The Ultimate Clueless Pregnant Lady's Baby Registry Guide ~ www.ElephantEats.com

When I was pregnant and had to figure out what I needed to buy for the baby, it was the hardest thing E.V.E.R. Do you know how many baby things exist? And do you know how much energy a pregnant lady has to research baby things? The answer is 1.68 billion, and zero. 

I had no idea where to start. I asked friends. I also searched all over the internet for blogs talking about favorite baby items and some of them were really helpful…but none were really thorough. So I decided to talk a little about what products have made my life easier since having Berkeley in the hopes that it will help some other anxious pregnant lady down the line who finds her way to my blog during her searches ­čśë Some of this stuff you wouldn’t put on a registry per se (hello, granny panties!), but they’re necessities for the days and weeks following your baby’s birth.

**Warning, this list is LONG and comprehensive…and perfect for women like myself who like to be told exactly what they need**

(I’m sure I still forgot some things, so let me know if there’s something you think I should add! Also, be on the lookout for an “older baby necessities” list in the coming months, since I was also clueless about what to get post-newborn stage)

 * an asterix indicates necessities for Reflux babies who spit up a ton

 

Diapering Registry List

Diapering:

Waterproof changing pad liners*- These things are awesome when baby has a blowout or pees while you’re changing him/her. It keeps the changing pad cover clean (unless it’s a REALLY big blowout or a pee you don’t catch in time) and it’s much easier to toss in the laundry than a whole changing pad cover. Luckily the changing pad itself that I chose is wipeable too! I also used these underneath the sheet in my bassinet since my baby spit up a lot.

Ubbi diaper pail– I did a lot of research on diaper pails and I like this one for a few reasons. 1) It comes in lots of colors, particularly ivory, which matched my decor. 2) It’s made of steel and so doesn’t absorb smells like plastic does. 3) It takes standard kitchen size trash bags so you don’t have to fork over extra money for specialty ones (i like to use Febreeze kitchen bags for extra smell-hiding).

Babyganics unscented wipes  – For the first couple weeks of life I used the recommended paper pads they give you at the hospital and warm water (it’s best for newborns sensitive skin). I knew that wasn’t realistic to carry on forever but know that since I have sensitive skin, there was a very good chance my baby would too. I didn’t want anything super scented or harsh. I think I started using these after the 2nd or 3rd week- My baby nurse recommended them and I love them. I do wish they came in a refillable container, but it’s not so bad. I order the giant 400 ct boxes that come with four 100-ct packs. They’re often buy one get one 50% off at babiesrus so I stock up when I can. You go through lots of these!

Baby aquaphor– My baby nurse recommended this to prevent diaper rashes, and Berkeley hasn’t gotten one yet (knock on wood). I used to use it after every diaper change. Now I only do it during the first and last change of the day. Get the tub…trust me you’ll go through it quickly!

Pampers swaddlers– I started using these because they’re what the hospital uses, but I found I really like them. They fit well and have a little stripe in front that changes color when the diaper is wet. They wick moisture very well so you don’t have to change them after every little pee pee. 

-Naturepedic Organic Contoured Changing Pad plus cover (note that this link includes the cover but other links usually don’t include it)-  I got this changing pad because I was planning to use a dresser as my changing table and this comes with straps to attach it to the back of any furniture so it doesn’t fall off. If there’s a giant blowout that dirties the boppy liner (above) plus the changing pad cover, the pad itself is totally wipeable, which I loved.

Small item storage-Diaper caddy of some sort- I used a basket I had. You need a place to store diapers, wipes, cream, lotions, etc that you can easily grab.

 

-Babyganics hand sanitizer- You definitely need hand sanitizer for use after changing diapers. You’re not going to have time to run to the bathroom to wash them in the sink, especially if you have no one there helping you. Also, it’s good to keep a bottle of this around for when visitors come so you can very easily ask them to sanitize before touching your child (or you can keep all hands away from your child until he’s 4 months old, like i did, haha).
 
 
Sleeping Registry Needs

Sleeping:

Kolcraft┬« Cuddle'n Care┬« 2-in-1 Bassinet... : TargetBassinet (preferably one that rocks)- I was lucky enough to borrow this from my cousin, but there are lots out there. I found out later that they make something called a cosleeper which is essentially a bassinet with three sides that attaches to the side of your bed- that’s probably good if you’re tight on space. I do wish this bassinet had been a bit easier to wash. If you have a baby that spits up a lot, it’s pretty important that you can wash it without taking the whole thing apart. 

Playard with storage- I used this as a bassinet when Berkeley got too big for the one we had, since I kept him in our room for almost 4 months. I chose this because it has a lot of storage for baby things- most others don’t. I will say that the dream snuggler part was a pain to install and I never used it since I had a bassinet, but otherwise I probably would have. L.C. (our cat) ended up using it as her personal bed. Also get some playard sheets!

Aden + Anais Muslin swaddle blankets– I bought a lot of these and my baby nurse was awesome at using them to swaddle. I got the hang of it, but Berkeley was such a Houdini that if you didn’t get it on JUST right, he escaped and in my sleep deprived state, getting it on tightly sometimes took more patience than I had. That being said, they’re great to use as shawls when holding or burping him if you want to protect yourself and visitors from drool and spitup (and protect baby from the germs on visitor’s clothes- yes, I’m a germaphobe!). 

Swaddleme swaddles– i hated these when Berkeley was a newborn because I couldn’t get them tight enough…but as he got a little bigger, they were life savers. Buy at least 3 since they’ll get peed through and spit up on, and have the larger size ones for when they outgrow the small size. I ended up often using them with one or both legs out (although with both legs out they sometimes rode up while he slept).

Sleeping Baby Zipadee-ZipZipadeezip– Once your baby starts rolling over, you can’t swaddle anymore so this is a way to start transitioning to no swaddle (if your baby isn’t colicky, I recommend avoiding the swaddle to start so you don’t have to deal with getting them used to NOT wearing one). I wanted this to instantly make Berkeley sleep through the night, like the rave reviews all claim, but it didn’t do that exactly. However, when Berkeley started rolling over in his swaddle I had no choice but to find some sort of transition since he was a wild man when he was “free.” This suit definitely kept his arm flailing to a minimum and kept him from scratching his face too. It allowed him to comfortably sleep on his stomach (since he’d flip over) without me worrying that he’d get stuck in a position where he couldn’t breathe and couldn’t move himself.

Crib sheets– Got these and can’t complain. They’re very soft and stretchy. They seem a little small for the mattress but are fine if you stretch them. I got a three pack but couldn’t find the link. You’ll definitely want at least 3 sheets though.

Waterproof Crib Mattress Pad*- Important if you have a heavy wetter or a spitter upper! I have these ones and even when there’s a big spitup that soaks through the sheets, the pad is never wet!

 

Crib mattress– Choosing a mattreess took F.O.R.E.V.E.R for me to do. There are so many types and choices. Did i want organic or not organic? Hard or super hard? I finally settled on this one and it’s been great. Berkeley seems to like it.

Crib– I got this crib on major sale because the color I wanted was being discontinued. I love the look. It’s super sturdy and easy to put together. It can be converted into a toddler bed too. It doesn’t really matter what brand crib you get, as I’m sure they’re all safe. Also, depending on what you plan on doing you may not need this immediately. As I mentioned before, Berkeley slept in a bassinet next to our bed for his first 4 months. 

 

NoJo Crushed Fleece Sheet Saver - 2 pK : TargetSheet Saver*- These are really only necessary if you have a spitter upper and don’t feel like changing the sheets multiple times per day. If you put your baby down with his head on these, the spitup will be containted to the fabric and you can just swap it out if it gets really wet. These are only useful in a crib, so when Berkeley was in his bassinet/playard and was swaddled and didn’t move at all, I used to just put a padded cloth diaper/burp cloth under his head. Also, now that Berkeley is older he loves touching things and I often see him rubbing his hand or face on this while falling asleep because it’s super soft. 

BreathableBaby┬« Mesh Crib Liner - buybuyBaby.com –Breathable mesh bumper– I bought this when I was tired of Berkeley’s pacifier falling out of his mouth and inevitable bouncing thru the crib slats and onto the floor. You’re not supposed to have padded bumpers in cribs anymore since it’s a suffocation risk, but these claim they’re breathable. By the time we put him in the actual crib, he could turn his head anyway. Berkeley moves a lot in his sleep and one night his face was smushed up against these and I found out because I heard him gasping in the monitor- although i really don’t think he was bothered by it. Needless to say I freaked out and moved him, but he probably would have been fine until he moved on his own. I think most babies aren’t as active at night though.

Levana Lila baby monitor – Some people like having a baby monitor on wifi but I figured I’d never really have a need to watch my baby sleep when I wasn’t home. This monitor has night vision and two-way sound. I ended up buying an extra camera because he didn’t always sleep in the same room, but it has the ability to add even more cameras which would be useful with multiple children. My only complaint is that the clip on the back breaks easily if you drop it (which you’re bound to do at least once). I rigged up a solution since the company was kind of annoying when I called to get a new clip. It doesn’t affect the monitor other than it can’t stand up on its own without it.

-You might also want blackout curtains for the windows. If you have a bad sleeper like we do, these are a godsend. We didn’t start using them til he was in his own room at about 4 months, though.

 
 
Clothing Registry

Clothing:

Carter’s “bodysuits” plus pants– You really don’t need much in the way of clothing for a newborn- all they do is sleep! Berkeley is almost 8 months old and he still pretty much lives in onesies (long sleeve for winter) and soft pants. I know it’s boring and not as cute as all those adorable outfits you see, but he mainly spends his time in the house (and napping) and I want him to be comfortable. Also, when swaddling, it’s best not to have bulky clothes, even if baby jeans are the cutest things E.V.E.R. I like Carters brand because they always have sales and I know exactly what size he fits in at any time (all brands vary a ton). The pants often come in 2-packs which is a bonus.

Carter’s baby socks– Berkeley got SO many baby socks as gifts, but the newborn ones never stay on and they outgrow them very quickly. I found that these Carters ones come in tons of adorable colors, are always on sale, and most importantly they stay on. They say they’re for 3-12 months, but Berkeley fit in them not too soon after he was a newborn.

Zip up footie pjs and sleeping gowns- I LOVE the pjs that zip up because they’re SO MUCH EASIER during middle of the night diaper changes than fumbling with 10,000 teeny snaps. The Carter’s ones are good, but if you can find them, some brands (Target Circo Sleeper) make the zip start at the bottom which is SO much smarter (i was going to invent that but then found it already existed!) so you dont have to unzip completely to change a diaper.  For a while I also loved the sleep gowns but then got annoyed when they’d ride up while I burped him. Also get some footie pjs that snap , because they’re cute too! And they seem to fit for longer and are better for holding gigantic overnight wet diapers. 

Undershirts (if winter baby)- My baby nurse recommended these side snap shirts and I’ve been using them under pajamas and clothes during the day since the weather got cold. I wish they came in sizes larger than 6 month! :( 

-A baby hat or two- It’s very hard to find ones that stay on, but we liked the ones that came with our Circo brand pjs.

 

-A good zip-up jacket or sweatshirt (with hood for cold weather)- Babies need layers and we pretty much just used a really heavy fleece-lined sweater all winter long. We would put the hood up in addition to putting a light hat  on him since one of them was bound to move around.

Dreft detergent– This is sensitive enough for a baby’s skin but we use it for all our laundry too. Our machine has a detergent reservoir so you can’t use a different kind for each load, and it’s been totally fine for our laundry. Make sure to get HE if you have a high efficiency washer!

Dreft stain remover*- SUPER important if you don’t want newborn poop staining all of his and your cute clothes (along with anything else it comes in contact with). Did you know that newborn poop is bright yellow?! (at least breastfed poop). I rinse the clothes in the sink quickly, spray on the stain remover and scrub the fabric together a bit, let it sit, rinse it off, and repeat if necessary. Then I just leave it til I do laundry. It’s also been great at removing stains from his vitamin now that he’s old enough to take one- also very yellow!

 

 

Feeding Registry

 Feeding:

Dr browns bottles*- Although my breastfeeding instructor recommended Breastflow brand bottles, they seemed like they made Berkeley suck in too much air. Since he was already a gassy, colicky baby, we switched to these Dr. Browns bottles that are designed to eliminate excess air from being taken in. My only complaint with these is that the markings on the side of the bottle aren’t uniform and so aren’t very accurate. I got two boxes of bottles and the markings on one set were not the same on the other set- like i put 4 oz in one according to the markings and when i poured in the other set it showed more than 4 oz. Prob not a huge deal but it bothered me. You’ll need to get the larger size nipples as your baby gets older. If you don’t start bottle feeding til your baby is older, you dont’ really need the “newborn set” and can just get the 8oz bottle set. *If you get these bottles make sure you get a pack of the travel lids too.

Dr browns Bottle Warmer– This really isn’t necessary but it’s helpful. For a while I just heated a cup of water in the microwave and then stuck the bottle in it until it was warm. This is more convenient and warms well and quickly but it’s really hard to clean and gets moldy easily. That being said, I don’t think other bottle warmers warm as quickly as this one. Also, when it did get moldy I called customer service and they sent me a new one. After getting the new one I made sure to descale it with a vinegar/water solution every couple of weeks. 

Bottle brushes– They usually come with the bottle set. I actually only like the nipple brush that came with another bottle set we bought but you can’t buy it separately. For the actual bottles, though, I like the Dr. Brown’s brush.

1/10th of a gram scale – Berkeley’s specialty formula (Elecare) is best when measured by weight, which is also a lot easier than counting out scoops. It has to be measured to a tenth of a gram which is more precise than a kitchen scale. I found this reasonable and small scale and it’s been great.

Gerber cloth diapers/burp clothes* – These come in a 10-pack and are GREAT for babies who spit up a lot since you go thru so many burp cloths. Currently I have a rotation of 20. Make sure you get the 6-ply ones because otherwise they soak straight thru. I also used these to put under Berkeley if he had a blowout while I was feeding him and I didn’t want to interrupt the feeding. I also used these under my baby’s head when he was sleeping (when he was still swaddled and not moving a lot) because he used to spit up SO much while sleeping and it was easy to just swap out the cloth instead of changing the whole sheet.

Aden and Anais Burpy Bib*- If you have a messy baby (i.e. a reflux baby), you MUST get these bibs. They cover more surface area than any other bib.

 

Baby bottle and dish soap– the brand doesn’t really matter but this one is nice.

 

Dr. Brown’s microwave sanitizer– I read that baby bottles really only need to be sanitized before the first time you use them, but I still santize them nightly. Some people just put them in the top rack of the dishwasher, but I don’t run the dishwasher nightly, so this is just easeir for us. This is a great saniziter because it’s BIG.The only other way to sanitize a large amount of items is the old fashioned way- in a boiling pot of water.

Medela sanitizing bags– I used these for sanitizing the pumping supplies before I bought the Dr. Brown’s microwave sanitizer. They’re good to travel with (assuming you’ll have microwave access) and are good for just sanitizing a few items. 

Boon Drying rack– This rack is great because it’s really big and can hold everything! Definitely get the extra twig piece for holding smaller things.

 

Formula mixing pitcher– When I first started giving Berkeley bottles, I mixed them one-by-one…rookie mistake. My nanny told me I should just mix everything at once, which I totally didn’t think of. You could totally just use a giant jug with a lid and shake it, but I like that this has an agitator that mixes the powder very well so there are no clumps.

-Oh, and a big comfy chair! You probably already have one but we bought a glider for the nursery. This is a great item to have people go in on together since it’s $$$.

 

 

Pumping Registrty

Pumping:


Medela Pump-in-Style Pump- I got this pump for free through my insurance but I’ve heard it’s one of the best. When getting extra parts for it (it comes with one set), make sure to get the connector pieces that are separate from the breast shields. They sometimes come as one piece and are SO ANNOYING that way.

Nuk Breastmilk Storage Bags– There are lots of brands of breastmilk storage bags but I liked these and they never leaked. 

 

Nuk Milk Bag Rack– This is great for storing your milk in the freezer compactly. After they freeze you can stack them vertically on their own.

 

Pumping bra– I got this Simple Wishes brand bra and I like that it’s highly adjustable so you don’t have to guess which size fits you. A pumping bra is a necessity if you pump! It leaves your hands free to post adorable pics of your baby to facebook from your phone ­čśë

-Pump bag if going back to work- I got the Medela Messenger bag which is a perfect size, but I dont’ receommend it because it doesn’t have anything to keep it closed. I would have gotten the Medela backpack but you can only buy it WITH the pump, which is super annoying since I got the pump from my insurance company. They really need to sell it separately like they do with the other bags!

 

 

Bathtime Registry

Bathtime:

Washcloths– doesn’t really matter what brand but I like the Aden + Anais ones because they’re soft. Get a lot of them. I usually use 2 per bath (one for butt and one for everything else) starting from when Berkeley just got sponge baths. 

Hooded Towels – Get a bunch of hooded towels since babies lose a lot of heat thru their heads! Some of them come with washcloths.

 

Fisher-Price 4-in-1 Sling ‘n Seat Tub -The bathtub was another item that I couldn’t decide on. This one has been great- it comes with an infant sling and a seat. To start we used the sling and kept the seat in- it kept him from sliding down too far. Now we’re using just the sling, and I imagine at some point soon we’ll be using the seat. We put it on our bathroom counter and fill it with bowlfuls of water from the sink. It has a drain in the bottom so you can empty it over the sink. As an added bonus it has a little toy that Berkeley has LOVED since about 6 months old.

Baby shampoo– It really doesn’t matter what you get, but we like Aveeno baby shampoo.

 

Water thermometer – I don’t know about you but I have NO idea what temperature water should be. What’s comfortable to me is probably too hot for a baby. Before I got this I would annoy Nate at EVERY bath by asking him 1000 times if the water temperature seemed ok to him…so I think he would probably recommend this more than me ­čśë It’s idiot proof- You drop it in the water and it turns green if the water is in the safe temperature range and red if it’s too hot. Perfect! I actually really wanted this one but it won’t be useful til we bathe in the tub

Soft Shampoo Rinser Cup- I didn’t use this til Berkeley got a little bigger but now it’s great for rinsing him off instead of just using a washcloth. It’s soft so clutzes like me won’t injure their babies’ heads by bonking them by mistake.

Baby Qtips– I don’t know if all babies are like this, but Berkeley has really waxy ears (it’s gross). I actually think he just takes after Nate’s side of the family because apparently they have ear wax problems. Anyway, you can’t use a regular qtip in a babies ear because you don’t want to go in too far. Baby qtips are huge so you can’t actually get them into the ear canal- they’re just for cleaning outside of that when the wax makes its way out…and trust me, it will.
 

 

Play Registry

Play:

Activity Gym– Since babies are supposed to sleep on their backs now to prevent SIDS, tummy time is very important during their awake time to promote neck strength and coordination. Any activity mat will do but this went with our Woodland themed nursery (which I STILL haven’t shown you guys yet…oops!).

Boppy Newborn Lounger*- This is a great spot to put your baby down when your arms need a rest. It keeps baby propped up (good for reflux!) so we often put it underneath the activity gym for him to lay on. We also used to put it on our laps when we played with him to boost him up a little so he could look at us.. When Berkeley was going through his colicky stage, I used to rock him to sleep in my arms and then ever-so-gently place him on this in the same position he was in my arms- if I were to put him flat in the crib he’d start crying. Then I would aim the camera at it so I could watch him since it’s not meant for sleeping!

Sophie!– Yes, this is the quintessential registry item, but for good reason. I don’t know what is so delicious about that darn giraffe, but Berkeley LOVES chewing on her. 

 

A rattle or two– Really any rattle is fine, but as Berkeley got older, he decided he loved to chew on this fox’s snout :)

 

Baby Einstein Take Along Tunes– This was given to Berkeley in an awesome package of hand selected gifts by my friend, Shannon (she’s so thoughtful!). Berkeley LOVES this thing. Like major love. It really holds his attention, especially when he used to get super fussy. We’ve played it so much that the battery is dying, so we’ll have to replace it soon!

Baby bouncer/rocker– People swear by the Rock n’ Play, especially reflux babies that need to be propped up. We got the Mamaroo but unfortunatley Berkeley didn’t like being in it til he was about 3.5-4 months old. At that point we used it as a seat for him to just chill out in. Actually we called it his poop seat because he seemed to relax in it so much that we always put him there when he seemed to be trying to poop, haha. The Mamaroo plays nature sounds but also has a spot to plug in an ipod, so now we basicaly use it as a speaker system for his room. He never was really a fan of the motions it does. There’s also a Rockaroo that I think he would have liked more because it mimics being rocked in your arms. Honestly, I wish we had just bought one of the Bjorn basic lightweight bouncer seats so I could have easily moved it from room to room when I wanted to get dressed or brush my teeth or whatever. Anyway, it’s great to have a bouncer or rocker of some kind so give your arms a rest. Some people let their babies sleep in them since they’re super comfortable but we never got into that habit. 

 

 

Misc. Baby Needs Registry

Miscellaneous Baby Needs:

Nuk Orthodontic Pacifier– I said I wouldn’t use pacifiers til at least one month (and told my baby nurse) but found out she used them a little sooner. After she left I totally get why- they’re magic! Nuk ones are best for baby’s developing teeth and babies seem to like the fit too. They have different sizes so make sure you get the newborn size. 

Pacifier Clip– These are crucial to use in the car seat, stroller or baby carrier so that the pacifier doesn’t fall out and get lost!

 

Baby Carrier– I started using these to calm my colicky baby when I wanted to free my hands up. As a bonus, they’re great when your baby is older too. It’s best to find one that has the option of facing out for when baby gets older. I have the original Ergo but it doesn’t offer the option to have the baby face out (once their neck can support it). If i had to do it again I would get the Ergo 360 because it has the option to face out. I borrowed my friend’s Baby Bjorn which I love because it’s lightweight and easy to take with you, but it does hurt your shoulders after a while. The ergo has a waist strap to ease shoulder strain. 

-Stroller: Baby Jogger City Select– When researching strollers, there was SO much to choose from. I asked other moms and ended up going with the BabyJogger City Select because you can make the seat face front or back and you can add another seat down the line since I have a feeling we’ll have two kids in strollers at some point. My only complaint with this is that they say the seat it comes with isn’t appropriate for babies under 6 months. I’m pretty sure they say this so that you’ll buy the bassinet attachment. While the bassinet would have been nice (since it reclines completely flat and can be removed when you get inside and brought to another room), we made do just fine with the regular seat. It practically reclines flat and I just used a rolled up towel under Berkeley’s tush to get the fit right as he grew. You can also buy an attachment so that a car seat fits on this stroller but I opted not to use it. This stroller isn’t good for travelling because it’s large but it’s great for anyplace else because of the all-terrain wheels! We ended up also getting the City Mini for airplane travel.

Snap N Go stroller– My friend recommended this to me because it’s lightweight and you can lift and open it with one hand.  Pretty much any car seat fits in it and those car seats are so freaking heavy that you wont want to have to carry them far if you don’t have to. It’s been a godsend and is perfect for going anwhere that doesn’t have rugged terrain (mall, supermarket, good sidewalks). We keep it in the trunk of our car. I’m a little worried the wheels will wear down if i use it outside too much, but so far so good. 

 Medical items to have on hand: We got a kit like this one that comes with digital thermometer, baby nail clipper, snot sucker (people swear by this odd contraption which I bought but can’t figure out how to use it well), plus a baby brush, and some other stuff. Also make sure you have Infant tylenol, Little Tummy’s Gas Drops (especially for colicky babies), saline drops for stuffy noses. 

Infant car seat– After more googling, asking friends and spending WAY too much time making going back and forth between the different ones, I settled on the Keyfit Chicco 30 which seems to be a very popular selection. I’ve been very happy with it. Berkeley had a blowout it in and I’m happy to report that the infant insert is completely machine washable (and we even put it on low in the dryer even though it wasn’t recommended).

Car mirror– To see your baby in the back when you’re driving. P.S. The safest place for a baby seat is in the rear middle seat, even if it doesn’t have LATCH connectors.

 

J.J.Cole Car Seat Cover– I was totally clueless about how I’d keep my baby warm in the winter. Bulky coats aren’t recommended for use in car seats because they make the seats less safe (the straps aren’t tight against the baby because there’s puffy fabric in between them and the baby). Instead, I got this car seat cover and it’s been great for the cold weather. 

J.J. Cole Infant Urban Bundle Me– I also got the same thing for the stroller. I did a lot of research and this is compatible with the CityJogger City Select stroller. You have to unzip the sun shade piece to get it on but it fits perfectly!

Car Seat Canopy– This is a great way to keep people from touching your baby, and also to give him/her a dark place to nap while you’re out and about! You’ll probably get a mailer with a coupon for a free one of these where you just have to pay shipping, so make sure to be on the lookout!

 

 

Items for Mom Registry

Items for Mommy:

Comfy granny panties– These are exactly what you want when you leave the hospital and run out of those weird mesh panties they give you. I have a big booty (that only got bigger with pregnancy) and these fit me perfectly. The waistband is loose and high.

Nursing Tanktop – I wore these all day and night during my breastfeeding days. They’re super convenient, comfortable, and appropriate for being seen in public with. Get a ton of them. I would wear them for 3 or more days straight, alternating between a daytime one and a nightime one.

-Cardigans and/or comfy button down shirts- Great for staying warm in but still keeping your boobs accessible. I’m sure you already own a bunch of these but my mom went out and got me a bunch of cheap stuff at Target that was perfect.

Lanolin– I put this on after every nursing and pumping session to keep my nipples from getting dried out and raw.

 

-Heating pad- You probably have one of these lying around in your house, but if you’re prone to getting clogged milk ducts like I was, this is a necessity! You need to heat and massage before feedings if you have any hope of getting rid of them.

Nursing Pads – I like this brand, although I’m sure others are fine.

 

-Nursing Pillows- A lot of people swear by the Boppy breastfeeding pillow but I just could not figure out how to use it comfortably when nursing. Instead i just used a plain old pillow that I shoved between myself and the arm of my glider chair. Make sure you have a pillow protector and pillow case on the pillow for when baby inevitably has a leaky blowout while eating. Once I figured out a more comfortable position, I was able to nurse without a pillow at all.

-Food/water cup/phone charger with extra long cord to keep by your nursing chair- This is extra important if you’re nursing. You get starving in the middle of the night nursing sessions and need these all within arm’s reach. These also come in handy later when you have a baby that will only nap 30 minutes in the crib and then requires you to hold him the rest of the time (ahem, Berkeley!).

– OH, and don’t forget a diaper bag!

05. April 2015 · 3 comments · Categories: baby, Berkeley, life · Tags:

Berkeley 6 month ~ ElephantEats.com

6 months was a big month for our little Berkeley. He started crawling! He doesn’t get up fully on his knees but he uses his legs to push himself forward. He’s very fast and goes for the most dangerous items in the room. My favorite thing is that if he’s on his playmat and I come into the room, he’ll crawl towards me :)

Berkeley 6 months_5 ~ ElephantEats.com

He is officially facinated by LC and watches her whenever she comes into the room and tries to crawl to her. He actually grabbed her and pulled really hard and she didn’t even react.

Berkeley 6 months_2 ~ ElephantEats.com

We started him on some solid foods as per the pediatricians recommendation. I was going to try “baby led weaning”- you can look it up but it’s where you start your baby on soft whole foods that they feed themselves instead of purees that you spoon feed, but only if the baby is 6 months or older and can sit with assistance or unassisted. Unfortunately, Berkeley seems to have a very sensitive gag reflex and it scared both me and his nanny, so we’re trying purees for now. He doesn’t really get the whole swallowing thing, so it may be a while til he’s really eating. I bought him these mesh feeder things because it’s kind of a nice compromise between feeding him purees and him feeding himself. When we put avocado in it he loves sucking on it! He makes a complete mess though :)

At attempt at BLW ~ ElephantEats.com

Our attempt at Baby Led Weaning

He was teething and his two bottom teeth poked through the surface the day before he turned 7 months- he’s a drooling champion. I don’t know if it’s related or not but he went through a few weeks of refusing to finish his bottles- it was pretty frustrating. He didn’t seem to be in pain otherwise. I gave him some ice cubes in the mesh thing and he really liked gnawing and sucking on them.

Berkeley 6 months_3 ~ ElephantEats.com

He LOVES to drink water out of his sippy cup. We have to tilt it for him because he hasn’t quite figured out that you have to lift it for the water to come out. I ordered him a straw sippy cup because he likes to suck on things so we’ll see how that goes.  

Berkeley 6 months_4 ~ ElephantEats.com

My nanny told me he can stay up longer and if his nap doesn’t go long, to just let him stay up til his next nap- barring any yawning and eye rubbing. This can sometimes be 3 hrs but it seems to be going well and when he actually goes down for the next nap, because he’s tired and falls right asleep (usually).

Berkeley 6 months_6 ~ ElephantEats.com

His sleep issues are still here and I’m still beyond exhausted (*update will be in next post because we’re sleep training him now!). I’m pretty sure it’s still reflux related, so we had to increase his Pepcid dose. I didn’t want to try any sleep training until the reflux was under control. Some nights he’ll sleep straight thru til 2ish when it’s time for a bottle and some nights he’ll sleep really well after his bottle til morning, but he’ll rarely do both. Something’s going to have to change soon though because I really can’t do this any longer. It’s so strange because he used to be a champion sleeper at night!

Berkeley 6 months_7 ~ ElephantEats.com

Oh, and in case you couldn’t tell, he’s getting cuter by the day ­čśë

Berkeley 6 months_8 ~ ElephantEats.com

Stats: 16 lb 9 oz (25th %), 27 in (75th%), size 2-3 diapers (size 3 Huggies Overnites at bed)

Likes:

Giggling, belly kisses, my surprised face (he cracks up), blowing raspberries, eating! (he started solids), his reflux medication because it’s sugary, holding his left foot while drinking his bottle, trying to roll over while getting diaper changed, grabbing his feet and eating his toes, crawling!, LC., his sippy cup, water, avocado, cell phones and his musical snail toy (his main crawling motivation), throwing his toys off his highchair tray.

Berkeley 6 months_8 ~ ElephantEats.com

Belly kisses!!!

Dislikes: 

Getting startled (it happened when i sneezed), dad feeding him (he always fusses!), sleeping in stretches of longer than an hour, saying goodbye to dad for work (i don’t know if he really understands but for some reason he always cries)

Berkeley 6 months_9 ~ ElephantEats.com

Schedule: 

He started waking up at 5-5:30 and i just make him stay in bed til 6 with me. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. We end up giving him his first bottle at 6:30-6:45ish. He gets four 8 oz bottles every 4 hours or so, with his last one at 6:15. We moved it up because he was taking so long to eat and because of his reflux, I wanted him to have time to digest before bed. He still gets a 3.5 oz bottle if he wakes up sometime between 1-2:30am. His naps are around 8ish am, 12-1ish pm, and 4ish pm. He still sleeps between 30 min and 1 hour 20 min in his crib and then will usually sleep a while longer in our arms (a habit that will hopefully get broken with sleep training). 

Berkeley 5 month ~ ElephantEats.com

Well, this has officially become a baby blog because there’s really no sign of me cooking for a while. We’ve been doing HelloFresh meals (they send you the ingredients and recipes) and it’s been awesome, but now that Berkeley decided to start sleeping horribly and I’m exhaused by dinnertime, i think we’ll put it on hold for a while and stick to Trader Joe’s frozen dinners.

Ok, here goes: 5 months- whew this is a long one! Don’t read this if you’re not interested in every aspect of his life right now (Mom, I know you hate these so just look at the pics and skip it!)

Berkeley on his playmat ~ ElephantEats.com

His new playmat!

Berkeley is definitely figuring things out this month! He intentionally grabs things and is very good at it. He’ll even pass things from hand to hand…and of course put them into his mouth. He’s become a pro at tummy time and easily rolls right onto his hands and now gets up on his elbows. He has started following LC with his eyes and if you hold him close enough, he’ll try to reach out for her (she’s not too happy about it). He has JUST started to find his feet (at the end of month 5) and now leans forward to sit and grab them. You still have to hold him though because he can’t stay sitting on his own without falling over. 

We installed blackout shades on his windows and I think they’ve helped lengthen his naps! Although most naps tend to be closer to 40-45 min now instead of 30, he will occassionally grace us with an hour or 1.5 hr nap. After he starts fussing in his crib, we still rock him back to sleep and hold him while he sleeps an additional hour or more. It’s getting harder to rock him back to sleep in our arms, though, so sometimes that will be the whole nap. 

Berkeley 5 months 2 ~ ElephantEats.com

His “awake” time is now around 1.5 hrs before his morning nap and 2-2.5 hrs before his other two naps. This gives us enough time to do things like take a walk…finally! We decided to increase it since he wasn’t napping well so we figured maybe he just needed to get tired out a little more. It’s been working well although he’ll still boycott his afternoon (or occasionally his evening) nap and then he’s up WAY too long (like 4-5 hrs) and gets so cranky by the time it’s his next nap or bedtime. 

For sleep he was fighting the swaddle so much (plus it wasn’t safe anymore because he was rolling over in it) so I ordered the Zipadeezip suit in the hopes that it would transition him out of the swaddle. I can’t say it has magically transformed his sleep like it claims to do, but he’s definitely more comfortable than having his arms strapped to his sides. The caveat is that it takes him a little longer to settle down to sleep after the freedom dance party he puts on in the crib. He sure does like to move those arms. I ended up buying a sheet at Target and using it as the fabric to sew him a second Zipadeezip so we could put him in it when we needed to wash the real one. I’m not the best seamstress and it took me longer than I’d like to admit. I didn’t think to order two suits and the first took so long to arrive (and wasn’t cheap!) so I didn’t feel like ordering another. 

At the bakery ~ ElephantEats.com

Usually at night when we put Berkeley in his crib in his suit (we call it his bat suit because he looks like a bat) on his back, he’ll flip over to his stomach pretty quickly and if he is tired enough by that point he’ll go right to sleep. Usually because of his reflux, he tries to get a burp out and fusses for a while and will proceed to spit up all over the crib. Fun times. Before I realized it was the reflux making him fussy (i thought he was just practicing tummy time) I ended up flipping him onto his back a lot until he tired out. Or I’d rock him until he got drowsy instead of putting him down fully awake like I was  doing. Once I realized he just needed to burp, I now spend way too long with him over my shoulder, patting and rubbing til he burps or spits up. This sometimes goes on for 30 min and he might spit up 2-3 times. It’s exhausting for me and he’s always out of breath and panting by the end, not to mention rubbing his eyes in exhaustion. I feel so bad for him and need to figure out how to get his reflux under control.

Taking a walk ~ ElephantEats.com

He had been fighting his middle of the night breastfeeding session for a while now. He’d often pull his head off my breast and i couldn’t get him to relatch. I couldn’t figure out if it’s cuz he’s used to the bottle and couldn’t get as much out as fast out of my breast? Anyway, it was super frustrating and made eating take way longer (which totally sucks when you want to go back to bed). A couple times I just gave up and put him back to bed. Well about a week into 5 months, he did it again but he really didn’t eat for more than 5 minutes before he started crying when I tried to force him to. I decided that maybe he just wasn’t hungry and didn’t need to eat in the middle of the night anymore, so i put him back to bed. I called the pediatrician to see if he was eating enough during the day to skip feeding in the middle of the night.  She told me that 5 month olds eat between 26-32 oz so he’s right in the normal range and that he definitely doesn’t need to eat during the night. So that was that- I was officially done breastfeeding (not by choice). 

Taking a walk 2 ~ ElephantEats.com

Tough guy

Once I eliminated the middle of the night feeding, we had a couple rough nights where he kept waking up and i kept putting the pacifier back in his mouth (like every hour or less). It was so exhausting that I bought some books on sleep training and decided to give it a shot.

First night of sleeping thru the night, he woke up crying and i coudln’t figure out what was wrong…I knew his diapers wouldn’t last all night so around 1:30am changed him which woke him up so much that i just put him in bed with me and we both got no sleep. Next night i bought Pampers Baby Dry (12 hr diapers) but they seemed too small (even tho they were the same size as his daytime Pampers Swaddlers diapers) but I used anyway. I tried to let him cry it out (never more than like 10 min before i checked on him and put his paci in). Finally I realized he had peed thru his outfit and I felt so bad he had been crying!  I changed him and put him in bed with me at 4:30 am.

Blowing Raspberries ~ ElephantEats.com

Blowing “raspberries!”

The next day I went out and bought a size up in Pampers Baby Dry (size 3). I put him in them and he slept really well aside from moving to the corner of his crib and getting stuck so i had to move him. He woke several times and put himself right back to sleep. Finally around 1:50am he started crying. I decided to toughen up and let him cry. He cried about 5 min, passed out for 5, woke back up and cried for 5. I went in and gave him a paci. He passed out and woke about 10 min later crying again. I let him cry 10 min then went in…I checked his sleep suit but it wasn’t wet so i was like ok, he doesn’t need to be changed, i have to be tough. I put his paci in and he fell asleep again. This went on for like an hour and finally when he was wailing for like 10 min and kept waking up after passing out, i knew something was wrong. I decided maybe he just didn’t like having a wet diaper (strange cuz he has wet diapers during his naps), so i figured i’d change him. Well I took off his sleep suit and wouldn’t you know he had peed thru his pajamas! I felt SO BAD!!! i’m the worst mom in the world. Here I was letting him cry for an hour and he was cold and wet :( I still haven’t forgiven myself.

In the meantime, I wrote pampers a nasty email since i wasted my money on two packs of diapers i can’t use. They sent me a couple coupons to make up for it. I then ordered Huggies Overnights (in a size larger than his daytime diapers) that got great reviews and they keep him dry. Needless to say when I finally discovered he was wet and changed him at 3am, he immediately went back to sleep and slept without a peep until 6am!!! I unfortunately think his natural wakeup time is 6am but i can’t deal with that now so I always go get him and get him sleep til 7am in bed with me, at which time he gets up to eat.  I wouldn’t mind waking up at 6 with him and feeding him then, but then the whole schedule i have for him gets screwed up and i don’t know how to change it.

Bouncy chair ~ ElephantEats.com

Anyway, after fooling us into thinking that he could practically sleep through the night, he then started waking up a ton…and I realized that maybe he was waking up because he was still a little hungry when I eliminated the middle of the night feeding, so I increased his bottles.

After that he started waking up every 30 min to hour ALL night. I think it’s from reflux so we’ve upped his dose and it will hopefully work. I still get up to feed him sometime around 1 am though. Unfortunately he drinks a bottle faster than breastfeeding which is worse for his reflux so I have to let him sleep upright on me while i rock him for like 30 min before putting him back to bed. I am EXHAUSTED. I literally haven’t gotten more than 1 hr of consecutive sleep and maybe 3 hrs total sleep for 3 weeks now. I’m crossing my fingers this reflux medication increase changes things :(. I have an appointment with the GI doc in a couple weeks.

Stats: 14 lb 12.5 oz (25th %), 25.75 in (75th%), size 2 diapers 

Likes:

Daddy giving him a goofy smile, going crazy in his bouncy chair!, when I say “mmmmm” to him, standing (assisted)- which he’s been doing for months now, rolling over (all directions), chewing on everything, his colored ring toys, Sophie, pulling himself up to sitting when you hold his hands, being lifted in the air, trying to blow “raspberries,” giggling!, reaching out and touching your face and grabbing your nose/lips/Nate’s beard, facing forward in the Baby Bjorn carrier for walks

Dislikes:

sitting (he refuses to bend his knees!), napping, being on his back for too long, his gross new reflux medicine, taking too long to get his bottle ready after you put his bib on

Things he’s unsure of:

L.C.(the feeling is mutual)

Schedule:

After eliminating his middle of the night feeding, he wanted more to eat during the day so we increased his bottles to 7.75 ounces and then to 8 oz and he gets 4 of them. Then he started waking up during the night and he seemed hungry so now he also gets 3.5 oz around 1-3am. So total he eats between 32-36 oz per day (he’ll sometimes leave an ounce or so in a bottle or not seem to be hungry at night).

He ends up coming into bed with me way too early (so i can actually try to get some sleep) and i can’t get him to sleep til 7 anymore, so he typically gets up around 6:15-6:30. He gets a bottle and goes down for his nap about 1.5 hrs after waking. He gets the next bottles 4 hrs apart and will nap about 2-2.5 hrs after waking from his prior nap. He tends to sleep less during his early afternoon nap (around 12 or 1ish) and takes a long late afternoon nap (around 4ish). We usually have to wake him from his last nap around 6:15pm so he can have his last bottle, change, have a book (if he’s not too tired) and go straight to bed. We’ve been starting this bottle earlier so he more time to digest before bed because of his reflux.

BerkeleyCollage 5 months ~ ElephantEats.com

Berkeley 4 month ~ ElephantEats.com

I know I already posted some info about Berkeley at 4 months, but I decided that I want to do these monthly stats for myself to remember down the line…I already forget what he was like a month ago!

Berkeley is actually 5 months right now (so things have changed but I’ll do another update next month) but I have to do these things a month behind because otherwise I can’t report what he’s actually doing THAT month. Also, I still have zero free time.

At 4 months old, Berkeley is a really happy baby and is smiling all the time. The only times he cries are when something is wrong- he’s gassy usually- or he’s tired. When he gets overtired, he starts crying and fighting sleep but if you rock him and shove a paci in his mouth he’ll pass out. 

Berkely 4 months ~ ElephantEats.com

Yes, I’m wearing owl pjs

He started rolling over in his swaddle (no arms to impede his turning) and then a few days later started rolling over without it (4.5 months). He rolled left first and then figured out how to roll the other way a few days later. He used to take time to get up on his hands after rolling but now he’s a champ and rolls right onto them! He can’t roll from tummy to back yet. He’s starting to pull up his knees a bit too and might be crawling soon.

He still wakes up once during the night to eat and tends to fuss some other times during the night. When I get tired of getting up a million times to go put a pacifier in his mouth, I’ll take him to bed with me so we can both get some decent sleep. 

Berkeley 4 months 2 ~ ElephantEats.com

My little man!

Stats: 13 lb 12 oz (25th %), 25 3/4 in (75th%), size 2 diapers

Likes:

Getting his diaper changed (he has always liked this and will smile and giggle), getting lots of kisses from mom, smiles from dad, rolling over (and spitting up, without fail), chewing on his fist and anything else he can find, SMILING!, sleeping on his tummy. We’re still swaddling (with one leg out) but he doesn’t seem comfortable with his arms swaddled while on his tummy and is always fighting to get them out. We’ve tried one or both arms out but he flails too much. Waiting on his Zipadeezip suit, fingers crossed it will work!

Berkeley 4 months 3~ ElephantEats.com

Dislikes:

Napping for longer than 30 min in his crib, too much tummy time, not much else- he’s a happy baby! We have to rock him to sleep for naps but bedtime he’ll go to sleep on his own.

Berkeley 4 months 4~ ElephantEats.com

Schedule:

Gets up around 7 (usually he’s in my bed by this point because he’s either woken up at 6 in his crib and i’m trying to get him to sleep longer, or because he’s been fussing all night ) and eats a 6.5ish oz bottle of his special formula. He eats every 4 hrs (7ish, 11ish, 3ish, 6-6:30ish). He goes down for first nap around 1.5 hrs after waking, sleeps only 30-45 min at a time in his crib and then rest of the nap in our arms. His other naps are after about 1 hr 45 min of awake time where we’ll feed him and play with him. Bedtime routine starts between 6-6:30 depending on how well he napped, or earlier if it’s bath day- eat, change, book, bed by 7:30 at the latest. He takes about 15 min to fall asleep on his own usually.

Berkeley 4 months 5~ ElephantEats.com

I think he has started his 4 month sleep regressionand is boycotting some naps completely but is still always smiling…except the day he BARELY napped and then he was in full meltdown mode by bedtime. Why oh why would anyone boycott a nap?! What I wouldn’t give to be held and rocked to sleep…

5 month update coming soon!

Berkeley 4 months 6~ ElephantEats.com 

 

Pasta with Sausage and Chickpeas ~ ElephantEats.com

I can’t believe it took me til Berkeley was 4 months old, but I finally found the time to cook. I’ve been on the lookout for recipes that seem quick to make, and during December we had a nanny and I was working from home- I really had no excuse. Still, I only found time to make an actual dinner ONE night. Pathetic.

Pasta with Sausage and Chickpeas ~ ElephantEats.com

Honestly, it wasn’t that I didn’t have time to cook, it was that I didn’t have time to pick a recipe, grocery shop AND cook. I need to get my act together, which is going to be really hard now that I’m back at work officially (as of Monday) and I leave at 7:30am and don’t get home til almost 7pm. Any tips? I’m thinking that during the weekend I might need to send Nate to the grocery store and then put him on baby duty while I pump out a couple meals we can eat all week long. This will take some planning though, and I’m not sure if I have it in me yet.

Pasta with Sausage and Chickpeas 3 ~ ElephantEats.com

Most likely I’ll be cooking more meals than I show on here. Taking photos of your meal when you have limited time doesn’t really make sense. Plus, I don’t have my photo lights set up and am a little out of practice now, so forgive my poor photos. 

For a little baby update:

Berkeley 4 month ~ ElephantEats.com

Berkeley has officially been on this earth for a whole 4 months, and it’s really quite hard to believe. He’s SO smiley. He smiles for Nate more than for me, which makes me a little sad, but I think it’s just because I’m more of the “provider” and he’s more of the “entertainer.” That’s not to say he doesn’t smile for me at all, but Nate can always get him to grin. He smiles a lot for the nanny, Nora, too…he loves her which makes me very happy.

BerkeleyCollage

He’s also been “talking” a ton. It’s super cute when I’m feeding him and all of a sudden he’ll stop, look at me and just blabber on about something with a furrowed brow. He’s probably complaining about the nasty formula and asking when he can get some of that tasty breastmilk again. He’s been having some tummy issues so we’re trying a completely broken down formula (and a very $$$ one!) and it’s really seemed to help. I’m still breastfeeding him in the middle of the night though because it’s just easier. He’s been really fussing during that time though so it might have to end soon :(

Berkeley football hat ~ ElephantEats.com

Berkeley is also reaching for and grabbing things now! Shirts, hair, you name it…don’t put it too close or it will end up in his mouth. For a couple weeks he was sucking on his fist non-stop, but he seems to have forgotten about that lately. I still think he might become a thumb-sucker, but I guess we’ll have to wait and see.

He doesn’t spend a ton of time on his playmat on either his back or tummy because he has reflux…right after he eats we like to keep him mainly upright so he doesn’t spit up too much. Towards the end of that time before he naps, we’ll put him on his back. He only gets tummy time if he wakes up from a nap early and isn’t ready to eat yet. 

Berkeley Christmas PJs ~ ElephantEats.com

He wiggles and kicks a ton when he’s down but hasn’t rolled over yet. BUT…the other day during nap time he was squirming a ton in his swaddle and next thing I knew, he was face down in the crib! Luckily he has great neck strength and was able to lift his head up. I flipped him and put him back and he did it again! You’re not supposed to keep swaddling after that but he hasn’t done it since…it’s been keeping me up at night though because I’m so afraid he’ll do it during the night. I totally wanna ditch the swaddle but I’m so worried he won’t be able to sleep at all without it since his startle reflex is still pretty strong. If he starts flipping over regularly, i’ll obviously have no choice.

We also conquered a few milestones that I was fearing- our first long (2-3 hr) car ride, the first time I got sick and had to still take care of a baby, and Berkeley’s first cold. I managed to make it through all of them just fine. We headed down to my mother-in-laws for Christmas. We fed him his nighttime bottle and then hit the road during his bed time and he slept the whole way. Then we just moved him to his crib when we got there and he didn’t even wake up.

Santa Berk ~ ElephantEats.com

I got the worst cold while there and I feel bad because I’m totally the one who got Berkeley sick. I couldn’t help it because I had to blow my nose all day long, including while I was feeding him. I think if he had been breastfeeding instead of getting formula, he might have escaped getting sick. He was such a little trooper though, even when he was a snotty, congested mess. He got this nasty cough and runny nose but all through it he was still in a good mood! I should be very thankful and hope that this means he’s a very easygoing baby (now that he got his 2 months of colic out of the way). He did have a little more trouble sleeping though so I’m definitely feeling exhausted right now. I’m crossing my fingers because last night he seemed to have slept a little better.

Also now that I’m back at work, we’re figuring out the best way to do a morning routine. The problem is that he fusses in the morning so I put him in bed with me so we can both get a extra couple hours of sleep…but now I have to get up early to start getting ready for work and it’s hard not to wake him up by mistake. He stays asleep when I get out of bed but is up within 5 min since he doesn’t feel me next to him anymore. I’m not sure how to solve this. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated. As of last night he slept the second half of his night (after his feeding) without fussing! I felt much better rested in the morning.

Santa Berk ~ ElephantEats.com

 

Pasta with Sausage and Chickpeas
A healthy and quick weeknight meal
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Ingredients
  1. 2 tablespoons olive oil
  2. 1 medium onion, chopped
  3. 1 pound fresh hot Italian sausage, casings removed (can use turkey sausage)
  4. 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  5. 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  6. 1 15-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed
  7. 16 ounces small dried pasta (such as malloreddus or orecchiette)
  8. Kosher salt
  9. 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley (optional)
  10. Finely grated Parmesan and lemon zest (for serving)
Instructions
  1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook, stirring often, until beginning to brown, about 3 minutes. Add sausage and cook, breaking up with a spoon, until browned and cooked through, 5-7 minutes.
  2. Add tomato paste to skillet and cook, stirring, until paste darkens, about 1 minute. Add broth; bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until sauce is thickened, 15-20 minutes. Add chickpeas and cook until heated through, about 2 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water, stirring occasionally, until al dente. Drain pasta, reserving 1 cup pasta cooking liquid.
  4. Add pasta and 1/2 cup pasta cooking liquid to sauce. Cook, stirring and adding more cooking liquid as needed, until sauce thickens and coats pasta, about 3 minutes.
  5. Serve pasta topped with parsley, if using, Parmesan, and lemon zest.
Adapted from Bon Appetit
Adapted from Bon Appetit
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