I don't think I'll ever forget how I felt the first time I walked into a baby store. Nick and I thought it would be fun to go and browse around... Well, we were wrong. It was so overwhelming! When I got home, I spent hours searching Pinterest and reading blog posts with baby registry suggestions. I wanted some direction because there is a LOT of stuff associated with a baby and so many versions of each of those things!
After my baby was born, I started thinking about making my own list of favorite baby products. And while I'll link to specific items that I've used and like, I tried to make the list itself more generic. If you're an expectant mama reading this list, let me be clear: you don't need everything listed here. These fifty items definitely go beyond the "basics," but I tried to highlight "need" vs "nice to have" in my description for each item.
PS: If you're anything like me, let me pass along some advice: don't feel like you have to research every single thing. That was my biggest challenge when registering because it made me so indecisive!
1. Footie Pajamas - Most of the time, my baby is wearing one of two things (depending on the temperature): footie pajamas or a onesie. Cute baby outfits are fun, but footie pajamas like these are my go to for hanging around the house! If they use zippers instead of buttons, those are automatically my most used.
2. Scratch Mitts - My baby always wanted to have his hands near his face, and he kept scratching himself because I was so nervous about cutting his nails. We put scratch mitts on him pretty often in those early days! Our one pair of goumikids mitts ($12) were my favorite. The velcro around the wrist helped them stay on.
3. Socks and/or Booties - You don't really need shoes, but we did find ourselves using socks whenever he was just wearing a onesie. The only problem? Sometimes he'd kick them off! That's when I'd turn to these Zutano Booties ($21) because the snaps helped them stay put. Not a necessity, but I was happy to have one pair.
4. White Onesies - I'd read not to buy very much newborn-size clothing because babies outgrow it quickly... and then I ended up with a tiny baby. I didn't have anything that fit him! We ended up buying lots of white onesies, especially these long-sleeve ones with built-in mitts ($12), and had him in those most of the time.
5. Drool Bibs - I didn't start using these until a little later on, but they've come in handy now that my baby drools so much more! Any bib will do, though I happen to think these bandana bibs ($22) are some of the cutest. And now that my baby has figured out how to stick part of the bib in his mouth, he's a fan of wearing them.
What you don't need: You don't really need shoes or a ton of "outfits." And I'd recommend waiting to buy most seasonal clothes (like swimsuits or sweaters) until your baby is here. I had some summer clothes I'd already washed that ended up being too big because my baby didn't wear 0-3 months clothes for quite a while.
6. Monitor - This was one area where I got so caught up in researching! Did I want a video or sound monitor? Video, for sure. But then what brand? I finally picked out out this Infant Optics Monitor ($170) based on reviews and have been really pleased with it. It's easy to set up, works well and has a nice picture and sound quality.
7. Swaddles - I registered for several different brands, but my boy was too tiny for most of them! A nurse at the hospital recommended these SwaddleMe Pods ($25), and we adored them. They zip up so they're so easy to use! Once he outgrew those, we used the SwaddleMe Original ($25) until we stopped swaddling.
8. Nightlight - It only took a few middle of the night feedings before I realized that I wanted a nightlight! I needed to keep the room as dark as possible so I didn't wake the baby but bright enough in the room so I could see. I bought this nightlight ($12), and it's perfect! I love being able to adjust the brightness.
9. Heart Rate & Oxygen Monitor - This definitely falls into the splurge category because it's not a necessity. But I saw an ad for Owlet ($250) on Facebook one day, and I couldn't get it out of my mind. Monitoring my baby's heart rate and oxygen level while he sleeps offers me peace of mind that's worth every penny.
10. White Noise Machine - Several of my friends recommended using a white noise machine so my baby would associate it with sleeping, and I'm so glad they did! We turn this one ($50) on at night and during naps, and it's simple little signal to my boy that it's time for bed.
And don't forget: Decorating the nursery is so much fun! Here's my favorite crib ($200), mattress pad ($22) and the crib sheets ($38) that were a splurge. Plus, my parents bought the baby a custom quilt from Morgan Kelly Handmade, and it's absolutely gorgeous. I love using it as the backdrop for my baby's monthly photos!
11. Hooded Towels - Is there anything cuter than a baby all wrapped up in a hooded towel after they get out of the bath? I think not. We got two of these Gingham Hooded Towels ($25) from Pottery Barn - I like that they're simple and classic! But any towel will do, and you don't really need more than two or three.
12. Hair Brush/Scrub - The hospital sent us home with a little hairbrush that we used during bathtime, and it did the trick. But there have been a few times when my boy's scalp has been a little dry, and then I pulled out this Soothing Scrub Wet Brush ($5). It's not necessary - but can be helpful if your baby has cradle cap.
13. Sponge and/or Washcloths - Most baby register guides suggest getting washcloths, but I'm so glad my friend recommended this Natural Bath Sponge ($10). We use it during every bath! It's soft, lathers well and is perfect to rinse him off. Plus, there's less laundry to do if you use it instead of a washcloth!
14. Bathtub - You don't have to get a baby tub, but it certainly makes bath time easier. Our little boy loves kicking and splashing around in his! We like that this Step by Step Bath Tub ($20) transitions so it can be used for your baby at different ages. It's so convenient.
15. Hair + Body Wash - We were gifted so many different kinds of hair and body wash for babies. We're slowly making our way through them now, but I think the Aveeno Baby Wash & Shampoo ($8) might be my favorite so far. But that's just because I love the scent! We have lotions, too, but I never use them.
16. Changing Pad - You don't need a changing pad, but I do like having one. Rather than get the kind that needs a fabric cover, I found this Keekaroo Peanut Changer ($99). The surface is impermeable to fluids, so it's easy to wipe off (for those "peeing while the diaper is off" accidents) and limits bacteria growth.
17. Diaper Pail - I was torn on whether or not to get a diaper pail. A lot of blogs said it wasn't a necessity (which is true), but one of my friends highly recommended getting one. In the end, I'm glad I listened to her. We like the Ubbi Diaper Pail ($70) because it doesn't require a special kind of trash bag.
18. Travel Trash Bags - I grabbed these Diaper Bags & Dispenser ($4) from Target one day on a whim. I just keep them in the diaper bag for those random times when I need to change a diaper on the go and can't find a trash can. They're also useful if your kid has a blowout and you need a bag for his dirty clothes...
19. Diapers + Wipes - Unless you're cloth diapering, you'll need lots of diapers and wipes. Be prepared to spend more than you'd imagine on something that just gets thrown away. Byeeee, money. I've tried several brands but always come back to Pampers Swaddlers and Pampers Sensitive Wipes because they work best for us.
20. Diaper Cream - We use Aquaphor Baby Healing Ointment ($15) to protect our boy from diaper rash. It works well! We've got several things of it - one for the diaper bag, one in the nursery, one downstairs... Haha! If we need something a little stronger, I typically reach for Boudreaux's Butt Paste.
21. Nasal Aspirator - The hospital gave us a bulb syringe, which the nurses told us to keep nearby in case we needed to clear mucus out of our baby's mouth. Thankfully, we never needed to use it. But clearing out his nose? That's where the NoseFrida ($15) is a must have. It seems gross, but it works.
22. Infant Tylenol - Obviously, don't use any medicine without consulting the pediatrician. But, that being said, it's nice to already have Infant Tylenol ($8) in your medicine cabinet if you happen to need it. We've had to use it a few times, and it works quickly to help our little man get back to normal.
23. Hand Sanitizer - This item is a little random, so I almost didn't include it. But I felt like I had to mention it because we've gone through a lot of hand sanitizer! Early on, we had big bottle in our living room so visitors could use it before holding the baby. The Honest Company Hand Sanitizer Gel ($7) had my favorite scent.
24. Nail Clippers - I absolutely hate clipping baby fingernails, but it has to be done. Those things are like tiny claws! I usually put it off and finally have to do it when my baby ends up with a big scratch down his face... Struggle. We got these Fold-Up Nail Clippers ($4), and they get the job done just fine.
25. Thermometer - So, here's the deal. I've got an ear/forehead digital thermometer ($36) and an oral/rectal/underarm thermometer ($12). I grab the first if my baby feels a little warm. If it shows a fever, then I'll get out the second. Because if you have to call the doctor, they'll want to know the rectal temperature.
Continue reading with The Baby Edition #2!