Baby Registry Saga – Part I

As a first-time-mom and an expat, I have to admit I am sometimes oblivious to some social rules. For example: baby shower rules. My wonderful friend offered to throw me one. I honestly have no idea what the baby shower “rules” are in Brazil either …

Here is my take on it: Pregnancy is hard. Having a baby is hard. I’ll take all the hugs and love and well-wishing people are willing to offer. I do think having a moment to celebrate this tiny alien kicking in my belly with friends and family is a nourishing event. So I am very happy about the whole thing. There’s just one detail that gives me mild anxiety: the baby registry. What do I know?! I have no idea what my baby will like, husband and I can’t even decide on a name… To make things worse, there are SO MANY options for every single little thing I could think of. I lost track of how many times I googled “best baby [insert baby item here] 2019.” How do / can I plan to welcome the most delightful little stranger of my life? Welcome to my baby registry saga.

Online lists have a wide variety of “must” have items, and if I were to add all the top wants I’d very likely end up with a Frankenstein list. To add to that, each mom has different lifestyles and preferences – and I only have an abstract idea of what mine will end up being. Asking what other moms used the most is helpful though, and listening to what they would have done differently / what they learned from planning vs the reality was GOLD. Here is some of the advice I repeatedly heard from completely unrelated moms:

  • You don’t know your baby’s personality yet, you’ll learn it with time
  • You don’t know what your baby will like
  • You don’t know how labor/birth is going to turn out for you
  • Know where to find help
  • Buy the most you can on an “as-need” basis after the baby is born
  • Resist the urge to buy all the cute outfits because you’ll end up not using most of them / only using them once

Having all that in mind, I made a “part I” list that contains general categories and options to study what is available. The breakdown is also helpful because then I can think of one thing at a time instead of being overwhelmed by everything all at once. This is how I started thinking about my baby registry:

1) For mom

    • For mom/adults: pre-made frozen meals, food delivery service, meal train

2) Feeding

    • For baby: breastfeeding, formula, a combination of breastfeeding and formula
    • Accessories: bottles, breast pump (your insurance might cover it), breast milk storage, food storage, formula dispenser

3) Transportation

    • Car seat: infant, convertible, all-in-one
    • Getting around: baby wrap, baby carrier, stroller, travel system

4) Sleep

    • Set-up: bassinet, crib, the convertible crib, co-sleeper, bed-side sleeper, pack n play
    • Aids: swaddle, noise machine, humidifier, rocker, gliding or rocking chair, pacifier

5) Diapering 

    • Diapering: cloth, disposable, a combination of cloth and disposable
    • Diaper change: changing pad, changing mat, changing station
    • All-purpose cloths: burp cloths, cloth wipes, washcloths

6) Baby care

    • Bath time: bathtub, bath support, bath cushion/tub bath, sink bath, shower, something else
    • Cleaning stuff: baby specific laundry detergent, soap, lotion, ointment, etc / do I care?
    • Baby grooming: nail clippers, brush/comb
    • For mom: post-partum pads, sitz bath, peri bottle
    • Medicine / supplements: vitamin D, Tylenol, post-partum multi-vitamins for mom
    • Other stuff: nasal aspirator, thermometer, infant CPR poster

7) Storage

    • Baby nursery: chest of drawers, wardrobe, closet, shelves, boxes
    • Miscellaneous: car organizer, stroller organizer, laundry basket, labels, diaper bag

8) Baby apparel

    • For baby: gowns, onesies, shirt and pants, mittens, socks, shoes
    • For mom: breastfeeding bra, breastfeeding shirts, nursing pads, a robe, belly wrap

9) Miscellaneous

    • Important documents / contacts binder: emergency contacts, baby documents, hospital information, primary doctor / pediatrician information
    • Keepsake: album, journal, milestone kit
    • Activities: play gym, play mat, toys, mobile

Hopefully, this is good food for thought. On “part II” I’ll share which items I selected and the reasoning behind it.

What’s on your baby registry?

Ana is originally from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Out of passion for learning, she started traveling to all sorts of different places. Fifteen countries later, she has now settled in Baton Rouge and works for a local architecture firm. Graduate school at LSU presented her not only with tools to advance in architecture but also with a deeper understanding of the culture and geography of Louisiana. It is a fascinating state, and Baton Rouge, as its capital, does not disappoint. Ana is currently starting her journey to a country she has never been to before: motherhood (except if you count a dog, a cat, and a fish). You can find her coming up with a myriad of house projects, trying new restaurants in town, park-hopping with her beagle, or enjoying a good movie with her husband.

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