Okay, so you’ve found out you’re expecting (YAY!) and you’re ready to make a baby registry… but where do you start? There are so many things to add and it’s hard to know what works well. To help you out, I’ve listed my favorite items in four different categories: Sleeping, Eating, Playing, and Big Ticket Items.
I really tried to narrow this list down to essentials and not extras. It is easy to think you need everything under the sun for your baby, but I’ve found that you don’t need all that much. So these are the items that really helped me and I hope they can help you too!
All opinions are my own, but this post does contain affiliate links. Which means if you follow the link and make a purchase, I would receive a small commission at no cost to you.
Before we jump into the list, I wanted to share one item I would not include on a registry: baby clothing.
I found that every gift I received included an outfit or a set of onesies. I had so many clothes after my shower that I actually ended up exchanging some for other items or bigger sizes. I think everyone wants to find something cute for the baby to wear! That’s why I don’t recommend taking the time to register for clothing. Baby/toddler clothes are also really easy to get second-hand and they are usually in great shape because babies don’t wear them for that long.
Pack ‘n Play — This was one of the most used items for my baby. Actually, I still use it for her now and will continue to do so for a while! This is the exact one that I put on my registry but there are many other options and styles available. I loved having the changing table attachment for the newborn stage (AKA changing diapers non-stop). And our little one slept in the Pack ‘n Play for a long time as a bassinet in our room. Include a few sets of sheets for the Pack ‘n Play as well.
Muslin Swaddles — Now, there are so many different ways to swaddle/wrap your baby for sleeping, so be sure to try some for yourself and figure out what works best for you and your baby. I ended up just using a muslin swaddle blanket to wrap her up tight. They’re great and kept it simple!
Noise Machine — Most babies will sleep better with a sound machine. Think about it, they’ve been in your womb for nine months hearing muffled noises as they sleep. So, when they’re out, it’s soothing for them to hear white noise. I wish that I had registered for this noise maker! I ended up purchasing it after I had my baby, but it works wonders! The volume can get pretty loud on this one and there are lots of different noises to choose from. And, I think it’ll be loud enough to drown out my toddler if we’re blessed with another baby.
Burp cloths — You really need some burp cloths, or something to cover up your clothes when burping a baby. I know some moms use the muslin blankets I’ve listed above as burp cloths because they are so big. Some babies spit up a lot and some not as much, so you’ll just have to see what works for your baby.
Breast pump — If you plan on breastfeeding at all, a breast pump is a must-have item for your registry! I have the Spectra S2 pump, but I’ve also heard wonderful things about the Haakaa as well. Make sure to check with your insurance carrier because you may be able to get your breast pump for free through them.
Nursing cover — I love my nursing cover! It wraps all the way around the back so you don’t have to worry about anything showing. And, it’s super stretchy and doubles as a carseat cover as well. I love any item that has multiple purposes. Nursing in public can be daunting, but this cover really helped me feel comfortable.
Bottles — I like to use glass wherever possible, so I registered for these bottles for my little girl. However, she has only taken a bottle a handful of times, but I still like having them just in case they are needed.
Food blender — as your baby gets older, you will need something to make their purees in. And, trust me, making them yourself is so simple and cheap! I borrowed an older baby food maker from a friend for a couple of months while I was starting solids with my daughter. The one linked is what I had. If you’d rather not have an extra kitchen item solely for the baby, then make sure you have a steamer basket and some sort of blender, even a handheld one could work.
Silicone bibs — when you start solids, you will be using a lot of bibs. I love the silicone ones that I have because you can wash and reuse them right away, they don’t have to go through the laundry.
Rug — You will need somewhere for the baby to lay before they are crawling. I preferred a plush rug over a play mat. I think it looked cuter and I can use it later in the nursery or somewhere else in the house. I tried out the little mats with hanging toys, but I felt like the legs always got in the way when my daughter would roll over. She always enjoyed just playing with handheld toys on the rug.
Teething toys — I got several of these from my baby shower and they are the best! Even before my daughter was teething, she loved playing with them and chewing on it. They were also a good grasping toy when she started wanted to hold on to things. For bad teething days, you can stick them in the fridge/freezer for cool relief.
Books — Board books are so great for little ones! This is my daughter’s favorite right now. Black and white books are also great for newborns, they like seeing the stark difference between the colors.
Big Ticket Items
Rocking Chair — I have loved getting to rock my daughter in our rocking chair. It really makes such a nice spot for nursing and cuddling, which you will be doing a lot of soon! I loved the one that we received. If you don’t like rocking, consider getting a nice armchair.
Travel System — I spent so much time researching travel systems when I was pregnant! There are just so many options when it comes to car seats and strollers and combinations of each. So, I’ll share what we ended up registering for and getting: the Graco Modes travel system with jogging stroller. I have been a runner since middle school, so I knew I wanted a jogging stroller with inflatable wheels. And this one is great for when the baby is small because you can use the carseat with it as well. The car seat is not too heavy, which is great for lifting in and out of the car and connecting to the stroller. I also liked that it came with a base for the inside of the car, clicking the seat in and out is so much nicer than having to thread the seat belt every time you move your baby.
Swing — While swings are not as expensive as the other two items above, they can be pricey. I’ve linked the one I registered for and received. It is a great spot for the baby to hang out and even take a nap. It really comes in handy for cooking dinner or getting chores done around the house with a little one. This one has lots of music and sounds to play for the baby too, and you can even use it with batteries if you want her in a place away from an outlet. I realize that this may seem like an “extra” item, you really don’t have to have a swing for your baby. But it is a nice addition to your baby distracting-and-keeping-happy arsenal!
Preparing for a baby is such a precious time! I hope this list helps you as you make your registry.
What are your essential baby items that you would recommend to a friend?