Well, the baby shower is done and over with. After months of debating with ourselves over what a baby needs and doesn’t, it’s nice to finally be past it. Since we’ve made the decision to stay put in our small space, we were excruciatingly mindful of our list of wants. I have the confidence that we’ve developed enough decluttering skills to eschew our own stuff to make room for our baby’s things, so that wasn’t what was causing stress. Rather, it was the knowledge that loved ones were pooling their resources to help get this little one’s life started. And we did not want to be wasteful of their efforts. Because not having enough space is the main reason families upgrade their homes when adding a new member, I wanted to share the items that we’ve decided were essential in our curated baby registry.
Our criteria for a curated baby registry:
- Neutral colors – a recurring theme I have is sticking to a strictly stream-lined palette, which deceives the onlooker of space and calms the body and mind.
- Tiny footprint (in terms of real estate) – minimalist design that stows away nicely is the best descriptor!
- Multi-functionality and longevity – I like things to have variability of use. Too much specialization leads to clutter.
- Essentials limited to the first twelve months of life – we did not ask for items that would be irrelevant until further down the road. We figured, by then we can declutter the newborn stuff and trade in toddler items.
- High quality brands – a requirement that addresses sustainability
- Less is more – when in doubt, do without.
A most curated baby registry
- Nuna Infant Car Seat – despite the fact that the baby will need an upgrade in 12 months, we prioritized safety.
- Uppababy Cruz V2 Stroller – This stroller adapts to our infant car seat but also has a toddler seat of its own and can last for the first few years of baby’s life. A stroller was essential for us, as we love to be outdoors and walk dogs. We felt that Uppababy had better maneuverability compared to the Nuna.
- Nuna Car Seat Adaptor for Uppababy – to use the stroller with the car seat.
- Chicco Alfa Lite Travel Play Yard – The play yard doubles as a place to sleep when we are away from home, as well as a play pen at a relative’s house. We also like that we can set the baby down safely when we are boarding bigger, playful pups.
- Baby Bjorn Carrier Mini – Another travel must-have. I am not sure I would want to take the stroller in and out of the car as it’s pretty heavy. While baby is young, I would much prefer to carry him this way. Plus this carrier is perfect for hikes, grocery shopping, or whenever strollers would be a pain to maneuver.
- YogaSleep Rohm Travel Sound Machine – a portable sound machine for long car rides and travel.
- Product of the North Elkin Diaper Bag – The diaper bag we chose is a backpack instead of a purse so that either parent can carry it. It also works well with the carrier, as a single person can wear the backpack in the back and the carrier in the front. This diaper bag is on the smaller side, which we like! It comes with a travel changing pad and the top handles allow it to hang from our stroller as well.
- Baby Bay USA bassinet – this bassinet allows us to sleep in the same room without having to sleep in the same bed. There are so many reasons why I love this bassinet, all of which I outlined in my blog post review!
- Hatch Rest+ 2nd Gen – this was something Mike wanted to have on the registry but I have heard mixed reviews. It serves as a sound machine and a night-light, but we already have the portable sound machine which I believe will suffice. I think it is an over-priced gadget that claims to train kids into a sleep routine.
- Crane Top Fill Humidifier – I like the clean look and that it holds a lot of water and fills from the top. It also doubles as a night light.
- Lalo Play Gym – Mike’s dad gifted us this play gym for Christmas. He is just so excited to play with baby. I actually got a play gym handed down to me from by high-school BFF that is tinier and more minimalist. But I will likely be bringing the Lalo along to grandpa’s house. Everyone recommended the LoveEvery play gym. But I found it to be big, bulk, and an eye-sore. While I understand that brain development is crucial to a growing child, I also believe that play gyms are not what we should rely on. I would love nature to be his true play gym, so that’s why I felt like my friend’s minimalist one will do. Also, we really didn’t put any toys or books on the list. That was an intentional choice. I figured the library will provide a million reads, and toys would come by way of regular stuff lying around the house. In the end, we got them anyway as gifts.
- This baby camera – We went with the Wyze V2 Pan camera instead of the more expensive Nanit. Our friends validated our decision. The Nanit requires an additional yearly subscription which adds to the high price point. Also, baby must wear something in order to use the sleep monitoring function, which their baby can’t sleep with. They literally use it as a camera. On the other hand, my cousin has the Wyze camera for both his kids and it does the job monitoring if they are awake or asleep in the nursery. Sometimes, simpler is better.
- Crane Baby’s Cotton Crib Sheet – I put ONE crib sheet on the registry. After the baby shower, we decided to get a second one in case of late-night accidents.
- Vitruvi’s Glow Diffuser – I got this as a present within the first few weeks since Casey’s arrival and I had to add this to the list. It is so useful for night-time feedings and sleep training. The soft glow prevents the exposure of baby to harsh lights, making it easier for him to fall asleep. It also keeps mama grounded and zen, which keeps everyone in the family calm.
- Stokke Clikk High Chair – One advice I got from a current mama is to get a high-chair that doesn’t have fabric. We actually got a free hand-me-down high chair with fabric on it but we gave that to my mom and dad so that we don’t need to bring one around between houses. Another girlfriend really recommended the Stokke Tripp-Trapp high chair, but it was a bit bulkier and had a higher price point. Plus it was heavier too! I fell in love with the lightness and portability of the Clikk High Chair. It is the perfect option for us travel-nerds, as it deconstructs into just a few pieces that is easy to carry around. If you want to see it in action, there are plenty of awesome videos on YouTube for this chair. Of course, I chose white, but I very seriously thought about breaking my cardinal neutral color rule for the blue.
- Nanobebe Flexy Silicone Bottle – We just needed a few bottles and this just happened to catch my eye. I want to try nursing 100% but am prepared for it to be a nightmare. Reality remains to be determined.
- Lalo First Bites Full Kit – We only wanted to buy one dining kit for the babe. Some people buy a bunch of plates, bowls, cups, spoons and forks. One of each was fine by us!
- Oxo Tot Bottle Brush with Stand – We learned from our hospital that you should have a designated bottle brush for baby stuff, so that’s what this was for.
- Hakaa New Mom Starter Kit – Since I plan to nurse, a fellow mama said this was a life-saver for those leaky moments.
- Frida Baby Soft Sink Bather Bundle – We don’t have any bathtubs in our home. But my best friend used this for the first six months of her baby’s life. We have three bathrooms and have designated the guest bathroom sink as the baby’s new “bath tub”. I love how it is easy to assemble, dries quickly, and once again, is perfect for travel!
- Lalo The Bath Tub – We added this to the registry for when the baby outgrows the sink. We will have to use a shower area in the guest bathroom downstairs for bath time.
- Towels, washcloths, bath products – Of course, essentials. One towel, a few washcloths, and starter packs.
- Burt’s Bee’s Baby Wipes – We bought wipes to make diaper changing easier. We also bought a wipes container after the registry. Our best friends said they cut the wipes in half to reduce waste and stored it in a container since stuffing it into the original wipes packaging was impossible. I think this is a wonderful frugal hack, and well worth the $10 container!
- Esembly’s Full Time Diapering System – I wrote about our wish to use cloth diapers here.
- Dekor Diaper Pail with Esembly Pail Pouch – the pail pouch is to hold the cloth diapers until laundry day. The dekor pail was voted best and is compatible with Esembly’s pail pouch.
- Dog Gate (for dog sitting) – This was a must because I plan to continue our dog-boarding side-hustle.
- Frida 3-in-1 thermometer
Of course, with gratitude, we received more than what we listed on the registry. Big surprises included baby clothes, a full-sized crib, sleeping sacks, blankets, toys and books. We also received non-essential-but-usable items such as glider, baby gate, bottle drying rack, pacifier sterilizer, bottle warmer, disposable diapers and more.
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Photo by Corinne Kutz on Unsplash