Getting ready to welcome a baby? I’ve put together this list of what we have used and loved or wished we had (for the first 10 months). We tried to take a fairly minimalist parenting approach. The theory was to start with less and add more if we felt it was needed. So you won’t find any noise machines or whoozits here, but it is still pretty thorough.
I tend to be a little OCD with this stuff. When we were getting our baby registry needed, I created a spreadsheet (nerd alert) broken down into categories and then marked where I would register for it, if I was getting it as a hand-me-down from family or friends, or already owned it. Maybe I can find a cool way to share that with you as well! We registered at Target and Amazon, Target is especially nice for those people who want to go to a store and get something – but there are usually some great local store options if most your family or friends live in town. In Ann Arbor I like to shop at The Little Seedling and Elephant Ears, both have registry options. Also Craiglist is a major go-to, but hard to use when it comes to registering. Otherwise the Amazon Baby Registry is awesome. Here’s our [edited post baby] baby registry…
Changing Pad & Covers - We have a changing pad on a dresser, it works just fine. More than one cover is totally necessary, especially if you have a boy…
Crib - This is our crib and it’s solid as a rock and super cute too.
Organic Cotton Mattress Pad
Crib Sheets - We actually have ones from Target, but I’m not too impressed. Even though they are “all the same” some fit and others don’t. It makes no sense. Plus they are pretty rough. I think springing for a couple good ones and using “crappy” ones when you need to is a better idea.
Crib Blanket or Quilt
Bassinet or Co-Sleeper - Oskar slept in our room for the first 3-4 months. Makes night feedings a heck of a lot easier and I loved being able to see my sweet sleeping baby.
Swaddle Blankets – These are worth every penny. We still use them as a light blanket, changing pad, cover for the crib/car seat during naps, everything.
Woombie Cocoon Swaddle – Oskar hated or broke out of every swaddling contraption we tried (and we tried a lot). This won hands down. He was able to move more freely and get his arms by his chest but still be snug.
Even though we use cloth, I still kept/keep disposables on hand for when laundry gets backed up or we are out and about or out of town. Our big ol baby left the hospital in size 1. So if you have a family history of substantially sized babes, I would skip or go light on the newborn size.
Newborn Cloth Diapers – We were able to rent infant cloth diapers from our local store, The Little Seedling.
Disposable Baby Wipes
Flannel Baby Wipes
Cloth Diaper Detergent
Diaper Pail Liner
Cloth Diaper Liners - We skipped the sprayer and just use liners.
ERGObaby Baby Carrier – Use everyday. No joke. Would die without it.
Wrap – Saved my life when he was a newborn and used a lot for the first 6 months.
Sling – I love my sling. SO easy throwing on to run errands or around the house. Having a harder time with it now that he is bigger, so I need to go back to the store and have them help me adjust it properly.
Stroller – This could be a post all on it’s own. Strollers are very specific to you and your needs, and as my sister-in-law warned, you’ll end up with more than one. We have the Britax B-Ready and the phil&teds Smart Stroller. The Britax was our first, I really wanted the UPPAbaby Vista but a friend recommended the Britax and it has worked out well. The Smart Stroller I got recently at a warehouse sale and it is the one that stays in the car now. After going to Chicago we really wanted something slimmer, lighter, and easier. So far we’ve liked it, but the nontelescoping handle is a little (a lot) short for a tall person (to be fair, Nick is 6’6″ – most things are too short). In the beginning the features we enjoyed were: clipping in the carseat, the deep recline, ability to face in and out and switch between the two easily, big sunshade, big basket, and a cup holder… of course. Craigslist has great used options, though you can’t register there, you can always return and buy used.
Infant Car Seat – We were lucky enough to have one passed down to us.
Convertible Car Seat – The research process to pick out a carseat was insane. I am happy with ours, but my first choice was this one.
Travel Crib – We went without for a while, but so happy we have one. It makes traveling so much easier and is great for when we are at a friends house late. Plus this one you can wear as a backpack and only weighs 13 lbs. As a tip, have your baby nap it in at home sometimes before you try it out on the road.
Car Seat Cover – A must for the infant carseat in the winter.
Bouncer - A good bouncer is the best thing in the world. I also have friends who swear by the Rock ‘n Play Sleeper
I almost exclusive breastfeed, so not the best person for advice on pumps, storage systems, or bottles.
Breast Pump – Many insurance companies now provide breast pumps. Check with your’s first. If you don’t plan on pumping often I would just get a Manual Breast Pump
Bottles – Again, we didn’t use bottles that often so I only got 2 4oz bottles. I actually used these, but I can’t find them anywhere anymore.
Countertop Drying Rack
Sippy & Straw Cup or this Straw Cup
Baby Monitor – We have one and never use it. Trust me, if that kid is crying, you don’t need a monitor to hear him. But if you have multiple levels or it’s good weather and you want to sit outside, I think it could be useful. And personally, we think the video monitor is a tad overkill.
Nosefrida – It seems gross, but it’s awesome. Just do it. Trust me. Don’t forget extra filters
Nail Clippers – We have the scissors and I don’t like them, but a ton of people do. I would get both and find out which works best for you.
Bath Sponge – I took baths with Oskar until he was old enough to sit up on his own. I just used the sponge to lay him on while I got out or for the occasional sink bath. Cheap and a HUGE space saver. I don’t know where I would have kept a giant plastic tub.
Towels – Most hooded towels are too small and not absorbent. I would get a few nice ones or just use a regular towel that you keep separately.
Most of these aren’t main necessities, but nice additions. Things we really loved or maybe wished we had.
Infant Gowns - Yes, you’ll get clothes, a ton. But I found a lot of people got “cute” outfits, when what I really needed was pajamas. The gowns were perfect, easy to change a diaper and the nice mitten flaps to keep those baby claws from scratching.
Lambskin - So nice to lay the baby on for playing on the floor, using as a layer in the Ergo or stroller. We love ours.
Diaper Bag or Backpack
Baltic Amber Baby Teething Necklace
Natural Rubber Pacifiers
Sophie the Giraffe Teether – I was a skeptic, but Oskar loved this thing. Until we left it at a restaurant in Chicago…
Swing/Mamaroo – We had a simple hand-me-down swing that we got a little late in the game. It did the trick for a little while, but we constantly talked about splurging on the Mamaroo.
Natural Laundry Soda & Dryer Balls
Car Shade & Mirror – I would have never thought to get a mirror, but it has been super helpful and fun.
Jumper - Ergonomically and minimal. Great part of our “station rotation.”
Wet/Dry Bag - Good to keep in your diaper bag for wet clothes, dirty diapers, etc.
Baskets – Good for all sorts of stuff: toys, living room diaper station, blankets. I keep one in the closet to use as a place to throw clothes that Oskar grows out of and then sort once it’s full.