Fetch or Wretch? The 2018 Emmy Awards

SNORE.

Y’all! This Emmys was so borrrrrrring (and, despite the chirpy little opening number, very white. Which wouldn’t have necessarily been as problematic if the production hadn’t been so self-congratulatory about the “most diverse group of nominees ever” at every single opportunity…but I digress.). Easily the best part of the show was this moment, which had both my husband and me agape on the couch choking up (shut up, Jordan, you know you did):

Oh my gosh I just watched it and cried all over again. HIS MOM’S RING, Y’ALL

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Whew. But THAT isn’t what we’re here to talk about, is it, my friends? No, we’re here to dissect Emmy fashion with a sharp, merciless knife.

ROUND ‘EM UP!

FETCH.

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Rachel Brosnahan.

The woman knew she was going to be picking up an award (and the show itself swept the evening), and she DRESSED FOR IT. This is pretty down-the-line flawless and you could tell she felt like a million bucks.

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Thandie Newton.

THE BITCH DOESN’T AGE. This knocked me out. Styling, accessory choices, color, how they managed to keep that dress wrinkle-free all night…so many things to praise. There are several people last night that shocked me with their agelessness - Thandie Newton, Angela Bassett, Sandra Oh, Heidi Klum. Speaking of the last two, let’s just go ahead and put ‘em where they belong…

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Heidi Klum.

Gotta give credit where credit’s due.

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Sandra Oh.

Very disappointed we didn’t get to hear a speech from this amazing actress who I LOVE, but the dress said it all. What an amazing statement and a banner night for Asian American actresses, despite the loss. Although the real star of the red carpet wasn’t Sandra Oh, but instead was her mom, who wore the most FABULOUS hanbok I have ever seen. Mrs. Oh - we are here for you, girl. Google the image, the stupid internet won’t let me find a good one. Just trust me.

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Tracee Ellis Ross

Lemme just be basic here for a minute and scream ‘YAS QUEEN!’ I mean are you kidding me?! This is so beyond fabulous I can’t. I canNOT.

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Ru Paul.

Another that needs no commentary. Sashay away!

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Leslie Jones.

Look, this one is tough. Do I love the length of the pants? No, I do not. Do I love the button placement that skews her proportions? Nope. But the color, her confidence, and the overall cut/fit of this custom Christian Siriano gets my vote, especially because CS has made a habit of dressing women who aren’t runway sizes and making them feel fabulous and confident. And she certainly felt both. Please pay special attention to her reaction during that proposal video - SO good.

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Angela Sarafyan.

So elegant, so gorgeous, so darkly Cinderella. I LOVED it.

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Kristen Bell.

Another tough one for me because that neckline is damn near impossible to pull off. But from every angle, sister was WORKING IT. The fit and the styling are perfection.

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Sarah Paulson.

I thought this was pretty divine. The low-cut bodice is right on the edge of not great, but everything else (the feathers, the length, the head styling) works.

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Jessica Biel.

I am damn near positive that the major critique of this gown will be that it looks like it’s made of coffee filters. Even so, I thought it was beautiful.

There are more Fetches, but I have to take my son to the doctor so that he can pee all over the nurses the second his diaper is removed, so let’s just get to the real reason we’re all gathered here today, shall we?

WRETCH.

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Emilia Clarke.

Such a disappointment. Her head is so beautiful. Her body is sublime. But that dress looks like leftover Halloween decorations and dead flowers glued to a tarp. And I am VERY VERY OVER THE SHEER BODICE TREND. Can’t we all say once and for all that it’s dead, never again to be resurrected?! It’s so tacky looking! The Mother of Dragons really let us down - maybe she’ll pull it out next year when GOT is over.

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Michelle Wolf.

I can’t decide if the bodice looks more like Maleficent’s head or cat-eye glasses, which would make her boobs the eyeballs, which is not something anyone wants to have said about what they wear to an awards show.

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Tiffany Haddish.

I know I know I know I know I know, this is the it girl, I love her so much - I really do!! But this dress is a PROBLEM. Remember those big, colorful, circular parachutes that you used to play with in gym class in elementary school and all your classmates would hold onto the outsides and lift it up at the same time? …mmhmm. I know she’s honoring her dad’s culture, but that doesn’t make this a good dress. Not her fault, she’s still the best, but…PE parachute.

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Ellie Kemper.

Another fave of mine, but I think she slipped in a vat of old tea. It looks like a Project Runway design where the theme was “Breakfast Beverages.” It’s the same color as her head/skin/lips/hair. Have I said enough? K.

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Scarlett Johannessenenenennnnn

Her last name is impossible to spell and I’m too lazy to Google it. You’re not nominated, you’re not a Kardashian, and that Balmain silhouette is officially O-V-E-R. “Oh my dress is barely hanging onto my body oops there it goes!” Girl, pull up ya shoulder straps and go back home.

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JVN, Tan France, and Karamo Brown

WHY must you guys disappoint me so?! Bobby and Antoni get a pass. And I’m not hating simply because these three guys have avant garde looks - I’m hating because they are also awful. JVN - I LOVE YOU SO MUCH, but we do not need to see your chest every single time you step onto a red carpet. Sheer is amaze, but let’s add some variety. Tan, you look like a Chanel vision except that suit reads as very “daytime” and is made even clunkier by the random addition of a heavy black boot and black bowtie. And Karamo…oh my. It’s like equestrian mixed with aging socialite mixed with…someone who wears a pocket watch. Strugs. To. Func.

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Aidy Bryant.

Lil’ Baby Aidy! I wanted to like this! But it’s more “I’m going to my best friend’s bridal shower,” and less “I’m nominated for an Emmy.” Too informal, step up the game! But the hair is giving me life.

And finally, for this year’s WRETCHEST OF THEM ALL…


drum roll please

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Amy Sherman-Palladino.

What the HOT HELL.

She can’t decide if she wants to be the magician or the magician’s assistant.

This is the most annoying outfit I’ve ever seen. Begging for people to think she’s adorable and kitschy when in reality she appears to have walked into a costume shop whilst on mushrooms. I get that hats are your thing, lady, but this is HORRIFYING. Don’t try to win me over with your quirkiness. I live in Asheville, okay? I regularly see a man who walks down the street in a chicken costume FOR NO REASON. He doesn’t work at a chicken store. He just feels like it. You’re not impressing me. You are also pretty annoying and both your speeches were very “I’m a 13-year-old theater kid, LOVE ME!!!!”

And her hose were ripped.

…and that hat.

Don’t look at it too long. It wounds the eyeballs.

That’s it for me, kids - see you soon. Keep your fingers crossed that only one nurse is taken out with Mac’s unbelievable geyser of urine.

Miss America 2.0? 2.No. A Review.

Ohhhhhh the re-branding, y'all. It was EVERYWHERE. 

Each year, my mom and I hunker down to watch the pageant. This year, with all the buzz surrounding Miss America 2019, it was a particularly juicy and interesting watch - full of mis-steps and moments that made me say, "Huh." As my mother put it, "Every year I hold out hope that it'll be a little better." I'm afraid there were lots of disappointments, with a few great moments still shining through. 

But I'm also 154 years old and hate change. 

We began with an intro that featured all the contestants in casual wear making it crystal clear to viewers that this was not your grandmother's Miss America. They stood in groups and said words like, "Smart." and "Empowered." and "Commanding." It was eye roll-inducing and set the tone for what was a really self-congratulatory evening. During the parade of states, we got treated to one young lady who bragged about having a "certificate in leadership." 

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Instead of the traditional swimsuit competition, the Top 15 were asked questions by their fellow competitors. As is always the case, some questions were harder-hitting than others, but this portion did give the women a chance to really shine. I have to say, it's been a while since I remember seeing a group of super articulate, whip-smart gals up there representing. Almost without exception, they answered their questions thoroughly and within the allotted time. A glaring outlier was the ultimate winner, Miss New York Nia Franklin, whose answer was fumble-y and not great. 

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We then moved on to what USED TO BE EVENING GOWN and is now some wretched excuse for evening gown called "Red Carpet," in which the formerly elegant and gorgeous beauty walk was turned into a weird boppy strut down a fake red carpet and then harangued by an E! News commentator in a thinly veiled "tell us about your platform" moment. This part of the competition didn't need a re-think, but apparently Gretchen Carlson and her minions didn't want to leave a single element of the pag untouched. It was so silly and teenager-y, turning what was once a show-stopper into a glorified pep rally. This part may have been the most disappointing to me. 

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Talent did receive an upgraded feature: instead of putting all the remaining competitors on stage to await their fate in front of the crowd, the new pageant wisely held all the girls backstage and announced them one by one, the way it ought to be. In the old format, there would always be more girls on stage than there were spaces in the talent competition, so a few poor souls would end up left alone, not selected, on stage in their talent costumes, ultimately dismissed and embarrassed. I love that we've gone back to the original talent format. 

And y'all, there were some DOOZIES. Talent is most people's favorite part of competition because it really gives you a glimpse into the girl's personalities in a way no other element of competition does. WOW. Wowowowowowow. Apart from the obviously excellent (Callie Walker and Bridget Oei), and the just-okay-but-passable (Nia Franklin), we were treated to talents that ranged from disastrous to cringe-worthy and back again.

Massachusetts' Gabriela Taveras' vocal "Rise Up" was one of the most difficult things I've listened to in a while, so much so that I initially wondered if the on-stage monitors had failed because she was so wildly under pitch throughout the song. Alas, Nia Franklin's vocal later in the show shattered that theory and we were all left with ringing in our ears. My phone exploded during Taveras' talent with fellow watchers complaining about the performance. She couldn't "Rise Up" to the right note, I'm afraid. (I mean that joke was just right there, y'all, come on. Cut me a break.) Somehow, she advanced to Top 5 anyway.

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Two of the contestants performed original spoken word pieces and I...can't. Listen, slam poetry is one thing. It's tricky, crafty, it rhymes, it's punchy and powerful - these were...not. Ellery Jones' monologue of an original poem was nice, but more suited for a talent show in grade school. And Jessica Shultis' dramatic monologue detailing her experience as a pediatric cancer survivor could have been tasteful and powerful, but was instead angst-ridden, over-wrought, and over-performed. Screaming at the audience about their mortality and fake-crying your way through a talent don't often make for the best result. I think she scared those poor judges. She scared me from thousands of miles away. 

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On-stage question was predictable, as the format here doesn't often change. The answers were, again, pretty solid (with the exception once again of Nia Franklin, the ultimate winner, who used "overcoming pricey rent" as a response to, "How has being the candidate from New York prepared you for the job of being Miss America?"). The worst question had to do with men who father children biologically but aren't around to raise them, and was suspiciously asked to a contestant who was raised by a single mother (even though the questions were supposed to have been "randomly chosen"). 

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And poor Cara Mund, whose name and presence were conspicuously absent throughout the pageant until the very end, was awkwardly trotted out for a final walk that couldn't have been any longer than 90 seconds. The crowd was roaring for her, but it felt like watching a prisoner step out for their mandatory "outdoors time." With the year she's had and how public she's been about her terrible experience, this cap to her year felt disingenuous and super weird. 

When Nia was crowned, there was no "There She Is, Miss America." She walked back and forth to some generic pop song, then was interviewed Superbowl-style on stage. It was weird. And Carrie Ann...well:

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Overall, it was such a disappointment. The pageant is what it is. Women who compete in it know that they're going to be in swimsuits. They expect to have the full glory of a slower, more elegant walk in the gown they've chosen. If we really wanted to empower all women and make the pageant relevant, why wouldn't we keep swimsuit and offer it to all body types and shapes? Wouldn't that be more empowering? And by making evening gown into a chipper little skip down a faux red carpet, aren't we sending the message that you can't be both elegant and also relatable?

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I don't know, you guys. Maybe I'm a curmudgeon. But I want swimsuit back, dammit, and I want Miss America to be what it used to be: beauty (both inner and outer), class, grace, and poise. Because none of those things preclude intelligence, feminism, or cultural relevance.  

Did you watch?? What did you think? 

PS - Callie Walker was a living dream and made me proud to be from Alabama. And also should've easily made it into Top 5 over that ear-bleeding song from MA. Okay I'm really done now. 

The 7-Minute Blowout

I am so excited to share this with y'all! You know that feeling when you go to the salon, get a great blowout, and then when you try to wash your hair and recreate it, you're defeated and also kind of haggard? 

ME TOO, GIRL. 

This blowout has given me  L I F E   since I mastered the technique. Together with OI All In One Milk, this method of drying my hair has not only saved me so much time, but has also given me a shiny, touchable blowout that lasts for days. I can't say enough good things about it. Even if you have super thick hair, this should work! It might be a ten minute blowout for you super-thick-haired girls. Hehe! 

All you'll need is a hairdryer with a nozzle, a paddle brush, a volumizing spray or mousse, and a pre-treatment like OI's All In One Milk (which I use in this video). 

I hope this saves you time so you can get to the business of being awesome!

A Comprehensive List of Baby Things.

A couple of months ago, I took a little poll on Instagram asking what people would like to see more of on DHDG. Though I don't identify myself as a lifestyle and/or mommy blogger, the overwhelming majority of people asked for baby-related posts, and I'm happy to oblige since that's certainly on my mind these days, too! 

The #1 request was for a list of baby product recommendations. I've already put together a list for girlfriends of mine, so I thought, why not share? I've tried to give you my "best of," broken down by category, but it was also important to me tell you why the product worked for me so that you can decide it you need it. 'Cause I SHO did not know what the hell a Mamaroo was before I had a baby. All of the bold product titles are links to the product itself for easier purchase. 

And if you're a person who doesn't have children, hopefully this will give you an idea of great gifts you can buy that aren't clothes for the moms-to-be in your life! 

For those of you who are SUPER TIRED of baby-related posts, here's a GIF for you: 

 I hear you, normal people. I hear you. 

I hear you, normal people. I hear you. 

If you're still pregnant...

Visit this post for my recommendations about products to use! 

 

Sleeping.

Moms on Call or BabywiseOkay, this is a very personal choice for everyone, but I'm gonna just tell you that sleep-training your baby as quickly as possible is the key to not losing your damn marbles. You can read all about the benefits of sleep training in this post, and (as an added testimonial to how effective these practices are) since I wrote the post, 3 different mama friends of mine have started sleep training their babies to WILD. SUCCESS. 

Rock-n-Play Sleeper. This thing is absolutely crucial if you aren't planning to use a bassinet. Jordan and I chose not to buy a bassinet given that we'd decided to move Mac to his crib during week 3 of his life, so we used this product as a bassinet during Mac's first two weeks at home right next to the bed. It auto-rocks and has white noise built in. Killer. It's also extremely lightweight, reasonably priced, and easy to travel with - anywhere we went during the first 8 weeks of Mac's life, the Rock-n-Play also went. We almost didn't register for this because it seemed like it was too similar to the Mamaroo, but it couldn't be more different; I used this 10x more than I used the Mamaroo. It's easily a Top 5 product for me.

White noise machineAnother must, especially if you're sleep training. We use a DOHM white noise machine in Mac's nursery. Sleep training system will tell you that you don't want a "sound machine" with features like ocean waves, heartbeats, etc.; you want an adult-style white noise machine with one sound: white noise. 

Halo sleepsack swaddlesYou'll know these because they've got Velcro on the "wings" that you wrap around the baby. Swaddling that little baby is a big part of sleep training/comforting newborns, and these are awesome. I've also heard people rave about Woombies. These are crucial in the middle of the night because you don't want to have to deal with a giant piece of fabric to swaddle at 2 AM (although you should also buy swaddle blankets and learn how to swaddle the "old fashioned" way so that you're always prepared in a pinch. Here's a great video that shows you the correct way to swaddle! 

Merlin's Magic Sleep Suit. This thing looks like a giant space suit/snow suit and is so hysterical and SO EFFECTIVE. We put Mac in it when he was around 12 weeks old and never looked back. Babies love the weighted, cozy feeling! Mac will be 8 months old tomorrow and is still wearing his!
*An edit: Magic Merlin Sleep Suits are not technically recommended for babies who are rolling over on their own. Our baby is extremely strong and capable of not only rolling front to back/back to front, but also crawling, while in this suit - so we feel comfortable putting him in it having carefully observed him on the monitor. That being said, I don't (and neither does the company) endorse putting a baby who can roll/crawl in this suit as it might be a hazard to your child's safety.)

Nuk/Wubbanub/whatever pacifierHonestly, we didn't go super trendy with the pacifier thing because...it's a paci. And it's going to get lost and dirty over and over. But people are crazy about Wubbanubs (they're the ones with a stuffed animal attached to the end) and say that they lose them a lot less. To each her own! 

 

Gear.

Chicco Keyfit 30 Car Seat. This was the most recommended car seat we found, so we got it. Super easy to install and to get out of the car. My only complaint about it is that it is on the heavy side, so when you add the weight of a baby in, it can get extra heavy very quickly. That said, we've loved it and I'd buy it again (and I had a heavy baby!).

Uppababy Vista. Let me level with you: this is an insanely expensive stroller. HOWEVER - it accommodates up to three kids, so it's the only stroller you'll ever need to buy. Several people told us that when they had their first child, they bought a one-child stroller, and wish they'd gone ahead and sprung for one that accommodated at least two children because they eventually had to sell the one-child stroller for much less than they paid, then buy a second stroller. The Vista is extremely durable, gorgeous, and handles like a dream. The stroller base stands up on its own (almost like a kickstand) so you never have to worry about propping it up on anything. Extremely easy to assemble/break down, and comes with both a bassinet and a rumble seat, so it grows with your baby. In fact, I know several people who've used the bassinet of this stroller as the bassinet in their bedrooms - double duty! We asked the women in our families (aunts, sisters, grandmothers, cousins) to put money toward this stroller instead of buying a baby gift, and they generously funded a large portion of it. 

This is not a jogging stroller, so if you're interested in one you can run with, there are lots of great, lightweight ones on the market. The Bob is one that I've heard really good things about from several friends.

MomarooPeople either swear by this product or don't use it much. I was very glad I had this for the times I needed it, but Mac spent more time in the Rock-n-Play or in his crib. If you aren't sleep training right away, the Momaroo is wonderful for little naps and having a place to put the baby so your hands can be free during the day. It was 6 different swing motions, a built-in sound machine, and is Bluetooth enabled so that you can play music through it. My only "con" about the Momaroo is that it is heavy and cumbersome to move to room to room, so I wouldn't buy it if it's going to be your only swing. If you have a Rock-n-Play or another lightweight rocker/swing (like a Baby Bjorn bouncer, for example), you'll be set! 

Graco Pack 'n' PlayI love this product, but I've also heard people swear by the Baby Bjorn Travel Crib (which is more expensive, but much lighter-weight). You need something to take with you when traveling.

Boba wrapsLove these things so much. Easy to use (once you get the hang of it) and easy to roll up and stuff in a suitcase or diaper bag. People also love baby slings.

A 360* carrier. This is another must. At a certain age, many babies stop tolerating facing inward in carriers and want to face out so that they can look around! If you get a carrier, make sure that it's capable of front-facing when the baby is younger, then facing out when it's older. Any brand will do the trick - we have an Infantino.

Diaper bag backpack. This style of diaper bag is great because you're not carrying it in addition to a baby. Find one that stands up on its own (maybe even has feet on the bottom) - great for doctor's appointments when you can't fool with using both hands to go digging through the bag. We have this one and love it. 

Nest Cam. We use this as our baby monitor and I truly don't know why people use anything else. Nest Cam is the same price as other monitors, but doubles as a beautiful, sleek, and aesthetic home security system. It's accessible from ANYWHERE - it never goes out of range because it's connected through your WiFi - so you can access it from dinner or a movie if you go out and leave your baby with a sitter (not that I've done that...hehe!). It has night vision and the a microphone feature so that you can talk through it if necessary. It's so lightweight that we always travel with it and it's a cinch to set up anywhere we go. A Top 5 product for us. I recommend it to everyone. 

 

Feeding.

Clary's All Purpose Balm. This amazing product functions as a nipple butter/balm. It is a LIFE. SAVER. Bring it to the hospital with you and never let it out of your sight. Apply after each feeding. I've used it from the start and have never had any problems with bleeding or cracking (sorry for that horrifying TMI). Safe for baby to ingest because it's made of natural products. 

Medela HydragelsThese are fabulous gel pads that you put on your nipples after feeding - they just stay inside your bra until the next time. Unbelievably soothing and cooling because HELLO, breastfeeding hurts like a bitch at first. 

Washable breast leak padsNo particular brand. Just eco-friendly not to be trashing a bunch of pads over and over. 

My Brest Friend nursing pillowStupid name, amazing product. People will try to tell you that the Boppy nursing pillow is better. Not even CLOSE. I've used both and it's just no contest. I remember the first time I used MBF and what a game-changer it was; Mac had been slipping down between the Boppy pillow and me, and nursing had been terrible. MBF changed my life.

Cheap-ass Target nursing brasSO comfortable, so inexpensive, and you can sleep in them. Because ya sleep in your bra when you're nursing so you don't leak breast milk everywhere in your sleep. Charming.

Hands-free nursing braI bought a cheap one on Amazon and it's been great. Having to hold two pumping nozzles onto your boobs makes you feel like a straight-up clown. 

Electric and hand breast pump. Get a hospital-grade electric (or, better yet, battery operated) pump (most of them are covered at 100% by your insurance company!) and a hand pump. My electric pump malfunctioned early on in the first week we were home and it would have been TRULY DISASTROUS without the hand pump.

Storage bagsFor the moments when you have too much and need to throw some in the freezer! 

Cloth diapersNo, not for diapering - for burping/spit up! Buy these in bulk and use them as burp cloths. So absorbent and can take a beating. 

Doctor Brown's Slow Flow BottlesWhen you start your baby on a bottle, you'll want the style to be "slow flow." This prevents your baby from getting spoiled by how quickly they're able to suck down a bottle, then getting frustrated when they have to wait a little longer for milk while breastfeeding. They also are a lot less likely to swallow air if the bottle is slow flow, and preventing gas bubbles will be crucial to your sanity. 

Boon grassThis is that adorable little bottle drying station you can sit right on your countertop. It's aesthetic enough that you don't feel like you're junking up your kitchen, but when you have multiple bottles at play, it's a life saver. 

Inglesina Fast Table High Chair. This thing attaches to virtually any tabletop or countertop, is easy to travel with, and pretty easy to clean. Make sure you get the tray, too!

Doctor Brown's Bottle WarmerYou don't think you need this, but the first time you actually need it, you'll be so glad you have it. 

Clothes, diapering, and bathtime: 

Onesies with long sleeves/mittens on the ends: Mac's favorite newborn nursing activity was to slice his entire face to ribbons with his razor-sharp fingernails. Mittens are essential to my child not looking like he is mauled at home. 

Old Navy newborn baby socks: Weirdly specific, but they make socks that are actually elastic and stay on Mac's feet. The standard white baby sock has no elastic in it and just falls off. Why they even make these I have no idea. 

Ubbi diaper pail. Great. We love ours. 

Boudreaux's Butt PasteDiaper rash cream that is excellent. 

Weighted wipe dispenserYou don't know it yet, but there will soon come a day when you need one hand to hold your poop-covered baby and only have one other hand with which to get a wipe and a diaper out of the changing table. Because of this impending reality, you'll want your changing table to be set up so that it's easy for you to do things one-handed. A weighted wipe dispenser keeps you from having to wrestle just one wipe out of the plastic dispenser (they have a tendency to get caught on each other like Kleenex, and before you know it, you've pulled 8 wipes out of the bag. Disaster.). 

For circumcised boys: Vaseline. They'll explain why in the hospital, but go ahead and buy some in advance. 

Boon Naked Collapsible Tub. This collapses into an angled setting for newborns and into a flat setting for babies ready to sit up. It also folds completely down making it incredibly easy to store when company is coming over. You can buy an insert to go in it so the baby doesn't slip down the sides. 

Keter Bath SeatAnother option for babies who can sit up and hold their heads up that you can just put straight down in an adult-sized tub. 

 

Toys and Accessories:

Before baby is sitting up: 

Boppy newborn loungerDifferent from the nursing pillow; this looks like a big doughnut with a place in the middle for the baby to sit. We used to put tiny baby Mac in it right on the dining room table while we were eating dinner. Easier than the swings (like the Rock 'n Play/Momaroo) because it's so easy to move from place to place! 

Dock-a-TotWe were late to this party because I felt like this was a little extravagant for a baby pillow. I don't think it's a must, but it's certainly nice to have. We used it the most when we were traveling - we checked it at the airport and picked it up at our destination. It helped Mac acclimate more quickly to new surroundings because he felt nice and hemmed in while he was napping/sleeping at night. At home, we mostly used the Boppy pillow or the Rock 'n Play when he was a tiny baby. 

Floor seatI don't personally have this, but I wish I had gotten one! This is a great transitional place for your baby to sit before they can sit up on their own, but after they can hold their head up. Anywhere you can safely contain that baby is a win.

Beach tent. This is amazing if you're a beach family! Also grab a battery powered fan to take with you on the beach. Makes for great naps! 

After baby is sitting up: 

Graco Doorway Jumper. Mac loves this so much and I use it in the doorway of our bathroom when I'm getting ready every morning. The only catch is that you do actually need a doorframe to use it, so if you have a more modern house without door frame molding, it won't work.

Baby Einstein Walker. Y'all, my child loves this so much it hurts. He cruises and coasts around our entire house in it. It's also great because it teaches your child the mechanics of walking without the risk of them falling on their heads! SO great. A Top 5 product for us. 

Below are some great toys, just listed randomly with no explanation other than they're fun, educational, or just plain cute! 

Skip Hop Activity Gym/Playmat
Jellycat Garden Tails Cloth Book
Baby Xylophone
Taggies
Teething Necklaces

Baby Paper
Munchkin Fresh Food Feeder

Hopefully this has been helpful! I spent a lot of time thinking about what we used most often, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed that someone out there can use this to make the process of registering a little easier. And by the way - a products NO ONE needs? A formula Keurig. Just say no.