Updated on April 30, 2016
The Monarch Mommy’s Ultimate Baby Registry Series – Part 2: Nursery & Clothing
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Picking up where I left off last week, here’s part two of my Ultimate Baby Registry Series. (If you missed part one, you can check it out HERE.) This week I’m covering items for the nursery and clothing for baby. It can be really easy to go way overboard in both of these areas. Keep it simple is the name of the game for the nursery. It’s so easy to get caught up in crib bedding sets, matching curtains, and matching decor, but you might be surprised at how little all that matters once baby is here! Baby clothing is a pretty hot gift item, but most people only buy clothing in newborn or three month size as gifts. Keep this in mind when shopping for baby clothing as your baby is going to grow and grow way faster than you’d ever imagine! Without further ado, here’s what you need, what’s nice to have, and what you don’t need for the nursery and baby clothing.
Crib (need): Yes, you will need somewhere for that baby to sleep! A crib is a wonderful place for that to happen!
Co-Sleeper (nice to have): If you’re interested in co-sleeping instead of crib sleeping, you can go with a special bed height bassinet like the Halo Bassinest or a co-sleeper for use in the bed. Another option is to go with a bed rail on the side of the bed like this one.
Mobile (nice to have): A mobile is one of those things that you really don’t need for baby. However, it is something that I have over the crib. I made a pinwheel mobile back when I was pregnant with The Heir (I get a little crafty when I’m pregnant), and he never really paid it much attention. Petit Prince, on the other hand, loves to stare at it. So your baby might love it or might completely ignore it, so if it’s something you would like to complete the nursery, go for it.
Blanket/Comforter (don’t need): You don’t want any loose or heavy blankets in the crib with baby at all, so this is an item you can absolutely skip.
Crib sheets (need): You’re going to need at least three crib sheets. This way you can have one in the wash, one on the crib, and one in the closet for the inevitable barf/spit up at 3am.
Mattress (need): If your baby is going to be sleeping in their crib, you’re going to need a mattress in there. You’ll definitely want a waterproof mattress, ideally one that doesn’t sound/feel plastic-y. We opted not to go crazy expensive with the crib mattress, and it has worked out quite well for us. It’s the Safety 1st Grow With Me 2 in 1 mattress.
Waterproof mattress pad (need): You’re going to want at least two of these. The Sealy Waterproof Mattress Cover is absolutely waterproof, and doesn’t sound crinkly. Win win.
Bassinet (nice to have): A bassinet is not a must have item, but it can be really handy. We didn’t expect to need one with The Heir, but a friend kindly lent us one anyway. It actually saw a fair amount of use over the first 4-6 weeks. At first, The Heir slept in the bassinet overnight, and then only for naps during the day. I really liked that he could nap in the bassinet in any room in the house. This made it really easy for me to be close by and still get things done all over the house. My preference is for a moses basket style bassinet with a bassinet stand. The moses basket can be moved around really easily and you don’t always need to use the stand.
Glider/Rocking Chair (nice to have): If you can fit a glider or rocking chair into the nursery, I highly recommend you get one. You just might find yourself spending a great deal of time in the nursery feeding and rocking your baby, so a comfortable place to do that is pretty essential.
Burp cloths (don’t need): Actual burp cloths are way too small to catch any baby spit up. You’re much better off using receiving blankets for this purpose.
Hats (need): You’ll want a handful of cotton hats. Newborns will almost always wear a hat, even when sleeping. If you’re having a winter baby, you’ll also need one or two winter hats for outings.
Fleecewear/snowsuits (need): If you’re not due in the winter months, you can hold off on this one until winter is coming so you can buy the right size. If you’re having a winter baby, you’re going to want one on hand right away. You definitely want to go with a fleece bunting suit. You don’t want to put anything thick or puffy on the baby when they are in the car seat, so a fleece bunting suit works great. The Columbia SnowTop II fleece bunting suit is the ideal weight for using safely in the car seat. *As an aside, remember that bunting bags that have any material between the baby’s back and the car seat are not safe to use. For more information, see my post on winter car seat safety.*
Newborn scratch mittens (don’t need): Most of the time these just fall right off baby anyway. Baby socks work just as well and are less likely to fall off.
Outfits/onesies (need): You’ll need quite a few. There are some great four piece outfits that come with footed pants, a onesie, hat, and sleeper. Carter’s makes some basic layette sets that are good to have on hand. You can also buy footed pants and onesies separately (H&M is one of my favourite places for baby clothes). Although you can’t reliably predict how big your baby will be at birth, you don’t want to go overboard on newborn sized clothing. Most babies won’t fit newborn for very long at all, so consider stocking up on 0-3 month size clothing and keep the newborn sized items to a minimum.
One piece pyjamas/sleepers (need): You’re going to want 5 or more sleepers in each size. I prefer the kind that have snaps that go down both legs so you can just unsnap the legs for a diaper change. I’d suggest getting 5-8 in 3 month size and then at least 5 in the next sizes.
Going home outfit (nice to have): You absolutely do not need anything special for bringing baby home from the hospital. That being said, I know a lot of people really do want a special outfit. If you’re one of those people, go for it. However, make sure you take a spare outfit to the hospital. The odds are good that baby will barf and/or poop on the going home outfit before you actually get them in the car (this I know from first hand experience).
Receiving blankets (need): 8-10 receiving blankets is about the right number. You’ll find you use them for everything. They are perfect for burp cloths, and if you end up being a leaker when you’re nursing, you can fold one in half and tuck it into your nursing bra so your shirt doesn’t get soaked. It can also be flipped up quickly when baby pops off and you start spraying your baby’s face and the room like a firehose.
Sweaters/Jacket (need): The fleece bunting suit will cover the jacket requirement if you’re having a winter baby, but you will need sweaters and/or hoodies. I’m not sure why, but this is an item that people tend not to buy as gifts, but you are really going to need them. Once again, H&M is a great source of sweet little old man sweaters and cardigans for baby boys, and equally cute options for girls. You’ll want to have at least 2-3 sweaters or hoodies. Remember that you’ll want to dress a newborn in one layer more than what dad is comfortable in (even in the summer). Mom’s temperature is going to be all over the map due to those postpartum hormones, so it’s best to use dad as a base line for this.
Swaddling blankets (need): This is the one item we didn’t have with The Heir that we actually wished we’d had. We’ve had them for Petit Prince and got a lot of use out of them. The Aden & Anais Swaddles are the perfect size and weight for swaddling baby, and have so many other functions! They’re great for laying on the floor for tummy time, creating a sun shade on the stroller, and even catching an epic spit up that follows an unexpected burp.
Socks (need): You’ll want 5-7 pairs of socks at least. So many socks just slide right off baby’s feet, but I’ve had great success with the H&M brand socks (the thin ones) when folded at the ankle.
Shoes (don’t need): I know they’re cute, but that little peanut of yours isn’t going to be up on those feet for quite some time. Go ahead and grab a cute pair of Minimocs because I know they’re irresistible, but trust me when I say baby shoes are more effort than they’re worth. Not only is it quite the ordeal to get them onto those chunky little feet, but if you think keeping socks on a baby is challenging, wait until you try shoes. If you’re going to be baby wearing a lot over the cooler months and you want baby’s feet to stay warm, consider a pair of Padraig booties.
What other items did you find useful for the nursery or baby’s wardrobe? Was there anything you bought that you just didn’t end up using?
In case you missed it:
The Monarch Mommy’s Ultimate Baby Registry Series Part 1 (Feeding)
The Monarch Mommy’s Ultimate Baby Registry Series Part 3 (Diapering & Toiletries)
The Monarch Mommy’s Ultimate Baby Registry Series Part 4 (Getting Around)
The Monarch Mommy’s Ultimate Baby Registry Series Part 5 (Playtime & Accessories)
The New Mom’s Survival Kit