Thursday, August 18, 2011

The Mommyland Baby Registry

Remember the awesome post our friend Lainey wrote for us about the Domestic Enemies of ADHD Mom?  Well she's back!  This time writing about what should really go on a baby registry (hint: it's not a diaper genie).  To read more from Lainey, check out her blog Crazy Momma Talking.


Not having been to a baby shower in a while….and delighted that my time in that particular baby mega-market has come and gone….I was excited to revisit a place I had once known so well. I got the registry and ran down the list of items the mother-to-be had chosen and thought awwwww….how sweet. But my brain, having been damaged beyond repair by the screaming of newborns past, began to formulate a more practical and less obvious list of items that SHOULD go on a baby registry:

King size bed that is also totally covered in plastic for easy wipe down.
Even if you choose not to co-sleep….the baby may have other plans. It will also put you in another zip code from your partner who you may want a little distance from. Not that the **love** isn’t there, you just may choose to express it in ways that minimize physical proximity….or eye contact. A side of disposable bedding (with bio-hazard bags) would be a nice add on.

A hockey mask.
That little cherub with the (hopefully) small melon is going to grow. Is going to grow in to a wrecking ball with your face as its favorite point of impact. Those lessons about mummification that used to keep me up at night….well….they just needed a toddler’s hooked little finger to get the same results.

Also, it can protect you from projectiles.  And with infants, projectiles come out of both ends.

A gift card to Home Depot.
My needs changed with each of my children. With ADHD Girl it would have all been spent on drop cloths and industrial grade cleaners. With Pouty, carpet cleaner, touch up paint and a belt sander. With Evel, lots of locks and a security system…like one of those Catherine Zeta Jones numbers with the lasers.

A gift card to the Old Lady Undergarment Store.
Post delivery and nursing there is just no other choice. I now live for being felt up ladies who look like my mother in a store that smell like Jean Nate. It is the only way to get things where they once were…or nearly there. The underwear sold there also helps eliminate my favorite morning question….waist band over or under where I vaguely recall my belly button to be.

A home medical guide.
This will help you sort through the strange illnesses and codes that will be presented to you. Seriously. Coxsackie what? Rota virus who? The book is a little scary but less annoying than those What To Expect books (aka What to Expect While You’re F-ing up your kid…or The First Three Years of Doing It All Wrong). A medical guide will also allow a new mother to narrow down any medications she may need, such as Prozac that really can be such a life saver that first year.

A Red Cross Grade disaster kit.
At some point a germ-a-gedon is going to come home from preschool. Scenes from The Exorcist will be reenacted. Any mother that was given a Hazmat suit with bucket, mop and box of gloves will be sending a second thank you note. If you’re feeling extra generous, add a gift card to a cleaning service one of those CSI shows would recommend. Let them deal with q-tip cleaning the DVD player…or the grills of the baseboard heater….just saying….

Night lights.
This is my hallway at 3am.
Just after I had ADHD Girl a woman with two grown children asked me if I had any night lights in my own bedroom...I did not.  Her cautionary tale was this: "Line your house with night a flight path. I woke at 3am to both my children calling for me and plainly being very ill. I was so disoriented, I sprung out of bed and ran straight in to the wall. I knocked myself out, broke my nose and ended up with two black eyes." I went straight to BJs and got a 8 pack of night lights.

A power washer.
Just about the only way to really wash a high chair, car seat or other seating station where food has been allowed. A tempting way to deal with the baby after a Mount Vesuvius style blow out....but not recommended.

Home made meals.
Food for the new family is sure to go over well....but there is something better. Snacks and meals for the new mother that can be grabbed and eaten with one hand. The first week of ADHD Girl's life, I personally survived on a cookie bouquet sent to me by friends. As I was trapped for one of our daily marathon nursing sessions I could reach over and pluck a cookie off a stick and stave of famine for at least 20 minutes. Every cookie and muffin given to me vanished. The fab chicken dish that required heating and spooning out of it's massive cooking pan....well...that seemed too time consuming and frankly too hot to eat over my I-will-not-allow-you-to-put-me-down-until-I-am-21 infant.

I am not sure any new mother would be all that super excited with what I now see to be totally awesome gifts. I’ll break this particular new mother in gently. Maybe with some carefully selected gift cards presented in a bucket. I’ll get her the Hazmat suit and a discount coupon for a tummy-tuck for Christmas.

(c)Herding Turtles, Inc. 2009 - 2011


  1. Love this! When I was pregnant, a friend who had no kids of her own gave me a very fashionable little terry cloth bathrobe for infants. I thought it was an awesome gift until I learned that wrapping a wet wiggling human in a FLAT towel was challenging enough, never mind a full bathrobe with sleeves and sash.

    Several years later, said friend had her own first child and, umprompted, apologized for the infant bathrobe.

  2. A bottle of vodka and case of limes.
    An an industrial-size case of paper towels.
    Another case of vodka.
    A case of Kleenex for all of the late night crying mommy will be doing.
    A third case of vodka.


  3. Don't forget gift cards to restaurants that deliver (or have convenient take-out). When #2 arrived one of my MIL's wacky friends (you know, the one that sounds like a 3-pack-a-day smoker who says "darling" a lot. Every MIL has one of those friends) bought us a $50 gift card to our favorite Italian restaurant. A few weeks into being a new family of four and me still hobbling around post c-section, I was desperate for a meal that didn't come from my freezer. Hello, Ippolito's? Can I get my favorite chicken gorgonzola and huge pile of garlic rolls? Why yes, that will be for take-out, the hubs is on his way! Garlic flavored breast milk didn't go over so well that night, but he survived.

  4. Love it. I'd like to add Dramamine, for all the bouncing and rocking you'll have to do.

    Coincidentally, I wrote this handy follow-up registry:
    So, You're Expecting a Preschooler?

  5. I have six kids and seven night lights. Bedrooms, hallway, bathrooms, oh even yesser. My husband complains that it isn't actually dark anywhere in our house at night, but the peeps aren't calling his name at night. I also like to think it will help the kids get to the bathroom without falling down the stairs.

  6. I was lucky enough to have a couple of friends who had babies in the year before I had my first. They were the best resources for what I really needed!

  7. My signature visiting new mom and baby gift is a big bucket Filled with snacks that can be eaten with one hand.

    As a bonus, the bucket works well as a kid puke bucket down the road.

  8. My last baby gift was a package of diapers, some baby food, a package of pacifier wipes, and a headache compress for mom.

    I think I would have loved to receive gift certificates for delivery places. I would have gladly eaten pizza until I was sick of it if it meant I didn't have to try to cook with my boob hanging over the stove.

  9. Love these suggestions. My only addition is a gift certificate to a house cleaner (like Molly Maids) Like after being up all night with said kid for 2 weeks in a row you actually have time and inclination to clean your house any time in the forseeable future. I am waiting till my youngest is in preschool for said day to appear in the forseeable future.

    Jrseygirl in VA

  10. There is some benefit to getting gifts from my non-mommy friends: they get the cutest, most expensive outfits for the baby from little boutiques that I would never go out and buy myself.

  11. There should also be a standard-issue pack for when you're pinned down for hours while nursing/bottle feeding.
    1. Box of tissues - for dribbles or tears or both. Usually both.
    2. A phone or intercom to call the person in the house without breasts/bottle duty to bring whatever it is you forgot when you sat down. Or just to phone a loved one and hear a reassuring voice.
    3. A glass of water and a one-handed snack. Cookies, granola bar, chips, banana, etc. All wrappers must be pre-opened. Trying to rip open a bag of Doritos one-handed will just cover the baby in an explosion of cheesy powder and crumbs.
    3. A small book or nook or iphone - something you can read or browse with one hand.
    4. The remote. ALL the remotes.

  12. Oh geez.

    A little dust buster and wet/dry vac. Honestly? I go to the local Target and find the kids shoe section. I buy white Keds in as many sizes as I can find. I just line 'em up. That way, when their little cupcake suddenly grows, they'll always have a pair of shoes that fits. ALSO I write the sizes on the soles with black sharpie. Makes them easier to keep track of.
    -kate in Michigan

  13. A gift card to the flooring store and the furniture store would have been wonderful! Someone should have told me very early on to skip the stinkin' froo-froo bathrobe-because yes, I got two of them with EACH kid!-and buy leather furniture and put in hard wood flooring. We did not discover this gem of an idea until H*** on Two Feet was three years old, and it really would have been helpful when his older brother, the Little Professor had been born!

  14. Night lights. Even yesser. We took it one stwp further, because we have no outlets at the top/bottom or along our stairs and put down....wait for it......ROPE LIGHTING. Like from Christmas. My hubby tacked it onto each step. Because DD really DOES tend to fall down the stairs when coming down to potty.

    Next time one of my Moms club friends pops (we have a large and steady supply of round ones) I will be stopping at OG and picking up a pan of pasta, some salad and some breadsticks. I will also bring over a basket of handheld snacks.

  15. From now on, when I go to baby showers for first time moms, I am going to include a pack of batteries with my gift. I cannot believe how much stuff we have in our house that requires half a dozen batteries to work. Ridiculous.

  16. at the last baby shower we went to the mommy-to-be asked for Help. Literally, we signed up to help babysit the older kids, to prepare meals, to go grocery shopping for her, to clean her house and walk her animals. She is still cashing in some "1 child free phone conversation" coupons.

  17. In addition to gift cards for home depot and good restaurants, gift certificates for house cleaning are wonderful. My MIL gave me a stack of post-dated cheques for bi-weekly pro cleaning after I had #3. Having shiny floors and a tub I could see my reflection in without having to lift a finger made me so happy. Also, Granny's Laundry Service was really great. For a couple of weeks, Hubby would load our dirty laundry into my Grandma's car, and the next day he would unload baskets of fluffy, sweet-smelling folded clothes. I trashed my ab muscles pushing out a 9lb boy so I couldn't carry our laundry up and down stairs. Having Grandma's help was awesome.

  18. I'm sending this registry to every pregnant woman I know. They may act like I'm nuts, but one day they will thank me, and you.

  19. Love this post!!

    But for real, for real? I want all mothers at baby showers to be the recipient of a "wellness basket," full of the things you need when little one falls ill & your partner is not around and there's no way you're packing a feverish baby into a carseat to head to Walgreens at the witching hour of 3 a.m.

    I'd fill it with baby tylenol (adult tylenol for mommy's eventual headache), Desitin, thermometer, Pedialyte, nose drops, tissues, extra burpie cloths (because who is actually caught up with laundry, let alone when baby's is steadily puking up its lungs?), ear plugs (for mommas & poppas and anyone within an stone's throw of a colicky baby), and a big fat dose of WOOOOSAAAAHHHH, because let's face it, you're gonna need it!

  20. @Jenene - I used to wonder why on earth every babiesindustrialcomplexrus employee asked, "do you need batteries?" even when I was only purchasing things that could not possibly ever need them, like diapers, and then some time went by and....yeah. Now I know.

  21. Let's not forget nipple cream, breast pads, cover-ups and any other breast feeding accessory. An absolute must, especially with first baby.

  22. I would also add a gift certificate to a favorite mommyclothes store, to help ease the painful post-birth realization that those pre-pregnancy size 6 pants just aren't going to be fitting again any time soon.

  23. This is awesome! Before I had a child, I used to go ga-ga over cutesy stuff on baby registries. Now I laugh at the registry naivete and buy gifts I know the new mom will really need.

  24. PRACTICAL baby gifts...I SOOOOO wish my friends and family had thought of these things when my not-so-Li'l Demonz were still little. And it's comforting to know I wasn't the only mom with a marathon nurser. I ate a lot of "sandwichable foods"




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