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Babies Need Stuff

March 29, 2013
ferris wheel
“The Wheel in the Sky” by The Gingham Owl
I remember the panic… I was in my second trimester pregnant with Maggie, and my mom had said I needed a registry for a few baby showers on the horizon. I didn’t know where to begin, and I was adamant that I didn’t want a lot of “stuff” for our impending arrival. (My baby was going to continue my minimalist lifestyle. I was NOT going to give in to Baby Consumerism!) So I read a few blogs, gathered some info from friends, and sat down with my mom on the couch and started registering. Looking back on that time, I had NO IDEA what I needed.
When a girlfriend jokingly g-chatted me the other day, asking me to make her registry for her baby due this fall, I remembered that time in my life where I was panicking about doing this very same thing. So I thought about it and assembled the list below for her. As it turned out, gathering the list came so easily to me. It was fresh on my mind since I was just sorting through things that Maggie didn’t need anymore.
The email to my pal became so epic, I decided to share it here with you because perhaps it will be helpful. Of course, I preface this with: everyone is different, has different preferences, wants different things… this is not a commentary on parenting style or even an exhaustive list of everything you may ever need. This is just what I needed and wanted. My only hope is that it provides a glimpse and a skeleton of what you may need if this ever comes up for you!
(All links are for Buy Buy Baby and Babies R Us, since those are the registries my friend requested. I personally chose Target and Amazon, but all of this baby stuff is pretty much available at all of those sites.)


Bath seat (NO PLASTIC… too cold, this is the best)
bath robe/towel (you need at least one of these!)
bath toys (because your baby will be smart)
No need to put baby soap, shampoo, or washcloths on your registry… people just get them for you. Rarely will you need lotion, and almost never will you need baby powder.
cradle cap scrubber (this is not at your stores, but this is a very important product.)
Diaper Champ (No need for special bags, intuitive, good.)
Contour changing pad
Changing pad cover/liner (register for 2)
Depending on if you get an actual diaper changing stand, you may not need the changing pad. BUT, we used a very old coffee table and put a chair next to it and that was that. We didn’t want to buy extra furniture.
Diaper bag… yeah, use something, maybe a backpack, but this may not warrant a registry item.
Pampers and Target-brand diapers were the only brands we liked.
You won’t need a crib until maybe 6-8 weeks or so. Until then, you’ll want a bassinette to put next to your bed for during-the-night feedings. Try to borrow this. Otherwise, here’s a good option.
Swaddlers (you need at least one set of the Aden and Anis swaddlers. They are multifunctional!!)
more swaddlers (I would register for at least three to see which you like best.)

swaddle 3 (MIRACLE product when she got stronger)
Woombie (also excellent)
sound machine (if you decide to do that. We have and we watch very loud movies and all is right with the world.)
A friend x 2 (you’ll want to incorporate a “lovie” that they associate with sleep time. And you’ll want to get two in case Lovie #1 gets lost. TRUST ME.)
THIS SHEEP… great for the car, traveling, just good for soothing
Mittens… no kidding around here.
Monitor… we decided on a video monitor, and it’s awesome. This is more of a personal choice though. Ours is a Samsung, but you can choose whatever you guys are most comfortable with. The video monitor was by far the registered item I most rolled my eyes at, but JD wanted it. Now that we have it… whoa it is wonderful. I have no clue what I would do without it.
Crib… a completely personal choice. I actually had mine from when I was young and I repainted it… worked great.
But you will need a mattress and a mattress pad.
As for bedding… lots of people care about the bedding. I just wanted two crib sheets to rotate. Everything else is a choking hazard anyway.
People will give you a THOUSAND blankets… just stay away from registering for them. Nice people will give you tons at showers, and they could make and pick out nicer blankets than you could register for anyway!
bottles… at the beginning, babies need a slow flow, but then when they are about 6 months or older, they’ll need a faster flow. I would recommend THESE at the beginning, but then, I used all glass ones from then out. Not sure if you’re cool with these, you may just like plastic, but I loved them. 5 bottles is really all you need if you want to be minimalist. If you’re lazy, I’d recommend 8. For the faster flow bottles, you’ll need them around 8-10oz.
bottle brush (you’ll need a few… I’m on my third.)
bottle dryer rack (Don’t get the stuff that goes in the dishwasher. You’ll use bottles more than you use the dishwasher.)
nursing cover (if you go that way)
pump (if you go that way)
pump holder (don’t register for this… just buy it and save yourself hours)
Boppy (if you go that way but also great for sitting infants up on floor comfortably)
Boppy cover (if you go that way, but good to get two slipcovers)
Do not register for bibs. You’ll get a thousand unsolicited bibs.
So… high chairs. Before we created our registry, a very generous friend of the family sent us the Svan chair, which is totally cool and will convert to a seat when your baby is bigger and can scoot up to the table. But it’s kind of expensive. I’ve also heard a lot of cool things about Boon Flair (I think more of a variety is out there but that link was on one of the two sites.). Otherwise, I know to stay away from cloth because it gets extremely dirty.
For traveling and friends’ visits, we also own this easy strapping one that Minimalist Me thought would serve all purposes (which it probably would if we didn’t get the Svan).
Infant carseat (Infant carseats can be taken in and out of your car by attaching to a base. If you have a second base for your spouse’s car, you can leave the carseat at daycare and attach the carseats easily between your two cars. This is super helpful, especially for running into the store, etc. This was something I didn’t think was necessary but it was extremely helpful to not move a sleepy infant while going from car to house.)
Regular carseat for when baby is older (might as well ask for it now… it’s expensive. We got one before Maggie was born, and then asked for a second one this Christmas. Maggie still fits in the infant carseat, but she’ll be bursting out soon enough.)
Depending on what infant carseat you get, you’ll want to purchase the same brand stroller so that the infant carseat can fit into the stroller, and then when the kid gets bigger, you can just use the stroller. These are called “travel systems” and you can look for them depending on what you want. I’d recommend sticking to one brand of carseats so you can just be used to the type of seatbelts… because they are confusing.
Also, something that I want now that I wish I had is a lightweight collapsible stroller that is easy to carry and good for throwing in and out of the car for shopping, fairs, farmers markets, etc. THIS is a good, cheap stroller.
Medicines, assorted stuff
Aquaphor… register for it… it’s amazing and expensive. It’s the cure-all… our pediatrician highly recommends it for everything: diaper rash, weird rashes anywhere, wrinkle cream for you. AMAZING.
thermometer (ours doesn’t work very well, so I don’t want to recommend ours.)
Infant tylenol (maybe 2? dye free! Otherwise, you have to administer it in the bathtub.)
Gas drops (yes)
Boogie wipes… totally great.
saline mist since they don’t know how to blow their nose
sunscreen (babies are special)
pacifiers (this will be a personal choice, and your baby may choose for you! I linked the one Maggie liked.)
Itzbeen… AMAZING. We brought this with us to the hospital, and it’s a wonderful tool. I’m sure there’s an app that also does this, but this was great for caretakers to have so that they would know things also.
Bumbo (just register for one, pick your color. If you can borrow it, all the better)
Swing (go with the space saver!!) or (Maggie’s daycare endorsed) bouncy seat (You probably don’t need both, but you’ll need this to just put your kid in when it needs soothing and you’re exhausted. Or this may be the only way it goes to sleep for awhile. Or you need to shower and you don’t know what else to do.)
pack n play I actually own a different one for traveling, but my mom has one very similar to this because she wanted a pack n play to have at her house for us, and I prefer hers. It has a changing table which is super helpful when you’re out traveling and you don’t have to pack your own changing pad.
Bjorn carrier (We have this one, and JD loves it. I’ve used this often in the first year because I like having my hands free.)
sling (I’ve written about these before on Schmate but I looooove mine. Lots of pretty fabrics, so go with the Peanut Shell!)
mirror for your car… I mean, it’s just helpful, especially for long trips.
I’m sure I have forgotten something, but those are my big items. And, don’t worry… there is always a Target nearby, or Amazon Prime, which gets things to you super fast (free trials are totally worth it right after you have the baby!!).
4 Comments leave one →
  1. Kim permalink
    March 29, 2013 9:12 am

    Wow what an amazing blog, Kate! It’s obvious that all of these items are still fresh in your mind. I can’t think of anything you’ve forgotten. And so right about the abundance of bibs and blankets that pour in.

  2. Casey permalink
    March 29, 2013 8:49 pm

    Great list, ma! You mentioned that you aren’t happy with your thermometer… About 6 months ago, I saw the temporal artery thermometer that I had been considering getting for $28 at Sam’s, and since we had a “light” cart that day, I grabbed it. (I hadn’t invested in one yet because they were always $35+ in Target, and since our kids rarely get sick, I delayed the expense for a while.) Now that we have it, especially with a wiggler like my son, we LOVE this thing. It is incredibly accurate and only takes about 4 seconds to use. Seriously. Consider this type if you’re going to upgrade.
    Also- baby blankets that come from “people” rather than stores are our fave too. :)

  3. Kristen permalink
    April 25, 2013 1:08 pm

    Girl, you nailed it!

    Two things I got after my kids were babies that I now (looking back) would have gotten before they were born are a good bottle/sippy drying rack and a good bottle cleaning set (multiple brushes.

    I have this (I am a frugal gal, so Unfou mine on eBay for $7).

    And LOVE this set for cleaning all the nooks and crannies of bottle nipples and sippy cups!

  4. Lauren permalink
    December 12, 2013 12:03 pm

    Thank you for this list Kate! I remembered that you put it together, and I just added everything on it to our baby registry!

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