Yay! You're pregnant! Yay?
So now you get to go to the store with the little scannie thingie and scan all the cute little gifts you want everyone to buy you. Sounds fun, right? Sounds easy, right? HA! Until you're in the store. A crib seems like a reasonable and essential item. Easy to pick out, too. HA! Do you want a crib that's just a crib or do you want a crib that grows with your child into a toddler bed and then a twin/full size bed? Those seem like an excellent concept, maybe that's the way to go? Until later you find out you have to buy the conversion kit for the twin/full bed. And that cute white crib? Is that going to be the cute white twin/full bed you want for your child in 5 years? Especially with all the teeth marks your little darling is sure to leave all over it.
So here is my REAL registry.
1. Diapers. Skip the newborn size when registering. Sure, your little one may be in them when he or she comes home from the hospital, but you will be surprised at how fast they grow. Scan a few different sizes and then hang on to them - they will grow into them! Think long and hard about using cloth ones. If you are sure you want to use them, that's fine, but will you use them out in public? What about a babysitter? You may want to get a few packs of disposable diapers just in case.
2. Diaper bag. Sure you want a cute one, but make sure it is PRACTICAL. You are going to want room for lots of things in there. Diapers, wipes, pacifiers, bottles, formula, extra outfit, toys, etc.
3. Carseat. I cannot stress enough - if there is one item to get brand new it is a car seat. Just don't take the chance. When we we little we could just roll around the back seat. Now the safety people look down on that. But a car seat is important. And there are TONS of different styles, so make sure you are registering for an infant one at the very least. A neat little thing that they have now is a car seat/stroller set, where the infant carrier snaps right into the stroller. I never had one, but I have friends who swear they were wonderful.
4. Stroller. If you decide to go the route of the car seat/stroller combo, you're set for a little while. But a nice, simple umbrella stroller for when the baby outgrows the infant seat and wants to sit up will do wonders for you. Think you will just carry him or her around the mall? Yeah, give it 10 minutes. You will be crying for a stroller.
5. Onesies. This is really the only clothes-related item I recommend registering for. Everyone is already going to get you cute little outfits, not to mention all the ones you will buy. Onesies are wonderful to go under clothes in the winter or just to use at nap time or bed time during the summer.
6. Thermometer. Did you know you could spend over $100 on a thermometer? Did you know you don't have to? Sure those lighted things that give you hospital-grade readings are awesome, but not necessary. Unless you are 100% sure you are going to use it, stay away from the anal probes. I never used one. Sure it's the most "accurate" but you can use a regular thermometer and follow the directions to add the correct number of degrees. They also make ones that you can swipe across the forehead or in the ear. Those are nice and easy, but the ear ones can be tricky to find the correct spot. Above all, try to find one that reads QUICKLY. Because your baby will be moving QUICKLY.
7. Bottles. Whether you are breast feeding or bottle feeding, there will inevitably come a time when you need a bottle. Glass bottles are back, but of course you have to be careful with them. Most plastic bottles are BPA free. This might even be an item you want to wait on, because babies can be picky.
8. Speaking of picky, pacifiers. I'd wait. Some babies never want them. Some babies will only take the kind they get at the hospital. And some babies will take whatever you toss at them. If you do register for a pacifier, I would recommend registering for one and waiting to see if the baby takes to it.
9. Bed. Do you want the baby to sleep in your room for the first few months? Then you might want to get a bassinet. You can buy bassinets that rock, play music, have toys, etc. Or you can go with a simple one that the baby sleeps in (wow, what a concept!). You will eventually need a crib, see above for notes.
10. High chair. Whether it's a traditional high chair or a space saver that sits on another chair, you will want something that can sit at the table with you. Little floor seats are great, but the novelty wears off. Especially when you get peas spit all over the carpet in the family room.
11. Ibuprofen. For when you first get home from the hospital. Trust me, you will thank me.
There's tons more you could register for (swings, toys, mobiles, play-mats, Bumpo seats, blankets, and the list goes on). But these things are not necessities. You may get a swing only to learn that your baby hates it. You might use a play-mat for tummy time, but you could always use a blanket.
Have fun - and good luck!