Monday, March 02, 2009

Registration Frustration

I need help.

Beyond the obvious, I mean.

The time is drawing near (sounds biblical) for us to start registering for baby “stuff.” My cousin Candice has generously offered to help Brett and I register.

This is great for several reasons. First of all, I trust Candice to know what we really need. Secondly, Candice will not mock us for knowing next to nothing about “birthin’ no babies.” Lastly and frankly, she’s just fun to be with. Brett and I rarely like the same people (rarely, rarely, rarely), so Candice is a gem!

What I NEED is expert advice from people who spend time with babies.

For the moms:
Where did you register? Did you have a good experience there? If not, why not?
What did you register for that was the MOST useful? LEAST useful?
Anything we should definitely NOT register for?
Are there any sales/registration traps I need to be aware of?

For teachers or nursery workers, etc.:
I need to know what play items are most stimulating and enjoyable for babies. Any recommendations would be helpful. (After all, if the kid is anything like either of us, he/she is going to need as much outside help as possible.)

Lastly, I need to make something clear. We are not too proud to accept donation items for the baby. Any “new and unused” pride we may have had is completely gone – vanished with our long-lost Jeep and soon to be former house.

If you have baby items you no longer want and think would be helpful for us, you will not offend us by offering them! We can’t accept everything, of course, since we don’t know how small our apartment is going to be.

But it will ease financial burdens to not have to register for every single thing the baby will need. Not that I know what that will even BE yet! :-)

The big “gender” ultrasound is next week on March 12. If the baby cooperates, I’ll be able to make the announcement then. If you have items, but they are “genderized,” you will know (almost as soon as I do) if they will work for our situation!

In the meantime, please, please help out with my registration survey! As you can see, I need all the help I can get.

Beyond the obvious, I mean.


MommaHarms said...

You can have our swing if you want it - it's fairly compact. It's gender neutral and nothing fancy, but it works.

Don't register for a bath "cradle" - register for hte baby bathtub instead. The cradle thing was dumb and I couldn't figure out how to keep the baby secure in it.

Don't register for bottles unless you are sure you are not going to nurse. I did and ended up getting them and never, never using them. THe times that we did use bottles we just used the ones that came with the breast pump.

If you are going to try nursing and pumping, register for the Madela pump of your choice. They are the best, but pricey, so let someone else buy it for you.

Don't register for clothes - they wil lprobably be gone by the time people are shopping (due to season changes) and you will get plenty of clothes regardless - I didn't register for a lick of clothing and had a HUGE wardrobe of tiny clothes for Natalie. THe exception would be the plain white onsies they wear under stuff - most people don't buy them b/c they aren't as cute but they are very, very handy to have.

Don't register for blankets (unless they match your stuff) because they are antoher thing peopel will give you regardless. If you for some strange reason do not get enough blankets, you can have some of mine - I have two containers full of blankets and we do not use half of them.

I registered at Target and Walmart (the only options at the time) Target's registry is MUCH easier for hte shopper - they give you isle numbers so you can find the item. Walmart's registry is a pain for the shopper, so we only used it for the items Target didn't have or had at too high of a price. However, very little off of my registry was purchased, so for me it was almost a waste of time.

CANDICE said...

Hmm. I have a whole list of stuff you will probably need the first couple of months. Just let me know when ya wanna go, I will gladly enjoy spending time with you guys. It's so much fun too! I already offered my swing and I have a baby bath too. No need to buy one of those because you won't use it for that long anyway. I used mine until she learned to sit up. Toys with music or lights are great. Brielle loved looking the ones that light up. There is so much more!

Anonymous said...

For Diego YOU sent me a Jr. Asparagus with eyes that lit up while he sang....very good for a baby = ) (See! You know more than you let on!)Bright colors are good and different textures (so they say), but my rule is get what you like the best. Register for anything you think would be fun to have because you'll get the necessities most likely. I wouldn't waste time with a carseat that is also a carrier (handle dealy) because there are carseats that can be rear facing and then turned forward that the baby can use until the age of one or I always liked carrying my babies in my arms (vs carseat w/ baby in it).
I can vouch for the Medela pump...but I hope you'll at least try to breast feed...everyone has their opinion.
If you have a swing there is probably no need to get any of the other fancy seating options...a still swing can work well for feeding baby don't have to have a high chair (well, you don't HAVE to have much of anything really. In Ivory Coast they get by without even diapers=)right? ;)
Anyway, enjoy it! Don't stress = )

Sun-Kissed Savages said...

I agree: you'll get more blankets and clothes than anything else. They are cute and fun for people to buy. And kids go through them SO fast that you can get like-new hand-me-downs. No need to spend a fortune. I have not bought ANYTHING new for my younger two sons. We are given a lot, and we have lots to hand down from the oldest son.

Don't register for binkies. Some babies just don't like them. Wait until s/he is born, and if your little one likes them, then STOCK up!! Those things get lost easily, and some kids won't sleep without them. (But, again, I had two children who wouldn't use them at all.)

Bottles-- I really only needed one, in case of emergencies.

My all-time favorite items were my Boppy, my baby Bjorn (or you could try an Ergo,) and the bouncy seat. That was about all I needed.

Just my opinion, but too many plastic toys just clutter space, they are difficult to always keep clean, and the noise just drives me nuts. So keep a few cute ones, and some washable stuffed animals (rattles inside are cute, but you can't wash them!) I'm starting to hate almost anything that has batteries. ;-) But my toys are multiplied by 4-- and three loud boy-toy areas!

I agree on the tub, too. It's not necessary. We didn't use our last one at all.

Sun-Kissed Savages said...

Oh, and bassinets are nice for the first couple of months, but don't spend much, because you won't use it long.

A nursing "wrap" is great... the kind that goes all the way around and has velcro in the corner to secure it. Priceless really.

Lots of burp rags are good.

Some babies like swings, some don't.

A non-breakable mirror by the changing station really kept my kids' attention.

Oh, and I looo-ooove my video baby monitor. We only had one this last time around, and it is great. No rushing in there when the baby whimpers-- I could just glance up to the screen and see that he was moving in his sleep.
I always worried too much. :-)

Sun-Kissed Savages said...

I agree with Tob, too. We didn't use a highchair this last time around. We got a booster that fits into the seat. Works just as well, takes up less space, and it's easier to clean. You can buy one that has adjustable heights and a tray that attaches. They really aren't much, and you could probably even find one at a yard sale. Babies grow FAST so don't spend much on one stage!! ;-)
Okay, really this was my last comment (I think.)

I DO have experience, in my defense of multiple comments.

a joyful nusiance said...

I agree, the Medela pump is great!
I would also say that I disagree with October Dawn. The infant car seat is a must! They come in handy when you least expect it. When you are at the grocery store by yourself, it is nice knowing that your baby is safe in it's carseat instead of those GROSS, UNLCEAN ones that are attached to the grocery carts!

I would also register for a pack n play.

MommaHarms said...

I will chime in on the infant car seat carrier - since we live in cold climate, and I have a baby that almost outgrew hers (at 4 months) in the dead of winter, I will vouch for how helpful t hey are. If you are headed into the grocery store, it is much easier to live the sleeping baby in the carrier without unstrapping her, throw a blanket over her head, and clip her in the cart. Convertable car seats are nice, and probably needed because many babies outgrow the carrier before they are old enough or big enough to face forward, but for a newborn I really, really, really, couldn't get by without the carrier (just my 2 cents) but then I have a nearly 25 pound 6 month old so carrying her in my arms while grocery shopping isn't really possible. Carriers, for that matter (the kind that strap on) don't really work for a big baby either (they pinch her rolls!) and kind of make a problem when everyone's bundled up. I know people get by without the carrier/carseat, but for me I went searching for one that could hold up to 30 pounds when she got too big for hte one we had.

Toys are almost a "wait and see" game. My two girls were incredibly different in what they liked. Natalie was into textures and loved "touch and feel" books (where they have fur or other stuff the baby can touch) whereas Megan is into sounds and loves things that crinkle when you touch them. Washable is a MUST if it is fabric, because you never know when or if it will get spewed on (Megan is a HUGE spitter upper). Her favorite toy is the Lamaze Chime Garden, but it was $17 an I am still not sure it was worth that much $$$. I use my exercauser all the time as I have a baby who can find even t he most microscopic piece of paper on the floor before you can count to three. She likes being in the saucer, though, and i have a cheap one from W-mart. Gives me a place to put her when I am cooking - we used the swing for Natalie but she was a lot smaller (M has outgrown the swing also) for hte same purpose.

CANDICE said...

OH yeah. You can have my infant car seat. It works for up to 22 lbs. It's still is in great condition. It was from Target I think it's Eddie Bauer. If i get a new stroller I'll give you the stroller that goes with it. Oh If you have a girl I can give you the little walker thing too considering it's all pink. You can also have my Boppy pillow. They are the best. You will just have to register for a cover for it! Brielle like the Boppy more than the swing. Here is a link to the covers. or There are lots of styles to choose from. Oh, I registered for bottles and It was a great idea! They can be expensive, but I didn't breast feed. I registered for just one pacifier also. Just in case.

Robin Hayes said...

I am super practical - didn't have too many fancy gizmos...I liked having the baby monitor, a bouncy seat, baby carrier (front pack style), car seat carrier style - for many of the reasons that were already mentioned. Bath helps - baby tubs are nice, but you only use them for a very short time; I liked having the little bath seat (suction cup bottom) for when they got big enough to sit up. If you register for a pack and play, make sure it has the bassinet attachment - my kids always woke up by the time you laid them down in the bottom. I actually borrowed a regular bassinet for Andrew and loved it. Since it's been nearly 5 years since I had a baby, I'm sure oodles of things have changed. Burp cloths are awesome! I had a whole stack of homemade ones, but I'm sorry to say that I gave them all away. I still have my front pack carrier that you could have. It's not the fancy Bjorn one, but it was only used for Andrew. You might like a sling. Lots of women swear by those, and I think they might be easier to get the baby in and out of. I didn't have a changing table after Steven - I just had a spot set up on the floor of the closet where I changed their diapers. A nice diaper bag is necessary. These have come a long way since I was carrying one. I also have a couple of other goodies that you can have - I have a netting cover for the car seat carrier so that you can take your baby outside and not worry about bugs - very cool! And I have a shopping cart bar cover thingee. I definitely used a high chair for all three boys. The booster seats are fine after they can sit up really well on their own. Margaret got something really cool that hooks on the table - you might want to ask her about that for its space saving properties. I don't have much left - I've gotten rid of almost everything. Target is super easy to register at, as well as Babies R Us. more thing – I am a car seat Nazi (for lack of a better word)! They had nice covers for the car seat carriers that are warm and have just a little window when Andrew was a baby – that way you don't have to bundle them quite so thickly and then they can be buckled safely into their car seat, even in the winter time. Just my 2 cents - thanks for letting me speak my mind. :-)

Jennittia said...

My needs changed with each child, but I do have some favorites. The Boppy pillow...sooooo universal from feedings to just a place to put the baby to helping baby have "tummy time."

My Bumbo seat was a gift for my fourth child. It is the one thing that I wish I had had all along. I never used a high chair at all for Judson. There are some words of caution about it though. It is sooooo portable that you can put them right up on the table and feed the baby like that (I'm talking about solid foods). But obviously, never leave them unattended. I think the seats were initially recalled, but I have seen them in stores again. The ultimate in compactness!!! My kids are all really small, so Judson used it maybe longer than most kids could, but it was great to take to church when he needed lunch around 11 and church didn't get out until after noon. I used it until he was over a year old.

I used just about every kind of bottle and I prefer the Platex nursers (the disposable bag bottles) for my babies with gas and acid reflux issues. Skip the dr. Brown's ones-- too complicated! I will admit, the bags got annoying, but worked great at reducing air.

My last suggestion is ask for diapers and wipes. You will go through so many. Diaper caddies are only helpful if you don't empty your trash regularly. My kitchen trash gets emptied every day, so I never really had a use for a diaper genie.

Have fun sorting all this out, and just remember all of us are giving suggestions. You decide what works for you and don't let any one guilt you into something else!!! My catch phrase is a smile with "I'll think about that, thanks!"

Anonymous said...

Well, in my "defense" I would rather carry my baby any day so I never once missed the expense of the carseat carrier deal...awake or asleep I liked them in my arms. My children are rarely to never sick (ask Wendy) no ear infections, no stomach aches, not known to spit up...and Diego ate dirt by the mouthful...not that I encouraged it, but when we were outside he got into it. I've never been afraid of grocery carts etc. I think that my kids have phenomenal immune systems thanks to heredity (maybe) and plenty of exposure to germs in small quantities. Just my thought there... but then I've been in the third world so I guess I don't get caught up on the whole American idea of cleanliness....
You'll do what works best for you.

Julie said...

Hi Ann-Margaret.

You are free to browse my selection of baby items. They are probably antiques but hey... a toy is a toy.

As for things you don't need:
-baby wipe warmer
-bottle warmer (warm water works fine)
-fancy clothes

Things that you must have:
-a round prison a.k.a. exersaucer
-Baby Einstein video (to go along with the round prison)
-terry-cloth sleepers by Carters
-bouncy seat
If it seems gimicky, it is and you don't really need it.

Good luck Ann-Marie, you are going to be a great Mama!

Heidi said...

Target was great. But you know me, I am a Target fanatic. They also have the boppy covers.
I agree with the last comment. Skip the diaper genie and the wipe warmer. The wipe warmer just dries the wipes.
I like my booster seat, personally. I have never had a high chair. I fed mine in their car seats (with the carrying handles as those are the best especially when shopping as babies do get heavy) then they graduated to the booster.
I would skip the changing table as beds, couches, and floors work really well (unless someone gets you one or you can pick them up at garage sales really cheap).
Register for diapers, wipes, and baby lotions/soap as those things you will definitely need.
Save any gift cards you get for those things that come up like pacifiers, bottles, etc... that you may not know if you need in the beginning.
Skip the bassinet. They are pretty, but take up space and the baby is not in them very long anyway.
If you need to borrow a crib, I have an extra one you could use.
btw, You can also get the boppy covers at Target.
I would also be more than willing to accompany you for your registration if Candice does not work out. ;-)

Jennittia said...

Been fun reading everyone's comments!! I will very much echo agreements to suggestions for the exersaucer. Mine was used with all four kids and a great place to put them during times when you need both hands free.

Loved Heidi's suggestion to save gift cards. A couple of times, I got gift cards from extended family many months after the baby was born. It came in so handy because we needed new things.

I will put my two cents in one the one controversy that seems to be going. An infant carrier was a necessity for me. With the first three, I used it to feed them in when first starting solid foods. During the first few months, when they sleep so much, I would leave them in it while in the nursery at church. I was not a big fan of fifty different people passing my baby around like a football when he was trying to sleep, but it also allowed me to enjoy a sermon !

I will absolutley agree Americans are way too obsessed with cleanliness. But on the other hand, several years ago, two of my children got the chicken pox. They were too young for school, not in daycare, and no one else that we know had them. The conclusion that my dr. gave me was that they picked up the virus while out in the community- probably sitting in a shopping cart!

Again, enjoy, and something tells me with a support group as large as you seem to have, your baby will not lack for anything!

MommaHarms said...

For the previous commenter, I hope I did not come across as controversial. I just know for me it is easier to keep the baby warm when it is freezing out with the carseat/carrier. If I lived in a warm climate and didn't have massively huge babies, I would probably carry them in a front carrier and let the older one sit in the cart. However, my baby would break my back and I never could figure out a good way to keep her warm walking to and from the location.