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I’m updating this post since finding out some of the most special people in my life are expecting their first babies + it’s a strange time with COVID where you can’t really go browse all the stores to register for all the things + a few things have changed since I originally shared this in 2018 (yikes, rock-n-plays!).
When we had L, I might have gone slightly overboard with some things (see: my drawer full of adorable swaddles that I refuse to get rid of because they are cute — and maybe pricey). Now I can say that we’ve learned a lot about what you actually need and what is unnecessary. Live and learn, right?
My most favorite items/most necessary items and what I’d recommend adding as priorities to your registry are:
- A glider/rocker for the nursery
- A bassinet so you can keep baby in your room for the first few months
- A crib (this seems self explanatory)
- Crib Sheets (get two sets)
- Crib mattress
- A stroller — this is personal preference. We had both a travel system stroller that I could clip our infant carseat into and also my beloved BOB jogging stroller so I could be the running mom I wanted to be
- A good carseat for your newborn and for when you upgrade into a normal carseat (check out this website for great info on carseats)
- A thermometer — for infants you really need the rectal thermometer but we also have this one which is now great for our toddler
A few things specific to baby:
- Soft towels and wash cloths for bath time
- Bath essentials like body wash and lotion
- Bottles — get a few different kinds to try (don’t go all in on one brand)
- Swaddles — we had traditional swaddles, the Love to Dream Swaddle and eventually Zipadee Zips until L was almost 3.
- Diapers — you don’t need many newborn diapers if your baby is full-term, but you’ll want to get size 1, 2 and maybe even 3. You might have to try a couple different brands to find what works. I think if we ever have another, I’ll try cloth diapering because of how long it takes regular diapers to breakdown in a landfill.
- Wipes — you’ll need lots of these so go ahead and stock up!
- Infant Tylenol and Motrin — you can alternate these if baby gets sick and you’ll want to have it on hand versus having to run out to get it!
- Nail clippers — this will be terrifying at first but you’ll get the hang of it
- Side button onesies — those tiny necks are so fragile looking, with these you can slip on over the arms and not have to pull anything over the head
- Zip up sleepers — on the same note as above, get a 2 way zip sleeper and you’ll thank yourself at 2 AM.
- Diaper rash cream or ointment — we didn’t really need this until L was a bit older but glad to have it on hand anyway
- Teething toy (try putting it in the freezer to help the babe even more!)
A few things specific to mama:
- If you plan on trying to breastfeed:Breastmilk bags Breast pads (to save your bra and shirts from leakage)
- Mom’s One Line a Day book – I love writing down little things L has done or said in this book and hope one day he’ll look back at it and smile at those memories
- Boppy or My Brestfriend Pillow: this will save your back
- A wrap or carrier: I had the Solly Baby wrap and we have an Ergo but Landon wore the Ergo more often than I did
Things that will save your sanity:
- Backpack diaper bag — this handsfree bag will make your life so much easier
- Monitor — a good monitor will help you sleep easier
- Bottle and pump part steamer bags — don’t have time to sanitize everything? Toss it in here and in the microwave. You’ll be done in 5 minutes and have clean parts, bottles and time back in your life!
- Waterproof crib mattress cover — get 2, if one gets dirty, you can put the other one on and not worry about your mattress getting messed up while one is being washed!
- Hand sanitizer — you won’t want grubby hands touching baby if you have visitors (Having a winter baby, I was extra cautious)
- Sound machine — you won’t need to worry about making noise while baby is sleeping if you have a good white noise machine (we also had a travel one that saved us on car rides!)
- Pacifier/Wubbanub – L only used his for falling asleep and only until he was about 1 but it was a clear part of the routine and he was ready to fall asleep each time he had it.
- A swing or rocker of sorts – we had the rock n’ play and loved it but obviously don’t recommend it given what has come out in recent years. The MamaRoo is popular and any of the swings are good — not for sleep but for the parents to get a few hands free minutes (though you’ll probably want to snuggle all the time!)
- A play mat – we used this for tummy time and when L got a little older for kicking and grabbing onto things
- Pack n’ Play – we used this all the time at home and also for travel for the first 2 years (we even bought a cheap one to take to Ireland with us for L to sleep in!)
Things you may or may not want to register for:
- Diaper genie and refills: great to have if you can’t run a diaper out to the trash right away
- High chair: you’ll eventually want one and I HIGHLY recommend the Ikea one but we also had this one and a counter high chair
- Mobile: we had one for our crib, our pack n’ play and stroller. Maybe overkill but the babe really liked it.
- Books: black and white books are great for babies but it doesn’t hurt to also register for some other faves like Sandra Boynton
- Bottle drying rack: you can put your bottles and pump parts on here
- Bottle cleaning brush: this will help get down in the bottles
- Owlet or Snuza: we didn’t have this but I wish we did. It may have helped calm my anxiety
- Baby clothes – people will buy you lots anyway but it can be helpful to register for a few to show your style or specific brands you like
- Car seat cover: I had one and used it religiously for my winter baby and it also doubled as a nursing cover
- An umbrella stroller: you won’t use this at first but it’ll be handy later on when kiddo has more head control
- Burp cloths: babies spit up and drool but you don’t necessarily need special cloths to clean that up
- Waterproof cover for Boppy: again, babies spit up and drool and you’ll be using this lots
- Teething necklace — easy for baby to chew on and not ruin your actual jewelry
- Car seat mat — save the seats of your car with this mat
- Rain Cover for stroller — we didn’t do a lot of walks/runs in the rain but it came in handy in Ireland 🤣
- Bath tub — you don’t necessarily HAVE to have a baby bath tub but it can be helpful when they’re tiny.
- Clothes hangers for baby clothes
- Lactation cookies – these were a fave
- Grocery pick up / delivery service: I’ve hardly gone in a grocery store since L was born
There are endless items you could add but really all you need in the early days are diapers, milk (breast or formula) and a good place to cuddle.