Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The "Must-Haves" Baby Registry List

I remember how before Krew was born, I wanted to make sure I was prepared with every item I could ever possibly need for taking care of him.  I scoured through the lists of suggested items numerous times, and one list I frequently looked at was the Babies 'R Us “Must-Haves” Registry Checklist.  Now that I am a somewhat seasoned mother (at least in terms of mothering an infant - I don't claim any experience beyond 10 months!), I've learned that although some of their suggested items are definitely a necessity, others are only occasionally useful, and still others are downright silly.  So for all my first-time pregnant friends, or for those of you who are planning to have a child after a somewhat-long recess from baby making, here are my thoughts on the Babies 'R Us “Must-Haves” Registry Checklist.  (Please note: These are my thoughts on the list as it relates to having a newborn.  Some of the items I disagree with on this list will in fact be useful someday...just not anytime soon enough for the parent of a newborn to care.)

(Disclaimer:  Please disregard any misspellings or incorrect grammar.  It took me several sessions of writing to get through this ridiculously long list, and by the end I wanted to slam my head into the keyboard.  I may have let my writing skills slide a bit by the end.)

Baby Gear

Car Seats

*Infant car seat - You must have an approved car seat to even leave the hospital.  Some parents go straight to the convertible car seat, since many can hold an infant as small as 5 lbs.  I would recommend, however, still getting the infant car seat.  It is SO helpful to be able to move your child from car to house, car to store, car to car, etc. without unstrapping him (especially in the case that he's sleeping!).  Convertible car seats, although needed once your child reaches a certain weight and height, are not NEARLY as easy or convenient.  I'd hold off on the convertible car seat as long as possible.  (Krew actually started hating his infant seat somewhat early, so we moved him to a convertible car seat before he outgrew the infant seat.  And at that point we started looking for a new car once we realized the inconvenience of not being able to click the car seat in and out of a two-door.  Sigh. I will always love you, my tC.)
*Car seat base for 2nd car - yes, get this
*Convertible car seat - don't buy this until you need it
*Booster car seat - don't buy it till you need it
*Car seat toys - Most infant toys you get will have a little loop on them.  Hook two baby toy links together (most mothers end up with a lot of these somehow), hook one to the toy and one to the carseat handle, and voila - a car seat toy for a whopping 0 dollars and 0 cents.
*Shopping cart cover - First off, I have no idea why this is in the carseat section.  Nevertheless, I do actually recommend getting one of these if you enjoy shopping at places with carts or if you are the grocery shopper for your household.  I suggest getting one that can also be used as a high chair cover.  I have used mine countless times for both purposes.  When using it as a cart cover, I've even been able to lay Krew down in the cart to sleep.  On the other hand, I have friends who have one and say they've never used it.  You'll have to figure out what you think for yourself.
*Car seat comfort & accessories - The only item I can think of that you might need would be strap covers/cushions in the case that carseat doesn't come with any and the straps rub into your baby's neck.

*Travel system - Ah, the travel system debate.  I really don't remember the arguments for and against travel systems, but I can tell you that Dave and I decided against.  How we arrived at this decision, I'm not sure.  I'm pretty sure it had something to do with what we read in Baby Bargains.  (An excellent book.  Check it out.  But make sure you get the latest version!!)  So instead, Dave and I got a snap n' go to attach our infant car seat to, and we found it for 10 bucks on Craigslist.  It worked excellently.
*Full-size stroller - You'll only need this if you don't get the travel system.  If you do get it, realize you won't really use it until your child can sit up.
*Lightweight stroller - I do actually recommend having a lightweight stroller.  It's excellent for throwing in and out of the car for quick trips to the store.  We found a Maclaren stroller which we love at a local consignment shop.  Note:  You won't need this until your child can sit up.
*Mid-size stroller - I'm not quite sure what this even is.
*Jogger stroller - We've gotten by fine without this.  However, our full-size stroller is pretty heavy-duty with nice tires (it's a Bugaboo - also purchased on Craiglist), so I can jog with it.
*Double & triple stroller - It's up to you, but I think I'd hold off on this until you know you're having more kids.
*Stroller comfort & accessories - I'm not quite sure what this would even BE.  
*Stroller toys - See my note for car seat toys, above.  And regular toys work fine, also.
*Stroller diaper bag - Your regular diaper bag should work fine.

Backpacks & Carriers
*Backpacks - Huh?
*Front & back soft carriers - We used our Baby Bjorn quite a bit when Krew was younger.  I'd probably recommend it.
*Sling & wrap carriers - These are nice, as long as you're careful about the suffocation risk.  We have a Moby Wrap and a sling, and I enjoyed using both.

Play Yards/Travel Yards
*Play yards/travel yards - A pack n' play is definitely needed once your child starts rolling and you'll be spending the night at places that do not have an available crib.
*Play yards/travel yards sheets (Qty: 2-3) - We only have one, and it has sufficed.  Of course we've also never had a middle-of-the-night-soaked-sheets incident.

*Stationary entertainers - I really don't know what this even means... **UPDATE:  Erica was kind enough to  fill me in...this is equivalent to an exersaucer.  In which case I do recommend it, but I would recommend either getting the exersaucer or a jumperoo (a bouncy exersaucer). We went with the jumperoo, bought off of Craigslist.  Both might be a bit over the top.**
*Walkers - Not necessarily needed.  Many have been banned.  Krew had a big plastic bulky one that we borrowed from Eileen (his daycare lady) that he really enjoyed for a while.  Just be careful around the stairs.  And keep in mind that you can't use this until your child has good trunk control.
*Gyms & playsets - Krew had an activity mat that dangled toys over him while he laid on his back under it.  He LOVED it.  So I would recommend one of those.  Beyond that...you don't need a tummy-time mat, because you can roll a blanket under his chest.  And buying a gym for your newborn seems a bit over zealous to me.
*Bouncers - Krew loved his bouncer.  He sat in it every day while I showered until he started sitting on his own.  Some babies don't love them, however, so take your chances.
*Swings - Krew loved his swing.  It was a lifesaver for us.  We got ours for $10 off of Craigslist.
*Door jumpers - These have always scared me, so we didn't get one (much to Dave's dismay).
*Infant positioner - We did use this to hold Krew in place in his crib while he was swaddled.  Although I've heard they may have been recalled?  (And I don't understand why this is in the activity section?)

Infant Care

Feeding & Nursing
*Warmers & sterilizers - Never used either.
*Burping cloths (Qty: 6-12) - Holy camoly, if your child is anything like ours, stock up.  I'd recommend having more like 20 of them.
*Cloth diapers (Qty: 6-12) - We used these as burp cloths.  So these should be combined with burping cloths, above.
*Lap pads (Qty: 6) - Huh?
*Bibs (Qty: 8-12) - Very useful.  They catch spit up, food, and drool. A quantity of 8 to 12 should be more than enough.  I'd recommend small cloth bibs for little babies (spit up) and for teething infants (Qty 6-8), and I'd recommend larger plastic-type bibs for feeding solids (between 4 and 6 months of age) (Qty 4-6).

Breast Feeding
*Breastpump - Needed if you're nursing and if you're working or planning on being away from the baby whenever the baby may need nursed.  Of course, double electric pumps are the hype for working moms.  I've loved using my Medela.  Simpler, cheaper pumps should suffice for the mom who just wants to have a little extra milk in case she's gone on an errand over a nursing session.
*Breast pads, shields & cream - Um, YES on the breast pads.  Have a stock for when you get home from the hospital.  This advice holds regardless of whether or not you're breastfeeding.  Either way, you will have WAY too much milk and nowhere for it to go but out and all over your clothes unless you've got some pads.  I used disposables for quite a while, then switched to non-disposables (Lilypadz) later on.  As for shields, I never used them.  Cream - I used Lansinoh.  Highly recommended.
*Breast milk storage - If you're planning on nursing and storing any milk, you will need some bags (or other approved storage container).  How many you will need depends on how much you will be away from your baby.  When I first returned to work, I was going through 5 or 6 bags a day at work...which amounted to about 50 bags every two weeks.  (Yes, that's a lot.)  You will also need freezer or fridge space.  Keep that in mind.
*Containers or bags - This seems the same as breast milk storage to me.
*Nursing pillow &  stool - Had both and liked both.
*Nursing wrap/cover - A MUST-HAVE for nursing moms.  Definitely get yourself one of these.  Preferably one that has a strap that goes around your neck.

Bottle Feeding
*Bottles for formula (Qty: 6-8) - Krew had 3 bottles for daycare and I think 3 for home. It was plenty.  Keep in mind that babies are often particular about their bottles and will only use certain kinds.  You may have to try a few different ones.
*Bottle nipples - Your bottles should come with these.  Make sure you have slow flow for newborns, then faster flow for when your child gets older.
*Bottle drying rack - I used this a little.  It was helpful for propping bottles upside down.  If you think you have another way of propping bottles upside down that's cheaper, I'd go that way.
*Bottle brush - Yup, get one of these.
*Dishwasher caddy - I actually do recommend this.  We used ours a lot to hold bottle nipples, pacifiers, and pump parts.
*Insulated tote - Especially useful if you will be storing milk at work and bringing it home.  A lot of pumps will come with a small one of these.

Solid Feeding
*Feeding sets - Not sure what this is.  We might have one, we might not.
*Training cups - Sippy cups are nice to have, but won't be used until your baby is around 6 months old or older.  So I would hold off unless you're abounding in storage space in your kitchen.
*Infant spoons (for home) - Won't be needed until baby is 4 to 6 months old.  Again, I'd hold off.
*Baby food processors & accessories - Not needed until the baby is older...if you even decide to make your own food.

High Chairs
*High chairs - A high chair or space saver seat that attaches to a kitchen chair is fine.  But you don't need one until your baby starts solids.  And even then, a Bumbo seat can work fine for a while.  So don't worry about it now.
*High chair cover - As mentioned previously, I recommend a high chair / car seat combo cover to take on errands or to restaurants.
*Splat mat - I guess you might need this eventually if you have a carpeted kitchen?
*High chair toys - We do have one...that I believe I got for under a dollar at a consignment sale.  It suctions to flat surfaces.  Krew used it more when he used to sit in his Bumbo with a tray than he does now in his highchair.
*Extra high chair pad - Seems excessive to me.

Booster Seats
*Booster seats - We haven't needed one yet.
*Splat mat - We never needed on of these.

Feeding Accessories
*Feeding accessories - Not sure what this includes.  I'm going to say, no, you don't need it.

Bath & Potty
*Bathtub & seat - Yes, you should have an infant tub. Or at least something to hold your infant in the larger tub.  I like the infant tub, however, because it takes MUCH less water and we could just put it on our bathroom floor until Krew started splashing a lot.  Haven't needed a bathtub seat yet, and don't know if we will.
*Washcloths (Qty: 8-12) - Yes, these are good to have, but 8 to 12 seems like a bit much.  I'd say 4 to 6, as long as you're doing laundry regularly.
*Hooded bath towels (Qty: 4-6) - Very good to have.
*Bath robe - These aren't needed, although very cute.  We got some as gifts and enjoy them, but they are not something you should purchase if you're trying to save money.  Being bundled up in a towel should be sufficient for your child.
*Gentle shampoo & body wash - We just use Johnson's baby wash which functions as both shampoo and body wash.  There is also Aveeno, which is better if your child has problems with eczema or some other skin issue.
*Baby lotion - Very good to have. Baby skin is fragile and needs moisture. (Although they recommend NOT using lotion until the first layer of skin all sheds off.  I couldn't resist...I still used it.) I prefer Johnson's unscented, which is conveniently only located at select stores such as Babies R Us.  I have some friends who love the lavendar scented lotion, but it's not for me.  I'm not even big on the regular scent.  So, yes, I will go out of my way to travel to Babies R Us to get the unscented lotion.
*Bath accessories - Don't know what these would be.  So you probably don't need them.
*Bath toys - Yes, these are good to have.  Once your child is sitting up in the tub.  Which won't be for a while. So don't fret over these yet.
*Step stool - Still don't have one of these.
*Travel folding potty set - Still don't have.
*Stand alone potty seat - Still don't have.
*Toilet training seat (ring) - Still don't have.

Baby Care & Grooming
*Nail clippers - Yup, these are a must.
*Brushes & comb - I am glad we had these.  But that is probably because our child has had hair his whole life.
*Digital thermometer - Yes.  I highly recommend the Vicks Rectal Baby thermometer.  It's super quick, which is a must-have when you're sticking something up your child's butt.  (Yes, that's the way you must take their temperatures when they're young.)
*Ear thermometer - I have one, but haven't used it yet.  Still doing the butt thing.
*Grooming kit - Not sure what this is.  I'm going to vote "no".
*First aid kit - As long as you have first aid stuff around your house, this probably isn't needed.
*Humidifier/vaporizer - A humidifier is very helpful in the winter.  Preferably cool mist - the warm mist ones supposedly aren't safe for babies. (I don't remember why.)  I'm not sure what a vaporizer is.
*Baby mittens - Yup we used these in the beginning.  But only for a very short while. One or two pairs is plenty.
*Lotion - Already covered this previously, so crossing it off here.
*Baby oil - Never used this, although it might be helpful if your baby gets cradle cap (which many babies do).  (Krew still suffers from it, but I use regular dandruff shampoo on him.)
*Cotton swabs - Good to have for belly button, ears (but don't stick it in near the eardrum!), etc.
*Cotton balls - Good for cleaning in the beginning.
*Petroleum jelly - Good to have.  Although I more specifically suggest Aquaphor.  I use that stuff for everything.
*Gas relief drops - Yes, have these on hand.  We used them a ton.
*Teethers - Yup, Krew loves these.  It's great if you can find the kind you can freeze.
*Pacifiers - Most babies will use these in the beginning, but some won't.  And babies tend to be very specific about which pacifiers they like.  Krew actually changed his preferences between four different pacifiers as he grew.
*Pain relief products - Keep infant acetaminophen (Tylenol) on hand in the beginning.  Once your child is 6 months old, he can have infant ibuprofen, which I actually much prefer.

Diapers & Formula
*Diapers - Clearly, these are needed.  I recommend starting with one giant pack of newborn diapers.  Then learn and go from there.  Baby butt sizes vary soooo much, you have no idea what you'll need ahead of time.  Also, every mother will have her preference on diapers.  In general, Pampers are most expensive, Luvs are cheapest, and Huggies fall somewhere in between.  Krew wears mostly Luvs because they work fine and save us the most pennies.  In general, if you can find infant diapers for $0.16 each or less, you're getting a good deal.
*Baby wipes - Again, clearly needed.  I prefer Huggies or Pampers.  I don't like Target brand...they're very soft, but almost too soft.  They don't efficiently wipe because of their softness.
*Diaper pail refills - If your diaper pail needs refills, then by all means, get refills.
*Wipe warmer - Not needed.  Just rub the wipe in your hands if you're worried about it being too cold.
*Diaper pail - There are many options here.  There's the Diaper Genie, the Diaper Champ (what we have), the Arm & Hammer diaper pail...or the good old regular waste basket.  Do your research and make your pick.  But yes, you will need something.  (I like our Diaper Champ because it uses regular trash bags.)
*Formula - If you choose to formula feed instead of breast feed, then yes, you'll need this.
*Diaper bags - One diaper bag should suffice.  You will probably find that you need a larger diaper bag than you expect.  I prefer diaper bags with lots of little pockets on the inside, a good place to store diapers, a comfortable strap, and stroller hoooks.
*Baby changing mat - Yes, very important.  Some diaper bags come with them.  If yours doesn't, I would still recommend buying one of these to put down under your baby's body. You'll be surprised at the strange places you have to change his diaper.
*Diaper ointment - I use Aquaphor (mentioned previously under petroleum jelly).  There is also Desitin.
*Travel wipes - A travel wipes container is very helpful to have.  It's small and convenient.

*Audio monitor - Most parents want one of these, unless you live in a really small place.  It allows you to shut doors, take a shower, etc. and still know if your baby starts crying.
*Video monitor - We never had one, so I can't say I think you need it.  I have friends who loves theirs, though.
*Cabinet/drawer latches - Haven't bought these yet.
*Safety gates - You won't need these until your baby is a skilled crawler.  So I'd wait.
*Outlet covers - Won't need these for a while.  I'd wait.
*Corner guards - If you decide to use them, won't need them for a while.  Again, I'd wait.
*Edge guards - Same as for corner guards.
*Smoke & carbon monoxide alarm - I'm kinda hoping you already have these two items in your house.  If you don't, please go buy them.  Several of each.
*One thing that's not listed here that I recommend - we've loved our movement monitor.  It goes under the baby's mattress and sets off an alarm if it senses that all movement (i.e. breathing) has stopped for more than 30 seconds. I loved having one...I didn't feel the need to jump up every 5 seconds to make sure our child was still alive.  These usually come combined with an audio monitor...check it out if you think you might be interested.


*Cradle, bassinet or portable crib - I mentioned pack n' plays above.  Yes, I think you should have one.  The other thing we loved having was a moses basket.  Krew slept in that thing all the time for the first 3 months of his life.  We could carry it into any room, and swing it when he was being fussy.  The one we used for Krew was borrowed, but I can guarantee that for our next child we'll find a way to get another, even if it means purchasing it with our own money.
*Bedding sets - I don't really know what this is.  No, you probably don't need it.
*Cradle, bassinet or portable crib sheets (Qty: 2-3) - Sheets would be good.  At least one per sleeping contraption.
*Cradle, bassinet or portable crib toys - Regular toys should suffice.

Nursery Furniture
*Crib - Good to have, although I think a pack n' play would work fine if that's all you have.
*Crib toys - Regular toys will suffice.
*Changing table - Good to have, but you can also use the floor, a bed, or even the top of a dresser if you have it set up appropriately.
*Armoire/chifforobe - Not needed as far as I'm concerned.  Unless you don't have a closet.  Then you might want one.
*Dresser/chest - A dresser is probably good to have, unless you have enough room in the closet for everything.
*Drawer linens - Not needed. (I'm not even sure what these would be.)
*Hutch - Huh?
*Glider or upholstered rocker - Some type of chair or rocker is nice for feeding the baby in his room.  I also have liked having a nursing stool so I could rock myself.
*Ottoman - Not needed.
*Blanket chest - Huh?

*Crib mattress - Yup, a mattress is a good thing to have.
*Crib mattress pads (Qty: 3) - We have two.  Yes, good to have.
*Vinyl mattress cover - We don't have this.
*Cradle, bassinet or portable crib mattress - Usually I would think the cradle, bassinet, or portable crib would come with a mattress.  But I could be wrong.

*Crib bedding set - You don't really need a set.  Just sheets.  According to safety standards, you can't have a regular bumper or blanket in the crib with the baby.
*Fitted crib sheets (Qty: 4-6) - I think 3 should be enough.
*Blankets (Qty: 4-6) - I think 3 should be enough.  These are typically just used for laying the baby on the floor, covering the baby when going outside, etc.
*Receiving blankets (Qty: 4-6) - I think four is plenty.  We typically just used these as a lighter blanket.
*Waterproof pads (Qty: 4-6) - I'm assuming these are the same as the mattress pads mentioned in the section above, so I'm crossing them out here.
*Sheet savers (Qty: 4-6) - Never used these.
*Changing table covers (Qty: 2-4) - Yes, have these if you're using a changing table pad.  Two should probably be enough, but three might be better.
*Changing table pads - Yes, you need this if you're using a changing table.  But you only need one.
*Sleep positioner - I think we already covered this under "Activities", so I'm crossing it out here.

Room Décor
*Wall hanging - Decoration, not necessity.
*Switchplate cover - Decoration, not necessity.
*Crib mobile - We put one over the changing table that we used a TON.
*Lamp - It's good to have a lamp or some other type of low light for when you go into the room for middle-of-the-night feedings.
*Wall border - Decoration, not necessity.
*Window treatments - Decoration, not necessity.
*Diaper stacker - We have one of these and I actually like it a lot.  But if you'd rather stack your diapers somewhere else, that will suffice also.
*Rug - Decoration, not necessity.
*Hamper - I do like having one of these.  Your baby will go through a lot of clothes.
*Waste basket - I just use the diaper pail.

Nursery Storage
*Storage solutions - What?
*Organizers - Do what works for you.
*Shelves - Do what works for you.
*Baskets/storage bins (Qty: 2-4) - Do what works for you.

Clothing and Layette
*Homecoming quilt - Luxury, not necessity.
*Matching sets - Luxury, not necessity.
*Cotton overalls - Not a necessity.
*Clothing hangers (Qty: 12-24) - Needed if you have a closet. But I would recommend more like 50.  Or 100 if you acquire a bagillion pieces of clothing before your child even enters the world (as I did).  That's just my personal opinion.
*Gowns (Qty: 4-6) - Not needed.
*Snow suit or bunting - You may need this if your child will be small in the winter months.  But a warm blanket draped over the infant car seat would also work.
*Outfits (Qty: 4-6) - It's a luxury, but it is nice to have a couple outfits that you can put your baby in for church, get-togethers, etc.  Not a necessity, but fun to have.
*Bodysuits (Qty: 9-12) - A.k.a. onesies.  Very good to have.  Get a bunch.
*Cap & bottie sets (Qty: 2-4) - First off, I don't know what a bottie is.  Second, you'll get one or two caps from the hospital, and that will be plenty.  No need to buy more.  (If you get more as gifts, that's great.)
*T-Shirts (Qty: 4-6) - We didn't really use any t-shirts until Krew was like 5 months old.  We stuck to onesies.  So I wouldn't worry about these until later, when you decide you want them.
*Socks (Qty: 9-12) - Socks are very very good to have for covering little toesies.  We personally prefer and primarily use Puma socks.  They are the only socks to-date to stay on our child's feet.  When I find them, we purchase them in bulk. And I would pay a good price for them.  No joke, they are amazing.  I have friends (ok, a friend) who will attest to this.  (And they come in girls' colors, too!)
*Wearable blankets (Qty: 2) - What?  What is a wearable blanket?
*Sweaters - Luxury, not necessity.  Very cute, but not needed.
*One-Pc. Coveralls (Qty: 4-6) - I'm assuming these are the outfits that are one piece and have little footies.  These are nice to have if it is chilly in your house.  If it's hot in your house, then you won't necessarily need any.  You may want some for your baby to sleep in if you don't swaddle.  If you do swaddle, I recommend just putting the baby in a onesie under the swaddle so he doesn't overheat.

Toys and Gifts

Infant Toys
*Rattles - One should do it.
*Teethers - Mentioned previously, so crossing off here.
*Soft toys - Yes, some bright, colorful, made-for-babies soft toys are good to have.
*Toys 0-12 months - You'll acquire these as you need them.  And probably more than you need.  Don't go out and buy them before the baby is born.
*Toys 12-24 months - Wait a year.

Books, Music, and DVDs
*Pregnancy and childbirth - Definitely educate yourself, but you can get most information you need online and through your doctor.
*Baby nurseries & kids’ rooms - If you have lots of money and lots of time, then a book on this might be for you.
*Cooking & baby food - Wait till down the road when you decide if you even want to make your baby's food.
*Parenting & family books - It may not hurt to read some books on infants (I did), but I wouldn't read about much past that.  You'll forget it all before your child gets to the appropriate age.
*CDs - You can get some baby music CDs if you're interested, but not a necessity.
*DVDs - Krew still has yet to watch one of his baby DVDs for more than 2 minutes at a time.

*Frames - Decoration, not necessity.
*Baby books/journals - I would recommend recording your baby's milestones somehow.  I do all of mine through this blog, and I plan to print the relevant posts in a book when he turns a year old.  I have a friend who wrote it all in a calendar.  Do whatever works for you.
*Photo albums - With all the online sharing these days, this really isn't needed.

* I'm skipping the Organic and Earth Friendly section.  If you want to go organic with any of the above, I'm sure you can do it.*

And there you have it.  My thoughts on the insanely long Babies 'R Us "Must-Haves" Registry Checklist.  Hope you enjoy. :)


  1. holy crap that's a TON of stuff you "need"!!! (to answer your stationary enterainer question, it's an exersaucer..like a walker w/ no wheels..google it, we had one and we used it for both kids, life saver!)I would say you don't need much when they are a newborn! I think you learn your lesson the 2nd time around :) thankfully everything we got for Ryan we've used for Molly (we got a travel system stroller, we still use it and used the infant seat for both kids since they are close in age)Even as they get older you'll find they still don't need much! A few sippy cups, a fork and a spoon, some plastic plates (because they will throw the plate!)Good list and so right on most of your opinions!!

  2. Hey Kara,
    Great post on baby gear.
    Here's my 2 cents (just because I had fun making adjustments to my own list as I read yours, so I figured I would share it.)

    We didn't have a bundle me for Haley's car seat, but I hope to get one for number 2 since it won't fall off (or get kicked off) like blankets often do.
    For the lightweight or umbrella stroller it helps if it has some storage space, a little hanging bag is fine and can even hold cups if your careful. Also make sure the handles
    A Backpack is great for hiking, It can be used until they are a little older and the frame helps you get the baby in and out.
    The jumpers freaked me out too, but a friend gave us hers and after assuring me of it's safety we used it, and Haley loved it.
    The exersaucer was great too from about 6-12 months. It's not necessary but a good alternative to just playing in the pack n play when you need your little one out of the way and out of harms way for cooking etc.
    Our favorite bibs were and are the one's my Nana made out of dish cloths, they're big and absorbant.
    I likes the cloth nursing pads a lot, but the nuk disposables were great for the first few weeks when there was a lot of excess and for when Haley had thrush.
    I had a nursing cover but preferred using a blanket because it seemed to tangle things up, but I've heard great things about the ones with a little bar so you can see your baby, I'm hoping to get one of those for number 2.
    Our highchair was great but we didn't use it long. Going from Bumbo to booster seat would work just as well and is portable (but we move back and forth between 2 houses so carrying a bulky highchair was not an option.)
    I guess that mens add bumbo seat to the list too.
    Snack containers became useful at around 6 months.
    For the tub I like the seat that stores toys and that can be used later as a step stool, It's not necessary but it's nice.
    We ditched the diaper bag at around 8 months for a little cloth backpack that can hold more, with snacks and toys in the mix the diaper bag was getting too crowded.
    The only specific crib toy we really liked was a little piano Haley could play with her feet, she loved it, but it's not necessary. A little mirror is also nice.
    To toys I would add some black and white pictures for the time when all your baby can do is stare, it' nice to think they have something interesting to look at.
    I personally am a fan of 4 mattress pads only 1 fitted) and 4 crib sheets. Layer and remove as needed. But that's just because I hate taking the mattress out of the crib, 2-3 should be enough.
    Finally I likes having 2-3 waterproof pads for the changing table (boppy makes some nice longer ones) In the early months when accidents were common they saved me from changing the pretty/ softer changing pad cover several times a day.

    So there are my thoughts, sorry this is so long Kara, I've been out of blogging for a while and it feels nice to share.

  3. Good post! Thanks for the list, I enjoyed reading your thoughts on different items. :-)

  4. THANK YOU!!! I am trying to start shopping for baby girl coming in october and had no clue where to start!! this seems like its going to be a lot of help, and I love how you keep it real. I really don't want to get all kinds of things that I will probably not use. THANKS!!

  5. List is great.. but it seems like a "what to buy" list instead of a "what to register for" list. So many things say "don't need now, wait till later" etc.. But for someone who is cash strapped, it seems like it would make a lot more sense to ask for things you WILL need as well..

  6. I really like the list, and most of the time you add that this is what you prefer, but want to point out that a nursing cover is not a "must have" if you are nursing. Many moms do not like or use them (myself included), and I found that if I wanted something to cover- when my baby slept, not so much for nursing, but it can be used- a large, gauzy scarf from Old Navy was so much lighter, more portable, fashionable, and easier to use than a bulky expensive nursing cover tent.