As a doula, I am often asked if I have any recommendations for a baby registry. In fact I do! Having two young kids myself, as well as having heard feedback on baby products from many new parents, I feel like I could be considered somewhat of an expert on the topic. Granted, everyone's different, so take this with a grain of salt, but you should probably have something to compare against all the advice you're getting from strangers at the grocery store, am I right?
Without further ado...
My Top 10 Recommended Baby Items:
I get that the idea of sucking baby snot through a straw sounds gross before you have a baby. But TRUST ME on this. Your kid's snot will probably not gross you out, and if it does, it will PALE in comparison to the associated sleep loss ratio if you do not somehow remove that mucus. Babies do not know how to blow their noses, thus you have to help them out. For this purpose, this product is genius. Easy to use, and not to worry, the filter prevents snot from actually getting near your mouth.
Swaddling is one of The 5 S's. It's actually the very first S. In short, it can be VERY useful in helping to soothe your baby, or get them to sleep (file this under super important information). So you'll likely learn in a newborn care class or from the nurses at the hospital how to swaddle your baby using those thin muslin blankets. You may even get really good at it. This will be great in case of emergency; however, in my opinion that method is akin to using one of those wine cork screws from a Swiss Army knife that you have to pull really, really hard on- when you could have just invested in one of those easy vertical lever deals. These swaddles have velcro to make the job very easy and secure. Get the velcro lever deal. Several. These come in cotton and fleece for the colder months.
For moms who have to go back to work, and even those who don't- a breast milk cooler is pretty critical. I like this Ameda one because it holds the most milk (as compared to the popular Medela one). Comes with six 4 oz bottles, and the three cooler packs. Keeps milk cool for TEN HOURS. I can tell you from experience that the ice packs clear security at the airport as long as they are frozen, and that the bottles fit the Medela pump parts. Along these lines, I usually remind those who ask to also register for or secure a car charger compatible with their pump.
This is an item I do not have but have heard amazing things about. I was just recently told about this product by a client, who was turned onto it after seeing their photographer use it to lull their baby to sleep effortlessly within a couple of minutes for his photos. I'd say anything to get your baby back down in the middle of the night effortlessly is well worth the $35.
There are Boppy people, and there are My Brest Friend people. I'm a Boppy person, but seems to me the population of breastfeeding moms is pretty split. I do think you should register for a breastfeeding pillow of some sort though, if you aren't able to borrow one. Especially in the early small baby days, this will help you with positioning so much and keep you from hunching and related back pain.
Another product I do not have, but wish I did. I have heard SO MANY people rave about their Rock 'n Play. Be warned that there are automatically rocking and non-automatic varieties. You want the one that rocks on its own.
I LOOOOVE my ring sling. With my first baby I was handed down a Moby wrap and an Ergo. For me, the Moby seemed to be way too much work, and I just never got around to using the Ergo much. With my second, a carrier is much more of a necessity while caring for two kiddos, and the ring sling is so easy to get my daughter into! She also absolutely loves it, and I love having my hands free.
A Pack 'n Play is crucial for overnight travel with baby, but it is also nice as a place for baby to sleep while still in your room (per the AAP Guidelines to share a sleep space for 6 months- 1 year), and this one- with the reversible napper/changer is also great as an alternative changing table you can put on the main level or extra room in your house.
Watch your baby from an app on your phone, whether you are home or not. When baby gets bigger, pan the room to see what your mischievous toddler is doing while fighting nap time.
For those who plan to jog with their baby, or those who plan to walk a lot. This stroller is SMOOTH. I registered for this stroller on the advice of my sister who got a cheaper jogger and regretted it. Trust me, the BOB is worth every penny.
Please see all of these items on my sample registry at www.babylist.com/doula-services. Babylist.com is an awesome site you can use to create a registry, adding items from any website, or adding cash funds for anything you like- including doula support! It also has best of lists and reviews for any baby product you are looking for.
Speaking of reviews, if you're looking for input on car seats, check out these great articles- The Best Infant Car Seat: Safety meets convenience, and The Best Convertible Car Seat: A seat that grows with your child on reviews.com.
Written by Angie Traska of Align Doula Services, providing intuitive, attentive doula support that aligns with you. Looking for doula support or lactation counseling in the Madison area? Contact me here.