When my husband and I sat down to put our baby registry together last year, we literally did not know where to begin. There were so many products out there, and endless variations within countless categories. It probably took us the better part of my first trimester to solidly create our registry — and even then, we were constantly adding to it (or taking things away).
Looking back, there’s a lot that I wish I knew at the time. Now that our daughter is here, I have a better idea of what was “essential” and what wasn’t. Of course, every child is different, and every household is unique, but I’ve talked to a lot of moms who agree on some fundamental things that you should not skip when creating a registry. With that, here are some of the things that have ended up being “essential” in our home that I’d recommend definitely putting on your registry.
Close family members might want to splurge for your nursery furniture, bassinet, or rocking chair, so it can’t hurt to put those on your list. Plus, these are the most expensive items that you’ll probably end up needing, and if someone wants to give them to you as a gift, that’s an added bonus. Pictured here: Sorelle Vista Elite Crib. $399.99, Babies R Us.
A swing or bouncer
As much fun as it is to hold a baby, you’ll need to put them down sometimes. We have the MamaRoo by 4Moms (pictured above), and Izzy loves it. It has different motion settings, plus sound effects, and she loves looking at the mobile on top. Other moms swear by the Rock-n-Play by Fisher Price, which is much more wallet-friendly. Bottom line: there’s lots of options out there for all budgets. Pictured Here: MamaRoo by 4Moms. $249.99
I’ve already talked about how much I love the DockATot here, and I will continue to sing its praises throughout this blog. Even if you don’t plan on co-sleeping, having a DockATot for naps, lounging, and tummy-time can be super-helpful. Plus, it’s portable, so if you travel or go on vacation, you can easily bring it with you, allowing your baby to sleep somewhere that’s familiar to them. Pictured Here: DockATot Deluxe+, $175 and up.
Literally a million onesies — in a variety of sizes.
I cannot stress this enough: you can’t have too many onesies. In the beginning, when you are’t going out with your baby a lot, they will definitely live in onesies — not the cute outfits that you can’t help but buying. Also, diaper blowouts happen, and you’re probably going to end up throwing away more clothes than you might think. Stock up. Pictured Here: Cat & Jack Three-Pack. Target, $14.99.
Bibs and burp cloths
Throughout the first few weeks of Izzy’s life, I must have ordered a new set of bibs and burp cloths on Amazon like, a dozen times. All babies spit up, and some do it more than others. Be prepared, so you don’t end up doing laundry three billion times a week. Pictured Here: Hudson Baby Bandana Bibs ($11.99) & Hudson Baby Burp Cloths ($11.99). Buy Buy Baby.
Diapers — in several sizes
It’s a fact of life; you’re going to go through a lot of diapers. To complicate things, babies grow pretty quickly, and you may find yourself needing size 1’s much sooner than you thought. It can’t hurt to throw a few boxes of diapers on your registry, in a few sizes, just to get yourself set up from the beginning. Pictured here: Pampers Swaddlers, Size N. Target, $24.29.
Although you don’t have to bathe a newborn baby very often (and, at first, they will only have a sponge bath), it’s still good to stock up on bath essentials. When it comes to baby tubs, there’s a lot on the market — and some of them are super-fancy (there are even mini jacuzzis out there for babies, I kid you not). We own this simple tub above, and it’s perfect for what Izzy needs as a baby. Pictured here: Angelcare Baby Bath Support, $19.79 & Aveeno Baby Gift Set, $29.99 (Target).
Obviously you will need towels if you’re going to bathe your bb — and why not have some fun with them? The hooded towels with critters on top are some of my favorites (and they make for adorable photos after the bath). Pictured here: Nursery Critter Wraps, $15.99 and up (Sale). Pottery Barn Kids.
Stroller/Car Seat Combo
I’ve found that having a car seat with a detachable infant carrier has been super-helpful; and one that fits into a stroller is even better. We have the products featured above, and they’ve been really easy to use, easy to clean, and great for travel or a stroll around the block. Pictured here: Chicco Bravo Trio Travel System, $379.99.
Toys & Pacifiers
Even though it’ll be a couple of months before your baby has any interest in toys, they are good to stock up on; you’ll be glad you’ve got them when the time comes. Izzy loves toys with different textures, and ones that are easy to grip (to put in her mouth, of course). Pictured here, clockwise: WubbaNub Giraffe Pacifier ($13.99, Target), Skip Hop Bandana Buddies Fox ($14.99, Target), Sophie la Girafe Teether ($24.99, Target), Philips Avent Soothie Pacifiers ($2.99, Target).
Infant Play Gym
These play gyms are great to have for playtime (and for tummy-time). We have the one pictured above, which transforms into different styles as your baby grows — and even includes a built-in ball pit. The different dangling toys keeps Izzy super-entertained. Pictured here: Bright Starts 5-in-1 Activity Gym. Toys R Us, $79.99.
I’ve talked before about how swaddle blankets are basically impossible and not worth the trouble. Unless you are a swaddle ninja, I’d recommend going with swaddle sacks instead. My favorites are above! Pictured here, left to right: Halo SleepSack Swaddle ($28.95), SwaddleMe Original Swaddle ($14.99), SwaddleMe Pod ($12.99).
Blankets & Clothing Accessories
Babies get cold easily, so having extra blankets and other accessories on hand are a great idea. I love putting Izzy in baby leg-warmers or high socks, because it creates warmth without adding extra clothing that’s hard to remove during diaper changes. Pictured here (clockwise): Baby Hoodie ($21-$29.99, Sale, Gap), Baby Knee-High Socks ($10.99, Amazon), Knit Bear Hat ($12, Sale, Gap), Little Unicorn Muslin Blankets ($37.99, Buy Buy Baby).
Even if you plan on exclusive breastfeeding, it doesn’t hurt to have some bottles on hand — and a set is the way to go, because you get everything all together. Pictured here: Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature Newborn Starter Set ($39.99, Babies R Us.)
In the comments, tell me: What are some of your registry/baby essentials?
Featured Image: Courtesy of Pexels
Product Images: Courtesy of brands.