Walking around the store with a scanner and a suggested list is pretty intimidating! I remember putting more clothes on my first registry than much-needed baby items – and received just that. We were thankful for the gifts but were still very much in need of the essentials. While some people look at your registry with great care – others don’t bother with it at all! It’s still smart to set up your registry with the items you’ll most certainly need, for those that actually will listen to and read through your list.
So, from a mom of two, here’s my list of Baby Registry Must-Haves!
1. Baby Carrier
These helped me out SO much in the beginning. When you have a screaming, red-faced newborn demanding every second of your attention, it’s nice to be able to carry them while having your hands free! You can wash bottles, fold laundry, go grocery shopping, and even breastfeed while wearing your infant in your baby carrier. This one is my absolute favorite carrier now! The Lillebaby is great from newborn on through toddler-hood! We are using it right now, and I can’t stop raving about it. I remember reading about it last year while I was pregnant, but wasn’t really sure what all the hype was about. Now, I don’t want to leave the house without it. I love it because I can use it to carry Jax until he’s about 45 lbs. Not that I want to hoist him on my back at that age – I don’t think my poor spine could take that, ha!
If you’re breastfeeding, bottles can still be something you need. Many moms express their breastmilk with a pump, store in the freezer and provide their babies with a bottle. This can also be a great way to get dad involved with feeding baby. If you plan to formula feed, I’d recommend the Comotomo bottles, which are great for switching between breast and bottle. Be careful not to purchase too many bottles at first, though, because your sweet pea might not even like the ones you choose!
3. Diaper Bag
This was totally my favorite part of being a new mom – toting around a diaper bag! I LOVE to organize and having a bag where I could organize all of my baby’s things made me feel super cool and prepared. My diaper bag is seriously my best friend. It holds everything I need, has a million different pockets for holding things and isn’t a bottomless pit like my purse was. And even in just the six years, it’s been since having my oldest son, there are so many new styles of diaper bags! My favorite style is a tie between the backpack (easy to put on, and stays out of the way) and the tote with a shoulder strap. My current bag has a crossbody shoulder strap that I can use to wear and swing the bag around to my back to be out of the way. I don’t like things being in my way, apparently. 🙂
Fisher Price carries my favorite diaper bag – ever! I was totally surprised to learn they even made diaper bags. It. Is. Fantastic. I even wrote a non-sponsored review about its awesomeness that you can read HERE. And if you’re curious to know what I keep in my toddler diaper bag, you can read about that HERE.
4. Grooming Kit
Grooming kits are so great for little ones and typically include a pair of baby-sized nail clippers, a comb, a soft-soft-soft baby hairbrush, a bulb syringe (although you can totally nab one of these from the hospital before you leave!) and a toothbrush. There are also Grooming + HealthCare kits which include things such as a thermometer, nail files, medicine dispenser, cotton swabs, rattle, finger gum massager, and pacifier. I always grab these kits off a friends registry when I see them because I know they will certainly get use! This bear one I’ve featured here is great for the minimalist, and to pop in the diaper bag.
Alright, so not everyone uses these. They’ve been a great tool in our house, though, especially when trying to get our sweet pea Jax to nap for longer than twenty minutes. They say being a newborn is exhausting, and I’m sure that was true for Jax because that kid almost NEVER slept. So, we gave in for our sanity and introduced the pacifier when he was a month old. I’d recommend keeping at least ONE on hand, you never know if you are going to need one or not.
6. Infant Car Seat + Base
I know companies make a fully transitional car seat that can fit babies from newborn through age 3 or 4 depending on weight…but I want you to think about moving your sleeping newborn from their car seat all snug and comfy into the big, open stroller – or into the chilly winter morning air through the Target parking lot. It’s a sanity saver to not wake a sleeping newborn so you can move them for five seconds. Save your sanity – you’ll need as many brain cells as you can hold onto later on in parenting for this nightmare I’ve been reading about called, “Common Core”. Or puberty. I haven’t gotten there yet – I’m just saying.
I say this one with caution. It’s really easy when you have the scanner in your hand and hundreds of footie pajamas in every print and color in front of you to just quickly scan and add everything! Many baby shower guests will print off your registry, head to the baby section, and stop to ogle the adorable newborn clothes! Because who doesn’t do that?! I’m guilty of it myself. So if your registry has a lot of clothing on it, you can bet that that’s what you’ll be getting, more so than you’ll actually need, and then some. Not that it’s a bad thing to have clothes – baby definitely needs clothes! But you don’t want clothing to take up half of your registry when you actually need baby gear more!
As a young single mom, I honestly shrugged off the advice I was given when it came to my son being sick. I was tired of everyone’s opinion and ended up listening to almost nothing I was told unless it came from my pediatrician’s mouth. Now that I’m older, and have another little one – I can tell you from experience that the one piece of advice I really wish I had listened to was to run a humidifier in your children’s room while they are sick or congested.
Dry sinuses, bloody noses, and cracked lips — humidifiers can help soothe these familiar problems caused by dry indoor air. Humidifiers can also help ease symptoms of a cold or another respiratory condition. – MayoClinic.org
Humidifiers make your little one more comfortable, and can help them feel a little relief in the midst of being sick! And for a tiny human who is miserable and can’t yet speak for themselves, that means much more in their world.
9. Baby Monitor
Video monitors help you keep an eye on your sweet pea while they sleep or play in another room. I still use mine to make sure my 18-month-old isn’t causing too much trouble upstairs while I have to run downstairs and switch the laundry! I recently saw a blogger friend of mine on Instagram show her baby’s leg caught in the side rails of her crib while she quietly slept. They are so worth it for the peace of mind!
10. Rock ‘N Play
If you have a little one that ends up having acid reflux, these are lifesavers! With a reclined lounge position, this lounger is great for the early months. They even fold up to store out of sight. We used ours every day after feedings to keep Jax propped up to keep fluid from building up in his ears after feedings and help with his reflux.
You’ll need to register for soft drool bibs (have you seen the bandana style ones? So cute!) as well as some silicone bibs for when you start solids! These are so easy to clean, and are 25% right now! Use code: ACORIN25 at checkout
12. Nasal Aspirator
We love the Nose Frida! This is a modern take on the traditional bulb syringe and is much more effective. You’ll just have to get past the word “Snotsucker” on the box! Don’t worry mama, these have filters!
13. High Chair
I don’t own this one – we decided to use the high chair we kept from when my oldest son was a baby. But for the next little one, this is going into the cart! It has a tray that swings open and can be removed to go into the dishwasher, an easy to wipe leatherette seat in really cute colors, and folds down flat so it’s super compact.
14. Crib, Mattress, & Cribs Sheets
Because cribs are one of the more expensive items you’ll put on your registry, it’s always a good idea to put it on your list because most stores will offer a discount on items that are left over after your baby shower for you to purchase.
15. Breast Pump
If you have health insurance (I hope you do for all those OB appointments and your hospital stay coming up), they will most likely cover the entire cost of a breast pump or even a percentage every 36 months. If you do not have insurance, or they will not cover any of your cost towards a breast pump, you can place it on your registry for a discount later!
This one is pretty self-explanatory. Whether you will be doing cloth or disposable, you’ll need these for sure! My personal advice would be to not register for the newborn size, only size 1+. This way, you aren’t stuck with possibly more than one box of Newborn size only for your little one to have outgrown them before you got to use them.
17. Nursing Pillow
The Boppy was my best friend while breastfeeding for the first time with my second sweet pea! My back wasn’t aching from bending over to hold Jax while I breastfed practically all day. I haven’t tried any other breastfeeding pillows out there, but I never felt the need to with the Boppy. It provided just the right amount of support.
18. Portable Crib
Portable Cribs, also known as Pack ‘N Plays or Playards, are great for on the go, travel, or for putting your little one down in a safe spot so you can go to the bathroom or fold laundry. I’ve even seen a friend of mine turn hers into a ball pit once her child got a little older. Neat idea, right?
You’re definitely gonna need these! Here are my favorite teethers.
I love our thermometer, here’s it the one we have! I have found that the ear reading is more accurate and consistent than the temporal reading.
This infant seat is like a bouncer and swing all-in-one! It has five unique motions that mimic Mama, has a machine washable seat cover, and can now be controlled via Bluetooth with your smartphone!
With your infant car seat, you can easily place your napping newborn into their stroller without having to remove them and wake them so you can run some errands or go for a brisk walk. This one is my favorite, especially for petite moms, because of its easy fold down and carry!
I definitely thought infant bathtubs were a total rip-off. But when you are crouched over the bathtub, which seems one hundred times bigger than your soft and delicate newborn who is now slippery wet with soap and screaming, you’ll be wishing you had a safer, size appropriate option to bathing your little one. Plus, positive experiences lead to less fussing in the future when it comes to tub time! Your baby will pick up on your stress, and bath time will resonate as a stressful activity for your babe. So do yourself a favor, and register for a $15 tub, it’s worth it.
24. Drying Rack
I have a dishwasher, and chances are you do too. But if I waited to clean my bottles in the dishwasher only, with no hand washing, I would need 3-4x more bottles just to not run out. Newborns eat every 2 hours, so you’re going to need a good bottle brush and a drying rack. I’ve linked my absolute favorites (the bottle brush is freaking AMAZING – it actually has a full head of bristles that are soft and durable and totally gets the job done!)
Swaddlers will be your best friend, new mommy! The really cool thing about swaddlers is that while they mimic a straight jacket (sorry, but they totally do!), they create a sense of warmth and security. Newborn babes have their startle reflex (also known as the Moro reflex) until at least 3 months old, but this can actually last until they’re six months old! Swaddlers help keep little ones from waking themselves up, which means mama will get more sleep, too. While blankets are not recommended in cribs due to SIDS and other safety concerns, swaddlers are considered safe as long as they are used properly.
Again, safety standards today recommend NOT placing blankets in your child’s crib or car seat to avoid accidental death, but these are great for the lap while baby is being observed in the stroller, rolled up to help position your older baby in a shopping cart seat, or even as a light nursing cover. Muslin blankets are the softest ever!
27. Sound Machine
*LIFESAVER ALERT*. This is an amazing sound machine, we use it with Jax for naps and bedtime. He likes the sound of a waterfall, so we turn out the lights, place him in his crib, turn this bad boy on, and close the door. Works like a charm! I love that it can run on either batteries for when we go camping/out of town, or plugs into the wall. Plus, it’s under $20, score.
Alright, mamas! That’s it for my roundup of Baby Registry Must-Haves! I hope you enjoyed reading, and this list helped you put your registry together. Be sure to check out Amazon.com for your registry, they have some great benefits including a Welcome box valued at $35, and the option to add items from any store to your registry – how cool!
Be sure to snag my FREE Printable Baby Registry Checklist!