Let’s face it—registering for baby products is overwhelming! If you’re a first-time mom, it’s like learning another language! There are a million and one “must-have” products with new versions coming out every year. I’m not one for baby stores in general, so I took to Pinterest, Google and did a lot of internet research. I took advice from my mama-friends too and slowly put together our registry with our essentials. The one thing I immediately knew was that our registry would be on Babylist—the absolute easiest decision! (We used Zola for our wedding and this is the “baby” version of it!)
Babylist is amazing! You can add ANYTHING from ANY website—you’re not limited to only BuyBuy Baby, Babies R Us (RIP) or Target. It’s the ultimate registry—imagine that cute sign from Etsy, Aden + Anais swaddles from Target and the Ju-Ju-Be diaper bag from Amazon all in one place. You could even add a massage for mama or have people register to bring you food post-partum! Umm, yes please! Once you add your product, it gives your guests options for where to buy it along with the price too! You can download the app and add things on the go as well—a feature I used many times!
If you’re unsure of what products you’ll need, Babylist provides sample registries such as “essentials only”, “eco-chic”, and more so you can begin adding items to your registry with confidence based on your needs and style. There are real-life reviews and guides for products so you can compare before adding too.
Check out our registry below and see what we loved, what you don’t need immediately, and tips and tricks if you’re purchasing any of the items yourself. There were plenty of things we purchased ourselves, but didn’t pay full price for any of them and saved hundreds!
OUT + ABOUT
Ju-Ju-Be XY Collection Clone Diaper Bag: we absolutely love this diaper bag! I did a lot of searching to find something that would work for both my husband and I to carry and this was the winner! It’s stylish and completely functional for all on-the-go needs. I also found this video showing 5 ways to pack it and love that it can be multipurpose.
ToteSavvy: I love the concept of this, but haven’t used it much yet since we use the Ju-Ju-Be diaper bag all the time and I throw my wallet in that. I think it will come in a little more handy when he’s a bit older and I’m not carrying around so much, who knows. It fits well in my tote, but once it’s full of onesies, diapers and other essentials, it’s a bit bulkier than I was imagining and doesn’t leave much room for anything else– however, it still has all the pockets for mama essentials too and I know I’ll use it down the road.
Infantino Flip Front 2 Back Carrier: this is great! It’s one of the more economic carriers and is comfortable and lightweight. It’s amazing to have your little one close to you AND have your hands free! Especially if that’s the only way they’ll stay calm at times, it’s a life-saver. We almost got the Ergo Baby, but opted for this and figured if we didn’t care for it, it wouldn’t be a major loss and could easily get the Ergo. But, so far so good!
Baby Jogger City Mini GT Travel System Stroller: we LOVE this system! Like I mentioned, I despise going into baby stores—they’re overwhelming and filled with tons of things we don’t need. BUT, I knew I had to test these babies out in real life—I wasn’t trying to purchase a car seat/ stroller combo sight unseen. I only knew I wanted a travel system—simply because I wanted to be able to take the car seat out of the car and attach it directly to the stroller so I didn’t have to wake a sleeping baby to make the transition. Jackson rarely wakes up when I move him in and out of the car to the stroller—if he does, he knocks himself back out as soon as the stroller begins moving. The only other thing I wanted was 3 wheels. That was it—two pre-reqs. Otherwise I had no idea what I was looking for. Luckily, there was an amazing girl working at BuyBuy Baby that day and she immediately guided us to this winner. We’ve had friends with newborns see our get-up and consider buying it too—even though they already have a stroller! Go test it for yourself! It rolls super smoothly, has a great turning radius, and can easily handle most terrains because of the wheel size. There’s storage underneath as well as adjustable storage in the stroller seat where you can put things before you put the car seat on. The handle bar adjusts for different walking heights depending on who is pushing and it has a brake too. It folds in half with the quick pull of a strap in the stroller seat—easy to do one-handed! It unfolds just as quickly with the release of the automatic strap that keeps it together when folded. We’ve added OXO Tot Handy Stroller Hooks on the handle bar and love how convenient they are! This was another buy-it-ourselves purchase, again from Craigslist. Rob found a company on there that buys the extras that don’t get sold in stores and then resells them. This was brand new, never used and we got the entire travel system $250 cheaper than retail!
4moms MamaRoo 4.0 Baby Swing: we love this because Jackson does! It has 5 motions and 5 sounds including an auxiliary port, so you’ll most likely find an option that your little will like to chill in. The app also lets you adjust the motions and sounds from your phone via bluetooth. Jackson will hang out for a bit taking everything in, but typically knocks himself out and takes his afternoon nap in it for a few hours… meaning Mama has a chance to get some things done! We’ve had friends whose kids love it and others whose kids hate it. Which is why we’re pleading with you to buy this used! You’ll save hundreds, seriously. This is one of the items we bought ourselves and found it on Craigslist. It was $150 cheaper than retail and all because a family bought one for their little boy who ended up hating it. I think they used it a total of 2 times. We bought it already put together, but with the box—so basically, it was NIB, but better because we didn’t have to assemble it! Make sure to check the electronics on-site before purchasing so you know it works though!
Dock-A-Tot Deluxe+: another one of my favorites! Besides being adorable, this lounger is perfect for hanging out anywhere in the house—or on the go. We’ve had it on our bed, the sofa, coffee table, dining table, upstairs, at my parents, at our friends, you name it! We have the toy arch (below) and Jackson will chill and play before falling asleep in it. It’s so nice being able to put him down and know he won’t be rolling anywhere and you can still keep an eye on him and get things done. You could even take it in the bathroom while you shower! I love this thing. It’s available in adorable patterns and has a larger size (Grand Dock) for when your littles outgrow the Deluxe+ and has a travel bag if needed.
Dock-A-Tot Arch + Toys: These Dock accessories are great. I figured Jackson needed something to help stimulate his senses while he laid there when he wasn’t sleeping. I got the white arch and Cloud Friends toy set with the black and white elephant, fox and owl. The black and white contrast is great for their eyes since they can’t see color for a few months. I also found a cute giraffe windchime that I attached to the center as well and he loves being able to hit it and hear the noise!
The Play Gym by Lovevery: I love this well-designed, thoughtful and good-looking play gym! They’ve done the research and packed an entire year of activities into their play gym to stimulate your babe’s curiosity and developing brain. From high contrast cards, mirrors, teething rings, colors, sounds and more, they’ve even included a play guide so you know what activities to do throughout the year!
Bumbo Floor Seat: we love this and Jackson will just chill in it– he’s so alert and loves to be upright and look around, so this is perfect for letting him hang with us wherever we are in the house!
4moms Breeze GO Playard: we just purchased this off FB Marketplace for $100 less than retail! We tested this in stores before buying it and immediately fell in love with how easy it is to open and close! There’s no finagling—it’s literally one step! Bonus points for being lightweight and having a travel bag.
Little Nomad Roam Free Play Mat: another Shark Tank find! As a designer, I love the concept of turning a foam playmat into a vintage-looking rug instead of having those bright, primary foam squares in the house. Comes in multiple sizes and colors!
I didn’t really register for any clothes because I knew people would give them to us anyways. And we have a ton in all different sizes! If you’re buying for a few months out though, be sure to take into account the time of year it will be THEN. It doesn’t help to have any 6M, long sleeve fleece outfits if that’s going to be in the middle of summer! Another major recommendation is for any long sleeve, footed sleep onesies—make sure they zip! There’s nothing more annoying than trying to snap 17 snaps in the middle of the night when your little one won’t hold still. Anything that zips is the best!
Baby Bandana Drool Bibs by copper Pearl: you’ll need a ton of bibs, so why not get some cute ones in there too?! I love these stylish little bandanas! There are soooo many adorable patterns—I want them all!
Aden + Anais Swaddles: we got sooo many of these swaddle blankets and I was A-ok with that! Especially these adorable muslin ones! We go through multiples of these daily, mainly because Jackson loves to be swaddled and they get spit up and other weird things on them and need to be swapped out. And I like to coordinate them with his outfits—go figure. I will say, we have a few that are rectangles and a bit smaller than the large square blankets and I definitely prefer the square swaddles! There’s just a bit more to be able to tuck in so Jackson can’t wiggle himself out as easily—because believe me, he houdinis his little hands and arms out all. the. time.
Zipadee-Zip Transition Swaddle: one of my many finds on Shark Tank! I love Shark Tank and came across an episode with these sleep sacks. They’re made so baby has room to move, but can still feel the edges of the sack making them content and cozy so they don’t startle themselves awake with any Moro reflexes. Tons of cute patterns and sizes ranging from 3 months to 3 years! We love this!
Boppy: such a great support pillow for nursing, especially when they’re so little! It helps prop them up in the right place and gives your arms a rest. As they get older, it can also be used for propping them up during the day, sitting and tummy time.
Dr. Brown’s Bottles: we absolutely love these bottles! While we have the Medela pump and bottle system, Jackson loves these better than the Medela bottles. The flow is slower than our Medela nipples making it similar to breastfeeding and they’re also made to help prevent gas bubbles.
Boon Lawn Drying Rack and Twig Drying Rack: we love these and use them daily! They sit on the counter and although I love the green, it also comes in white. All of our bottles and pumping pieces are neatly laid out and we’ll probably use this even after the bottles are no longer needed.
4moms High Chair: although you don’t need this early on—solid foods don’t start until 6 months old—we ended up purchasing it anyway because we found it on Facebook Marketplace for $200 off retail. It’s slightly used and you’d never know it—it looks brand new! We loved the clean, sleek look of it, the adjustable heights, and that the leg separator was built into the seat, not the tray. This way, your little one can’t slip down if the tray isn’t in place. The tray is also magnetic and 4moms has a variety of accessories (plates, etc) that are magnetic as well so they can’t be thrown from the high chair while eating—such a great feature! We’ve started putting Jackson in here to hang out with us as another alternative to the lounger and he totally loves it!
For all pumping products, see the “For Mama!” post!
4moms Infant Tub: we pretty much love everything 4moms makes since they’re thoughtful, well-designed and good-looking products. This is no different. It fits perfectly in our sink and we love that it has a temperature gauge so we can know when the water temp is good to go for Jackson. The water flows over the temperature gauge and begins overflowing to the main bath—blue means it’s too cool, red is too warm and green is perfect. There are multiple drains making it easy to let out the dirty, soapy or wrong temperature water. One downside is that it’s not the smallest and needs a dedicated place to store it since it’s not collapsible. *Update: although still available in some retail stores, 4moms is no longer making this. It was strictly a business decision and nothing related to quality or safety.*
Luvable Friends Lobster Towel: this is so adorable and is big enough for them to grow into! It’s so soft and makes for the cutest photos. There are about twenty other animals too, like a moose, duck, elephant, fox, panda and more.
Honest shampoo, body wash, lotion: what can I say, I just love the way the Sweet Orange Vanilla smells!
Ubbi Diaper Pail: this thing does the trick! I can’t smell a thing until I open the lid to take the trash out. Let’s just say, we’re thankful for the air-tight container! It’s also nice not having to buy special bags for it too—another money-saver!
Pampers Swaddlers Diapers: we loved these because they have a little yellow line down the front of them that will turn blue when it’s wet. It was really nice having this the first few weeks, but now we just feel the diaper and if it’s hard and full, it’s time to change it! They also were amazing at containing all of the messes.
Honest Diapers: they are adorable and so far have been great. We don’t have the subscription service because we were given so many diapers and haven’t had to buy any yet, but I love that option!
Butt Paste: only had to use it a couple times so far, but let’s just say a little goes a long way! We’ll have this bucket forever. Worked like a charm though and that little tush was back to normal in no time.
Snoofy Bee Changing Pad: another Shark Tank find! This portable changing pad keeps little hands from playing in their mess as you’re trying to clean them. It’s quick and easy to Velcro it and even has a couple rings so you can attach toys to occupy them. There are multiple patterns and it’s easy to wipe down. We keep this in the diaper bag at all times.
We got a lot of first aid type items from our mama friends—they were sure to give me things they used all the time! In addition to the items on the registry, these are the thing we received or bought:
- Nipple cream for mama
- Mylicon Gas Relief Drops
- Vitamin D drops
- 3-in-1 thermometer (oral, rectal, underarm)
- Nasal Aspirator
- Orajel for teething (not for use until 24 months though! Serious side-effects could occur… benzocaine and babies don’t mix… research Orajel and FDA)
First Years American Red Cross Nail Clippers: these come with a magnifier, but we took it off because it seemed to be more in the way than helpful. Cutting newborn nails can be terrifying! You don’t want to cut their skin, but you want to make sure you trim them and it’s not like they’re exactly holding still for you. The first few weeks, we found it best to double-team him and hold him and his hands while the other one cautiously trimmed. It’s difficult because their little hands are clenched most of the time and half the battle is keeping them open. It was easiest when he was sleeping. After about a month or so, their hands are open more often and now he’ll let me cut them when he’s laying down on the changing table. So far so good!
Baby Banz Newborn Earmuffs: these are adorable and definitely come in handy! We took them to a 4th of July parade with fire engines and tons of loud noises and then again at the fireworks show that evening. He was completely comfortable in them and we were happy they protected his ears so well.