Baby registries are very personal. The items on this list are not so much recommendations, as a running record of what worked for our family. As you do your own research and have your own experiences, you'll know what works for yours. No, everything does not need to be organic. Our daughter lives mostly in non-organic hand-me-downs, and we LOVE them. Have you read the book I Like Old Clothes by Mary Ann Hoberman? It expresses our sentiment exactly. I share these items to give you ideas, and because I would have liked to stumble across a registry like this when I was pregnant. Congratulations to your family during this happy and exciting time!
Organic Cotton Hat
This hat fit best as our baby grew. I like the way it looks and feels. In the early days, we found this style worked well.
Columbia Snow Suit
We were lucky to get one of these from a friend. We use it in all cold weather, and it's great because we don't need layers, hats, mittens, or even socks (we usually wear socks). Fold-over parts cover hands and feet, and the hood on ours stays up though there's room for a hat. It makes going outside a breeze!
Organic Stay On Mittens
I don't own these, but they're on my list. I picked them for outdoors; Montessori recommends leaving baby hands free to explore otherwise. Of course,they work for sleeping babies, too. I like them because there's no thumb hole so they're easy to put on, and the velcro holds them in place.
Lotus Travel Crib
We chose the Lotus crib for its eco-friendly qualifications and the side entry which will allow our child mobility like a Montessori floor bed (it can be locked). For now, our daughter sleeps on her floor bed for naps and uses this crib at night in our room. Plus you can bend at the knees and save your back!
We keep our baby care essentials in this (ours is pink): diaper cream, Vitamin D drops, nail clippers, thermometer, etc. This version is even prettier!
Mama Bear Diapers -Newborn
Montessori philosophy supports cloth diapering. Among other reasons, cloth diapers help baby feel when wet which promotes independence with toileting. A gracious friend, Montessori trained from birth to age 3, recommends disposable diapers for the early weeks/months. There's enough to learn as a new parent, she says!
Mama Bear Diapers -
If you choose cloth diapers, check out 2 The Root sustainable diapering service in the DC area. If you prefer to create a system at home, check out Amazon's pick for best green cloth diaper. At last check, there is a top review outlining what to buy and what not to buy to make cloth diapering work for you.
Mama Bear Diapers -
Whether you choose disposable for the beginning or longer term, I recommend Amazon's Mama Bear brand. We tried Seventh Generation and Honest Company diapers, but we prefer the Amazon brand because it makes the same eco-friendly claims, costs less, and has a strip that changes color to show whether the baby is wet.
These are our favorite wipes because they are very moist and oh so gentle on the skin. When possible, we rip them in half. We also use these, which rip easily into thirds.
Dekor Diaper Pail Bags
Dekor also sells reusable washable bags for cloth diapers. You can find them here.
No complaints with this chair - we have the foot stool, too. After three months, I switched to nursing the baby on the floor bed (less distracted baby and very cozy for both), but I like the chair in the nursery for guests and when I'm watching the babies play. Be sure to compare Amazon and IKEA prices.
Manual Breast Pump
I never took to the manual breast pump, though I like the idea: date night, wedding, car trip pumping made easier with no need for electricity. I didn't take to it because it was slower than the electric pump (which, yes, I brought to a wedding), and I wasn't away from my baby enough to master technique. This said, an important breastfeeding tool for many.
Haakaa Breast Pump & Bottle
One of my beloved and all-knowing lactation consultants swears by this. I got the original - suction it to the breast you're not using to nurse while baby stimulates a let-down. Easier than electric or manual breast pumping, you collect milk for a daily bottle with no extra effort. We seldom bottle fed this time, but we're keeping the Haakaa for the future.
Mother's Milk Tea
After avoidance of wine, coffee, and tea while pregnant, I eagerly embraced a warm, safe pleasure beverage after the baby was born. It's non-caffeinated and supposed to be good for milk, too, so yay! Anyone wanting to know what to bring a new mom: this tea, homemade lactation cookies, and/or homemade chicken vegetable barley soup!
Burt's Bees Organic
Cotton Burp Cloths
We use these cloths and plenty of hand-me-downs. Ours are white, but we received two pink ones which we designated for bath. We draped one warm, wet cloth over our baby's trunk to keep her comfortable and used the other for washing. Starting solid foods, we use wet burp cloths to clean up after a meal.
OXO Bottle Drying Rack
One of the things we thought we didn't need but ended up wanting. When it came to drying parts of breast pumps and bottles, we wanted to keep things very clean - not resting on a wet-again-dry-again dish towel. This rack keeps pieces elevated for optimal drying. Now it doubles as our general family drying rack.
Mason Bottle Silicone Nipples
We use bottles a couple of times a month, so these work for us and our philosophy. I don't know if they are recommended by lactation consultants. We used this bottle at the beginning, which is recommended by lactation consultants.
This is not the table we have. I got ours from Michael Olaf Montessori Company (possibly closing). I love our table, and it's exceedingly high quality. This one is cheaper and would probably do the trick.
We have the chair pictured and one from Michael Olaf Montessori Company. I am happy with both, and this one costs less. Until babies can sit on their own, I feed them from my lap.
I made my own by cutting adult placemats in half, finishing the edges, and outlining dishware and utensils in colorful thread. A silicone mat is an interesting variation, or you can find lovely cloth mats on Etsy.
Aden + Anais Maximum Coverage Bib
I prefer to feed our baby when she's naked, but between my daughter and my daycare, I've tried a lot of bibs. I like the bibs pictured because they offer a lot of coverage. I like this bib because it fits close at the neck. I like these because baby can pull them over the head. I like this for a drooling baby. I like this for no laundry! And then I found shirt bibs and they were a total game changer.
Duralex Kids Glass Set
(4 of each)
Right now we use these as serving dishes, and our daughter has a more tactile experience with food on her high chair tray. I go for glass rather than something opaque, so the baby can see what's inside. When our daughter has a little more control and is sitting lower to the ground at her table, we'll likely switch to these. Offering breakable dishes to children is a way to show trust respect, and build responsibility.
Child-sized Glass Pitcher
When we introduce this to our daughter, we'll fill it with a little water so she can practice pouring into her cup. A transparent pitcher supports precision because the child can see the water. We know that water will spill, so we'll have a drying cloth. Pouring is an opportunity to develop concentration, independence, and coordination!
Shot glasses are the perfect size for little hands, and they're thick. Through the clear glass, the baby can see the amount of liquid. I prefer to use glass over metal only after the baby has had an introduction to independent drinking (I hover less) and preferably when seated at a low table. Always supervised.
While our baby still sits in the high chair on the tile floor of the kitchen, we're using stainless steel shot glasses. Note the curved lip on this one - ours doesn't have it, but I wish it did. Though Montessori recommends clear glasses, I find that I can support my baby's indepenence more fully with these to start.
We chose a full utensil set first, but when we needed more utensils in rotation, we picked only spoons - best for purees. With espresso spoons, you get 12 for less money than 4 "baby spoons." Soon after receiving these, our baby decided she was done with purees and switched to finger foods (not related). C'est la vie.
Stokke Tripp Trapp Highchair
This is a premiere item to score as a hand-me-down or from Craigslist. Strong and sturdy construction guarantees years of use. This is the chair for when baby enjoys a meal at the family table, or generally as a high chair (read on). Toddlers can climb up and down independently.
Stokke Steps Babyset
We thought we would use the Tripp Trapp only when our baby joined family meals and as a toddler chair when she was older. We planned to solely use the child-sized table for weaning. This said, we liked the support/security this seat gave when baby was still prone to tip sideways, but was ready for solid food.
Cream Haus Non-Toxic Movement Mat
This is one of my two favorite finds that significantly impacts life in the nursery every day. This mat is well-made, attractive, and non-toxic. It's a bit grippy to support movement exploration. I feel good about all of the time children spend here. I liked the first so much that I got a second!
Wood Play Gym
Our wood play gym is one of two ways we hang mobiles. The other is a clear acrylic arm by Michael Olaf Company, though a plant hanger also works. We use the wood gym for mobiles designed for interaction (i.e. bell and ring on a ribbon). We also like the wood gym for moving between rooms and taking on trips.
Sheepskin Baby Rug
We love our sheepskin. It makes everything cozier. It has lived under the play gym, in the nursing chair, and on the couch. Our daughter seems to enjoy resting on it, and we like that it allows her to feel a new texture. Note: Sheepskins are by-products of the meat industry; animals are not killed for the purpose of their skin.
Like the movement mat, the picture frame has a significant daily impact on our nursery. Every two weeks, I cycle three to four new calendar pictures into the frame. I stay on one artist for about a month, two rotations of pictures. The pictures spark conversation, offer exposure to artists and art styles, and refresh the ambiance for all.
Wooden Rocking Boat
The children in my care are just getting ready to use this, and I'm excited! (We own this version.) RIE philosophy offers small physical risks as a way to help children build coordination, confidence, resilience, and grit.
A quintessential Montessori baby item, the topponcino is a pillow used for holding the baby and supporting the baby's gentle transition to the world. It gives the baby a feeling of warmth, comfort, stability, and familiarity (texture and scent) when the baby transfers to someone else's arms. A dear friend made our topponcino. You can make one, find one on Etsy, or get this one made of Oeko-Tex certified wool and linen.
I really wanted to like our Moby wrap (baby origami), and I am committed to giving it another try. But what DID work for us in the first few months was the ring sling. I liked that it was easy to get on, easy to put baby in, and our daughter felt cradled and secure. Our baby developed such a positive association with the ring sling (where she'd often fall asleep) that when we put it on, she would smile.
Ergobaby Organic Carrier
We were counting the pounds until we could use this carrier (didn't get the infant insert), and it did not disappoint. To us, soft carriers are the easiest to situate for adult and baby and the most comfortable for longer use for the adult. Because soft carriers don't enclose baby in the same cozy way as ring slings and wraps, I still prefer the latter for new babies. I've also heard good things about the LILLEbaby for lumbar support - it's also one of the few carriers that supports a front face carry.
Convertible Car Seat
We chose this car seat first. We like Britax because it does not contain toxic flame retardents, and the seats are very sturdy. We thought we were being smart and strategic by choosing a convertible carseat that works until 65 pounds, but we ended up wanting an infant seat, too. This seat has been updated since we got it (rebound bar!). We're looking forward to using our version, which still feels like a tank.
Britax B-Safe Infant Car Seat
We got this car seat second. Navigating a city street with a tiny newborn in your arms is harrowing. Getting a newborn out of a convertible car seat and carrying her (with neck support) with your purse and diaper bag feels medal-worthy. The infant car seat increased our feelings of independence and safety in traveling with our daughter. It also created more comfortable transitions for our baby between home and car, especially when sleeping.
2018 UPPAbaby MESA Infant Seat - Merino Wool Version
We do not own this car seat, but it makes me drool. Naturally fire retardent with merino wool, this is a top-of-the line ($$) non-toxic choice. The upper weight and height limits are 35 pounds and 32 inches, respectively, which could last your child until around age three depending on body type (baby could also outgrow it in first year). Despite infant in the name, this doesn't have to feel like a short-term splurge.
We chose this stroller first. I wanted an umbrella stroller because I thought it would be lighter for up and down steps (this is actually a heavy stroller). I wanted a double for my home day care, but also to prepare for future children and limit gear. I wanted a non-toxic brand that doesn't use flame retardents. Despite average reviews, I'm happy with this stroller and use it every day.
Baby Jogger City Mini
We got this stroller second (as a hand-me-down). It is light, and I lift one handle and the whole thing folds. So convenient. The canopy on this stroller extends, and then extends even more, offering unparalleled sun protection. This stroller lives up to its name in being easy to get around town.
Infant Seat Carrier
I felt really good about the infant seat until I lugged that behemoth seven city blocks to an infant massage class. Then I got this... And we officially started storing strollers in our car (for space and to transport the infant seat!). This is a cheap product that works - thank goodness. We do not foresee any more stroller acquisitions or purchases at this time. ;)
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