I HAVE A PROBLEM…….an Amazon Prime problem.
I signed up for Amazon Prime just over a year ago and HOLY COW I’M IN LOVE AND NEVER TURNING BACK. I can usually get things for less expensive than I would in stores and it’s delivered to my house within 2 days?! YES PLEASE. The prime charge, which is $99, paid for itself easily within the first two months of having it now that I didn’t have to pay shipping charges. I use it primarily for home improvement and school/classroom supplies, as well as TV and movies (OMG GO WATCH MAN IN THE HIGH CASTLE), but it has been a GAME CHANGER in preparing for the baby.
Tom and I are both teachers and definitely have to live on a budget, so we wanted to prioritize our registry to save us money in the long run, meaning items had multiple uses or would grow with our baby. We decided on the Amazon Baby Registry and it was hands-down the best decision! So many people have Amazon Prime these days, so it was convenient for a lot of people, AND Amazon offers 15% off registry completion for Prime members. We were able to get everything we wanted through the registry through the generous gifts of our family and friends for the shower, as well as two of our own orders post-shower using the 15% off completion discount. Also, Amazon provides a lot of environmentally-friendly alternative options to a lot of the typical baby products, so I could feel good about what I was registering for – not to mention, everyone and their brother wasn’t going out into their individual cars and burning fuel on their way to the store. Our products, as well as many other people’s products, were shipping out all in one truck.
Because I freaking love it so much, I thought it would be fun to do a review and show you guys my favorite products we received through the registry. DISCLAIMER: these opinions are completely my own. There are some affiliate links posted with my favorite products, so I may receive a small commission if you choose to explore them – but I assure you I am only reviewing products I believe are awesome! Once the baby is here, I’ll do a comparison post to see which of my favorite products actually stayed my favorite products, and which made the new list!
Why we like it:
We knew we wanted to cosleep with our baby for a while before converting her into her crib. All the research we’d done shows that babies AND parents sleep better when baby is close by. My major concern was safe sleeping – I didn’t want Tom or I to regret the decision to cosleep by making it an unsafe environment. We decided on the Graco Pack’n’Play with the removable changer. Not only does the Pack’n’Play act as a safe, flat, bassinet for the first few months, it also has wheels so it can be easily transported around the home. Once baby is too big/heavy for the bassinet portion, it converts into a safe play yard. We also liked the fact that it had a removable changer so that we wouldn’t have to stumble in our sleepless stupor’s over to the nursery to change her in the middle of the night! It was easy to put together, but needed two people at some points. Once together, everything about it seems sturdy and made quality materials.
Why we like it:
Oddly enough, this was one of the more annoying purchases we made. I really wanted an all-over comfy chair and Tom wanted your stereotypical rocking chair. We hadn’t had any luck looking around at thrift stores for any we could fix up, either. Knowing we needed to compromise and that we had a severe lack of room in the nursery, we decided on this chair because of the price and the reviews. It was crazy-easy to put together and because it’s narrower (but still roomy enough) than a lot of the other options, it fit into the one very snug corner available for it in the nursery! It’s super comfy and glides like a charm. Plus it’s just the right height that I can easily get up from it and Tom can still lay his head back. We call it a win!
Why we like it:
Keeping in line with the space saving idea, we had literally not a square inch to spare in our nursery, even for a laundry hamper…until I found this little bad boy! We have a dresser/changing table and this hangs right on the side of it. It only takes up about 4 inches of space, so there’s enough space for the diaper pail as well next to it. It’s a tight fit for all, but it works! The canvas is removable and washable, which is great, and it even has a drawstring option! It holds way more than I anticipated and feels really sturdy. We’ll see how it holds up with all of baby’s laundry!
Why we like it:
There are approximately 48387499399024 different cribs out on the market ranging from $50 to thousands of dollars…being on a tight budget, we knew we’d have to find one that was reasonably priced, safe, and we wanted one that converted to a toddler bed when the time came. We settled on the Graco Benton Convertible Crib and so far we are super pleased with it. It was simple to put together, it’s sturdy, came with the mattress, and meets all current safety regulations and requirements. When ours arrived, it was dented in two spots and all I had to do was follow the easy instructions to contact the company and they sent replacement parts ASAP at no cost to us. Not only does this crib have 3 different height levels, but it converts into a toddler bed, a day bed, and even a headboard for a twin bed down the line. This is going to be a money saver for sure!
Why we like them:
We received two different brands of muslin swaddle blankets through our registry – SwaddleMe and Aden & Anais. The material is really nice because it’s stretchy, soft, and not too thick but not too thin either. What I like the most about these blankets is how many uses they have! They’re huge (a little over 40×40 inches) and have even more stretch, so they can be used for swaddling, laying on the floor, burp cloths, car seat/stroller covers, nursing covers – you name it. After washing and comparing, I see little to no difference between the brands in terms of quality or feel. The real test will come when they’re being used! I’ve definitely heard more people raving about Aden & Anais, so we’ll see if they live up to they hype once baby arrives!
Why I like them:
Can’t say Tom had much say in this one – this one’s all me! Being an environmental teacher and environmentally conscious person in general, I couldn’t bear the thought of going through all those disposable nursing pads. I stumbled across these and took a chance. They come 12 per pack, so I got 2 packs to start with. They seem really absorbent (I’ve tested them out with only water thus far) and they come with a little wetbag and mesh bag for washing so they don’t get lost in infinite abyss that is the washer/dryer. They’re SUPER soft and each has a waterproof backing to prevent any leak-through onto your clothes. The wetbag has two zipper pockets, each with a waterproof lining so you can keep fresh and used ones separate when you’re out and about. Even with all 12 pads AND mesh bag shoved into the webag, it’s still compact enough that it takes up very little room in baby’s diaper bag.
Why we like it:
Speaking of diaper bags – who knew how difficult it would be to decide on one! I expected to easily decide on one and move on with my life, but that’s not what happened. Every time I was in a store looking at different diaper bag options, none stood out to me as one I could use past the diaper bag stage (remember, multi-use is key). They seemed either cheaply made, not roomy enough, way too roomy, super bulky, insanely expensive…you name it. I also have never been a “purse” person…carrying something over one shoulder always annoyed me because they slip off every time you make a move, so I really wanted a backpack version. I finally came across this one and I could not be more pleased so far. I’m a planner by default, so this thing is already packed and ready to go. I could not believe the sheer amount of stuff I could fit in here and still have so much more room to spare! The compartments are stretchy and there’s an insulated pocket for bottles, breast milk, or whatever you plan on using. The straps are decently sturdy and don’t seem to dig into my shoulders. Not to mention, I can use this backpack past the diaper bag stages of life because it doesn’t look like a typical diaper bag. I’m sold! It comes in a multitude of colors for your preference as well.
Why I like them:
Again – this one’s all me. As my bump grew, I started growing out of clothing fast. I love cami’s and wear them under EVERYTHING, but all of mine were becoming too tight or too short, thanks to the belly. Every mom I talked to said to invest in some good nursing bras and nursing cami’s because I’d basically be living in them once the baby was born. I have yet to find a nursing bra that I really like, but these nursing tanks are great for the price! I actually ended up taking the padding out of the built-in bra portion, which worked better for me personally. They have the same clip that most nursing bras do to make feeding easier. They’re super long and super stretchy, but still form fitting enough to give me a little belly support. They do run small, however, so size up! I ended up buying another set because I liked them so much, plus I can use them even when I’m not pregnant.
Why I like it:
This being our first child, we didn’t have any toiletries/first aid stuff at all. We’re minimalists, so we barely had these things for ourselves! For just $16, we got a complete kit full of baby necessities, including:
- Standard thermometer
- Forehead thermometer
- Comb & Brush
- Gum massaging brush
- Finger gum massager & protective case
- A teething ring
- Medicine pacifier for administering meds
- Tiny nail clippers
- A medicine syringe
- A nasal aspirator
- A few small nail files
- Medical cards
When everything is put away in the case, it’s compact and fits really nicely in the small drawer attached to our changing table/dresser. They seem to be of good quality and not super cheap. Even if we don’t end up using everything, it’s nice to know we have it all on hand for when the time comes. Better to be safe than sorry!
Why I like them:
Knowing that I will be returning to work and that I’m not going to be the only one feeding my child for the rest of eternity, I wanted to be able to store my breast milk in order to allow others to still feed her some of that “liquid gold.” We don’t have a big freezer/fridge, nor do we have a deep freeze, so we knew we’d have to invest in something compact. After much research, we decided on the Lansinoh Breast Milk Storage Bags based on overwhelming positive reviews. After further in-person inspection, I can verify all the positive reviews! They’re BPA free, have a really great seal on all sides (tested with almond milk, thank you), they actually lay flat (which is ideal for our compact freezer), they’re pre-sterilized, the measurements on the bag are actually accurate, and they’re recyclable. The fact that they lay flat is such a great bonus when it comes to heating up the milk – it took no time at all! I filled a mug with hot water and placed the bag in the mug. No leaks and warmed quickly! Plus, I was able to get 100 bags for just $10. Not too shabby!
***Bonus Round: Jergens – Skin Firming Lotion
This wasn’t a part of my registry – but I swear by it. I am 34.5 weeks and don’t have a single stretch mark. I use this all over my body after every shower, and once or twice a day on the belly – and so far, so good! My skin is smoother, softer, and definitely firmer.
I’m intrigued to see if anything on this list actually stays on this list once the baby is here! I’m hoping my obsessive research (you can take the science teacher out of the classroom, but you can’t take the science teacher out of the girl) lead us to make good choices.
What products did you love from your registry? Did they stay your favorites? I want to hear about them in the comments!