I've been planning this list for months. I've been making notes of our most used, most loved baby items to share with you because all of the baby stuff is totally overwhelming and I'm hoping this may help some of you new mommas! As a researcher by heart, every single item on this list has been studied, dissected, compared, and tested. I've tried a LOT and I'll be honest, some of the things I originally had unfortunately had to be exchanged because they just didn't work for us. But the stuff I have on this list is what I'll stand behind 100%! Also, I tried to keep this as minimal as possible, but the truth is...nothing about having a baby is too minimal. They come with a lot of stuff!
Watson is almost 8 months old now and we finally have a good feel for the baby gear that we probably could have left off our registry and the things that have been worth their weight in gold! Sharing the MUSTS today and some things I maybe kinda woulda done differently if I could go back and re-register. Hope this is helpful for any new mommas who are totally overwhelmed by all the THINGS like I was at first!
- CHANGING PAD
- CHANGING PAD COVER (2): This way one can be in the laundry while the other is in use. the ones we got are around $8 each and great quality.
- CHANGING PAD LINERS (pack of 2-4): To put on top of the changing pad cover because.... there will be blowouts often and these are easier to wash than the whole pad cover. also for diaper changes on the go—I always have one in my bag. I registered for one pack but then went and bought an extra pack!
- CRIB & BEDDING: We have the Bratt Decor Joy Canopy Crib (30% off this weekend!) and think it's the most beautiful thing. Our bedding came from Restoration Hardware Baby and Child.
- EXTRA CRIB SHEET: Our extra sheet is amazing and under $9. we put it on when washing our good one.
- MATTRESS: The one we have is an Amazon best seller and is around $60!
- GLIDER: My recommendation is if you're going to splurge on something, make it the glider. Ours is from Celadon Home and can be used as actual living room furniture when we are through the baby years. It's so comfortable, which is important because it gets a lot of use.)
- DRAWER ORGANIZERS: Baby clothes are small and don't stay tidy very easily when stacked. Enter, this set. I use one total set in our Ikea Hemnes Chest and it's perfect to keep everything from clothes to the diaper changing stuff all organized.
- BABY MONITOR
- SWING: All babies are different, but I couldn't get Watson to enjoy those fancy, pretty swing/rockers like the Mamaroo, Rockaroo, or the Nuna Leaf/Wind. My mom said, "Try a swing!" and as much as I thought they were clunky and hideous, I am so, so glad we did. Our swing has been my saving grace because he loved it from day one and continues to take his naps in it now at almost 8 months. We love the Graco Duet Oasis Swing with Soothe Surround Technology and the Fisher Price Cradle 'n Swing in Safari Dreams.
- BOUNCER SEAT: (or any seat that is easy to move around the house and doesn't plug into a wall) we have the Baby Bjorn Bouncer and it's great because Watson used it at 2 days old and can continue to use it up to 2 years old. The DockATot would serve this purpose too! See below.
- DockATot: the DockATot is by far our most used piece of baby gear. if you're questioning it, DON'T. I raved about it here, here, and here. Allows you to plop the baby down anywhere throughout the house and beyond. Helped Watson sleep totally through the night by 3 months old (we put in crib even though it wasn't recommended, but as soon as he started rolling over we took it out and only used it for naps and laying around the house!). Allowed us to bring him into bed with us in the mornings for some snuggles and naps without fearing that we were going to roll over on top of him. Take to the beach or grandma's house. Put it down on the kitchen floor. Do anything with it because you will love being able to lay your baby down anywhere while knowing he/she is totally safe and secure.
- PACK 'N PLAY/TRAVEL CRIB: Ok, we have two, but you really just need one. We have the Graco Pack 'n Play Playard Newborn Napper Oasis with Soothe Surround Technology, which is a great one if you want something to keep set up at home in addition to traveling. It has a bassinet, bouncer seat (would eliminate the need for registering for a separate one!), diaper changer, and room at the bottom for the baby to sleep or play. On the other hand, we also have Baby Bjorn Travel Crib Light which, I'm telling you, is the way to travel. It pops up and collapses into a small bag in just seconds—plus it weighs only 13lb. (Don't forget to register for a sheet for the pack 'n play/crib, too!)
- CAR SEAT/STROLLER TRAVEL SYSTEM: Trust me, when you're maneuvering around with a little baby and running errands, a carrier/car seat that easily transfers from the car to the stroller is worth it's weight in gold! Our Uppababy Cruz Stroller and Mesa Car Seat doesn't require any adapters at all—the car seat just snaps right in the stroller. I love that it's compact, but feels very substantial. This is small enough that it doubles as an umbrella stroller for us.
- BABY JOGGER SUMMIT X3: I'm not a big jogger, like at all, but this stroller has been one of our most prized baby items! If you love being outside, you'll love something with all-terrain tires like on this (it glides so well!). It has a compact fold, hand-operated brakes, wheel locks, all-wheel suspension, and a HUGE canopy with little panels that flop open for breathability! It can also work as a travel system with adapters. I absolutely, positively love this stroller.
- STROLLER ORGANIZER: We have a different one, but I've heard amazing things about this one and it's $9.
- BABY CARRIER: I tried the Ergobaby and just couldn't get it to work comfortably. The Baby Bjorn Baby Carrier One Air is a dream.
- SOLLY BABY WRAP: Especially for when the baby is too small for a carrier, these wraps are easy to use, oh so comfortable, and beautiful too! There's nothing sweeter than being able to kiss your baby's head as he is sleeping on your chest in this. Also, being hands free is priceless. You know, those time you kinda need to brush your hair or do some dishes.
Diapering, Washing, & Care
- BABY BATH PRODUCTS: I love the Beautycounter Baby Set. It includes the wash, baby oil (soaks in better than a lotion!), and the baby balm, which you will have a million and one uses for. Other baby bath products contain synthetic fragrances and sometimes parabens and sulfates—ingredients that have been linked to cancer, ADHD, autism, hormone disruption... the list goes on. Safe products are crucial for me to use on my baby. Little ones are more susceptible than we are to harmful ingredients!
- ELECTRIC NAIL FILE: Forget scary clippers, get this one and never look back. Watson would have longer fingernails than Bon Qui Qui if it weren't for this.
- BABY TYLENOL, GAS DROPS, GRIPE WATER: just get them all.
- WATER WIPES: I've always used Water Wipes on Watson. They are so gentle and safe—made up of 99.9% water and .1% fruit extract.
- DIAPERS: We love The Honest Company and Up & Up because they are chlorine and fragrance free. I'd register for one pack of newborns (Honest runs small, so we were only in newborns for a few weeks but the Up & Up newborn fit for a while), three packs of size 1, three packs of size 2, three packs of size 3.
- BABY WASH CLOTHS: These... they are the best! I use these for washing Watson because they are so incredibly soft. You'll probably get more random ones as a gift. I use those as burp cloths, to use as "peepee teepees," and for baths if our really good ones aren't clean. If you end up with extras, know that wash cloths are a great thing to have around the house at various diaper changing stations and to keep in the car for little spills.
- DIAPER PAIL: You're going to want one, I promise. We have the Ubbi and love that it doesn't require special bags. It really keeps all smells out and doesn't look hideous.
- WELEDA DIAPER RASH CREAM: This stuff is my favorite.
Clothing & Blankets
- SWADDLE BLANKETS: Get lots!! In months 0-3, I used at least one swaddle blanket every day. We would give him a fresh one every night to be swaddled in, then I would use it all throughout the next day to cover him up during naps in the swing, to wipe up spit up, to cover the infant carrier from the sun, as a nursing cover—you name it. Then I'd toss it in the dirty clothes basket at the end of the day and start fresh at night for sleeping. My favorites are the Willow Beans Baby Bamboo Swaddles for lightweight summer swaddles, the Buttermilk Babies Swaddles for their adorable designs and how soft they are, the ones by Modern Burlap because the quality is awesome, and we loved swaddling Watson in the Solly Swaddles the most because their stretchy material created the tightest swaddle that he couldn't burst out of! Plus they feel like a dream.
- ONESIES (0-3 month size, 3-5 long sleeve and 3-5 short sleeve): We had these and these (3mo.) and loved them! They worked from when Watson was first born until about 4 months old. We always joked that they would fit him forever. Since he was born in the spring and it was warm outside, he slept in these every night while being swaddled.
- PANTS: Soft little sweatpants to throw on over the onesies in those early days. Footed pants are a plus!
- SOCKS + A COUPLE HATS
- ELECTRIC BREAST PUMP: If you have health insurance, it should cover the expense of this! I have the Medela Pump in Style Advanced and loved it. (As much as you can love a breast pump.)
- MOTHERLOVE NIPPLE CREAM: This stuff was recommended by our lactation consultant. You're going to want it. It's really soothing and it's all natural and organic, so you don't have to worry about the baby ingesting traces of it.
- LANSINOH DISPOSABLE NURSING PADS: These will save your shirts from embarrassing wet spots, especially in the beginning.
- BOTTLES: We love the Avent Natural Bottles and Dr. Brown's Options. If I could go back, I wouldn't have registered for the 4oz size bottles. I would just get the bigger size bottles so that they can be used when your baby is tiny and when he/she gets bigger and drinks more ounces!
- PACIFIERS: We love the MAM brand over here, but had to try lots to figure that out. I think we started out with 2-3, but I've repurchased packs of two about four different times because they disappear easily!
- PACIFIER CLIPS: I didn't realize that I would need one of these, but when you're out in public and you don't want your baby's pacifier to end up on the dirty floor, you need a paci clip! I just learned about the Templeton Silver Pacifier Clips (based out of Charleston!) and am head over heels with them. They are sterling silver and turn into a keepsake bracelet for mom after the baby outgrows the pacifier stage. What I especially love is that they gave 85% less bacteria than cloth or plastic pacifier clips because silver is naturally antimicrobial. I'd register for one of these and call it a day! (Baby List is a great way to register for speciality items that aren't found at Target and Buy Buy Baby, etc.) Save 25% off your Templeton Silver Paci Clip with code holycitychic!
- NURSING PILLOW: I love the Boppy. Plus, use it behind the baby when he/she starts to sit up and needs a little support.
- BURP CLOTHS: Wash cloths work fine, but I really love the Trend Lab Burp Cloths.
- LINK-A-DOOS: These are great for attaching toys to baby gear. Watson also uses them as teethers!
- BABY EINSTEIN TAKE ALONG TUNES: This music box stays in my bag at all times and is a huge lifesaver. Calms and entertains Watson every. single. time. (Praise hands.)
- SOPHIE LA GIRAFFE: I don't know what is so special about Sophie, but every baby loves her! She's a toy and a teether. A must.
- VTECH SIT-TO-STAND LEARNING WALKER: There's a reason this is a best seller. It's the best $20 you'll spend. We started using it around 2 months or so and I can tell we'll be using it for a long time to come.
- CUDDLE + KIND DOLL: One doll provides 10 meals for those in need. And look how cute Maximus is.
This & That... and some notes.
- People love buying you baby clothes, blankets, baby towels, and little toys! I kept those off my registry and am glad I did... we got plenty!
- To me, adult bath towels seem to work better for baby. They are softer and bigger.
- For us, a high chair wasn't needed until 6 months, so we chose not to register for one because we felt like we had plenty on there and didn't want to have to store a high chair until it was actually needed.
- We do sink baths! We registered for baby bath tubs, but honestly, they aren't used. It's just easier for us to either bathe with him or wash him in the sink. He loves it, too.
- The Laundress Stain Solution is the best for getting out blowout stains!
- You'll probably just want to purchase most toys later on as your baby gets bigger... I would recommend searching Amazon for toy suggestions. Buy the most highly reviewed, best selling toy! Amazon does not lie. (In the Amazon search bar, I type things like, "toys for 7 month old baby" and go from there.)
- I may be totally alone on this one, but the nose frida thing... I am so not coordinated enough to put it in his nose and suck at the same time while trying to pin him down as if we're in a wrestling match. (Mom's of a 7 month old wild baby boy will understand.) The bulb they send you home with from the hospital works the best for us because it's quick and easy!
- I am so thankful that I was given the Moms on Call book. It got us on a schedule and got Watson sleeping 12 hours a night by 3 months old. It has tons of first aid tips and various pieces of advice. I've never heard a negative comment about this program and book.
more BABY posts
pregnancy announcement | 14 weeks | 16 weeks | 18 weeks | 20 weeks | 23 weeks | 27 weeks | 29 weeks | 31 weeks | 34 weeks | 10 pregnancy must-haves | 37 weeks