A guest post from Jessie Martin
Jessie Martin is a wife, mama, photographer, and educator. She writes at Jessiemartin.com and hosts the Grace and Intention podcast. She is passionate about empowering moms to see how incredible their everyday motherhood journey is. One way she does this is through teaching moms how to take beautiful pictures of and with their families (even if they don’t have a fancy camera).
Jessie is a mom of two little ones with another on the way. She lives in the woods with her family and loves all things photography, minimalism, and simple living.
This baby registry is for you if you are trying to be more minimal, you value quality over quantity, and you love neutral colors!
Many of the items in this post are affiliate links. You don’t get charged any extra, but my family receives a small commission when you shop via one of my affiliate links & we are so grateful for your support!
Over the last few years, minimalism has really influenced the way I run our home. Allie has been one of my biggest mentors and role models and I’m honored to be a guest on her blog.
The effects of being on the more minimal side has transformed not only our home, but me! I’m less stressed and I’m able to manage our home way better than ever before. I’m able to spend less time cleaning up and more time with my family doing what matters.
When we got pregnant with oldest, I knew I wanted to keep minimalism in mind as we prepared to bring a baby into our home.
Below is a list of my favorite baby gear. I’ve been compiling this list over the past three years. I’m three kids in and I feel like it’s truly the essentials and only what you’ll actually need.
This alleviates the need for a bassinet when you have a newborn and is a must for your baby registry. It can be used for many years as a portable crib & a safe play area. We use it every single day.
I recommend getting 2-4 sheets to have as backups when one gets dirty.
I recommend buying 2-4 sets. This keeps the Pack n’ Play mat from getting ruined.
We bought our crib from Ikea and love it. This is a very similar one from Amazon & it has great ratings and reviews.
This mattress has worked great and feels super comfortable!
I would recommend buying 2-4 fitted sheets.
I would recommend buying 2-4 mattress pad covers.
Mom Hack: Make your baby’s crib like normal with a waterproof fitted pad and a fitted sheet, but add an additional waterproof pad and sheet on top of the first set. This makes for really fast bedding changes in the middle of the night when everyone is tired.
This. Every Nap. All night long. When the dogs bark or my car alarm randomly goes off, our son doesn’t wake up thanks to this life saver. A sound machine is one of the best baby items I can recommend.
The great thing about this sound machine is that it grows with your kids. We still use it as a sound machine for our one and two year old, but we also use the “Time to Rise” function for our two year old (the light turns green when it’s time to wake up and he knows he can call for me to come get him).
If you’re looking for a cheaper sound machine, we’ve used THIS one. I’ve had three and they all break after about a year of using them, but they’re only $20, so they’re great in a pinch or on a budget.
I use this for every nap and all night long. It’s priced much lower than a lot of video monitors and it’s a really great quality. It shows the room temperature as well, which is a feature we love. I can’t recommend this one enough.
I am a swaddle snob. I will be the first to admit it.
My absolute favorite swaddle blankets are Max & Moose. They’re more like t-shirt material and they are bigger than standard swaddles, so they’re easier to use. I have purchased 7 of these between my two kids.
Another similar brand is Mebie Baby. These swaddles are a little thinner and super stretchy (make sure you get the stretch swaddles, they work much better and your baby won’t bust out of them as easily). I like using these for warmer nights.
I recommend buying 6-8 swaddle blankets. They have to be changed almost as much as outfits due to diaper mishaps 😉
Bibs is a newer family owned business. They have a million colors and their pacifiers are really super cute. Alivia has loved them and took them right away. I also love Ryan and Rose pacifier clips.
I don’t think you need a million baby gadgets, but having one swing or rocker that moves on its own is extremely helpful for when you need to cook dinner or shower. This swing is great because you can disconnect the rocker portion to fit in tighter spaces. I use this when I need to shower or get ready in the mornings. I bring it into the bathroom with me and the rocking keeps the baby happy.
The big size makes me die inside a little bit, but the smaller, cuter rockers (like the 4Moms MamaRoo) only has a gliding motion & a lot of babies don’t like it. I’ve researched it a ton and read so many reviews in all of the mom groups because it’s just so much cuter and smaller. Ultimately, I always come back to the Graco swings because they seem more functional. We use ours for the first 5-6 months and then break it down and store it away for the next baby.
When we had our first, I loved the Puj Tub for sink baths. Now that we have two kids, I really like this little bath seat because I can bathe the kids at the same time. I realized really quickly that doing two separate baths was going to take forever.
After almost three years, I’ve finally found a natural line of baby products that actually work. I use all of Primally Pure’s baby products for my kids (they’re the first natural products that have ever actually worked for my son’s eczema, too!). Click here for 10% off!
I use the Bottom Balm as diaper rash cream, nipple cream, eczema cream, and to help treat cradle cap. It’s the only natural cream I’ve found that actually works for my son’s bad eczema.
I use the Primally Pure Baby Oil as moisturizer after every bath and before bedtime.
I use Primally Pure Baby Powder for diaper rashes and I love that it’s talc-free.
I use the Primally Pure Baby Bar as soap + shampoo for both kids as well.
With Locke I used the standard white cloth diapers as burp cloths, but they got pretty gross and stained. For our second baby I bought these grey ones from Burts Bees and I have loved them! I bought two packs and it has been the perfect amount.
I use Primally Pure Baby Balm as Nipple Butter and it works amazing! Breastfeeding can be a little rough the first few weeks and this stuff helps so much! Click here for 10% off!
I’ve been super happy with this pump & use it every day. Your insurance will probably pay for this, so call and chat with them before you purchase one.
These make for super quick cleaning of pump parts and alleviate having to boil your pump parts to sanitize them every day.
I ordered this 2 pack of bottle brushes. They look cute in my kitchen & it isn’t some huge pack of different size brushes that I need to store or hide away.
You need these to store and freeze your pumped milk. I’ve tried several brands and I haven’t noticed any difference. These are the best price I could find, so it’s what I buy.
I store my pump parts in this both at home and at work (I got the black & white one).
Mom Hack: Schedule an appointment with a lactation consultant for a few days after you give birth. You’ll need all the help you can get. This helped me SO much in the very beginning & gave me a lot more confidence.
For the first several weeks you will leak breastmilk even when you aren’t nursing. I tried multiple brands of disposable nursing pads but I thought they were itchy so I switched to reusable ones.
I start with 8oz bottles and skip over the smaller 4oz bottles. I didn’t want to store multiple sizes that they would grow out of anyways. We have one bottle for each kid and that’s really all we’ve needed. You’ll probably have to try a few different brands to find what works for your baby. (Always start with the slowest flow nipples).
The Como Tomo brand has worked really well for both of my kids as newborns, but if my babies were exclusively bottle fed I would opt for glass bottles like these. I’m going to try one of these with the new baby before I try the Como Tomo Bottle just because I’m trying to move to all glass or stainless steel products.
If your kid spits up a lot, these will save you a ton of laundry and outfit changes. They’re also super cute and my kids get so many compliments on them. These are another cheaper option that have held up very well.
We love this chair because it hooks right onto our table, it’s easy to clean (just throw the cover in the washing machine), and it doesn’t take up a ton of space. We have one for each kid and I love them so much. They both still look brand new.
If your table has a lip and you need a traditional highchair, this one from Ikea is highly recommended by my mom friends.
We have four of these spoons and use them daily. They’ve held up great and I even put them in the dishwasher 😉
Note: I ended up rarely using our boppy pillow + cover. (Some people swear by the boppy though, so it’s definitely personal preference). I just used a normal pillow until I got the hang of nursing and now I just hold him. If you are someone who leaks a lot while you nurse, Milkies Milk Saver is an awesome product that saves your milk from being wasted.
You can absolutely just use a blanket, but I like the nursing cover because they grow with your baby. You can put it over highchairs at restaurants to prevent your baby from touching a bunch of germs. I always have one in my diaper bag.
This carseat is easy to get babies in and out of. It’s lightweight and comes with a base that stays in your car. It comes with a newborn insert that is really easy to remove and wash.
With our first, I was torn between buying an infant carseat or a convertible carseat, but decided on the infant seat. I’m really glad I did because it’s so nice to be able to take them in and out of the car without unstrapping them or waking them up every single time.
We bought THIS convertible carseat for Locke when he was around one, and we love it!
We just bought the same Convertible Carseat for Alivia, so now we have two!
Mom hack: I cut one of these in half and put it at the bottom of the carseat under the kids. This is a lifesaver after blowouts & makes for easy clean-up.
I LOVE this stroller. This is an item I found second-hand for a fraction of the cost. If you can find one second-hand – do it! When you have a second baby you may want to upgrade to a double stroller anyways.
I wanted a high quality running stroller, because running is hard enough as it is. This is easy to maneuver and it fits in the back of my small trunk. It’s super light-weight so it’s easy to get in and out and set up quickly.
I use it at the mall, grocery stores, etc and haven’t had any problems with it fitting anywhere.
This adapter is specific to the Chicco infant carseat and allows you to snap the carseat into the BOB stroller.
I have this Ergo and it’s great. It came with a newborn insert and it’s easy to get them in and out. I like the simple colors and it’s easy to store. Because we are a pretty active family this was a must-have for hiking. This is an item I didn’t want to skimp on price wise because I knew I needed something that would be comfortable for my back. The longest hike we’ve done so far was seven miles and it was comfortable the entire time.
Note: Tons of mamas swear by wraps and slings. I would recommend borrowing one from a friend to see how you like it before you buy one. Some people love them, but some people never use them. I love my Solly Baby Wrap the best for newborns.
I carry this in our diaper bag for changing the kids on the go. Gathre Micro+ mats are more expensive ($30), but super cute 😉 If you shop during Black Friday or during the holidays they always have great sales!
I run this in Locke’s room every night during the winter months. It’s also one of the first things we recommend to parents when they bring congested kids to the hospital.
These are the most accurate for little babies – the forehead thermometers seem great, but they aren’t very accurate. As a pediatric nurse, I’ve seen so many parents bring their kids into the ER for a false high fever after using a temporal thermometer.
I call this the booger picker & it’s my favorite. It’s less traumatic than a bulb syringe.
Super gross. Super helpful. And I promise snot will not get in your mouth.
This helps to loosen stuffy noses before you aspirate with a bulb syringe or nosefrida.
When babies are born, their GI system aren’t completely developed so they tend to have tummy issues for a few weeks. These drops can really help.
Those little suckers get so long and sharp. I use these all the time. These are mini, so they are easier to use than an adult size would be.
I am SUPER minimal when it comes to the kids’ clothes. I barely registered for any clothes because they’re so seasonal that stores tend to stop selling them by the time your baby shower rolls around anyways. Plus, people will get you clothes no matter what because they’re super fun to shop for.
All of Locke’s clothes are pretty much from Primary.com, H&M, or Amazon. Most of Alivia’s clothes are from Primary, H&M, JamieKay, Zara, and Amazon.
My newborns pretty much live in long sleeve onesies. I get most of them from Primary.com (Use code PRIMARYJESSIEM16 for 25% off). I love Primary because I can wash and dry their clothes a million times and they hold up perfectly. All of our Primary clothes have lasted through both Locke and Liv and I’ve got them saved for the new baby as well!
I also really love the L’ovedbaby brand on Amazon. They hold up SO well (even putting them in the dryer) and they have really beautiful neutral colors that Primary doesn’t carry.
Socks don’t stay on, but I really love these for during the winter months.
This is the laundry detergent I’ve settled on. I tried at least five different ones because of how sensitive Locke’s skin is, and this has been my favorite. It has all natural ingredients & it’s organic. It lasts for a long time & I just think it’s worth it to avoid the harsh chemicals. We use it for all of our laundry.
Mom Hack: I tried a few baby stain removers and none of them worked very well. Now I just use our dish soap. I put a little dish-soap on the stain right away & scrub it. I rinse it and throw it in the wash.
ADDITIONAL BABY GEAR
I bought two of these to lay/play on. One for the living room, one for the nursery. I wash & dry them constantly and they have held up really well.
Pampers have little indicator lines that are really helpful during the first few weeks. If you shop at Costco, I’ve been really happy with their Kirkland brand diapers, too (they don’t carry a newborn size for some reason, so we use them for size 1 and up).
Mom Hack: when your baby starts sleeping through the night or going longer stretches, use night time diapers like these and size up one size. This prevents leaks and they absorb better, which means baby sleeps better and longer.
We use water wipes from amazon. I like these because they’re non-toxic and 99.9% water. I made the switch after I used a popular brand of baby wipes on myself one day and it totally burned my skin. I felt so bad that I had been using them on my babies and immediately researched and switched to water wipes instead.
This is not necessarily a must-have item, but it’s been worth it to me because our dumpster is almost a mile away. You’ll also need the liners that go into the Diaper Genie.
We use the Hatch Grow and I love it. It has a built in scale so I can check and know that my babies are getting enough milk during nursing and gaining weight. You can use the scale to weigh your baby before your nurse, and then again after you nurse. The app does all the math for you and tells you how many oz of milk your baby ate.
I throw a Gathre Micro+ mat on our scale and it’s really cute!
A FEW NEW THINGS I’M GOING TO TRY WITH OUR THIRD BABY
I ordered a Snuggle Me Organic on Black Friday and I’m really excited to have it for baby #3.
I’m going to purchase a Snuza for this baby. It detects the baby’s abdominal movements and will alert you if your baby were to stop breathing. I think this will give me more peace of mind at night. I’ve done some research and this is much cheaper and seems to have less false alarms than the Owlet monitor.
A FEW FUN EXTRAS FOR OLDER BABIES
We own this walker and love it for it’s minimal clean look and collapsible storage feature.
We also own this macrame hammock swing. I actually won it in a giveaway on Instagram, but I would buy it in a heartbeat. It’s beautiful and both kids have loved it!
FREE GUIDE TO MOM PHOTOGRAPHY
The last thing on this list is actually something I made with you in mind. If you’re anything like me, you won’t be able to stop snapping pictures once your sweet baby is born!
I run an online business like Allie where I help moms learn to take beautiful pictures of their families (even if they only have a smartphone).
If you want to learn how to take the best pictures possible and document this incredible time, I created a free guide that teaches you how to take beautiful pictures of your new baby (even if you don’t have a fancy camera). You can grab it for free, HERE!
THAT’S IT GUYS. THAT’S ALL THE BABY GEAR WE OWN AND EVERYTHING THAT WAS ON MY BABY REGISTRY!