Our baby registry - passes and fails
Every baby is different, and while of course I knew this before, it just becomes overtly evident when you’re in it. You can no longer reference the other babies and parents in your life for inspiration or direction or example—you now have your own, and his/her habits and needs are the only things dictating what you find critical and what things are less necessary in keeping that little baby healthy, rested, and happy. With that said, I’ve now had over two months with Grace to know what things I’m so happy I had on hand for her arrival, what things I’ve since Amazon Prime’d at 4am, and what things I probably could have gone without.
If I were to register tomorrow, and wanted to be somewhat minimalist about my choices, here’s what I’d go for, again and again:
This is what Grace lays in when she’s not sleeping in her SNOO (more on this later) or hanging out in her Baby Bjorn bouncer. I think she loves how small and cozy it is, and we love that we can pick it up and move it around so easily depending on where we are in the house or outside. The head part of the bottom is ever so slightly suspended, as well as a bit elevated from the feet, which I think makes it extra comfortable.
The Boppy Carrier is sort of a cross between the ErgoBaby and the Solly Wrap—it buckles but is soft fabric, making it perfect for walks and stuff while she is still little (the ErgoBaby seemed to swallow her whole during the newborn phase). I like that it’s uncomplicated to put on by myself and get her in and out of by myself. It’s a little hot, which is when the Solly Wrap comes in handy, but I love that it’s sturdy, reliable, and easy.
The only product we actually tested before registering was strollers, and it was a random decision to stop at BuyBuyBaby one Sunday afternoon with a couple of my friends. We all pretty quickly agreed on this stroller—it has great action, it’s versatile, it’s pretty chic as far as strollers go (leather handles!), and it gets great reviews online. We were hesitant to make a decision so quickly, but then we figured—who cares, we like it, let’s go with it. We truly love it and haven’t looked back since.
This has felt crucial for a springtime newborn. We’ve gone on countless walks already, and Grace loves laying in her bassinet that blocks the sun and keeps her warm—she falls asleep immediately in it. I’m sure you could bypass it if you wanted to just use the compatible car seat instead (especially in colder months where you wouldn’t be going for walks), but we’ve loved having it, even to just let her lay in while we’re hanging outside.
I love that ours is black and minimal and an easy to clean, neoprene material. It can carry two drinks which is clutch, and has a few nice compartments for credit cards, phones, etc. I had registered for a plastic cup holder attachment in addition to this, but it isn’t at all necessary, so I’m glad we didn’t ultimately get it. This is all you need.
Uppababy Mesa Car Seat (and extra base)
This doesn’t require an explanation—it’s just the compatible car seat with the stroller line we got. It’s most importantly safe, as well as easy to click in and out, and Grace loves it. No complaints.
Obsessed with this chic diaper bag that can be a backpack or purse (I went with the butterscotch color). It has a Mary Poppins ability to fit four thousand items in its many versatile compartments (and insulated bottle pocket, too). Basically, it’s as functional as it is cute which is all I cared about in picking a diaper bag, and I think I’ll continue to use this long after it no longer holds diapers.
I don’t know why it’s as pricey as it is, but that being said, I love it. It is so easy to clean and I can’t imagine having a fabric version for the amount of times I would have had to wash it by now. It’s so much easier to just wipe down mid-change or mid-spit up. It also seems to be really comfortable for the baby—in the beginning I put some changing pad cloths down because Grace was so tiny and always seemed to be cold—but now she’ll lay on the Peanut Changer so content, just staring in the mirror above her.
We went with this since we use Nest in our house already, and it has been great. We can watch Grace’s nursery from our phones with sound, and it also alerts us of movement in her room. I also like that it’s relatively unobtrusive looking and easy to hook up and use.
This does what it’s supposed to do and is a necessity. I love that it doesn’t require its own bags—I just use regular garbage bags and they work just fine.
It’s really annoying trying to grab a wipe and having 12 come out. This dispenser is weighted so it stays put, and makes grabbing one wipe easier. It’s also white and minimalist looking—I don’t need my wipes dispenser to make a statement. I have two of them!
This baby bath is the best! It’s light and easy to store and has made us feel comfortable bathing Grace in the sink ever since she was teeny tiny! She seems to be really comfortable in it too.
These are just easy for nighttime diaper changes (I only unsnap the bottom couple of snaps, or just slide the whole bottom up without unsnapping at all), especially the first couple of weeks when the baby is nursing and getting changed every couple of hours during the night. I think they’re really cozy for baby, too.
I’m still not used to pulling clothing over Grace’s head, so I far prefer these Kimono-style onesies for layering underneath outfits. Since Grace was pretty tiny, I’ve loved H&M’s sizing which instead of being the typical 0-3 months is actually 0-1 month, 1-2 months, etc. They’re also a great material and hold up well in the wash.
While this isn’t exactly a newborn essential, it has become more and more useful as she prefers to be in more of an upright position for lounging (it has three different adjustable positions). It doesn’t bounce on its own, but it’s kind of easy to bounce a little bit with your hand or foot, and her small movements make it bounce a little, as well. I think she will only continue to like it more as she gets bigger.
I love pumping into bags that easily become the bottle later (i.e., you don’t have to transfer the milk into a bottle—the bag itself becomes the bottle). This is compatible with all of the major pump brands (there are adapters for the different kinds).
My friend Amanda gifted us this, so we lovingly refer to it as the Mandy instead of the Boppy. (why does everything baby related have the corniest names). This is so helpful the first couple weeks of breastfeeding when the baby is tiny and fragile and requires a lot of support feeding. Although it’s not as necessary after those first couple of weeks, it’s then a great pillow for the baby to lay on with head support.
It boasts that it has a whole year of play in one box—from newborn on—and it has been great so far! It isn’t as baby-ish looking as so many others, which I appreciate, and it’s really thoughtfully designed from a development perspective. Grace loves batting at the wooden bell toy and looking in the mirror cards, and my nephew who is 9 months old still loves playing in his (now) “tent” as well.
In addition to these, we already couldn’t live without the following little items that don’t need much explanation but have packed a big punch:
Backseat Car Mirror
Nuk Newborn pacifiers
Nose Frida snotsucker
OXO bottle brush
Muslin baby blankets
Burt’s Bees Burp Cloths
Burt’s bees wash cloths and towels
Puracy Natural Stain Remover
Travel wet & Dry bags
On-the-go Wipes case
There are also some additional items that although we’re not using just yet (so I think you could certainly go without for the first several months), I really love them and would register for them again:
Newton Mattress and extra Mattress Pad
We researched this pretty heavily, and we’re really happy with this one. We actually tested the “breathable” claim and couldn’t believe that we could breath with our faces completely pressed into the mattress. Our philosophy was save on the crib, splurge on the mattress, and we’re very pleased with what we got. We got two pads for ease in the event of a midnight bed-wet.
Like I said above, we wanted to spend on a good mattress and buy a simple crib. This one is minimalist, chic, and safe. It’s also $79! Run, don’t walk.
I love that this has a minimal, modern Scandinavian look and seems easy to clean. Stay tuned!
I will report back after traveling with Grace, but this gets great reviews and folds into a backpack for carrying.
This stroller folds up to an unbelievably small size and is lightweight. I can’t wait to use it as soon as Grace gets a little bit more neck strength, especially for easy travel.
The best versatile carrier as Grace gets bigger and heavier.
In terms of clothing, it is certainly not necessary to have much at all for a baby. Grace was too small for even newborn clothes when she was born, which of course we didn’t know until she was here (combined with the fact that her gender was a surprise to us). But looking back, in the event we had wanted to register for clothing, here are what our favorites have been for different occasions:
Milkbarn onesies in the sweetest prints
These organic bamboo rayon onesies in unique, less gender-forward colors
These socks which for whatever reason, actually stay on her feet
H&M rompers, pants, etc. for special occasions—Also, one note on that: I love that rompers have the sweet feel of a dress but still button between the legs because dresses just ride up and seem so uncomfortable for the babe!
And more miscellaneously:
As a baby born in springtime, Grace was gifted a little sun hat that she has worn almost every single day—something I never would have anticipated needing so much! In that same vein, a long sleeve swimsuit is comforting just since little babies aren’t supposed to wear sunscreen. And when Grace was really tiny, she wore beanie hats a lot to stay warm.
Lastly, A few notes on some registry fails. Or, what I’d know to ask for now:
I was really trying to avoid having an ugly, clunky baby swing in our living room, but guess what—after 3 nights of zero sleep with a newborn who prefers to sleep on our chests, I was begging for the ugliest/clunkiest/most obnoxious swing of all time, so long as it would HELP MY BABY SLEEP. Now, had I not had a baby with sleep issues, I never would have needed this, but there’s probably a reason it has so many great reviews. Thankfully my sister-in-law saved the day and brought us hers, and I’ve never loved a weird spaceship baby seat more. This is the only thing our one-week old Grace would sleep in, and she seemed to love it for nighttime and nap time.
On the topic of sleep, we also decided to go big or go home with the SNOO after over a week of zero sleep at night, and we truly have not looked back since. I know the price seems insane (the price is probably in fact insane), but it’s very hard to put a price on a good night’s sleep for parents and babies during the newborn phase—especially when it can be rented for the price of a cup of coffee per day, essentially. I’m sure that this miracle worker of a bassinet doesn’t work for every baby, but I do think the philosophy, technology, and reviews speak for themselves. I have certainly been worshiping this thing ever since it arrived on our doorstep 10 days in. As soon as Grace lays down in her SNOO, she is calm and comforted—even if she’s awake when she lays down—it’s sort of unbelievable to see, especially when she was a baby who hated being laid down at all early on. She sleeps for long stretches and is soothed back to sleep during moments of fussiness. I also really love that the swaddle is attached to the mattress—I’m a worry wart about the safe sleep stuff, and this thing eliminates all such fears.
Since breastfeeding is a huge part of the new baby game, I wish I’d registered for more breastfeeding related items for myself. Soothing gel pads and Lansinoh cream are absolutely clutch—luckily I received these anyway from my sister-in-law who went off-registry and gave us everything she swore by during her own pregnancies. A pumping bra is something I realized was crucial only after attempting to pump the first time, and I love that mine is strapless so I can just lift my shirt up. I also found some nursing bras that are a cross between a regular bra and a sports bra, and I truly haven’t taken them off in six weeks.
I registered for various bottles and nipples that I read were most popular, but it turned out Grace was incredibly un-picky about nipple preference and has taken the Kiinde nipple (from the milk storage kit) from the beginning. I now have several bottles I don’t need. I would wait to see how your baby is before acquiring many of these, or be prepared to do some returning.
This is strange, but if you’re a coffee drinker, and you like your coffee hot, but like me, hate drinking out of a travel mug—this temperature-control mug is basically a necessity. I’m a psycho about my coffee being piping hot and typically microwave it several times, and this sleek white mug has changed my life. Especially now that I am often holding a sleeping baby or feeding one or changing one, coffee time looks a little different. This mug keeps your coffee at whatever temperature you’d like and recharges while on its pod overnight or whenever.
On a similarly strange, but unrelated note, never have I valued our smart lightbulbs and dimmer switches more than with a baby. It is difficult to change a baby in the middle of the night without lights on, and I’ve found that a nightlight doesn’t offer enough to really see what I’m doing. In our bedroom where the baby has been sleeping, we have a bluetooth light bulb that is controlled by our phones, and it is dimmable. Therefore, I can immediately turn the light on from my phone, but only to 5-10% so it doesn’t disturb Jon or the baby. If I want to turn it brighter or dimmer, I can do all of that from my phone as well.
We registered for an ear thermometer after hearing good things about the ease of it. Our very first night home, and dealing with a very fussy baby who screamed within seconds of being laid down on her back, we decided to take her temperature. And no sooner did we decide this than did we throw the thermometer out the window with rage. This thing didn’t even seem like it could fit in a baby’s tiny ear canal, and when we tested it on ourselves, the readings felt wrong to us. I can’t say I’m a baby thermometer expert, but I know that at the hospital they used regular, old school thermometers for underarm or rectal use, so that’s what we’ve since bought (but ours is Bluetooth and synced to our phones for some reason which is not necessary).