A resource to inspire, inform and empower parents.

Badass Baby Registry

Abby Theuring, The Badass Breastfeeder, breastfeeding while pregnant. As I prepare for the birth of my second child I have come to realize that there is really nothing at all that is the same as the first time around. Morning sickness, yeah, ok, that’s pretty much the same, but everything else is different. Everything. I think there are a couple of reasons for this. First, it’s the second time around. I have a better idea of what I need and want for my child. Second, I have a better idea of the type of parent I want to be. These changes range across the entire spectrum of parenting, but for today I’d like to discuss that nagging baby registry!

Close to everything that I put on my registry and was given as gifts is being sold or given away. (Sorry friends and family!) When I was pregnant with Jack I referred to the book What to Expect When You’re Expecting. A book I would now never recommend to another Mama. I figured the longer the baby registry list the better. Here is an example of a baby registry list from a mainstream resource.

Nursery:

crib (1)

crib mattress (1)

changing table (1)

glider or rocker & ottoman (1)

dressers or chest (1)

nightstand (1)

hamper (1)

hangers

Bedding:

crib bedding set (1)

fitted crib sheets (4-6)

mattress pads & waterproof pads (2-4)

sheet savers (2)

changing table pad (1)

changing table pad covers (4)

receiving blankets (4-8)

crib blankets (4)

swaddle blankets (2-4)

wearable blankets (2-4)

Car Seats:

infant car seat (1)

convertible car seat (1)

Strollers & Carriers:

travel system stroller or traditional stroller (1)

lightweight stroller (1)

carrier (1)

diaper bags (2)

Feeding:

breast pump (1)

nursing pads (1 multi-pack)

breast milk storage containers or bags (2)

nursing covers (2)

nursing pillow (1)

baby support pillow (1)

bottle starter set (1)

bottles, 4 or 5 oz. (6-10 each)

bottles, 8, 9 or 11 oz. (6-10 each)

slow-flow nipples (8-10)

medium-flow nipples (8-10)

fast-flow nipples (8-10)

bibs (8-12)

burping cloths (6-12)

pacifiers (6-8)

pacifier holder teethers (3-4)

high chair

Diapering:

diapers, up to 8 lbs. (4 value boxes)

diapers, 8 to 14 lbs. (5 value boxes)

baby wipes (4 value boxes)

diaper cream & ointment (1)

diaper pail & refills (1)

Bathing & Infant Care:

baby bath tub (1)

baby bath towels (6-8)

wash cloths (10-12)

shampoo & body wash (1 each)

body lotion (1)

Grooming Kit:

brush, nail clippers (1)

thermometer (1)

humidifier (1)

air purifier (1)

aspirator (1)

laundry detergent (1)

Clothing:

bodysuits (10-12)

sleep & play (6-8)

side-snap shirts (4-6)

gowns (4-6)

pull-on pants (6-8)

socks (6-8 pairs)

caps, mittens & booties (2-4 each)

Safety:

monitor (1)

baby gates (2)

outlet covers & plugs

cabinet & drawer locks

first aid kit (1)

Play Time:

infant swing (1)

bouncer (1)

play yard (1)

play yard sheets (2-3)

play mat or baby gym (1)

infant toys (5)

jumper (1)

stationary entertainer (1)

books (3)

DVDs (3)

music (3)

My husband suggested that you add “new house” to this list because that is what you need to fit all of this stuff. I vividly remember being overcome with panic at how I would be able to get all of this stuff. How in the world is a person supposed to look at that and not freak out? I’m going to be straight up with you. This. Is. A. Racket. 99% of this is totally non-essential and will most likely end up being more annoying than useful anyway. Trust me. I am going to go through my personal experience with this list. And let me tell you, I either bought or was gifted everything on it.

Abby Theuring, The Badass Breastfeeder, cosleeping.

Nursery-We bed-share so we sold our crib and all of its accessories. If you use a crib obviously that will be different for you. However, I would skip all of the fancy bedding and just get a fitted sheet with maybe a waterproof pad.We have the glider and the ottoman and will keep them. Most changing tables are pieces of crap. Ours is broken. I am going to get a set of drawers for storage and use the top as a changing table. Many of my friends don’t even use a changing table and just use the bed or floor, but I prefer to have one. I find changing table pads a waste of money and just use a towel. We don’t have a night stand for Jack. Not sure what he would use that for. And hangers? I wash clothes, throw them into open drawers and hope they land inside. We have several receiving blankets. This list suggests 4 different types of blankets probably because they sell all of these kinds and want you to buy them. If you follow this list you will end up with 16 blankets. Save your money for a picnic in the park.

Car Seats-Yes, you need a car seat. If you have a car. You need 1, not 2. I went onto Consumer Reports list of safest car seats and picked the cheapest one. If you have a preemie or a very small baby you’ll have to take that into consideration. In my opinion infant seats are a waste of money because you have to buy a new one in less than a year. I suggest a convertible seat that will grow with your child.

Abby Theuring, The Badass Breastfeeder, breastfeeding in public.

Strollers and Carriers-Contrary to popular belief you can practice Attachment Parenting and still own a stroller. You might want 1, not 3. I suggest a light weight or umbrella stroller. Those big fancy ones are really heavy and annoying. I had one and felt like I was driving a semi-truck down the street and looked just like that when trying to turn the corner. I suggest babywearing for the majority of the time, but strollers can certainly be handy. I have heard so many times that baby carriers are too expensive. I never hear this complaint about cribs, strollers or rocking chairs. I think it’s because we have been so accustomed to thinking we need them that we accept that they cost as much as they do. Babywearing is not as common a practice in the US so we see this as a luxury item. I could not disagree more. I think a baby carrier is one of the most important items you will buy. It’s essential for your baby to be close to you as often as possible through their infant months. It will help with breastfeeding, brain development, napping and feeling as if you have the freedom to still get things done when you want. Click here for more information on baby carriers. And finally, I find diaper bags to be a huge waste of money. When I don’t just throw a diaper and some wipes in the pocket of my Ergo I throw some stuff into a backpack.

Abby Theuring, The Badass Breastfeeder, pumping.

Feeding-This section is super confusing to me and I wonder if I need to walk down the road of conspiracy theories or just accept that breastfeeding is so misunderstood that there is no way around the misinformation. First, you are going to need more than 1 pack of breast pads for crying out loud. I never leaked, but if you do I’m pretty sure you’ll be done with that pack pretty quick. Even better, opt for reusable pads. As for storage bags, I can’t get over the fact that it suggests 2 packs. If you are going to pump and store your breastmilk in the freezer you are going to need more than that! The nursing cover; it’s up to you, not some store or list, if you want to cover while breastfeeding. And if you choose to do so please don’t buy 2 covers! Sheesh, you only need one or you use a lightweight blanket. Unless you roll around in mud while breastfeeding I’m pretty sure the 1 cover will do ya. You’ll obviously need to get all of the bottles and nipples if you choose to bottle feed. If you are breastfeeding you might still choose to have this option. But don’t feel pressured. Don’t let some baby registry list disempower your innate ability to breastfeed your baby without the help of a pump and bottles. For breastfeeding you need your boobs. That’s all. But they can’t make money off of this so you will likely experience some pressure. The list also suggests that you need 6-8 pacifiers. WTF? Use your boob and maybe throw in a couple pacifiers if you want. 6-8 is a bit excessive.

Jack in cloth diaper

Diapering-Just use cloth diapers and coconut oil and call it a day! I started out with sposies with Jack before I knew anything about cloth diapers. Now we are a cloth diapering family, but even I will use sposies in the first few days/weeks of my new baby’s life. I just feel like it will be easier. Click here for more information about getting started with cloth diapering. For wipes we use wash cloths and a spray bottle of water. You can avoid even more chemicals by using coconut oil as diaper cream instead of the drug store stuff. Also, skip the frequent bathing with soap. Your baby needs all of the natural oils that they produce. I plan to get in the bathtub with my newborn about once a week and do a quick rinse with warm water as we nurse and snuggle.

Grooming Kit-I have never had any use for an air purifier or a brush. For nail clipping I use my teeth.

Clothing-The new baby will wear all of Jack’s old clothes. I don’t need a “stitch of new clothing” as my Dad said. If this is your first baby I would get some bodysuits, onsies, snap shirts, pants and socks and call it a day. No matter what you do you will end up with more than you need. People love buying baby clothes.

Safety-Just take a look around your home and do your best, but there is no better baby proofer than a baby. Adjustments that you need to make to your home will become crystal clear. Just follow them around and let them show you!

badass book collection

The living room stash.

Playtime-I feel like I need to do a whole blog post on this section alone. You are going to need some serious floor space to fit everything they suggest. I had a swing and a jumperoo and no longer have either. Your baby wants to play with you. If you save your money on this and put it toward that beautiful wrap you love your baby will be content at your chest for hours. (My personal suggestion for putting the baby down is below.) No matter how you plan toys will end up in your home. I would skip the DVDs and other media for as long as you can. Listen to the music you like listening to (Green Day is a favorite of Jack’s). And finally, the (3) after books is simply sad and a true reflection of our culture. We try to limit the battery operated toys to encourage imaginative play and we read tons of books. My husband, an author, still hasn’t recovered from seeing that list.

Getting ready for the new baby has been a process of getting rid of things. We have not bought much. We purchased a twin mattress to go next to our queen mattress so that everyone will comfortably fit into the family bed. I have also purchased a set of drawers to replace our broken changing table. And when people ask what I want as a gift I will reply “pocket cloth diapers, please!” I will also need to purchase some things for the home birth, but I will save that for the next blog post dedicated solely for how I am preparing for that. This is my personal interpretation of the mainstream baby registry list. You will have your own. We’re all the same, but a little bit different.

I will leave with a selection of some of my favorite things from Jack’s newborn days that I think will be just as important to us this time around. 

baby carriers

My ring sling, Ergo and Moby will be home to another little boy. 

url

I used this to keep Jack close when I need to nap. I loved it. 

imgres

I have learned about this since having Jack and will definitely be getting the Nuroo Pocket

Abby Theuring, MSW

Comments

  1. Christina says:

    I agree with much of what you say here. We did find our swing to be useful, and I did purchase an Ergo and Moby, both of which I use lots and love. I’m still interested in a ring sling, do you think 8 months old is past the prime of using one? I would add that if you are a working, breastfeeding mom you definitely need a good quality pump. If you live in the U.S. this is now covered by your health insurance. I got mine at the hospital where I gave birth.

    • Tricia H. says:

      I have a 19 month old and use my ring sling more now than when he was little! It is quick & easy for multiple ups and downs (for long ups I use my wrap). I totally agree on the necessity of a pump, and can I add AT MINIMUM two sets of parts? Nothing sucks more than realizing you just made your 45 minute commute and your pump parts are at home on the dish rack. With baby #2 I kept a spare set at work and it was a lifesaver!

    • Ring slings are great! I make my own using rings from the hardware store, or you can buy some colorful ones online…all you need is 2+ yards of fabric and a sewing machine (or a friends). I still use mine with my 11 month old 🙂 and the best part is that you can adjust it so even my hubby still wears him in it although he prefers the ergo for longer periods.

  2. Laura P. says:

    *high five* Totally agree. I have had small wisps of doubt creep in about our minimalist strategy to welcoming our first in July. It’s so great to find a post that makes sense to me and makes me think “Exactly!” I just go with quality over quantity. Reusable, washable, long proven, minimal, hand down-able, low tech, DIY. Also, I tend to think, will this draw us closer together as a family or (subtly?) push us apart. 🙂

  3. Laura P. says:

    And you snuck in a gem there at the end! NuRoo pocket – I hadn’t seen those before. Looks like a nice extra to have it someone wants to splurge on a gift for us.

  4. Great post! I think the anxiety and fear around new parenthood is what drives people to amass all of this “stuff”– it makes them feel more prepared for the uncertainty ahead. It’s an incredible money-making industry because of this culture of ours, where purchasing objects is what puts us and others at ease. But wise mamas can fight this by spreading the word about the truth! And the “3” books thing is appalling!

  5. Love it!!! All a new baby needs at first, is YOU… a carseat… and I would have to say something to wear them in, like a sling. Honestly! Not even a diaper!!!
    (ok, I know that sounds radical, but I did elimination communication with my kids and although I did use diapers, you can actually get by without them, no joke!) You can buy things as you go and see what you need.

  6. What about a nursing pillow? And I always used a boppy but are these other ones better they have out these days.

  7. My 6mo got terrible diaper rash and her ped said not to ever use disposable wipes. She is so raw what are the softest wipes? Bamboo? Also we use prefolds and shells. I’m not loving it what are your views on alva baby? Sorry for the book. Fyi your blog keeps me from jumping out windows on a daily basis. Hugs! Be well momma.

    • What a great compliment on the blog! I am so glad you haven’t jumped! LOL! We use regular wash clothes with a spray bottle of water. I wipe with just the water and cloth and then fold and pat dry. I think it really helps. BUT I have never struggled with severe diaper rash so I feel for you. I try to keep Jack naked as much as possible. I feel like this helps with keeping his butt dry. But that would be hard with a 6 month old. Are you talking about Alva baby cloth diapers? Because that is actually what we use and we love it. 🙂

    • Sarah E. says:

      Sorry your babe is in pain! We don’t use cloth wipes because we have an astonishing stash of gifted wipes but when/if we run out I’ll be making flannel wipes, but you could also check out fleece (you could literally go to the fabric store and buy a yard of fleece, cut it up and use them – it doesn’t get any easier.)
      People either love or hate Alvas. Buy one or two and test them out before you buy a whole stash.
      Hope that helps!!

    • Laura P. says:

      Water Wipes are supposedly great. They are just water and fruit extract. That might be another kind to try. 🙂

  8. I actually used both my jumperoo and swing with my LO. He doesn’t particularly like to be worn all the time so those were a life saver when he didn’t want me to hold him, but wanted to be in the same room as me. We tried bedsharing and failed miserably, as the baby had zero interest in sleeping with us. He is thriving in his crib, and even -sniffle- in his own room. Instead of a glider we went with a nice comfy rocking recliner. Dad has taken many a naps in it with a sleeping babe. Did make the mistake of the infant carrier though. lol Next time we’ll just get a convertible seat and I’ll use the stretchy wrap when they’re tiny.

  9. I love my sling, ergo, and wrap! I have the nuroo, but find it too hard to use with a new born. I also have a toddler, so the swing is useful for when I need to be with her. One thing I will add to your wonderful list is a sun hat.

    I have a crazy expensive stroller that I rarely use and I’m terrible at driving it!! I do have a chariot that that toddler loves. My husband takes her biking and I run/walk with both (using the infant sling).

  10. I must add that if people really want to get you something, they can make you a freezer dinner, or clean the house. We lived with my in laws for a month after my son was born (poorly timed house move) it wasn’t great, but not having to lift a finger was really useful. I didn’t cook or clean for a whole month! I did the odd load of laundry, but that’s it. Maybe, people could get you vouchers for a maid service, if that’s your thing?
    My son sleeps with us, although we’re about to sidecar a cot we’ve been given because he takes up a lot of room! He’s exclusively breastfed and we use cloth nappies. We’ve recently switched to sposies because he’s teething and gets extremely sore in the kushies. He wears his uncle’s clothes, plays with his aunties toys and receives hundreds of comments on how happy he is. Hand me downs are the way to go. My brother is only 5, and my mum kept everything! Even the nappies I use once belonged to them.
    We have a Boba and a girasol. The Boba is really good for around the house, click click wiggle and he’s in and comfy. The girasol is better for lengthy periods, like walking to my mums. I do still take the pushchair so I have somewhere to stash the nappy bag as I’m yet to do away with that. But this is number 1 and I’m learning. I still take several outfits and more than 10 nappies! We once got caught short and I had to bring my son home wrapped in my jumper because he’d pooped on his clothes, so now I overprepare!
    Follow your heart. If you want that stuff, you go get it. But it is all money making gimmicks and you don’t NEED it.

    • YES! We had two different people set up a food tree for us after our second was born. We had meals dropped off for almost three months! It was wonderful. And house cleaning would have been rad too!

  11. I agree, keep it simple and minimalist and purchase things as you need them. Every family is different and has different needs. I didn’t purchase any pacifiers because I figured I’d use my boobs or let my son suck his thumb. Boy was I wrong! When he wanted to suck but not nurse he would get very frustrated and mad when milk would come. I finally caved and gave him a pacifier and it was easy to see it was exactly what he needed. Definitely not something every baby needs but my son loves to sleep with one. Now due to my absent-minded nature I’m pretty sure we have about a dozen floating around the house!

  12. Of course Babies R Us wants you to register for everything, they are in business to make money!!

  13. Rochelle says:

    I’m having twins so I do need two carseats. However we aren’t buying two of everything. One crib, one dresser/changer, a double stroller, a twin nursing pillow (gift) and a baby monitor (gift). My insurance is paying for my pump and I received a ton of diapers at my baby shower and after. I bought one napper and one was given to me and probably way too many baby clothes!

  14. Love the post! It’s so true that you really don’t need a ton of stuff. I too, wrote a post very similar to this three years ago after a friend asked me what all she needed to register for. You can find it here: http://mamablogue.blogspot.com/p/baby-gear-list.html.
    I didn’t include baby books or toys on mine, but I’m right there with you about acquiring as many books for your children as possible!
    Enjoy the rest of your pregnancy and Happy Birthing!!!

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