Baby Checklist: What You Need the First Six Months
I’ve been a mom to Margot for over 6 months now (!!!) and wanted to share the items we use daily, what’s nice to have but not a must, and am leaving off the things I registered for that we didn’t need. Since my friends helped with my registry, I’d say I did a pretty good job at keeping it to the essentials. I know this probably seems like a lot of stuff, but I took a less is more approach when it came to all the extras. There was a lot I tried to avoid (hello, activity center) and ordered as needed. It was a goal to avoid light up toys because my baby was born in 2018 and gadgets will be a big part of her life, so I want to keep things simple while I can. We now have two light-up toys and use them pretty sparingly, but they’re a good distraction. You really need a lot less in terms of toys than you might think, and as requested on instagram recently, I’ll recap the toys we actually used/needed the first six months in the coming weeks.
Here are the items we’ve relied on the first six months!
I am so glad I splurged on this monitor. I got it because it offers an aerial view of the crib, and I love that it connects to my cell phone (and my husband and nanny's cell phones) so there's no need to carry around a monitor base. You can keep the nursery sound on or just have your phone push notifications to you. The nanit tells me what time Margot went to sleep, when she woke up (makes tracking naps much easier), and so much more.
I once thought I lost this little wonder, freaked out, and ordered a new one on Amazon Prime. I've also forgotten to take it out and it's how car seat naps are possible, so we keep one in Margot's room and one in her diaper bag. It kept her asleep when a smoke alarm went off and when the dogs bark so yes, it's very, very worth it.
This thing is wonderful. You can control it with your phone, although I don't do that yet. It activates by being touched and has a few soft colors and varying levels of brightness, so it's great for soft light for middle of the night diaper changes and feeding. It also plays white noise, nature sounds, and a nursery rhyme! It's also great for toddlers since you can teach them not to get out of bed until the light turns a certain color. Really looking forward to that feature!
I never put Margot in snaps at night and don't understand why anyone would ever do that to themselves. Zipper sleep suits make life so much easier. This one is so SO soft – we've had at least 2-3 in every size. You'll probably want a few more sleep suits, but gowns are great in the beginning, so I'd start with a few of each and see what you love most. MORI has given Margot a few pieces but we've bought some, too. Love the brand!
When Margot isn't sleeping in her MORI sleep suits, she's in one of these. They not only zip, but zip from the bottom, so they're amazing for middle of the night changes. Just like MORI, we've always had at least 2-3 in each size.
This came highly recommended by quite a few of you on instagram, so I ordered it since humidity levels were pretty low in Margot's room. We have a whole house humidifier but it's still so dry in the winter, and this was great to have when Margot had a cold, too. Overall, I'm very happy with it.
I love the simplicity and price of this crib. I knew I wanted something with very clean lines that wasn't too expensive since it's such a transitional piece. This Babyletto crib is great because it's nice looking, affordable, and has a few color options to choose from. I switched the legs out for plain white ones and am very happy with it.
We had a few swaddles and these are my absolute favorite. They're big and stretchy, and great for swaddling baby, or to lay on the floor for play time. We have a few since Margot spits up a lot, but you would be fine with 2-3.
Margot is a very spitty baby and I've tried at least 4 different types of burp cloths. These have held up really well and are BIG, so you get great coverage. Most don't hold up, but these are still soft and look almost new.
Even though I use natural cleaner, rumor has it that this doesn't leave any residue on bottles, spoons, and bibs, and since babies stick EVERYTHING in their mouths, I went with the bottle soap, too. It works well though, so I'd recommend it.
I made the mistake of getting a bunch of the smaller Comotomo bottles, but you'll only use those for a few months, so I'd just go with the larger ones. We have 5 and it's worked well for us. We're always washing bottles, but don't have to wash them more than once a day.
Until recently, I'd say we went through at least 4-6 bibs per day, so we have a lot of these. It really comes down to how much laundry you want to do and how often your baby spits up, so I'd start with 8 and order more if needed.
Once Margot started solids right before turning 6 months, I found myself on the hunt for a bib that both functional and not ugly. These Gathre bibs are simple in design and wipe clean easily! We have two which I think is more than enough, and they will hopefully work through toddlerhood.
So you don't HAVE to have a high chair. Lobster seats will do but I really wanted to be able to pull a seat up to the table and love that this grows with baby and functions as a seat for toddlers and young children. And let's face it. It's pretty.
Margot doesn't really take a pacifier but I keep a rubbery one or small toy attached to this when we're out or she's in her car seat. Keeps it from falling on the floor and gives her something to keep herself entertained.
Margot uses these from time to time, so since you don't know what your baby will like, I'd order 1-2 of a few different types of pacifiers and see what sticks. She loves playing with the really rubbery ones. They're so small and great for grasping and chewing, so if your baby doesn't take a pacifier, I'd still recommend having them on hand.
I've tried a few of the big brands and Tubby Todd is the very best. The ingredients were approved by Margot's dermatologist, and she has pretty dry skin, so we use the all over ointment and dream cream all the time! It's all so good and so worth it. Highly recommend this brand.
Rectal thermometers are the most practical but I just ordered one of these because imagine undressing a fussy baby to use a rectal thermometer when they're fussy at 2AM and you want to check their temp. This is much, much easier.
I don't really have anything to compare this to but I really like that it doesn't have a cover that needs to be washed all the time because things are bound to end up on your changing pad. When Margot was really little, I'd put a burp cloth under her just to keep her warm (new mom thing) but we use it as is now and it's been great.
That said, I love these diapers so, so much. They're soft and easy to use, and so cute, too! I could tell my nanny wasn't into them and I didn't want to push her to do anything she didn't want to do. I'd love to start using them a bit more.
Margot used the angelcare bath until about 5 months, when she tried to throw herself out of it. My friend recommended this tub which I wish we had just used the whole time. First, you don't need to fill the tub to use it, there's a sling for the newborn stage, it's perfect for where Margot is now, there's a seat we'll start using soon now that she's sitting up, and the seat pops out when baby is a little sturdier. It's truly transitional.
This stroller is beautiful and easy to use, and works so well with the MESA car seat. That said, I prefer the NUNA car seat since it's lighter and has a cover that keeps the sun out. Long term, I love this stroller and there's the option to add a second seat. I'd say to look at both and figure out what works for you.
This car seat is a few lbs. lighter than the MESA but removing it from a stroller is a pain. My back is on the sensitive side so in the end, this is better for me, but I'm still a bit back and forth between UPPABaby and Nuna.
I was so anti light up toy because I wanted to keep things simple before her life is all about electronics, but I broke for this because it came recommended by a few parents. It has saved us on multiple car rides! You need it.
I can't imagine going anywhere without one of these. It's so nice to be able to see what's going on back there although if we're keeping it real, I haven't had that many solo trips with Margot since she hated the car seat for a few months. We're finally getting back into it!
File this under things I thought were gimmicky but they're actually so great and you'll use them all the time. Those small packs of travel wipes are a pain. This keeps the wipes moist and is easy to use on the go.
I love that I can see who is at the door, speak to them without opening the door (safety is key!) but the best feature for parents? You can silence the doorbell for up to THREE hours. Makes nap time much easier!
You really don't need a lot in terms of toys, but this play gym is something we love and use all the time. I love that it comes with a cover that turns it into a tent for toddlers. We kept toys to a minimum! I have a more in-depth post on that coming soon!
We tried out 3 baby seats and this one is hands-down my favorite. It grows with your baby from infancy to toddlerhood, it's really nice looking, is easy to clean, and folds flat for easy storage or transportation. Margot has always loved this seat and might even love it more now that she's almost 6 months and loves bouncing.
This isn't a MUST HAVE but we used it a lot in the beginning. It's so easy to transport from room to room, and I kept it in a bassinet (basket) in the living room, or on our bed or sofa. We only used it for a few short months, but it came in very handy during the newborn stage.
I used this very regularly when Margot was little and haven't really tried to use it in a few months. When she was fussy, we went out a bit less and just held her. I'll give it another go soon and report back.