Baby Registry 101
This is the post where I tell you ALL the things I wish we would’ve done with our first baby necessities, and dish on my favorite things that we did get (many of them after B was born!) I’m breaking it down by category so if you’re working on your own registry, you can organize it without missing any of the essentials. When I originally built our registry for B, I set it up for the first year only. We didn’t ask for any potty training products, and we kept eating/drinking necessities to a minimum. I wanted to feel prepared for the most chaotic season, and figured we could easily add plates, cups, and other toddler things after that first year. And I was right! We definitely didn’t want or need to store anything extra at the time. Trust me, the amount of baby things just for the first year is overwhelming enough!
We used Amazon’s Baby Registry and Buy Buy Baby’s Registry. I found that our online shopper friends used Amazon, and the more traditional/last minute friends used Buy Buy Baby. Both registries were bought from equally, which was awesome because I love the variety and small shops that Amazon carries, but Buy Buy Baby was also great because of their 20% off coupon and last minute convenience. I also did all my registering online - it saved us the headache of scanning in the store, and I could easily research while I registered.
The crib and mattress were a HUGE purchase/splurge for us. Babyletto had the most modern options for cribs, and I liked that they weren’t massive in person. They’re one of the more popular crib companies that I’ve seen, and their commitment to quality is up there.
Crib - Babyletto was the brand we went with. We got the 3-in-1 converter set for toddler bed potential, but we’re going straight to a big girl bed when the time comes.
Mattress - I did a ton of research on the mattress, and we ended up getting a breathable organic crib mattress with a waterproof cover. It may or may not have made a difference, but when we switched B to the crib it gave me so much peace of mind.
Crib sheets - When it came down to crib sheets, I tried a lot of different brands. To this day, I only buy Burt’s Bees Baby crib sheets. They’re super soft, thicker fabric and stretchy so they’re easy to put on a mattress when you’re half awake. I love that they’re not pricey, also! Add at least 3 of these to your registry because someday you will be changing them at 4AM and will be grateful to have clean spares.
Breathable crib bumpers - We were so glad to have these when B started sleeping against the sides of the crib.
Rail covers - To keep your future teething babe from chewing up the crib!
The Car Seat:
After getting insanely overwhelmed with options for car seats, I ended up asking a friend which car seat they chose and just added it to the registry. We went with an infant car seat, and it lasted us almost the entire first year because B was pretty petite. We got the Maxi Cosi car seat, and it worked out great! When it was time to upgrade, we just went with a Graco car seat that was on sale. Car seats that are on the American market all meet the same standards of safety, so anything with extra bells and whistles are just that… bells and whistles!
All I wanted out of a stroller was the capability to take it a variety of places with ease, and I loved how smooth jogging strollers were. We ended up getting the Thule stroller with the attachment for a carseat (for younger babies only) and I’ve loved it every day. My mom also suggested getting a smaller cheaper stroller to take places like the mall where you want a less bulky stroller, and that was a really smart suggestion.
Thule stroller - We’ve taken this stroller off-roading, on hundreds of walks, and to places like the Zoo. It breaks down easily, and I love how smooth it is.
Stroller/carseat bunting - We didn’t have this, but a friend did. They’re SO brilliant, and I wish we’d had one. This one works with both both strollers and carseats, and keeps baby cozy and warm in the cold months.
Lightweight stroller - This has come in handy so many times, specifically at places like the mall or even the post office when I need to contain B in tighter spaces.
We went basic with our choice on the playard, and I wish we would’ve done more research in retrospect! I originally loved that the playard we chose could work as a bassinet or changing table in our room for the first few months. Little did I realize that B would hate sleeping in it, and we’d end up co-sleeping. Also, we seriously never changed a diaper on it, but that’s personal preference! Later on, we used the playard for travel only. My sister-in-law found a mattress that fits her playard (we’ve borrowed on occasion), which made a big difference in comfort as well. We also have friends who swear by the Lotus by Guava Family for ease of travel and comfort - I’ve seen them in action and can vouch that they’re worth the hype and investment.
Playard mattress - Extra comfort for babes who sleep in a standard playard
Playard sheets - Don’t forget these!
Lotus by Guava Family - Highly recommended by our friends who travel!
Our current playard by Graco - A great playard for the price! We use it when we travel, and B sleeps great in it.
Having a swing or bouncer your baby likes will change your life, but figuring out which one that is… that’s the kicker. We never really found one B jelled with perfectly. The MamaRoo was her favorite by far, but she wouldn’t spend more than 15 minutes at a time in it without fussing. My advice is to borrow if you can, or try them out after baby comes when returns can still be made. Below are the ones we liked and that other friends swore by.
Rock n’ Play Sleeper - I had a few people tell me to try naps in these because so many babies love them! We got a few really decent naps out of ours, but B was primarily a co-sleeping napper until we sleep trained. It also breaks down pretty well - once we brought it to the farm for B to nap in, and it was easy to put in the car. (EDIT: These have since been recalled - before this post was written. We will be keeping ours for supervised naps only. Please always follow safe sleep guidelines.)
4moms mamaRoo - This was gifted to us, and we really liked it. It wasn’t a miracle worker for us (no swing or bouncer really was), but it was B’s favorite swing we tried!
I think these were far more effective than any swing or bouncer for B. We had all of these below and were happy with each one for different reasons. I loved the snuggly closeness of the Boba Baby Wrap when B was under 6 months old, and after that age she was in the more structured Boba 4G Carrier. We also tried ring slings, which you either love or hate. We never broke our sling’s fabric in enough, but it held its value and I sold it on Facebook for the amount it was purchased for a year later. I liked how you didn’t have to tie it every time you wore it, but it still had the snuggle factor with more structure than the Boba Wrap. Ring slings also just look really cute on, which is the cherry on top as opposed to a lot of other baby gear out there.
Boba Baby Wrap - Great for young babies and for when you want to carry baby close.
Boba 4G Carrier - A structured wrap that even Dad will feel comfortable wearing.
Ring sling - WildBird has a huge following for a reason. Their slings are beautiful, and break in nicely.
I actually didn’t register for any clothing, but we still got lots of clothing at showers! People just like to buy baby clothes, and if you have a specific style in mind, it may be helpful to register for a few pieces to give people ideas of what you need. You only need a tiny bit of newborn sized clothing since they grow so quickly. I also realized that we needed far more comfy PJ’s and sleep-friendly clothing than “outfits” since B slept so often, and we really never left the house anyways. I felt like if I wouldn’t want to nap in it, she wouldn’t probably want to either. A word of advice: If you’re buying for a friend’s shower and you really want to get them baby clothes, opt for something soft and cozy.
Swaddle sleepsacks (2+ of them) - You can size up on these to save money, and get a few of them because babies are messy awake or not! The brand I linked is the best for the price, but if you want to upgrade later for non-swaddling sleepsacks, KyteBaby has THE best quality sleepsacks that we love. We sized up a lot, and it’s mainly length you’re sizing up on so feel free to order large.
Socks - We ended up scrapping these after a few months because they drove me nuts, but in the beginning especially (and if you have a winter baby) you’ll want them. The socks B is wearing in the first photo are from Amazon and they stayed on well because they were so tall - linked here.
Mittens - Babies scratch themselves so much, and these actually stayed on!
White long-sleeved onesies - Gerber was my favorite for these. They were cheap, soft, and stretchy. I also didn’t feel bad throwing them away if they got gnarly stains on them.
A few pieces that make you smile - Maybe this is silly, but there are some heavy hormonal days ahead of you. I had a few sweet outfits for B that really made me smile, and I kept them in storage for the memory. Zara and GAP were my favorites for newborn outfits that are budget-friendly but good quality for the price.
Pajama outfits - I may have just made this up. If it could work as an outfit, but also could be pajamas then it’s perfect for a new baby. I’d say tiny sweatpants and hoodie jumpers both qualify as pajama outfits.
Booties - We went with the Freshly Picked moccasins (size 0 for newborn) and they were the only thing she couldn’t get off her feet so I used them forever. We wore those in every size until B was almost 2. They’re made of soft leather to help with foot development, and they feel like slippers (again with the everything is pajamas obsession.)
Winterwear - This really only applies if you’re having a baby in colder months! We got B a Patagonia footie jumper, and loved it so much that we got her another one when she grew out of it a year later. It’s good quality so I knew she’d be extra warm, zipped up easily over anything, and was comfy enough to sleep in. It also wasn’t too puffy for the carseat, which was nice.
We had the Puj tub for the first few months B took a sink bath, and then put her in the Angelcare Bath Support for the regular bathtub when she got a little bigger which she LOVED. I was gifted a lot of different brands of baby soap, lotions, etc. and the most accessible brand we liked was Aveeno for sensitive skin, dry skin, and scent/non-scented if that’s more your thing. I also used some great organic brands over the years, but never found a bath wash that was tear-free (and learned the hard way that it wasn’t…)
Puj tub - For sink baths with newborns
Angelcare Bath Support - For support in the bath as baby gets bigger
Bath wash - Aveeno lavender calming wash is the best for baths before bed!
Brush and comb set - We loved this sweet little bamboo set.
Hooded towel - This was our favorite towel when B was a baby! It’s so soft and dries fast.
Wash cloth - We also have these and they get softer every time you use them.
We loved the bottles we chose because they worked well with breastfeeding, but since then I’ve been exposed to so many kinds of bottles that are really cool - sharing another breastfeeding friendly bottle below. I also used the Baby Bullet in the beginning of feeding B, but switched over to the Beaba Babycook and it was SO MUCH BETTER. It could cook and blend the food in the same container - absolutely amazing. I’m listing out the essentials below that we used and loved the first year of feeding B.
Spoons - Beaba makes the best spoons, and they’re slim and lightweight enough for baby to hold.
Breastpump - I got a basic Medela pump through my insurance, and it was my best frenemy. A few accessories I purchased for it here: Pump Flanges (WAY more comfortable than what my pump came with) & Cooling/Heating Pads (because your boobs will hurt and you’ll be glad you have these!)
Bottle drying rack - Necessary and yes baby stuff will take over your counter. Just embrace it.
Steam N’ Mash Bowl - I brought this to so many restaurants in the diaper bag when B was little and starting foods. It’s amazing for avocados because it comes with a masher and grips inside the bowl for easy smooshing of foods, plus you can microwave and steam other foods in it as well.
IKEA Antilop Highchair - Hands down the best for the money and easiest to clean highchair. We waited to buy this until B was ready to start foods, and I’m so glad we didn’t splurge on a highchair.
Beaba Babycook - If you want to make your own baby food, this will make your life SO much easier. I loved making my own food with this thing.
Silicone molds - Even if you don’t make a lot of your own baby food in the beginning, if you cook at home this is handy for saving leftover veggies, soup, etc. as baby gets older and eats more of a variety of foods. You can even bake in these ones from Beaba.
We started with a $300+ baby monitor that was absolute junk from the beginning, but couldn’t return it because we didn’t use it until 5+ months later (BOO). I’m sharing what we use for monitors now, and what other techie items we used that I loved during that first year.
Lollipop Monitor - It’s super easy to use, affordable, and you can bend it to stand up or install it on a wall.
Old-school monitors - I got these when our original monitor refused to function properly, and I recommend them all the time. If your internet is spotty, you’re traveling, or a friend’s baby is sleeping in another room while they’re a guest at your house, it’s so nice to have these on hand.
Owlet Care - Jordan thought I was a little nutty for getting this, but it saved me so much stress when B was a baby. We never had any real alarms with it thankfully, but sadly Jordan washed the sensor so we’ll be getting another one for the second time around because I loved it SO much.
Baby headphones - We used these on occasion, and they were really nice to have if you’re bringing baby along to a basketball game or concert. Definitely important to protect those little ears!
Wonder Weeks App - My cousin told me about this when B was born. Obviously you can’t register for it, but trust me, you’ll want it. It tells you when baby’s going through developmental leaps, and often explains why they’re fussy or sleeping differently as weeks go by.
You don’t need a ton of toys, but there are a few basics that make entertaining baby a little easier. Depending on when your baby’s born, some of these may be better Christmas presents later on.
Bouncy gym - B absolutely LOVED to jump. Once she was old enough, she could bounce forever in one of these things.
Activity mat - These are awesome for tummy time, and I loved how cute this little farmer’s market themed mat was from SkipHop.
100% Natural Rubber Teether - B loved her Sophie the Giraffe, but I thought this little fawn version by the same company was super cute!
Baby Crinkle Paper - Babies go nuts for that crinkly paper, and the wooden ring on this is a great teether too. It’s a 2-for-1!
Jellycat Soother Lovey - These are nice for babies to hold for comfort (but never unsupervised in a crib) and I love the Jellycat brand.
Stacking rings - Every baby needs these! They’re great for fine motor skills.
Below are a few other favorites that I think you’ll appreciate having on hand when baby comes.
Dohm white noise machine - Okay go ahead and get one for yourself while you’re at it, because we seriously did. I literally ruined ours with a power converter mishap in Switzerland, and immediately ordered another to be there when we got home. This will be a huge help in sleep training, and I swear B sleeps more soundly through outside noise because of this.
Wubbanub - It’s a pacifier with a stuffed animal on the end, BUT most importantly it’s a pacifier that’s way harder to lose. Plus a lot of babies like to hold the animal as a comfort thing, and they stay in better as a result.
Drool bibs - Maybe not a necessity, but when teething starts the drool is excessive. This stops you from changing outfits because of drool. And they’re just really cute.
Banana toothbrush/teether - This was one of B’s favorite teething toys!
Burp cloths - We loved Milk Barn’s burp cloths.
Milksnob Cover - This was my favorite 3-in-1 item. It works as a carseat cover (wind-resistant!), nursing cover, and shopping cart cover. Plus their patterns are so cute!
Blankets - This is a very popular shower gift, so if you have a specific color scheme or theme in mind for your nursery, find some blankets for your registry that work so you can get what you want! Again Little Unicorn has some adorable quilts that would be pretty in tons of nursery themes.
Ending with one of my favorite baby B pics! She was so squishy!