Registering for baby stuff is, for the most part, completely overwhelming. I had an unfortunate breakdown in the Babies-R-Us parking lot before we went inside–so much so that a worker asked if I was okay and then shot an evil glance at Ben–like he was the obvious reason I was upset. Unlike the wedding registry, you have no idea what you need, nor do you know anything about the products. Five years ago (wow), Ben and I knew we needed dishes and utensils (we had two plates, forks, and one knife courtesy of my grandparents), etc. etc. We knew that although I wanted it, we didn’t need (or really have room for) a rice cooker, but since you’ve never ever encountered it before, stuff for babyland is daunting. Yes, you can always return stuff, but when you are neck deep in two babies, running to Babies-R-Us sounds…well you can fill in your own awful, terrible, adjective.
Ben and I tried to be conservative on our registry for a few reasons. One, we had no idea what we needed; two, we have a relatively small place and did not want to be overflowing with stuff; and three, since we did not know the genders of the babies, there were no cute clothes to buy, and we were hoping we would get the stuff off the registry (you were all so generous, and we thank you all again!). So there is no bottle sterilizer, no wipe warmer, no video monitor, no bath toys yet, and none of the other hundred billion stuff that that is on the list that they give you. Yes, you need a crib/mattress/carseat/stroller/etc., but the other stuff is unknown and a little hit-or-miss.
So to make a long story short, here are some things that we both did and did not register for that I have found the most helpful and useful (and by useful/helpful, I mean quick and easy, which especially with two babies is the most important). Some of it is more useful for two babies, but can come in useful for one baby too!
1. The Simple Wishes Hands Free Pumping Bra: I didn’t get this until one month in and it has changed my life. Even if you only have one baby and are pumping, this makes it so much easier/faster/better all around. I can change diapers, bottle feed the babies, put on make-up (not that this is happening right now), etc. etc. while pumping. It’s $30 and worth every dollar. If there were only three things I could get for a soon to be mother, this would certainly be at the top of the list.
2. My Brest Friend nursing pillow (Ben thinks the name is hilarious): Same as above. I didn’t get it until the 3rd week and spent those three weeks propping up pillows and trying to maneuver both myself and the babies to make things happens. Not worth it. This pillow puts the baby(ies) in a great position, and lets you be hands free. This is the pillow they tend to have at the hospital. I stupidly did not use it there, but if I had, it again would have saved me three very tired weeks of trying to figure things out…not good when you’re sooo tired.
3. The Medula quick-clean steam bags: You can get them at Target or online. A box has five bags, and each bag can be used 20 times (sells for $6). This is a cheap and easy gift and in three minutes in the microwave I can sterilize pacifiers, pump parts, bottles, bottle nipples, etc.
5. Tidee Didee Diaper Service and GroVia diaper covers: So this company only applies to Vancouver/Portland, but I’m sure there are other ones in other big cities. The diaper service has been great. They drop them off clean, and pick them up dirty. No washing needed. I was very intimidated by cloth diapers, but they are super duper easy (especially when you don’t have to wash them), and very cost effective. We pay $85 a month for 100 diapers a week (and that is for two babies). Now that they are sleeping longer through the night (yay!), we have been putting them in disposables (Pampers beats Huggies in this house), and even with only two changes, we are using four disposables a day–adds up fast. And what has made cloth diapers better is the Grovia diaper covers. They have soft Velcro, grow with the babies so you don’t have to consistently buy bigger sizes, and are super cute.
6. Soothie pacifiers: This is what they gave us at the hospital, and what he went back and bought more of just in case. I know some babies do not like to take a pacifier, or they might not take this one, but our babies love them. They have a little ledge so that if they are having tummy time, their faces are always propped up, and you can find endless entertainment staring into the abyss of their mouths working on them.
7. One zip outfits: Forget the onesies in the beginning, and anything with snaps. One zip outfits are critical (especially with two babies). So much faster to change a diaper without undoing/redoing snaps or messing with pants/socks. One day they will grow out of looking like they are in their jammies all day, and that will be a sad sad day. Carters makes great ones.
8. ErgoPouch sleep sacks: So far the babies have not been able to get their arms out of them. Velcro ones lasted about two seconds.
9. Extra crib sheets. We have four (and patterns show less then plain ones), and I change them constantly since those little buggers love to spit up and drool 🙂
10. The Medula Symphony pump: We are currently renting this from the hospital (thankfully our insurance covers it, b/c it is shockingly expensive), and it has been great. I didn’t know how great it was until I used the Pump-in-Style yesterday and was unpleasantly surprised at the noise. The Symphony (though less mobile) is much quieter (and I believe more effective).
11. Other stuff we wouldn’t have thought to register but smart mommies got us anyways: baby Tylenol (you don’t want to have to need it and not have it), buttpaste, nipple cream, wipes wipes and more wipes (we have been liking Target generic sensitive skin ones), and seriously more wipes, and Carter’s swaddle blankets (they are nothing like the hospital blankets, but are the best substitute we have found).
I know there is a bunch of stuff I am forgetting to list, but these things have definitely made our day-to-day life easier.