Category: Baby Registry
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Ready, Set, Register

Creating a dream baby registry is bump-tingling fun. But it can also be overwhelming. What does your baby really need? How much is too much? And what will you actually find useful? These easy steps can help.

Step one: Make a list

You’re itching to wield the registry wand. But before you hit the shelves you should start with a checklist. There are lots of reputable baby gear book or web sites that can help you list out what and how many of everything you’ll need. Always be a little skeptical of any registry list supplied by a store itself.

Step two: Do your research

An alarming number of baby products, including cribs, crib bumpers, quilts, infant slings and bath seats have been associated with serious baby accidents but are still sold anyway. You want to make sure your list is only safe stuff that you really need. The Web site for the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission ( is a good place to become familiar with baby product risks.

Step three: Field test

Don’t be shy about doing some hands-on field-testing for big-ticket items like your baby’s crib, stroller, high chair and car seat. Go to a store that lets you get hands-on and “test drive” models, buckling the buckles, taking high chair trays off or folding and unfolding the strollers. Remember, if a buckle is annoying or difficult in the store, you’re going to face that same problem a thousand times when you’re using it with your baby.

Step three: Edit down to your essentials

Here’s another money and space-saving tip: don’t register for too much of the fun stuff. Sure, the dress-up outfits, toys and novelty pacifiers are adorable, and if there’s something you’re absolutely dying for, put it on the list. But it’s also fun to let your friends and family surprise you with that cute-and-yet-totally-impractical stuff. Keeping a short and simple list will help your friends and family focused on what you truly need to keep your bases covered when the baby is born.

Step four: Exchange

If you do get a dozen baby monitors, save those gift slips and don’t hesitate to exchange extras for what you’re lacking. You can also get gift cards to use later — they will come in handy as your baby grows older to buy bigger sized baby clothes or even diapers and wipes.

Sandy and Marcie Jones are the authors of Great Expectations: Best Baby Gear. Order your copy from Barnes & Noble.

HUGGIES® Baby Shower Planner
We believe every baby shower should be inspired. That’s why we created the HUGGIES® Baby Shower Planner—an inspiring array of theme ideas featuring games, favors, flavors, diaper cakes and more.
Baby Shower Checklist
Check out the HUGGIES® timeline to planning the perfect baby shower. When it comes to being a baby shower host, the big event is fun but the road there can be daunting. Here's a bird's eye view of what you should be doing when.
Super Easy DIY Sock Puppet Toddler Craft Activity
My 22-month-old and I recently visited a local indoor play lounge where he was able to freely play in a safe environment while I got some work done thanks to their free WiFi. During our visit, he also got to create a pumpkin using felt stickers and a paper plate and he even made his very own sock puppet! These crafts were included with the price of admission for a day of play, but best of all, my baby boy was able to create something of his own and do a hands-on activity.
14 Things to Do Before Baby Arrives
There's a lot to do before giving birth. Here's how to pace yourself and prepare for baby.
Preparing for Your First Outing with Baby
Even a short trip with baby has potential for disaster. Here are some mom-savvy suggestions.
Your Stroller Buying Guide
<p>Strollers come in all prices and sizes. Here are some valuable tips on which one to buy for your baby.</p>

<p>Getting Started </p>
<p>The stroller is a big, expensive purchase and there are so many models, it's not surprising that shopping for one makes new parents anxious. The good news: Any JPMA-certified stroller will do. The bad news: You'll end up buying more than one anyway as your needs change and your first stroller gets worn out. But here are some basics to get you started.</p>
<p>Cut through the jargon. Strollers come with their own language. A "carriage" is just another name for a stroller, but often refers to one where baby faces you. A "pram" describes the old-fashioned carriages (big wheels, fancy canopy) that keep an infant lying down -- they're bassinets on wheels and are meant for newborns. A "travel system" is a stroller that comes with a car seat that snaps into it. Baby can ride in the car seat when he's an infant and in the stroller seat once he's older. "Jogging strollers" are sporty three-wheelers you can run with, though now there are some three-wheel strollers that are not for jogging, just for show. Finally, an "umbrella stroller" is a small, lightweight stroller that's more or less a fabric sling on a frame, suitable for a baby 6 months or older. It's the stroller you'll pooh-pooh initially, but will love by the time you've got a toddler and are fed up with lifting, folding, and pushing anything larger.</p>
<p>You can spend as much or as little as you want. Set a budget before you begin -- that's an easy way to narrow down stroller choices. Are you going to splurge on something deluxe in the $300 range? Go for one of the popular styles between $100 and $200? Or seek a real bargain? There are also strollers upwards of $600, but we assume those are for royalty, celebrities, and the wealthy people who imitate them.</p>
<p>Start with a stroller that fits a newborn. This means one where baby can ride lying down flat or almost flat. We love old-fashioned prams, but because they're expensive, heavy, and only safe until the three-month mark, we don't recommend them. A better alternative is one of the "carriage systems" sold by some European companies, in which you buy a separate bassinet that snaps onto the stroller frame for those first three months, and then use the stroller seat after that. But they're pricey, too.</p>
<p>The most practical purchase is a regular stroller with a seat that folds back, so you can continue to use it in the upright position as baby grows. You can log onto Web sites to get a feel for what's out there in your price range, but eventually you should go to a store to do test runs. Consider whether you may also want a jogging stroller and/or an umbrella stroller once baby can sit up (more on those later), in which case you don't want to overspend on this initial purchase.</p>
<p>Can it carry a car seat? Travel systems became so popular that now many strollers accommodate car seats, even from different manufacturers. This is nice, because it's great to take a sleeping infant out of the car and snap her right into the stroller. If you know you want a car seat from a certain manufacturer, it's worth looking at their travel systems. They might price the stroller/car seat combo cheaper than the sum of the separate pieces. Another option is the car seat frame. Baby Trend's Snap-N-Go and Kolcraft's car seat frame are ways to put your car seat on wheels, making a lightweight stroller that accommodates a newborn. Get a canopy for your car seat and a warm boot to sit your baby in if it's cold, and you're set.</p>
<p>Does it have the features you want? Once your child is old enough, it's nice to have the bar on the front of the stroller swing open and shut so he can climb in by himself. But if there's not a bar, there's probably a snack tray, and those are nice too. All good strollers have locking wheels, and they all have harness straps, but five-point harnesses are considered the safest. Look for a removable seat cushion for easy washing.</p>
<p>We know plenty of parents who, despite all of this, still buy based on brand name, color, or some other superficial reason, like the stroller being named after a car. So be it -- you have to live with it. A better way to choose if you're overwhelmed is to get a solid recommendation from a friend you trust, who has a lifestyle similar to yours.</p>

<p><em>By Jessica Hartshorn </em></p>

<p><em>Used with permission. © Meredith Corporation. All rights reserved. </em></p>
Must-Haves for New Moms: Layette Necessities
<p>Our layette shopping list can also help you plan your baby registry. Don't leave home without this baby clothing checklist!</p>

<p>Guess what? Now you've got one more person to dress every day. But before you venture out and get lost in the layette department at Macy's, print out our baby clothes shopping checklist -- just use the "Print" function on your Web browser. Our list can also help you plan your baby registry (the stuff that other people pay for!).</p>
<p>____ A "take-me-home" outfit (Look for a set that includes a coverall, jacket, and hat. Make sure these clothes aren't too bulky -- you must be able to strap baby snugly into his car seat, with no interference from clothes, for the ride home from the hospital.)</p>
<p>____ 3 to 8 kimono sets, gowns, or pants-and-shirt sets</p>
<p>____ 4 to 6 rompers</p>
<p>____ 4 to 6 footed coveralls</p>
<p>____ 5 to 7 undershirts (Look for one-piece, long- or short-sleeved bodysuits with snaps at the crotch, so they won't ride up when baby moves around; basic pullover undershirts; or side-snap shirts.)</p>
<p>____ 1 to 3 sweater cardigans</p>
<p>____ 1 snowsuit or winter bunting</p>
<p>____ 2 to 4 pairs of booties or socks</p>
<p>____ 4 to 6 hats -- a must!</p>
<p>____ 6 to 9 blankets</p>
<p>____ 2 to 5 dozen cloth or disposable diapers (You'll go through 10 to 12 diapers each day during baby's first weeks. Fabric diapers can double as burp cloths.)</p>

<p><em>By Jessica Hartshorn</em></p>

<p><em>Used with permission. © Meredith Corporation. All rights reserved. </em></p>
12 Hottest Baby Name Trends of 2012

<p>Parents will give their babies names that are inspired by the classics, modern-day heroes, characters from TV shows, and more, according to the creators of Nameberry.

<p>By Pamela Redmond Satran and Linda Rosenkrantz of Nameberr
<b>Biggest Big-Picture Trend: Modern Hero Names</b>

<p>Mariah Carey got it right when she named her daughter Monroe, in honor of her heroine Marilyn Monroe, but she did it in a distinctly modern, non-blonde bombshell way. Surname names may honor heroes real or fictional, contemporary or historic, from the arts, sports, or the world stage, and work for girls as well as boys. Other choices we've been hearing: Landry (as in football coach Tom), Gatsby (as in fictional hero The Great), and Palin (yes, as in Sarah).
<p><b>Trend Trying Hardest to Have It All: Same but Different Names</b>
Popular names are popular for a reason: They capture the style of the time and they're well liked by a wide range of parents. Yet as the horror of choosing a too-popular name grows, parents search for ways to create names that are similar to the top choices yet different, a trend we see expanding in several directions. So number-one girls' name Isabella gives rise to stylistically related choices Arabella and Annabelle; Olivia, the top name in Britain, inspires spelling variation Alivia; Emma and Emily promote brother name Emmett.

<p><b>Most Aggressive Trend: Fierce Names</b>
Our frightening times seem to have inspired many parents to give their sons names that make them seem equally fearsome. There are fierce animal names such as Bear, Fox, Wolf, Lynx, and a range of names from Leo to Lionel that mean lion, and then there are the perhaps-even-fiercer names like Breaker, Ranger, and Wilder.

<b>Hottest Direction in Baby Naming: West</b><p>
...and North and East and Easton, too, but especially West and Weston and Wesley, along with Western-sounding names fit for a new generation of li'l cowboys: Boone and Bo, Wyatt and Wylie, Cole and Colt, Zane and Shane, and even Maverick.

<p><b>The It Vowel: A</b>
A-names have been trending upward for several years now, with more babies receiving these names than those of any other letter. What makes A-names new are the adventurous choices parents are making these days to use a name with this primary letter: Fresh ones attracting attention on Nameberry include, for girls, Acacia, Ada, Anais, Annelise, Anouk, Aria, Athena, Aurelia, and Azalea, and, for boys, Alistair, Ambrose, Aragon, Archer, Arthur, Augustus, and Axel.

<p><b>Consonant of the Moment: M</b>
Over the past few decades, we've had J, K, and L names in the forefront, and with Baby Names 2012 it's M's moment. M names making their move include, for girls, Maeve, Magdalena, Maisie, Marguerite, Marlo/Marlowe, May, Mila, Millie, and Minnie, and, for boys, Magnus, Micah, Miller, Milo, and Montgomery.

<p><b>Strongest, Bravest Trend: Adjective Names</b>
Word names are taking a new turn away from nouns and toward adjectives. Choices we have been hearing: True, Noble, Brave, Strong, Loyal, Loving, Sunny, Golden, Royal, and Happy. One U.K. soccer star and his fashionista wife tried to beat this trend by naming their son Trendy.

<p><b>Most Surprising Comeback Name: Betty</b>
Betty, a popular name in 1950s sitcoms, seemed like one of those names that might never come back. But stylish mommy blogger Gabrielle Blair has a Betty (and a Ralph and a June) and stunning Mad Men actress January Jones (who plays Betty Draper) did much to heat up the image of this old standard. Move over, Veronica: There's a new glamour girl in town.

<p><b>Coolest Middle Names: New Connectors</b>
Gone are the old one-syllable connective-tissue middle names like Ann and Lee and Lynn, and in their place are... new one-syllable connective-tissue middle names such as May and Wren and Bee. Tied to this trend: Choosing family middle names that are the nicknames of the person being honored, as in Naomi Watts and Liev Schreiber's son Alexander Pete and Sara Gilbert's son, Levi Hank.

<p><b>Most Unlikely Baby Name Inspiration: TV's Evil Grandpa</b>
When we first saw the name Arlo popping on the back end of Nameberry, we thought maybe folk singer Arlo Guthrie was making a comeback. But no, today's Arlo inspiration is more contemporary but even more unlikely: the gun-toting, pot-dealing grandpa Arlo Givens on television's Justified.

<p><b>Name Trend Ready To Jump The Shark: The -ley Names</b>
We liked Hadley, the name of Hemingway's sympathetic first wife. And Huxley, Ridley, and Radley, as in Aldous, Scott, and Boo, were all intriguing. But the trend toward tacking a "ley" onto the end of a wide range of first syllables and calling it a name -- Brinley, Kinley, Finley, endlessly -- became so pandemic so quickly that we are ready to declare it over, already.</p>

<p><b>Sweetest Ending: Vintage Nicknames That End in -ie</b>
Nicknames that end in "ie" -- Lottie and Hattie, Addie and Nellie -- were all the rage at the end of the 19th century but then gave way to "modern" y endings, which in the 1960s became cutesy "i" endings, which in the "yooneek" era morphed into "ee" and "eigh." But now we're back where we started from, with sweet vintage nicknames for girls spelled the authentic vintage way, with "ie" at the end.

<p><em>Used with permission. © Meredith Corporation. All rights reserved. </em></p>
Checklist: Packing Your Diaper Bag

<p>Be ready for anything with a well-stocked diaper bag. Use this checklist to make sure that you're ready for your outing with baby.</p>

<p>Putting together a diaper bag for a baby may feel like packing for a weeklong vacation! Use this checklist to make sure that you're fully stocked for your outing with baby.</p>
<p>___ Diapers: Take more than you think you'll need, as many as one for every hour of your outing. Better safe than sorry!</p>
<p>___ Small box or travel pack of wipes: These aren't just for baby, but for your hands, too.</p>
<p>___ A tube of barrier cream or diaper-rash cream</p>
<p>___ Several cloth diapers or other cloths for burping, spit-up, and other messes</p>
<p>___ An extra shirt, pants, and pair of socks for baby</p>
<p>___ An extra shirt for you</p>
<p>___ Baby sunblock</p>
<p>___ Baby's bottle, if she uses one -- to keep things sanitary, you might put the nipple in a plastic bag</p>
<p>___ At least one toy</p>
<p>___ A favorite comfort object</p>
<p>___ If baby is on solids, a container of baby food and a baby spoon, or else a container of snacks, such as cereal or crackers</p>
<p>___ A bib</p>
<p>___ Two extra pacifiers (if baby uses them) stored in a clean plastic bag</p>
<p>___ A cell phone for emergencies</p>
<p>___ An index card with your name, address, and phone number, should the bag get lost</p>
<p>___ An index card with the pediatrician's number, a neighbor's number, and a number where your spouse or one of baby's grandparents can be reached</p>
<p>___ A changing pad -- many diaper bags come with one</p>
<p>___ A few large plastic bags for sealing and tossing dirty diapers, or taking home soiled clothes</p>
<p>___ Water and a snack for you</p>
<p>And yes, it all fits inside!</p>

<p><em>By Jessica Hartshorn  </em></p>

<p><em>Used with permission. © Meredith Corporation. All rights reserved. </em></p>
Diapering Supplies Checklist
<p>Everything you need to make diapering quick and easy.</p>

<p>Before long, you'll wish most of your parenting tasks were as easy as changing diapers. Now, preparation is the key to success. Here's what you need:</p>
<p>___ A changing table or other safe, sturdy, flat surface to rest baby on (your bed can work).</p>
<p>___ An ample supply of baby wipes or cotton balls and a basin of warm water.</p>
<p>___ Baby cornstarch (use if it's warm out, if baby has a moist rash, or if the baby wipe leaves baby's skin too wet).</p>
<p>___ A stack of fresh diapers.</p>
<p>___ Diaper rash cream. A barrier ointment such as Balmex Daily Protection helps prevent rashes, while a cream with zinc oxide, such as Desitin Creamy, treats a rash once baby has it.</p>
<p>___ A diaper disposal system, which is a fancy name for a trash basket that masks diaper odor, such as Safety 1st's Neat.</p>
<p>___ A sense of humor.</p>
<p>Avoid tears on the changing table by covering your new baby's bare skin with a blanket to keep him warm. Offer an older baby a soft toy to keep him busy. Smile as you sing his favorite songs -- at any age -- to distract baby while you get the job done.</p>

<p><em>By Isadora Fox </em></p>

<p><em>Used with permission. © Meredith Corporation. All rights reserved. </em></p>
Baby Shopping Guide
<p>Going shopping for new items for your baby? Here are the must-haves (and the don't-needs) to help you shop smart.</p>
<p>By Jessica Hartshorn  </p>

<p>Around the House </p>
<p>Register at a baby gear store and you may be given a list that's even longer than this one. Of course, they want you to buy everything they've got! Try to keep in mind that all you really need for baby is diapers, a place for him to sleep, and a blanket to bundle him in.</p>
<p>But we know you're not living in the Stone Age. You need and deserve the accessories that will make your job as parent a whole lot easier. We've listed those as "necessities." Other things that you might appreciate (but which some parents have found to be a waste of money) are listed as "It's nice to have." Items that are merely decorative or not very useful are categorized as "strictly optional." Products that are unsafe appear under "no-nos."</p>
<p>Nursery furniture </p>
<p>The necessities:</p>
<p>____ Crib</p>
<p>____ Crib mattress</p>
<p>It's nice to have:</p>
<p>____ Changing table</p>
<p>____ Bassinet (though it's only safe until 3 months or 15 pounds)</p>
<p>____ Rocking chair or glider</p>
<p>____ Humidifier or vaporizer</p>
<p>____ Dresser/chest</p>
<p>____ Hamper</p>
<p>____ Baby monitor (if you have a big house)</p>
<p>•	A secondhand crib (get a new one for safety)</p>
<p>Linens </p>
<p>The necessities:</p>
<p>____ 2 fitted crib sheets</p>
<p>____ Crib bumper that ties on securely (this is controversial -- some people worry that they're a SIDS risk; others say they keep baby from banging into the bars)</p>
<p>____ Several thin cotton receiving blankets</p>
<p>____ 2 waterproof mattress protectors</p>
<p>Strictly optional:</p>
<p>____ Matching quilt or a crib skirt (they're only decorative)</p>
<p>•	Pillows (a SIDS risk)</p>
<p>•	Sleep positioners (yet another SIDS risk)</p>
<p>•	Mattress padding (ditto)</p>
<p>Babyproofing </p>
<p>The necessities (not an issue until 4 months or later):</p>
<p>____ Gates at the top and bottom of all stairs</p>
<p>____ Cabinet latches</p>
<p>____ Drawer latches</p>
<p>____ Outlet covers</p>
<p>____ Fireplace bumper</p>
<p>____ Furniture anchors</p>
<p>It's nice to have:</p>
<p>____ Toilet lock</p>
<p>____ Corner guards for low tables</p>
<p>newborn nipples (try several brands to find the one your baby prefers)</p>
<p>____ Bottle-cleaning brush or a dishwasher basket</p>
<p>____ Bottle-drying rack</p>
<p>____ Several weeks' worth of baby formula to start</p>
<p>____ 6 or more cotton bibs</p>
<p>____ 6 or more burp cloths (cloth diapers do the job)</p>
<p>____ Insulated cooler/carrier for outings</p>
<p>It's nice to have:</p>
<p>____ Dry formula dispenser</p>
<p>____ Bottle sterilizer</p>
<p>Strictly optional:</p>
<p>____ Bottle warmer (heating in hot water takes the same amount of time)</p>
<p>____ Bottle proper (unless you have multiples and use it sparingly when you can't otherwise feed all the babies at once)</p>
<p>For breastfeeding </p>
<p>The necessities:</p>
<p>____ Nursing pillow</p>
<p>____ 2-3 nursing bras</p>
<p>____ 2-3 boxes of nursing pads</p>
<p>____ 6 or more cotton bibs</p>
<p>____ 6 or more burp cloths (cloth diapers do the job)</p>
<p>It's nice to have:</p>
<p>____ Breast pump (electric if you'll use it every day at work, otherwise a hand pump is fine)</p>
<p>____ Breast milk storage bags or containers</p>
<p>____ Several bottles and nipples if someone else will be feeding baby pumped breast milk</p>
<p>____ Nipple cream (for the first few weeks)</p>
<p>Solid-food feeding </p>
<p>The necessities (not an issue until 4 to 6 months):</p>
<p>____ High chair</p>
<p>____ Plastic bibs</p>
<p>____ Infant feeding spoons</p>
<p>____ Infant bowl</p>
<p>It's nice to have:</p>
<p>____ Mess mat for under the high chair</p>
<p>____ Baby food mill (if you're ambitious enough to puree your own baby food)</p>
<p>newborn diapers to start</p>
<p>____ Wipes</p>
<p>____ Diaper rash ointment</p>
<p>____ Waterproof changing table pad</p>
<p>____ 2-3 changing table pad covers (usually cotton or terry cloth)</p>
<p>____ Diaper pail or trash can with a lid</p>
<p>It's nice to have:</p>
<p>____ 4-5 waterproof square or rectangular pads for under baby's bottom (protecting the cover that's protecting the pad -- you won't be sorry)</p>
<p>____ Baby cream (if your baby has dry skin)</p>
<p>____ Non-talc powder (to help the diaper area dry faster)</p>
<p>Strictly optional:</p>
<p>____ A wipe warmer</p>
<p>____ A diaper stacker (though they're pretty)</p>
<p>For bathing and grooming </p>
<p>The necessities:</p>
<p>____ 2 hooded towels</p>
<p>____ 4 washcloths</p>
<p>____ Infant tub (for after the umbilical cord falls off)</p>
<p>____ Bath seat or inflatable tub-within-a-tub (for after 6 months)</p>
<p>____ Baby bath wash</p>
<p>____ Baby shampoo</p>
<p>____ Baby comb and brush set</p>
<p>____ Nail scissors/nail clippers/nail file set</p>
<p>____ Cotton swabs</p>
<p>____ Cotton balls</p>
<p>It's nice to have:</p>
<p>____ Bath toys</p>
<p>____ Mesh bag to hold bath toys</p>
<p>____ Bath thermometer</p>
<p>____ Faucet guard</p>
<p>Strictly optional:</p>
<p>____ A baby-size robe (it's hard enough to get baby dressed in her real clothes!)</p>
<p>Clothing </p>
<p>The necessities:</p>
<p>____ 7 or more snap-crotch bodysuits/onesies</p>
<p>____ 3-4 T-shirts and/or side-snap shirts</p>
<p>____ Several snap-up rompers</p>
<p>____ Several shirt-and-pant sets</p>
<p>____ 7 pairs of pajamas and/or sleeping gowns</p>
<p>____ Sun hat</p>
<p>____ Cold-weather hat</p>
<p>____ Cardigan sweater</p>
<p>____ Bunting or snowsuit if it gets cold</p>
<p>____ 6 pairs of booties and/or socks</p>
<p>____ Baby hangers for the closet</p>
<p>It's nice to have:</p>
<p>____ A special outfit to bring baby home in and/or show her off</p>
<p>____ Several diaper covers</p>
<p>____ A wearable sleep sack, to use instead of a blanket</p>
<p>Strictly optional:</p>
<p>____ Shoes (until baby is walking outside, i.e., the toddler years)</p>
<p>____ Stroller that accommodates a newborn</p>
<p>____ Diaper bag filled with diapers, wipes, and a spare outfit</p>
<p>____ Front carrier, like a Snugli or Baby Bjorn</p>
<p>It's nice to have:</p>
<p>____ Sling (for the newborn stage)</p>
<p>____ Baby backpack (for after 6 months)</p>
<p>____ Stroller that your car seat fits onto</p>
<p>____ Rain cover for the stroller</p>
<p>____ Infant headrest for the car seat (if it doesn't come with one)</p>
<p>____ Warm blanket or "boot" to wrap baby in during winter strolls</p>
<p>____ Sunshades for the car windows</p>
<p>____ Big diaper bag for overnight trips</p>
<p>How to Pick the Perfect Stroller for Your Baby</p>

<p>•	Mirror to see baby in the car (it can be a hazard if there's an accident)</p>
<p>•	A secondhand car seat (always get a new one)</p>
<p>Crib mirror</p>
<p>____ Toys that attach to the stroller</p>
<p>____ Something plush that crinkles, rattles, and squeaks</p>
<p>____ Baskets to store toys in all the key places: baby's room, the living room, the kitchen</p>
<p>•	Car seat toy bars (an added risk if there's an accident)</p>
<p>For sitting baby in </p>
<p>The necessities:</p>
<p>____ Bouncer seat or infant seat</p>
<p>____ Stationary activity center (once baby is 4 months old)</p>
<p>____ Heavy blankets and quilts to lay on the floor</p>
<p>It's nice to have:</p>
<p>____ Swing</p>
<p>____ Moses basket (though only usable until baby reaches 3 months)</p>
<p>____ Portable play yard</p>
<p>•	Walker (get a stationary center instead, for safety)</p>
<p>•	Jumper (also generally considered unsafe)</p>
<p>crib or changing table</p>
<p>____ Lullaby CDs or other soothing music</p>
<p>It's nice to have:</p>
<p>____ Music box made for the crib</p>
<p>The medicine cabinet </p>
<p>The necessities:</p>
<p>____ Thermometer</p>
<p>____ Petroleum jelly</p>
<p>____ Infant Tylenol</p>
<p>____ Nasal aspirator</p>
<p>____ Electrolyte drink (such as Pedialyte, to treat dehydration)</p>
<p>It's nice to have:</p>
<p>____ Teething ointment or other teething remedy</p>
<p>____ Vapor cream and/or vapor bath</p>
<p>____ Saline nose drops</p>
<p>____ Antigas medicine</p>

<p><em>Used with permission. © Meredith Corporation. All rights reserved. </em></p>
Baby Items You Can Live Without
<p>Before you register or buy something for baby, check out our list of products that aren't worth the splurge.</p>

<p>By By Linda DiProperzi</p>

<p>The Changing Table </p>
<p>This is one piece of furniture for the nursery you can definitely skip. It takes up valuable space in your baby's room, and it can be a pricey. And the reality is that with all of the diapers you'll be changing throughout the day, you probably won't be going to the nursery every time Baby needs a change, especially if you have stairs in your home; you'll be doing it where it's most convenient.</p>
<p>If you'd like a changing area, buy a changing pad and secure it onto a low dresser, which you can use even when your child is out of diapers.</p>
<p>Wipe Warmer </p>
<p>"I remember being so excited when I got the wipe warmer and proudly plugged it in," says Shannon Duffy, a mom of two from Palm Springs, California. <p>"But it turned out to be one of those things that is pointless. The wipes also seemed to dry out quickly in it, which defeated the purpose."</p>
Other reasons to pass it up: Warm, moist environments are ideal breeding grounds for germs, so keeping something that will touch your baby's private areas in that contained space is not a good idea. In addition, 500,000 wipe warmers were recalled between 1997 and 2001 because of electric shock to parents' hands or melting of the product. Finally, a baby who gets used to warm wipes will likely throw a fit when you're out and about and need to change her diaper (unless you're planning on traveling with the warmer at all times).</p>
<p>Diaper Disposal System </p>
<p>"Do you want to keep dirty diapers in your house for a couple of days? I think not!" says Kathi Bertsch, a mom from Owens Cross Roads, Alabama. "If you empty your trash daily, the regular household trash can will suffice. For the poopy diapers, you can flush the solid waste down the toilet and that will take care of most of the problem."</p>
<p>Imani Powell-Razat, a mom from New York City, hated her diaper disposal so much she wound up leaving it on the sidewalk! "Old diapers would sit in it as I tended to forget that they were in there. Then I spent time cleaning the thing, which had by then collected a boat load of crummy fumes."</p>
<p>If you're really worried about smelly diapers, you can buy disposable diaper sacks (a box of 200 for $9 is available at, which can seal in wetness and bacteria and keep the household trash odor-free.</p>
<p>Special "Baby" Detergent </p>
<p>Once your baby arrives, you'll be spending a lot of time in the laundry room washing piles of spit-up-covered clothes. Seriously, it never seems to end! Contrary to what you may have heard, you don't need to wash your baby's clothes in a special (and extra expensive) detergent. All you need is a brand that is "free and clear," meaning that it is has no perfumes and dyes that might irritate baby's skin. Choosing a regular free and clear product off the supermarket shelf will save you money and time because you can throw baby's laundry in with the rest of the family's dirty clothes.</p>
<p>Baby Timers </p>
<p>A portable device that keeps track of baby's feeding, changing, and sleeping schedules -- what's not to love? "I thought this was a genius idea before I actually had a baby," says Alison Shields, a mom of two from Fair Lawn, New Jersey. The reality is that you don't need to spend $30 on a timer when you can just as easily keep track of all of those things with a simple pen and paper. If you'd rather use technology, apps like Total Baby ($4.99; and Baby Geek (99 cents; serve the same purpose at a fraction of the cost.</p>
<p>Bassinet </p>
<p>"I received a beautiful basinet for my son -- it was stunning and looked gorgeous in his nursery," says Christy Cook, a mom from Toronto, Canada. "But my son refused to sleep in it! We tried everything to make it appealing and he had no interest. I think investing in a safe crib is more sensible and definitely more cost effective."</p>
<p>Samantha Kemp-Jackson, another mom from Toronto, agrees: "While you might save money in the short term by not purchasing a crib, you will eventually have to do it, so why bother with the bassinet?"</p>
<p>Still, many moms are torn about the bassinet -- especially if they want your little one in the same room as you during his first few weeks. A Moses basket or a Pack and Play might be a better, more affordable alternative. If you must have a bassinet, see if you can borrow one from a friend or family member -- just make sure the model is still safe by checking on any recalls at the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission's website (</p>
<p>Expensive Crib Bedding </p>
<p>You can make your nursery look stylish without dropping $200 on crib bedding! "My doctor advised me not to put the crib bumpers on the bed, as experts believe that they could contribute to SIDS, and the blanket/quilt that comes with the set is too big and heavy to use with a new baby," says Breanna Welke, a mom from Hastings, MN.</p>
<p>In fact, according to the U.S. Product Safety Commission, crib bumpers have caused a number of death and injuries in babies 2 years old or younger. The study found that many infants lack the motor development needed to free themselves when they become wedged between the bumper pad and another surface. If the pads are too soft, the baby's nose or face can get pressed up against it, causing suffocation. If they are too firm, the baby can climb up on the pads and fall out of the crib.</p>
<p>Instead, opt for cute sheets and a crib skirt. If you'd like a bumper, try a breathable one made of mesh, available at Babies R Us and Buy Buy Baby.</p>
<p>High Chair </p>
<p>Baby does need a place to eat, but those huge, stand-alone high chairs are costly -- and, again, take up a lot of space in your house. "If I had it to do over again, I would never, ever buy a high chair," says Laura Beck, a mom from Austin, TX. "They are huge and so hard to store between kids. Plus, they just get disgusting, covered with food, and become something you are constantly cleaning, scrubbing, and finding random bits of food stuck to."</p>
<p>Kim Kempinski, a mom of three from Phoenix, AZ, recommends using a Space Saver high chair, which simply attaches to a chair. "It's much cheaper and takes up less room, and you don't have to buy a booster later. We bought a traditional high chair for our firstborn and donated it when the Space Saver came out -- our toddler is still in it."</p>
<p>Baby Food Processor </p>
<p>"Now, come on, why do I need a special food processor to make baby food?!" Bertsch says. Aside from the extra cost, these little appliances clutter up your kitchen counter. A regular mini food processor will do the exact same thing as the baby version, and you can use it well after your little one is off baby food. You can also use a regular blender or the Magic Bullet (, which lots of moms love because it's small and easy to clean.</p>
<p>Diaper Bag </p>
<p>Although you do need something to carry Baby's things around in, what you don't need is one of the super-expensive diaper bags on the market. The truth is, simply marketing something for moms and babies can jack up the price on an item. And some diaper bags might be pretty to look at, but most of them don't have any special features that make them particularly "baby- friendly." "A knapsack or messenger bag does just fine, thanks!" Kemp-Jackson says.</p>

<p><em>Used with permission. © Meredith Corporation. All rights reserved. </em></p>
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