Top 15 Baby Registry Items (plus other Baby Essentials)
When I first began our baby registry, I felt pretty overwhelmed and clueless about so many things. The stores give you a list, but there are 10,000 items on it and I will tell you that you only need maybe about half of those items. These are some of the items that we have loved these first two months (besides the obvious items like diapers, wipes, clothes, bath stuff, etc.)! Now, that being said, keep in mind that while we have found these items particularly useful, it doesn’t mean that all of you will too. Every baby is different and what works for one won’t necessarily work for another! Along with these items, I also put together a complete list of items we needed and loved for these first two months and I hope you find it helpful! I plan to share more of our favorite items every couple months or so as I know things will change as the baby gets older!
1. Fisher Price Rock and Play Sleeper – We were late to the Rock and Play game. A ton of friends recommended it, but we never registered for it because it just seemed like yet another contraption that would get in the way in our already small townhouse. After about 3 weeks of struggling to get Maddie to sleep, my mother-in-law got one for us and Maddie has slept in it every single night since. She loves laying on an incline. I think it helps her gas. In fact, I also like to call it her “Poop Chair” because for real, whenever she starts acting like she has to go, we put her in it and she goes. I think she also like how it sort of hugs her body. We also bring it downstairs and put her in it during the day sometimes too. It’s perfect for when I need to do a few chores or cook dinner, I just slide it into the kitchen with me and she is perfectly content watching me cook. My only complaint is that you have to rock it yourself. It does have a vibrator, but the rocking is all on you.
2. Aden and Anais Blankets – Blankets. You will want a lot of them. These Aden and Anais blankets are wonderful! They are technically swaddle blankets, but we don’t use them for swaddling, just as regular blankets. They are nice and big though so I have also used them as nursing covers. They are pretty lightweight which is perfect for Arizona weather. If you are in a colder climate, you will probably need some warmer blankets as well. But really, yes, get a lot of blankets. We got a bunch as gifts and I still went and got more. You will want them upstairs, downstairs, in the car, stroller, diaper bag. They will get dirty and spit up on so some will always be in the wash.
3. Skip Hop Activity Gym – Once Maddie’s belly button healed, we started laying her on her activity mat around 3 or 4 weeks. She really likes looking at all of the hanging characters. She still isn’t able to purposefully grasp at things so I think she will enjoy this mat even more soon. It’s also great for tummy time. I love all things Skip Hop and was so excited when we got this one as a gift. I like that it also comes with a pillow as it helps support her neck while laying on the mat.
4. Skip Hop Changing Pad – If you have a two-story house, you will want an extra changing station. Trust me. I don’t care how in shape you think you are, you are not going to want to go up and down stairs every single time you need to change a diaper. We have her changing table upstairs in her room and then a portable one to store in the downstairs bathroom to pull out to use when we are downstairs.
5. Avent Soothie Pacifier – Your baby may or may not be a paci baby. We realized after about 5 days that we had a baby who had a really strong need to suck, so we gave her a paci. These are the only pacifiers she will take. All others she spits right out. I recommend getting a couple and seeing which your baby prefers (if any at all) and then buy more. I also have a ton of these around the house as they always seem to go missing.
6. Boppy – Whether you are planning to nurse or bottle feed, you will want some sort of support pillow. Some people love the Boppy and some love My Brest Friend. I went with a Boppy and have not been disappointed. Frankly though, depending on where I am sitting, I actually need to use more pillows underneath the Bobby. If I am trying to feed the baby in bed, I need to prop other pillows underneath the Boppy so that I am not leaning over at an awkward angle.
7. Chicco Keyfit 30 Travel System – Ok, so of all of the baby products I knew we needed, I spent the most amount of time researching strollers and car seats. I seriously spent hours going back and forth between the 1000 options. I had a lot of friends tell me they didn’t like a travel system because the stroller is really bulky. I will give them that. This stroller is bulky and takes up a lot of space, but I still love it anyway. Maybe with time, I will also feel the same way, but at least for now, the convenience of being able to just snap the carrier right into the stroller is really nice. If the stroller becomes too cumbersome, we will just buy a lightweight stroller later. I considered going with a convertible car seat, but read that for newborns, infant car seats were safer so we chose the Chicco Keyfit 30 which is one of the best car seats out there. I have no complaints about this car seat thus far. It was easy to install and my husband and I both have a base in our cars so we don’t have to worry about moving it back and forth. The stroller is nice and sturdy. My only complaint about the stroller is that when you have the carrier snapped in, it is really hard to access the storage compartment underneath to get into the diaper bag.
8. Summer Infant SwaddleMe Wraps – We weren’t into swaddling at first, but around 6 weeks we realized our baby was always waking herself up with really fidgety arms so we started using these wraps and they are much easier for us than swaddling with a blanket. We also like the Halo Sleepsack because you can leave the arms in or out, but it doesn’t wrap as tightly on a tiny baby as much as the SwaddleMe wraps do.
9. Diaper Genie – This was an item a lot of friends told me I didn’t really need, but I disagreed. We live in a two-story townhouse where we do not have our own garbage cans that can just be taken out. We have to take our garbage to a dumpster which is not easy to do every time you have a dirty diaper with a baby who you just can’t leave unattended. Thus, the Diaper Genie is a must for us. It works really well and does a great job masking any nasty smells.
10. Burp Cloths – I know, burp cloths are not very exciting, but you will need them. A bunch of them. Like blankets, you will want them handy in all rooms of your house, in the car, in the diaper bag, etc. Start off with about 6 or so and get more if you happen to have a baby who just spits up more frequently. I constantly have at least a few in the wash so we have about 10 0r so. Some people also like to use cloth diapers as burp cloths. Whatever you prefer, you will need these!
11. Dr. Brown’s Bottles – We love these bottles. Yes, they come with a lot of extra parts, but we love that they reduce bubbles to prevent colic and gas. We also use Avent bottles. Maddie takes both without any issues.
12. cloud b Nighty Night Owl On The Go – I LOVE this little guy. A sound machine was another item that came highly recommended for us and I’m so glad we have this. This is the travel version of the regular size, but I registered for this one because it had better reviews than the full size version. It does a good job of blocking out outside noise. We use this owl every single night. It has 4 sounds, but we are partial to the babbling brook sound. It is really comforting and relaxing and both my husband and myself both say how we think it actually helps us both sleep too! I might seriously buy a second to use in our room once we move Maddie to her own room. For real.
13. Baby Einstein Take Along Tunes – I know this is not an item necessary for survival, but holy heck, does our baby love this thing. We started showing it to her once she was about a month old and every time we show it to her, she gets the biggest smiles on her face. She loves the lights and the music. I’ve had a few friends tell me their babies also loved this so I know it’s not just my kid.
14. Gripe Water – We use both gripe water and gas drops, but I actually think the gripe water is more effective. Maddie gets really gassy and squirmy and I notice a difference in her squirming after I give her gripe water. I give her gripe water before bed and do think it helps her. I would have both gripe water and gas drops in your medicine cabinet ready before baby arrives and then see which one works better for you.
15. Boon Grass Countertop Drying Rack – This was one of those items I registered for and wasn’t sure I would really use, but especially now that we are formula feeding, I have found it really useful. Even though I run all of her bottles through the dishwasher, everything is still always wet once I take them out and I don’t want to seal wet bottles up so I always lay all of the parts out on this rack to fully dry out before re-assembling the bottles.
16. Swing/Bouncer – Some people would probably put a swing and/or bouncer in their Top 10 items. The swing was an item that our baby didn’t start liking until about 3 weeks ago. I think part of the reason for this was that she was just really tiny when she was first born and whenever we put her in the seat, she was at a really awkward angle and looked uncomfortable. Now that she is bigger, she fits in her swing better and now will nap for hours in it sometimes. I know a lot of people like the bigger fancier swings, but with limited space, I love the Ingenuity ConvertMe Swing-2-Seat . It folds up when you are not using it so that’s a big bonus for us. It also has a vibrating seat so it’s basically a bouncer and swing in one. It has a timer and also has music and nature sounds so for the price, I think this is a great option if you don’t want a bigger swing in your living room.
17. A Glider or Recliner Rocking Chair – We love our recliner so much. We looked at both gliders and recliners, but ultimately opted for the recliner because it saved on space (since you don’t need an ottoman) and it works really well in the baby’s nursery. I think some sort of chair is a must for a nursery for late night feedings. I used it a lot in the first few weeks when we were struggling with nursing and even slept in it a few times with the baby propped up on me when I had a hard time getting her to sleep on her own. It was also a must for me during my last month of pregnancy when I developed horrible carpal tunnel in my hands and needed to sleep sitting up. I know we will continue to get a lot of use out of it once we move her into her own room to sleep at night for feeding, snuggling, and even reading!
Other Baby Essentials:
- diapers (duh!) – Get some newborn, but not too many as you will want to see how big your baby is when it is born. Maddie was a tiny thing so we used newborn diapers until just a week ago. We love Pampers Sensitive Swaddlers and Honest diapers.
- diaper rash cream (we love Boudreaux’s Butt Paste)
- diaper bag – I adore my Petunia Pickle Bottom bag! My husband also has a more manly diaper bag for himself to use.
- changing pad
- changing pad cover (plus an extra if you don’t use liners, but I recommend liners as they are easier to change out)
- changing pad liners
- wipes dispenser
Clothing was tricky for us. Maddie was only 5lbs. 12 ounces when she was born so newborn size clothes barely fit her, but we didn’t want to bother with buying premie clothes. Sizing is tricky with baby clothes as they are not consistent, even within brand. For example, we had 4 Carter’s jammies all in newborn size and only 2 fit her properly at first. The other two were way too big even though they were the same size. I recommend starting with some newborn size and also have some 0-3 months sizes of everything ready to go. I know our situation was not the norm and a lot of babies don’t stay in newborn sizes for very long. Maddie is still wearing newborn sizes at 2 months so we have had to buy more newborn clothes, but they are getting to be tight now so we are starting to move onto 0-3 months. If you end up with a smaller or larger baby, it’s easy enough to send friends or family out for a quick Target run or just order some things on Amazon.
When it comes to clothing, keep in mind you will want enough of each type of item as they will be in rotation between actually being worn, while some is in the wash, and at least one in the drawer ready to go for changing. You’ll also want emergency clothes in the diaper bag that stay in the diaper bag. Also think about laundry and how often you want to do it.
- 3-4 side snap tees (long or short sleeve depending on the season) – these are great during the first couple of weeks while the belly button is healing and are also nice because you don’t have to worry about slipping them over your baby’s head. Unless you think you are having a larger baby, just get these in newborn size. Your baby won’t need them for long.
- 4 sets of pajamas – Maddie lived in jammies her first couple of weeks since we didn’t go out much and they were nice and cozy.
- 2 cotton gowns – They are also nice those first few weeks and making diaper changing much easier as there are no buttons.
- 5 leggings/pants – to pair with onesies and such. If it’s cold, try to find pants that have footies attached, socks are hard to keep on such tiny footsies.
- 5 short sleeve onesies
- 5 long sleeve onesies
- baby-friendly detergent (like Dreft)
- 4-5 swaddle and receiving blankets
- SwaddleMe wraps and/or Halo Sleepsack (see above)
- 3-4 bottles (more if you are going to formula feed or bottle feed when returning to work). Don’t go crazy with different types/brands. Start with two and see if your baby likes them. If they seem happy with them, just get more of that brand.
- Bottle brush
- dishwasher basket (I have this one from OXO and this one from Munchkin)
- drying rack (see above)
- for formula feeding – a portable formula dispenser for the diaper bag! (I use this one from OXO)
- nursing pillow (you will want this even if you are bottle feeding)
- burp cloths
- high chair (you won’t use this during the first few months, but it’s an expensive item, so best put it on your registry!)
Your hospital should provide some things that you will need to use after the baby arrives. I was given a bag of the lovely mesh underwear, larger pads, a spritz bottle, numbing spray, etc.. What you get/need will depend on whether you had a vaginal birth, c-section, tearing, etc.
- nursing pads
- nursing cover
- lanolin cream
- breast milk freezer bags
- breast pump (check with your insurance first to see if one is covered under your plan before purchasing yourself)
- heavy overnight pads
- infant bath tub
- 3-4 hooded towels
- 3-4 washcloths
- body wash
- nail clippers
- brush and comb (and a cradle crap brush (we got this for free from the hospital and still use it)
- lotion (I like Aveeno’s baby lotion)
We opted not to do a big expensive bedding set. I didn’t want a traditional bumper due to the increased risk of suffocation so we use a mesh breathable bumper. It’s not as pretty, but I know it’s safer for breathing and will also keep her arms and legs from getting stuck. I got the bumper in white and then got some pretty sheets from Pottery Barn Kids along with a pretty crib skirt.
- bassinet, rock and play, co-sleeper – whatever your sleeping plan is for the first few months!
- 3-4 pairs of sheets (if using a bassinet, you will also want at least one extra bassinet sheet)
- sound machine (see above)
- night light
- Pack and Play portable crib
Health and Safety:
- thermometer (rectal is best for babies)
- aspirator (the one from the hospital is better than any other one)
- gas drops and/or gripe water (see above)
- Baby Tylenol
- Monitor (though, we still aren’t using ours as she sleeps in the room with us, so you may not need this right away, it just depends on what your sleeping arrangements/plan will be)
Baby Registry Tips:
- Think about your baby shower. Unless you are inviting more than 50 people, I recommend sticking to the essential baby items you will need during those first few months. You can get the other items later (baby gate, spoons, dishes, sippy cups, etc.).
- Think about what you actually need vs. what would be nice to have. Make sure you get those essential items first. For example, don’t put 10 stuffed animals on your registry. Put one or two, otherwise you might end up with 10 stuffed animals and no bottles.
- You don’t have to do it all at once! I registered in chunks. We did three trips to the store and then the rest I did online.
- Do your research! Make sure you do your research on the best car seats, strollers, bottles, etc..
- Finally, this was just a preference for me, but for all of the bigger more expensive items like the stroller, car seat, swing, high chair, etc., we went with gender neutral colors. Most people only get one baby shower and we plan to have more than one baby and even though we knew we were having a girl this time, we want to be able to reuse these more expensive items again if we have a boy next. With the exception of clothing, bedding and room decor, and some toys, everything else we have is gender neutral.
Things we didn’t register for and/or didn’t need:
- wipes warmer – this just seemed like a hassle and I didn’t want her to get used to the luxury of a warm wipe knowing she wouldn’t always be able to get one.
- bottle warmer – honestly, just heat some water on the stove or in the microwave and then stick the bottle in it. Does the same thing and costs much less and is one less thing on your counter.
- baby proofing materials – I decided not to register for this kind of thing. I knew we wouldn’t need it for a while and would rather people bought us the essential items we would need right away. It will be just as easy for us to get these things once it gets closer to when Maddie starts to get mobile.
- Grooming kit – these kits can come with a lot of items, but besides the nail clippers, we don’t use anything else that was in our kit. The thermometer it came with is just okay, but I ended up going out and getting a better one. Maybe we will use more of the items with time, but aside from the brush and nail clippers, I don’t know that we will ever use the other items. Just get nail clippers and a brush and comb separately.
- Bowls, sippy cups, plates, spoons, etc. – I registered for a few of these things, but not much. Again, you don’t need this stuff right away so decide if you really want them on your registry.
Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post. These are all items that we love and use ourselves. This post does contain some affiliate links.