I’ve been meaning to do this post for a while now, and was recently reminded it’s still relevant when one of my friends asked for baby registry recommendations.
I think there are two schools of thought when it comes to registering and preparing for a new addition. One wants any and every gadget and supply that could possibly be needed to care and entertain their baby, the other shivers at the thought of too many rainbow colored things scattered around the house. We fell into the second category.
Knowing we would have limited space in our house in Turkey, and going through the necessary purging associated with a PCS move at the time of planning our registry, our goal was to only register for the bare necessities. You hear time and time again that people always have way more junk than they need when it comes to babies, and we were determined not to be those people.
Overall I’m very happy with what we registered for and received. I feel like we had all the necessities we needed and very little that we didn’t. So here’s our list of our most used baby items for newborn to six months in age.
- Video Baby Monitor – I learned that babies make a lot of noises, most of which do not call for immediate attention. They move around and make noises in their sleep just like adults. Having a video monitor allowed us to look in on Aubrey when there was a noise and determine whether she actually needed our attention or was just resettling.
- Aden + Anais Swaddling Blankets – We went through at least two of these a day. We used them for swaddling at first, but eventually they just became our general purpose everything “cloths.” We hardly used burp clothes. These blankets were used for everything from wrapping Aubrey up, cleaning up spit up, drool rags, you name it. Buy at least 8 and you should be good to go!
- Halo Sleep Sack – We tried a number of different swaddling blankets and sleep sacks, but Aubrey was a little Houdini and this one was the only one that would keep her snug. It is SUPER easy to use and gave me peace of mind that she was warm enough. They also make them in cotton for the summer months. We will be purchasing a few more of these if we have baby #2.
- Waterproof Changing Pad Liners – These are something that could be viewed as unnecessary, but they are a lot cheaper than changing pad covers, and a lot easier to throw in the laundry for a quick wash. you might be surprised how much pee (and poop if we’re honest) escapes diapers and wipes and finds itself on the changing pad. These are a major time and sanity saver!
- Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature Bib – I wanted to trash all the other bibs I had and only have these. They are super absorbent and are amazing for catching milk, spit up and drool. By far the best bib we had.
- Nursing Pillow – It doesn’t really matter the brand, but you will need some kind of support. When you baby is teeny tiny your lap can seem a far distance from you boobs. Piling pillows around you is a quick fix, but having a pillow specifically designed for this purpose makes a huge difference in your comfort. We used ours religiously till Aubrey hit about 4-5 months.
- Play Gym/Mat – While researching registry necessities I learned activity gyms are not just fun play areas for baby, they are actually one of the most important items for your baby’s development. Check out this link about their seemingly endless benefits.
- Baby Nail Clippers – I know some people recommend filing or using baby nail scissors. I would like to see a demonstration of this from these people. You probably already know this, but babies are squirmy, and they have sensitive skin. Not only could I not understand how you could keep their little fingers still enough to cut with precision with scissors or to file them effectively, it also seemed like a file would be too abrasive on their sensitive, already peeling skin. I loved my baby nail clippers that ensure I didn’t cut too far back, but still gave me a way to really get a hold of the nail.
- Bather – There are versions that fit in the sink, but we wanted something that would work for our growing baby in the long run. This is another thing that could be considered unnecessary, but it allowed Aubrey to sit up in the tub (which she preferred), helped prevent an aching back as we bathed her, and gave us a way to keep her secure so we could actually bathe her (babies are slippery!).
- Double Breast Pump – I had a Medela pump and it was awesome. I can’t speak for others out of experience, but in general having a double breast pump was crucial for me. It helped me establish and boost my supply when needed, and it allowed me to build a freezer stash we used in case I couldn’t be with Aubrey for a feeding and in the end when she quit nursing early. It’s a beautiful thought to think you baby will be with you at all times day and night until they quit breastfeeding, but in reality you need a break from time to time, things come up that may cause you to miss a feeding, life happens. I couldn’t have made it without my pump!
- Breastmilk Storage Bags – There are a ton of ways to store pumped breastmilk, and for me these bags were the most practical. They can be frozen flat and take up minimal space in your freezer. I pretty much used these exclusively.
- Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature Bottles – It can be tricky for babies to switch back and forth between the breast and a bottle. Aubrey did very well transitioning from these bottles and back to nursing. We later used Dr. Brown’s bottles which do seem to do much better with preventing too much suction from poor ventilation which helps keep the flow consistent. Either are great!
- Changing Clutch – THE MOST USED BABY ITEM WE OWN. It’s probably because we traveled so much, but I would imagine any parents or caregiver that finds themselves outside of the house at any time would find this handy. It protects baby from the disgusting surfaces (to include floors – because it happens) they have to lay on while you change their diaper. I love this one because it holds about 5 diapers and a pack of wipes, and easily fit in our small bags.
- Ergo 360 Carrier – We had Boba wraps and the original Ergo to start with. The wraps were great when Aubrey was very small, but as she started to grow I found my back would kill me because the wraps didn’t provide much support so I switched to the Ergo and it was amazing. Eventually though, Aubrey refused to face inward, but still demanded to be carried (and was much easier in public when she was in a carrier) so I bought an Ergo 360. Now I fully recommend just starting with the 360 from the beginning. Baby can be placed in four different positions, it’s supportive for mom and dad’s backs, and it’s not as bulky as the original.
- Rattle Toys – I vastly underestimated the need for toys, specifically small rattle toys for this age. A good rattle toy can keep a young baby entertained for a long time. These were imperative for long plane rides!
- White Noise – Not included in the picture because we used a phenomenal app called Sound Sleeper on our phones and iPads which we streamed through a small bluetooth speaker for a better sound, less piercing sound. Aubrey is addicted to white noise so we can never be without it. Having it on our phones was the easiest way to make sure it was always available!
And a tip before you go. In reality your new baby needs very little. Especially if you are breastfeeding. As long as they have a boob, a diaper and your arms they will be just fine!
Stay tuned for the next post following up with most used baby items six months to a year!