that it occurred to me that I was going to need something to feed her in. So I looked around at what my friends had and ended up with this model from Fisher-Price. I liked the way it attached to an existing chair at her dining table. The stages made it appropriate for my 3-year-old nephew as a booster and my infant as a supported sitter.
I also liked that the cover came off for washing and the tray was dishwasher safe. Today two of these babies reside in my kitchen and they function way beyond feeding. At a year some snacks on the tray brought me precious peace while cooking dinner. At 18 months the chairs allowed them to experience play dough and markers, paint and taco Tuesday in relative mess free glory. This high chair is a LIFE SAVER!