I Need Your Recommendations!

by jessicaturner on March 18, 2008

I am a slightly manic busy bee right now. I am juggling a lot of projects, both at work and at home. I am dreaming about projects for work… good grief, huh?

One of the projects on my home list is to do our baby registry. I have read Baby Bargains, but am looking for more insight. So, if you are a mommy, and I know many of my readers are, I have some questions for you.

What should we register for?

What are the things you couldn’t live without when you child was a baby?

What things are unnecessary?

What would you recommend buying that is gently used – if anything?

As a special incentive, I will pick five responses at random to send advanced copies of Hokey Pokey, so leave that feedback!

I’m off to Young Leaders Council, now… have a great Tuesday!



{ 25 comments… read them below or add one }

Tracy March 18, 2008 at 12:07 pm

We couldn’t live without a baby gym. Our daughter loved to “play” with it. My daughter was 10 months old when my son was born. The gym gave him a place to play while we were chasing after a busy toddler.
A changing table is unnecessary. We bought a nice dresser and used a changing pad on top of it.
I would recommend buying a gently used exersaucer or around we go. Babies can’t really do any damage to them other than the fabric. You can purchase replacement fabric from the manufacturer if there has been a lot of spit up or drool.
I wanted all new clothes for my daughter. I realized with my son how silly that was. My friends were offering like new clothing that their babies had worn for a very short time.

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Anonymous March 18, 2008 at 1:34 pm

I have three little ones and I think our most used item was our pack n play. I know you do a lot of traveling and you could use it a lot. I is also great when the baby gets a little older and you are making dinner and you need to keep him out of the kitchen. Most pack n plays also comes with a bassinet and a changing table which is also nice.

Do NOT buy a used car seat but stroller, high chair or any of the ride on toys are ok as long as you clean and sanitize them well.
I would also buy used clothes. Babies grow so quickly and it is crazy to spend a lot of money on clothes that may only be worn a few months.

I would register for anything you can, you would be surprised what you may get. One of my friends is due on the 1st with her first and she got a truck load of stuff including the entire bedding collection.

Have fun!

Nicole
scrappymommy3@yahoo.com,

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Jill March 18, 2008 at 2:01 pm

Oh Jessica, this is so much fun. I will tell you that many of the things that are available now were not when mine were babies, so I can only tell you some of the standards:

–you can never have too many cloth diapers to use as burp rags, seriously, you’ll go through a ton of them each day and if you don’t have enough, you’ll be doing way too much laundry in the beginning.

–A good breast pump. Don’t go cheap, get a madela. A good one. A double fisted one. Trust me. The cheap ones are what I refer to as nipple rippers and you’ll hate them.

–A womb bear. I had a motion-detected teddy bear in their crib that played womb sounds. It would turn off after about five minutes but if the baby fussed, it would turn on and soothe them. It really, really worked for my babies.

— Finally, a fish tank. I know. Odd. I had one in both of my nurseries and I had one in my pre-school Infant room that I owned for eleven years. A-mazing. Place it so that it is visible from the crib (up close at first) and make it one with a pump and a light. It serves as a great nightlight and it does wonders for their calm, visual stimulation. My boys would wake up happy and not crying and I’m convinced that it was because that tank soothed them through waking up.

Gretchen and I will be at the store doing round robins this Saturday! Hope you can stop by and say ‘hello’!

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Anonymous March 18, 2008 at 5:53 pm

My sister, Ann, has a 13 month old little angel, Sophia. Ann has always said that she wished her and her husband would have registered for more toys!

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Anonymous March 18, 2008 at 5:55 pm

Although it’s not as fun as registering for blue items for your baby boy, register for unisex baby clothes and other items — then you can re-use them with your next child, regardless if it’s a boy or a girl!

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Karen March 18, 2008 at 6:11 pm

one word–SWING!!!!!!! it will be a sanity saver!

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Karen March 18, 2008 at 6:12 pm

one word–SWING!!!!!!! it will be a sanity saver!

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Jody March 18, 2008 at 8:27 pm

My “must-have’s” include a Boppy pillow, a {gently used here would be fine} baby carrier/sling…I have a Baby Bjorn and love it, fot newborns I love the long-sleeved side-snap shirts. I was so nervous to dress newborns and they hold their breath when you cover their face- so the side-snap shirts were the best for early on!
I agree. You can skip the changing table. I have a lined basket to hold all the necessities for changing. I skip the baby tubs too and just use the sink when their very young and then bring them in the tub with me as they get a bit bigger. It’s so much easier and you usually get wet anyway!
Oh! You must have a favorite baby lotion…babies have to smell yummy. =)
Have fun registering! Congrats on a boy. How fun!

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Amy March 18, 2008 at 11:17 pm

i agree with jodi on the boppy pillow. loved mine. for us we had to switch to the aveeno baby shampoo and wash because our DS ended up with extremely sensitive skin. and definitely the swing. it was a life saver and i think they have a travel one now that isn’t so large. for the first few weeks the daygowns with the drawstring at the bottom are wonderful and make changing so easy. and don’t forget the monitor.

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kate March 19, 2008 at 12:18 pm

Definitely a snugli! http://tinyurl.com/29hcrc These are great!

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Lisa March 19, 2008 at 1:19 pm

I agree on the Boppy Pillow – that’s a must have. I would have to say the wipe warmer was a life saver too. It just made the wipes nice and toasty warm! We also bought a bottle warmer and it was great in the beginning, for about two weeks but after that it was too much trouble. So that’s not a must have in my book. I wasn’t able to breast feed but had planned on it so I only had a few bottles. That turned out to be a good thing. Cole would not drink out of any of the nice Playtex bottles I had planned on using. We ended up with a Gerber bottle, I think. So I didn’t have tons of bottling supplies to take back and worry about after he arrived. OH, one of those dishwasher baskets that will hold bottle parts, pacifiers, etc – those are great and we still use them for sippy cup lids now (7 years later).

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chris dufrene March 19, 2008 at 2:11 pm

i had some good stuff to recommend but you said moms….that leaves us stay at home dads out i suppose….if we SAHD’s can post our list, let me know. btw i have an 8 year old, 5 year old and 3 year old. So experience isn’t a problem. Holla

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Meg March 19, 2008 at 2:58 pm

Hi there! A friend of mine recommended zipper crib sheets by Clouds and Stars, and they are amazing! When a baby has a little accident in their crib, it’s a pain to change a complete sheet set. With the zipper crib sheet and base, it’s easy to change the crib sheet really quickly! It’s hard to explain in a comment, so I’m including the web address so you can check it out! Take care!

http://www.cloudsandstars.com/

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Jay March 19, 2008 at 3:14 pm

So fun! Register for ALL the things you WANT, but if you’re not crazy about it don’t do it. You will get a TON of stuff and it will pile up fast! :0)

A play pen and a swing are great ideas. The play pen will be great for traveling and can be used for several years to keep baby occupied and out of trouble. The swing can be a life-saver if you start putting the baby in it from the start so they can get used to it and learn to love it. It can be like an extra set of hands when you need both of yours!

Clothes are cute and so much fun, but they grow out of them so fast so don’t spend too much money here. Definitely buy whatever you can used. I wouldn’t register for a lot of clothes simply because people will tend to buy them for you anyway. Maybe register for a few outfits you can’t live without and some everyday onesies.

A good stroller is a must. The stroller-car seat combinations are wonderful. When the baby is young and falls asleep in the car then you don’t have to risk waking him up to run your errands–just drop the seat in the stroller and roll. Buy one that you really like and that will last for future children. I think it’s good to go cadillac here if you plan to use it for each child.

If you don’t already have a crib that is also a possibilty of something you can buy used if you find one you like. If not–no problem–again, just get one you love and will use for your other children. High chairs are the same way–get one used and get one you really like and will keep.

What else? Toys, toys, and more toys! You can never have enough things to occupy your baby! The only thing I would steer clear of is the baby videos. Those things work wonders but they are so bad for your little one’s eyes. So don’t be tempted by them! :0)

That’s all I got for now! Have fun with it. It’s such an exciting time! Congrats!

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Anonymous March 19, 2008 at 4:23 pm

Congrats! I think you should invest in a GOOD umbrella stroller that reclines, like a Maclaren. Once the baby is a few months old, you’ll switch to an umbrella stroller is as it’s so much easier to maneuver.

Also, don’t buy a diaper pail – they all end up smelling really gross! They sell those blue powdered scented baggies, which are much easier to use.

If your space is limited, you could buy a high chair that straps to a kitchen chair. They make them as elaborate as a free standing high chair.

Buying a pack-and-play with the bassinet and changing table is nice to leave set up in the living room. It’s an extra place to set the baby down, and the changing table is convenient to use in the beginning.

The diaper wipe warmer is nice to use at nighttime, but you need to get the baby used to the feel of cold wipes (room temperature) or else he’ll be crying everytime you change his diaper away from home.

Those “Bundle Me” car seat and stoller sacks are great – then you don’t have to stuff him in a coat and buckle him in.

Let us know where you register!

Nancy B.

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Anonymous March 19, 2008 at 5:23 pm

we adopted our son so we didn’t have a lot of things until the last minute.

we absolutely couldn’t live with the swing. we took it everywhere (there are portable and full size — we had both). may a night my sweet boy would calm down to the rhythm of rocking allowing mama and daddy to get some much needed sleep!

i buy everything gently used. you will be amazing and the quality of gently used baby clothes. my child is the best dressed kid and i don’t think i spend more than a dollar per outfit. :o)

a variety of classical music option is also good. david developed colic and music soothed his soul.

and start reading right away. i’ve been reading to david since he was born and the kid LOVES books. he’s 3 and reading some words on his own now.

good luck to you! it’s is the hardest and greatest job you’ll ever have.

cindy
cindyandbob@gmail.com

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Jessica March 19, 2008 at 6:50 pm

Chris D – Dad comments are welcome! :)

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Kelli March 19, 2008 at 7:01 pm

Okay I think needs are:
one of those things baby’s lay on with toys over head,
a bouncy seat of some sort
a BABY BJORN! this would be my #1 rec…and no other brand, I promise!
A jogging stroller, if you want to get out and excercize…I loved mine DAY DREAMER! it was great!
let’s see….there’s the obvious: burp clothes (a ton of them!)
pacys…you never know…
a breast pump ( I highly recommend borrowing or renting a nice one it’s worth the money if you decide to breast feed)
nightgowns for when the baby is changing a diaper 4 times in the night, you’ll want to do the least amount of work at 2am..which means NO BUTTONS!
and these, everybaby needs a pair of these: http://www.robeez.com/Robeez-Guitar-pastel-blue-Robeez-baby-shoes/product.aspx?ProductID=691&deptid=284&PriceCat=2&Lang=EN-US
aren’t those rock and roll ones the cutest! I was addicted to these shoes! seriously addicted, tell your mom she’ll buy a pair too :) LOL

okay that’s enough for now probably :)

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ttm March 19, 2008 at 9:15 pm

Wow! Lots of great ideas so far… My son turned 16 yesterday, so it’s been awhile, but I’ll chime in.

We could not have lived without:

a rocking chair–and I wish it would have been a “glider” instead of a plain wood one

a swing–non-crank/electric, the quieter the better

a baby carrier–try each and every one out with a friend’s baby, if at all possible. The type everyone else loves may not work for you. And if you and Matthew both like it, all the better because he will more than likely be using it too.

a quality breast pump–Medela is a great brand. (And although nursing was easy and the best thing ever for us, you might need an experienced and nurturing lactation specialist if you plan on breastfeeding your baby.)

books–We started reading board books every day from birth. My son’s favorites were Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown and the Spot series by Eric Hill.

a stylish diaper bag–You’ll use it for years!! So pick something YOU love.

onesies–the softer the better

LOTS of soft diapers as burp cloths

lullabies–we had favorite CDs and Cassettes (See, I’m old.) :^)

A helpful thing for later was a bottle of Mylicon (not generic) Drops for gas relief, sippy cups that didn”t leak, a huge plastic mat under the highchair so you can take it outside and hose it off instead of cleaning up the floor after every meal, and puppets (full-sized and finger puppets).

I’m a firm believer for buying “gently used” for everything as long as it has not been recalled and has been washed and/or sanitized before using. Shopping gently used has never hurt our son; in fact, he now sale-shops and buys his video games pre-owned to save money.

Unnecessary things (in my opinion, of course because I have friends who would argue my choices):

pacifiers
walkers
Teach your Baby to Read programs
baby book of the month clubs
ipods for your toddler
jogging strollers
plastic bibs
baby powder

I’m so excited for you!! Welcome to the indescribable joys and occasional angst of motherhood!!

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Jenny March 20, 2008 at 1:18 am

Ok, so I know I sent you my recommendations via e-mail; but (after reading the posts) I have a couple more to include:
-The Bjorn is a MUST! Perfect for trips to the grocery store, walks around the neighborhood, or chores around the house. Reid loved being in his Bjorn, and would doze off shortly after we fastened him in :o)
-I totally agree about the baby tub. Spend $3 on the yellow bear sponge that you place in the tub, and you will be set
XO,
Jenny

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UniquelyMadeByHim March 20, 2008 at 1:36 am

My DH, Brian, found your husband’s blog recently, which led him to your blog. He sent this link to me, so here I am! Turns out, we live nearby in La Vergne!

We just had our third baby in February. Now we have a boy (8) and two girls (almost 6 & 6 weeks).

I’m a little sleep deprived; but I’ll try to think clearly about the things we LOVE for the babes!

1. Swing… all three of my babies loved the swing (keep in mind yours may not, though)! This is something that doesn’t need to be new. Ours were given to us by friends/relatives. In fact, we have two right now and Elizabeth doesn’t like one of them. She prefers the cradle swing. We have two so that one would be upstairs and one downstairs; but she cries every time I put her in the Evenflo. The one she loves is called the Fisher Price Cradle Aquarium Swing.
2. ESSENTIAL: “nightgowns”- nighttime clothing with no snaps, looks like a dress, covers the baby from neck to feet, makes changing easy and quicker at night.
3. Some folks are saying the changing table is unnecessary. I understand that; however, with this baby I disagree. We use our changing table quite a bit. It also has two shelves so we bought lined baskets (from Michaels with 40% off coupon) to use on them. Each basket set has one large and two small and came in pink, purple, or blue checkered. We bought a set of pink and a set of purple. I filled them with baby clothes, diapers, small baby toys, nursing supplies, etc. etc. I love it! And when she gets older, I’ll fill them with her toys so she can get into them herself. The baskets are beautiful!
4. A friend told me she bought king size pillow cases to use for the cradle mattress… cheaper than cradle sheets.
5. I agree with the Madela breast pump. If you are able to nurse, you will need a few bottles and some breastmilk bags. Also nursing pads & Medela Tender Care Lanolin cream. I like it better than the Lansinoh. I bought the Medela cream at the hospital store.
6. This time around I am using baskets for everything… i keep a small basket on the bed filled with diapers, burp cloth, and changing pad, so i can take care of her right in bed. I keep a box of wipes with the basket. I also have a basket in the living room and one upstairs, each filled with “essentials”.
7. A baby monitor, esp if you have more than one story in your home.
8. I agree that great clothes can be found from friends, yardsales, Craigslist, even Goodwill (if you have alot of time to spend looking for the good stuff).
9. We used the front pack often for our older two. Elizabeth hasn’t enjoyed it as much yet. We also have a great backpack which we used on walks or at amusement parks, etc. I’m not sure what brand it is though. It’s different than the front pack.
10. New Stroller/car seat combo. We always used Graco.
11. A good digital camera for taking those pics to scrap! Also, a good digital camcorder.
12. I had a baby book for our first; but by the third decided I would simply give each of them a first year scrapbook instead.
13. Johnny Jump Up
14. Bouncy Seat
15. If you choose to use pacifiers, you’ll need the holders too.
16. Boppy pillow with an extra cover.
17. Onesies, short and long sleeve.
18. Cloth Diapers to use as burp cloths.
19. Baby food carosel.
20.

Don’t forget that stores like Once Upon A Child are wonderful… they buy and sell gently used baby items. There are many other baby consignment stores in the Nashville area. We’ve gotten some new and gently new items off Craigslist, also… at reduced prices.

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Cara Dufrene March 21, 2008 at 4:15 pm

– something to wear your baby in (~YOU~ pick one you like best, try them on, etc….Bjorn may not be your fave)
-bouncy seat
-doorway jumper
-cloth diapers
-cloth “waterproof” mattress pad
-snazzy convertible crib/toddlerbed
-snazzy Cosco Alpha Omega car seat – have/had 11 car seats over the last few years and still use this one
– Something cute to keep the tub toys clean, dry, and out of the way
-the busy ball popper
-bead and wire table
– the little cloth play mat that the lay on and stare at….had a few different ones of those
– had a few different style high chairs…
– the __middle weight__ stroller -> not nearly as bulky and obtuse as the one that came with the carrier car seat, bigger basket than carrier car seat one, weighed less; don’t get me wrong, the carriers are great (and you get biceps of steel from hefting that thing around heehee), I’ve had a few umbrella strollers and they are okay – depending – here again test drive them, some don’t roll as well or are lower to the ground and hurt your back, I had the double umbrella stroller last and I really enjoyed it b/c it was tall enough and had decent sized storage bags, most umbrella strollers have no storage options at all – depends on how much “STUFF” you will have to bring with you when you go out
– the little mesh bag with a handle thing that you put food in so the kids can gum it up
– baby food carousel

Never needed:
swing

Never used:
-baby bath tub (and the foam bears grossed me out – mildew and what not….or if it wasn’t dry when I needed to use it again)
– Lansinoh….I got samples in the mail and in the hospital and you use such a SMALL amount that generally once you get over the hump of that initial first couple weeks of breastfeeding you don’t need it
– pack n play….sorta….okay so we used it to bar the children from the kitchen while cooking and to put the Christmas tree in or as a toy box in the living room, I think I used it for its intended purpose twice
-breast pads or breast shields

Things that seemed useless:
– diaper wipe warmers…burned the wipes to a hard crisp
– boppy (and, YES, i did breast feed for a looooooong time with all the chirren)
– diaper genies smell awful…your kitchen trash works just as well

the baby “stuff” industry is a racket :)

ALSO, bring your own Tucks, Dermoplast (on the band-aid aisle), Ibuprofen, Colace ($3.25 per pill from the hospital; $3.95 for 100 pills of the Wal-Mart brand), and Iron to the hospital….stuff costs three times as much in the hospital AND! if you want to decrease your cost even a little more, talk to your doctor about giving you your discharge scrips for narcotics at delivery so you can get them filled and use those while you are in the hospital

what else….if you bottle feed, or supplement with formula – keep in mind that all “store brand” formulas are made by the same pharmaceutical company (SMA) ~AND~ as of a year or so ago (I haven’t compared lately), the store brand had more breast milk proteins than Similac (and it is wayyyy cheaper)

NOTES:
*boy babies pee out of the top and side of the diaper
*bring an extra shirt for you, too
*some babies (some breastfed and those on Nutramigen) have butt explosions when they poop – bring extra clothes and use the waterproof lap pads to line the car seat, so that you don’t have to keep taking the confounded car seat cover off and put it back on
– the chest clip on car seats goes AT THE NIPPLE LINE, not lower, even when you are just sitting at a restaurant eating!!!! You’d be amazed how many kids I’ve seen fall out of those carrier car seats b/c the parents didn’t have the chest clip on right bc they were “just going to be sitting, not riding”
-babies are rear facing until they are one year old AND 22 pounds, NO QUESTIONS ASKED!!!!
-20 lbs and down, the car seat straps are at or below the shoulder; after 20 lbs they can be above
-you will be given a bulb syringe in the hospital – keep it out and know how to use it. Your baby WILL spit up. Your baby will not learn how to blow his/her nose until they are a couple years old. Keep it handy.
– the squirt bottle they give you in the hospital is great as a tub toy and to use to wash baby’s hair
– used baby clothing stores rock. I regret that I did not learn this before the third child.
– I have tried many a brand of diaper. You’ll need lots of diapers in your time. Have a diaper shower. Get different kinds and see what you like best and what works best for your child.
– We didn’t really use pacifiers, but there are tons of brands and I wouldn’t recommend you buy a “bunch” of any one brand just because they are cute. Your child may not like them, your child may not need them, and last of all your child may be very pick about what type they like. Same goes for bottles. I got lucky with the oldest that she liked what I used, which were the Playtex. My son used those when we stopped breast feeing, but he was picky and wanted the flat top rubber nipples. He would refuse to take the silicone ones. :::shrug:::

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The Jones' March 27, 2008 at 7:27 pm

I know I am kind of late but I thought I would give you my input anyways. I would recommend getting a Moby Wrap. I have every possible baby carrier they make and the Moby is the only one that I wear comfortably.
I agree about the bathtub. We have one that I used a little on my son but on my daughter I have never touched it. I bought a sling bathtub for her (kind of like a bouncy seat for the bathtub) and it is the best thing ever. I wish I would have had it for my son.
Also a pack n play is a must. My daughter is 6 mo and still sleeps in one at night in our room so that I can keep her close by. I would definitely get one with a changing table and and bassinet. It makes getting up at night so much easier since everything you need is right there next to your bed.
Another keep idea of something to have is are sheet savers. I keep them everywhere – bed, changing table and even in the living room so I can change her on the floor in there. They keep you from having to change sheets all the time if their diaper leaks or they spit up. They even make some that tie on the bed rails so they don’t move around.
One last thing is a nursing apron. This was by far the best thing ever!. It is especially great with your first child while you are learning to get the hang of things. It has wire on top so only you can see your baby and what you are doing. The kind i purchased was called a hooter hider and I absolutely loved it. I would recommend it to anyone who will be nursing. It allows you to latch the baby on with both hands and not worry about trying to hold a blanket with one hand and get the baby on with the other. I know that was a lot of info but just thought I would share with you. Congratulations and boys are the best. They love their mommies!!!!

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The Jones' March 27, 2008 at 7:36 pm

OH i just thought of something else i love as well. The pacifier clips from http://www.mom4life.com are the absolute best ever. They have really good clips on them and they are really cute. This is one of my favorite websites (tax free and no shipping fees). They also carry lilypadz which are breast pads that are awesome. They are reuseable. And you also need a soft snuggy for baby to carry!!!

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Maggie March 27, 2008 at 8:13 pm

Hey Jess – just visiting your blog and thought I’d give my two cents. I’ve been taking mental notes as Lisa juggles her two year old, and 3 month old, and here are my recommendations:
1) a Hooter Hider. Yes, that’s right. They sell them at Target, and it makes breast feeding easy and discrete, no matter where you are. Lisa LOVES it. I think the name is hilarious.
2) Baby Bumbo Chair – as soon as the baby can hold up his own head, they can sit in this “chair.” It sort of “locks” them into place. My sister & her friends LOVE these chairs.
Exciting stuff — good luck with the registry!

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