This is everything I learned about baby stuff after having two kids. I tried to make this easily navigable so that you don’t have to read the whole long thing if you don’t want to. You may not need a whole book about just one category of baby item ;P If you want to just skip to diapers, I’m going to put them at the end.
————-Baby Furniture —————————–
If I could only have two pieces of new furniture for a baby, I would get a crib and a swing (or vibrating rock n play sleeper.) Cribs that convert to toddler beds are awesome.
High Chair– high chairs are awesome. I wouldn’t skip this one. What type you get is really dependent on your lifestyle, though. Here’s my advice on choosing one: 1. The huge bulky plastic ones are annoying on so many levels. Remember that food is going to get all over the place, so you either want an easily removable cover, or no cover at all, with a very simple construction (like the Ikea high chair or the type that they have at restaurants.) 2. Keep in mind that you may not want to feed the child strictly in one room at every meal, so having something that is easy to move or fold up is nice. 3. If you travel a lot, you may need something portable. A lot of people like the types that buckle onto dining chairs. The annoying thing about having these at home is that food gets all over the dining chair and you have to clean that out every once in a while. If you always travel to the same place, like mom and dads, you can just have a feeding solution that’s always there, and play it by ear when you go anywhere else. 4. If you have a high table, it’s helpful to have a high chair that can be used with a 2-4 year old later.
Bassinet- Bassinets are awesome. I’m all for skipping furniture for simplicity’s sake, but, unless you have a way to put a crib in your bedroom, a bed in the nursery, or the nursery is basically your closet, it is crucial to have somewhere to stick the baby without traveling too far in the middle of the night. They make some that can be removed from a stand and put in your bed. They make some with wheels. Alternatively, you can get something like a Moses basket. It’s just a safe little space for the baby to sleep anywhere. I liked having a bassinet that we could easily keep in any room we wanted so that the baby could sleep wherever I was. BUT, on the other hand, there are other pieces of furniture that can accommodate multi-room sleeping..
Rock n Play Sleepers and Swings- Both are amazing, but I’m on the fence as to whether both are necessary. We were under cost restrictions, so we had both a rock-n-play AND a swing, as the swing was second hand. But there are swings that can basically do it all. I liked the rock n play for a couple reasons. 1. For one, it lasted a little longer than the swing. Some swings have a high weight limit, but ours did not. 2. Also, the rock n play allowed the boys to sleep in an inclined position, instead of flat on their back. They both had reflux (very common), and got colds pretty frequently. While long-term sleeping is recommended flat on their back, sleeping at an angle is helpful for reflux and congestion. I like to think that the boys avoided any kind of misshapen heads by sleeping in many different positions in different types of furniture. Plus I wore them a lot. More on that later.
Rocking Chair- This is a really nice thing. Having a specific chair for you to sit and read and do a bedtime routine and nurse and all that, it’s fantastic. It’s one that can be skipped, but I loved having a glider. Make sure it’s comfortable, though.
Changing table- This is optional. You can make anything into a changing table. Having had one kid with one and one without, I can say it is really nice having one. But it isn’t necessary.
—————- Baby Transportation ———-
Car Seat- Some people skip the infant car seat in favor of a forever car seat. They make some that can hold a newborn, and then eventually can hold a rear-facing 50 lb child. Pro: You don’t have to keep replacing the car seat. Cons: It’s a bigger investment up front. You can’t remove the whole car seat from the car and allow the baby to continue sleeping while you shop or run or whatever.
Strollers- Baby Trend makes a jogging stroller with an infant car seat that attaches to it. That is awesome. I used the jogging stroller for everything. I would have gone forever only using that stroller if I hadn’t had Bash. A cheap umbrella stroller is nice too, but I just bought one when I needed it. Those big strollers with 4 wheels are stupid. I don’t really understand why people get those.
Baby Wearing- Baby wearing is a hobby in and of itself. An expensive hobby. I don’t recommend getting too crazy with it, haha. I’m a moderationist. Not quite minimalist, but I don’t condone spending $2,000 on baby wraps and structured carriers…Here is what I recommend: 1 wrap, and 1 Soft Structured Carrier. They make stretchy wraps and woven wraps.
*The stretchy wraps only work for under 6 months, but they’re really convenient, especially for breastfeeding. You can wrap it onto you (shirt optional!) And the baby can easily slip in and out without you having to take it off and put it back on.I actually have one of these, and you can have it.
*Alternatively, woven wraps are strong enough to attach an adult to your back, BUT, you have to re-wrap it every time. You can’t just keep it on and put the baby in, take the baby out. You have to set it up, put the baby in, finish wrapping, then they’re there forever. lol. It takes a long time, and I’ve never liked to wear long enough to justify the installation time.
*SSC’s are where it’s at. I can use it for 5 minutes or 5 hours, but it has to be a good one. Tula is my favorite. They make awesome prints. I’m pretty sure there’s a unicorn one..
Here is the link to the Tula website. They have all of the things that I mentioned. Including ring slings, which I didn’t mention. Those are awesome. I have one of those I can give you too, actually.
Baby wearing exceptions- The only exceptions would be 1. if you want to buy a separate carrier for daddy. 2. If you want to wear in the water. They make specific carriers for that. 3. If you want to carry your 3-4 year old, you can sell the others and buy a toddler Tula.
—————- Baby Clothes ——————-
Don’t go overboard. Return any gifted clothes that are not your style. Ask for clothes in future sizes. Do not get a billion 0-3 sized clothes, and you barely want ANY newborn clothes. If the baby turns out to be super tiny, you can always run out and buy a few extra NB clothes. But we had a bunch of NB clothes, and Westley NEVER fit into them. Sebastian did, for 2 weeks. If you cloth diaper, you don’t need to worry about blow outs. They will be rare or non-existent, so you won’t be changing the baby’s clothes 4 times a day. Remember seasons. Remember that the baby will be in a different size every 3 months. This is typically what is needed for 3 months and under:
Onesies: 7-10 per size. If you buy too many of ANYTHING, though, buy too many of these. Onesies are essential, and compact. Girl or boy, a onesie can be accessorized around, and you can strategically only change the onesie if there is a wardrobe malfunction. I would carry a couple of these in the diaper bag just in case. I would invest in some onesies for 3-6 months as well. 6-9 and 9-12 really depends on the child.
Shirts and/or dresses: optional. For the first 3 months, regular shirts aren’t super practical, so I wouldn’t seek those out unless you see one that is amazing, or if you want to be super crunchy and potty the baby from birth. I pottied Sebastian from birth, and shirts were nice for that. Actually, if you cloth diaper, it’s not a big deal. A t-shirt and cloth diaper combination is adorable. So ignore that 😉 If the baby is a girl, DRESSES ARE AWESOME. They’re less awesome once the baby starts crawling, so 5-10 dresses would be appropriate for (0-3 months) and (3-6 months), but 6-12 months you would want only short dresses or none at all. Again, though, if you potty early, dresses for life, lol.
Gowns: 3-5. I love gowns. There’s elastic on the bottom; the sleeves usually fold over, so no need for mittens; and many of them are good for more than one size. Usually the sleeves become too short to use the fold-over parts, but the gown continues to fit fine, and they don’t need the mittens anymore at that point. These things make diaper changes easy and they’re super cute.
Swaddles: 2. These are the best swaddlers on the planet. Sebastian slept like a rock in this thing. I bought one at first, and then bought a second one because some nights his diaper would leak and we would be scrambling. Once we started him sleeping with this thing it was CRUCIAL to the sleep routine. It has a little hole so you can buckle the baby into the swing, though I didn’t always bother with that.
Swaddle blankets: not as many as you would think. Aiden + Anais makes the best swaddle blankets. They’re good for use as a nursing cover, a swaddle, and a light blanket for warm weather. They come in packs of 4, which is weird because that seemed like too many for us, especially considering how expensive they are. They do make more affordable versions.
Socks and booties: one pack, just a few. Babies don’t need shoes until they start to walk, so go with socks and booties, but in the summer you probably won’t use them every day.
Hats: depends on the season. In the summer, you only need those little caps in really air conditioned environments, so 1-2 will do. Then a sunhat or bonnet is good to have for the sun, though you’ll often have them in some sort of shade-providing seat like a stroller, so that’s optional.
Sweaters and Hoodies– There’s no special trick to these, I just wanted it to be on the list so that you knew that you want them ;P Once the cold weather kicks in, obviously you’ll want to invest in things to keep the baby warm. But with both boys before they were walking, I mostly just bundled them up in blankets.
Leg-warmers. Leg warmers are great. They often look less awkward on a cloth-butt than pants do and they’re versatile. They have these here for good deals, but you can also buy them in packs on Amazon.
Leggings/stretchy pants. I kept all the pants to our pajama sets because these are my favorite pants for kids under 2. I rarely put Bash in jeans. I like soft pants that I know they can move around in. Plus, boots and slippers fit less awkwardly.
Blankets. Blankets basically multiply, like rabbits, and stuffed animals. Everyone likes buying and making blankets. You can register for one that you want, but you’ll probably get a ton without even asking. Spoilers, Aunt Rachel will definitely make you one, so if you have any special requests, get them in now!
You don’t need shoes until they can walk. If you want them for cuteness purposes, always go with soft and comfy, like bedtime slippers.
But when the baby does start walking, you still want soft and flexible shoes. We have monster slippers that Sebastian loves. They keep his feet warm too, so, bonus. But for serious walking practice, you really want soft soles, so that they can use their toes to balance.
- These are expensive but nice.
- Amazon has a good selection, though, when you search “leather sole baby shoes”
- Skidders is also a great brand
—————- Bottles and feeding —————-
I don’t like plastic. There are studies that even BPA free plastic has chemicals in it that could be as, if not more, dangerous than BPA. It’s not something that will kill anyone on the spot, but it’s the kind of thing that could lower their risk for things later down the road. It’s a personal preference, but here’s the thing about bottles: I don’t need 8 plastic bottles. All I need is 2 bottles. Assuming you go back to work, you might want a bit more than 2, depending on how many feedings are happening while you’re gone. But these are my two favorite bottles, plus a sweet product for people who love mason jars.
- These are made of glass. You can get a whole starter pack, and you can also get protective sleeves. I didn’t get sleeves for mine. Also, you only need 8 oz bottles if you formula feed. A breastfed baby rarely ever needs more than 4 oz at a time. Mine never did.
- Bonus. Life Factory makes glass bottles too, but I didn’t get them because I don’t like the skinny nipples. They’re too different from a real life nipple, and Westley wouldn’t take that kind.
- These are made of silicone. Glass made Justin nervous at first, so I got one of these so that he had options. He likes this one because you can squeeze a little milk out to get the baby started if they’re being uncooperative.
- This is definitely a thing if you are a lover of mason jars. The cool thing, too, is that I store my milk in the refrigerator in mason jars. It is a cheap, safe storage option, and if I had these it would make fewer dishes. So that’s pretty cool.
Milk Storage. A lot of people use bags and stuff, but I didn’t want to use plastic at all, haha. So I found alternatives. Also, I used to store milk in the fridge in plastic baby bottles, but later I discovered that mason jars are better. They’re glass, they’re cheap, and you can get the kind with the number of ounces on the side. Something like this is what I use to store milk in the freezer. You CAN freeze them in mason jars but I don’t recommend it, as glass can break when frozen or thawed, and then you’ve wasted 5 oz of milk 😦 . These silicone trays are great because when you’re done storing milk, you can do other things with them. You can make giant ice cubes or popsicles. If you do any baby food purees, you can use it to freeze those.
Baby Feeding. My official recommendation is not to buy any special equipment for making baby food. I spent a lot of time making purees for Westley, and looking back I think I could have saved the time. We didn’t make purees for Sebastian. We used a method called Baby Led Weaning. He didn’t take to solids until he was 8-10 months old, but it was much less work. We didn’t go ALL out; we did give him a few mashed up foods with a spoon to see if he liked it. At 6 months, we offered him foods that we could easily mash with a fork. But he wouldn’t take any of it. We didn’t want to waste a bunch of food that he wouldn’t eat. So, we would mash something up: steamed carrots, avocado, banana. And give him a bite. When he refused it, we would give him a few chunks on his tray to play with. That way he is learning and has the opportunity to start eating any time. Anyway, all you really need if you do that is a few small bowls and spoons. I recommend wood or silicone, because babies do like to throw.
- These are good.
- Suction cups are cool too!
- Wood is nice.
- These are great for toddlers.
- Spoons. There are a lot of silicone spoon options. Go with silicone, it’s magical.
- Another spoon.
- Here’s just all the best spoons.
- Silicone BIBS. Great because you can just wash them off.
- But I would get a couple of cloth bibs, too, just in case. Sebastian hated his silicone bib at first, lol.
- These are my favorite toddler forks. You won’t need them until a year old or so, but they’re under-appreciated. Sebastian already knows how to use a fork, and it makes french toast with peanut butter 100% less messy.
—————— Toys ———————–
Rattles/teethers- Babies love rattles. Pretty much anything that makes noise is a winner. They like lights, too, but don’t get 1,000 toys. You’ll thank me later. Something to chew on, something to shake, something that lights up. That’s about all they need until they start crawling. (Then they don’t need any toys at all because they’d rather just destroy everything in your house that is nice and expensive.)
here’s some stuff (somewhere in here there is a cow rattle)
Random note, Sebastian has this seahorse and he loves it. It’s a bath toy but is good to chew on too. In hindsight I think it’s similar to Sophie the giraffe.
Play mat- They’re lovely. Endless fun for tiny babies. There is definitely a unicorn one. This one is also super cool. It’s always nice to have things with multiple functions. I also like the ones with walls. There are so many possibilities with this one.
Here is a bunch of unicorn baby stuff. You’re welcome.
White noise machine-
—————– Diapers ———————
First of all, even if you plan on cloth diapering, it’s nice to have some disposables. I personally like Seventh Generation. If I haven’t already mentioned, I’m quite a bit on the cautious side of parenting decisions, lol. I know plenty of people who like the Target brand. But the boys both got Justin’s sensitive skin, and I read way too many articles about the chemicals in conventional diapers. Seventh Generation makes the best disposable diaper I have ever used. You might want a pack of Newborn while you’re getting the hang of things, and I use them sometimes for traveling so I don’t have to do laundry the whole time.
Um. Diapers could have their own book, so lets see here…
Dirty Diaper Necessities
- First off, you’re going to need somewhere to put dirty diapers. We used to use a big 5 gallon pail with a lid from Walmart. A lidded trashcan would work too. The main thing you want to look for is something that is easily washed. Here are some options….Eventually, though, we decided that it took up too much space. So we switched to hanging giant wet bags. We have one for the bathroom and one for the livingroom. We also have a smaller wet bag for the diaper bag. In a pinch, you can use walmart bags.
- You want a diaper sprayer. They make poop removal way easier. Plus you can use it as a bidet. Win/win.
- Laundry detergent. Tide Free and Clear is what a lot of people use, I think. Right now we’re using Charlie’s Soap, but I later read that it’s not the best so once it’s gone we’re going to switch to something else.
Types of Diapers
There are 3 types of diapers that I would recommend. I’ll list them and then I’ll say a few more things.
- You will need to have a plan for the newborn weeks. Even the one-size-fit-all diapers don’t fit newborns. These are newborn options. You’ll probably go through 6-7 diapers a day, so I would recommend maybe 2 sets of pocket diapers, OR just get a box of the Seventh Generation Newborn diapers. OR you can get Gdiapers newborn bundle. I think we mostly used A newborn diaper cover and small prefold diapers. So to recap, you can use (1) pocket diapers, (2) Disposables, (3) Gdiapers, or (4) a few newborn covers and prefold diapers.
- Pocket Diapers are great. They’re especially nice for babysitters and people who don’t know how to use cloth diapers. You have to wash them several times for them to be as absorbent as you want them. You can put one insert inside, or 2 for night time if you need it. Once it’s wet/dirty, you have to pull the insert out and put both pieces in the wet bag. We have one set of these, but we have a combination of different types of diapers. I would say a good collection would be 2 sets of pocket diapers, a few covers and a pack or 2 of prefolds.
- Diaper junction makes my favorite one-size diaper cover. You can use snappi’s but you don’t need them. You can just tuck the diaper into the pockets they have. The reason I love these and suggest that you get these AND pocket diapers is that you can reuse the cover. On a good day, you can use the same cover all day. Just wipe it with a wet cloth, put in a new prefold, and go one with your life. It is nice to have. Sometimes babies get poop on them, but for pee at least, you can use it quite a few times. Here is a good pack of prefolds.
- Gdiapers are awesome, but their sizes are pretty specific, so you have to buy NB, S, M and L for one baby. So they’re not my absolute favorite. However, they’re really nice, cute, soft cotton on the outside, so if you come across a design that you love, you can buy one and use it along with your other diaper covers. Prefolds fit in it just fine.
So, for doing laundry every 2 or 3 days, I recommend: 12-14 pocket diapers (you could get away with 6-7 but you might end up wanting more), 3-4 diaper covers, and 12-24 prefolds. Give or take a g-diaper cover or 2 because they’re cute. If they seem expensive, just remember that its WAY cheaper than disposables, you just have to pay for them all at once. Technically, you could even buy a little bit at a time until you have a full collection and are no longer dependent on disposables.