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Challenge: Ultimate Baby Registry

Pediatric nurses' guide to essential baby gear

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3cb0a1c5bada56df30c844d132227031f6e2a1fb.jpgNot sure what to put on the registry? Looking for the perfect, creative baby gift? Here’s what pediatric emergency nurse/moms recommend:

I asked a group of new-mom nurses in the ER where I work and every one said that you need way less stuff than you think. Except for these things they couldn’t live without….

Sleep sacks – Babies are happiest when they are squished up. Baby is comfy and dad gets a little ego boost; swaddlers make even clumsy dads look like a pro! Any brand will do. Jennifer likes Halo.

DIY Diaper Caddy – A toiletry or cleaning supplies tote will do the trick. Load it up with your diapering supplies so you can easily move from sofa to floor or dining table for quick changes.

“You won’t always know what you’ll need until they get here.”
– Nurse Nataly

Waterproof lap pads – Even your little girl “pees like a boy” according to expert nurse Jennifer. She’s catheterized enough little girls to know that their urethras are perpendicular when they are very young and they will pee straight up and all over the place. Be prepared to just toss those waterproof pads in the laundry and grab a new one. And don’t be too grossed out – urine is sterile.

Nasal saline/suction – You will have to suck out her nose eventually. So just as the vet advises to rub a puppy’s feet and ears to prepare for easy ear-cleaning and nail-clipping, start suctioning your baby early. Jennifer used nasal saline drops and a bulb syringe after every bath to clean out boogers. Now Catherine giggles when she needs her nose suctioned. Everyone in pediatrics admires the Nose Frida’s hospital-grade sucking ability. Put it on your registry.

“They really only need you.”
– Nurse Adri

If you plan to breastfeed…..

You need stuff too! “When you’re comfortable, the baby senses it,” according to nurse Adri. So add these essentials to the list:

Good Water Bottle – As soon as you start nursing, you will always suddenly feel ravenously thirsty (thanks again, maternal hormones). Be prepared and always have a trusty, one-handed, non-leaking water bottle at your side.

Breast feeding consultant – You’ve been looking for a pediatrician. Don’t forget to have the name of a good lactation consultant. If you’ve got a name in your contact list you won’t need it, right? Ask your friends or obstetrician for recommendations.

Great Robe – Look for one that is lightweight and easy to open but provides good coverage for your new, giant boobs.

What did you find useful (or useless)?


  • On-the-go formula dispenser
  • Tommee Tippee “nipples are big, more like a boob”
  • Bouncer
  • Baby Carrier – Ergo or BabyBjorn
  • Boppy Pillow – Adri prefers the Breast Friend, it’s flatter so the baby doesn’t roll off when you’re trying to feed.
  • Cross-body diaper bag – so you’re hands free and can reach stuff easily
  • Stroller – get one with storage
  • Baby gym for the floor
  • Extra car seat bases – one for every car (grandparent’s car too?)
  • Feeding chair that hangs from or pulls up to the table – don’t put baby yards away in a traditional chair. Let her eat alongside you.


  • Bottle Warmers – there’s no reason that a bottle-fed baby needs to have warm formula, if you’re gonna be on the go, get baby used to room temperature formula from the start.
  • Baby Detergent – just wash their clothes with the rest of the family

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