Updated on February 8, 2016
The Monarch Mommy’s Ultimate Baby Registry Series – Part 5: Play Time & Accessories
It’s time to wrap up my Ultimate Baby Registry Series with the last odds and ends you need (and don’t need) for baby. If you’re just jumping in for the first time, you may want to start with part one of the series which can be found HERE. In this fifth and final instalment of the baby registry series, I’m talking play time for baby, gear you’ll need after the newborn stage, and more! Here we go!
Gentle laundry detergent (optional) – With The Heir, I completely bought into the need for an unscented, enzyme free laundry detergent. Was it gentle on his clothing? Yes. Did it really work? No. Allow me to qualify this. We have fairly hard water where we live, so a very gentle detergent with only one weak surfactant just didn’t cut it. With Petit Prince, I washed all his clothing with good old Tide Original powder right from the get go (and he had no skin issues as a result). If you want to go with an unscented detergent, you can still find ones that also clean really well. Tide Free & Gentle is one such option.
Baby monitor (need) – You’re going to want a baby monitor. There are SO MANY baby monitors on the market. There are video monitors, video monitors that can be accessed from a smart phone, video monitors with a motion sensor pad, and “old school” sound only monitors. If I’m perfectly honest, I prefer the sound only monitors. I’m not the type to hear a sound from baby and immediately jump up and check it out, so the sound only monitor worked well for me. If you think you’ll be the type to jump into action every time baby makes a sound, you probably want to go for a video monitor. That way when you hear a sound from your baby, you can SEE if baby needs your immediate attention. The sound only monitor that I like is the Safety 1st Digital monitor. As a bonus, because it runs on DECT 6.0, it does not interfere with the wifi or the microwave in your house (yes, that can happen).
Bouncy seat (need) – You’re going to find it super handy to have a place to put the baby down so they can start to entertain themselves a bit. This will give you a chance to do things like eat, go to the bathroom, take a shower. You know, the basics. I have the Peg Perego Melodia chair and love it. Unfortunately, Peg Perego has since discontinued this chair. If you can find one on Kijiji/Craigslist, snap it up! It has quite a few incline settings, including flat for napping, came with a toy bar, played music, and you can plug a smart phone or ipod into it and play whatever music you want. It’s great. Another really popular chair that has a nice amount of bounce to it is the BABYBJORN Bouncer Balance. BabyBjorn also makes a mini bouncer just for newborns, and you can read a review of it over on Maman Loup’s Den.
Infant swing (don’t need) – A baby swing takes up a lot of room, so we never bothered with one. It’s an item I’d put on the “buy after baby if you need it” list. The good news is, baby gear stores (and the internet) still let you shop even after your baby is born.
Nightlight (nice to have) – To tell you the truth, we didn’t have a night light in The Heir’s room until he was potty trained and we thought he might need to do get up to go to the bathroom at night. There isn’t one in Petit Prince’s room either. What we do have is a lamp in Petit Prince’s room to provide some light for middle of the night feedings and what not.
Pacifiers (nice to have) – If you want to use a pacifier/soother, by all means, have some on hand.
Music box (don’t need) – This is why Rockabye Baby Lullaby Renditions and iPads exist. If you haven’t checked out Rockabye Baby Lullaby Rendition yet, you need to. They are lullaby versions of all kinds of bands. From Lady Gaga to Michael Jackson to The Beatles, you’re bound to find a band you love that has a lullaby version from Rockabye Baby. Our favourites include Coldplay, The Tragically Hip, Queen, and Journey. Incidentally, these albums make a great shower gift!
Playmat/Activity Gym (need) – This is one of those colourful mats with the foam bars over it for hanging toys. They’re very handy and babies love them. It’s the perfect spot to put baby down for some tummy time. Baby Einstein makes a few different ones and they all include a cushion to prop baby’s chest up for tummy time in the early days.
Diaper bag (need) – The diaper bag is one of the most important “baby gear” items you’ll own. You’ll be hauling it around everywhere you go every single day for the next three or more years of your life. Make sure you get the one you actually want. I have a Skip Hop Studio and have been really happy with it. Skip Hop has a 10 year warranty on their products (yes, I said TEN years), and they absolutely stand by their warranty. Something you absolutely want in a diaper bag is stroller clips. Stroller clips allow you to attach the diaper bag right onto the base of the stroller so you don’t need to actually carry it around on your shoulder. Remember not to hang your diaper bag on the handle bar(s) of your stroller. Diaper bags can be heavy and when hung on the handles it may tip your stroller (even with baby in it). You may not think it’s possible, but I’ve seen it happen many times.
Sleep Sacs (need) – Swaddling is great for a newborn, but at a certain point you will want to ditch the swaddle. How do you keep your baby warm at night without using loose blankets? Sleep sacs! These are basically a wearable sleeping bag for your baby. It is really important that you purchase the size that corresponds to your baby’s age and weight. Don’t buy a larger sleep sac so they can “grow into it” as the openings for the arms and head may be too large allowing baby to slide down in the sleep sac. Some of the brands that I have tried and liked include GroBag, HALO, and Wee Urban.
Toys & Books (nice to have) – Somehow, even if you don’t buy a lot of toys for your baby, you will end up with enough toys to stock a small toy store by the time baby’s first birthday rolls around. There are a couple simple toys that are nice to have, including a set of Wooden Blocks and a Whoozit. I don’t know what it is about Whoozit, but babies love that thing. Babies really don’t need a lot of stuff early on, so you can pace your toy purchasing and take advantage of the library for books!
Feeding Accessories (nice to have) – Although eventually you will need items for starting solids, you don’t need to have them before you baby is actually starting to eat real food (around 6 months). You’ll want utensils, dishes, and a sippy cup.
High Chair (nice to have) – This is another one you absolutely don’t need right away. High chairs can take up a fair amount of room in the house, so I wouldn’t bother buying one too early. I’m partial to high chairs that allow baby to sit right up at the table with the rest of the family. The Stokke Tripp Trapp is a great option. A travel high chair is another nice to have item (that takes up very little space). The My Little Seat fits on almost any chair, and while it definitely won’t replace a traditional high chair, it is great for traveling. It’s also small enough to fit in the diaper bag.
For Postpartum Recovery – If you’re looking for a list of what you need to get yourself through the first few weeks after delivering your baby, you’re in luck! I’ve got a whole post dedicated to just that very topic. You can check it out HERE.
I hope you’ve enjoyed my ultimate registry series and that it’s helped you sort through the crazy world of baby gear! As always, I’d love to hear what else you’d add to this list or if there’s anything you wished you hadn’t bought for baby!
In case you missed it:
The Monarch Mommy’s Ultimate Baby Registry Series Part 1
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 New Mom’s Survival Kit
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