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Let's talk newborn baby essentials! It feels like yesterday I was counting the days until we got to meet our little one while checking, and double checking, our baby registry checklist! Now that we've had a few months with baby girl, I figured I'd look back on our baby registry checklist and see if the must haves and skips were wins or busts! So today I'm sharing our newborn baby essentials and what we actually used from our baby registry, things I would've skipped, and things I've now purchased and can't live without for our little baby!
Newborn Baby Essentials: What We Actually Used From Our Baby Registry For The Nursery
I mentioned we got the SNOO and I have to say this was worth EVERY PENNY! I know it's a splurge (they even upped the price from when we bought it!), but it really is worth it. We both have our own businesses and work from home, so neither of us got a “leave” when baby girl arrived, so sleep was even more of a priority for us. With the SNOO baby girl consistently increased her consecutive hours of sleep overnight each week.
Meaning she did 5 hours consecutively by 5 weeks, 8 hours by 8 weeks, and so on until hitting 12 weeks where she's settled to 12 hours. Also as a new parent, it really helped us learn to give her space and learn to connect her sleep cycles. I think without it, I would've picked her up at every peep – and she simply didn't need that. I'll be sharing more about my experience with the SNOO on my YouTube channel in the coming weeks so make sure you're subscribed here!
>> Happiest baby is having a massive sale on the SNOO right now too, shop it here! <<<
If you caught my original post on our baby registry must haves and skips, you know I opted to skip a dresser until after our move. Instead, I got this hanging shoe rack and loved it! In fact, we still haven't gotten a dresser because the cubbies have been working so well for us!
Crib and mattress
She still hasn't slept in her crib yet, but now that we've moved I did get her a crib. We bought this one which I love because it's GREENGUARD Gold Certified, meaning it's been screened for 360 VOCs and over 10,000 chemicals, made with sustainable New Zealand pine wood, and lead and phthalate safe, non-toxic finish, and comes with the toddler bed conversion kit to transition from crib, to toddler bed, to daybed with ease.
We got this mattress from the same brand, but almost got this one because it's supposedly the safest mattress on the market since it's completely breathable, and also GREENGUARD certified and all that good stuff.
What we don't consider a newborn baby essential for the nursery furniture:
As I've started setting up her nursery and we've been living with just the SNOO, I realize we are still going to skip the following:
- Changing table – Since she started in our bedroom we originally just had her changing pad on our dresser. After we moved, we put our TV on our dresser and cleared off a console table the TV was on, and it's actually the perfect changing station for us. It's the exact width of a changing pad and has great storage underneath for a garbage can and back up diapers.
- Bedding – I got these organic cotton sheets off amazon and decided not to do any over the top formal bedding set.
- Glider – I prefer to feed baby lying down, so feeding her in my bed really works. She started sleeping through the night at about 7 or 8 weeks so midnight feedings aren't an issue. We moved her from our bedroom at 8 weeks (once she started sleeping through the night) to her nursery and just put a chair in there which we sit in to hold her pacifier in while she falls asleep if she needs. Otherwise we haven't found a need for a big comfy chair in the room
Newborn Baby Essentials: What We Actually Used From Our Baby Registry For Around The Home
We had gotten this cover for our Dock-A-Tot and this lounger. I thought this was something I'd use all the time and honestly, we've barely used it. Baby girl was not a fan of it the first month at all! Every time I put her in it she'd cry. Around two months she did start enjoying it more, but still not enough to justify the price tag.
Instead what we got around three weeks was this infant-to-toddler rocking chair which she LOVES. It's way more affordable too. I basically only use the Dock-A-Tot to bring her into the bathroom with me or if I'm washing her chair cover. Otherwise the chair makes so much more sense for keeping her upright after feedings. She hangs out in it while I'm cooking in the kitchen or watching TV after dinner.
Floor mat and/or activity gym
If she isn't in our arms, her SNOO, or her chair, then she is definitely on her Lovevery Baby play gym! This has been by far one of our favorite baby products! We also have the 0-8 week old play kit and LOVE it. We were able to switch out the different items in the play gym to meet her where she was at developmentally. It's easy to clean (just throw it in the wash and hang dry), and aesthetically pleasing. Most people don't even notice it in our living room and if they do, it totally matches.
ICYMI, the Lovevery play mat has five zones that can be revealed or concealed to prevent overstimulation and promote learning. It’s comprised of really quality and thoughtfully selected materials; like non toxic water based finishes, sustainably harvested wood, BPA and phthalate free plastic and silicone, soy ink, and 100% organic cotton materials.
Having the Lovevery play gym really did give us breathing room on getting toys and books. The first few months the baby doesn’t really need books or toys, and can really only focus on high contrast items. The play mat and play kit also gave us new ideas and suggestions for how to interact with her at this stage; since baby's reactions to you can be a little underwhelming, but it's still important to engage with them constantly.
Hindsight tips for your baby registry and newborn baby essentials around the house:
Initially I said we were skipping toys and books for around the house, in retrospect, I would've registered for a ton of books. People definitely did not follow our baby registry when getting us things. Unfortunately, that led to a lot of gifts being donated since many we couldn't return (very frustrating for new parents who need diapers more than anything!! – so pro tip: if you are trying to buy your friend something for their new baby, give them money for diapers or get them something from somewhere VERY easy to return like Amazon – new parents don't have time to run to boutique clothing stores a half hour or more away with strict return windows!).
Anyways, since many people didn't listen to our wishes for diaper money, I wish I would've told people to just get us their favorite childhood book. We did actually start reading to baby girl at around a month old. We started reading her Harry Potter every night, and went on our first library book run around two months old. I like to read her one book during one of her daytime wake period and we do Harry Potter as a family at night. Books never go out of style and are a lot easier for older generations to comprehend than a diaper fund – and will also deter them from clothing choices that I'd personally never dress my baby in.
Newborn Baby Essentials: What We Actually Used From Our Baby Registry For Out & About
We have RIVA Travel System which comes with an infant car seat and Baby Jogger’s City Go infant car seat. We've only used the RIVA so far and like it. It's light weight and easy, but I do recommend getting your car seats checked with whatever professionals do installation/checks near you (for us it's the fire department).
We really enjoyed having the carriage option in our Safety 1st’s RIVA! We used it a lot the first month since I preferred her laying flat over the car seat in the stroller. Really though, we rarely have used the stroller since baby girl hit about three or four weeks. I've been all about baby wearing, which leads me to…
This Ergobaby wrap! I'm a huge fan of the wraps. Like I mentioned a friend gifted me her old Ergobaby carriers, which have the clips and buckles, but we didn't have the infant insert so we still haven't used it. Personally though, the wrap has been a life saver! It was definitely intimidating at first. The first time I put her in it she cried like crazy that I took her out after like a thirty seconds. The second time I got a minute or two before we both freaked out. Then the third time it was like magic! I put her in it and went for a walk and she fell right asleep. Since that day I've worn her every day. It's my go to way of getting her to sleep for her last nap of the day or extending a nap when I can tell she's tired but refuses to keep napping in her bassinet.
What we don't consider a newborn baby essential: Playard / travel crib
Like I mentioned, we won the Graco Pack N Play in a raffle, but still haven't used it. Also, from what I've heard from other moms it's NEVER worth buying this because people always have one they are giving away that's barely been used. So wait until you actually need it before getting.
Newborn Baby Essentials: What We Actually Used From Our Baby Registry For Clothing
REALTALK: My favorite baby clothing items were a bunch of kimonos I took from the hospital.
Yep! We never bought baby girl pants, because we live in FL and I viewed them as more of a hassle than need. So she basically just lived in the hospital kimonos. If I did put her in a onesie (because we were going out for the day), it was either from Kate Quinn Organics or I had two packs of organic newborn onesies (one from my step mom in Europe and the other by Gerber you can pick up at Target for like $7.99). These first three months her wardrobe has consisted of: 3 hospital kimonos, eight 0-3 month onesies, three “one size” baby gowns. This combo allowed me to do laundry only once a week like I wanted and kept things very affordable since the hospital kimonos and gowns she'll likely fit in until she's 6-9 months.
Swaddles and/or receiving blankets
We only got a few of these, and a few were too many! I actually took like 6 hospital blankets home with us and those have been used very regularly and go through 3-5 of them per week. I put them underneath baby whenever she is in our bed or on our couch. They are thicker and sturdier than any blanket I've found and make the perfect barrier between spit up or blowouts and our bed/couch.
Plus, I never worry that our pretty blankets are going to get stained. I use about two swaddle blankets for her legs (because we never bought pants), when she's in her carseat and out on the town. I also use those blankets to protect her legs if we go to the beach (we keep her in the shade completely but I'm still a nut about the sun and like her to have as many protective layers as possible).
Wearable blankets / sleep sacks
I talk in detail about these in my initial baby registry post you can read here. We found that have two small and two medium sizes for the SNOO sacks worked perfectly for us. When we do transition her out of the SNOO in the coming months we are going to opt for the Merlin Suit I think. Let me know you suggestions!
What we don't consider a newborn baby essential for clothes:
- Mittens (Our Lovevery Play kit 0-8 weeks came with mittens which we never used and I'm happy we didn't buy)
- Pants (#FLlife)
- Socks (they don't stay on, but we did have some little velcro booties that we did use once in a while if we were leaving the house and it was chilly or sunny since we didn't have her in pants or footed onesies every #FLlife)
Newborn Baby Essentials: What We Actually Used From Our Baby Registry For Feeding
I thought for sure I'd love a nursing pillow, but really didn't. Like I mentioned in my baby registry checklist post, I have a pillow addiction. The nursing pillows just didn't hold up to my other pillows. Personally, I prefer nursing laying down on my side, so the only pillows needed are one for my head and one for behind my back. However, if I did nurse her on the couch, I would use a medium mypillow on my side for the “rugby” position, this way I didn't need to hold her and these pillows are very easy to machine wash. It really was the best pillow for her. And if I did a classic cradle position, I used the travel size mypillow for under my elbows/arms to support them. The travel size mypillow is also my favorite pillow to travel with!
I love Earth Mama products but never ended up using their nipple cream or booby tubes. Instead I got these nursing pads from NatureBond which are made of bamboo and are really soft and easy to reuse. I love them! I started with one nursing bra from Old Navy and quickly realized I needed more so I got two from Motherhood Maternity that I really like.
Basic burp cloths and bibs
We opted for these burp cloths on Amazon and I love them. I actually use them under her head in her bassinet (see photo above under SNOO section) and keep one in my diaper bag for quick wipes only though. Not over the shoulder. We don't burp baby girl (more on that in this video), and they are a little small for just over the shoulder anyway. Baby girl is strapped into her SNOO when she sleeps so I tuck it under her shoulders and mattress.
Personally, I don't feel there is a safety concern, however this is obviously not what's recommended by safety standards, but I feel comfortable. It acts as a protective sheet on top of her crib sheet. It cuts down on how often I need to wash her crib sheet. It's a lot easier to switch this out once a day than her actual sheet if she spits up.
We are still holding off on bibs but were gifted this set of organic bibs from our real estate agent and I love them!
We registered for this sample pack and I highly recommend it! We only have used the ComoTomo with her so far and she loves it. We've been almost exclusively breastfeeding so we haven't had a huge need and I've only needed the one bottle so far.
Breast pump & accessories
I got a Medela from my insurance company and that's been a huge help. I also got the breast milk storage bags when ordering and an extra set of bottles later on. The other pump I use more frequently though is the Haakaa pump. Some days I'd stick it on each boob after every feeding for the day (this is when we were doing a bottle every day), but now I just stick it on each boob after she finishes with it for the first two feedings of the day. This has allowed me to build up a nice stash of breastmilk without having to go out of my way and pump and clean multiple parts.
I was so on the fence but our pediatrician recommended we give her a pacifier at about a week because she was comfort sucking so much that my boobs needed a break, before I broke! We got these, and then the WubbaNub – but after our dog ate the Wubbanub pacifier off twice, I decided to switch to Nookums which make it easier to replace the pacifier piece.
What we don't consider a newborn baby essential for feedings:
- High chair
- Bottle sterilizer
- Bottle warmer
- Nursing covers
- 4oz. bottles beyond the sample pack
- Specialized bottle drying rack and bottle brush
- Pacifier pouch, clip, and wipes (I was told the best way to sanitize your pacifiers are just by sucking them yourself! or boiling)
Newborn Baby Essentials: What We Actually Used From Our Baby Registry For Bath & Hygiene
I do want to note here: I don't talk about lotions or diaper creams in this section. I'm of the mindset that less is more with babies. For example, no need to get them a wipe warmer, you can use your hand to warm it up. No need to slather lotion on too soon, let their skin do its job and balance itself out. Of course if issues persist try different things, I just don't think things should be introduced too soon.
This sort of comes from my personal experience where I had great hydrated lips growing up, and then put on way too much chapstick that I made the skin on my lips dependent on it. No matter what I try to do to repair and rebalance the skin there, nothing works and it's always dried out. When baby girl has had a rash or something, I just put breastmilk on it and it seems to clear up quickly.
I've tried so many diapers these last four months! Huggies, Pampers Pure, Brandless, Honest, and Amazon's brand, just to name a few! Personally, I think Honest and Brandless are basically the same diaper. Honest has more prints but Brandless is cheaper so I do a hybrid and highly recommend either!
We've been using Water Wipes (which contain 99.9% water and 0.1% grapefruit seed extract) and have been loving them.
Since we were originally living in a three-story townhouse our first month, we opted for two changing pads and a diaper caddy on two floors to make things more convenient however once we moved onto one story I bought the Hatch. Personally, I'd recommend the Hatch whether you live on one or two stories (three stories is a personal choice at that point). The Hatch is both a changing pad and baby scale. There was a point during my breastfeeding journey I was freaking out if baby was getting enough during one of her feedings and this brought me so much peace of mind.
The Hatch initially looks a little pricier – however it really isn't once you add up a changing pad, changing pad sheet, changing pad pee pad (you'll need it unless you skip the changing pad sheet), and changing pad tray. The Hatch doesn't need a tray, sheet, or pee pad, it's everything you need on your own. I also use a pretty shoe box to keep diapers and wipes organized next to it.
Ugh the struggle! Diaper bags are kind of gaudy and strange looking. We wanted something gender neutral and really simple/clean. We were looking at this one but ultimately got the Ergobaby diaper bag and have no regrets! It's been perfect!
We opted for this tub and it's been great. It’s affordable, and transitions from newborn to toddler. Although, in retrospect, I think I would've paid a few more dollars and gotten this one, just from an aesthetic point.
Baby shampoo/wash and lotion
You guys already know I love Weleda products for myself from my Instagram probably; so it should come as no surprise that we've been using their baby line! It’s constantly rated as a top brand for baby shampoo, diaper cream, and all the good hygiene stuff and I know their products are ethically sourced and follow top beauty/safety standards.
What we don't consider a newborn baby essential for diapering and bath time:
- Changing table (just use the top of your dresser or a console table that's likely cheaper)
- Wipe warmer – I almost caved on this the first few days home with baby! But decided I didn't want one more thing to keep clean, so instead I just held the wipe in my hand for a few more seconds, or I'd bring her to the changing pad and immediately put a wipe on my bare shoulder/chest to warm up while taking off her dirty diaper and that ended up working great. She quickly adjusted to the outside elements in a day or two and I didn't need to do it for more than three or four days.
- Diaper pail (just fold your diapers and it traps the smell)
- Tub toys (she's still too little)
Newborn Baby Essentials: What We Actually Used From Our Baby Registry For Health & Safety
We opted for this Vtech one that's like $20 and I used to use when I nannied back in the day; it’s basic but works well. It's been all we need so far since there's nothing for us to really need to “see” or watch her with. We may get one with video once she's out of the SNOO in her own crib just to keep an eye on her for safety reasons, but haven't felt like it's a need so far.
We just got this one since it had good reviews and reads in 10 seconds… We went to use it one time so far and saw it needed to be calibrated first and ended up just calibrating it but not using it on her. So if you do get a baby thermometer, make sure you've got it all set and ready to go before baby actually needs it one day!
Bulb syringe/nasal aspirator
We still use our hospital bulb syringe after showers quite often. If the booger is further back we opt for the NoseFrida which is so fun. I think the bulb is great for boogers close up and the NoseFrida is more helpful if they are actually sick, have mucus, or a booger further back.
[RELATED] We’re PREGNANT! Our Pregnancy Journey
Baby-safe cleaning products
We are still in the process of switching out our cleaning products for baby safe ones. When we moved, I realized we actually had so many more cleaning supplies than I realized so it's taking longer than expected. I’d suggest heading to EWG to do your homework on which brands are actually baby safe before stocking up on a brand – and keep in mind just because a brand rates well in one category doesn’t mean it will in another!
We used one that someone gave us initially but baby girl started developing the mildest cradle cap so we opted for this brush. It's also great because we use it instead of a washcloth at bath time for her whole body so you can skip out on wash cloths.
Baby nail care
This is something I wish we would've bought before bringing baby home! Dang those nails are sharp!! The hospital couldn't find a nail file, and even when I ordered this nail kit I was disappointed. Baby nails are basically really sharp skin, so the nails kind of chip and disintegrate leaving very sharp edges. Once her nails hardened enough to clip, I was still left with really sharp corners. We ended up buying this electric baby nail file and it was the BEST PURCHASE! Nail time is easy, safe, and quick now.
What we don't consider a newborn baby essential for health & safety:
- Colic relief treatment
- Gripe Water
- Infant Tylenol/Advil: Use of a pain/fever reducer is not recommended by the AAP for babies under six months in age, unless directed by a physician.
- Baby proofing gear – baby's can't crawl at the newborn stage, so we didn't find a need for baby proofing gear. We will be getting outlet covers though in the coming months
- Humidifier – I already had this one from Safety 1st when I was pregnant and it has come in handy a few times since she's been born
Phew! Okay, there you have it, everything we are looking at and skipping over for our baby registry!
What are your favorite baby items?
Here’s a quick list of all the Newborn Baby Essentials We Actually Used From Our Baby Registry Checklist:
Hanging Shoe Organizer
Floor mat and/or activity gym
Swaddles and/or receiving blankets
Wearable blankets / sleep sacks
Basic burp cloth
Breast pump & accessories
Baby shampoo/wash and lotion
Bulb syringe/nasal aspirator