As I was washing dishes the other day, I found myself wondering if the word expert comes from the word experience . (All signs point to yes .)

So now I’m wondering: If someone has a lot of experience doing something, even if they’re not good at it, are they an expert? Because if so, I am a laundry expert. You could also call me an expert in shopping for a new baby because I’ve survived through five cycles of doing it. Long before it was en vogue to have newborn accessories that meld seamlessly with a neutral decor aesthetic, I had my first baby and my first (and only) baby registry.

A decade and four more babies later, I can offer my experience with what products from that registry have stood both the test of time and the more rigorous test of outlasting multiple children.

Please keep in mind, this isn’t an exhaustive list of what you’ll need to care for a new baby—just a roundup of staples that get my forever seal of approval.

A nursing pillow

No matter how you feed your newborn, a good nursing pillow will keep you and baby comfortable. Trust me, you don’t want to add sore shoulders or a stiff neck to your post-baby life.

The EuroBath baby bath

This bath is as sturdy as the day we bought it and (almost) as clean. It’s a simple design that works for newborns (when combined with a bath sponge ) all the way up to toddler hood. It seems big and bulky, but it’s easy to store by hanging on a hook in the shower or just inside your regular bathtub. Its lack of soft and intricate parts helps keep it mildew-free. You can even fit two kids in it, if they’re close in age.

A bedside bassinet

Though I’ve used a couple different kinds, I have found that a baby bed next to me is the best way for me to be able to feed my babies and have them close to me in a way that I feel safe. (Again, this is my personal experience.) I started out with a sweet and delicately decorated one , but ended up using this convertible one by the fourth and fifth babies. If I were to buy one today, I’d probably go with something a bit more minimalist like this classic design .

Swaddling blankets

These have been a huge part of helping my newborns sleep well. I’ve always loved the simple, beautiful muslin ones , and have also used them as car seat covers or blankets to play on in addition to swaddling with them.

Wipe-able bibs

Believe me, babies generate a lot of laundry, and when you can wipe down or wash a bib in the sink instead of throwing it in the washing machine, it’s a big win in my book. This type of silicone bib dries quickly and easily. They’re also great for eating on the go because you can clean them with a sweep of a baby wipe.

A travel crib

If you can get your baby used to sleeping in their travel crib, it’ll be so much easier for you to go out and enjoy yourself. You won’t have to mess as much with sleep schedules or rely on less-than-ideal car seat naps; you can put the baby down at your friend’s or grandparent’s house instead. This Baby Bjorn crib is what I use now.

A carrier for baby wearing

We still use our very first Ergo carrier , and we’ve also added a wrap carrier and this lighter weight, packable carrier to our collection.

An infant seat

Simple and portable has been key for the infant seat that has cradled all five of my babies near me as I cook, work, fold laundry, or shower. Ours is similar to this small footprint, no-fuss option .

More great parenting content from Apartment Therapy and Kitchn:

20 Creative Ideas for Decorating a Kid’s Bedroom

These Videos of Kids Describing Their Dream Homes Will Totally Brighten Up Your Day

10 Ways to Get Your Kids to Eat More Colorfully

44 of the Best Chores for Kids, by Age

The One Question I Ask Myself When Decluttering My Kids’ Books

One Good Reason You Shouldn’t Use Screen Time as a Punishment

25 Easy Activities I’m Doing with My Kids This Summer

Shifrah Combiths


With five children, Shifrah is learning a thing or two about how to keep a fairly organized and pretty clean house with a grateful heart in a way that leaves plenty of time for the people who matter most. Shifrah grew up in San Francisco, but has come to appreciate smaller town life in Tallahassee, Florida, which she now calls home. She's been writing professionally for twenty years and she loves lifestyle photography, memory keeping, gardening, reading, and going to the beach with her husband and children.

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