Putting together a baby registry (especially if it’s your first!) is one of the most exciting parts of a pregnancy. You can really start to visualize your baby being with you! There are tons and tons and tons of things to add to your registry – and you’ll still get a ton of stuff not on your registry – but you really don’t need (or necessarily want) all of those things. So here are the things you definitely DO want!
But first – where should you be registering? There are a ton of cool options these days and basically any of your favorite stores have a registry option, but these are my favorites (and who I used):
- Amazon – Amazon’s Baby Registry is a no brainer! If you don’t already do a lot of your shopping on Amazon, get ready to use it exclusively. They have just about every baby product and their reviews are extremely helpful. And of course, free two-day shipping can’t be beat.
- buybuy BABY – buybuy BABY is a one-stop shop for all things baby and toddler, so you get quite a selection through them! If your friends and family order from your registry, you can get free shipping for the first year of your baby’s life – that could certainly come in handy. 🙂
- MyRegisty – We used MyRegistry for our wedding and baby registry for a couple reasons. One, you can add things from any store that has a website (so basically everywhere). That’s really exciting if you just want a couple Pottery Barn things! And two, they offer a cool way of using cash funds…which really come in handy (and more on that below).
- BabiesRUs – BabiesRUs is an oldie, but goodie. The best part about them is that they will give you a credit after your registry for a portion of what was sold through them. This can be great if you end up needing to buy a few items that didn’t make it to the shower!
Now back to the list! Here are my absolute favorite products that you need to have on your baby registry:
This water sling was my absolute, number one, favorite baby product of EVERYTHING we had. And for some reason, I never see this on people’s registries! This water sling came in handy all the time, but had two main uses:
- Showering with my son. He HATED baths so much, but absolutely loved showers. But if you’ve ever tried showering with your baby, you know they are slippery little guys, so you really need to be careful if you don’t use a carrier. This sling is surprisingly strong and sturdy so it held my baby in place from when he was about 4 weeks old until well past a year!
- Carrying my baby in the pool or ocean. We traveled a lot with our baby and this was the best option by far for going in the water. Life jackets are always a good idea if you’ll be in a high-speed boat, but otherwise, it’s unlikely that your baby is going to want to wear it for long. The water sling is a whole different story – they won’t want to leave it and you don’t need to sit out from the fun!
Yes, the picture on this box is a pretty accurate representation of what the NoseFrida does…it literally enables you to suck the snot out of your baby’s nose with your own mouth. Ewwww….except it works. Like, way better than the old-fashioned bulb that they send you home with from the hospital. In fact, it works so well that you won’t even care that you’re doing something your pre-baby self would puke at. But don’t worry, there’s a mesh barrier that supposedly stops any germs from actually reaching your mouth. 😉
This was one of the best things that we had on my first child’s registry and I’m sad I didn’t get an opportunity to do it with my second (we had a small sprinkle, but didn’t use a registry). We definitely want to pay for our kids to go to college and this was the perfect way to get it started! We used MyRegistry.com for our registry and they have an easy option for a cash fund, so it was fool proof. We were pleasantly surprised by how many people used it and it definitely made a huge difference in our first year of saving.
Rotating Non-Wifi Baby Monitor
There are a ton of baby monitors to choose from and a lot of them can seem really exciting – but they aren’t necessarily what they promise to be. The one you really want is a rotating video monitor that doesn’t connect to your phone (and thus does not connect to your wifi). There’s three reasons for this:
- You will inevitably read something scary about people hacking into wifi-enabled monitors. I doubt this happens frequently, but it happens enough to have quite a few horror stories making the facebook rotations and turning up on local news programming. This means creepy people can be watching your baby sleep AND can actually say things to them through the monitor.
- You will want your phone for other things. One of the exciting products out there are monitors that hook up to your phone (which means they’re wifi-enabled as well). This seems really cool because we basically want our phones to do everything, but you will want to watch the monitor at all times…even if it’s just out of the corner of your eye. You will also want to sit in silence on your phone going through social media and your emails…and you can’t do both if you’re relying on your phone for a monitor.
- The rotating ability is important. Our first monitor could rotate until it was broken while traveling. I thought I reordered the same one, but it ended up being a similar version that didn’t rotate and it ended up being soooo frustrating! I never realized how important the rotation capability was until I didn’t have it. You may only be moving it a few centimeters in one direction, but you will be so happy you can do that. Trust me!
Good Baby Carrier
I carried my baby everywhere…for about 2 years. Luckily for me, I enjoyed it. But odds are that even if it is against your will, you will be carrying your baby a lot. I used a ton of carriers over the years, but these were my favorites:
- The Nuroo – The Nuroo only works in the first few weeks, but it was completely worth it. It’s the only carrier I came across that truly afforded me the option of skin to skin contact while still being presentable. And I was blown away by the quality. It’s a very comfortable shirt and it is really, really strong. I was actually able to use both hands while my son was snuggly secure up against my body – I was never able to achieve that with the popular cloth carriers.
- The Ergo – I didn’t try the Ergo out until my son was many months old, but once I did, I was completely hooked. If you only want to pick one baby carrier, this should be it. You can purchase a newborn insert for the early weeks and then remove it when your baby gets big enough….and then when they get really big, you can move it to your back and carry them there! This not only gives your back relief, but makes it possible to carry another baby in the front if you end up with kids very close in age.
- The Sakura Bloom – The Sakura Bloom was my go-to sling for a ton of reasons. One, it’s easy to fold up and put anywhere so it’s perfect for traveling. And two, it’s so simple to put on that you can do it while you’re holding your baby. In fact, my husband and I were actually able to transfer my sleeping son between the two of us using this carrier. The one downside of this carrier is that the weight of the baby is not evenly distributed on your shoulders and back, so one of side of you is carrying more weight than the other. This isn’t a problem…until it is. So make sure to take care of your back if you’re going to use this as your primary carrier.
Space-Saving High Chair
We got a ton of stuff for my son and while it was definitely more than we needed, there were very few things that we actually regretted. One of those regrets was definitely the high chair. So much so that we’re just going to suck it and up and purchase a brand new high chair for our daughter. The first one we got seemed to be what everyone was getting at the time – it had really high ratings, was safe, and did it’s job. It wasn’t just a high chair – it was a “high chair system.”
The problem? It was massive! And worse, it was intended to stay in it’s place for the years of its use.
What I wish we had gotten (and what we will be getting this time around) is this one – an equally rated high chair that folds up when it doesn’t need to be used. My parents purchased it for my son for when he was at their house and it was amazing. It actually felt even safer than ours, and when we left they could fold it up and put it in a closet! You may have weeks on end that you never put your high chair away, but I promise you, there will be occasions that you just wish you could put it away….and with this one you can.
Related Post: The Baby Products I Wish I Hadn’t Bought…And Definitely Didn’t Need
Newborn Reversible Pack ‘N Play
This is most likely already on your short list, but if it isn’t, time to add it! Having a Pack ‘N Play is important for a lot of reasons, and the newborn reversible version is even more handy. First, you’re going to want to travel eventually and you will want this with you! Second, the Pack N Play is a perfect substitute for a bassinet next to your bed, so save yourself the extra spending and forget the bassinet altogether. Or if you’d prefer, keep your Pack ‘N Play in your family room or somewhere central as a good nap spot.
As for the newborn reversible component, it’s basically just an extra attachment that is built specifically for a newborn to sleep in…and then reverses to change diapers! The reason I love the sleeping piece is because it is slightly inclined which really helps with any acid reflux and the inevitable fear that your baby will spit up when you’re not watching and aspirate. We actually ended up ditching the bassinet AND regular crib and just used the Pack ‘N Play until my son was ready for a toddler bed.
Let me know if you’ve got some of your own must-have items! Congrats on your new addition and good luck with your shopping!