Baby-world and all its plethora is entirely overwhelming, let me tell you. Before Lucille, I spent hours searching the internet (blogs, Amazon, review pages), and calling my sister (sorry, Heath!) searching out what was necessary, what wasn’t, and what was the best of the necessary.
A little more than three months after Lucille’s arrival and I feel better able to sort through the excess and put forth some indispensable favorites/must-haves for the Pelz family. And what started out as a list of 5, turned into 10, turned into 10 plus 6 bonus items. Keep in mind, though, that these are subjective to our experiences. Also, if you’re looking for a more thorough baby registry list, Kelsey does a great job of summing it up over at Words of Williams.
I would be lost (kind of) without these items. Worth every penny:
- Medela breast pump
- Hands-free breast pump bra
- Stroller frame
- Play mat
- Ergo Baby carrier, with infant insert
- Waterproof changing pads
- Burp cloths
- Baby 411
- Sleep Sheep
1, 2: A good breast pump may not be essential for everyone – it really depends on your circumstances – but for me and Lucille, it’s been absolutely essential. This one is a bit of an investment (it was a gift from my grandma!), but I use it multiple times a day and it’s not only efficient, but perfect for on-the-go situations (in between classes, etc.) because you don’t need access to an outlet. I had some trouble with the motor at one point and Medela was so accommodating- a brand new one was at my door the very next day. If you’re pumping frequently, it goes without saying that hands-free is better. It just is. When I finally ordered this band online, my life was changed (I’m not exaggerating). PS: there’s no picture above because I couldn’t find one that wasn’t terribly awkward.
3: We have the Chicco Keyfit 30 car seat – which we love – but we love it even more because we can snap it into this stroller frame and go (probably to the Market on Holly). Also she faces us with this stroller which has been great for while she’s small and not so interested in exploring (although it seems like this about to change…).
4: Lucille has loved this Infantino play mat/gym from nearly day 1. She loved chilling on it and staring into the (not actually a mirror) mirror. She’d coo, smile at, and talk to the hanging toys, and now she’s batting at the animals and grabbing onto the hanging rings. We are all so entertained by this EVERY DAY, it’s ridiculous.
5: I started using the Ergo Baby carrier immediately. Probably too soon (for my own health). But it helped keep my sanity during those first weeks alone with Lucille. It’s such a wonderful, useful baby item and Nate and I both use it frequently. I know there are a lot of carriers out there, and this one is a little pricey, but it came highly recommended and I snagged it during a Black Friday sale. It lives up to the hype in my opinion- distributes her weight evenly, is easy to use, and seems to be comfortable for little Luce.
6: We use these changing pads all the time- in her crib, on her changing table, on the go. They save from having to do more laundry than we’re already doing. :)
7: Lucille loved to be swaddled during her first months of life, and we loved the fitted Summer Infant blanket. Our nurses attempted to teach us swaddling techniques before we left the hospital, but honestly, when you have velcro in all the right places that turn the little Peanut into a perfect burrito, why bother with all the tucks, wraps, and folds? She lived in these every nap and night until discovering what it felt like to sleep with her arms above her head. The girl loves to sprawl (like her mom).
8: Soft, durable, and absorbent- we didn’t need burp cloths at first because she hardly ever spit up, but now it seems like it would be impossible to have too many. My mom picked these up for us as Babies-R-Us, and we love them.
9: Baby 411 was a gift from my Arizona mom, Anna. I think I was halfway through it in one sitting- it is full of such useful, helpful, honest, and not-over-the-top advice/information for Lucille’s first year.
Other things we love but aren’t necessarily essential (although I could argue they are):
- Garland, giraffe painting
- Paloma Pig
- Tiny Prints/Picaboo
- My Baby Book by Amy Krouse Rosenthal
- Pacifier clips
- Baby Gap
I made the garland before Lucille was born and had no idea how much she was going to like it. She was transfixed at a few weeks old, and it’s continued to fascinate her. Nate painted the mom (or dad) and baby giraffes one afternoon, and I love the way it fills the space.
Sweet Paloma was a gift from Aunt Hillary. I am so very glad Hillary introduced this family to the world of JellyCats (Henry has Roy). They are just the best stuffed animals around. I can’t say enough good things about the company and their adorable little animal friends.
Tiny Prints is super expensive for announcements. Or I think so anyway. I saw the final price during check out and promptly exited the screen. I was pleasantly surprised, however, to get an email from them a few days later asking if $20 off my order would persuade me to finish the check out process. Um yes, yes it would. Tiny Prints has such an aesthetic, non-cheesy appeal to their designs- hard to find elsewhere. When I needed more, I bought a Groupon for Picaboo and printed from there. I prefer Tiny Prints, but Picaboo wasn’t too bad.
Sugar Rush Creative makes seriously awesome pacifier clips. Heather connected me to this etsy shop, and I immediately loved the (non-babyish) patterns, not to mention these can be life-savers in the car, stroller, etc.
I have had so much fun with this Baby Book/keepsake journal. My mom had something like this for me when I was a kid, and I loved pulling it out and reading about myself and what I was like growing up. This one is cute and not overwhelming in the least (I’m not the most consistent journaler), with sections about Lucille’s arrival, first year, and a general section of “firsts.”
And finally, Baby Gap. My favorite in baby clothes. Hands down. I may or may not check their sale link two (or three?) times a week. Nate has commented several times that he wishes the infant boy’s designer was the same for the men’s…