Current Baby Favorites: A Semi-Short List in a Sea of Stuff

I have a question for ya.

Is it alright if I dish out some baby content every now and then? I mean who doesn’t love a little baby content? I’ll be honest to say that long before I was pregnant with River, I was that self-proclaimed weirdo who read “mommy blogs” and saved cute pictures of nurseries and first birthday decor to my private Pinterest board titled, “Someday.” You can never be too prepared right? (Uh-oh, my Monica is showing.)

So maybe you’re an eager beaver like me, and you’re reading this during a finals study break for that baby you don’t have (no shame, girl!), or maybe you’re a new momma or momma-to-be and this kind of stuff fits the season of life you’re in. Either way, my blog is a safe place ya’ll, and if there’s any way I can help you navigate the oversaturated and overwhelming waters of early motherhood, I will! I don’t claim to be an expert, how could I? I’m only a month in! But I’ve also never been a fan of waiting to be an expert before sharing my life with you, so let’s do this thing together.

During my pregnancy with River, I was so excited to make a registry.

If you know me, you know gifts is one of my main love languages (giving and receiving), so putting together an alphabetized list of gifts I wanted was an exciting ordeal! That is, until I started making the list. Pretty quickly, I realized there were countless opinions, blogs, and articles on “the best” baby items...but who was right? Which ones were actually the best? Not to mention...which ones did I really need?

You know that feeling when you’ve scrolled through Instagram too long, and you’ve clicked through a few profiles or hashtags, and then all of a sudden you find yourself enthusiastically following a wedding of strangers. You find that you’re genuinely happy for them, and you’re loving that special dance number the groom and his pals put together, and man — that father-bride dance was a real tear-jerker, wasnt it? But wait, how did you get here?! Who are these people? Has it really been an hour? Welp...time to put your phone down and get back to YOUR life. I know I’m not the only one, don’t @ me!

This is what putting together a baby registry felt like. I found myself reading articles for hours about which pack n’ play would make my baby a sociable adult with ivy league potential (I’m kidding — kind of), and then I would come up for air wondering how it all got so complicated.

Now, I’m sure half of you are more low-key than I am. Oh, how I love and envy your self-assured perspective and laid back nature. Hang onto it, we crazy folk need your calm in our storm! But I have a feeling the other half relate to my little Instagram rant and find yourselves in too deep. What do you really need for a newborn? Well, take it from the girl who added everything under the sun to her registry, the answer is: not much. How liberating, right? You really don’t need much, and some of the favorites I’m going to share with you here aren’t even essentials...just stuff we love having around.

Sure, you could jump from this blog back into the abyss of countless opinions and checklists of all the “essentials” do you! But you really don’t have to. And I promise, as your friend, that even though every baby is unique, baby stuff is really great these days and you aren’t going to mess up your kid if you use a different swaddle than that mom on Instagram. Here’s another promise: you will need a lot less than you think in the day to day. And guess what? Your baby is going to thrive! You won’t fail! And I’m hoping you’ll save some money and peace of mind along the way, as you navigate preparing for your little one to make their entrance.

Here is a list of our Baby Favorites (so far!) Deep breath, mama. You’ve got this.

Our Baby Favorites

  • Boppy Pillow ($39.99) - I love this thing! From providing support during breastfeeding, to a soft place to put baby while you are cooking in the kitchen or need a hands-free moment...River loves to just sit in hers and look around during her waketime.

  • Copper Pearl Burp Cloths ($19.95) - You could literally use anything as a burp cloth (in desperate moments, I’ve used things like a dish towel and one of River’s!), but these are our favorites. They are soft, absorbent, perfect for throwing over your shoulder, and cute!

  • Munchkin Changing Pad Liners ($8.99) - These save us from needing to wash the changing pad sheet every day! Placing these on top of the sheet protects against the inevitable spit up and blow out moments. I knew these were a ‘must’ the first time River decided to pee when I took her diaper off and it pooled down her back. Yup!

  • Tubby Todd All-Over Ointment ($16.00) - This lotion was a lifesaver during the early days of really dry skin and baby acne! In just two days of putting it on her face in the mornings, River’s skin dramatically improved.

  • Gerber Onesies ($15.99) and Socks ($9.99) - We put a white onesie under all of River’s outfits to help her retain weight, keep her warm, and to provide an extra layer just in case of a diaper leak. These are great to have for those warm evenings or nap times when you don’t want baby to be too warm in their swaddle. I’ve also found that these are the only socks that will stay on a newborn’s feet! All others seem to slip off immediately!

  • Natursutten Pacifiers ($11.99) - During uncommonly fussy times or when River has the hiccups, these pacifiers immediately soothe her! We’ve tried other kinds and though the difference between them is marginal, I think these are her favorite.

  • Blackout Curtains ($28.99) - River is a great sleeper, and has the enviable gift of sleeping through all kinds of noise and activity...but these blackout curtains are so nice to have. Pulling them closed helps River learn the difference between sleep and wake time, and brings a calm to any overstimulation. Whenever I close the curtains and turn off the light in her nursery, I notice her body relax and she goes down for her naps like a champ!

  • Miss Fong Diaper Backpack ($47.99) - This backpack is what dreams are made of! I love this thing and see no reason why you should spend $100+ on a backpack of near the same quality and design...I mean save your pennies where you can! This fits all of River’s stuff perfectly, looks great with any outfit, and the outside pockets make things like my wallet, phone, and keys super accessible.

  • Bandana Bibs ($19.99) - The price on this 12-pack for the quality and cuteness...are you kidding? Grab yourself a set of these (or two, they have such cute patterns!), you won’t regret it.

  • Pampers Pure Diapers ($32.12) and Wipes ($28.44) - There are quite a lot of opinions out there about which diapers are best for baby...and to be honest, I’m not an expert on what really differentiates the many brands and types. All I know is that Pampers Pure are breathable, fragrance free, and made with thoughtfully selected materials. They have cute patterns, you can buy them at any local store, and they’re more affordable than other brands!

  • ErgoBaby Carrier ($179.99) and/or Wildbird Ring Sling ($74.95) - It’s so nice to have the option of carrying your baby instead of breaking out the stroller or carrying them around in the car seat. The Ergo carrier is extremely user-friendly and is great for Reed to wear too, however it is a little bulky. The Wildbird sling is a lot more attractive and lightweight, but comes with a bit of a learning curve.

  • Evenflo Pivot Xpand Travel System ($301.49) - there a bigger debate over a single baby item than that of the stroller? I almost feel like I should capitalize it...The Stroller. Daunting, right? Ya’ll, I’ll just be honest...I did hours of research. You read that right, HOURS. Yes, I am that extra. I initially registered for the UppaBaby Vista Travel System which is over $1000, and if that doesn’t make you bat an eye, than you do you boo! But we did not have that kind of money to spend on just our travel system. We did however want one that offered similar features: bassinet, large storage space underneath, easy to use, lightweight, and capacity to become a double. LOOK. NO. FURTHER. Straight up, I have had people (who own the UppaBaby and similar, expensive strollers) tell me they wish they had known about this one! At less than half the price, you get all the things you need, and it looks good, too!

  • Evenflo Universal Stroller Organizer ($19.99)- This is totally an extra but I will say we use it every single time we use the put my phone in, extra pacifiers, hand sanitizer, and drinks.

  • Blooming Bath Lotus ($39.99) - As if I couldn’t love bathtime with a newborn already, just throw in an adorable flower shaped baby bath and make my heart explode! This is perfect for those baths in the kitchen sink, is packable and portable, and when you’re done, you can just throw it in the dryer!

  • Stretchy Headbands ($13.99) - These headbands are a dupe for the more expensive but very popular Bling Bows, and they are our favorite! I love how they stretch, don’t leave a dent or mark on River’s head, and they come in so many cute colors and patterns.

  • SnuggleMe Lounger ($128.00) - This pillow is so versatile...River naps in it swaddled in her crib, and we bring it with us to Popa and Cece’s so she naps just as well there as she does at home! This is also great for hands-free moments to put baby in on the couch, out on the lawn for picnics, or around the house.

  • Hatch Baby Rest Sound Machine and Night Light ($59.99) - Some people say you shouldn’t use a sound machine during naps because then baby won’t sleep without one...but we’ve actually found the opposite to be true! River can sleep remarkably through just about anything! Dogs barking, worship at church, a house full of people (if you know my family, you know we ain’t quiet!), and the vacuum! Now I can’t prove the sound machine made any of that possible, and maybe I just think the bubbling brook or rain drop sound effects are cute...but it definitely hasn’t caused any harm!

  • Arm and Hammer Deodorizing Bags ($12.99)- On the occasion of a diaper explosion while you are runnings errands or enjoying day out with baby, and you don’t want their dirty diaper or soiled clothes to stink everything up. Throw your dirty items into one of these deodorizing bags, tie it up, and you’re good to go!

  • Skip Hop Portable Changing Mat ($30.00) - We have this in the back of our car and it is so nice to have on hand for those diaper changes on the go! And for those times you don’t want to bring your backpack somewhere, it’s nice to have this lightweight case with all of the essentials.

  • Burt’s Bees Hooded Towels ($24.99) and Calming Shampoo/Body Wash ($8.99) - I’ve always been a huge fan of Burt’s Bees and the ingredients in their body care items. These hooded towels are soft and absorbent, and the two-in-one wash smells so good, I’m half-tempted to use it on myself!

  • Love to Dream Swaddle ($29.95) - River loves having her hands up by her face, so the arm slots for this swaddle are perfect. It’s also really nice to have a simple, zip-up swaddle for those middle of the night diaper changes!

  • Soft Baby Blanket ($24.99) - We use a blanket every single day...whether that’s for tummy time, to keep her warm in her stroller, for cuddles on the couch, or to put under the boppy pillow up on our kitchen counter so she doesn’t slide around. Of course, blankets will be of less use as it gets warmer, but it’s important for newborns to stay nice and bundled!

Remember, you don’t need all of this to be a good mama or to keep that sweet babe of yours thriving.

Don’t buy into the lie that the more you have, the better parent you’ll be. You are made for this, and these things only make the process a little easier (& a little more fun!) So add some of these things to your registry, but keep preparing your heart and mind for all of the ways becoming a mama will change you for the better. That’s what matters most!

If you are a mama, what are your newborn favorites and/or essentials? Share in the comments below to add to my list! And if you’re a mama-to-be and have any questions about all the baby gear that’s out there, comment below too! I’ll be sure to let ya know my honest thoughts!

Keep celebrating,