I try to be a minimalist. I pride myself in not having too much (but honestly I still have too much!) I wanted to get everything my baby would want/need! My gram always said “I don’t know how I raised 7 kids without all of this stuff!” Lol she did but were luckily to have the convience and luxury of baby items! I do have to say that my friends and family were amazing and generous with their gifts!
Going into Babies R Us while preggo was one of the most overwhelming feelings. My hubs and I felt like we had no idea what we were doing or what we needed. One time we spent over TWO hours looking at car seats and we didn’t even buy one that day! I had read blogs and Pinterest pins about the best products and the must haves but I really appreciated my friend’s email list full of products! She was a mama of two so I knew she knew her stuff! The following is her list meshed with my list with my commentary on top of it all, of course!
This advice stuck: “Some serious advice to you is to get as much done as possible during your second trimester. Much past 30ish weeks and you just will feel pretty exhausted and the last thing on your mind is going to be organizing closets. Set some time frame goals for yourself so it does not have to be done all at once and you will feel so good!” Another friend told me something that stuck with me too: “keep the boxes and receiptes for EVERYTHING! You never know what your baby will/will not like.”
🌀You definitely need A CARSEAT! Don’t wreck yourself too much about this. All car seats have to pass the same ratings. So there’s that. You can check online for what models fit best in your car. We went with a (very pricey and very heavy) Britax infant car seat to start. It had the best head rests and harnassed tightly with ease but holy cow. It was HEAVY! We used it for the first 7 months. It was awesome and easy to snatch out of the car and click into the stroller when we were out and about. (I didn’t get into babywearing on the regular until we sized up in car seats.) You don’t have to buy an infant car seat – you can start with a convertible, but I highly recommend starting with an infant because of the convenience. Never buy a 2nd hand/used car seat because it could be damaged or expired! *side note: ask family and friends for an old/expired car seat and use it to trade in for a new one at the Babies R Us event!
🌀Really and truly we didn’t need a stroller. We would’ve been fine without it. We did use it frequently when Everette was bitty and we could click his car seat into it, but once he went into his “big boy car seat” the stroller mostly took up space in the trunk of my car. We got a britax so they’d work together. We’ve used it here and there but because of babywearing I didn’t have much of a use for it. We got a baby trend jogging stroller for free at a yardsale once. 😂 I’m not a jogger but it is nice for the occasional stroll in neighborhood! Lol! I’m listing it under essentials because it goes with the car seat but really it’s a “maybe buy!”
🌀Babycarrier – do your research (or message me!) babywearing is essential in the first year! I’ve already touched on this one before so check this previous blog post! Try to find a local babywearing group to try different carriers on before you commit to one. (A ring sling or infant Kinderpack are my recommendations for when your baby is brand new!)
🌀A baby swing was great for when I was cooking/eating meals. (Babywearing is awesome but not recommended while cooking!) We bought the super expensive (and super cool) 4moms Mamaroo with the infant insert. He liked it well enough, but he outgrew it by 4 months or so. BOO! My mom bought a hand me down old school style swing from a family friend and he loved it! He napped in it with ease and fit in it for the first year! In hindsight we should’ve skipped the hype on the mamaroo and went old school!
🌀A highchair – any highchair! I agonized over the best one… and I couldn’t ever decide. One day a coworker asked if I had one yet and if I wanted hers. I happily took it – washed the cover – gave it a scrub down and it has worked perfectly for us! I really don’t think the brand or price point matter with this! We also were gifted one that straps to a chair and has a tray attached. We left that at my mom’s. We love it but it does take up a seat at the table. It’s perfect for traveling though! We took it on vacation and will take it camping!
🌀Maybe not right away but I’d definitely purchase an amber teething necklace for the baby to wear! I bought one when Everette was 10-12 weeks old. My favorite brand is The Amber Monkey. They’re available at Happy Baby Co. When baby’s body warms the amber it releases succinic acid which helps with pain and inflammation. Everette never drools when he wears his (which is constantly unless he’s swimming or bathing) and has 13 teeth with minor discomfort! Definitely a must have item!
🌀Clothing – not a ton! Especially if you don’t know the sex of your baby. We didn’t so we didn’t get clothing gifts at the shower (which by the way was awesome!) I highly suggest gowns! Everette lived in gowns the first few weeks! We bought Carter’s brand. They washed nicely and were perfect for bringing home baby. We changed diapers with ease! No snaps or zippers! We just slid the gown up and he was good to go! Depending on the season you may want onesies on hand to layer baby. If you’re doing one piece footie pajamas (which I recommend only after buying gowns, lol) then get the zipper kind and not the snap! Don’t get too many in one size either. Your newborn may be big and go right into 0-3 months! Remember skin to skin is the best way to regulate baby’s body temp. They don’t need 1 million hats! Everette had a big head – most newborn hats didn’t even fit him! Grab some socks too! White is fine because they’ll match everything!
🌀Blankets – seriously like 2 or 3. We had soooo many. It was kind of insane. We donated many and kept few. I have no idea why I registered for or received so many blankets! Don’t get me wrong the hand made gifts are priceless and adored! Aden and Anais swaddles are a little more expensive but nice and big and the best I found. They’re lightweight and cute!
🌀Bath tub – we absolutely loved our 4moms brand baby bath tub! It was definitely pricier than some but very worth it! It fit into the sink, had a built in thermometer, and constantly flowed fresh water! It was essential! We used it until 6-7 months until Everette was beastly and trying to roll/hoist himself out of it!
🌀Blooming Bath – my sister gifted this to use and it was awesome! It’s a large, soft and comfy foam flower for the bath tub/sink. We actually used it in the 4moms bath for many weeks/months until baby was big enough to lay in the tub without it. When we moved Everette into the big boy tub we used it inside of a laundry basket. It easily washed in he washing machine! We loved it!
Baby washcloths (a bunch) and hooded towels (2-3)- We didn’t care for the microfiber towels they sold in stores so eventually we had my aunt make us some!
🌀Baby soap – we didn’t even use soap at first! But when we finally did we decided on Honest brand wash. We still use it! Costco sells it for the best value! Advice from my friend’s list: side note: if you baby has cradle cap, you will need to wash her hair with dandruff shampoo specifically: Nizoral. People will tell you to comb it out with baby oil, etc… that is an old wives tale cradle cap is an actual bacteria that gets to their sensitive scalps and you can get rid of it for good with Nizoral. You will carefully put it on their hair (it will burn their eyes) and leave it while you wash the rest of them. then rinse it off super carefully. do it for about 5 days and it will be gone. -we were lucky enough not to deal with this but it’s good info!
🌀Baby lotion – we honestly just used organic coconut oil to begin with! We used it after diaper changes too! Our son has literally never had diaper rash! He does have sensitive/dry skin and we tried maaany lotions but we found Babytime by Episencial’s Soothing Cream to work the best. We love it because it’s not full of junk! It’s pricey but worth it!
Hygiene items – little nail clippers, nail file, rectal thermometer, a&d ointment. Oh and a Nose Frida! Sounds goofy but it works way better than the old school bulb sucker. A cool mist humidifier.
🌀A cosleeper – of course this isn’t for everyone but the WHO and the AAP recommend children share atleast a room with their parents for the first year. I know I blogged about this before so I’ll link you there instead of repeat myself. Ps. Dockatot’s look awesome!
🌀Nursery – A changing pad/table with a strap – we bought a contoured changing pad that we mounted to baby’s dresser. We bought one cover for it and little rewashable pads for if/when the cover was in the wash. Loved that it had a strap to keep baby secure when he got to the wiggly stage! We kept all of his diaper changing supplies in the top drawer of the dresser for easy access too!
🌀OMG **essential alert** get a comfy @$$ chair with an ottoman. Buy new, buy used, I don’t care just buy one! You’ll live in this chair for the first year (and beyond)! Make sure it’s soft, comfy, and rocks!
🌀Pack n play – we loved having one downstairs in the living room! It had a mesh insert, a changing table, and a built in bassinet. We used it forever! We did diaper changes and baby relaxed in it for a long time! We eventually took down the mesh and the other parts and Everette played in it. We even ended up buying a 2nd smaller one & making it a ball pit/play area for when I shower! It slides easily through the bathroom door and he’s happy and content! Brands are irrelevant.
🌀Mirror for the car – you definitely want to see your baby when you’re driving. Brand doesn’t matter with this either! I removed driving the 20 minutes tommy mom’s and stopping at the gas station 1/2 way there to check on him!
🌀Disposable placemats – essential when you go out to eat! Clean and saves a mess!
🌀Diaper bag – this may be trial and error for you like it was for me. My friend loved her petunia pickle bottom. I started with a Vera Bradley backpack but it felt too small. Then we got a Columbia over the shoulder bag (which my hubs called his man bag) but it was awkward to carry it and the baby. We ended up getting an over the shoulder Vera Bradley. It carrier nicely and fits everything we need while out with baby. Side note: I quit carrying a purse when I started carrying a diaper bag! Anyone else?
🌀Something to take monthly pictures with- we had onesies with the months on them and a fun chalk board that we filled out! We posed the baby in the same spot monthly to show his growth! So glad we had these items and did this!
🌀Feeding items – we kept it simple. We started with regular cloth bibs but then found the tommy tippee silicon catcher ones! We only have 2! One stays in the kitchen for meals and one stays in the diaper bag for meals on the go! We didn’t buy any special plates or bowls. We bought little plastic forks and spoons.
🌀Toys and such (don’t go overboard) – play-mat -any brand, any price point! Ours was colorful and soft / it had a mobile over top and little toys of different textures that baby could play with during tummy time. A soft little book for baby to chew and look at, small/soft toys (nothing that has batteries in my opinion). Buy lots and lots and lots of board books. Go overBOARD with board books. You cannot have enough books. We read (and still read) nonstop to Everette from day 1!
🌀Oh and get an exersaucer – they’re the bomb.com! We used a friend’s for atleast 6 months! It was Baby Einstein! We would’ve bought one but our friends generously loaned theirs to us so…
🌀Oh… and obviously diapers/wipes. We buy the Kirkland Costco brand wipes in bulk. We didn’t cloth diaper. I thought we would but they’re a big investment upfront and a lot of responsibility (IMO). This was something I let go of and I don’t regret. We love pampers and target brand diapers! Huggies and Luvs leaked and Everette was a master of blowing them out. Aldi’s were stiff and seemed to irritate his butt. Trial and error though. Don’t be afraid to try lots until you find what works for you! And please cloth diaper if you feel led to!
🌀a laundry detergent – we love Charlie’s Soap! We bought a giant tub of powder detergent 20 months ago and still have a ton left! We wash everything in it! Bonus: it’s perfect for cloth diapers!
🌀I am going to blog breastfeeding supplies and essentials in another post! Hang tight!
🌀The boppy pillow is highly sought after. It helped me breastfeed in the beginning and guests liked to hold him while using it, but after a while it didn’t get used a ton. It was nice for tummy time when he got a little older, though!
🌀Breastfeeding necklace – mine was 3-4 silicon and wood beads. I probably wore it from 5 months-10 months. It kept Everette’s hands busy during marathon nursing sessions. He played with the necklace instead of pinching and grabbing me!
🌀A sleep sack – one that zippers. Everette has always been a human heater so we didn’t use these much.
A temporal thermometer – you can’t use these until baby is much older but grab one if you find it at a decent price.
White noise machine – I always used an app on my phone but an actual machine would’ve been nice too.
🌀A baby monitor – they make sooo many. We bought 2 and returned them. Being a SAHM and an attachment parent I found that I didn’t use one. Your style may be different but remember to keep your receipt!
🌀Pacifiers – these are trial and error! Everette didn’t like any of the 6+ brands we bought! Oh well!
🌀A car seat canopy for the chilly winter months! (Free online and you pay shipping)
🌀Baby Bullet – our son didn’t like purées! I really tried for weeks and weeks and weeks but he didn’t like them. All babies are different! We do love the containers for food storage!
🌀Bumbo seat/tray – I bought one 2nd hand and I’m so glad. Everette never liked it because his thighs were too chubby for it!
🌀Baby shoes. Seriously. We didn’t buy E a pair of shoes til he was ready to walk! 11 months!
🌀PeePee TeePee – sorry auntie amber! These are hilarious and cute but not as functional as one would hope! New babies are wiggly and those little thing fall right off! Lol! Still funny photo opp though!
🌀A crib – ah! Yep! I said it. We’ve never ever ever used it. We should’ve had our families save their money and we could’ve saved space in the nursery. We didn’t need the crib, mattress, cutest sheets, mesh crib liner, cute mobile… we didn’t use it!
🌀Diaper genie and the refill bags – we had little garbage cans/bags in the living room & the nursery (the places where we changed his diapers). Luckily breastfed poop doesn’t stink for a long time (thank you, God!) but when baby started getting stinky poops we’d just walk the stink diaper to the big garbage. We always emptied the little trash cans daily. No stink and no extra expense!
🌀Grocery cart/highchair cover – we have one and we’ve never used it! I pushed his car seat/stroller in the grocery or wore him. At a restaurant I give the high chair a good wipe down!
🌀🌀🌀🌀Agree? Disagree? Leave a comment to share!