When you make your baby registry, you’re choosing items that will need to last you many years. For instance, if you have 3 children, each a few years apart, you may need a high chair that will hold up for over 10 years! (That sounds a bit daunting!)
I know from experience that you can spend hours and hours researching the pros and cons of baby products; safety ratings, reviews, rankings…and still feel puzzled. With so many similar options on the market, it’s hard to know which items to choose, and you may be feeling the pressure. At RegistryFinder.com, we want to take out some of the guesswork for you, so in this article, we will feature popular registry items, give you helpful explanations, and assist you in choosing this or that?!
Keep in mind that ultimately, some of these things come down to personal opinions and your baby’s preference. We always advise keeping receipts and shopping at trustworthy companies that will help you swap out the baby gear if you (or your baby) change your mind down the line!
Bassinet vs. Playard
Bassinet, playard, co-sleeper, cradle or a crib? There are so many options when it comes to baby sleep, but which is the best? For our family and many of my friends, we would advise choosing a playard with a bassinet attachment to give you the best of both worlds! For instance, my 4 Moms Playard was easy to travel with, and the bassinet option kept my baby close by in the early days when she was nursing throughout the night. It’s also safer than a co-sleeper, as there’s no risk of rolling onto your baby or the baby getting a hold of your covers! When my daughter was big enough to transition out of the bassinet, we used it as a playard. It was very helpful to have a safe place for her to play while I was trying to cook or clean!
ProTIP! To save space and money, I love choosing multi-purpose baby gear (i.e. 4-in-1 items) that consolidates several items or “grows” with your baby.
Sling vs. Carrier
I previously mentioned, choosing baby items often comes down to personal preferences, and picking between a baby sling versus a carrier is a prime example of that.
When I was pregnant, one of my mom friends was obsessed with the Moby wrap and generously gifted me one. Though I loved this carrier when my daughter was a newborn, when she was bigger I felt very confined, and she wasn’t happy that she couldn’t easily lift her head and look around. Additionally, my husband wasn’t able to use the wrap.
So, we decided to purchase the Ergobaby carrier. The thick straps helped me support the baby, distributing the weight like a backpack. My husband could easily adjust the straps to use the carrier, and my daughter could see the world and kick around as much as her little heart desired!
The drawback is that the carrier is a much greater investment; though, we have used it for several years now and believe it’s worth the splurge!
Muslin vs. Velcro Swaddle
The great swaddle debate is another “gray” category in my mind… it’s just not a black-and-white answer! My husband and I discovered almost immediately that the muslin swaddles we bought would not work for overnight sleep. Both of my kiddos slept with their arms up, repositioning themselves throughout the night, and constantly woke up after wiggling right out of the swaddle. This was not only uncomfortable, but left them in a dangerous position with a loose blanket near their face!
Then we discovered the velcro swaddles. They held tightly and firmly through the night and were also easy to configure during our 4am diaper changes! I highly recommend SwaddleMe velcro swaddles for those newborn days.
Circling back to muslin swaddles… luckily my beautiful Aden + Anais muslin blankets didn’t go to waste! I found them to be useful as a car seat cover, nursing cover, or even burp cloths! Now my 4-year-old even takes hers to preschool to use as her nap-time blanket. Obviously muslin blankets have many potential uses, so my advice is to register for both options!
Additionally, Halo sleep sacks are great wearable blankets that help babies transition from being swaddled. Don’t forget to add a few of these to your registry, as your baby will be transitioning as soon as they can roll over. (Sometimes as early as 3 to 4 months!) Of course, they also come in newborn sizes, if your baby doesn’t like to be swaddled!
Swing vs. Bouncer
It’s a big question: swing or bouncer? My answer is… why not both??
My kids loved the 4Moms mamaRoo, which swings and bounces! From day one, it was nice to have several unique movements. The mamaRoo has 5 different types of motions, and varying speeds that are meant to simulate a mother’s sway, so you can easily determine how your baby likes to be rocked! The best part is that you can manipulate these settings right from your phone!
Of course, like other baby items, your child can always “veto” a product. Keep your receipts in case you want to try out another option. Funny enough, my babies loved the mamaRoo as newborns, and then didn’t want to get near it (…those clingy kids!!) for several months. Then surprisingly, they loved it again when they were a bit older! Overall, we used the thing for many months, and it was a win!
High Chair vs. Portable Seat
Some moms love a traditional high chair seat. However, I always recommend a compact option. I loved the Inglesina Table Chair which is easy to travel with and perfect for feeding kiddos at my kitchen island. We also had the Ingenuity Baby Base which attaches to any dining chair you already have and doubles as an infant seat for playtime before little ones can sit up on their own.
If you have plenty of space in your home for a typical high chair, or just want a dedicated chair, the Evenflo 4-in-1 High Chair is an excellent option, as it can convert to an actual table and chair as they grow!
I love the idea that this high chair will “grow” with your child! It’s convenient and cost-effective, with thousands of 5-star reviews. I can imagine a toddler using it to eat their meals, and also as a seat and table during craft time!
Baby Bath vs. Your Kitchen Sink
For generations, parents used the good old kitchen sink for bath time, and of course, it’s always a viable option to bathe your child the “old-fashioned” way. In fact, there are many bath cushions that will help make the sink a tad more comfortable for you and baby.
With our firstborn, we decided on the Fisher-Price 4-in-1 Sling ‘n Seat Tub (I just love anything with “4-in-1” in the name!!) a baby bath that converted from a newborn sling to a toddler bath! My children loved the baby sling. Similar to a hammock, it is cozy and they’re able to lay back comfortably and relax. I think this was integral for them to feel at ease with the water, and enjoy the whole bath-time experience!
Once they outgrew the newborn sling, they still had a baby seat in the bathtub which helps them sit upright (see the photo above). The seat can also be removed when your child can sit up unassisted. Using the baby bath into the toddler years is still efficient as your child may not need a full bath of water, plus it’s a safer option as the risk of drowning is reduced.
The baby care industry is a huge, rapidly-growing industry, which means there is an over-saturated amount of products on the market and it’s only going to get more overwhelming for moms! While reviews are essential, don’t forget to also refer back to RegistryFinder.com to see the latest updates regarding baby gear. We are dedicated to giving you reliable information that will make the registry process easier.
Good luck Mama!
We’ve discussed our favorite baby items, but we want to hear from YOU! RegistryFinder would love to learn more about our reader’s experiences, and baby-gear preferences, and feature your comments in our “Ask a Real Mom” segments! What advice would you like to share? Comment below!