Hi everyone and welcome to Part 3 of my Baby Registry 101 series: My Complete Registry Guide! Today I’m sharing my personal recommendations on everything to put on your baby registry. It’s a long one, but hopefully a useful resource! Stay tuned for What NOT to Put on Your Baby Registry, and in a couple weeks I have a big collaboration post planned with several of your favorite mama bloggers!
I’d like to preface this post by saying that these are the items that worked for us and our lifestyle. Our lifestyle being that we started off in a 2 bedroom condo in the city (needed to save space) and are now in a bigger two story home in the suburbs, we both work, and we formula feed. But let’s get to it, here are my suggestions for your baby registry…
Dr. Brown’s Bottles: These are the way to go. We tried one other bottle type and after one weekend of screaming and not wanting to eat we switched to these and haven’t looked back. My friend who had a reflux baby swears by them as well. People complain about all the parts, but it really isn’t that hard to keep clean especially if you have the next item on the list. We also liked the wide neck bottles because it was easier to get formula in them.
Dr. Brown’s Dishwasher Basket: A must if you get the bottles! We have two of these and it makes washing bottles super easy.
Boon Lawn Drying Rack: This is so much nicer looking than your typical drying rack and it’s perfect for holding all those little bottle parts. I sometimes will just use my regular drying mat nowadays, but this takes up a lot less space than that!
Munchkin to go Formula Dispenser: This is the perfect thing for your diaper bag and it holds enough formula for three 8 oz bottles without taking up a ton of space.
Gerber Prefold Diapers: THE best burp cloths. They are very absorbent. I have 10 of them and that was just the perfect amount for the days when Logan spit up a lot. That has slowed now, but we still use them all the time. They aren’t the cutest, but they are functional.
Aden + Anais Burpy Bibs: These are nice because they are contoured to throw over your shoulder and they’re very soft and absorbent. They also have a snap on them, so they can double as a bib. Plus, they come in some really cute prints.
Pacifiers: Pacifiers are totally a baby and personal choice, so don’t go crazy buying a bunch of the same kind until you know what your little likes. Our little guy loves his paci. When he was really little we loved the Wubbanub pacifiers. Not only were the wubbanubs super cute, but they also stayed in his mouth better and eventually he could hold it there too. When he was a little older and we transitioned to the crib, the wubbanubs wouldn’t stay in his mouth as well while sleeping, so we tried the MAM pacifiers and we love those now (psst the MAM pacifiers come in a glow in the dark version as well which is great at night time when you’re searching for it in the dark!). We also still use the regular Philips Avent pacies sometimes too, but he prefers the MAM.
Honestly, unless you have a lot of showers/people getting gifts for you I wouldn’t worry about registering for this stuff since you won’t start feeding solids until after 6 months.
Ikea High Chair: The price was right on this one at under $20. It’s all plastic, so it wipes up easily. My one complaint is the tray doesn’t come in very far, so it can get a little messy. I just couldn’t stomach spending $200+ on a high chair when I wasn’t sure what I would like.
Oxo Tot Bibs: I’ve talked about these before, but I really like them because they’re a mix of fabric on the top, which helps it form around baby’s neck so food doesn’t get in, and rubber on the bottom, so it catches food better and helps weigh the bib down a bit so it stays put. These Babybjorn bibs are also popular, but we couldn’t start using them until after he was a year old. Before then he would rip them right off. He can’t rip the velcro on the Oxo and Bumkins though.
Bumkins Waterproof Bibs: These have a little pouch to catch food and they wipe up really easy. These are also great for on the go, because they fold up small. They also come in cute Disney prints! Simple, inexpensive and cute.
Gerber Graduates Rest Easy Spoons: Pretty simple and standard first spoons. They’re inexpensive and I like that they have the little ‘rest easy’ lip.
Munchkin Snack Catcher: We are just starting to use this at 10 months, but it’s great for keeping some puffs in the diaper bag in case he gets hungry when we’re out and about.
I have yet to find a bowl or plate that my 10 month old doesn’t dump or throw on the floor, so I don’t currently use them. We even tried the bowls with the suction cup bottoms, but my little man is strong and still can throw them on the floor. I do think this ezpz Happy Mat is a great idea and love that they come in a smaller size, I’ll definitely be purchasing one.
We’re still on the search for the best sippy cup and we’re still working on the transition to sippy cup, so I’m no help there.
Britax B-Agile Travel System: The Britax carseat got good ratings and I like that our carseat clicks in easily to our stroller. Even though Logan is big enough to sit in the seat of the stroller now, I’ll still click his seat in if he’s asleep. The carseat isn’t the lightest one on the market, but it’s not that heavy. It’s really easy to install the base and to get him in and out. I have had some issues steering with our stroller lately, but I think that is a one off and most of them don’t do that.
Swing: We have the Fisher Price swing and liked it. I used it when Logan was really little and I needed a place to occupy him while I ate breakfast or something like that. Sometimes it would put him to sleep. I don’t know that I’ll shell out the money for a more expensive one since you only use it for the first few months, but it was really nice to have for those few months!
High Chair/Cart Cover: We’ve used this a lot for grocery runs! It makes the cart a little comfier and prevents your little one from putting their mouth on the dirty cart!
BRICA Baby In-Sight Magical Firefly Car Mirror: You must have a mirror for the car! This one has lights and sounds if you’re into that, which can distract the baby sometimes. I don’t use the lights and sound anymore, but it’s cute and colorful and does the job.
Baby Bjorn Original Carrier: Michael and I both use this and love it. It’s really simple to put on and adjust, so we liked that aspect of it rather than some of the wraps I tried. We’ve used it when we grocery shop, when we take him to the doctor and around the house when we’re trying to get things done too. A carrier is really personal preference though, so test it out before you decide! Update: I’ve heard great things about the Ergo 360 and am considering getting it since it has a higher weight limit (35 lbs versus the 25 lb limit on the bjorn). For reference, my 14 month old is about 24 lbs.
Pack ‘n Play: If you travel a lot or have a two story house you might want a pack ‘n play. We have this basic one, but now that we moved into a two story house I can see why the ones with a diaper changing station would be nice. This one has a changing station and a portable napper, which could eliminate the need for a bouncer in my opinion. We haven’t used our pack’ n play that often, but it’s definitely nice to have. Recently, I’ve used it to put Logan in with some toys while I showered really quick. Note that the base where they sleep is pretty thin. If you’re going to be using it for nighttime often, I would recommend getting a pack ‘n play mattress and sheet to go with it.
Carseat Protector Mat: These are basic, but they protect your seat from the carseat and any projectile liquids or food.
Carseat Canopy Cover: We used this all the time when Logan was really little and we went out of the house. It helped keep him asleep, kept the sun/elements off of him or just kept strangers and germs away. You can always find coupon codes for a free one, which means you just have to pay the $14 s+h fee. If you have a winter baby you may want to consider one of these heavier duty car seat covers.
Bouncer: We didn’t use this a whole, whole lot, but it was another nice to have. I definitely wouldn’t splurge on a bouncer and don’t consider it an essential. Get one of the $20 or $30 ones if you do get one! They essentially do the same things as the more expensive ones.
Bumbo: We used the bumbo for the very brief period before the baby could sit up on his own. It’s another nice to have, but I don’t feel like it’s a necessity.
Boppy Pillow: I think the boppy pillow is nice for propping up baby and helping with tummy time, but I didn’t find it all the helpful when I was trying to breastfeed, but I’m not a breastfeeding pro. It was also nice to put behind him as support when he was sitting up, but not all that sturdy to break any falls.
Baby Bathtub: We had this whale bathtub that served us just fine, but it wasn’t my favorite. I did like that we could put it on the bathroom counter and we didn’t have to bend over the tub when he was really little. We switched to the big bathtub around 8 months and the whale worked until then when he was teeny tiny and when he was sitting up on his own. I think the bathtub choice totally depends on how and where you plan on bathing baby – in the sink, on the counter, in the tub. There are different tubs for all different options. Just decide what you’re comfortable with.
Skip Hop Moby Whale Spout Cover: Once we started using the big bathtub, this was essential so that our little guy didn’t bump his head on the spout. Plus, it’s adorable. Also helpful is something to cover the tub stopper so they don’t hurt their little bums on it (yes, this happens!). This matching whale tub stopper cover is cute.
Towels: All baby towels are not created equal. I really like the quality of the Disney Baby brand at Babies R Us and the Ikea Hooded Towel. The Ikea towel is also about half the price of most towels I’ve seen in stores! Stay away from Spasilk – they are really thin! For the first several months, we only gave Logan a bath about twice a week, so we didn’t need as many towels. Now we give him a bath every day and we really need more. How many you need will also depend on how often you do laundry. I will say a regular towel works just fine once they aren’t super tiny, so keep that in mind. Register for at least two towels and several wash cloths. I like these washcloths.
You’ll also need baby soap/shampoo and lotion. We’re big Aveeno fans over here. We switched to the moisturizing kind when we found out Logan had mild excema.
Bath toys: Logan didn’t really get into playing in the bath until we switched to the big tub and he could really splash around. When he was little he just liked chewing on things, like the washcloth, even though we had toys. We got this bath boat toy set for Christmas and we really like it. It has a variety of toys and the quality is a lot nicer than a lot of the bath toys I’ve seen. I’ve tried to stay away from squirt bath toys that have a hole in them since I’ve heard they are hard to clean and are little mold magnets, but that’s just me.
Eventually the toys will take over your bathroom and you’ll need something to hold all of those toys. I’ve heard good things about this bath toy organizer, but I don’t own it personally. I have this one and I do not recommend it. It doesn’t stay up very well.
Health & Safety:
NoseFrida: SO much better than the standard nasal aspirators. This really gets all of the snot out which is crucial when they are sick. And no it’s really not gross. I consider this an essential!
Motorola® MBP33S Wireless Enhanced 2-Way Audio Digital Video Baby Monitor: This one has a video and sound and tells you the temperature in the room. You can also add on more monitors for future children. You can turn the sound off, which is nice when we’re sleeping so I don’t wake up at every little sound. (FYI I can hear him fine from our room.)
Crane Cool Mist Humidifier: Humidifiers help keep baby from getting sick and help them breath when they are sick. This is the standard one that we have and it works just fine.
Thermometer: We got this forehead thermometer which I like ok. Sometimes it’s hard to get an accurate reading if they are moving around too much. I prefer to use a standard under the arm thermometer for accuracy these days (just make sure it’s one that does a fast reading), but the forehead one is nice to use when they are asleep or not angry/squirmy. I imagine we’ll use that one more and more as he gets older.
Safety 1st Sleepy Baby Nail Clippers: These have a little light on the end so you can see what you’re doing and are a nice shape/weight so it makes it a little easier.
Boogie Wipes: These have saline in them which helps dissolve crusty boogies. It’s also gentler than a regular kleenex. We’ve used them a lot this winter.
Hairbrush and Comb: We got these in one of those baby first aid kits, but I think a lot of the stuff in there is useless or not the kind I’d prefer. If I had to do it again, I’d register/buy the items individually.
Aquaphor: Logan has mild excema and the doctor recommends using this. He also used to get horrible marks from his paci when he was drooling and we’d put this on to help clear that up.
Babyganics Sunscreen: Babies can’t wear regular sunscreen, but this kind is baby safe.
Baby Saline: When they’re sick, this is supposed to help their nose. We also use it when we need to use the snot sucker, but his nose is a little dry.
Infant Acetaminophen and Infant Ibuprofen: You’ll want to make sure you have acetaminophen on hand for fevers and such. After they’re 6 months old they can have ibuprofen, which lasts longer and is more effective.
Coconut Oil: Not something I’d put on a registry, but something I’d have on hand at the beginning because it’s great at getting rid of cradle cap! We used it a couple of times in the first month and it cleared up the cradle cap right away.
The basics: Obviously, you’ll need a crib and a crib mattress. The crib is totally personal preference as is the bedding. Etsy has some great bedding options that are on trend. Skip the crib bumper and heavy blanket – they’re really not safe for baby, so you don’t need them! What you do need is a Waterproof Crib Mattress Pad (these are pretty standard, but we like them) – I recommend having 2-3 of these. Crib sheets – at least 3 of these since you always want to have a clean crib sheet for emergencies! A teething rail guard is a good thing to have because once they get older they’ll start teething on the rail. And a crib skirt is totally optional.
Fisher Price Rock n Play: I have mixed feelings about this. We used this all the time (naps and at night next to our bed) for the first three months. We loved it. Logan slept well and it folds up and travels well. It’s also easy to throw in the wash. However, I’ve since heard stories about how baby can become slouched down and airways can become blocked, which scares me.
I didn’t register for that many clothes, and people went off the registry when it came to clothing items anyways. I recommend getting a few gowns for the newborn phase, though. They are great at night for easy diaper changes.
Halo Sleepsack Swaddle: We used and loved these from the first days in the hospital up until Logan learned how to roll over. They are really easy to use and versatile! You can swaddle their arms with this one or just velcro the “arms” around their middle if they don’t like to be swaddled and it still provides extra warmth like a blanket. Logan had a little jaundice when he was first born and he had to be on a billy light, so clothes were a little difficult with the light. But we could easily slip the light in the bottom of this sleepsack and leave just the bottom unzipped. We had 2 each of the newborn and small sizes to start out.
My Baby Sound Spa: Love this. We’ve used this since Logan was little and it just helps mask any other sounds in the house so he sleeps better. It stays on all night. It’s also small enough that we can take it with us when we travel overnight.
Aden + Anais Swaddle Blankets: Everyone raves about these. I loved them too, but only for a couple months, so don’t go overboard with these. At first they were too big so we just used these Target blankets. Once Logan was a little bigger though, they were just the right size to do that perfect swaddle. We swaddled during nap time and used the sleepsacks at night. Once Logan rolled over though, we were done using the swaddle kind and switched to just the regular sleepsack.
Mesh Crib Liner: Not necessarily a favorite, but something I considered essential for a few months when Logan first learned to roll over, was a mesh crib liner. It keeps them from getting any limbs stuck between the crib slates and waking themselves up. The mesh makes it safe for baby in case they’re mouth is up against it. We only used it for a few months, so we just got an inexpensive white one.
The basics: You’ll obviously need diapers. I used Pampers, Huggies and Honest Company for newborn and size 1 diapers. Then around size 2 I switched to Target brand diapers during the day. We also use Huggies Natural Wipes. They’re thick, but not soapy or fragrant and also pretty economical. I also like the Honest and Babyganics brand of wipes, but they are pricey.
Some sort of diaper bag is pretty much essential if you ever intend on leaving the house. I love the Skip Hop brand, but it’s definitely a personal choice. Most bags come with a portable changing pad too, which you’ll need too.
You’ll need a changing pad and changing pad covers (I recommend 2 covers). Also, Changing Pad Liners are great so you don’t have to change the covers as often. The Boppy kind are the best and I have two packs of three liners.
Ubbi Diaper Pail: I like that I can use regular trash bags with this diaper pail and it keeps the smell in. It’s easy to change bags, and it also looks nice and blends in with my decor. The smell does linger a moment when you open it, but I think that’s unavoidable with any diaper pail.
Huggies Clutch n Clean Wipes: I like that these hold a lot of wipes, but if you don’t have a lot of wipes in there it collapses so it doesn’t take up as much room in your diaper bag. They also come in some really cute colors and patters.
Munchkin Arm and Hammer Diaper Bag Dispenser: These are great when you have to change a diaper on the go and you either a.) don’t have a trash can nearby like if you’re in the car or b.) if you’re at a friend’s house and don’t want to stink up their trash. We don’t use it super often, but it’s definitely a good thing to have in your diaper bag.
Oxo Tot Wipes Dispenser: I like that you can open and get out a wipe with one hand. Major bonus points for the simple white design that looks nice on our changing table counter.
The basics: You’ll want to registry for toys to get you through the first 4-6 months or so, unless you have a lot of people buying gifts. After that you can usually fill in with Christmas presents and buy them as you go. I would start out registering for a few toys with the crinkly fabric and some with a rubbery edge for teething. And lots of board books. Here are a few of our favorites.
FisherPrice Kick and Play Piana Gym Play Mat: We started using this for tummy time during the early days and now Logan will still play with the toys hanging above and the piano. You can adjust the piano so they can play it sitting up when they’re older too. I’m surprised at how long we’ve used it!
Bright Starts Lots of Links: These links are great for young babies because they can easily grasp them, but Logan still plays with them a little at 9 months too. They are great sensory play since they’re all different colors and each one has different textures.
VTech Sit to Stand Activity Walker: This toy has gotten a ton of use. You can use just the base before they start standing up and it has lots of gears, buttons and stuff to play with. Then it’s great when they are pulling up and learning to walk. Logan loves this toy. It’s one of his favorites and the best $20 I’ve spent!
Jumperoo: This was great to have once Logan hit 4 months and he could sit up on his own. We could put him in here and he’d be content to bounce away while we were free to cook dinner.
Lamaze Captain Calamari: The Cap’n as we call him has several legs with different colors and textures that are good for chewing, there’s also a rattle and a mirror on him. Lots to see, feel, touch and chew on for baby. It’s a great toy, but I think any of the Lamaze ones are similar!
Sofie Teether: This seems to really soothe him when his teeth/gums are bothering him. We have the full size and the mini version of Sofie. I love the mini because it fits in the diaper bag a bit easier.
Baby Einstein Take Along Tunes: I LOVE this one. It plays classical music which is like heaven to mama’s ears when compared to some of the other toys that have sound. We take this in the car a lot. The lights and music can usually distract and calm baby down.
Fisher-Price Brilliant Basics Stack & Roll Cups: This is another toy that can grow with baby. I like that you can stack them and you can also connect them to make a ball. Logan likes to bang them together, but eventually he’ll learn counting and stacking them.
Hopefully this is helpful to some of you soon-to-be mamas! Experienced moms, anything to add?
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