I know when I first went to register, I was completely overwhelmed. Looking back, it seems silly because of course you don't need all of that stuff, you just need the essentials! But, when you have no.idea.what.you.are.doing, then figuring out what the essentials are is pretty mind boggling. Maybe that was just me. And every baby and mommy is different. Some babies are happy to lay on the floor with a rag. And some (ahem, I'm talking about you Isla June) are not.
And I also must note, I am a minimalist. I don't nor have I ever wanted baby gear to take over my house. It's just not my thing. So while you can buy everything they offer at those baby stores, this isn't going to be that kind of list.
So, here goes...
- Car seat- because, yeah. that's obvious right. I mean, you want to take your kid home from the hospital. We went with the Graco Snugride 35 and loved it. Lasted us a year and a half. And, we only got one. But, if you and daddy (or gramma or nanny) are going to share drop off duties, get an extra base. I wouldn't think you would need to register for a convertible car seat just yet. That can be a first birthday gift. Make sure to check the seat you want for toxins here.
- Stroller- I am not a stroller hoarder. I want just one, thank you. And I would prefer for it to not make me look silly. In the beginning, all you really need is a snap and go for the car seat. And then, you can upgrade to an umbrella stroller (we actually found a stroller that does both!). If you're a runner, invest in a running stroller as well. I've yet to find a good running stroller that is also a good out and about stroller (they tend to just be too bulky. If it's good for running, it's not going to be lightweight and easy to manage). So, we've limited ourselves to two strollers, one stays in the car and one stays in the house. I think that's pretty good.
- Highchair- I would recommend getting a small booster seat that connects to one of your chairs. It's easier to manage, and will last longer as it can be converted into a booster seat at the table for your toddler. Good options Here or Here
- Pack and Play- If you plan on ever leaving your house overnight, you will need a pack and play. And unless you plan on using the pack and play as a bassinet for the first few weeks (which could be a good two for one option), then just get a totally basic pack and play. You really don't need all the bells and whistles for this one. You'll need one mattress cover and 2 sets of sheets. Oh, and register for THIS mattress pad for it (you'll thank me later).
- Exersaucer/Jumparoo- this can be debated up and down, but I know we loved these two items. Again, you don't need the one that sings songs and all the bells and whistles. Something simple with some good toys on it will be perfect. If you're limited on space, I would just go with the jumparoo, you can always add toys to it. I liked our jumparoo with a tray so we could feed snacks off of it. Also, this is something you could find at a good second hand store.
- Monitor- We have the AngelCare monitor and love it. I never thought I was going to be the neurotic mother who checked to see if my child was breathing every 5 seconds, but it happened. Be prepared that it will probably happen to you as well and just get this monitor. They have a video option as well. Or, you could register for just a sound or video monitor and just get this thing.
- Mattress- I'm gonna recommend going ahead and registering for an organic mattress. Then, you won't be tempted to just take the one that they offer to throw in with the crib. This is the one you want.
|no, she wasn't sleeping in there with all that stuff, this was just after bathtime.|
- Bibs- I would say not to register for bibs because you are going to be getting a ton of them. But, this one is the only one that will hold up for the long haul. You'll need it. And get this placemat for when he's a toddler. They'll both come in handy in the near future.
- Diapers- If you are going to cloth diaper, then of course, register for them. How wonderful would it be if those were purchased for you! Or if you are particular about the brand of disposables you want (as I was), then register for the kind you want. If you don't care, I would just throw a pack on there so people know, "hey, I'm gonna need a lot of these and would love if you would grab some for me."
- Tummytime mat- Again, a debatable item as some babies hate these. We used ours all the time, up until Isla June was walking as a playmat for her. It is definitely not a necessity as you can just lay a nice plush blanket down with some toys. I would forgo the ones with bright flashing lights. Babies typically don't like that. And I've never read any research that suggests multicolored flashing lights set to music helps your infants brain to grow. This is another thing that can easily be picked up second hand.
- Diaperbag- find one you like and throw it on the registry. I have the Vera Bradley one. Good amount of pockets and it's washable. My philosophy is, if I wouldn't carry it without having a baby, it's not the right one for me.
- Carrier- Ok, I think this is a total necessity especially in the first few weeks when the baby won't let you put her down. I'm a fan of the Ergo Carrier as it can last from infant to toddlerdom.
|No, this isn't an Ergo. We are going to upgrade next time.|
- Bumbo Chair- We loved this thing. Some people hate it. It's definitely not a necessity though. If your baby has chubby legs it might be a problem. Although, Isla June had *ahem* healthy legs and we never has issues with it. Isla June insisted on sitting up from a very young age, so we needed it and we used this thing until she was a year old. Get the tray too. Oh, and be careful with it. Don't put your child on the counter in the bumbo and then walk away, probably not the safest thing. Another easy to buy second hand item.
- Boppy/Breastfriend- We're boppy fans, but I've heard good things about the other guy too. I like the boppy because it can double as a prop pillow for the baby and I don't think that the other one does that as well. Plus, it's got that weird name. Just pick one, you'll need it. And get two covers. Oh, this can be bought or found second hand, too! They are very easy to wash. You'll need two covers. I recommend organic. We never needed the waterproof pad. If it got dirty, we just washed it.
- Swing/Bouncer- Isla June didn't like the bouncer, but she loved the swing. I've heard stories where it is the other way around. They have ones out there that do both. Or borrow one until you know what baby likes. Or buy second hand so you don't feel so bad if baby hates either one.
- BabyTub- Get the cheapest one they offer. Your baby doesn't need the spa setting, it won't make this activity any more enjoyable for her. If you have room for one extra item, throw in the duck tub, it will come in handy later.
- Breastpump- Go ahead and register for this. You probably won't get this, but you can use the registry discount later. We have the Medela Breastpump and it worked great. If you plan on returning to work and continuing breastfeeding, you'll need this.
- Crib sheets- I recommend organic (of course). You'll need at least 3 sets.
- Mattress Pad- Again, find an organic option. And get 2.
- Changing Pad and covers- And go figure, they have organic options here as well! You'll need at least two covers.
- Waterproof Mutli-use Pads- These will so come in handy in the early days when it seems as if poop if flying all over your house. And, it is more environmentally friendly to have a few of these on hand than to use disposables (like I did before I knew better, shame on me.)
- Itzbeen timer or the BabyConnect app- this will be so beneficial when you are a sleep deprived overwhelmed mother.
- Baby Care Items- If you are particular about what you want for baby (which you should be), then register for the product you have your eyes on so people know. Burts Bees and California Baby have great little starter packs.
- A humidifier
- An air Purifier for baby's room
Things you don't need to register for:
- Bottles- you never know what kind of bottle your child will like, so getting one of those bottle sets could be a total waste of money. Maybe pick up two good choices and see which one works and then go stock up. This will be something you might have to just wait on. (good options are Born Free and Dr.Browns)
- Blankets- because you are gonna get a ton! The only blankets you might want to register for are swaddlers. And Aden and Anais muslin swaddle blankets. You'll need those.
- Clothing- again, you are gonna get so much clothing. Clothes are gonna come out of the wood works. And, if your baby is born in the summertime, they are probably going to be naked most of the time. If you're having a winter baby, maybe register for sleeping gowns and zip footies.
- Burp cloths- again, you'll get tons. And if you don't, they are so cheap (get the cloth diaper Gerber packs)
- Stuffed Animals- they'll show up on your door step like you wouldn't believe. No need to ask for them.
- Books- hopefully, you will get a lot of these without having to ask.
- Towels/Washcloths- again, these are things you don't really need to ask for, they just appear.
Up for debate (but here's my opinion anyway):
- Bottle warmer- If you can heat up a bowl of water in the microwave, then you don't need this.
- Wipewarmer- It's said to be a fire hazard, and if you get a baby used to warm wipes, then they get mad if you suddenly change to cold ones while out of the house.
- Diaper Receptacle- poopy diapers smell. And you'll probably want to take them outside no matter what you are putting them in. Plus, the refills for these things are expensive. But, to each his own.
- Walker- If you've got an exersaucer or a bouncer, I don't think this is needed. Plus, they are a safety hazard as baby can push herself into unsafe areas (like stairs), and I've read that it effects the development of the muscles for proper walking.
- Bassinet- we used one, but you could just use the pack and play or just put baby directly into her crib. This is definitely a what works for your family kind of thing.
- Saline Nose Spray and a snotsucker (just in case)
- Thermometer with a digital reading
- Gas drops and Gripe water- The last thing you need is a screaming baby at 2 am and you have nothing on hand to help.
- Vitamin E Oil for you and baby. You'll both need it at some point.
- And yeah, I'm gonna say it again, you want probiotics too!
* I have not been compensated nor am I affiliated with any of these products. This is just my honest opinion.