If you’re like me when you start creating a baby registry for the first time you have no idea what to add! How do you figure out what is essential and what is just for fun! How many burp cloths do you need?!
This can result in asking Google for the answers, and don’t get me wrong – there are a ton of very helpful guides out there, but a lot are sponsored or affiliate links. Although I am only a year into motherhood, I now know what was used every day from my registry and what items weren’t.
Just to preface my take on baby items – my hubby and I value quality over quantity. We would rather invest in items that will last and are well made than those that would have to be thrown away or replaced in the future. We also value a home that is decluttered and don’t love having a ton of “extra” lying around. So everything that I’ve included in this list meets both of those criteria – well-made, quality items that are used often (essential if you will!).
My husband and I very meticulously created our baby registry together. I spent so many hours reading reviews, watching Youtube videos, and looking at articles. Looking back, we did an excellent job at choosing the items that we purchased for our first baby but we also definitely learned from the experience too!
Today I’m sharing the items that I would recommend splurging on, and the items that are just as good secondhand, borrowed, or bargained!
Getting a video baby monitor was really important to me. In hindsight, it helped ease some of the postpartum anxiety that I experienced and I love being able to see that my baby is safely sleeping in his crib. I would also recommend getting a monitor that doesn’t work via wifi. This allows it to be transportable and you can take it with you if you need to! We have this one. Rocking Chair
Of course this is on my list for splurge, and it also goes hand in hand with the stroller. A lot of companies make carseat stroller duo’s that work easily together. I recommend finding a car seat that has high safety ratings, is brand new (this is important! please do not EVER buy a used car seat. If a car seat is in an accident of any kind it is deemed unsafe, and when you buy a used car seat you do not know the history of it) and is hopefully compatible with your stroller. My husband and I were deciding between the Nuna Pipa Lite and the Uppababa, but went with the Uppababy since it easily attaches to our stroller and I couldn’t be happier!
Our most used baby item! We opted to go with our dream stroller and car seat combo (purchased on Black Friday for extra savings) the Uppa Baby Vista stroller and car seat combo. We have used this stroller every single day for 8 months, in sunshine, rain, and snow! It folds easily to transport in your trunk and goes smoothly over the bumps. If you live in an area that doesn’t have sidewalks or pavement perhaps consider getting a sturdier stroller such as a jogging stroller to take for walks so the baby doesn’t jostle around.
Save sleep is extremely important in newborns. I highly recommend getting a new mattress for your baby. You never know how long a used one has been used for and they may be indented and uneven. We bought a foam mattress that is GreenGuard certified and love it.
If there is ONE takeaway from this blog post, please do not overlook this section! Looking back, I wish I had invested in postnatal education and support for both myself, my baby and my partner. Instead we struggled and scrambled and suffered. I do not want this to happen to you! You can find a list of my favorite perinatal educational resources on my “resources” tab – it is a freebie of mine!
I thought that I wanted the fancy changing pad that cost over $100 (this one). I’m glad we didn’t get it! No need! I ended up changing diapers pretty much everywhere, on the floor, couch, etc. We bought THIS ONE! and it’s worked perfectly. We use it without a cover and it is wipeable and clean always.
I adored looking through the Pottery Barn websites and oohing and ahhing at the beautiful cribs. It gave me great inspiration! However, the crib is an awesome place to save since cribs are not used for very long. We found a gently used crib on Facebook Marketplace and the family lovingly passed it down to us. Save some money here!
Used books can be so fun! A lot of folks on Facebook marketplace or a secondhand baby store offer them in boxes or bags. We actually asked for books instead of cards for our baby shower and it was a fun way to build our little library! Now when we read them, we know who gifted it to us because I wrote their names in the front cover!
Although a birth class may feel IMPERATIVE at the moment, I would emphasize postnatal and newborn care over birth preparation. Your birth experience is largely out of your control. You lean into your bodies plan and it happens and is over within a few days. The postpartum period is challenging, beautiful and much longer. I did not feel prepared for postpartum and would encourage you to invest in postpartum classes and support.
There are a ton of diaper brands out there and we’ve tried a lot! The best option: Target Up & Up. They don’t leak or cause rashes. Our second favorite brands are Huggies Little Snugglers and The Honest Co.
For newborn diapers (don’t buy a ton!) but definitely get The Honest Co. to start with. They are super soft and didn’t cause any rashes on the sensitive baby skin.
We did not have a great experience and I would say to avoid: Seventh Generation (leaked & scratchy), Luvs, Pampers (rash!),
Self-care is the act of caring for oneself and doing things that make you feel more like YOU. Self-care is more than pampering. It is a daily act of kindness and compassion that allow us to live well and care for others.
As mothers, we continually give. We give time, energy, love, encouragement, and even give physically through birth and breastfeeding. Eventually, we will burn out. We will become worn out, fatigued, and mentally unavailable. Self-care is extremely important because it is the only way we can continue our roles as mothers and continue to give to others, by taking care of ourselves first and foremost. As the saying goes, you cannot pour from an empty cup.
I believe that self-care is an integral part of your wellbeing.
Simply put; whatever works for YOU. There is no “one size fits all” for self-care, regardless of what society or social media has led us to believe. Simplicity is key for self-care in motherhood. Tiny moments of self-care can make all of the difference!
Here are some examples of small, simple acts of self-care that can be integrated into your daily routine:
The bottom line: self-care is an individual and unique practice. Explore what makes YOU feel good, and once you identify it, make sure it is something you prioritize daily.
When I was pregnant, I watched soooo many YouTube videos about what to pack in a hospital bag for birth. I tried to pack as minimally as possible. The COVID pandemic added a few things to my packing list and changes in our plans. I wanted to share what was useful in my experience to hopefully help other mama’s out!
This is not an all-inclusive list (those can be found in many other places) but instead is a list of specific things that I couldn’t have gone without!
As I’m writing this blog post, I’m curled up on the couch watching the snow come down heavily. We are in the midst of winter storm Harper, and it feels like -19 degrees outside!
Jonathan and I left for our honeymoon on January 4th, exactly five months after our wedding. We traveled to the Dominican Republic, and were greeted with sunny skies and a fruity cocktail. We spent the entire week relaxing at the beach – reading, swimming, snorkeling and talking. I read three whole books! It was absolutely perfect, exactly what we needed and wanted for our trip together.
Leaving behind a brown and white winter season in VT made the colors seem so vibrant and lovely.
An early morning walk on the beach.
We LOVED the coffee at our resort. It was made in the DR and was so, so tasty. After our morning runs together, we’d eat a buffet breakfast (which consisted of made-to-order omelettes and fresh fruit) and sit by the pool for cappuccino’s. The mornings we spent together was my favorite part of our honeymoon.
Yesterday Jon spotted (aka almost bumped into) an owl on his evening run! We went back this evening to see if we could spot it. Jon and I watched it hunt and interact with other birds for a while this evening. I named it Harrriet.