One of the most overwhelming things about having a baby is figuring out what stuff you actually need to raise the thing. Companies push a lot of unnecessary products onto you, and it seems like every mommy blogger essentials list is just chock full of cute luxury items that they got for free. Add in the fact that I’m trying to be a minimalist and environmentally friendly over here and you can see where I’m set up for a pregnancy breakdown!
Thankfully though, I’ve had a ton of really helpful mama friends to help me figure out the most needed items to get. I’ve been tediously pouring over this list for months (we’ve also been using it as our Christmas list and birthday lists), and thought I’d go ahead and give it a share in case others found it helpful. And of course I’d always love input on what I’m missing!
Before I run through all the products, here are a few tips I picked up along the way:
- Choose items that fit your lifestyle. A mama friend told me this when sending over her registry and it was so helpful! Eric and I are not homebodies so it was good to keep in mind that we needed items that could withstand lots of walking and traveling.
- Choose a registry that will be easiest for you. For us, that was Amazon so that we could quickly order things after my shower. I also created a Target registry for folks that wanted to shop in person/buy something more last minute. I kept most of the essentials on Amazon, and primarily clothes and toys on the Target registry. Both had their cons. While Amazon lets you add items from other sites to the list, it doesn’t highlight them very well, so I feel like all of those were overlooked. Target’s items also ran out SUPER fast - especially clothing, so I found myself constantly having to re-update the list.
- Clothing, blankets, bibs, and diapers will be your most gifted items. If you want to make sure people gift you other items, chill out with those things on the registry.
- I set two goals for most things on my registry: 1) Will this keep baby safe/happy and give me peace of mind, and 2) Will this item be reusable after the newborn phase? Other than lifestyle, I tried to let those things guide me when picking out items.
- Finally, before you put your registry together ask friends and family if they have any items you can borrow or have. A majority of these things I was able to get from my sister-in-law and a friend, which was a huge lifesaver and let me focus on other things on the registry. Also keep in mind that after your shower, you can find most of the stuff you need (especially big ticket items) for sale at a great price on neighborhood apps or facebook groups - so check those first before buying new!
Now onto the goods!
We plan on having the baby sleep in a bassinet in our room for the first several months, then transition her to a crib (we got this crib fyi).
- SNOO Smart Sleeper by Happiest Baby. I have heard amazing things about this, though at the new $1,200 price point we probably wouldn’t have bought it. We thankfully found one on Craigslist for $500 with all of the accessories - so I definitely suggest hunting for one used!
- Crib Mattress. A bit about this because I felt a lot of stress with this one! I fell down an internet rabbit hole of how organic/expensive does the baby mattress need to be. In the end my mom reminded me that everything else the baby lays on is not organic and covered in flame retardants which was both relaxing and scary. I settled on a mid-level one and we’re using an organic sheet instead.
- Burt's Bees Organic Crib Sheet. I also grabbed a patterned one for cuteness.
- Organic Crib Mattress Cover (2). Best tip I got was to put both sheets and mattress pads on at once for quick night changes!
- Rock 'n Play Sleeper
- MamaRoo. Full disclosure, I likely would have held out to see if I needed this since the Rock'n'Play is similar and more portable. I got this from a friend who no longer needed it though, and I must say it is NICE.
- Muslin Swaddle Blanket. Just 1! Again I somehow accumulated so many blankets without the registry.
- Velcro Swaddles. We are planning on using the Snoo swaddles a lot, but they do have plastic clibs on the side, so getting a few extras for when we’re out and about.
- CubbyCove. I landed on this as a cheaper alternative to the Dock-a-tot. While it’s still pricey, I wanted something to set on the couch and that we could travel with for co-sleeping since we won’t be getting a pack-n-play for now. *I should also note that the Dock-a-tot and Cubby Cove seem to be the only things that do not lose their resale value, so it’s impossible to find these things for much cheaper used!
- Owl Soud Machine
- Nuna Pipa Carseat and Nuna Tavo Stroller. Biggest thing I didn’t realize here is that the stroller and carseat should be chosen together. I chose a pricey carseat as a Christmas gift then freaked out at the price of strollers. Thankfully the Nuna Pipa works with the cheapest Nuna stroller option. I will also say that both of these products are super nice. The pipa is the lightest carseat, and I can open the Tavo stroller with one hand. Great news for this girl with weak arms!
- Car Bottle Warmer
- Faux Leather Diaper Bag. I actually have a purse that’s nearly identical to this, which is why I chose it. Love that it’s more compact, can be used as a regular bag, and isn’t too girly that Eric can’t carry it around.
- Backseat Car Mirror
- Stroller Mosquito Net. We live in the south, nuff said.
- Baby K’tan Carrier
- Baby Banz Earmuffs
I plan on doing disposable diapers to start before switching to a mix of cloth diapering and disposable for travel. Just a heads up that people have A LOT of opinions about reusable diapers (even if they haven’t tried them), and you likely won’t get many of those items from your registry.
- Diaper Pail and Reusable Liners.
- Newborn sizes of Up & Up diapers and Bambo Nature Diapers. Glad I went with two different brands as the Bambo diapers actually seem a bit bigger!
- WaterWipes. Almost every list recommend these - only made with water and fruit extract - no chemicals!
- Wipe Warmer. Eric doesn’t think this is an essential, but babies hate cold wipes!
- Triple Paste Medicated Ointment For Diaper Rash. Selected this one over more popular brands because it was fragrance free.
- Un-Petroleum Jelly
- Cloth Diapers. I also recently added this smaller size to try out.
- Cloth Diaper Sprayer. Bonus: this can serve as a bidet after our diaper days are over!
- Cloth Diaper Inserts and Diaper Clothes
- Wipes Solution and Flannel Wipes. I plan on trying out reusable wipes as well
- Spray Pal Bucket
- AmazonBasics Foldable Drying Rack
This is still the area I’m most clueless on as I’m going to try breastfeeding, which is obviously all new to me. Feedback definitely welcome here!
- Boppy Nursing Pillow
- Spectra S2 Hospital Breast Pump
- Nursing Scarf Breastfeeding Cover. While I could probably get away with using a blanket, I love that this has a dual use as a stroller/car seat/shopping cart cover too.
- NUK Seal N Go Breast Milk Bags
- Comotomo bottles, Lifefactory glass bottles, and Lansinoh bottles. I’ve only registered for a small number of these as I want to try out a few brands and see what baby likes best.
- Fresh Food Feeder
- BABYBJORN Soft Bib
- Munchkin 2 Piece Snack Catcher
- OXO Tot Baby Blocks Freezer Storage Containers
- Bottle Brush
- Pacifiers - I actually got a bunch of these for my sister-in-law, which is ideal because it’s hard to know what kind baby will take (if any!)
Safety & Health
- Owlet Smart Sock
- Nest Protect Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm. We received one of these as a gift and love it so much we’ve been slowly switching our entire house over. Not only does it provide peace of mind, but they look super sleek and have a nice night-light feature.
- Snot Sucker for Baby
- Windi the Gaspasser by Fridababy
- Forehead and Rectal thermometers
- Infants' Tylenol
- Essentials Child Proofing Kit
- Summer Infant Baby Monitor
- Bandana Bibs
- Onesies - I registered for these and these.
- Sun Hat
- Pacifier clips
- I also registered for a lot of Newborn-3 months outfits, primarily on the Target Registry. I found the quality of a lot of things on Amazon was really hit or miss.
I tried to focus on just the early months here - so lots of sensory toys and teethers!
- Bumbo Seat
- Activity Playmat
- Yoee Baby Fox
- Teething-friendly Pacifier Clip
- Books. I didn’t go crazy here since my mom saved a ton from our childhood and I plan on hitting up the library a lot, but I did register for a few board books for baby to chew on. I really like books from places we’ve traveled and with good design, so I registered for this, this, and this.
- Sophie The Giraffe
- Melissa & Doug Wiggling Worm Wooden Grasping Toy
Fun Mama Stuff
This is a lot of stuff that is not talked about - but you totally need so I added it to my registry! I also got a ton of extra medicine and other items from a friend that recently had a baby - so I suggest asking any new-mama friends if they’ve got anything leftover for you to use!
- Lansinoh Hpa Lanolin
- Depends. Heard these were so much better than the mega-pads post birth!
- Reusable Bamboo Nursing Pads
- Medela SoftShells
- Fridababy Fridet. Heard this was much better than the one they give you at the hospital!
- Herbal Perineal Spray
- Boob Cold Pack
- Puracy Natural Stain Remover. For all the fun laundry days ahead of me!
- Exercise Ball. This thing has been a lifesaver for my back.