If you are reading this then a “congratulations” is in order because you or someone you love is going to be given one of the most wonderful gifts life can give us, a baby. Becoming a parent is one of the most exciting yet overwhelming experiences you can go through. From pregnancy, to birth, to sleepless nights, there are so many things to think about. So we’ve created this list to help put your mind at ease at least to some degree.
Creating a baby registry can be daunting. The world we live in has blessed us with so many gadgets and gizmos to use for our newborns. With thousands of options, how are we supposed to know what to get for our baby?
I am currently pregnant with our second child. So I know the fun yet stressful task of completing a baby shower registry. After going through the newborn/baby stage once before I feel like I know a lot more about which products are necessities compared to the ones that are simply add-ons or wastes of time and money. This list is full of things I will be purchasing or have already purchased for my upcoming little one. So let’s dive in and lighten your load!
Top 10 Baby Registry Items
This may come as a surprise to most. I could not believe how often I wanted to read to my daughter. It was such a gift to have books to read to her in the middle of the night when she wouldn’t sleep or during the day when we played. Reading to your baby is proven to aid in their development while strengthening their bond with you. Babies love hearing the sound of their parent’s voice as they snuggle in your loving arms.
Focus on registering for touch and feel board books that stimulate your baby’s sensory and nervous system. Animal books are always a favorite for this kind of stimulation. Remember to keep it simple so they do not get overstimulated as some babies can be more sensitive than others.
Register for the classics. Any book that looks fun to you or was a childhood favorite will likely become your child’s favorite as well. Dr. Seuss was always a favorite of mine, and now my little girl loves them, too. Classics have proven to stand the test of time and are beloved by their readers. Don’t worry if they are not board books. Simply set them aside for the time being. As your child grows, you can pull them out and introduce new books for you and your little one to explore together.
9. Pack ‘n’ Play
Some people may not think a pack ‘n’ play is necessary. It took our daughter almost a year to actually take a nap in one while we were away from home. But when she finally did it was a life saver!
My husband and I purchased one that had a bassinet attachment with a changing table on top to make those middle of the night diaper changes that much easier and less messy. While it was a little more expensive than a regular pack ‘n’ play we still saved money because we did not have to purchase a separate bassinet that would not get used for its money’s worth.
Pack ‘n’ plays are also fantastic for those times when you just need to contain your curious little one. When your baby becomes mobile nothing is off limits. Some days it can feel impossible to get anything done. Don’t worry. Pack ‘n’ play to the rescue! Just set it up in whatever room you are in, scatter a few toys for your baby to play with inside and let baby play while you clean the house and get work done like a boss!
There are many options for what kind of pack ‘n’ play you’d like. I’ve included here my personal favorite. Feel free to explore what feels best to you.
8. Jogging stroller and car seat combo
Strollers are possibly the best and worst items to have for your baby all at once. The ones with plastic wheels are nearly impossible to maneuver on any surface that isn’t paved while the jogging strollers sometimes do not fit where you need them to because they tend to be bulkier. And let’s not mention the fact that your child may not even contentedly sit in one for more than two seconds. However, they are indeed necessary to own. In my experience the jogging stroller is well worth the money and the extra space it will take up in the trunk of you car or your storage closet. My husband and I live in the country where paved roads for walking are not readily available. Still, taking walks in the warmer weather is one of my favorite things to do. A jogging stroller has wheels like a small bike and they are more than able to handle rough terrain. Our stroller has handled the rough terrain around our home while keeping our daughter safe and happy as she rides along.
When finding the right one to buy, I suggest registering for a jogging stroller/ car seat combo. When we were searching for a stroller to ya for our daughter, we purchased the stroller and car seat separately. While it worked, the car seat was not as secure as I would have liked it to be when we attached it to our stroller. Buying the two as a combo will simply ensure your baby is the safest it can be as your little family goes on its first excursions together.
7. Baby Monitor
I was the mom who thought I would not need a monitor. If I am honest, I kind of thought they were for helicopter parents, and I reminded myself multiple times while pregnant that I would not be that kind of parent. There are so many negative parenting labels out there. Who cares what other people will think. When that child is in your arms, the way you thought you’d parent goes out the window and instinct will kick in. If you want to be able to hear or see your child at a moments notice without waking them up, BUY THE MONITOR. If you feel sure enough that your child will be safe and you don’t mind checking in on them every so often then DO NOT BUY THE MONITOR. You do you 😉
We purchased our monitor after our daughter had her first bout with a cold. We purchased old school monitors. Multiple times we wished we would have sprung for the video monitors so we could see her anytime we wanted to laugh at how she squirmed all over her crib or simply just to be in awe of how adorable she was. Video monitors are by far my top pick in the monitor world.
6. Forehead Thermometer
Speaking of our daughter’s first cold, let’s talk thermometers. This is another item I probably would have scoffed at before our little girl was born. These things are amazing! They come in handy in those moments when your little one is under the weather and you consider a run to the emergency room because it seems like a life or death situation. Let’s be real, all parents overreact about a head cold at one time or another. By simply placing the thermometer on your baby’s forehead you can get their temperature and have a better handle on the seriousness of the situation (or simply how dramatic we parents are about our babies being sick).
5. Eco Friendly Toys and Teethers
As they grow, babies become immensely curious finding they need to have something constantly in their mouths since this is how babies explore and get to know their surroundings. With the dangers of toxins in most toy materials, it is important to find toys that are safe for them to put in their mouths as well as toys that are sustainably sourced.
Wooden teething rings are wonderful additions to your little one’s toy collection. The hard feel of the wood helps relieve teething pain they will encounter as they grow while keeping them entertained as they explore the smooth texture and look of the wood itself.
If you have a hard time knowing what to look for, just search “organic wood baby toys” on Amazon and you’ll have plenty of options to choose from!
4. Baby Carrier
You need this in your life. When you and your newborn try to grocery shop for the first time you’ll be thanking me. Most parents would agree baby carriers are vital for the first year or so. With so many options on the market, how are we supposed to know which one to buy? Should you buy a wrap or keep it simple with one from Walmart or splurge on the fancy $100+ carriers? The thought of doing all the research wears me out. I used a Moby wrap with my first. While it was very supportive when I could get it wrapped around me the right way and finally got my daughter in it, the steps up to that point were not worth it. I am about average height, maybe on the smaller side of that if I’m being honest with myself (wannabe tall person right here 🙋🏼♀️). Even with my husbands help it was extremely difficult to put on in the correct and most comfortable way. I also tried an Eddie Bauer carrier my sister let me borrow. While it was much easier to put on, it killed my back. After carrying a baby for 9 months your back needs all the support it can get. So my husband mostly used that one. Then my sister-in-law got an Ergo and loved it. I will be using an Ergo carrier for my second baby. Buy the one with the newborn insert and call it good. You’ll have a carrier that works from 0-2 years old, won’t make you look like a fool putting it on in the grocery store parking lot, and won’t kill your back. That’s a win-win-win if ya ask me!
3. Muslin Swaddling blankets
I don’t think I even registered for these for my baby shower, but someone had enough sense for me to know I’d love them! If you decide to breastfeed, these blankets are a godsend. They are large and will cover all the things that can be exposed while nursing. They are extremely lightweight and perfect to use during the summer months as a nursing cover, car seat cover, or simply to swaddle your babe during the hot summer months to keep them feeling safe and cozy. Muslin blankets also come in the most adorable patterns and designs for boys and girls alike!
2. Mamaroo 4moms Swing
Some items on this list are necessary splurges. this one is the biggest, but I believe it’s worth every penny. I bought a used swing for my daughter that was ginormous in an already smaller home. That swing was large and waaaaaay to heavy to move around. With a 2 story house I needed something that could move with me as I went around the house. I had the huge swing, a bouncer and another smaller swing scattered throughout the house. Crazy, right?
I wanted a swing that would move with me as I went about my business. This swing is lightweight and can do everything a swing and bouncer can do. Plus, some models actually have Bluetooth capability so you can say “goodbye” to those sometimes annoying baby lullabies and choose the music you want your baby to listen to while simultaneously relaxing you, too.
1. Sleeping Gowns and Sleeping Sacks
I cannot say enough about sleeping gowns. Who wants to try to find the matching button on a sleeper at 3:47am after a feeding and dirty diaper changing? NO ONE. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, trust me you don’t want to fight that battle. These items are #1 on my top 10 list because they are affordable and extremely helpful to the parent still getting up in the night with their precious little one. They are amazing. Do yourself and favor and register for these.
If you live in a climate that has bitter cold winters try using a sleeping sack to keep you little one’s feet warm and cozy.
A few Registering Tips
On your registry you will gets lots of doubles, lots of bath soaps, and mostly likely lots of clothes. Typically this is because people don’t know what to buy off your registry or they just want to buy something cute. Who could blame them 😊 Try to keep your registry short and sweet with higher profile items that people could go in together to buy for you. Include smaller amounts of the cheaper things that you wouldn’t mind picking up yourself.
Amazon is a great resource for a baby shower registry. I wish I would have capitalized on it with my daughter. If you haven’t checked out their registry hop on over and do it! You won’t regret it 😊 My husband wrote an article on how to start your amazon baby registry here: How to Create a Baby Registry on Amazon
I have been blessed to be surrounded by lots of parents. My husband and I are the youngest of both our families. I know many parents do not have that gift or even very many surrounding them to help pay for all the baby gear. I encourage you to buy in the way that works best for you. Whether that’s purchasing new or used items, one is not better than the other. I bought lots of things for my girl that were used and am still doing so for my little boy. Second-hand stores, yard sales and eBay are great places to start! Congratulations on your upcoming baby! It will truly be the best experience of your life, and you will survive even the hardest moments. Remember, it’s worth it! I’m rooting for you❤️