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Baby Registry Must Haves - 1 Year Later

 When I found out I was pregnant I immediately started researching baby products and putting together a “hidden” baby registry. I remember feeling so extremely overwhelmed…there are 100 brands of strollers, car seats, high chairs, etc how do I pick one?! Which one is the best?! I read review after review to make sure I was getting the best and the safest for my baby.

A year (and a few months) later, I wanted to finally shared what my favorite, most used baby products were the first year. What was worth the hype, what we used a lot, what was worth the $$, and what we still use today.

I’m going to start with postpartum. I ordered a lot of the Earth Mama brand PP items and to be honest I didn’t care for them! Everyone is right that the hospital gives you stuff to take home. However, I did love the Frida Mom PP kit - make sure you get their peri bottle too. I kept this in my bathroom upstairs & downstairs I had whatever I brought home from the hospital. In addition to that, having different size pads was helpful (super big to start and slowly sizing down). I bought buckets from the $ store and stashed each bathroom with the pads, diapers, and stuff from the hospital (Tucks, Dermablast, etc.).

Onto baby stuff!

  • Swaddles/ Sleep Sacks: We tried a lot of different swaddle brands. Our favorite newborn swaddles were the Swaddle Me velcro swaddles. They are so easy and you can make them nice and tight with the velcro straps. Cam was a big baby (9 lbs 8oz at birth) so when he hit 3 months old he fit the weight requirement for the Merlin Magic sleep suit so we transitioned him to that. It is magic. He slept in that for awhile and we switched to the larger size once he outgrew the small. Eventually he outgrew that around 8 months and we transitioned him into the Kyte baby sleep sack. They are so cozy but are definitely expensive. He also sleeps in the Halo cotton or fleece sleep sack and sleeps the exact same!!

  • Owlet Smart Sock: We started using the smart sock the day we got home from the hospital. Even with Cam in the bassinet next to us he wore this and it gave us a peace of mind. I am a nervous nelly…mixed with being a first time mom I was so nervous about everything! I liked how you can check on the app in the morning how they slept. You could see how much they were in a deep sleep, light sleep, etc. this helped us predict how he would be during the day. We had 1 false alarm with the smart sock but other than that Cam wore it for 6 months and it’s worth every penny. I didn’t love the baby monitor (you don’t have to use them together). 

  • Bassinet: We just had a cheap Delta Children’s one that has wheels and it worked totally fine! I don’t see the need to spend big bucks on a bassinet. Honestly, anything with wheels will be perfect. I did pick up extra bassinet sheets (something I didn't think of until we were home). I just got ones on Amazon that were 4 pack for about $10 and they were great. Cam slept in it for about 3 months in our room.

  • Mattress: Newton breathable mattress 100%. If I could talk to myself when I was picking out baby items I would say "don't spend the money on the crib, spend it on the mattress!". After days and days and days of research, I finally decided on the Newton mattress. WORTH.EVERY.PENNY!!! Think about it, a baby sleeps on the mattress every single night, you get your moneys worth! Instead of spending $300 on a baby swing they they might use for 3 months, spend it on a mattress that they will sleep on for years. It is so easy to clean- you just zip off the cover and toss it in the wash. The inside can be hosed down with a hose too, amazing! It is 100% breathable, we even tested it! You don't even need a crib sheet with this mattress.

  • Car seat: We ended up using the Britax B-Safe 35 infant seat with 2 bases in each of our cars. It has good safety ratings but it is heavy. With Cam being a big baby, we transitioned him a lot sooner to a convertible car seat because it was getting so heavy. For the convertible car seat, we went with 2 Graco's. We have a Graco 4 in 1 and a Graco extend to fit- I can't tell that much of a difference. They are both heavy.
  • Strollers (regular, travel, veer): We have them all! I always thought I wouldn't be that house with a million strollers, well fast forward a year and here I am. They truly all have different purposes haha!
    • Baby Jogger City Select- this is our everyday stroller. I got this one because it can grow with you. Once we have another kid, we can buy a 2nd seat. Our Britax carseat easily locks in with an attachment. It is heavy duty and actually pretty heavy! My one complaint is that you do have to take the seat off to fold it shut, also, I did have to buy a snack tray for this stroller as an extra attachment. 

    • Summer Infant 3D Lite- this is our travel stroller. It is an umbrella stroller and folds up nice and thin with a strap you can throw over your shoulder. It is so light! We took it with us on vacation when Cam was 10 months old and he took pretty much all his naps right in it. The shade folds down really low giving them a dark place to nap.

    • Veer Cruiser- this is a splurge for sure but we started using this A LOT when Cam turned 1. It's an all terrain wagon basically so it can be used anywhere. We use it for walks, on the beach, farms, and more. It folds up flat which makes it easy to take on the go. My only complaint is that you have to buy every accessory as an additional pieces. 

  • Monitor: We use the Summer Infant HD Pixel Zoom. The camera/ video is really clear which I like. You can toggle between two cameras as well if you have multiple children. Recently though, we have noticed that it doesn't hold its battery charge. Even fully charged, off of the charger, the battery dies in 15 minutes. We always have to have the charger with us. 

  • Diaper pail: I registered for the Ubbi and a  friend was getting rid of her Dekor diaper pail so we had one of each to try out. We kept one downstairs and one in the nursery. They both smell... The Ubbi isn't bad if the door is shut on the pail. The Dekor is nice because you can cut the bags and tie them off whenever you want. It is a little more complicated to get the Dekor refill bags on than the Ubbi. I My top pick is the Ubbi.

  • Changing pad: Keekaroo Peanut is the best invention ever. It a rubber like changing pad mat where all you have to do is wipe down to clean. I can't even imagine having a regular changing pad with a cover and how many times in the middle of the night I would have needed to replace that and how wet it would be. The Keekaroo is a game changer, you just wipe it down to clean with a baby wipe that you already have next to you. It can be a bit cold with the AC going so sometimes I would just lay a burp cloth down on where the babies back hits it. Worth the money for sure!

  • Diaper bag: I picked the Itzy Ritzy boss bag and liked it a lot when Cam 0-9 months because we brought a lot of crap with us everywhere we went. Once he hit 9 months I felt like it was getting too big. Once he hit 12 months and no longer was on the bottle it was way too big. I switched to a smaller twelve little backpack that I love! 

  • High chair: I went back and forth for months on getting the $300 Peg Perego Siesta highchair or the cheap Ikea one. I randomly came across the Siesta on my local FB marketplace and scored it for $25, yup, $25!! It looked brand new, I was psyched. I do love it, I love that it has wheels, it can recline, the height can adjust, and more.  Now that Cam is older, we will wheel him to come eat in the living room while we have our coffee. However, I think that the Ikea one would absolutely do the job. 

  • Bouncer: Everyone recommended the Baby Bjorn bouncer because it folds up flat. But at $300 I thought it should bounce itself. Don't get me wrong, it is nice and sleek and easy to travel with because it folds up flat but I think that there are others on the market at 1/2 the price that have the same features. I think you pay for the name.

  • Pack N Play: The Baby Bjorn pack n play on the other hand is totally worth the $! It folds up flat into a square travel bag and is super light. We brought this with us on vacation and bring it whenever we go to a friends house where he will need to nap. 

  • On the go- The Summer Infant "Pop" line is where it is at! Everything folds up compact and light and easy for travel. We loved the pop n' jump which is like a portable jumper and the pop n' dine which is a portable highchair.

  • Play tent- Cali Beach Co is what we went with for a "baby jail" lol. It is light and can fold up super easy and is compact. We kept this in the living room once he became mobile and then would bring it outside or to the beach if needed!

  • Bottles/ bottle warmer: We used Como Tomo bottles and I liked them! For a bottle warmer we used the Baby's Brew which allows you to warm a bottle wherever. It charges via USB. Once we switched Cam to formula we LOVED LOVED LOVED the Baby Breza formula machine. If you are formula feeding you baby at all you need this. We had the one that remade the perfect temp bottle for you in 5 seconds, it is a game changer! 

  • Mama Roo: Cam hated it! Luckily, I read that this is more common than not so a friend gave us their old one. If you want to try it, look for a used one and don't pay full price until you know your baby likes the motion of it. He loved the normal type baby swing (our friends had one and he'd fall right asleep in it).

  • Baby carriers: Solly and Ergo Baby were the 2 that were my favorite. The Solly is a wrap that was perfect for when he was a little baby. I probably only used it a handful of times though. It is good for skin/skin too. We still use the Ergo Baby 360 now! The baby can sit in different positions and face inwards and outwards. It doesn't hurt our back at all, even with a 25 lb little person on your chest!

  • Frida baby: Everything Frida Baby is good. I feel like I have tried it all! The kit is the most bang for your buck. Nail clippers, electric nose sucker (I liked that over the manual one), thermometer, and more.

  • Bath seat: We have been using the Angel Care bath seat since his first bath to his most recent bath! When he was an infant, he would lounge in it. Now he just sits straight up in it. It works for us because he doesn't slip around!

  • Hatch sound machine/nightlight: We have used this every night since we bought him home! The sound machine has different sounds and can be controlled on your phone through an app (or directly on the device). I like that there is a light too that can easily be tapped on or off. I had this next to his glider when I would feed him at night and now it is in his room in the corner. My only complaint is that it has to be plugged in. I only noticed this when we lost power

Other products I think are a must have if you are expecting:
  • Portal sound machine
  • Muslin blankets to stick over a carseat / stroller for nap time on the go
  • Baby bum brush - to spread on butt paste easily and mess free

I am sure I am missing something but these are my most used and favorite items. Baby items are expensive and there are SO many brands out there! I hope this helps you narrow some of your choices down. Any questions, feel free to DM me over on IG @haleysimao