It’s finally here – my baby registry must-haves! I’ve been thinking of putting together this post for what seems like ages but never seemed to find the time to do it. Now that we are under quarantine, it seems like time is no longer a scarcity so I’m taking advantage today by sharing my list of baby things with you. I’ve only got one baby so I’m by no means an expert but I can certainly share some of the items that have been useful to us and our baby over the last 13 months.
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First and foremost, if you haven’t read it yet, I highly recommend reading Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth. This book is absolutely amazing. I really wanted to have a natural birth and this book gave me so much confidence that I could do it. The first part of the book is all about positive birth stories. I loved reading these – I couldn’t get enough of them. I especially liked the ones with older moms since I gave birth to my daughter at age 40. The second part of the book has lots of medical information that was educational and informative. I truly believe every pregnant woman should read this book!
Other books I recommend:
One piece of gear we couldn’t have lived without was the BABYBJÖRN Bouncer Bliss. We put this on our registry upon the recommendation of one of my past clients and I’m so glad we did because it was so useful! It was the perfect place for Livie to sit when I wanted to put her down while she was awake. I used it while I was cooking, doing work on the computer, folding laundry, and even while I was in the shower. It’s compact and lightweight so it was easy to move it around the house.
I was SO undecided about a wrap or carrier that we didn’t even have one on our registry. I quickly realized we needed something when Olivia was just a couple of weeks old and I wanted to have her on my chest while I was on the computer or reading a book. I didn’t feel safe just having her on my chest without anything to hold her because she would often startle herself and move around. I ended up getting the Solly Baby Wrap and loved it! Olivia was so cozy in there and she felt so safe. Sadly, I only used it for about six weeks because once Livie got older, she wasn’t so much into being constrained like that. My advice for a wrap would be to borrow when possible so that you don’t spend so much money on something that you may not use for very long. I’m hoping I get more use out of mine with Baby #2! (Not pregnant, just hoping for another!)
Once Livie got a little older, we knew we needed another carrier. We ended up getting the LÍLLÉbaby Complete All Seasons Baby Carrier and were very happy with it. We especially liked that both my husband and I could share it. It was the perfect carrier for taking Livie on errands and for times when we didn’t want to deal with the stroller. Here we are antiquing in Maine:
We did not co-sleep but we still got a lot of use out of our DockATot. It was perfect for putting Livie down (before she could roll over) without having to have a big pack and play in our living room. We loved putting her on there to stare at her, tickle her, and just have her around us when we were in the living room.
Something else we loved having in the living room was our Fisher-Price Bouncer. It didn’t take up too much room and Livie was so nice and cozy in there.
If you’re a runner, the BOB Jogging Stroller is a must-have! This is the one we have:
We’ve used white noise ever since Livie was a newborn. My husband has very unorthodox work hours so we wanted to make sure she would’t be woken up at night when he was up and about the house. Any white noise machine that has a continuous setting will do but we loved the one I’ve linked to below:
Deciding on a monitor was a bit of a challenge but ultimately, we picked the Infant Optics DXR-8 Standalone Monitor Unit and it’s been great! We love that we have been able to hook it up to two Infant Optics Add-On Camera so we can have one camera in the nursery and another one in her play area in case I need to run to the bathroom or check on laundry. We also love that the camera has interchangeable lenses so we have a zoom lens on the camera that is in the nursery.
I tried every.single.swaddle. I spent so much money on swaddles that first month! In the end, the one we preferred was the SwaddleMe Original Swaddle. The material is so soft and the velcro is soft and bendable, too, and not super loud. Livie loved this swaddle and slept in it until she started rolling over.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, babies should sleep in an empty crib so we did not purchase any bumpers or crib sets. Instead, we stocked up on fitted sheets and waterproof mattress covers for easy switches in the middle of the night when Livie had a diaper leak. We use Burt’s Bees Fitted Crib Sheets and Carters Mattress Covers.
A nursing pillow is a must, and having it before the last several weeks of your pregnancy is ideal so you can use it for back support while you’re still pregnant. I liked the Boppy Bare Naked Nursing Pillow and Positioner. Make sure you get a cover, too!
When you start to research breast pumps, you’ll learn that the two most popular ones are the Spectra and the Medela. The Medela and all its accessories is sold at Buy Buy Baby so it’ll seem like it’s the must-have pump. Many people recommended it to me, too, but ultimately, I ended up going with the Spectra because of it’s closed system that offers backflow protection. The Medela has an open system so all the tubing has to be cleaned after each use using steam bags whereas the Spectra has a barrier that does not allow the milk to come in contact with the tubing in your pumping kit. Why is this important? Well, the chance of getting bacteria in the Spectra is much smaller *and* it’s easier and quicker to clean, which was key for me since I was pumping several times a day.
I was lucky that my insurance paid for part of my breast pump so I got it through Aeroflow Breastpumps. The process was really easy and they handled everything with the insurance company.
You’ll notice I’m not including any bottles in this list. I highly recommend saving the sample bottles you’ll get when you go do your registry and maybe getting 1-2 additional single bottles by different brands. This is simply because you have no idea what your baby will like! I know plenty of first-time moms who purchased the entire kit of one brand of bottles and then baby hated them so they had to buy a different brand. Some babies might go through 3-4 brands before you figure out which works best for them. I do recommend the Dr. Brown’s MilkSPA Breast Milk and Bottle Warmer. We use this with Olivia’s Avent bottles and it works just fine with them.
When Olivia was ready to start eating solids we were at the busiest part of our wedding season and I was pretty overwhelmed balancing my work and being a first-time mom. Looking back, I wish I would’ve read about baby-led weaning while I was still pregnant so I would’ve known what to expect when it was time for solids. Honestly, those first few months go buy so fast (even faster than the first year of life if you can believe that, ha!) and before you know it, it’s time for solids and you may feel like you have no idea what you’re doing. We ended up doing purees for a couple of months before switching to finger foods but for our next baby I plan to introduce finger foods at six months. Read all about baby-led weaning in this well-known book on the topic: Baby-Led Weaning: The Essential Guide to Introducing Solid Foods-and Helping Your Baby to Grow Up a Happy and Confident Eater
We loved our Bumbo Seat! Livie seemed too small to put in the big high chair when she first started eating so we used the Bumbo a lot. We also took it with us to restaurants and when we went on vacation, too.
This high chair has been so good to us! Highly recommend! Graco Blossom 6 in 1 Convertible High Chair
For the first six weeks, we bathed Olivia in the Puj Bath Tub. It fit perfectly in our bathroom sink and was easy to clean. Once she got a little bigger it was harder to bathe her in the sink because the faucet got in the way so we switched to the PRIMO EuroBath which we put in the bathtub. Once she grew out of the Puj, bath accessories came into good use and they now sell them as a set: Skip Hop Moby Baby Bath Set with Four Bathtime Essentials, Spout Cover, Bath Kneeler, Elbow Pad, and Waterfall Rinser
An activity gym is an absolute essential. It’s a great place for play time and tummy time, also! I couldn’t find the one Olivia had but this one is very similar to what she used: Skip Hop Silver Lining Cloud Baby Play Mat and Infant Activity Gym.
Once Olivia got bigger and the activity gym wasn’t enough to keep her engaged, it was time for a more spacious play area. To be honest, we hesitated to get a playpen because we didn’t want it taking over our living area, but we quickly realized all the benefits and gave in. It was the best decision! Livie loved playing in it and it was a safe area for her to play while I got things done around the house or had some computer time. It was also big enough where we could sit in there to play with her. Below is the playpen along with the play mat we put under it for a soft surface:
One of my clients recommended a foam diaper changing pad and I’m so glad we went with it because it has made our lives so easy. You can easily wipe it clean instead of having to wash covers like traditional changing pads require. Not only that, but it has a clean modern feel that goes well with the nursery decor.
Ok, so maybe not all the items on this list are “must-haves”, ha! Many people told us a wipes warmer wasn’t necessary, and it probably isn’t, but it’s nice to have and I think Livie appreciates it =) Here is the one we use: Munchkin Mist Wipe Warmer
When choosing a diaper pail, I chose the UBBI Diaper Pail based off a friend’s recommendation who suggested we get a diaper pail that you could use regular garbage bags with. This helped reduce expenses and was more convenient because we didn’t have to purchase specific diaper bag refills.
And there you have it! I hope this list was helpful to you as you create your baby registry! If you have any questions, feel free to shoot me an email and ask away, I’m happy to help!
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