This post is sponsored by BabyList, a company we adore (and use ourselves!). Thank you for supporting the companies who contribute to the growth and success of Coffee + Crumbs.
When I was pregnant with my first baby, I fretted over the registry. I e-mailed my friends who were already mothers themselves and asked them what they couldn’t live without. I vowed to keep it simple. I vowed to keep it stylish. My husband reminded me on at least one occasion that I would be giving birth to a real human baby, and not, in fact, to Nate Berkus.
My friends displayed their love for me with a game-free baby shower and all the gifts they knew I longed for the most: the super practical carseat, the modern chic Flip video camera (it was 2009, you guys), and the totes adorbs owl mobile from Etsy that was sure to be the icing on the cake of my gender-neutral, Berkus-inspired nursery.
The carseat has now survived both my kids’ infancies. The Flip video camera sadly only got one or two plays before Apple added video to the iPhone and, well, sorry Flip. And yes, the owl mobile was exactly the piece-de-resistance that I knew it would be (until, of course, it was discovered tucked away in a closet once we were in big-kid-bed territory, and my three year-old plucked all the felt owls off of their delicate satin strings).
It was nice to have all that stuff: an adorable, occasionally useful, mostly overindulgent reminder of the thing that I truly needed most—my village. Each sterile pacifier, each hand-stitched burp rag, each economy size box of diapers (a gift from a veteran mom, obviously), they were all physical evidence that I was not alone in this epic journey into motherhood. I was surrounded by women who wanted me to have everything that I needed to get the job done, and who wanted my baby to be comfortable and, apparently, well dressed. They were cheering me on, one gift at a time.
The second time around, the wish list was a bit different. There’s always that double stroller to add to the heap of gear in your garage, but there’s also the knowledge of what you really need. The second time around, you know that the village is everything. Because what you really need? It’s more than just stuff.
What you really need is a freezer full of ready-to-go dinners. What you really need is someone to watch your toddler while you go to the 87 doctors appointments that you and your baby will require. What you really need is someone to fold your laundry for you so that you can find your “fancy” yoga pants should you actually have the energy to leave the house. You need someone to keep your kids out of the bathroom for an hour so you can shower and maybe put on some makeup and feel like a real woman for a night. You need coffee, good (strong) coffee.
Sometimes you need permission to allow another episode of Curious George, and then a reminder not to beat yourself up about it. You need someone who won’t freak out if you burst into tears when your baby outgrows the newborn onesies, and who agrees that yes, that precious baby will never really fit into those hand-me-down toddler clothes because surely she will stay this tiny and precious forever. Maybe you need someone to assure you that just because you’ll be dropping your kids off at daycare doesn’t ever mean that you’re any less than their one-and-only mother.
What you really need most of all is a village to remind you, regularly, that you are a good mom doing the best you can.
And that’s why we love BabyList – the only online baby registry that incorporates your village right alongside those adorable muslin blankets and Boppy covers. You can register for home cooked meals, babysitting hours, housecleaning, and more. Maybe you need someone to entertain your toddler for a few hours while you nap with your baby, or maybe you need someone to scrub the shower while you heal from your c-section. Maybe you need someone to make a Target run for toilet paper and laundry detergent, or maybe you need someone to stock your freezer with casseroles. No matter what you may need in those first few months with a new baby at home, BabyList makes it easy to enlist the help of your community.
Whether you’re a first-time mom registering for everything under the sun, or a fourth-time mom only registering for diapers and wipes, one thing remains the same: we can all use our village when a new baby is born.
Along with your village, some baby products really do make life easier, but no one store has everything you need. That's why it's so helpful that BabyList lets you add anything from any store – add a stroller from Amazon and screen-printed onesies from Etsy. It's easy to build your registry on your computer, the iPhone/iPad app or the Android app.
Today BabyList is giving away three of their must-have registry items: an organic Ergo carrier, a Halo Bassinest Swivel Sleeper, and a 4moms rockaRoo! Enter below for your chance to win; we’ll pick a winner on May 8th!
We’d love to know: in addition to your village, what baby products have made your life easier? Check out our recommendations page to see some of our favorite baby items and tag your photos on Instagram with #babylistfaves!