The baby registry – one of the most exciting and exhausting parts of the pregnancy process. If this is your first baby, you may be overwhelmed with all of the things that you need.
I’ve created my list after reviewing 9 (yes NINE) of my friend’s lists, reading reviews on what they said after 6 months (did they actually use this), and finally my own research.
This list is a compilation of all of that and more. Take it as a starting point, a final check, or if you’re looking to help someone else build their registry.
Here’s the TL;DL – not everything works for every baby. I found it extremely overwhelming how strong people’s opinions were about things.
Comments like “That’s a waste of money!” “Don’t buy that! It’ll never work!” – weren’t very helpful because these items came *highly recommended from another trusted source. Take what everyone says, including me, with a grain of salt and do whatever
Note: If you are buying a gift for someone, please go off the registry or give cash / a gift card. It’s so taxing trying to read a million reviews, get recommendations from others, and finally decide on what you want to go with for each item. Don’t make the person’s life harder by buying something they didn’t ask for and having them deal with returns. It’s not nice.
The #1 piece of advice that we got when it comes to clothing is to avoid snaps at all costs. No one wants to be fumbling with snap closures at 3 AM, and luckily there are some great alternatives. Magnetic closures like the brand Magnetic Me are a good option, and of course, zipped onesies. One-way zippers are great, two-way zippers are even better so you can just unzip the bottom for quick changes.
You’ll get so many pieces of clothing that you didn’t ask for, that when it comes to your registry, I recommend asking for more costly brands that add up. A personal favorite is Kyte Baby – my sister used them for her son. The footies run about $30 each, which can get steep for you, but great for someone who’s looking to get you a gift.
- Kyte Baby sleep sack
- Kyte Baby footie pajamas
- Magnetic Me onsie
- Old Navy Double Zipper Sleep & Play Footie Pajamas
- Hooded Towel
This is a little tricky because you won’t be using any of these in the immediate future, but they are important to have as your baby gets bigger. We went with the Lalo Chair as her main high chair, and plan to put the Gathre Mini Mat underneath for faster clean up. The Fast Table Chair is a go-to for travel and easy to take with you to other people’s houses or when you’re on the go, making any table a high chair.
This one is a little tough because everyone will design their nursery a little differently. In fact, you’ll probably make the registry before you finalize the nursery, so here are a few highly recommended items that we also added to our list.
Note: We went back and forth on the Snoo a few times and the feedback (like most items) is polarizing. For those that it worked for, it was a gamechanger and worth its weight in gold. For others, that it didn’t work for, thought it was a waste of money. For the time being, we’ve decided to skip the Snoo, but are open to looking into it if our daughter has trouble sleeping in the first month or so.
- Hatch Scale & Changing Pad
- Freida Baby Humidifier
- Hatch Night light & Sound Machine
- Ubbi Diaper Pail
- Tubby Todd All Over Ointment
- Newton Baby Mattress + Waterproof Cover
- Elephant Hamper
- Solly Baby Crib Sheet (Flax)
- Eufy Baby Monitor
- Optional: Snoo
- Optional: Owlet (At the time of this post, the Owlet is currently in a recall because of marketing language. Many friends swore by this item and we did decide to get it before it was recalled. It’s important to note that it wasn’t recalled for malfunctioning, just that it’s being marketed as a medical devicde so it needs proper authorization from the FDA. You can read more about it here.)
Bags + Organization
I was so excited about getting the ToteSavvy organizer which basically converts any tote into a baby bag (or a super organized bag). I also am still figuring out which baby bag will work for both my petite frame and my husband’s 6’1 frame. So far, we’ve found the Dagne Dover bag in medium.
Awake / Play Time
Oh man, there were a million recommendations for what to get here. The big ones were the Snuggle Me vs. Doc-a-Tot and which baby swing to get. We went with the Munchkin because it’s foldable and fits underneath the couch when not in use. I *really* don’t want my home to turn into a daycare with a million rainbow-colored huge items everywhere, but let’s see what happens.
We’ve heard so many things about what kind of swaddles you need, and here is the scoop. Get a few different ones to try out. For us, the most highly recommended were the Ollie and 5 Second Swaddle + the Silky Soft Line from Aden + Anais for soft swaddles or letting people hold the baby.
Transportation / Carrying
This is a big one and for good reason. You’ll likely be using these items the most in the first few months. We chose to go with two different kinds of Fabric and Firm carriers since my husband and I are different sizes and I’ll only be able to carry her until she gets to a certain weight.
As far as the car seat and strollers go, this is so tough. It really depends on where you live and your needs. I’m tiny so finding something lightweight was priority #1 for me. We really liked the Nuna Pipa LX Car Seat since it’s about 1/2 of the weight of the UppaBaby Mesa Car Seat, but ultimately ended up with the Nuna Pipa Lite RX because we wanted something that could be used without the base.
We also highly considered the UppaBaby Cruz as our regular stroller but were torn between how light and easy the Nuna Triv is. We ended up going with the Triv and LOVED how light and small it was. However, due to a manufacter glitch our Triv stopped working properly after a few months and we ended up swapping it for a Nuna Mixx Next. We really like it, but it’s not as small as the Triv.
If you know you want two kids that are three (or less) years apart it’s a good option to look into the Uppababy Vista too. It was just too big for me to handle for daily use. It’s also a great option if you live in a city where you won’t be opening or closing the stroller often and need the larger basket for groceries, etc.
- Nuna Pipa RX Car Seat
- Nuna Mixx Next Stroller
Other things you can add:
When in doubt, ask for giftcards or contributions to a college fund. People want to give you what you need and the truth is that you may not know everything you need at the time of building your registry.
- Cute clothing you like (hats, mittens, bows, etc)
- Big ticket nursery items like a crib + glider
- Travel Crib recommend the Baby Bjorn or Lotus
- Play Gym
Related: Our Garden Party Baby Shower
Final Thoughts on Baby Registry Must-Haves
You may have noticed that there’s a big section missing here as it relates to Motherhood + Mother’s Health. Someone mentioned to me that it’s a good idea to use the giftcards that you collect to buy the “unsexy” things like diaper rash cream, nipple pads, and ointments.
With our registry, the decor went first. If you have a cute hamper or rocking chair that’s what people want to buy you. I did, however, make a list of motherhood essentials which includes all of the super important unsexy items, and I’ll be posting an entirely new post about that.