I was looking through lists of "Top Baby Registry Items" recently and found myself saying over and over, "I wouldn't want that," or "Wow, I'm glad no one gave me that." Not that I don't appreciate gifts of any variety, but I'd hate for people to waste their money on things I'll never use.
My friends that parent similarly have discussed how they don't always like baby showers being thrown for them because then they're faced with the dilemma of having tons of things they don't want and will never use.
So, I decided that there needed to be a list of top registry items for the natural or Attachment Parenting mom. Of course, some of these items are great for moms who parent differently as well.
Almost every single baby wears diapers ... well, unless you plan on practicing elimination communication. The natural/AP mom may go to go the cloth route. In that case, the Cloth Diaper System Sampler ($78.99 from thanksmama) that has eight different cloth diapers, in all different styles, so she can figure out what she likes best. If the mom-to-be doesn't know what kind of diapers she plans to use, buy her an Amazon.com or Diapers.com gift card.
If she does know what she wants, buy her some, or make a diaper cake. While you're at it, grab a wet bag ($10.99 for a 2-pack on Amazon) for her to put the dirty diapers in, too.
#2. A jar of cold-pressed coconut oil.
Think I'm crazy? I'm not! (Okay, well not when it comes to this.) Coconut oil is often more effective to treat diaper rash than any cream out there; it also doubles as a body lotion for the entire family -- all WITHOUT being toxic. It feels oily for a second, but within a couple minutes, it's totally absorbed.
#3. A nursing pillow.
A Boppy pillow ($34.70 at Amazon) or a My Brest Friend pillow ($29 on Amazon) are amazing for breastfeeding moms. Once the baby's bigger and she's got the hang of nursing, they still get tons of use for other things, making them a great gift. Buy her a spare cover too, for when baby pukes, poops, or pees (the Three Gross P-Words) all over it.
#4. A sling or wrap.
Go for a Moby Wrap ($39 at Amazon), Sleepy Wrap ($39.95 at Amazon), Cuddly Wrap ($84 at Amazon) (all almost exactly the same thing), a Mei Tei ($79 at Amazon), or an Ergo ($105 at Amazon). Or maybe that Amazon gift card to at least help offset the cost. Ouch.
#5. Non-toxic baby soap.
Look into something like California Baby Starter Tote ($25.65 at 6pm) or Dr. Bronner's Baby Super Mild Liquid Castile Organic Soap ($3.08 at purespadirect). Generally speaking, if it's in the organic aisle, it's usually okay, but run it through the cosmetics database first just to be sure.
#6. Soft-bottomed baby shoes.
Robeez ($13.20 at 6pm) and Pedipeds ($19 at 6pm) are some of the leaders in soft-infant shoes (though the latter can be too stiff for brand-new, wobbly walkers). Buy them bigger, since babies don't need shoes until they can walk anyway.
#7. Baby clothes.
No matter how you parent, the baby needs clothes (unless there's some weird movement I'm not aware of). And let's face it, clothes are the most fun thing to buy anyway, right?
#8. Glass bottles.
Dr. Brown's glass bottles ($18.19 for the gift set at Amazon.com), with the long nipple, are actually considered to be less confusing to breastfed babies, and still require the baby to work to eat. However, do not buy bottles unless you know the mom is going to go back to work or plans on pumping or bottle-feeding.
#9. Gentle parenting books.
Pretty much anything by Dr. Sears is going to be a safe bet, such as The Baby Book: Everything You Need to Know From Birth to Age Two ($8.78 on Amazon). The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding ($2 at textbooks.com) is a great breastfeeding guide, and so is The Nursing Mother's Companion ($6 on Amazon).
#10. Amber teething necklace.
Amber is a natural resin, and the effects of the resin when warmed against the skin are said to be analgesic -- that is, a natural numbing agent or pain killer. Natural mommies often put amber necklaces on teething babies to help them deal with the pain. The ones from Inspired By Finn are fantastic, and there's a knot between each bead so that if it breaks, you don't have beads spill everywhere.
#11. Washable breast pads.
The disposable ones often feel really crinkly and icky, and are wasteful. Grab her some washable cloth breast pads ($6.99 for a 6-pack on Amazon), or even the Milk Saver breastpads ($25.95 at mymilkies.com) that save that leaked milk in a way that you can actually use it.
#12. High-quality, non-toxic toys.
Every baby needs things to play with, and they need to be safe. Check out the Vulli brand teethers, like Sophie the Giraffe ($16.95 at Amazon). The absolutely adorable Dandelion Pink Organic Toy Baby Doll ($13.99 on Amazon) would be great for a little baby girl, and these Wooden Animal Nesting Blocks ($16.99 on Amazon) are just adorable.
#13. A nursing cover.
Not all moms want one, but most first-time, new breastfeeders will feel more comfortable learning how to latch on in public with a nursing cover. Ones with a plastic piece that holds the collar stiff are a must, so the mom can actually see what she's doing. Tip: Sign up for the mailing list at UdderCovers and you'll soon get a code for a free nursing cover -- you just pay shipping. For a tiny bit more, you can get the gift set, which has washable nursing pads and a bracelet to help keep track of which side you nursed on last.
#14. Nipple ointment.
As you're getting used to breastfeeding, sometimes it can hurt. Even when you're seasoned, sometimes you can get sore. I used to get chapped and bleed when I'd go from my humid home to my parents' house in arid Colorado. Most people know about Lansinoh Breast Creme ($9.99 at Target), but there's also Earth Mama Angel Baby Natural Nipple Butter ($12.82 on Amazon).
#15. A BPA-free water bottle.
To keep up your milk supply, nursing moms need to stay hydrated. Buy the mom a BPA-free, reusable water bottle, like the CamelBak bottles on Amazon for $15, or the beautiful 13-ounce eco-friendly bottles with gorgeous designs for $16 at Earth Lust (I want one of those for myself!).
Natural and AP moms, is there something else you would have loved to have gotten as a gift?
Image via litlnemo/Flickr