There are some baby items that are universal to every mom. Like bottles, clothes blankets, etc. And then are some items that can be the best for someone living in a suburb or small town that may not work for a city mom. City dwellers often deal with tight sidewalks, small spaces, apartments or condos on upper floors, and subways or train platforms without elevators. After going through several different items and talking to other moms, I’ve put together the most essential baby registry for every city mom. Even if you aren’t in a city, these space saving solutions could still be for you!
We haven’t been able to give up our condo yet, since we love the location and accessibility to pretty much everything- parks, restaurants, kid’s classes, etc. This means when we buy baby products, they must have small footprints or can be folded easily. We can also walk to many places so the easiest way to transport the kids is key.
Whether you are looking for baby gear to accommodate small spaces or navigate busy streets, we’ve got you covered! This is not an exhaustive list of everything you need to register for, just the items that are most influenced by where you live.
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Baby carriers are perfect for so many places. Obviously, they are for all moms because who doesn’t like to have their hands free?! But if you are riding public transportation, going shopping in a busy area, visiting the weekly farmers’ market or going to a street festival- baby wearing is your best friend.
The next step is just figuring out the best one for you. I personally have two stages- the cloth ones for the first 3-4 months newborn stage and then I move on to a more structured carrier like the Bjorn or Ergo Baby. It seems that everyone has their own personal favorites for different reasons. I’ll outline the ones I love and other moms I know. You may want to go to BuyBuy Baby or another store to try on different carriers, or try on a friend’s before you decide.
Moby Wrap or Baby K’Tan– People love the Moby Wrap, but I actually found the amount of fabric overwhelming. If you can get past that, it’s super adjustable for any height or waist which is something the others can’t offer. The Baby K’Tan was soo easy that it was my go to wrap with my second son and wish I had it with my first. It does come in sizes, which makes it more limiting than the Moby.
Another alternative for this age is a ring sling baby wrap. I tried that also actually! I didn’t realize how many baby carriers I’ve been through since I started writing this post. The ring wrap was a great alternative to the Moby with my first, because I could just throw it on and take the dog on a walk or go to the farmer’s market.
Baby Bjorn or Ergo Baby– I got the Ergo baby with my first son, but at the time they did not have a model that could also be forward facing. We really wanted that option so got the Baby Bjorn after our second was born. The forward facing is great for an active baby that wants to see what is going on.
But I really missed the support the Ergo Baby had! The hip support of the Ergo is so much better. The Bjorn makes my back and shoulders hurt, even though I have played with the adjustments. I haven’t tried the 360 Ergo though, where your baby can face backward or forward, so maybe that is the best of both worlds!
Lastly, one more option is the Tula wrap. I haven’t personally tried it, but it’s worth mentioning because many moms love it!
Strollers are universal, but there are some that do amazingly well on urban streets. You will probably use your stroller a lot. I know we do! And I have been through a few different ones. Mostly because I was gifted one with my first son and it helped me learn everything I don’t want in a stroller. 🙂 I don’t think it’s even sold anymore, so you don’t have to worry about buying it! But it was bulky, heavy, hard to maneuver, and had zero space for me to have a cup holder or little pocket for stuff.
When I was pregnant with my second son and we needed to get a double stroller, I decided it was time to splurge a little on this purchase. (Side note: if you are pregnant with your first, think about how large you want your family to be- try to buy items that can be converted to two children when you can!)
I’m so glad that I researched and bought a great stroller! You want your stroller to be comfortable, especially if you’ll be using it daily.
Some things to look for are:
- Ease of ride- can it handle bumps, cracks and jumping curbs without disturbing the baby?
- Maneuverability- can you get into narrow doors or swerve around pedestrians?
- Storage- can you fit your diaper bag and essentials underneath?
- Place for you- is there somewhere for your coffee and possibly phone?
- Is it durable- will it last the test of time and babies to toddlers?
- Stroller’s weight and folding- if you are carrying this up a flight of stairs, is it easy to fold and lightweight enough to carry?
- Extras- ours has a carabiner for hanging grocery bags and two winter covers that ended up being amazing for still getting out and about in the winter.
- Baby Jogger- We have the Baby Jogger City Select and love it, but others love the City Mini as well. The City Select is great if you know you are having a second baby, because all you have to do is buy the second seat instead of a whole new stroller!
- UPPAbaby- This is another investment stroller. It does put you out a few dollars. But the stroller is the one item I’d invest in, even more than the nursery furniture because the stroller has to withstand many adventures! The Vista converts easily to a double stroller as well.
- Umbrella Stroller- It’s always nice to have an umbrella stroller as a back up to your main stroller. Easy to carry and maneuver in especially crowded areas.
Playspaces and Swings
Fisher Price Jumperoo– This thing is amazing, my boys had the times of their lives jumping around in their jumperoo. It isn’t the smallest, but does fold up small enough to be stored in a closet. You don’t necessarily need it on the registry, since it is recommended for 4 months and up.
Swing and/or Soother– We had a fisher price swing and a rock n play. The rock n play definitely stored better, and we took it with us when going overnight to a friend’s house. So for that purpose alone, it was great to have.
The swing though, is a new mom’s dream! It lulls your baby so peacefully and both my boys and friends’ babies have loved it. Quick note- they may say “sleeper” in the title, but it’s recommended that babies do not sleep in either for long stretches of time, a nap here or there is totally fine. The 4moms swing is more compact and can be a better option for tight spaces.
Nursery and Sleep Spaces
If there is anything in the city that is small, it is bedrooms! But that doesn’t mean you can’t create an adorable nursery for your little ones, with all the essentials. It just takes being strategic with your purchases and finding items that are on the smaller size.
Bassinet– For those early days a bassinet for our bedroom was essential. We used Arm’s Reach Mini and attached it to our bed, then moved it away when he got a little older. The Halo is also compact and loved by many moms.
Small convertible crib– can last until your baby turns 5 if the crib converts to a toddler bed! There are many modern crib designs that do not take up a lot of extra space. We have the Babyletto Hudson, this brand has a lot of smaller items that can fit smaller bedrooms.Small glider- I still love my glider! At first I worried it might not be comfortable for my husband who is 6 feet, but he sits in it comfortably also. After searching a lot, the Babyletto Madison Glider was the nicest, but most compact glider I could find.
Compact Changing Table– There’s two ways you could do this. Use an old dresser, like we did in one of my son’s rooms. Or buy a small changing table. Babyletto has a nice table that matches the Hudson crib, but I got this Baby Mod instead because I didn’t want to spend that much when I was shopping for the changing table. It does the trick and has held up well this past year in Ellis’ nursery.
Wall shelves- If you are low on floor space, hanging shelves on the walls can be your saving grace! They could go above the changing table for wipes and other necessities, as well as above the glider for books. Transitions well into a toddler room as well!
Highchair that grows with baby. Just like the crib, there are highchairs that convert to boosters and real chairs. Not having to add more furniture later is huge! It also keeps all dining chairs free for other people, as your baby gets older. Another amazing option is to save all of the floor space and get a highchair that hooks on to your table.
And that’s it! Hopefully that helps you get started on an essential city baby registry!