The Things I'm Buying for Baby and A Glimpse Into My Baby Registry

Over the past couple of months, I’ve queried your input and opinions on a number of baby-related topics, such as what to look for in a diaper bag and if a baby monitor is really necessary. You all were so generous sharing your insights, I thought it would only be fair to share an update with you how I put all those comments to use, as well as touch on my choices and approaches to other baby-related items. To make things easier for you to browse, I created a baby registry with a bunch of the things that I picked out for our little one. You can check out that baby registry here.
Over the past couple of months, I’ve queried your input and opinions on a number of baby-related topics, such as what to look for in a diaper bag and if a baby monitor is really necessary. You all were so generous sharing your insights, I thought it would only be fair to share an update with you how I put all those comments to use, as well as touch on my choices and approaches to other baby-related items.

To make things easier for you to browse, I created a baby registry with a bunch of the things that I picked out for our little one. You can check out that baby registry here.

Otherwise, as I’ve mentioned before, when it comes to buying anything—baby-related or not—I’m quite the minimalist. On the one hand, I've been trying to streamline these things and not fall into that total consumerist trap of "I have to buy everything for the baby!" But, on the flip side, I realize that there are some things that can really make your life easier.

So when it’s come to selecting items for the baby, I’ve tried to think long and hard about my lifestyle: that of a stay-at-home-mom, doing some freelance writing on the side, and living in a small house with only one car that my husband and I share. Those things means that I spend a lot of time at home. So I decided to pick out an inexpensive stroller (not knowing how much use it will really get) and a simple monitor (since you all convinced me it was nice item to have!). And because our house is smaller, I wanted to keep lots of extra things to a minimum (and consequently am forgoing extras like a changing table).

Also, I tried to keep in mind our limited funds and figure out what I wanted to spend on and where I wanted to save. I decided I would rather prioritize things like a sturdy, ergonomic baby carrier (that my husband and I can both share) and high quality cloth diapers over things like a closet-full of clothes. So I picked up baby clothes at thrift stores or when they were on clearance, and asked family and friends who wanted to buy us clothes, to stick to ones that were more gender-neutral so that if we have a boy in the future, he can reuse them.

We have also been either given or able to borrow some of the big-ticket things like the crib that my niece had recently outgrown and the comfy chairs from my mother-in-law that will serve us for nursing. A lot of people choose to buy rocking chairs or gliders for nursing, but since we already had these chairs available for free, it made sense to use them and put the money that would be spent on a glider toward other things (like those mentioned above).

And I spent a lot of time researching every item that went into that list, reading online reviews as well as searching fellow bloggers' posts about their recommendations to narrow things down. Consequently, I am hoping that each purchase will prove a good choice and even investment.

So, without further ado, here are some of the favorite things that ended up on my baby registry, (although you can check out a more complete list of everything here):

(first row)
This book was mentioned on another blog and credited as a life-saver for this first-time mom because it explains when babies are going through fussy changes and why
This gym with a piano that she can kick against to help her learn to coordinate her movements
(second row) 
This too-cute teether is totally trendy, but I've heard such great things about it (even from other otherwise-frugal moms)
Ergonomic baby carrier that can be worn by me or my husband for long periods of time, and this carrier for using around the house and while she's a newborn and too tiny for the Ergo
Infant car seat to carry her around easily when she's still small
Convertible car seat for once she outgrows the infant seat but still should remain rear-facing
(third row)
Plush sensory toy to keep baby occupied and discovering new sounds, textures and colors
Prefold diapers, diaper covers and a wet bag for cloth diapering
Large swaddling blankets with tons of uses! 

Do you have any favorite baby-registry items or products you'd recommend? Let me know in the comments!

Related Posts
Some of the Parenting Books I've Read So Far
Diaper Bags, Decisions, and Dollar Signs


  1. Good picks! I bought the same infant car seat. Kohl's listed it as a girl's car seat, but I think it's a perfect gender neutral one.

  2. Great choices!!! My house is also very minimalist, like yours as we don't have room to store a lot of stuff and we don't want to buy into the consumerism of it all or spend the $$$. I also like Peace/love/swaps for gently used baby stuff.
    Here are some suggestions/items:

    -We got the Fisherprice infant toddler rocker as it will grow with them. for the first weeks I would put LO in it to sleep while I was cooking dinner, ect.
    - a small wet bag or two is great for the diaper bag.
    -I made cloth wipes out of old T's (8x8 with pinking sheers) and made my own wipe solution. I purchased "pump alcohol" bottles as a use for wipe solution.
    -a super small (sandwich) size wet bag for pre-moistened cloth wipes for on the go.
    -boppy protective cover. (I too registered for 2 cloth covers and really only use 1)

    ..some things I've noticed about cloth diapering...
    - we too cloth diaper but used disposables for the first few weeks. I had only intended on using them during the meconium stage, but I needed stitches after birth and walking to the washer/dryer was too much. I started with NB prefolds, I noticed LO would fuss right when he got wet, to avoid this I used fleece liners to wick away some of the urine. & at 8-9 pounds started the Sunbabys & Wegrows that we have.

  3. We also made minimalist choices and accepted any and all hand me downs we could get! We didn't know boy/girl until she was here, so that avoided a lot of clothes gifts and we got 'stuff' we felt we really needed.

    -We love the piano gym! I think my girl enjoyed it much earlier than she would have a normal play gym, because she could kick her feet before she could swat at the toys hanging above her head. It should also last longer since she'll be able to sit at the piano once she gets to sitting.
    -The book Baby Day by Day is great (did I mention that in a previous comment, already?)
    -For you: Earth Mama Angel Baby Nipple Butter is great, if you plan to breastfeed. It saved me in those early weeks when we couldn't get it together (it took about a month for us to really get the hang of it).
    -I really like having a wall clock in the nursery. It was good to know how long she nursed for early on, and how long I was waiting for her to fall asleep. Her room is TINY so I didn't have a lot of surface area for a desk clock, and I didn't want the bright light of a digital either. I find the sound of a clock ticking soothing, I hope she does too! :)
    -The swing is a life safer. Ours was a hand me down. Elissa is 3 1/2 months and I still use it all the time.
    -Learn to swaddle early!! We didn't figure it out until Day 4, and those first 4 days were rough! Aden & Anais were the best blankets for swaddling by far (we only had 1 though, a hand me down).

    Cloth diapers...
    -Don't be surprised if you don't get a lot of cloth diapers from your registry. People seemed to steer clear of those. I do really like the Thirsties Size 1s, but am trying to figure out what to switch to/how to design my next pattern as she will be sizing out of those within a month. (I made most of my covers. is a great resource for all things to make your own diapers. I will say I much prefer 3/4in FOE to the 1-inch FOE.)
    -We used disposables at night in the NB size, cloth during the day. I didn't have covers that wouldn't affect her cord (I know there are some out there tho), so I just made sure to change her as soon as she got wet. I loved NB fitteds better than prefolds. She was only in NB size for 2 weeks. Luckily my mom, my MIL and DH all handled the laundry while I was on my requisite 5 days of bedrest. If you're trying to save money, skipping the NB cloth is an option. I made my fitteds, just had to buy the flannel and snaps and I used old towels for the absorbent part.
    -I was only gifted a Planetwise large wetbag for her room, so I made my small/medium wetbags for daycare and for the diaper bag. Really, they're just a rectangle with a zipper (I hate zippers, but am getting better at them!). I fold some of my PUL fabric to make a little strap handle on the side too. You will want more than one wetbag/pail liner for the nursery. Without fail, she poops while the diapers and wetbag are in the middle of a wash cycle or dryer. Gotta have a place to put the dirty one.

  4. I got an inexpensive car seat (Evenflo Tribute) that would be good from infancy to toddler age. Plus, Archer was big so he wouldn't have been in the bucket seat for very long. Since you don't drive a lot and it seems you plan on baby-carrying, it's almost always better to hold your little bean! Archer was always in a better mood when I carried him. Sometimes it was the only way he would quiet down--and I could get some stuff done. I do wish we had the Ergo, but I just have a Moby & Bjorn. Robert like the Bjorn best. When I needed to put him down (showers, anyone?) we loved our bouncer. Something that will vibrate & has a couple toys to look at is great! I got it for free on a classified ad (the BEST way to get baby stuff) and used it ALL the time. They are pretty inexpensive anyway!
    I suggest a black & white toy, such as the Sassy Rattlin Ring (blue/black) or Sassy Spin Shine Rattle. This was the favorite for us, because when they can only see high contrast, it is eye catching and amusing. We got Sophie as a gift, and she is great for teething!
    I second Ally on disposables for meconium, and Cloth Wipes (I sewed them out of cute flannel) and solution. You should get some Snappis for the prefolds. Don't bother with diaper pins. They are impossible.
    I'll stop now.

  5. Hey Carmen! I always LOVE reading your blog and seeing what new things you are doing for your baby. I had Ben 4 years ago and so there is a lot out there that is so new and popular and its fun to see and hear about.
    That being said...I think as a mom of 3 and very frugal and having lived in small houses for the majority of our marriage. I'll tell you a two things that I could not have lived without.
    1. A PUMP...I only breastfed our kids, but I did have to buy one when I had Holland because he would not latch on for almost 2 weeks. (Which felt like the longest weeks of my life!) So, because he was having trouble, I had to pump every feeding and then give it to him in a bottle. I also used it with Ella because she would only eat off one side...and then I would be so uncomfortable that I would pump out the side that she didn't eat off of. And then with Ben I used it because I just needed someone else, like Hung, to feed him a bottle when I needed to make dinner or do something with one of the other kids. And it was nice that all my kids were able to nurse but also eat from a bottle, that gave Hung and I the freedom to go out on a date for longer than 2 - 3 hours.
    2. A SOUNDMACHINE...Even if your house is small or large, I suggest getting your child used to sleeping with one of these because eventually there will be baby number 2 and whenever you add to your clan, its nice to have that peace of mind knowing that your older child will be able to finish out their naps without being woken up by anyone or anything. I remember having the mindset that the babies with just have to get used to noise so that they don't "need" anything to be able to sleep. But that didn't last very long. Especially since they kept waking up to every little noise that they heard. And as they get older, they become more and more aware of the little noises around them. It also deepens on the personality of your child. Ella could sleep through just about anything, but Holland and Ben wouldn't. And when you REALLY need them to take a nap, you will do just about anything to make that happen.

    I can't wait to meet your little girl! Your going to be a great Mom!
    Emily Truong


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