Since having a baby, we’ve learned a lot about what you actually need and what is unnecessary. Our registry definitely had unnecessary items. Live and learn, right?
However, I’ve gotten asked a few times what new mamas should get, so I thought I’d make a list of things that were essential and things made our life easier in the beginning. This will definitely look different for some – depending on budget, space, number of babies… but it’s a good guide!
Our glider is one of my favorite things we got and we’ve spent hours rocking in it over the last nine months. We also used a bassinet in our room for the first 4.5 months. I wouldn’t change that for anything. I’d have kept him in there longer but we were all disturbing each other so after the 4 month sleep regression, we made the transition to his crib. We used our pack n’ play a lot early on and now use it when we travel, need to step out of the room or quickly do something. And the car seat? Well, that seems like common sense but I do recommend an infant seat so that you can use the carrier feature when they’re tiny. Ever heard that you shouldn’t wake a sleeping baby? This helps.
Footed jammies (team zipper! 🙋🏼 Bonus is you can find ones that zip both ways so you don’t have to undress baby fully at night), nail clippers (maybe one of the scariest things you’ll do with a baby), thermometer, and a good nursing pillow are all necessities!
Bath stuff! Having an infant tub isn’t a necessity but helps if you need to give baths alone or don’t want your back to ache. You only need it for the first few months. Soft towels and wash cloths are crucial and some lotion for a sweet little baby massage after is a nice touch. Make sure it is nonscented!
Speaking of dish detergent, you’ll be cleaning a lot of bottles at some point. These brushes are super helpful – get at least 3 to start with and replace after about 6 months. You’ll want somewhere to dry your bottles (and you’ll also want to clean this regularly!). I bought like 10 kinds of bottles but we only ended up using the Avent ones. We used the size 0 nipple to start (order this separately) and eventually moved to the size 1. No need to go higher than that! Pumping bags will be a necessity for the nursing Mom.
You’ll want a changing pad and cover or you can go for the Kekaroo which doesn’t need a cover. The changing pad liners in the next image will save you some time! Get a good, firm mattress. We opted for organic and this one is a great price! Babies are unbelievably gassy. Get gas drops.
A diaper bag backpack is a total game changer. It frees up an arm/hand and is so much easier to use. A diaper genie and refills. Once the kid starts eating solids, you’re gonna want to run those diapers straight out to the trash though.
On the subject of diapers, STOCK UP. One pack of newborn diapers is sufficient, though an average size baby can go straight into size 1. Get plenty to carry you through a few months, up to size 3. You will thank yourself later. Also, wipes. Some dirty diapers require four wipes. You’ll be amazed at how fast you’ll run through them. Get a sound machine for baby to sleep with. No lights needed, just a good, loud, white noise machine. Having a winter baby, we used a car seat cover everywhere we went! It also doubled as a nursing cover!
We loved using the Rock n’ Play for naps. We did not use it at night as it is not recommended since Baby is not flat on their back. An umbrella stroller will be so useful. They’re light, fold up compactly, and have storage underneath for shopping trips! Plain onesies. Even better if you get the side tie kind because pulling clothes over those fragile little necks is terrifying. But seriously, babies need changed like 3 times a day early on thanks to spit up, blow outs and just general baby messiness. Wait til they’re a little older for the cute stuff. We didn’t want to be pacifier parents but we had to use one for L’s tongue exercises. He has only ever used it to fall asleep and then promptly spits it out. But the wubbanub is a good one to go with if you’re going to have one.
We used traditional swaddles (bottom right) in the beginning until he was able to a) breakout and b) roll over. Then we transitioned to the Zippadee Zip (top left) and we haven’t looked back. It’s basically a zipper blanket but it allows them to still use their arms. We have a fancy high chair at home that we love, but we bought this $20 IKEA high chair for my in-laws house and it is SO GOOD. If you want something compact and easy to clean, this is it. Definitley one of the biggest splurges, but also my favorite is my BOB jogging stroller. It is so versatile, comfy for L and feels sturdy. I’m sure it will last forever.
Crib sheets for that previously mentioned mattress. I recommend 2 and also putting those water proof changing pad liners between your sheet and the mattress(invest in a mattress cover for even more protection). Get clothes hangers. Even if you don’t load up, or register for a ton of clothes, people will buy them for you. It’s a fact of life: baby clothes are irresistible. And these steamer bags are AMAZING. I don’t know about other mamas but I don’t have time to boil these things everyday, but I do have 3 minutes to put them in the microwave. 🙌🏼 It is recommended that you start ‘reading’ to baby right away. These black and white books are great for helping their eyes develop.
You obviously need a crib. We moved L into his at 5 months (before that he was in a bassinet in our room. Never in our bed!). The Ergo 360 mesh carrier is great for all seasons. To use early on, you also need the infant insert. This will last forever and is great as baby gets heavier! True story, I bought all the ingredients to make my own lactation cookies and never found the time. I order these all the time. It takes about 15 minutes total and they are delicious. You’ll want some diaper rash cream for baby but hopefully you don’t have to deal with that!
My last recommendations are for a Solly Baby wrap – or any baby wearing wrap so you can get up and use your hands. This can also be used for skin-to-skin time (for both parents!). And a pick-up grocery service. We paid $99/year for Harris Teeter’s service. Walmart’s service is free with a $30 minimum. This will save you time! You do not want to spend an hour a week at the grocery store when you could be sleeping/eating/sleeping/getting a pedicure/sleeping. 😂
Links to all products (bonus – 48/50 can be found on Amazon!):
- Glider + ottoman
- Pack n’ Play
- Graco Snugride Infant car seat (bonus stroller it clicks into!)
- Nail clippers
- Boppy pillow (get the water proof cover, too!)
- Bath tub
- Wash cloths + Hooded towel
- Burp Cloths
- Shampoo/Body washShampoo/Body wash
- Dish/bottle soap
- Laundry detergent
- Hand sanitizer
- Bottle brush (you need at least 3 of these!)
- Avent Bottles (and extra nipples)
- Drying rack
- Pump bags
- Changing pad (or get fancy with the Kekaroo and you don’t need the next 2 things!)
- Changing pad cover
- Changing pad liners
- Crib mattress (get the mattress cover!)
- Gas drops
- Diaper bag backpack
- Diaper genie
- Diaper genie refills
- Sound machine
- Car seat cover
- Diapers (sizes 1-3)
- Rock n’ Play (get one with smart connect so you can use your phone to make it move!)
- Plain onesies
- Umbrella stroller
- Zipadee zip
- BOB jogging stroller (get the attachment for your car seat so you can use it from day 1!)
- IKEA high chair (this is only $19.99 if you go to an IKEA store)
- Nursing pads (I’d get two packs unless you like doing laundry!)
- Clothes hangers
- Steam bags
- Black & White book
- Crib and crib sheets!
- Ergo carrier
- A&D ointment (or any diaper rash cream!)
- Lactation cookies (add dark chocolate chips)
- Solly baby wrap
- Grocery pick up (or delivery!) service
Tell people to skip the socks, stuffed animals, and blankets and to get you these things instead. You’ll be all set for when your bundle of joy arrives!