The Ultimate Baby Registry Checklist: What You Really Need

Putting together a registry is an exciting - yet sometimes arduous - task. If you're pregnant with your first, it can feel even more daunting. How are you supposed to know what you and your baby will need if you've never even heard of many of these items before?! 

Rest assured, our team of moms has put together the ultimate baby registry checklist, with the skinny on what you really need your family and friends to pitch in for! And we get specific - offering tips on mom-approved (and recommended) brands and products. 

 

The big registry items

Infant carseat

 When choosing an infant carseat, you'll want to have safety and convenience in mind. By convenience, we mean - are you planning to travel frequently? Do you want your carseat to click into your stroller* (very handy when baby is sleeping!). These questions may alter your decision. The recommendations below are among the safest and most practical on the market.

Nuna Pipa - travel friendly - comes with a base, but can also be used just with a seatbelt (so you can take it in ubers).

Nuna Pipa Lite - must be used with a base, but a lot lighter than most car seats! We love Nuna carseats because they're thoughtfully made without flame retardant chemicals (while still being flame resistant). 

UppaBaby MESA - This luxury carseat is easily installed and great for travel, since it can be installed without the base. It's also compatible with the ultra popular UppaBaby Vista stroller. 

Tip: If you've got more than one car, buy multiple bases. That way, you can easily click the carseat in and out of each car without having to install the base each time. 

*You always have the option of purchasing an adapter that allows you to use one brand of carseat with another brand's stroller. Most of the top carseats and strollers have compatible adapters - but to save you the additional purchase (and assembly), you may just want to purchase the same brand of carseat and stroller.

 

  

Stroller

The big stroller question - do you plan on jogging with your baby? If the answer's yes, then opt for a jogging stroller. If not, then just a standard stroller will do just fine. 

The Thule Urban Glide or BOB jogging strollers are popular choices. For eco conscious mamas, the Bumbleride Indie is a wonderful option (made from 100% recycled PET) that glides along the road. The only downside is that you have to buy the car seat adapter if you want your baby to face you (which most babies want when they’re young!). 

The UppaBaby Vista is arguably the best non-jogging stroller and most people like it because it can hold 2 seats easily (if you plan on having 2 kids). 

The Mockingbird has many of the same features as the UppaBaby Vista, but at half the price. You'll notice the difference in fabric and parts quality though - it most likely won't last you as long as the UppaBaby Vista. 

 

  

Bassinet

The SNOO has garnered a lot of attention - and rightfully so. Moms claim to get 2 hours more sleep each night with the SNOO, making the price well worth it. The SNOO is a responsive baby bassinet that claims to boost baby's sleep by combining gentle rocking with soothing white noise and snug, safe swaddling. 

Tip #1: It's worth keeping an eye out for sales, too - the SNOO is typically discounted a few times a year (sometimes even as much as 40% off). 

Tip #2: While the SNOO comes with SNOO sacks (swaddles), you can double swaddle with a Halo swaddle underneath to really maximize sleep.

   
Bouncer
The Baby Bjorn Bouncer Bliss is an ergonomic, lightweight bouncer. It's incredibly easy to pack up and transport from room to room. This bouncer can be used from 8 weeks onwards (up until they're at least 12 months), and can be made even more entertaining with this activity bar (another great addition to the registry!). 
   
Carrier

Solly makes ultra soft fabric wraps that are really convenient and easy for the first couple of months when your baby is still so tiny! It can take a few wears for the baby to get used to, but almost all end up loving being nestled so close to mom (or dad). These wraps are especially helpful when baby is fussy and you've got things to do!

Baby Bjorn One Air is a high quality carrier that allows baby to be worn facing towards or away from you. These can be used to carry newborns up to the age of three. One Air is made from breathable mesh fabric, making it more suitable for hot weather. 

   
Monitor

The Nanit is the mother of all monitors, and pairs with an easy to use app that tracks your baby's movement, sound and visits. Perfect for moms and dads who like to nerd out on nap times and sleep patterns (this may be you!!), the Nanit provides a day and night analysis of your baby's sleep. You'll have the choice of a stand or wall mount. We recommend the stand, because you'll be able to transport it easily as your baby moves from your room to the nursery. 

You may also want to add the travel pack to your registry, too. That way you won't need to purchase a travel monitor. 

   
Swing 
Baby swings are a godsend for witching hour fussiness and periods where your baby refuses to nap in the crib. They combine rocking motion and white noise (or music) to instantly calm baby and lull them to sleep. Fisher Price Snugapuppy Dreams is a top choice for many moms. Be warned - it's bulky and not the most attractive centerpiece for your living room - but it works like a charm!
   
Lounger

In the first few months, you'll want somewhere to lay your baby to lounge, nap and play. Dock a Tot is well known and loved for their baby loungers, which come in plenty of fun patterns and can be accessorized with toy arches to keep baby entertained. 

Snuggle Me Organic's infant loungers are slightly narrower, giving baby that snuggled feel. They're also organic, sustainable and ethically made.

 

baby feeding essentials

The feeding essentials

Breast pump

Breast pumps remove milk from your breast and can be used for a multitude of reasons - to feed baby in your absence (eg. while working, traveling, or if your partner takes the night shift), to relieve engorgement, manage oversupply of milk and even to increase your milk supply.

If you have health insurance, a high quality breast pump pay be covered. Either way, Medela Pump In Style Advanced and Spectra S1 are tried and true pumps, frequently recommended by lactation consultants. 

Most moms will highly recommend purchasing an additional set of breast pump parts (eg. valves, breast shields). You'll likely need your pump often, and having one or two spare sets of parts will save you from another load of dishes. 

 

 

Bottle + pump sterilizers 

We're not going to lie. Sterilizing can be a total pain in the ass, especially when you're in the midst of the feed / play / nap / wash up / pump cycle that is early parenthood. Medela bags make sterilizing bottles and pump parts SO easy. While sterilizer machines can take hours, Medela bags have your sterilizing taken care of in 3 minutes. Even if you purchase a breast pump from another brand, the Medela bags are still a great option. 

If you do opt for a sterilizer machine, the Wabi UV-C sterilizer and dryer is a new sterilizer and dryer that's getting top reviews. Wabi also offers a lower priced electric steam sterilizer and dryer that's equally as popular.

 

  

Feeding pillow

While you can use normal pillows to prop your baby up while feeding, Boppy and My Brest Friend make pillows that hold your baby at the optimal position. These pillows help to prevent back and neck injury by bringing baby closer to you, and reducing the tendency to lean forward. 

Tip: If you have a two story home, you may want to purchase two pillows (one for upstairs, one for downstairs). You'll be needing these pillows a LOT during the first few months. 

 

  

Bottles

It's often recommended to purchase a couple of different types of bottles to see what your baby takes to. Comotomo are a great choice for most babies. These silicone bottles are BPA free. The nipple on the 5oz bottles is slow flow, meaning it mimics breast flow (ideal for a newborn), and it can be switched out for medium and fast flow as your baby grows. 

Dr Brown's bottles are another popular choice, and are especially effective with babies who have colic. 

 

  

Bottle warmer

Dr Brown’s bottle warmer is no fuss, easy to use. While it is compatible with all Dr Brown's bottles and many other top brands, it unfortunately isn't compatible with Comotomo. However, if you do opt for Comotomo bottles, you can always warm your milk in a narrow milk storage bottle and then transfer to the Comotomo once it's warm. 

Tip: Try giving your baby cold milk early on. Some babies don't mind cold milk, and if that's the case you can skip the extra step of warming milk!

The nursery essentials

 Furniture + decor
Top picks for classic nursery furniture: Pottery Barn Kids, RH Baby & Child
Top picks for modern nursery furniture: West Elm, Crate + Barrel 
You'll need;
  • Crib
  • Change table + pad + liners (x2)
  • Bookshelf
  • Artwork
   
Crib mattress

Newton mattresses are heralded as the safest mattress on the market. Breathable foam allows your baby to sleep safer. Plus, it's the only baby mattress that's washable from cover to core. Click here for a coupon for $50 off. 

   
Waterproof changing pad liners
In addition to changing pad liners, you'll also want waterproof pads to provide extra protection against accidents. Boppy waterproof changing pad liners are excellent and affordable.
    
Diaper pail

Ubbi is a popular diaper pail, mostly due to its convenience - you can place the diaper straight into the pail without needing to bag each individually. It has a sliding lid that masks odor. However, as your baby gets older, you may find that #2s need to be bagged and thrown in the outdoor trash! 

If you opt for Ubbi, you'll need to purchase their disposable pail liners. We also recommend Sassy diaper sacks for your on-the-go diaper bag and for extra stinky #2s. 

 

   

White noise machine

One of the top white noise machines is the Hatch Rest+. This high tech white noise machine not only has an in-built night light and audio monitor, but it syncs to an app, allowing you to control light and sound remotely.

Note: If you purchase a SNOO, you don’t really need a white noise machine immediately (since it has one already built in). However, you will need one once your baby has outgrown the SNOO (anywhere from 3-6 months).

    
Mobile

Mobiles aren't just nursery decor - they engage and soothe babies, which will come in handy when you're putting your baby to sleep, or changing their diaper. 

Pehr has an adorable line of handmade felt mobiles, perfect for any nursery. 

baby bathing essentials

The bathing essentials

Baby bathtub 
Both the OXO and Angelcare bathtubs makes bath time really easy for newborns. The benefit of OXO is that you'll save on water, since you won't have to run the whole bath (as it's a smaller container of water). 
 
Towels Mori Organic Hooded Baby Towels will keep your newborn snug and dry. 

The baby clothing essentials

 Baby clothing

You'll discover quickly that you will be doing a LOT of diaper changes starting from day one. Snap buttoned clothing can be tedious, especially in the middle of the night. tinies zipped footies are a wardrobe staple from newborn to 6 months. The two way zip makes dressing and diaper changes quick, easy and stress free. Made from organic pima cotton, they're incredibly soft and free from pesticides that can irritate precious baby skin. 

tinies zipped footies have in-built feet and foldover mittens, so you don't have to hassle with socks and mittens. They'll keep your baby warm and prevent your baby from scratching themselves (which is common in the first few months). 

Since these are a wardrobe essential, we recommend stocking up. You may want to register for multiple sizes (eg. 4 x newborn, 6 x 0-3 months, and 5 x 3-6 months). 

You'll also want to add a few hats to your registry. tinies beanies are perfect because they're not only organic and hypoallergenic, but they are stretchy and grow with baby from 0-6 months. 

In the early months, you don’t really need an extensive baby wardrobe. Many moms find that footies are the way to go, simply because they are so functional and easy. On a newborn baby, anything that goes over the head can be distressing for baby (and stressful for mom), but don't worry - it gets easier and less traumatic once they are a couple of months old!

Once your baby can fit into size 3-6 months, that's when clothing gets really fun. PehrMaisonette and Rylee + Cru have adorable, high quality cotton clothing lines for baby and kids. 

  

Diapers + wipes

Diapers are another trial by error purchase. Finding the perfect diaper can depend on your baby's shape, so you may end up switching from one brand to another.

That said, Pampers Pure are a winner for most babies. Pampers Pure diapers are not only chlorine-free, fragrance-free, and hypoallergenic, but they're also really well designed (thanks to the decades of R&D Pampers has under their belt). Unlike many other hypoallergenic diapers, they are soft and flexible, making them a good choice for almost any baby. 

For wipes, you can't go past Honest. They have a handy subscription program which allows you to purchase wipes in bulk at a discount. 

Tip: If you register with Amazon and end up spending over $500, Amazon will give you a 20% discount on diapers for your baby's first year (up to $300 in value). 

  

Swaddles

Halo sleepsack swaddles are a lifesaver for many moms. They're not only incredibly easy to use, but they swaddle and secure snugly, thanks to velcro flaps. Because your baby will stay snug throughout they night, it will prevent the startle reflex that is often the cause for wakings. The result - your baby will sleep longer and more soundly. Yes please!! We recommend getting 2 x newborn sizes, you won't regret it.

The play essentials

Toys

Now to the fun stuff! The Lovevery subscription offers play essentials that foster age appropriate learning. Every few months, they'll ship out a new set of Montessori inspired toys, along with a helpful booklet that provides helpful information about milestones and tips to engage your baby. 

  

Activity mat

The Lovevery play gym comes separate from their subscription, but is worth the purchase. The mat is soft and cushy, providing decent support for baby, and the activity stations are perfect for babies aged 0-6 months. 

Because these toys are so thoughtfully designed for specific age groups, they're extremely engaging (even for newborns!). 

 

Baby play essentials

The essential accessories for baby

First aid 

Get your first aid box sorted with these newborn essentials :

  

Pacifiers

It's best to get a few different types of pacifiers to see what your baby prefers. Babies have different shaped mouths, so what works for one may not work for another. Nanobebe, mam and BIBS pacifiers are great options to start.


The essentials for mom

Nursing bras + tanks

 For nursing bras, you can't go wrong with Hatch or Blanqi

H&M nursing tanks are fabulous. Inexpensive, practical and simple - these are a must! 

If you plan to nurse, get at least 3 of each. 

  

Nursing care (postpartum)

 A killer combo for tackling cracked, chapped and sore nipples (especially during those first few days) is Medela Soft Shells and Earth Mama Organic Nipple Butter. These two products used together will calm irritation in hours - just in time for your next feed. If you're planning a hospital birth, you'll want to take these with you. Check out The Ultimate Hospital Bag Checklist for more tips.

 

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