By Claire Andrade
Creating a baby registry for a first-time parent can be a stressful endeavor. With new products constantly being added to the market and a wealth of information available, it is easy to feel overwhelmed at where to begin. One of the benefits I have as a postpartum doula awaiting my first baby has been the ability to try out and see many baby products.
I am a postpartum doula about to have my first child, and this is what is on my baby registry:
Baby carriers allow new parents to have their hands free, while also providing valuable close contact time with the baby. The benefits of babywearing are plentiful – including helping to stabilize heart rate and body temperature! We chose to get a wrap and a more structured carrier ( I selected the Moby brand for both, but there are many brands that fit and function similarly). Wraps are great for the early postpartum period and help the baby feel snug and secure. They do require learning how to fasten a long piece of fabric, but once you get the hang of it, they are easy to slip on and off. Structured carriers can be used for months as a baby grows and often can be used with a baby facing toward or away from you, as well as on a caregiver’s back. We were fortunate enough to receive both of our carriers from our local Buy Nothing group and are excited to give these carriers a second life while also saving some money. (Buy Nothing groups are a great place to find many baby products!)
Lotions and Shampoos
When selecting the products we plan to use on our baby’s skin, it was extremely important to us that they were non-toxic and environmentally conscious. We consulted the Environmental Working Group and Think Dirty (both available as apps) to ensure we were picking products we felt good about. We personally selected Pipette products for a majority of our needs. Honest and California Baby are other companies that provide safe and natural products that many clients enjoy.
For families planning to breastfeed, I recommend checking with your insurance company to see if breast pumps are covered. I was able to get a pump covered under insurance. I also wanted to have a hands-free pump to use when out and about. There are several hands-free pumps on the market (Elvie and Willow are two well-known brands) but the one most highly recommended to me was the Imani i2. Haakaa makes a wonderful manual pump that can be used to catch letdown and was also a must-have recommended item by many clients.
The biggest recommendation I received when selecting bottles was to make sure to register for a few different types of bottles as it’s hard to predict which one a baby may prefer. We chose to use glass bottles and selected Avent and Dr. Brown’s bottles. I selected a silicone bottle brush for its ability to be sterilized and used for a long time.
A nursing pillow was another item clients highly recommended (Boppy and My Brest Friend are two favorite brands). This can be helpful when breastfeeding or bottle-feeding for added comfort for both caregivers and babies.
We chose to not register for many clothes as we were fortunate to receive hand-me-downs. Some of our favorites we have received are zippered sleepers which are quick and easy to get on and off. Some brands that our clients love, though, are Kyte, Magnetic Me, and Burt’s Bees.
Nursery (or any space you plan to spend time in with baby)
When selecting a sound machine, many clients highly recommended the Hatch Rest. However, for simplicity, we wanted one that was easily portable and not connected to wifi. The Yoga Hushh, also used by many clients, is portable and can be recharged to take on the go. These are both great choices, depending on your own needs and preferences. The other big recommendation I got when it comes to nursery necessities is to have a comfortable rocking chair or glider to sit in while feeding and rocking your baby. There are hundreds of styles and models to choose from but the most important factor is that it is comfortable for you
For the Parents
Several registries now allow you to add help and services. Clients have shared that some of the best gifts they received were warm meals and help around the house. Some clients were even gifted postpartum doula services! Adding these requests to your registry can be a huge help mentally and physically in those first few weeks and months.
A final piece of advice I received from many clients was to stick with the necessities for the first few weeks of the postpartum period and see what items you end up needing as you go. It is easy to get swept up in the long lists of what a newborn needs, but waiting to see what you and your individual baby need can save you space, money, and a headache.
Some additional resources that I found helpful:
Goodbuy Gear– A great place to find secondhand baby items.
Babylist– When deciding where to register, we were excited to discover Babylist which allows you to link items from any store to one list. You can also register for Better Beginnings postpartum doula support on Babylist. 🙂
Kid A – Secondhand baby and child item store in Minneapolis, MN.