The Essentials Shopping List for Expectant Parents

Re: Simplicity parenting, baby registry must-haves

In case any new parents are looking for ways to minimize the damage that welcoming a newborn makes on your space, here are the essentials that either got us through the first year-ish, or we wish we had known to/not to get.

CONGRATULATIONS!! “Do you have a registry?”...was a part of the first batch of questions we got when we announced our pregnancy to our friends. We said, “No…should we?” And then realized that a Baby Registry is really there to lessen the confusion for your friends who want to get you stuff, and for you to not be completely buried in excessive baby crap. Of course, it’s tempting to just shlep a bunch of the most expensive baby items on the registry, but you’ll have to live with the clutter, and it’s not the most eco-friendly. After having gone through the motions once, and confirming it again with a second child, we realized there were many things we could have lived without. In case any new parents are looking for ways to minimize the damage that welcoming a newborn makes on your space, here are the essentials that either got us through the first year-ish, or we wish we had known to/not to no particular order, because they are equally important for various stages:

- pregnancy pillow / boppy for the baby (this one transcends time! hug between legs during pregnancy, hold baby while nursing and sleeping)

- stroller + car seat (car seat clicks into stroller for the newborn days, and when they fall asleep in the car, you don’t have to wake them up when you want to transfer them to the stroller)

- pack n play (this IS the bed/crib, and also used for travels. Once they start crawling, it’s also used to keep them contained. By the time they outgrow this, they’re probably ready for a twin mattress on the floor w/ bumpers)

- diapers (you can probably start w/ size 1 if your baby isn't too small) better yet, start a Diaper Fund, so you can purchase the diapers at your own pace, after the first month.

- wipes (of course, but these were my favorite for sensitive skin. We use these to wipe all body parts, not just butts)

- butt cream..lots of it! (extra strength is thicker/more concentrated and lasts longer, regular we go through faster/use more frequently)

- swaddle blankets (aden + anais is our most frequently used ones because of the size and breathable fabric; also used as a blanket, to mop up spit, cover strollers, block the sun, etc. stock up on these!)

- Moby wrap (use as soon as you can to free up your hands and get a little bit of freedom back, and the warm snuggles is great confidence builder for newborns), then baby carrier (when your kid has enough neck control and wants to start looking around. By then they'll be a strain on your back, so this one for support and storage!)

- portable changing pad (if we want to stay out for longer than 30 minutes, we don't leave the house without it)

- bottle brush (not just for bottles, but cleans everything else very thoroughly too!...ask for several of these if you have multiple sinks)

- bathtub (infants can’t slip down if the tub is short enough, and as they get bigger, they can sit up in it, and you’re not wasting water) and duck bath (for easy travel after baby can sit up, and to play with)

- electronic nail filer (don't bother w/ the clippers...after drawing blood the first go, my hands were too shakey to clip baby nails ever again)

- humidifier (just in general for dry climates, and especially to decongest noses during colds)

- Nose Freida (to suck snot. When you need it - usually during colds - you need it bad!) & saline spray (to loosen the snot for sucking)

- rocker for baby (so they can learn to fall asleep on their own)

- rocker for you (to nurse and probably fall asleep in, doesn't have to be too pricey because it will get gross. Try to find something you can easily wash, rather than some expensive rocking chair you’ll get heartbroken over when your kid spits up in it), and preferably with storage ottomans (for footrest & to store diapers, wipes, and extra changes of clothes - keep reading)

- baby bouncer (another place to put them in, so they can entertain themselves)

- yoga mat (in place of changing station - keep reading, any kind will do as long as you will use it for exercising after baby’s done w/ it)

- Roomba (for when you don’t have time to sweep, especially the mess underneath your kid’s high chair)

- baby books (“in lieu of greeting cards,” put that in your baby shower invitation!)

Okay, if you have room to indulge a little:

- play tent/station (something that has kept both kids distracted so far, giving us 10-minute spurts to do chores)

- piano mat (something else to keep them distracted, learning, and listening)

And what did we ask for the second time around?

Diapers, wipes, and butt cream; or contribution to our Diaper fund; or gift cards to get those on our own. Done!