We couldn’t be more thrilled to share our dear friend Ilaria Urbinati’s journey into motherhood with you… starting with her adventure into creating her baby registry! If you don’t know Ilaria, let us introduce her to you! She is one of the world’s top stylists to the stars (from Ben Affleck and Bradley Cooper to Laura Dern, Shailene Woodley and Nina Dobrev) and has her own fashion label with Eddie Bauer. We actually met working on Krysten Ritter together in 2009 and have been dear friends ever since. Her level of achievement only comes with striving for excellence, an eye for detail and unrelenting dedication. It’s been an honor watching her go after her dream and flourish, so you can imagine our excitement when she told us she was pregnant! We love seeing everyone’s personal take on parenting; from scheduling versus attachment, and home births versus scheduled c-sections, we all approach motherhood with our own hopes and dreams and Ilaria is no exception. So when we asked her to journal her journey for us, we expected nothing less than this very detailed and well-thought-out first entry! Without further ado, take it away, Ilaria!
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I consider myself a pretty chill person. Obsessive and, yes, a lover of lists & systems, but overall relaxed – especially in circumstances whence women can sometimes truly lose their sh%*t. I was as mellow and happy of a bride as can be. And I made a point to stay as calm and serene as possible throughout my pregnancy. That is, until the time came to put together my registry. I wouldn’t put it as that’s when the panic set in, per say, but it was definitely when the overwhelming sense of the absolute abyss of nothingness I knew about babies washed over me. I hadn’t the faintest idea what babies needed, what “things” were required, what breast feeding “accoutrements”, nor what made up a proper nursery. I had to google the difference between a crib and bassinet. I had never even heard of a crib bumper (a very controversial topic as it turns out). Suddenly there were so many new things to worry about – flat head? I must have searched 40 different kinds of head wedges. Not to mention the myriad of breast pumps, bottles, and um milk storage pouches (??). Silly me figured one brand would provide all of these things in one neat set – boy was I swiftly corrected.

Which leads me to the next thing – there is NO shortage of opinions from friends, and even non-friends, and total & utter strangers when it comes to registries. Or anything related to baby rearing for that matter (don’t even get me started on the home vs. hospital birth conundrum, or even the night nurse vs winging-it-sleepless-nights-on-your-own debate). And somehow they all manage to contradict each other, just to make it extra confusing. Regardless I used this to my advantage. I am fortunate enough to have an abundance of truly awe-inspiring mommy friends with a wealth of experience at my fingertips (literally at my fingertips – my friends even started a group text titled “Ilaria baby questions” with the baby face emoji in place of “baby”). And I have always been a big believer in the use of a survey method. Don’t get me wrong, I prefer to make my own choices, but have repeatedly found it a successful action to survey various people’s opinions (the more varying the personalities and backgrounds the better), obsessively (read: psychotically) staying up late doing various online research – then finding the common denominators and finally making up my own mind based on the acquired information. I have used this method often from choosing the “right” red carpet dress for a client to picking a vacation spot – so why not for my baby registry?

Being the anal retentive Virgo that I am, I broke my registry down into sections. Many changes were made as time went on, many items swapped out for “better” or safer, more organic or more developmentally friendly options as more information surfaced from aforementioned friends as well as blogs like this one. But I finally came up with what I like to think of a well as a balanced, complete, and thoroughly well researched registry that even my most discerning mom friends seem to approve of. On a side note: the one thing I knew for sure was I wanted to create a world (ie a nursery) for my child that was as eco-friendly, sustainable, and organic from the ground up as possible. Not because I’m an overly controlling toxins-phobe (just a little), but because I’ve seen Interstellar and am hoping my grandkids won’t have to go live on Mars. But really, I do believe the future generation ought to be brought up with a sense of awareness for the planet they will one day be in charge of. So most of my registry choices reflect that. Luckily I found this much easier in baby world than adult world – in every category from toys to bedding, there is no lack of organic, toxin free, non off-gassing, sustainable options. Apparently manufacturers understand that we care for our babies’ well being better than our own and left most of the toxic waste products to us adults. So here goes…. I went with MyRegistry.com as I wanted the liberty to choose items from various websites instead of just one.


The one thing I didn’t want opinions on was baby’s clothes – as a stylist who grew up in Europe (read: snob) I have a specific aesthetic in mind for my kid. And it’s probably different than what one might assume. Sometimes I get the feeling that because I work in fashion people imagine I want my baby dressed in monogrammed-clad designer wear. Like I’m giving birth to North West. Quite the opposite – I have always loved the very simple, unfussy aesthetic of European babies. As well as I would like my kid to live in those cuddly Gap bear-eared onesies at least until Junior High. So the clothes part was (at first) easy. For high-end quality I went Bonpoint, and for affordable quality I went with Petit Bateau, Gap Organic, and Jcrew Cut Organic. Not too many pieces – people love nothing more than to gift babies clothes, so I didn’t wanna end up with too much. Easy peezy, right? But then literally a flood of warnings came in from basically everyone I knew, telling me (“What a Shame!” “So heartbreaking!”) how fast they grow out of their clothes in the first three months. There was so much varying input on this, it led me to change and change again all the sizing around until I was a. pulling my hair out and b. going to have a newborn with a toddler-and-up-sized wardrobe cause God forbid they grow out of anything ever. I finally settled for a couple of super simple white onesies from Petit Bateau in “newborn” size to get us through the first few weeks (they’re cheap, classic, and soft). As for the rest, since we are having a September baby, I opted to size by weather: the warmer the item, the bigger the size. Here is what I ended up with:

  • -14 onesies of various ages from newborn up to 6 months. sleeveless for the warm months, long sleeved for later, some with legs & some without. And my fave: a set of days-of-the-week Bonpoit onesies with each day embroidered subtly in French
  • -14 pairs of socks/booties
  • -2 beanies and 3 knits/cardigans (I was warned against too many of these seeing as we live in warmer climate)
  • -NO shoes! After our very first baby purchase – a cute pair of organic sustainably made shoes – made my big sister laugh at me so hard (“cute, but you’ll never use them”), I didn’t dare add a single pair of shoes to the registry – no one likes their idealism mocked
  • -one set of PJs (I’m still not totally sure of the difference between baby PJs vs onesies so I threw one in there for due diligence)
  • Miracle Blanket Baby Swaddle (which is like a Swaddle & PJs in one)
  • -2 sets of footed pants (I’m told they can be more user friendly for diaper changes than onesies cause they pull down)
  • -a few “social” outfits – i.e., two pretty dresses and a pair of adorable chambray overalls (kid’s gonna live in onesies for the first 6 months so I didn’t wanna go overboard)


Yet another controversial topic. Not so much for the sake of safety, as one might assume. It all comes down to the those damn baby plastic bath tubs. Some swear by them, some claim babies loathe them (they slide around, the plastic hurts, the babies cry, all sorts of complaints). Some wash their babies in the sink instead. Some use the baby bath pillow. Most people just said they gave up and take baths with their babies so no accessories needed. Being more of a shower person myself, bath accessories is where I went a little overboard. I wanted to make sure I had all my options to turn this daily pastime into something comfortable and pleasant, as opposed to something to dread. Here goes, don’t judge me:

Additional grooming products:


This part was actually pretty straight forward. Yes, EVERYone has an opinion on which car seat to get – but once we chose our stroller we just opted for the seat that went with it. Strollers wise, we had fun going and trying out various ones. The most often recommended: Stokke, Uppababy, Bugaboo, Draco. We chose the Uppababy because it assembled the easiest by far (it was the only one you didn’t have to remove the stroller seat in order to break it down), was the leanest (good to get thru narrow aisles), and lightest to carry. And it looked chic! We skipped the bassinet because everyone said they never used theirs, but can always add it later.




(Aside from all that goes into a diaper bag)

Side note 1: a lot of people suggested I add a “big girl” car seat to the registry, but as we won’t be needing this for a whole year and I’m not big on storage, I decided to hold off and get it ourselves later: I chose the Diono Radian RXT Convertible Car Seat as it’s slim, safe, looks good, and came highly recommended. Side note 2: I felt obnoxious having too many very expensive items on the registry so I asked my sister & mom to get us the stroller and car seat and kept them off the registry.


(There are so many sections to a nursery I broke this one down into smaller categories.) It took me forever to choose a diaper changing station partly because I’m decor picky and the really cute ones are insanely expensive, and partly because some swore by using any dresser of your choice with a changing pad nailed to it, while some alarmed me with the importance of the proper height and swore by a proper changing base station. So I went with a diaper changing station/dresser combo – it saved space, I didn’t have to worry about proper height, and I’m just not crafty enough to be nailing anything to anything. After an insane amount of hours online, I found a cute simple one that was not only well priced but also organic and made of sustainable materials. Next was the whole diapers/diaper changing accessories scenario. Some love baskets, some love drawers, some love pouches. As far as I can tell, it doesn’t make a difference so I just went with what worked with the aesthetic of the nursery I’d dreamed up. I imagine you can’t possibly have ENOUGH storage options so I opted for a few different ones:


I looked at oh-so many cribs. For safety purposes, I recommend sticking to one of the known brands. Popular ones I heard of over and over again: Oeuf, Stokke, Duc Duc, Pottery Barn Kids. Besides that, it just comes down to what you like the look of. I loved the Duc Duc but it was super expensive. I opted for the Oeuf because it was otherwise my favorite, style-wise, but also because they’re an awesome sustainably-committed company. And a good price! The other ordeal was the mattress. Again, organic was key as their little head breathes right on it day in & day out. But there are different versions. We are strictly a no-memory-foam-mattress household (adult words I never thought I’d utter) even if it’s organic, because memory foam has been proven to be toxic as it off-gasses. We even threw out our (very pricey) temperpedic because it reeked so bad of toxic chemicals. Some very health-conscious friends swear by Holy Lamb Organics, which is an excellent company but since I have respiratory/allergy issues my nutrionist suggested I steer away from a wool mattress. After a lot of research, we went with Naturepedic for our bedroom as well as the nursery, and we’ve never slept more allergy free.

I skipped any blankets as my Italian grandma hand-knitted me a quilt. But besides that babies can’t have any blankets (or anything else) in the crib anyway cause it’s a smothering hazard (another thing I had no idea about!)


I have yet to find a Glider or Rocker Chair Im happy with cause I’m a stickler about decor. The rocker I originally wanted was super stylish but was poo-pooed on by all my mom friends as apparently you spend a lot of time passing out with the baby in this thing (good to know), so you want a very comfortable one. A couple of pretty cute ones I am contemplating are from SerenaandLily.com, as you can choose your own fabric. As for books, I’m looking forward to having a field day at the book store picking them all out, so I only put a few classics on the registry:

Side note: I ordered myself a day bed (from West Elm) as it was unanimously suggested I should have one in the nursery – for naps with baby, for husband to catch a sleeping break, for the baby nurse etc


I originally had the unanimously beloved Medela Freestyle Breast Pump on the registry but then a friend clued me in that now insurance will cover these so I went to Edgepark.com, plugged in my insurance info and voila a week later it shows up on your doorstep – for free! They have various brands including Medela.

  • Kiinde Breastfeeding Gift Set (perfect starter kit as you can pump, store, organize, warm, and feed using the same pouch – so you don’t have to transfer milk back & forth & back again)
  • Kiinde Twist Pouches Direct Pump Twist Cap for Breastmilk Storage (additional pouches)
  • Comotomo Baby Bottle – pack 8 oz size and pack of 5 oz size (apparently babies latch on to these well)
  • My Best Friend Nursing Pillow
  • Aden Anais Swaddle (not a single soul failed to recommend this brand for swaddles. I’m told the bamboo ones are softest, and that you can’t have enough swaddles as they also double as burp rags & nursing covers. Having said that, I’ve noticed people love to throw these in as additional gifts so I wouldn’t register for too many or you’ll end up with a zillion.)


(AKA, things to keep baby occupied so mommy & daddy can catch a breath)

Side note: a VERY last minute addition to the registry was the Babybjorn Cradle Bassinet (and its’ fitted sheet) because for the longest time we were deciding between having baby in a co-sleeper (Bed Nest was my fave & u can rent them cheap), crib only, or crib AND bassinet. It was hard to decide as we are still researching the various sleep training methods, and this is another topic that brings out varying opposing opinions. I decided on a bassinet (in addition to the crib for the nursery) because no matter which sleep training methods, I can roll it into various rooms if I want the baby sleeping nearby. And the Babybjorn one is affordable so I won’t feel too guilty if i don’t end up using it much, plus it’s nice looking and doesn’t take up too much space).


I researched the cleanest, most non toxic, BPA free etc items I could find… PACIFIERS – different babies take better to some more than others, and I figure I’ll lose them and/or the dogs will steal them, so I chose a bunch:




A few items I kept off the registry and ordered myself because they felt a little personal or just not registry friendly (all were available on Amazon):

I also went ahead and purchased myself two essential pregnancy items right away: 1. Honest Company Anti Radiation Blanket (to put on my lap when I’m in bed with the lap top or leaning my cell phone on the bump – baby’s brains are way more susceptible to radiation) 2. Leachco Snoogle Total Body Pillow (you will be forever grateful). As well as a couple of books that came widely recommended for parenting/baby research:


Related Posts: Hospital Packing List, PPB’s “All You’ll Need” Baby Registry List, Nursery Organization Must-Haves, Crib Essentials, Storytime, Feeding Dilemma, Swaddling, Baby Wedges, Creating a Magical Bedtime Routine, All PPB’s Schedules, Why Use PPB’s Schedules?, Scheduling Logs, Retro Parenting Today!, Baby Bathtime, Baby Travel Gear, Baby Places