Creating a baby registry is a major to-do while pregnant. It is so fun to do when thinking about planning ahead for baby showers and imagining your baby wearing and using everything on your registry. It is also often one of the first instances moms-to-be do lots of research around actually having a baby. I had previously done tons of reading and research about getting pregnant and staying pregnant but much less on newborns and having a baby. As I used to teach kindergarten, I feel pretty well versed with little ones but a newborn is very different than a five-year-old.
So, I dove in headfirst into researching all kinds of things when it came to making decisions and selects for our baby registry. Going into it, I actually was dreading creating our baby registry a bit because I knew I wouldn’t be able to help myself. I knew I’d spend hours reading, researching, watching product comparative videos on YouTube, and referencing friend’s lists. Spoiler alert: I did! Once I started though, I was super into it and loved learning about all the amazing products and resources out there for babies and toddlers. I found creating a baby registry list to be incredibly helpful when preparing for the arrival of our little one.
Baby Registry Essentials List
I’ve created this post as my baby registry essentials list. I hope some of you find this helpful! Save it if you know you’ll need it in the future or pass it along to a friend who you know is registering – sharing my site always means so much to me!
I know we are living in an unprecedented time but, if you’re an expectant mother, I hope you’re able to have some kind of baby shower or gathering for your love bug. This baby registry essentials list should help you prepare for that.
A stroller is a HUGE baby registry item to pick out. Strollers are so streamlined and functional now. I compared a handful of different strollers by reading a ton of reviews, watching comparative videos on YouTube, and by asking other mothers I know and trust. There are definitely a few strollers that standout and earn a ton of praise like the Uppababy Vista and the Joolz Day+. I loved so many features of these two strollers but ended up picking the Bugaboo Donkey 3 Mono seat and bassinet stroller. I love so many things about it and really love its converting capabilities to multiple children (if we are blessed with multiple children that are close in age, then this will be helpful).
Strollers are an investment so I highly suggest spending time researching them and finding the best one for your needs. If you are leaning toward the Bugaboo Donkey, then here are a few other accessories you might be interested in: car seat adaptor, cup holder, on-the-go wipes dispenser, footmuff, breezy seat liner, snack tray, and noise machine.
Selecting a travel stroller was a much easier decision for me than selecting our main stroller. Literally everyone recommends the Doona Car Seat & Stroller. I read so many fantastic reviews about this travel stroller than I was immediately sold.
I did so much research on car seats! I felt that this was one of the most important decisions we’d make in terms of baby products. There are a lot of great car seats that follow current safety standards but I kept coming back to the Nuna Pipa car seat for when our baby is little (it is for babies 4 lbs – 32 lbs) and the Nuna Rava car seat for when our baby is a bit bigger (it is for babies 5 lbs to 65 lbs and can be rear facing or forward facing depending on size/age of baby). When it comes to infant car seats and toddler car seats, the Nuna options really stand out to me (their website is full of detailed information). Below are some great car seat accessories.
My sister-in-law gave me a lot of guidance on carriers. She highly recommended the BABYBJÖRN Baby Carrier Mini for newborns to 1-year-olds and the Ergobaby Carrier for when they are toddlers (it works for kiddos up to 48 months). Both carriers are comfortable for baby and parents, breathable, easy to wash, easy to get on and off, and supportive.
I actually still need to finalize my diaper bag but I am thinking I will pick either the LL Bean Zip-Top Tote, LL Bean Open-Top Tote, or the Paravel Cabana Tote. There are also companies that make bags specifically designed to be diaper bags. I want to go for something that is a little less obvious as a diaper bag but that is just me. I don’t really think you can go wrong!
You can really go down a rabbit hole looking up different bouncers and rockers. My mom says there was a swing in the nineties that she and all her friends used. It doesn’t seem like that exact item still exists… so much has changed! We settled on this classic BabyBjörn Bouncer and this 4moms Baby Swing and Rocker. The bouncer supports babies, helps babies develop balance and motor skills, comes in a ton of different colors, is super portable, and folds completely flat. The swing/rocker has an adjustable seat recline, 5 unique motions and speeds, is bluetooth Enabled to control motion and sound, and is easily washable. Both sound like wins and do different things!
Activity Gyms and Activity Centers
To be honest, from a purely aesthetic perspective, I had a hard time picking out any activity gyms or centers. I really don’t love how they all seem to have bright primary colors and just aren’t that cute. However, I know that lots of science goes behind the design of these types of items so I decided to put my preferences to the side, ha. I settled on the below two activity items thanks to referrals, reviews, and the look of them (they are pretty cute!).
I’m really excited about this walker. It is functional and affordable. It has three height positions, is padded and comfortable for little ones, and super easy to wash. Easy washing capabilities is key with this piece of gear!
Olivia helped us select our crib. We went for the Pottery Barn Kids Dawson Crib, which I think is so classic and pretty! The ceilings are pitched in our nursery so Olivia recommended this crib because of the slopped design. I think it compliments our space so well. I can’t wait to watch our little baby sleeping in his or her crib. P.S. This crib also comes with crib mattresses.
Depending on your family needs, a travel crib might not be absolutely necessary. However, if you anticipate yourself traveling a lot or going back and forth between your house and the baby’s grandparents house, then a travel crib might be on your baby registry essentials list. We opted for the Nuna Sean Aire Mini travel crib.
I have a handful of friends who say their Snoo Bassinet is their single favorite piece of baby gear that they own. We trusted these rave reviews and decided to go for it too. However, it is important to note that every baby is different and I’ve heard that some babies absolutely love the Snoo while others don’t really respond to it. Snoo has a great concept where you can rent it so you can decide if your baby likes it or use it as long as you like and then return it when you’re baby moves on from it (decreasing gear and clutter, which is never bad!).
Like everything else, I read a bunch of reviews about baby loungers. I came to the conclusion that I wanted to try the Snuggle Me Organic lounger when our baby is a newborn/very little and then move into the DockATot Grand for when our baby is a bit older (it is for babies aged 9-36 months). DockATot also makes a lounger for 0-8 months that people love as well. I just happened to be more drawn to the Snuggle Me Organic version for that age.
There are about a handful of different swaddle brands that are the most recommended. I researched them all and read reviews about how babies react to them and about how easy they are for parents to use. I narrowed it down to the Love to Dream swaddles and The Ollie World swaddles. Of course, we might change course or decide we prefer one over the other depending on how our baby likes to sleep but both of these brands are outstanding choices in my book.
I’m so excited about the pacifiers we picked because they are such a great product. We’re going with the BIBS BPA-Free Natural Rubber Baby Pacifiers. They are 100% free from BPA, PVC and phthalates. These little guys allow babies to self-soothe by exercising their instinctive sucking instinct in the most natural way possible, by mimicking both the shape and soft materials of mothers’ breast.
Nursery Care Kit
It is always a good idea to have a catchall nursery care kit on hand with things like nail clippers, nasal aspirators, and thermometers. These types of things are necessary and come in handy more often than not.
Bottles can require some trial and error as each baby is different. However, there is no question that the Comotomo baby bottles are widely loved by mothers and babies. We are starting with these bottles and will experiment from here if we need to try another option.
Picking a breast pump can definitely be a personal choice. I feel really great about my choice to go with the Spectra S2. It was HIGHLY recommended to me from my best friend who is a mom to three sweet babes. I trust all her recommendations so I feel confident that this will be a great choice! Did you know that a lot of insurance plans cover breast pumps? Use this site to order your breast pump through your insurance.
I know some moms who swear by nursing pillows and other moms who just opt to grab pillows around their house. If you think you’ve got a nursing pillow in your future, then look no further than this nursing pillow. It is 100% organic cotton, chemical free, and preservative free. It also prevents babies from rolling out of position during nursing.
Formula Mixer and Dispenser
You might be planning on formula, might end up needing to use formula, or might integrate formula/move to formula at some point in your feeding journey with your newborn. If so, this formula mixer and dispenser will be a very handy friend.
A bottle warmer isn’t 100% necessary as you can warm milk the old fashioned way but a bottle warmer is super convenient, especially if you anticipate yourself using it for middle of the night feedings. This bottle warmer is a fantastic choice.
Bottle Sterilizer and Dryer
A bottle sterilizer and dryer is another baby gear item that is great for convenience. This one allows you to sterilize with steam, dry completely with hot air, and deodorize to get your bottles clean from start to finish.
This baby food processor does it all to help you transition to solids for your little ones… it steam cooks, multi-speed blends, purees, warms, defrosts, and sterilizes.
There are a lot of high chairs out there. I definitely feel like there are a lot of great options so find what works best for your kitchen/dining needs. We went for this high chair with adjustable legs and a removable tray. I love the streamlined look of this high chair.
Bibs and Burp Cloths
Bibs and burp cloths are every mom’s best friend. They give moms a fighting chance at keeping themselves and their babies clean. I adore these Hill House Home burp cloth and bib sets but I also included a few other precious and practical options below.
Is there anything more wonderful than bath time with a little one? We found two great baby bath options – a baby bath for a sink and a baby bath for a tub. I also included a few bath accessories like a bath thermometer below.
Bath Towels and Washcloths
Eeeek, little bath towels, hooded towels, and washcloths are so sweet. We discovered a couple that we can’t wait to wrap our baby up in! I mean, how cute are these two hooded towels: one, two? Also, don’t miss the Weezie Towels x Minnow Swim limited edition kids collection that is out now! We registered for these washcloths too.
Baby Skin and Hair Care
Use these products to get your baby deliciously clean! This is a mix of clean baby products I love and the baby skin and hair care products that were most highly recommended to me. Three cheers for the heavenly scent of new babies.
I think selecting diapers becomes a very personal decision that involves a lot of trial and error for mom and baby. We are starting out with trying the Honest diapers as my sister-in-law loves them and highly recommends them. I’ll keep y’all posted on what we end up thinking of them.
I read up on a lot of different options for wipes and kept coming back to these WaterWipes. They hit a lot of marks for me: chemical-free, fragrance-free, and water-based. I also have a few trusted friends who love these wipes so that reaffirmed my decision. We also registered for this wipes dispenser to go with our wipes.
Diaper Rash Cream
Diaper rash is a reality with littles so it’s great to be prepared with a trusty diaper cream. The two diaper rash creams below are recipients of rave reviews online and from friends and family I know.
Two baby items that are must-haves in the diaper department include waterproof changing pad liners and disposable changing pads. These aren’t the most glamorous baby registry items but completely necessary.
Every nursery needs a diaper pail. This is actually a very important baby registry items to get right because you do not want your nursery smelling. This odor locking diaper pail came highly recommended to me along with these diaper pail bags.
Nursery Decor and Necessities
So many people rave about these nesting baskets including my bestie who loves having them in her nursery. They are so cute and highly practical for storage purposes. Allison got them for us off of our registry and I’m so excited about them. The scallop liner is to die for.
baby blankets are so special and can become heirloom pieces to save for years. I love the below baby blankets but also wanted to share the blankets from GH Hurt & Sons. They are the baby blankets that the Queen uses so you know they are wonderful and reliable. Kate Middleton has brought her babies home from the hospital in these blankets.
I love the adorable play mats available these days! This Hill House Home play mat is on our registry, which I think is so sweet. I also love the below four options that are practical and plush.
When it came to picking a baby monitor, I really didn’t know what was important. However, I ended up finding this to be an easy decision to make because everyone recommended this Nanit Plus Baby Monitor. So, we went for it and feel great about this baby gear decision.
Picking a sound machine was a breeze. This Hatch Sound Machine is highly recommended everywhere. I read so many blog posts and baby registry guides and essentially every resource recommends this sound machine.
Toys & Books
Books for Nursery Library
At our baby shower, we asked everyone to bring and inscribe a baby or children’s book in lieu of a card. We planned to do this at our other baby showers that we cancelled due to Covid so we anticipated having a solid little library for our child. Even with just one shower though, we received some wonderful books! A few of Edwin’s and my favorite classic children’s books are:
Baby toys change so much as babies grow and develop rapidly. I love how many options there are these days for wonderful developmental toys and sensory toys. I included a few toys below that we have on our registry. There are so many baby toys out there so definitely go for what you’re drawn to or what you think your little one will love.
Baby Stuffed Animals
I always love images of nurseries with baskets full of stuffed animals. Jellycat has definitely become the leader in baby stuffed animals. They are so soft and truly beloved little fluffy, cuddly toys. Jellycat makes every animals so you can get stuffed animals that go with your nursery theme or colors or scoop up stuffed animals of your child’s favorite animal. I also think Maisonette has a wonderful, always changing toy section for babies and kids.
Pregnancy Keepsake Items
I wrote a whole post dedicated to pregnancy keepsake items that is a must-read if you consider yourself to be a sentimental person. The post is full of ideas for mothers to mark, commemorate, and remember their time being pregnant and their time with a newborn. In the post, I also included ideas for treasures and special gifts for newborns and babies.
I hope you found my baby registry essentials list helpful and insightful! I know it can be overwhelming to learn about and pick out so many new items, especially when some are pretty expensive, so feel free to reach out to me with any specific questions and I’ll do my best to answer. There are so many other items and accessories you can pick up like nursery night lights, mobiles, nursing covers, and baby clothes (such fun!) but I created this list with the goal of hitting the big ticket items. Also, stick to your gut! You know your family best. 🙂