After three kids, I am by no means an expert on this parenting stuff. It has and continues to be a learning experience every single day. I watch other moms, reflect on what my own mom did, heck I even watch Super Nanny from time to time to learn some tricks of the trade. “What to Expect when you are Expecting” did not prepare me for this motherhood thing, but I a love every minute of it even if you can’t tell by the look on my face.

With my oldest anxiously headed into kindergarten, the middle wearing holes in his jeans as a busy four year old, and the 18 month old potty training herself out of diapers, I am finally taking that deep breath; the one that I might feel after finally catching my breath after a marathon. It kind of seems like that is what I have been doing the last six years, though once again my body may not look that way.

As I stroll around the house we have made a home over the years, I remember how far we have come and what all we have survived. From that I have created the REAL BABY REGISTRY! Brace yourself, it isn’t pretty, but it’s real.

Starting my day of with I hot shower and dressing for success is a sure way to make it wonderful. As I step out and grab my clean towel, the fresh fabric softener is quickly replaced by the musky smell of carpet mixed with kids’ worth of potty training.

REGISTRY ITEM #1: Plastic. Plastic covers for everything! Did you know that they make plastic you can lie out on the floor to protect it?! Just like that which you may see construction workers rolling out in their high traffic areas, roll this out in yours. If you must have carpet in your bathroom, triple layer it around your toilet. Another great place for this is under the table where your kids sit, and generally anywhere they are any moment of any day.

Still in the bathroom, breathing in the lingering….okay, I’ve already covered that…my eyes fall on the box of band aids sitting on the counter from the latest run-in with sidewalk. How many times have my husband and I mended ouchies with the help of the kids’ favorite cartoon characters and snuggles? Too many to count, that’s for sure. But there are just some things that call for a little more attention.

REGISTRY ITEM #2: Advanced First Aid Kit. The basic aid kit just won’t always cut it. There may be times when your energetic boy trips over his own feet and hits a five gallon bucket with his chin or your little one reaches for a warm cookie on that hot cookie sheet that you didn’t get pushed far enough back. Occasionally you will need steri strips and superglue, burn gel, and eyewash, just to name a few. For the times the child proof Tylenol bottles fail or the super glue just won’t hold, there will still be emergency room visits. Rest assured it happens, but I haven’t seen hospitals handing out gift certificates to cover that yet, so we will stick with the kit.

            As I walk out of the bathroom, I stub my toe on the John Deere tractor sending it flying into the pile of baby clothes I have yet to find a new home for. Who knew having kids would take up so much space? Between the clothes they just grew out of, those they are in, and those they will soon be in, you would think I had nine kids under the age of five! Don’t even get me started with all the toys lying around that they don’t even play with because they would rather build corrals with tongue suppressers, buildings with dishes, and forts from pillows, blankets, and empty diaper boxes.

REGISTRY ITEM #3: Clear Storage Totes. Register for them and request every baby gift to be “wrapped” in a clear storage tote, not a gift bag. Acceptable gifts to register for to be “wrapped” in clear tote include car seats for each vehicle and diapers size 1 through 4, not newborns; you can buy a small package of those if needed. Skip the clothes and toys. If they insist on a card, suggest a children’s book instead. Put the totes in the bottom of the closet and label one “out grown” with the size and season on it (this will save you hours down the road for subsequent children or when giving to friends), and the other “next size” so you have something available when your baby wakes up having gained three pounds and two inches overnight. You can fill that pretty little dresser with the current size. Where to put all those toys you can’t part with yet? In a clear tote so you can see what’s in there while you have a baby in your arms and one at your feet, of course!

It is nearly time to pick up the kids. This farm wife can be grateful for the mud layered on my mom-mobile from Sunday’s beautiful rain. It will get washed eventually by the kid’s water guns during their water fights (or my amazing hubby). One thing that I can’t overlook quite so easily is the inside.

REGISTRY ITEM #4: Shop Vac. Sure a household vacuum can do a decent job, but oh the time and energy you will save if you have a shop vac! Oh and the power {insert Tim the Tool Man Taylor ar-ar-ar, here}. No matter how passionately I declare time and time again that there will be no food in the glorious mom-mobile, somehow the crumbs and morsels of snacks and meals make their way onto the seats, floors, and those tiny little cracks and runners beneath the seats. Not only food, but those beautiful crafts of tiny pieces of paper my kids must have spent all day cutting to gift to me at the end of the day. God bless their thoughtful little souls. While on the topic of cars, refer back to registry item number 1.

I have one stop to make before picking up the kids. All the love and chaos that is raising a family, this stop should be self-explanatory.

REGISTRY ITEM #5: Monthly (if not more frequently) Massages for Mom. Truly the best gift ever! Self-care is one of the biggest things moms struggle with maintaining which leads to all sorts of potential problems down the line. Register for this; it is actually one of the least selfish things you could do for you baby.

There you have. My top five baby registry items for new moms and old alike. Let me know what you would add.


Trista Koch

After the death of both her grandparents and see how losing loved ones can tear even the closest knit families apart, Trista was determined to take the awkward out of grief and death. She left her job as a Respiratory Therapist and enrolled in the Grief Coach Academy. There, she became equipped with powerful and proven tools to help others in their grieving journey. She continues her mastery study there to coach people From Heartbreak to Happiness®. Trista currently raises her son and two daughters in south central Nebraska along with her amazingly supportive husband. Through her grief coaching practice, Trista is busting through the myth that grieving “just takes time” with her individual and family coaching and other services! Her mission as a grief coach is to support, encourage, and coach adults with terminally ill parents to connect to hope, peace of mind, and family.