Tuesday, September 25, 2012

What to Register for with a New Baby (or Things I'm Loving 6 Weeks In)

For some reason when I was pregnant and it was time to create a baby registry, I had major anxiety. As in, it was laughable how much the thought of picking out a car seat and a stroller and a breast pump brought on a severe case of the sweats. It's not that big a deal, right?

But he is my first baby. And I wanted the best. And I love doing research on things like this.

SO, I am imparting all my hard earned wisdom cultivated in the late night hours over the last year to all of you. I have read blogs, product reviews and Amazon descriptions, hit up new and old mamas alike and here's what I have for you: a list of things I could not be living without.

 Le swing: Fisher Price My Little Lamb Platinum Edition Cradle N' Swing

This is the first item on the list because, in some ways, it has helped me get back on track with managing my life. I didn't register for a swing because they are (mainly) huge and our house is (mainly) small. Also, I had read somewhere you should wait until your baby is born before deciding between a bouncy seat and a swing to see which one they prefer. Our friends generously let us borrow their bouncy, but alas, Jack is a swingin' kind of guy. He is not a fussy baby, as long as he's being held most of the time... uh, yeah son, mama has things to do and this arrangement is not gonna work out for long! Enter the swing. It has changed my life. It's like baby crack... fo reals!

Le Miracle: The Miracle Blanket

Some people refer to the first three months after birth as the "fourth trimester" (a bit of an oxymoron, but I digress).  Essentially, the belief is that right out of the womb, babies don't have the coping skills needed to be comfortable on planet earth. The answer? Swaddle the kid like a psycho in a strait jacket. I'm sure plenty of you know about the beautiful muslin Aden & Anais Swaddle Blankets and while we use them for a variety of things (keeping the sun out of baby's face, wiping up spit, playing fun games of "Mother Theresa dress-up"), they've been difficult to use as actual swaddles (i.e. the few times we've used them overnight, I've been awfully scared of Jack suffocating). In walks The Miracle Blanket. It's like the muslin swaddle's somewhat plain Jane sister who has a winning personality and ends up getting the guy in the end. We use it Every. Night.

Le Carrier Pour La Bébé: Cybex Aton

Before I wax poetic on this car seat, I should mention I'm almost certain this company decided to stop selling their product in the U.S. (I am SO happy we snagged one before they did!). Designed by those crafty Germans, this seat is not only the lightest on the market, it's also one of the best looking (in my opinion). Also, it clicks into its adapter easy peasy which has made my life one bit easier. No matter what direction you go in the car seat world, make sure this is on your registry... the hospital won't let you leave the hospital without one. ALSO, determine if your car seat works with the stroller you select. We ended up getting a Cybex stroller in addition to our B.O.B. so that we could push baby boy around the first 4-5 months of his life before he can sit up unassisted.

Le Mute Button: Philips Avent Soothies

I was one of those pregnant women who said, "We're gonna try to avoid using a pacifier if we can." HA! Once Jack was alive and doin' his thing, that lasted a total of one week. I had registered for some of these as a "just in case" sort of item, and I thank my lucky stars that I did. Aside from diapers, a change of clothes and the car seat, this is one item we never leave home without. 

Le Best Friend: My Brest Friend

Allow me to weigh in on the Boppy vs. My Brest Friend debate, as I've had the pleasure of using both multiple times at the lactation support group I attend (more on that later): My Brest Friend wins, hands down. While I could see the Boppy being good for tummy time with baby, it wiggles around too much, and I certainly can't get up with it around me. Aside from My Brest Friend's spelling (and oh yes, it drives me completely insane: you couldn't just have it be My Breast Friend? What's so wrong with the 'a'?), it provides back support and Jack's finally getting to the point where he can rest his head on it while having a go at my tits, which means I have a single hand free. What I can do with said free hand, I've yet to determine, but I'll let you know when I figure it out!

Le Dog Walking Assistant: The Moby Wrap

We received two types of wearable baby carriers: the Beco Gemini (structured) and the Moby (simply fabric). Jack was much smaller than we were anticipating and was unable to use the Beco right away, so we started using the Moby. Now that I've finally mastered how to tie it, I can say I love wearing Jack in it. Not only was it a lifesaver for the first six weeks during "the witching hours" from 4 to 8pm (he immediately zonks once we start moving), it's also been handy as a helper for walking Moe when Kyle's at work. In addition, seeing Kyle wear Jack in it? Holy moly, he's never been more attractive. Because, really ladies, is there anything better than seeing your husband be a kick ass father? I don't think so.

Le Pump: Medela Freestyle Hands-Free Double Electric Breast Pump

My friend Micaela sent me her breast pump to use before I had Jack and I'll admit, I thought I'd be using it once and a while. Like most of the things I'm discovering about motherhood, I was completely wrong and have used it non-stop. I had milk supply issues right out the gate with breastfeeding (it turns out my boobs wanted to be disappointing from high school right up to now), and the first month of Jack's life, I was essentially chained to this thing. Breastfeeding is easier than before so it's not AS important as it was in the beginning, but it does allow me to have some extra milk in the diaper bag should we need it.

Le Diapers: Pampers Swaddlers Sensitive
Yes, they're the most expensive diaper I'm aware of. Yes, they are totally and completely worth it. Do you want yellow poop shooting out the sides of your kid's onesie? Didn't think so. If you can afford it, these are the way to go.

I could go on and on about the items I'm loving (as well as the ones I think are kinda meh), but this write-up has to have an end at some point. If you want to ask me about any of it, feel free to email me at ehsutherland@gmail.com. In addition, I can't recommend Lucie's List enough for any first time parent trying to navigate "baby gear hell."


  1. I completely agree with all of the above! What about the Puj tub? That thing is a the best and so sad that she just grew out of it. Love you guys

    1. Oh yes, the Puj Tub definitely should be up there! He's going to be getting a bath in one tonight, as it were :) Love you too!

  2. So good finding the products that make life as a new mum easier. And yes, man with baby = hot!

    1. Right?! I remember getting into an argument with a guy in college about whether or not wearing a baby as a dad seems "effeminate." He was completely wrong and foolish; I can only hope he's changed his mind since (for his and his wife's sake)!


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