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One of the most overwhelming things I did while I was pregnant was creating a baby registry. I had absolutely no idea where to begin. There are so many products on the market and advertisers really make it seem like you need them all. This makes it really difficult because as a first time mama you really don’t know what you will need. That’s why I created my list of baby registry essentials. These are all products that I actually used with my daughter. This is my no fluff list of must have items to add to a baby registry. I hope this list will help narrow down some of the options for first time mamas. I know first hand how overwhelming this process is. Good luck!
Before you get started on filling up your baby registry with all of these great essentials you need to choose where to start it. I highly recommend using Amazon for your baby registry. You can click here to read why I recommend them and to get started. All of the items I’m including on my essentials list can be added to your Amazon baby registry.
Baby Registry Essentials – Sleeping
Portable Crib – This item should absolutely be included on your registry even if you don’t travel frequently. In fact, my husband and I have only used it once while traveling. Instead, we use it for when Olivia sleeps in our room, for trips to grandma’s house, or just as a safe place to play if I have to leave the room. We purchased the Graco Pack n’ Play. It is easy to assemble and take down. It also comes with a carrying case that makes it easy to travel with.
Swaddles – I loved using the muslin swaddles on my daughter during the day – particularly the Aden & Anais swaddles because they were so large and soft. However, if your baby is anything like mine they will have no problem breaking out of these at night. That’s why I recommend using a velcro swaddle for bedtime. We prefer using the Halo SleepSack Swaddle for when they are newborns and then transitioning to the Halo SleepSack Wearable Blanket when they start to roll.
Sound Machine – We purchased the Tranquil Moments Bedside Speaker and Sound Machine for our daughters room and boy am I glad we did. She absolutely can’t sleep without white noise blaring in the background. This speaker is a great buy. Not only does it have white noise, but it has a variety of other sounds that will be calming to her as she gets older. It is also very compact so we take it with us wherever we go. The best part about it is that it doesn’t need to be plugged in to work. So, when she gets fussy in the car I can just turn this on and set it in the backseat next to her carseat.
Crib Sheets – The AAP currently recommends only using a tightly fitted crib sheet for your baby’s crib. We strictly follow the AAP’s recommendations for sleep safety so that is the only bedding we registered for. I recommend adding a few different sheets to your list of registry essentials. Your baby is bound to have a few middle of the night accidents (sometimes even multiple a night). Make sure you are properly prepared to handle all of those by having plenty of sheets on hand.
Baby Registry Essentials – Feeding
Bottles – Every baby will have a different preference on bottles. That’s why I recommended adding a few different brands to your list of registry essentials. This way you will have a few different bottles on hand to try. Once you find the perfect fit for your baby you can stock up. Our daughter’s favorite bottle is the Playtex Ventaire. This bottle has greatly helped reduce her reflux and colic symptoms. I would definitely add these to your list of bottles to try.
Pacifiers – One of the best ways to soothe a baby is by offering a pacifier. Some breastfeeding mothers worry about causing nipple confusion when using pacifiers. We didn’t have any issue with that and we started using them when we were still in the hospital. However, if you are concerned feel free to speak with your lactation consultant on how/when to introduce one. We love using the Phillips Avent Soothies.
Burp Cloths – I don’t recommend adding the traditional burp cloths to your baby registry. Instead, I recommend adding packages of cloth diapers. They are so much more affordable and way more absorbent. Don’t be afraid to really stock up on these. You will go through so many of these a day. To be honest we probably keep at least 30 on hand.
Drying Rack – This is pretty obvious for mamas who wash their bottles by hand, but you also need it when you use the dishwasher. Bottles need to be completely dry before you put them together and put them away. Even if your dishwasher has a drying setting it still won’t get them completely dry. Personally, I run the heated dry setting on my dishwasher and then set the bottles and nipples out on the Boon Lawn Drying Rack for a couple hours before putting them away. It is great for holding all of the bottles and parts upright while they dry.
Bottle Brush – You will definitely want to add a bottle brush to your registry essentials if you plan on bottle feeding your baby. This product is a necessity even if you plan on using the dishwasher to clean your bottles. You will want to rinse them out before you load them. The bottle brush will help you remove any milk stuck in the bottle or nipple. When you are purchasing your bottle brush be sure to select one that comes with a special nipple cleaning brush.
Nursing Pillow – I highly recommend adding a nursing pillow to your baby registry. I love how easy it made holding my daughter while I nursed her. Even if you aren’t a breastfeeding mama a nursing pillow can be a great investment. I still use mine to help support my arms while I hold my daughter during feedings or naps. It just makes it so much more comfortable for the both of us. My favorite nursing pillow is the Boppy Nursing Pillow. Another popular option is the My Breast Friend.
Baby Registry Essentials – Bathing
Bathtub – One of my favorite baby products is the Aquascale Digital Scale & Thermometer 3 in 1 Infant Tub. This is my favorite infant tub for a variety of reasons. I love that I can use it to check her weight in between doctors appointments to make sure she is getting enough to eat. I also enjoy the peace of mind it gives me by measuring the temperature of the water. Lastly, it is very comfortable and secure for infants. My daughter fits very well in it and has since she got her first real bath at a couple weeks old.
Shampoo & Body Wash – You will want to add a couple of bottles of shampoo and body wash to your list of baby registry essentials. You’ll only bathe your baby 2-3 times a week at first so it will last you quite a while. We use the Honest Company Shampoo and Body Wash 2 in 1. They have a variety of scents and formulas to meet your baby’s needs.
Lotion – We were originally using Aveno baby lotion on our daughter. However, I noticed it really wasn’t doing much for her skin. Instead of using the typical baby lotion I recommend using CeraVe lotion. We apply this once in the morning and once at night. It is a thicker lotion, but it doesn’t leave my daughter feeling sticky or oily. It is amazing at hydrating her dry skin.
Baby Registry Essentials – Clothing
Onesies – People love to give outfits as baby shower gifts. That’s why I choose to leave the adorable outfits off the baby registry. Most of the time your guests will just choose an outfit that they find cute rather than checking the registry for a specific one. Because of that I only add the basic clothing necessities to the registry. One clothing must have is few packages of plain cotton onesies. These are easy to put on your baby and are so comfortable. You can also use them for layering under other outfits to help keep baby warm.
Sleepers – My daughter lived in sleepers during her first few months. The adorable outfits are cute in theory. However, these were just so much more comfortable for her and easier for me to put on her. Plus, they were great at keeping her warm. I recommend selecting ones with a zipper closure. Using zippered sleepers will make diaper changes a breeze.
Mittens – You will also want to add some mittens to your baby registry. I always kept mittens on my daughters hands throughout the day to keep her from scratching her face. Those baby nails are so sharp!
Socks – A few packages of socks should definitely be on your list of baby registry essentials. They are essential in helping keep your new baby warm and cozy.
Baby Registry Essentials – Changing
Diapers – You will go through so many diapers during your baby’s first year. You really can never have too many on hand. I recommend adding diapers to your baby registry so that friends and family know what brand you are wanting. Diapers are always a hot ticket item at showers so this will ensure you get the brand you are looking for. We have started using Honest Diapers on Miss Olivia. They are so gentle on her sensitive skin which is very important to us. They are made without chlorine, bleach, latex, fragrance, or chemicals. Honest Diapers are great at preventing leaks and blow outs. Plus, they come in the most adorable prints.
Wipes – Wipes are another item that you will blow through that first year. It’s truly amazing at just how many you will use. We have tried a variety of wipes on our daughter. So far, the best for us are Pamper’s Sensitive. They are really great at getting her cleaned up. I don’t have to use a handful of wipes to clean a dirty diaper like I do with other brands. They are also very gentle of her sensitive skin which I love.
Diaper Cream – You will definitely want to keep a good diaper cream on hand for the occasional diaper rash. I have two different ones that I like to keep with me. The first one that I use is A+D Ointment. This is what I like to use for “maintenance”. I use it every night under her neck (cause we have rolls on rolls) and then every night on her bum. This helps me prevent rashes from popping up. The second diaper cream I keep on hand is Desitin. I use this if Olivia develops a bad rash. It almost always clears it up overnight.
Diaper Pail – Some people prefer to save money and just use a traditional trash can. However, I can’t imagine not having my diaper pail. It was definitely worth “splurging” on for us. We use the Ubbi Diaper Pail and love it! What makes it so special is that it just uses traditional trash bags. This way I’m not spending extra money each month buying specialty bags. It’s great at locking the scent in too. Just make sure to empty it regularly. We’ve been using it for a few months now and so far no complaints.
Baby Registry Essentials – Travel
Infant Carseat – Choosing to use an infant seat for our daughter was a no brainer for us. It was so convenient because I didn’t have to take her out of the carseat and wake her up to run an errand. I could simply unclick the seat from the base and go. These are also great for babies born in the winter because they provide them with protection from the cold and wind when you are out. We used the Chicco Keyfit 30 for our daughter and loved it. It was extremely easy to instal and fit her perfectly.
Convertible Carseat – Some people choose to use a convertible carseat right from the beginning. However, even if you don’t use it right away you will eventually need one. We have tried a variety of convertible carseats with our daughter in search of the perfect one. We finally tried the Peg Perego Primo Viaggio and I’m so glad we did. It is hands down the best out of all the seats we tried. It is a very simple instal which can be hard to find with convertible seats. One of the best aspects of this seat is how compact it is from front to back. That was a huge selling point for us.
Stroller – I highly recommend taking an afternoon to go into a baby store and test out different strollers. A stroller absolutely should be on your list of baby registry essentials. We recently upgraded to the Baby Jogger City Mini GT stroller and we love it. It has so many great features including a hand brake, rubber wheels, and an effortless one hand fold. It is also extremely compact, in my opinion, once it is folded and fits much nicer in our trunk than other strollers.
Diaper Bag – I started with a tote style diaper bag, but as Olivia got bigger it became more difficult to carry that and hold her. She is a wiggly thing after all. I ended up switching to a backpack style diaper bag. I love the the Skip Hop Forma Diaper Bag. It has plenty of space to carry everything I need for Olivia and myself. My favorite feature is the two storage cubes that it includes. One is perfect for containing extra clothes and the other is insulated making it perfect for baby bottles. I can’t recommend this diaper bag enough.
Baby Registry Essentials – Health & Safety
Baby Monitor – A baby monitor is one of those baby registry essentials that you just can’t live without. We started out using the VTech Audio Monitor. This monitor worked perfectly for us when Olivia was first born. However, once she started becoming more mobile we switched to a video monitor. Now we use the Levana Astra Video Monitor. I love the peace of mind I get by being able to see her while she’s in her room. I am beyond satisfied with this monitor. The screen quality is great during the day as well as at night. I also love that it has a pan/tilt feature, a two way intercom, and plays lullabies.
Thermometer – I don’t like to use a rectal thermometer unless I’m fairly certain that my daughter already has a fever because I know it is uncomfortable for her. Using an ear thermometer is a great way for me to quickly check to see if she is running a temperature. If the reading comes back high then I use the rectal thermometer to get a more accurate reading before calling her doctor. We use the Braun Thermoscan3 Ear Thermometer and the rectal thermometer that comes in the healthcare kit mentioned below.
Humidifier – A humidifier should be on your list of baby registry essentials. Especially if you live in a dryer climate like I do. We have a cool mist humidifier that we run in our daughters room day and night. This has really helped us combat her congestion issues. We currently use the Crane Cool Mist Humidifier. Not only is this humidifier stylish in my daughter’s room, but it also has some really great features. The Crane Humidifier features a 1 gallon tank designed to run at least 24 hours, does not require a filter, and is whisper quiet.
Nasal Aspirator – I recommend skipping the traditional bulb syringe. Instead, I would add the NoseFrida Snotsucker to your list of baby registry essentials. It may seem a little gross to you now. However, I can guarantee you it won’t even phase you when your baby is crying from congestion. The Snotsucker is so much stronger than the traditional bulb syringe. Plus, your hospital will probably send you home with a free bulb syringe anyway.
Health Kit – We use our Safety 1st Healthcare Kit frequently. It includes a digital thermometer, alcohol wipes, nasal aspirator, nail clippers, cradle cap comb, brush and comb, toothbrush, and more. It also comes with a convenient carrying case. I love that all of her grooming and healthcare items are all kept in one convenient and cute place.
Baby Registry Essentials – Gear
Bouncer or Swing – A bouncer or swing will be one of your greatest assets in calming a fussy baby. In fact, on Olivia’s worst nights we would let her sleep in her Rock ‘N Play to calm her. She would sleep all night long when we did that. I can’t recommend the Rock ‘N Play enough. It is loved by moms everywhere.
Activity Mat – An activity mat is my favorite play item to add to a baby registry. We purchased the Bright Starts 5 in 1 Activity Gym for our daughter. We love this product because she can use it from just a few months old up into her toddler years. The longevity definitely makes it worth the money. It is a fun activity mat during her first year while she learns to roll, grasp objects, and explore. Then as she gets bigger we can convert it into a fun ball pit for her to play in.
Baby Carrier – A baby carrier is a necessary item to help moms survive the 4th trimester. Your baby will crave the closeness and security they felt during their time in the womb (especially in the first few months). Baby wearing will help provide them with the comfort they need while still allowing mom to get the tasks she needs accomplished done. I prefer using a wrap carrier like the Baby K’tan when baby’s are smaller and then transitioning them to a traditional carrier like the Ergobaby as they grow.