Jun 25 2019

New Baby Must-Haves & Baby Registry Tips

Before Miles was born we spent hours researching the best baby gear, talking to other moms and getting advice from everyone we could. Here’s our ultimate round up of our favorite gear we got and some tips on things we would have done differently. Most are listed on our Amazon Baby Gear shopping list for easy shopping! Feel free to leave comments with some of your favorite items below.

STROLLERS:

This was the hardest category for me to figure out, and the one I get the most questions about. The truth is there is no perfect solution, you need different strollers for different things, so just pick what’s most important for your lifestyle. I live Metro Detroit with a garage and walking distance to parks and town, so keep that in mind for my reviews.

Convertible Stroller: I love our UPPAbaby Vista Stroller ($929). Fan favorite, perfect for walks into town, strolls through the mall and adventures just about anywhere. Pros: Has a lot of storage, works with infant car seats and can turn into double stroller. Cons: expensive and every single mom has one…but it’s because it’s so great.

Infant Car Seat: I went with the Nuna Pipa Infant Car Seat ($399). The only reason I got this was because the Uppababy car seat was on backorder. No matter how easy they say it will be, it’s always a pain using adapters. I wish I had stuck with Uppababy brand for infant seat.

Car Seat/Stroller Combo:The DOONA Infant Car Seat/Stroller ($499) was recommended to me by so many moms and at first, I didn’t listen. I caved a few months in after I realized how amazing this thing truly was. It’s a car seat that has wheels that pop out and turns it into a little stroller. While not the most glamorous stroller, it’s beyond practical for traveling, quick trips anywhere and the perfect height for leaving baby in stroller while dining out. Cons: Tiny, no storage and you can’t put onto your larger stroller system.

– Lightweight/Travel Stroller: BabyZen Yoyo ($499) I didn’t use this until Miles was 6 months or so and now it’s my go-to that I keep in my car and travel with. It’s light and compact but still feels sturdy enough for anywhere we go. It’s very popular in big cities because it’s easy and compact when folded. It also fits in overhead compartment of airplane.

 

GEAR:

Dock-a-Tot: This is the best for naps and transitioning to the crib. I love that they have all these fun new patterns now. I have my eye on the marble one.

Rock N Play: Miles slept and napped in this for the first three months. It was a godsend because it’s titled so they like sleeping better than flat. However, there’s been some new reports out lately that it may not be safe for sleep, so please look into before using.

SNOO: While the SNOO ($1,295) is a splurge, people swear by it to get baby sleeping at the beginning. It’s created by Dr Harvey Karp (who wrote the book I recommended above.) We’re trying this instead of the Rock N Play for baby #2.

Swing/Mamaroo: We had both and Miles didn’t love either, but it all depends on your baby. Some people swear by them.

Puj Tub: We used this in the sink for his first baths. It was adorable and it folds up and stores easily after they grow out of it.

Baby Monitor:  We got the Project Nursery one and have had a lot of issues, we now use the Nest Cam systems. We’ve heard great things about the Nanit ($230).

Highchair: We love our 4Moms ($289) one. But if you are looking to splurge, the Bloom Chair ($748) is gorgeous and doubles as an infant seat.

 

TOYS:

Play Mat: I went with one of the shmancy, neutral toned play mats from Little Nomad and I’m so happy I did. It let us turn half our living room into a play area without really feeling like it.  In addition to Little Nomad, there’s now a less expensive but still stylish line on Amazon now, Yay! Mats.

Play Gym/Tummy Time Mat: There are so many great ones of these. I had an adorable neutral tone one from Pottery Barn and a more colorful one from Buy Buy Baby. This one from Loveevery ($140) is a new favorite among moms. We also love the Mary Meyer BestEver Baby Mat ($50) for tummy time.

Wubbanubs: Yup, these pacifiers with a stuffed animal on them are as necessary as everyone says they are.

Stuffed Animals: JellyCat stuffed animals are the absolutely best — extra soft and cuddly and come in adorable styles like unicorns, avocados, peacocks etc. They also have animal + books sets ($35) that match many of their stuffed animals, which make it they perfect gift.

Books: Everyone has their favorites, Miles’ was the Pout Pout Fish ($8). It’s the cutest and I loved reading it to him. The truth is, no matter what you think, you can never have too many books — so stock up.

Pack N Play: We got the Graco Pack N Play with bassinet and changing pad and left on our main floor so we could change him easily on both floors. If I did it again, I’d get a more portable one that we could easily bring on trips etc. This one from 4Moms ($299) is a favorite among moms.

 

CLOTHING & ACCESSORIES: 

Shoes: Okay so they won’t exactly need them to walk, but little newborn shoes are just the cutest. Freshly Picked moccasins are one of our favorite gifts to give and the Baby Converse are pretty adorable too.

Bows + Headbands: There are a ton of adorable bows out there, but we always gift Baby Bling Bows ($12). They stay on and look adorable with hair or no hair and come in fun colors and styles.

Sleepers: Of course get a few special outfits, but the first few months your baby will be sleeping a majority of the day so you’ll mainly need some comfy sleepers. I’ll do a whole separate post on baby clothes, but in general go for soft fabric that are easy to take on and off. We lived in the zipper sleepers most days.

Favorite brands: Kickee Pants, Kissy Kissy, Egg Baby, Milk Barn, Burts Bees, L’oved Baby, Carters

– Sleeping Gowns: I didn’t get the whole gown thing at first, but when baby is walking up and needs to be changed multiple times in the middle of the night — not having to worry about buttons and getting their legs in and out of a sleeper is a god send. I loved these from L’oved Baby ($20).

Swaddles: Sure get a few pretty swaddle blankets, but make it easy on yourself and stock up on the velcro ones in the beginning.  They have a great selection at Target and here.

Bib Bandanas: Spitting up is just the norm for the first stage of life, so arm yourself with some cute bib bandanas that keep them dry while also accessorizing their outfits. Miles worn ones from Copper Pearl all the time.

Organizers: You’ll thank me later. These are the cheapest and perfect size IKEA organizers ($29) for baby clothes. And you can order through Amazon if heading to Ikea isn’t in the cards. We use them in every drawer, under the sink, in our linen closet — everywhere.

 

AMAZING THINGS YOU NEED:

–  Noise Machines: We have two of these Soundbub Noise Machines ($49), we keep one on our stroller and take one with us everywhere we travel. We have also have the Baby Shusher ($35) and be sure to download the Baby Shusher app when you’re in a pinch.

–  Books: The Happiest Baby on The Block Book ($13) is a life savor, and the methods really work. There’s also a video online you can watch if you’re strapped for time. The 12 Hours Sleep by 12 Weeks Old($12)book was my bible starting around 5 months, we waited a bit longer than some to sleep train but when we did it totally worked and Miles has been a great sleeper ever since.

Amazon Echos: We now pretty much have one in every room. Amazing to time while nursing, play music and lullabies. I liked the Echo Show ($299) for the nursery because you could see the timer, but the regular ones are great for everywhere else.

Apple Watch: I used mine all the time to track nursing, naps, etc. Easier than keeping track of your phone with a newborn on your arm.

Hooded Towels: You will probably get a ton of these as gifts, but they are adorable and practical for those first few baths. The Little Giraffe brand is my favorite for these and Pottery Barn has great ones as well.

 

FEEDING:

Boppy: I have three Boppys ($35), one for each level of our house and used them constantly at the beginning. You use them while nursing, while baby naps on your lap or to prop baby up when they are laying down. I ordered some cute covers on Etsy that matched Miles’ nursery theme.

Bottles: I used Medela bottles while breastfeeding (they worked fine and were easiest) and then used Dr. Browns when we started formula around 6 months.

Milk Snob: What’s great about the Milk Snob ($36) covers is that they work to keep light out of your carrier and also can be used to cover up while nursing.

Pumps: Your insurance typically covers some style of pumps, but if you are going to be nursing and pumping for a long time or pumping at work I’d recommend getting a rechargeable pump so you can be free to move around while pumping, instead of being stuck to an outlet. I used the Medela Freestyle ($299), people also love the Spectra ($300).

BORING STUFF:

Diapers: We use Pampers brand. While the Honest company ones are adorable, they don’t work as well.

Babyganics: We love Babyganics brand for wipes, hand sanitizer, detergency, dish soap and shampoo/body wash. I was overwhelmed by all the organic options out there now, but have pretty much found they are always a safe bet and I just have a constant supply ordered on Amazon.

STUFF I DIDN’T WORRY ABOUT:

Feeding stuff: They don’t eat real food for over 6 months, so I just waited until that time to stock up gear. My go-to brand for feeding gear is OXO. Lot of favs linked on the Amazon list. I’ll save for another post.

Clothes: I didn’t stock up on clothes for the whole first year. I focused on his first few months and took it from there. You’ll get lots of gifts and hand me downs as well.

 

We’d love to hear about the things you love and used the most in those early baby days!

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Jul 12 2017

Welcoming Miles Parker Schey

Our adorable little dude entered the world on 5/26/17 at 7:47 am, 6 lb 10 oz and 19 inches long. I’ve been a bit quiet the past few weeks, talking lots of time for as many snuggles and cuddles with my little man as I can possibly get. But I figured it was about time we shared our happiness with all of our Gift Insider friends. Here are a few shots from our newborn photo shoot, captured by Lindsay Jaye Photography.

If you are looking for more shots of the nursery and where we found everything, check out this post here. We’re excited to bring you a lot more baby + kid gift ideas and inspiration now that we are starting out on this new incredible chapter of our lives.

 

We’d love to know what kind of baby and kid related gifting inspo you need help with or any advice for new mamas. Tell us in the comments below! 

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May 29 2012

How cute!! #gifthelp in action!

We LOVE when people send in photos of people using or giving items they found on the TheGiftInsider. This is Isabelle, the neice of one of our most loyal Gift Insider users, Emily.

Honestly, could she be any cuter?!  Here’s the link to The Birth Announcement pillow if you want a special gift for your fav newborn.

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SEND US YOUR PICS!  Send us photos, stories or comment on this post with an image of you giving or receiving your favorite Gift Insider recommended gift ideas and we’ll post ’em.  Tweet us with #gifthelp.  Or post on our Facebook wall.  We know what a good feeling it is to give a perfect gift, don’t be modest – show off your gifting skills.

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