“My house won’t be cluttered with STUFF!” I proclaimed.
“I’ll avoid loud and obnoxious colors!” I promised.
“I won’t be overrun by baby crap!” I professed.
You see, baby gear is a slippery slope into “stuff” hell. It’s filled with promises of better sleep and happier babies. This gear tends to be miniature and usually adorned with something so overly adorable that it transfixes your mom-brain and has you clicking “purchase” faster than you can snap out of the “OMFG-SO-CUTE” trance.
Weary of this mom-zombie (mombie?) outcome, I put up my best defense when it came time to make my registry. I intentionally tried to keep it simple and rely on the hand-me-downs passed along to us. And while I’ve held mostly true to my self-promises, the fact-of-the-matter is that what you actually need changes once the kids arrives, baby “stuff” now overtakes our small living room, and Amazon Prime should probably give me a frequent buyer punch card.
Advice to future moms (if I may), keep your registry simple, go for gift cards as you won’t really know what your kiddo likes until they’re here, and if anything, make sure these essentials are on your list.
Rock ‘N Play: Because Q HATED the crib and once we discovered he could fall asleep in the rock ‘n play (and our doctor ok’d it), sleep re-entered our lives. We’re now working on transitioning him to the crib.
Bouncer: We had a fancy swing, but nothing beat his enjoyment in the bouncer chair. Adios high-priced contraption.
White Noise App: I love the Cradle app because you can mix multiple white noise elements. Our go to: rain plus heartbeat.
Love To Dream or Halo Sleepsack Swaddle: We had a regular Houdini on our hands and he would break free from every swaddle we tried. Once we got him in the Love To Dream, we could stop worrying about him breaking loose.
Yoga Ball: We don’t have space for a rocker or glider, but a good ol’ fashioned yoga ball did the trick. Bounce that baby to sleep!
Bravado Nursing Bras: Easy access and the comfiest I’ve tried. I bought all three styles and wear them every day.
Boppy: To help make nursing much more comfortable and the perfect place to snuggle with your babe when he falls asleep on you.
Spectra Breast Pump: I’m so glad that I went with the Spectra pump. While I don’t necessarily have another pump to compare it to, it’s effective, efficient, and quiet.
Lansinoh Milk Bags: These bags fit on the Spectra pump falanges, making these a double win for pumping.
Pumping Bra: I tried a couple options, but this one from Amazon came recommended to me and it’s perfect. Highly adjustable and stays put.
Stroller: We have a Britax and a BOB. The Britax is straight-forward, light-weight, affordable and a folds-up with one click. Easier, cheaper, and faster is the name of the game.
Baby Carrier: Early on, wearing Q was one of the only ways I could get him to nap. Now, it’s one of the only ways I can get things done! We were lucky enough to have multiple baby carrier hand-me-downs, including an Ergo and a Tula. In addition to these, I purchased a Wild Bird ring sling and received a Boba from my registry. Josh uses the Ergo for hiking, I use the Tula for errands, the Wild Bird for quick (and stylish) jaunts, and the Boba for when it’s a bit cooler outside. Crazy, I know. But it works for us.
Infant Optics Baby Monitor: I love this monitor for its affordability and the fact that you can get TWO cameras. We have one camera permanently mounted in the room and we’re able to use the second camera for travel or wherever else.
Long iPhone Charger: Amazon Basics for the win. Buy multiple of them and leave them plugged in around the house.
Baby Tracker App: I live and die by this app. It tracks everything you’d ever want to know about your baby and is an extremely useful tool for helping recognize patterns and to develop what I like to call “baby theories” (e.g. WHY ISN’T HE SLEEPING?!?!).
Mom Group: The most beneficial thing I did my entire mat leave was join the new mom group at the hospital. Formally, the group meets once a week, but I’ve since made great friends who help keep my sanity and remind me that we’re in it together. If you can only take one thing away from this post, it’s join a mom group. It’s good for your soul and in turn, good for everyone.
Coffee Budget: Or chai budget. It’s a NECESSITY. Just don’t ask me to add up how much I’ve spent.
The Chicken Face: Ok, ok. This is just for me, but I can’t thank the husband enough. While I’m sitting on the couch with a kid on the boob, he’s picking up around us and making sure that our life stays in order. I’d be lost without him.
What else would you add to these new baby essentials?