Looking back now, there are so many items I wish I had put on my baby registry!
My daughter Lily is now 14-months-old and I cannot believe how clueless I was about what she and I were going to need after she was born! I remember walking through Babies R Us when I was pregnant and scanning random items as if in a haze. I was just guessing what I might need or not need. My mom and dad were with me and let me take the reins. They were trusting I knew what I wanted/needed. I love them so much for that because they know I am a control freak, but in hindsight, I really wish I had someone there giving me concrete suggestions about the best brands, etc. Especially for those first months after having a baby when having the right “equipment” can mean the difference between getting to enjoy motherhood or losing your mind.
So I decided to make a list of 37 Baby Registry Must Haves in the hopes of helping other clueless new mothers like myself to have a better understanding of what they will need. I only included items that I have and love or items I wish I had! For every item, I listed my personal pick. That way you have a very specific suggestion on type/brand!
This is one of the items I am kicking myself for not having. I didn’t register for a monthly photo blanket or the stickers. I did, however, get the stickers after Lily was born. If I could go back in time, I would get the monthly photo blanket instead of the stickers. I just think its easier to place your baby on a blanket rather than try to stick the sticker on or near your baby. Because eventually, they will want to eat the sticker and taking photos will be very difficult! I know from personal experience.
My Pick: Mud Pie Monthly Milestone Blanket
I swore up and down that I would not need a bouncer. I really thought I would just always hold Lily or someone else would be around to hold her if needed. Boy was I wrong! I would highly recommend getting at least one bouncer to have in your house. I might even recommend having multiple bouncers in different locations around your house. That or a swing, and a bouncer, and a rock and play, oh my! You are going to need a place to safely put your baby down at some point. That might seem obvious to most people, but if you’re stubborn and addicted to holding your baby like me, just take my advice and add a bouncer to your registry!
My Pick: Baby Bjorn Bouncer
After having Lily, baby wearing quickly became an obsession of mine. It was the perfect solution for me to be able to continue holding Lily but also have the use of both of my hands. There are basically three different kinds of baby carriers and I highly recommend having one of each. Trust me, it’s not excessive, it’s just practical. Each type of carrier is great for different things. Wraps are great for newborns, carriers are great for long wear, and slings are great for older babies with better head and body control. But honestly, you can use slings from newborns to two-year-olds! They are my favorite because they can easily be squished into a diaper bag and once you get the hang of it, are the simplest to get your baby in and out of as well. Basically, babywearing is the best and having the different baby wearing mediums is a must!
I am just going to assume all new mothers are as crazy and paranoid as I am and say a car mirror is an absolute essential. From the moment Lily popped out I have been staring at her. Is she okay? Is she breathing? Is she happy? One of the places that give me the most anxiety is in the car. Especially, when I’m driving alone with Lily. Having a car mirror is a must! That way I can keep staring at her. It gives me so much peace of mind while I drive. You are definitely going to want one.
My Pick: Soinlove Baby Car Mirror
Muslin swaddles are one of those items I love for so many reasons. What’s funny is that I never swaddled Lily. She hated it. However, I used my swaddles as a nursing cover, spit-up cloth, light blanket, decor, etc. There are so many uses for muslin swaddling blankets than actually swaddling. But they work great for that too! You’ll just have to wait until your baby arrives to see how you’ll use those beautiful muslin swaddles, but just trust me when I say you’re going to want them.
Receiving blankets are probably one of my most used baby items. I remember getting so many receiving blankets for gifts and thinking how I would never use that many. I was so very very wrong. To this day I still go through 3-5 receiving blankets per week. I keep one draped over my headboard for easy access and switch it out as the week goes on. When Lily was a newborn I used probably 2 every day. They are great for diaper changing mats, spit up cleaner, etc. Basically, I use them like I would use a paper towel, but they’re reusable. Just stock up on these suckers. You’ll thank me later.
My Pick: Gerber Receiving Blankets
Pacifiers are a bit controversial, but they were a lifesaver for me. My advice is to have them around just in case and then take your babies cues when deciding whether or not you need them. I love Natursutten pacifiers because they are made out of chemical-free rubber, but really your baby will decide which kind they like best.
My Pick: Natursutten Pacifier
It won’t take long before your baby starts chewing on everything. So it would be nice to have some designated teether’s around so when the time comes you can give them something safe and meant for chewing. There are so many options for teether’s out there and really anything works. Sophie the Giraffe seems to be the most popular choice, so it would be a great one to add to your registry.
My Pick: Sophie the Giraffe
One thing I did not anticipate or prepare for was the onset of nonstop drool! I don’t remember exactly when I started, but I want to say around 3-4 months old Lily started to drool around the clock. Within a couple of hours after getting her dressed her onesie would be soaking wet. I didn’t want to put her in a normal bib because it seemed uncomfortable. So I bought a ton of those bandana bibs and it was the best thing I ever did. They were not only more comfortable for Lily but way more stylish! They are thinner and just more practical for wearing for long periods of time.
My Pick: Touched by Nature Bandana Bib
I almost didn’t add diaper bag to the list because I honestly don’t think you need a designated diaper bag. At first, I used a cheap leather tote bag from Target as a diaper bag and it worked just fine. Later on, I bought a backpack on Amazon that I use as a diaper bag. I have yet to own an actual diaper bag. However, there is one diaper bag that I want so bad, but because of the price, I haven’t purchased it. If I had known about it before Lily was born, I would’ve registered for it and hoped that someone was generous enough to get it for me. That’s how bad I want it! lol So I am hoping you learn from my mistakes and go check out this diaper bag and add it to your registry!
My Pick: Fawn Design Diaper Bag
There is not much to say about this one because obviously, you’re going to need a high chair at some point. The only recommendation I have for this one is to register for a high chair that does not have fabric on it. I think the reason I love Lily’s simple IKEA high chair is that it’s so easy to wipe down. I’m sure those high chairs with cushions have removable fabric on them that can be washed, but why do that when you can just wipe it down right away? Just throwing in my two cents here, register for a non-fabric high chair!
My Pick: IKEA Antilop High Chair
Luckily, I did happen to register for a Boppy pillow and got it. Funny enough, I never used it for nursing. However, it used it every day for propping Lily up when she couldn’t sit up on her own yet. It’s great for tummy time, too. Whether you use it for nursing or one of its many other uses, you gonna use it all the time. So, register for it!
My Pick: Boppy Nursing Pillow
I am kind of embarrassed to admit how long it took me to get a diaper pail. I never registered for it because I didn’t think it was a necessity and I was trying to be simple and easy. HA! Now having actually had a baby, if there is any baby gear item that I would say is a necessity it’s a diaper pail! Or nose plugs. One or the other. Because Lily was exclusively breastfed or maybe by some miracle, her poop did not smell bad at all. So throwing her diapers in a trash bin was no big deal. However, as soon as she started eating the tiniest bit of solids that was no longer the case. I got a diaper pail real quick and everyone in the house was thankful for it. Just register for one right away and call it day.
My Pick: Ubbi Steel Diaper Pail
A bassinet is definitely an item you want to register for if you are planning on co-sleeping but not bed sharing. You can also use a bassinet if you work from home and want somewhere to lay your baby down near you while you work. A bassinet is small so that it would be perfect for an office. That’s a very specific example, but that just shows that your lifestyle really comes into play when deciding what baby gear you need and therefore what you need to register for.
My Pick: Baby Bjorn Cradle
There are so many reasons to register for a Dock-A-Tot and had I known they even existed when I was pregnant I would have registered for one in a second. You can basically put your baby anywhere to safely sleep when you need to, like on a bed, on the floor, in a crib, etc. Hence the name DockATot. I have heard so many amazing things about them and their ability to help babies and toddlers sleep. They curl around your baby and not only keep them safe but comfort them as well. They are also perfect for bed sharing because they offer that bit of protection between you and baby while still allowing them to be in the same bed as you. Basically, you don’t need one of these, but it would definitely make your life a whole easier.
My Pick: DockATot Deluxe
This is one of those things you don’t necessarily need but might want. If you have a crib, bouncer, swing, rock and play, and bassinet than why would you need a Moses basket!? Well, let me tell you why I wish I had one…photos! There is literally nothing cuter than a tiny baby in a Moses basket. There is just something so sweet and precious about it. I wish so much that I had one for Lily. I had to add it to the list because it’s too late for me but it might not be for you! You better bet that if I have any more children I am getting on of these!
This is another item I so wish I would’ve registered for in the beginning. I can think of dozens of instances where I wish I had a pack and play. The reason I didn’t get one in the first place was that I always kind of thought of them as a baby jail. It felt weird to me to put my baby in something that so closely resembled a cage. After actually having a baby, my thoughts have completely changed. I think they are great for allowing your baby to have a safe place to play indoors and outdoors. They are also so great if you are traveling and are in a hotel or someone else home that is not baby proof.
My Pick: Graco Pack ‘n Play TotBloc
I hardly ever used the baby bath that I registered for because I just took Lily in the shower with me. The bath I had was huge and not great for newborns. If I could go back I would register for a different one. I would just register for the padded kind you put into the sink. I think those are the most practical and comfortable for newborns and infants. When your baby grows out of the sink insert it will be around the same time the can sit up in the bath on their own. So I might even suggest registering for the sink bath insert and also a bath seat for the tub. I really don’t think that the full-size plastic baby baths are practical at all.
My Pick: Blooming Bath Lotus
These seats are so great for helping your baby learn how to use their core muscles and practice for sitting up on their own. You can even register for the tray attachment and turn it into a portable high chair.
My Pick: Bumbo Multi-Seat
This is another thing I would’ve registered for if I could do it all over again. The best part about a portable changing pad is that it can turn any dresser into a changing table. You just slap one of these on top and you’re good to go. That way you can just take it off and it can transition as your child gets older. It’s also great because you can move it from room to room if you need to.
My Pick: Contoured Changing Pad
I wanted one of these for Lily so bad! It’s basically like a sock that you put on your baby and it measures their heart rate and oxygen levels. Like I said earlier, I am such a paranoid freak/ cliche first-time mom, and if you are like me then something like this can offer a lot of peace of mind.
My Pick: Owlet Smart Sock
This is one of those obvious and practical items, but still worth mentioning. Your baby is going to need some soft towels for after bath time, so why not register for them and stock up.
This is another essential item you need for your baby, so you might as well register for it. My favorite baby care products are from Babo Botanicals. Every one of their products is all natural and chemical-free. This Newborn Sensitive Skin Gift Set would be the perfect starter kit to register for!
I think clothing is very personal and everyone has their own taste. So my recommendation is to only register for the basics. One of those basics is onesies! You can never have too many onesies, especially in those newborn days when poop explosions and spit up is oh so very common. I would register for a variety of styles (i.e tank, short and long sleeve) and sizes. Of course, if you want to register for a bunch of clothes than go ahead! Just don’t forget to add those onesies to the list!
My Pick: Burt’s Bees Organic Cotton Onesies
Baby skin is so sensitive and baby nails are so sharp! Little baby mittens are an absolute must-have. I only had a couple of pairs when Lily was little and I should’ve gotten more. She needed to have them on at all times or her face would look like Edward scissor hands gave her a facial. I would even put socks on her hands if all her mittens were dirty because it broke my heart to see her precious little face all cut up. Register for those mittens mamas!
My Pick: Burt’s Bees Baby Mitts
Footed jammies are the perfect outfit for newborns, especially the ones with built-in mittens. They are just no fuss, have easy diaper access, and so cozy. I really thought I would love dressing Lily in cute little outfits right away but that was not the case. When you bring home your precious little baby you have so many things to worry about and figure out and outfits are the last thing on your mind. You just want your baby to be fed, clean, and comfy. You can have fun with outfits later on.
My Pick: L’oved Baby Footed Overall
Speaking of having fun with outfits! Honestly, your baby does not need shoes until they are walking. They end up being more of a nuisance than a necessity. Your baby will kick them off in half a second and you’ll spend your first mothers day breakfast walking around the restaurant trying to find your baby’s shoe because you spent too much money on a tiny pair of shoes to just let them get lost the first time they are worn. No? Just me? lol There is a very specific kind of shoe that I actually do love and they stay on your baby’s feet! Those shoes are Freshly Picked Moccs! If you want to put shoes on your not-yet-walking baby, these are the shoes for you. Add them to that registry!
My Pick: Freshly Picked Moccasins
Activity mats are so great for those daily tummy time sessions. Of course, you really only need to put a blanket down on the floor and that will suffice for tummy time. However, play mats are specifically designed to stimulate your babies senses and get their little brains working. I love the mats with mirrors because babies like to look at their own cute little faces.
Lily’s favorite thing in the whole world is her “Bunny”. It’s the sweetest little pink half stuffed animal and half blanket. She can’t sleep without it and just hugs and kisses it all day. It’s beyond adorable. I received it as a gift before she was even born and it’s one of those things we will probably keep forever.
My Pick: JellyCat Bunny Soother Blanket
I have a bin full of all the blankets I received as gifts at my baby shower. I originally thought to have that many blankets was totally unnecessary, but we use them all the time. I feel like if you’re having your baby in the fall or winter you’re going to want a lot of cozy blankets. And even though Lily is 14 months now, we still use them and she loves playing with them as well.
My Pick: Little Giraffe Luxe Baby Blanket
This is definitely a must-have item for your registry. My only suggestion here is to register for a combo set. At different ages and during different circumstances your going to need different types of thermometers. When taking a newborns temperature it’s most accurate to use a rectal thermometer. When they get older you can start using the ear thermometer. However, if you suspect an ear infection it’s best to use a temporal or under the tongue thermometer. Basically, you’re going to want to have all the options on hand. So you can either register for one of each or find a combo set.
My Pick: Little Martin’s Thermometer Set
I still don’t own a humidifier and each time Lily gets a little congested I regret not having one. Having a humidifier is must have if you are bringing home your baby in the fall or winter and planning on turning the heater on!
My Pick: REIDEA Ultrasonic Humidifier
Newborns and infants do a lot of breathing through their nose before they start using their mouth to breath as well. So it’s our job as parents to make sure their little noses are all clear so they can breathe easily. I had a horrible experience with using a bulb syringe (You can read the story here) and I am so grateful I found the Nose Frida Snot Sucker. That thing is a game changer and the only nasal aspirator I would ever recommend.
My Pick: NoseFrida Snot Sucker
What kind of baby registry list would this be if I didn’t include diapers?! Arguably the most essential baby must have out there! My tip is to register for all diaper sizes because you’re going to need every size eventually, so why not start stocking up right away. If you plan on going the cloth diaper route, then you still need to register for the cloth diapers and all that goes with cloth diapering.
My Pick: Bambo Nature Diapers
Of course, you need wipes too! Another essential you should start stocking up on immediately. You will go through wipes like nobody’s business and you will be so grateful to have a large stash on hand.
My Pick: Joonya Eco Wipes
A car seat is probably one of the most obvious items on this list, but I thought I would give you some specific suggestions considering there are so many brands to choose from. I have the same convertible car seat I listed below and I love it so much. So that is definitely my number one choice for a convertible car seat. As for an infant car seat, I would go with the UPPA Baby Mesa infant car seat because it is compatible with the Vista Stroller I suggest below. The UPPA baby products are on the expensive side, but they are so dreamy! So add them to your registry and maybe a few of your friends and family can go in on it together!
The UPPA Baby Vista Stroller is so versatile and stylish. I wish I knew it existed when I was creating my registry because it is such an incredible stroller. It is a travel system that includes a bassinet and toddler seat that you can switch out. It is also compatible with the Mesa Infant Car Seat. So cool! The best part is that you can add an additional seat, so it will grow with your family and you won’t have to purchase a different stroller. Basically, even though its pricy in the beginning, you end up saving money because you can use it for years and with multiple children.
My Pick: UPPA Baby Vista Stroller