Last year when we were registering for baby gear it was hard to know exactly what we would and wouldn’t need. There’s a plethora of websites out there with reviews on the best this and the best that. Sometimes you just cross your fingers and hope you’re getting the right things! It all gets a little overwhelming.
In the end you definitely realize that it is easy to go overboard with items that are just not needed. I know some people swear by wipe and bottle warmers and others eschew them. We were the latter. So, what did we use and totally love? What ended up not being necessary? Well, keep on reading! (These are all my opinions and links are not to affiliates or paid sponsors.)
What We Loved and Used Often
+Mamaroo: I remember seeing this on a blog or two before we registered and it was on display right at the front of the Buy Buy Baby store when we finally did register. It was on the pricier side in regards to swings and similar items but I convinced Chris it was worth it to put it on the registry. His mom ended up buying it for us and we used it heavily for Forest’s first six months of life. It tapered off some in the late spring until there was a time I noticed we hadn’t used it in awhile. Back in June I put Forest down in it for a minute so I could use the restroom and that lasted all of 10 seconds because he tried to crawl out despite being strapped in. That’s when I knew it was time to put it away. So, I moved it upstairs—it has yet to be put into the attic—and we rolled the highchair into that location. It took awhile to get used to not looking over in that direction to look for Forest sitting in the Mamaroo.
We also used a Graco swing that was a hand-me-down from my mom (used on my niece and nephew) and it is still out. Chris uses it sometimes when I’m not around in an attempt to get Forest to take a nap. That worked a lot better when he was smaller!
+Bum Genius Freetime Diapers: We have not regretted cloth diapering at all. When mentioning cloth diapering people still freak out about the time involved in washing and drying them but really we’ve just built it into our life and it isn’t that big of a deal. If we had different jobs that required a longer commute or something else like that, maybe we’d consider it a hassle. So far we haven’t. We’re definitely at a point now that if we don’t get to washing them in the evening or forget to hang them up that we’re not racing against the clock for running out of diapers. That’s a position we were in during Forest’s first three months of life when we were changing diapers every 15 minutes—or more!—at times. We’re also very grateful that our daycare has put up with the cloth diapering for us!
Aside from a few times when Forest has had shots we’ve used them continuously since about two weeks after he was born. We’ve taken them camping and on long road trips for weekends away as well. We were given a bag of other cloth diapers from some family friends, and while we don’t regularly use them they did come in handy when we were away for a three day weekend and ran out of our the Freetime diapers.
+Planet Wise Wet/Dry Diaper Bags: A friend of ours recommended this brand for a dirty diaper bag. We’ve since bought three, two used regularly at the house and one that goes to daycare. They hang on a hook or the doorknob and have held up great. We throw them in the wash once or twice a month because they do get stinky and gross.
+Seventh Generation Wipes: I registered for these in hopes that I could try them out and decide if I liked them. If all else failed we’d go with something else. Well, we loved them and they are tough. The only thing is they are more expensive than a lot of the mainstream wipe brands but we’ve decided it was worth the slight extra expense. My mom came with a case of the Huggie’s Natural Care once and I also bought some at one time as a little bit of a cheaper alternative. They are very soft but that’s their downfall—they shred apart very easily. So we’ve stuck with the Seventh Generation wipes ever since. Typically I buy them on Amazon but sometimes their prices are more expensive and we’ll buy them at Target.
+Rockin’ Green Hard Rock Laundry Soap: For our diapers we use this brand and have liked it so far. We were buying it on Amazon but our local grocery store started stocking it at a decent price so we typically get it there.
+Halo Sleepsack: I remember when my friends were starting to have babies about ten years ago and none of them would use the blankets I was making for their babies, I asked why. That’s when I was informed about the suffocation hazard and SIDS risks regarding blankets in cribs before the age of one. Companies have come in to fill that niche and sleepsacks are that solution to keep babies warm but also safe. When the weather turned colder we switched to the fleece sleepsacks with Forest. I’m not sure if we’ll buy another one this winter or if we’ll introduce blankets. I think we’ll wait and see how he is developmentally in regards to being congnitive about a blanket on his body and keeping it off of his head before we make a decision.
+Aden + Anais Sleepsack: We started off with the thinner muslin sleepsacks from this company and I really loved them. Forest was not big into swaddling, though we did have several swaddling blankets from this company as well. We opted for the light sleepsack during warmer weather last Fall.
+Leg Warmers: When Forest became a little more mobile and while it was winter and still cold, I looked into leg warmers for him so that I wouldn’t have to put pants on him and over his cloth diaper. I really loved doing the leg warmers and look forward to use them again this year. The great thing about the leg warmers is he can use them for several years.
+Old School Cloth Diapers: The typical tri-fold diapers, or even tea towels, are absolutely perfect as burp and drool rags! We had a ton of them from a friend of ours who did use them as cloth diaper inserts but we ended up using them in this method instead. In the early days there was a burp rag in multiple rooms just in case!
+Foscam monitor: We have two cameras and one monitor and I’m glad Chris researched this and got a monitor like this. We have a two story house so if we’re on one floor and he’s sleeping on another we can’t always hear him without the monitor. We also wanted something with a decent range so that we could go outside and do yard work. Depending on which camera he’s at will determine how far I can walk without the signal reaching the monitor. It’s enough that we can keep an ear/eye on him while doing other things.
+Ergobaby: I am so, so, so glad we bought this. I caught mine on a sale on Amazon for like $70 and we also bought the infant insert which we did use for awhile, though I don’t recommend that insert in outdoor conditions in a hot climate—it is quite toasty. I did end up buying a woven wrap earlier this year I have not used it nearly as much as I use my Ergo. Recently I figured out how to manuever him onto the back position by myself and that’s really only because he’s able to hold onto me a bit now. It’s still easier to have a little bit of help if it is available. I just remember lugging the carseat around so many places in those first few weeks because Forest and I both hadn’t gotten accustomed to the Ergobaby. When we did get accustomed to it things really changed for the better! I would like to get back to using my woven wrap more when the weather cools off.
+Bob Revolution SE stroller: Considering our outdoor lifestyle this has come in very handy for offroad strolling. I’m so glad we registered for it and that my parents got it for us! We love it!
+Boon Lawn Drying Rack: I know, at first this looks so kitchy. It was all the rage on the blog reviews and when I saw it in person I wanted it. We have a few of the ‘tree’ attachments for holding lids and parts, too. We’ve used this and continue to use for Forest’s bottles but also for pump bottles. Sometimes I think we could have used two racks but we’ve made do with the one.
+Boppy: Between my mom and a friend we ended up with two of these. We kept one upstairs and one downstairs. In those early months I relied on it heavily for nursing, to bring Forest up to a level that would help in feeding him. Chris used it to support in bottles as well. Later we used it for Forest to just lounge on and take naps—pre-rolling and crawling!—and later we put it on the floor for him to watch a cartoon or two while we did dishes or a chore. Now they don’t get used very often at all but I plan to keep them out for awhile as he may start laying on them to watch cartoons again. He’s so active now that he doesn’t really lay down unless it is specifically nap or bed time.
What We Barely Used or Didn’t Need
+Fancy clothing/pants/shorts: If Forest was a girl maybe I’d dress him up a little more but the kid lives in onesies. They are far easier than dealing with putting on pants or shorts or any of those cute overall outfits, especially in the younger baby days when diaper changes are frequent. Get a few outfits but don’t go crazy with them.
+Baby food making gear: We bought one set of storage containers that were specifically for making baby food and had intentions of buying more but we never did. We used these little containers for awhile when we were introducing purees to daycare but as soon as he started eating an entire pack or jar we stopped splitting up the food into the containers. I’m glad we didn’t go all out with this stuff. I contemplated buying the refillable pouches but Chris talked me out of them, which I’m now glad for.
+Special feeding equipment: We bought plastic baby spoons and sporks but never did follow up with special bowls or plates. I have some small plastic bowls that were my grandmother’s that we’ve been using for his food at mealtimes and right now anything he’s self feeding goes straight onto his highchair tray. Maybe eventually we’ll buy something special but I’m hoping I will just be able to use some plastic dishware we have on hand when he’s a little older.
That’s about it for things we thought we might use but didn’t really. There were things from the get-go that we knew weren’t our thing like wipe and bottle warmers. Options are plentiful in the land of baby registries and really, it is all a matter of personal preference.
If you have any questions about these items let me know and I will give you more thoughts on them!