I’m in my second trimester, and I’m so excited–I’m going to go register for my baby soon. Can you tell me about your experience?
Our Mommy MD Guide’s reply: During my first pregnancy, I had no idea what to buy for the baby. It really helps to take a trusted friend who has kids along to register. I asked my friend to help, and she took me aisle by aisle around the store. She had been through this already with her kids, and she knew exactly what I needed and what were the best buys.
One thing that was especially great, even though it wasn’t expensive, was a toy that sticks to the baby’s high chair tray. It distracted my baby during meals. It only cost a few dollars, but it was very helpful.
Another thing that I found to be invaluable for my second and third baby is a white noise machine. It helped them to sleep despite other noise in the house. If you don’t have a white noise machine, you can tune a radio to static and crank up the volume.
The most helpful item for us was our ExerSaucer. It was awesome. We borrowed one for our first baby, and it was so helpful we bought one for the second. We used it all of the time. The baby played and snacked in it in the kitchen while I was cooking. Then we’d move it to the TV room while we watched a show. It was perfect for keeping the baby entertained—and safe.
One thing we didn’t buy right away was a crib. Our baby slept in a bassinet in our room for the first few months. You don’t use a basinet for long, so we decided to share one with another friend who had a baby not too long before we did, and then pass it along.
My husband and I bought a Graco Travel System, which is a stroller-car seat-combination. I highly recommend them. It makes life 100 percent easier to pop that car seat into the car and into the stroller and back again. That way you don’t wake your sleeping baby trying to get him into and out of the car. That was probably the best invention ever.
—Dianna K. Kim, MD, a mom of three and an ob-gyn in private practice in Vernon Hills, IL, at the Midwest Center for Women’s Healthcare
Our Mommy MD Guide’s reply: My family has a superstition about buying things before the baby. My husband and I went to the baby stores and registered for what we wanted. But we didn’t bring anything home until after the baby was born.
While I was in the hospital, my brother and his wife went to the store and picked everything up. The stores had already gathered it all up and packaged it for them.
After I got home with the baby, my parents told me, my husband, and our baby to go to sleep. By the time I woke up my parents had unpacked, washed, and arranged everything. It was so nice!
When I registered for baby things, I wasn’t a big fan of the baby wipe warmer. But when the time came for my first middle-of-the-night changing, I was so happy that I had warm wipes for my baby’s tushy. As a doctor, I thought a wipe warmer was silly. But as a mom, I thought it was great.
Also, because I had planned to breastfeed, I registered for a breast pump. I got the Medela Pump and Style. It was very good.
—Joanna Dolgoff, MD, a mom of a seven-year-old son and a four-year-old daughter, a board-certified pediatrician/child obesity expert with practices in Manhattan and Roslyn Heights, NY, creator of the online child weight loss program www.DrDolgoff.com, and author of the book Red Light,Green Light, Eat Right
Our Mommy MD Guide’s reply: One day, I took my husband to a baby store. We walked in the door, saw the incredible amount of stuff, fell into a complete panic, and walked out.
For the first few months of their lives, my girls slept in their car seats and lived in diapers and gowns I could pull up and easily change. I’m not one to spend a lot of time and money on gear and clothes.
Babies really don’t need all that much. My mom had seven kids in 20 years, and she ran her own business all the while. When she came to visit after my twins were born, she saw the baby monitor. She asked, “What on earth is this?” When I explained it was a monitor so that I could hear them cry, she asked “Why would you want to?”