I now completely understand how new parents are completely overwhelmed at the site of walking into a store like Babies “R” Us, and immediately going into panic attack mode with the thought of, “where do I begin?!” and “what is this stuff, anyway?”
Being so close to the industry and actually spending a majority of my days within a baby retail store as a Product Specialist for Graco, I thought I would be undoubtedly immune to it, but I have to say that my registry experience too, was a bit overwhelming. The fact that JP and I are not going to find out the sex of the baby beforehand only added to the confusion. For me, it wasn’t so much about, “what do I need?”, rather, “which brand is best?”, “how many?”, and “what size?” Of course, there were several things that I probably would have added to my registry, knowing that it was a boy or girl, so if it was only offered in pink, it didn’t make the list. Of course, I feel pretty well-covered on the ‘gear’ side of things, but I can already tell that my marketing point-of-view might change once I actually use these products as a parent.
One thing that did truly help me make a comprehensive list, was reaching out to Graco Nation beforehand to get a list of their top registry items. This was a project I was working on for our Wisdom from the Heart email program, and the timing couldn’t have been better. Take a look where their top picks ranked and what they had to say:
1. Pack ‘n Play®: A good, portable playard has many merits, but what parents love most is the fact that it offers a safe place for their baby to play on her own. It can easily be used as a second nursery center or simply as a napping and play area for your baby. Choose accordingly.
“Useful for years!”–Jessica
2. Infant Car Seat : Graco Nation’s Pick: Graco® SnugRide® and SnugRide® 32.
“Super safety ratings, very easy to use, and very attractive patterns make this my #1 choice for baby’s first car seat. Plus, it is so convenient that it can snap into a number of different Graco strollers”–Shannon
3. Swing or Bouncer: Every parent can use some hands-free time, and babies love the soothing motion of swinging back and forth. A good swing can help calm even the fussiest baby! Travel swings are worth considering too, because they allow you to recreate the soothing motion your child loves wherever you may be.
4. Sling or Baby Carrier: These make it easy for you to safely stay close to your baby and still be hands-free. They also let your baby be situated so they can see the world.
“They keep your baby close to your heart without subjecting you to the label of “Mommy Fashion Disaster”.—Kristen
5. Swaddle Blankets: There are all types of swaddle blankets out there that are quick and easy to use, giving you a snugglie, warm and content baby. Ultimately there is also lots of research proving the benefits of swaddling, how calming it is on the nervous system and in return, happy baby = happy parents.
“Forget about figuring out how to fold this end here and tuck that end there, not sure anyone except a NICU nurse can quite do the job of wrapping up your little one in those crazy blankets.”–Kristen
6. Nursing Pillow: Graco Nation’s pick: the Boppy® pillow.
“Regardless of whether you’re planning to breastfeed, a nursing pillow is wonderful for snuggling with your baby and you can use it for tummy time, supervised naps, and I actually found my nursing pillow as a great bed partner in the last two months of pregnancy as I used it to prop me up on my side when it was uncomfortable to sleep.”–Angela
7. Highchair or booster
“Skip registering for a booster seat and don’t settle for a high chair that doesn’t match your house. The Graco Blossom 4-in-1 Seating System has it all”–Stephanie
8. Diaper Bag: Pick one you love. You’re going to need a sturdy bag to carry your little one’s essentials. It might as well be one you’re comfortable being seen carrying!
9. Diapers: Sure, this may seem like a no-brainer for something you will need once your baby is born, but it is also a fairly large expense.
10. Stroller: Slings and front carriers are great, but at some point you’ll want extra space for baby’s toys, snacks, spare diapers and such. Many parents say they can’t live without a stroller frame.
Do your top registry picks fit into this list? I would love to hear about any other parent-proven must-have products out there. If they haven’t already made my list—I’ll be sure to add them!