Updated on April 30, 2016
The Monarch Mommy’s Ultimate Baby Registry Series – Part 1: Feeding
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Deciding what you need when you’re having a baby can be a pretty daunting task. There are so many baby gear items out there that it can be downright overwhelming. How are you supposed to know what’s a must have item and what’s not? That’s a very good question. You might venture off to a baby store in all the excitement of pregnancy and find yourself confronted with a huge store full of tons of baby items, the majority of which you’ve probably never heard of let alone seen before. Maybe you ask an associate at the store for some guidance and they give you “the list”. Yes, there’s a list. Guess what? There’s one of pretty much everything sold for babies on that list. You might be led to believe that you need to have absolutely everything on that list, but you don’t. I promise. So how do you know what you do need, what’s nice to have, and what you can skip entirely? Enter my Ultimate Baby Registry Series. I’m going to walk you through what you need, what’s nice to have, and what you don’t need for your baby. Each week I’ll be posting about one or two categories of baby gear and sharing what you actually need. This week the category is feeding!
Let’s start by talking about a baby registry. Do you need a registry? No, you don’t. Should you have a registry? Absolutely. Consider your baby registry your own personal shopping list for what you actually need (and what you want) to have for bringing baby home and beyond. Regardless of whether someone has offered to throw you a baby shower, the baby registry helps the mom and dad to be keep track of their purchases and it can help prevent duplicate gifts should someone decide to buy you something for baby. You could register at one baby store, but I’d suggest you use an online registry system that allows you to add items from ANY online store. Not only does this make it easy to add the items you actually want since you’re not limited to the stock of just one store, but it also makes it easy for family that is out of town to shop for baby items that you actually need. My favourite online baby registry is BabyList.
Bibs (need): You’re going to need both drool bibs and solid food bibs. I wouldn’t worry about food bibs until you’re ready to introduce solid food, but drool bibs are handy when baby starts the excessive “is he or isn’t he” teething phase around 12 weeks old. I really like bandana style bibs for drool bibs. They’re somewhat more stylish, but also functional. Petit Prince loves his bandana bibs from MaiseyMade.
Bottles (need): If you are planning to breastfeed, three bottles should be enough to get you started. You may not end up using them until you introduce a bottle for the first time (usually between 4 and 6 weeks), it’s handy to have a few on hand just in case you do need them right away. Petit Prince does really well with the Medela bottle set.
Bottle cleaning brush, bottle sterilizer, and bottle warmer (nice to have): If you know you’re going to be exclusively pumping or formula feeding from the start, these would likely fall into the “need” category. If not, they’re just nice to have. You can do your sterilizing by boiling on the stove if it’s just an occasional thing. A bottle warmer might be nice to have, but with The Heir he took maybe five bottles when he was under a year old, and Petit Prince has used a bottle just a few times so far. Those handful of bottles warm up just fine in a big mug of hot tap water.
Breast pump (need): If you’re going to be breastfeeding, I’d highly recommend getting a breast pump. If your health insurance will cover the purchase price of a good electric pump, then by all means buy one before baby arrives. Otherwise, you may want to wait until baby arrives and rent a pump from the drugstore the day you bring baby home (or send your partner out to rent it, don’t worry, almost all the breast pumps are signed out by new dads). A pump is a great tool for helping to establish a good supply, creating a freezer stash of breast milk, alleviating engorgement (when used sparingly!), and breastmilk donation. If you’re renting a pump, you’re only actually renting the motor of the pump. You will purchase the tubing and flanges. Right now, I’m using the Medela Pump In Style Advanced and it’s working quite well.
Milk storage bags (need): You’re going to need these. If you’re going to create a freezer stash of breastmilk, you’ll need a way to store it. You can freeze bottles of milk, but they take up way too much room in the freezer. Breastmilk storage bags have a much smaller profile and some brands can be stacked on their sides to save even more space.
Nipple Cream (need): Yes. Lots. A lot of nipple creams contain lanolin and it will stain clothing. Lanolin also tends to be a bit stiff and can be uncomfortable to apply to already chapped nipples. I prefer Substance Nipple Creme. Much like Frank’s Red Hot Sauce, I put that on everything… Seriously. (Or maybe I’m the only one that’s seen that ad?). Not just for nipples, this works wonders on The Heir’s chapped lips in the winter, it clears up teething rashes from The Heir and Petit Prince’s cheeks, and when the kids get a cold I put it on their noses and upper lips to prevent irritation.
Nipples (don’t need): Most bottles come with appropriately sized nipples, so you don’t need to be buying a bunch of extra nipples right off the bat.
Nursing pillow (need): Though its name is a bit ridiculous, I recommend the My Brest Friend nursing pillow. It’s awesome. It attaches around your waist like a pool floaty and has cushioning in the back to save your spine. Each side of the pillow where baby would be resting has a raised bubble for baby’s head. This is super handy for getting baby in the right position for latching. As an added bonus, it keeps baby’s weight off your belly in the event you have an c-section. It also has a pocket for stashing a granola bar because when you’re getting up to feed baby all night long, you’re going to be ravenous.
Nursing cover (optional): This is really going to depend on your comfort level and baby’s tolerance level. I had two different covers, and never used them.
Nursing tanks (need): I don’t know about you, but I don’t really care if someone can see a bit of boob while I’m feeding Petit Prince. What I do care about is showing my postpartum squishy belly. The Undercover Mama Nursing Tank is a great solution. It attaches to any nursing bra so you don’t have to buy nursing shirts. Just wear your regular clothes over the Undercover Mama tank and voila!
Next week I’ll be covering the nursery and baby clothing!
What baby feeding items did you need on hand from day 1? What would you add to this list?
Follow The Monarch Mommy’s Registry Series:
The Monarch Mommy’s Ultimate Baby Registry Series Part 2
The Monarch Mommy’s Ultimate Baby Registry Series Part 3
The Monarch Mommy’s Ultimate Baby Registry Series Part 4
The Monarch Mommy’s Ultimate Baby Registry Series Part 5
The New Mom’s Survival Kit