Here is my "minimal yet complete" baby gear list.
Graco Travel System - Stroller, car base, and car seat.
Car Mirror - let's baby see self and let's mom see baby in rear view mirror.
When they are older, get the Sit 'N Stroll. Stroller folds into the base of the car seat. You can’t use it for the tiny babies who can’t hold up their heads very well.
You will want one of these, but everyone seems to have their preference on which type:
With our first baby we used:
* First Journey - improved version of the “baby trekker”. Able to carry more weight for longer more comfortably than “baby bjorn”. Converts to backpack.
With our second, more colicky baby, we used:
* Munchkin Jelly Bean sling - a nice basic sling
* My sister really loved the Moby wrap sling
Pack N Play (Graco) with bassinet.
Pack N Play Sheets (2)
Decided against a formal crib. Use Pack N Play with bassinet while baby is small. Use Pack N Play normally when baby is bigger. Use mattress on the floor when baby outgrows both.
“My Breast Friend” is supposed to be better than Boppy. I didn’t find it very comfortable (maybe because of my larger size it seemed too constricting around my stomach). For our first baby, I used a regular pillow with a towel over top to catch spit-up and dripped milk. For our second baby, we got a Boppy as a gift, and I used it a lot, but it's definitely not necessary.
Halo SleepSack Swaddle - for sleeping at night. Cotton version for summer, fleece version for winter.
If you live in a cold climate, you will want some kind of bunting bag. You have two options, a bunting bag that goes over the car seat, or a bunting bag that the baby wears to go into the car seat. For AB, we lived in Boston, and we loved the ultra warmth of the Bundle Me (JJ Cole). We didn't even need to put a jacket on him. Just strap him in the car seat, put his hat on and zip him up.
For HB, we lived in Seattle where it gets cold, but not frigid. We used TeddyToes (GoBaby) – a swaddling blanket w/ leg slots. You don’t have to unswaddle the baby to get in and out of the car seat. You can use it in a baby bjorn or other baby carrier. Get the small size for infants.
Do not buy any other blankets. This is the most popular gift and you will end up with a good variety of them.
- Black and white geometric images (stripes, swirls, bullseye, etc), we found a bunch online and printed them onto card stock.
- Gymini - activity gym, change the toys every week or two weeks, buy extra links so that you can hang toys at reaching level. The black/red/white one is better for infant visual stimulation than the colorful one.
- Wrist Rattles (rattles that have a wristband. Great no-drop toys for in stroller or car seat!)
- Lamaze Sensory Clutch Cube
- Sassy Baby's Frist Toys gift pack
- Bouncer Chair
- Anything from Genius Babies, like Winkel and Skwish
Snazzy Baby Mommy Bag- like Petunia Pickle Bottom, but less expensive. The only feature different is that Petunia Pickle Bottom’s changing mat zips out of the back pocket. In Snazzy’s bag, the changing mat is separate from the bag. The Shanghai Diaper Bag is also similar.
Also got a free Nestle Good Start diaper bag/backpack at the Pediatrician’s office that is really quite functional and nice.
Fold & Go Changing Mat – folding mat with pockets for wipes and a few diapers. Turns any bag into a diaper bag.
Ikea Poang with footstool. People go nuts with expensive glider rockers with matching footstools. I found the Poang works great. Other people like bouncing with the baby on a stability ball.
We put a changing mat on top of the dresser with a grippy pad underneath. We got a simple 4-drawer wood dresser, which is a good height since my husband and I are tall.
I didn’t want a specialized “changing table” since you only use it for 2 years. Most changing tables have rails and straps to keep the baby “safe” while on it. I think that gives you a false sense of security. You should never leave the baby unattended on the table, so what use are rails and straps? My rule is to never be more than an arm’s length away. Have everything you need accessible so that you aren’t tempted to walk away. If you must walk away, put the baby in the crib or on the floor on a blanket.
Diaper Champ - takes regular trash bags as opposed to Diaper Genie where you have to buy their special bags. Even if the bags don’t cost that much, it’s still one extra thing you have to stock.
Prince Lionheart Wipes Warmer. Not necessary if you live in a warm climate, but really useful for those middle-of-the-night diaper changes in the freezing winter! It doesn't take up any more space than a regular tub of wipes.
Diaper Organizer (Prince Lionheart)
Purel hand sanitizer
Lysol disinfecting wipes
Diaper changing mat – 1 in each location
Medela Pump in Style (backpack or purse style)
Nursing bras (Target sells a decent selection of nursing bras and Nursing Camis)
- Extra pump assemblies (cones, valves, and bottles)
- Pump wipes
- breast pads
- lanolin breast cream (Lansinol better than PureLan)
- milk bags
- Hand pump
Sony Baby Call NTM-910. We have a home wireless LAN in the 2.4 GHz band, so I wanted the baby monitor in the 900 MHz band so that it wouldn’t interfere.
Avent Microwave Sterilizer. Infinitely easier than boiling water!
For travel, Madela sells microwave steam sterilizer bags. Like an industrial strength ziplock bag.
Also, get a bottle drying rack and a bottle brush.
Dr. Brown's No Gas System. The Polypropylene ones are BPA-free. They also have a glass version.
Some people like the bottle warmers. I think that getting your baby dependent on a warm bottle will complicate your life later on. We give her cold bottles. If coming straight out of the fridge, we run it under warm tap water until it is just on the warm side of frigid.
Before the baby is born, get a set of clothes in both 0-3 month, and 3-6 month size. The changeover will happen before you know it, and you will not have the time to do the shopping. Don’t buy any “outfits”. You will get plenty of cute outfits as gifts.
- onesies or t-shirts - I prefer the t-shirts for little babies (0-3 mo) because the onesies have to be unsnapped for diaper changes. Get the kind that don't need to be pulled over the head. This is tough on babies whose heads are still wobbly. Once the babies are mobile, you want the onesies because the t-shirts ride up.
- sleepers (12 sleepers allowed us to do laundry once per week). (not the kind that need to be pulled over the head). From 0-3 mo, we kept her in a sleeper 24-7 unless there was a special occasion where we want her to look “cute”, or the weather is too hot for a cotton sleeper.
- Hats - just a few for newborns. And 1-2 for going outdoors in the winter.
- Socks - you don't need many if you put them in footie sleepers all the time.
- Booties - really just to keep the socks on. One pair should be fine.
- Burp cloths (cloth diapers work really well) (12-16)
- Hamper or extra laundry basket –baby clothes are laundered separately from adult clothes
- Baby detergent - most babies will tolerate regular unscented laundry detergent, while some babies' skin is more sensitive and will require special baby detergent.
- Soak basin
- Shout gel
- Hooded towels (2)
- Soft wash cloths (4-6)
- Baby shampoo
- Baby toiletries – thermometer, Vaseline, bulb syringe, baby nail clipper, baby hairbrush
- Alcohol wipes – for the belly button
- Baby sunscreen
- Anti-bac soap for each bathroom and kitchen sink - a pump dispenser allows you to use it one-handed.
- Pacifiers - we love Soothies
- Blackout curtains
- Baby bath – fisher price aquarium bath has a little “hammock” which is great for new babies who can’t sit up. The hammock is removable for when the baby is older. You can forgo this item and just wash the kids in the sink if you have a large enough one, and move to the bathtub when they can sit up on their own.
- Video Camera
Things to get for 6 months
- Seat saver – goes under car seat to catch spills, etc.
- Stroller/Carseat - Sit 'N Stroll - after 6 months
- Booster seat for feeding
- Bibs for feeding -plastic bibs w/ food catch pocket
Essential Organized Mommy - Posts for New Moms