now that i know better

How I’d Redo My Baby Registry: More Lanolin, Less Diaper Genie

Photo-Illustration: retailers

Registries are often wasted on soon-to-be-parents. In this series, cool new(-ish) moms and dads tell us about the stuff that’s actually worked for them in the time since they had a kid. In other words: If they could do their baby registry all over again, here are the items that would top the list.

Scroll through the Instagram of leadership speaker Jovian Zayne, and photos like that of Janelle Monae cradling Zayne’s pregnant belly might suggest she had plenty of exceptionally tasteful friends to help her with her baby registry. While this may be true — and in fact, her loved ones threw her not one but three separate baby showers — the reality for any expectant parent is that they simply can’t know what products will be essential to them until after their child arrives. (Same goes for nonessentials: For instance, Zayne bought the Diaper Genie for two rooms of the house, only to discover that a friend with four kids had been right all along when she warned, “Once the poop gets real, it doesn’t make a difference.”) Now that Zayne’s daughter, Jorgie, is just over a year old, she told us about the items she ended up using most — including a sturdy nursing sports bra, affirmation flash cards, and a teething giraffe that isn’t Sophie.

I have this whole village of moms and parents in my life who have done this before. And I was advised, “You never know what kind of bottle your baby’s going to take to; in moments of crisis, you do not want to be like, ‘I need to try to find another bottle.’ You just wish you had something else to try.” So we had different types of bottles on our registry — we bought way too many: Playtex, Medela. The ones we ultimately ended up using were the anti-colic Tomee Tippee bottles. They worked. We never freaked out, like, “We need to try another bottle.”

If you’re breastfeeding, the last thing you wanna see is an underwire. These bras are extremely comfortable — no frills; very easy to use. I have a lot of friends who had babies at the same time as me — everyone’s boobs are different, obviously; they swell up at different times, we sweat differently — but we all used these and they worked for all of us. I’m about a 36D, and I wore a size large in these. I also really like the Athena by Love and Fit. If you want a sturdy nursing sports bra, I would say put that on your registry, too.

Pumping is so much more tolerable when you can use your hands to access stuff like your phone or the remote control. I came to my girlfriend in a fit over pumping — she’s actually having her fourth child, and she was like, “You’re not using a hands-free bra yet? What are you doing? Get this bra right now.” And then it was like, okay, cool, not that I’m looking forward to going to sit in the corner and pump, but, all right, this is not that bad.