This weekend, I had one of my beautifully pregnant patients ask about the essentials from my registry. I’m not one to push my Momma opinions on others, but I did a lot of research on the least toxic, organic brands to use and I wanted to share for all you Momma-to-bes.
I did my registry exclusively through Amazon. It was easy and free returns, exchanges, I could add items from other websites with their Amazon Wish List browser add-on. I also could subscribe-and-save items that needed to be replenished, like wipes, diapers, creams, etc.
I’ve heard good things about money-back from Babies R Us, but they didn’t have all the products I needed, so maybe do both if you take that route.
To Wrap or not to Wrap?
First, I bought the Baby K-Tan because of convenience. It is pre-wrapped and easy to put on, but was too tight for my little girl. I thought I would never use a wrap that I had to tie myself, but once I got the hang of it, I use it all the time! I love the Boba wrap. It’s stretchy, and when tied correctly nice and snug. My girl is out like a light and it makes it easy to bring her to social events without crying. There are multiple different ties, making it versatile for multiple ages. It also holds her neck really well, which was a concern of mine.
What’s on my Changing Table
Changing Pad & Cover: Naturepedic is 100% organic, and money well-spent. You can get the 2-sided or 4-sided depending on your table. If you are placing it directly on a bureau or other area that doesn’t have siding, I would get the 4-sided. Buy at least 2 covers, you will use them! They are easy to wash and a great quality.
Diaper Caddy: Trend Lab is great! It fits Diapers comfortably, a wipes dispenser and all my creams. I keep it on my changing table, but it has handles and easily goes to the living room and bedroom without forgetting any essentials!
Creams: Boudreaux’s Butt Paste for diaper rash, Emily Cream for every day use and preventing diaper rash. I carry this in office at a better price than on Amazon. Burt’s Bees Lotion and Oil for after bath or for dry skin (You can get a set here).
Wipes: We tried several different types, Seventh Generation was too rough my my little girl’s bottom and caused her to get diaper rash. We love Water Wipes, a little more expensive and sometimes stick together, but soft and gentle on baby’s bottom. Or make your own wipes kit. We use the Ubbi wipes dispenser, which is BPA free. You may want to get a wipes warmer if you have your little one in the winter (I wish I had one at the end of March, even!)
Diapers: We are currently working on transitioning to cloth diapers, I will write a separate post with my recommendations when I have them! As far as disposable, I really like Earth’s Best. They are chlorine-free, fit great, and have held A LOT of explosive poops. Seventh Generation come in some fun colors, run a little bit bigger and were great when she was in-between a newborn and size 1. Not a huge fan of the Honest Company quality, I had several diapers just unlatch and a huge mess to clean up. Babyganics have a wetness indicator that is helpful, but I found it didn’t always work unless there was a lot in the diaper, which you can usually tell by feel anyway.
It’s always nice to have some hand sanitizer, I love Babyganics Alcohol-Free Fragrance free. I keep a small one in my diaper bag and larger ones all over the house!
What’s in my Diaper Bag
From above: I usually buy a second Emily Cream, lotion, and of course Diapers!
Wipes Dispenser: Skip Hop On-the-go is amazing! Stores about 25 wipes.
Burp Cloths & Swaddles: Aden and Anais makes a high quality burp cloth, swaddle and bib. They are more expensive, but wash well and last long! I keep on hand A LOT of these, we go through them like crazy. I’d say 12 burp cloths and 6-8 swaddles. I use the swaddles for a lot of things other than swaddling.
Nursing Cover by BeBe Au Lait: Got this from my best friend and love it! It’s light weight and easy to use.
General Cover: This cover is amazing to throw over the carseat when it’s raining or too sunny. You can also use it as a cart cover, feeding cover or a make-shift blanket. Every mom should have one!
Although my little one doesn’t really use pacifiers, I keep one in my bag for emergency situations when she’s with other family members.
What’s in my Bathroom?
Shampoo and Body Wash: Burt’s Bees is still my go-to, it’s tear free and smells delicious.
Tub: Angelcare Bath Support fits into your regular bath tub and dries quickly. It’s soft on baby’s skin and props them up for easy access.
Toilet Training chair although this isn’t essential until much later, I put it on my registry to widen the options for people.
What’s in my Living Room?
Skip-Hop makes a lot of different activity gyms. They have crinkly areas, mirrors, chimes and fun little animals that are removable. My daughter will lie there and coo at them, it’s adorable! It’s also a great space for tummy time once your little one is ready.
Swing: We were going to by a Nuna (pricey!), but I ended up with a nice little travel swing that is much less expensive. It’s great because it folds up to go to Nana’s house and is super easy to take apart to wash.
What’s in my Kitchen?
Bottles: We tried glass, but I Love my Silicone Comotomos! They are pricey, but well worth it. You will probably also need some Slow Flow nipples, as the bottles come with stage 2 flow. These mimic the breast and were great for when I went back to work. Having 4-6 bottles has been plenty to have on-hand while breastfeeding.
I use the Born Free Bottle warmer and Sanitizer. It fits the wider Comotomo bottles and both are a great quality and easy to use. Some moms have told me they are a waste of money, but I use mine a lot.
You will definitely need/use the Boon drying rack and bottle brush. They make all sorts of different sizes, so check your counter size before ordering. They make a travel version that I got for my in-laws.
What I use for Pumping & Feeding:
I love my Medela pump! Make sure you order extra bottles and membranes. I have two sets of everything. I got a great suggestion from my BFF to get a pumping bra and car adaptor as well. Make sure to check with your insurance company, mine covered most of the cost of my pump.
Love my Boppy and My Brest Friend Pillows. I keep one in my bedroom and one in my living room so I don’t have to go searching for them! I also keep an extra cover for both so I always have it available when one is in the wash!
What’s in my Laundry room?
Here are some things I would recommend having in your laundry area, especially if baby has sensitive skin:
Detergent: Charlie’s Soap with change your life.
Wool Dryer Balls (Dryer sheets are toxic!)
Essential oil to put on the dryer balls (I don’t do this with baby stuff, but I do with my own laundry).
Collapsible Clothes Drying Rack if you don’t already have one! If you have the space outside, it’s nice to have a clothing line set-up to save time and energy on drying (You will do more laundry than you ever dreamed of!)
Dyson Handheld vacuum for the little messes!
What’s good for baby sleep?
I recommend reading James McKenna’s book Sleeping with Your Baby, it has a lot of information on co-sleeping and bed sharing. You have to do what’s best and safest for your baby, but make sure you educate yourself before making any decisions.
That being said, here are some options for safe sleeping:
Bed Rail if you plan on ever having your baby in bed with you, or lower your mattress to floor level.
Halo Bassinet: Unless you’re really planning on using a side-sleeper as your method, I wouldn’t buy this item. Every baby is different, so they may not even like using a side-sleeper. There are co-sleepers that go in the bed, but would only really fit comfortably on a king-size mattress.
We got our crib from my parents (it was my crib), but I read this article if you want some tips for looking.
Crib Mattress, cover & sheets: Just like my changing pad, I love Naturepedic. Their prices really aren’t super expensive in comparison to the other synthetic brands. Burts Bees makes a great organic sheet as well.
Baby sleep sack made with Merino wool is great for year-round sleeping! I love Woolino, I use thier sleep sack and also baby blanket.
Carseat: Chico KeyFit 30 is super easy to use once installed, we bought an additional base for my husbands car so we didn’t have to interchange. According to my research, this is one of the lower toxic infant carseats available.
Stroller: We were convinced we didn’t need a jogger, but as we traveled the sidewalks, our Chico did not hold up and made the ride very bumpy. We upgraded to the Bob, which you can easily find used on eBay or Facebook Marketplace. We ended up getting ours off craigslist, it was a floor model and completely new! When they’re small, get an adaptor to fit your Chico carseat.
Pack & Play: Love the Lotus travel bed and pack and play, super lightweight and easy to use.
Infant Airplane Seat for those who are brave enough to travel with an infant!
Sunscreen and bugspray from Babyganics are great and were approved by my pediatrician.
So what do they wear, really?
My baby girl has LIVED in pajamas for the first few months. I found that long-sleeved body suits were a waste of time, i might as well throw her in pajama onsies than deal with socks and pants. Get a few short sleeved onesies. Burt’s bees makes the best zipper sleepers. Check out their website here. Sign-up on their email list, they are always doing 30-40% off sales, which I wait for and then order the next size of.
Things I put on my registry, but haven’t used yet:
These are things that I had on my registry that I haven’t gotten the chance to use yet. I will keep you all posted on my recommendations as they come!
General Registry Guidelines
- Make sure you register for enough things! I had around 200 items on my registry ranging from $10-$400.
- Don’t be afraid to put the big things on- people often like to get group gifts and all pitch in on one big item they know you will really use.
- If you register with Amazon, most things are returnable for credit, even if you change your mind you can always return, so don’t be afraid to add things to your list.
- Think about what YOU are going to use! I got a lot of advice from other mommas that was helpful, but I wished I followed my own gut. If you think you will use it, get it!
- Use coupons! Sign-up for Babies R Us rewards program, they will send you $10 coupons. Buy Buy Baby sends me coupons in the mail, great for the big items. I signed up for an Amazon rewards credit card to get cash back on purchases. I also downloaded the Honey app, which auto populates coupon codes in your cart on any website.
- For those items that you receive that aren’t on your registry and don’t have a gift receipt, there are scanner apps from the app store that will tell you where they came from. Carters accepts back a lot of their own clothes and Kohls is a great second stop. If there are additional items you can’t figure out, you can always donate and write the estimated value off your taxes. Make sure you get a receipt.
For me it was quality and essentials over quantity. I know I’m bound to accumulate items over time as my little one gets older, but so far I have kept her things very organized. I got big plastic bins to store baby clothes that wouldn’t fit her yet. I also stored some blankets people made for later.
Good Luck Mamas! I hope this was helpful, let me know if you have any questions.