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Registering for Baby: Where to Start

Meredith Legenos

Registering for baby can often be overwhelming and exciting all at the same time! Here is a simple guide to follow, making sure you are prepared to build the perfect registry for your needs.

Where to start- This is similar to when you are going to start preparing for the nursery. Take a look around and see what items may be transitional pieces, or items that you may be inheriting from friends and family. For example, decide whether or not you have an existing dresser that you would like to use in the baby's room vs. purchasing a new dresser. Make sure if you are receiving hand me downs they are made of sustainable, healthy and safe components. Once you have taken an inventory of your home it is time to go over the checklist of items you will need. We have created this useful checklist for each category pertaining to what you will really need to have a baby.

Furniture & Room Decor- This probably is one of the most fun categories to register for. First, figure out if you will be having family or friends offering to purchase the large nursery items or if these will be purchased by you. Once that is figured out the necessary items can be added to the registry.

Crib- Whether or not you use a bassinet or co-sleeper with your baby in your bed there will come a time where you will need a crib. There are different price ranges and styles to accommodate everyone. Make sure that the crib does not contain MDF that can release formaldehyde into the air.

Crib Mattress- This is a top priority to register for if friends or family have offered to purchase it. Out of everything organic and healthy to provide for your child this is a top priority. Remember non-organic mattresses are sprayed with flame retardant chemicals and can also release other VOCs directly into the air your baby is breathing as their foam core breaks down over time.

Changer or Dresser- You will definitely need a place to change your baby, whether it is on an existing dresser or if you need to purchase one. If you already have an existing dresser, make sure to register for a changing tray. This is a wood top that will sit on top of the dresser providing a secure place for your changing pad.

Changing pad- Although times get crazy and you may end up changing baby on the floor or any flat surface, it is important to register for an organic changing pad for the same reasons that it is important to register for an organic mattress.

Glider & Ottoman- While some people will initially try to live without this, it definitely ends up finding a space in your home. It is very useful and feels like a necessity for every home with a new baby. Whether you are having a one a.m. feeding or just needing a place for a quick nap, gliders or rockers are every new parent’s saving grace.

Storage- You will notice we have listed a few different storage options. This of course is dependent on how much space you have and if you have closet space. Since this is not a necessity we can leave it up to you to decide. If you need storage we have many great organic and sustainable options.

Furniture & Room Summary: Remember we have listed here what you absolutely need to have a baby in your home.  On our Registry checklist we list extra items and provide additional ideas.

Sleeping: In this category we provide a checklist of items you will need to accommodate your baby during sleep time. You will need at least one of each of the items listed below and it is up to you if you would like multiples.

Waterproof crib mattress pad- It is important to register for this item so that you ensure you receive the trusted organic option that you want in your home.

Crib sheets- Remember that your baby will be sleeping directly on this cotton so it is best if the sheets are organic without any harmful dyes or finishers.

Swaddle Blankets- This is a wonderful blanket that is used from the day your baby is born to about 3-4 months. Babies love to be swaddled and it is a safe way for them to sleep. This is one product for which we suggest registering for more than one.

Sleep Sacks- Once your baby starts to "break free" from their swaddles it is time to move onto sleep sacks. This is a wearable blanket your baby can and will use up to 2 years old. It is great to register for different sizes so you have a nice assortment to last you through the months.

Sleep Summary: Organic blankets and surfaces are always more breathable and important to provide for your baby

Clothing: It is important to register for organic clothing since baby’s skin is so absorbent and sensitive. Non-organic clothing can release the pesticides from the cotton onto your baby’s skin. In this category we have listed the clothing items you need to get you through the first few weeks and months.

Kimono-Style Tees- Your baby will not only have no head support but they will also have a belly button scab for the first few weeks. This style of tee snaps easily on the side making outfit changing very easy. Often times these are lifesavers for most new parents. It's a great idea to have a least 6 if you don’t want to have to do laundry every day.

Loose fitting pants- These are great for when the belly button scab is still on. Get pants that are loose and soft and allow your baby to stay cozy. You will not be using pants as much as tops so about 3-4 pairs are good to start with.

Skull Hats- Even in warm climates it is good to have hats on hand for your baby. Depending on if you like to coordinate outfits or if you just want your baby to be warm will help determine the quantity. Usually you need about 3 hats. The name Skull hat just refers to the newborn style hat.

Sleep Gowns- These are definitely a necessity. They provide easy diaper changes in the middle of the night without having to undo any snaps or zippers.

Clothing Summary: Remember to not over buy since babies grow-fast! It is important to register for and purchase the basics. Think of it as having a great pair of jeans, a few great shirts and the perfect jacket!

Gear: With gear there are a lot of different options and opinions. When looking at this category think about your lifestyle and what you will actually be doing with your baby. For example, if you are never going to jog with your baby-don't buy a jogging stroller.

Infant Car Seat & Base- It is mandatory now to leave the hospital with an infant car seat for your baby. Orbit Baby makes the only car seat that is oeko-tek certified, meaning it has no harmful flame retardant chemicals sprayed on it. This car seat and stroller system is the one we highly recommend.

Stroller- No matter what your lifestyle, you will need a stroller. There are different choices offered at Sprout, each with healthy fabric options. First, determine what you will be doing mostly with your child and then stop in for a demonstration so we can show you the different options.

Playtime- You will definitely need to set your baby down to either take a shower or send an email. In this section we provide a few different options to register for. You don't need all of these but we recommend choosing at least one to provide a safe and healthy space for your baby. You will probably want at least a mat for tummy time and a bouncy seat for your baby to sit in while you get things done.

Carriers- There will be times when it is easier to carry your baby than to have him in the stroller or in a bouncy seat. Think about whether you want a sling, a wrap, or a backpack style carriers and whether you plan to share this with your partner. At Sprout we can demonstrate the many different options and help you to decide. Keep in mind, it is best to use organic fabrics, as these fabrics could be touching your baby’s skin for much of the day.

Gear Summary: There is an overwhelming amount of options provided in this category. We recommend taking a step back to really think about what your activities will include with baby, whether it be always hiking or always flying. Taking the time to think about this will help you not end up with 3 strollers, 2 bouncy seats and a swing.

Feeding: This is often an area where you end up receiving gifts you will never use. When it comes to nursing or bottle-feeding no product is guaranteed to work for you.  It is important not to invest too much money or time registering in this area. We recommend registering for the following:

Nursing pillow- Even if you end up not nursing this is a great accessory to use during tummy time.

Bottle Feeding- This is always tricky so we recommend only purchasing a few bottles of different brands to try out once the baby arrives. The baby will choose his favorite, and once this occurs then it is best to go and buy more or exchange what you have for his preference.

Eating Solids- Babies will start eating baby food around 6 months. Right now this seems far away but time will fly once your baby is born. This is a fun and important category to register for. Many of the containers and sippy cups provided for baby are not BPA and Phthalate free, so it is best to make sure you get safest solution when registering for these items.

Food Processor- This is something you will definitely need if you are planning on making your own organic baby food

Highchair- Highchairs come in handy even before your baby has moved to solid food so we highly recommend registering for one. We have modern, traditional and functional options. This is a great safe to place put your baby once he can hold his head up if you need your hands free.

Bathing and Changing: Giving your newborn their first bath can always be a little nerve-racking; in this category we have provided organic and healthy options to help with this milestone.

Baby Tub- There are now safe options for your baby, so make sure you choose a  bathtub that is BPA and Phthalate-free so that harmful chemicals do not leech from the plastic through the warm water and into your babies skin.

Hooded bath towels and wash cloths- These are definitely worth registering for. The hooded towels will keep them warm after the bath, and the washcloths will be great to clean a messy face after feedings.It is always best to put organic cotton up against your baby’s skin, especially when it is wet.

Body and Hair Wash- It is always best to register for this item rather than letting your friends choose a wash, as most shampoos for babies are full of harmful chemicals. It is best to use natural and organic shampoos and lotions when possible.

Bath and Changing Summary: This is definitely a personal preference section so make sure you pop into the store to smell and test out the products before registering. This is also a great way to learn about personal care products to use during pregnancy.

 

Remember we are here to help and walk through your specific budget and lifestyle, making sure you leave with the perfect registry!

At Sprout we have made some very exciting changes in our store to help ease this stress! We now offer informative display cards with information on every category throughout the store to help guide you through your purchases. We have provided a checklist of necessary products for each category plus a quick summary as to why it is important to choose these products. Along with these shopping guides there is a new Registry specific checklist to go through while browsing in Sprout.

Recently, we hosted a registry night at Sprout which offered expectant couples a night filled with helpful info, giveaways and treats! We started off the night going over our custom registry checklist. The goal for the night was to make sure our guests left with an understanding of what one really needs in order to have a baby and to care for them for the first two months. We also stressed that registering should be about your personal style and lifestyle and that taking advice from friends with different tastes and lifestyles may not be the best way to go. Our guests asked insightful questions, and we all learned a lot! We think it is safe to say that everyone left feeling more confident about their registry, and they got great gifts as well, including one couple winning an Indie Bumbleride stroller.

We are planning to be offering Registry Nights on a regular basis at our San Francisco location and, in the near future, at our New York location opening this Fall. Please be sure to sign up for our email newsletter so you are up to date on upcoming events and special promotions.

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