Friday, June 8, 2012

Must have baby registry items

Stokke High Chair
As promised in my Useless Baby Registry Items and Useful But Not Necessary Baby Registry Items posts, here is my list of what you must have on your baby registry or in your home. To be truly green would be to make your own items or to have used items. If you cannot find them used or homemade, only buy it if you are sure that you will get very good use out of it for a long time.
  1. Baby carrier. Babies are used to being next to your body for nine months. They are calmed by the sounds and smells of your body. When a baby is born, it is widely known that babies do best skin to skin with their mom which is where they are used to being. It only makes sense that when you are out for a walk (or trying to cook dinner), your baby will be most comfortable up against your body. I have often seen screaming newborns being walked or driven around the block in a stroller/carseat to get the child to sleep with the white noise and movement. This seems so silly since the baby just wants to be against a warm human. My husband LOVES wearing our babies (and still our 2 and 4.5 year old!) because it helps him bond a deeper relationship with the baby. I think that he likes the reactions of the people who verbally ooh and ah at the sight of a proud daddy being so loving with his child. Sorry for my tangent!  Anyways, I love the Moby Wrap for newborns and mid-sized babies because it keeps my body in alignment and keeps the baby in healthy alignment. Those mainstream Baby Bijorns are horrible for the baby's hip alignment and get uncomfortable as soon as the baby puts on decent weight.  I also own the Ergo Carrier which I have used from around 5 months until well... my daughter is 4.5 and still loves having a ride on the back when she gets tired of hiking. I never felt right with the Ergo's infant insert so I skipped that.
  2. Receiving Blankets. I did not put these on my registry because I did not know that I needed them but it seemed that everyone else knew that I needed them and I received so many that I had to return/exchange some.  Anyways, I used them for a lot of things. I would get a lot of use out of a single blanket by giving it a different purpose each day until it hit the laundry basket: swaddling, burp cloth, under messy diaper changes. They are great to throw in your on the go bag, to have a clean place to change the baby or to tuck over the crib mattress to absorb sleepy drool. Just don't go crazy and collect too many!
  3. Cotton Sleep Sacks. Thankfully an experienced mom bought me one of these. They are the greatest way to cover a baby while they sleep.  I love them! You only need 1-2.
  4. Plain Cotton Onesies and Sleep-n-Play Outfits. Onesies are great for a baby to lounge in during the summer or to layer underclothes in the winter. The sleep-n-play outfits are the most comfortable thing for babies to wear whether they are awake or asleep. Those other fancy clothes are just irritating and hard to get on and off a newborn.
  5. Tummy-time Playmate. It is nice to have a special blanket or a pre-bought playmate that you can use for the baby to play on. I had a mainstream one that I loved because it created a lot of entertainment while my newborn was on tummy time and it folded flat and fit behind the couch when we were not using it. It had toys hanging that we were able to use for several months after my babies were mobile.
  6. Boppy Pillow.  The Boppy Pillow is a hard pillow in a special shape to support the baby while your are breastfeeding.  This pillow makes it so much easier to focus on getting a good latch. While pregnant, I use this super firm pillow between my legs when I sleep. I suggest that you buy it new with two covers because babies spit up sometimes and I have seen some gross ones!  If you find one used in good condition then go for it!
  7. Incidentials: shampoo, cream, comb, brush. I love California Baby Tea Tree Shampoo, and Weleda Calendula Diaper cream (although I barely use it since I cloth diaper), a soft baby brush and a little comb. I never bought those baby finger nail clippers because another mom warned me that the best way to cut little nails is to tear, bite or file them. She was right! When they get older, our family cutters work perfect.
  8. Laundry Detergent and Dryer Balls. Keep the detergent, dye free and fragrance free. Stay away from chemicals because they could irritate the baby's skin plus they damage our environment and our own health. There are many brands out there including: Seventh Generation, Ecos, Biokleen, and Meyers.
  9. Wool Nursing Pads. Most women have leakage for months following their milk coming in and find that they need nursing pads between their breasts and bra to soak the leakage up. I was not a fan of the disposable ones (unless going out in a fancy outfit) because they are like maxi-pads and are filled with chemicals that I did not want against by nipples. I used cotton pads for my first baby and found that sometimes I leaked through them. For my second I bought one pair of wool nursing pads and was in love. They are mostly self cleaning so I only washed them once a week. I liked that they were larger so they were not apparent though my cloths and I never felt wet or cold from the milk. I will reuse these again for the #3.
  10. Cloth diapers, diaper pail, cloth wipes. If you are interested in cloth diapering, just do it!  All of my kids have been cloth diapered except while traveling and we have loved it. I will do a special post on cloth diapering but I found that good quality prefolds with a good quality cover to be the easiest and cheapest. Since they are so cheap, I have a huge supply so I only wash them once a week. For baby #2 I made some super easy cloth wipes out of cotton flannel and used a spray bottle with water and a drop of castile soap. Add a good diaper pail to your registry either way because you want to keep smells out of your room.
  11. Non-toxic Mattress, Crib, sheets, Wool Mattress Pad. These are only useful if you are not going to be co-sleeping. You can certainly buy these used but if you are like me and going for baby #3, you will be glad that you bought high quality new items.  We LOVE wool mattress pads so much that we have them also on our bed and our daughter's twin bed. They regulate temperature, are naturally absorbent and self cleaning!
  12. Gender Neutral Car Seat. We had one on our registry for baby #1 even though we were carless in the city. It was helpful when we rented a car or to put the baby in when I wanted to shower since we didn't own a bouncer or swing. If you want to be on the lowest level of consumerism, buy a "convertible" car seat that holds a child from newborn until preschool.  Your primary carseat should be bought new so you know that it has not been in an accident and that the plastic has not become brittle as it aged.
  13. Gender Neutral Stroller. Of course if you are going to have more than one child you don't want a gender specific stroller, but I just don't like them in general, sorry. I am glad that we bought our stroller new because it gets a lot of use. We bought it with gift cards and by returning items that we did not need. Everyone has a different need when it comes to strollers. City dwellers go straight for the Maclaren stroller because it is sturdy and folds with one hand to quickly get on buses. Suburban moms often have a garage stroller (aka SUV stroller) that would be large folded up but that they don't fold up but just use around town. These moms keep flimsy umbrella strollers in their car trunk for outings. In the city I just had a Maclaren and now it is my trunk stroller in suburbia. I have a Phil & Teds double stroller (bought used) that is my garage stroller that I use daily to and from preschool, library and parks. My neighborhood has old bumpy sidewalks that this stroller glides over and is extremely easy to push. I love both strollers because they are metal and sturdy. I know people who have bought those strollers with plastic trays and handles. Guess what? Plastic breaks easily! I would not buy a super expensive ($1000) single stroller if you plan to have multiple kids close together because you would hate to have to buy an expensive double stroller so soon (My Phil and Teds converts from single to double!).  Just like breast pumps, cheap strollers are cheap for a reason.  Buy quality and it will treat you well. You can find really good strollers used but you have to look hard because most people who have a great stroller do not want to part with it until it is in shreds when their kid is 6 years old. If you don't walk much then don't bother with a good stroller :)
  14. High Chair / Booster. You can completely buy these used but I found most of the used ones had food caked into cracks and knowing that I was going to have multiple kids, I wanted mine new. I knew before I was pregnant that I wanted the Stokke High Chair so it was the first thing that we added to the registry (my husband also fell in love at first sight since this is the only high chair anyone in his home country seems to have). It was the first thing that someone bought off our registry! It slides into our table like a regular chair so the kids feel like part of the family and it does not take up extra space at the table. The chair adjusts as the child grows and can even support adults.  Their ergonomics are always perfect. DO NOT BUY A CLOTH COVERED HIGH CHAIR. Kids get food everywhere and the idea of having a cloth and seams to clean is just gross. I have never seen one that looks good. If you are short on space or funds, a booster seat on top of a regular chair works great and is easy to clean!
  15. Bumkins Super Bibs. Those cute cotton bibs are only good for drooling babies. As soon as they eat food those bibs get stained and you can only use them for one feeding. The Bumkins Super Bibs are a vinyl that can be easily wiped after each snack or meal. Then you instantly have a clean bib to reuse. One set of three seems to last through one child from 6 months to 3 years so you can get something gender themed if you please. I have tried endless other plastic and cloth bibs but have not been happy with any of them except for these bibs. They are just the best!


  1. It only makes sense that when you are out for a walk (or trying to cook dinner), your baby will be most comfortable up against your body.

  2. I found this great link that shows a chart of what the best laundry detergents are for cloth diapering! I was surprised to find out that only the Seventh Generation Delicate Care was enzyme free!

    1. Thanks for sharing this is a great link! I wish that it was updated since 2010 and I doubt if the products listed have changed. My favorite Rock-n-Green is not on the list but has been working like a charm for a year on my pre-folds without needing to strip once (I have very hard water so this is impressive).

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