Montessori For Us

***This post will be updated as I read more books and find for resources.

Disclaimer: I’m sure I’ll get some flack for not doing true Montessori, but I really don’t care. So if you’re planning on commenting about how I’m not doing Montessori properly, please stop reading and leave this page. I don’t care and won’t approve your comment for viewing anyways.

Montessori as an educational option wasn’t unknown to me. My husband went to a Montessori preschool. My mom wanted to send my brother and I to Montessori school, but there wasn’t one in our town. We plan on putting our son in a Montessori preschool and elementary school when the time comes. In the meantime, I’m doing my own research and figuring out what I can do now that is Montessori-inspired. Below are the resources I’m finding helpful. This is a living post, and will be updated as neccessary.

Books:

Maria Montessori: a Biography by Rita Kramer

This is a must read. You learn the why behind the what. Or as my husband put it, you’ve used the Montessori Method already without realizing it.

The Montessori Method by Maria Montessori

If you’re not interested in where she got her inspiration (if you’ve read the biography, it’s a repeat of information) or her inaugural address at the Milan Casa di Bambini, skip to chapter 4. Similarly to the biography, this is a tome with long chapters. The nutritional chapter is incredibly outdated, but is an interesting read from a historical and nutritional anthropology standpoint. This book is also in the Public Domain, so LibriVox has an audio book for it.

YouTube Channels:

Hapa Family

Instagram Accounts:

@hapafamilyvlog

@montessoriinreallife

Saving Money on Baby Essentials

Hand me downs are by far the best way to save money on baby items, provided they are items that are still safe to use.

Feeding Your Baby

I would be remiss to not acknowledge to benefits and money-saving ability breastfeeding allows. But not all mothers can or want to breastfeed. Too each their own and you need to make the best decision for your family.

If you do go the formula route, ordering by the case from the manufacturer can save you money and you may be able to earn rewards points toward smaller cans of the formula. We did this for our son.

Another way to save money when it comes to feeding your baby, once they’ve reached 6 months and show all signs of readiness, is to try out Baby Led Weaning. With BLW, you’re feeding your child the same food you are already eating. You need to cut things different and not add salt. There are several groups on Facebook for this topic.

Diapers: cloth vs. disposable

While cloth diapers will cost you more up front than disposable diapers, you do end up saving money in the long run. We did not use cloth diapers, but I wanted to include it on this list anyways.

Wipes

We saved one of the hard plastic Huggies wipe boxes and purchased the refill bags to fill the tub back up. At the time of this writing my son is 20 months old and we’re still using the same box. It is cheaper to buy the refill packs than the individual packs of wipes. A 3-pack box lasts us at least a month.

Clothes

I’m a big fan of hand me downs. 75% of the clothes my son has worn were either hand me downs or I bought them second hand. He’s only in them for a short time so I see no sense in buy new stuff all the time. The other 25% were brand new gifted clothes or special outfits we loved. If you’re interested in trying to save money on cloths: try joining local mom/parents groups on Facebook, look at FB marketplace, join your local FreeCycle groups, shop at children’s clothing consignment stores.

One thing to keep in mind, if a close friend or family member gives you clothes, make sure you know if they were gifted or loaned. It would be a shame for a misunderstanding to happen and a relationship be ruined over baby clothes. (But then again, I say this as a parent, I’ve kept all the sentimental clothing, but given away lots. If an item of clothing meant that much to me, I probably wouldn’t give it to someone else to use. Just saying.)

Toys

Toys. Oh my goodness, the toys. Truthfully, newborns don’t need anything. They need to be fed, changed, burped, and loved. BUT there are free resources on the internet for how to DIY some newborns items, and how to DIY toys for older babies and toddlers. Many things can be made from upcycled items you would have thrown in the trash or random odds and ends from around the house. You DO NOT need to go out and buy all the things.

The Dollar Tree is a great place to get supplies if you don’t already have this stuff at home. I won’t be sharing any specific how to’s. Google, Pinterest, YouTube and Instagram are fantastic resources for those. I also check the toy section of Once Upon a Child and FB Marketplace for items.

Simple things like pulling strips of painters’ tape off the wall and trying to climb pillow mountain (a mountain of pillows on the floor) have kept my son entertained. I’ve made sensory bottles using this tutorial. He loves those as well.

Furniture, Play Yards, Bigger Items

Babies come with some stuff. There has never been as much stuff in my house as there’s been since I had my son. Again, child-oriented consignment stores, thrift stores, FB Marketplace are great places to find deals. And if your friends and/or family circle is also baby-oriented, maybe you can get loaners of certain things. You may come to find that your little one HATES their exer-saucer, but loves their play yard (aka pack n play). If your baby isn’t mobile yet, a safe spot on the floor with some sensory toys will do just fine.

When it comes to furniture, especially cribs, look the crib up and make sure there hasn’t been any sort of recall on it. Certain styles of cribs are no-no’s now because of accidents.

Knitting Alphabet Soup is out!

My newest book is now available on Amazon as a paperback and ebook!

If you purchase a copy, please know I appreciate the support. If you’re willing, please leave a review for other readers.

Losing Myself to Find Myself

From 2009 to 2019, I allowed myself to be pulled in multiple directions: college student (AA, BS, MLIS), aspiring writer, crafter, blogger, Youtuber, ETSY shop owner, reseller on Amazon and eBay, craft show vendor, gardener/homesteader, knitting pattern designer, book blogger/reviewer, full time librarian, and other titles I’ve possibly forgotten.

I rotated through the list of side hustles as I desired or was inspired to do. Some things were seasonal or only needed to be tended to when something sold on Amazon or eBay. Craft shows had definite dates and times, so I could schedule around them as necessary.

However, the strain I felt from the constant jumping to the next thing and self-imposed deadlines for blog posts and YouTube videos was wearing on me. In 2019, I scaled back most of my side hustles due to some medical issues that descended on me in March. The previous Fall, my husband and I had a serious discussion on kids and if we were ready to go that route as well.

It took deciding to start a family and getting pregnant to force me to really think about my priorities and top 3 hobbies. Once my son was part of this world, there would be no way I could juggle all of that anymore. Something was going to have to give…well, many somethings were going to have to give.

My top three hobbies ended up being: reading, writing, and knitting. Reading and Writing go back to when I was a kid. They’re the activities I remember enjoying most as a child. Bookworm was a title I wore with pride (and still do). I always had a notebook with me to jot down scenes or random bits of dialog.

I’d learned to knit when i was 10, but stopped shortly after. I rediscovered knitting when I was in college. It was a wonderful creative outlet for me that didn’t involve writing. I had stopped writing for a few years during college because I was writing so much for my classes I had nothing left in me for my own work.

Reading

I’ve always been a reader. For most of my life, I devoured fiction. As I’ve matured, I’ve been reading more nonfiction. I enjoy a good thriller or cozy corner murder mystery to escape with. My nonfiction tastes depend on what’s grabbed my interest at the moment. Lately it’s been learning everything I can about Dr. Montessori, her method, and how it’s used today as well as books on minimalism. I’ve been alternating books on these subjects. (I have an upcoming post about why, how, and what I did to declutter my house.)

Writing

Fiction was my go to. Many a notebook were filled with pieces of dialogue, rewriting endings and scenes I didn’t agree with. I also wrote nonfiction “articles” as an adolescent where I’d more or less copy something out of a book and cite it.

In 2017, I began to take my writing seriously. Between 2017 to 2019 I’d researched and sent in submission packets to various publishers. All were rejected. In the midst of all that, I’d decided that self-publishing was going to be the way to go for me. After NaNoWriMo 2019, I set about finishing my first self-published work. December 29, 2019, Bobbin Lace: a Modern Take on an Old-World Craft was published and released into the world.

Since then I’ve become more confident and plan to self-publish something every year. In the year of 2020, despite Covid turning the world on its head and having a newborn, I reworked my first book and re-released it. By the end of 2021, I plan on publishing Knitting Alphabet Soup. It is currently in round 3 edits, heading to the editor next, then I’ll finalize the formatting and cover art.

Taking my writing career into my own hands has been one of the rewarding things I’ve done.

Knitting

I first learned to knit when I was 10. My interest didn’t last long because I didn’t grasp the concept that 10-inch needles wouldn’t hold enough stitches to make a decent size blanket. After a decade long gap, I picked my needles back up and began making dishcloths to sell for some pocket money at craft shows.

A few years of craft shows led to my thinking of making this whole thing a legit business. Four years later it was apparent being a legit business was more hassle than it was worth, so I shut the business down. I continued to do craft shows and report the hobby income. When Covid-19 showed up in 2020, all craft shows were cancelled. I would have been 4 month postpartum if the year had been normal, but I still wasn’t sure if I’d actually participate. I spent 2020 and 2021 working on personal projects and tackling a design project I’d wanted to try. Spending time working on personal projects instead of craft show inventory has allowed me to write two knitting patterns and list them for sale on Ravelry.

I still dable in some of the other hobbies, but they are continuously on the backburner. My blog has become a place I share random stuff with the internet. I occasionally make a YouTube video for my TalesFromAPolkCountyGirl channel. My KnittingAllTheBlankets YouTube channel is on hiatus. My ETSY shop is in Vacation Mode for now. Not sure what I want to do with that just yet. Nothings been listed on Amazon or eBay, but that’s okay. Craft shows were shelved because of COVID last year. No word on it they’re going to have the main show I participate in this year.

Gardening in general fell off the radar in my 3rd trimester. No energy and it was comin’ on summer in Florida. I didn’t want to be out there weeding pineapples and under citrus trees. Pretty much everything survived my near year-long neglect, and I’ve been out there a couple of times since my son was born to weed.

I’m still designing knitting patterns. My 2nd pattern is in testing, and will hopefully be up and ready for sale by the fall.

Recommended Apps for Pregnancy and Postpartum

***This is not a sponsored post.***

I found these four apps incredibly using during my trying to conceive months, pregnancy, postpartum, and first year of motherhood.

Clue app: This app… It helped me track my menstrual cycle after I went off birth control so my husband and I had the best chance at getting pregnant. While no app is 100% accurate in ovulation estimations, I feel this app was accurate enough. I still use this app for menstrual cycle tracking and tracking various other things, even though I’m back on birth control.

What to Expect app: This app paralleled the book of the same name. It was nice to be able to look at it while I was at work and the book was at home. I loved the visual representations each week of how big the fetus was-though some of the comparisons were questionable.

I continued to use it once my son was born, because it has information and forums for new and veteran parents. I did end up leaving the forums when my son was 4-5 months old because I was overthinking a lot. I still consult the app from time to time.

Kick Counter app: In the second half of pregnancy, you’re asked to track how many times the fetus “kicks.” I loved using this app. It was very easy to use and you can pull up different logs (daily, weekly, monthly).

After my son was born, I screenshot the logs so I can look back on his activity level. (Weird first time mom thing.)

Baby Tracker app: I didn’t find this app until my son was almost 2 months old. It would have been much more useful to help keep track of the feeding, ounces, wet diapers, dirty diapers, and sleep tracking my pediatrician asked me to do.

You can track the above listed, as well as: activity time (tummy time, play time, bath time, outdoor time), metrics (height, weight, etc.), temperature and meds if sick, pumping sessions, add monthly pictures for memory keeping, and other info.

I like how most input sessions allow for notes to be added as well. That was incredibly handing when we first started solids and I would log what he ate in case of an allergic reaction.

You can also track multiple kids. I used it for myself for a short time to make sure I was drinking enough water and going to the bathroom. That may see a little neurotic, but anything that could help me during the newborn phase was utilized.

Recommended Reading for New Parents

This post will be updated as I find and read additional books.

The Danish Way of Parenting: What the Happiest People in the World Know About Raising Confident, Capable Kids by Jessica Joelle AlexanderDissing Sandahl

This title could wait until the kids are a few years old. Not much in it for infants. I will be using the mnemonic of PARENT when my son is older.

Bringing Up Bebe by Pamela Druckerman

I really wish I had read this book before my son was born. I would have do so many things differently in those first few months.

Free Audio Books

We all know about Audible.com if you want electronic access to audio books for a price.

Public libraries give you free access to audio books via Overdrive or Hoopla. But did you know the podcast app you have on your phone may get you access to audio books for free, and not only the titles in the Public Domain?

I have an android phone, and use the app Podcast Addict. The two audio books I’ve been able to get access to are Chris Hogan’s Retire Inspired and Bill Bryson’s A Walk in the Woods.

Just thought I’d share this with everyone.

Favorite Baby Items from 6 mos. to 1 year old

Here’s additional stuff we used all the time once Little One turned 6 months old:

Feeding:

ezpz Tiny Cup (Gray) – 100% Silicone Training Cup for Infants – Designed by a Pediatric Feeding Specialist – 4 Months+

Weaning Bib, BIBaDO Baby Feeding Coverall Straps To Any Highchair, Ideal for BLW >> LOVE LOVE LOVE these things! We didn’t have 1 when we first gave our son avocado. That onesie is still green! We have 3 of them, in different designs.

Silicone Baby Feeding Bibs – Waterproof, Easy Wipe Silicone Bib for Babies, Toddlers – Baby Bibs with Large Food Catcher Pocket – Travel Bibs Set for Boys, Girls – Food Grade BPA Free (Cloud Nine) >> We double up on bibs with our son. He uses it to store the food he’s not done with yet!

Chicco 360 Hook-On Chair, Scarlet >> We started using this long before we began our Baby Led Weaning (BLW) journey. We had our son join us while we ate dinner. We also love the fact the it rotates 360 degrees because after we’re done feeding him, we spin him around so I can wipe him up and remove him from the chair.

Graco DuoDiner DLX 6 in 1 High Chair | Converts to Dining Booster Seat, Youth Stool, and More, Mathis >> At both grandparents’ houses, we have this high chair.

WeeSprout Suction Plates with Lids for Babies & Toddlers>>These have 4 suction cups on the bottom, so even if the child pulls up 1 or 2 cups, the others stay down. I do like that they come with lids so we can pack away what he didn’t eat and save it for his next meal.

2 Pack Silicone Baby Bowls with Super Suction>>These are nice, but there’s only 1 large suction cup on the bottom and my son pulls it up easily. At the moment, we don’t fill the bowl with much except a few spoonful’s of yogurt so he can practice feeding himself with a spoon. I wish it had 2 small suction cups instead of 1 big one. But it’s still very useful.

Safety:

Graco 4Ever DLX 4 in 1 Car Seat, Infant to Toddler Car Seat, with 10 Years of Use, Bryant >> It was a very sad day for me when I was forced to accept that my baby was too big for his infant car seat and needed to be upgraded to the next step up. The 4 in 1 can be used from newborn stage on, but I liked the idea of having the traditional style bucket cart seat to load and unload. And since kids have to be in booster seats until they’re practically driving themselves, this one will grow with him and we [hopefully] won’t have to purchase a different seat for him.

Regalo 192-Inch Super Wide Adjustable Baby Gate and Play Yard, 4-In-1, Bonus Kit, Includes 4 Pack of Wall Mounts >> We have this gate along the front of our living room, blocking off the TV stand and our fireplace.

Summer Extra Tall & Wide Safety Baby Gate, Cool Gray Metal Frame – 38” Tall, Fits Openings 29.5” to 53” Wide, Baby and Pet Gate for Extra-Wide Doorways, Stairs, and Wide Spaces >> We have several of these gates blocking off other spaces in the house. We got a bronze color, not the cool gray metal.

Evenflo Position & Lock Classic Pressure Mount Gate, 26″-42″ >> We have several of these style of gates as well for doorframes.

EasyBaby Products Indoor Outdoor Retractable Baby Gate>>We have 2 of these gates. They come with 2 sets of hardware each, so we have multiple options of closing of various portions of the house if necessary.

Toys:

Misc. Ideas for Montessori-inspired Treasure Baskets and other toys: I ended up making a lot of rattle jars and sensory bottles for my son. I’ll post some YouTube video links that inspired me to make some toys. We also received hand-me down toys as well as toys at Christmas. We don’t intentionally buy electronic or battery-operated toys for our son, and our family understands that for the most part. If we are gifted an electronic toy, after thank you’s are expressed, we either figure out if we can still use the toys in the OFF option or if we truly need to exchange it for something more appropriate. Most of the time, our son uses the electronic toys without them being turned on or having batteries in them at all. He still gets some benefit from them.

DIY Montessori-style Toy Video Links:

MONTESSORI AT HOME: DIY Montessori Toys for Babies & Toddlers

MONTESSORI AT HOME: DIY Montessori Materials (on a Budget!)

Sassy Stacks of Circles Stacking Ring STEM Learning Toy, 9 Piece Set, Age 6+ Months >> As much as my husband and I love Montessori, these called to me so hard! They appeal to the inner child in me. Plus the different textures allowed them to double of teethers for our son.

VTech Sit-To-Stand Learning Walker>>My son used this to learn to walk-assisted, and even though he can run laps around our house, he still likes to push it around. Yes, it is electronic, but we just keep it turned off. There are other ways of playing with it which don’t involve it being turned on.

VTech Light and Move Learning Ball>>I call this thing the Demon Ball from Hell. It’s one of those toys that is pointless unless it is turned on. AND IT WILL RANDOMLY START UP!!! (Hence why I call it Demon Ball.) My son wants to play with it occasionally, but he’s not too fussed about it.

Bright Starts Wobble Bobble Activity Ball Toy>>Okay, compared to the above item, this toy has been worth its weight in gold. Yes, it is an electronic toy. We call it the wobble ball. To quote my new obsession (The Minimalists), my son gets so much value from this item. When it wobbles, it has a strong vibration and he holds it up to his mouth when he is cutting his teeth. Even now with his molars are coming in, he still uses it as a sort-of face massager. AND IT DOESN’T RANDOMLY TURN ON BY ITSELF, but it will if you accidently kick it. It’s the one toy we always triple check is off before we begin the bedtime routine.

VTech Busy Learners Activity Cube>>This is a toy my son can use without it being turned on. He has figured out how to turn it on, but when he does play with it (i.e. when it’s rotated in) he generally leaves it in the off position.

Play Day Mini Sports Balls, 3 pack>>This admittedly was an impulse purchase on my part. We’d been talking about getting our son some non-foam balls (he was biting and tearing at things). His preferences in order: soccer ball, basketball, and football. He’s not quiet sure what do it with the football yet. Once again, he gets a lot of value from these.

Wilson Pentagon Soccer Ball>>We decided to get him a legit soccer ball since he loved his little one so much. We recently had our front yard re-sodded and having a nice big ball to play with out in the grass. Possible future soccer player?

Other:

Jordan Step 1 Baby Toothbrush, 0-2 Years, Soft Bristles, BPA Free 4 Pack >> I bought this 4-pack when my son’s first teeth have started appearing through gums. He is showing interest in trying to brush his own teeth, but we may need to upgrade his toothbrush already.

Parent’s Choice 2-Step Stool>>Now that my son is standing regularly and can reach the top of the bathroom vanity, we got him a simple (yes, plastic) step stool with rubber grippy stars. Even standing on the 2nd step, he’s barely taller than the counter top, but it is allowing him to get into the habit on washing his hands and brushing his teeth.

Favorite Baby Items (Birth to 6 mos.)

*This is NOT a sponsored post***And there are no affiliate links*

Here’s a list with links to some of the items my husband and I used over and over during our son’s first six months of life. This does not include our crib because that was a hand-me down and I have no clue what the make/model is.

Safety:

Bedside Bassinet Side Sleeper/Portable Infant Crib >> I loved this item. It was the only bassinet that came up high enough. We have a very high bed, where the top of the mattress is 3 feet off the ground. The latches on each side are independent so we were able to lower one side so it was at an angle, which was useful since our son had reflux.

Babysense Video Baby Monitor with Camera and Audio, Long Range, Room Temperature, Infrared Night Vision, Two Way Talk Back, Lullabies, VOX and Long Battery Life, Model: V24US >> I have a love/hate relationship with this monitor. It only reaches so far into our bedroom signal-wise. And the battery only lasts 4 hours before it needs to be plugged in.

Graco FastAction SE Travel System | Includes FastAction SE Stroller and SnugRide 30 LX Infant Car Seat, Hilt >> I love the quick click connect set up of this system. Granted, the first time I tried to take my son for a walk in his stroller, I couldn’t remember how to open it! It had been almost 5 months since I’d gotten it. I’m not proud of the fact it took me almost 30 minutes to figure it out.

Feeding:

Dr. Brown’s bottles, 4 oz >> We’d gotten a free 4 ounce bottle in one of the boxes of goodies from making a baby registry. Our son ended up preferring this style of bottle to other types.

Dr. Brown’s bottles, 8 oz >> Once our son grew big enough to need the bigger bottles, we upgraded.

Little Remedies Gripe Water, Colic & Gas Relief, Safe for Newborns, 4 fl oz, 3 Pack >> My son, unfortunately, had a very sensitive tummy. In addition to the formula he was on, we also had him on a regimen of gripe water, gas drops, and probiotics. Once he was older (6-7 months) we slowly took him off them one by one to make sure he was okay.

Mylicon Gas Relief Drops for Infants and Babies, Original Formula, 1 Fluid Ounce

Colic Calm Probiotic >> So expensive! But it did what we needed it to do, which was balance his gut flora so he could begin to develop an immune system.

Clothing:

A lot of our clothing was hand-me downs, which was perfectly fine. But the sleep sacks! Those are a must!

Burt’s Bees Baby Baby Beekeeper Wearable Blanket, 100% Organic Cotton, Swaddle Transition Sleeping Bag >> Our son never liked being swaddled once we brought him home from the hospital. Since babies can’t have blankets, these sleep sacks are fantastic for keeping them warm. We got these sleep sacks in multiple patterns and sizes as our son grew.

Hygiene:

Baby Nail Clippers 20 in 1 by Royal Angels Baby | Safe Electric Baby Nail Trimmer, Baby Nail File Kit, Additional Replacement Heads, Newborn Toddler Toes and Fingernails, Trim and Polish (Blue) >> Such a great tool for trimming baby finger and toe nails.

Summer Newborn to Toddler Bath Center and Shower (Neutral) – Bathtub Includes Four Stages that Grow with Your Child >> I loved having this Grow-With-You system for my son.

Little Remedies Saline Spray and Drops, Safe for Newborns, 0.5 fl oz

Toys:

KiwiCo Panda Crate subscription >> This was a gift from my in-laws. We look forward to the new developmentally appropriate toys that our son gets every other month. Granted some of the items are hit and miss with him, but all subscriptions can be like that.

Sassy My First Bend & Flex Rattle Set – 2 Piece – for Ages 0+ Months

Shumee Wooden Rattle Ring and Teething Toy for Infants, Babies(0 – 1 Year) – Organic, Natural, Grasping, Clutching Montessori Shake Toy – Polished with Beeswax

Jolly Jumper – Stand for Jumpers and Rockers – Baby Exerciser – Baby Jumper >> Like his father, my son loved being in his jumper. Such a happy baby bouncing around.

Evenflo Splash Mega Exersaucer >> We didn’t get to use this for very long, because our son is ridiculously tall. It has also been discontinued by the manufacturer, but I did see several of them at my local Once Upon a Child.

Fisher-Price Deluxe Kick ‘n Play Piano Gym, Green, Gender Neutral (Frustration Free Packaging) >> The little panda crinkle toy on this activity gym was my son’s absolute favorite thing until it was used up.

Other:

White Noise Sound Machine | Portable Sleep Therapy for Home, Office, Baby & Travel | 6 Relaxing & Soothing Nature Sounds, Battery or Adapter Charging Options, Auto-Off Timer | HoMedics Sound Spa >> We didn’t get a sound machine until my son was 6 1/2 months old. What a mistake! I wish we’d had this thing from the beginning!

Delta Children 2-in-1 Changing Table and Storage Unit with Changing Pad, Grey >> I chose this changing table because it can become a bookshelf and toy chest when he’s older.

PooPoose Wiggle Free Diaper Changing Pad/ Changing Table Pad, White, 16″ X 32″ X 3.5″ >> This came in handy for making multiple changing stations around the house. First in our bedroom, then in another area with a higher work top so my husband didn’t have to bend over as far to pick up our son after changing him. Currently not available, but it was worth it.

Angel Line Windsor Glider and Ottoman White Finish and Gray Cushions >> My mom really looked forward to having a rocking chair to rock her grandson in. This and the changing table (above) are the first things she bought when I told her I was pregnant. The nursey was barely set up when the boxes arrived!

Pros and Cons of Multiple Baby Registries

I had 3 different baby registries. Did I need 3 of them? Of course not! But I still did. I’m going to share why the pros and cons of having multiple baby registries, which ones I had, and why I chose to do that.

Pros: each registry can be themed to a specific thing like diapers or breastfeeding supplies; if you need to return a duplicate or exchange for diapers your baby is too big for, you don’t have to hunt for wherever they came from.

Cons: if you don’t theme the registries, you can end up registering for duplicates of items that are a pain to return; one more thing to keep track of on top of everything else when you’re expecting.

My Main Baby Registry: Amazon

Everything I could think of went on there. What’s nice is Amazon will baby step you through all the categories you could possibly need stuff for, which is nice if you have no clue what you may need or didn’t no you absolutely needed for your bundle of joy. It’s also a great catchall place. People can give gift cards and if you end up needed other items that aren’t on the registry but are available on the website, BOOM! Gifted money to help fully pay or offset the cost.

A wonderful example is the bassinette we ended up buying when I was 9 months pregnant. We hadn’t planned on getting a bassinette at first, because we planned on using the heirloom cradle some close friends had. When we brought the cradle home and began to put it together, it became apparent rather quickly that it was going to be too short for our bed. Our bed is quite high. The top of the mattress is 3 feet off the ground. Lots of research and checking the tape measure later, we found the ONLY bassinette on Amazon that came up high enough. It was a pricey surprise, but my husband’s work had gifted us almost $200 in Amazon gift cards (as well as a basket of goodies) and we used those to offset the cost.

My (supposed) Diaper Registry: Walmart

The original plan for my Walmart registry was for it to be nothing by diapers and wipes, because (pre-Covid shut down) Walmart was open 24 hours. I ended up adding other stuff to it, and forgetting that I had (blame pregnancy brain). I do recommend having a diaper registry. Again, if you’re gifted gift cards to this store, you also have the option for using them towards other needs and essentials to pay or offset the costs.

My Breastfeeding Supplies Registry: Target

I put all my eggs in the breastfeeding basket. (Spoiler alert: it didn’t end up working out as hoped.) Target had the best selection of breastfeeding supplies and care products compared to Amazon and Walmart. So I set up this one with everything I thought I was going to need: storage bags, manual pump, the Haakaa pump, nursing pads, etc. In hindsight, I’m glad this one wasn’t as popular of a registry because most nursing supplies are considering medical supplies and wouldn’t be returnable.

Why?

So, by now, you’re asking yourself, okay, Cori, so why did you drive yourself crazy with three different registries? Pregnancy is a “fun” mental and emotional roller coaster on a normal day, so why add more to think about?

BECAUSE OF THE FREE STUFF!

You read that correctly. By starting each registry (and fulfilling the requirements to get the free stuff), my husband and I received some cool stuff for our baby. All three boxes (okay, Target’s was a bag) had a bottle which came in handy when we realized we needed baby bottles for formula. Diaper samples, travel size lotions and shampoos/washes, pacifiers, and the occasional clothing item (we got a onesie from Amazon).

I don’t regret the additional time and effort it took to put these registries together. My son is almost a year old at this point and we’re still using some of the free products we received.

P.S. All my registries were created online. I did not run (okay, waddle) around Walmart and Target with a scanner gun. One place I didn’t have a chance to check out and possibly make a registry at is Buy Buy Baby. The weekend we’d planned on going to BBB was the weekend my state shut down due to COVID. Maybe one day I’ll go.

You read that correctly! By creating

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