You can do your best with the baby registry. You can read all the things and listen to all your friends and still wind up with things you thought you’d love that you don’t or things you never even knew you’d need (and therefore didn’t have).
We have incredibly loving family and friends who generously gifted us almost everything on our baby registry. We have so much support and are incredibly lucky so I hope this in no way comes off as ungrateful. We are thankful that Ben was welcomed so whole-heartedly and that our village jumped in and took great care of us when he came early.
In retrospect, I’m pretty happy with what we registered for and today I thought I’d revisit it and take a look at what we used most and least.
Stuff We Got and Loved
Chicco Lullago Bassinet – Ben slept in this every night at our bedside until he was 5 months old. It was less than half the price of a Halo Bassinet and I promise, it works just fine.
Uppababy Vista in Henry – Worth the money 1000 times over. I use this to go almost everywhere (when I’m not babywearing) and it is a dream. It’s the best stroller for our city sidewalks. I use it at every stroller strides workout. I’m not gentle with it (read: I drag it up and down 5 stairs to get in and out of our house) and it’s held up beautifully. Lots of Moms at Stroller Strides have the Baby Jogger City Mini and most have expressed they wish they’d gotten this for the under stroller storage. I load that thing up with groceries constantly!
Edit October 2019: Two years later and this baby is still going strong! We’re so so so happy with our choice in stroller. It’s the perfect city stroller.
Marpac White Noise Machine – We still use this in Ben’s room every night. N and I got so used to using it that we honestly considered getting one for our room now that Ben has his own room!
Dock-a-tot – Ben is 11 months old and still takes all his naps in this. I don’t know why it’s still helping but it is. I think it now keeps him so still that he doesn’t wake himself up by moving around so much. We don’t use it at night and only did for a brief period when he was about 1-2 months old.
Baby Bjorn Bouncer – This was basically our go-to spot for Ben to hang out once he outgrew the Boppy Newborn Lounger. It’s also the reason I was able to shower for the last 9 months. It folds flat so it can easily be put away or transported from room to room.
Gathre Play Mat – This was a total “extra” on our baby registry and we use it constantly! We have the large square in grey. I bring it to every Stroller Strides and use it as my workout mat (with extra sharing space for Mama’s who forgot their mats). We then let all the babies hang on it after class. I use it to feed Ben at the park. Hell, I even use it in my living room. It’s heavy enough that the wind can’t blow it away and it’s wipeable and waterproof.
Aden and Anais Swaddles – We went swaddle heavy and I’ve determined this is always a good idea. Swaddles were great in the beginning and have now morphed in to play blankets, comfort items, stroller blankets, nursing covers, or burp clothes. They’re good for everything! Also – I didn’t love the silky soft ones. Ben often came unbundled if we used these so we stuck to the traditional muslin ones.
Stuff We Got, Used, and Didn’t Love
Skiphop Moby Bath – The middle setting of this thing for babies past newborn age just didn’t work for Ben. He would slide down and it scared N too much (“The water is too close to his face!”) so he kept it on the newborn setting for months after he should have and eventually we just got this one once we got a real bathtub in our new house (not a stand up shower).
Avent Glass Bottles – I don’t know why I was so convinced Avent bottles would be fine. We even got the Avent sanitizer and the Avent warmer. Ben initially needed supplemental feedings (with pumped milk, more on that here) and we found that Avent just didn’t work for him. We used Dr. Browns (also glass) one night and zero fussing, no gas issues. It was like magic. We never used an Avent bottle again (though the sanitzer and warmer still worked for Dr. Browns).
Ingenuity 4-in-1 Soothing Solution (Swing) – I chose this swing specifically for the bassinet attachment. We never used it. We used the swing plenty but seemed to have constant issues with it. The vibration part of the chair stopped working. It also started squeaking badly after only a few weeks of use. It still works and we’ll begrugingly use it again for our next kid but if I had a do-over, I’d just get a basic swing.
Stuff We Should Have Registered for But Didn’t
Fisher Price Rainforest Jumperoo – Over 6,000 five star Amazon reviews are not wrong. We purchased this when Ben was about 6 months old and it’s still one of the only ways I’m able to get things done at home when Ben is awake.
Boppy Newborn Lounger – We borrowed this from friends and it was Ben’s favorite place to hang out until he was about 3-4 months old. We’ve since given it back to them but if our next kids overlap or something (and we can’t borrow it), we’ll definitely buy one.
My Brest Friend Nursing Pillow – Ah my brestie. Recommended to me by a fellow NICU Mom because the Boppy doesn’t work well on teeny babies. Well used and well loved for the first 6 months.
An Infant Car seat – Since we live in the city and rarely use our car, we opted to get a convertible car seat (the Britax Boulevard Clicktight) to use from the get-go. When Ben was around 6 months old we wound up really wishing we had an infant car seat that could easily be strapped in to an Uber or taxi without the base. We wound up buying the Uppababy Mesa (because we’re lazy and we just wanted it to work with the stroller system we had). We love it and it’s so easy to hop out of a taxi and click it right in to the stroller. We’ll use it for the next kid so at least we won’t need to buy a car seat when the next one comes along. We still use our convertible car seat in our car and we keep our infant car seat in our house.
Nursing pads and supplies – I didn’t know what I’d need and I guess it felt weird to ask for something for me (even though it’s totally for him!). I’m keeping the Lansinoh nursing pad people in business over here. I’ve blown through probably 15 boxes. I’m so ready to be done with these. And to not wear a bra to bed!
Newborn clothes – We are the rare family that received very few outfits for the baby. Everyone really stuck to the registry (bless them) and since we didn’t register for any clothing, we didn’t get much of it. I had not purchased any newborn size clothing when Ben arrived early. He wound up wearing preemie sizes initially and then newborn size clothes (not even 0-3 months) for nearly 3 months.
Stuff We Got But Didn’t Use
Baby Diaper Cream spatula – Our baby has never had diaper rash. Is that weird? On the rare occasion I’ve needed to put a cream on him, I’ve used my fingers.
Edit October 2019: When he did finally get diaper rash at age two, we used this constantly! Now I’d definitely recommend putting it on your must-have list. Diaper cream is gross and pretty hard to get off of your fingers.
Nested Bean Zen Swaddle – We did use this but only for the weight of the fabric of it (our Halo sleep sacks were all fleece and sometimes were too warm). I’m 0% convinced that the weighted bean area did anything. We only used it a few times and if we’d had a plain cotton halo sleepsack, we probably would have used that instead.
Stuff We Didn’t Get
Below are the few items we didn’t receive off of our baby registry.
Keekaroo Peanut Changer – We did not get this and then when Ben came early (and we still didn’t’ have one) I ordered this cheap one on Prime. It works great and has 9,000+ reviews and 4.5 stars. In retrospect, I’m kind of indifferent.
Edit October 2019: Nope, I wish we’d gotten this. We’re having our second child now and are debating buying this for ourselves. The cheap one we got on prime has a quilted pattern to it and let’s just say, it can get gross.
Baby K’tan – I didn’t buy this because I friend said she had one to give me as a hand-me-down so I actually removed it from my registry. It wound up being a small, not an extra small, and when I tried it it just felt too loose to be secure. I used the Solly baby instead and feel like these would be similar.
Nursing Cover – I didn’t receive a nursing cover and my best friend told me to just tie two corners of a swaddle together and put it over your head. I loved this method so much and the muslin fabric is perfect for this! In fact, Moms in my Mom group started doing this after they saw me doing it, despite having nursing covers. The jersey fabric of many nursing covers is too clingy and a lot of babies hate it and pull it off.
In retrospect, I’m very happy with nearly everything we got. There are dozens of items that aren’t on here that we use and love, like our crib and crib mattress, for instance. I opted to only share the items that I really put a lot of research and effort in to and for which there were a lot of variety of product options. I hope it helped.
Is there anything on here that you disagree with? Are you obsessed with your diaper cream spatula? Did your kid hate the Dock-a-tot? Do tell.