I’ve been through two rounds of this whole baby thing and I wouldn’t quite consider myself an expert, since I really had some easy babies, but I figured out what is absolutely necessary when you have a baby and what is just going to take up space. I have also polled some of my other mommy semi-experts while creating this list! I tried to keep it simple and as easy as possible because it is overwhelming walking into the store to register for the first time.
By about 4 or 5 months, my babies were sleeping pretty regularly. We learned early on that the best place for our baby to sleep decent stretches at a time was in the Rock N Play beside our bed. The Rock N Play has an automatic rocking feature that rocked for 6 hours. The motor lasted about halfway though the second kid sleeping in it and I would repurchase for every child because it is worth every penny.
Now, I actually didn’t have a Dock a Tot with my boys, but some of my dear momma friends swear by it! It can be used for co-sleeping, during playtime, and placed in their crib as well! If we ever decide to have a 3rd kiddo, I am for sure grabbing one of these!
My newborns really loved being swaddled up tight for the first few weeks at night. There are so many different swaddles out there and it might be that you have to try out a few different kinds before you find one that works for you! We really liked these for the first few weeks and then sort of transitioned into sleep sacks as they got older. If you are a swaddle expert out there, then you can pretty much swaddle with just a muslin blanket like the amazing nurses do in the hospital, but if you are a sleep-deprived parent – stick with the ones with velcro. 😉
Eventually, you will transition your little angel to their own crib so you’re going to need the essentials: crib, mattress, waterproof mattress pad(s), and crib sheets. Pro mom tip: have two layers (aka 2 mattress pads and 2 crib sheets) for easy sheet changes just in case there is an accident in the middle of the night. Keep it simple. You don’t need (and shouldn’t have) pillows, lots of blankets/quilts, big bumpers in the crib. If you are afraid of baby getting legs/arms stuck in the rails of the crib, opt for a simple mesh liner. I used these and they worked wonderfully!
So this could probably go under the “Travel” section of this post as well, but a pack and play is essential! We have one for each boy when travelling but for a while, I had one set up in my bedroom to keep babies contained while I worked, showered, whatever! I also had one set up in the living room with the bassinet attachment in for easy changing and napping for Ben when he was a newborn and I had a 13 month old running around. Consider this a #momhack for 2 under 2. You’re welcome!
Without going into too much detail, breastfeeding just did not work out for me and my boys so we did the exclusive pumping route with Luke for about 4 months and Ben went straight to formula. Both of my boys are healthy and thriving and we did what was best for everyone!
If you are planning on nursing, I would recommend you register for the following:
Nipple pads – I liked the reusable ones like these.
Nipple shield – I received one from the hospital but it would be nice to have on hand in the first few weeks of post partum
Milk catcher – When I first tried to nurse Ben for the first few days of his life, I used this and it was incredible! When you are nursing on one side, you put this milk catcher on the other side to catch whatever leaks. When your milk lets down, it isn’t just on one side so it is likely that you will leak on the side that isn’t being utilized. I would say I had a pretty good milk supply and just by using this, I caught an extra one to two ounces of milk that would have gone to waste. It is an investment, but breast milk is liquid gold.
Nursing Pillow – I got a Boppy pillow and it was great for nursing but it was also wonderful for propping baby up when they got a little bigger and Luke even uses it as a little pillow while watching movies!
Pump – I got the Medela Advanced Pump in Style and it worked wonderfully! I definitely recommend going through insurance to get your breast pump though. I paid extra to get this upgraded option but it was totally worth it! You might also want to grab milk storage bags, a hands free pumping bra, and this warm and cold breast compress which helps if you have engorgement or a blocked duct.
Bottles – We used the Medela bottles with Luke that came with my pump but we also had some Dr. Brown bottles we ended up liking as well. The Dr. Browns have the vent in the middle that is supposed to help with digestive issues. We realized the bottles that come with the green vent can be used with or without that vent inside. The blue ones leak everywhere if the vent isn’t in there. Every baby is different and the bottles we used might not work for you. We had multiple types of bottles on hand to try and see what worked best.
Ok, so I’m sort of on the fence about a Bumbo seat. Both my boys once they were old enough to sit up in it, their legs were so chunky that I felt like I was forcing them into it. Even then, they sat in it for maybe a month or two before moving onto the high chair. I would say, if you can borrow one from a friend or find one for like $5 on a Facebook Buy/Sell/Trade site, go for it.
I really love this high chair. It had the removable tray for easy cleaning and it also had a recline on the seat in case they fell asleep while eating you could just lean them back – it only happened once or twice for us but it was still a great feature to have. The wheels on it made it easy to move as well!
Babies are messy eaters and droolers so I definitely recommend stocking up on lots of burp cloths and bibs that you like. The aiden & anias burp cloths are so soft and I really love that it has a little snap to make it into a bib as well. I had a few of the “fancy” ones for special occasions (aka leaving the house) and had just a lot of these laying around for every day spit up episodes.
For when baby starts eating solid food: spoons, bowls, sippy cups. These are awesome!
We started our kids early travelling. We took Luke on a three hour road trip 10 days after he was born and we drove from Texas to Colorado when Luke was about 6 weeks old. Ben attended a wedding 3 hours away two weeks after I had him. We were lucky and had babies that enjoyed being in their car seats – and I think it was because we started them so early.
This car seat/stroller combo was excellent! I would get it again in a heartbeat. Since my boys were so close together I didn’t really get to use the stroller as much as I could have but it was such an easy stroller to handle. This is the no-frills registry list and if you are someone that likes to go on walks outside, I might suggest you get the jogger stroller instead. This works with the Chicco KeyFit Car seats and can travel over more versatile terrain. Don’t do what I did and have 4 strollers in your garage at one time. I had the single Chicco that worked with the car seat, a single jogging stroller, a Joovy side by side double stroller and a BOB Double Jogging Stroller. 🙂
When they outgrow the infant carrier, a convertible car seat should last for the next 4 years or so. We have two of the Graco 4ever ones and I love them!
When baby is facing backwards for the first two years of his life, a car mirror is a MUST. We tried a few and then settled on this one since it was large and clear and didn’t distort baby’s face.
Something super important to me was a diaper bag that wasn’t a pain to carry around. Nothing frustrates me more than a bag strap that keeps slipping off my shoulder. I regret not getting this diaper bag when the boys were little bitty.
Although I did not nurse, all of my nursing mamas rave about this Milk Snob nursing cover. If you are thinking about nursing, definitely put it on your registry. Even if you aren’t nursing, this could be used in multiple different ways!
Having a baby carrier makes life so much easier when you need to be hands free. I had a wrap carrier and a Baby Bjorn before I sprung for the Ergo Baby 360. The Ergo is secure, spreads the weight evenly on your shoulders and back, can be used in multiple different positions and can hold up to 45 lbs.
Don’t forget about a Baby necessities Box for Car!
I wouldn’t worry too much about registering for clothes because everyone loves to buy baby clothes! Just stick to the basics…
Zip PJ’s – ain’t nobody got time for snaps for 2 AM changings
socks… ALL. THE. SOCKS. 🙂
We LOVED our Wubbanub Pacifiers. They are easy to keep track of and have the cutest little animals attached to them.
One of the first things we pulled out for the babies to play with is this play mat.
A swing/bouncy seat combo is a great way to save space and money too!
An exersaucer is a great way to keep them contained when they get to crawling!
Ok, I think that covers most of it! What are your baby must haves? What are things you didn’t need?
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