What do newborn babies need? What should you put on a shopping list for a newborn baby? What should you register for?
Some friends of ours are having a their first baby. They are registering soon and were looking for advice on things you couldn’t live without. She asks:
“What should I definitely register for, and what can I skip? What is worth the extra money, and what isn’t? Do you have any recommendations on strollers, cribs or car seats?”
What We Used for Our Babies
Our registry was based mostly things recommended in the Baby Bargains book . It’s the best book ever! They have a good, better, and best recommendation for each category. They also tell you about things you won’t need. Overall, I found they were pretty close.
Here were some of the specific items we used for our babies.
Car seat. We use the Graco Snugride  for the infant seat, then a Britax Marathon  for the convertible seat. We also get Cosco Scenara’s  for plane travel and for in Grandma’s car; they are very inexpensive. Just remember, car seats expire after 5 years!
Strollers. The Peg Perego Pliko 3  is my favorite, but we also have a cheap $20 umbrella stroller which comes in handy often. We have other ones too, but those two are the ones that get used the most.
High chair. We have 3, my favorite is the Fisher Price Space Saver . It straps onto a regular dining room chair, and it’s easy to take to Grandma’s house.
Pack ‘n’ Play. Our kids slept in our room for the first couple months. The Graco Pack ‘n’ Play  was perfect because it has a bassinet insert to sleep in for the first few months; you can avoid a pricey bassinet. In addition, it works well for traveling to hotels and Grandma’s house.
Baby Carrier. We have a baby wrap for use with newborns and a Bjorn  for once they are a little older. However, I think the Bjorn was designed for men. I borrowed a neighbor’s Ergo  and it was much more comfortable.
Baby Seating. We also have a swing, bouncy seat, and a Bumbo . We use them all, but the Bumbo is my favorite!
All the furniture we selected was gender neutral, which was a good decision, since it will be used by our third baby shortly.
Cribs. Because our kids were close in age, we have two cribs. Both are child craft cribs . They’re one of the most highly rated and have a great safety record. In addition, when we had a broken piece after a year of use, their customer service was excellent in replacing it.
Mattress. We got a Colgate Classica I crib mattress  for each child. However, make sure to shop around; you can find it for about half the price at various online retailers.
Nursery Furniture. We also got a glider and dresser for the nursery. But we purchased regular brands as opposed to “baby” furniture; it saved a bunch. It was easy to match the wood finish too.
Changing Table. We got an inexpensive one in the same wood finish as the crib and dresser. Once the kids are potty trained, the changing table is pretty much useless, so we didn’t want to spend a lot on a fancy one.
Bedding. Our first set of sheets were from The Company Store ; they ripped. The next set came from Land’s End . They’ve held up really well. Besides the sheets and mattress pads, we didn’t purchase any other bedding. Babies can’t use blankets, pillows or any other bedding for safety reasons, so our kids slept in sleepsacks . In addition, you can skip the bumpers because, while they look cute, you have to take them out when the baby can start to move around.
Diapers. We order Pampers Swaddlers through the subscribe and save program  with Amazon. Once they get a little older, we switch to the Costco brand diapers.
Diaper Pail. The diaper champ  is terrific! It’s much better than the diaper genie because you can use regular garbage bags instead of special inserts.
Other Baby Items
Feeding. One of the biggest money savers is nursing a baby. The milk is free and it’s great for the baby. I got a medela pump  for when I went back to work with my boys. We also used Gerber GentleFlow Bottles  because they were one of the first BPA free bottles at a reasonable price. My favorite nursing accessories were glamour mom tops  and the hooter hider .
Clothing. To be honest, I didn’t even need to bother with clothes until the babies were almost two. Clothes seem to be a favorite baby gift both at a shower and when the baby arrives. Wait until you’ve gone through all the gifts to see if you even need to buy some clothes.
Miscellaneous. I took a stroll around my house to see which baby items I was forgetting. I found a diaper bag, toys and books, a monitor, baby wipes, a first aid kit, hoodie towels and washcloths, a bathtub, and a first aid kit.
Babies and Financials
If you’ve finished your registry, you can move on to the money aspect of a new baby. I mentioned various financial accounts for kids in Our Family is Expanding…  and Checklist: Financial Strategies for Infants and Young Children .