We are 22 weeks pregnant. A little over halfway. We had our ultrasound last week and baby looked healthy. It was so fun to see all the little parts. Everything is there, now s/he just has to grow. I still have a pretty good amount of energy lately, and an occasional nesting urge, so I’ve had baby on my mind. A long time dear friend who is about to be a first time momma asked if I had any “essentials” to recommend for her registry. I figured I’d share here what I shared with her!
I know this list won’t be the universal must-have list for every parent because everyone has different preferences. But after a couple kids, this is what I’d buy if we were having number 1 all over again.
- A portable basket* for baby to sleep in. We put it on the floor in our room at night, moved baby around as needed for naps, brought it outside for baby to sleep while toddler played, or put it up on a table during the day so toddler couldn’t attack 🙂
- Carseat with base. We liked the Chicco Keyfit 30* because it’s the narrowest on the market and it’ll fit 3 across in the backseat when placed next to other narrow carseats. We originally registered for it as a “travel system” that included the stroller, but we didn’t end up loving the stroller that came with it. My preference is to skip the travel system stroller.
- We LOVE LOVE LOVE these velcro swaddlers*. I couldn’t for the life of me figure out how to swaddle a blanket tight enough to keep those little arms in, but both our girls loved being wrapped up in these the first few months. This one has a zipper for convenient diaper changes* and this one has snaps instead of velcro*.
- Some sort of fill in the blank baby book*. True confessions – I didn’t buy a baby book for our second kid. Poor Emma. I thought I would do it digitally instead, like I do our family albums. Nope. Never happened. And now she’s 20 months old. Woops. I already ordered one for baby 3. If you have one before baby comes, and just keep it easily accessible that first year, you’re way more likely to fill it in.
- A swing. With an AC adapter because the batteries run out FAST. Both of our kids loved the swing, but I know some kids don’t… if you buy one new for $100+ make sure you keep the receipt in case your baby hates the swing. Or, borrow from a friend who has one in storage. Or buy one used on craigslist and then resell it when baby outgrows it, which is what we did both times so far.
- Nursing tanks. I have one in black, white, and grey & live in these for the first few months post baby because honestly, I just wanted all that tummy flab tucked in. This one from target* comes in tons of colors and is on sale for $18. You’ll want some nursing bras too. I got 2 at Motherhood and 2 at Target, and the Target ones were more comfortable for me.
- Diaper bag of some sort. This blue backpack* comes with a portable changing pad, is water proof, not too girly (meaning dad can carry too), comes in other colors, and is only $35. I had a backpack with the first and a purse with the second. I liked being hands free with the backpack and will use a backpack again the 3rd time around.
- Boppy* (in whatever brand you want). With the first, it’s nice for having a place to kinda rest baby while you get situated nursing – nursing is awkward! With the second, it helped me nurse semi-hands-free since I usually had a toddler hanging on me while feeding.
- CJ’s Butter. An all purpose cream. I don’t usually care about going all natural or organic when it comes to lotion/ skin care, but I LOVE this stuff. A friend gifted me a sample size container with our first and it was awesome. It smells great, fixed every diaper rash & is cloth diaper safe. You can use it for other stuff too – dry or itchy skin from pregnancy stretching, eczema, cradle cap, cracked heals, whatever!
- Changing pad with cover.* We had a changing pad on a dresser with our first, but just changed our second on the floor. I know that changing on the floor works for some people, but not me. Because when you combine an infant poop explosion with a curious and clumsy toddler nearby, well, let’s just say… it’s gross. The third time around, we’ll change baby on a dresser. [insert poop emoji]
- Blanket. I really liked the aden + anais swaddle blankets for my summer baby. Plus they come in tons of colors and patterns. With my winter baby, I used this heavier blanket around the house, and this carseat cover for when we were out and about.
- Shampoo, lotion & paci – I don’t really care about brands for any of this stuff. Buy some that’s tear-free and infant-skin friendly. And your baby will be fine whether or not you use a paci. For goodness sake, let’s not make paci opinions a thing.
That list isn’t totally comprehensive… Eventually, you’ll probably want a stroller and a bigger bed. But those are my favorite newborn essentials. Really, all you need is love. Oh and diapers, wipes, a couple outfits and a blanket. Everything else is extra anyway.
While all the tiny things are so fun to look at, it’s so important to budget for all the upcoming expenses!! Click here to read my how-to-budget-for-baby guide that includes a price list & free downloadable spreadsheet for you to calculate expenses in.
What’s on your newborn essentials list?
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