10.16.2014

baby registry tips.

Registering for a baby can be super overwhelming. You might be wondering why I'm already working on a registry (I just announced I am pregnant last week) -- we're visiting Chicago in a few days, and my mom and sister-in-law are throwing us a baby shower while we're in town!! I spent quite a few hours days researching products and I completed our registry a few weeks ago. Here are two big tips:

Do your research: I scoured Pinterest and looked up baby registry blog posts for ideas and then when I found something I liked, I looked it up again on Baby Gear Lab. The site compares tons of baby products, lists pros and cons, and rates them against other brands. Customer reviews on Amazon are also very helpful. 

Breast feeding? Check your insurance to see if they will cover your breast pump! Our plan covers the $100+ model we were going to register for.

Here are a few key items that I added to our registry:


Stroller - After researching tons of options we went with one of the most popular options: the BOB Revolution CE Stroller. We already received the stroller in the mail (thanks to my mother-in-law) and I love it! It's easy to maneuver and collapse for storage. We also registered for a lighter stroller (but I am having a hard time explaining to H when we'd use it-- any thoughts?)

Car Seat - We went with the Chicco Keyfit 30 infant Car Seat and Base. It had high ratings on Baby Gear Lab and Amazon. It's also small enough to fit into our Honda Civic. BOB makes an adapter that will allow us to put the car seat onto our stroller. Update: I decided against the adapter and registered for a Chicco KeyFit Caddy Stroller Frame instead.

Crib, Bassinet, vs. Rock n Play Sleeper- We are currently renting a tiny place in Charleston (as in 650 sq. ft. 1 bed/ 1 bath). The baby won't have a dedicated nursery for the first few months. He or she will have to stay in the living room until we can move into a bigger place next July. So we had to figure out something that would provide a safe place for our baby to sleep, without taking up a ton of room. I already ordered our crib from The Honest Company and shipped it to my mom who has agreed to store it at her place until we move into a bigger place. I was set on getting a bassinet until my best friend and our OBGYN recommended that our baby sleep in a Rock n Play Sleeper for the first few months.

Monitor - In our current rental we don't really need a baby monitor, but it'll be nice to have when the baby gets it's own nursery. I don't want to spend a ton on a monitor -- I found an option that's $80 and has great reviews on Baby Gear Lab, but it doesn't have video (mamas, what do you think-- Is a baby monitor with video necessary?)

Bouncer - There are a million bouncer/swing options out there. I'm stuck between two options: The BabyBjorn Bouncer Balance Soft -- I like this one because: 1. It will grow with the child. The bouncer can hold a child between 8-24 lbs, and it can be used as a chair up to age two. 2. It doesn't use batteries and instead relies on the baby's own movement. 3. It folds up flat for storage (a major plus for our small place) 4. Unlike a lot of baby bouncers it doesn't have a ton of obnoxious colors and patterns, it's available in colors that will fit with our style. AND my other top option: the popular Mamaroo Bouncer - 1. It can also be used up to 25 lbs 2.It offers five different motions and speeds 3. It plugs into the wall -- no batteries required. The major drawback to the Mamaroos Bouncer is it doesn't fold up like the BabyBjorn Bouncer. Do you have either of these bouncers? Which would you recommend?

Bottles + accessories - Who knew there are a lot of different types of bottles too!? We went with Dr. Brown's Natural Flow Newborn Bottles - they are BPA, PVC, lead and phthalate free. I've seen these bottles on a lot of registry lists -- I hope we love them! I also registered for the Boon Grass Countertop Drying Rack which can be used after baby to dry sippy cups and water (or wine!) glasses.

What are your favorite items you registered for? 
Are there any big items that you received that you never used?
-xo-
Jillian
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31 comments

  1. Love that crib you picked!! I was debating Dr. Browns or Avent bottles, I think all babies are different so it will be trial an error. A couple ladies commented on my post yesterday about the mamaroo- it really is much smaller than a normal swing but I've heard good and bad things about it depending on each baby. Have SO much fun at your shower, I'm so excited for you two!!

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  2. favorites for me included a bottle warmer, dr browns ALL the way, our summer infant monitor, the aden+anais sleep sacks and miracle blankets, sophie the giraffe, my brest friend pillow (never used the boppy), mamas and papas snug seat, the primo eurobath, and nosefrieda (MY FAV ITEM BY FAR)

    the items we got but never used were the ergo carrier, moby wrap, and wipe warmer

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  3. You know I'm not much help in this department but I do love that Honest crib!

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  4. We have that EXACT carseat! Love it! And we love our rock and play sleeper and Dr Browns!

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  5. I love everything on your list!!! How sweet of your mom and SIL to throw you a shower when you're in town!! Can't wait to see how it all turns out!

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  6. You are going to be one prepared Mama! I know this is early on to tell you, but I always use Bag Balm (http://www.bagbalm.com/) for diaper rashes or any rash basically! My mom had a daycare in home, from the time I was 4 until I was 19 and Bag Balm helped immensely with any diaper rash or licked-raw chin! In every New Mama gift I give, I always hunt that stuff down. [I'm not paid to tell people about this stuff lol I just love it!]
    Congratulations and I can't wait to read all your posts throughout your pregnancy!

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  7. That stuff is so cute! I have to be honest though - I dont miss the gear. Its crazy how much stuff you need for one tiny person!

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  8. ok so i don't have the baby yet, but i do have all the *stuff*! i got a video monitor and IMMEDIATELY returned it for that exact philips audio-only monitor. the video one was so annoying, seemed unreliable, and doesn't have the feature that allows the monitor to go silent unless the baby is making noise...so the video monitor would always have a little feedback from the baby's room - did not like that. we also got the mamaroo after two friends got it and loved it. i was nervous about the expense and before i opened it up, texted my friend 'is this really worth it?!' and she said 'i would literally pay double the price for it!!' most other electric swings are HUGE, this was actually the smallest one we saw...we're also in a tiny place so that was a huge plus. ugh, anyway...it is so overwhelming, i feel ya!

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  9. This is probably my most favorite topic EVER! I'm obsessed with baby registries, so I'll try not to write you a short novel here. I post every month about my "monthly favorites" on my blog, so you may want to check that out! We have the Mamaroo, my daughter outgrew it around 6-7 months, but those first 6 months she absolutely LOVED it! So I would def recommend that. As far as the monitor, I love that we have a video monitor....sometimes, my little girl will be sitting up in her crib wide awake, but not making any noise, so it's nice to see what she's up to in there! We also got an Angelcare monitor, which goes off if she stops breathing, so that gives me peace of mind and helps me to sleep a little bit better! And regarding the lighter stroller, we just got one about 2 months ago and I wish I had gotten it sooner!! It is so light and easy to maneuver, it has basically replaced our bigger stroller 80-90% of the time! Other big stuff we registered for was a high chair, pack n play, and a jumperoo. Obvi, we didn't need any of this right away with a newborn, but when she was ready for it, it was nice that we already had been given these things and didn't have to go buy them! :) I think this stuff is so fun, but it is easy to get overwhelmed!! :) Good luck!!

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  10. It looks like we registered for many of the same (or similar) things! Granted I haven't actually used them yet, but it looks like you've done your homework and come to the same conclusions I did on what's out there. I had a baby shower with my family in Michigan last month, and then I have one in Portland this weekend and it's definitely fun getting all these presents for the baby! xoxo

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  11. Rock n Play all the way!! It's the best. If you're really stuck for space I would go with the Bjorn bouncer you like, most babies don't use them past 5 or 6 months (once they start rolling over a lot) so you really won't have it around that long. Plus if you try the Bjorn with the babe and they hate it you can always buy something else. One of my friends lived in a tiny apartment in DC and never had anything more than the Fisher price lil lamb bouncer and her son loved it and never had any problems with it. Dr. Brown's bottles are hands down the best! As for stroller- make your husband take the BOB with the car seat attached to it to downtown Charleston on a really busy day and try to take it into shops and restaurants! He will quickly realize how big it is and be all for the smaller one :) You might want to look into the Chicco Lightway because it's a compact stroller but you can attach a car seat to it- great option if you travel a lot. My girlfriend who traveled home to Chicago a lot with her son loved hers.

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  12. Great list! We have the Mamaroo and our little LOVED IT! If there is one thing I tell everyone expecting, BUY IT. Keep the box and the instructions just in case it seems as though your baby doesn't care for the movement so you can pack it up and take it back. Loved the rock-n-play and Dr Browns bottles. Let me say - buy a ton of bottles - buy the basket for the dishwasher and run it every night. Don't hand wash those bad boys...they are definitely a pain the in rear. Lastly - we have the same BOB. Love it! But, let me give one recommendation get a snap and go stroller for the Chicco. It is immensely easier to fold, handle and put the care into. Im serious! I used the BOB with the car seat maybe twice and realized its just too dang big. Went on Craigslist and found the snap and go! Brand new they are $89-99. Highly highly recommend!

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  13. I am overwhelmed at the thought of having a baby - so much to learn and prepare for! It looks like you've got a decent start on the registry ideas though, and I'm sure you'll get plenty of wonderful advice from your mommy readers!

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  14. First off, congrats on the pregnancy! Secondly, a baby shower already... YOu have such fantastic family! I would spring for the video monitor. We got a regular one at first and then switched it to the video-- so much more peace of mind... and when they're older and crying it out (yep I sleep trained mine), you could keep an eye on him/her. LOOOOVE my BOB. It's so sturdy and great for taking a nice long walk. I would also keep the lighter stroller on for when they get older or if you have to travel-- the bob is huge and doesn't even fit in all car-trunks!! Enjoy!!

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  15. Mama is THOROUGH! Baby M. is gonna have the best of the best - just what s/he deserves ;)

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  16. Yayyyy for your first shower! And how have I never heard of Baby Gear Lab?! How smart!

    Here is my two cents: just like Curly Girl Confessions above, I would highly recommend getting the Snap n Go base for your Chicco carseat. We have that and the Bob. The Bob is awesome in certain areas, but larger for sure than you would want in tight areas. On my last trip to Charleston I planned to take the Bob and a girlfriend said "take the snap n go, maneuvering a Bob around King Street and in the small stores is too hard!"

    I would also recommend a video monitor just for the ability to know what's going on. If Camille is sleeping and she cries out a bit, I can immediately turn the monitor on from bed and see if she's okay and awake or if something more critical is going on like her foot is between the rungs of the crib. Her room isn't far from ours but I just love the instantaneous relief I can get from "seeing" her immediately.

    We do Medela bottles b/c they are compatible with my pump. Dr. Browns are awesome but they do have more parts to clean. I would have gone with them and happily cleaned extra parts if Camille didn't do well on the Medela bottles, but she has no issues with them!

    Have FUN! Safe travels :)

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  17. Girl.. I'm not even pregnant and I know exactly (ex.act.ly) what I want for baby. Like it's insane. What can I say, I love to plan. I have the stroller on my list (jogging only.. I want a baby jogger city mini for normal), the car seat, the bottles and the rock and play. I want a different crib and swing / bouncer. yeah like I said, i'm crazy ;)

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  18. agree with Curly Girl Confessions and April with the snap and go. Before I started reading through the comments I was going to say definitely a snap and go. We have the Bob and LOVE it, but the snap and go is great for running into the store really quick, or if you are at a restaurant, we'll bring the snap and go in and put is right up to the table, they can see everything cause they're higher up and you wouldn't be able to really do that with a Bob cuase it's sort of big to put by a table like a chair. The snap and go's (at least ours) just takes up about the space of a chair. Also video monitor all the way, else I would just be running in there every little nose they make. But I guess you get used to that...we do however turn the volume off, like Bailey said, it does make some white noise, but we turn it off and the only time we really get up is if she's crying. If you have the volume on, then EVERY SINGLE LITTLE noise they make you wake up...annoying. and I like that I can physically see them, without having to disturb them. Okay this turned into a novel..oops! I love baby registries!

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  19. Great choices! We also loved the Bumpo, nice and compact and the kids loved sitting in it.

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  20. Get the Mamaroo- the Baby Bjorn bouncer looks sleek, but newborns done move enough to really bounce it and in the first weeks you will really appreciate being able to put baby down/be entertained. Also, I also was concerned about products that for our aesthetic since we live an apartment, but the sad news is: Fisher Price knows what they're doing. Babies like bright, colorful, noisy... As one mom dispensing advice on Cupcakes and Cashmere said "babies have bad taste."

    Also, don't register for more than one in each brand of certain things like swaddles, pacifiers and bottles- babies are surprisingly picky about those and you'll have a bunch of once used rejects laying around! Amazon Prime will be your best friend in the first few weeks!

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  21. such good tips--things i had never thought about before!!

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  22. Great post! I need to do a baby registry soon and this will help so much! Thanks. and Congrats to you!!!

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  23. Dr. Brown's bottles all the way! They do have lots of parts but it was the best bottle for less gas. And a gassy newborn is an unhappy newborn! I actually just have an audio monitor and sometimes really wish for a video one. But we've gotten by for 8 months so I'm not going to get a new one now. Every baby is different and my girl LOVED the swing. It was the only way I could get her to sleep sometimes. and to be perfectly honest, I wouldn't go top of the line on everything. You really only use many things for a few months, so don't get stuff just because it's the "it brand" :)

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  24. New follower here! I just found your blog today. I am due a couple weeks before you, at the end of February! I registered for a lot of the same items. It was SO overwhelming! I tried to remember all the reviews I've read on other blogs and recommendations from friends but there is so much stuff! I had no idea a newborn needed so much :)

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  25. With how much you two travel you will definitely want the lightweight stroller. Plus your nice stroller won't get damaged when you check it plane side. We have a 6 month old and purchased one for our trip to Cali and it was perfect. Congrats!

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  26. That's great post. Thank's for sharing baby registry tips. Its always great to find good honest practical content. Thank you so much. babychortle

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  28. I adore every little thing with your number!!! The way lovely of this mama in addition to SIL to help place that you shower area if you're in town!! Are not able to hang on to discover the way everything similar!
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  29. Good reviews! I would take this stroller everywhere! We are going to China this Summer and we would totally take it with us! Jogging Stroller

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  31. wow! great tips for baby registry . I've inspired by your post. lexi m

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