Crap You Should Buy · Mom Stuff

The Minimalist’s Field Guide to Baby Crap

This is a post about baby crap type stuff so feel free to move along to other activities if this is of zero interest to you. But even though there are already 9 zillion similar posts floating around on the internet (and I probably bookmarked them all), I really find them helpful so wanted to contribute to the vast library on this subject. Also because I expended too much time out of my life reading Amazon reviews on all this stuff, so hopefully this digest can spare someone else that drudgery.

Update: I’m so glad this post has become helpful for so many! I wrote this when our first was a baby– we now have a second who has now herself grown into a toddler, so I feel even more confident in my recommendations here.  I’m going to make some updates having now been through two babyhoods.

The Minimalist's Field Guide to Baby Crap | Bend it Like Becker

I knew I didn’t want to get a ton of baby stuff– 1.  Our house is small 2.  Ain’t nobody got disposable income for that and 3.  Clutter is the fastest way to take me from Peaceful Zen Mother to Raging Psycho Hyena Dina Lohan Mother.  So these were all very deliberate investments chosen because they brought maximum utility to the table.  Ignore every list and infographic and idiotic Baby Center article that lists out 800 things you need.  I think if I only had these 6-7 things I would have survived fine.

Fisher Price Rock and Play Sleeper

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This was exactly the kind of stuff I wanted to avoid, but if you make one bulky item investment beyond a crib, let it be this.  I wanted to veto this for redundancy, since we already had a crib, and babies sleep in cribs right? No, seriously, we came home from the hospital and this is what I thought you did to put a baby to bed:

1. Dress baby in outfit called “sleeper”
2. Place baby in crib
3. zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

LOL TIMES INFINITY FOREVER.

Here’s something I didn’t know: newborns don’t freaking like cribs.  And you won’t be ready to be that far away from them anyway in the beginning.  Buy the newborn sleeper, put it on your side of the bed, it makes baby happy, and happy baby sleeps.  It’s cozy and reminiscent of your uterus, if your uterus was furry and had rabbit ears.

Boppy Lounge

First off, a note on bouncers/swingers/rockers/sleepers/saucers/jumpers/whatevers.  My good friend who is expecting asked me what the heck the difference was between all of these pieces of “gear” and I have no freaking clue.  I just know people must have bigger living rooms than me.  What I loved was this extremely small and low tech device called the Boppy Lounge.  SO easy and painless, weighs nothing, takes up hardly any space, you can plop it in whatever room you’re in.  Seriously so easy and low fuss.

The Minimalist's Guide to Baby Crap | Bend it Like Becker

Now, baby grows out of this after a few months.  For months 5-10ish, we had an Exersaucer.  Total space hog which was annoying, but both my babies loved it and would happily bounce around for 20 minutes while I scurried around doing kitchen crap.

K’Tan Wrap

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I love this wrap.  I used this probably every day with both my babies until they grew out of it around 6 months.  It seems to fly under the wrap radar (is there a wrap radar?) but the smaller amount of reviewers seemed much happier with it than its competitors.  Everyone has the Moby, but have you noticed a lot of people seem to not like the Moby? While wearing this, I’ve even had two strangers approach me and vent about the Moby.  The K’Tan’s slogan is “a wrap without all the wrapping” which was very enticing. The gist is that you buy it in your shirt size, so there’s not any wrapping or tying, it already fits you. It takes up about as much space as a scarf, so it’s so easy to throw in the car, or your purse, or hang in a closet to store.  Both my babies have loved this thing and would nap for 2-3 hours in it.

Ergo Carrier

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Another thing I wanted to veto for redundancy but am glad I got.  The Ergo is a backpack-style carrier so critical for doing more high impact stuff like longer walking commitments, or walking with the dog.  It holds the baby much more securely and absorbs a lot more shock.  It’s also adjustable so baby daddies can wear it.  It is comfortable and distributes the weight very well.  Like, magically well.  My one grievance with this item is that as it comes in the box, it’s only for babies 12 pounds and up.  To carry your teeny baby you need to buy this BS “infant insert” which is $30 and actually doesn’t work that well.But once they grow into it, it’s amazing and one billion percent worth the wait.  My two babies have seriously lived in this thing (and it shows zero sign of wear).  So just use the wrap for months 0-6 and then let the Ergo take it from there.

Bonus Note on Babywearing In General…

I know wearing babies is, like, a thing– like something you do that’s annoying but you do it for the good of your baby– but I could not disagree more. The STROLLER is the annoying thing. It’s bulky and annoying and intimidating and has forty nine locks and levers and latches and takes up our entire entryway such that if it’s out and I open the door, it’s all OH HEY THERE WELCOME HOME SARAH IT’S ME THE STROLLER, just doing my stroller thing in your entryway, here let me roll over and bang my behemoth self into your shins.  And I even got just the teeny tiny snap-and-go thing! I hate it.  I think it secretly snickers and laughs at me in its stroller mind.  After two babyhoods, the only time I use the stroller is for actual walks.  For everything else– I’ve just worn the baby.  Even with a preschooler holding my hand and a baby/toddler in the Ergo, I still breeze in and out of the car, through doorways, up and down stairs, around playground terrain.  Yea you’re hauling around some extra weight, but it’s just worth it to make life easier and have access to both hands.  Truly cannot say enough good things about the

 

Avent Steam Sterilizer

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Not much to say here except it’s the germaphobe mother’s DREAM.  It looks kind of annoying and complicated but it’s not– it’s just a dome that opens, you pour some water in and send it through the microwave.  If you can type 4 minutes into your microwave you are smart enough to use it.  Then you can sleep at night knowing your previously germ infested stuff (toys you pulled out of the dog’s mouth, pacifiers you found on the floor of the car, the bottle you accidentally left in your purse for 16 hours) is squeaky, steamy clean.  Update: I actually didn’t use this very much for my second baby.  I scaled back on my outside-the-home job with her so I didn’t end up pumping at all– and I realized the first time I had been mostly using this for pump and bottle pieces.  It got a TON of use in that capacity, but when I didn’t have that need anymore, I didn’t really get it out.  (The stereotype is absolutely true that you sanitize everything with your first but will hand whatever grubby gross crap back to your second– ha!) So if you are doing bottles and/or pumping I would say absolutely consider this, but if not, you definitely can do without.

Aden & Anais Swaddle Blankets

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Ooooohhh look a privileged white chick loves Aden & Anais stuff, shocking.  Yea I know.  Shut it.  Listen.  I had two separate women recommend these to me and I figured OK, cool, and then I saw they were $35 and I was like NEVERMIND I doubt they do anything different than the $9 ones.  That is false.  I was lucky to have been gifted two sets, and knowing now I would have bought them for myself anyway, cause they’re that good.  They’re like 4 times bigger than the industry standard on regular swaddle blankets, so you don’t have to have good swaddling technique because you can just roll baby up in enough revolutions that it does the trick.  They’re light and breathable so you don’t worry about overheating.  They were absolutely the only thing that worked making the double swaddle (thanks Molly) once Frogson was big enough to bust out of the velcro swaddler.  And swaddling is only like 8% of their utility.  I use them as nursing covers.  Tummy time mat.  (There’s two less things you need!)  Cute background for pictures.  Bundling baby when he’s nude at a doctor’s appointment because if you try to do that with a regular size blanket, you will end up covering, like, one shoulder and you will feel like a Fail Mom.  Their most terrific use in my mind is just general draping.  (Boppy cover disgusting and covered in spit up and you’ve been meaning to launder it all week? Have to tear the cover off the changing pad at 3am due to a poo explosion? Want to throw baby on the bed but sheets are in the wash? DRAPE THAT MOFO.)  Purchase these.

Swaddle Me (or any velcro swaddler)

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This is more of just a PSA to make sure every chick who may have an infant someday is aware that YOU NEED A VELCRO SWADDLER.  It’s federal law.  I really think hospitals should check and make sure you have this the way they check car seats.  I think the Miracle Blanket does the exact same thing, so get that, whatevs.  I heard good things about both, so I sent Jeff to Babies R Us with both products written on a post it, and the latter was on sale so we became Swaddle Me loyalists.  Velcro swaddler + Rock and Play Sleeper = YOUR NEWBORN WILL SLEEP FOR LIKE 4 HOURS.  You should know that around 3-4 months, baby was big enough to get himself out of this and thus began the long, arduous swaddle transition. But up until that point baby was powerless against the velcro, and you will stand there watching them try to fidget out of it and you will say AHAHAHAHA RESISTANCE IS FUTILE, BABY! Your burrito self is stuck in there till 2am and I’M GOING DOWNSTAIRS TO WATCH THE BACHELOR, SUCKAH!

Happiest Baby on the Block

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Ditto on this being just a PSA.  I intended to read the book, but one day (back when I was sporting my big baby belly) a mom at the local coffee shop befriended me and told me there was a DVD of this.  (Yes, I know, it was the Mommiest moment ever and I don’t blame you for eye-rolling).  The DVD is awesome because it’s short, done totally by the doctor who wrote it, and you can see him demonstrate the actual moves which is very helpful.  And it’s on TV so in theory it’s easier to make baby daddies watch it.  And here, I will even give you the super digested version of the technique that we got the most use out of– loud white noise will calm your psycho newborn.  Vacuum, hair dryer, oven vent fan, white noise app, AM radio static if you’re in the car, this video of which I’m personally responsible for approximately 100,000 of its views… it’s straight up baby magic and it blew my mind how well it worked on Frogson.  If you don’t believe me, watch the video and you will see Dr. Karp soothe a roomful of newborns.  Frogson had only a few Total Psycho Baby Moments (one being the afternoon after his first vaccines) and all that worked was combining all the techniques in a pitch black bathroom (swaddle, pacifier, hold-and-jiggle, hair dryer, boom goes the dynamite).

The end… hope this was helpful! What am I missing that worked for your kiddlet?

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Don’t go so soon, party’s just starting!  Stay for another mozzarella stick! Visit the Bend it Like Becker homepage for recent fun.  Take a stroll through the best of the archives.  You may also enjoy The Minimalist’s Diaper Bag.  Join me on Facebook (no please go and follow the Facebook page it’s brand new and embarrassingly has no friends) and Twitter.

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99 thoughts on “The Minimalist’s Field Guide to Baby Crap

  1. Loved this post and everything on here is perfect. I did not want crap either and I got into a big fight with my own mother about utilization of the word “crap”, however…that being said – all of the things you listed have come in quite handy in my SMALL house. However, I have never seen the steam thingy – might have to look into that!

    1. Ahhhh my mom is the queen of buy-all-the-things. I think the grandmother instinct is too strong to be tamed. Look into the steamy thing!!!

  2. Kudos, Sarah — as always I love your blog posts and you are right on with this one. Rock N play my #1 newborn must have. I actually emailed Jeff about this when y’all came home from the hospital and was relieved and reminded that you are a fabulous on top of it Mama when he told me you had one!
    My only addition to this list would be the Bumbo seat. I know. But really!! I did not register for one but we have used it SO much and it’s still being used today as a booster seat at the kitchen table for Savannah — who as you know is 2.5 years old!! And yes I put Savannah in this at 6mos old on my KITCHEN counter while I cooked, unloaded the dishwasher, anything, and she was happy as a lark because she was closer to Mommy and my hands were truly free to get chores done.
    All in all a great list!! Keep it coming!

    1. Oooh yea I should have mentioned that…. we have something just like the Bumbo that attaches to a chair and he loves being perched and watching all the kitchen fun!!! And yes, God bless the RNP!!! : )

      1. Great post! We actually went with a basinet, with an extra blanket it can double as a changing table in the middle of the night

  3. OMG I literally laughed out loud after reading your comments and then seeing the picture of him screaming his head off in the crib! Although I know it wasn’t funny at the time lol.

    This is a great list. I’m definitely thinking about buying the steam thing and have been pondering the ergo carrier for a few months now. We got a bjorn for free and it kills my back. But it’s nice that I can turn the babe around in it b/c she likes to see the world. So I guess that’s what’s holding me back from the ergo. Something else we have loved is the activity gym. We have a plain one that doesn’t light up or anything, but Nora loves it and will literally lay there for like 20-30 minutes just talking, kicking, grabbing things. It almost always makes her happy.

    1. Without getting too “that girl” about it – I would encourage you to look into the overstimulation and posture/hip issues in connection to facing a baby forward in a baby carrier.

      Plus, seriously, the Ergo won’t kill your back. The Bjorn is ridiculously uncomfortable.

      1. I second this. I used the Bjorn for 6 months and thought it was uncomfortable. Then I learned its one of the worst baby carriers on the market and bad for babies hips. We switched to Ergo and love it! Baby likes it much better.

  4. This is a great article for people living in small houses! I live in the smallest of small places, a 40′ 5th wheel RV. Talk about having no space! Did i mention my husband and 2 year old also live here? My teenage son lives in his own little studio right next to us. We do ok on space, most of the time, but i have been pondering exactly how much crap i need for this new baby. We lived in a nice house for the last one and i didn’t even think about space limitations then, but now it’s a priority! Luckily, our particular RV is pretty new and makes good use of the space we have so i think the only thing i wont be able to swing is a full size crib. But that’s ok, neither of my older two used cribs until they were at least one and this RV thing is temporary anyway. But I’m definitely going to squeeze in that sleep and play rocker thing!

    1. I am working on my 4th and we live in a 32 footer (yes, husband and dogs live there, too). Definitely going minimalist with this baby for obvious reasons and had to giggle at your post. I wish we had 40 feet to work with! (Bought it when we didn’t think another was in the cards. Surprise!)

      1. I would love to hear your list of things you actually used. I’m living in a 500 sq ft apartment and everyone is trying to tell me what I need, but no one has been in this situation.

  5. Excellent post! They were on my short list of must haves and/or gifted to me by other mommy friends. We live in a condo and there is no space for junk. The baby totally loved sleeping in the rock and play, being in the body carriers and I used the A&A swaddlers for everything. Still do and the baby is almost one.

  6. Awesome post – we are expecting number three and after getting rid of nearly everything from the first two we need to start again – and I am not going to go overboard this time!

  7. Great recommendations… I totally agree on being as clutterfree as possible. And your tips are great. I have all the items you mentioned except for the K’Tan, which I’ll be looking for tomorrow. 😉

    I have two daughters: a 6 year old and a 6 week old. And I do have two tips to add… My best clutterfree taking up no closet space at all tips are the Medela pump & save breastmilk bags and the Medela Quick Clean sterilizing bags for desinfecting bottles, nipples and pacifiers in the microwave.

    And one tip to add for the swaddle blankets: put the blanket under baby while travelling. The baby can be easilly picked up and moved around without waking him or her. Just use the blanket as a hammock. My baby (then 14months old) slept for 10 hrs during a taxi ride, airport check ins and a 8 hr plane flight. 🙂

  8. Your post was DEAD-ON! I was laughing to my self because we have all but 2 things for our daughter and they all make soo much sense! I was also sticker shocked at the price on the blankies but my daughter LOVES them and that is worth it. I was relieved to hear soo many Moms knock the Bjorn, I thought I was just being a whimp but it really hurts.

  9. I can’t thank you enough for this post. I have been stressing about where to even start with the baby registry and this was a huge help! 🙂

  10. Ditto on my list to nearly everything you said. No swaddling wraps for me, though. Never liked them and have happily used the Aden&Anais muslin blankets to swaddle from the very beginning. Btw, Carter’s makes muslin blankets just as nice as the A&A brand for half the cost. I found them at Wal-Mart a few days ago.
    I also try to avoid buying books that I don’t plan to keep for years. Instead, I do my best to borrow from a friend or the library.
    I would recommend two things you didn’t mention. First, a breathable crib bumper. The padded kind are no longer recommended due to suffocation risk. No bumper lets little limbs get stuck between the bars, though. A breathable bumper fixes both problems.
    I also would recommend a stack of cloth diapers. If your baby spits up with any regularity, you’re going to go through blankets faster than you want to wash them. You could always buy more blankets but that gets expensive and bulky. I do know about burp cloths but those are just cloth diapers made pretty so they’re more expensive. If you really care about pretty, you could always dye or otherwise decorate the cheap, white cloth diapers for much less money than buying a bunch of ‘burp cloths’.

    1. I so agree with using the plain cloth diapers for burp rags instead of the fancy ones! I just get the plain, one layer Gerber brand and they work great. I have about 40 of them and my son manages to use up every single one during the week in between laundry days! He always has one tucked into his clothes around his neck 27/7. Saves me from changing his clothes every hour all day long! When I’m in between new babies, I use them for anything and everything around the house too. Best money money I ever spent on anything baby related!

  11. Too funny. I just found your site and have everything on this list!!! Love the K’Tan wrap, my girl sleeps in it for too long. You sound like me, the way you write! Funny and resourceful. Thanks!! 🙂

  12. I love love love this list. We also have a questionably behaved beagle. How did yours react when little one came home. And I’ve registered for about 15 packs of the a&a blankets

  13. Thank you for this post. I’m pregnant with baby number three and my youngest just turned 8, so of course I have held onto nothing. This time around I refuse to go overboard and want to stay conservative on the crap. I love and used every product on this list except for the carriers. I also used cloth diapers for everything and will again. I have been debating whether to go with a rock n play or an arm’s reach co-sleeper. I nursed my first two and intend to nurse my next as well. The co-sleeper wasn’t something that I had come across with my last so I’m torn on which to go with. The co-sleeper is considerably more expensive but it is slightly bigger to hold him longer than a few months. Thoughts?

  14. This is the first baby list that I pretty much totally agree with! I have two little dudes and you are dead on with the essentials. I didn’t use the steamer because five min in a pot of boiling water worked for me, but otherwise yes! I’m going to send this to anyone I know who gets pregnant from now on.

  15. Oh my god, this is the funniest and best post I’ve read in a long time in the blogosphere!!! I laughed out loud several times! Thank you for this piece of awesomeness.

  16. Lol at the “burrito baby”. Fortunately we were gifted a lot of baby stuff too (and I’ve gifted a lot of it on too). I couldn’t agree more about the bulky pushchairs, not to mention many children are just not happy in them, so you end up having to hold them AND push an empty pushchair! With our first child, his play basket consisted of a wooden spoon, an old cell phone, and a set of old keys, and he was more than content with it. Over the years with 3 boys, and many birthday parties, we accrued a lot of fancy toys that got very little use – except for the lego – one toy I do highly recommend.

  17. Hooray for the real deal from a mom who’s been there! I have a 2 bedroom and part time step daughter. … Who is 10 years old. We have no storage space, or space in general. I cannot be bogged down with extra crap.

  18. Love the simple thinking. I had a swaddle me and never used it, used swaddle blankets (for everything). BUT there are woombies…they zip up and your baby can’t wrestle out of them! They are brilliant and have a large size for I think up to 24lb babies.

    We were living in a trailer when our first was born, he slept in a laundry basket. Once we moved into our home we had room for ‘junk/stuff’ but my motto is ‘I will never have enough room for extra baby junk/stuff’. We keep it simple, yes you get gifts, we have regifted many. Once #1 bday comes around you get more toys, so I put some upstairs, hide some for another day, regift them, we don’t need toysrus in the house.

  19. We have a small home too. .. the inglesina (sp) height chair that latches onto our center island in the kitchen is so awesome. No bulky chair that sits in the corner. Good tips here!

  20. Geez thank you! I am so tired of reading reviews, so I’m just taking your word for it: K’tan and steam thing are getting purchased tonight and I’m crossing it off my list! Due in a month with a girl – ftm 🙂

  21. I love the Boba compared to the Ergo… no newborn insert to mess with. Much better than the Bjorn. Your list is spot on!

  22. wow – this was very helpful and I’m so glad I found it in the fog of bullshit “you need a million and ten stupid things to bring a baby into this world” articles. Also, you’re funny. Bonus points for making this very pregnant person laugh. Thanks so much!

  23. So, I feel the need to comment hereport and let you know that you can totally combine the two baby carriers into one mega-carrier know as a MEI-TAI. Seriously – it’s the best thing ever. It hold everything from a 6 lb newborn to a 35 lb toddler, my husband will wear it with no complaints, it’s totally adjustable to you and your baby, the whole thing drops right into the wash and the INSTRUCTIONS ARE SEWN ONTO THE ACTUAL CARRIER. YouTube that thing – it’s the best $20 we spent.

  24. Omg thank you for this…all my baby fears went out the window as I read this and went into laughing fits. Fantastic advice with fantastic humor can’t be beat.

  25. There were a couple of items that I initially didn’t think we needed that turned out to be essential – the Sleep Sheep and a wipe warmer for cloth wipes. Sleep Sheep plays 4 different white noise noises and 4 different songs. Sometimes I use him when someone else is up with the baby and I’m trying to catch up on sleep by myself. We are cloth diapering and using cloth wipes, and the Prince Lionheart wipe warmer is awesome for keeping the wipes moist and warm (not as cold as our bathroom in winter).

  26. The reason that there are 1000 lists is that different things work for different mom’s. But also, of you don’t get the luxury of getting to try multiple versions of a product, namely a stroller you can’t veto it completely. Using a Snap and Go and saying strollers suck is akin to buying a moped in winter and saying public transit is a more comfortable ride. Well yes, to the moped, but not the BMW, or even an economy sedan for that matter. But I am willing to guess your baby got older than like 6 months and you decided an Ergo was no longer the go to and a stroller no longer became the unnecessary shin hitting unnecessary obstacle item it was when your baby was small and sleepy!

    1. I know this comment is old but I going to reply anyway. I have a nice stroller that is easy to fold, unfold & I generally carried it around in my trunk or stored it in an out of the way place. However, I rarely used it. I always considered it easier to carry my daughter, even now that she’s 3. If we did a lot of walking I might have felt differently though.

      1. I am cracking up because I was somehow thinking about strollers this afternoon and thought “I should update that blog post and say we STILL never use the stroller.” Ha! So this is a timely comment!! ; )

        Man I don’t know I’m just missing the stroller gene. We also got handed down a nicer stroller for a bigger kid and it bothered me as much as the snap and go. I just need my hands!!!! He rode in the ergo until he was probably 12-14 months? Then he was fine to just walk along or be carried for quick stops. We now have 2 and I wear the baby and the 3yo walks. Just has always felt so much easier!!

        Of course strollers are great for the times you do just want to take a walk. Especially when its hot. So I wouldn’t NOT have one. OK I’m going to stop blabbing now ; )

  27. Ok I just found this post (thank you Pinterest!!!) and I wanted to say THANK YOU times, like, a million! I just found out I’m pregnant with our first and – after some freaking out, happy tears and telling my husband – my next line of thought was “I’m SO not going to get sucked into all the baby stuff everyone tells you that you’ll need”. This list was AWESOME times infinity and I’m pinning to my baby board!
    Side note: Those Aden & Anais Swaddle Blankets have been on imaginary baby list for about 2 years now. I fell in love with them when I was watching a friends baby and swore I would have them for my own baby!

  28. I’m a first time mommy- well to-be, but I had the benefit of babysitting and nannying for so many types of families(with different housing situations). Best thing I learned so far(as far as stuffs) is that the gazillion-in-one pack and play is the bomb. And you can get brand new ones super cheap bc of all the previous moms who also bought a cosleeper, bassinet, crib, etc etc. But they are awesome! Eliminates the need for a changing table, bassinet, cosleeper, and crib (for a good while anyways). The one I scored for $30 also has a music and white noise attachment, the little mobile thing, wheels, drink holder, diaper and wipes organizer, and the sunshade. Eliminates a whole bunch of craps and fits perfectly into our tiny apartment. Plus, great for camping /lake when baby is bigger

  29. i *almost* completely agree with you, with the exception on the Ergo infant insert. I’m guessing your LO isn’t under 12 lbs any longer, otherwise I’d say you have to try it. It’s not just “another product, another $30 down the drain”. It’s like a quilted tortilla for a newborn that makes your bundle into a cozy little burrito while you wear them, and then after they’ve fallen asleep you can just slip them out of the ergo, burrito and all, and (in my case) shed sleep another three hours in a crib or bassinet all wrapped in her burrito gear thinking that I was still there. I seriously almost considered buying two for the occasion when the original was in the wash due to poo explosions.

  30. Thank you for this! I’m pregnant with our first. We have a small home and i hate stuff in general. …now to convince my mother in law (first time grandma) we don’t need everything on planet earth…!

  31. LOL I absolutely love your sense of humor and this helpful guide! I’m not pregant, nor have plans to be, but this seems helpful for the future? Thanks!

  32. There is this wonderful thing called the Snap N Go stroller by Baby Trend…I could not have lived without this stroller and I wish I had discovered it before kid #3. It’s a stroller frame, and it fits any carseat…when they’re infants, you can put the backward facing seat in it, and then the convertible, booster, etc…there’s a huge basket on the bottom, it has cup holders and a compartment that snaps shut on the top. You can basically fold and open it with one hand, and it weighs next to nothing. My mom found it at a garage sale and thank the universe that she kept it, because baby #4 was a complete surprise. LOL

  33. Oh, we also have the Fisher Price Rock and Play sleeper…it’s awesome. Crib won’t fit in our bedroom, and I have too much crap in my house anyway, so it sits in the dining room. Other things I would suggest are “What to Expect the First Year”, and a fold up bouncer/rocking chair…my little guy doesn’t sleep for me much…he’s 3 months and just loves to sit and stare at me all day (which is really kind of creepy sometimes), but I can plop him in the rocker and use my foot to rock it while sitting on the couch, and he zonks out.

  34. Hehe I too thought that the baby would simply fall asleep. They sleep like 16-18 hours a day so he’ll just fall asleep, right? Mine likes to get his 16-18 hours in 35 minute spurts.

    I have the rock n play sleeper and the swaddle me wraps! We just bought one of those $250 momaroo swings and we are taking it back…it doesn’t help him sleep any more than the rock and play sleeper, and I also feel more comfortable with the shape. It’s safe for him to sleep overnight as opposed to most of the other inclined rocking thingies.

    I have the boba wrap and I see what people mean about all the wrapping. I’ve gotten pretty quick at it but it does take effort to put it on and because of that I have to think about if it’s really worth it, or am I going to have to get him out of it to change his diaper in 5 minutes?

  35. I just love your sarcasm! It’s so me! Great read too. I hate tons of junk laying around, and it makes me crazy! I’ll be keeping this for future reference! Xoxo

  36. Was totally with you on all of it. We were gifted one of those honkin’ strollers and I left it at my parents because it wouldn’t even fit in my car. I had a sling carrier for newborn instead of wrap. And for when he got older, some off brand carrier. I picked it because 1)cheap. 2)put it on, lay sleeping baby against chest, buckle outer part. Done.
    The one thing I’d change. We didn’t do a bedside bassinet, rocker, whatever. I found one of those baby swings in mini. So it could sit on the table. Or beside the couch. Or beside the bed. It rocked, it had white noise heart beat sounds, had a mobile, played music. And the best part. It could lock in place and VIBRATE. Baby slept in this till he was 6 months. He was sleeping through the night (with it vibrating) at one month. Went through several D batteries but worth it!!

  37. Childless and not expecting anytime soon but I freaking loved this article. Bookmarked this twelve times because my bookmark organisation skills are a shambles but I know I will be referring to this one day. And then I will go downstairs and watch The Bachelor v20.2.

  38. LOVE LOVE LOVE. I’ve bought four of the items listed here and they have worked wonders with my newborn. He is five weeks right now and we are still going strong 😛

  39. Maybe add a bouncer, I was anti one more piece of equipment but my mom forced it in me and I’m glad she did. It’s lightweight so I could move it room to room and it’s a safe place to put baby bc let’s face it you can’t hold them all day. The only thing I don’t like is mine doesn’t fold up so if you can find one that does, it would be worth it.

  40. Thank you X 1,000,000,000 for turning what feels like the never ending battle of collecting first time baby crap into an SNL skit.

  41. Thanks a million for this post!! First time mom-to-be here and I have purchased everything on this list. I do have a question though. How do you swaddle and strap the baby into the Rock and play sleeper? Don’t you need to be able to get between his legs to strap baby down? Can’t do that if he’s swaddled can you? What am I missing?

    1. I didn’t strap my infant into the Rock N Play until she started sitting up. Just swaddled her and laid her in there. The vibration feature also helped her soothe and then snooze 🙂

      1. Well, I am much more educated about safe sleep and I am now aware of two loss moms whose kiddos died in rock n play sleepers as a result of positional asphyxia. I can’t imagine their pain!! Please consider updating this post to state that the rock n play does not follow AAP’s guidelines for safe infant sleep. I will be deleting this PIN from my board because I can’t bear risk of passing on such dangerous information. My son never looked comfy, slid down a lot and thankfully I moved him to a pnp before any tragedy.

  42. I love my pram! But I also loved being able to wear my second when he was a little bub. Don’t know if you have these available in the US yet, but here in Australia we have a product called Love to Dream zip-up swaddles. Both my boys loved them and they have different sizes so no need to change swaddling techniques.

  43. I like the list, although the first item by fisher price is not a good sleeping bassinet. We had this and the health nurse came and told us to get rid of it. The baby isn’t laying flat and kinda in a sitting position, this restricts proper air flow and inhibits breathing.

    1. My pediatrician said Rock n Play was a good option for my baby with acid reflux because the incline prevented reflux.

  44. Umm this was the most entertaining blog I have read in a while. Bravo! I have an 18month old. I agreed and laughed along as I read. 🙂 thank you!

  45. Great post!! On my third baby and am so over all of their “stuff” so I want to slim it down with this one. One thing I want to add, not sure if anyone else did because there are tons of comments and I didn’t read them all, but there are actually swaddles with a zipper. I know, amazing! We had Swaddleme pods and I loved them. They are totally baby straight jackets and my littles slept so good in them. My boy got out of it faster but made it 6 months. Once they sneak an arm out the neck hole, its all over. But definitely a recommendation.

  46. Agree completely on many items on your list AND learned a few new ones! I also enjoy your writing style. Wish I had this post pre-baby 🙂

  47. I read this post before I delivered, registered for this stuff, LOVED ALL OF IT!!! The rock n play is YES. Velcro swaddled YAAAASSSS!!! Can you make similar posts for all of my child’s life stages?? K thx.

  48. LOVE this! I am 4 months and was thinking as I browsed list after list– “surely all of this isn’t necessary”–a mentality that has been with me after seeing multiple friends bring their own into the world and then being accosted by endless clutter and confusion.
    Thank you for confirming what my frugal and minimalist baby gut was trying to tell me 😛

  49. Hilarious and totally true post. Seriously, who needs a wipe warmer? One thing I would suggest are Munchkin brand sterilizing bags. They take up less space than the dome and can be reused for about a month (plus they come in a set of six, so you are set for some time). Also, the Merlin Magic Sleepsuit worked wonders for us after baby became a master of Velcro.

  50. I’m a mother to be for the first time and was searching for a post like this, I’m always looking at moms having lot of trouble with all that BS waste of time useless stuff and feel sorry for them, great info ! Thank you !

  51. Great topic–my “baby” is now 31 y/o. Can’t tell you how much CRAP has been developed since then. I’m aghast when I go to co-workers’ baby showers these days. We were broke when we had our babies, so being minimalist was essential–for example, I used an overturned cookie sheet inclined in the kitchen sink for a “baby bathtub”. I placed a folded towel on top of it to keep baby from slipping. Many of my “essentials” were borrowed, or gotten used. I tried to imagine how “pioneer women” managed their babies, and it sparked some real creativity. If a product didn’t have multiple uses, I didn’t get it. BTW, I personally LOVED our simple, basic stroller. When my second son was born, I folded the back down and could sit the older child in the back, while the younger child sat between his legs (didn’t buy a double stroller). When we went on a trip, I carried multiple items in the stroller, sort of like a small shopping cart. You don’t need all that extra crap, and neither does Mother Earth.

      1. Hi Jessika. I recommend getting a travel system for the stroller. Companies like Graco, Britax, Chicco, etc. Make them. The travel system comes with a car seat, car seat base for the car, and stroller. Getting the travel system saves money whether you or someone else gets it for you. It came in handy for us when we had our daughter last year. We were able to insert the car seat into the base and into stroller without waking our daughter up. Some moms prefer wearing their babies in a carrier though. I have the Chicco Bravo Trio Travel System. You can find it on Amazon.com and in baby essential retail stores like Babies R Us.

  52. I never like to be “that mom” but I wish someone would have said something to me before my little one had to endure physical therapy and a helmet. My son was diagnosed with torticollis and plagiocephaly (flattening of the side of his head, not back of the head). When we went to the physical therapist, she told us that the Fisher Price Sleep and Play is one of the biggest causes they see with this happening to babies. I only left my son it in while I did dishes and laundry/housework, not more than an hour or two daily for about 8 weeks until we were told and discontinued use. With the word “sleeper” I know many parents probably use it at night for much longer periods than I did. The damage was already done though. After being told this I came home and googled it, and was shocked to see many other stories just like my own. This is one of those user beware items. If you are going to use this product, make sure to turn your babies head from side to side very often.

  53. Baby products are not only cosmetics and stroller-based. There is various kind of other product which is necessary for babies. You got some good idea and your post is very uncommon. You have given some good product which everyone should.

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