Got your baby shower coming up soon? Wondering what baby registry must haves you should to register for?
As a mom of one, with another on the way, I know for a fact how helpful it was to have a baby shower and register for what you need.
Cribs. Strollers. Car Seats. Bedding. Feeding…
Have you started your registry yet? No?
Let’s get you sorted then! As promised, this post is going to get you set up with a registry on Amazon and it’s only going to take about an hour. Sound good?
Let’s do this!
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Navigating the Post
This is the ultimate comprehensive guide to your first baby’s needs – it’s over 9,000 words long so feel free to skip ahead to the parts that you need!
- When to Start Your Baby Registry
- Newborn Baby Registry Must Haves
- Newborn Baby Sleep Essentials
- Baby Travel Must Haves
- Newborn Must Haves – Feeding
- Baby Must Haves for Diapering and Changing
- Baby Bath Time Essentials
- Baby Health and Hygiene Must Haves
- Baby Proofing Must Haves
- Baby Entertainment Must Haves
- New Mom Must Haves to Register For
- Things NOT to Register For
- How to Get Guests to Buy From Your Registry
When to Start Your Baby Registry
You can really get started any time you like, so long as you leave enough time for your baby shower guests to purchase what you need.
The end of the first trimester / start of the second is usually a good time to begin because:
- you start getting your energy back around then, so you’ll be able to spend the time researching and creating your registry
- the initial ‘I’m going to be a mom’ shock should’ve worn off a little… so you’ll have some brain space available for thinking! (I was in such a daze after my positive pregnancy test… I didn’t get much done for weeks!)
- it’ll give you plenty of time to be ready before your baby shower.
Where Should You Start Your Baby Registry?
I’m personally a huge fan of the Amazon Baby Registry. Why Amazon? Well, apart from the fact that you can add items from any online store, they also give you some cool bonuses for signing up with them. So, not only do you get access to the biggest online marketplace on the planet… you also get:
- a cool Welcome box (worth up to $35) for making a minimum of $10 in purchases from your registry
- a completion discount of up to 15% (that’s HUGE!)
- special offers for Prime members
Signing Up for Amazon Baby Registry
The first thing you want to do is sign up for the Amazon Baby Registry.
Step-by-Step Guide to Setting Up your Amazon Baby Registry
- Head on over to Amazon Baby Registry.
- Click Get Started.
- Sign in to your Amazon account.
- Enter your contact details and your baby’s due date.
- Look through the options under ‘A little bit more about you’ and make sure you’re happy with the settings.
- If you’re interested in trialling Amazon Prime click into ‘Try Prime for Special Registry offers and Discounts’ and check the box.
- Click Create my Baby Registry
Congratulations! You just started your baby registry! Now, it’s time to fill it with goodies. When you find a product you want to add to your registry, simply click on Add to Baby Registry.
Newborn Baby Registry Must Haves
Are you ready to fill your registry with EVERYTHING you need, right now?
Not sure you should register for everything? Especially those big ticket items?
Here’s why you should definitely register for the LOT:
- you probably have close friends or family who are willing to spend a bit more to get you something you need and will appreciate knowing exactly what you want.
- some of your guests might like to go in together to get you a big ticket item.
- even if you don’t get everything gifted from your registry, there’s still the completion discount (10% for non-Amazon-Prime-members and 15% for Prime members) that you can use to buy what you need.
In short – register for everything. You might just get it, and if not, you’ll get a sweet discount.
Everything a Newborn Baby Needs for Sleeping
Newborn babies don’t need a lot… and yet they do. A place to sleep, something to keep them warm, clean, fed and diapered up.
If you don’t have a lot of space, or if you’re doing this on your own without much family/friend support, you can get by with very little. But, if you’re having a baby shower, registering for these things will make life much more comfortable and easy.
Your baby needs somewhere to sleep when you bring him or her home from hospital. That could be a bassinet, or possibly a crib.
A bassinet can only be used until baby starts to get mobile – rolling, lifting up on hands and knees – usually around 5-6 months. Or if they exceed the weight limit.
Because of this, some moms prefer to jump straight to the crib.
I personally chose to use a bassinet for my newborn, because:
- while there are some bassinets that cost as much as you might spend on a very nice stroller, most bassinets are quite affordable. (That particular bassinet contains a LOT of extra bells and whistles designed to help you and baby get more sleep… and it’s got some pretty high ratings, so it must work??)
- room sharing is recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics as a way of lowering the risk of SIDS and it’s much easier to fit a bassinet beside your bed than a crib.
- some newborns will sleep better in a snug bassinet than a huge cot.
- many bassinets have wheels so you can roll your baby from room to room with you.
So… are you going to register for a bassinet for your baby?
Check out these top bassinets for 2019:
- ✅ Fisher-Price Soothing Motions Bassinet – New mom favorite!
- Delta Children Sweet Beginnings Bassinet – Best value!
- Halo Bassinest Swivel Sleep Premiere Series Bassinet – Most desirable!
- Arms Reach Concepts Cambria Co-Sleeper Bassinet – Best for breastfeeding moms!
- Snoo Smart Sleeper – Most features… and most pricey!
Or choose an option to suit your budget:
2) Bassinet Sheets
Don’t forget to add several sets of bassinet sheets that fit your bassinet to your registry too – babies often have diaper accidents, blow outs or spit ups in their beds and you must have more than one set ready to go just in case.
3) Waterproof Mattress Protector
Bassinets – While you’re there, add a waterproof mattress protector or two (unless you decide to register for these waterproof sheets, in which case the mattress protector isn’t needed) – this will protect your mattress from messes and if you get two you can do the bassinet lasagne hack (layer your bassinet with mattress protector, fitted sheet, mattress protector fitted sheet) for easier night time clean up.
Cribs – A mattress protector or two is also an absolute baby must have.
4) The Crib
No matter whether you get a bassinet first, you’re still going to need a crib. The main considerations I put into buying my crib were:
- Safety – does the crib meet safety standards? This is more of an issue if you’re purchasing second-hand – anything you buy from a reputable shop must meet the current safety standards in your country.
- Convertible – does your crib have multiple settings to extend the length of use you’ll get out of it? For example, many of the best crib brands have cribs with several mattress heights (nice and high for newborn, all the way down to very deep to keep the older baby contained) and the ability to take the side rails off and turn it into a toddler bed (some even have a toddler bed rail attachment) and finally to turn it into a day bed, couch or even a full-size bed!
- Sturdy – does your crib look and feel solid? Like it could stand up to some hard use? One of the cheapest cribs I considered getting was from IKEA but, it just felt a little flimsy. Babies can get quite vigorous with those bars when they start standing. I want something that’ll last at least two babies!
Check out these top bassinets for 2019:
- Graco Benton 5-in-1 Convertible Crib – New mom favorite!
- Delta Children Folding Portable Mini Crib – Best for small rooms and apartment living!
- Dream on Me Synergy 5-in-1 Convertible Crib – Best value!
- Dream on Me Violet 7-in-1 Convertible Crib – Longest lasting (converts into a full-size bed!)
Or choose an option to suit your budget:
- Top Rated Budget-Friendly Cribs Under $100
- Top Rated Mid-Range Cribs Under $200
- Top Rated High-End Cribs Over $200
5) Crib Mattress
Don’t get caught out – most online stores sell cribs by themselves – the mattress is usually not included!
But, that’s ok. That means you don’t have to settle for a lower quality default mattress from your manufacturer… but it does mean you probably want to do some research before making your decision on which crib mattress to buy.
What matters in a crib mattress?
- does it fit your crib? Most mattresses are standard size, however, if you have a mini crib, you’ll obviously have to get a mini crib mattress to match.
- meets safety standards (if it’s for sale at a reputable business in your location, it should meet standards.)
- is it firm enough and feels sturdy enough to last through to toddlerhood without sagging?
- what is it made of? I prefer to go as natural as possible with minimal chemical stuff – pthatlate and lead free are good.
Foam vs Coil/Innerspring
There are two main types of mattresses you can get for your crib: foam or coil.
What you choose will depend on your priorities:
- foam mattresses are available at a wide range of price points, whereas coil mattresses tend to be more expensive.
- foam mattresses come in a variety of comfort levels (memory foam, gel foam etc. and they can even have different comfort levels on different sides), coil mattresses do not.
- foam mattresses are lightweight, coil mattresses are heavy.
- foam mattresses are more likely to sag and have indentations over time, coil mattresses are very durable and best for hand-me-downs.
Some people like to feel the mattress before purchasing, whereas others are happy to go off reviews. To each their own! If you want to see the mattress first, look it up in your local store. However, you may find a better price online (don’t forget to check if the store will price match!)
Top crib mattresses to check out:
- Graco Premium Foam Crib and Toddler Bed Mattress – new mom standard!
- Safety 1st Heavenly Dreams Crib and Toddler Bed Mattress – most affordable!
- Colgate Eco Classica III Dual firmness Eco-Friendlier Crib mattress – eco-friendly!
- Sealy Perfect Rest Toddler & Baby Crib Mattress – best value coil mattress!
- Newton Baby Crib Mattress and Toddler Bed – safety conscious!
- Moonlight Slumber Mini Crib Mattress 5″ Dual Firmness – mini crib favorite!
Or choose an option that suits your budget:
- Budget-Friendly Crib Mattresses under $50
- Mid-Range Crib Mattresses under $100
- Premium Crib Mattresses over $100
6) Crib Sheets
Again, don’t forget to add a couple of sets of crib sheets to your registry. Accidents will happen and you’ll need to have spare clean set/s of sheets ready to go.
7) A Baby Monitor
I’m on the fence about a baby monitor… so I may live to regret this once again (one of my biggest baby gear regrets as a super anxious new mom was NOT buying the fancy heart-rate-and-oxygen-monitoring baby monitor last time).
You might not find a baby monitor to be essential if:
- baby is sleeping beside you in a bassinet.
- you decide to co-sleep (safely).
- you have a small apartment or house and can hear baby from everywhere.
If baby is in his or her own room, you’ll want to add a video monitor to your registry so you can keep an eye on what your baby is doing. And if you think you’ll be an anxious new mom like me, you might like to try the Owlet. I’ve read that a lot of people don’t recommend it because it can be used improperly or give false alarms… but, I think that’s a small price to pay for overall peace of mind.
My top baby monitor picks:
8) Wearable Blankets
Skip swaddling and go straight to wearable blankets – they’re SO much easier to use as a first time mom and feel much safer (because baby isn’t escaping all the time leaving a loose swaddle blanket in the crib.)
There are a whole bunch of different styles, but my favorite are the Love to Dream. You’ll need at least two (more if you prefer to wash less often than daily!) in each size so you can have at least one in the wash.
Wearable blankets come in a variety of different fabric weights (warmths), so if you’re expecting a summer baby go lighter (0.2 tog – 1 tog) and if you’re expecting a winter baby look for a higher tog (2 – 3.5 tog are common). Depending on your local climate of course!
My top wearable blanket picks:
9) Muslins / Receiving Blankets
Muslins and receiving blankets have so many uses:
- you can swaddle your baby with them (if you want to skip wearable blankets)
- you can use them as a nursing cover
- you can use a thin muslin to cover your pram when baby is asleep (though this is not really recommended due to it restricting airflow)
- you can use them as a tummy time play mat
My personal favorites were thin muslins and jersey cotton blankets. I preferred to avoid the plush or fleece blankets as they weren’t as breathable and (at least the ones I had) were made of synthetic fibres.
✅ Aden and Anais muslins are super soft and have utterly adorable prints!
10) Night Light and White Noise Machine
At least for now, the night light is mostly for you! But, the white noise machine is invaluable for helping little newborn babies go to sleep and stay asleep.
My top pick is this combination machine – it’s a night light, white noise machine and time-to-rise clock for toddlers too!
More nightlight options:
- Tecboss Baby Night Light – this one is so cute! It’s also wireless (rechargable) so you can bring it with you wherever you need to go.
- Auvon Reachargable Motion Sensing Night Light – place this by the nursery door for instant light when you enter the room, it’s also portable so you can keep it with you.
Sound machine options:
- MyBaby Soundspa On-The-Go – small, portable, and has a clip so you can easily attach it to your stroller or car seat for white noise on the go. If only it were rechargable, I would love this to death… but alas, it takes batteries. Still a great buy (and very affordable!)
- Big Red Rooster White Noise Machine – like they always say: add ‘baby’ to a product name or designation and expect to pay extra! This is a reasonably priced white noise machine for adults – it’s also very well reviewed.
Baby Registry Essentials: Travelling
What do you need to get out and about while travelling with baby? Whether you intend to travel internationally with your little one, or just need to get mobile and go to doctor’s appointments and shops locally – here’s everything you need.
11) Newborn-Friendly Stroller
A newborn-friendly stroller is pretty much as essential as you can get – unless you’re determined to babywear 100% of the time, you’ll get a lot of use out of your stroller! Which is why it’s worth spending a bit extra to get one that is:
- easy and smooth to ‘drive’
- easy to fold and unfold
- not too heavy (my personal taste – I don’t want to struggle lifting it in and out of the car)
- suitable for newborns
- the biggest basket possible (gotta have that storage for essential shopping trips and outings!)
You may also want to look for:
- a stroller that suits your terrain – do you intend to walk mainly suburban streets, malls, or off road? Do you want to jog?
- a stroller that converts to a double, or has attachments for a skateboard or toddler standing platform for a second child.
- adjustable height handlebars if you and your husband are very different heights
- if you’re choosing to use an infant car seat, make sure your stroller is compatible or has a travel system option.
Our top picks:
- 2018 UPPAbaby Vista Stroller – new mom fave!
- Baby Trend Expedition Jogger Travel System – does it all for a so affordable price!
- Cynebaby Convertible Bassinet Stroller Compact – luxury look without the price tag!
12) Newborn-Friendly Car Seat
You have a couple of basic options for your car seat:
- Get an infant car seat that clicks in and out of a base in your car and attaches to your stroller. Pros are it’s easier to grab and go with your baby, which can be especially good in colder climates. Cons are that it’s only suitable for a few months and they can be as expensive as a convertible seat that will last longer.
- Get a convertible car seat that is suitable from birth. Pros are it will last several years (depending on which brand you buy). Cons are you have to transfer baby from car to stroller which can be disruptive, especially during winter.
I looked at several factors when choosing our first car seat:
- Safety ratings – for a seat to be available for purchase it has to meet your country’s safety standards… but I still wanted to get the safest possible seat. I spent quite a while looking up safety ratings!
- How long it would last – I loved the idea of buying a 0-8 years convertible car seat simply because it sounds like the best value… but then I realised that safety standards and features can improve a whole lot in 8 years and I might want to get something better and safer. I ended up opting for the 0-4 years convertible seat.
- Ease of Use – after I had a good idea of what brand I was interested in, I went looking for reviews from parents about how easy it was to use.
- Price – I’d be lying if I said that price wasn’t a factor in my decision. It helped me decide that I didn’t want to spend on the convenience of a travel system because I’d rather pour my available funds into an excellent quality 0-4 convertible seat rather than buy a more basic infant seat and convertible seat.
Our top picks:
- Britax Boulevard ClickTight Anti-Rebound Bar Convertible Car Seat – my favorite brand!
- Chicco KeyFit 30 Infant Car Seat
- Safety 1st Grow and Go 3-in-1 Convertible Car Seat
13) Baby Carrier
I got a bit baby carrier obsessed with my first baby. Unfortunately, I wasn’t really physically up for the task of babywearing… so I didn’t do it very much. But, oh how I wanted to!
The first thing you need to know about baby carriers is that there are loads of different styles:
- stretchy wraps – these are perfect for newborns and are great for the first few months. They do take a bit of wrapping knowledge though – basically, it’s a very long rectangle of material that you origami around yourself and baby.
- woven wraps – incredibly versatile if you’re willing to invest time in learning how to wrap. There are dozens (if not more) different ways to wrap a woven – front carrying, side carrying and back carrying are all possible. You can pick up a woven wrap relatively inexpensively, but there are also hundreds of artisanal brands out there creating incredibly beautiful and pricey handwoven wraps.
- ring slings – for super quick ups, ring slings are suitable from birth, though adjusting them correctly takes a little getting used to.
- soft structured carriers – this is your standard Baby Bjorn / Ergobaby type carrier that you probably see most commonly.
There are also loads of soft carrier/wrap hybrids (Mei Teis and onbuhimo to name two) and unusual contraptions intended for hiking in amongst them. Start with the basics, then explore your other options later!
How to choose what’s right for you?
My advice is to start out with a stretchy wrap and something like the LÍLLÉbaby. Stretchy wraps are usually quite inexpensive and you can get a feel for wrapping and whether you’re interested in going down that rabbit hole!
The LÍLLÉbaby is an excellent soft structured carrier that will last you from birth to age 3. The best part about having a soft structured carrier is that it’s easy – you just strap it on and go, which makes it easy to share with others/your husband. Trust me, it’s really hard (as a newbie wrap-per) to try wrap or position a ring sling on someone else!
14) Pack and Play
If you intend to travel, either for a holiday or to spend time with friends or family, a Pack and Play is essential! Grab one with a bassinet setting and change table for the perfect crib/bassinet away from home for your little one. You can even use it as a play yard at home or away.
Nice to Have Accessories
This is a nice to have… but not really an essential. Well, that depends on the size of the basket of your stroller actually!
I went with the absolute biggest basket I could get and as a result I was able to get most of my shopping just using my stroller. But, if you’ve chosen a stroller with smaller storage capacity, one of these baby hammocks is a great idea!
You don’t necessarily NEED these items, but they are very nice to have and they’re also a good way to make sure you’re including a variety of price points on your registry:
- Car Seat Mirror – some parents find this distracting, I personally found it more distracting to NOT be able to see my baby while I was driving (though make sure you pull over if you have any concerns.)
- Car Seat Strap Holders – car seat straps are so frustrating, they tend to twist so easily… and it actually lessens their strength and safety if you buckle them like that. Car seat strap holders help make this problem go away.
- Car Window Sunshades – there’s nothing worse than travelling with baby in the heat of the day and finding them with full sun beating down right in their tiny little faces. Sunshades help to stop this happening at least some of the time. The kind that cover the entire window (and strap on like a big bag over the top of your door) are the best and provide the most coverage. Avoid the stick on rectangles, they don’t provide enough shade.
Newborn Must Haves – Feeding
Newborn babies eat, sleep and poop. Rinse and repeat! Which means you’ll spend most of your time on these tasks – here are some essentials that will make life easier.
Bottle Feeding Must Haves
If you’re planning to bottle feed your baby (either formula or pumped milk) you’ll need to register for:
- baby bottles
- a good bottle brush
- drying rack
- sterilizing bags, sterilizing tablets and / or microwave sterilising equipment
Formula Feeding Must Haves
If you’re planning to formula feed from birth, you’ll need everything for bottle feeding as well as:
- baby formula – it’s best to start with a simple powdered formula and not stock up too much in the beginning in case you need to switch brands (for baby’s comfort). Switching brands frequently is not recommended, so once you find the right formula for your baby – stick to it!
- a Baby Brezza Pro – this is a pricey, but very nice thing to have if you’re formula feeding. The Baby Brezza Pro makes up perfect temperature formula in seconds. No waiting or long prep times necessary!
- formula dispenser – essential for formula feeding on the go!
- a water filter jug
Breastfeeding Must Haves
For the exclusively breastfeeding mamas, you’ll want to add these things to your registry:
- Glider or rocker – it’s essential to have a comfortable place to breastfeed baby, you’re going to spend many hours there! A glider or rocker in your nursery will keep you comfortable during feeds and will also allow you to comfort baby by rocking with them in the chair – great for the witching hour!
- Breastfeeding pillow – getting used to positioning for breastfeeding can be tough in the early days. A breastfeeding pillow will help! The two most loved breastfeeding pillows you can get are the My Brest Friend or the Boppy. My Brest Friend straps around your waist so it’s quite secure, while the Boppy is more manoeuvrable.
- Haakaa– even if you don’t particularly want to pump, a Haakaa can be super helpful by catching any leaks you have while nursing. When your let down triggers it doesn’t discriminate between the side the baby is feeding on and the side the baby isn’t feeding on… so it can get a bit leaky. I’ve bought one of these for baby number 2 and it’s my favorite thing I can’t wait to use!
- Breast Milk Storage Bags – if you plan to pump (at all) having breast milk storage bags will be super useful. If you plan to use a Haakaa, you can start a freezer stash from your saved milk!
- Nursing Night Light – this special nightlight clips onto your shirt and makes a dim light so you can see baby. It also has an optional vibration alarm that you can set so you don’t fall asleep during those late night feeds (essential for safe sleep!)
- Multi-purpose nursing cover – if you’re out and about and baby needs to breastfeed, you can use this multi-purpose nursing cover to cover up (if you want to.) Even better, it has multiple uses and will quickly become an essential part of your out-and-about kit!
How far ahead should you register for your baby? There’s nothing wrong with registering for what you need for the full first year (or more.) Don’t be afraid to add all the things you need to start feeding solids!
- high chair – you don’t need to buy an ultra-modern luxury high chair for your little one (even though it looks nice.) The simpler and easier to clean the better… because high chairs get really messy. This is a good option or, if you’ve got an Ikea nearby, their basic high chair works perfectly.
- portable high chair – this clip-onto-the-table high chair is very nice to have, especially if you frequently travel or visit friends or family and want an easier, more compact travelling solution. Designed to NOT leave scratches on the table, it’s a great option to even keep in the car for eating out.
- silicone baby bibs – there’s no better bib than these silicone ones for ease of use and clean up – they even catch your baby’s dropped food in the little tray so you don’t waste quite so much of it. You just need to wipe them clean and wash them with the rest of your dishes. Don’t register for fabric style bibs, trust me, they get stained and gross really fast.
- Silicone Sippy Lids – turn any cup into a sippy cup with these silicone lids. It’s perfect for travelling and those moments (there will be those moments) when you can’t for the life of you find a matching lid and cup in your plastics drawer.
- Baby utensils – there are all kinds of baby feeders you can get for young babies: mesh feeders, squeezy spoon, and actual spoon and fork sets.
- Mess mat – put this under your high chair to make clean up way easier. Just wipe clean once baby is done exploring food!
Baby Must Haves – Diapering and Changing
You’ll spend a lot of time changing your baby’s diaper before they’re toilet trained… and you’ll have changed thousands and thousands of diapers before then. So, if you’re feeling a bit unsure about it, rest assured, you’ll be an expert in no time.
Here are the tools you should register for to make it easier:
The common advice on registering for diapers is to register for different brands and sizes. Babies come in all shapes and sizes and some diaper brands simply will not fit well on your baby. Registering for different brands means you’ll be able to trial the different brands and find what works best for you and baby.
Once you’ve found what works, you can exchange the other brands and wrong sizes to get the brand and size that’s working for you (then start a diaper subscription so you save more money!)
Baby wipes can be harsh on a newborn’s bottom, so when at home, I preferred to use baby face washers with warm water. However, when out and about, you’ll need to have baby wipes with you.
Here are some of my favorite options:
- Water wipes – these are the most gentle on baby’s soft skin. They are a little pricey, but worth it, at least for the first few months.
- Gentle baby wipes – made with mostly water, these are an excellent option for a new baby.
- Unscented Baby Wipes – whichever wipes brand you go with, I recommend always choosing unscented to avoid exposing baby to unnecessary chemical fragrances.
Some moms swear by their change table. Others regret getting one. How do you know which you’ll be? Consider if:
- you have the room – for this baby, we don’t have a whole room spare for the nursery so we don’t have room for a change table.
- the change table is the right height for you – if you’re very tall, or very short, a change table might not be a comfortable place to change baby.
- you like the storage options it comes with – I personally dislike the open shelf style as it’s not a great use of storage space. Drawers are much more useful!
I liked using my change table – it was the right height for me to change baby, I had room for it, and it was good to have a dedicated space for diapering (especially in those early days when I was still learning how to change diapers). Once baby got a bit older though, I got more confident and am happy to do without a change table this time.
If you decide to get a change table, here are some options you might like (though make sure you check whether your crib comes in a ‘nursery package’ that includes a change table as it might be a more affordable option):
- Delta Children Eclipse Changing Table – a traditional style of change table with open shelves that are good for use with storage baskets. You get some space wastage with this style.
- Sleigh Style Changing Table with Baskets – this change tables comes with shelf style baskets that makes perfect use of the available space. New mom fave!
- Badger Basket Corner Diaper Change Table – if you’re short on space, this unique corner change table might be just the ticket! Best for small spaces!
If you don’t want to go to the trouble of having a baby change table, you can easily get a change pad that you can attach on top of baby’s dresser or use on your bed.
- Keekaroo Peanut Changer – no need for a cover on this one, you just wipe it clean with a wet wipe! Most desirable!
- Summer Infant Contour Changing Pad – this basic change pad is all you need. Check if it’ll fit where you want to put it before you buy it. Most affordable!
This is one option I’m skipping this time around – I plan to use a portable change pad or towel on the bed or the couch.
Portable Change Pad
Most diaper bags come with a portable change pad included – but they’re usually pretty basic and small. If you plan to use a portable change pad at home or are regularly on the go, you might want to add a better quality change pad to your registry.
- SkipHop Pronto Changing Pad with Built-In Pillow – classic new mom favorite!
- Summer Infant Portable Change Pad – most affordable!
- Lekebaby Portable Change Mat
If you have a larger home, you may want to put a diaper caddy on your registry so you can keep diaper supplies close at all times. This is especially useful if you’ve got a split level house!
Diaper caddy’s can also be used to keep diaper supplies in the car or as a portable breastfeeding station or combined diapering/feeding caddy. So versatile!
- SkipHop Light-Up Diaper Caddy – this clever caddy has a small light on the underside of the handle so you’ll always be able to find what you’re looking for! – smartest features!
- hblife Diaper Caddy Organizer – most affordable!
- Putska Diaper Caddy Organizer – new mom favorite!
And if you’re just looking for a way to organize your diapering gear at your change table, try this amazing organizer that clips onto the side of your change table!
You’re going to go through a lot of diapers to begin with – which means you’ll need somewhere to dispose of them. You might think that it’d be ok to just toss them straight in the trash… but they add up quickly and can get quite stinky!
A diaper pail is a good solution to the diaper trash problem – keep it close to baby’s change table for ease of use and make sure you choose one that minimises the smell!
- Ubbi Odor-Locking Diaper Pail – new mom favorite!
- Diaper Genie – old favorite!
- Dekor Hands-free Diaper Pail
Your new home away from home. THE bag to hold all your baby kit.
Your diaper bag is a pretty crucial purchase as it’s going to be with you when on the go for the next few years of your baby’s life.
It needs to be:
- sufficiently roomy to carry all the baby gear you need
- have useful pockets for your lifestyle – many diaper bags have thermal lined compartments for keeping water for formula at the perfect temperature.
- comfortable (and preferably stylish) to carry – common styles include backpacks, messenger bags and tote bags.
- within your (or your guests) price range – diaper bags run the full gamut from extremely pricey designer bags down to super budget options.
Here are some of our top favorite diaper bags:
- RUVALINO Diaper Backpack – favorite backpack style!
- Petunia Pickle Bottom City Carryall – for stylish city chic mamas!
- SkipHop Diaper Tote Bag – old favorite!
- Miss Fong Leather Diaper Bag – ‘I can’t believe it’s a diaper bag!’
- JJ Cole Bucket Tote Diaper Bag – brand crush!
- JuJuBe Tokido Collection – spunkiest style!
Don’t forget to add some diaper sacks to your registry list so you can wrap and toss your diapers when on the go!
Diaper Cream and Accessories
Diaper rash is a fact of life – it’s a rare baby that avoids any form of irritation in the diaper area. Luckily, there are plenty of different diaper creams available to soothe and protect inflamed baby bottoms.
Most importantly, make sure you register for an application spatula – it’s way more hygienic and sanitary than applying with your fingers and will help you get a smooth and even application!
- Honest Diaper Rash Cream
- Seventh Generation Diaper Cream
- Desitin Diaper Cream
- Solimo Healing Ointment for Babies
- Baby Bum Brush – diaper cream applicator.
- Cute storage baskets – keep everything contained in cute little fabric bins!
Essential new mom reading on making diapers easier:
- Diaper Bag Checklist: An Experienced Mom’s Guide to What to Pack In Your Diaper Bag [Free Printable]
- 28 Genius Diaper Changing Hacks You’ll Wish You Knew Sooner!
Baby Bath Time Essentials
Bathing your baby is one of the sweetest and most nerve wracking moments of new parenthood… you want to make sure you’ve got the gear ready to make it easier when your little one comes home.
The bath – where the magic happens. While you could buy a straight up basic baby bath with no frills, there are better options out there that make bath time easier and safer.
For my little boy I had a basic bath tub – so bathing was a matter of holding one arm underneath him keeping a gentle grip on his head so he wouldn’t roll or go under and washing with the other hand. Coordination is a must…
For my next baby, I’d prefer something that’ll make bath time a little less nerve wracking…
Options – give me options!
- Blooming bath Lotus – you can fit this into any sink or baby bath as a kind of bath seat so you can rest baby on it and have your hands free for washing. It looks super comfortable and safe!
- The First Years Newborn to Toddler Bath – this bath comes with inbuilt sling for easier bathing. The sling holds the baby at the perfect height in the water so you can wash them easier and faster.
- Puj Tub Soft Foldable Sink Bath – this bath folds into shape (stores flat) and fits in most bathroom sinks. It’s the perfect option for those low on space! It also looks quite comfy and safe for baby to rest on without your needing to hold them up.
- Boon Collapsible Baby Bath – another great space saver, this high tech modern baby bath also has a hook for easier storage.
- SkipHop Moby Bath Tub – this shaped tub comes with an inbuilt sling to help make bathing a newborn easier.
Baby Bath Time Accessories
What else do you need to make bath time with baby easier?
- baby towels with hoods – babies lose heat quite quickly so it’s a good idea to get them out of their nice warm bath and dry as quickly as possible. A hooded towel is great because it easily keeps baby’s head covered and quickly dried.
- baby wash cloths – you could probably use adult ones… but baby ones tend to be softer and smaller and perfect for baby!
Why no baby wash, lotion, thermometer etc? You’ll find them down below in the list of ‘things not to register for!’
Baby Health and Hygiene Must Haves
When it comes to keeping your baby clean and healthy, there are a few products that really make the difference!
Baby Grooming Kit
A baby grooming kit is a great way to get multiple products you need for baby in a set.
Unfortunately, most baby grooming kits are… kinda cheap and low quality. Not this one!
This one is from the quality brand Fridababy (makers of the NoseFrida – an essential piece of baby gear.)
- NoseFrida – the essential nasal aspirator (aka snot sucker). You use this when baby has a runny nose to suck the snot out (don’t worry, there’s a sponge stopping you ingesting the snot… it’s not as gross as it sounds.)
- Windi – gas is a big problem for newborns and the Windi helps release that gas… yes, you insert this into baby’s bottom to help them fart. I know you probably don’t think you’ll use this right now… but when your baby won’t stop crying, you’ll try anything. Motherhood is so glamorous!
- Nail Frida – baby nail clippers (nothing weird, promise!)
- Fridet (for moms) – a peri bottle that will help you pee postpartum
- Baby’s First Toothbrush – once baby starts teething, you need to start brushing their teeth. Add this to your registry so you’re prepared.
- Teething Gel – helps to soothe hot and sore gums, giving baby (and you) some relief.
- Teething Toys – there’s so many of these! Take your pick 🙂 I love this set of keys as you can chill it so it’s nice and cold and soothing.
Baby Medicine Kit
Your baby is going to get sick at some point during his or her first year, and you’ll definitely want to keep an essential medicine kit stocked and ready to go.
While you might not have thought about baby needing medicine yet, there’s a few things you could keep in your medicine cabinet that you’ll find useful when the time comes.
You may find some of these items in a First Aid kit, however, the you’ll find these brands higher quality and more effective!
- Pacifier Thermometer – this is an awesome option for babies who take a pacifier. Though you won’t be able to keep using it through childhood.
- Traditional forehead thermometer – will last you for years (I still check my temperature sometimes using the forehead thermometer I got for my baby.)
- Pacifier Medicine Dispenser – makes giving a young baby Tylenol or other medicine easy.
- Baby Saline Nasal Spray – helps clear baby’s congested nose (follow up with a round of the NoseFrida)
- Gas Relief Drops – helps with a colicky baby.
- Baby Tylenol – always good to have in the medicine cabinet from birth, just in case.
- Baby Balsam – a vapor rub that helps clear your baby’s airways.
Miscellaneous Health and Hygiene
Some other items you might want to get for your baby include:
- Pacifiers – this one is a natural rubber orthodontic style suitable from birth.
- Wubbanub – if you intend to use a pacifier with your baby, a Wubbanub is a cute and helpful way to make it easier for baby to keep their pacifier close.
- Baby Brush and Comb Set – most babies don’t have too much hair and it’s rather fine, but this brush and comb set is also good for brushing out cradle cap and will last them well into preschool age!
Baby Proofing Gear
Keeping baby safe is so important around the home – especially once they start to become active crawlers, cruisers or walkers! You only need to look away for a moment and they’ll surprise you with how far they can get.
Here are some essential baby proofing items you might like to add to your registry:
- Baby gate – a must have if you have stairs or a particular room you want to keep baby contained to (or from).
- Cabinet and drawer locks – I like this magnetic style as it doesn’t ruin your external cabinet doors with adhesive!
- Outlet plugs – stop baby exploring your electrical outlets by putting these plugs in any that aren’t in permanent use. This is a nice big packet so you shouldn’t run out!
- Fireplace protector – you could get fireplace bumpers to soften the edge of your hearth… however, if it’s winter you’ll want to keep baby out of the danger zone entirely with something like this fence.
- Furniture Anchors – keep your baby safe from tipping furniture and televisions (a very common cause of injury) by anchoring your furniture to the wall.
- Corner guards – use these on the corners of your cabinets and tables to protect baby’s head once they start to crawl, pull up and cruise.
It’s never too early to start thinking about keeping your baby entertained! From toys to bouncers and swings, you’ll definitely want to add a few choice items (mostly the bigger things) to your baby registry.
Baby Swing or Bouncer
A baby swing or bouncer is a great place to put baby down while you take a quick shower, have a bathroom break or make/eat some food. They make life easier!
Baby swings are battery or cord power operated and vibrate, swing or rock to keep baby calm and contented. Many moms swear by baby swings to help their baby fall asleep or to soothe a fussy baby. But, please note these are not safe for sleeping.
A baby bouncer is like a baby chair that can rock or bounce to soothe the baby – they aren’t mechanized like baby swings. Bouncers tend to be easier to cart about the house than swings!
Here are some options to explore:
- Graco Glider
- Fisher-Price Sweet Dreams Snugapuppy Cradle Swing
- Graco Simple Sway Baby Swing
- Fisher-Price Sweet Dreams Snugapuppy Bouncer
- Bright Starts Bouncer
You can set up a younger baby lying on her back looking up at the toys on the play gym, once she gets older she’ll start to reach out to touch the toys and kick her feet at them too.
Activity gyms are also great mats for tummy time too!
Here are some excellent options:
- Bright Starts 5-in-1 Ball Play Activity Gym – most versatile!
- Fisher-Price Rainforest Music and Lights Play Activity Gym – with lights and music!
- Infantino Activity Gym
- Tiny Love Gymini
- SkipHop Baby Treetop Friends Activity Gym
Once baby starts getting mobile, you’re going to want to start keeping him contained! There are times when you’ll need a safe place for baby to play so you can get things done:
- when cooking dinner
- working from home
A playard is the perfect way to keep baby in a small area with safe toys while you get things done.
- Joovy Portable Playard – with wheels so you can move it where you need it to be!
- Summer Infant Pop-Up Playard – perfect for the outdoors!
- Regalo My Play Portable Playard
What About Baby Books?
You want to start a nice library of books for baby… but don’t register for them! Here’s a great alternative:
Ask your guests to buy a board book or early reader book in place of a card! They can write a lovely message to baby inside and know that (unlike a card) their gift will be appreciated for a long time to come.
4 New Mom Must Haves to Register For
1) Nursing Pads
Even if you’re formula feeding from birth, make sure you have some nursing pads available to contain any leaks. Your body will still prepare to breastfeed and you may experience engorgement and leaky breasts until your milk dries up.
Try our two favorites:
More must haves for Breastfeeding moms:
2) Nipple Cream
Your baby is learning how to breastfeed too, and until you get things down to an art, you will most likely have somewhat sore nipples. Nipple cream helps to soothe and heal your nipples between feeds.
Some of our favorites:
3) Nursing Bras / Hands-Free Pumping Bras
While you may know your bra size now, your breasts will change size and shape a lot in the weeks postpartum. That being said, running to the bra shop to be fitted with a newborn baby does NOT sound like fun to me. The best way to approximate your size is to choose a maternity/nursing bra while you’re pregnant in the same brand and style as what you’d like to use after baby is born. So long as you can fit a fist into the cup, you should be good to go!
4) Nursing Tanks
Some moms swear by nursing tanks, especially for summer babies! It’s so much easier to breastfeed with purpose-built clothing. Put a couple on your registry to wear by themselves in hot weather or as an under layer in winter.
Nursing tanks are also awesome to wear with nursing pads for overnight (especially if you hate wearing a bra to bed.)
Things You DON’T Need to Register For
While it may be tempting to put all kinds of things on your registry there are some you do not need to put:
- Baby Clothes – you’re likely to get lots and lots and lots of clothes at your baby shower ANYWAY as it seems to be pretty common for baby shower guests to see an oh-so-cute newborn outfit and get it to add it to their gift. These clothes may not be practical or at all to your taste… and often you’ll get a strange mix of sizes or only newborn. Registering for clothes may just open the flood gates and you could end up with way more clothing than you bargained for… and little else that you actually need.
- Breast Pump – check with your insurer, however, you may qualify for a free breast pump under the Affordable Care Act.
- Nursing Cover – you can get a really nice one for free here! Just use the coupon code MOM100.
- Crib Bumpers – these are a SIDS risk. Yes, they can stop baby bumping into the bars, but it’s not worth it.
- Wipes Warmer – you can easily warm wipes in your hand before using them, or even use baby wash cloths and warm water in the early days (wipes can be harsh on newborn baby bottoms.)
- Bath Thermometer – I used my bath thermometer exactly twice… then I realised that I could just test the temperature with my elbow. The best temperature for a bath is body temperature, around 98.6 F or 37 C. It’ll feel ever so slightly warm.
- Baby Wash, Shampoo and Lotion – it might just be my crunchy side coming out, but newborn babies don’t really get dirty… so you don’t need to douse them in soaps and lotions which include weird chemicals and fragrances. You may want to get a baby oil cradle cap treatment (if your baby is experiencing cradle cap). And you may consider a lotion if your baby starts to get a bit of dry skin… however, this will pass on it’s own. If you really want, look for products with minimal, gentle ingredients (preferably fragrance-free).
- Baby Shoes – babies don’t need shoes until they start toddling, so save the space on your registry for something you’ll really need. I had a couple of pairs of tiny sneakers (they were to-die-for cute!)… and my little boy never wore them because it was just too hard getting his chubby little feet into them! He also outgrew them in about 30 seconds haha.
- Burp Cloths – you don’t really need to register for products labelled as ‘burp cloths’. Terry cloth flat diapers or receiving blankets will do the job just as well and you’re sure to get a bunch of them!
- Baby Toys / Plushys – baby toys are so cute and inexpensive, you’ll probably end up with a ton of them! Save the room on your registry for bigger items like activity centres and play gyms.
- Baby Books – baby books are awesome! But, you don’t need to register for them. As we mentioned above, ask your guests to buy a board book in place of a card and write a nice message in it to baby.
How to Convince Guests to Buy From Your Registry
If you read many pregnancy forums, one of the biggest ‘problems’ first time moms experience is having their guests ‘go rogue’ and buy outside of their registry… to the point where they end up with a whole bunch of clothes (or other items) that they didn’t want and very little that they needed.
This could be one of those friend of a friend urban legend type stories… but just in case, here’s how to help your guests buy from the registry:
- Add comments on your baby registry items – when faced with a long list of random baby items it can be hard for your guests to decide what on your list to get you. If you leave a comment on your most important items, people are more likely to buy it for you. It’s so easy to do this with the Amazon Baby Registry! Just go into your registry, click View Your Registry, then click Edit next to the registry item you want to add a comment for, add your comment and Save Changes!
- Register for Gift Certificates – perfect for those who like to leave things to the last minute and those who can’t decide what to get. Gift certificates are awesome because you get to choose exactly what you want and don’t have to worry about returning anything you don’t want.
- Include items at all different price points – baby showers tend to bring a lot of people in your life together, from close family to friends and colleagues. While your mom might think nothing of dropping $100+ on your baby shower gift, there will certainly be others attending who have more modest budgets who still want to get something you need.
- Don’t register for clothes! I mentioned this earlier, but it bears repeating. Baby clothes are such a matter of personal taste, you really don’t want all your guests to take the clothing option. The easiest way around this is to NOT register for clothes and instead register for gift cards – which you can use to choose your own baby clothes at the right size for your baby.