It’s something that every momma should do – share what worked for her family, so that others might learn from her trials and errors. Every baby – and every family – is different, so some things we didn’t feel we needed were exactly the things that some of my friends have raved about (hello, wipe warmer!).
A couple quick tips… If there’s a consignment sale in your area, GO! You’ll find some great deals, especially on clothes! Also, some of my favorite websites for baby registry research/shopping: Baby Center, Diapers.com, Babies R Us, Target, and Amazon.
Anyway, the following is a list of my recommendations, adapted from the nifty list at babycenter.com…
Changing table or pad – We use a regular ol’ dresser with a changing pad on top (I just made sure to find a dresser that was the right height/width/sturdyness). Oh, and we have a little “diaper caddy” to hold diapers and supplies, but I wish I would’ve just purchased a cute little basket instead… You really just need something that will hold diapers nearby so that you don’t have to reach too far from where you’re standing when your little one needs a diaper change.
Crib & mattress – I have been very happy with our crib (Graco Lauren Crib in white), and the price is pretty awesome. We use a Sealy crib mattress, which has been just fine.
Bassinet – We used the bassinet in our Graco Pack n Play at first, but (a) he didn’t seem that comfortable in it, and (b) we couldn’t use his Angel Care monitor’s sensor pad in it, so we pulled his crib into our room, where it stayed for the first few months. We loved having him in our room, but in his own bed, so this worked just fine for us, and we may do the same thing the next time around.
Glider or rocker – Essential! We have a glider from a furniture store near my hometown in Arkansas, but you can find one at most furniture strores. We spent SO much time there the first few months – I’m so glad ours is comfy! On a side note, I’d definitely recommend placing a small table near the glider/rocker (or you could use one of those pouches that hangs on the side of the chair) to hold water/books/etc., that you can easily grab while nursing.
Mobile – I ended up purchasing ours at a consignment sale when our little one was a few weeks old… I’m not really sure why I waited, since they are so great to have for the little ones! You can find some super cute ones these days, too! I love the artsy black and white ones I’ve seen on blogs… They’d be perfect for a newborn’s developing vision!
Baby carrier – I definitely think baby carriers are important – we have three, afterall, a Baby Bjorn, a Moby and a sling – however, we just never used ours much. O ur little one never really liked to be swaddled, and doesn’t love to be cuddled, though, so that might be why he’s never really wanted to be in the carriers. I’ll definitley keep them around for potential future use!
Stroller – We have two, and I love them both for different reasons. We have a McLaren for easy peasy everyday use, and we also have a Graco travel system (like the Graco FastAction Fold Jogger Click Connect Travel System… But that one is probably even better than ours since it’s a legit jogging stroller! I am wanting a new jogging stroller, so I’d definitley recommend trying to get one at the get-go!).
Car seat – Like I mentioned, we have a Graco travel system, which was perfect with a newborn, since the infant carrier snapped into the stroller… Perfect for those first few outings to the park! We now have a Graco MyRide 65 with Safety Surround, which as been great, too!
Portable crib or play yard – This one has been essential for us… Our Graco Pack n Play was parked in our downstairs living area, so that our little one would have a place to play if we needed to get things done around the house/make dinner/etc. We’ve also toted it on road trips, and I even used it in my office during an especially crazy day during our house sale…
Diapers – We use Bum Genius and LOVE them… I should probably do a separate post on them, since there’s so much to say about them! Stay tuned… We also like Pampers, and used the Swaddlers when he was teeny – they worked the best for us. Stock up!
Wipes – You will use about a million wipes in your baby’s first year… I don’t think you could ever have too many packages of wipes around the house. Or in your car. Or the diaper bag. Or at your sister’s. Srsly – stock up!
Diaper rash cream – For some reason, we thought we’d need a ton, but unlike wipes, we just haven’t really used that much. Luckily, our little one hasn’t had much diaper rash, and even if he had, we’d need to do some research on cloth-diaper-friendly options. I have used some Lansinoh cream (yes, the nipple cream!) on his bottom when it was a little red, since I had read that it wouldn’t hurt the cloth diapers, and it seemed to work just fine.
Diaper bag – I was seriously underwhelmed by the selection of under-$100 diaper bags when I looked. I like the one I eventually chose just fine, but oh-so-cute Stella & Dot bags would be so much more fun to use (and I’m not just saying that because I am a Stylist!)… You could seriously just throw a changing pad in our How Does She Do It bag, and voila! So cute and useful!
Diaper pail & liners – We just have a cheap-o one from target and we use regular trash bags. Works for us!
Breastfeeding & bottle feeding
Nursing/feeding pillow – You MUST get a Boppy!
Breastfeeding accessories – The first few weeks of breastfeeding is HARD! Here’s what I needed: Medela Breastshells,Lansinoh Soothies Gel Pads, and Lansinoh Cream… And nursing pads. Like, a TON of nursing pads (I used many different kinds, generic and name brand, and they were all about the same).
Nursing bras & clothes – Mainly the bras… And just make sure you have some tanks/shirts that are easy to nurse while wearing.
Breast pump – It’s an investment, but extremely important if you work at an office. Mine was great – the whole 12 months of using it – and I hope to use it in the future, too! I have the Medela Pump In Style Advanced Breastpump – On The Go Tote.
Pumping accessories – You’ll need lots (LOTS) of breastmilk bags, and I also liked having the Medela pump wipes, since I pumped twice a day at work, and wanted to wipe down the pump after the first use, so that it’d be ready for the second. I also had to order some new valves, but that was quite a few months into pumping.
Burp cloths (6 to 12) – A friend of mine suggested getting a pack of the old school cloth diapers to use as burp cloths, which is a genius idea! You win’t need many others…
Bottles – Since I breastfed in the evenings, first thing in the morning, and on weekends, we just needed three bottles, and loved our Dr. Brown’s bottles, although I’m interested in the glass bottles, too.
Bottle brushes – These wear out easily of course, so just get a cheap-o from Target, and replace as needed.
Bottle-drying rack – Love our Boon Lawn Countertop Drying Rack – So cute and useful!
Dishwasher basket for bottle parts – So useful… Just get a cheapie.
Highchair – We have the Fisher-Price SpaceSaver and love it!
Bowls (3 to 5) – We don’t have any bowls that are specifically for babies, but its good to have some that you feel comfortable with them having on thier highchair tray… And yes, they WILL throw it on the floor. Like, every day.
Baby spoons (2 or 3) – Any baby spoons will work… Ours are by Munchkin.
Sippy cups (3 to 5) – It’s a good idea to have more than a few sippy cups, as there never seems to be a clean one around when you need one! We have some by Playtex, and also one by NUK.
Bibs (3 to 5) – Bibs are great when they start teething, as well as when they’re learning to feed themselves… Stock up! We love our Tommee Tippee bibs!
Splat mat – We don’t have one, but I can imagine that it’d be quite useful!
Baby food maker – Making baby food is fairly simple, and if having a baby food maker encourages you to do it, I’d get one… Why not? Otherwise you can just use a blender.
Baby bathtub – LOVED our Puj Tub… We went from that (in the sink) to the bathtub at 8 months. It’s the only baby tub we used.
Bath time accessories – It’s nice to have a rubber ducky and a few bath toys… And we don’t have a faucet cover, but I’d like to get one, especially now that our little one is quite active in the tub!
Hooded bath towels (2) – Awesome to have… Look for big, plush ones.
Washcloths (5 to 7) – You really can’t have too many…
Baby shampoo or body wash – We’ve tried many kinds… Our favorites so far are Dr. Bronner’s (baby mild) and Yes To Baby Carrots.
Clothing for newborns – They grow out of the teeny clothes SO quickly, but it’s nice to have at least 3-4 teeny tiny onesies/outfits for the first few days.
Sleepers/pajamas (5 to 7) – Our little one lived in footed pajamas his first few months, it seems. So easy/comfy.
One-piece outfits (5 to 7) – You really can’t have too many onesies… Be sure to get a variety of sizes.
Shirts (5 to 7) – I really preferred onesies until our little one was a few months old, then shirts were nice to have.
Leggings or pull-on pants (5 to 7) – SO great, since they can be worn with onesies or shirts. Get a ton of cotton leggings/pull-on pants.
Socks & booties – You really can’t have too many socks, since they seem to go missing so easily!
Hats (2) – Get a variety of sizes, since their little heads grow quickly!
Outer layers (5) – A must for fall/winter babies… We loved one-piece long-sleeved outfits!
Mittens & snowsuit -We didn’t get any mittens, but had a snowsuit that went unused, as it was a very mild winter.
Wearable blankets (2 or 3) – Halo Sleepsacks are great… And you can get one with a swaddle wrap, if your baby likes to be swaddled. So cozy, and safe!
Swaddling blankets (3) – Love, love, love our aden + anais swaddle blankets… Wonderful fabric, and oh-so-cute!
White-noise recording or machine – We have a Sleep Sheep that our little one loved when he was teeny.
Nightlight – Many options, depending on your nursery decor…
Crib sheets (3 to 5) – I have really loved the Circo sheets I’ve gotten at Target… Inexpensive and soft!
Waterproof mattress pad (2) – We didn’t get a waterproof matress pad, and I have no idea why… It’s kind of a no-brainer.
Baby soothers, toys & entertainment
Pacifiers – Our little one has always preferred NUK pacifiers.
Bouncer seat – He LOVED his bouncer seat for the first eight months or so (until he was too big for it!). We have the Fisher-Price Luv U Zoo Playtime Bouncer.
Baby swing – Our little one was never really into the swing, but I know that every baby has his or her own preference, so we’ll keep it around for the future! We have the Fisher-Price SpaceSaver Swing & Seat.
Doorway jumper – we don’t have one, but I’ve always wanted one… Don’t they look hilarious/awesome?!
Play mat/gym – Our little one LOVED his. Like, maybe his favorite thing from 0-6 months. We have the Bright Starts Spots and Stripes Safari Gym.
Jumperoo – We have the Fisher-Price Luv U Zoo, which our little one loved when he was teeny!
Toys – It’s quite amazing, how quickly one goes from having no toys to a million, LOL. Really, though… They don’t need much at the beginning (especially if you have a play gym!), and you’ll slowly accumulate what your baby will need.
Books – Start reading to your baby as soon as he or she is born! Our little one loves books, and we try to incorporate many story times into our daily routine. And “Goodnight Moon” is one of our favorite bedtime books!
Safety gates – Essential, especially if you have stairs, or rooms you’d like to keep “off limits”. We have a Munchkin Extending Metal Gate, and have been happy with it.
Childproofing products – We use lots of outlet covers, table corner covers and a toilet seat lock. We may need to get some cabinet locks as well.
Baby monitor – We have the Angelcare Baby Movement and Sound Monitor, which I’m not sure if I recommend or not… It’s been great, BUT we’ve had a few false alarms, which have been quite stressful! You see, they can easily move off the sensor pad… Or your sensitivity level may not be adjusted correctly, resulting in an alarm that can be quite worrisome! Better to be safe than sorry, I suppose. Just know that you might get a false alarm or two!
Medicine cabinet & first-aid supplies – We have a nifty first aid kit from Babies R Us that has all the necessities!
Digital thermometer – We have a Safety First digital thermometer, but I know there are many good options out there.
Baby nail scissors or clippers – We bought a little kit at Target that has clippers, scissors, nail files, a comb and a brush.
Soft-bristled baby brush – See above comm
Bulb syringe – The ones from the hospital are the only ones that seem to work – Make sure you take a couple home with you!
Teething toys – Obviously useful, but we haven’t seemed to find any that our little one just loves yet.
*Disclaimer: Since baby products change SO quickly, many of the links are to the newer versions of the products, and not exactly what we have.