Babies need a lot of stuff.
Well, okay, let’s be real – babies don’t need a lot of stuff, but there’s a lot of stuff that you will be convinced that they need when you are having one. It’s a trap we all seem to fall into, and that’s okay – it’s a big, exciting, scary time in your life and you’re allowed to indulge a bit. We’ve only had this baby for a month and we’ve already got a ton of baby crap floating around our house, and I have a feeling it’ll only get worse.
I had a couple of people request that I share the baby gear that we registered for and what we’ll be using for Jack, and it sounded like a fun time to me, so I’m here to share all of the
junk super important stuff that we have for our baby and a little on why we chose what we did. I’m a big researcher and did a ton of reading on everything before we chose anything, so I feel pretty confident in the gear we have!
So without further ado, here’s what we (as first time, totally inexperienced parents) are using for the little Monster. This is just the basics – we registered for a lot of other, fun stuff (like nasal aspirators, nail clippers, and baby towels), but these are some of the essentials that we decided on after lots of research. Note: None of these links are affiliate links or sponsored in any way – just what we chose based on what we heard was best!
Stroller/Carseat: We got the Britax B-Agile/B-Safe system for our stroller and carseat. This was one of the things I researched to death and this set kept coming up over and over as the way to go. We got the infant carseat and the stroller in the green color (because, why not?) and we’re big fans so far. The stroller really does fold up with just one hand (we’ve both tried it!) and it’s a very lightweight system without a ton of frills or extra pieces to confuse me. I also love that the stroller is versatile enough that it will last us long into the toddler years – unless we decide we want a small umbrella stroller down the road, this should be the only stroller we ever need for him!
Baby Monitor: I let Corey take the reigns on researching this one, and he chose the Graco Direct Connect Digital Monitor. It’s a very simple audio-only monitor and it gets the job done. We decided to skip the video because we knew we’d spend all of our time staring at the screen wondering if he’s breathing, and really all we need is the audio anyways. This has a few extras like the ability for us to talk to him through the parent piece and a temperature sensor to tell us what the temperature is like in his room. We’ve been happy with it so far! The only thing we don’t love is the vibrate feature – it sounded like a great idea, but it’s very sensitive and ends up buzzing with every cough or sneeze. Also, if one of us is in the room and the other is still in bed it vibrates as we talk to him, etc. which makes sleeping very difficult. We leave that feature off most of the time, though, so it’s not a huge deal.
Play Mat: We got the Infantino Go GaGa play mat from Target and I think we’re going to love it. It’s pretty much just your standard play mat, but it’s way easier on the eyes than most versions I’ve seen, which I’m grateful for. It’s actually pretty cute, which I know we’ll be happy about when it ends up hanging out on our living room floor for weeks at a time. Because I know it will. You know, when he decides that he isn’t going to scream through every attempt at tummy time. I’m confident we’ll use this thing someday…
Rocker/Bouncer: We were gifted a Snugabunny bouncer as a hand-me-down from a friend, so originally we weren’t going to get anything else. We figured this was one of those things you probably won’t miss if you don’t have it (we were oh so naive…), but then we were given the Fisher Price Rock ‘n Play Sleeper at one of our showers and decided to keep it after reading reviews and learning that people are pretty obsessed with it. It’s not the cutest thing ever (I’m not a fan of the brown color), but it’s a lifesaver. Jackson has very bad gas issues and some reflux, so for the last few weeks he’s been sleeping exclusively in the Rock ‘n Play. We don’t want that to be a long time solution because the crib is definitely a safer place for him, but it has saved us all a bit of sanity over the last few weeks and our pediatrician recommended it, so we’re going with it for now. We use the Snugabunny on a daily basis as well – it’s perfect for Jack to hang out in during the day while we’re getting stuff done, and he loves it so we are all happy. Long story short, I don’t know if the brand matters much, but these two items are a must-have. Get them.
Glider: After lots of reading and lots of debate, we decided to skip the glider. Our nursery is tiny and we were on a tight budget, so instead of getting a rocker or a glider we decided to just use the Ikea Strandmon chair that we already had in the room. We tossed a pouf from Target on the floor in front of it, and it’s working perfectly for us for now. I definitely think we would have enjoyed having a glider, but I have a feeling we won’t miss it too much. This chair is incredibly comfortable, so I’m hoping it’s enough…and if it’s not, I’ve already pinned a tutorial on how to turn it into a rocker!
Diapers: Oh diapers. This was a major debate for us throughout this entire pregnancy. Originally, we were going cloth. No questions about it, no way to talk us out of it, we were gonna do it. We registered for a ton of BumGenius Elementals and were super excited to try them out. And then we didn’t get any given to us from our showers. And suddenly we were faced with the reality of spending up to $500 for a cloth diaper stash (since we weren’t really thrilled about using a cheaper brand, after all the research I had done on it), without the guarantee that we’d even like it or be able to keep up with it. We also weren’t sure if our daycare would use cloth diapers. And, honestly, we weren’t completely positive we were ready to commit to that much laundry. It seemed like a huge investment for something we were still a little iffy on, and even though we knew we’d save money in the long run we just didn’t have the budget to get the stash started. So, since we were still second-guessing it with about 2 months to go, we decided to scratch it and do disposables. We can always switch over to cloth later if we feel like we want to commit to it, and we won’t have the pressure of such an intense new laundry routine in addition to having a brand new baby. So, we’ll be using Pampers Swaddlers (since the vast majority of the internet is in agreement that they’re the best), and I’m pretty thrilled about it. It’s not as eco-friendly or as budget-conscious, but it’ll be about 7 million times easier on us so I feel good about the choice. Plus, with an Amazon Mom subscription, they’re going to be way cheaper than we expected, so I’m not complaining!
Swaddling blankets: We have a ton of random receiving blankets and loads of handmade quilts given to us from family and friends, but we use our Aden + Anais blankets for swaddling. They’re super popular with everyone I know, incredibly soft and cute, and they’re huge. They are so cozy that I kind of want a million of them, but we started off with a pack of 4. I’m in love with them, and Jackson’s a fan too, so far.
Breastfeeding Pillow: I was given a Boppy as a hand-me-down from a friend, so I didn’t do much research on these. I’ve heard it’s mostly a matter of personal preference between this and the My Breast Friend, but I’m not too picky. I got a couple of cute covers for it and we’re good to go! It has served us well so far, so I can’t complain. I don’t use it quite as much as I thought I would, as I can just as easily use a throw pillow (or just hold him, since he’s still so little) but I think it’ll be a great pillow to grow with him, and I think it’ll get a lot of use over the next few months as he gets bigger!
Breast Pump: Ugh, this decision was the bane of my existence for a long time. Breast pumps are expensive, you guys. But, considering I’ll be heading back to work when Monster is only 7 weeks old, it’s absolutely vital to me to have a good one so that we can keep him on exclusively breast milk for as long as possible. I got the Medela Pump in Style Advanced based on about a zillion recommendations from the internet and from every single mom I know in person (seriously. Every last one of them recommended this guy). It’s incredibly intimidating and I was terrified of it, but I’ve finally started using it at least once a day to get used to it before work, and it’s pretty easy to use. And not quite as scary as I thought…though I do feel a bit like a cow when I use it.
Baby Carrier: We got the ErgoBaby carrier and originally planned on using it exclusively (we got the infant insert). Cullen was obviously a big fan of it. We have used it once or twice around the house, but it’s pretty bulky and I have a hard time using the infant insert. We wanted something to have with us when we’re out and about and that we can toss in the diaper bag, so we grabbed a Moby to use while Jackson is still little. The Moby isn’t quite as portable as we thought it was (it’s kind of huge), but it’s perfect for the newborn phase. He loves being super snuggled up next to us, and it’s much easier to use than I anticipated. I think we’ll use both of these pretty interchangeably, but I imagine the Moby will get more use while he’s little and we’ll move towards the ErgoBaby when he’s a bit bigger and has more head control.
Diaper Bag: I LOVE my diaper bag. We got the Skip Hop Duo Essential Diaper bag (the pattern is called French Stripe) and it’s so incredibly cute. It has way more pockets than I can ever imagine us needing (though I’m sure I’ll be proven wrong on that one) and it’s nice and compact. We had a really hard time finding a diaper bag that both Corey and I were happy with, and this one was neutral enough for Corey to be okay with it – most of the ones I liked looked too much like purses for his liking, so I was thrilled to finally find something we could both settle on.
Bottles: I don’t have much to say on this topic because it’s another one I let Corey research. He did lots and lots of reading and landed on the Avent BPA Free 4 Ounce bottles. He’s very particular about it and it was kind of adorable to see how passionate he got about it. These are supposedly the way to go for breast-fed babies and I love that he took ownership of it and was so decisive. So these are what we have, and Jackson seems to like ’em so far, so no complaints.
Baby Grooming Products: We were given a ton of this sort of stuff for shower, but most of what we were given was Johnson & Johnson, which I am a bit wary of using based on some reading I’ve done recently. We haven’t thrown any of it away, but I sincerely doubt we’ll be using it. Instead, we registered for some Burt’s Bees Baby products and I’ve heard they’re fantastic – my sister used their stuff with her younger daughter 9 years ago and swears it’s the best. We have really only used these, so I can’t compare, but they smell fantastic and leave him feeling nice and clean. I love their products for myself, so it’s only natural to assume they’ll be great for Jackson too. And I’m a sucker for cute packaging!
Whew. That’s a lot of stuff. This is really only the tip of the iceberg in terms of the baby products we have floating around our house (it’s astounding how much stuff comes along with these little bitty humans!) but this is most of the staples. If there is any interest, I’ll do an update post in a few months to let you know how we like everything we ended up with, but I feel pretty good about the products we have and we’ve been happy with everything so far!
What are your favorite baby products? Anyone without kids shocked at how much junk they seem to need? Anything I missed that you want to hear about?