The scoop on everything you really need to keep baby happy + healthy—and everything you don’t.
A mobile walker.
Mobile walkers usually look like a table on wheels that baby sits inside. Babes who spend too much time cruising around in mobile walkers learn to crawl and walk slower than other children. Plus, walkers on wheels pose serious dangers to your little one's safety. In fact, the AAP has even recommended a ban on mobile walkers.
Trust me, baby will be mobile before you know it—and there's no need to hurry things along!
A breastfeeding cover.
Good news! It is 2016 and breastfeeding is something no mama needs to hide!
Breastfeeding covers only seem to get in the way. Plus, they don't allow easy eye contact between you and your darling babe.
In the U.S., 49 states legally protect a mother's right to breastfeed in public (get on the ball, Idaho!). Breastfeeding is a challenging and brag-worthy accomplishment, and something to feel proud of. The first time you accidentally leave your nursing cover at home, you will feelsuch sweet freedom, you may never look back.
A glider and ottoman.
A glider may be a nice addition to baby's nurse ry, but it is by no means a necessity. You probably won't use it as much as you think, especially if you already have a go-to seat in the house. Plus, in your sleep deprived state, you may begin to rely a little too much on the glider as a means of rocking baby to sleep, which may hinder baby from learning to fall asleep independently at bedtime.
A comfy-cozy baby carrier.
If you are wondering how you might care for your baby while doing laundry, washing dishes, grocery shopping, or answering e-mails, you may want to invest in a second set of arms. If those are out of stock, a baby carrier or wrap may be a viable alternative.
Choose one that is comfortable for both you and your little one. I love the ErgoBaby because it can support children up to 33 pounds while evenly distributing the weight for maximum comfort (and snuggles)! Plus, the new Ergo 360 offers four possible carrying positions, including an ergonomic front-facing position.
For a newborn, I also like the Moby Wrap, which offers a womb-like experience for your babe (but doesn't feel quite as supportive or comfortable as baby gets bigger).
So, what are the top 5 registry items I've discovered I could have lived without?
A fancy high chair.
Most high chairs offer a cushy experience for baby. But, padding can make high chairs annoyingly difficult to clean. Plus, a simple high chair that slides right up to the dining table may encourage more interaction at mealtimes, facilitating language development and healthy eating.
For an easy-to-clean (and dirt cheap) solution, I love the Antilop chair from IKEA.
You might be shocked at the number of these things you receive at your baby shower. If you run out of uses, cut them into smaller squares and use them as wash cloths for baby's messy eating habits.
A straightjacket…err, swaddle.
Swaddles aren't for every baby, just like coffee isn't for every new mama. Some babes might resist at the beginning, but many will ultimately succumb to the magic of the swaddle.
Research shows that swaddling your babe can improve sleep quality and possibly reduce the risk of SIDS. Plus, swaddling soothes baby by mimicking the close confines of the womb and prevents that pesky startle reflex.
So, which swaddles are best for keeping your little Houdini bundled up tight? If you have a true escape artist on your hands, I highly recommend the Miracle Blanket (otherwise known as the gift of sleep) and the Halo SleepSack Swaddle.
With a few of these on your baby registry, you may just get enough sleep in that first month with your newborn to write those baby shower thank you cards.
I am the first to admit it: There are a few downsides of pregnancy. Peeing every 15 minutes, sleeping (or not sleeping) on your back, and the insatiable craving for chocolate.
When these annoyances start to get you down, spend a little time pondering one of the best upsides of pregnancy—your baby registry! It can be fun to create a dream list of every possible gadget baby might need until college graduation. (And if you ask your nearest baby boutique, they will tell you it's completely necessary, too!)
Of course, there are a few things you really need to ensure that baby is happy + healthy—and a few you don't.
In my experience as both a SAHM and working mom, these are the top 5 baby registry items that I have found to be indispensable for keeping baby (and mama) calm and content.
A fun-ctional diaper bag.
How do you begin your search? First, make sure it is something your partner would be willing to sport. I love the gender-neutral stripes and hidden bottle pockets on the Skip Hop Duo in French Stripe. Most importantly, opt for a moderate-size bag. With a newborn, it doesn't matter how oversized the bag, you will inevitably fill it to the brim with baby “essentials"...you know, like four extra pairs of baby socks, 7 pacifiers, and a baby swimsuit for any spontaneous November swimming escapades. For a lighter option, I love the Ju-Ju-Be Be Light.
A high-quality video monitor.
Modern baby monitors are a far cry from the old one-way walkie talkies of yesteryear. These days, some of the coolest monitors offer 1080p streaming video on your Smartphone, among a plethora of other features.
Especially for nervous new mamas, a video monitor will provide reassurance whenever you think you hear baby making even the slightest peep…or (gasp) not making enough noise. It may even score you a few extra zzz's if you don't need to leave your bed to check on baby.
A quality video monitor will provide different benefits throughout infancy and childhood, including when baby is going through a dreaded sleep regression, learning to stand in the crib, and transitioning to a bed.
A top-notch stroller.
I'm not saying that you need to invest in the most expensive or prestigious make. (But, if you are looking to cash in your IRA, Bugaboo is just the beginning…There is even a new limited edition Mamas & Papas Urbo² in rose gold!)
If you are looking for features to make your new life as a mama just a little easier (without the blingy price tag), there are several fabulous strollers I recommend. The Uppababy Vista is reversible, comes with a bassinet, has a huge canopy and storage basket, can be folded with the seat attached, and converts to a double—a true selling point for cost-conscious mamas considering a second bundle of joy in the future.
This handy comparison chart from BabyGearLab highlights the best features of this year's strollers to help you find the perfect wheels for your babe.