Baby registry essentials. But what really is essential? When I first put together my registry for Hayes I leaned hard on my friends, and compared tons of guides I found on the Interwebs, especially the one’s from Babylist (they have recommendations from real peeps so it’s kind of like asking your friends). It’s tough to know what to get and what isn’t really a need! And honestly, it is different for everyone, but I’ve been asked enough times what are my favorite products, so I decided to put it all together as a reference.
All of these are things that I used a ton and would without a doubt get again. I tried to be really selective. And it was tough to take some things off of my essentials list, but I really want to share essentials. Since that left some great items on the fringe, I also included a shortlist of almost essentials.
Little note on pricing: some of these items are premium and some are more bargain. If I shared a splurge, I think it’s worth it. In general, I go the less is more route — less items with more impact and things that will live on for several kiddos.
Baby registry essentials
This is what I put the little one in right away. It keeps them safe and warm while they sleep. And they don’t break the bank. I would register for smalls!
Once the baby is a bit older or for the baby that likes to kick and doesn’t like being totally constricted (Hayes fell into that camp), these SleepSack swaddles are a wearable blanket that doubles as a swaddle and let’s the kiddo kick around their legs like a big kid. I would get the newborn or 0-3 month size because, just like the SwaddleMe, they don’t stay in this for too long.
The wearable blanket that makes everything easier! Safe, warm, cozy. Comes in cotton and fleece depending on the season.
If you have an infant in the winter, this is a lifesaver! Have you ever tried to put a winter coat on a baby? Not worth the 45 minute of struggle. I transported Hayes in this to and from daycare all winter long. It’s less than $25 and worth way more!
We still use this noise maker in Hayes room for nap and bedtime. When she was an infant it was critical for car rides and any travel. Only $30 and comes with a hook at keep it safe in your diaper bag or hooked to your car seat.
To say I love this wrap would probably be an understatement. Hayes lived in this thing. I don’t think a day went by in the first few months that she wasn’t in this wrap. It brought both of us so much comfort and gave me hands for luxuries, like making and eating breakfast (lol!) in those early weeks. I have the Natural & Grey Stripe from my time with Hayes, but how beautiful is this basil color?! I’m obsessed.
If you run, jog, or hit the trails this is a must. Yes, it’s bigger and bulkier than other stroller options, but because of the storage, smooth ride, and adjustable handle for us tall peeps, we use this stroller even on trips because we can’t go without it. You can get an infant car seat adapter for the early months if you only want one stroller. We love it so much, we’ll be purchasing a double Bob Jogging Stroller once the new baby is old enough.
Tip – look on Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace. They have a long life and used options are a great way to save some money!
What I have learned is that bottles and binkies are preference only the baby can decide on. We started out with Dr. Brown’s bottles, which were recommended to me by several friends, some of those cute neutral old school looking binkies, and a couple of Wubanub options. Hayes wanted nothing to do with any of them. It wasn’t until we tried a random binkie that was attached to a binkie clip gift that we found Nuk and then went all in. I would register for this Nuk gift set, but be open to switching!
This is my replacement for the Fisher Price Rock n’ Play that I used and loved with Hayes. The Fisher Price Rock n’ Play isn’t on the baby registry essentials because it got recalled, but I used the Rock n’ Play everyday to have a safe spot for the baby to nap or just hang while mama gets a shower or switches a load of laundry. That is what I will use this lounger for.
Easy and affordable. That’s why I recommend this high chair. It folds up with one pull, it has a removable top which makes post-meal clean up much easier, it is simple, and it’s under $100. The only reason I would spend more on something else is to get rid of the fabric and go full wooden for even easier cleanup. I like this option if that’s what you want.
What I love about it is that I can use any garbage bag (others you have to buy their bags to fit the pail), it’s easy to open and close, and it has a lock (which I’m realizing is important now that Hayes is older and exploring everything). This is more of a splurge compared to other options, but my thought is that if you can buy any garbage bag, it probably evens out.
I bought it because of the positive reviews it has on helping to reduce the stink. It still stinks, but to be fair to Ubbi, it’s probably the diapers fault and not the pail so I left it on the essentials list instead of almost essentials.
Babies are nose breathers. This is especially helpful in the winter in helping them breath easy and stay happy through the night. This humidifier in particular is on here because it’s reasonably priced and easy on the eyes.
I almost didn’t put this on the list of essentials because it is definitely more of a splurge. But. I love this changing table. It suctions right to the top of our dresser, wipes off like a breeze, and I never had to wash, change, or buy more poopy changing table covers.
Same as the Keekaroo, there are other options that are less expensive, but holy holy this is the easiest pack n’ play ever and that’s why it made it to the baby registry essentials list. I don’t think we would have gone for it, but it was on crazy sale when Babies “R” Us was going out of business so we bought it and we have put it to use. The reason it’s worth the price is it is so easy to put up and down.
Bonus: changing table + bassinet attachment. Depending on how the baby and I are feeling we will likely use the bassinet attachment for the baby to sleep in our room for the first couple of weeks.
It’s a placemat and a plate all in one! It’s easy to use, wash, and throw in a diaper bag — plus, it suctions to the table so baby can’t rip off the whole plate and throw it. A winner!
There are a lot of cribs with a whole lot of ornate on them and that’s just not my thing, I like simple, no fuss. I looked at a bunch of cribs, including the mid-century modern beaut, Babyletto, but then we found this simple white crib for about half the price! It’s been perfect.
If you don’t have much room in your house or apartment, you travel a lot, you like to dine out, or you often eat at friends/family, this high chair is a must! Super easy to set up. We also use it at our bar height eating area.
These wet bags came in handy when I least expected it. Major blow out, can’t find a trash can after a diaper change, meal with a bib covered in everrryyyything — you NEVER know what is going to happen with a baby. And I love having a washable wet bag to throw in and contain whatever unexpected icky happened so that it don’t get all over my diaper bag.
The only reason this isn’t on our list of essentials is because I would pick the SollyBaby wrap over the Ergobaby Omni 360 for the infant stage. Once she was older I was obsessed with the Ergobaby, but the Sollybaby is more comfortable and snuggly for the infant stage. I love that it has such a long and versatile life — infant through toddler, front and back wearing.
This was always Jeff’s pick for baby wearing.
For less than $20 on Amazon compared to the $100 seats and activity centers this is gold.
I couldn’t get the hang of this at the infant stage so I didn’t include it on my baby registry essentials, but I like using this wrap once I can put the little one on my hip. It’s totally personal preference. I have many friends who like this one the most, but I don’t love the pressure it puts on one shoulder (old volleyball injuries) and I just always felt a little less comfortable in this vs. the Sollybaby. They are beautiful, well-made, and functional!