Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Best baby gifts I ever got

Registering can be so overwhelming! There are a million books and a million people who will tell you that you do and don't need. Add me to make 1 million and 1. However my intention is to provide some guidelines for how to choose the stuff that will work for you rather than which items are truly a must have.

No one will know exactly what you need - I found through trial and error that some stuff that people absolutely loved, I absolutely hated. It's natural - every mom and every baby is different.

So, here are my suggestions for how to get through the registering nightmare.

  • Just because it's sold at a baby store does NOT mean it's totally safe for your baby. There are various safety ratings and some of the stuff sold at the baby stores just meet the minimum requirement - but look awful cute and modern and hip - so we buy them -
  • Buyer Be Aware
One example of this are drop side cribs. Not sure if you know this or not, but the Government FINALLY stepped in and has outlawed them because they are SO dangerous and so many babies have died from using them. Even though they met certain safety ratings, they were still deemed dangerous enough that the government has decided they cannot be built or sold anymore. (I believe the ban goes into full effect next year)

  • When reading reviews, make sure you find a site or book that includes some reviews from ACTUAL parents. There are a lot of things to think about and usability is a huge factor. It's one thing when someone is paid to review something for a company, it is an entirely different thing when it's a fellow mom or dad. A book that I used that I really liked and have had good results with was Baby Bargains.
  • DON'T JUST PICK THE CUTEST PATTERN - all baby products are not created the same - so don't just plan to walk through babies r us and scan the cutest things you've ever seen. You might end up hating all of it and getting all new stuff once you start using it.
  • Think about total cost versus initial cost.... Diaper Genies are supposed to be super smell free - however you have to buy refills made by diaper genie in order for it to work the right way. Buy the Diaper Champ instead and you get the same poop free smelling nursery only you can use WHATEVER BAGS YOU WANT. Trust me when I tell you the less stuff you have to have in stock at your house at all times (like diaper genie refills) the happier you will be in the end.

  • Try ALL THE DIAPER BRANDS. pampers didn't work for my daughter. She leaked through them after size 1 and we bought tons of packages that had defective diapers in them - so they were costing more and we were throwing away unused ones because they were broken... BOOOOOO. We tried Huggies and Luvs and I found Luvs to not only work the best, but to be the cheapest option too! I have recently heard really good reviews about the Target brand diapers as well - and plan to try those when my second child arrives. Don't be stuck on a "brand" name... it's a toilet - remember that.
  • One of the BEST shower gifts I ever received was Super unexpected. It was a medical kit for newborns that included stuff like VAPOR BATH (you will need some in your house) mylicon, childrens tylenol, etc... It was genius because when the time came, I didn't have to run out and buy any of that stuff because I already had it. Now... I suggest either giving someone a gift basket where you have purchased all the medical stuff SEPARATELY so that you can check the expiration date yourself. (sometimes the full kits include expired medicines and then they are worthless to you)

  • Diaper creams... every child needs a different type of diaper cream. We had to go through 4 different types before we found the only cure for Katie which was using Cornstarch powder at each diaper change... it worked like magic and was a suggestion I got from another mom on FB and saved her hiney from misery for months!

  • Bottles - don't buy a ton of one brand of bottle until you have had a chance to test it on your baby. Some babies respond better to different types of bottles. We ended up having to use Playtex nursers for breast milk (long story to be discussed in a breast feeding post) and then once we switched to formula, Dr. Brown's worked the best. Neither of these are what we originally registered for and we had to replace all our bottles which can be costly.

Now for my List of FAVES ( I am not assuming all of these will work for number 2)
  1. Snap and Go stroller - it was a lifesaver for the first 6-9 months. We NEVER registered for a travel system and were so glad we didn't because this one was so light and easy to use!
  2. Maclaren Triumph
light weight, fun color, easy to steer - however I wish it had a bigger storage basket and a tray for the kid - but I lived without both and still loved it.

3. Diaper Champ - I used cheap bags and never had to buy refills and it worked perfectly for keeping smells out of the nursery.

4. Rainforest Jumperoo - the models that have come out since with different themes look and felt cheaper than this one. I wouldn't put my kid on the newer ones after having this one and seeing the quality difference.

5. Gerber Sidesnap kimono style long sleeve shirts with the hand mitts. I would have died without them! They were easier to put on and change and hardly ever got dirty from diaper mishaps because they aren't onesies and could be layered easily (she was a winter baby) and the mitts covered her hands so she couldn't scratch herself by accident and don't fall off because they are attached.

I'll leave you there and if you have any questions - feel free to ask! Goodluck registering and remember, just because it's cute doesn't mean it's the right one for you or your baby! Enjoy registering and DEFINITELY go to the store to use the scanner at least once it's so much fun!!



  1. As one of the apparently few non-breastfeeding moms out there, The First Years day and night bottle warmer that I received as a gift for my second child was a life saver in the lack of thinking department. It had a cooler in the back that held two bottle. Enough to get me through a night without having to take a screaming child through the house at 3am and warmed it up to the right temperature. There was some trial and error in getting the right amount of water to put in there and one time I did break one of my glass bottles because I forgot to put the water in there, but overall, it was great! I'm sure there are others, but right now I can't think of any. lol

  2. I also was a non-breastfeeder and never once used the bottle warmer. I actually returned it. Just goes to show that everyone is different. I recommend saving all the boxes incase you end up not using something. Also do not discredit store brands. It doesnt make you a bad parent because you use BJ's brand formula...