Baby Registry - In Hindsight

In 2012, when I first became pregnant, I had no idea what kind of mom I was going to be*.  Knowing this would have helped give me a clearer idea for my baby registry.  Six years later and two babies in, I wish I could have emailed the following list to myself.
*Turns out, an exclusively breastfeeding, no formula, no rice cereal, co-sleeping, baby-carrying, baby-led weaning kind of hippie mom.

1.  This wrap.  You can use it for babies and toddlers, but I just used it for my boys when they were newborns and babies.  Babies LOVE being close to you.  It's very soothing for them, comfortable for you, more comfortable for your baby if they're colicky (because they're upright versus laying down all the time), and you can use the fact that your baby is wrapped up on you (versus laying in their stroller or bassinet) as a reason to not grant strangers and germy people's requests to hold your baby or touch your baby's hands (they will ask/do so and your mama bear instincts may not have kicked in yet and you may not know how to say "no" right now).

Also, make sure you get a gender-neutral color because your husband may want to share in the baby-wearing.  YouTube videos in order to learn how to use this wrap.  It takes a little practice, but it's worth it!

2.  This carrier.  I carried my boys in this until their third years.  It's pricy, but well constructed and it includes a zip pocket that I may have used in place of a handbag more often than not.  It also has a hood that tucks away.  The hood is great for privacy for breastfeeding as well as for protecting your baby from the sun and/or wind.  You can get the infant insert, but I didn't bother.  I preferred wrapping my boys when they were too small for this carrier.

I've taken my boys hiking in this, relied on it to rock them to sleep or quiet down, carried them around while getting stuff done around the house, etc.  I should have gotten the drool and teething pad, though, because one of my kids liked to munch on the edges nearest him and it discolored the fabric a bit.

The biggest reason I got this carrier over others on the market, was because it keeps children's hips in proper place.  There are baby-wearing carriers out there that do not support kid's hips and this is very bad for their development.

I did not get the front-facing option at the time because they just came available on the market and I prefer waiting and seeing what studies and reviews say before purchasing.  If I had a baby right now, I would very much look into getting it because kids love to look out at the world while staying strapped onto you.

Again, I recommend getting a gender neutral color unless your hubby has no problem rocking pink while carrying your daughter.

3.  I love this stroller so much!  We have the twin version for my kiddos.  Strollers have two types of wheels - plastic wheels and rubber tires.  I prefer the tires on the stroller and the plastic wheels on my kids' wagon.  The tires are smooth and quieter.  A smooth and quiet ride was very important to me because when I only had one baby, I depended on two to three hour long walks while my kid napped in order to lose the baby weight (for my first kid, it took six months, for my second kid, it took three years).  You can get a flat, though, so beware (it's happened to us twice in the four years we've had this stroller).

Also, this stroller folds up pretty easily, has a quick and effective brake bar, and the back rest zips open which is essential for hot days.  It's very easy for your kid to overheat in their stroller on a hot day, so having the option to bring in air flow is very important.

My other favorites about this stroller is the large hood, peek-a-boo flap at the top of the hood, adjustable handlebar, and LARGE undercarriage.  The size of this compartment for carrying your diaper bag, water bottle, extra baby clothes, shopping bags, etc is imperative.  My kids and I like walking in the rain, so the rain guard is very important.  It's great for wind, too.

There are other accessories that I would have gotten if I could go back.  This organizer, although not essential, would have been really handy on those long walks.  I'm still debating if I should get this skateboard attachment - it's fun for your kid or perfect for the tired older sibling.  If I could go back to when my boys were infants, I may have liked this removable and stoller-attachable bassinet, too. If we had it, I'd be able to take the bassinet off the stroller and carry my sleeping baby, bed and all, upstairs.  Some people prefer car seats that they can carry right out of the car and clip into the stroller, and then carry right inside - my boys, however, didn't find this carseat/carrier too comfy and we found it to be more burdensome than convenient.  That's why I like the idea of this bassinet.

4.  This swing allowed me to shower.  Both my boys wanted to be held pretty much all day and night so when I needed to be in the bathroom, they were happy in their swing.  This swing, I had for my eldest and it was great!  My youngest had this swing and it was nice in that the carrier was detachable and it also could serve as a vibrating chair.  It didn't have much oomph, though.  So if I could do it all over, I probably would have stayed with the above pictured swing and the separate vibrating chair.  Which we also loved.  I know it's more stuff and space was definitely an issue for us, but the separate swing and vibrating chair were really awesome.  This swing/vibrating chair always intrigued me and has such great reviews along with a smaller footprint, but I couldn't get past the price, so I've never tried it out for my kiddos, but if I could go back, I would have registered for it.  Also, I've never tried this swing and sleeper duo, but I really, really love the concept and would have registered for this, too.

5.  This isn't as fun, but it's a necessity.  This nasal aspirator, aka "booger sucker," really does a good way.  It's essential when your baby's nostrils are too small for the bulb aspirator.  You will not get boogers in your mouth thanks to the filters.  Get this and you and your baby will thank me later.  When your baby is ready for a bulb nasal aspirator, get a pack of them because you can't clean them well enough and you should toss them before they grow mold inside.  Don't be forceful with the nasal aspirators.  If boogers didn't come out easily, I spritzed a teeny bit of saline in my boys' noses to get the snot flowing better.

6.  Teething is fun for no one.  When their little mesh teethers and frozen fruit wasn't helping enough (although it usually did the trick), I occasionally gave my boys one of these teething tablets.  They seemed to do the trick and I noticed no side effects.  Good stuff.  Very important.  I never got around to deciding on an amber necklace for my kids when they were teething, but I've always been curious about their effectiveness.  My crunchy friends swear by them.  Try it out, but as always be cautious and observant with anything around your kid's neck.

Both my boys and many other teething children love their teething Sophie and travel Sophie.  Made with natural rubber and food paint.

7.  Like all new parents, I was naive enough to approach motherhood with some predeterminations.  One of them was that my kids weren't going to be "pacifier kids."  LOL.  Turns out, my oldest was and my youngest was meh about it.  Didn't matter what I wanted.  My eldest loved his pacifier until he was two and then simply gave it up one day without a tear.  Prior to that, his pacifier was his bff.
Even if you don't want your kid to have a binky, just get some and keep them in a box on a shelf in your closet.  You may be frantically grasping for it at 3am and then will come back here and profusely thank me.  My boy loved these, other kids really love these, I think glow in the dark pacifiers are brilliant because you'll be able to find them in the dark, and if your kid turns out to be a pacifier kid, for Pete's sake, clip that bad boy onto their shirt or else YOU'RE going to be sucking lots of dirt and floor grossness off your baby's binky.

8.  Get a good video monitor.  We still use ours in order to be able to have mommy/daddy dates in the living room at night without fear of scaring a sleepy toddler as he walks in on a Lord of the Ring's battle scene.  Or so we don't get scared half to death of a little one walking in on us as we're relieving the contents of our sugar stashes.  We have exciting lives.
Just don't get a monitor that connects to the internet.  You don't want some psycho hacker watching or talking to your kid.

9.  Breastfeeding is hard.  It hurts, it's invasive, it's inconvenient.  But you must do it!  For both your sake and your baby's.  Stay encouraged by joining a Breast is Best type of Facebook group.  You will not regret this!  Stay comfortable and available for your baby with these bras.  When your milk comes in, you will leak, but in the beginning, you will spray!  Wear these leak pads in your bra so your shirt won't get drenched every time your feed your baby.  I also used this cover as a cover, blanket, and a shield.  If your baby is like my kids (and most reasonable people who prefer fresh air while they're eating), then they won't appreciate being covered up in a nursing cover especially when it's hot.  Your babe will want to look around and breathe easy while eating.  What I did was simply use the cover more as a shield than a cover.  I angled away from people and held the cover in a way to shield my chest as my baby nursed.  A swaddling blanket will do the trick, but the neck tie saved me countless times from my baby's attempts to yank the cover away so he could better see his environment.

10.  Some see this as silly, but for me and my boys, this nursing pillow was an essential.  I do not like sitting hunched over and unless you have a very short torso, you'll probably tire of sitting hunched over while nursing your baby, too.

11.  Baths.  They can get complicated and come with lots of bells and whistles.  But in our case, simple was best.  My boys used this tub and it did the job!  A little tip for parents who can't put the camera away: maintain your baby's privacy with a little washcloth so they won't be embarrassed with any photos in the future.
Large Tupperware tubs do the trick when your kiddo gets bigger

I hope this list helps your registration process easier!  Oh, and another tip - I've learned not to bother purchasing any clothes, blankets, towels, socks, or toys for my baby until the need arises.  You'll probably be gifted with more of these items than you know with what to do.