Once upon a time, I said that I planned to do a post on the items we had on our baby registry. I never got around to it, which is probably better, because what we registered for is not necessarily what we ended finding most useful. So now, fourteen months in, I’m finally sharing our baby stuff, with plenty of commentary. I couldn’t wait too much longer, because there are constantly new products becoming available, and who knows if this will all be outdated soon. Feel free to contact me with any questions or more in-depth information on our experience with any of these.
You’ll notice a theme for a preference for limited chemicals. We have been intentional about this when it made sense, but not religious about it. A few resources I used when determining what to get:
- The Gentle Nursery: Non-Toxic Baby Furniture
- Fed & Fit: My Baby Registry
- Mama Natural (I think this has changed since we used it, but still has links to eco-friendly and safe items)
Also – just a plug here to recommend getting stuff used as much as possible. I know, I know. I was that mom. I just wanted the best and the newest for my little kiddo. But now I’ve spent fourteen months trying to figure out what to do with perfectly good stuff. There’s a constant inflow, and in our house where we try to not hoard much stuff, a constant outflow. But what to do with all of it? It’s agonizing knowing that something is in great condition, a ton of resources were put into manufacturing it and distributing it, and it may not ever get used again. I’ll comment below on what I’ve done with some stuff, and where we’ve chosen to get stuff used.
- Crib: Ikea Sniglar – Chose this for the real, natural wood and lack of paint and chemicals
- Dresser: Ikea Hemnes three drawer, white stain – Low cost, fit in the small space
- Bookshelf: White Ikea Kallax shelf unit with Ikea Branas Baskets for the bottom two shelves
- Monitor: Philips AVENT SCD630/37 Video Monitor with FHSS – nothing too fancy (ie, no wifi or remote video watching), but has a video screen and sound. I think it was recommended on some list of high value (ie, lower cost, but decent quality) monitors.
- White noise machine: I’ve used white noise since I was 13. This was a definite. We registered for the Dohm, which is what we used in our bedroom when Gabriel slept there (even though we’d used a fan before he was born, and a fan was what I’d always used). I liked having a machine instead of a fan so much that once Gabriel moved to his own room, we kept the Dohm in ours and I got a Hatch Rest for Gabriel. I went with the Rest instead of getting another Dohm because it could also double as a light (for bedtime and overnight feedings) and a green light to rise (or whatever those things are called). The light is unfortunately not bright enough for bedtime book reading, so I still have to keep the hall light on for that, but otherwise I’ve liked it. And a word about the Dohm, which may be true of any white noise machine, or maybe this is a word about new mothers: when we first moved Gabriel into his room and were using the Dohm in our room… I swear, it had this subtle pitch that sounded like baby crying. I honestly couldn’t tell sometimes if I was hearing the Dohm or baby crying. I don’t hear it now. I don’t even know what I could possibly have been hearing. But the monitor frequently confirmed there was NO crying baby, and yet I still heard crying baby, unless I turned the damn thing off. WTF.
- Glider and Ottoman: Used Dutalier glider and ottoman – A dutalier glider came very highly recommended from a friend whose opinion I trust. I hadn’t yet put thought into what sort of chair I would want, so I avoided doing so and just went with her recommendation. I found one used for $100 on Facebook marketplace and drove pretty far out of my way to go pick it up. It’s not much to look at, but it certainly did the trick during all those late night nursing sessions. Now that we’re finished with nursing, though, I’d like to change to something more attractive at some point. Hopefully I can resell this used, because it’s still got life!
- Small fridge: Any kind would probably do, if at all. Two sets of friends/parents recommended we have a fridge in the closet of our nursery. We even made sure our house builders for our new house put an outlet in the closet so we could do so. In the end… we hardly used it. We just didn’t have to store milk up there very often, if at all. We didn’t do bottles overnight – I always breastfed. When I pumped during my telework days, I would occasionally stash milk in there for a few hours, but I often wanted to freeze it, so I would bring it downstairs soon after anyway. We probably use it a bit more now because we are giving Gabriel a sippy cup with milk at bedtime, which he drinks very little of, so we store it in his fridge over night and offer it to him again in the morning. But we’ll probably stop doing that soon too. We bought this used and will probably keep it for now.
- Crib – see above
- Bassinet: Guava Lotus bassinet conversion – This is what Gabriel slept in in our room next to my side of the bed for his first 3.5 months. We’ve passed this on to other friends with a younger son, although they also have a Halo Bassinet, so maybe only use this to travel.
- Bassinet sheets: Two Lotus Bassinet Organic Cotton Fitted Sheets and one totally adorable other one off Amazon with mountains and foxes that we liked so much we got the same one for our crib… but can’t find it anymore. We probably only needed two sheets total. There may have been once that we (and by we, I mean Gabriel) dirtied two in quick succession requiring a third before laundry was done, but I don’t remember for sure.
- Mattress: Naturepedic No Compromise Organic Cotton Classic Crib Mattress – no harmful chemicals including chemical flame retardants. And it is waterproof. Interesting. See mattress pad info below. What is the point of it? I don’t know.
- Mattress pad: Pure-rest wool moisture protection mattress pad, portacrib size – Hm, doesn’t look like the portacrib size is sold anymore, and Green Mountain Diapers says the company Pure-Rest closed their business! Too bad. But anyway, wool is naturally moisture resistant, while also being breathable. Ours doesn’t fit the whole size of our mattress, but does cover most of the surface area that Gabriel sleeps on. Doubled up, it fit in our bassinet. We’ve never brought this in our travel crib, but it would fit there if we did. Maybe we’ll need to do that when we start potty training, although the travel crib has a waterproof mattress cover, I think. Hm. Not really sure what the point of this is, actually. But it’s been on his mattress since he was born all the same.
- Crib Sheets – Two Kaydee Baby 100% Organic Jersey Knit Fitted Baby Crib Sheets (fox and bear prints) off Amazon and the one referenced above in bassinet sheets. Again, three is probably too many.
- Sleeping clothes and other items:
- SwaddleMe swaddles – we got a bunch of these handed down to us, and they were great. I wouldn’t have thought to register for them, but they were pretty indispensable. I never could effectively swaddle in those big cloth rectangle swaddles (Dan could), but I could get these pretty tight. Until he started breaking out of them around two months or something, and we quit the swaddle (which I feared, but was fairly painless). I’ve since passed these on to another mother in the neighborhood, I think (I think for free, or maybe I sold an entire bag of newborn stuff for some amount of money. Those were the early days. Now I just post bags full of stuff for free – my main concern is it getting used again, not the money. Said the privileged mother.)
- Aden and Anais muslin swaddles, pack of 3 – As I said, I couldn’t effectively swaddle with these, but these were still nice to have to cover the stroller when Gabriel was sleeping and wrap him in in the stroller bassinet. Once Gabriel reached almost a year old, I started putting one in his crib and covering him with it at night. It has now become his blanket, it seems. This is a recent development. He hadn’t shown attachment to any particular thing til recently, but I think this is it!
- Sleep sacks – we transitioned from swaddles to sleep sacks pretty quickly. We started with the Swaddle Up 50/50 Transition Bag, which allows the arms to be constrained in like a swaddle or zipped off… but we just kept them zipped off after, like, a day. We also had a couple Halo sleep sack swaddles that we used through the transition, and two Halo sleep sack wearable blankets (one heavier for winter). Before summer fully arrived, we also got a Burts Bees one in a larger size to provide warmth, but now Gabriel sleeps in just shorts/t-shirt two-piece pajamas in his room that is 78-79 degrees overnight. I have sold or given away all of these (except for the Burts Bees, which I think will still be useful in the Fall) to other new mothers, either via Facebook or just directly.
- Cloth wrap: Solly baby wrap – This may be the thing I think was most valuable. I used this for the first time when Gabriel was only days old, and I used it probably every day until he was about three months. It was a) the only way I could get stuff done around the house (and I don’t mean housework… I mean feeding myself, and yes, going to the bathroom); and b) an almost fail-proof way to calm down a fussy Gabriel. I think it didn’t work only once. This came everywhere with us, and I freaked out if we didn’t have it, because if Gabriel freaked out and we didn’t have it, what would I do? (Side note – I think back now on all the freaking out I did about the potential for my baby to freak out, and I wonder what all the freaking out was for?! I mean, babies cry. People know that. So what? Was it that crying usually meant hungry and I didn’t want to be put in a position where I unexpectedly had to breastfeed? Was it that I was worried he would start crying and people would think I was a terrible mother? I really don’t know what it was. It seems irrational now.) (More relevant side note – I think any wrap would probably have sufficed. Nothing specific about the Solly, except I want to support the mom-owned company!). I gave this to the same friend who we gave the Guava Lotus bassinet converter to.
- Structured carrier: Ergobaby 360 ‘with cool air mesh’ – I think I perseverated over this decision quite a bit and don’t recall how we landed here. We like it! My friend let us borrow the infant insert.
- Regular stroller: Uppababy Vista – This is probably the decision I spent the most time, energy, worry, etc. on. And I went back and forth a lot. I mostly was between the Uppababy Vista and the Nuna Mixx, but also the Vista vs Cruz. I finally landed on Uppababy for a couple reasons: 1) Nuna was in the middle of changing their product and no longer had a bassinet option for the Mixx. I wanted the flat bassinet. I thought it was important for baby to lay actually flat. 2) The Uppababy infant carseat (Mesa) could be purchased in a material (Henry) that does not use chemical flame retardants. Nuna also had an infant carseat at the time that was made without chemical flame retardants, but only the Pipa Lite – which was super light (awesome!), but could not be seat belted into cars. The base was required for installation. The slightly less light (but still lighter than the Mesa) Pipa could be seat belted in, but was not naturally flame retardant. So I went with Uppababy system. As for Cruz vs Vista… I don’t know that we made the best decision here. I don’t think it matters much. We’re not having another kid (the Vista has the option to become a double stroller, the Cruz does not), and the Vista has been great on any terrain we’ve taken it on… but the Cruz would ahve been a little lighter and smaller. But the Vista hasn’t been a problem. Anyway, we love it.
- Jogging stroller: 2015 Bob revolution – purchased used on Facebook marketplace. We didn’t get this til Gabriel was around 9 months. A couple months before that, my parents brought us an Expedition jogging stroller they’d found for free on the side of the road. It was not in the best shape, but it was useful for determining whether I’d actually be interested in a jogging stroller. Turns out the answer was yes, so we decided to invest in one in better condition.
- Travel stroller: GB Pockit. Lightweight and folds up small! Which is awesome. However, ours malfunctioned after being used only a handful of times (the handle up/down mechanism stopped catching). I called the company, and after a bit of a runaround, they sent us a new one and had us send the defective one back. Hooray!
- Hiking carrier: Deuter Kid Comfort. We just bought this! The Ergo was no longer cutting it for hikes. We went on our first hike last weekend, and it worked great! It was comfortable to wear, Gabriel took a nap in it. Perfect!
- Breastfeeding Pillow: Boppy and BrestFriend – preferred the Boppy and sold the BrestFriend before I’d finished breastfeeding. A friend lent me a Boppy (I’d registered for the BrestFriend), but I returned that to her when Gabriel was about six months and bought my own. It’s still upstairs in the closet. Need to get rid of it.)
- Pump: Spectra S2. It was between this and the Medela one that everyone likes (I forget the name). My insurance covered both. They unfortunately didn’t cover the Spectra S1, which is battery powered rather than corded, but that was never a problem for me anyway. I went with the Spectra because I’d heard it was quieter. I liked it a lot (as much as someone can like something that turns them into a dairy cow). I gave it away to a pregnant colleague in case she wanted one to keep at work. I tried hard to sell it on facebook or find a place to donate it, but no luck. (Facebook kept denying my post… not sure why.) I was happy to give it away. Hopefully she uses it! Places like Goodwill won’t take them. I also used a Medela… Symphony? at work. I just bought the pump pieces for it. I brought those home to wash everyday, but I could have also washed them at work and left them there. That pump is hospital grade. And it was fine, but I actually think I produced more with my Spectra. Or maybe I was just less stressed when I pumped. Pumping at work was stressful.
- Manual pump: Lansinoh. I brought this to and from work every day in case I ever got stranded at Union Station trying to come home and desperately needed to pump. As it turned out, I didn’t really ever need to use this. I chose to use it a couple times at the very end of breastfeeding when I was weening off the final feeds (I was only doing a couple minutes a day, and this was easier to get out then set my whole pump/pumping bra stuff up). I sold this to a neighborhood mom through Facebook. Even though I didn’t use this much, I am really glad I had it. It could have been bad news if I was ever stuck in DC and didn’t have a way to pump.
- Bottles: Mostly Dr. Browns plastic bottles, both narrow and wide mouth. We tried the wide-mouth glass ones. They leaked. Also, our glass ones were only 5 oz., and we transitioned to 6 oz bottles very shortly after we got them, so only used them a handful of times. Also, daycare wouldn’t let us provide glass bottles, only plastic. Gabriel started daycare shortly after he was 3 months old. Before then, we did bottles occasionally (even once a day sometimes) and would usually use the 4-oz capacity Dr. Brown’s bottles. But once he started going to daycare, we used the 8-oz capacity ones (I think we started with 5-oz bottles when he started daycare, and shifted soon to 6 oz), and that’s what we used until he stopped using bottles at a year. So, we probably only needed a couple 4-oz ones, and we had 6x 8-oz ones (3 narrow, 3 wide-mouth). We used preemie nipples early on, and once he went to daycare, we used 1s. I think we switched to size 2 around 6 months. I tried a size 3 once, but it seemed silly to do that instead of a sippy (the flow seemed similar), so we just worked on a sippy. I gave all of these away to someone through Facebook.
- Drying rack: OXO Tot Bottle & Brush Cleaning Set. Was this necessary? The brush, yes, absolutely. The drying rack… sure, I guess so. We kept this in the upstairs bathroom next to Gabriel’s room rather than down in the kitchen. We usually fed him his bottles in his room and would then wash the bottles up there and dry the on this rack. So it was nice to have a rack up there. Did we need it? Mm, maybe not. A towel probably could have sufficed.
- Burp cloths: Burts Bees 5-pack. Since we had a ton of diaper pre-folds, these probably weren’t necessary. But they’d been on our registry, and someone gave them to us, and I am actually so glad. They are so soft. We still use them. We always have one or two with us in the diaper bag to use to wipe hands or faces or whatever. We definitely used them for burping, also. They’re lower profile (thinner) and softer than the pre-folds, so really nice to have.
- High chair: Stokke Tripp Trapp – this came highy recommended by our friends form the Netherlands, and we love it. We also got the baby seat, tray, and a cloth cover for it. Gabriel’s still not crawling up into it himself and we still have the baby seat in, but he mostly just eats at the table (rather than from the tray) now. One downside is that the tray is not huge like some, so the silicone plates we have that are supposed to suction to their surface don’t fully fit flat on it, and therefore don’t suction. Hasn’t been a big deal.
- Cups: Nuk, Dr. Browns with weighted straw, Munchkin 360, and now Bobo&Boo bamboo open cups. We switched off trying the Nuk, weighted straw, and 360 cups when we first introduced a sippy around 6 months. He finally got the hang of them maybe around… 8 months? But he associated the 360 with water and didn’t like milk from it, so we’ve always done only water in the 360 and milk in the Nuk and straw cups. We still give Gabriel milk before bedtime in the Nuk or the straw cup, and also when he first wakes up, sitting in the Dutalier rocker with him. Not sure when we’ll stop this. We’re working on the open cups. He can do several sips of water or milk if there’s not too much in the cup. Then he’ll set it down, usually gently without spilling. But then he’ll either put his fist in it, or dump the whole thing down his front or on his plate or on the floor, and then we take it away.
- Plates: We’ve had an ezpz silicone tray/bowl and another silicone plate whose sections look like a pig. We also got some reusable bamboo plates for Gabriel to use at daycare.
- Changing pad: Leander Matty Changer – Dan got a recommendation from a friend for this. Other friends had recommended the Keekaroo. Both are not cloth and easy to wipe down. We liked the Leander. It’s wide, so the surface needs to be big enough for it. Our Ikea dresser just barely is. But… I have used cloth/foam/whatever ones that friends have, and they seem so comfy and cozy. Maybe Gabriel would like his diaper changes better if we had one of those. (Probably not.)
- Cloth diapers: See my post on diapering. My favorite are Thirsties naturals. We bought one newborn Bumgenius all in one diaper that was absolutely the cutest thing ever. He grew out of it in like a week or two.
- Disposable diapers: For disposables, we use mostly Honest. We’ve also used the ones we got for free when he was born, which I think were Pampers?, and Seventh Generation. They all work.
- Wipes: Water wipes
- Wipes holder/warmer: Not sure of the brand, but yep, after a week of scream-filled diaper changes, we got this used from one of Dan’s sister’s friends. We didn’t think we would want/need one, but definitely glad we have it.
- Diaper pail: Ubbi for our cloth diapers, Dekor for our disposable diapers and other trash.
- Diaper cream: Natural Boudreaux’s butt paste. Also used Primally Pure Baby Balm early on.
- Infant car seat: Uppababy Mesa, discussed above. We transitioned out of this right around 12 months. We’re about to take our first trips without it. Traveling with an infant car seat is logistically so much easier. Sigh.
- Convertible car seat: Nuna Rava. No chemical flame retardants.
- Carrier: covered above. For our early trips, we brought the Solly on the plane, and Gabriel stayed in there pretty much the whole time. Then we transitioned to the Ergo. But he gets fussy in there now, so I think we won’t bring it on the plane going forward, but may still bring it on the trips.
- Backpack carrier: covered above. May travel with this now.
- Travel stroller: covered above. We haven’t actually taken this on a plane yet, as we’ve traveled with our Vista. But now that we will be traveling without the infant car seat, I think we’ll switch to bringing the travel stroller.
- Travel crib/pack n play: Guava Lotus – LOVE this.
I’m not going to list out all the clothes we got or used here. But I will say again, for clothes especially, get them used as much as possible. We did not register for any newborn clothes, except to ask for used items. (Oh, except we did register for non-skid socks, which we got, and which we used a ton.) We of course still got a bunch of newborn clothes (mostly onesies), which we expected – and used, and we also got an entire suitcase full of used clothes from Dan’s sister’s friend. It was amazing. I picked out like five different outfits to bring to the hospital for us to choose what to bring Gabriel home in (ha – see the picture of tiny baby Gabriel drowning in his carseat below. That’s what he ended up wearing. Including the non-skid socks!). I don’t even think he got a chance to wear all of the clothes we were given before he grew out of them, but we had plenty to last us the first three months at least. This lot included the SwaddleMe swaddles I mentioned above. Since then, I have had to buy some clothes, we continue to get some as gifts (and my mom often brings new or used ones from Mexico when she comes to visit), but I also posted a plea for used clothes on Facebook and was given an entire bag of 18mo and 2T clothes for free. That’s mostly what he’s wearing now. I wouldn’t have bought a lot of it myself (there are like 3 jumpers I wouldn’t have thought to buy, but they are so cute), but since I have it, he wears it. When I have bought clothes, I’ve opted for sort of fancy stuff because I buy so little of it (and gosh, it’s just so soft), mostly from Monica & Andy and Finn & Emma.
- Wash: Beautycounter Baby Gentle All Over Wash
- Sunscreen: Beautycounter Countersun Mineral Sunscreen at home and Babo Botanicals Baby Mineral Sheer and Gentle sunscreen for at daycare.
- Towel: Channing & Yates, and Dan’s sister made us one. Still using these.
- Baby tub: We didn’t get a baby tub. We bathed Gabriel in the sink for the first several weeks, and it was absolute hell every time. He hated it and was slippery and he screamed, and it was just awful. So we transitioned to the big tub pretty early on. Friends had given us (accidentally, as it turns out – they meant to throw it away) this… thing. It was a very thin pad, maybe 18×24, with a foam pillow and two foam sides that velcroed on to it. It was the most unsophisticated basic thing imaginable, but it was great. We would lay Gabriel on it on his back. The foam things would keep him from rolling over. We’d fill the tub an inch or two with water. And we’d bathe him, and that was that. He totally didn’t mind that at all. I’ve searched Google to find something similar, but haven’t and don’t know what to call it. We stopped using that thing around when he could sit up on his own, or maybe a month or two later, and just sat him in the bath in several inches of water. He loves the bath.
- Toothbrush and Toothpaste: I bought the Baby Buddy finger toothbrushes and the MAM Learn to Brush brushes early on. Gabriel started drooling a ton around 3 months, but didn’t get any teeth until ten months. He still only has six, and most of his peers have at least 8, if not more. But he still drools like crazy, all the time. Daycare has nicknamed him ‘Juicy.’ Anyway, I bought these in anticipation of those first teeth coming in, but they sat in a drawer for a long time. When he finally got his first bottom teeth, we used the finger brushes every night before bed. But we soon moved on to the Learn to Brush brush with Jack N Jill Natural Toothpaste because daycare required us to send a brush and toothpaste with him at 12 months. We use it every night. He hates it every night. We absolutely are not getting his teeth effectively brushed any night. Please send me your suggestions. (I don’t think daycare is using what we sent.)
- Nail clipper: Fridababy. I have to say, this has worked great, but I personally still don’t get it. Dan has cut Gabriel’s nails every single time. He used to do it while I was breastfeeding, now he just does it. I have never tried. It has this weird slanted edge that… doesn’t make sense to me. Maybe if I tried once I would understand.
- Snot sucker: Yes, this is necessary. And yes, we registered for and got the Fridababy one that so many people recommend. And yes, we used it. Once. Every other time, we’ve just used the bulb suction thing we got from the hospital. It only requires one hand! The fridababy requires two – one to hold one end in your mouth, the other to hold it in the baby’s nose… and what hand are you supposed to hold the baby whose nose you’re shoving something up down with? Bulb suction all the way.
- Boppy Newborn lounger: A friend recommended this. Was it necessary? Nope. But I was glad to have it. I would often place Gabriel in it when I was home alone and needed to shower, or when I was pumping in the morning while still on maternity leave and he was sitting beside me. Sometimes he liked it, sometimes he didn’t. Once he started rolling over, it had to go.
- Rock n Play: Yep, we had one of these for about six weeks. I got it used through Facebook. Gabriel would occasionally nap in it in the kitchen while it vibrated and while I worked in the kitchen. Once he started to want to flip over, we sold it.
- Activity Mat: Had this for most of G’s first year, but we didn’t use it much after six months or so. Did a lot of tummy time, but he never loved laying on his back (still doesn’t – he started to sleep better when he learned to flip to his stomach from his back around 12 weeks).