This post includes a very thorough list of Baby Registry Must-Haves that you should consider grabbing for your babe on the way! I initially wrote this around 29-30 weeks, based on the many recommendations I received from good friends & mamas at the time. However, rest assured that I have gone in and updated it post-baby (one year postpartum, to be exact) now that I know what we loved & found to be essential, or things we disliked or could have lived without. Let’s dive in!
I want to preface by saying that we all have different needs and preferences (and budgets)!! I’m sharing items we have loved based on our personal experience. Either way, I hope this will be a helpful resource for you as you are creating your baby registry, because I know it can be a stressful process.
advice for first-time-moms
It can be very overwhelming to be pregnant with your first baby. Everyone has a LOT of opinions and advice to give, mostly well-meaning, but that doesn’t make it feel any less overwhelming. All I know is this: my baby was made for us, and us for him. We will figure it ALL out together, and it’s going to be okay.
As you are creating your baby registry, please remember this: just because a big blogger on Instagram bought the most expensive version of every possible product, doesn’t mean you need to. ; ) There are so many amazing options out there at varying price points. Do what makes sense for YOU and your family’s budget. You don’t have to break the bank to have a happy, healthy and safe baby. Promise.
Also, from what I hear, literally every baby is different. Some love certain swaddles and swings, while others may hate those same things. I’m trying to go in without a lot of specific expectations (regarding the birth process, breastfeeding, postpartum, etc.), because I know a lot of it will be out of my control and subject to change. You can only “plan” for these things to an extent.
No matter what, it’s going to be great. It’s going to be exhausting, and challenging, and defeating at times. But I have no doubt it will be 1000% worth it. Ethan and I are so excited to begin this next chapter together.
Okay, let’s get to the reason you’re here. These are listed in no particular order, and I have provided direct links to each item.
Disclosure: these are commissionable links. Thanks for supporting my small biz & using my links!
Baby Registry Must-Haves: Sleep Essentials
HALO BASSINET + EXTRA BASSINET SHEETS
The Halo Bassinet was highly recommended to us by several friends and we actually had some sweet friends pitch in together to gift it to us. Rhett slept in his bassinet in our room until he was 16 weeks and we were super happy with the Halo. It was nice and compact, as we don’t have a ton of extra space in our master bedroom.
It is good to have a few extra bassinet sheets (maybe at least 3 sets) handy, in case they get spit up or any other fluids on them. ; )
HALO BASSINET LINKED BELOW:
There are several different kinds/versions so you can browse through and see which option you want. Some swivel/have other setting options. We just have the basic one and it was totally sufficient.
You can also definitely get some other generic brands of fitted sheets for cheaper – many other versions will fit on the Halo bassinet mattress.
For a link to the crib we have, head to my baby nursery post here, with all nursery details + links to furniture and decor.
We have used this crib mattress since Rhett started sleeping in his crib (around 7-8 weeks for daytime naps) and we have had no issues with it. I know a lot of people swear by the Newton mattress, but I personally didn’t think it was necessary to spend $300 on a mattress. So far, I was right lol. Obviously, you have to do whatever gives you the most peace of mind, but I think there are a ton of more affordable options that are just as great. Linking what we used below. It is: GREENGUARD GOLD & CERTIPUR-US CERTIFIED, 100% Machine Washable, Breathable, Water-Resistant Cover, Ideal Firmness for Infants.
*UPDATE — the Boppy lounger has actually been recalled now, which is super sad to me, because we used it a ton and loved it. But sadly there were some infant deaths associated with it, so it is no longer available or recommended for use.
We LOVED the Boppy lounger and used it a ton in probably the first 8 weeks of Rhett’s life or so. It’s just nice to have a place to set your baby when you need to be hands-free for a second (obviously before they can move much or roll, and not leaving unattended.) I would definitely recommend the Boppy. We never changed out our cover, but there are lots of cute options if you want to!
BOPPY LOUNGER COVERS — several different options linked under “baby items”
Dock-A-Tot and Snuggle Me Organic
Now that the Boppy Lounger has been recalled, you are probably curious about the Dock-A-Tot and/or Snuggle Me Organic. I received a lot of opinions on these during pregnancy as well. Some people swore by them; some said they never used them.
I initially thought Dock-A-Tot was more popular, but when I did a poll on IG, a lot of people told me they preferred their Snuggle Me Organic, and it’s about half the price. However, some said the Dock-A-Tot “grows with them” more and the Snuggle Me doesn’t last as long. Of course this totally depends on the size of your babe and which size you buy.
We ended up getting the Snuggle Me Organic and really liked it and used it in addition to our Boppy. Do you *NEED* both? No. Did we *LIKE* having both? Yes. (And now that Boppy is recalled, we will probably just use the Snuggle Me for any future baby.)
There were times where he was fussy in one and not the other just depending on his mood. Again, all babies are different. Regardless, we used the Boppy Lounger the most. Either way, you won’t use them for a super long time, but it was nice to have some loungers on hand in those early months. You could definitely borrow this from someone or get one gently used IMO.
Linking both other loungers below if you want to check them out. Snuggle Me also does “Imperfect” sales every Thursday where you can get them for amazing prices.
I have done several polls on IG about baby items that are overrated, and many people have said that the Mamaroo swing is not worth it. It’s expensive, and not necessary. There are plenty of more affordable swings that will do the trick. Regardless, this is not something that your baby will use beyond the first few months, so if you can borrow one from a friend or find one gently used, that is a great option.
We borrowed one very similar to this from my brother and SIL and it worked great. Rhett actually loved it and we did use it a lot, especially in the first 8 weeks. There were times when that was the only way we could get him to fall asleep or stop crying (LOL, it’s amazing how quickly you forget these things).
Again, this is highly individual. A lot of people have their own preferences and I’m sure you’ve heard about 100 times that “every baby is different”. Some hate being swaddled; some love it. Blah, blah. You truly never know what your baby is going to prefer until they are Earth side lol. Here’s what worked for us.
Halo Swaddle (link)
AdventHealth Shawnee Mission actually provided these at their birth center, so that is what we used for the first 8 weeks or so of Rhett’s life, and really liked it! This will swaddle their arms down, and you can wrap it nice and tight so they feel cozy and secure. Over time, Rhett kept trying to creep his little hands up out of it, so we eventually switched over to the Love To Dream swaddle! (I will say the Halo was better for controlling his startle reflex, especially in the earlier weeks.)
Love To Dream Transition Swaddle
Around 7.5-8 weeks, I started having Rhett take naps in his crib during the day, and experimenting with the Love To Dream swaddle. He really liked it because his hands could be up, but he was still swaddled and felt secure. (It’s nice and tight on their belly, so you can see them breathing easily on the monitor, which I loved! Also has a double zipper which makes life super easy.) We still used the Halo overnight for a few weeks before we fully transitioned to the Love To Dream overnight as well.
I would personally just recommend getting the LTD Transition Swaddle (linked below) because you can use it with both arms swaddled initially, and then once they start showing signs of rolling, you can zip off the “wings”. Before he was fully rolling, but was getting a lot more active (around 10 weeks), we had him start sleeping with one arm out. Then a few weeks later, we switched to both arms out! (I will say there was definitely a transition period – his free arm did flail around a bit at first.) But it wasn’t long before he had adjusted, and we continued to use the Love To Dream (both arms out) until he outgrew it and I moved him to a sleep sack.
I am just linking this because I know a lot of people LOVE the Ollie and feel very passionately about it. However, we never used it, and did fine without. But, if you’re interested, it’s linked!
Please, please, please do not stress over having a closet full of cute, fashionable clothes for your newborn child. I promise you — you will want them to be in the easiest clothes to take on and off as possible. Also, they literally poop 1 million times a day in the first few months, lol. Rhett was in nothing but a diaper more often than not (and we would just lay a little blanket over him when we were cuddling.)
These zipper footie pajamas are the GOAT. Rhett basically lived exclusively in these onesies for the first 13 weeks of his life, lol. He was also born in January… but still! They were just SO easy to take on and off and nice and cozy. This brand is the BEST, and super affordable. Plus these have little fold over mittens to protect them from scratching their faces, which they will inevitably do, because their nails grow insanely fast. (Don’t worry – nail trimmer rec is coming.) These are still nice to have for any time of year for around the house in the AC or overnight, especially when they are really tiny.
Like I mentioned, don’t stress yourself out over having a cute newborn wardrobe. Same goes for shoes and socks. Rhett is now 12.5 months old, and he has yet to wear shoes. Yes, they are cute, but they are a waste of money during the first year of life, haha. Especially if your baby is born in the colder months and will be in long-sleeve footie pajamas, those will keep their little feet covered and warm for a while.
Eventually you can start using socks OR I highly recommend these little velcro booties. They are super cozy AND they actually stay on their feet.
PACK AND PLAY / PLAYARD ORGANIZER
I stressed myself out over which pack and play to choose. It definitely depends on your situation, but we hardly ever used ours. It did come in handy for vacation and a few other occasions when we needed it, but because our nursery was on our main level for Rhett, it was quick and easy to put him in his crib for naps, go to his room for diaper changes, etc.
Otherwise, you might want one that has a little changing station on top. I really don’t think a fancy, expensive pack & play is necessary. However, I will say that ours is really easy to assemble and gets pretty compact when you fold it up. So overall I would recommend it, and it does have a bassinet option as well. But you could probably get a cheaper one and be happy with it too. I don’t have anything to compare it to!
HAAKAA SILICONE BREAST PUMP
The Haakaa was one of the #1 recommendations I got during pregnancy and to be honest, I rarely used it. I did use it a few times when I was very early postpartum, but more so to hand express into it than use it how it’s actually intended. I know a lot of people use it and love it (and built up their freezer stash with it), but I just did not find it essential personally.
I also heard that it could lead to oversupply if you are constantly using it and signaling to your body to make milk (if you have it on & suctioned), so that is one thing to be cautious about.
However, if you want to find out for yourself, I linked it below. It’s really cheap, so it doesn’t hurt to have it on hand in case. Again, I liked hand expressing into this better than anything else because I could kind of aim into it more easily, haha.
There are lots of breast bumps out there but after doing lots of research, talking with friends and weighing out my options, I went with the Elvie. It is definitely on the pricier side, but my employer does cover a good chunk of it, so definitely look into your insurance and what is covered for you.
I thought the convenience would be worth it, and I am so glad I chose it. It is so nice to have. It’s definitely not perfect, but I go into all the deets in my FAQ post linked below. Also, their customer support is amazing, which definitely helps. The day before I went into labor I realized one of my hubs was totally broken and they sent me a brand new one ASAP, no questions asked. They also sent me replacement parts once after live chatting with a support person. They are so great.
Otherwise I have heard good things about the Spectra. Again, I don’t have personal experience with anything else to be able to compare. Check out @karrie_locher on IG for lots of great info on all things nursing + pumping and @donenaturally YouTube channel.
During pregnancy, a lot of people recommended Dr. Brown’s bottles to me, so that is all I registered for, and all we ever tried with Rhett. He did great with them, so we never tried anything else.
baby registry must-haves: nursing pillows
I have used the My Brest Friend pillow throughout my entire breastfeeding journey and love it so much. It wraps behind your back and provides a little extra support and it’s cozy for Rhett to lay on, and props him up closer to my boob so I don’t have to bend over as much. I love this more than the Boppy nursing pillow personally. However, I think having both is nice. I always brought the Boppy with me for traveling, because it was a little more compact to bring on planes.
Also, I have a “My Brest Friend Tutorial” in my IG highlights if you want to see it in use.
You can head to my Postpartum Essentials for Mom + Baby blog post for more breastfeeding must-haves.
I was told that we would need about 1 million burp cloths, and guess what? Y’ALL WERE RIGHT. Lol. Rhett was always a “happy spitter”, which our pediatrician said was a laundry problem, not a medical problem. ; ) So. Much. Laundry. Oh my gosh.
But I couldn’t be more obsessed with these burp cloths and recommend getting like at least 5 packs of them. They are way better than any others out there. Super soft and perfect size. Also crazy cheap. Highly recommend.
BOTTLE DRYING RACK / “GRASS”
Countertop drying rack that holds all of your freshly washed bottles, pacifiers, pump parts and other accessories. They have them in bright green but I got a gray one, and they also have white! If you want it to blend in with your kitchen a little more. ; ) This is out on our counter 24/7, so I’m glad I went with gray!
This is definitely not something that you need on your registry since you won’t be starting solids until 6 months. However, if you’re thinking ahead or curious, we went with the $20 IKEA high chair and got some @yeahbabygoods accessories to go with it. They gave me a code – wellnessforthewin – to save on your purchase!
We use a variety of bibs for Rhett for feeding, and you can find them on my BLW / Feeding Items list on Amazon linked here.
We didn’t want a baby monitor that used WiFi because a) our internet is unfortunately unreliable, and b) some people say that people can hack into your WiFi and look at your monitor which I’m sure is rare BUT, anyway. We went with a non-WiFi option.
We were debating between the Infant Optics and Vava and ultimately chose Vava. We have been extremely happy with it and would definitely recommend! The picture quality is amazing.
I know this hasn’t been everyone’s experience, but it took us about 7 weeks to get our recliner in, so I would suggest looking into this early and ordering early. Once I got to the third trimester I was very anxious to have things done and was annoyed this took so long, haha. But I love the one we chose! It is super comfortable, and let’s just say, we have had our fair share of long nights in the recliner. ; ) I would definitely recommend. It has held up great.
We chose the fabric color “cloud” and also got their Guardian furniture protection spray which has a 3 year warranty just for peace of mind.
Nursery blog post with all furniture details linked here (including side table & floor lamp pictured below)
We went with the Ubbi diaper pail based on recommendations from friends. I liked the look of it and it had good reviews. At one year pp, I can gladly report that it is amazing! We love it. No issues with odor and you can also use any trash bags in it, not just their specific bags. However, with that said, we bought the pack of bags linked below and it lasted almost an entire year.
HATCH NOISE MACHINE
We absolutely LOVE the Hatch. It connects to an app on your phone, there are a TON of different settings. I’ve also heard it’s great to have as they get older because you can use the night light to signal different things, like when it’s okay to get out of bed, etc. : ) We love this and definitely recommend.
PORTABLE NOISE MACHINE
I also recommend snagging this one!! Really nice to have for travel and taking on-the-go / in the car, etc. You just charge it with a USB-C cord. Once we moved Rhett into his own room overnight, we kept using this in our room haha! We love it.
DO NOT – I REPEAT – DO NOT GET THE FRIDA HUMIDIFIER! I registered for it because it seemed like everyone recommended it, and hated it. It got super nasty super fast, so do yourself a favor and don’t get it, lol.
I eventually found one I liked on Amazon, but unfortunately it has since vanished, so I cannot link it. I’ll let you know if I ever see it come back.
Bottom line: I don’t know if there are ANY humidifiers out there that are 100% easy to clean. They are all just a pain lol.
DIAPERING / HEALTH ESSENTIALS
We initially got this gray diaper bag and it has lots of compartments and works well, and it’s neutral, so Ethan doesn’t mind carrying it.
I also got this bag below and like using it as my “cute” diaper bag. Also works great and much more affordable than some other leather options out there.
DIAPER CADDY / ORGANIZERS FOR VARIOUS ROOMS IN HOUSE
Saw my friend @hillarymichelleblog with this diaper organizer and added it to my registry! It’s cute but also very functional. I hear that we will basically want a diaper station in every room of the house, and this one is portable, so that’s a win!
I also think having a diaper changing pad to use on the floor in any room AND/OR in your car is a great idea. This one has additional compartments that would be great for travel or just on-the-go. Both of these linked below.
Not all babies like or will take pacifiers, but I am SO thankful Rhett always has, haha. They have saved us on many occasions. He has never been super picky, but for the most part we have always used Avent soothies. These are the same pacifiers that are on the Wubbanubs he has with him basically 24/7, at least in his car seat. Highly recommend having some on hand and fingers crossed your baby will take them! Lol.
DIAPERS AND WIPES
We initially loved Huggies diapers, most likely because that’s what we used in the hospital and got used to in the first month or so. Eventually it didn’t matter so much. We would use Huggies, Pampers, whatever, and ALDI actually has some great diapers as well. But we will get big boxes of Kirkland’s diapers from Costco 99% of the time and we love them.
When I was pregnant, Ethan’s friends threw him a diaper shower (they called it Huggies and Chuggies, lol — beer & diapers), and we got a TON of diapers that way, which was so amazing. We didn’t have to buy any for months! Most places will also let you exchange unopened boxes as well if you need a different size or brand.
Our favorite wipes are Water Wipes. Otherwise, ALDI has some great sensitive wipes as well that are super similar to Water Wipes — fragrance free, 99% water, etc.
owlet smart sock
Only putting this is here because I know it is such a hot topic that people wonder about.
We did NOT use the Owlet and did not feel the need to have it. I know some moms love it and it gives them peace of mind, while it gives others unnecessary anxiety (OR a false sense of security) if the readings are ever inaccurate. To each their own – up to you!! Maybe a good thing to discuss with your pediatrician.
BABY BATH TUB
We love this thing! Definitely recommend.
boogie sucking/picking options
There are tons of options when it comes to things to suck out their noses. I would definitely recommend having a good ol’ bulb syringe on hand – you will likely get one from the hospital. Also, grab some saline spray for when they are congested.
This boogie picker is also great.
We have also used the Nose Frida and it does work like a charm. Now at 1 year postpartum I will say we used it more when he was younger (especially when he first went to daycare and got sick constantly), but now I prefer to do the saline and bulb syringe honestly.
We got an electric nose aspirator and unfortunately didn’t have much luck with it. I know some people love them but it didn’t really work for us.
GAS PRODUCTS, etc.
These products were highly recommended to me during pregnancy from people who said they were life savers for their babies. (Remember: all babies are different!)
However, I can honestly say we never once used the Mylicon or the Windi, and only tried Gripe Water maybe once or twice. So I did not find any of these to be essential personally. But if your baby is super gassy or colicky, they could be worth a shot! I know people like Gripe Water for hiccups, but we usually would just wait them out. : )
STROLLER AND CAR SEAT
I think this was the most overwhelming decision for me, but based on recommendations from family, friends and followers, we ended up going with the Baby Jogger City Mini GT2 Travel System and we have loved it. I have no regrets and would highly recommend!
Keep in mind that you will have to buy a second base if you want one in your spouse’s car also.
@safeintheseat on IG is an amazing resource for all things car seat safety and how to choose one that is right for your family’s needs.
We also love our Zoe Stroller specifically for traveling. It folds up SUPER small and it’s very compact and lightweight, so this is amazing to use in the airport, etc.
There are so many baby carriers out there – I know it can be overwhelming.
I tried the Solly Baby wrap first, and I literally only used it maybe 3 times. I know some people use these a ton, but I just didn’t. I found it really confusing to put on and kind of a pain to be honest.
The other carrier I have is this one linked below, and I’ve been really happy with it. It’s very easy to put on (even without an extra person assisting, which is important), and you can wear them in it several different ways. (Facing your chest, facing out, on your back, etc. It’s also super affordable!
PORTABLE FAN FOR STROLLER
This is nice to have for your stroller for walks during the warmer months, and you may even want to pack it in your hospital bag.
CAR SEAT COVERS
These were also big recommendations. The Milk Snob ones recommended for anytime, but a ton of people suggested these fleece ones for winter babies.
Milk Snob car seat covers — update at 1 year postpartum, never used this haha.
Fleece car seat cover — used this 100% of the time for the first several months since he was born in the winter! Linked below.
TOYS / DEVELOPMENT
LOVEVERY PLAY GYM
The Lovevery play gym is a “stage-based play gym for baby’s developing brain”. It’s award-winning and includes different components and activities to help with their development in many ways. We loved this and used it a ton! I highly recommend getting the Sensory Strands to go with it. These were Rhett’s favorite!
If I had to recommend just ONE toy to get for your baby, this would be it. This thing is the absolute BEST and I feel passionately about every baby having it lol. It’s also so affordable and something they can use for soooo long!!!
You might be wondering about different options to have on hand for helping with practice sitting up. We got the Bumbo and only used it a few times, and Rhett’s chunky thighs barely fit in it lol. We preferred this Sit-Me-Up seat and it was a great thing to use around 4-5 months (I think) and nice to set him in when we needed to be hands-free for a minute. Again, this is something we did not use A TON, so would be another great option to borrow or buy gently used.
ALL OF THE BOOKS
It is so important for the development to read to them early on, so be sure to stock up on allll the books! I have a ton of great ones linked under my Baby Items list on my Amazon page here. I will try to do a blog post soon specifically dedicated to our favorite baby books!
wooden monthly signs for photos
These are the wooden milestone cards I got for Rhett’s monthly photos! I think they are so cute and very affordable.
I hope this list of Baby Registry Must-Haves + some tips sprinkled in was helpful for any other mamas-to-be out there! Be sure to check out my “baby items” list on my Amazon page as well as my “baby recs” highlight on my IG @wellnessforthewin. You can always DM me or comment below if you have any questions!
Good luck mamas!