We started researching the best baby gear shortly after we found out we were pregnant. By the time we found out we were having a girl, we knew what stroller and car seat we wanted. Friends and family chimed in with registry must-haves, and combined with the check list the baby store gave us, we felt pretty informed on what we should register for and what we should avoid.
Of course, we didn't take into consideration that Little Jumper would have preferences of her own. We had every intention of swaddling LJ, but she wasn't interested in the least bit. I have stacks and stacks of swaddling blankets that were never used! Like many babies, she also has her own preference of pacifiers and bottles.
Here's what worked for us:
1. Boppy - We took our boppy to the hospital, and have used it ever since. LJ is 6 months old now, and we still use it on a regular basis!
2. Travel System - A travel system worked best for us. We use our stroller all the time, and the carrier doubles as a car seat. LJ still uses this on an every-day basis.
3. OXO bottle cleaners - We use these on an every day basis, as well. They do a great job of getting the nipples and bottles clean.
4. Diaper Genie Elite - I absolutely swore up and down that we wouldn't use one of these. It's a glorified trash can. We didn't register for one, but ended up getting two -- and I was shocked at how well they work. These are definitely a must-have for us.
5. Pack N Play - We registered for this with the intention of it fitting in our bedroom, and co-sleeping the first few weeks. We also loved the storage underneath. In reality, this ended up being put in our living room, and was unused until LJ was about 8 weeks old. We never utilized the storage space, as it was flimsy and didn't hold as much as we'd hoped it would. While we never used this as a place for Little Jumper to sleep, we did use the changing table a lot, and now that she's 6 months, it's a great place for her to safely play while we do housework.
6. Side-snap Bibs - I don't think there is such a thing as too many bibs in our household. I must go through 10 or more a day. We prefer the side snaps over the ones that Velcro in the back.
7. Moby Wrap - I loved the idea of baby wearing and heard great things about the Moby, so I thought I'd give it a try. Hands down, my favorite registry item. We used this on a daily basis from the time LJ hit 8lbs until she turned 13 weeks old. She loved being snuggled in the Moby, and I loved being close to baby girl while getting things done around the house.
8. Rock n Play Sleeper - LJ outgrew the bassinet by 3 weeks, and I still had trouble leaning into the Pack n Play, so she slept in the Rock n Play from weeks 4 through 12. She had a bit of gas, and sleeping in a reclined position seemed to really help her. We used this during nap time too.
9. Hooded Towels - We have an entire drawer full of hooded towels for LJ, but my favorite are from Pottery Barn Kids. They're the softest and have held up the best in the wash -- the others we have are already starting the fray and look worn.
10. Bumbo - LJ is a huge fan of sitting upright. We put her in the bumbo starting at 4 weeks, and she thought it was the greatest thing ever. LJ can sit up on her own now, but we still feed her while she's in the Bumbo on occasion.