what you need for baby: juliet's registry guide
Now that Avvie is four-and-a-half months, we are well past the baby registry phase, but I thought it would be helpful to compile all of our favorite/necessary baby items into one post.
You will, of course, make seven trips to Buy Buy Baby within the first week you bring your newborn home, but I hope this list gives you a good foundation. Everything here was useful to us within the first three (EDIT 4/12/17: SIX) months, which I think is a reasonable amount of time to include on your registry. What I mean by that is that you CAN register for things like walking shoes, but you won't really need them until later.
I'm sure there are things I've missed; leave 'em in the comments!
For more information on my favorite brands, check out this post here.
5-7 nightgowns. Essential for middle-of-the-night changings; you just pull up over their legs!
5-7 footies. While I love styling my baby, sometimes a four-piece outfit is not in the cards. Footies are a one-stop shop. And since Avvie rolled from tummy to back, this is what she wears to bed now (instead of a nightgown and a swaddle). Opt for zippers instead of snaps whenever possible.
10-12 plain onesies, both long- and short-sleeved in newborn and 0-3 month sizes. Especially when it's cold out, these are essential for layering.
2-3 sweaters or hoodies.
4-5 pairs of baby leggings/sweatpants/footie pants. Personally, I dislike the footie pants because they're a pain to put on, but they do negate the need for socks, which is nice.
3-4 side-snap shirts in long- and short-sleeves. Before your baby's umbilical cord falls off, these are very handy since you don't have to pull over his or her head.
3-4 caps or hats. Most nightgowns and some footies will come with them.
7-8 pairs of socks.
2-3 swaddles. The SwaddleMe version was our favorite because of the velcro.
1-2 sleep sacks. If you end up with a baby who rolls over (back to belly) early, you'll have to swap out swaddles for sleep sacks for safety reasons. Of course, if it's summertime, you can forgo it all together.
For more on sleep essentials, click here.
Crib. We didn't buy a bassinet, but it's an option if your baby doesn't like to sleep in such a large space as a full-size crib. Some strollers will come with bassinets, also.
Changing table. We ended up getting this changing table wall from RH Baby so it can transition to a regular piece of furniture when she's older.
Glider and ottoman. If I could do it over, I might not even buy a glider and just get a regular comfy armchair. Especially immediately post-birth, getting out of a moving chair is kind of (literally) a pain in the ass. But definitely get an ottoman; being able to put your feet up is key.
Keekaroo. This company will put all other changing table pads out of business. It's rubber, so there's no need to buy a cover and it wipes clean. Genius.
Monitor. We opted for a more traditional monitor instead of the Nest drop cam because I wanted it to run even if our wifi cut out. We have the Motorola, which, so far, has been great. UPDATE 4/20/17: I really like the Samsung BabyVIEW as well.
3-4 sets of sheets. My favorites here.
1-2 sheet savers. Once your baby becomes more mobile though, these have to be removed from the crib for safety reasons.
Rock 'n Play. I'm sure all your friends with babies have one. Life saver. And now they make one with Bluetooth, which I wish I'd known!
Baby Bjorn Bouncer. *ADDED 08/2016. Yes, there is a bit of overlap with this and the RnP, but now that Avvie is bigger, the Bjorn Bouncer is great for keeping her in one place. Plus, it's so light I can carry it from room to room.
Baby Jumperoo: *ADDED 12/2016. I WISH we'd bought one of these earlier, because now when we use one at friends' houses, Avvie is ecstatic. I compromised and bought this Oribel one, since it can turn into a table for when she's older.
Crib mobile. This one we DID get with bluetooth and it's been a game-changer. We're able to spin the mobile or play music without going back into her room.
Boppy lounger pillow. A great place to park a newborn.
Sleep Sheep. Great for lulling baby to sleep and portable enough to travel with.
3-4 stroller blankets. Obviously you can use these in the stroller, but they're also great for laying on the floor during playtime.
Cloth diapers. No, we aren't that crunchy. But they are incredibly absorbent so they make excellent burp cloths!
breastfeeding and pumping
For more on my breastfeeding journey, click here.
Breast pump. I recommend the Medela brand; I use the Symphony at home and the Freestyle while traveling.
Extra parts for your pump, including valves, membranes, flanges and collection bottles.
Bottle wipes for cleaning your pump on the go.
4-6 bottles. We are big fans of the Dr. Brown's. Get preemie and size 1 nipples to see which your baby likes better.
Bibs. Get the kind with the milk collar; it will save you from all the dribbles into their neck folds.
2-3 nursing bras.
3-4 nursing tank tops with a shelf bra. The Gap ones were my favorite, but they appear to be out of stock.
You can also stock up on nipple pads and various other contraptions to collect leaking milk, but I found I didn't end up leaking really at all after the first few days. That's definitely not the case for everyone.
diapering and health care
Read more on my diaper essentials here.
Diapers. There's a reason why everyone uses Pampers Swaddlers. I've tried Huggies (horrible leaking) and Honest Company (love the prints, run a little small), but nothing compares to Pampers.
Diaper cream. Once you use Aquaphor, you will never look back. We use this as her every day cream, but slather it on more if she has diaper rash. And it's great on adult dry skin too!
Diaper wipes. We like the Seventh Generation brand.
Vitamin D drops. Your pediatrician will probably recommend you administer these if you're exclusively breastfeeding. Carlson brand is great because it's just one drop and there's no artificial flavoring or added sugar.
Saline drops. Newborns are often very congested and these helped to clear out her sinuses when she was very stuffy. They basically for the baby to sneeze.
Baby nail file. I have tried nail scissors, clippers and files on Avvie's nails. I still haven't perfected my technique, but at least with files, I'm not worried about chopping off her fingers. I like this Tweezerman set a lot.
Baby-safe laundry detergent. We use the Honest brand and have been pretty happy with it.
Thermometer. No need to buy a super fancy one.
Also keep a supply of Q-tips, cotton balls and cotton pads for cleaning around the ears and eyes.
Bath cup. I mean sure, use a regular cup, but this is one cuter.
Bath mat for your knees. Self-explanatory.
Baby shampoo and body wash. There are millions out there to choose from, I like Burt's Bees.
Baby lotion for face and body. Again, go with what you know or like. We're currently using an Aveeno.
3-4 wash cloths. Our baby nurse swears by the Spasilk ones.
2-3 hooded towels. I love the RH Baby ones; they're very plush.
Playmat. This was the first "toy" that Avvie was able to interact with. From a pretty early age, we've been able to plop her on it and she'll amuse herself with the mobile on top or any of the hanging animals on it. It's definitely useful for when you want to hop in the shower/cook dinner/do anything where you can't be holding a baby.
Noggin Stik. It lights up, it has a mirror and it rattles: what more could you want? Plus, it's small enough that even young babies can grasp it.
Plastic links. Avvie LOVES these. We stick some on her playmat, always bring some with us in the stroller, I keep more in the diaper bag. I even give her some around nap time so she can play by herself until she falls asleep. Sometimes that works better than other times...
The Whoozit. This is another toy that babies can appreciate when they're still under three months. The black and white side is especially entertaining to them and it's plush, so you don't have to worry about them hitting themselves in the face with it.
Crib mirror. Avvie loves to look at herself (wonder where she gets that from?) and it's also handy for when you're leaving the room and you don't want your baby to see you. Just position it so it blocks their sightline.
Books! Too many favorites to give recommendations, but we read her a mixture of board books, ones with tactile elements (like furry or scratchy bits), and big-kid books with a real story line.
ADDED 4/11/17: Sure, this feels like an eternity away when you've got a newborn on your boob 8 times a day, but it comes up fast.
High chair. We opted for a clamp-on version from Inglesina. I love that it doesn't take up as much space and Avvie gets to eat at the table with us.
Bibs with pockets. I love the ones from OXO.
Read my post on traveling with an infant here.
Stroller. We have been very happy with our Bugaboo Bee because of how nimble it is. Most of your friends will either have some model of Bugaboo or Uppababy; to be honest, we went with the former because it came in pink. I think the biggest advantage of the Uppababys is how big the storage compartment is underneath, but I like the design of Bugaboos better. UPDATE 4/11/17: I also really like the Cybex strollers, especially the Priam.
Stroller muff. We had the Bugaboo version, but the 7 A.M. Enfant is much warmer and actually covers her face.
Stroller gloves. I wish I could wear these all the time.
Travel stroller. As much as traveling with the Bee is painless, it is still a two-part stroller (seat and base) and not as light as a travel-specific stroller. We use both the Babyzen Yoyo and the GB Pockit. The latter has zero bells and whistles (no recline, tiny basket, barely any sunshade), but it does fold up so small you can fit it underneath an airplane seat.
Carseat. We went with the Cybex Aton because it's lightweight and gets great safety ratings. Make sure you get a newborn insert, too. UPDATE 04/11/17: I would probably now buy the Nuna Pipa if I could do it all over again. It's lighter, has a better sunshield, and just as safe.
Carseat canopy. Much easier (and safer) than knotting a swaddle over it!
4-6 swaddles. Speaking of these, they're great for stashing under your stroller or in your diaper bag for just about anything: cleaning up spit up, a lightweight blanket, or covering a dirty public changing table.
Baby carrier. We have been really happy with our Baby Bjorn; it's breathable and easy to put on. We also each have a Baby K'Tan in our respective size, but I've really only ever worn that around the house. It came in VERY handy during newborn witching hour, though.
Phew, I think that about covers it. I'm sure I'll be making tons of edits to this as I remember things. Pregnancy brain doesn't go away once you give birth, by the way. Ha.