Once you are officially part of the "Mom Club" - the number 1 question I get from most moms-to-be is, "What the heck do I actually need?". After trial and error, I have come up with what worked for us which you will find below. Before getting into the lengthy list though, let me give you my top 5 tips for registering/getting all the baby gear you need.
1. Register/buy the most expensive stroller you can afford. First, identify your uses (are you in the city and need something durable to trot around town? Or do you need something light weight to pop in and out of your car 10x a day?) With strollers, quality absolutely comes with price (unfortunately). We have the Uppababy Vista and love it, and saw a huge difference from the Britax bAgile we used while in California.
2. Register for stages beyond the newborn. Most registries tell you to get a million things for the newborn stage - but newborn babies don't really need that much. Once they start walking and eating though, you'll be buying up Target and Amazon so best to register for those things now while people are gifting.
3. Hand-me-down are your best friend! I have never been one to really love anything vintage/used/or second hand but the absolute greatest gift that anyone can give you is sharing their hand-me-downs. I had a ton of coworkers who had little girls bring in bags and bags full of clothes for Grace. Everything had only been used once or twice, was in great shape, and when we had outgrown the pieces, I was able to share with other friends. Don't be shy about mentioning to friends that you are open to hand-me-downs -- they make a huge difference on both your bank account and baby's wardrobe (note: Grace went through approx 6 outfits a day- this was a lifesaver in the newborn stage!)
1. Baby K'taan - when Grace was first born, we used this all the time. Super simple to use and easy to wear her all day- comfortable doing dishes, walking around the house, even traveling on the plane. I wasn't comfortable wearing her out walking with this, but great for around the house the first three months. If someone has a used one, thats a good way to go.
2. Baby Bjorn One: I love the One carrier with mesh (keeps it cooler- babies are like furnaces and their body heat will melt you!) Downside is no pocket to stash a phone/credit card. Even with Grace at 22 pounds, we use this daily. I like the multi-position functionality and that it is adjustable so both Grant and I can use the same carrier.
3. Uppa Baby Vista -- this is the stroller we showed you. Note, the 2015 includes both the bassinet and the seat. Couldnt recommend it enough. Also looks like the 2015 is lighter than ours.
4. UppaBaby Parent Organizer -- No matter what stroller you get, having a water bottle holder and somewhere to stash a pacifier/money/headphones/etc is great. I have tried a few, and this is by far my favorite.
5. Mommy Hook for Stroller- whatever stroller you get, register for two mommy hooks so you can hold bags/baskets on your stroller. If you think you may lock up your stroller (outside a restaurant or something) this one is great
6. Register for a Car Seat protector - basically a shielf for your car's seats before you put the carseat on it. Register one for each car.
7. Car Seat: We have the Uppa Baby Mesa. I like it but dont love it. We bought it as it easily fit into our stroller and was very highly recommended from a safety perspective, but it is heavy and bulky. I have heard the Orbit is easier to use. We also just moved to the Recaro convertible seat. Register for both the infant and convertible seat- they are expensive!
8. You will need to also register for a convertible car seat (rear facing to forward facing) for when your little guy is bigger. We are just now exploring these options.
9. JJ Cole Carseat Cover-- during winter, it is so much easier to use a carseat and stroller cover instead of bundling a kiddo up. You can literally just put them in their jammies with these built in blankets.
1. Baby Octagon playyard. So I actually wouldnt recommend this for sleeping BUT this is a godsend. We have Grace's friends over and just plop the kiddos in the octagon and it is spacious enough for them to play around together and be safe. Super easy for traveling. Has no soft bottom which is why I wouldnt recommend it for sleeping but is great to bring to the beach/playground or use in your living room.
2. Pack and Plays: Ask both sets of grandparents to keep on of these at their house. In my opinion, you dont need all the bells and whistles that some include (changing table features, etc) - it becomes over complicated. Just an easy to use pack and play will make a world of difference during family dinners, etc.
3. Sleep Sacks: Swaddling really does amazing things in helping comfort a baby. Miracle suits make it easy for Dads :) I would register for multiple sizes as you can swaddle until they roll over (usually 6 months or so)
4. Crib Sheet: Order 3 or 4. They get messy with spit up and other baby juices. Also be sure to get amattress cover for the crib, Id recommend registering for two.
5. White Noise Machine-- they make a WORLD of difference. Dont be scared of how loud they get!
6. Sleepy Sound Giraffe: we were recommend this guy and it is a miracle worker, Grace would calm down instantly.
7. Baby Swing: This is again something I'd recommend getting used as youll only use it for about six weeks. This is the one we had (I got rid of it not knowing Id be preggo so close once we moved haha) and recommend it - easy to put together. I would have grace sleep in it in the bathroom while I showered the first few weeks.
8. The Mamaroo is the nicest of the baby swing. Very pricey (and IMO unnecessary) but works like a charm!!
9. Monitor: As I mentioned, we dont like our monitor as it gets cellular interruptions too frequently
10. Humidifier -- most babies sleep better with one
1. We LOVE Pampers Swaddlers with the color indicator. Don't get a huge supply of newborn, most babies fit into size 1 within a week or three.
2. Munchkin Liners: This is my #1 product I tell all expecting parents to get. I would register for 3 sets of 3. While those travel changing pads are nifty, I dont even use them - I keep one of these liners in my bag, the car, the stroller, etc. So easy to clean and all you need when changing in restrooms.
3. Dekor Plus Diaper Pail-- What we love most about it is that you dont have to ever smell the diapers, it is difficult to explain but you are not pulling the bag out of the top, it is a never ending bag that you cut and knot off so you never have any mess. Not having to change the diaper pail bag makes a huge difference when you only have one hand bc youre holding a squirmy baby in the other. If you go that route, be sure to register for some refills also.
4. Aquaphor: great for diaper rash
5. You use a changing pad for the first 9 months-- be sure to get at least three covers.
6. Potty Chair- we havent gotten one yet but hear the Baby Bjorn Potty Chair is the best
1. Spoons (when starting solids): These munchkin spoons with color indicators are GREAT. Something I'd recommend having at grandparents houses too as it is fool proof to know if heated food is okay for baby.
2. Boppy: Truly makes breast feeding in the beginning so much easier. Grace also loved to nap on it (and so does kellydog now). I would also recommend getting 2 covers you like - babies do spit up during feeding in the beginning.
3. Bottle Brush: Id order 2-3. Any bottle brush works.
4. Medela Sanitizing Bags: No matter what type of bottles you use, this makes sanitizing so much easier (and also sanitizes breast pump parts). Also great for traveling or to clean after pumping at work since all you need is a microwave.
5. Keekaroo Highchair: This is one of my favorite products and I cannot express how much we love it. Have one at my moms house also. Comes in a variety of finishes and grows with the child from infancy to adulthood.
6. Bandana Bibs- I just think theyre cuter than the other kind-- you need bibs not just when eating but 24/7 when they are teething for all of the drool - may as well be cute! I'd register for about 12 bibs total
7. Pump: I loved my medela pump (insurance gave me) be sure to register for extra pump parts (makes it so much easier when youre not washing just to pump again)
9. Calma Nipple for medela bottle-- if you go medela, the calma nipple is tremendous the first few weeks your baby takes a bottle Id register for 3
10. Storage Bags: these make it SO easy to pump- changed my life once I discovered them. Easily frozen and stackable to save room in your freezer.
11. Baby Bjorn Plastic Bib: these are AMAZING at catching food once they start eating solids. Will protect everything else.
Clothing and Storage, Etc.
1. Baby Hangers: get the flocked ones. Its so cute to see the adorable outfits hanging!
2. Dividers let you separate clothes by size -- makes it a lot easier.
3. Kickee Pants Pajamas: My #1 favorite pajama brand- they are bamboo so super breathable for the kiddos and stretchy. On the pricier side but last through absolutely every thing -- daily washin/crawling/etc.
4. Drawer dividers are a must- babies things are so small - it is difficult to keep track of little socks, hats, etc.
1. We had a Puj, Infant tub with sling, but really found our favorite to be the Boon Naked Collapsible Tub.
3. Boogie Wipes: Sounds crazy and gross, but these are amazing. Babies have gunk all over them and its hard to wipe away, this makes it easy. Keep everywhere.
4. Nose Frida; I wont do it but Grant swear by it to clear Grace's stuffy nose.
1. Playmat-- i LOVE my tadpoles playmat -- im not into the bright colors of everything baby and thought these were nice in grey wood like. easy to wash and makes a room look nicer (and safer)
2. Baby Gym: great for tummy time, he will use this the first few months.
3. Vtech Walker: This has helped Grace develop exponentially. Truly. Couldnt recommend this toy enough from about 4 months on (she really uses is now at 9-10 months)
4. Activity Center/ Jumper - theyre ugly, bulky and take up a ton of space but good to drop the kid in while you do dishes/etc. Will keep them entertained. She used from about 4 months until 9 months.
6. Bath Books: interested from a young young age
7. Finger Puppets -- from about week 3, they have been a hit and kids grow into playing with them themselves