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Thursday

Registering For Baby

I'm really excited about today's post which is focused on registering for le bébé. 

The concept of registering was overwhelming to me. Super overwhelming. At least when I did it before our wedding, I had a pretty solid idea of what our basic kitchen and household necessities and desires were. This time around, the thought of monitors, pumps, and dancing musical toys made me break out into a cold, unattractive sweat. 

I did have a pretty winning support combo, though, which was:
+ A recent mama girlfriend who graciously gave me her time one afternoon
+ A pretty darn good checklist provided to me by Babies R Us


Although I did register at a small baby boutique here in Charlotte, I wanted to register at a large store that friends and family around the country would have access to. While I loved the fact that the 20% off Bed Bath & Beyond coupons can be used at Buy Buy Baby, I decided to go with Babies R Us just because they had more locations that were centralized around the parts I have loved ones in. So far, I've been really happy with registering there!

My girlfriend and I made our way around the store and she was able to give me lots of great advice ... lots of "skip that" (wipe warmer) and lots of "register for FOUR of those" (anything Aden + Anais, Soothies pacifiers, you get the drift). 

After I got home, I got out my checklist and iPad, and I looked at some other friends' registries which was very helpful in seeing must-haves that I may have missed. Blogs, too, were an awesome reference -- the baby necessities posts that I just skimmed over half-heartedly beforehand were now filled with amazing pearls of wisdom that I read every single word of!


So here are a few of the items that are on our registry. And let me just point out that sometimes the concept of registries skeeves me out (the whole "here is what you can buy me" thing just seems a little presumptuous), BUT what I've found is that a registry can be a fantastic organizational tool for mamas-to-be to collect a lot of information together about exactly what is needed when el bambino arrives. Because trust me ... there is a lot of STUFF. 

Here we go!

Sophie The Giraffe Teether
I actually registered for two of these due to some advice of my mama friends! Sophie is a cult classic. A toy that is actually so well-designed as an effective teething tool.

Vulli Sophie the Giraffe Teether - Vulli  - Babies"R"Us

Graco Sweet Slumber Sound Machine
I read about this on a blog. We needed a small sound machine for the room since our home is tiny and baby girl could be hearing lots of nearby noises during naps. This also has an MP3 plug so Ian can get her properly acquainted with music that he would like her to love one day. :)


Halo SleepSack Swaddle
Per the advice of my friend Dee, these are priceless at "zero dark thirty" (her words) when you want to swaddle the babe quickly, effortlessly, and painlessly and then shuffle back to bed. Hellooooo, velcro.


Aden + Anais Wearable Blanket
These wearable blankets are apparently awesome for the non-swaddle nights, and come on -- cute as can be. If Aden + Anais is good enough for Prince George, then I guess I'm on board, too.


Mamas & Papas Juice High Chair
I have to admit -- this choice was based 80% on aesthetics alone. It would look pretty sweet in our kitchen. My mama girlfriend gave her nod of approval on tray size and presumed ease of cleaning, too. Anyone have experience with this one? Or is there another one I should consider?


Crane Drop Shape Humidifier
Babies need moisture-filled air for good health (so I'm learning), and this one has excellent reviews and looks pretty sleek, too.

Sassy Sensory Gym
You'll see a note below about the toys that is the same way I feel about this item. But luckily, I think Sassy's version is the cutest, and while it is BRIGHT, it is not completely hideous. I'm a fan of the black & white stripes!

Mallory from Charming In Charlotte was the one who waxed poetic to me over brunch about the necessity and heavenliness of a rock and play! I had no idea these things existed, but she assured me that I should add it to my registry and never look back. And I've heard the very same thing from other moms!


'Nuff said.

Chicco Keyfit 30 - Solare
This is our carseat of choice. Lighter than some other models that we looked at, great safety ratings, gender-neutral, and easy on the eyes. 


Chicco Keyfit Caddy Infant Car Seat Carrier Stroller
... And this contraption allows you to snap that carseat right into it and run your errands! Smart! We also were generously given a navy BOB stroller (this one) which is a more agile stroller to be used in different situations.


Toys

Katie from In The Pink sent me a link to an amazing article (here) about toys needed for baby's first year. Before I read this, I hadn't registered for any toys. I basically thought -- I see those hideously colored and noisy devices at TJ Maxx and Marshalls all the time, I'll just snag some when she needs them. WELL. Reading that article changed my complete world and I began to see toys as powerful teaching tools for dexterity and coordination rather than just plastic noise-creaters. Here are a few of the toys that I registered for.

O'Ball Rattle
This is something that, to be honest, I'd probably never buy. But after reading about it, it went right on the registry.

O'Ball Rattle: Green -  Rhino Toys - Toys"R"Us

Lamaze Rainbow Rings
This stacking rings concept has been around forever ... well, I learned why! The article above has great things to say about stacking rings.


Sassy Ring O Links
And again -- a classic for a reason.


We have also been offered several other useful baby items that we can use on loan from friends -- a Bumbo seat, a baby bathtub, a bassinet on wheels, a bouncy chair, and a pack & play (or a playpen, as I've always called them). A definite upside of having great and supportive friends with older children!

One thing I haven't listed on here? The monitor situation.

We are really interested in the ability to view our bambina on video that we can access via iPhone apps. We have a monitor with this feature on our registry, but the so-so reviews have me questioning our choice. We are open to other methods, though, of reaching the same goal -- I've heard that an iPod Touch set up in the room will work as well?

If you have advice in this area, or opinions on any of the other items listed above, please know that I am all ears. Very, very eager to hear others' advice! 

50 comments:

  1. My son loved! his O-ball - I would say that is a good buy. Even at a couple months old he liked holding it.

    The rock & play is a must as well - that was our "crib" for the first few months. Our room is not big so this was perfect next to our bed and it helped for any reflux he may have had. This was also where I put him so I could take a shower - I just brought it in to the bathroom.

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  2. I am so glad you posted about Babies-R-Us. I love Buy Buy Baby's store so much better but they have zero locations. Hearing the registry process was great makes me feel better.

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  3. I think you totally rocked the registry mama!!! Hands down, that sleep machine has been AMAZING for us...so much so that we have two :)

    And yes to anything from Aden+Anais as well!!

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  4. Great choices. I don't know if I missed it but I don't think I saw you mention a swing. That was very important in our house. Our daughter LOVED the swing. She would always get relaxed and cozy in it. I highly recommend getting one and then you mentioned high chair recommendations. We have this one and I love it!! They have different cushion and wood colors to choose from. I like it because it's easy to clean and it grows with the child. it transforms to a regular chair.
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003AM8CLO

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  5. Forgot to mention the high chair is the OXO Tot Sprout Chair

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  6. Just an FYI. You can use a current Buy Buy Baby coupon at Babies R Us. They accept them since it is their competition! :)

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  7. I totally skipped registering for toys...but now I think I'll have to add all the ones you've mentioned!!!

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  8. Thank you for sharing your registry list! I have it saved to reference this list in the future. The end is near!!

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  9. Great choices! Rock and play sleepers are the most amazing things ever!!! I will add- Dell Harper (and now Deeds) did not care for the sleep sack swaddle, but LOVED the miracle blanket. That is one of those things (like bottles) that you just have tot ry various ones to see what your baby likes.

    Also, I if you are not decided on a high chair yet (which you won't need until the baby is 6 months anyway, so you have plenty of time), I cannot recommend the Boon Flair enough. This is the best high chair ever. It rolls, which makes it super easy to tuck away or roll to the counter so baby can watch you cook. It adjusts to counter height or table height, and the trays fit into the dishwasher. It is my favorite purchase we made.

    Last- good choice on the stroller situation. I made the mistake a buying an expensive one instead of a snap and go- once they can ride in the BOB that is all you will use!

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  10. Great list! We're registered for many if the same items and actually just assembled our rock n play we received last night!! I hear it's a life saver so fingers crossed we have good luck with it too!

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  11. Nap Nanny!!! Best purchase we ever made!
    Our youngest even slept in it IN his crib because he had reflux so badly and it allowed him to sleep more upright.

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  12. I swear by the Halo SleepSack Swaddles and everything by Aden + Anais (pick up there swaddle blankets too - we used for everything). You are nearing the end when you finally get to hold your sweet baby girl in your arms.

    Lori
    everydaylovelinessblog.blogspot.com

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  13. We are expecting our first in June and it is very overwhelming to register!! As for the monitor, I put one are our registry, but not sure how much I love it either. With that being said, I heard to check out security monitors to use. They are better price, quality, and you get more gadgets. Just a thought to look into!!

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  14. When I nannied in Bali last year the family had a high-chair similar to the link below that just attached (securely!) onto the table/counter/wherever and I was totally sold! It is incredibly low profile and easy to clean up and transport.

    http://www.amazon.com/Inglesina-2013-Table-Chair-Ibisco/dp/B006JV4HFS/ref=pd_cp_ba_0

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  15. The Rock n' Sleeper is what Shelby slept in for the first 3-weeks. The bassinet we bought? She never slept one night in. Such a waste!!

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  16. The diaper genie is OK but you have to buy the bags from the company. We went with the Ubbi diaper pail. Not only does it come in many colors but you aren't stuck buying overpriced 'diaper bags.' The pail is made of steel so it doesn't absorb any odors.

    As far as high chairs, you can't go wrong with the Stokke Tripp Trapp. It's pricier but such great quality. It has a small footprint and grows so well with your baby!

    Congratulations!

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  17. We have that same humidifier for Ella and we loved it so much, we bought another for our room! The Rock in Play is PRICELESS. I love that thing! One thing I would absolutely recommend you get are those Boppy changing pad liners...your sweet child will pee/poop in between diaper changes (sorry, it happens) and these keep you from having to change the whole changing pad! We go through at least one a day...they are irreplaceable to me! I actually just did a post about my favorite things for Ella's first month of life if you want to check it out. :) But definitely get you a bunch of those changing pad liners!!!

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  18. awesome list! pinning it for the future!! xo jillian - cornflake dreams

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  19. I totally loved this post and with my first child I used the majority of these. Does anyone have suggestions on pack n plays... I never used one with my first child and I always regretted it. I have been reading reviews like crazy and I keep getting scared out of the ones I think I may like!

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  20. Lots of great choices here! Hadley slept in the Rock n Play until she was 6 months old. She loved the secure feeling and I loved having her within arm's reach (plus we were blessed that she can sleep through ANYTHING -- TV on all night, whatever).

    My friend had that same high chair and hated how much space it took up so she got rid of it (they were always tripping over the legs since they are angled so far out). If you have a large kitchen, you'll probably be fine. We use a space saver high chair that attaches to one of our kitchen chairs. It's not the best looking solution, but it worked for us and is easy to tuck away when we have company.

    As far as monitors, we did the Angelcare movement monitor that I loved, and eventually upgraded to the Summer Infant video monitor when I wasn't as worried about SIDS. I'd love one that was compatible with our iPhones though!

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  21. no to the Diaper Genie..a complete waste. IMO!! The noise machine..babies need to LIVE in your environment, noise is good..they will learn to adapt..I wsed to vacuum when my girls napped. I heard that Giraffe is a miracle worker and good advice on getting 2!! can't wait to see the baby!

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  22. You'll love all of these things mama! Getting so close! Let's please have one more brunch before baby! Xo

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  23. Great list! We also registered for the Chicco Keyfit 30...I don't think you can go wrong. We did neglect to add toys to our registry and now I think we'll have to go back and add a few of these!

    As for monitors, we went with this one:

    https://m.buybuybaby.com/m/product/Motorola-reg-Digital-Video-Baby-Monitor-with-3-5-Inch-Color-LCD-Screen/134360

    I read a ton of reviews and none of them come out sounding great but I have gotten a lot of positive feedback from friends on this one. The iPhone monitor was really appealing to us as well but I think we're going to be happy with the separate monitor. So far we like it but we'll see how it does when our girl arrives in May!

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  24. 1--Nap Nanny has been recalled.
    2--I LOVE our wipe warmer. When you're changing a newborn in the middle of the night, do you really want to put a cold wipe on their rear end? I don't! The idea of cold on a baby's bootie makes me sad. It doesn't take much space and we are still using ours. Enjoy your baby!

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  25. Hello! I am a mom of two boys and I agree with most of everything on your registry. There is only one item I would not recommend- the Halo Sleepsack Swaddle. My first born needed to be swaddled and we were gifted with the Miracle Blanket- from the first night(even though I cried because it did not look one bit comfortable) he slept and slept well! We used this and only this until he was able to roll and that point we switched to the A and A sleep sacks. However, when my second was born we had moved and I could not find my Miracle Blanket so I bought the Halo Sleepsack. Right away I did not like the design- it was too easy for my little guy to break through and when he did, there was so much extra fabric around his face it made me nervous. I had everyone in my family try and to tighten it and each time the fabric got close to his mouth. I went out and bought another Miracle Blanket and never looked back. Just my little piece of advice! Good luck!!

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  26. Oh and a sound machine- totally needed! We actually use our old iphones and ipods and have the free white noise app on those. Easy to grab when we travel or just go to grandparents and will be there during nap time.

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  27. We bought this motorola with 2 cameras since I was pregnant at the time. We can watch both girls while they are asleep since it switches back and forth between rooms or you can keep it in one room. The night vision is clear as the colored and it has great sound range. THe only negative is the range. I can't go outside if they are asleep. The monitor won't reach. Otherwise, I love it!

    https://m.buybuybaby.com/m/product/Motorola-reg-Digital-Video-Baby-Monitor-with-3-5-Inch-Color-LCD-Screen/134360

    I agree with the Rock N Play. My first daughter slept in it for 4 months. We loved it with her. We didn't get one with my baby but we have the floor bouncer that is nice and she seems to like it.

    I agree with the baby genie. We didn't have one and I don't miss it. I just line small trash cans with grocery bags and take them out a couple of times a day. If your outside trash can isn't convenient, this may not work.

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  28. Great list. My little guy is 4 months old and still sleeps (very happily) in his rock n play. I dread having to transition him to his crib (which he uses for naps and doesn't seem to like as much.) Something to check-make sure your white noise machine will run throughout the night. Lots of them have timed shut offs-which is annoying. We used my ipad with a free white noise app until just recently when we got a stand alone machine. Make sure to register for a white noise machine for your carseat (the little lamb is cute for has the dreaded timer.) The $10 portable machine you can pick up at the check out is great for taking your little one to anyplace where the noise level fluctuates (think lunch with friends.)

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  29. Yes to anything Aden & anais!! For sure! And the high chair we have is the boon - in that same green & we love it! Good job mama!

    wordsaboutwaverly.blogspot.com

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  30. I am having the same issue with a baby monitor. So hard to decide just on reviews!

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  31. For one, the oball is an amazing toy. One of the first a baby can play with, and def easy to overlook before you have a baby. Also one of the first toys Aria played with was the take along tunes, it was amazing what it did for her interest in grabbing!
    Wish I had some advice on a monitor, I didn't even want one while I was pregnant and it ended up being an emergency omg I have to have it now kind of purchase a few months in - can't believe I didn't even want one.

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  32. We have iBaby Monitor from Apple, and we LOVE it. You have to supplement it with a basic sound monitor when you're at home if you don't want the app running all the time, but the features can't be beat. Hubs travels often, so he can check in on Baby Girl whenever he wants. My parents have Apple products too, so they peek in as well. As long as you link up your camera to the App, an unlimited number of devices (ipads, macs, iphones, etc) can access the camera. Great choices with the Oball, the Rock and Play and the sound machine!! Look into a Boppy Newborn lounger too!

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  33. Great list of items! The one suggestion I would make is to drop the Chicco car seat caddy and get the Chicco Liteway Plus stroller. I have a Chicco Keyfit 30 car seat as well and it was recommended to me to buy the Liteway Plus stroller because its not only a caddy for your car seat, but its also an umbrella stroller for the future! 2 birds with one stone! I use it ALL THE TIME and its sooo easy to just click the car seat in and out of it. But the best part is that when Penelope is no longer in the car seat, I can still use it as a light umbrella stroller, rather than never using the caddy again. :)

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  34. All the items you listed look wonderful! We have had luck with many of them also. My daughter is 6 months old, so we are still pretty fresh off the block. One thing she LOVES is the a Wubbanub pacifier. It has a soothe paci attached to a small animal. It was a life saver when she was first born and the paci kept falling out of her mouth. The animal also gives her a small weight/comfort on her chest. We have 4 Wubbies, but the white lamb is by far her favorite!

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  35. Ellie had loved her Oball practically from day one so I highly recommend it!! (I have actually done a few post on baby must haves/favorites newborn through 6 months)

    As far as the monitor situation I have a friend who uses a security camera (only about $80) that they can view via secure website link on the iPhones as well as computers at work. He swears by it an if we had a solid internet connection at our house I would have it for sure!!

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  36. several comments - that sound machine. we have it and use it every night. crank it up to as loud as it will go and don't think twice. that humidifier. we also had that exact one. it broke…probably because when i washed it i got water where you're not supposed to?? so we bought the same brand but in the cow shape. it has yet to break. those toys…excellent call. we have all of them. carseat - have you looked into fire retardants that are included in the fabrics of carseats? you might look into orbit or peg perego. they are expensive, but with your sweet muffin it might be worth it. phew! that's all i have. :)

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  37. You've got some great stuff! I love Mama OT. Definitely get the "Retro Baby" book, it explains a lot about play and development.

    So much with babies is trial and error. We got the Lamb bouncy seat rather than the Rock 'n Play and Freddy hated it. I thought it would be a good place to set him down. In hindsight, we should've gotten a Boppy Lounger or a Leachco Podster - a soft place to set him down that is easily portable from room to room and to take to grandparents' or friends' homes. Just be careful with setting the baby in any "device" for too much time (swing, bouncer, car seat). It affects their head shape and with the way they are positioned, it renders their arms unable to move, which affects them developmentally. Great article recently in the Observer, here: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2014/02/17/4701794/parents-advised-to-limit-baby.html

    We have loved the sleepsack swaddles. Insider tip - the chamois one from Pottery Barn holds the best. As a newborn he would complain, loudly, when we would try to swaddle him. But after reading the Moms on Call book - I realized we just needed to do it and it would help him sleep so much more soundly. Now I have Mom Guilt that we didn't swaddle him sooner.

    Something he loves is the book "Look Look." It is a black & white board book, and even at 4 months old, he is so intrigued by it. So much so that I made sure I had it on our recent airplane rides.

    Get some Medela steam sterilization bags for the microwave - very easy to use and store. Check your insurance for breast pump - ours covered a hospital grade rental from the Nursing Mother's Place for $0 out of pocket. I still use it everyday and it's the best one out there.

    A few weeks after she's here, you will make an inevitable make a trip to the baby store, and you'll see expectant parents wandering around just like all of us did while we were pregnant and think to yourself that you know SO MUCH MORE about what you do and don't need now that she's here. It's a good feeling :)

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  38. You've got some great stuff! I love Mama OT. Definitely get the "Retro Baby" book, it explains a lot about play and development.

    So much with babies is trial and error. We got the Lamb bouncy seat rather than the Rock 'n Play and Freddy hated it. I thought it would be a good place to set him down. In hindsight, we should've gotten a Boppy Lounger or a Leachco Podster - a soft place to set him down that is easily portable from room to room and to take to grandparents' or friends' homes. Just be careful with setting the baby in any "device" for too much time (swing, bouncer, car seat). It affects their head shape and with the way they are positioned, it renders their arms unable to move, which affects them developmentally. Great article recently in the Observer, here: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2014/02/17/4701794/parents-advised-to-limit-baby.html

    We have loved the sleepsack swaddles. Insider tip - the chamois one from Pottery Barn holds the best. As a newborn he would complain, loudly, when we would try to swaddle him. But after reading the Moms on Call book - I realized we just needed to do it and it would help him sleep so much more soundly. Now I have Mom Guilt that we didn't swaddle him sooner.

    Something he loves is the book "Look Look." It is a black & white board book, and even at 4 months old, he is so intrigued by it. So much so that I made sure I had it on our recent airplane rides.

    Get some Medela steam sterilization bags for the microwave - very easy to use and store. Check your insurance for breast pump - ours covered a hospital grade rental from the Nursing Mother's Place for $0 out of pocket. I still use it everyday and it's the best one out there.

    A few weeks after she's here, you will make an inevitable make a trip to the baby store, and you'll see expectant parents wandering around just like all of us did while we were pregnant and think to yourself that you know SO MUCH MORE about what you do and don't need now that she's here. It's a good feeling :)

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  39. you will love the chicco keyfit and snap and go stroller. seriously SO amazing when you can transport sweet girl in and out of the car without waking her. fast forward to the big boy carseat we are working with now- so not the case! and that rock and play will be a lifesaver, on many occasions. halo sleepsacks were the best - we are using aden and anais versions now too!

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  40. Chicco keyfit and snap and go were the best!! I am still depresed that my little guy outgrew it already. The rock n play was a lifesaver in our house along with our swing! The aden&anais wearable blankets are my favorite- we still use them everynight.
    We have the motorola video monitor and have been very happy with it- it came highly suggested to me and I recommend it to everyone.

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  41. Some great picks! This is my 3rd go-round with the baby stuff and I have to say I have my tried and true favorites, yet also find that there is always something new that is a "must-have" that wasn't even around for me even just 3 years ago when I had my 2nd newborn. It's crazy! :-) I did buy a Rock-n-Play this time and moms I know swear by it. Swaddles with velcro are a great thing to have and the Sophie Giraffe I got introduced to a couple of weeks ago when my friend had it with her 6 month old. She said it's the best toy ever for him. My two boys never really teethed on anything religiously, but I may just get this thing because it's so dang cute :-)

    Morgan @ Style Oyster

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  42. I did some research on the diaper holders and I found the Arm and Hammer diaper pail to be the best option. I read a lot of reviews comparing the two and everyone said that the Arm and Hammer was better with masking the smell. It has a baking soda dispenser inside the pail. I had that one and loved it.

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  43. Thank you for all the great registry ideas! There is so much baby gear out there, it's a little overwhelming...

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  44. Great items! We have most of these! :) Ava LOVES her Sophie, so definitely a must have! :)

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  45. GREAT list! I love talking baby stuff!

    I LOVED M's A+A sleepsacks when we finished swaddling around 3-4 months. She STILL sleeps in a sleep sack and I don't see it ending anytime soon!

    For high chairs, have the $20 chair from Ikea with $5 tray, and I LOVE it. No fabric, no pads, super light, easy peasy to clean. I think the one you picked out looks great (no fabric is key), but if you don't end up having it purchased for you, I can't say enough good things about the cheap ikea chair!

    Also, I loved my snap n go and keyfit! And the o-ball!!

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  46. I am just now seeing this but I'm so glad that the toy list was helpful! Charlotte is starting to show interest in toys and she loves all of the ones from that list that we have, especially the O Ball (she's playing with it right now!) and the activity mat. Hope you're feeling okay and hanging in there these last few weeks, I've been thinking of you!

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  47. This is such a helpful list as my husband and I are expecting our first child and are clueless as to a registry! Would you mind doing a quick update now that you've been using things for a few months? What you liked, what you didn't, other things you purchased that you needed, what is really necessary and what isn't... I always love reading your blog! Thanks! :)

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