As you know, we’re getting closer to welcoming boy No. 3, and the idea of us creating a registry is so far-fetched it’s beyond words. For us, anyway.
First child: The registry is all-encompassing. Everything and anything you think you need (plus everything anyone recommends you put on) is added. There are pages upon pages of things family and friends can pick from and shower upon you and baby.
Second child: We never did a registry for G because we thought it was kind of tacky to request gifts from family and friends for another kid.
Third child: Ha! When does this madness stop!?
There are things everyone puts on their registries you actually need, and then there are things that everyone, including you, think you need. They’re wide-ranging, from little things like burp cloths and pacifiers to big-ticket items like a crib or dresser. The crib we registered for, the one I assembled for N almost five years ago, is still in service as G currently resides in it. Had it not been for G’s arrival, N would likely have remained in the crib as he showed no signs of wanting to get out. But we eventually moved him to a bed when G was born.
That said, here’s a list of items you’re going to need to add to your registry if you haven’t already. Some things are relatively inexpensive, but there are plenty of bigger items you should absolutely put on the registry because—let’s be honest—if someone else is willing to buy it for you, you’d be silly not to accept. And everyone is going to be all goo-goo ga-ga over the fact that you’re having a baby.
- Infant car seat: Make sure this sucker is in the car within a few weeks of the due date and that you have it even before then. Do your homework, read user reviews, and in this case, weigh the opinions of those who already have kids. And get a new one for every kid as they have expiration dates on them.
- Crib + mattress + crib sheets: We were lucky to have both boys sleep predominantly in the crib and have avoided co-sleeping. You can find cribs at a decent price, but it comes with the risk of not standing the test of time. I’ve assembled and disassembled ours at least six or seven times (we’ve moved around a lot), and it’s still in great shape—minus the stickers N added to it and bite marks G has given it. You absolutely need these unless you’re planning on exclusively co-sleeping.
- Packable play yard/travel bed: Your crib for the road, this is imperative if you need to travel with the little one.
- Books: We read to our boys all the time, beginning when they were born. They both show a huge interest in books, even though neither can actually read on their own. Buy books. Read to your kids.
- Dresser + changing table: As adults, we (us, anyway) often have a collection of similar items that make their way into our homes/apartments that we, for lack of a better term, live with. For your children, try to get everything matching unless randomness is your thing. Most every brand has cribs that match dressers that match changing tables that match … you get it. Plus, it’s probably the most expensive thing you’ll put on your registry.
- Baby Monitor: Ours was a simple audio-only monitor, but there are tons to choose from—video monitors, monitors that display to your phone. We have never lived in a sprawling residence, so the audio one sufficed.
- Onesies + diapers + burp cloths: If you even think you know how many of all of these things you’ll go through, you’re crazy. Babies run through all three like a hot knife through butter. Explosive and frequent poops. Burping up milk/formula. Puking on everything. Get lots of these. LOTS!
- Diaper Bag: No. 7’s items will dominate the majority of the the space in your diaper bag (along with the changing pad). It really depends how much you’re into style but the practicality of a diaper bag is much more important than the logo the outside world will see.
- Swaddle blankets: Wrapping your little newborn burrito to sleep is challenging, a challenge I accepted and eventually excelled at. We opted for the aden + anais ones—they’re breathable, unbelievable soft and stretch pretty well.
- Outlet plugs + gates + cabinet latches: For the first few months, baby is pretty much a lump, so he won’t be crawling towards the outlets or opening any cabinets. But if you’ve got stairs, install that gate right away.
- Breast pump + breast milk storage bags + bottles + bibs + formula dispenser: If you decide on breastfeeding, you’ll still want to get bottles. We found it beneficial to occasionally introduce a bottle so that it’s not as rough a transition as it could be down the road. And freeze the excess milk you get while pumping at home/work—maybe even invest in a storage freezer if you’re planning on riding it out as long as possible with breastfeeding. Or only buy fresh foods and use the freezer in your refrigerator.
- Highchair + feeding utensils + bowls: You’ll use these eventually, but you will use them. So go ahead, and register for them. While you’re at it, tell your in-laws to buy their own highchair to keep at their house, so you don’t have to bring one for those frequent visits.
- Ointments + wipes: Diaper cream, rash cream, Vaseline and any other cream/ointment you think you might need, put it on the registry. And wipes are necessary for both the baby and for everyday use.
- Baby bath + shampoo: Babies poop all over the place, and sometimes it—get ready for it—goes up their entire back! They need an occasional wash, though not every day because it could dry out their skin.
- Clothes + 1-12 month stickers: Besides the onesies, which are conveniently designed to slide down in case it’s too much of a mess near ground zero, you’re gonna want cool outfits because you’re going to snap so many pictures of your baby’s milestones (see: stickers). And plan on returning a lot of the clothes you get because by time it comes time to wear them, they might no longer fit depending on seasonal changes, if that affects your life at all (see: New England families).
- Toys + teethers: Wooden toys from Ikea are perfect for teething as is anything from Melissa & Doug (they make everything imaginable out of wood—puzzles, cars, blocks). Some plush animals and teethers will also be a good idea, though registering for them, unless there’s a specific one you’re attached to, is kind of pointless as you’ll be inundated with toys from everyone.
That’s the list, based on my experience, of things you’ll really truly need for the first months (and maybe year) of your baby’s life. Take it or leave it, that’s what we found useful.
Pregnancy update: Three weeks to go. I painted N and G’s room, we ordered bunk beds, and we’re cleaning nonstop. I just have to install a car seat in the Pathfinder for the big day, but other than that, we’re alright.
L has been exhausted lately, getting in bed around 8 o’clock to either read or just go to sleep. She’s almost full-term, so this is to be expected—I mean she is carrying a baby the size of a bundle of Swiss chard, which is a pretty interesting comparison. I do enjoy some sautéed Swiss chard, and I’ll love this baby (despite not liking the lack of sleep I’ll be getting, but that’s temporary).