At first it was intimidating. I didn’t know what I needed for the baby… besides everything. Of course, I didn’t really want everything (or what society might tell me I have to have) but I wasn’t quite sure how to sort out suggestions into a useful list for ourselves. My standby saying of “we could make that” proved unrealistic, although comical, many times. So with the help of family, friends, Design for Minikind’s Ultimate Baby Registry, and a basic registry must have’s list we made our own list and prepared for base camp at the bottom of life’s Mt.Everest : parenthood.
I decided to use Baby List to organize our thoughts and share our wishes. Not only did it allow me to easily add products from small businesses (like Fiddlebumps) it gave people the flexibility to purchase things where ever they chose. We are so grateful to have been given or graciously lent many things for the baby – and I look forward to being able to do the same down the road!
While you can take a look at my registry list, included in this post are some other items we received as gifts, borrowed or purchased. There’s some cross-over on both, but here you get the fun commentary I know you don’t want to miss. :)
To start us off, here are some of my favorite handmade gifts:
You can’t top a handmade quilt from Mema. My mom’s mom (who I really have only called Mema my whole life) makes quilts like I bake a dozen cookies…. except when I’m done baking cookies I eat too many and have little to show for it. She on the other hand makes 600-800 quilts each year with a quilting group that donates them to hospital patients, seniors, and veterans. She has made our extended family many quilts and the baby quilt above is the third of hers that I own. I think the chicken and farm material she chose for this is perfect!
A few of the other handmade items include: burp clothes, made by my sister in law Jen. She used a towel and lined it with nice fabric so they would be extra absorbent and look fun. Debbie, my mother in law, made some flannel wrapped baby hangers after seeing them in a boutique and deciding “I could make that!” She noted that the fabric will help the clothes from falling off slipper plastic hangers – so clever! A nursing cover + travel wipe case were made by Amy and if I could only explain how thoughtful it really is… she has perfected her technique and anyone who receives one from her is lucky!
A stroller is one of the biggest decisions to make. Everyone seems to buzz about what you are going to get as they try to make their own decision… and this one I was happy to hand over to Matt! After years working in the bike industry he couldn’t turn down a Chariot – which not only is a stroller, jogger, or bike trailer… it has a ski attachment. Yes, as you can see from the picture above you can strap it on and snowshoe or nordic ski (cross-country skiing is how I used to refer to it). That’s what did him in, and for those of you who know his background in winter sports it makes sense. He even sold a bike so we could get one – on ebay – so yes, most expensive baby item we own. To balance that out we registered for a Chicco umbrella stroller – the most lightweight option we could find as an alternative.
The other carrying systems we decided on were a moby wrap + and Ergobaby. Both highly recommended, I’m sure they will keep the baby close, safe and warm! Since we had literally no blankets we were grateful to receive several to swaddle and wrap with – my favorites being this organic cotton set from under the nile (they are so soft!) and super light and comfortable (from what I can imagine) aden + anais muslim blankets.
For sleeping we have a few things I’m sure will prove essential including a sleep sack, miracle blanket and sleep sheep that is a clever disguise for a white noise maker. Kaylan was kind enough to lend us her co-sleeper, so we are waiting to purchase or borrow a crib and will use the sleeper for the first few months.
Chewbeads bracelets, the bebePOD seat, a few adorable cloth toys + teethers, and a creative bottle drying rack are a few of the feeding + teething items we have, but there is more that we’ll need to add to this list. Thankfully we have a great blender and some food freezing trays should we stick to our ambitions of making baby food when the time comes (as I mentioned, I’m pretty stubborn so I think it will happen).
A few of the other fun items we were given included some adorable clothes (including some Detroit Tigers gear-from my mom of course!), some music which I know our child will love, and the best start to a children’s library that I could ask for. Everyone was kind enough to bring a book – or two or twelve – to my baby shower in Michigan and I’m so grateful to have many of the classics and everyone’s favorites. It didn’t hurt that as a preschool/kindergarten + elementary school teacher for 20+ years my mom knew the in’s and out’s of what authors and illustrators should be included. As for the music, both my sister and my best friend teach baby music classes, and sadly I live 6 hours from both of them. However Sarah gave me the cd from her Music Together Classes – which are #1 amazing #2 the perfect way to introduce your children to the language of music – and it includes a great variety of songs. Seeing her kids grow up around so much music motivates me to make sure it’s a part of our child’s life too.
Last + definitely most ambitious: diapers! We are going down the cloth diaper road and while I’m sure that will include some disposables along the way I’m looking forward to mastering them. After seeking advice from others we invested in the flip’s. I’ve heard it’s great to buy a few kinds an see what works best, however we were able to get these at a deal and will most likely keep things in original packaging in case they are a disaster and we need to return some of them (not used guys! don’t worry). The flip covers don’t have pockets that the liner stuffs in to, rather it is all snapped up tightly and enclosed. I’ve heard the snaps are much better than velcro, and last longer.
We also have some hemp liners when extra absorbency is needed, some disposable liners when heavy duty diaper cream is needed – or a quicker change on the road necessary, a wet/dry bag to keep things in, and flannel cloth wipes. To go with that we stocked up on a few things from Fiddlebumps – a former Michigan small business (she recently moved to oregon) that makes all natural + organic products for skin. Once you open up pandora’s box aka “what ingredients are in the things I use” you might find yourself overwhelmed like I did. For now we’re doing what we can to keep things natural and not sweating the small stuff, but I’d love to hear any advice from you living a green + non-toxic life, and how you made it a success or what areas you chose to do so in.
Whew! I’m tired, but that’s old news. Hope you enjoyed the post and looking forward to introducing you to the little one in 7 or so weeks!