Baby Registry Essentials List
I have a few friends that have recently announced they’re expecting baby #1 and, just like so many of us the first time around, it is SO overwhelming to come up with a list of what you’ll need. Whether you are registering for gifts or buying for yourself there are SO many options and it is easy to get confused. I have by no means tested every product on the market, far from it, but I have used a variety and (at the time of writing this post, 9.5 months into baby-hood) have much clearer picture of what I actually needed/used than pre-baby.
I will also note, ideally I would ask for things from places with easy/good return policies like Amazon & Buy Buy Baby. You will inevitably need to return or exchange and you don’t want to struggle with that!
So here it is, my list of what to get & some particular brands I love:
For the Nursery/Bath: You may have other needs to consider in a room for baby like black out curtains per se, but this is a list of everything we needed/used for Ford! Excluding decorative bits of course!
Dresser (**With a changing table top)
Changing Pad (we ended up getting this one as a gift and love that it can be easily wiped down but if that is the main function you are looking for then I would suggest this one which is much less expensive)
Sound Machine (we got the Dohm to start but we love the Rohm travel one even more so now we just keep the travel one in there plugged in permanently. I would personally avoid one with timers, sensors, or night lights. Little babies do not need night lights)
Bath: Hooded Towels (2), Wash Cloths, Baby Tub, Baby Rinser, Baby Soap, Baby Toothbrush, Baby Toothpaste, Baby Aquaphor (note you don’t need to brush their teeth until teeth come in and even still we didn’t start doing it until around 9m and 7 teeth!)
Nail Scissors or Clippers
*** If you plan to have baby sleep in the room with you, you will need a bassinet or pack n play. We had Ford in the room with one of us just for about 2 weeks in his pack n play then he moved to his own crib so unfortunately I don’t have any personal experience with bassinet use!
For Play Time: This changes fast and often so don’t feel like you need all of these things right away. In fact baby doesn’t play with much for the first month or two (or more!) anyways but this is a list of things you might use early on and then will definitely use more as time goes on.
A lounger pillow: We actually had the Dock a Tot, Snuggle Me Organic, & The Boppy Lounger. We never did any co-sleeping so none of them were hugely used. The Snuggle Me was great when he was little hanging on the couch but that was a short period of time, and for the same experience (even better because of the slight incline for reflux) The Boppy Lounger was more useful for us and way less expensive.
Activity Center: There are tons of these this one is just probably the best looking IMO! Ford started going in here with a towel around him for cushioning around 4-4.5 months and still goes in it at almost 10 months!
Floor Mat: This is great now that he is roaming a bit more and very easy to clean
Baby Swing: We had the Mamaroo but honestly it was short lived. Ford didn’t nap it in much so for me it wasn’t that worth it. Some babies love it though, hit or miss.
Toys: Early on he just liked rattles and things he could put him his mouth. As he has gotten older we have a few new favorites:
Books: For little ones I have found that board books and crinkle paper books are the best. I personally like simple books that rhyme so these are my favorites:
For Sleep: Or what you can get of it! Remember, Ford didn’t sleep through the night/start sleep training until 5-6 months old and didn’t take longer than 30 minute naps in his crib consistently until he was 6 months! It’s rough but it takes time! Also hiring a sleep coach was the best money we spent life to date.
Sleep Sacks - get 2 of each size as you need them. Amazon makes this easy - don’t buy too much ahead of time. We didn’t use a sleep sack until Ford was 5 months and began to roll.
Blankie - we started using this when we did sleep training at 5 months. They are breathable and we have two of them which I alternate or keep one for travel.
For Travel: We have traveled a good amount with Ford and let me say this - do not be afraid to have your kid sleep in a dark closet! Also check out this post which is more comprehensive on traveling with a little one.
I have used 3 different pack n plays and like them all for different reasons.
We have the Nuna Sena Aire which is the heaviest but once you remove the newborn addition it is much lighter & easier to open/ close. The pro is that when the baby is little the newborn addition (which just comes with it) makes it so that you don’t have to reach down so far to place baby (trust me when you finally get that kid sleeping you are literally placing them down so gently not to wake them that this is legit a factor).
That said, I LOVE how light and compact the Baby Bjorn is, I just had a hard time reaching all the way to the bottom when Ford was really little.
For the most economical option which my brother has had for 3 kids over 8 years and it still has lasted for Ford to use is the Graco. Seriously it is easy to open & close, super inexpensive and straight up lasts.
Don’t forget to buy crib sheets/an extra set for emergencies when traveling!
Optional but if you’re going to do a lot of traveling in single rooms (like baby in with you) this is AMAZING. It creates a little dark home for them so that you can still have lights on and move about the room.
Packing Cubes to keep things organized (or be like me and re-use some big ziplock!)
Wet Bags: For toys, dirty clothes etc
For Feeding: I exclusively breast fed until Ford was close to 4 months then tried formula. I didn’t really start supplementing until closer to 5 months with a little here or there and then it slowly just morphed into full on formula by just past 8 months. He started eating solids around 4 months which I explain in more detail in this blog post.
Bottles - these are my favorite and the ones we use. They are easy to clean and don’t have tons of parts. It is a little hard to see the nipple number size but it is on the half circle near the nipple vent. Just pay attention as you near the age of the next nipple size and easily order them. Start with the small bottles & size 0
Bottle Cleaning Brush: For our bottles, I have 2 of them!
High Chair: We registered for this one but regret it because it’s so big. We have only used the clip on one so far and it’s amazing would HIGHLY recommend. However I would say if you get a regular high chair as a gift, opt for something slim or inexpensive like this one that many people love.
Sippy Cups: This is tough because every kid is different, you don’t need these yet, just wait and play around with trying different ones (we love these) once baby is older.
For On The Go: These are merely just the items we bought and can vouch for. But there are many great products on the market so do some research! If you live near a Galt Baby location I would highly recommend buying from them because they offer excellent services like repairs and installations if you purchase through them.
Carrier: We got this one initially which I do like but now I use this one which I love because it is soft and easy and allows Ford to sit lower on my body so I can see over his head! We weren’t big baby wearers mostly because Ford didn’t like it that much until closer to 4m.
Bunting: If you live in a winter place get a bunting. We got this one which was PERFECT for Ford’s age and size in the car seat all winter long. I didn’t love it in the vista though so we will probably get a new one next winter.
War Muffs (also a cold weather must)
Car seat covers: Get 2 of these
Picnic Blanket: This one is amazing - we didn’t use it until recently mostly because Ford was born going into a long cold stretch but this is a fantastic one for the park or beach
Clothes/Extra Linens: Don’t go too crazy on clothes. You will have to swap them all out every couple of months anyways and you honestly won’t know what you want/need/like until you’re in the thick of it. Which makes Target & Amazon extremely useful.
To start I found it easiest (esp before belly button fell off) to dress Ford in these snap kimono shirts & pants during the day
At night he slept in sleep dresses because they were so easy to use changing diapers. I would personally avoid snaps
Burp Cloths: Get a shit ton of these
Don’t Forget Mom!! You will need more than this list including things like pads etc but hopefully the hospital sends you home with some stuff as well! But here are just a couple of things I have used a ton.