Shopping for baby is so much fun - I've found that it doesn't matter what baby you're on, what your style is, if you're going thrift or posh... baby shopping is a blast!
Of course, if you're choosing natural baby care or leaning towards attachment parenting, you might feel like some of the registry guidelines don't apply to you. I'm pregnant with baby #8 right now and did a little window shopping at The Baby Cubby and put together a natural parenting wish list <3
Enjoy and let me know your favorite picks!
After 8 babies I actually feel that clothing is a really personal choice, and mamas have different preferences in baby clothing. If this is baby #1, you can go with the standard lists and decide what you like - or get what you think you'll like. Here are some of my own favorites:
Items are discussed clockwise
I really like gowns for the first few months. Baby Gowns are comfortable and make for easy diaper changes and easy elimination communication (EC). They are my all-time favorite for baby boys and baby girls.
I know that one-piece bodysuits make babies look "neat" and help prevent creep, but they tend to make it harder to EC a baby. I like normal shirts - like this adorable dino hoodie (or regular T's not pictured) for easy changes with boys. For girls, I like dresses like this one from Tea Collection (you can go sleeveless in summer not pictured). For both boys and girls, I pair with leg warmers to keep little legs cozy.
Having said that, I do think that rompers and sleepers are really cute, and often dress my young babies in them when we're going to be out and about. Snap bottoms like this romper outfit from Tea Collection make diaper changes and EC easier, even on the go.
Of course you'll want other things - I recommend socks over baby shoes (even soft-soled shoes) until your baby is walking. Even with a walker, I favor barefoot as much as possible! I also like caps on little heads in cold weather - but again, clothing is very personal, and you'll find your baby's style <3
Like clothes, cloth diapers are very individual and very personal - but at this point our family is cloth all the way. I tend to experiment with each baby, but for us, pocket diapers work well during the day (I like snaps) and flats with a wool cover work well at night.
We have also started elimination communication at birth with our last few babies, so we have a lot of prefold diapers to go under a little bum (I do tend to diaper for backup). I like having a small "potty bowl" close by me and baby - a plastic mixing bowl works well. In the bathroom you can use a toilet seat reducer pretty early on - offering support to your little one and helping establish the bathroom as a place to potty.
Regardless of what you're doing for baby pottying: cloth diapers, disposable diapers, elimination communication... or all of the above... a diaper bag is a MUST! It carries extra diapers, pottying supplies, extra clothes, burp cloths, baby toys, and of course, all your mama essentials.
I greatly prefer a diaper bag with lots of pockets and built-in organization features. I've had my eye on a Ju Ju Be BFF for a long time - I haven't splurged on one yet, but if you're looking for a diaper bag that can be well-organized, this one is the one! The fact that it can convert from backpack to strap is really nice, too. I love the idea of a backpack, and that works well with baby in a front carrier. But here's an insider tip: when you switch to a back carry, you'll want to carry your diaper bag over your shoulder or messenger-bag style. I like a diaper bag that adapts to you and your baby 🙂
There are different baby carrier options, and like diapers and clothes, your favorite is probably pretty personal (it's okay to be unique 😉 ). But I really like wraps for tiny babies and a structured, soft carrier for older babies.
My favorite point to get to is when I can put baby on my back! It keeps baby happy and keeps my hands free on walks, with older kids, and while taking care of things around the house or running errands 🙂
Baby carriers just make life easier all around - they are definitely in my must have this splurge category!!
My favorite wrap is a knit wrap, and I've gotten really spoiled by wraps like this Happy Baby Wrap that have a little bit of stretch. Put these wraps on tightly - the soft bamboo cuddles baby and the little amount of stretch keeps the wrap just right through multiple errands or diaper changes. You can take baby out and pop baby back in without having to re-wrap each time.
The soft-structured winner for our family is the Ergobaby Original. We have used Ergo carriers for our last 4 babies and I can't wait to put our new baby into it <3 We actually have two Ergos - one for me and the baby, and one for Scott and the current toddler! Ours have withstood countless walks and hikes, running errands, and going almost non-stop during Fair Week while we watch our big kids show their 4H projects off!
This brings us to baby gear, which tends to be an exciting and high-ticket category of baby things. It's also really controversial with those in the "natural parenting" world, so I'll share of my thoughts as a mama who believes in keeping baby close... and who has been through 7 baby stages 😉
Items are discussed clockwise
Of course a car seat is a must for almost every family - unless you're able to walk and/or bike everywhere. Britax car seats are trusted, and my family has personal experience with seeing Britax stay strong in car wrecks. I was in a minor accident when my oldest two were toddlers and their Britax convertibles were great.
When my 3rd was a baby my mom and I were taking a day trip with him when we were t-boned by a large pickup truck. My mom's car was totaled, both of us were really beaten up, and Mom required surgery. Brennan had a slight abrasion from his Britax seat strap - and nothing else. I trust these seats with precious cargo <3
Bouncers and swings move into controversial territory - but I think that they have their place if you want to get one. A bouncer like the Nuna Leaf is compact with a small footprint, and gives you somewhere safe to put baby if you need to go baby-free for a few minutes (say, while you're in the shower). Of course, a blanket on the floor works well too. But I have appreciated a bouncer that lets my little one face me and see me while I'm rocking an older sibling to sleep <3
High chairs aren't required right away, of course, but your little one will get there before you know it. I have used a lot of different high chairs, but our last four babies have gone into a "grow with me" chair like the Stokke Trip Trap. It's a simple but brilliant concept that grows as your little one grows and looks nice with almost all dining room or kitchen table decor. Our 9, 6, 4, and 2 year olds are still in theirs!
We have never owned a crib, but I have had a portable play yard with most of my kids. Again, it's a safe, cozy place to put baby if you need to. It also works well for a nap location if you want to put a co-sleeping baby down alone. My young toddlers also use a play yard for their first "alone time" play space - a few minutes to enjoy a toy while Mama gets a moment to finish something up (or even take a "me" moment)!
Note on strollers: Baby Cubby has plenty of stroller options, but we have never actually used strollers with our kids (we use baby carriers all the way - even during Fair Week we pull a wagon behind us to hold gear and a preschooler or two while the babies and tots ride on our backs!). So I have never researched strollers and don't feel confident in making a recommendation 😉
We're a committed co-sleeping family, but I have found a few ideas that can make co-sleeping or naptimes easier.
Dock-a-Tot - if you like the idea of having baby in bed, but want him or her to have their own space, the Dock-a-Tot is a great option. It's also portable, so if your baby is used to sleeping in it, it can easily be placed on the floor, in a play yard, crib, etc. I think it would still get in the way of nursing, so you'd have to take baby out to nurse at night, but overall, I like the idea of having a little "nest" for baby.
An alternate idea is the child-bed, which is a Montessori concept, so many people call it the "Montessori bed." This option is very simple - a crib-sized mattress on the floor in a safe room. You can put a barrier up (like a pool noodle under the sheet) to keep baby from rolling off the mattress at first, but the point of this concept is to give a baby space to open up to experiencing the world...
...Newborns just gaze overhead (or at a safe mirror mounted low on the wall by the mattress), but as your baby gets bigger, he or she is able to get to know the room from floor level - and move to exploring! I like this concept a lot and I'm thinking about using it with our new baby! The mattress can be moved easily for cleaning the area, and without the cost of a crib you can splurge on an allergy-and-chemical-free mattress.
Here are a few more things that I've found useful throughout mothering my babies:
Items are discussed clockwise
I find swaddling useful. I know it can be controversial, but sometimes I do want to swaddle my little one and lay him or her down so that I can have a few baby-free moments. Swaddling is also useful when you have a baby whose hands are in the way when nursing - a swaddle can save your sanity (and both of you tears) until you get the hang of it 😉
My mom got us Aden + Anais muslin swaddle blankets when Corwin was a baby and they are my absolute favorite baby blankets EVER. I keep a few flannel blankets on hand for their births, and a heavier one on hand in winter, but otherwise, I use muslin blankets all the time! They're light and airy in summer, and can be folded over to get thicker and cozy in a cool house <3
Chewbeads - I didn't get a teething necklace until my last baby, but Sadie loved hers! I think they're a great idea, not just for teething babies, but also for babies who like to "fiddle" with things while nursing.
I love the romantic nostalgia of wooden teething toys, but I've found that my babies won't use them - they do use silicone teething necklaces and teething toys, so I have a couple of those for each baby.
Small but mighty, I find baby nail clippers to be a must-have item in the early days. It's good for babies to feel their hands near their faces (it reminds them of the womb - this is why I use swaddling selectively), but their little nails can be razor-sharp! Gaining quick confidence with clippers is essential, and though they may feel like a splurge, I think baby-sized nail clippers really do help. I have enough to keep them in the family room, my bedroom, the bathroom, and the diaper bag! They're great on toddler nails, too (though I find I can use regular clippers at that point, too). Must-have on your registry!
There's a lot more out there when it comes to baby stuff - these are just some favorites that jumped out at me as I browsed around The Baby Cubby 🙂
Like I mentioned above, The Baby Cubby invited me to take a look around around their virtual shop, which I thought was a lot of fun. I did receive a gift card for putting together my wish list (now I get to go back and decide what I want most <3) - and I took my tour with the natural, attachment-parenting mama in mind. I also wanted to share what make The Baby Cubby different than the "big box" options. Here's what they have to say:
The Baby Cubby is for every parent out there who has ever felt overwhelmed or discouraged about becoming a parent. Our Baby Cubby team is made up of parents who have been there. We know what it’s like and we are passionate about encouraging, inspiring, and reminding parents how amazing they are and how important their role is.
The way we do this is by finding the highest quality and safest baby gear to provide to parents in a fun shopping experience. We do things like test strollers on our stroller track, price match everyday - even Amazon. Plus we offer free shipping every day on orders over $49.
You can read a little bit more about what we're passionate about and why we do what we do on our 'about us' page here - http://www.babycubby.com/about-us/
Enjoy shopping for your little one!!