If the title of this article alone has you feeling overwhelmed, remember this: some babies survived with no “gear” and still grew up and turned into cavemen and cavewomen. It’s not the end of the world if you don’t purchase EVERY gadget out there. Babies survived for centuries without Sophie the Giraffe, and yours will, too.
(If we’re keeping it real, though…it’s highly likely you are going to receive at least one Sophie at your baby shower. And your little one is going to love it.)
A newborn shopping list can quickly turn into something as long as a CVS receipt if you’re not careful, and TOO MUCH baby gear can turn your house into something that resembles a Hoarders episode. (By the way, if you want to opt out of those CVS receipts and save a few trees to make the environment healthier for your baby on the way, here’s how!)
Bear in mind that if living space is already at a premium—we’re looking at you, Manhattan Mama, in your 400-square-foot flat—you need to make mindful choices about necessities versus wants. And this is no easy feat. Baby products are just CUTE…period. And so much of them will tempt you.
Luckily we’ve put our know-how to use and have narrowed the field with some great choices for your newborn baby shopping list or baby registry! Before we get started, let’s clear up a few assumptions here. This list assumes you already know to purchase diapers and wipes (duh!), and you have a crib, baby carrier, and/or a suitable place for your baby to sleep (and that doesn’t mean a cardboard shoebox in your shoebox apartment).
Places to Put Baby DOWN…
When you first arrive home from the hospital, you may be thinking “I want to hold this little one in my arms forever.” If that is the case, you’re probably just one projectile vomit away from this feeling passing!
Your arms will get tired (not to mention the fact that you will need to put baby down to use the bathroom!), so you should aim for two small pieces of newborn baby essentials used for lounge or sleep.
The Snoo Smart Sleeper should probably be renamed to the GENIUS sleeper because this is baby gear innovation at its finest. This compact bassinet, which you can use for your baby’s first six months, is a little miracle bed that swaddles, rocks, and soothes your baby to sleep with white noise.
Some new mamas are anxious whenever baby is sleeping, shushing everyone within the house and perhaps even on the entire block. But here’s something to bear in mind: in your womb, that baby was basically hearing something akin to a vacuum running at all times. So white noise – or a gentle sort of “whooshing sound” is not only familiar to babies, it is comforting. The Snoo Smart Sleeper is like having an extra set of hands to help with the baby. And if you’re on the fence about purchasing one, they even offer an option to rent! But trust us: if you think there’s a decent chance you’ll have a second baby, you probably want to buy this.
The Dockatot lounger was created by a mama who saw a need for a versatile, portable, and comfortable place for baby—and she made it pretty darn stylish, to boot! If you’ve had your fill of pink and blue polka dots and prefer baby gear that looks at home in your modern living room, you’ll go gaga over patterns like this one. But the style factor is just a bonus: the Dockatot boasts some of the best functionality of any baby gear on the market today.
Stroll, Bathe, and Watch: The Best from Summer Infant
Summer Infant is a trusted brand and a favorite of mamas, so look here for your stroller, infant car seat, baby bath, and monitor.
Their lightweight aluminum strollers are easy to use and affordable, with the Compact Fold model a great choice for anyone with limited space. And speaking of space, they even came up with a foldable baby tub for easy storage!
Summer Infant video monitors are the greatest tool for nervous new mamas, meaning you CAN leave the room and still keep an eye on baby. The Video Monitor Bundle is the best value–it allows you to monitor more than one room. It has a 5-inch LCD screen, a “talk back to baby” feature and even displays the temperature in the room!
We should mention here that Summer Infant does not offer a jogging stroller, so if you are in the market for one of those, check out these tips.
Breast Pump and Bottles
Whether you are breastfeeding or not, that milk has got to go somewhere! That’s where the breast pump comes in, and you should do your research well before baby arrives to ensure you are prepared. First things first: check with your insurance provider to see if the cover one, which could be a real win for you!
One of the most popular brands today is the Spectra, which outdoes many of its predecessors in terms of how quiet it is in operation. It was developed by mothers and nurses who thought of everything from a sleek design to adjustable suction levels. Look, no one is particularly FOND of breast pumps, but this is one you will not only tolerate…you will actually learn to like it!
While there are a wide variety of bottles to choose from and new ones on the market all the time, Dr. Browns are tried and true and a good choice for any new mamas. They are often used in hospitals and NICUs, and they are “clinically proven to reduce colic.” It’s best to ensure you have at least 12 bottles, and you’ll want a bottle drying rack as well!
On the topic of breastfeeding, be sure to stock up on some nipple cream. It’s best to be proactive about this lovely little issue–chapped, cracked, and dry–need I say more?
Get Ready for Laundry: Multiple Crib Sheets
Perhaps you are over the moon about the adorable crib sheets you have picked out. But be sure you don’t just stop at one set. You need backup! Whether those cute sheets fall prey to a little spit-up or an explosive diaper, you are going to be changing that bedding often. And be sure you have gentle detergent, too.
Finally, A Word on Clothes….
Mamas, we all want our babies to look cute. That’s pretty much universal. But considering the aforementioned spit-up, explosive diapers, and constant stream of laundry in your house, stick with the basics to start. Let Grandma and your co-workers and friends and neighbors send the cute outfits. You just need some basic onesies to start!