Where/what Should I Register For????

Updated on December 29, 2008
T.R. asks from Tualatin, OR
12 answers

Hi Moms,

This is our first child and I want to make sure and register at a great store and for things we really actually will need/use. Can you suggest where you would register at and what you absolutely cannot live without for a newborn/infant. Things you wish people would have gotten for you... if you'd known how much you'd use it?

Thanks Moms!

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answers from Portland on

Babies R Us worked for family that live out of town because they could check out my gift registery on-line and purchase accordingly.

Don't buy the gerber type baby blankets that come in the sets of three - they aren't big enough to swaddle. Get a velcro swaddle and your little one will be happy as a clam.



answers from Detroit on

Hey T.,

Congratulations! We registered at Target and Babies R Us. Target worked out well. I hate Babies R Us. It seems every time I go there it is always understaffed and it takes me FOREVER to get out of there. Besides, I can do other shopping at Target. I used Craigslist for a lot of things.

We bought our crib and mattress new. I think I wouldn't buy a new mattress again- I've read quite a bit about new mattresses 'off-gassing' for several months and a used one will not do this. Most mattresses are waterproof so you can just clean it and go.

We bought a beautiful dresser/changing table off craigslist for super cheap. I think this is one of the best nursery items we have. I also LOVE my Hotsling. I tried the Bjorn and a few other slings and this one was BY FAR the most comfortable. Make sure it's sized correctly for you. People always comment on how adorable my son looks in it:)

Once you start feeding the baby- bibs, bibs, bibs. We go through at least three a day. Another thing to consider registering for is baby food. We use so much!!!

I agree about the clothes thing- you can find great deals at second hand stores or garage sales. There are also some resale events called Just Between Friends (JBF.com) and some others I can't think of right now. They come to Portland a few times a year (spring and fall) and you can get killer deals, especially on Sunday (half-price).They sell everything under the sun!

Good luck!



answers from Portland on

Hi T.-

You've gotten some great suggestions already, but I wanted to add mine in too. One thing that I'm planning on registering for this time around are pacifiers. I swear those things just walk away on their own! We started using them with my first son when he was a few months old, and from then on, it seemed like I was buying a new pack every few months. The Nuk silicone brand worked best for us.

I would also recommend registering for things that you'll need when baby gets older, such as larger size diapers, bigger onesies, etc. People love to buy things for newborns, but can sometimes forget that parents need items for later on down the line. :)

Congratulations on your little one!

- E.



answers from Portland on

Hi - We registered at Babies R Us for basic baby needs and were very happy with selection and service (e.g., returns/exchanges, etc). There are so many things! Here are some of the items you will want with your first, and some additional ideas of things that worked well for us (and didn't):
* Bobby Pillow & Cover (not only is it good during nursing, but as baby gets bigger you can use it for tummy time to prop him/her up a bit and at 3.5 my daughter still plays with it with her dolls). Side note - if you get really bad hemmorhoids during delivery, you can sit on it like a noodle and it is a godsend! ;)
* Kimono style white cotton tshirts - these are the ones that snap in the front so that you are not trying to pull the little tshirts on over newborn's head - makes dressing easy and less stressful for a new mom
* Sleepsacks for nighttime. My little one was a thrasher and hated to be swaddled, but these zip-up blankets are great and you always know baby has enough nice covers. They come in sleeveless lightweight fleece and even cotton for summer - just put on over PJs at night for peace of mind. And when baby is mobile/standing, etc, they are roomy enough to allow that, but prevent baby from climbing out of crib (great side-benefit!)
* Lots of little 100% cotton washcloths to wipe bum, face, etc. For diaper area, you could go with the huggies natural care baby wipes. Initially we used to just wash off #2 in the utility sink and we would wipe with a solution of tblsp baking soda mixed with a bowl of water - this neutralizes any urine (we did this b/c my daughter was prone to diaper rash).
* Breast cream (LANOLIN) - Lansinoh makes a very good 100% lanolin / no additives cream
* Toys for crib (the ones that attach to the side, mobile for above) - include mirrors, bright colors, B& W, things baby can later touch, etc - Babies R Us has a broad assortment.
* Exersaucer - for when baby is a bit bigger, but people love to buy these for new moms
* Bouncy chair and/or swing - same as exersaucer - you will use one or both. Not all kids like swings. I ended up returning mine and exchanging it for a ton of books and toys!
* A nice floor play gym - lots of bright colors, dangling items
* A good pacifier to have on hand(or the one from hospital). I started out saying I wasn't going to use a pacifier, but it was a life saver for us, so I was glad to have one on hand.
* A good carrier (like Snugli). I had a Bjorn and they are not very comfy - the snugli is much better and there are other new styles out now - go try them on at the store. Or you can use a sling of course.
* Infant books galore - you will need things to do with the infant - reading is relaxing for you and great for baby.
* Celine Dion's CD Miracle is really nice - relaxing, warm songs.
*For clothes, think layers rather than just 1 pieces. Tshirt under long sleeve one-sie under a sweater for example, so you can put on and take off as needed. I personally think so many parents underdress their kids - I see so many kids in just short sleeves when the mom is wearing a jacket or sweater for example! They say to dress your kid one layer more than yourself. It puts stress on their bodies and lowers response of immune system to be cold...
* One very nice Baby' First Year book to keep record of things and photos. I actually used a calendar and wrote all sorts of stuff on the days - after she was born, I made calendars each year with family photos (mostly of our daughter)and used that for our household stuff and notes about what she is doing, saying, interested in, etc. We have one for every year now and it's a great memory book.
* Baby bathtub with the foam (sponge) insert to cushion and limit slipping around. I used to place the tub in our utility sink (to save our backs are we leaned over bathtub!) and changed the faucet to one with the hose sprayer (like kitchen sink) so we could bathe her nicely (you can get the faucets at Home Depot or Lowes for under $80). I kept that in our utility room anyhow since it is great to have there.
* Must Have Books for your Mommy Library: "The Children's Hospital Guide to Your Child's Health and Development" (absolutely great handbook with extensive section on childhood illnesses and injuries and how to deal with them). "Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child", "Einstein Never Used Flashcards", and for later "How to Talk to Your Kids So They Will Listen, And Listen So They Will Talk", "Parenting with Love & Logic" and if you are not going to use attachment parenting "Baby Wise" otherwise for attachment parenting the Sears books are good.
* A good quality baby monitor - with a camera is GREAT!
* Child Gate(s) - these are great items to put on your registry that people don't often add.

Things I didn't use much (that I can recall):
* The slew of swaddling/receiving blankets. You will just need about 3-4 nice blankets and that's it. I received so many that I could have slip-covered a couch!
* Same for all of the onesies I received!
* All the stuff in the medical kits they sell - all you really need are a few things: A good thermometer (we went with the Digital Exergen - goes across forehead so very easy - found it at Costco). Mucus sucking bulb(get one where there is a cap on the bulb so you can get in and clean it out!) and nail clippers.
*Bottle warmer for her room - I didn't use it even later when I was using more bottle feeding
* Little microwave safe milk containers for freezing breastmilk once pumped.

Other thoughts:
* Breast pump ....Don't buy an electric pump (and definitely don't go with a value priced pump). Instead rent one from the hospital lactation center. You can get a better quality pump that way and I have to say it makes a HUGE difference to have a good quality pump. And if you have any issues the lactation consultants are always there to help (esp when you have one of their pumps!) :) And you will find that you want someone to talk to about breastfeeding when it is your first.If you end up with diaper rash buy TRIPLE PASTE (pricier than others but well worth it, and no fishy smell like Desitin). It is the only cream that worked for my daughter's bum and I went through almost every brand until I found this one (thanks to my Ped, whom I should have asked about brands in the first place!!)
* Don't go crazy over disinfecting - just a good microwave steam sanitizer is enough - and once baby is past a couple months old, you can handwash or use dishwasher. The goal is to help build up their immunity in a normal way. Ask your ped if you are interested.
* If you go with disposable diapers don't be afraid to buy the private label (unbranded) items. Albertson's brand is actually really good as is Kirkland (Costco). The reality is that there are only a handful of diaper manufacturing plants in the US and the technology is pretty much the same, so whether it has Pampers on it or not, chances are they are almost the same, or even coming out of the same factory. If I recall correctly, there only a few brands of newborn sizes (I preferred Huggies for my daughter, but you can try and decide). Once you are into the next size, you can buy Kirkland - they're very good.

Hope that brain dump helps.....!



answers from Portland on

I have always loved Target, just because the prices are decent and there are Targets just about everywhere. I would definitely recommend registering for things like bibs, burp cloths, pampers and wipes, basic clothing like onesies and socks. Socks have this mysterious way of disappearing constantly. :-) Also register some of the clothing in sizes 0-3mos and up, you'll likely get a ton of newborn stuff and babies grow out of it so quick. Avoid toys, because for the first six months babies really don't get any excitement out of them and before you know it you'll be up over your head in toys. Congrats!!



answers from Portland on


Where to register: Target and Babies R Us (though i only had one person buy anything from BRU and everyone else got Target stuff)

What to register for:
Necessities! You'll be so glad you got useful things, not just cute outfits (though people will get you those anyway!)

*pacifiers (I swore we wouldn't use one until 3am when my three week old wouldn't calm down and go to sleep!) I use soothies which are most like a nipple I think.

*washcloths, definitely. and something to toss them in when you're done using them (we use them instead of baby wipes because of my son's sensitive skin but throwing the wet rags on the floor doesn't work so well-neither does putting them in your cute little hamper in the nursery because they'll get everything all stinky and wet)

*breastfeeding supplies if you're breastfeeding. nursing pads LOTS OF THEM, lanolin and yes, those gerber "diapers" that are a little thinner. They usually come in a six pack. if you're blessed with an abundance of milk, you'll need them to put under your breast while you feed to catch the excess and use to wipe your baby's face. a "boppy" pillow or a "brest friend" i like both but sometimes just use the pillow i sleep on so it's not super necessary.

*a wind machine or fan. something that makes white noise or water sounds to sleep to. if you watch or read "the happiest baby on the block" (which you should!) you'll see the reason why this is so helpful.

*a good thermometer. i needed it more than my son when i had mastitis.

*socks. you'll get enough socks and if you don't, you can spend $5 and get some. they don't stay on anyway! same with shoes. don't register for this stuff, people will get you (or give you) so many and your baby will never wear them all. oh yeah, same with hats. stupid hats. (my son HATES them so all these cute hats are going to waste.)

*clothes. i mean, you CAN register for some but mostly people just pick what they think is cute, and you take it back because it's NOT cute or you just really need to get breast pads...i'm serious.

*blankets. DO NOT i repeat, DO NOT register for blankets. you will get so many damn blankets you could send them to war torn countries...actually i should look into that. most of them are so cheesy and ugly you end up using them for spit rags or floor time to cushion your little one more than warm them (besides, you're having a spring baby and it will be summer so quickly!)

*bottles, feeding systems, high chair all that stuff you're not sure of what you want and you don't think you'll need until they're a few months old, get it LATER! People say it goes by fast-which it does, but not THAT fast!

And my most important bit of advice:

Don't buy ANYTHING based on the thought that you NEED it before the baby's born. Get something if you absolutely think it's the most adorable thing and there's not another chance to get it again. Otherwise, wait until your baby is born. people will just come out of the woodwork when they see that baby bump of yours and start loading you up with everything from a brand new crib to a garbage bag filled with clothes. you will get so much stuff at your shower(s) and so many things after you have the baby, you'll wonder why you spent so much of your own money on similar things (or doubles...that's the worst!) unless you're a total impulse buyer-then i can't help you-just don't buy ANYTHING. let other people do that for you!

end rant.

enjoy your pregnancy and your time sans-child. and welcome to the beginning of motherhood!




answers from Portland on

Not something I registered for but the number on most useful thing I bought with my first kid was a pack of 24 white wash cloths at Costco. Not fancy or nice ones, but durable and useful. My kids are 7 and 4 and we are still using them today. They have a special basket of their own and have been dedicated to clean any and all kid messes. I don't worry about stains on them cause they have their purpose.



answers from Portland on

big money savers, depending on whether you are open to these lifestyle choices:

no diaper table (a bureau drawer or on the floor in a closet can fit diapers, a towel on the floor for changing) saves space and resources--I change my current baby by laying him on my straight legs (keeps him of the floor in public restrooms with no baby-benches, too), although I couldn't do that when I had back problems (used paper towels in public restrooms, then)

no big-ol' crib. We ended up cosleeping, but before we actually had the baby my mom went registering with me and suggested buying the Graco 5-way Pak-n-Play and using that as the crib (entirely transportable for visits to relatives as well). We did use it sometimes, even though we coslept, and it was great for taking up about half the floorspace of a normal crib. You have to be utterly aware of when the baby gets big enough to endanger themselves with the "infant" level so you can make them safe by putting them in the lower level, and of course I am not sure whatall chemicals are in all that plasticky construction (but then it's not like mattresses and new pressboard cribs are safe either).

The one expensive item I TOTALLLLLLLY recommend is the comfiest rocking chair or armchair you can find--but make sure it fits in your house (we ended up giving our first one away because it was too big for our 1920s house and buying an antique one through a want ad).

I agree a stash of (all-cotton) washcloths is a great idea. Those thin cloth "diapers" are great for spitup rags and such (not as diapers, though, if you want cloth order them through a diaper service; the ONLY reliable diaper-covers for cloth diapers are through diaper services or boutiques--or online).

Onesies (snap-crotch undershirts). Any sleeper that opens through the legs (for diapers) without also opening the torso (so the baby stays as warm as possible for changes).

Babies don't need to be bathed/soaped/shampooed, just kept clean (of poop and food debris and etc.) and personally I think their skin develops in a healthy balanced sustainable way if you avoid artificial cleaning cycles as much as possible--but I'm pretty sure many moms will think I'm a wack-case for that one ;). I just put it out there in case it might resonate with you :). My skin has always been in really good shape, and I'm pretty sure (looking back) it's because my mom didn't have the wherewithall to make sure we got those de rigeur daily baths ;).

PS this Mamsource thing is growing by leaps and bounds ... if you "want to meet moms in your area" you have to tell us which area! I've seen posts from Alaska to Arizona ;).



answers from Portland on

If you plan to breastfeed a "Hooter Hider" was the best thing I ever got! a Steam steralizer was so valuable. We used it every day. Binkies, bottles, small toys. All got cleaned on a regular basis with the steralizer. Also you can't have enough bibs, burp rags, and warm layers. Babies have a hard time regulating their tempature for the first few months so I was always dressing them in many layers, a onsie, a pair of footed jammies, and maybe a sweater or hat as well.
Congrats on your little one. This is an amazing site full of lots of great info.
Good luck.



answers from Portland on

There are already a lot of great suggestions out there. On my must have list would be a miracle blanket for swaddling. Our son was colicky and it was a lifesaver.

In retrospect, I would have asked less for clothing and more for the other items listed. There are lots of cheap used baby clothes out there, especially for newborns. And if you are at all concerned about pesticides and such in cotton, used clothes are safer because they've been washed multiple times, unless you are buying organic. I also would not have bought an infant car seat - there are again a million used ones available really cheap. If Craig's List is popular in your area, it's a great place to look.

I resisted registering at Babies R Us, because I find the whole place overwhelming. But I later realized that they will take a return of anything they stock without a receipt (even if it came from somewhere else!). So at least if people purchase their items there, you can always return them and get whatever you need!

If you will be receiving a lot of out of town gifts or are looking for a wider selection, Amazon.com also has a great baby registry. I found they had a wider range of organic items than Babies R Us.




answers from Portland on

Here's the top ten list I would recommend:

1. swaddling blanket(s) by Swaddle Designs
(web site: http://www.swaddledesigns.com/)

2. Mustela baby wipes (We tried three other brands and these seemed to work the best for us.)

3. baby carrier (We use the Peanut Shell, Baby Bjorn, and Ergo slings)

4. kimono-style onesies - absolutely the easiest thing to get on and off baby (Going over the head scared the bejesus out of me)

5. BPA-free bottles (Green to Grow, Medela, Born Free, etc.)

6. changing table (We got a relatively simple one from Target

7. infant car seat (Love the Peg Perego brand)

8. The Happiest Baby on the Block book (Has some great info on how to help your baby sleep)

9. play mat (won't use it immediately but comes in handy in a month or two - our son is over a year and he still will play with it)

10. BabyLegs - think 1980s-style legwarmers for babies (great for colder weather and wearing under clothes)



answers from Portland on

Hi T.!

Congratulations! A Moby is one of the only things we bought ourselves, and it's something we absolutely couldn't live without. mobywrap.com I second the white noise machine too. Good luck, and feel free to contact me offline if you have any other questions. :)


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