Thanks to Gugu Guru and the highlighted brands* for sponsoring this post. As always, all opinions in the post are my own.
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Beyond worrying about how on Earth you are going to raise a tiny human and how good a parent you are going to be, soon-to-be-parents (such as myself) spend an awful lot of time trying to figure out a ton of baby-related-things (at least I did), including shopping for the baby…
Breaking news??? NOT!!!
At first, it seemed like a language from another planet altogether, and no, I am not exaggerating. It’s exactly how I felt when I went over the baby-shopping-checklist I got from my parents-friends! Completely befuddled, before I knew it I had spent hours on Amazon, had looked up several baby registries (some with 25 items while others had over 200), and yet I was back where I had started – thoroughly overwhelmed (which is an understatement btw) and still not knowing what to buy for our baby, what is necessary vs. what is good to have, where I need to splurge vs. when it’s just throwing money down the drain, it was utter confusion and complete chaos in my mind…I mean, when do you need a crib vs. a bassinet (what is it even?) vs. a pack and play vs. a swing? And security blanket, say what now? OK stop… you are making me cry 🙁 And not to forget, how the heck do you choose from the million brands and options available out there??? Life was so much simpler when I could just climb into my ‘bed’ and fall right asleep, ya’ know 😮
But shortly after this dreadful experience and luckily enough, Gugu Guru came to my rescue…
Gugu Guru – A personalized baby registry with specific product recommendations to match my very own personal taste and my lifestyle!
All you need to do is set up a profile, take their fun personality quiz, and bam, a list of personalized baby (and mommy) product recommendations roll right before your eyes!!!
Besides Gugu Guru saving soon-to-be-parents a ton of time by giving us unbiased product recommendations and reviews on both the classics and the new trends in the market, what is also extremely useful is the ability to categorize products as ‘Must Have’ and ‘Nice to Have’. And thanks to Gugu Guru’s personal recommendations, I even tried a few products I had never heard of or thought important but totally in love with now (and my baby agrees… p.s: I was a soon-to-be-parent when I first drafted this post but things changed soon enough, from soon-to-be to new-parent :)).
Below is a Bring Baby Home Essentials Checklist I curated in collaboration with Gugu Guru.
Hope you find it useful!
- Crib: Of course, crib is the most essential item to buy before you bring your baby home. Though one could easily manage for the first few months with a bassinet or in my case, a DockATot (more below), but a nursery just isn’t complete without a crib. Besides looking for one that is both safe and comfortable, when you live in a not-so-big-apartment like us choosing one that is also simple and lightweight becomes equally important – this crib from Ikea perfectly fit that bill for us.
- DockATot: This has to be hands down my baby’s favorite thing ever, he loves to snuggle and lounge in it (besides his grandparents lap of course) at all times. The best thing though is how we move the DockATot* around the house – living room, grandparents room, study area (and now that the weather is warming up I cannot wait to take it outdoors) so we can enjoy my little one’s company through the day as we go about our daily chores. If not for Gugu Guru, I would have never discovered this amazing product (make note, it’s a must have!). Choose from white or a multitude of colors and patterns on their website.
Best way to lounge – in my favorite DockATot / ErgoPouch Swaddle and Sleep Bag / SkipHop Cap
- Crib Mattress / Mattress Pad / Waterproof Pad: As new parents, it’s ‘hello cutesie’ but ‘bye, bye sleep’ 🙁 And if parents need all the sleep they can get, they better make sure the baby sleeps well. Since the baby spends most of his/her time sleeping, a safe and comfortable mattress is an absolute must and what better than the organic, non-toxic Ultra Breathable 2-Stage Organic Crib Mattress from Naturepedic*. Happy baby = happy parents 🙂 This mattress is firm and waterproof, and the breathable mattress pad provides maximum airflow between the baby and the mattress. Another plus is that the mattress is good for your baby right from his infant years (use the firm side) all the way to his toddler years (use the cushion firm side).
- Fitted Crib Sheet / Blanket: The ‘Into the woods’ organic fitted crib sheet and the dream blanket is made from the most breathable fabric and is oh-so-soft and comfy, as is any other product from Aden + Anais*. The blanket is not just for sleeping but is also perfect for tummy time, cuddling and snuggling (too bad they don’t come in adult size ;)). Aden + Anais has the most fun prints which complement any nursery decor.
Ikea Crib / Naturepedic Mattress + Mattress Pad + Waterproof Pad / Aden + Anais Organic Fitted Crib Sheet
- Baby Monitor: The baby movement monitor from Angelcare* gives one the ultimate peace of mind (especially for first-time parents) with it’s 4.3″ touchscreen display, wireless movement sensor pad and activity tracker. The temperature display is an added plus given that the weather in Seattle has been bipolar this year and has me constantly reach for the thermostat. Watching my baby from anywhere in the house definitely puts me at ease and I don’t have to run to the room to check on him every 5 mins 😉
- Mobile Soothers: Did not realize just how useful a baby mobile was until our little one peacefully fell asleep to the nursery music and nature sounds. I especially like the glowing leaves and the projected stars on the ceiling. It also comes with a remote, yes please! And this mobile from SkipHop* goes perfectly with our Safari themed nursery!
SkipHop Mobile projected stars on the ceiling at night 🙂
- Bibs: These soft, stylish and functional bibs from MatiMati Baby* comes with two snaps (instead of velcro) and has two layers of fabric which increases the absorbency of drooling and spit ups.
- Feeding Bottle: For someone who cannot always breastfeed or for on the go parents, a feeding bottle always comes in handy. This bottle + dispenser (BPA, Phthalates and PVC free) from b.box* is perfect to scoop the dry powder into the dispenser and fill water + shake right before feeding.
- Drying Rack: This compact portable drying rack from b.box* is perfect for apartment living (think limited space) or for traveling as it folds flat.
- Bottle Brush: Cleaning the bottles is easy with the 2-in-1 bottle and teat cleaner brush from b.box*. It is made with soft nylon bristles and the sponge tip makes it easy to the clean the hard to reach bottom of the bottle.
- Microwave Steam Sterilizer: This Philips Sterilizer operates at a higher temperature than dishwashers and makes it easy to sterilize bottles, breast pump accessories, cups and more.
- Nursing Pillow / Cover: A nursing pillow is a must for comfortable breastfeeding. The Boppy Pillow transitions to the perfect support pillow for different stages of your baby’s development including propping, tummy time and learning to sit. One of my friends also recommends ‘My Brest Friend’ nursing pillow.
- Breastpump: A breastpump is a new mom’s best friend. Even if you are a SAHM, there is always a need for a good electric pump, especially if you want to increase your milk supply.
- Milk Storage Containers / Bags: Easy way to pump, collect and store breastmilk in the refrigerator or freezer.
Always choose products that are made from plant-based ingredients which are safe for your baby and the environment. I love the whole range of these products from Babyganics* for the very same reason.
Babyganics Diapers / Sanitizer / Wipes / Soothing Protective Ointment
- Diaper Changing Table / Pad / Cover: When you have to change approximately 287,953 diapers a year (kidding of course but you do lose track after the first week!), a diaper changing station makes all the difference so you don’t break your back.
- Diaper Genie / Refills: Keep your nursery smelling fresh by controlling odors and germs with the Diaper Genie.
- Infant Bath Tub: For comfort and hygiene, the Angelcare* Bath Support holds babies safely in place as you and your baby enjoy bath time. The bath support is made with a soft touch material and features an anti-slip guard on the base for stability.
- Baby Wash and Shampoo: Made with natural clarifying tear-free foaming formula the Babyganics* baby wash and shampoo is non-allergenic and is extra gentle on skin.
- Bath Sponge: The Konjac Baby Sponge is a soothing bath sponge made with vitamin & mineral rich Konjac for delicate and tender skin.
- Washclothes: The organic washclothes from MatiMati Baby* is made from antibacterial bamboo, is extra soft and perfect for baby’s sensitive skin.
- Towel: The plush hooded bath towel from Aden + Anais* is soft and gentle on the delicate skin and keeps the baby’s head warm with a cotton muslin hood.
Angelcare Bath Support / Matimati Baby Washclothes / Aden + Anais Towel / Babyganics Shampoo + Bodywash
- Baby Clothes: Onesies / footies / side-snap shirts / undershirts (short and long sleeve), pants / footed pants
- Caps / Socks / Mittens / Booties
- Swaddles: Aden + Anais* makes the best swaddles ever, period. Made from 100% cotton muslin, these swaddles not only surround your little one in comfy goodness but they can also be used as stroller cover, burp cloth or nursing cover.
- Sleepers / Sleep Sacks: The swaddle and sleep bag from ErgoPouch* made from organic cotton and bamboo mix are designed to be both easy to use and difficult to escape from. The zip up design keeps baby snug and securely swaddled without complicated wrapping.
Ergopouch swaddle and sleep bag: Transitions from swaddle to sleep bag as shown in the above pics. It is also IHDI approved as being hip healthy.
I reiterate, always choose products that are made from plant-based ingredients which are safe for your baby and the environment.
Babyganics Laundry Detergent / Surface Wipes / Dish Soap / Dryer Ball
- First Aid Kit / Grooming Kit
- Gripe Water: It’s been a godsend to ease gas and stomach discomfort.
- Electric Nail Trimmer: It was surprising how big this little cutie’s nails were when he was born! And I wouldn’t have had the courage to cut his nails if not for this amazing product – the Trimmo Electric Nail File (with built-in LED) from Olababy* sure made it easy on this new mommy to trim my baby’s nails.
- Baby Bouncer: The Bouncer Bliss from BabyBjörn* is a great option to not just play but also to calm down a fussy baby. This compact bouncer provides proper neck and back support for the newborns and can be set to two different positions – playing and resting. The Bouncer Bliss is the first thing our little handsome sat on when we brought him home.
BabyBjorn Bouncer Mini (Wait a sec while I test my new toy ;)) / SkipHop Welcome Home Baby Set
- Toys: This one’s a no brainer but choosing toys that are not just entertaining for the baby but also help its development is of utmost importance. Sassy Baby* toys are designed to help develop through the senses (hearing, touch, sight, smell and taste) of the baby, 0 through 12 months.
- Baby Music: Yes, all baby’s love their music aka lullabies! Baby Blanket Music* takes your favorite songs from your favorite artists (Elton John, Madonna and the likes) and composes them into soothing lullabies that the babies can fall asleep to.
- Activity Gym: It’s every baby’s (and parents) favorite! This two position (explore or tummy time and more) activity gym from SkipHop* includes 20 developmental activities. The best part about it is being able to insert the smartphone behind the mirror to take baby photos or video chat with grandparents.
SkipHop Activity Gym and Footie (I do sleep during the day, once in a while :D)
- Books: Our favorite past time while we enjoy some skin-to-skin is to read books. Our baby registry was filled with a collection of old classics and all time kids favorites – The Going-To-Bed Book, Peek-A Who?, Oh! The Places You’ll Go, etc…
ON THE GO
- Stroller: The Vida stroller from Babyhome* is an ultra-lightweight and stylish stroller that comes loaded with amazing features. It can be used from day one with its harness extra position for newborn. A big plus is the adjustable handlebar (perfect to adjust height for my husband or I as needed). It is also super compact and great for traveling. I love that it comes with a weather cover to protect my little one from all the rain here in Seattle.
Mamma making faces at me 😮
- Car Seat: It’s the single most important item without which you cannot leave the hospital and bring your baby home. Do enough research to find a car seat that is not just safe but one that will fit your car and can also be used along with your stroller.
- Diaper Bag: There is no stepping out of the house without being well equipped to take care of your baby on the go – a functional yet stylish diaper bag (that can also fit my laptop) is most essential to do so. Not just for the mom, but when dad’s share equal responsibility why not buy a unisex bag like this one from Twelvelittle* that the dad wouldn’t mind carrying around. A post on Diaper Bag Essentials will be coming to the blog soon, stay tuned.
FOR THE MOM
- Be sure to check out the Hospital Bag Essentials Checklist post for additional items that are absolutely necessary to stock up on for the new mom.
If you are an expecting parent, hope this checklist is useful to you. And if you are not expecting, then be sure to pass it along to someone who is 😉
Also, please do let me know if this list is missing an essential item and I will be happy to update it. And while you are it, don’t forget to checkout Gugu Guru’s Baby Registry services, you can thank me later! 🙂
“And so the adventure begins…”
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