Tuesday, April 29, 2014

The Best of The Land of Nod

When I online shop, I'm a big proponent of checking out the "best seller" section of the website. I like knowing what others find to be tried and true products. I also love when you can sort products by customer ratings. Of course, nothing beats a personal recommendation, but I'm happy to have the readily available opinion of world wide web users.

The bad news is that the algorithm used to rank "best seller" products is often a sham. Why? Because there's rarely consideration as to the number of reviews. For example, Product A has one 5 star review and product B has twenty reviews that average to 4.8 stars. Most websites will rank Product A higher on the best seller list than Product B strictly based on the average number of stars. That's kind of bogus, right? I'd rather buy something that 20 people raved about than something 1 person thought was perfect. Unfortunately, some of my favorite baby product vendors are guilty of this poorly configured ranking system. With this in mind, I give you today's post - my very own "best seller" list for The Land of Nod. My hope is to tackle a bunch of online stores over the next few weeks and find us the TRUE best products from each site.

The Land of Nod reviews are based on a 1 to 5 star system, with 5 stars being the highest. My best seller list will include only those products who've received an average rating of 4.5 stars or higher from at least 50 reviews. And, in case you were wondering, I'm not an affiliate of The Land of Nod and I get absolutely no kick back for today's post. Let's get on with it.

Number of Reviews: 67
Average Rating: 5 stars

This crib is made of maple wood and comes in natural (above), espresso and white. For the past 6 years, people have been absolutely raving about it with review titles that include "WE LOVE THIS CRIB" and "Thrilled with everything related to this purchase!"

Number of Reviews: 113
Average Rating: 4.9

It comes in white and chocolate, it has those nice side handles and the lid is designed to hold its position at any height/angle so it never slams down on tiny fingers. 

Number of Reviews: 80
Average Rating: 4.7

This is a hand-tufted 100% wool rug with a cotton backing. Can't you just see your little guy (or girl) racing cars along those tufted raceways?

Number of Reviews: 77
Average Rating: 4.8

This adorable indoor teepee comes in four patterns: floral (above), gray and white dot, black stripe and orange stripe. The floral pattern was just added to the mix. Reviewers said that setting it up was "a breeze" and that all the kiddos think it's completely awesome. 

Number of Reviews: 185
Average Rating: 4.9

This beautiful twin bed might be the best rated product on the list. It's also ridiculously adorable if ever a bed were adorable. It comes in all sorts of colors (raspberry as seen above, yellow, azure, black and white) and all sorts of sizes (twin, full and queen). AND you can purchase a trundle for sleepovers.

Number of Reviews: 74
Average Rating: 4.8

This simple, classic lamp will work in every nursery because it comes in 11 colors. 11. The diffuser creates a mellow, cozy vibe that many (many) reviewers call "perfect".

Number of Reviews: 76
Average Rating: 5

It's a 4" shelf and comes in 2 sizes (5 pegs as shown above or 3 pegs). People love both sizes and everything think it's sturdy and good lookin' and very functional.

So, there you have it, a list of truly great products from The Land of Nod. I see the Hangin' Around lamp in my daughter's bedroom's future...

Friday, April 25, 2014

The Garland is Done, Man

It's all done. And I think it's puuurty.

So, before I give you the details, let me first apologize for the pitiful photos. They were taken with my phone on a rainy day (there was minimal natural light...and I hate taking flash photos).

Here's how part two of the garland project went down (click here for part one). First, I decided how long I wanted the garland to be. This was dictated by the number of hearts that I had made (16) and how far apart they would be on the twine (6-8 inches). I pulled the twine to the right length according to my estimation (this wasn't a precise process), but before I made my cut I decided that a single strand of twine wasn't going to work. The twine, as is, didn't seem substantial enough to do the job. My plan became to braid three strands together. With this in mind, I cut three pieces of twine substantially longer than I had calculated because I wasn't sure how much length I would lose in the braiding process.

I knotted the three strands together and used a binder clip to attach the knotted end to a chair. I intended to stand up, pull each strand taut and braid. It didn't really work because the strands were crazy long. I ended up winding each strand in circle and securing it with it's own binder clip, making each strand shorter and easier to work with. When the base of my braid hit the binder clip I would unwind some of the twine and re-clip. Am I boring you yet? Just know that this part was unexpectedly difficult and took a while.

Here's the end of my knotted twin clipped to a spindle on a chair.

Here is the finished braid.
It's a pretty lose, which was intentional.
You could certainly make a tighter, more defined braid.

Once the twine was successfully braided, I began to attach each heart. I used red thread and sewed by hand.

Above shows the twine attached to a pink heart. I chose a back side of each heart and sewed the twine on that side rather than on top (where the heart indents). I experimented with sewing it on top and I didn't like seeing the thread on the front. But, I'm a total amateur at this sewing bit so a more seasoned pro may choose otherwise because they can stitch more neatly than I.

That's what it looks like from the front - you can't see how the twine attaches. I didn't use a ruler to make sure each heart was exactly the same distance apart, I just kind of eye balled it. The imperfections add to the charm.

After about an hour of work, bringing the total project length to three hours, it was ready to be hung. Truth be told, I hung it up for your benefit and took it down shortly after taking the photos, so don't be freaked out by the fact that it looks like my daughter could reach out, grab the twine and seriously injure herself or her teddy bear. My current digs are temporary, hence the extremely sparse decor. I will give you an update post when this beautiful creation finds a permanent home in my soon-to-be permanent home.

Thanks to the low quality photographer photograph, you can't see the color gradation between the hearts, but it does exist. There are four colors in total - pale pink, coral, bright pink, red.

And that's that. 

Any crafting projects planned for your near future? I'm in the middle of a quilt - that's right a quilt. It's my first and I'd love a few insider tips if you have any. Have a great weekend.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

A Quick Morning Vomit

Before I get to today's post, a quick update from last week's DIY heart garland post: I finished it yesterday and it came out pretty great! Woohoo! But, I haven't had a chance to hang it up and photograph the finished product, so you'll have to wait for Friday's post.

It is officially the year of the baby. About fifty percent of my friends are pregnant. 5-0. Word. It's been so fun to hear announcement after announcement. I'm losing my voice from the constant screams of joy.

With all this exciting news comes reminder after reminder that the first trimester is hard. And, by hard I mean filled with food aversions, nausea, seriously sore boobs, exhaustion and some upchucking. I have some lucky friends who have experienced minimal symptoms, but the majority have suffered to some extent and one unlucky pal suffered the entire nine months.

When I was pregnant with my daughter, I had moderate morning sickness. I woke up every morning feeling nauseous. Sometimes, if I got up to use the bathroom in the middle of the night...which was another symptom because I'm not someone who gets up to use the bathroom in the middle of the night...I would start to feel nauseous right then, at 3 am. In addition to the daily morning nausea, I also had random reactions to certain meals. It wasn't any one kind of food and it didn't happen every day, but once in a while I would be sitting down for lunch or dinner and need to call it quits before I began. One time, My husband and I were at a nice restaurant in our neck of Brooklyn and two bites into my entree and felt suddenly and fiercely sick to my stomach. My husband kindly asked the waiter to pack up his meal (not mine) and get us a check.

OH YUM. Talde is the restaurant that we left in a hurry.
I was grateful to dine there several times after the incident (when I was no longer pregnant) and before we moved.
(image source)

Thankfully, the nausea only lasted a bit beyond my first trimester and, thankfully, I never actually vomited. Though, I'm not sure what's worse - nausea that doesn't quit or puking that gives way to a settled stomach. Sounds like a "grass is always greener" comparison.

I wonder if my morning sickness will be worse the second time around. Are there statistics on this stuff? If so, can someone share? The thing about your second pregnancy is that you know what to expect, you know what you're signing up for. It seems ridiculous, but I almost forgot that nausea and vomit are included in the package. Thankfully, all these pregnant friends have reminded me. Now I just need a quick course on how to deal with nausea and vomiting while tending to a singing, climbing, diaper-filling toddler.

How was your morning sickness? Was it better or worse your second time around? Any remedies for combatting the nausea?

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Watching Lindsay

A quick shout out to Bostonians and all those who ran the Boston Marathon yesterday. What amazing athletes. What an amazing event. What an amazing city. Boston was most definitely united as one and stronger than ever.

At the moment, I'm sitting on my couch (that same Ikea couch that I referenced in a post back in January) and watching episode seven of Lindsay. If you don't know what Lindsay is congratulations for having much higher standards in television watching than I. Lindsay is a documentary series (read: reality TV) on Oprah's OWN Network about Lindsay Lohan. And it's a warmed-over, gooey, grimy mess (read: riveting).

This is Oprah and Lindsay before the series was filmed. I don't think they're so chummy anymore.
(image source)

I can't stop watching. I'm consumed by Lindsay's inability to wake up before noon, inability to go more than ten minutes without a cigarette and inability for self awareness. Complete inability for self awareness. It's an incredible show, but, arguably, a huge waste of my time. The episodes are an HOUR. A whole hour. 

I have much more productive things I could be doing for that hour. Things like the laundry, which is becoming it's own warmed-over, gooey, grimy mess. But, I let myself indulge because it keeps me level. Doing something totally unproductive and selfish makes me feel like my own person. Whether it's a jog or reading a magazine or painting my nails or watching Lindsay, it's so nice to do something just for me. I don't always get a full hour (or a full minute) but it's amazing when I do.

Of course, changing my role from mother of one to mother of two will make these daily personal moments harder to achieve. Will I be able to waste an hour on Lindsay when I have two children? My guess is no, not at first. My personal moments completely vanished when I first became a mother. But over time, as life settled into its new routine, they gradually returned. I suspect a similar fate for baby number two, which means it's a temporary and manageable loss. Especially with DVR.

How much personal time do you get as a mother of two? How long did it disappear when you first became a mother (mother of two, three...four)? How pumped were you when you realized it returned?

Friday, April 18, 2014

DIY Felt Heart Garland

As promised in this year's Blogiversary (aka blogging anniversary), I'm crafting again. Wait! Before you immediately click out of this post because my last crafting attempt was so painfully weak that you can't stomach the thought of suffering through a similar embarrassment, please give me another chance and keep reading. Everyone deserves a second chance. Novice crafters included.

A while back, I was inspired by an image of felt hearts that I came across on Pinterest. I'd love to share this image with you, but I believe it's against blogging rules (here is the link if you're interested). My idea was to make the felt hearts and string them together in a garland or, if you're British, bunting. I wanted to tweak the hearts a bit...well...I'll just show you because months after finding this inspiration, I actually did it.

There she is, my first felt heart. Not too bad. But, let's back up.

I got all my supplies at Joann Fabric because there's a store really close to where I live. These supplies are super basic and you can get that at any craft store or Amazon.com or even Target. The supplies include 8 sheets of 9" x 12" felt, polyester fill (that gauzy material inside stuffed animals) and a roll of twine. For the felt, I chose four colors (pale pink, coral, bright pink, red) and got two sheets of each color. I own a sewing machine (this one) and white thread.

My first step was to cut all the felt in half and then half again.

Above is my pile of felt and to
the right is a sheet of the pale
pink cut into four pieces.

Next, I made a heart template because I wanted my hearts to be roughly the same size. I didn't have any cardboard laying around, so I used a Carter's mailer. It was card stock, not quite as thick as cardboard, but worked just fine.

Starting from left to right (above): I used the piece of felt to cut a rectangle in the mailer, then I cut a heart (free hand) out of the rectangle. 

Next came the task of using my heart template to cut all the quartered, rectangular pieces of felt into hearts. It took a while to cut all 32 hearts (8 sheets, each cut into 4 rectangles). I got lazy halfway through and cut two hearts at a time. I now know that I could have been even lazier because having a perfectly shaped heart from the start isn't necessary (more on this later).

The plan was to pair off the hearts, sew the twosomes together and somehow stuff them with fill in the process. But I was a bit stumped when it came to the stuffing part - I didn't know how. My first thought was to layer the felt with fill, pin the whole thing together and then sew. Within seconds, that idea fell to the wayside because it seemed too difficult and too time-consuming.

Above is the layered heart and fill. Not a great plan. My next idea was to begin sewing the two felt hearts together, leave a small gap before finishing, stuff the heart while it was still on the sewing machine, then finish out the sewing. Below is a photo of this method...I admit that it's not a masterful idea, but I'm neither a masterful craftsperson nor a masterful seamstress...so it was fine by me. And, most importantly, it worked.

I would just push the fill into the small whole at the bottom until the heart was full and then finish sewing.

Above is an action shot for ya. Don't worry the sewing machine was off...I think. There were definitely bumps along the way. I'm still not great with my sewing machine (see below), but overall they came out pretty well.

I chose a zig-zaggy stitch setting on my sewing machine (#3 if you have the same machine) for a little flare. Also, after I completed each heart, I trimmed the outer edge to even out the shape - hence why it didn't matter whether the heart was perfectly shaped from the get go.

Above is my final batch - all 16. The low-tech photo taken by my iPhone doesn't show the range of color (at all), but in person it's a true spectrum of pale pink to fire engine red. The first 8 hearts took me a little over an hour to make and the second 8 hearts took me about half that time. In total, it was a two hour project. 

My next step is to use the twine and string them into a garland. If you've been relatively more impressed by today's crafting show - thank you and stay tuned for a post next week on the finished product. If you are, again, saddened by my attempt, you have my full permission not to read the follow-up post. My apologies.

What crafting projects have you embarked on lately? Ever followed through on a DIY project inspired by Pinterest? Oh, and what DIY/Crafting blogs do you read (and love)?

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Hiding Pregnancy From Your Boozy Friends

Two and a half years ago, I wrote a post (here) about trying to hide your pregnancy during a cocktail infused social situation. Over the past two and half years, I have had the experience of being that pregnant woman who tried to hide her business. I've also had the experience of witnessing pregnant women try to hide their business. I say "try" because, honestly, I've never seen it work. Not for me and not for anyone else.

So, I thought I'd go back over the methods that I listed back in June 2011 and see if I could provide some pointers now that I have actual experience under my formerly pregnant belt.

"I'm on Antibiotics"

Okay, I've never seen this one used, which may mean that it actually worked on me or that it's complicated, awkward and not a crowd favorite. There are two important considerations with this option. First, if you're sick enough to need antibiotics, why aren't you home in bed? Second is the details. What are you sick with and what kind of antibiotics are you taking and are you sure you're not suppose to drink on them? This one needs to be thoroughly thought out and you also have to be comfortable telling a full on lie.

"I'm not feeling well"

Please. You're not well enough to have a Mimosa but you're well enough to get up and out for a Sunday morning brunch? No one is buying it.

Enlist the Waiter/Bartender and Order a Drink Look-a-like

This is a popular method, but more complicated than one would think. Hence, I've seen it fail on multiple occasions. First, make sure the waiter charges you for a vodka soda even though he's only bringing you soda. When you're splitting the bill at the end of the night, a nosy friend is going to give you a shout out when your "cocktail" is listed as "seltzer" and it cost $2 instead of $8. Second, make sure that the waiter/bartender uses glassware that's intended for alcohol. If your gin and tonic comes in a pint glass instead of a high ball glass, your cover is blown. And make sure the bartender doesn't mark your non-alcoholic drink with a double straw or extra lemons or a handful of cherries.

Fake Drink

Some people are decent at it, but no one is great. Other than the fact that the level of wine in your glass doesn't go down, fake drinking is actually harder than you would think. Poor form can leave liquid dribbling down your chin. If this is your method of choice, I recommend a bottled beer - they're the easiest to not actually drink from and they are the hardest for someone to look at and determine how much liquid remains.

Partner Up With a Booze Bag

This method was not included in my original post and probably for good reason, it (too) doesn't work well. I say this having tried it myself. Here's the plan, you sit next to someone who knows that you're pregnant. You both order the same drink. You strategically place both of your drinks next to one another. Your booze bag partner alternates drinking from both of your glasses. Sounds like it has potential. For me, it failed miserably because my partner got wasted and pulled both of our glasses directly in front of him and double fisted. If you guessed that my partner was my husband, you'd be correct. We should have practiced.

House Party Fake Out

A commentor on the original post told a story of her friend who emptied out a bottle of Coors Light, filled it with water and drank water out of the bottle all night. Clever. I've also seen this one in action and only figured it out because I was already suspicious. Unfortunately, this is really a house party method...you can't bring your bottle of beer to the bathroom with you at a restaurant and women tend to take group bathroom trips at bars.

I wonder if Kim Zolciak-Biermann fake drank wine during her first trimester?
(image source: Kim Zolciak Instagram)

What method did you use? Did it work? Did you ever catch anyone using one of the above methods? Any methods that I missed?

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

When is Drew Barrymore Due?

I guess Mondays are becoming tough post days for me. Sorry for giving you zilch yesterday. I have no one to blame but myself...and Matthew McConaughey...and Woody Harrelson. Who else has been watching True Detective? Wow. It gives me nightmares, but I'm addicted.

When is Drew Barrymore due? It feels like she's been pregnant forever. At least a year and a half.

According to E!Online, Drew just had her baby shower and Cameron Diaz attended (they're besties). This brings up another question: why do celebrity moms get a baby shower for every baby? The rule about baby showers is that you get one for your firstborn and that's it. No baby shower for your second born. The reasoning behind the rule is that you're gifted the essentials at your first round baby shower and you're expected to reuse those essentials for all subsequent rounds. You just don't need multiple infant bathtubs. The most annoying part of this blatant rule breaking by Drew and other famous folks is that they're the last people who need to be gifted more baby stuff. They're loaded and can buy all the baby stuff they need and they're always getting free stuff from brands begging for high profile publicity. I'm not suggesting that second born kiddos don't deserve some new, special items of their own. If Drew's aunt Myrtle (she doesn't actually have an aunt Myrtle) wants to knit a new baby blanket that's totally cool. But a full-on baby shower? I object.

Despite my original belief, this photos is not from Drew's baby shower. It's from an event she attended.
(image source)

One last question, according to the same E!Online article, Gwyneth Paltrow was also in attendance at Drew's illegal baby shower. Here's the question: since when are Drew and Gwyneth friendly? Right? Is Gwyneth just mixing up her circle of friends because her current social life is being impacted by her conscious uncoupling? I'm far off topic.

Happy Tuesday. And if you happen to know when Drew is due, I'd love to know.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Rainbow Toddler Bedroom

A while back I made a moodboard for a rainbow nursery. Thanks to Pinterest, I learned that people dig rainbow nurseries. Between the general population's interest and my current bedroom decorating project, I decided to update the rainbow theme from a nursery to a kid's bedroom. Below are some of the many beautiful items of inspiration that I found.

(image sources - below)

Where To Find Everything Above

Garima Dhawan Duvet Cover from Wayfair
Rainbow Raindrops Post Decal from The Land of Nod
All in One Music Toy from Pottery Barn Kids
Personalized Kid's Rainbow Bunting by Made By Eden Grace
Ferris Wheel Pillow by Janelle Tweed

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

The New SSA Top 1,000 list is Coming...

Mother's Day is around the corner. For New Englanders like myself, winter just ended (last week), so this news is quite shocking. But, we're already a week into April and Mother's Day is May 11th this year. This means that the Social Security Administration will be posting the Top 1,000 names of 2013 on Friday, May 9th...a month away! Back in 2012, I learned from a savvy commentor that the SSA posts the prior year's most popular baby names on the Friday before Mother's Day.

In anticipation of this upcoming and major event, let's take a peak at last year's Top 1,000 names. I'm specifically interested in the least popular of the most popular. I'm here to make a few predictions on which of last year's less desirable names are on the move to more popular pastures.

Ladies First - Tess, Geraldine, Esme and Leona. These names fell somewhere between 900 and 1,000 and Tess barely made the list at all (though her cousin, Tessa, was up at 235). These slightly quirky, yet traditional names are right on trend. I'd like to see them rise in ranks and think they will. What I know will make big waves are Monroe and Everly. These names also fell into 900 and 1,000 range last year. But, thanks to their celeb association, I have no doubt that this is the very beginning of their rise.

The Cannon/Carey family, including Monroe and Morrocco.
(image source)

Everly Tatum - too cute.
(image source: Channing Tatum Facebook)

Gentlemen Next - Anders, Briggs and Foster. The last name as a first name trend started a while back with Harrison and Grayson. It has remained a naming trend for so long because it conjures strong, masculine names that feel classic. The added consideration to this trend, which is an added consideration to all name trends these days, is uniqueness. These three boy names fit the bill. And Bodhi. Definitely Bodhi. It's going to get much bigger thanks to Brian Austin Green and Megan Fox's new son.

What were all your friends naming their babies last year? 
What are your predictions for big movers and shakers on the SSA Top 1,000 list?

Monday, April 7, 2014

Sorry, No Post Today

My apologies - I don't have a post for you today. Not a real post, just this. It was a crazy, full weekend...much like the week it preceded...and I managed nothing by way of NSB. But, I'll be back tomorrow. I'm feeling a discussion of baby names. It's been too long.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Telling Your Little One About Your New One

Deep discussions with toddlers aren't hard. They're damn near impossible. This is because toddlers lack sophisticated (or even basic) communication skills. Yes, toddlers speak and some speak in rough sentences, but speaking doesn't equal understanding. Try explaining to a toddler why two cookies is the limit or why eyeglasses don't belong in the toilet. They may accept the rule, happily or not so much, but it's doubtful that they'll grasp the reasoning behind it. With that said, how do you explain to your toddler that another baby is coming to town...and staying? If the simple discussions - like cookie limits and toilet boundaries - can be difficult, how do you handle the highly conceptual topics of pregnancy and siblings?

Now is where I'm suppose to give you a half dozen ideas on how to have this highly conceptual conversation with your tot. Well, I got nothing for ya. I don't know jack about it other than what I've observed from friends and what I've observed isn't mind shattering:

  1. Mama's belly - Discussions about the baby being on mommy's belly, rubbing and pointing to mom's belly, rubbing and pointing to toddler's belly 
  2. Baby's stuff - Discussions about all the things that the baby will need and use including the nursery, clothes, diapers, bottles, toys, books, etc.
  3. Role-playing with a doll - I've only seen this with girls, apparently we all gender stereotype more than we think
  4. Books about siblings
  5. Sibling wxamples - "You know how Benjamin is Robert's brother? You are going to be the baby's brother." 

More involved activities I've heard of (not seen) include bringing the toddler on a family shopping trip so that he/she can pick out a toy for the baby and bringing out some of the toddler's old possessions to "reminisce" about when the toddler was a baby and thereby identify with the baby.

Does any of this work? I think so. I don't have any friends who had major issues with their firstborn accepting their second...not that I've seen or been told. But how much prep work is needed? And what methods work better than others? And what should my expectation be in terms of how much my  toddler will actually understand? And, am I overthinking this?

The answer to the final question is definitely yes. Overthinking is what I do.

Maybe it doesn't matter whether you develop a specific plan to explain the impending life change, because, with or without a strategy, the information will be conveyed. You're going to talk about the baby and prepare your family's life for the baby and physically change as the baby grows inside you. After nine months of build up, the toddler will understand that something big is about to happen. Perhaps, it's not so important how detailed that understanding is. Perhaps, the only important thing is that you just keep communicating - keep explaining why eyeglasses don't belong in the toilet and that the best gift of their life is just a few months away.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

What Should You Register For (That You Actually Need) Part 2

Last week I gave you Part 1 of my sample registry with the idea being to include only things that a first time parent actually needs (not wants, not might use once). I covered the categories of furniture, sleeping, gear and diapering. Today, I'm covering feeding, bathing and health & safety.

  • Nursing Pillow - Nursing pillows are useful whether breastfeeding or not. They make feeding time comfortable for you and for the baby. And some nursing pillows (like the Boppy) are also great for tummy time and learning to sit.
  • Burp Clothes/Cloth Diapers (12+) - Some babies spit up more than others, but all babies dribble and gurgle and drool at least a little. Burp clothes handle the clean up and they can also be used as wipes (for those against disposable wipes) and as tissues (they're softer on those tiny noses).
  • Bibs (2+) - Why do you need burp clothes and bibs? The burp cloth protects your outfit and the bib protects the baby's outfit. Don't register for a dozen bibs because you'll undoubtedly receive many "non-registry" bibs that say things like "If you think I'm handsome you should see my uncle" or "Grandma's Little Angel". Remember, the tackier the phrase, the less you'll care when it's covered in cheesy spit up.
  • Bottles (2+) - How many bottles you need depends on whether you intend to breastfeed and for how long. Don't register for a set of Dr. Brown's because that's what everyone does. Really consider your plan and know that these are not high cost or rare items, so you can always pick up more bottles after the baby arrives.
  • Bottle Brush - It's damn near impossible to properly clean the inside of a bottle without one.
  • High chair - You don't need this (or the next two items) right away, but you do need it.
  • Spoons (2+)
  • Sippy Cups (2+) 
If You're Breastfeeding...
  • Breast Pump
  • Breastmilk Storage - A combination of plastic/glass/metal containers and plastic bags is a good idea until you know what works best for you.
  • Nursing Pads - You can go with disposable pads or reusable pads (check Etsy for makers of reusable pads).
  • Nipple Cream

TIP: Nursing pillows are easy to borrow. Most people only use them for the first 6 months or so. Rather than register for the pillow, just register for an extra cover (Boppy and Breast Friend nursing pillows both sell extra covers separately) and use it with your borrowed pillow.

I love this sippy cup, if you want to go stainless steal.
(image source)

  • Bathtub - Trying to hold or dip your baby in water sounds uncomfortable and really dangerous. So, yes, I think this is a necessity.
  • Baby Wash - This is an all-in-one shampoo and soap that won't sting eyes and is extra sensitive on that delicate skin.

TIP: Hooded towels, baby washcloths and Aquaphor are not necessities, but they're really useful and also make things easier because they're sized and designed for mini people.

Baby wash in a pump container (like Little Twig) is so convenient.
You can get a cheap pump container from Target and fill it with your favorite brand.
(image source)

  • Ointment (2) - There are so many options out there. A+D, Desitin, Balmex, Butt Paste (that's not a joke) name a few. Register for one or two different (standard size) kinds and see what jives with your little one before you go economy.
  • Comb and Brush - A lot of babies are hairless at birth. But, if yours happens to have a full coif, you'll be grateful for these.
  • Nail Clipper - Research this product well because cutting baby nails is really hard and you don't need a product that's going to make it harder. (Tip: nail files are the way to go once the baby's nails are strong enough and you can use your standard nail file, no special baby nail file needed)
  • Nasal Aspirator - You'll get one from the hospital, so (technically) it's not a necessity. But, it's nice to have two (one for the nose, one for the mouth or just an extra when one is dirty).
  • Thermometer - If you already have a standard digital thermometer at home, then you're all set. You will stick that under your baby's armpit to get your read. Some people prefer rectal thermometers because they're more accurate. It's your call. It's personal. It's between you, your baby's tush and the thermometer.
  • Outlet covers - This and the next 2 items are needed for the mobile months (and years).
  • Cabinet locks
  • Gate

TIP: Monitors aren't a necessity in that you and your baby will be okay without one. BUT, I strongly recommend one. Having a visual monitor (not just an audio monitor), let's you make a more educated decision about whether you are actually needed in the nursery. Without the extra bit of info that a visual monitor provides, you're bound to go into the nursery when you're not actually needed. This means that you'll be getting out of bed for no reason (boo) and by entering the nursery you risk waking up your baby, who might be just tossing and turning (double boo). Visual monitors help everyone in the house sleep better.

The Nose Frida (aka the snot sucker) is a favorite of many moms. The idea is gross, but it really works.
(image source)

If you're wondering about the best place to register for all these great products, here are links to a few old posts to help with that (here, here and here). And HERE is a post about where I chose to register.