Friday, June 22nd, 2018

Newborn Musts: What To Register For When You Are Knocked Up And Overwhelmed

Published on January 14, 2010 by   ·   37 Comments Pin It
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When GirlieGirl Army Founder revealed her first pregnancy to her posse of Glamazons five years ago, they all immediately wanted to know where she was registered.   Here she shares her initial horror, and eventual meticulous research on what a newborn and infant really needs and what a Mommy and/ or Daddy would enjoy having.

When folks first started telling me to register with my first child, I felt super embarrassed. EW, I thought. How gauche to tell people what (if anything!) to buy you!   So I talked to my (many) Girlfriends and Boyfriends with babies.  NOT AT ALL, they assuaged me. People don’t want to buy you things you do not need, and babies are expensive!   Most Momma’s would rather have a great wipes warmer over a fancy onesie (that will get instantaneously stained,) and how would your friends, biz associates, and family know what you really need unless you tell them?

Newborn Musts: What To Register For When You Are Knocked Up And Overwhelmed

That cleared it up for me and I began my search on what first-time parents actually need for those first few months.  First lesson: do not be ashamed to register for breast pads or wipes!  People are used to giving these things as gifts off registries.  There is NO shame in the baby game.  Obviously the GREENEST, cleanest option is to get as many hand-me-downs and second-hand bits and pieces as you can for first baby, and for the second (and onwards if you are so brave) to reuse what you already have. Trust me, the baby won’t realize he’s in a swing that was used by one other newborn for 3 Months.

Tips: Troll freecycle.com for baby freebies and hit up your local vintage and resale kids clothing stores too. But if you don’t have any friends or family to get left overs from, here’s what to register for and/or buy.

And although when I wrote this article I was still a first time Momma, I was no stranger to swaddling (but don’t swaddle!,) diaper changing, bedtime stories, and burping with a sister 11 years younger than me and tons of babysitting under my belt.  So, I was slightly ahead of the game.  Still, I asked hundreds of parents and did my own research to decide what I actually needed. And here I am now – three kids later! So I’ve updated this piece to reflect a very experienced, attachment parenting Mama’s 6+ years of breastfeeding (yep, been breastfeeding and pregnant straight) and co-sleeping to the mix.

Not a registering type? That’s fine, you can always tell your friends the best present they could give you is a box of green juices (the ones from Bundle Organics are special for breastfeeding mamas!) or a gift card to your local take out or to rock the baby for you for 10 minutes so you can shower. Either way, you’ll be glad to have this intel.  And if you have any questions – do leave them in the comments, I promise to answer every single one! We were all first time Moms at one time and we are all pros a few years and babies later!

Currently I’m often in the media in the eco style and sustainable parenting space, most recently collaborating with About.com as their host and content creator of a series of 35 glam green family videos, with Katie Couric in a one on one interview with Katie about attachment parenting, in Italian Elle photographed as a “rule changer” breastfeeding my first baby alongside Demi Moore photographed by Amanda De Cadanet, in Japanese Madame Figaro, and in Natural Child World magazine. I’m regularly featured on radio, print, and tv discussing my favorite eco baby lines and products – so you can trust I’ve tried it all and know what works and what’s all hype. Of course, each baby is a fussy little Prince/ss with her/his own uniquely discerning likes and dislikes, but the few products recommended below are hits across the spectrum.

Chloe Jo Davis. Photo by Jesse Fox

Chloe Jo Davis. Pregnant with Baby #3,  Photo by Jesse Fox

Newborn Musts: What To Register For When You Are Knocked Up And Overwhelmed

Here was my pre first baby research, with some post 3rd pregnancy edits noted as “updates” so you can see what I found to be right on and what advice from the masses ended up being useless;

      • Diapers (newborn size): Get a few packages, at least to start you off.   I got half cloth diapers and half eco-friendly diapers.  Diaper Kind is the only cloth diapering company left in NYC.   Find your local diapering service here.   Many folks swear by G Diapers and the numerous other similar brands which are a mixture of eco-friendly, disposable insert, and cloth, reusable outers.   Most of the parents I surveyed who had tried said diaper combos reviewed them as being too messy and not poop explosion proof, they said going with traditional cloth diapers was a better bet.   But, it’s certainly worth trying them all out!   Either way, you’ll always need some disposables on hand for travel and emergencies.   We recommend  Seventh Generation Chlorine Free Diapers for those times.  We got advice from the girls at Metro Minis NYC on the best cloth diapers (they give the best advice and even teach cloth diapering workshops!) and found Tot Bots and Kissaluvs to be our favorites. Update: I ended up doing half and half with the first baby, but the second was a little harder and I found myself relying more on eco friendly disposables than I’d have originally liked.. so I tried to offset that carbon footprint by making other green parenting choices, like exclusively breastfeeding (no pacifiers, no bottles,) co-sleeping, and using almost exclusively hand-me-downs.

      • Diaper Bin: You’ll want one that is really stench proof.   Particularly if you live in an apartment or a smaller home. We got the Diaper Dekor Plus which holds disposables or cloth diapeys and really blocks the smell. Plus the liners (be sure to register for those too!) are biodegradable. There certainly are more expensive and cheaper versions of the diaper pail, but this one seemed just fine to us. Update: We realized soon in that you can use regular garbage bags for your diaper bin with a little maneuvering. After baby #2, we started just taking out the poops in regular plastic bags. We found that the diaper bins begin to stink after a while. But if you are decorating a first nursery, you’ll want one. Pass it on to another Mama when you’re on your second baby and the nursery turns into a shamble of legos and crayons.

      • Wipe Warmer: Poor little man/ lady doesn’t need her tushy getting freezing when it’s bad enough s/he had to sit in her own doody!   Make sure those wipes are cushy and warm. Update: this really is a wonderful product from Prince Lionheart which we continue to use throughout each kids life. Who wants an icy wipe in mid winter? This one is a real must.

      • Undershirts & One-piece suits: Spit up and poop keeps you changing these a few times (at least) a day, so you’ll need a big handful of them. Register for and buy organic as much as possible. You don’t want icky pesticides and chemicals next to your bambino’s delicate skin.   Organic onesies are now relatively the same price as conventional cotton ones, and just as precious! It goes without saying that all other products we recommend buying should be organic. Of course, you can find organic onesies anywhere now, even mainstream emporiums BuyBuyBaby, Target, Amazon, etc. Update: Yes, it’s true. All newborns wear is onesies, and in winter you need under suits to add to the mix. We love the Kate Quinn Organics, Baby Soy, and Kickee Pants brands best of all for their cute design and cco-conscious, soft, delicious feel. We’ve regularly scoured Zulily and Gilt for insanely good deals on organic luxe brands that we’d be foolish to buy full price.

      • Socks & Soft Booties: Babies toesies can’t get cold.   Buy a package of (organic) baby socks so you have plenty. Update: Socks disappear unlike anything you can imagine. Buy more than you think you’ll need. Babies also easily kick them off – which is why we love Goumi Kids who make booties they can’t get off.
      • Blanket sleeper/ Swaddlers: If you don’t know what swaddling is, you should probably read this first. Then make sure you buy Swaddlers with VELCRO. My friend Amanda said of her son; “He was like Houdini always breaking out.” She loved the Hippopotamus and Miracle Blanket brands. The consensus amongst my research was that some babies hate being swaddled, but most adore it and won’t sleep without being tucked into a good swaddle. Update: My kids hated swaddling and didn’t need it. Babies who are safely co-sleeping next to Mommy and breastfed don’t tend to need that tightly wrapped feeling since the comfort of Mama is right there. But your baby may thrive on it. It’s worth it to have a few on hand just in case it’s a hit with your muffin. If you want to learn more about attachment parenting, use the search engine of this here website. Update: Swaddling may be unsafe! Choose blanket sleepers if you must.

 

      • Bibs & Burp Clothes: You’ll need plenty. Choose organic. And ones that look cute since they will be wearing them for so many visitors. Update: accept plenty of hand me downs too. You’ll need back ups since the cute ones get ruined pretty quickly. the ones from Roux Roo are extremely gorgeous and perfect things to register for since they are fancy and people will like to give them as gifts. They also have the added bonus of being visually stimulating to encourage baby brain growth, the company is spear-headed by two highly educated Mamas who want to raise mini geniuses.
Organic bib + burp set – red & green stripes $36 @rouxroo.net

Organic bib + burp set – red & green stripes $36 @rouxroo.net

      • Thermometer (digital): Just in case s/he feels warm. Unfortunately, the only effective way to ensure you are getting a correct read out is to use a rectal thermometer. Be gentle and use baby butter or coconut oil on thermo so it doesn’t hurt them. Update: As they get older (2 and up) you can try using the forehead digi scanner. We’ve bought a few of these and have yet to find one that works effectively. Let us know if you do! Til then, it’s the good ole’ thermo in the tush.

      • Nasal Aspirator Bulb Syringe: For removing mucus from a teensy stuffy nose. Update: We’ve found the Nose Frida to be the best product on the market and have a bought a few of them over the years, but have also discovered that a dull tweezer (you know, the kind that doesn’t catch any of your errant eyebrow hairs!) works like magic to get out crusty boogers. This is one of favorite parenting tricks ever — so satisfying – and less traumatic than suction.

      • Safety Manicure Scissors: Tiny nails grow super quick! You’ll need to trim those nails constantly to make sure s/he doesn’t scratch him/herself. Update: We always preferred a small clipper over the scissor or emery board.

      • Baby Wipes: Some folks use disposables, others actually wash ’em and reuse (bamboo cloth).   I’ve been told Mustela and Seventh Generation Wipes are both thick and sensitive-butt approved. Update: Seventh Gen are my family faves, but we also have come to really like the Honest Company ones a lot, and they reseal easier than any other pack to open and close.  You’ll appreciate the person who sends you a few boxes of Honest Co wipes, trust us. Wipes are like gourmet chocolates, perfect in a box and one second later – gone! (BONUS: Get a free trial of their non-toxic, eco-friendly home and baby products with our special code here!)
Honest Company Wipes, $4.95 @honest.com

Honest Company Wipes, $4.95 @honest.com

      • Baby Wash, Shampoo, Moisturizer, and Diaper Ointment: I’ve heard nothing but raves about Angel Baby tushy creme.   It’s vegan, eco, and all natural.. and I hear it’s magical!   Shampoo, moisturizer, and wash should all be natural and organic.   Don’t mess around in this department.   The general favorites are California Baby and Mustela products. Update: It’s ALL about Earth Mama Angel Baby® Pregnancy Products. We also love EO, Rainbow Baby Oh Baby, and a few others. But Angel Baby always wins as favorite with their gentle products and divine smells.

Earth Mama Angel Baby Lotion

      • Baby Bouncer Seat: Many swear by the Baby Bjorn, but I ended up registering for the much prettier and eco-friendlier Coco Stylewood Baby Lounger, which uses white birch from certified sustainable wood forests.   The less plastic you rock in your nursery, the better. Plus, this one looks so much cooler than the others.   That said, a number of surveyed Mom’s said they Tots went koo-koo for this basic Fisher Price jobby. Not nearly as pretty, but certainly a hell of a lot cheaper at $50. Update: We ended up taking a hand-me-down Fisher Price and it worked beautifully and lasted through 2 babies (and looking forward to poppin’ our 3rd in the same seat!) But we do hear magical things about the MamaRoo which we’ve yet to try on any of our babies, but hear miraculous raves from girlfriends. This is one where the plastic seat wins.

      • Diaper Bag: Make sure you choose one your Husband or Butch partner will wear, as he may not be into your hot pink MAMA tote. Update: We had a few, but generally used a regular bag and had more than enough room. Don’t buy into this hype unless you must or fall in love with a particular style. Here’s our list of eco-friendly bag lines, half of them do a great diaper bag or large bag that works. We ended up with a Matt & Nat diaper bag (as a gift) that doubled as a normal bag and was perfect.

      • Beba Babycook: This baby food maker is supposedly a life-saver for so many of my Girlfriends. It   steam cooks whatever you want to use in your fresh baby food, whether it’s veggies, fruits, or grain. Then blend the ingredients into a soft puree. The Babycook can also reheat or defrost meals, so you can make several days’ worth in advance. This all-in-one appliance has everything you need in one compact unit. Update; Didn’t use it or need it. But because so many of our BFF’s lived for it, we are keeping it on the list. We ended up steaming and blending on our own or using organic ready-mades more times than not. At the end of the day, mushed banana and avocado were more our kids speed than any fanciful blended creations. But if you aren’t an experienced cook, this product would be incredibly helpful.

      • Stroller and Car Seat: This took up the most of my deep research time.  Getting a cheapo stroller just isn’t an option when you are planning on being an on-the-go Mamazon or Daddytron. We ended up choosing the City Mini Stroller, but many of our peeps swear by the Bugaboo, Uppa Baby, Orbit, and McClaren.  The Boo and Orbit are both over $900, so not for those on a budget.  We choose to not go with the other “bests” because although they ride like a dream (the wheels are massive and roll along anything seamlessly), they are big, cumbersome strollers, and not easy to fold. The City Mini is the Queen of an easy fold (you literally lift one strap, and up it goes), and you can insert any additions to you want (ie, car seat adapter, bassinet, etc,) but you’ll have to pay extra for them.    The controversy is that the City Mini doesn’t come with the bassinet (which some people swear by for comfort for the baby and proper spine development,) but you can add one on to the mini for an extra charge or just keep your newborn in the car seat adapter on this stroller or have the Mini go flat and add the sherpa-esque insert.   Almost all of these strollers will have your baby facing you (with the Mini adapter, in the car seat) which some new studies are saying makes for a happier, more secure baby.   But this is one thing you’ll want to spend time researching.   Go push around a few strollers, see how they feel and how they fold.   And talk to other Mommy friends. And even if you live in a big City, you’ll need a car seat.   Hospitals won’t allow you to leave with your baby unless the baby is in a car seat.   Weird, but true, rule. Update: A few days after writing this article, my Hubby and I went back to the store to play with some strollers and ended up changing our mind and getting the UPPA BABY which comes with the bassinet (so much comfier for the newborn for long strolls, and since we are having a summer baby, it makes more sense for us,) a sun hood, and some other excellent features.   My reason in updating you on this is you’ll want to make more than one visit to the store to test run strollers.   Your life will revolve around pushing this dang thing around for a few years, you better make sure you love the one you choose and find it comfy to push.
      • Final Update A Few Years Later:  If you live in an urban environment you’ll likely end up with a few strollers and a few baby carriers and slings.  We ended up with a City Mini (for car travel, easy folding), Uppa Baby for neighborhood walks, easy-folding Bumbleride for subway rides, and finally a Donkey Bugaboo double once we had more than one child. They all have their pros and cons. The Uppa has been across the board our favorite – most comfy for kid, most stable to push, and best storage by far. We’ve found our Bugaboo to be all hype.  Not a comfy seat, bad storage, shoddy design, and impossible to fold. But it is the only double stroller where one kid doesn’t get the shaft and have to sit near the ground. It’s the only stroller where both kids can face you, and that’s huge. What they don’t tell you? You’ll also want rain shields, cup holders, cell phone holders, stroller muffs, warm inserts (register for a 7am enfant, trust us) sun hoods, and mosquito nets for each stroller – not to mention custom fabric color combos if you go with the Bugaboo. Register for those additions, trust us. As for car seats: They are updated and change so frequently, we recommend going somewhere like Giggle (or calling) to see what their current favorite is and what’s been rated highest safety the month of your due date.

      • Carrier: The Ergo Carrier got the highest reviews from my peers for it’s ability to have baby be on your front or back, extra storage, strong construction, and sleeping hood (which lets you cover baby as s/he snoozes.) Update: Though we ended up not liking the ergo and going with a Beco, Boba, and other beautiful wraps from Wild Was Mama. It’s a scientific fact that babywearing makes for happier babies.  So wear your baby more than you push him or her if at all possible. We did 95% wearing, til we were pregnant (gets pretty uncomfy and isn’t recommended.)  One thing to note: one size does not fit all – we learned this from the now defunct babywearing store in NYC Metro Minis who taught us certain sized women and certain sized babies do better in certain carriers. There are a billion carrier brands and slings and wraps. Contact Wild Was Mama to help figure out the best one for you. Nursing and walking is easy with a great fitting carrier. It allows you pure freedom, not something you’d have otherwise! The Boba is great because they make prints Daddy feels comfy wearing (we have a Camo one that was a big hit with our Papa Smurf) and the Beco makes the prettiest prints and is so soft. We also recommend a baby wearing shirt for the beginning. They are amazing for skin-to-skin.

      • Sling: A sling is great for when you are just walking around the house but want to be hands free without hooking up the carrier. Update: See above. We recommend buying from Wild Was Mama– they are the bible on all things baby wearing.
      • Reclining Chair/ Footstool: All night feedings will have a reclining glider/ rocker be a perfunctory item for new parents. There are gorgeous, fancy versions that you would feel proud showing off in your living room that cost over 1G, and really comfortable ones that look like a Grannie chair that cost about $500.   You’ll need to go to your local baby spot and test ’em out to find your comfiest choice.   Make sure said chair glides and/ or rocks.   Baby will need that soothing, and your aching back (from carrying those huge milk jugs!) will need the relief. Update: The Dutalier is the least pretty, but by far the most comfortable. We are SO glad we didn’t go with a high design one from Giggle. And they are always on sale from places like Zulily and Gilt  who also incidentally have brilliant discounts on high-end and organic/ eco-friendly baby gear. A good trick is to search your favorite baby brands on those two sites and schedule reminders for when they come up on sale, and then load up. Try and find a glider on sale prior to baby being born, you may find one more than half off.

      • Swing: Nothing seems to calm a cranky pants down better than a swing. Yea, they are cumbersome and sometimes noisy, but babies go bonkers for them. So you may just need to suck it up and buy or borrow one. Some Moms I polled said the bouncy chair was more than enough. Some Moms claimed an Exersaucer was a better buy. Proceed with caution, that thing is big and bulky and not remotely attractive. Update: You’ll want all of them and you’ll use all of them. We used our bouncy seat, swing, and exersaucer to death – each filled a particular need and time. Try and borrow them from a Mommy friend since they are big and annoying. But if you have to buy them, you’ll know for sure you will be able to pass them once you’re done. Wish we could tell you that those three are all hype, but they aren’t. They are life savers! There are eco-friendly, extremely expensive versions of these available at places like Giggle, but your best bet – in all honesty – is just to borrow these from a friend who already has them and is over the 1st year hump.


      • Breast Pump: A really good breast pump, don’t cheap out here, is a no brainer.  All my ladies have told me not to bother with the cheaper versions, and have advised that I would only end up buying the expensive one later on. If you live in New York, I’d highly advise a visit to the Upper Breast Side where they know just about everything and anything about breast feeding.   Not to worry, your town is bound to have a breastfeeding center full of experts and wonderful hippies if you do a little googling.  In the meantime, register for a Medela pump and make it easy on yourself. Update: I have exclusively breastfed for 4.5 years now (2 kids and counting — still nursing my 2nd while 7 months pregnant with my 3rd) and I still found my pump to be useful even though my kids never did bottles. I pumped to encourage milk production with my first baby, and pumped a few times at the start of my second baby to have a storage supply for emergencies (ended up donated that, but that’s a whole other story!) Point is — buy or rent one. You’ll be happy to have it regardless where your breastfeeding journey takes you.

      • Co-Sleeper: Haven’t heard about co-sleeping yet?  First read this article, then scour Mothering Magazine (the most progressive and holistic of all the parenting e-mags) and then buy yourself a co-sleeper, or up the ante and buy a co-sleeping crib from Arms Reach. Remember that every 1 1/2 hrs, around the clock they need to be fed, and many believe they need to be close to Mommy.  Research co-sleeping and make your own decision. Update: Co-sleeping is the single best thing we’ve ever done with our kids. The closeness is incomparable and it makes breastfeeding so much easier.  Not to mention, there’s proof attachment parenting kids have extremely secure attachments to their parents which makes for confident and secure kids. Start by reading Mayim Bialik’s book on attachment parenting, scroll our Mamazon section on this site, go from there. Most importantly: trust your instincts, listen to your Mama heart – she’s always right.

      • Crib, Crib Mattress, Crib Sheets, Bumpers, & Waterproof Pad: If you don’t want to co-sleep or plan on doing both, you can do a bassinet for the first few months if you are short on space, but they usually cost a few hundred bucks, and you are better off just putting that money towards a beautiful crib that will turn into a bed once your little one hits 4.  Like this eco-friendly option (below from Oeuf) that you can get in a number of beautiful finishes.  Giggle also has some really chic round cribs (with wheels) which are big favorites amongst City dwellers.  Wherever you’ll register, you’ll see sheet sets. Steer clear of bumper which have been proven to be dangerous for babies time and time again. We (once again) recommend organic. Update: We bought into the whole kit and caboodle.. and then ended up cosleeping anyway. So we had this expensive crib and piles of high end sleepy-time gear for nothing. Though later we did convert it to a toddler bed for our eldest, so it did get some mileage. Still – if you are going the traditional route, you’ll want these things. If you are cosleeping, you’ll want to get a waterproof pad for your bed for leaky diapers or spit up in the middle of the night. In retrospect, I wish I’d just invested in a high end organic natural mattress like Essentia for my own room since we all generally slept in the same bed anyway.  We now use Boll & Branch organic sheets in our cosleeping bed and are obsessed with them.

      • Baby-Friendly Eco Cleaners: You should be using these already, but if you aren’t.. get to it.. STAT. You don’t want your baby sucking in hideous, dangerous chemicals.  Some brands we love: Caldrea, Mrs. Meyers, Seventh Generation, Ecos, or make your own. Honest Company (discount link at the bottom of this email) also makes really good eco-cleaners. That includes laundry detergent. Don’t buy into the Dreft cliche. Dreft is adrift in chemicals and not safe for baby. Babyganics is pretty great, but your local health food store or Whole Foods has walls of safe and effective baby detergents. Or make your life super easy and just clean with white vinegar.

      • Room Thermometer: Not 100% necessary, but will put your mind at ease that baby is not too hot or too cold. The Grobag Egg thermometer is a big favorite. Update: We so didn’t use this – because we attachment parented and co-slept, so baby was always in our room and we could gauge if it was too cold or hot ourselves. If you aren’t going to co-sleep, this is a must we’ve heard.

      • Bottles: You’ll need something to feed him/ her from with all that pumped milk or to have as back ups or for water later on. Born Free BPA Free bottles are everyone’s favorite.

      • Highchair: You won’t need one of these for the first 8 months, but the Prema Papa by Peg Prego got rave reviews from our posse. Update: We tried some of the fancier designed high chairs and they just didn’t stack up in comfort or stability to the Peg. On this one, our Mama friends were right on. Props, sisters.

      • Breastfeeding/ Lounging Pillow: You’ll use your boppy or breastfriend far past nursing, it’s just a good firm pillow. Organic slip covers are available. Update: They do make positioning nursing much easier when it’s new to you, though once you’re a pro – you’ll be able to nurse dancing in heels, pillow or not. Buy one anyway.

      • Insert or Plastic Tub For Bathing: Choose a simple tub that is small enough for the sink and will fold up after use.  Remember, you won’t want to purchase a big plastic tub, because your back will kill bending over the bathtub every single day.  You’ll want to wash your little Pee-Wee in the sink for the first few Months. Update: Couldn’t have been more off on this advice, ladies. You DO want the big tub, it’s the easiest and most reliable. The hip fold up ones suck, they drain and don’t work well. You’ll wash the baby in the sink the first few weeks, then transfer to the big tub using the little sling it comes with. As soon as s/he can sit up – you’ll want to switch to one of these chairs. This is another annoying plastic item you wish you didn’t have to buy, but they are often happily handed down from friends. Ask around.

      • Hooded Towels: Choose super soft and super organic.   This is not the place to cheap out. Update: Damn straight. The good towels last for years. The stingy generic ones aren’t nubby or warm. Let your friends buy you beautiful towels for baby. You’ll want five to be safe. People love buying soft blankets and towels as gifts, so this is a good one to register for.

      • Breastfeeding Tops and Bras and Pajamas: Easy boob access will be key. Hit up a maternity store or a breast feeding specialist store and stock up 1 month before the baby is born. Where we live in New York, we have Upper Breast Side and Yummy Mummy who have everything you could possibly need for your boobalicious journey. The BOOB brand and Hatch Brand make fantastic maternity-to-nursing clothes.  Update: You don’t need to exclusively buy breastfeeding clothes, but it certainly helps. In general, I just wore wide necks, low cut, and v-necks for a few years for easy access. Note: I don’t include breastfeeding covers on this list because I never used them and most babies hate them. Breastfeeding is the most natural and normal thing in the world. If someone is uncomfortable with you nursing, that’s their issue. The Bravado bras are my favorites, I’ve been wearing them daily for 5 years. Anytime I try another, something feels off.  They are classic and the fit is wonderful and comfortable, which is not an easy feat when your boobs are massive and filled with milk. The Japanese Weekend PJ’s are lovely and last forever.

      • Breast Pads: We’ve been told that the Lansinoh pads work best.   You can register for them anywhere from Amazon to BuyBuyBaby.  Re-usable and cloth pads are available as well, but we have heard they leak through your shirts from our Mama’s surveyed.   And the last thing anyone wants it to walk around dripping milk. Update: I never really needed these much, but when I did – I much preferred the soft bamboobies reusable to the icky lansinoh throwaways.  They are crazy soft, and much more economical and eco overall. And they totally don’t leak.

      • Rattles: You won’t need plush toys for the first few months, babies aren’t allowed to have them in the crib with them anyway, so no point in buying them now for any reasons other than to decorate your nursery. What you may want are a few black and white, interactive toys to try and distract the little during a diaper change. Update: You’ll get so many of these, you won’t know what to do with them.  Keep 5, return the rest.

      • Play Mat: This will be invaluable to you. Baby is stimulated by all the “action” and you can sit close by and check your email without stressing.  Watch out for kittens and dogs who love to fall asleep on these suckers. Update: You may want two of these. We tended to like one in different parts of the house. One hand-me-down, one registered for makes life a little easier.

      • Birth Announcements: A family member wants to get you something special? Why not ask them to foot the bill for high-end beautifully made birth announcements? It’s something you’ll want and need (get ones you can use as thank you cards on one side and announcements on the other.) We are particularly fond of the Eco-coconcious wooden ones from Night Owl Paper Goods which we used for baby #2 and got endless compliments on.
Night Owl Paper Goods Eco-Wooden Birth Announcements

Night Owl Paper Goods Eco-Wooden Birth Announcements

BONUS: Use coupon code GGABABY for 15% off all personalized baby announcements through June 30, 2015.

THEN:
Many of the parents I talked to advised me to register for items that could be used later in the babies months as well, even six months and up, so you have enough to distribute equally between the months.  And don’t forget to calculate what season your baby will be born in!  If you have a winter baby, you’ll need plenty of cold weather gear, but a summer baby may need water proof diapers, and a beach tent.  One friend who had her baby in winter swore by the Mama Jacket, which keeps both you and the little snug as a bug in a rug.   However, this jacket is “eco-wool” so definitely not vegan friendly.   Let’s pressure ’em to make a cruelty-free option! Update: Review our pinterest baby wearing board (link below) for cruelty-free baby wearing jacket options, or you can do what we did and buy a large puffy coat which fit easily over me and baby in carrier for at least 1.5 years each time.

I went to BuyBuyBaby and was totally not into the lack of personal attention I got there.  The “help” totally ignored my Husband and I and acted annoyed when we asked the most basic questions.  So we busted out and ended up at Giggle (where most of my like-minded friends told me to go in the first place).  Giggle is, off the bat, a thousand times nicer than Bye Bye Baby (which resembles a massive emporium ala Bed, Bath, and Beyond).   All their items are eco-friendly, sustainable, and organic.. and the stores are intimate and cozy.  The staff is BEYOND lovely and helpful.   They take your coat, offer you tea, and literally hand-hold you through any and all dumb questions you may have. I (and so many of the parents I polled) highly recommend Giggle.   And for whatever you have left over that you may want (baby books, videos, lower-priced items that Giggle doesn’t have) feel free to register online at Diapers.com (use Refer-a-Friend Code: CHLX4305 for 25% off your first purchase!), Amazon.com, or BuyBuyBaby.com.   I added Urthchild.com to my registry just because they have the most precious organic clothes and toys.   Either way, if you do register in person – try to NOT go on a weekend.   And DO book an appointment in advance. It’s never too soon: be sure to order your crib and furniture sooner rather than later, as they often take a while to be delivered.   BUT have closet space or a corner or a closet devoted to gifts, because once you register, the gifts WILL start coming in fast and furious, and you’ll want to have them out of the way.   Particularly if you are the least bit superstitious.

Update: this is still all true, though there are endless more eco-friendly baby sites now, and  you can register on all of them. Choose one mainstream, and one that has the niche special things you want.

Obviously there are a million more little odds and ends you may want to add to this list (and feel free to do so in the comments section below!!), but above are the can’t-do-without basics that you should be sure not to forget!

ALSO: We are CONSTANTLY updating our PINTEREST parenting boards – follow us here on any/ all of these boards:
Visit Chloé Jo Davis GirlieGirlArmy.com’s profile on Pinterest.

And our little bonus gifts to you:

20% off all your diaper baby needs at Diapers.com when you click the image below and use our special code (you’ll really want to take advantage of this discount – use it to buy your layette !)

use code: CHLX4305

Buy Baby Items at Diapers.com

New customers to Diapers.com, Wag.com or other Quidsi sites only. $20 maximum discount. Subject to change or cancellation.
Newborn Musts: What To Register For When You Are Knocked Up And Overwhelmed
And

AND a FREE trial of Honest Company’s organic diapering, home, and baby products when you click the image below.

Free Trial Of Honest Company Eco-Friendly Baby & Home Products With This Link

Free Trial Of Honest Company Eco-Friendly Baby & Home Products With This Link

AND 25% off anything from Tea Collection, who have some really cute gift options.

AND scroll our Cheapskate section for even more savings on your favorite green and chic brands.

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Readers Comments (37)

  1. Kristin says:

    I have that Babycook you have pictured…I still use that! It’s worth its weight in gold.

    That being said – perfect for new moms or moms-to-be. Absolutely relevant, good products and great research done.

  2. elaine says:

    You certainly did your homework! (Not that I’m at all surprised…)

    The truth is that babies need a LOT of stuff in the beginning, and quickly move onto other stuff. The bouncy chair, for instance, isn’t used much past 7, maybe 8 months. (You’ll be floored by how much of this stuff will end up in storage or at somebody else’s house long before the baby turns 1!)

    Some babies actually prefer just lying on a blanket, or some prefer their carseat. (The most “high need” babies prefer to be held ALL. THE. TIME.) :) One thing that was incredibly useful with all three of my kids was a baby swing — again, it’s something that babies grow out of fairly quickly, but it was a lifesaver for my colicky infant and the other two liked it as well! Try to borrow one if you can. You might be very glad you did!

  3. elaine says:

    One more thing — I’m with the Moms who said the exersaucer is great. It IS ugly, but all three of my kids pretty much followed this pattern: swing in the early months; exersacer from about 5 1/2 months – year; gates and safety stuff all over the house from one year on! :) Babies like to explore and the exersaucer allows them to sit, spin and play…borrow one in about six months!

  4. Angela says:

    Thanks so much for these great finds. I’m not pregnant, but if/when I am I’ll definitely revisit this post. Best of luck with Vetus!(so funny!)

  5. Love the blog! Like Angela, I’ll definitely be coming back to use this one day when I’m preggers!

    A note about the baby lounger…I remember a friend saying something about not using the lounger with her baby anymore because someone (I think her doctor) told her it’s best that the baby stay on the floor rather than even partially upright for the first 6 months so his/her spine can form properly.

    I thought that was kind of interesting, did your research turn up anything on that?

  6. Chloe says:

    Kendra, I’ve heard that’s a very conservative view point held mainly by very old-fashioned Doctors, but I will be researching this further. Those are the same folks who advise only using a Stroller with a Bassinet, and think a car seat is dangerous. Obviously you’ll want to keep your baby back as much as possible, and at the beginning, they are. But by a few Months old, a hour or two a day in a lounger can’t hurt ’em, from what I’ve been told. My research, thus far, hasn’t turned up anything contrary. xCx

  7. Krysta says:

    Hey preggie sister! I thought I’d read it all, but I’m grateful you introduced me to urthchild!!

    One thing I would suggest is nipple cream. And for vegan gals like us, its hard to fine ones that don’t have lanolin (a product taken from sheep). Earth Mama Angel Baby makes an excellent vegan one. I can’t wait to start using!

    Also, I’m obsessed with Isabooties, eco vegan soft soled shoes for that precious little age when they are just learning to stand on their own and take their first steps. I’ve been scouring the 800 resale baby shops in Portland and have found ZERO vegan shoes.

    Thank you Chloe!! Your bump is gorgeous!

  8. Chloe says:

    GREAT tips Krysta!! GUESS who has the most MIND BOGGLINGLY CUTE vegan baby shoes coming out soon? None other than our Sister Elizabeth Olsen (OLSENHAUS.com)… Stay tuned! As soon as they are available, we will be writing them up! :)

  9. Elaine II says:

    This is amazing BUT, fear not, if u’re not in a
    position to buy lots of these things, u will still raise a healthy, well loved baby!! I raised a son back in the “dark ages” when u got a crib, a few burp towels and wrapping blankets, cloth diapers, cheap pram and that was it! He grew up into a well adjusted, compassionate vegan! Sometimes less is more!!!

  10. jdavis says:

    Damn Mama, talk about covering your bases!!! I guess my contribution is done here ;)

  11. nia says:

    aw you look so adorable with your bump.

    i second elaine’s first comment. you can completely use the car seat for the very purpose you’d buy a bouncy seat for. can’t see you needing it too much, but what saved my life was a baby swing. as a working mom (i work from home as a writer and jumped right back into work within 3 days of being home from the hospital), i don’t know WHAT i would have done without it!

    good luck, lots of love and many congrats :)

  12. Laura says:

    I think what Kendra was referring to is that some people think it is best for babies to be on their tummy as much as possible so they can learn how to move around and get into positions on their own and strengthen their neck/shoulders. Of course an hour or two in a lounger is fine as well! Check out this woman’s website Dionne Kamara http://dionnekamaradance.com. I took Jamie to one of her classes (which was great btw) and she explains all of this and gives you great ideas for things to do with the baby to help them develop. PS i had the “my brest friend” nursing pillow and really liked it! never used the Boppy so can’t compare but just thought i would mention it. XO

  13. Ah, yes that’s a better way to describe it Laura, thanks!

    Man, there are so many things to think about with babies!!

  14. Kristin says:

    I forgot to add that there are quite a lot of mommy-to-mommy sales/trade offs and the like to help cut down on the massive waste and circulate expensive toys…cuts down on the boredom one gets with the same old toys lying about also. It’s so funny I think, with all the fads and such doctors come up with…we’ve been having babies for 50,000 years and humanity hasn’t suffered too much as of yet.

  15. Kristin says:

    ***meaning the whole “cry it out”, “tummy time”, “back time”, “co-sleep”, etc. The true health issues, like finding out baby cold medicine is downright dangerous, or smoking and all that of course is good stuff ;)

  16. Vladana says:

    Baby wipes are too harsh for the newborn skin. Soft OB sponges (or soft cloth) and water are much better. Wipe warmers get them used to warm wipes, but what happens when you have to change mega poop that will happen in the park or the restaurant? Don’t forget hats, especially for newborns. Tummy time is the best when it happens on your or your husband’s chest, while you are talking to your baby and baby can feel your heartbeat. Play mat comes later…

  17. […] ***The GirlieGirl Army*** » Blog Archive » What A Babe(y) Wants: What To Register For When You Are… girliegirlarmy.com/blog/20100114/what-a-babey-wants-what-to-register-for-when-you-are-knocked-up-and-overwhelmed – view page – cached What a Babe(y) needs and what a baby wants are pretty much the same thing, unlike Christina A, who probably wants more Louboutins, but certainly doesn’t need them. When GirlieGirl Army Founder revealed her pregnancy to her posse of Glamazons, they all immediately wanted to know where she was registered. Here she shares her initial horror, and eventual meticulous research on what a newborn… Read moreWhat a Babe(y) needs and what a baby wants are pretty much the same thing, unlike Christina A, who probably wants more Louboutins, but certainly doesn’t need them. When GirlieGirl Army Founder revealed her pregnancy to her posse of Glamazons, they all immediately wanted to know where she was registered. Here she shares her initial horror, and eventual meticulous research on what a newborn and infant really needs and what a Mommy and/ or Daddy would enjoy having. View page […]

  18. Marla says:

    I love seeing all the cool eco-stuff that’s out there that wasn’t when I had my son in 2002. I do have to say, I tend to think you don’t need as much as typically recommended. How do women in less affluent nations get by? Lots of love, lots of singing, lots of holding, lots of community involved. Yes, you’ll need onesies and some other obvious items, but simplifying needs is imminently worthwhile, too. Just love that baby, which I’m sure you will, and everything will fall into place.

    Congratulations! And thanks for sharing your great research.

  19. The little jumpsuit is too sweet! The carrier was my best purchase. I liked baby bjorn, but that was back in the day….everything looks way more styley 10 years later!

  20. Karina Dugdale says:

    DAMN, you hit the nail on the head. I’m extremely impressed by your diligence and research, after my own heart. This round up is EXTREMELY useful and I’m very grateful to your thoroughness.

    DAmn. Me be impressed.

    Thanks for sharing your amazing research!!

  21. olga says:

    hey
    Looks good.
    I just wanted to add something about the breast pump, Since they are almost $400 dollars . Many women on craigslist and other sites sell them used between 80 and 100 bucks. All the new mommy has to do is get all new plastic tubes, suction cups and bottles for about $20 dollars. This way its just like new and much cheaper for those who cant afford it.
    PS. I just re organized arcady’s room and I have another bag of clothes for you. And an unopened baby monitor device.

    xo
    Olga

    xo

  22. jenni says:

    LOVE THESE ITEMS! I would not have survived babyhood without my co-sleeper, sling and cream for the nipples. I found cloth diapering totally workable. I didn’t use a service which can be messy and definitely requires a hose as the little one gets older. Disposables while traveling is a MUST. I once tried traveling with cloth diapers and just about killed myself!!! Chloe – you look so HOT! Yay to fierce mamas!

  23. melanie reardon says:

    i liked the hugster nursing pillow better than the boppy….

  24. Chastity says:

    I’ll be keeping this in mind when I have kids. Thank you for being a wealth of information!

  25. Emma says:

    That Earth Mama Angel Baby body butter is awesome. I use it even though I’m not a mom and I buy Angel Baby stuff for the new moms in my life. This is a great list!

  26. Katrina says:

    Hi Chloe!
    Great list! You definitely did your research. One hting that I would add is a humidifier if your baby is going to born in the winter. You may not need one- it depends on your apartment, but we live in the typical NYC apartment where you have no control over your own heat. If you get one, make sure if has LOTS of germ killing mechanisms, so you don’t just seed bugs around the apartment. Also, I’ve heard friends swear by the “My breast friend” pillow for nursing in the early days. You won’t need it after a couple of weeks, once the little one gets the hang of it, so see if you can borrow one from a friend.
    So excited for what lies ahead for you! Its crazy but wonderful!

  27. Elaine Vigneault says:

    Wow, how many Elaines are there on here? I’m Elaine 3, I guess.

    I’m a foster (hopefully adoptive) mama for a newborn and I vote for these things:
    – crib (required by law for foster parents, but it can just sit there and you can use a co-sleeper or bassinet instead if you want)
    – car seat (never ever buy this used)
    – rocking chair (I opted for an old wood one that reminded me of my father’s when I was a child. the rocking motion not only soothes the baby, it relaxes me too)
    – nasal bulb syringe (get a good one or steal one from the hospital, our last foster baby was seriously ill and this thing was literally a lifesaver. The cheapo ones do not work at all. Don’t bother!)
    – outfits that don’t have to go over the baby’s head (if yours has a big noggin, he’ll be hating life every time you put him in a clean outfit)
    – books to read to baby
    – music that both you and baby enjoy (I like Rockabye Baby)
    – play pen and baby gates (for keeping baby and pets separated for safety)
    – education (baby care class, baby signs, baby swim, etc)

    I also want to take this opportunity to encourage anyone who has thought about becoming a foster parent or adoptive parent to please do it! There are millions of children who need you.

    In my area, there are 2-3 newborns per week who are entered into “the system.” That’s above and beyond the arranged private adoptions; these are babies who need foster parents NOW. They are the drug exposed and/or abandoned newborns. Some are reunited with a birth family member (often a grandparent if not a birth parent) and some are not.

    Beyond that, there are babies and children of all ages and all kinds of situations who need loving, responsible, safe temporary and permanent homes NOW.

  28. Beth says:

    Thanks for posting this. I am due in 9 weeks and have been a bit overwhelemed by the whole registering thing.

    I have recieved some great reccos from friends about a few items thatI wanted to share.

    Some of my friends strongly reccomended the Mya sling and Moby wrap for baby wearing since theyare both adjustable.

    I have also heard great things about the Tripp Tap high chair for the home and the Phil and Ted’s for traveling or going out.

    I have two friends that rave about the BumGenius cloth diaper system. (we are going to try EC, but have plenty of back up diapers)
    Thanks for all the info

  29. Lauren says:

    Thanks for the info! I honestly have no idea what I need but am fortunate enough to have both boy and girl babies recently enter our extended family; helpful since we are not finding out the gender of our July 2010 baby.
    Im going to make a list then either see what I can get from family members or register. Finding somewhere to register in BFE Mississippi, hmmmm, guess Ill be registering online!

  30. Chloe says:

    Lauren, Don’t stress – almost EVERYONE registers online – even NYC girls! It’s easier for all (you and gift buyers).

  31. Ingrid says:

    Awesome, Chloe!
    I also highly recommend receiving hand-me-downs from friends who are longing to clean out their storage spaces! Babies grow soooo quickly, so you’re just churning through clothes. Contact your friends who are new parents and you’ll be amazed at what they’ll pass on to you for FREE! I have been overwhelmed by the generosity of my friends so far. So awesome, so heartwarming, and so eco-friendly!

  32. Jenny says:

    Where were you when I was freaked out registering 3 years ago?!?! :) It is SO overwhelming trying to figure out what you really need, especially when different things work better for different people, e.g. Boppy vs. MyBrestFriend, Moby vs. Ergo Carrier vs. Hotsling vs. the 1,000,001 other choices out there… it’s great to learn about all the tools and tricks that have worked for other parents, but you’ll still have to see what works best for you and your family through trial and error. So, I guess my advice would be do what you’ve done and get the stuff you’ll need right away, and then tuck away the additional recommendations in your toolbox for those times when you need to try something different.

    Here are a few things that worked some magic for us that you might consider throwing in your bag of tricks:

    – YOGA BALL. Works like a charm for even the most inconsolable of babies and parents. Just hold baby, sit on the ball, and bounce it out. It’s ridiculously simple, but it was pure MAGIC that snapped our baby (and our niece) out of many a crying jag and put her straight to sleep. Killer quads are an added bonus of all that bouncing up and down.

    – SAFETY 1ST-BRAND NAIL CLIPPERS. They look weird, but once you use them, you’ll understand. They give you much-needed stability and precision to cut those teeny tiny little fingernails that are attached to those teeny tiny TENDER little hands that flap around like hummingbirds when fingernail clippers draw near. I have never met a baby who was even remotely agreeable to getting his or her fingernails clipped, even after scratching herself bloody with those little razors. Babies can be so freakin’ irrational! :) Still using them at 2.5 years. http://www.amazon.com/Safety-1st-Hospitals-Choice-Clippers/dp/B0009VRR9M/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=hpc&qid=1265336411&sr=8-1

    – NOSE FRIDA. It’s totally disgusting, but you won’t care. Those bulb aspirators just don’t work and worse, they make your poor little snotty baby mad as hell. The Nose Frida was invented in Sweden 10 years ago and is now taking the global parenting world by storm: http://www.nosefrida.com

    – SLEEPING WITH YOUR BABY. *The* book by Jim McKenna, the scientific authority on co-sleeping. He gives the low-down on who does it, who shouldn’t do it, and how to do it safely. I would not have survived early motherhood without this book to assure me that it’s not only okay to sleep with your baby, but it’s beneficial for both of you. http://www.amazon.com/Sleeping-Your-Baby-Parents-Cosleeping/dp/1930775342

    – TRES TRIA CO-SLEEPING BUMPER. It’s the best thing ever and now our daughter is using it in her big-girl bed to keep from falling out of bed. http://www.amazon.com/Sleeping-Your-Baby-Parents-Cosleeping/dp/1930775342

    – NURSING NEST. For hands-free tabletop nursing while you use your computer or write or do your makeup or whatever else you need to do with both hands. You can also use for nursing in bed. I wished I had had this thing from Day One instead of discovering it when my baby was almost too long for it. It was SUCH a breakthrough for me though to finally be able to type with both hands. http://www.bonnybabies.com/nursingnest.htm

    – BREAST PUMPING BUSTIER. (Speaking of hands-free breastfeeding) It’s even stranger-looking than it sounds, but it’s an absolute must for anyone using a breast pump. http://www.easyexpressionproducts.com/

    – And speaking of breast pumps, many women have to use or would benefit from using a hospital-grade pump, which you can rent. They’re made for use by multiple women, whereas the regular $300-400 ones aren’t. I hadn’t thought about it from an environmental perspective before, but maybe renting a hospital-grade pump has less of an impact than passing around a single-user pump that might conk out after, say, 5 people and pose a risk of infection to boot. http://www.medelabreastfeedingus.com/products/breast-pumps/223/symphony-breastpump

    Anywho, learn as much as you can, but at the end of the day, YOU are the expert on YOUR baby. The process of trying different things with Babers can be frustruating, but it’s also really, really interesting getting to know your baby as an individual who has individual preferences! You’re going to be a phenom-a-mama and I hope you’ll keep us posted on your new adventures best of luck to you, Chloe!

  33. Breezy Mama says:

    […] goodies. I even wrote a blog about my journey to registering for the most sustainable products: click here. Make sure that you ONLY use products with ingredients you know (i.e. essential oils, castille […]

  34. […] Looking for a what to register for list of products? Read What A Babe(y) Wants: What To Register For When You Are Knocked Up And Overwhelmed. […]

  35. Darrah says:

    Great list! Congratulations on baby number three, Chloe! Xox




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