UPDATE 1/14/15: Now that I have a few months of motherhood under my belt, I’ve had a chance to test out the products and decide what worked and what didn’t. You can see my newborn and postpartum favorite things here.
As I’ve embarked on my very first baby registry, I’ve quickly learned that baby gear is, well, pretty ugly. While I know that down the line I’m going to have to compromise and get bright, colorful toys that Jack wants, but while he’s an infant, I’m the one in charge and I say neutrals all the way. Though I’m registering for my baby boy, everything is very gender neutral.
This list is by no means comprehensive—obviously in addition to the pretty things featured, I also registered for things like diapers, bottles, nursing pads, etc. Below are several key items that I’ve discovered in my research are classic, neutral and modern, but for those (like me) who find it helpful to see an full list, you can see the entire registry here to use as a guide. (NOTE: please don’t judge me for the amount of baby clothes on there—I really couldn’t resist!!)
VERSATILE STROLLER // We chose the Quinny Buzz Xtra (and carseat adapter) for two reasons. First, it has a telescoping handle, which is key for Brian and I because we have such a big height difference between us. Second, they had a floor model they were selling for 50% off. Done and done. The Quinny is all-terrain, though not for jogging—we’re registered for the Eddie Bauer Endurance Jogging Stroller for my running adventures. It’s not tall enough for Brian to use, but perfect for me (I’m 5’4″) and a really great price point. If you’re not a runner, I think you’d be totally fine with the Quinny as your only stroller.
CARSEAT // Every friend I asked had the same carseat: Chicco KeyFit 30 Infant Carseat. So, that’s what we registered for. It has great safety ratings, comes highly recommended by my friends, and is available in nice, neutral colors.
PORTABLE BASSINET // The babyhome Dream Cot is extremely lightweight with an aluminum frame that is easy to assemble and disassemble. It’s made for children up to 50 lbs or up to 6 months old, so it will get a decent amount of use. Also, while I love the sand color, it’s also available in several bright, modern colors. Isn’t it lovely?
SOPHIE // Sophie the Giraffe is a toy every modern baby needs, I’m told. She’s made of 100% natural rubber and food paint, and is completely safe to chew. Perfect for when baby is teething. Plus, who doesn’t love a giraffe?
SLEEK HUMIDIFIER // I had a hard time choosing between the simple Crane Cool Mist Humidifier (shown) and the adorable elephant version, but decided to go with the more basic style for the sake of versatility.
PORT-A-COT // Another item I was told we absolutely must have is some kind of portable play yard. We opted to register for the Phil & Ted’s Traveller Porta-Cot because of its lightweight, compact design.
INFANT SEAT // The 4Moms Mamaroo has five motions: car ride with a figure eight on its side, KangaRoo with lots of up-and-down and less side-to-side, tree swing with high sides and low in the middle, rock-a-bye with low sides and high in the middle and an ocean wave that moves around in a big circle. Sounds fun and distracting :)
CARRIER // I already knew I wanted an ErgoBaby carrier based on recommendations from friends. We decided to go with the ErgoBaby Performance Collection because we live in a warmer climate and it worked well on both my torso and Brian’s (which is way longer than mine).
VIDEO MONITOR // Due to my first-time-mom paranoia, I’m registered for the Motorola Digital Video Baby Monitor + Babysense Motion Sensor. The baby monitor features 2-way communication, infrared night vision and a range of up to 520 feet, and the BabySense includes two motion detecting pads to detect no movement or irregular patterns, plus an auditory and visual alarm. Super safe :)
NATURAL HAMPER // I found this adorable woven hamper that is both functional and decorative. It’s going to look so cute in the nursery!
TRAVEL CHANGER // Perfect for keeping in the car in case of emergencies, I love the Summer Infant ChangeAway changing pad with its useful storage pockets. I registered for two—one for my car, and one for Brian’s.
BABY HANGERS // Baby clothes are teeny-tiny and need special little hangers to hold them. Since we’re removing the closet doors in the nursery to open things up and have extra storage (we’re putting a dresser in there!), I wanted to find hangers that I was okay with having on display. The two best options I found were the Real Simple Slimline Children’s Hangers and The Container Store Kid’s Huggable Hangers.
HIGHCHAIR // The Bloom Nano Highchair is sleek, modern, and lightweight, and ideal for those who are tight on space. It has a comfy padded seat that’s easy to clean, and an adjustable, deep-set feeding tray that’s simple to remove. But what really sold me is that it folds flat, which makes it easy to hide when we’re not using it.
SOFT ANIMALS // My favorites are the JellyCat stuffed animals—so soft and snuggly, and they look adorable in the nursery.
WOODEN PLAY GYM // Of all baby toys, the play gyms are probably the worst offenders in bad design. While I know I may eventually have to get a ridiculous colorful one, I like the Finn + Emma Wooden Play Gym, which is made from 100% birch wood and finished with a clear non-toxic lacquer. Another great option is the Plan Toys Activity Baby Gym.
MUSLIN BLANKETS // For swaddling and snuggling, I’m a big fan of the Aden and Anais Muslin Blankets for their softness and versatility.
Moms & people who spend time around babies: what are your must-have baby items? What items could you do without? Also, feel free to tell me about any other sources for cute baby clothes :)
P.S. The Baby Registry Guide at Modern Eve is also super helpful for modern mamas who want useful baby items that are also nice to look at :)