Minimal(ish) Baby Registry + What We’ll Use Again the Second Time Around

Hi guys! Happy Monday! We had the most beautiful weekend here in Cleveland and I’m excited about what looks like a really nice week ahead of us, too. I wanted to share with you a blog post that I’ve literally been working on for a year!

When we created a baby registry for our first baby, Joanna, we had NO IDEA what we were doing. It was suuuuper stressful and I overthought every little thing. How can one tiny person need so many things?! The smartest thing I did was email my mom friends to ask them for their favorite product recommendations, and then I put almost all of their suggestions on our registry. Now that we’re expecting baby #2 in just a couple of months, we’re definitely deep in the throws of restocking, and though we won’t be registering/baby showering this time, we feel much more knowledgable and comfortable knowing exactly what we used the first time around and what we’ll want to buy again.

We try to limit how much baby stuff comes into the house to avoid drowning in clutter, so this is our version of a “minimal” list — I put it in quotes because when it comes to baby stuff I think that term is pretty much an oxymoron! I’m sure you could be perfectly happy with less than this, so it’s all very subjective. This is just the minimum of what WE liked/needed/regularly used. Of course so much of this is about your personal situation, your own lifestyle, where you live and what things are most important to you and how you raise your baby. Almost all of this is from Amazon or Target since those are what I find to be the easiest, most accessible places to shop and register.

I hope any future moms find this list helpful and I’d love to know what you’d add to it or take away!

Diapering

  • We do a mix of cloth and disposable (but like 99.6% disposable because it’s easier and we get lazy)
    — Cloth: we have a couple different brands and like the gdiapers most –they aren’t as bulky under clothes, have removable liners so that the shell can be re-worn, and there are even disposable/flushable inserts available if you want to go that route
    — Disposable: we’ve tried them all and the Target brand is our favorite (and cheapest)
  • Overnight diapers
  • Diaper cream
  • Wipes
  • Wipes dispenser: this seems totally superfluous but it’s actually incredibly helpful for getting a wipe fast when your hands are full of a squirmy, dirty baby
  • Changing pad
  • Changing pad covers: you’ll want two
  • Waterproof changing pad liners: these go on top of the changing pad cover and are a great extra layer that you can throw in the wash without switching out the entire cover.
  • Diaper pail (newer model to the one we have)
  • Diaper pail liners

Sleeping

  • Crib: we LOVE our Ikea Sundvik crib and can’t say enough nice things about it. It’s super affordable; is a perfect, small size to fit in any room; has simple, modern design that looks good in our house; and will convert to a toddler bed when we get to that point. We’ll get a second one for the new baby.
  • Crib mattress: we don’t recommend the Ikea one we have that’s gotten lumpy. I’ve heard good things about this one and might try it.
  • Pack ‘n’ Play: Joey slept in a Pack ‘n’ Play next to our bed at night for her first month until we moved her to the crib in her own room. Since then it’s been handy for road trips.
  • Pack ‘n’ Play sheets: The sheets I got ended up getting stained just by drool, which is kind of ridiculous considering they’re bed sheets for a baby. I’m going to try these this time.
  • Crib sheets: our Land of Nod sheets never stain and the colors stay true after lots of washes. We got three sets but would have been fine with two.
  • Crib mattress pad: We have two but would have been fine with only one.
  • Swaddle sleep sacks: every baby is different, but Joey hated having her arms swaddled. To keep her warm at night, she slept in these swaddle sleep sacks — with her arms out — until she was a few months old. It was nice to have two for when one got dirty.
  • Sleep sacks: when she graduated out of the swaddle version, by about 4-6 months old, we switched to these.
  • Sound machine
  • Rocking chair: We love the look of this chair, that it’s not bulky, and that it could easily fit in style-wise to any room of our house. It’s not the most cushy during endless middle-of-the-night feedings, but it was good enough (and I really think, when you’re going on 40 minutes of sleep and your baby will not stop screaming, no chair on earth will ease your discomfort!). Our plan is to move this chair to the new baby’s room.
  • Video monitor: honestly, we hated the monitor we had for Joey (it’s no longer made so I won’t bother linking to it) and recently upgraded to this new one for two babies. The night vision is a million times better than what we had. I’m sure they make a single camera version.
  • Angelcare Movement Monitor: this was HUGE for us and we highly recommend it. The Angelcare Monitor is an under-mattress sensor that monitors baby’s movement and breathing. We got so much peace-of-mind from knowing this was there that it allowed us to relax and get some much-needed sleep, which made our lives AND Joey’s life better, and I really think contributed to her being a good sleeper, because we weren’t rushing into her room disturbing her every time we got nervous.

Gear/Toys

  • Swing: this was a miracle worker every time Joey got super fussy. She’d go in the swing, watch the mobile spin, listen to the music, instantly calm down and fall asleep.
  • Rock ‘n Play: for her first few months Joey took all her daytime naps in this and spent a lot of time hanging out in it. I’d just pick it up and move it with me around the house, or put her in it to nap in the bathroom while I showered. The vibrating function was awesome at relaxing her and putting her to sleep.
  • Boppy Lounger: this is a big, soft pillow with a dent in the middle that is the perfect spot for baby to safely and comfortably hang out before she can sit up on  her own. Joey loved sitting in her boppy lounger especially around 3-6 months old or so, and it helped to strengthen her neck muscles.
  • Exersaucer (similar): we got one of these hand-me-down from a friend and it was awesome. Joey started being able to use it when she was about five months old.
  • Baby gym: an early favorite toy
  • Simple rattles, stacking cups, stuffed animals, rubber balls, books with different textures and flaps that open were (and still are) all-time favorites. She didn’t start playing with most of the more noisy, plastic, interactive toys until she was about one, but she still doesn’t seem to play with them quite as much.

Bath/Health/Safety

Feeding

  • Bottles: with Joey we did exclusive pumping until she was six months and also supplemented with formula until she was 12 months, so we needed A LOT of bottles (plus our dog was known to chew a few). We converted to larger bottles and faster-flow tops as Joey got older, in the same brand.
  • Formula: you are not a bad parent if you use formula!
  • Bottle brush: I thought this was just silly marketing but after trying several different brushes, it actually did the best job
  • Bottle drying rack
  • Bibs: these for drool and looking cool; these for eating solid foods
  • Burp cloths: we used A LOT of these, every day. Old-fashioned cloth diapers are the perfect burp cloths — no need for anything fancy that’ll just get covered in spit up.
  • High chair: we didn’t want anything that was going to take up a lot of space in our kitchen. This attaches to a dining chair and we can push the chair in when we’re not using it, essentially hiding it completely. It can also grow with baby to become a booster seat.

Travel

  • Car seat: lightweight and super high ratings for safety
  • Stroller
  • Umbrella stroller: We didn’t buy this until after Joey was one, but I wanted to include it because we love it. This is AWESOME for traveling because it literally folds up small enough to go in a carry-on bag… for real! We also keep it in the car for things like going to the mall. The warning I give everyone who asks is that it’s a little wobbly, doesn’t have any bells and whistles, and the canopy is almost pointless, but all of that is because it only weighs six pounds and can fold up small enough to go in a carry-on — there’s certainly a trade off and we think it’s 1000% worth it.
  • Diaper bag (similar): I use my diaper bag as my every day purse, and if I’m going to use something that much, I need it to be pretty! It’s also very practical, with side pockets for bottles, plenty of room inside, and a matching changing pad (which I only take on vacation since it makes the bag heavy).

Clothes

  • Side-snap t-shirts: essential when baby’s belly button is healing and so much easier to put on a tiny, squirmy little baby than a onesie.
  • Sleep ‘n’ Play pajamas: Avoid snaps and buttons — you’ll be very thankful for zippers in the middle of the night. Joey pretty much wore these all the time, day and night, for her first few months. I’d only put her in a cute outfit when we left the house.
  • Socks: they’ll never stay on (tucking them over pants helps), but little baby feet get so cold, socks are a must
  • Laundry basket: I bought this for Joey’s room only because it’s cute but liked the functionality so much that I ended up getting a second for our own room!
  • Laundry soap: there’s so.much.laundry.
  • Clothes: everyone will give you baby clothes so there’s really no need to register for them or even buy them for yourself. It’s soooo hard to resist, but we made a point of trying to save our own money for all the practical, boring things that we didn’t get at our shower and for our many, many “emergency” trips to Target for supplies after baby was born.

Tip #1: save receipts! Don’t be afraid to return/exchange things that you get as gifts. It’s hard and I definitely didn’t do it as much as I should have, but you may get something that you realize just isn’t going to work for you, even if you registered for it; you may get duplicates; and you may get outfits that you just don’t really like! So you might as well exchange them what you really want and need.

Tip #2: We thought it would be helpful to register for a bunch of future things for when Joey is older and ended up finding that a lot of those things we didn’t end up using. I would rather have a bunch of things for a newborn and then wait to buy toys and gear for an older kid once I know what she is actually going to like. I almost wish baby showers happened six months in when you have a better idea of the personality of your baby!!

What do you think of this list? Let us know what you would add or change or if you have any questions!

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2 thoughts on “Minimal(ish) Baby Registry + What We’ll Use Again the Second Time Around

  1. as part of the “random gear/toys” the wubbanub – wholeheartedly recommend if you want a soother. for the teething age, my kid pops whatever part of it in his mouth, and now uses it for naps while holding the plush toy at the end. We’ve needed to buy multiple.
    As for changing table pad – we bought the Peanut – a silicone molded pad that was a game changer for pee fountain accidents mid-diaper change. just wipe down and you’re good!

    1. Oh good thinking. We had a wubbanub for about six hours before our dog ate it! We had better luck with the super cheap plastic pacifiers we could buy in bulk at Target since we were constantly replacing them (silly dog). Joey wasn’t a huge pacifier kid — I think she used one for 2-3 months and mostly sucks her fingers. The wubbanub is way cuter!

      The Peanut looks awesome. I love anything that’s easy to clean!

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