When you're pregnant and a semi-crunchy mom (or mom-to-be) the world seems like it's full of terrible & toxic baby products. Which, it kinda is. Luckily many moms are demanding safer and cleaner products for their babies, and companies are listening.
I personally registered on Amazon for my baby registry. It is awesome! They offer a 10% completion discount when you purchase items that didn't get purchased by others. I bought all my baby stuff at once (It was $1000) so I ended up saving about $100. I like that it gives you options for gift cards too. My sweet co-workers sent me Amazon gift cards through the mail and it was so helpful when making that final big purchase. You can sign up here.
To sleep in
A major fear of new moms is sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). Many babies die each year from SIDS and the exact cause is unknown. Frankly, in my house, we cannot afford everything organic for baby. We used hand me down clothes and blankets. Even non-organic sheets. However, with SIDS having no definitive cause, an organic mattress was a must for me. This is the brand we bought.
It is really expensive as far as baby mattresses go. I just couldn't bear the thought of laying my little one down to sleep on a mattress releasing toxic chemicals though. This one is really neat because it's more breathable than other mattresses, so if baby rolls over on his tummy it's not such a big deal. It's still firm enough even for newborns though.
It also has a removable washable cover that you can throw in the wash. The company says you can even put the mattress itself in the tub and clean it in the shower, although we've never had to do this. It's also eco-friendly and is completely recyclable.
Of course, if you already know you are going to be co-sleeping from the get go, then a mattress probably isn't necessary. We didn't really use our mattress too much until we transitioned our 1-year-old to his own floor mattress next to ours. (Not for a lack of trying, our 1st baby just refused to sleep in a crib, ever.)
If you plan on forgoing a crib completely this may be a better fit for your family. You can put baby in your bed, or to sleep on the floor in a safe, toxic-free space. This is great for a baby who likes to sleep in arms.
I secretly fantasized about this for months after my baby was born. My baby was such a difficult sleeper that I never slept more than an hour at a time those first few months. If I could have done it all over I would have forgone a lot of other baby purchases and would have opted for this. This is great if you want to co-sleep, but are afraid to actually have baby in bed with you. One side drops down and opens up so you can put it right next to your bed. This means baby is right next to you when you sleep, in their own cozy space. Perfect for breastfeeding at night.
If there is one of the two products on this list that are a must for me. This is the only way I got anything done the first few months without having a baby attached to me. I love this thing. When I had to shower I'd pull this thing into the bathroom and put my baby in it. We have a clear curtain so I could watch baby while I showered if I was alone. It made it easy to pull him in with me too. If you haven't tried showering with your baby, you totally should. It's such a tranquil way to spend some time together distracted.
I was given one of these with my first baby. It was the only thing he'd sleep in besides a set of arms. It didn't have the auto rock function though. So usually I had to rock it with my foot the whole time. Not ideal while trying to cook dinner, or vacuum, or you know, pee by yourself. With my second baby I upgraded to the self-rocking version, it is worth the extra money!
These were the cheapest cloth diapers I could find that were still rated really well on Amazon. They were all I could afford after our organic mattress purchase after all. They were a lot more cost-effective than the other well-known brands. These came out to under 5 bucks a diaper, which is really good for a good functioning cloth diaper. I bought 3 sets all together & that was pretty perfect for my needs. I had bought one bumgenius diaper, which was an all in one to just see what the difference was, and I hated it. We used it only if we ran out of the other ones. This really surprised me because I always read good things about them. Maybe it was just my preference for pocket diapers. Either way, these are great, and way cheaper than any others. I will say I didn't use cloth diapers all the time though. If we were going out, I used disposables. Getting used to toting a baby everywhere was hard enough for me, this made it more manageable.
These are great if you are going to use reusable wipes. Even if your not, you should have a set of these available. I use them all the time to completely dry baby off after wiping. This helps prevent rashes and leaves a nice dry surface to put on any kind of diaper cream or lotion. If you apply the cream when baby is still wet from the wipes it can make a rash worse by locking the moisture underneath it.
These wet bags are great for putting your cloth diapers in after they've been used. It cuts down the gross factor and the smell big time. This is awesome because you can turn it upside down, shake your diapers into the washing machine and toss in the bag after to wash it too. Even thought it's a "wet" bag, I never added water to mine though, it seemed to make a bad situation worse. I would just take my inserts out of the diaper shells and toss them into the bag. The insides of the diapers do stain, but it was never a problem. A few hours in the sun would safely bleach them back white in no time.
There are quite a few very awesome baby carriers. I've owned 5. Yes, 5! And all of them have their moments where they shine brightest. By the way, it is completely unnecessary to have 5. You can even get away with one if you get the Ergo with the infant insert. But if you can, I highly suggest two. The Moby or something similar & the Ergo 360.
If you haven't heard by now, baby carriers are one of the best ways to carry around your baby. They are very good for baby's emotional state and mental development, enhances mommy and baby bonding, and can even help baby learn to develop balance from a younger age. The benefits are astounding.
This thing is awesome for little babies. You can use it starting the first week if you like. As long as baby is at least 7lbs. The moby seems really complicated to wrap, but I promise it's not. With a few practice runs you'll be a pro within a few days. If you end up having a lot of trouble find a YouTube demonstration. It'll help a lot. This is like a baby whisperer. What I like most about the Moby is that it makes for great skin to skin those first few months. I slip my baby in wearing only his diaper and I go topless. Then I put a loose zip up shirt around the two of us and were good to go, in the house at least. Also great for grocery shopping, walks in the park, chores in the house.
If you can only get one carrier, this is it! Baby wearing will save your sanity as a new mom! The first Ergo I got was the original, and it was great. Then one day it got left in the park, lost forever. We used it mostly for our toddler at this point, but a replacement was a must! So I tried to go cheap this time and I got a 30 dollar replacement from Target. It was terrible. It hurt my back, and the legs weren't wide enough to keep his legs positioned right. (If the knees aren't at hip level, it could cause hip dysplasia) We used it once, and I had to spend more money on another Ergo. This time I upgraded to the ergo 360 since I have an infant too and was curious about the quality.
This was a game changer. With the 360 I can face my little baby outward, while still keeping his spine in a safe position. This is not the case with all carriers. My little man is so flippin curious. He hates facing me unless he's ready for sleep. This means on our frequent park trails, he'll actually sit in it for a couple hours. An hour or so facing out, then time to turn around for a nap. I love it!
It is expensive, I will say that much. But if I had to choose a nice stroller or a nice carrier, I'm putting my money into a carrier for sure. (Heck I've boughten this thing twice so far! And that is a large purchase in my household.)
Baby Care Products
Honestly, babies don't really need soap. They aren't running around getting into terribly dirty things. I don't use soap often on my babies. In fact, one bottle of this lasted me a whole year. I believe it's better for their skin not to be washed with soap on a regular basis as it interferes with the skins living biome. (Fancy talk for the good bacteria that lives there. It's actually important for good health.) But I get it! Sometimes you just want to wash baby with soap and have them smell oh so good and fresh. Or maybe you just took them to the doctors office and really feel a good soap cleaning would be beneficial. This is the soap for you then.
The EGW gives this soap a rating of 1 out of 10. That means it's safe for baby! (Compare this to your Johnson baby shampoo, a score of 4. Not so great.) This soap is awesome before bed, as it's scented with chamomile.
I love this stuff! It's an all-natural, organic balm for baby's booty. If you dig deep on some of those other diaper creams, they usually add some questionable products. This stuff is awesome though! My favorite part is that it's made with calendula! Calendula is an herb great for healing skin (I wrote a whole post on calendula & It's uses here.) Perfect as a treatment for diaper rash.
Badger is a great brand for baby products. Their baby balm has chamomile and calendula infused oil worked into the product. These are great for healing skin naturally. They also make a zinc-based diaper balm here.
P.S. Don't forget to save A LOT on your baby items by registering for Amazons Baby Registry. They will give you a 10% completion discount on all the baby items you need to buy after your friends and family have finished getting you your shower gifts! Plus you can even ask for Amazon gift cards. (Yay!)
Complete Baby Registry List Recommendations:
- Carseat (My favorite carseat. I have 2)
- Crib (Most affordable one I could find, while still being super cute.)
- Highchair (Converts into a Toddler booster seat)
- Must-Haves for the Nursing Mama
- Best Natural Diaper Creams for Baby
- How baby wearing will save your sanity as a new mom
- Natural Ways to Heal Faster Postpartum
Get ready for Breastfeeding with these useful printables!