This one’s going to be lengthy! So I hope all of you moms-to-be are ready to take some notes.
Preparing for a baby has been the most fun yet overwhelming thing I’ve ever done! From knowing which stroller and carseat to pick to deciding on a pediatrician, and settling on a birth plan there are so many decisions to make and articles to read. It can get a little bit overwhelming!
When it came to putting my baby registry together and considering some postpartum essentials that I might need, I turned mostly to blogs, YouTube, and my mama friends. So I thought a post like this might be helpful for any of you mamas-to-be, or anyone who might have a general interest in what I’ve picked out for our baby boy.
Updated 8 Months Postpartum!
Since we live in a small home, I have been very mindful about what items we bring in for the baby. While I would love to try every cool gadget and test out the many baby items on the market, it is more important to me that our home remain filled with necessities rather than a bunch of fluorescent, plastic things.
I’m definitely not naive to think that my home isn’t going to be a lot messier and eventually filled with a lot more “kid things.” But in my research I’ve found that babies are easily over-stimulated and need very little to be happy and entertained! So if I can try alternatives to shoving him under a play gym with flashing lights and weird music I’d like to experiment with that first.
Ask me again when I’m sleep-deprived with a 6 week old, but I’m going into all of this with the mindset that less is more, and our home is still a home, it’s not a baby palace ;).
Some things we didn’t feel the need to buy up front: a baby swing; these take up so much space and they’re a huge eye sore. A highchair; babies don’t eat solid foods until they’re 6 months old so this was something we felt we could hold off on for the time being (I do want this one when the time comes though). The boppy; we were gifted the snuggle me organic lounger and my breast friend nursing pillow so we don’t need repeat items. Baby shoes and baby outfits; babies don’t wear shoes and I plan to dress him exclusively in easy onesies for the early months. Toys; there are soo many cute, wooden toys that I wanted to fill my amazon cart with but it’s going to be quite a few more months before he even knows how to play with a toy so I held off on buying anything up front except for one wooden puzzle toy we were gifted. Special baby lotions, soaps and detergents; we use chemical-free everything for ourselves so we’ll continue using those same things for our baby. Pack-n-play; again this is something we’ll buy later on when he’s more mobile and we know that he’ll need a space of his own. For now we’ll travel with our bassinet for him to nap in. Update: we bought a baby swing and it worked for about 5 or 6 weeks and then he didn’t like it, should have trusted my initial gut! We bought the highchair I linked and love it, still don’t own any baby shoes and we’ve been fine. Will prob buy some soon since he’ll be walking shortly. I’ve still been very intentional with the toys I bring into the house, but I’ve also bought a lot of stuff to keep him busy…. anything to entertain the baby at this point ;)…but I do have a lot of wooden toys he loves. Never bought a pack-n-play but did buy this play yard once he got mobile and it’s a life-saver.
Here’s what we did buy and register for! You can even shop this post by clicking on any of the images :)
Snoo: This is a smart bassinet. It’s v expensive, but we bought it when it was on major sale..and it’s supposed to protect against SIDS, soo I was sold. I hope it lives up to the hype, I’ve read nothing but amazing reviews. Will report back! This was an alternative bassinet I considered. Update: he slept in this until he outgrew it at 4mo old. Hated being strapped down in it so I put a Snuggle Me Organic inside and he happily slept there (never all the way through the night as promised…but would still prob invest in it again).
Snuggle Me Organic: I have heard such great things about this baby lounger! When you lay baby in the center, it’s supposed to hug them from all sides giving them a similar feel to being back in the womb. This is great for letting baby lounge next to you on the couch, on the bed and it even fits in this cute bassinet. Update: loved this. He slept in it every single night from day one until I transferred him to the crib.
Bassinet: This will be my travel bassinet, mostly to grandma’s house. And let’s be honest… I really just wanted it for cute, snuggly pictures of my baby in it. And when he outgrows it, it’ll be the perfect little basket to have in his room with toys and things inside. Update: only used this a handful of times. Now I store his stuffies in it and I think it’s cute.
Uppa Baby Cruz Stroller: I went between the Cruz and the Vista for quite a while. I ultimately decided on the Cruz for a few reasons – price point, it’s lighter weight, I don’t live in a city where I’ll be using it on rough terrain, I also didn’t need a 3rd bassinet that the Vista comes with and I don’t plan on having another baby for at least a few years so I didn’t need the Vista’s capability to fit 2 kids in a stroller. I chose the color “Jake” which is all black, and I love it. Update: one of the top 5 best purchases, use it everyday. No complaints.
Stroller Organizer: I originally went with a universal stroller organizer by Skip Hop but it didn’t fit quite right on my particular stroller. So I ended up exchanging that for the actual organizer by Uppa Baby and it fits perfectly. V excited to have this for drinks and things. Update: same as above. 10 out of 10 would recommend. I also added this cup holder to the side and love that my drink doesn’t spill now.
Carseat: I read several reviews and crash safety testing articles and this carseat was ranked in the top. It’s lighter weight than a lot of the carseats I tested and it hooks onto our stroller frame so it does the job! Update: I honestly don’t love this carseat. It’s v small and Jack is a meaty boy and get’s pretty wedged in here, so it’s hard getting him in and out. Wish I would have done more research.
Coco-Go Bouncer: Okay this was probably a splurge item. But like I mentioned above, I didn’t want a bunch of fluorescent baby gear thrown all over our house and I love the look of this bouncer. I wanted any of the bigger baby gear items to be aesthetically pleasing and functional. So this one is a bouncer, rocker, and upright toddler seat all in one… and it also vibrates. Will report back on if it was worth it and worked for baby. Update: aesthetically cute and used it everyday until he started rolling over, but wish I would have gone with the baby bjorn bouncer.
Diaper Bag: I went with a traditional backpack and not a diaper bag. I liked how lightweight this bag was, and although it wasn’t marketed as a diaper bag, it comes with plenty of pockets for baby things. I love pockets and I like that it’s very gender neutral. Update: love it.. I also use this bag when I pack lighter.
Ergo Baby Carrier: I’ve read great things about this carrier and have several friends that can attest to it’s greatness, so it’s the one I picked! I also want to try a solly baby wrap once he’s here. Update: I used solly’s until he was too big for them and now I use the Ergo anytime I leave the house, love it.
These are all fairly basic bathing items. But I read great recommendations on the baby bath so hoping it will be comfy enough for him when he’s small. We were gifted some honest company products but when we run out of those I’ll simply be using Dr. Bronner’s unscented baby soap. Update: We use all of these things still.
Keekaroo peanut changer: I originally registered for a traditional changing pad and after talking to a few boy moms and reading some more reviews I exchanged it for this wipeable changing pad. I’ll admit this is a pricey item for the nursery, but I’ve heard from every boy mom that these wipeable surface changing pads are an absolute must. No laundry, no disposables going into the waste lands…just a genius product with overall ease of clean up. Update: love. so glad I purchased this. Boys pee everywhere, all the time and this wipes clean so easily. This light color did stain when Jack had a particularly colorful poo one time though. lol.
Ubbi Diaper Pale: I could have just thrown his diapers away in the kitchen trash can, but the ease of having this scent-blocking can next to his changing area felt more convenient. Update: does the job.
Wipe warmer: Another question of, was this a necessity? Probably not, but will his bum be nice and warm, potentially making diaper changes more bearable for him? Probably so! I’m glad we have it and I think he will be too. Update: Don’t love that this has a bright light when plugged in, I feel like it’ll keep the baby up so I don’t really plug it in often. I do like that it hides the ugly wipes bag though.
Creams and things: We’re starting with the Earth Mama line, and I’ll probably throw in some coconut oil as well. I do have some back-up ones that I’ll use if these gentler options don’t work. Update: Yeah, the natural stuff doesn’t work like I wanted it to. We use butt paste.
My plan going into feeding is to exclusively breastfeed mixed with bottled breastmilk feedings for as long as I can! I’m hopeful and ready for that journey whatever it looks like. I’m about to say the word “breast” a lot…so just bare with me.
My Breast Friend: This nursing pillow is awesome and it’s recommended by most lactation consultants and almost every new mom I’ve talked to. Unlike the round, soft boppy pillow…the my breast friend has a firm, flat surface which makes it easier for baby to be propped up. It straps around your belly, latching with a buckle and making independent breastfeeding much easier. Excited to use this. Update: Absolute must-have. Used this every single day until I felt confident holding him on my own while feeding. Your back gets sooo tired holding a baby at your boob every 5 seconds so this was a lifesaver. I use it to this day if my back ever hurts. And I used silverette nursing cups to protect my nips from getting chapped – they worked amazingly and nursing never hurt, not even in the hospital.
Bandana drool bibs: I don’t know if I’ll have a big drooler or not, but I thought these were cute and they’re a nice little barrier on top of the onesie to keep your baby from being a slobbery mess. Update: Didn’t need these, my baby doesn’t drool. How lucky am I?
Bottles: I purchased both the Comotomo bottles and Dr. Brown’s bottles, one set of each. I liked the concept that Comotomo bottles are meant to mimic the breast as closely as possible (helping with nipple confusion) so we’ll give these a go. I also liked the Dr. Brown’s bottles because they are said to relieve gas and air bubbles, helping also to prevent colic. All great things! Update: Spoiler Alert, not all baby’s take a bottle…and my baby is indeed one of the anti bottle babies. Didn’t need these. (we tried 7 different bottles, 3 diff nipple flows, standing on my head…twirling in a circle…formula…syringes…rice cereal in the milk, other people feeding him, me leaving the house for 6 hours and he still refused. To everyone that told me he’ll take a bottle if he gets hungry enough, that’s false and don’t let anybody bully you with the same advice…you know your baby :) That’s all I’ll say here.)
Nursing cups: Turns out your boobs leak, like a lot in the beginning. At least until your body has regulated to the amount of milk your baby needs. So these nursing cups might be the coolest thing I’ve learned about in the last few weeks. One of my best friends just had a baby and wears these to catch breastmilk leakage! She told me she’s caught upwards of 2 oz a day while wearing these. Pop them on around the house or while you’re nursing and catch away. Update: hated these. So inconvenient. didn’t use them and I also stopped pumping. My body naturally adjusted.
Health and Safety
Electric Nail Trimmer: Clipping my baby’s nails freaks me the heck out. I am terrified of cutting his perfect little baby fingers and making him bleed. So I figured the only way around that was buying an electric nail file trimmer and just filing them down. Hope this works. Update: didn’t work. just used the real kinda clippers.
Paci’s: I have 2 different types of pacifiers to try. The first one and one that I hope works best is the Natursutten line. These are old school, like there are pictures of me sucking on these when I was a baby 30 years ag0…they have the least amount of chemicals in them and I like that. I also have a couple of these that you see everywhere. I got them because every other baby loves them and I figured if mine doesn’t like Natursutten then I’ll try these. Update: he stopped taking a paci when he was 3 mo old but he still likes to chew on them now which is funny to me. But he liked these when he took one.
Thermometer: I saw this on another person’s baby registry and I liked that it read the temperature from either swiping across the forehead or inserting into the baby’s ear. Seems more accurate than others. Update: I’ve never been sure how accurate this is because baby’s move so much and you have to swipe this across their forehead so I just bought a traditional one…one from Target, nothin special.
Sound Machine: The Snoo has white noise built into it that will play automatically but this little machine will be for travel. The different sounds are awesome and it actually gets very loud for how small it is. It fits inside a purse or bag no problem. Update: use it every night, love this thing. Bought one for myself too.
Humidifier: I’ve heard these are good to have in baby’s rooms. Update: works fine, we use it when he’s sick… I hate how it makes his room smell wet though.
Clothing, Swaddles and Play
Gowns: The number one piece of baby clothing recommended to me were baby gowns! Specifically for nighttime when you have nighttime diaper changes. Baby’s feet just slip right out and you can change them nice and quick. I think we will love these. Update: I honestly didn’t love these like everyone else. I preferred zip up onesies.
Zip-up onesies: The second most recommended baby clothing item were zip-up onesies. Nobody wants to mess with a million buttons when you have a kicking, squirming baby… So I hear at least. So I stocked up on all of the zips. Update: Yep. Zip-ups for life. I think we owned like 5 things with buttons and rarely put him in those. I love Hanna Andersson and they have a lot of sales, and basically all of the Organic shops on Amazon.
On the topic of clothing, I didn’t buy anything but onesies from newborn to 3 months. As cute as all of the little outfits I’ve seen are, I’ve tried to be realistic and know that the chances of him wearing any of that is very slim. I’m all about ease and comfort, so onesies it is.
Swaddles: We were gifted several muslin swaddles and 2 solly baby swaddles. I think the solly’s will be my go-to’s because they are like butter…nothing can really compare to them! And they are stretchy so you can really burrito baby in them. I also bought one velcro swaddle incase I’m swaddle-challenged haha. Update: we exclusively used the velcro swaddles. Nobody has time for real swaddling lol.
Baby Quilt: I’ve wanted this Parachute Home baby quilt since I saw it last year (before I was even pregnant). We have this same quilt on our bed and I love how soft it is so I knew that I wanted a mini one for my little guy.
Activity Mat: I think this is the cutest activity mat I’ve ever seen. It’s the opposite of cheesy, fisher price…and it’s something I can’t wait to have out in the living room for my little guy! Update: love this, still! But he played on this for the entire first 6 months of his life.
Play Center: We don’t have a ton of plastic things for the baby, but I’ve heard these are a necessity once he is a little bit older. And if I’m going to have one of these around, I thought this one was pretty cute. Update: absolute necessity.
I’m not sure how minimal this registry is compared to others, but I really tried to be thoughtful and not reliant on every single baby gadget on the market. I took into consideration aesthetic, reviews, price, and overall functionality of most items! I also plan to publish a follow-up post with what I used and what I didn’t use after the baby is several months old. Did I miss anything? Let me know in the comments below!
Things we didn’t register for but ended up buying and loving
Play gym: This Lovevery Baby play gym is hands-down a must-have in my opinion. Jack lived on this until he was 7 months old and crawling. This was pretty much our home base everyday and he loved it. It’s pricey but worth the money.
Baby Einsteen toy: I’m not sure what subliminal message this toy sends out but we don’t leave the house with out it because sometimes it’s the only toy that will calm him down. It’s so bizarre.
Play Yard: This is something I invested in once Jack was mobile at 7 months old. Not everyone needs one of these because apparently not every baby crawls at the speed of lightening like Jack, but if you have a busy baby then get yourself a play yard so you keep some sanity in the day!
Bath sponge: I love this thing! It’s really easy to control where the water falls on baby’s head rather than the whale scoop I linked above. This cleans in between his fingers and toes really well which are hard to wash spots with an active little man.
Thermometer: I linked a fancy thermometer above but ended up using the old fashioned thermometer given to us by the hospital for the first like 6 month until I bought myself a little bit of a nicer, regular thermometer.
Silverette Nursing Cups: These things are magic and everyone who plans to nurse should use them! Nursing never hurt one time, not even in the hospital. I wore these for about 3 months at all hours of the day and just took them off to nurse. Highly highly recommend.