Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Registering for baby.

Last week, Shawn and I set foot in a Babies 'R Us (that happened to be in a less than wonderful part of town) and it took less than 5 minutes to make us a.) completely overwhelmed (does a baby really need all this junk stuff?!) and b.) take one half-hearted lap around the store and walk right out the door. Baby registry FAIL. We didn't scan one item and basically just pointed out all the stuff we didn't want. Awesome.

So I've taken to registering online, both at Target and at Babylist, which is a great way to compile finds from Etsy, Amazon, anywhere online, and put them into one place. I've just started working on them and still feel completely clueless as to what exactly baby's needs are.

So that's where you come in (I hope!). What are one or two things that you found were really helpful with your baby? And what's something you really could live without? Is there a brand of stroller you love? A baby carrier you've had a great experience with? A type of bottle that's been your favorite?

I'm definitely a minimalist with this kind of thing, so I'm trying to get a handle on what our needs will be. The baby's room is literally about 8 feet by 4 feet, so there's really not extra room for fluff. I'm also thinking I won't be registering for many clothes or toys because people naturally buy that anyway?

But hey, I'm no expert... I'd love to hear your thoughts!


  1. I don't have any littles but I was a full time nanny throughout high school. my life saver was a "bouncy set" I think it gives the baby the sensation of being held and it's light weight and easy to hall around and lift. some of them even have a vibrating feature. that was used more than a swing, stroller etc. that's all i've got hope it helps!

    and i'm totally with you on the over commercialization of babies! wow that's a lot of stuff. i grew up in a huge family. when were tiny mom would line a draw in a hotel room for whoever was the current babe! you'll do GREAT!

  2. I agree-- I'm a minimalist too. But there's def. some things that make life easier with a baby. The puj tub, and the aden and anias swaddles were my favorites! They are the best.

  3. hahaha... your post made me laugh. When I was working as a midwife, I saw many newborns and their mother getting loads of presents, that must have cost loads of money but were utterly useless.
    Now I work in Africa, and see mothers taking care of their baby with only one 'baby accessory', a sheet to tie the baby on their back. I am always challenged to find a balance between those two extremes.

  4. I couldn't resist commenting as I have had three babies in my home in the last three years, as you already know:). The things that you HAVE to have for the baby before leaving the hospital: Carseat, somewhere for the baby to sleep, diapers, wipes, onesies, pj's, baby hats, if you are breast feeding then you need a breast pump for sure!. Now those are the must haves. With Judah(my first) Jeremiah and I were so overwhelmed by all the "stuff". I remember standing in front of the wall of bottles thinking, "how in the world do you know what kind to get?!" That is when I had two mamma friends make a list of the things I needed and worked best for them. Which helped me out so much!

    Here are some things that I couldn't live without and the things you might need for the first couple of months:
    -Swing: two of my babies had severe reflux for the first 4 months of their lives. The swing soothed them and kept them upright so they wouldn't spit up and they slept in there for awhile too because they couldn't lay flat.
    -Pacifiers: again because of the reflux this helped them and soothed the pain.
    -Muslin blankets(aden and anias): these are amazing!(you have a picture of them up at the top).
    -Bouncer is nice to have
    -A floor mat for tummy time
    -first aid kit: which comes with nail clippers, nose sucker and etc.
    -diaper rash cream
    -baby bath
    -(I am probably forgetting a few things)

    Breast feeding:
    -breast pads
    -storage bags
    -breast pump(medela)
    -breast pump parts/accessories
    -medela has bottles/and you can use them to store milk in as well. Therefore, you only need to worry about what kind of nipples to buy
    This shows the accessories and bottles I am talking about---->
    -nipples: this is where you buy a couple of different kinds, slow flow for when they are really little, and see which ones they prefer.
    I breastfed so I would use bottles when I needed sleep and daddy fed, for a baby sitter, or for those couple of times it was easier to bring pumped milk while we were out.

    Okay.... so you said only a couple of things, so sorry(maybe I should have sent this in a message)! But I had fun thinking back on all the things you need when you first bring a baby home. Now, you are making me want another baby! :)
    The best advice a friend told me was don't stress, just make sure you have the "must haves" and if you don't get all the stuff you want you can figure out what you really need when the baby comes..... which is so true. For an example my daughter liked sleep slacks but my oldest son did not. But I am sure you will get a ton of stuff with all the people that love you! :) And you are so right about clothes. People will get them for you even if you don't register for them..... and they will get you some stuff and you will wondered why they got you that. HA! Oh and we didn't do the diaper genie thing for very long... it didn't really work and I couldn't handle having poopy diapers in my house so they go right outside the backdoor and then thrown out at the end of the day or before that. Okay, I will stop talking now;)

    Can't not wait to meet this little guy via pictures!
    (sorry for any typos)

  5. Love your blog! Our daughter Elizabeth just turned 7 weeks and last week I blogged about our favorite things so can read about them here:

    Top three: A video monitor, our Uppababy stroller, and the white noise machine:)

  6. I don't have any of my own kids yet, but I work at a preschool (in Brentwood actually!) I have found these helpful
    -Paci clips (so when they spit the paci out/drop it, you don't have to go searching)
    -Bouncer chair (so they can sit up and see the world, plus it's soothing)
    -boogie wipes (especially for cold season. they are much gentler than tissues and get that crusty, dried on snot)
    -baby spoons with that soft rubber head (I love these on etsy...

    Good luck!

  7. I could not live without the ultimate crib sheet. Actually I had two of them so if one was dirty I had a backup. Lap pads and Mustela newborn kit were two of my other must haves.

  8. Our little man is 12 weeks old and the following things have been a lifesaver! The best invention ever: Medela quick clean mico-steam bags. You put pump and bottle parts in the bag with a little water and throw it in the microwave. Everything is sterilized in 90 seconds. It is so nice to not run the dishwasher constantly and takes way less time! The Nap Nanny. It can be a little pricey, but it has been worth it's weight in gold for us. Hank has pretty severe reflux so he sleeps on it in his crib every night. I also take it around the house and he hangs out wherever I am working. Especially great for taking a shower and having him right there if he starts crying. Finally, the SwaddleMe velcro wraps. This really is the #1 thing I would say to get. Hank could break out of the swaddle in 2 seconds and with this he is secure and can't break out. It makes for sound sleep for everyone! :)

    Also- you can use Bed, Bath and Beyond 20% coupons at Babies R Us. BBB owns Buy Buy Baby, a competitor, so the coupons are accepted at Babies R Us as a competitor coupon. We have saved a ton of money using these!

    Hope this helps! I know it can be so overwhelming! :)

  9. The answer is NO babies do NOT need all that junk.

    ~We have an Eddie Bauer infant car seat that we love. You might want to go into a store to look at car seats and figure out which ones you find the easiest to buckle. You'd be surprised at how many variations there are.

    ~In my opinion things like a bumbo chair and swing take up space but really get used a lot for the time you need them. They're worth the space. Someone gave us this swing for our last baby, and it was fabulous (thankfully the annoying music is completely optional):

    ~As far as high chairs go, we've had excellent success with seats like this: They're inexpensive, easy to clean, compact, and easily packable for trips.

    ~Large swaddling blankets are a must because the small ones you can buy in packages at your typical store only work for about a month.

    ~I personally love the Johnson&Johnson lavender bedtime baby wash.

    ~And as far as toys, our babies really seem to like the Sassy earth brights line (though there seems to be about a third of the selection there used to be).

    So that's more than one or two items, and obviously it's not a comprehensive list, but they're all things that I love. And I have three children, so I've done my share of experimenting.

  10. I can tell you the ONE thing we couldn't live without~swaddle blankets! I bought the ones you have pictured but we didn't have much luck with them. Both my hubs and I were capable of swaddling our little guy but he was so strong he could always get out of it at night. Our magic blanket was the HALO SleepSack Swaddle from Babies R Us. What a life saver! A friend told me it worked wonders for them and it did for us too. Infact our boy is 18 months old and still uses the SleepSacks (minus the swaddle of course!). I would never use anything else and I give one to every new mama.

    And definitely the bouncy seat. But it doesn't have to be big or expensive. Ours was a cheap one from Target and he loved it. I loved it. So nice to have a place to put him when I needed to get things done. I think this would be PERFECT for you while you sew!

    So happy for you!

  11. I'll be the spoiler here and say that several things on everyone's "Must have" list were useless for us: pacifiers, mat (we used a blanket someone made), boogie wipes (kleenex have worked fine for us), swaddling blankets (our kids hated it), bouncy seat (we had a swing--seems you need one or the other, not both), baby bath (we just took her in the bath with us), bibs (we got some plastic ones that were like shirts that tied in the back which were much better than the traditional ones. Didn't need them until they were eating solids around 6 months)

    I do see some great things on the list: breast pump, breast pads (but you can make your own which you can wash), a sling (My mom made my wrap--a moby, there are directions online), sleep sacks are nice for the newborn stage so you don't have to undress them to change diapers (especially overnight!). I also was a big fan of the teething necklace. I'm sure others would disagree. (Then again, I had girls, so it was an accessory as well as a functional item.)

    I advise you not to purchase your own baby toiletries or bibs as you'll get a billion of them for gifts. Diapers? I assume you'll go cloth, but if not, there are lots of deals to be had online. Check out

    Don't buy Dreft. It is the same as Tide free and clear. Only a lot more expensive! We don't use any Johnsons stuff on our kids as it is pretty harsh despite what the ads tell you. Our sensitive skin kids couldn't tolerate it. I know you like natural soap stuff, and your baby will be just fine with that!


  12. Oh, the joys of registering. Baby stores can be so overwhelming. Ceiling high shelves full of every item you can imagine to make parenting "easier." God will show you exactly what you need and when you need it. A lot of these decisions will be made best once you get to know the personality of your sweet baby boy (especially bottles and pacifiers - you won't know until your baby decides on those). I am not a mother yet, but I did nanny fulltime for a season. I savor simplicity and the family I nannied for is very simplistic in their way of life and raising their kids. It was great to have that example early on and God already began planting in me what my desire would be as a parent.

    The two items I found I could not do without for day-to-day living were the baby carrier (they had a baby bjorn) and the bouncy seat. For obvious reasons. Moving around the house (getting chores done, checking emails) was so much easier with the baby carrier and I felt like I was still able to hold him close. Often he would fall asleep easily in the baby bjorn too - the trick was laying him down without waking him. :) I would also walk down the street to church or the store with him in the baby carrier and he did great. The bouncy seat was great for both playing in and sleeping in. And if I was trying to multitask, I could use my foot to bounce him. The play pin was helpful too when I needed to clean up, etc.

    One more would be blankets to swaddle baby. Swaddling was great for nap time - he would fall asleep quicker and stay asleep longer since his arms weren't free to wake himself up. And the boppy - SO much easier to hold baby without arms getting tired. And sometimes he would fall asleep as I held him and I could easily sneak my arms out from under him and he'd stay sleeping peacefully on the boppy.

    Another tip I've held onto: a friend of mine bought only a running stroller so that she could use it for both walking and running. I've known some who own two kinds of strollers, but this seems simpler to me and she never had any issues with that decision. Her carseat attached to the stroller as well.

    When I nannied we didn't use a noise maker, a fancy rocker (she had an old fasioned rocking chair in the baby room), or a monitor. The baby's room pretty much consisted of his crib with a solid sheet, blankets for cool nights, a few stuffed animals, books, a dresser/changing table, something to throw dirty diapers into. And of course, a few items hanging on the wall showing how loved the baby is (painting, photos, Bible verses).

    I'm also a huge fan of making your own baby food, especially when trying to eat clean as a family and want to begin teaching good eating habits at a very early age. There are some great books about that and I bet there's a ton of ideas on Pinterst too.

    All baby really needs is you and Shawn - your love. Diapers help too. :) God will help you navigate the rest and you will know what your son needs as you get to know him. I've found that most people buy clothes and books for baby shower gifts, despite what's on the registry. Or you'll get gift cards to get those items when you need them. I know you'll do great. Remember, He is your helper.

  13. I don't have kids, but I am a nanny. I can't even count how many tiny babies I've had the privilege of caring for over the years. This give me a lot of different perspectives on what babies need because every family has had different stuff. One thing I have loved is the temporal thermometer. The children I watch now are super tiny, like freakishly, and the ear thermometer wouldn't even fit in their ear.

    Also, with the last baby, we never used a full size swing, just a travel. It was a neat one that could lay down or sit up. It worked great and saved us a lot of space. Since this was baby 4, we used it on top of the large kitchen island so his big sisters couldn't poke him and the dogs couldn't slobber him. Not so much a problem with number one, but when there were 4 under 5 and two big furry dogs it was a life saver!

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  15. Whomever invented passies (pacifiers) should get the Nobel peace prize - that and velcro tennies for little people - altho you don't need the tennies for years.

    Some littles won't take a passie, but they saved our collective lives...

    oops - typo before!

  16. You have a lot of great advice already. It seems like I was just asking everyone what I really needed and now my son is 3 months old already! I found that I really liked the velcro swaddleme. It is great when they wake up a lot a night so you don't have to swaddle them with a blanket multiple times a night. I also loved the sleep sacks as they make nighttime diaper changes really easy. I love our swing and my son takes a lot of naps in it (my son is actually napping in it right now). I also have a moby and a sling and will almost always choose that when we run errands over a stroller (also great for getting stuff done around the house). Aden and Anias blankets are great too. I have a handpump, but a nice pump is essential if you're working full time.

    Have fun sewing some stuff for your little boy too! It is a great idea to ask for bigger clothes too...everyone loves buying newborn clothes. We had tons of 0-3 month clothes given to us a just a handful of the bigger sizes. We pretty much skipped newborn the newborn size. Also, don't worry about having everything you'll can always get it later if you find you need it. I've found that a lot of things I planned on buying later I decided I didn't need.

    Congrats on your little boy!

  17. My lifesavers were a baby swing (both girls slept there for months) and swaddling blankets. The ones with velcro are great! We read (and watched the video) The Happiest Baby on the Block. That's a lifesaver too, and it's probably why we liked our swing and swaddles so much. You will do great. (My other piece of advice: save gift receipts! Don't take tags off gifts you are not sure about, and then if/when you realize you don't need them, take them back and buy what you do need. :))

  18. Funny. I did this same thing when I was pregnant, on here and on facebook. I am also a minimalist. I registered mostly on With that in mind...

    1. Are you going to be a working momma? If so, get a good breast pump. The best Medela one.

    2. Are you settled or will you be moving around much? We never bought a crib and have used our pack-n-play with a changing table attachement in corners of our home and all over the country. It's been SO much cheaper than a top of a line crib. If you plan to be settled, a crib is sturdier.

    3. Swaddling. I'm a firm believer that this helped calm our little one. The Miracle Blanket is the one I swear by, and we kept our swaddled for two months. I liked it way better than anything velcro.

    4. Bouncer. Swings are fancy and expensive and your kiddo may or may not like them. Borrow from a friend and see if you like it, and if you do, buy your own. A little vibrating bouncer will most likely do the trick, though. For the first couple of months I kept ours by the bed and let my little man sleep in it half the time. It was so easy to pick him up and feed him and then put him right back down next to me when we were done. I got so much more sleep that way!

    Most things, though, are optional. EVEN in the list of comments I see above mine. :) We all have our own favorites, but ... you'll make your own way. I didn't like the moby wrap but others love it, I wished I'd tried a sling. I did like to carry my infant in a front pack, though not the moby. We got the basic Graco snap-n-go baby carrier/car seat/stroller, but then at a year we had to buy a toddler car seat and were so glad to be gifted a jogging stroller.

  19. -We got a portable swing, which I didn't find very portable, but it was small, and since you don't have a ton of space, that might be a possibility. My son used it regularly for the first 3/4 months.
    -I also used the Playtex breast pump which has soft cups and I liked them a lot.
    -We got a Bumpo but never used it. I know that some swear by it, but it just wasn't for us.
    -We also had a number of swaddle blankets but my son was too small for them and we never used them.
    -I completely affirm the microwave steam bags. They are amazing-so easy and convenient.

  20. I'm friends with your sister, and she is the queen with this topic! We have had many conversations about necessities with babies! I'd for sure get her input! :)

  21. Short and my experience, these have been some of my favorites!

    Bouncy Chair - My son napped in it as a newborn and I could move it around the house so I could shower without worrying about him the whole time. (*new mom!) Used it till 4-5 months.

    Swaddling blankets/Velcro wrap blankets

    Swing - Made fussy evenings calm and soothed my little guy. He loves it still at 6 months old.

    Pacifiers - I used them from the beginning and in my experience, it did not mess up nursing.

    Good breast pump (Medela)

    Homemade flannel/fleece nursing pads - Love these! Saved so much money and I found them to be much more comfortable than disposables.

    At least 3 crib/pack n play sheets and 2 waterproof mattress pads for middle of the nap/night sheet changes. :)

    One "extra" item I have loved is the Fisher Price Sooth n Glow Seahorse. Before children, I thought it was goofy, but being a momma has made me a believer! :) It plays 5 minutes of calming music (2 volume levels AND an on/off switch!). My son listens to it once while falling asleep and we take it with us when he has to sleep at church or a friend's house. A comfort item to help remind him of his own bed. It is also great for car rides or shopping trips if he's tired and fussy. Silly, but sometimes I wish we had two. One to keep in the car and one to keep at home. It has been that helpful for us.

    So excited for you, Shawn, and Baby E! :)

  22. Your pillow and socks are ALL you need for the delivery.

  23. You've gotten such good suggestions! I'd love to see what you end up with since we are having a little boy too. I will say please skip the baby bjorne carrier. It's not good for baby's hips. The ergo or moby is a much better choice. I say this from the healthcare industry and not from experience...yet :-) also hit up consignment sales if you get a chance. We scored some great deals last week at ours,

    1. Good to know about the baby bjorn! Consignment sales and thrift stores are great... especially since babies grow out of things so fast.

  24. Hands down: 1) get a video $200 we spent, especially as a first time mom. Ya ya ya, tons of mom's didn't need a video monitor. I love that I can see exactly why she was fussy...arm out of swaddle? or just tired? also, a huge comfort for the middle of the night. just push the button and she is there! :) 2) Halo sleep sacs. We were gifted a fleece NB one from our hospital and ended up buying every size after that. Leighton was swaddled for 6 months,and was and still is the best sleeper. 3)I love our Dr. Brown's bottles. I don't think you can go wrong now a days, they all have great technology. I also have liked the playtex ones. 4)If you plan to make your own baby food I highly recommend the Beaba. 5) Lastly, I am obsessed with MAM pacifiers. Hands down the best...not to mention the cutest ;) hehe. Some other must haves: Mustella Baby Wash/Lotion Huggies Wipes that snot sucker you pictures above :) Sophie!

  25. I can't believe I didn't say the "Sleep Sheep" We still hang it on the outside of her door and as soon as she hears it she is in sleepy heaven! :) (we live in a small home so it is mostly used to drown out our constant movement)

  26. VIDEO MONITOR!! sound machine. velcro swaddlers (my babies busted out of the other ones!). i can't stress enough -- VIDEO MONITOR!!! =)

  27. In small spaces, you only need the crib and changing table. I would actually recommend finding a dresser you like and using the top of that for you changing table, it stores more and you don't have to buy baskets to place underneath. Things in my personal experience that I never used, or used once and decided they weren't helpful:

    -baby bath (I just lay baby on a towel in the regular bath)
    -shoes & socks (they are really cute, but they will NOT stay on the feet of any baby until they walk)
    -bibs (I find myself just wiping between bites on babies, and toddlers like to take them off)
    -bassonet (neither baby liked the Moses basket or bassonet. they both slept in their car seat for the first few months, then their crib when they transitioned into their own room)
    -rocking chair (at night, i just grabbed them and nursed them in bed and put them back in their seat/bed)

    Things to think about:
    -until you have your baby in your arms you don't even know if they will take a bottle. My son took one from the first day in the hospital, my daughter refuses to take one to this day. So bottles, pumps, and formula are wasted money for us and clutter up my house.
    -Because we live in a small house, I never got monitors. Even with my door shut, and the window AC unit on HIGH and the babies room shut, with their AC unit on, I could still hear them. It's mommy ear. I would wait on the monitor purchase until you know if you need it, because sometimes it is better to NOT hear them until they need you.

    Things we couldn't live without!
    -pacifier (both of my kids take one, and I would encourage it. It does not make it harder for them to nurse, it is not that hard to wean them off of it, and it will not ruin their teeth. but you will have more peace and quiet!)
    -burp cloths (my son went through several a day, my daughter goes through several a week)

    Don't worry, you'll get many things you need and many things you'll end up not needing. The only way to know is to have a baby in your arms and figure out what you need. Don't feel too much pressure, and know that if all you have are clothes and diapers, that's all they really need. :)

  28. sorry for the typos, i didn't read it before i posted, clearly ;)

  29. We have a one year old baby girl and I too have tried VERY hard to avoid all the excessive baby junk. When we brought baby home we were in a tiny appartement that I didn't want to be over taken with all the gear so we were certainly minimalists! We never used swings or bouncy seats, baby bath tubs (showers with dad instead) or larger pieces like that because we didn't have anywhere to store them. There are a few things that I have found to make life with baby much easier. We would not survive without our Aiden and Anais swaddling blankets! They are the very best for a tight swaddle and are light-weight and breathable so baby doesn't get too warm. I was told that a visual monitor was the way to go but both my husband and I figured, baby is in the room next door, and that it was a little over the top but after going through two other regular monitors we bit the bullet and went with the visual. It is possibly the best piece of baby equipment we have! It was a life saver when we were teaching her to sleep through the night. It gave me complete peace of mind to see why she was crying, she wasn't hurt or in danger but just hadn't learned that night time is for sleeping yet. I am not a big spender when it comes to baby things but my parents very generously gifted us our stroller - the Indie by Bumble Ride. I have used several others and always feel like ours is the best. My only complaint is that it does not have an option for a toddler seat (we're already expecting our second so we will have two under the age of two and a second seat in the stroller would be nice) but Bumble Ride does offer other models that have the second seat option. We go for lots of walks and she comes on most errands with me, its the easiest to maneuver and great for all types of 'terrain'.
    One of my most used baby items was one of my own scarfs. I used it everywhere, to tie her into grocery carts, onto a chair at a restaurant, into her high chair (she is super tiny so tying her in added a little extra support and kept her secure). I just tied one to my purse so I would have one with me whenever we needed it. (Kind of fashionable too!)
    Lastly, I read your blog a lot and really love it - I kind of think you had mentioned something about cloth diapers. They are my #1 baby must have! We LOVE cloth diapering! We have been doing it since the beginning and could not imagine doing it any other way! I have lots of information on my blog about our cloth diapering experience - which brands we use, what we like and dislike about each one, why we chose to do it in the first place - if you would like to check it out the blog is
    Congratulations! Parenthood is indescribably the best thing in the world!

  30. 1. LOVE love love my Baby K'tan carrier / sling
    2. White noise machine or box fan
    3. Coconut oil - best skin moisturizer / diaper rash treatment ever!
    4. Luna Lullaby swaddling blankets

    So exciting!

  31. Baby number one had so much junk, we streamlined for baby two and even less for baby three.
    I loved plain wraps, my babies hated being wrapped but they were great as blankets or mats. I had a moby type sling for number two. Was great out and about without having to use a pram.

    We got rid of our change table, just used he floor. And we didn't really use our bumbo seat.

    I did invest in a proper walking/running pram. Totally against all peoples advice. But I do like fitness and I have clocked up many miles. Plus on those days when I can't settle baby I pop them in the pram and go for a walk. Helps with a bit of piece of mind.

    I also loved Bobux shoes, light leather shoes which don't come off. It's a New Zealand thing, but I am sure you will have some similar in the US.everythung else seemed to come off.

  32. I don't have any kids but have worked in infant rooms for years and many of my friends have little ones still under 1. The things I have experienced/seen to be super important are:
    1. Swaddling blankets (don't get the newborn size they will grow right through them)
    2. Noise machines.
    3. Moby Blankets (some of my friends will swear by these, I guess I will understand completely when I actually have one of my own. haha)

    Have fun shopping for baby!

  33. Just from my barely 2 week experience with Ellie-

    1. Skip the bobby. Holy cow I hate that friggin thing. It's worthless.
    2. Paper & pen is so much easier than a phone app for tracking feedings, diapers, etc. I have no idea why- but it's been so much more helpful.
    3. Swaddle sacks instead of swaddle blankets are so much easier & I'm never nervous about her coming undone & having all that extra fabric by her face.

    I have no idea if these are coherent because my brain left with my placenta. I'm sure of it.

    Over & out.

  34. I am working on my fourth baby :) She's 3 months and I paired down a ton for her!! Here's what I've kept: bumbo seat, jumperoo, travel swing, pack n play, 8 onesies, 8 sleepers, 4 dresses, 3 sleepsacks, play matt (baby lays on matt and toys criss cross over top) carseat. Here's what I made for this baby (my last, so these were obviously important to me): moses basket, and baby carrier.

    My reasoning:
    bumbo seat: add a tray and you can feed them in this as well. I love it, some don't.
    Jumperoo: GREAT piece! It has kept my kids occupied for an hour plus at a time.
    travel swing: a normal swing is huge!! This is more compact and can be used right away. It folds up flat to go places.
    Pack n Play: This is the most used piece we own (it even trumps the crib!) I've had it since my 7 yr old was born. Get a good one and keep it! Travels well, and adjusts as your baby grows.
    Clothes: I got rid of a ton of clothes after I knew what we were having this last time. You don't need that much and they grow so fast well...after I paired down our baby clothes my life has been so much easier!! I would highly recomend picking out your favorites of what people buy you, and return the rest to purchase things you need: diapers, wipes, etc.

    I had a local amish man make me a moses basket using a basket I had that was broken. It's beautiful and worked wonderfully for my daughter! I made the liner. She still fits in it but is rolling now so she's been moved out. It was completely worth it though as I could bring it anywhere, and she would sleep. (she hates her carseat so this was great).

    Google mai tai wrap or mobi wrap tutorial. You'll find it is soooooo easy to make it yourself! No sewing. Just one cut and you're done. I used slings and carriers...and the wrap is much more comfortable. The weight of the baby is distributed evenly across your shoulders. I have worn our daughter for a few hours and not been sore. (just hot!)

    :) Done

  35. I'm joining the party late, but life is busy with three kids!

    My youngest turned 5 months old today, and here are the things I cannot live without:

    - nursing pillow
    - a wrap (whatever brand you want, or make your own). i've tried a snuggli, and sling and a wrap, and the wrap is BY FAR my favorite.
    - a play mat
    - a Bumbo. HOWEVER, they have just issued a recall because some babies have been arching their backs and falling out, sustaining mild injuries. they company that makes them is now including restraining straps in all the new ones, and old ones can order a diy kit to add the straps. so if you go for a used one (much more economical), make sure you get the straps too.
    - Huggies Natural care wipes, and some washcloths for those really icky poops.
    - both cloth and disposable diapers. i use cloth during the day, and disposable for outings and at night time.

    THIS BOOK: Diaper Free Baby (
    It explains the basics of Elimination Communication, which is based on the fact that babies know when they need to eliminate, and if you "listen"/pay attention to their cues, you can take them to potty right from birth. I did it with my second starting at 1 month old, and which this one at 2 days. I love it. It wastes a whole lot less diapers, and I have yet to deal with an "up-the-back" poop in 5 months of life! Sure, I miss a lot of her pees, but its still an extra way to bond with your baby, and one that helps the environment while you're at it!

  36. You are so right about all the stuff out there that just clutters your life up. A lot of it is pretty nice to have, like a baby swing, bouncer, exersaucer, etc. but really, I would just buy one used, then turn around and sell it or donate it. They only get used for a very short period of time, but really are handy.
    My favorite two items and MUST haves:

    Mulsin swaddle blankets. MUST MUST MUST swaddle

    My BOB stroller. I enjoy walks and jogging. I actually have a double (three kids...)and use it almost daily. Go to the REI garage sale and get it more than half off. It drives like a dream and is well worth every penny we spent on it.

    Can I add a third? The boook "Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child" I promise, it will make life easier.

    Good luck!

  37. I think one of the best purchases we made was our Angel Care monitor. It monitors baby's movements and alarms you if there is no movement (breathing) for over 20 seconds. As a first time mom it made sleep possible for me because it relieved a little worry. Of course there is nothing we can really do but put our little ones in the hands of our Father, but it is still nice to have a little electronic help on the side. :) Here is the unit we purchased since we already had a video monitor.