Having a baby (as in growing inside of you) and having a baby (as in finally having it join you in your life) is overwhelming as it is. Try not to let the petty details of a perfect baby shower or a “concise” baby registry drain the little energy you still have left. There will always be things that could have been done differently, you will most certainly end up with things you will never use, and no doubt you will need to buy a bunch of stuff that you never realized were needed (in my case, there were things I had not been aware existed before the need arose to have such an item, I will let you in on all of those below).
I will structure this post by categories of items you should have covered. Within each category, I will make a note on what I wrongly thought was necessary (bottle warmers?? stuff like this makes me hate marketing even more), and a note on the items that got the most usage and/or were better quality.
**All Amazon links provided here will be affiliate links (I’m hoping to one day be able to fund my passion somehow…).**
A few points before we get started:
1. Do not think that your little one will stay little for long. Avoid focusing on newborn or 0-3mo clothes. I hardly had any and it was the way to go.
2. Take seasons into account. If your babe is born in the summer and you live in a four-season climate, compile your registry accordingly; in a couple of months his short-sleeve onesies may become unusable and I can tell you they will not fit him next year.
3. Do not be embarrassed to ask for hand-me-downs or second-hand items (I’m all for recycle and reuse). I have used new clothing made out of organic or at least natural fibers for Copiloo’s first 3-6 months, after that our local second-hand stores became my to-go place for updating his wardrobe.
4. When thinking quantities, also take into account your laundry ritual. Are you an obsessive washer (as our household tends to be although I am trying hard to keep it under control?), or do you do you your laundry once or twice a week? This should influence the number of onesies and PJs you’ll have to put down.
4. That being said, try to maintain a minimalist perspective overall (hence the choice of the word “concise” above). As much as you will want to control it, your house will more often than not look like a tornado passed through it for at least a few months after the baby is born. You do not need extra stuff to clutter your space.
5. Shortcomings of this list: Our dear son was born at the end of winter and we live in Southern California, therefore the list will lack sweaters, wool vests, and snowsuits.
Rompers – You may want a couple of these in sizes 6-12 mo. They are fun when the little ones starts crawling and there’s active mat time involved.
– We had a couple pairs of pants that were gifted to us from Europe, and we used a bunch of Carter’s pants
and these footies
. I do not recommend Under the Nile Footed Pants
– the elastic band was very loose, the pants would always fall off.
– BabySoy Footies
were my favorite! The fabric, the design, they were just cute to boot!
– you cannot have enough of these. Get about three 0-3 mo, three 3-6 mo, and five 6-9 or even 6-12. You can add more depending on how your baby grows. I loved KicKee Pants
– they are soft, snug, and stretchy. I also loved the cotton jammies, like this Farm Print Organic Cotton Footie
(which happens to run small so we hardly got to use them) and Hudson Baby’s Footed Onesie
– I loved, loved, loved the BabySoy Bundlers
! Although Hubbyloo was always giving me a disapproving look for dressing his boy in a moomoo gown, it’s such a comfortable piece for them, keeps them warm, and it is so convenient for the diaper changes. A great compromise was the Under the Nile Convertible Gown
, I would use it as a bundler, Hubbyloo would use it as a romper. Everyone was happy.
– Unless you live in a cold climate, I would not get this. We had the SwaddleDesign Bunting Sack
and used it maybe a couple of times. In retrospect, I believe we just had the wrong size. It was a fleece bunting sack in size 6-12mo, so when I tried to use it the first time it was too hot for it, and when the colder months came, my son had already outgrown it.
– Copiloo received a set of six pairs of newborn socks of Fred Segal brand (I believe). They were great. We used them until he turned one. I also recommend Robeez
in size 6-12mo, comfortable, 75% cotton, and again you get a long life out of them, or Baby Soy
– I only had a couple of pairs
and probably used them no more than five times. Since he was born, I kept Copiloo’s nails trimmed, but I would put them on when I would notice that his nails needed trimming and I had no time to do it on the spot.
Going home. Mittens on, just in case, all blue in Petunia Pickle Bottom Snuggle Set received as a gift. (http://www.petunia.com/layette/gift-sets/boxed-snuggle-set-in-pixel-perfect)
– Unless you live in a cold climate, I would order one hat to have it just in case. I loved the idea of my baby wearing hats but he’s never done it. We live in So Cal, he was born in February. When he was little he was sleeping a lot (at least during the day) and you should avoid putting a hat on them when asleep (risk of suffocation), so I’ve hardly used a hat. When he got older, it turned summer, then by the time first fall came around he was not used to hats so there you have it, for the first year of his life he’s used none of the close to a dozen fezs, hats and caps he owned. You can however add a sun hat
to your list (and perhaps a swim diaper if you’re planning to take swim lessons
iPlay Sun Hat
– I loved Copiloo’s Baby Soy two-sided hoodie
. It was a size 12mo, but we’ve been using it much earlier and well beyond 12 months of age.
Copiloo kept comfortably warm by his Baby Soy two-sided hoodie (and gran’ma’s blankie)
– I splurged a little and got these animal hangers
for the kiddo’s closet. They’re cute to boot!
Little accents for the nursery (you can find more http://itsbeendelicious.com/2013/10/28/nesting/ )
Bathing and skin care
– There are a lot of modern-design (read: weird) products out there. If I were you, I would opt for a standard bath tub
. We have used it for the first three months, sporadically, as I’ve always liked to jump in the bath tub with my little one. I would play with him, let him float, then gently wash him.
Standard baby tub with sling. Here Copiloo was 2.5 months old and we could have him rest on the seat at the bottom of the tub.
– Please, please, please, refrain from using your standard Johnson&Johnson baby shampoo. It is full of yucky stuff that have no place on a newborn’s skin. Look for natural, plant-based options. I love Weleda
and Burt’s Bees
– There are quite a few oils out there that are recommended for massages and to maintain a hydrated skin. I used almond oil
, although very rarely.
– again, make sure they are cotton and good quality. Among others, we have the American Baby Wash Cloths
, which are decent.
– If there is one thing I hate, it’s towels that seem to be covered in a layer of waterproof film. Make sure you buy a quality towel, you will be using it a lot and you want it to absorb water. I would buy a couple of small-sized towels, and a couple of larger ones. Copiloo grew so fast, that well before his first birthday I was struggling fitting him in his hooded baby towel. I favor aden + anais hooded towel
, great quality, and decent size. We still use it today. For the newborn stage, maybe up to four months, I recommend Under the Nile
(we still use it when washing only parts of the body).
Hooded robe – YOU DO NOT NEED IT. I know it looks cute, but you will not use it as a robe. You will try to use it as a towel and will end up frustrated because it’s too small to use it as such.
Hooded kimono. Looks cute, but would a munchkin enjoy laying around the house in a robe after a nice bath? No.
Wipes warmer – REMOVE it from your registry. I got one after the fact, and used it for a whole two days. Maybe? Until I noticed that the water in there was turning yellowish (as I would make it towards the bottom of the stack). I did my research, and as it turns out (something I should have realized on my own) the wipes warmer becomes a nourishing ground for bacteria growth.
– I used our UppaVista Baby Stroller Basinet with the stand
. As much as I dreamed about owning one of those beautiful wicker basinets, white in color, with a beautiful white, embroidered skirt, the prices $200 and up pushed me to make the practical choice.
– To ensure you are practising safe co-sleeping (if you decided to go that way), I would use a co-sleeper like this one
for as long as possible. Copiloo outgrew it I think before he turned three months old. A bit before he turned one we actually created a side-car crib arrangement in our bedroom which is a brilliant idea. If you have the space in you bedroom, I would go this route skipping the co-sleeper altogether.
Copiloo wearing his Hudson baby onesie, napping in his co-sleeper
– Ha! Copiloo has hardly slept in his crib, to Hubbyloo’s dismay who till this day asks “why did we spent $1000 on a crib?” I would look into brands that use safe paints and natural woods. We own the Mason crib and dresser
from Franklin & Ben.
Mason crib by Franklin & Ben
– After quite some time spent researching the topic, I decided on the Naturepedic Organic Dual Firmess Mattress
. Being organic it was important to me, I liked that it had a hard side suitable for infants, and a less firm side appropriate for toddlers. It is also waterproof, so no need for an extra protective cover underneath the fitted sheet.
Waterproof cover – Make sure this item is not REDUNDANT, if your mattress is waterproof you will not need this.
– For the longest time I only had a couple. Then Copiloo grew, started sleeping through the night which lead to pee blow-outs during the night, so we added a couple more to the pack. I had a Pottery Barn sheet, and another organic sheet, but the ones I LOVE are the Magnolia Organics Porta Crib Fitted Sheets
. They are soooo soft, and thick, and comfy!
– I am paranoid, so with the whole SIDS hype and whatnot, I did not want to have a bumper in the crib in order to minimize the risk of suffocation. Until Copiloo started banging his head against and sticking his legs between the rails. That’s when I came across the Wonder Bumpers
. They’re wonderful! (see pictured above)
*You do not need a pillow or cover yet
– I was planning to bring Copiloo home in the SwaddleDesigns Ultimate Receiving Blanket
, in the meantime however we had received another gift set and we used that. This blanket is great though, quite thick, but soft, and large.
– aden + anais muslin swaddle blankets
are great. I had a couple and used them to swaddle, to cover a sleeping baby, to cover the stroller on a sunny day, and it was my go-to blanket to have in my diaper bag. You can even use it as a receiving blanket.
Snuggly swaddled in the aden + anais muslin blanket
– I owned these: Miracle Blanket Swaddle
(was not miraculous), Woombie
(was okay, but baby outgrew it fast), the SwaddleMe
being my favorite by far (easy to swaddle, and because it was adjustable you got more usage out of it). I would get a small and a medium.
By far my favorite swaddle – SummerInfants SwaddleMe; also note the Carter’s flannel lap pad placed under Copiloo’s head to collect any spit-ups, which I will mention later in the post
– In my attempt to get Copiloo the ‘transitional’ item, the one that should provide him comfort when mommy is unavailable, I purchased this bunny blanket friend
. He didn’t really take to it.
Copiloo napping in his Under the Nile Convertible Gown, holding his Bunny blankie
White noise machine
– Our nanny gifted us (read: herself) this white noise machine
. I am still not sure how Copiloo felt about the white noise and music, but he loved the projections on the ceiling. That’s how he learned his first notions of “moon” and “cow” circling around our ceiling. I personally still prefer to use my iPad, to play a white noise CD
I purchased on iTunes.
– Add as many as you can to your list. You will use them. That kid will poop the life out of you in his first months. We use Seventh Generation
. Have tried Earth Best, but they did not work for us. I was really determined to go all cloth diapers, but I chickened out. I did try gDiapers
, a compromise between cloth diapering and disposable diapers, and they did not work for me. The only blow outs Copiloo had was when wearing those, we had to change them more often, and I did not wait long enough to get to the point where inserting the disposable pads
became easy. Cannot speak to any other cloth diaper brands.
Diaper rash cream
– If you wash your little one’s bum after every poopy diaper you will hardly ever need to use a diaper rash cream. For his first eight months of life if I recall well, Copiloo did not have one rash. Again, I cannot stress this enough, look for products based on natural ingredients. We’ve only used Weleda
. Hubbyloo once brought home this diaper rash cream on one of his Babies R Us runs (I can’t remember the brand and I can’t seem to find it online); the rash on Copiloo got so much worse and spread down his crotch the second he applied it.
Baby wipes –
I use disposable Seventh Generation
. Yes, I know. I tried though. The cloth wipes I love the most, the softest and most absorbent are OsoCozy Organic Flannel Wipes
(I got 2 12-packs). I used them when breastfeeding to clean myself and clean the baby, I used them as nursing pads, I still use them to clean my toddler’s face in the morning. Under the Nile Organic Wipes
are good, too. I use them as wash cloths sometimes. I do not recommend Charlie Banana reusable wipes
– they are completely useless, 100% nonabsorbent.
Diaper pail refills – Add a couple or even more to your list. You will need them, and they can get expensive!
Breastmilk freezing and storage set
– If you are thinking about breastfeeding, you will need the freezer bags
or better yet this set
. Especially in the beginning, God willing, you will overproduce and you will want to have safe means of storing all that yumminess.
Breast pump steam bags
– Do not get more than a box
. YOU DON’T EVEN NEED THESE. You can place the pieces in a bowl of water and microwave them for a few minutes.
– I had My Breastfriend Pillow
, but have used the Boppy Pillow
and I think I may prefer the latter. It does not wrap completely behind you as My Breastfriend Pillow does, which allows you to recline back in a more comfortable position.
Breastfeeding pillow cover – You will need one because stuff is always gonna leak as hard as you may try to prevent it.
– I had about three different brands of lap pads. The one I prefer in spite of its odd shape (square; why not rectangular? makes more sense) is the Carter’s Keep Me Dry Flannel Lap Pads
. I used them when breastfeeding, I used them later when he started on solids, I used them under his head while sleeping (pictured above).
Bottles and nipples
– I would get glass. Think whether you will want to give your little one the bottle though, if you think you will exclusively breastfeed for the first six (or more) months of his life, wait out on purchasing the bottles. I got eight 4-oz Lifefactory Glass Bottles
and Copiloo refused the bottle until he was about 7 months, and while convincing him to try it out we had to go through about a dozen different bottle types. He of course settled on the Medela which were part of the breast pump set. If you do want to be prepared and have some on hand, get a couple of the smaller size and more of the larger bottles.
Life Factory Bottles – I really hoped these would be THE bottles
Pacifier – I am against pacifiers, but did own a couple just in case I needed to resort to it. I loved Hevea Star & Moon Orthodontic Pacifier. It looked nice… BPA-free and one-piece design (less chance bacteria gets caught and growing in crevices).
Sterilizer – YOU DO NOT NEED IT. Boil the damned things.
– We have the Boon
, still use it for his bottles and random little stuff in the kitchen.
Bottle warmer – REMOVE from list. It is sooooo fast and more convenient to actually sink the milk bottle in a pot or larger cup of hot water.
Baby food maker
– After thinking long and hard, lots of research and online reading, I went with the Cuisinart
. Great purchase. It also serves as a bottle warmer (never used it as such though). BUT, if you have any other blender at home with a smaller bowl, use that and SKIP THIS PURCHASE.
Baby rice cooker – really? I had it on my list, thank God all guests had the common sense to pretend they didn’t see it there. YOU DO NOT NEED IT.
– Copiloo was luckily not a drooler, so the only times we’d use a bib would be when he ate (7 months onwards). We definitely had 200% more bibs than we needed. For eating, I recommend the Bumkins Waterproof SuperBibs
Burp cloths – NOT NEEDED. Had a bunch, hardly used them. Any sort of kitchen towel, blanket can be used, why spend the money and add more items to your list?
– Ours was a hand-me-down. We love the Boon
– Do not go crazy. Listen to someone who did the mistake of paying $300+ for a diaper bag and then used it a handful of times. It was a great purchase, I love my San Ysidro Hobo diaper bag by Danzo
, but it’s just too big to carry around. What I did instead was get a tiny purse for myself, large enough to fit my wallet, lip balm, a little notebook and some other tiny random things, and I got a diaper pouch
that fit four or five diapers, a wash cloth, wet wipes, the changing pad that came with my Danzo bag, AND a change of clothes. Yes, all this fit in that little pouch.
– I tried a reusable brand but I was not happy with them. I switched to Lansinoh
and used them for 15 months.
– Do not let yourself be fooled by the belief that the more expensive, the better. Initially I collected a bunch of Medela
bras. They were horrible. I think they even shrank, the elastic band on the sleep nursing bras
loosened up in a matter of weeks. Target nursing bras on the other hand? Awesome. I still wear a couple long after I stopped nursing, because they are comfortable and nice-looking. I also loved the nursing tank tops.
– I loved the Earth Mama Angel
brand. In the beginning I would use the Lanolin they gave me at the hospital, but then I decided I should drop the artificial stuff and replace it with a natural alternative. Oh, and you know what’s great on those cracked nipples? Your own milk. (<– tip of the day)
– We did not go wrong with Chicco Keyfit
. We used it until Copiloo was six or seven months old I believe and we noticed his legs were sticking waaaay out there.
Copiloo on one of his many road trips, napping in his Chicco Keyfit
– This is one of the items I did not realized I needed until I needed it. We both have in our cars the Britax Back Seat Mirror
. I needed a simple mirror, did not want any of the interactive, music and sound making machineries. I am of the belief that the baby should observe his natural environment rather than eyeballing an electric device.
First trip to the doctor – curtesy of the backseat mirror
Car window shade
– We both have Safety 1st
. It doesn’t cover the whole window but I doubt that any of them do, so at times there are some rays reaching the kiddo, but it ain’t that bad.
Car seat adapter
– For more convenience we also got the car seat adaptor
for the UppaBaby stroller.
– We went all big and got a UppaBaby Vista Stroller
(if you do get this, go ahead and put the parent organizer
in the shopping cart as well). Had I known then what I know now, I would have went straight to the travel-size UppaBaby G-luxe
. I guess I made use of the basinet while Copiloo was little, and we did use the stroller for walks in the neighborhood. But man, it is a nightmare to carry that thing around in your trunk, let alone travel by plane (and we did do our share of travels after Copiloo was born).
Copiloo chillin’ in his UppaBaby GLuxe on our trip to Grand Cayman
– We had the Ergo
, which I used when Copiloo was little with the infant insert
. Later on, I heard of Stokke baby carrier
and I got that, too. This one is a great option. I love the back support and the thick straps on your shoulder, the fact that you can use it three ways, and the baby seems to be very comfortable in it. I played with the idea of wearing the baby in a wrap but it was not for me. I tried Boba
once or twice, and maybe a third time to prove to Hubbyloo that the investment was not impulse-based, and that was it. I think the wrap itself was great, beautiful material and good quality, but the whole wrapping thing… too much hassle for my liking.
On a walk in our Ergo Baby Carrier with infant insert
Bunicoo and Bunica enjoying a walk with their only grandchild strapped comfortably in his Stokke carrier.
Pack ‘n play
– A must have
. Mobile, you can move it from room to room, as needed, it was an arm-reach co-sleeper once Copiloo was out of the basinet, and not yet pulling to stand. (Again, why did we buy a crib?…)
Play mat – YOU DO NOT NEED IT. Lay a simple blanket on the floor and bring out the toys. OR get an
– A great investment. It will provide such a fun and safe area for the babe to play, to watch and observe, to start reaching for things, grabbing things, kicking things. Copiloo loved his back and tummy time on this mat. He still plays to this day with some of the animals that came with our activity gym
We’ve learned to grab, pull and kick on this mat
– I am of the belief that a growing infant should not rely on any sort of contraptions designed to make life easier for him. In order for his skeleto-muscle system to develop appropriately, he would have to use his body, his muscles, his own body weight to move around discovering his world and his place in it. That being said, at times you do need that little rascal distracted and occupied, and for that we purchased the Evenflo Exersaucer
. We’d limit his time in this contraption to 20 minutes, two times a day, or less.
Copiloo bouncing off the walls in his Evenflo Exersaucer
Cradle and swing
– Hand-me down. This is a hit or miss. Some kids like it, some kids not so much, Copiloo had his periods when it would calm him if we put him in his Fisher-Price cradle and swing
, but those moments were rare (and they mostly happened when Hubbyloo was in charge of the little one, I would generally carry the baby if I was around, or lay with him as needed).
Rock ‘n play sleeper
– We borrowed this
item, and it was amazing in helping with acid reflux. We used it for a couple of months, until Copiloo outgrew it. You may want to hold back on buying it though, and do it only if you think it’s necessary.
Copiloo waking up from a nap in his Rock ‘n Play – great help for acid reflux issues
Shopping cart cover – YOU DON’T NEED IT. You may think you will use it, but once you are out with a baby, carrying a 20-kg diaper bag, a 15-pound baby, and a grocery list, the last thing you need to worry about is fitting the cover over your cart. I owned two which I used once.
High chair cover – CHANCES ARE YOU DON’T NEED IT. We did use this a few more times than the shopping cart cover. The problem here was that I would quite often forget it home. If you are better organized, buy it. Or better yet, just carry those wipes along and clean up the chair before the little one goes in.
– We had The First Years Home and Away Monitor
, and I must say I am not that thrilled about it. I purchased it thinking it would directly connect to Skype, but you in fact need to have the camera connected to the PC in order for it to connect to Skype. Too much hassle. Also, the battery life is really poor on it. Customer service on the other hand stellar; they replace the batteries right away when I complained about the issue although it was long after the purchase was made. BUT… How big is your house? Do you really need it? For occasional situations, if you have an iPhone and iPad you can always use Presence
Healthcare + grooming kit
– I bought this
thinking that it had all I needed in there, however be aware that the suction pump is of poor quality. Keep the one they give you in the hospital. The nail trimmer and thermometer are great though. The set I bought did not come with the humidifier, I purchased that separately later on when I realized that my poor baby could use one.
– We had a request for the baby shower guests: instead of a card, they should sign a book. It is a wonderful idea; nowadays a cute card can cost just as much as a board book, why not invest that money in something truly useful and practical. If you have specific books you would like to have for your baby, add them to the registry; it will help to avoid having duplicates. Think of cloth books
, touch and feel board books like Curious George at the Park
, or If I Were a Puppy
, stories you would like to read to your little one, like Classic Bedtime Stories
, or perhaps a volume of poems (I personally prefer reading Copiloo poems.)
– I really fell in love with this mobile
the moment I saw it. It was simple, no lights and sounds, just colorful and… simple.
Follow the fishes inside the water mat
A couple of teethers tied onto a chain of teething links, on his UppaBaby Vista stroller
– You cannot imagine how entertaining the Silk Squares
are for an infant. Tie one on his activity gym and let him watch and be mesmerized by the movement of this piece of fabric as the wind makes it sway. YOU DO NOT NEED TO BUY THIS THOUGH. Just use a couple of your colorful scarfs that you could live without should they get… damaged.
Scrolling up and down this post makes me wonder whether the title remains accurate. There’s nothing “simple” about this list, right? Trust me though, it is soooo easy to make a mess out of your baby registry by simply losing focus. Been there, done that. Luckily, and this is another great tip, our baby registry was with Amazon and their return policy is beyond AWESOME. I could exchange and return stuff as I pleased. And I did.
If you feel I am overlooking some crucial details and items, please leave a comment and I will make sure to address your point. Thanks for reading! I hope it’s been delicious!
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