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Baby Gear Must-Haves

I did the new-mama thing–I ran to Babies R Us, grabbed my little scanner, and went crazy!  If I had it to do all over again:

I would skip BRU and do a customizable gift registry like a Universal Amazon Wishlist or this one.    With these types of registry, you select products from anywhere.  For example, you can services like a prenatal massage from Natalie simply by adding her contact info or email with instructions.  Or you could create gift certificates that could be purchased for your childbirth classes or doula service.  Amazon also has a universal wish list.  You can add products from any website.

Please remember:  be mindful about where you spend your money.  Skip the 500.00 glider (buy one on craigslist) and put 250.00 toward a solid childbirth class.  Hire a doula.  Take a breastfeeding class.  And consider supporting local business.  Have you been to Natural Baby  in downtown Greenville?  It is a fantastic store with fair-trade gifts and products intentionally selected to support attachment parenting. 

Baby Gear Must-Haves:  Honestly, all you need is one lactating breast and some diapers.  You don’t even need diapers if you plan to practice EC.  But most of us want a bit more than that!

Here are some products I love:

  • Babylegs–just buy one pair and you’ll be hooked. Norah sporting Rye Babylegs
  • A sling or a wrap–it comes down to personal choice.  If you are doing a BRU registry, I like the Organic Ellaroo. If you need some instruction, come to a babywearing meeting.
  • Cloth Diapers–no longer requiring pins, bleach, and folding!
  • Co-Sleeper
  • Hyland’s Teething Tablets –no chance you’ll do like me and manage to get baby orajel in your baby’s eyes in the middle of the night
  • California Baby  or Weleda bath products
  • Aquaphor –made by Eucerin and super gentle on chapped lips and skin.  Safe for newborns
  • Organic Keptin Jr. Dolls –I love Cozzy and Zmooz
  • Wooden Teether or Baltic Amber Teething Necklace.  The story goes that amber releases a healing oil made up of succinic acid. 
  • If you need or plan to use bottles, check out my blog post on selecting a bottle.
  • If you plan to use one, a good breast pump like Ameda or Medela
  • Lambskin (shorn and natural) rug for tummy time
  • A CD that makes white noise or a heartbeat or ocean sounds.  We got one as a gift (from Dollar Tree) and track 1 has been playing on repeat at night for 2 years.
  • Playsilks –great for infant texture play
  • A wool mattress cover/pad for your bed, bassinet, or crib.  Wool dries quickly and does not require frequent washing.  It is an expensive purchase but worth it considering how many leaks you will may be facing!
  • Waffle weave blanket for swaddling–Gerber even makes one you can pick up at BRU.  Waffle weave grips for the perfect baby burrito.

Baby gear I did not use or love:

  • Crib–Your baby will probably sleep with you or in a bassinet for some time.  Wait on this big purchase.  You might decide you want to continue co-sleeping or find another alternative to the crib.
  • Bouncer and Swing–I was the happy winner of a baby who refused to use these products.  She wanted human touch.  Borrow one from a friend to see if it is a hit with your baby first.
  • Stroller–another big purchase I could have skipped.  Before I was a mom, I would have SWORN that you must have a stroller.  I wore Norah–it was easier than manuevering the stroller through stores. 
  • Pack-n-Play–one of the most ridiculous products out there.  Norah certainly never slept in it–it is pretty uncomfortable–and it is not as portable as suggested.  We did use it as a diaper changer.
  • Pacifiers–I had 12.  Norah refused all 12.  She would suck on pinkie fingers and knuckles.  As much as I wanted her to take a paci in those early months, now I’m glad she didn’t–no binky habit to break.  If you do choose to use a paci, be certain to wait until breastfeeding is well-established to avoid nipple confusion. 
  • Baby Food Processor–a fork and a sweet potato=pure goodness!
  • Bottle Warmer–it is appropriate (and easier) to serve breastmilk or artificial milk at room temp.
  • Diaper Genie–a simple kitchen trashbin worked nicely for me.  I donated the Genie after the second refill I had to purchase.

Disclaimer:  all babies are different!  What mine loved, yours may not love.  My advice is to wait on big purchases until you find out what model baby you have.

4 responses »

  1. Two comments:
    1)The organic Ellaroo is obviously not sold by BRU anymore…link no longer works.
    2)I clicked on the Playsilks link and oh my goodness, the website is called EllieBelly. Change the “ie” to a “y” and that is my child!! Or her nickname at least…

  2. I am currently pregnant and tried the route and found it fairly for me to use, but I went in as a person buying off of my registry and all the links just led to the main website (ie Target) and not to the item that I really wanted. Maybe it was a fluke in the system the day I tried it, but my mom also tested it out a few days prior and had the same issue. Just wanted to give a heads up!

  3. Thanks Maia! Yes, I recently bought a gift for a friend off The link worked but I don’t think the site updated that I had purchased the item. I went back and checked a couple of times. Clearly it has some quirks!

    Does anyone have a similar generic registry that they have happily used?

  4. Thanks Emily–I updated the Ellaroo link. BRU no longer carries the gorgeous slings but they do carry an Ellaroo Mei Hip.


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