Pack and play: I wanted our baby gear to match and went with the Graco Pack N Play in the same pattern as our swing. I loved how there was a newborn napper and changing table options and we still have it setup in our room for changing Ford and storing our cloth diapers. This pack and play is perfect if you don't have room for a bassinet.
Sleep areas: I wasn't sure what to title this section but we went back and forth between a traditional bassinet that I borrowed from my sister and a Fisher Price Rock and Play. The Rock and Play worked best for us because Ford was always congested and it kept him at an incline. It is so lightweight and folds up easy to move from room to room or take on the go. I've heard RnPs are awesome for babies who have reflux. They are really affordable too! Wish they made them for adults. Ford has slept in his crib in his own room since he was 4 months old. We have this white Jenny Lind crib and this crib mattress.
Highchair: We love our Graco DuoDiner (pattern matches the swing and pack and play) and I also love using the Bumbo for feeding on the go, upstairs, etc. My sister had the same highchair and used it for a year until Embry got too messy at mealtime. She was constantly washing the cover or else it would smell like milk so she switched to this booster. I've been on the lookout for one second hand!
Breastfeeding: I dedicated a whole post to my breastfeeding must haves.... check it out here. Something to add.... I have both the Dr Browns Gia Nursing Pillow and the Boppy pillow. I love both and keep one upstairs and one downstairs. Highly recommend having 2 nursing pillows if you have a 2 story house.
Bottle Feeding: I think we made the mistake of starting Ford on Dr. Browns bottles because they aren't breast like at all. I recommend starting with a breast like bottle like Tommee Tippee or Advent. Even though we rarely bottle fed, a bottle sterilizer is key! Instead of scrubbing your pump parts and bottles after each use, you pop the sterilizer in the microwave for 2-3 minutes and you're good. There are a million brands but Munchkin is the cheapest. I love having this grass drying rack on my counter to not only dry sippy cups/spoons/etc but small things like knives and measuring spoons. Ford never took a paci but I had 3-4 different kinds on hand to try. People like gifting these too but if you plan on pushing a paci, you may want an assortment (Soothie, Nuk, Tommee Tippee).
Solid foods: plates, bowls, baby spoons, mesh feeder, snack catcher, handled sippy cups (I just registered for 1 of these), straw sippy cups, 2 Baby Bjorn bibs, approximately 5 cloth "cute" bibs,
Baby bath: skip the fancy bath and register for this First Years Newborn-Toddler tub. We used the sling when Ford was teeny and just moved him out of the bath since he is too big. It fits in most kitchen sinks which is nice. People LOVE gifting bath stuff so I wouldn't register for any towels, toys, or washcloths. If you don't get any at your shower, I recommend skipping baby towels (they are so thin and small, we just use one of our bath towels on Ford), but getting a few baby wash cloths (you can use adult sized ones but baby cloths are softer and make fun toys!) and bath toys (letters, duckies). You will also probably get baby bath products/lotions so hold off on those. You may even wait until your baby is born and see how their skin reacts to different products, my niece has eczema and uses Aveeno only. You will eventually need a bath safety mat for when baby is old enough to sit alone, ours is plain white and from Wal Mart.
Bedtime: 3 crib sheets, Aden and Anais blankets, 2 newborn swaddles, 2 small/medium swaddles. I registered for large swaddles and ended up returning them because most babies can roll over by the time they are big enough for size large and can't be swaddled. We have 2-3 Halo SleepSacks in each size, be sure to get a fleece one in the size baby will be in the winter. I wasn't planning on using bumpers but ended up getting some custom made (Miss O Sews on etsy) because Ford would roll around and hit is head on the spindles. I wouldn't have used them before 6 months for safety reasons. A good sound machine is VERY important. I had registered for a random one and a few mommies told me it burnt out quickly. We have the Munchkin Projector/Sound System that can be motion activated and put on a time. Oh and you'll want 2 mattress pads for the possible leak/throw up.
Health: Nose Frida is a must! Sure the bulb works for boogers here and there but it's useless when your baby has their first cold. We were gifted an American Red Cross safety kit that had a nose bulb, fingernail clippers, baby scissors, brush and a few other things. I had a pharmacy of infant Tylenol, gas drops, gripe water, Boogie wipes, and Simply Saline so I was prepared. Once Ford was heavy enough we switched to infant Advil. The Up & Up Brand at Target is awesome and I buy it when I can. Ford has had a bout of allergies, bronchitis, and colds so we use a humidifer often. We had been using my moms old fashioned one before it broke but now we use this Crane Elephant Humidifer. It works fine but man they don't make them like they used to!
Safety: A video monitor is vital. How did our parents survive without them?! We have this Summer Infant one and have had no issues. They can get very pricey and this one is inexpensive and gets the job done. We didn't buy baby proofing supplies until recently but we have two of these Summer Infant gates for the top and bottom of the stairs, Safety 1st Tot Locks for cabinets, and two different plug covers (one and two).
Playtime: We love this Infantino playmat because the colors/patterns don't scream baby. I can still sing the lullaby song it plays and it brings me back to the newborn days! If you follow me on Instagram you would know Ford is obsessed with jumping. We had been borrowing a jumperoo for a while and finally bought this Fisher Price one. It is the best babysitter of all time! I am borrowing a baby walker from my sister and Ford loves it! He's also a huge fan of Freddie the Firefly, perfect for the car or stroller rides. They are kind of pricey in store so check garage sales, Craigslist, and Moms Swaps. Sophie....get her. We have the big one and little one and Ford is obsessed with both. You don't need many toys right away but if you want to put them on your registry I recommend, Fisher Price Activity Table, Melissa and Doug puzzles, stack toys, play food, a busy box, Fisher Price Xylophone, Little People....just a few of Ford's favorites!
Carriers: I've pretty much tried all of them! At one point we had a Moby, Baby Bjorn, sling, and Ergo. Now we are exclusively using the Boba which is basically an Ergo but better for my short body. I got rid of the Bjorn after doing research on how bad they are for babies hips (and uncomfortable for mom!), gave away the sling because I wasn't into it, and packed away the Moby. I will definitely use the Moby again but not for a summer baby, it is way too much fabric and way too hot for both of us. We also have a Kelty Pack which we were given and plan on using it this summer! I have the Ergo infant insert which I recommend for winter babies but again, it was just too hot to use with Ford and he was already pretty big so we skipped it.
Diapering: We had plans of cloth diapering before Ford was born so we were prepared with all the supplies we needed. You can read more about our cloth diapering routine here.I don't recommend registering for tons of diapers because you don't know what diaper will fit your baby best. I remember ordering a huge box of Huggies off of Amazon only for Ford to leak out of every single one of them. Target brand and Pampers Baby Dry worked best for us. I've heard that the only plain white diaper pail that you can use your own bags to refill is the Babies R Us brand (supposedly diaper pail bags are expensive!). We use coconut oil on Ford's booty when he's in cloth and Aquaphor and corn starch when he's in disposables (we use Huggies overnight diapers at night). You also need a changing table pad and 2 covers (I have a minky dot and a terry cloth cover).
Diaper bag: I went through 3 diaper bags before finding one I absolutely loved. I have the Petunia Pickle Bottom Boxy Backpack and absolutely recommend it. I love being able to wear it on my back and it's big enough to store my cloth diapers.
Products to skip (in my opinion):
- Wipe warmer- Ford has always done fine with room temp wipes
- Cart cover- I know a lot of mom's use these, I do not. Mine is still in the packaging and Target won't let me return it. I just found it to be an inconvenience and an extra thing to drag in the store.
- Bath thermometer- we use our best judgement
- Animal water spout cover- we bathe Ford in our master bathroom which has a garden tub (spout cover won't fit). We will probably continue bathing him downstairs and with all the bath toys we have, the spout cover just seems like a waste.
- Crib skirt- unless you want to store stuff under the crib
- Stuffed animals- people love gifting these! Ford probably has 20+!
- Baby clothes- you will likely get so many outfits at your baby shower and even after the baby is born.
- Fancy thermometer- we use a regular thermometer to take Ford's temp under his armpit. If it is above 99 we do it rectally which is the most accurate way.
- Infant carseat insert. It's added heat which may be good if you have a winter baby but my baby is so hot natured the last thing I want is to worry about him overheating in the carseat. Ford was a big baby and very sturdy from day 1 but I've known 5-6lb babies who haven't used one.
- Baby books- again, people love gifting these! Kind of makes it special when people pick out books on their own. Chances are you will get lots of Dr. Seuss books, Goodnight Moon, and all the popular baby books.
Now that I've bombarded you with tons of information....if you are a mommy, what is your must have registry item? What items do you recommend skipping?