You've just found out you're expecting your first beautiful, bouncing, baby girl. You are dreaming of all the cute dresses and bows and nursery decor. Oh, you can't WAIT to start your registry! Stop right there! Check out this list for your top 10 MUST-HAVES.
1. A Convertible Car Seat
Everyone is going to try and convince you that you need one of those travel systems. You know the ones, with the heavy car seat that your baby will out grow in 6 months that attach to a stroller. While this might sound handy, I am pretty sure this device was created by Satan himself. Those carriers are HEAVY. Have you ever tried to carry one with a 10lb baby in it, while holding your coffee and trying to get your car unlocked? In the rain? While wearing roller blades? Okay, no, but seriously, these things are heavier and more cumbersome than you need. A much more practical option is an all-in-one convertible car seat like this Graco one. Rear facing for newborns, converts to forward facing once your babe is AT LEAST 2, and can hold a child up to 120lbs. This will be the first and last car seat you will ever need.
Finding a stroller for a newborn can be tricky. You want something that you can visually see your newborn, folds compact, and is safe. The Britax Affinity Complete Stroller has all these features, and more. You can easily change from forward to rear-facing, and even add a bassinet. It also features an extra large canopy to keep your little one out of the sun or rain and 4 reclining positions to accommodate a sleepy baby (Ok, really, do they have these for adults?!). The handlebar features a leather grip and makes steering your stroller super easy (for all those mamas who just can't put their coffee down. Guilty, party of one here!) The best part about this stroller?! The handlebar is completely adjustable, so if you barely break 5' like me, or, if you (or your husband) is closer to the 6' mark, you'll have no issues finding a comfortable handle position.
3. Baby Swing
Oh man, are these a lifesaver! I swear, the only time my daughter slept was in the car or in her swing. In order for me to get anything done, this was a MUST. Swings can be large, and if you're anything like me, you have a TON of baby paraphernalia. So, anything that is compact and can save space is a winner in my book. The 4moms Mamaroo not only has a sleek design, but it takes up very little space and can be controlled with your smartphone. Those days of having to get up off the couch from watching Days of our Lives, to turn the music back on our baby swings, are over! Or, you know, baby is sleeping, you're trying to get dinner on while finding your husband's socks and helping with homework. Whichever. The seat is easy to remove and clean and it has a 'car' motion setting. Yup, sounds like a win to me.
4. Baby Monitor
These are one of those things that you know you need but don't even know where to start looking. While doing research for this publication, I came across the Infant Optics DXR-8 Video Baby Monitor. Sounds high-tech and crazy expensive, huh? While it is very high-tech, it is actually pretty comparable with some of the other high quality monitors. But it has a LOT more going for it. It has an interchangeable lens, which means, if you want to see the ENTIRE nursery, you can do that. Or, if you just want to see the crib, you can do that, too. The camera itself has a swivel feature that you can control from the monitor, so you can see around the room and the monitor has a battery life of up to 10 hours. I want to have another baby JUST so I can go buy this monitor. And let me assure you, you definitely want to have a video monitor vs. just an audio one. When your baby is cooing in their sleep and you're not sure if they are awake, you don't want to have to go in their room to check and risk waking them up.
5. Diaper Bag
Just come to terms with it now. Your diaper bag will be your new purse for the next year, at least. So, you want something that is functional, can hold all of your.. well.. crap, and you don't hate looking at. Skip Hop makes a great bag that does just that, and it comes in Chevron. Am I the only one obsessed with this pattern?! It has 10 pockets, and a special zipper pocket just for your phone (so you don't lose it in the endless abyss). It also has an outside clip that is perfect for keys (see endless abyss comment) or baby toys. It features outside mesh pockets for bottles, or if you would rather, they have insulated bottle bags that you can purchase separately. It also comes in more neutral colors, if you prefer.
6. Baby Carrier
Okay, first off, how CUTE is this pattern?! Once again, I want to go have another baby JUST so I can buy this product. Baby carriers are an absolute must have for moms. Whether you are on the go, or just want to get the dishes done without your newborn screaming it's head off, these things are WELL worth their weight in gold. Or the $89 that it'll cost you. The Ergobaby is not only comfortable for baby, it has much better support for mom's than other carriers do. It features three carrying positions (front, back, or hip) and can accommodate any baby from 7-45lbs (with the newborn insert). It features a side pocket that gives you easy access to things like your phone, keys, or money, and has a cloth with snaps that flips up and allows you to discreetly nurse while wearing it.
7. Swaddle Blankets
You can never have enough swaddle blankets. These double and triple as burp clothes and regular blankets. Aden + Anais make the BEST swaddle blankets. They are extra big and EXTRA soft. And the more you wash the blankets, the softer they get. You'll find the extra large size of these make swaddling much easier. Definite must-have for mamas-to-be.
Do yourself a favor and have about 137 of these guys laying around. You CANNOT have enough onesies. If you're not going out and you're just hanging at the house, don't torture yourself with adorable little outfits. Between spit-up, throw-up and blowout diapers, this kid is going to have more wardrobe changes than Mariah Carey on tour. I promise you, your baby does not care how cute they look in a little tie, they just want to be comfortable. And you want to be able to make changing diapers as easy as possible. Don't going blowing the budget on them, either.
9. Car Mirror
When you are driving alone in the car and you hear it. That dreaded sound coming from the backseat. GRRGL. You want to be able to see if your baby is choking on a random coin that fell into their car seat, or just spitting up... again. That's when a backseat mirror comes in handy. You don't need anything fancy, just something functional, and this mirror is perfect for that.
Or better yet, a diaper subscription! I mean, how convenient is that?! The diapers come right to your DOOR. For $25/month, you can have your diapers sent right to you. Which one of your friends loves you the most? Because they would be getting you the monthly wine subscription. But whoever loves you second most, they should definitely be given a heads-up about this.
Alright, so there you have it. The top 10 (or 11 if you count the wine thing. Which I think you totally should.) things you should have on your baby registry. Think I missed something? I want to know, what was your number one must-have as a new mama?