When I was making our registry, I wanted to have a minimalist baby registry and I remember thinking “I don't know what to ask for! I don't have a baby and I don't know what we will need!” I didn't want a ton of extra stuff and to be honest, EVERYTHING felt like a must.
And now, a year later, looking back it's crazy what we didn't use.
This is not an inclusive list but it is a good start!
I used to consider myself a minimalist (when i lived out of a backpack). But, when you're a parent, you no longer get to decide what comes into your house. You'll have a holiday and get another doll and you'll think “I am grateful, but she already has 17 favorite dolls”. Pro tip: leave it at grandma's house so they have something to play with when they visit (and they don't have to sit in the toy bin at your house).
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This is what I would do if I did it again:
We have SO many books and it's great. My sister planned the baby shower and she asked for books instead of a card and I cannot recommend this enough. People can write a little note in the front page of the book if they want, but books are basically the same price as a card… but so much more useful. Now we have so many books for the babe and it's fantastic.
At my baby shower, we got both the cardboard books that babies use when they're younger (so they don't rip every page off). We also have a bunch of the page books tucked away for when she's a little older.
We got baby sign language book and since she's been 13 months she's really been able to use it and communicate, it's increible!
I also put some Spanish books on my registry because I would love for babe to be able to speak Spanish!
2. Second Hand Gifts
One thing I would definitely recommend are second hand gifts!
I know, people feel weird asking for second hand gifts and more people feel weird giving them.
Let me tell you why they're great!
First, most baby items are used for 3 months and then they're outgrown! That also means a used item is usually practically brand new!
Second, baby stuff is GD expensive and we don't even know if baby is going to like it! We bought the MamaRoo (second hand from a friend) and she hated it. So we just sold it back on marketplace and bought this swing instead which she loved. Some some babies love bouncers, I'd say these are the top three most likely candidates for your babe, but you truly do not know until they're here! For development, the best place for them is on the floor! As often as possible. So finding something like this playgym from lovevery was amazing because we got quite a bit of use out of it and the bottom was washable (huge for me).
Which leads me to my next idea:
3. Gift Cards
The most foolproof way to get what your babe needs -when they need it- is to ask for amazon gift cards or even target giftcards. A must have on a minimalist baby registry. I registered on babylist.com I LOOOOOVED babylist bc I could put anything from any website on there, etsy, Home Depot, Carters, Nuna whatever you want!
4. Gender Neutral Clothes (if you even ask for clothes)
Almost every piece of clothing I got was gifted or gender neutral because I'm not just thinking about this baby, I'm thinking about potential future babies too! With gender neutral you can use them for multiple babies and not have extra clothes. Plus, they grow out of things SO quickly. Some people really love the pink and blue and if that's you, great, more power to you. It's totally a personal choice, but I love the gender neutral options on Amazon and how versatile and adorable they are.
5. Natural Nursery Decor
Nursery decor that's not just decor but can also be functional as a toy. One of my favs was a cute camera! It's a personal choice but I love natural wood decor, “montessori toys” are usually good for having natural, non toxic material.
Believe it or not, I didn't ask for a thermometer on my baby registry, and obviously I wish I had! Babies can't do the one in their ears until like 6 months so make sure you have that goes under their tongue, in their armpit, or in their booty. This one would be great.
If you plan on breastfeeding, you NEED the Haakaa. I started it day one, never used an electric pump, filled an entire freezer full of milk and had an oversupply! Because she didn't take a bottle I ended up donating it (“Human milk for human babies + your town” is a great way to find someone to donate to or find donated milk)! Haakaa even has fancy ones that turn into a bottle! The fancy one doesn't have the suction at the bottom, but setting it in a mug works great.
This is really helpful because sometimes you're like “how do I sanitize this? Can it go in the dishwasher? Is the dishwasher soap fine for my baby to have on the breastfeeding stuff?”. This thing takes all those questions away. You just put a little bit of water in, throw it in the microwave and it sanitizes everything. Sometimes I'll put her toys in here, her teething rings, nooks, tha haakaa everything. You can use it like 20 times so you need about one a month.
Like I said, our babe never took a bottle, but if you plan to bottle feed, this would be great. Throw everything you need washed into this and then put it in the dishwasher. Easy Peasey.
11. Metal Forks and Safety Spoons
These little spoons are great because it'll tell you if food is too hot. Sometimes I've made oatmeal and when I stir with the spoon, it turns white letting me know it's too hot.
You also want forks. The metal ones are best in my opinion because it's a lot easier for baby to spear the food. Also, you want bowls and plates that suction to the table!
12. Bottle Box
There's something called the Bottle Box. This handy box gives you one sample of each of the popular bottles because (I had no idea) babies might not take just take any bottle or nipple size. You usually have to try a few different ones and see what they like. So, this is great because you can figure out which one your baby likes and then buy a pack of those.
13. Activity Center
This is great to keep baby busy while you do… anything. Dishes, take a shower, workout, whatever, this a great way to keep babe contained and busy for a little bit. I will say, make sure you wait until babe is ready and big enough before you use it. I think we might have used it a little too early with her, which can be hard on their little bones (my chiro told us when I told her we used these). But, once they are old enough it's great, and our babe loved it. Plus, it turns into a table! So, this thing can be used for years.
We are OBSESSED with this thing. I seriously cannot recommend it enough. It's a great size, I could literally get in it with her but it also went in our living room. You can bring it to the beach for shade because there's a tarp that can go over the top. Plus, it's so easy – it comes up and can be put away in like a minute (here's a video where I show you). I would recommend the mattress if you're going to use it inside, otherwise, it's just the tent material on the floor. But, overall we love this and think its 1000% better than a Pack ‘n Play.
Plus, they're always running a sale and you can use the code HeyShayla for an extra 10% off. We bought ours, and after I fell in love I contacted the company to be an affiliate with them so I do make a commission if you purchase.
15. Car Seat
I have a whole blog on non-toxic car seats because the flame retardant that they use on car seats is toxic. There's a few that use wool (non-toxic and naturally fire resistant). They're pretty expensive, but if you want to be conscious of toxins or are worried about them, try to look for a Black Friday sale or other promotions. I didn't learn about this until we switched to a convertible seat. Once she moved to a convertible one, we got the wool one.
If you have the budget I recommend getting an infant seat and then a convertible seat. Infants sleep a lot more than toddlers, it's so convenient to be able to grab the seat and baby and bring them into Target or the house. The other option is starting them in a convertible and having to take the baby out of the seat to move them. Either way, don't stress out about it. Whatever you have, you will adapt to and it will work for you and your family.
No matter what, you want to make sure you have a cup holder on your stroller. That's a must. I always put stuff in there and it's super nice. If your stroller doesn't come with a cup holder ask for that in your registry!
17. Baby Monitor
We love our baby monitor. You can see really well even in the pitch dark. It has the ability to connect to two monitors so eventually, with babe #2, we could have two cameras (one camera on each of them) and one monitor that picks up both. Because we do a floor bed and she doesn't have a crib, I like that I can move the camera and see where she is in the room.
18. Baby Carrier
I tried a few carriers and didn't always feel like they were super secure. The Boppy Baby Carrier, I love. It has a clip that goes around your waist and also wraps to goes around you to tighten baby in. She loves it, I love it, it's great. I like the idea of carrying her because she gets to see everything that's going on. I've also learned it is beneficial for baby!
I've read a ton of interesting books on parenting in other cultures and am realizing that in other cultures, they carry their babies all the time. In America, we try to put the babies down so they can be independent, but babies love being with their moms and I think she learns a ton watching me do things when she's in the carrier
The other carrier I use is TushBaby. I was a little skeptical it at first, but after using it for a couple of months I absolutely love it. It goes around your waist and is basically like a seat for them on your hip. It's fantastic! It takes the weight off my arms and lets me do so much more while holding her. She does so well in Target, but I also use it in the house. She wants to go up down up down alll the time and this makes it so simple!
This guide is the most amazing thing. If you could put this on your registry, that would be HUGE. The Expecting and Empowered pregnancy and postpartum workouts are INCREDIBLE. I started in my third trimester because that's when I found them, but they're so amazing. The pregnancy guide prepares you for childbirth and includes a lot of pelvic work to help relax your pelvic floor. And after, in the postpartum guide, it's all about repair. I'm just SO glad I had these.
It was created by two sisters a nurse and a women's health physical therapist. I felt really good knowing the workouts I was doing in pregnancy and postpartum were SAFE.
20. Things to Feed the Baby
Obviously, you need things to feed the baby. So, if you're breastfeeding you want to make sure you have the essentials, I have a blog sharing what helped me most. You want nipple butter, Bamboobies pads for leaking, a nursing cover (this one was my favorite because it's like a shawl), bags to store the milk, and again..the Haakaa is amazing.
21. Things to Keep Baby Warm
Obviously you'll need diapers. So you have to decide, do you want disposables or cloth? We do elimination communication and cloth diapering 80% of the time and disposables 20% of the time like at night, when we travel or we'll be out of the house all day.
Pampers recently came out with Pure Protection Hybrid Diapers. They are a cloth diaper shell with a disposable liner so they're really a cross between cloth diapers and disposable. These hybrid diapers would be great for someone who is eco-conscious but cannot easily do cloth diapering (maybe someone who uses the laundromat), someone who isn't ready to fully commit to cloth diapering, or even someone who's partner isn't fully on board. But, whatever you decide, just make sure you have enough diapers for baby!
23. Postpartum Box
The first couple weeks after childbirth are all about mom. You need to repair. The Frida Mom Postpartum Box has everything you need to heal. I went through everything and then ordered more, some frome Frida Mom other stuff from target. Here is a blog where I share everything you need to heal after tearing if you want to piece this together.
I had a basket in each bathroom with everything I needed.
24. High Chair
This is actually something we didn't ask for, but I wish we would have. I have a post here about how to choose the right high chair, according to a pediatric dietitian. Whatever you decide is a good fit for your needs will be great, but you just need somewhere for babe to safely sit while you're feeding them.
Items to Skip:
- Snot sucker – Because of COVID, she has only been sick one time in her first year of life. And, thank god! Because of this, I have not had to use the snot sucker yet. She did have a runny nose, but I didn't feel like I need to use the snot sucker. I used the bulb instead. From what I've heard from other moms though… this is a must. Maybe throw it on the list?
- Baby glassware – People recommended thinking about baby beyond the first year. So, I got some baby glass tupperware. Anddd, it's still in the box. I haven't used it at all. I thought about pulling this out the other day when there were some berries left over that she didn't eat, but then I just put them in our small tupperware.
- Giant squirt spoon – With this, you're supposed to be able to fill it with baby food and then squeeze it out into their mouth. It seemed really easy and less messy, especially when you're on the go, but I've already donated this. I asked for it, but now it just seems silly to me. It could be cool, but I just wasn't going to empty out the contents of the puree into the giant spoon and then back into the puree if she didn't finish it. Keeping it simple with just a spoon seems much better.
- Sink liner – This might be useful for travel, but I have never used this. We just use the tub. If you don't have a tub, this might be a great thing to have in your sink. I've also read it's a pain to dry.
- Bottles – Our babe never took one. But, I'd still, I totally recommend the Bottle Box.
- Pack ‘n Play – We set up the Pack ‘n Play in our bedroom and first, it was a b*tch to set up. Second, she never slept in it. She just slept with us so we basically just used it as a changing station, which it was great for. But as I mentioned, we have the California Beach Co. and could not love it more. I would highly recommend getting one of these instead of a Pack ‘n Play. Compared to the California Beach Co., a Pack ‘n Play takes way longer to put up and take back down and is way heavier.
- Baby lounger – I was really excited about the Snuggle Me Organic. My nephew LOVED it and was in it all the time so I thought it would be great. But, all babes are different and ours hated it. She did. not. like. it… at all. As a baby she really did not like to be confined. She hated being swaddled so I don't think she liked how this had the pressure around her. That's what my nephew loved about it, but this didn't work for us.
- Baby mittens – let your baby have their senses! You put on these gloves to prevent them from scratching themselves. I will admit, clipping a newborn's nails is intimidating. I used these super fine nail buffers and it was so perfect and not scary at all!
Overall, just know some things will work and some won't. Babies do their own thing. Hopefully this helpful to you in making your registry. You got this, Ma!
Here is my full Amazon registry list.