Baby Registry: What to Include, and What To Skip
You’re pregnant, yay! It’s getting closer to your estimated due date and someone may be planning to throw you a baby shower. Now it is time to start thinking about what you will need to have on hand once baby arrives! Every registry you will find will have a "checklist" of items to make sure you include (i.e. 8 onesies, 4 bibs, etc. etc.). But here's OUR checklist: the one with the list of things your chiropractor wants to makes sure you include, as well as what to definitely skip!
- BUMBO SEAT (AND OTHER SIMILAR SEATS)
This is public enemy #1 in my book. It seems like a great tool when you need to set baby down for a moment, but here's why it should just be thrown out: The concave form of the Bumbo (and similar) seats is counterproductive to infant spinal development. Your baby is born with a C-shaped curvature in their spine (think: fetal position). Which is normal and healthy at birth. But from here, we want them to be doing things like tummy time, crawling, sitting up on their own, and other developmental activities that help encourage the elongated S-shaped curvature that adults have. The S-shaped spinal curve allows for proper motion and posture for walking and standing- you know, things us adults need to do. Unfortunately, the Bumbo holds your baby back from this development. Ditch the Bumbo!
In the same way that the Bumbo holds your baby's spine back from development, walkers, jumpers, bouncers, exercausers, etc. are counterproductive to HIP development. Yes, the bouncing and moving around is fun for baby, but it gives parents a false sense of development and strength. I often hear, "Oh he LOVES to jump and scoot around! He's so strong!" But this is comparable to being in a harness at a rock climbing wall, and saying, "Look how high I can jump!" while realistically, the belayer is pulling on the other end of your rope to help you up while you jump. Not exactly your strength getting you that high. Due to the position of the hips and the "support" it is providing, it's causing babies to strengthen their leg muscles in a position that isn't accurate for standing/jumping and therefore not ideal for development of learning to stand/jump.
When babies are using these jumper devices, more often than not, they are jumping from their toes (vs. from a flat foot). This causes their leg muscles to become strong in places they're not supposed to, and become tight in places that they're not supposed to. See also below (in the SHOES section) the importance of the foot flat against the floor.
- CAR SEAT SUN SHADES, MIRRORS, AND OTHER "ADDITIONS"
We ♥ safe babies. Which means we ♥ car seat safety. And because of that, we like to follow the safety recommendations that our guests shared with us in THIS video. One of the things they pointed out is that these "extras" that are sold as car seat accessories are NOT held to any sort of safety standard the way the car seat is. That means that often, they are made with cheap plastics or other materials. While this may be OK on an every day occasion, that may not be the case in the event of a crash. The phrase, "Prepare for the worst, but hope for the best," leaves us avoiding these add-ons!
Use Sparingly, If At All:
Swings are actually ok. I have no problem with the item itself. However, I do want to warn against leaving babies in them TOO long. Often we leave them there as their default spot, or we even let them sleep there. This can be counterproductive to their cranial skull shaping, often causing babies to have flattened skulls. Use the swing as needed, but try to limit it as much as possible!
- INFANT CARRIER CAR SEAT
I promise we aren't saying to strap the baby to your lap and drive around! Absolutely pick the safest car seat (whether infant carrier, or straight to a convertible), and use it with all of the proper installation that it requires! That being said, my reservation here is the same as with swings: we become too dependent on them! When you go into the store, try taking them out of the car seat (see baby carrier/wrap below)! Again, leaving them in there too long can lead to a misshapen skull. Plus, those carriers are HEAVY and not easy on YOU to carry around (often causing poor posture for parents).
As babies, we need the proprioception (or sensory feedback) from the ground to teach us how to stand, walk, balance, etc. Many times, we put babies in the (adorable!) baby shoes so early that it can minimize the feedback our babies feet get from the ground when they actually need it the most. This is especially true if we are putting babies in a hard or thick-soled shoe. Try to let your baby be barefoot or just in socks as much as possible. This will help them to develop that proprioception. Bonus: the direct contact to the ground also causes the need for strengthening of the tiny muscles that hold the bones of the foot together- these are the muscles that create the arches in our feet. So by being barefoot babes, we're also helping to develop those arches! As you know, weak arches as an adult can cause several mobility problems from the ground up! (See what I did there?)
Chiropractor's MUST HAVES:
- BABY CARRIER/WRAP
Just like anything else baby-related, there are ways to babywear that are safe and help promote development, and there are also ways that would make your chiropractor cringe. We'll discuss the safe/healthy vs the NOT safe/healthy in another post.
But! Our favorite reasons we love safe babywearing: It helps promote bonding by close physical contact between parent and baby, worn babies cry less, it can make nursing a breeze!, babies are less prone to misshapen skulls, and it helps promote spinal development! All GREAT benefits for infant health and development!
- GLASS BOTTLES
We talk about switching from plastics on a regular basis, but sometimes we forget to talk about this application to baby products. Probably because it seems crazy to give a baby a glass bottle. But the reality is that for babies who are drinking from bottles a lot (whether formula or pumped milk), that's exposure to A LOT of plastic from such an early age! Check out THIS great glass bottle with a silicone wrapping on it to keep it safe from drops!
- TUMMY TIME MAT
We often go for the play sets that are incredibly stimulating for our babies...who are lying on their backs. And this is fine for a short bit, but I find a more worthwhile investment to be a mat that is more stimulating for tummy time! Tummy time is incredibly important for development, so let's make it as enjoyable as we can for our sweet littles. Check out THIS one that I love!
- AMBER NECKLACES/BRACELETS/ANKLETS
These are a great, natural tool for soothing the discomforts that come with teething. Check out some of our faves HERE.
Co-sleeping often holds a negative connotation, but did you know that the American Academy of Pediatrics actually recommends room sharing for at least the first 6 months, but ideally the 1st year? They do!
There are many different ways to safely have your baby near you while you sleep. We'll leave the debate on the how up to other professionals and articles, but let's talk about the why!
Cosleeping helps with infant-parent bonding, milk supply, better rest for parents, and even lower SIDS rates! Like I said, there are many different apparatuses that allow for safe cosleeping, so do your research and find what works best for your family!
- NURSING PILLOW
OK mom, so this one is more for YOU than it is for baby (but...if it's better for you, then of course it's ultimately better for baby too!). Nursing moms feel like they're doing it all. the. time. So you're going to want to make sure you're comfortable when you do it. Make sure you have the right tool to keep you comfortable and in a good posture while you do it by having a nursing pillow come to your aid!
So there you have it! Your chiropractor's list of MUST HAVES and MUST SKIPS for your registry!