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Baby shower and registry checklist

Melissa Chapman and her brood of three live in the urban concrete jungle of NYC. She writes Kids in the City Kids in the City a weekly column and blog for the Staten Island Advance, contributes to SheKnows, Time Out NY Kids Time Out N...

Ready, set, register!

That first visit to register at the baby superstore can be overwhelming. With all those aisles full of strollers, blankets, toys, bathtubs, clothing, bibs, highchairs etc. etc. (etc.!), that dazed and confused feeling is perfectly understandable. Not to worry: We've whittled down the possibilities into a list of the most important baby basics. Remember, you can always add or delete items later, so don't feel pressured to build the perfect baby registry all at once.


Nursing cover: While a blanket works in a pinch, nursing covers are specifically designed for ease of use and modesty. They feature neck straps to keep the cover in place (much easier than draping a bulky blanket over yourself) and often have pockets for everything from pacis to nursing pads.

One to try: Bebe Au Lait makes stylish nursing covers in a variety of colorful patterns, as well as burp cloths, double-reversible bibs and hooded towels for babies and toddlers. They offer gift sets (which include one Bebe Au Lait nursing cover and three matching burp cloths) and recently launched their "Family Ties" line of bracelets by Danish jewelry designer Julie Sandlau for mom and baby.

Nursing Bras: Any nursing mom will tell you that your pre-pregnancy bra just can't cut it for nursing. Youi'll need a bra that provides easy access for feeding and lots of support. But just because you're nursing doesn't mean you need to wear a plain and stodgy-looking bra.

One to try:
Bravado nursing bras come in leopard prints and lace as well as basic cotton. The cups unclip to allow easy access for feeding but also provide excellent support to ease the strain on your breasts and back.

Breast pump:
An absolute must for moms who return to work, a breast pump is handy for stay-at-home moms too. Pumping (or expressing) milk allows you to leave a few bottles with a babysitter or have a backup supply in case your milk is tainted for any reason (such as alcohol or medication). Working moms should look for an electric double pump with a carrying case and cooler. Infrequent pumpers can get by with a simple, hand-operated pump. Don't forget the milk storage bags.

Two to try: The Medela Pump in Style advanced breast pump with backpack is a double pump that's completely contained within a discreet black backpack. It features a separate insulated case for milk storage. The Philips Avent ISIS manual breast pump is a hand-operated pump that uses Avent BPA-free bottles, but you can transfer the milk to storage bags, as well.

Next up: baby clothing!

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