If you have ever searched Pinterest for a minimalist baby registry, you quickly find out that there really is no such thing. Every person swears by different “necessities” that they claim no one can live without. Well I am here to tell you, babies really don’t need that much (cue the gasps).
When I had my first baby, we had a little two-bedroom apartment that gave us just enough space for our little family. I was dead-set on not flooding it with stuff, and searched every mommy blog and Pinterest page for a list of items that would be beneficial for my family, but wouldn’t create a cluttered home.
I didn’t find one. But after using my own judgement and picking and choosing from different lists (and getting lost at Target-because that doesn’t happen on a bi-weekly basis already, lol), I finally came up what I thought was essential for me and my babe. It was broken down into three categories, so if you don’t think one of them isn’t essential, you can definitely do some skipping around 🙂 I had items for me, for my baby, and then big ticket items.
So, here we go:
Momma’s, GET ALL THE NIPPLE CREAM. I mean all of it. Buy it in bulk, hand out gifts at your showers for whoever gets you the most nipple cream, do whatever you have to do to save your bits from that sweet, wonderful little shark that will claim its dominion over your breasts 24/7 for those first few weeks. I am not kidding. You will need it. I (conveniently-because I didn’t understand just how essential it was pre-baby) had enough bottles, jars, and samples of nipple cream to place next to every possible nursing space in our apartment (chairs, couches, beds; everywhere), and it was the best thing. Ever. I never forgot to put it on, and it helped more than you could imagine to have some at your disposal at every nursing session without having to go and search for some! Nipple cream. Trust me, it’s essential.
My favorite brand was this organic Motherlove cream. It has wonderful ingredients, works perfectly, and doesn’t have to be wiped off before feedings (which is the real selling factor in those first few weeks where babe just wants to nurse around the clock!)
Milk savers are amazing. They are sent from Heaven above to help save every last drop of the precious liquid gold that is breast milk. The ones I got just sat in my nursing bra on whichever side my baby wasn’t nursing on and caught all of the milk that would have otherwise been wasted. I am not a big milk producer, but by the end of the day, I would have an extra 6-10 ounces of milk that would have just been wasted! It is definitely worth it.
For the times where you manage to make it into public or you just can’t use your milk saver, you may need some extra coverage. I leaked, Mommas. If I heard a dog whimper, a toddler throwing a fit, or any crying baby, I leaked. And I leaked bad. I carried an extra shirt in my diaper bag for the first little bit after my daughter was born just in case (it was that bad!). Thankfully, the only times I leaked through my shirts, were the times where I thought I could make it on a short trip without my nursing pads. Don’t take that gamble, folks. Where some nursing pads. I preferred cloth pads. They can be added to your regular laundry and make it so that you don’t have to worry about needing to run to the store to get more!
There is nothing better than a super comfortable bra that makes it insanely easy to nurse in. I bought the cutest nursing bras after I had my baby. You know, the ones with the snaps and clasps that were supposed to make my life easier…..
I think you know where I’m headed. It’s nice to maybe have one or two of these kinds of bras (for the rare occasions when you aren’t dressed in sweats), but the real MVP of the nursing bra world are these babies.
Nope, they don’t puff up your girls like other bras, but let me tell you, when you are lounging around and enjoying every little thing about your sweet new baby, you will not have a care in the world about what the ladies look like. These make nursing convenient, and were probable one of my favorite and most used gifts from my showers! They offer the perfect amount of convenience and support, and are much better than my “cutesy’ nursing bras.
I bled. I bled so much. I bled to the point where I called my midwife on multiple occasions because I was concerned. After I had used up the pads that she had given me (the ones that are basically diapers), I decided to give cloth pads a go. I was already doing cloth diapers with my little miss, so the laundry wasn’t a concern, and I can honestly say that I love them (and still use them during my menstrual cycle). This option isn’t for everyone, and that is totally fine, but whether you add them to your registry or not, some form of postpartum pad will be necessary if you do continue to bleed for a while after you give birth!
Ah, the fun part! We chose not to find out the sex of our babe for many reasons. The primary reason was so that we would get essential items on our baby registry. Everyone and their dog wants to get you cute baby clothes, but when your registry remains neutral, you take that option away. Ask anyone that found out the gender of their baby, and they will tell you they had more clothes than they knew what to do with. I guarantee it. With that being said, if you only want the essentials, keep it neutral, and keep it a secret! So, for the babe:
Register for all the diapers. Try multiple brands and get multiple sizes. We were dead set on doing cloth diapers, but chose to use disposable for the first little bit until I was back on my feet and all of the meconium poops were out of the way! It was so nice not to have to worry about diapers right away, and it was even nicer that we didn’t have to pay for all of the diapers we did use, especially since we chose more expensive brands like Honest and Seventh Generation.
Feeding a newborn is different for everyone. My sister didn’t ever have a child that spit up, and it was a breeze. My babe on the other hand exploded like Old Faithful every feeding. You just never know what you’re going to get until your baby gets here! To be safe, we stocked up on gender-neutral triangle bibs and burp rags. There is no such thing as too many. You will almost always reach for one or the other. Having a bib serves as a wonderful backup in case a burp rag isn’t enough, and burp rags will be useful in more ways than one.
If you choose to use bottles, find a brand you want to try and get multiple “flows” of nipples so that they can be used even as your baby gets older! We didn’t use bottles much, but when we did, I really liked NUK naturals!
Don’t forget to ask for Milk Storage Bags either. You go through these things pretty quickly!
Blankets and Bedding
Whether you are choosing to co-sleep or not, blankets are always wonderful to have. Our little miss didn’t wear any clothes for the first month of her life. We just swaddled her in muslin blankets and did plenty of skin to skin. Muslin Swaddle Blankets were our favorite gifts that we used well into her first year. You can also choose to get swaddlers, crib sheets, or bedding sets as well, depending on what her sleeping situation will be.
Whether you choose to cosleep or not, you will need some kind of mattress protector. If your babe sleeps with you, even for a little bit, it is wise to get a waterproof mattress cover. It. Will. Be. A. Lifesaver. Trust me, after the first middle-of-the-night blowout, you will be thanking me profusely.
Bath time was our saving grace. Our little miss was pretty fussy in the beginning, but loved to relax in the tub. For the first bit, she bathed with me (which was a great time for bonding- Read “4 Ways to Bond with your Newborn” for more inspiration!), but after a while she needed her own little Bath tub. We got just a cheapo little tub that did the job just fine. It hangs up when you need it out of the way, and meets each physical need for a bath. The mesh “swing” lets baby lay down until they are old enough to sit in the little seat that comes with it. It isn’t fancy, but it gets the job done!
You can also stock up on infant hooded towels, baby washcloths, and baby soaps and lotions!
Big Ticket Items
It never hurts to ask for big things on your registry. You never know when a group of your friends or family will come together to get you something big!
We personally loved our convertible stroller. We were gifted a used stroller that fit with our car seat, and we loved it! Do your research to find which stroller would suit your needs the best.
You’ll need it. We thought that we could get away with not getting one until we moved down to Kansas City, but the minute our sweet babe became mobile, all bets were off, and the crib was brought in immediately.
It doesn’t have to be big. It doesn’t have to be fancy. It just has to work. It makes napping elsewhere a million times easier once your babe is mobile, so save yourself the heartache later, and just register for one!
This one was a lifesaver. One of our relatives bought us a Moby wrap AND a Solly Wrap. The Moby is great now that she is older and keeps us nice and warm during our winter walks. The Solly wrap is thin. It was amazing when she was first born and it was super hot. We went on walks and I was able to keep up with the housework while also bonding with her!
We LOVE our diaper bag from Amazon. It is a little backpack with plenty of storage, which is perfect since we do cloth. We can easily hold everything we need without breaking our backs carrying it, and I recommend it to literally anyone that asks!
Cloth Momma or not, I promise you, you will love this bag! It has front storage for bottles, it is waterproof, it has a pocket in the back then enables to you get to the bottom of the bag without rifling through everything, and it has six storage pockets on the inside! Plus it has a privacy pocket on the back of the bag where you can put valuables (phones, wallets, etc.)
Have I sold you on it yet? You will love it.
Optional: Boppy Pillow
Guess what? You can definitely get by without a boppy. BUT while you are first learning how to breastfeed and position that teeny tiny bundle of joy, it does really help.
My daughter also used it for just a little bit while she was first doing tummy time, but most of the time, she just ended up launching herself directly onto her little face, so we didn’t stick with that long.
WAIT! What about the Baby Equipment?!
Just. Skip. It.
Our sweet babe was pretty colicky at first. I ached for a swing, a bouncer, a rock-n-play, SOMETHING to help her! We asked around and were able to borrow each item from someone, and they didn’t really help at all. If anything, they just made her even more upset. What we came to learn is that she was just having a hard time adjusting to life outside of the womb. Baby wearing is what brought us relief, and the rest would have just been wasted money and wasted space. We gave back every single item thanking the Lord that we hadn’t spent our own money and that we didn’t have to store these baby “necessities” that we didn’t actually need.
Once they get older, bouncers and walkers start to creep into your mind. Our daughter did love her walker, as she was able to be mobile, but we did wait until she showed interest in standing and moving before we introduced her to it. You also have to be very careful, as babies can fall down stairs or pinch fingers. You can definitely register for one, but we just got ours second hand when she was ready for it.
Bottom line is use your own judgement, but know that baby equipment delays development. Infants weren’t meant to be laying down all of the time in rock-n-plays and on play mats. They weren’t meant to be sitting in bumbo chairs or the sitting assistance toys. Those things actually hinder them because they can relax in them. They don’t work on those muscles needed to perform the action (i.e. sitting), therefore, they take longer to actually do that action on their own.
We chose not to add these things to our registry, but if you want any of them, you of course can add them!
As far as basic baby registries go, this was our list! If you are thinking of the future and what your child may need, I encourage you to look at my post “Baby Registry: Thinking ahead to the Toddler Years”
If you are considering cloth diapering, definitely check out my “Cloth Diaper Baby Registry” post, as it will help you get registered for the necessities of cloth diapering!
I hope this list helped you find what you were looking for, and gave you some insight. Babies don’t need much to start off with. Not to mention, over time you will accumulate SO MANY THINGS! Keep it simple in the beginning, and I promise you won’t regret it.
Until next time, Mommas!