Baby Registry Essentials: 10 Things I Wish I’d Asked

Creating a baby registry can be a stressful, time-consuming process and a crash course in a whole new world of products – do I need a sleeping bag, swaddle, or sleeping bag swaddle? sleeping? What is the difference between all these bottles? what is a snooo?

In reality, once your baby has arrived, the products you spend hours agonizing over won’t be as important as you think. Babies really only need a few things (food, clothes, diapers, a safe place to sleep), and every baby is indeed different, with different preferences. Are any of these elements really necessary? No. That being said, here are 10 baby purchases that ended up being key to my parenting journey that I wish I had known to sign up for instead of panic buying on Amazon during those first few weeks.

What are the baby things you wish you had known to sign up? Drop a note in the comments. You can also check out our picks for the best diapers, best baby monitors, best car seats and best baby clothes.

Beautiful baby

If you take any advice from this list, make it this: invest in as many magnet suits as your budget allows. These are pricey, but in my experience, well worth it. No zippers, no snaps – just little magnetic buttons that allow you to quickly and easily open and close your baby’s pajamas, perfect for cloudy-eyed changes in the middle of the night. The fabric has a lovely soft, almost silky feel, and there are lots of cute patterns to choose from. (My baby’s Pop-pop loves them too, as they’re easy to use even with arthritic hands.)

like to dream

We brought our baby girl home from the hospital, armed with multiple Halo swaddles and blankets, only for her to burst or hate them all. She seemed to want to sleep with her hands up, so I ordered a Love to Dream swaddle. She immediately seemed more comfortable at nap time, and we stuck with it until she was ready to transition (as you get taller, it there are “transition” options that allow you to close the sleeves). These swaddles also provide the added benefit of making your little one look like a flying squirrel.

Evenflo

My lactation consultant recommended these bottles as the most similar in shape to a human nipple and the best for helping to improve baby’s latch. They are easy to clean and pack in a cooler. Plus, they’re a steal compared to the much more expensive Comotomo bottles I had on my registry. Although my baby didn’t seem to have a real preference for one or the other, the Evenflo’s were the ones we stuck with.

Baby Einstein

What do you actually do with a newborn all day, when he’s not eating or sleeping (which, to be fair, is most of the time)? This Baby Einstein mirror might not be the prettiest, but my baby loved it – giving him a way to look at himself and some high contrast patterns made tummy time a lot easier for us at first . She also liked looking at the high contrast animal cards, which made her smile.

Splashin’ kids

Speaking of tummy time, once your baby reaches three months, this water mat will help make that activity more engaging and interesting. It’s basically a mini waterbed for babies, and gives them a different feeling when they’re on their tummy, and something to watch with the floating fish. You can also try to wedge them in different ways using the inflatable sides. This helped us extend our tummy time sessions a bit.

Johnson’s

Between spitting up, diaper breakouts, and drinking messy milk, newborns can get dirty pretty quickly. For those times when you don’t want to take a full bath (or those fun times when any of the above happens immediately after a bath), these Johnson’s Head-to-Toe Wipes are nice to have on hand. They’re just large, soft, hypoallergenic, pre-moistened baby wipes that let you do a quick cleanup.

Baby Brezza

When my breastfeeding plans went awry due to oral ties and low supply, we started combination feeding, some breastfeeding but mostly formula. But getting bottles ready for the day was stressful, even with Dr. Brown’s handy formula mixing pitcher.

If you know you’re going to give formula when you create your registry, do yourself a favor and ask for a Baby Brezza. Essentially a Keurig for formula, it makes on-demand bottles warmed to one of three temperatures. Although previous versions have come under scrutiny for not measuring formula correctly, I had no problem with the latest model, which has strict cleaning requirements (and to check, we weigh sometimes bottles on a kitchen scale). You can choose between Baby Brezza Formula Pro Advanced, which lets you manually press a button to get formula, or Wi-Fi Advanced, which lets you start a bottle from your phone. It’s not cheap, but it has made my formula feeding journey infinitely better.

Hanna Anderson

Really, the goal here is to sign up for more burp apparel than you could ever imagine. Our baby is a frequent spitter and we have burp clothes strewn around the house at all times. These Hanna Andersson’s are nice and sweet, and slightly larger than the Burt’s Bees ones I had on my registry, for about the same price.

royal angels

I signed up for an old baby nail clipper, I think I know how to cut nails, how hard could that be? At least for me, it wasn’t necessarily difficult, but scary – newborns wiggle around and their fingernails are so small that I was terrified to approach them with clippers. Not to mention, newborn nails grow surprisingly fast and need to be trimmed often, lest your training Wolverine scratch his face. This battery-powered electric nail clipper is a lifesaver: it has three different age-grading attachments for babies (and some adults too), a light so you can see what you’re doing, and two speeds in each direction. You can even tidy up while your baby sleeps (strange but true, at least in my case).

Simple household items

This one is for the parents. I naively thought I could fit all my breastfeeding/expressing gear into one cute little basket. I was very wrong. A small storage cart like this will actually hold everything you need, like your pump, extra pump parts, snacks, a water bottle, burp clothes, and whatever else you might need (and shout out to postpartum nurse and Instagram influencer Karrie Locher for the idea). And you can roll it from room to room so you don’t get stuck on the couch all the time.

Bumco

This one is an honorable mention as it was indeed on my registry after a friend’s recommendation. If you’re someone who hates having sticky hands, you need this tool that really can only be called a butt spatula. Apply your baby’s diaper cream to this little silicone brush and place it on her bottom, saving your hands from becoming a mess. It has a suction cup mount so it can sit on its own on your changing table, and it’s easy to clean.

To find out more, see the best breast pumps and best cribs.

The information in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended to constitute medical or health advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have about a medical condition or health goals.

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