This post has been a long time coming. Now that baby girl is about 2 and a half years old I can say with certainty I would have put way different stuff on my baby registry. So here’s what I think Miami moms really need on their baby registry.
Stuff Miami Moms Can Leave Off Their Baby Registry
Blankets – It’s too hot here! If anything get a very thin one
Long sleeved anything – It’s too hot here!!! (you might need one all year)
Jackets – It’s too hot here!!! (you might need one all year)
Those warm onesies that cover their entire hands and feet – It’s too hot here!!!
Baby hand covers – I know you are worried baby will scratch their eyes and face, but that’s supposed to happen!!! It heals and that’s how they learn not to do that. My doctor threw them in the trash, so don’t bother with them no matter what the older generation says. Not needed. Yes baby ended up scratching herself and her eye, but it healed and she did learn not to do that. One less thing to not worry about! Yay!
Black Carseats – Are you crazy?! It’s too hot here!!!!! I made this mistake, boy did I feel awful.
Black Strollers – Even more insane than black carseats. Why do they even sell these in FL?!?!? So crazy insanely hot baby was miserable 99% of the time. Sweating to death! I bought this expensive, but black, stroller thinking it would be a nice neutral color and wouldn’t show stains. At the expense of baby’s comfort. I had to give it away. Do not make that mistake just get a light colored stroller. With a HUGE freaking epic sun visor. We NEED that here!
Humidifiers – That’s for dry weather moms. Like up north when it’s snowing and they have the heaters on taking all the moisture out of their homes. We do not have that problem here. Plenty of moisture is already in your home and adding more will cause mold. A much more realistic (and dangerous) problem for us in Miami. If we need to make a room a little more humid, we can simply and safely crack open a window. More info.
Baby Tub – Never used it, waste of money. Cradle them in your arms in a tub with them or wash them bit by bit in the sink. In some countries they get a bucket and a hose and go outside. I can’t believe I almost got suckered into that jetted baby spa tub lol!
Baby Registry Items for Miami Moms
Bottles: they are all BPA free now (yay!). Do NOT attempt to get glass or stainless steel style bottles. Boy I made that mistake. You swear you’re going to be careful with the glass ones. You think you are somehow more civilized than other moms and your baby will be calmer and different…HA!!! Honey, no. You are human, baby is a human infant. You WILL be sleep deprived and baby will get cranky. Sooner or later no matter what fancy safety contraption you put that glass bottle in, it will break and the results will be humbling. Same with the stainless steel. You cannot see how much baby is drinking and that’s huge! You need to simmer down and get the basic clear plastic BPA free bottles. You’re still a good mom. It will be just fine.
Bottle Nipples: Bottle nipples are the most important part of the bottle to babies. The first nipple they become comfortable with is what the will want FOREVER. We had 20 different bottle types and since we went with formula in the hospital and they use those pre-made little formula bottles we needed to get one near identical to those nipples and for us it was Dr. Brown’s bottles. Loved them.
Breastfeeding Supplies: If you exclusively breastfeeding you should be able to get a free breast pump now with your insurance so check with it and fight for it because if your health insurance is new (after the affordable care act) they have to give it to you. You’ll probably want bottles that are closer to a natural nipple shape in this case. My friend had luck with the Tommee Tippee brand. When breastfeeding you’ll also need nipple cream, a good nursing bra, and storage bags. Optional: nipple cream, nipple shields
Bottle Dryer: To dry your bottles get a standard bottle dryer. These are great and you need one.
Bibs: You’ll also need some bibs because babies like to spit up and eventually need to eat baby food which is messy. The bibs I like have button closure, easy to wash in the sink, and dry quick for reuse. Some good ones: here, here, and here. Button closure is preferred, but above all you want to rise and dry them for multiple uses throughout the day. Washing bibs means you need like 500 of them! It’s not smart and there is no need to suffer. Plenty of laundry to do without adding that to the mix. The ones that are entirely plastic will save yourself the most grief.
Bowls: I started off with lots of fancy bowls and feeding trays. I quickly learned you want something small and that’s not easy to tip over at first. Do not judge me, but the best I found was a non slip cat dish! LoL!!! It had rubber on the bottom witch kept it in place for longer than the ones made for a baby. Something like this, but if that’s too much for you try this one. I know I’m horrible, but it really did work. When baby is a bit more civilized just go for some cheaper bowls/containers with lids and get a lot. Lids are great to save left overs that baby didn’t touch. Yay to no waste!
High Chair: You need this one. Get one that has a good harness to keep baby in it and safe. Eventually they try to escape and if baby figures out how to get out of the pack and play too soon this may be the only place you can keep them to be safe while you cook! So make sure the seat is strong and keeps them locked in. Nothing to heavy, so you can move it around to whatever room you are in. Kitchen to cook, etc. Look for something easy to wipe down with not a lot of nooks and crannies. It will get nasty and can be a pain to constantly clean. I went with a spacesaver one that attaches to any regular chair. I love this one even though it’s a huge pain to clean, because in the moments baby falls asleep while eating it reclines!
I’m going to just give you the essentials here.
Crib: Now your options are the cheap ones, the convertible ones that last forever, or getting multiple items like a bassinet + crib + whatever. I say just get a cheap crib and buy a nice big kid bed when the time comes. The pretty bassinet tiny crib is useless very quickly. Makes a great photo, but not much else. Co-sleeping contraptions are useless. The take up too much space and if you’re going to co-sleep just do it. Buy the mattress at least 4 months before your due date and open it up and air it out to release as much of the toxic flame retardant chemicals that are MANDATORY for all mattresses. They are toxic and a suspect in sudden infant death syndrome. Until the laws change do this much needed step. In fact formica furniture also has toxic fumes, if you are not buying all wood furniture buy everything a few months ahead of time to air it out and open windows while you’re home to let it escape.
Pack and Play: AKA play pen. Whatever you call it, you NEED it. Take it with you everywhere because you cannot put baby to sleep easily and safely without one. It’s also great when baby gets bigger and you need to go to the bathroom! Or if you want to cook and open an oven. There are so many times you need to put baby some place safe. These are a real need.
Changing Table: Yes this is important. More important than a dresser! Get a changing table. You never know if you end up with a c-section and you cannot bend down at ALL. I had one on the pack and play but it was still too low and I ended up having to buy one I didn’t make space for and had to cram it in the room. Buy one!!!!
Baby Sized Chair: Eventually baby will get big enough to sit and watch tv. Make baby more comfortable with a cute comfy baby sized chair. I bought one for like $50 or $60 and regretted it. It didn’t have a slipcover I could remove and wash. Just drinking water spilling on it made the chair look gross. It is worth it to get the ones from Pottery Barn or wherever that have the removable slipcovers. I may have to buy another one at this point.
Leave off any and all warm clothing from your registry! They usually give you swaddle blankets at the hospital and you need them for only a short time. Like I said before it’s hot here and babies like it cooler than it normally is in Miami at night. Unlike the rest of the country our nights are pretty warm. Baby will be fine in a just a normal onesie. So here’s what you’ll need…
Warm weather clothes: Think shorts, short sleeves, cotton, etc.
Snap buttons not real buttons: Who the heck put real buttons on baby clothes? I hate when behind the neck there is that one real button and you have to fight for hours to try and get it on. There is a special place in hell for companies that put real buttons on baby clothes. Go with snap buttons, trust me.
No polyester: Should go without saying but that’s too hot for Miami.
My top place to avoid if I don’t want to go broke on baby clothes… Janie and Jack. (Clothes so cute you’ll wish they were in your size!)
My other fave places to buy baby clothes: Lucky Brand used to have the BEST, but they just stopped (I bought bags full when they were clearing it out). Zara is expensive, but you can find cute clothes that look less cartoonish and decent materials. I like some of the stuff at Baby’s R Us like their FAO Schwarz. I also hit up TJMax and Marshall’s for name brands at great prices.
Stroller: The bane of your existence for the next few years is the stroller. This is the true loss of your freedom when having a child. Not being able to maneuver ANYWHERE easily. Store aisles will be too narrow most of the time. People will be knocking into you. You’ll get stuck. It’s no fun, but you’ll get through it with the right stroller.
Again DO NOT GET A BLACK STROLLER. It’s freaking HOT in Miami! So you’re going to need to find a light colored one and only let your kiddos have water and food that doesn’t stain. Juice is horrible and gives them a sugar high and crash anyhow. The best color is something very light grey as it’s still neutral. If you just don’t care, get whatever light color you want and worry about selling it later or just donate it.
Be realistic with your needs for a stroller. It may be tempting to get a set with the infant carseat and stroller, but if that’s not the PERFECT stroller you’re going to regret it or be back at the store when you can’t take it anymore. I wanted to save money and ended up wasting tons more by doing that. Many people think light strollers are the best. I’ll let you in on a little secret, having a baby is going to give you killer STRONG arms! Right now you might not be able to lift 30 pounds. Eventually you’ll be able to lift 30 pound in ONE arm for HOURS at a time and not think twice about it. So when you’re struggling to lift that huge stroller now, keep that in mind. Within maybe 4 months I went from having trouble lifting groceries to holding a baby in one arm and a weeks worth of groceries in the other.
How light they are – I would rather heavy to get everything I want since you only open and close it when you arrive and leave.
How Easy it is to push and turn – one finger easy pushing is the way to go!
Storage basket – How much stuff can you store under the stroller? I mean that’s the ONE good thing about lugging a stroller around, the extra storage.
If the stroller can roll up to a restaurant and be about table height – This was important for me since we eat out a lot.
Comes in a light color fabric for the seat – It’s hot here!
Comfortable seat for baby – Padding? Adjustable?
Harness – Is it easy for a baby or toddler to escape?! Can the harness be tightened so that baby isn’t half way out of the stroller able to smack strangers? For that matter does the seat not go forward allowing baby to nearly jump out?
Sun Visor – Is it a strong one that really blocks the sun? Does it cover all or most of baby head to toe? Would baby not have any sunburnt skin after a hot day in Disney World?
How much space it takes up in your trunk – Not a big deal to me if I get what I want otherwise.
How easy it is to travel with – I say get a cheap umbrella stroller for that.
Bugaboo Bee3 Stroller – a grey seat with different options for the sun shade color. From the options I saw the lightest colored ones were: Soft Pink and Yellow, and Off White. They come in other color combos, but again I’m looking at light seat colors for baby. These are also easy to move and have lots of under storage. Not a small or very light stroller, but you can’t have it all and this gives the most function.
Stokke Strollers – I love these!!! Lots of options in colors and features. Some allow for carseats and bassinets that lay baby flat for infants. The colors and function of these are why after trying many strollers I was finally happy with one of these…FINALLY! Since I no longer needed a carseat attachment (that phase goes by very quickly so don’t make it a selling point) I went with this simple model the Stokke Scoot.
The Stokke Crusi model is great too. This Crusi comes with a bassinet. I recommended checking these out and really deciding if you want to have more than one kids when purchasing. One of the models allows for two children and it’s a wonderful smooth ride.
I really wanted a Stokke because I like to eat out a lot and not every place has high chairs with working or strong straps. Baby easily can stand up and climb out! It was becoming a nightmare. I saw a women pull up her table-height Stokke and the kid was locked in secure for restaurant eating with family! Even the lower end Scoot I bought is about average table height and we have been able to do this. It’s an amazing feeling and one less thing to worry about. Being short it’s a little harder since I don’t have the same view I did with a shorter stroller. However, baby being up higher has so many benefits I feel it’s totally worth it. The ride is a dream with one finger pushing and tons of lower storage for long shopping trips. I went with the light pink Scoot and it cleans easy with a soap and water sponge looking fabulous. I regret my first stroller choice. It was the very popular Britax B-Agile and was light, but that’s about it. It had an uncomfortable back, it was black and hot, hard to push, and not as much storage. If I could do it all over again knowing what I know now I would have got the Stokke Scoot the the same Light Pink I have now. I would also not worry about the stroller attaching a carseat. So let me get more into…
Carseat: Try to get a light color one (again it’s HOT here) but at least get those sun shields for the back passenger windows that stick on the glass. I’m big into safety so since rear-facing for AS LONG AS POSSIBLE has a huge benefit I’m doing it! I look at max weight and height for rear-facing and safety stats when choosing a carseat. I went with the Britax Marathon ClickTight Convertible Car Seat, in Cowmooflage. It’s rear-facing from birth (5 lbs. to 40 lbs.) and forward facing for kids up to 65 lbs. It’s so much better the Britax carseat that came as a set with my first stroller. It’s just made better and baby girl is so much more comfortable. I know what you’re thinking….the Cowmooflage (lol) color is black…yeah but it’s cute and I have epic tints on my car plus the sun shields. That being said my last car has crappy light tints and the sun would come directly on baby’s face and it was horrible. Moral of the story…never buy a car without making them add dark as legally allowed tints! You just mention it before you lease or purchase the car to seal the deal and they do it without paying extra. It’s a cheap service if you need to pay for it yourself just do it.
Diaper Bag: I made the huge mistake of buying a large (black) Coach diaper bag. It was very nice leather and fancy, but I didn’t need all that space. Now I just buy a medium sized cross body leather or easy to clean bag and put 2 diapers, 1 emergency outfit, and the portable wipes container. When I need to bring a bottle I use this small insulated cooler (free from Similac) and attach it to the stroller. I used to also keep a small changing page in whatever purse I used too, but stopped to save space. Now I just use a disinfecting wipe before putting baby down. It’s not super comfortable, but after a while you become ninja fast at this diaper changing business and you learn where all the nice bathrooms are, or just don’t care anymore.
Portable High Chair: We went with the Inglesina Fast Table Chair. Now you can only use it when the restaurant table is strong and won’t tip over and not super thick that the chair won’t fit. However, when you can use it it’s the best. Baby’s feet hang and there is nothing to step on to push up and climb out! Plus it has a harness, Yay! Active toddlers can be a hand full, but this makes life a little easier and baby is happy they are the same level as everyone else at the table.
OK so I didn’t tell you EVERYTHING you’ll need, but I told you the big important stuff I wish someone had told me about. Things I never thought about until my money was wasted. I hope my advice or even a small part of it was helpful or at least made you think about what you really need differently.