Congratulations! If you’re reading this, you may be putting together your baby registry or trying to find a useful gift for a loved one. I tend to air on the side of less is more, so this may seem like a minimal list to some but it has worked for both my babies just fine.
I’ve had several friends get married recently that have not made a wedding registry and I love that. It’s hard to predict what you will and will not want/need in your new life, it’s less of a hassle to move, and it allows you to focus on preparing for marriage. I feel similarly about baby registries in the sense that it is hard to predict what you will find valuable and what will just take up space. Sometimes we can get caught up in preparing too much. I look back on my registry and laugh!
You know your baby better than anyone else. What works for you may not work for the next baby. I have about 20 velcro swaddles and neither of my babies liked or used a swaddle for longer than a few weeks. I’ll talk more about that later. These are some items (in no particular order) I have used most and found to be the most practical after two babies—but I’m curious what worked for you! My registry was mainly on Amazon so most of the items listed are linked to Amazon, but are not affiliate links. If I could do it over again, I’d probably register at Target or Babylist, just as a side note. I also left out diaper cream and all the small stuff. Focusing more on bigger items.
1. Genie Trash Can
We didn’t actually put a trash can on our registry but a good friend got us a Genie and it’s been useful. Definitely better than bagging up every diaper. And you certainly don’t need this particular trashcan, but a trashcan that reduces the odor is ideal. I also like to get the off-brand diaper pail refills, which are about half the price of the Genie brand. They work just as well.
2. Lovevery Playmat
We did not include this in our registry either but our friends sent it to us. Our toddler still plays with it. They really thought of everything with this Montessori-inspired mat and it meets your baby at various developmental milestones. The wooden legs are sturdy and don’t collapse when the baby pulls on them (or when a toddler leans on them!). It’s easy to wash and still looks new after years.
3. Double Stroller
We have an Evenflo Pivot Xpand that works just fine. I read a lot of reviews that said it was the more affordable version (about a third of the price) of the UppaBaby Cruz V2. In fact, I would definitely recommend looking for an UppaBaby secondhand. I don’t like the carseat base of the Evenflo infant carseat; it doesn’t click in easily and the base itself takes up so much space. But I love the large storage bag at the bottom of the stroller as well as the option to snap in both the toddler and infant seats. And it has a cup holder! The Evenflo is also awful on terrain and takes up a lot of space in the trunk of a car. It is definitely a street stroller.
4. Changing Pad
I just put it on top of a dresser or table in the nursery and it works great. I don’t think a full-on changing table is necessary. I am also not picky about the changing cover but I would recommend getting multiple. After a certain age, I keep baskets in various rooms with blankets, wipes, and diapers and just change the baby on the floor.
5. Attachable High Chair
Again, this was not on my registry (little did I know!). It was a gift from my SIL. It’s convenient to hang anywhere and if you’re willing to spend a little extra, I might even suggest getting the detachable tray too. It’s easy to clean and assemble, and sturdy. I would recommend this high chair over a Bumbo (which I also have) mainly because it attaches directly to the table instead of having a small tray, and it doesn’t take up a seat at the table, and it can be used at a bar or table no matter how far the counter is from the floor.
6. Silicone Bib & Utensils
So easy to wash and really great for those teething babies to chew on. I got a few items from ezpz and I will say that the suction on the bowls have not held up, but overall I’ve really loved their products. Easy to find some on Amazon that are very similar and more affordable. I recommend WeeSprouts suction bowls.
7. Sleep Sack
We started using sleep sacks around 2 months old for both babies. Neither of my girls liked swaddles, so we switched to sleep sacks pretty early on. My oldest started sleeping through the night at 3 months (she was formula fed) and my second started sleeping through the night at 5 months (breastfed). If you skip the swaddle, it’s one less thing you have to take away from the baby when they are learning to go back to sleep on their own.
8. Boba Wrap
Great option for newborn up to 6 months old. And it fits in the diaper bag! I got the gray one but would definitely recommend getting one with a pattern so throw up stains are less obvious. The grey one also shows sweat stains…
9. LILLEbaby Carrier
I use this most after 3 months. It still works with a newborn but doesn’t get them as snug as I like. You can carry your baby six different ways with this carrier and it has a lower lumbar support. One of the best things about this carrier is that there is neck support for the baby and a shade cover. They have so many carriers these days though, so I’m sure this isn’t the latest and greatest. But it works great!
10. Arm and Hammer Bag Dispenser & Dog Bag Refills
They’re great to bag up smelly diapers when you’re out and about and don’t want to leave a smelly diaper in a local coffe shop trashcan… And the bags happen to be cheaper for dogs than babies but they are exactly the same.
11. IKEA Crib
It is simple, sturdy, and lightweight. And I do like the natural wood look. It happens to be the cheapest crib at IKEA. We got the SNIGLAR crib and the PELLEPLUTT foam mattress. I anticipat they will last for some time. Our oldest ended up switching to a floor mattress around 8/9 months because she was constantly trying to escape. While it was definitely a process initially, she ended up loving her floor bed and even now decides to sleep on the floor sometimes.
12. Fridababy 3-in-1 Humidifier with Diffuser
A former co-worker who had twins suggested that I put this on my registry—I am so glad I did! It holds a lot of water and helps so much when the babies are sick. I like to use the Plant Therapy KidSafe essential oils. Sometimes I just use lavender to help them sleep better, but Sniffle Stopper is great when they are battling colds.
13. Waterproof Crib Sheets
I remember being asked if I was getting a waterproof mattress cover or waterproof sheets. I stand by my decision to get both!
15. Baby Monitor
I can’t seem to find a link to the one I like most, but it’s just a basic Avent Philips monitor. No video, just sound, and the range is great.
16. Hatch Sound Machine
This is definitely expensive but I think it’s totally worth it. There are several sound and color options and it can be controlled from an app on your phone via Bluetooth. As your child gets older, you can use it as an okay-to-wake clock, which has been a game-changer in our house.
Things I don’t use daily BUT highly recommend:
Emergency FirstAid Kit — I keep it in my car and it has come in handy several times.
Nursing-friendly Dress — At least one. Postpartum can be discouraging when it comes to getting dressed for the day and knowing you need to nurse often. I really like Roolee (even though I’ve never actually gotten one) and there are a few good options on Amazon.
Pack n Play — It’s nice to have when people with kids come to visit and great to have when traveling to see family.
Hakaa Manual Breast Pump — I have never actually used one, but I would use one before using an electric breast pump in the first few weeks of trying to get your supply on track. My SIL highly recommends it.
Things I don’t recommend:
Bouncer — It just takes up space in my experience. There are enough hands to hold the baby, or she can be laid in her crib. In my opinion, it isn’t worth the storage space to only use it for about 2 weeks.
My Size Potty — Not necessary in potty training. It’s much easier in the long run to just train them to use the toilet with a potty seat. Also My Size Potty is not worth the mess.
Nursing Cover — Just use a swaddle! Or be discreet. My babies have not liked being covered so it sometimes makes nursing stressful. Just really not necessary.
Nursing Pillow — Really found it cumbersome. I used it a handful of times before I gave it away.
Swaddles — Like I mentioned above, you really don’t need the Velcro swaddles.
Dreft — It’s overpriced and unnecessary. Maybe do a little research as to a good laundry detergent option, but certainly Dreft is not the only option. I feel the need to say that because so many people recommended that I put it on my registry.
I hope this was somewhat helpful! I do think you will learn as you go and it’s fun to be in the age of Facebook Marketplace/Mercari/Poshmark because you can sell anything that isn’t working for you. You can also buy so many things secondhand that are barely used!