Making a baby registry – for me this was such a fun thing to do during pregnancy! I loved browsing through all the cute, tiny items and imagining how my little nugget would look using them. I envisioned no longer feeling like a beached whale after birth and soaking in all the newborn snuggles. With my first, I was blissfully unaware of how exhausted I would be those first few weeks (*cough* months/years) and how I would still feel like a slightly smaller beached whale, so these daydreams were perfection in baby form.

Enter CHD

However, after my son’s CHD diagnosis at our 20 week anatomy ultrasound everything changed. My dreams were shattered. The vision of rocking my baby to sleep in his perfectly themed woodland nursery was replaced by sitting at his bedside in the NICU and praying he would one day get to see that nursery. I started to wonder if he would even be able to wear newborn size clothes. Do babies wear clothes in the hospital? Would we need anything special to care for him?

My mom suggested that maybe we should wait until he got home from the hospital to have a shower. We didn’t want people to needlessly buy him items from his baby registry he would never use, right? Not having a shower just didn’t feel right to me though. Things were going to be different, but this baby still needed to be celebrated. Looking back I think it was good for my momma heart to do something “normal.” We made a baby registry and my amazing work and church families threw me two different showers. Afterwards, we spent weeks perfecting the woodland nursery that Pinterest dreams are made of.

Making the Baby Registry

The thing is though, I had no clue what to put on that baby registry. I registered for the things that I liked, just like any other baby. A lot of it we used, some of it we didn’t. Several things we ended up ordering on Amazon after he was born. So, for all the heart savvy mommas-to-be here’s an overview of the items I found most helpful in caring for my baby with CHD.

The Basics

These “basics” got the most use while at home and in the hospital. Snap sleepers are great in all sizes especially in the hospital to allow cords and wires to go out between the snaps.

The My Breast Friend nursing pillow is GOLD. It’s made of foam and holds its shape so much better than the famous boppy pillow. Even if you are not planning/able to nurse it’s great to have just for holding your baby.

The Mamaroo is $$$ but it’s amazing. It has adjustable positions and many different soothing motions. It held Calvin just right to manage his reflux during tube feedings. If you have a two story house I’d also recommend having another bouncy seat. It was nice to not have to lug the mamaroo upstairs every time I wanted to take a shower.

These muslin receiving blankets are SO soft. The are great for adding a little personal touch to hospital beds and also snuggling or stretching out on the floor at home.

Velcro swaddles – I’m not sure we would have slept more than two hours in a row without these! They don’t come undone like regular blanket swaddles so babies stay sleepy and snug for longer. And then can’t get the blanket over their faces!

My Solly Baby wrap carrier was perfect for the first 6 months. Calvin loved to be held so I wrapped him up and wore him while doing things around the house. We even walked up and down the hospital halls using it after he had healed from surgery. He outgrew it at about 6 months or so and we switch to a Tula carrier (which I LOVED).

Pacis are a huge staple in our house. I’d register for two different kinds just in case one is not a good fit. The paci actually played a very important role in Calvin’s recovery. He was not allowed to eat his first few days of life while awaiting his first heart surgery. Sucking on the paci soothed him so well and also kept his suck reflex well-practiced until he was ready to feed. Our favorites for both kids have been the Phillips Avent pacis and the MAM brand. As a fun bonus, Wubbanub recently came out with this sweet CHD Awareness bear and it is SO cute!

Savvy gadget baby registry items for a baby with CHD.

Bottle Steamer | Steamer bags | Bassinest | Thermometer | Stroller Frame |
Nose Frida | Nest cam | Baby Scale

The savvy baby registry gadgets

Friends, these microwave bottle steamers are life! My mom was especially in awe of it since she had to boil all of my bottles as a baby. Can you imagine? These steamer bags are great for the hospital to microwave pump parts or even pacis that accidentally hit the hospital floor.

A good trusty thermometer and baby scale will help you monitor your baby at home and give valuable info on when you may need to call the doctor. Get a traditional thermometer that can be used to take a rectal or under arm measurement. The ear thermometers and temporal scanners have a higher rate of inaccurate readings. Some hospitals will send you home with a baby scale but many don’t. Check with your hospital to see if they provide one.

The Halo Bassinest quickly became one of my favorite baby items! It swivels closer or further from the bed with a gentle pull. One side can easily be pushed down to care for your baby without getting out of bed. It also has vibration, a soft night light for feeding time, and soothing sounds. It’s incredible!

A video camera is a must – I needed to see that he was ok sleeping in his room. The NestCam is pricey but connected straight to our phones and if I turned the volume all the way up I could actually hear him breathing over the mic. It made me feel good about him sleeping in his own room after he outgrew the bassinet.

The Nose Frida may seem super gross (I certainly thought so!) but I promise no snot is going to get in your mouth! The hospital will spoil you with amazing bedside suction that keeps baby breathing easy. This Nose Frida is about as close as you’re are going to get to that. Babies are so pitiful when they get snotty and can’t breath well through their noses.

The infant carrier stroller frame saved my back 100 times over. We had many doctor’s appointments those first few months. So with this stroller I could simply lift the infant carrier out of the car, clip it into the stroller, and go! Covering it with a blanket kept Calvin comfy and out of the germy environment of the waiting room. There are many different brands so make sure you get one that will work with your particular infant carrier brand. Graco and Chicco make one specifically for their car seats.

Checkout the complete registry suggestions checklist here on this PDF. I hope these suggestions are helpful to you as you prepare to celebrate your sweet baby!

Ready to create your own Amazon Baby Registry? Here’s where to get started:

Also read Making a Baby Registry Part 2. In this next section we’ll talk about some of the most popular baby item on the market right now that may not be a good fit for a baby with CHD.