before i had bear, i had never spent much time around babies. in fact, my first diaper change was on my own son after we got home from the hospital (other than the few practice runs i did on mr. fox)! i remember early in my pregnancy when it was time to start thinking about a registry and i froze. i had no idea what i needed! all i knew was that i wanted to go about raising my baby as simply as possible. i wanted to stick to well made products (handmade if possible) that would last in our family for generations to come. and if i could help it, i wanted to avoid plastic as much as possible.
the first thing i did was e-mail a handful of my favorite momma friends to ask them what their advice was. i had them list the top 10 must-haves and then let me know about anything they really felt was unnecessary. from those lists, i compiled everyone’s must haves and made a list for myself. then i began researching. i looked in to each product, where they were made, if there was a greener or more organic option and whether or not i though i really needed it or not. safety was of course taken into consideration as well for example, safety won over being green when it came to a carseat, so just for any eventuality I got a good cheap van insurance and a life insurance with good term life insurance quotes, just to cover all the necessary, and whenever possible, we also tried to use hand-me-downs or purchase used goods.
even though we were incredibly thoughtful about what we asked for, we still ended up with too much, a few things we don’t use often and lots of lessons learned!
of course, every person, every baby and every situation is different, but when i was researching, i found everyone’s ‘must have lists’ super helpful. so here’s mine! consider it ‘bonnie and bear’s list of essentials‘. and please keep in mind that my babe is only 5.5 months old. hence, this list is probably good for 0-6 months. i’ll most likely need to post a new version for 6-12 months and so on.
lessons learned: had i knew then what i know now:
1) i would have not stressed out over getting his nursery finished (other than a few diaper changes, he hasn’t spent much time in the room yet).
2) i would have ordered 1 of several different kinds of cloth diapers to try. there are so many different kinds and it’s impossible to know what you’ll want for your baby before you try some different types out.
– charlie’s soap. we love this for all baby clothes and cloth diapers.
– babybjorn babysitter (we have the organic one) and LOVE it. it’s the perfect place for him to hang while i shower or cook dinner, and it’s bounciness makes it double as a bouncy seat. it’s also great for newborns with little neck strength.
– wrap – i have a solly wrap and am not sure what i would do without it. i wear him around the house, around town and while i grocery shop.
– organic nursing pads. i had no idea how much i would be using these!
– sleep sacks– the perfect nighttime gown.
– ergobaby carrier with infant insert. i like to use this for longer, more strenuous wears (like on hikes and to bike races).
– carseat (of course). we got the britax marathon 70-G3. we like it b/c it’s an ‘all in one’ and we won’t have to buy another one later, BUT the downside is that you can’t pop it out and carry him around in itt, though it’s not been an issue for us.
– lots of snuggly swaddle blankets– especially for those first few months! we also made several using organic sherpa cloth.
– disposable diapers for the first few weeks/months until he can fit into cloth diapers (if you’re cloth diapering, or unless you bought newborn size cloth diapers). we used 7th generation and loved them.
– moses basket – this is the perfect basket for daytime naps and diaper changes (we found ours second hand).
– organic baby soap, lotion and diaper rash cream (we like burts bees and babyganics)
– cloth diapers (more on that below)
optionals (that we LOVE):
– cradle– i have the cradle my grandaddy made me when i was a baby and this is where bear naps during the day.
– zutano booties – the only socks/shoes that will stay on. seriously.
– snuza hero. clip it on their diaper (or pants) while they sleep and it vibrates if they stop breathing, then alarms. it helps me sleep so much better (i’m a worrier).
– inglesina table chair (instead of a high chair)- oh man do we love this! attach it to any table and take it to restaurants so they don’t use those gross high chairs. bear loves his and happily plays in it while we eat and cook (though he couldn’t sit up in it until he was about 4 months old).
– rocking chair– we lived without one for months and didn’t really miss having one, but use it frequently now that it’s in our living room.
– bottles. we have some glass ones, but i’ve never used them. however, if you ever want to leave your baby for more than 2 hrs in the first 6 months you’ll need some, or you could always use a baby syringe (the kind without a needle).
– pump. i do have a pump but have only used it once. it’s nice to have but has not been essential for us. (note: check with your insurance, most all will cover this expense for you!)
– stroller. the only time i’ve ever used my stroller is when i go run. for around town, hikes and walks i just wear him. if you don’t run, i think you could get by without one.
– baby monitor. i’ve just recently started using one when he falls asleep in a room that i’m ready to leave, but i usually just keep him close.
– crib. we haven’t used his crib yet, though i’m sure we will use it more and more in the months to come. (we co-sleep. gasp!)
– bumbo – we just started using this because it seems like he really wanted to sit up ‘on his own’.
– sophie the giraffe – not sure why, but she’s a big hit for teething days!
– little remedies tylenol – just in case of an emergency. this brand doesn’t contain parabens, high fructose corn syrup, dye or gluten.
– mother love nipple cream. trust me.
– baby in-sight mirror – so you can see your babe while you drive.
– organic waterproof pads – for under the bed sheets or crib sheets.
– travel crib or pack-n-play (depends on your sleeping arrangement though).
– baby tub. i just put him in the bath with me. :)
– wipes warmer – if it’s really cold i just run the wipes through a little warm water.
– hooded towels or baby bath cloths – we just use regular towels.
– any kind of play mobile thingy (we make do with things from around the house).
– baby swing. we haven’t had one and haven’t missed it (though every baby is different).
– noise machine – we haven’t used one and haven’t missed it.
– bath toys (maybe later?)
– bouncer or walker
– nursing bras/tanks – i just wear tops that i can either pull up or down.
if your cloth diapering:
– cloth diapers (a different topic by itself! we’re using a mixture of gro-via diapers with organic inserts, organic bumgenius and organic babee greens with wool rebourne covers.)
– organic cloth wipes
– diaper sprayer (will only need after he starts eating solids, around 6-12 months)
– 2 wet bags (one large for the house one small for the go- you’ll put dirty dipes in it until you wash them)
now it’s you’re turn! what do you find absolutely necessary? nonessential? i’ll meet you in the comments section!
photo by my dearest friend: callie lynch.