“Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.” -William Morris
Adding a baby to the house comes with an addition of a massive amount of new baby gear. For Alex and me, this made the blood pressure rise on our minimalist-craving insides. These days there is more baby gear than ever, making the baby registry process overwhelming. However the first six months of Larson’s life have sped by, and in that time we’ve found items that are both useful and not terrible to look at (and maybe even a few that are beautiful).
Both Alex and I love design and aesthetics; we try to keep our house serene and minimal-looking, lots of grays and whites. Hence, we were both a bit fearful of bright plastic baby gear invading our home. However, we’ve found that there are lots of options for neutral, understated-looking baby gear. Much of the time, finding these items is less about cost and more about choosing the right aesthetic. Also, since we crave minimalism and simplicity, we’ve taken a hard look at what we needed to add to our household. If we receive gifts that were not from our baby registry that did not fit into the “beautiful” or “useful” categories, we’ve gotten more bold about simply parting with those items in an effort to simplify.
Many of you have asked for a “favorites” list of baby gear that we can’t live without. We’ve compiled this baby shopping guide with our favorite baby gear here. This is by no means an exhaustive list of everything needed in the first 6 months. However, it highlights the major items we’ve found to be useful, beautiful, or both. (As a note, this post not sponsored by any of the brands below, though we receive a small percentage from any Amazon sales.) We hope this baby shopping guide can help as your build your baby registry, or find gifts for other babies in your life!
Baby shopping guide
1 | Car seat: Car seats are terribly confusing. After much debate, we opted to go “higher end” for our car seat and stroller, and we’re glad we did. We use this Nuna car seat, which is easy to use and understated in color and design.
2 | Stroller: Confession: I’m terrible at maneuvering products. This is the Nuna stroller we use, and I can actually unfold with one hand while holding Larson! It’s a testament to its usability. Pro tip: We store our stroller in the trunk of our car so it doesn’t take up valuable indoor space.
3 | Pacifiers: Interestingly, many people ask us about pacifiers: sounds like babies have particular preferences! And Larson absolutely did. These Chicco pacifiers are the only ones Larson would take as a baby. Maybe because they’re made in Italy?
4 | Bottles: These AVENT bottles are fantastic; they’re made of glass and are sturdy. Several friends have found their babies liked these as well.
5 | App: My parents thought we were crazy, but when Larson was 0 to 4 months, we used this this baby app for recording the baby‘s schedule. We mainly used it to remember when he last ate and slept (it’s so easy to forget!). Now days we don’t use it, but it was crucial in those first months.
6 | Bassinet: Up to 5 months, Larson slept in this Rock ‘n Play sleeper by our bed. We like this bassinet since it’s low profile and naturally angled.
7 | Backpack: Who needs a diaper bag, seriously? Since both Alex and I carry it and love neutrals, we wanted something very understated that doesn’t scream baby. Here’s the backpack we use as a diaper bag.
8 | Bath Tub: For the first few months, it’s handy to have a baby bath tub that can go in the regular tub or on a counter. Here’s our baby bath tub; it’s collapsible and hangs for easy storage.
9 | Booster seat: Many people use Bumbo seats, but another confession: the word Bumbo weirds me out! So I was happy when we got a hand-me-down of this Mamas & Papas seat and it’s worked great. It also has a tray that helps to keep the baby inside and can be used to placing toys and books.
10 | Carrier: Count me as one of the people who were overwhelmed by baby wraps! We got a wrap and it was so difficult to use, I stopped trying to make it work. We had also received this Infantino soft carrier as a hand-me-down, and ended up loving it. Even at 6 months, I still use it to carry Larson on walks (and we used it every time we fly).
11 | High chair: This Stokke Tripp Trapp high chair is wonderful; it’s stylish and blends in to our decor instead of screaming A KID LIVES HERE. It also can hold a 300-pound adult, so he’ll be using this for years! We started using this when Larson started eating solids at 5 months, using this insert for small children. This is a great big ticket item to add to a baby registry for that will last for years.
12| Bib: Now that we’re feeding Larson solid foods, this OXO silicon roll up bib is a lifesaver! We only need one bib, it’s easily cleanable, and the rolled up portion catches the crumbs. I’m not sure we’ll ever use another bib again.
13 | Bouncer: Many of you have seen Larson bouncing away on Instagram Stories and have asked about his bouncer! Here is the doorway jumper seat that we use. We didn’t have this on our baby registry, but we would recommend it. At 7 months, Larson can spend about 20 minutes at a time in it before getting bored; which is well worth it for us!
14 | Crib Liner: Once we transitioned Larson to his crib at around 5 months, he kept rolling over, getting his arm stuck between the bars, and waking up! We wondered if other people had this problem, and a quick Google search found Yes. Luckily, there’s a product that was invented to solve this: the Mesh crib liner. It’s been a game changer! No more stuck arms.
15 | Books: Books are our favorite thing to purchase and give. Here are our favorite baby books in Spanish; we’re working on a list of top baby books in English. (If you can’t wait for the English list, shoot us an email: email@example.com).
16 | Mobile: We’ve gotten lots of requests on the mobile in this photograph; it was a gift and can be ordered on Etsy here.
We’d love to know your thoughts on our baby shopping guide; let us know in the comments below.
About the Authors
Cookbook Author and writer
Sonja Overhiser is author and recipe developer of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the “best vegetarian cookbooks” by Epicurious, and a recipe developer and healthy & sustainable food advocate behind the award-nominated food blog A Couple Cooks.
Cookbook Author and photographer
Alex Overhiser is photographer and recipe developer of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the “best new cookbooks” by Bon Appetit, and a recipe developer, photographer, and technical expert at A Couple Cooks.