baby registry guide for the minimalist family
CONGRATS! I'm assuming if you're reading this, that means you have a bun in the oven... or at least planning for one (maybe you're super amazing and adopting or fostering... you're incredible!) Either way... baby on the way deserves congrats. Becoming a mother is the most amazing gift you can ever experience. You'll hear that a million times before the babe comes, and when (s)he does, you'll see what we all mean.
Anyways... registry. SO. OVERWHELMING. Right?! So many things! Well I'm here to hopefully make it really easy peasy for you. Here's the thing, you can have ONE registry, and add items from absolutely any shop! How, you ask?! AMAZON. One single registry, with items from literally anywhere. Pretty stinking amazing, and I know from experience how easy it is for everyone. Less hassle, less links and places to add on your shower invite, less places to worry about receiving double items from. It's great. Also, even though you can add from any store, whatever's left on your registry from Amazon 60 days prior to your due date will then be 10% off for you. We totally took advantage of this on the bigger items we didn't receive and it was a huge help!
Here we go! I'm going to make this really easy for you. I'll give you links to every type of item, with different price points. You choose, but I'm doing all the work for you ;) you can find our absolute favorite items here. Just click the photos or links, then add to your registry or cart! Super simple :)
*Baby shower tip: opt for children's books instead of cards, so that you can begin your little one's library early, and also reduce waste. Another tip is to have a diaper raffle, having everyone bring a pack of diapers (all different sizes) in addition to to their gift, and the host can pick a winner (or two or three) that receive a little gift. You'll be set on diapers for quite some time depending on the size of your shower! We have only had to buy two packs of diapers so far because of this... at six months! HUGE blessing.
Crib - whether you'll be co-sleeping or sleep training, you'll need a crib eventually either way, and giving someone the opportunity to bless you with one from your registry is the best! There are so many different and fun styles for every taste. Find what fits our style best and what you think will be timeless for your family.
Crib Mattress - there are a million and one different kind of mattresses, but truly, just go with your gut. Ikea has really cheap ones, too. They're not the most firm or organic, but they're affordable if you need something quick and light on your wallet. I linked a few really great ones above!
Carseat - carseat safety is SO IMPORTANT. Click here for some important safety information. Stay educated! You can keep your baby safe without entirely breaking your bank... but if that isn't an issue for you, then there are some really amazing options. I've linked some favorites above, that tend to be the most popular for style and safety in all price brackets. You can also choose to go for a convertible seat that'll last from infancy through childhood, which tend to be a bit pricier, but in the end would be a great investment. The only thing with choosing a convertible seat from the beginning is that you can't carry baby around in it, and would have to unbuckle babe entirely each time. So it's truly all just personal preference, and what you think will fit your lifestyle the best.
Similar to everything else, it's all personal preference and choosing the best bang for your buck that'll really suit your lifestyle and fit your needs. If you're planning on having more kids and you know it'll be sooner than later, then I recommend a stroller like the Uppababy Vista (linked above or here), because you can add a seat super easily, plus a third child can ride along on a step attachment but it's still easily maneuverable and great for small spaces. Or if you're a runner and exercise is a huge part of your life, a jogging stroller may be a perfect match for you. Or if you only need the stroller for out and about, then something simple like the Britax linked above may be perfect for you. There are SO many different kinds of strollers and brands, so just find what will work best for you.
Baby Carriers are SO IMPORTANT. Babywearing will give you freedom that naysayers will say you won't have when baby comes along. You can wear baby, and still be you, or take care of other littles, or vacuum and wash dishes. Not to mention the obvious - keeping baby close and snug while they rest and create an amazing bond with your sweet little babe. Wildbird and Solly are two of our absolute favorites. We have both and have used both slings and wraps from the very beginning, and still do today at almost seven months. Something like the Ergo 360 above is great because you can wear baby while hiking, or have them facing outward safely.
Bassinet or Co-Sleeper
Those newborn days = not a lot of sleep. When you're first learning baby and how to be parents and breastfeeding around the clock and cluster feeding and just that entire newborn phase means you want baby sleeping as close to you as possible, safely. Bassinets and co-sleepers are perfect because when baby is right next to you (but safely in their own little space so they don't fall off the bed or get smushed between pillows), it's so easy to just roll over and feed them without having to get up much in the middle of the night.
Depending on your work situation, or traveling... a travel crib/pack n play/play pin are just so so great to have. We have the Guava Lotus crib above and love it. It's so simple and light and not bulky. The side unzips so when they're crawling they can go in and out, or you can lay down with them... or whatever. It's fantastic. There are less expensive ones that do the job great and there are pricier ones that fold by themselves by the click of a button. Find what you think will work best for you :)
We were gifted the 4moms Rockaroo and LOOOOVED it. It's so small and compact, quiet, minimalistic and worked like a charm. There were some days/nights when that's all that would calm Nora in those early days. Don't know what we would've done without it. I linked a few different options at different price points above. Each one has been used and loved by my very own friends and loved ones.
Depending on the season in which your baby is born, you may or may not need a lot of tiny baby clothes. Nora was born in summer, so mostly lived in onesies and bloomers and socks. She was also born 9lb 8oz, and never even fit in a single piece of newborn clothes, so be prepared either way. Make sure you don't overload on newborn clothes, because babies grow so fast! Simple is better in the early days. Yellow poop stains, spit-up and breast milk (or formula) will be covering those little pieces all. the. time. Even still, I linked some of our absolute favorites above. Some of our favorite brands because of material, softness and company values. We've used these brands from beginning to now, so I assure you they're amazing.
Health + Hygiene
Decide if you want disposable or cloth diapers, but I totally recommend trying both if you're unsure. We wanted to do cloth, but ended up never receiving any, and couldn't afford to purchase them all upfront. We were gifted a TON of disposables, so it's worked out. But I know SO many people who LOVE cloth diapering, and it's our plan for the next babe, for sure. Anyways, Seventh Generation is by far our favorite for all the items linked above. For diapers - we tried pampers, huggies, and up&up and other organic brands but seriously there was no comparison in our book. We had the Puj sink tub and loved it. The nose frida (though a seemingly gross concept) has been a total life saver when Nora's had stuffy nose (even though she hated it). It seriously works a million times better than those bulb sucker things. Mommy's Bliss Gripe Water was another life saver, and we still use it now. For fussiness and gas... seriously this stuff is a miracle worker. And the cool mist humidifier is also a total staple for us now. It helps keep their little heads and noses from getting dried out and stuffy. When she's been sick with a cold, this helped a TON. And we use the thermometer above. It works super quick, and it really easy to use.
Having a station for changing diapers helped us from allowing dirty diapers and things ending up all over our home. Keeping it all centrally located works really well for us. You can get a changing pad and a really cute cover from Amazon or Etsy and totally make it a cute accent piece in the nursery. Or you can get the Keekaroo Peanut Changer (what we have) which is pricier, but you don't have to worry about washing it. I'm a total diaper pail believer and we love the one linked above. It truly keeps the smell in, which is so important to us. We have their wipes holder too, and think it's great. We actually didn't think we'd need one, and didn't have it on our registry. It's not a warmer, but it holds your wipes, and has a weight to hold them down while your grabbing one... if you've ever been in the middle of a massive blowout and had to try pulling wipes out and end up shaking around the package and then baby is now peeing... literally, total believer in this thing haha. And a table so baby is at your height and you aren't breaking your back bending awkwardly to change them. You can have it matching your dresser or crib!
Let me just say - breastfeeding is HARDDDDD. Sadly we had to stop sooner than I had hoped, but we did great. Maybe I'll get to nurse a bit longer with my next, each baby and breastfeeding journey is SO different. I'm not gonna go into too much detail, but I strongly recommend being prepared with all the products linked above. The one's I've linked were my absolute favorite brands, and I'd tried several different ones of each product. If you have any further questions about nursing essentials, feel free to shoot me a message :) Oat Mama bars were by far my favorite lactation treat, and I think they did help with supply. I made my own as well, just by searching "lactation cookies or bites" recipes on Pinterests. Plus oatmeal. Lots of oatmeal. And water. Sooo much water.
Along with the crib, bassinet/cosleeper and swing... there are a few other details that help with a good night's sleep. Swaddles, breathable swaddle blankets and crib sheets. The Ollie Swaddle was no competition with any of the others. She'd still be using it now if she hadn't weaned herself from it early. You can literally use this incredible swaddle until they're a year old. It's amazing and for months it was the only thing that got her to really fall asleep, and stay asleep. CLICK HERE FOR 10% OFF! :) I'll be sharing our experience with The Ollie Swaddle soon!
White noise machine is I think a number one necessity. Specifically a fan white noise machine, because it doesn't sound like a machine or fake water. It's more of a washed out soft sound that just helps tone out other noise. Lots of crib sheets because poop and spit up and pee. Laundry for days, people! A video monitor for when the babe starts sleeping on their own, for your own peace of mind.
Toys! We always said we wouldn't let baby things take over our home, and they haven't. We have the necessities (literally just the things linked above), and it's been so great! Nora doesn't know any different and we love that she doesn't need a ton of things to keep her happy and learning and growing. Babies don't need a ton of stuff, and the one's above have been our favorites. In the early stages, high contrast toys that are black and white and red are best for development. As they get a little holder, more colorful and textured things are great. And an arch or "play gym" are great so they can play on their back and begin reaching for toys and rattles, and then when they start putting things in their mouth, silicone or rubber teether toys are amazing. I'll be posting on our favorite teething products soon :)
Bottles are great to have on hand even if you're planning on breastfeeding only. I had a rough experience and ended up being away from Nora for 12 hours only a few hours after she was born. She nursed like a champ minutes after she was born, and a couple times before I had to leave, but we had an unexpected hospital admission and my mom stayed home with her while I was at the hospital, and thankfully we had bottles on hand (plus donor milk). But we also had a can of formula "just in case" and seriously... thank God we did! Hopefully this isn't your experience, but it's always better to be prepared. We've used the Comotomo bottles since day one and we've all loved them. The other things listed are obviously for later on, but it's fun to add to your registry and have so when the time comes, you've got it! :)
Diaper Bag - find a diaper bag that fits your needs. If you're super outdoorsy, or if you're total girly girl... find what will work best for your lifestyle. Our favorite, by far is Fawn Design, browse their site and see for yourself. I also wrote a bit on what we keep in our bag here.
Pacifiers - we went through like four different kinds before we finally landed on one that actually plugged Nora up and made her happy. Thankfully we had a couple of each kind, so we could test the waters with each when she wouldn't take to certain ones.
Burp cloths - we used organic cloth diapers because they're cheaper than actual "burp cloths" but do the job wonderfully. Plus they're typically a larger surface space, so more material to actually catch spit up and clean up messes.
Nursing bras, tanks and leggings - so helpful when you're first learning how to nurse. Especially in public. At home, I was mostly topless for the first two months because it was summer and nursing on demand... it was just easier to figure it all out topless. But leakage happens, so nursing bras and tanks are great, plus so much easier when nursing around other people. Less fussing with trying to make yourself accessible while being modest. I also LOVE these leggings. They have both maternity and nursing, which are amazing because you can nurse easily without exposing your tum. So wonderful!
Moses basket - we used this a lot. It's so easy to move baby around from room to room safely and simply with this.
Multi-use nursing cover - we love our Covered Goods cover and use it all the time. It's so easy for breastfeeding in public if you don't want to be exposed, and also covers the carseat and works as a cart cover when baby is a bit older. We've gotten SO much use out of ours, and will obviously continue using it a bunch. Definitely a staple.
Pacifier clips - we have a bunch of small shop faves, so if you want to see our specific favorites, feel free to browse my Instagram and tap photos for brand details. Otherwise the ones linked above are so great, and we have a couple from that brand as well!
Now I'm feeling incredibly nostalgic for this newborn time, so here are a few favorite photos I was able to snap when Nora was two days old. She was born July 20th, 2016, so it was hot! She didn't wear much during those days, except being wrapped in light muslin blankets and snuggled with mama and dada. It truly is the most precious time, and it goes way too fast... even when sleep deprived ;)
My robe was from Pink Blush. You can find it here :) it was perfect for nursing/postpartum.
SO many things! But hopefully this is helpful for you. We're fairly minimalist, and are all about less is more. We didn't want all the extras like bottle warmers and wipe warmers and bouncers. We knew we'd have Nora in a very small space, and we literally wouldn't have room for too many things in our one bedroom apartment, and we've done amazing with keeping it all simple, keeping our home from being "too baby", and Nora still happy with her needs met. Also, Amazon Prime has been our BFF. Because sometimes you need things that you don't think of beforehand. And so Prime is amazing haha.
Keep an eye out for a postpartum checklist coming soon!
My mama was sweet enough to grab my camera and capture these precious family photos. I'm so grateful we did, even when I was supposed to be on bedrest. These pictures will forever be so cherished ❤️