so, i'm not proclaiming to be a baby guru by any means (heck, we are just barely finally getting some sleep over here!), but elle has grown out of her newborn clothes, and we've been able to keep her alive and thriving for a few months now, so i'd say we have a little bit of knowledge about things that have worked for us!
i know when i was pregnant, i was a little bit lost when it came to registries and baby shopping. i was so dang excited because everything is so darling, but i was also overwhelmed because there's just so much out there, and i didn't know what to splurge on and what was simply impractical or unnecessary. so i turned to the army of amazing moms + wealth of knowledge that is facebook (and admittedly felt a bit foolish in doing so), scoured baby lists, and read endless reviews... and finally used our amazon prime account for all it's worth!
so thanks to the advice of many wonderful moms and articles, this is what we purchased and what we have found works really well for us. we tried to save money where we could but splurged on a few critical items or quality items that we felt like we'd get use out of for multiple babies. i'm attaching links for ease. i think i'll also do a separate post for breastfeeding items i've really liked, since i know not everyone wants to or can breastfeed. so, without further ado...!
so i know i'm not alone in that i am super crazy about swaddles. they really are sorta my all-time favorite baby item. so cozy and gentle and multifunctional (hello, burp cloth in a pinch!) most of ours are from little unicorn, and we love the fun patterns and quality!
little unicorn deluxe swaddle set- so these are the pricier sets from little unicorn, but they are just the softest and so cozy, which makes them worth it in my opinion. we only have a couple of these, but it's nice to mix it up with our other swaddles when she needs a little extra lovin.
little unicorn swaddle set (boy // neutral // neutral // girl) i love these sets because of all of the options, price, + they're still soft and a great quality. our little elle loves both the fruity ones + the floral sets.
aden + anais silky soft swaddle set- we were gifted a swaddle from aden + anais and love it as well! they're have a different look about them, pattern-wise and are great quality.
halo sleepsack- these were recommended to us by several people and are so warm and make a really nice swaddle. isabella haaates being swaddled because she loves to sleep with her arms above her head, but these are nice because they allow for a few options, including arms out. i have some friends who say their babes sleep through the night from the get go with these!
bottles, pacifiers, feeding:
dr. brown's bottles- there are a million and ten different bottle types out there these days, but we opted for these as they're more of a classic in the new age of bottles, and they help reduce air intake. isabella has done really well with them always (though needed a preemie size nipple when she first started with a bottle), and you can't go wrong with the price point. isabella never had issues with nipple confusion (girl just loves her milk!), but if you're worried about that, i'd opt for the avent bottles.
dr. brown's bottle brush- may seem sorta silly, but this thing is the best for cleaning both baby bottles and pumping bottles... and water bottles, too!
boppy pillow- lots of brands of these too, but we went for the classic boppy since there are so many options for different covers and they're easy to clean. it has been great for feeding + snuggling, and we'll also use it for tummy time and sitting up when the time comes!
pacifier + lovey- elle has a love/hate relationships with pacifiers, but she consistently spits them out, even when she's loving them. adding the little lovey toy on there helps keep it in place, and we liked that this brand was cheaper + detachable for cleaning, unlike the wubba nubs.
bottle drying rack- this isn't a necessity, but it helps us stay organized and allows the pump pieces and bottles + their components to dry in a clean environment.
burp cloths (girl // boy)- self-explanatory, but also super necessary! this is one thing i feel like we can never have enough of since we're constantly washing them. stock up!!!
bottle sterilizer- the boiling method definitely works, but after melting a baby item or two, we wish we had just spent the money on this from the get go ;)
owlet monitor- okay, so this is one of the most expensive items we purchased, but honestly it is, hands down, the best purchase we made. we decided to go this route instead of a video monitor, because this little sock reads her pulse and pulse ox (oxygenation) while she's wearing it and alarms us if there are any abnormalities so that we can make adjustments/help if need be. since she was a preemie, the sock didn't fit well enough for the first couple of weeks, and i really hardly slept because i was so worried about SIDS, so i was always checking her breathing. i've slept so much better since she's worn it; the peace of mind alone is worth it for us! you can use HSA funds for these, and right now they're on promotion at target with a $20 gift card for purchasing one!
doc a tot- we bought this on black friday and have liked it because it allows elle to sleep soundly and is so mobile, so we can bring it to her bassinet, our bed, her crib, the sofa, while traveling, etc.
rock'n play- this was 100% the most recommended item by other moms on facebook, when i asked what i needed to purchase. we don't let her sleep in it for extended periods of time, but we have it in our kitchen/main living space, and it helps keep her content and nap while we're cooking or eating dinner. she loves the movement and nature sounds!
co-sleeper bassinet- we're going by the pediatric recommendation of having baby in our room for the first six months for overnight sleeping, so this bassinet has been perfect because it attaches under the mattress for safety (baby can't fall between/it can't tip over), and i can just reach over and soothe her if she's fussy. easy access to baby for feedings too! plus, i can just stare at her while she sleeps (you all know you do it!) we researched a lot of options, and this is what worked for us because of the price point and reviews. i'd imagine it would be a life saver for c-section mamas who are too sore to get out of bed a million times a night those first few weeks.
inexpensive changing pad- when researching these bad boys, i saw so many different options. but when it came down to it, i wasn't sure how much we'd use it, and i realized that she probably was going to poop and pee all over it... so why spend a lot? we actually use it all of the time, and she definitely has had a few accidents on it during changes, so i'm glad we didn't spend a lot on it. works great!
changing pad cover (girl // girl // neutral // boy)- cause ya know, cute nursery stuff. these are nice quality and easily washable.
munchkin changing pad liners- these are life savers and help us avoid washing our changing pad cover every other day when things get messy.
babyganics wipes- we have tried many different brands of wipes and like these best because they're marketed as wipes for face, body, and bum, and they're more natural-- and not too much more expensive than generic brands! we also like the pampers sensitive skin wipes.
baby-safe hand sanitizer
ubbi diaper pail- i admittedly spent way too much time researching diaper pails. way too much. though this isn't the cheapest, we ultimately went this route because it's steel so the scent doesn't leach into it, and you don't have to buy expensive name-brand bags, like some of the other popular ones.
bum cream- this one was recommended to us and is the only one we've tried, but it works well for elle (who admittedly doesn't need to use it very often). i've also heard cornstarch works well as a natural barrier?
digital thermometer- we invested in an on-sale (but not cheap) infant temporal/ear thermometer, and now i wish we had just bought an inexpensive digital thermometer from the get go. i ended up with the flu a couple of weeks ago, and elle had an almost-fever, and the doctor was insistent on using rectal temperatures only for accuracy.
- girlfriend had some serious gas problems her first two months of life. our poor little bug was constantly bearing down, clenching her fists, and turning her face red with might, and it was awful to watch her suffer. we ended up having to use a combination of gripe water and gas drops to help her, but i preferred the gripe water since it's more natural.
infants' tylenol- we fortunately haven't had to use this yet, but it's been really nice to have it on hand for when we do need it, in case that happens to be at 2 a.m.
infant vitamin d drops
baby nail clippers- cause those little tiny nails are sharp and scratch their perfect faces! we like the magnifying glass feature on these.
nose frida- also haven't had to use this yet, but it was recommended to us a thousand times over by other moms for colds/congestion instead of using a bulb syringe.
windi- we try not to use these too often, but they've been a lifesaver when we have needed to use them. they're basically a little catheter that you stick in the baby's rectum to help release trapped gas/constipation. we had a few nights where elle suffered for 6-7 hours and we'd tried everything else, and this was the only remedy to her gas pains
towels (girl // neutral // boy)- these are soft and cuddly and absolutely adorable. elle loves the little hood to warm her head until we dry her off and put her in a hat.
bath tub- we bought the older version of this tub and have been happy with it. inexpensive, cute, functional, done.
washcloths- we didn't want to spend a ton on baby washcloths, so we bought these on sale and a pack from amazon on sale. by and large, these ones have held up much better and are way softer!
munchkin shampoo rinser- this is somewhat frivolous, but for $5, i'm okay being frivolous. this little guy makes for easy rinsing after baths, and although a plastic cup would work just as well, we like the handle while also trying to maneuver a wiggly baby.
- best bargain buy right here!!! i've always loved the fawn design bags, but i can't get myself to spend the money on them and have had some friends whose have broken quickly, so i gave this a shot, and i've been pleasantly surprised by the quality + how it looks. you can buy three colors for the price of one designer bag sooo it's sorta a no-brainer.
skip hop diaper backpack- i'm a fan of the backpack setup because managing a squirmy baby or awkward carseat on one arm and a diaper bag on the other can be difficult. aaand this one is just crazy cute and functional.
my wildbird sling- we are still getting the hang of the whole babywearing thing over here, but baby girl loves it, and i love the ring slings because they're a lot easier to get set up than the wraps, so they're great for getting going quickly. plus, these ones are made by local moms, so that is cool too.
solly baby wrap // moby wrap- these are great for babywearing for infants too. i've walked all over a mall with isabella in this, and we both loved it!
uppababy vista stroller
nuna pipa car seat- also not the cheapest option on the block, but we splurged because of the quality reviews, and we intend to make it last for more than one kiddo! it is light and has some really great safety features.
copper pearl car seat/nursing cover- we have used this a ton in the winter months. i admittedly currently only use it for a car seat cover, but you can also use it as a nursing cover and shopping cart cover when they're older too!
tummy time play mat- keeps the babe entertained while she develops and works on her motor skills.
promptly journal- i am trying to get back into journaling more to help remember all of the little moments, and i love how beautiful and functional this journal is. it has a lot of blanks for facts and memories during various ages and stages of baby's growth.
hopefully i didn't forget anything! this seems like a lot, and obviously you can go without some of it, but these have been our favorite items. i'd be remiss to not mention that we were blessed enough to receive many of these items from our generous friends and families. thank you, thank you, thank you!! we registered with babylist + amazon (though babylist pulls all of your registries together, which is nice), and we were so fortunate to be given so much.
please feel free to e-mail me with any questions, and happy nesting! firstname.lastname@example.org
anna, mateo, + elle
this post contains some affiliate links, which i earn a small commission off of. there is no increase in pricing, and they're all items that i use and fully support. if you end up purchasing anything, thank you for supporting my little family!