Updated March 2017
Registering for your first baby can feel overwhelming to say the least. There are millions of baby products out there, and the decision process can be paralyzing. I happen to love baby gear, and I thoroughly enjoyed the process of researching all of it. I think I felt like if I had the best of everything, it would make my transition to motherhood easier. In some ways I still believe that, (especially that certain products can be lifesavers) but I also very strongly subscribe to the idea that you don't need much to raise a baby, and even more strongly, that what is a game changer for one person may not work at all for someone else. I've seen lots of "Best Baby Registry Lists" that were full of products I didn't like or things I would have never registered for, so remember that the process is highly personal and each baby and family is different. Sharing this list here simply as a way to highlight the products I'm excited to use, in the hopes that it helps someone else as they navigate their own registry.
ON WHERE WE REGISTERED:
I like the places where you can list items from any store/brand, instead of being limited by one store. Many places do this (Amazon is one, there are lots of other online options) but we went with Babylist because it was so easy to use, and I liked that it listed the various stores that sell the item with the differing prices, and that the purchase place choice is given to the gifter. Brilliant. They also have these BabyList Best Of Guides that are helpful, I especially liked this one on determining how many baby clothes you really need.
WHAT WE REGISTERED FOR:
We have this stroller (IVVI), car seat (PIPA), and bouncer (LEAF), all by Nuna. If you saw my Instagram post last fall you know that the stroller was the first baby item we got and that we already love it. I really wanted a bassinet feature and this one has that plus so many more cool options, like a huge under basket which was important to me, a front or rear facing toddler seat, unpoppable wheels, and a click-in car seat option. The car seat is the lightest on the market and the bouncer is beautiful, a soft cream and not an eye sore at all, which is hard to come by with baby gear. It also has an optional attachment (the WIND) that turns the stationary bouncer into one with continuous movement. We ended up liking our Thule stroller better, and next time will just use that one. Loved the Pipa and would do that again. Didn't need the others.
4moms Mamaroo. The famous baby whisperer. It's super high tech, connecting to my phone via bluetooth where I can control the speed, bouncer settings, and various white noise sounds and volumes, as well as a MP3 player for a playlist. Incredible, right? I've heard such good things and can't wait to try it out. Didn't use this as often as we expected to this time around.
Uppababy G-Luxe Umbrella Stroller. For travel and short trips when we don't want to take our full size stroller. A nice feature is that it reclines, making it safe to use from as early as 3 months on. Didn't use as often as I expected.
Ethan and Emma Universal Stroller Attachment. The Nuna IVVI doesn't come with a cup holder attachment (at the time of this posting) so a universal stroller organizer was a must for all those Starbucks drinks. I choose this one because it seems well designed, is a universal fit, and is a best seller on Amazon. Loved. Would re-buy.
7am Enfant LambPod. We're having a summer baby, but I'm already looking forward to using this in the winter. Needed for the Pacific Northwest, this is similar to a baby sleeping bag in that it zips around a stroller or car seat, perfect for still getting out when it's cold. Also these mittens that attach to your stroller are perfect for intense climates. Anything that makes getting outside in the winter with a baby is a win for me. Loved everything by this company. We needed multiple of these warm weather gear items during the winter.
Babyhome Air Bassinet. We went with this as our option for newborn sleeping because I liked the look, the air mesh sides, and stationary to rocking feature. See more a more in-depth post with photos here. Used our DockAtot instead.
Carriers. Unstructured: Solly Baby Wrap, Structured: Ergo 360. I have seen and used both of these and love them. Lifesavers for when you need to carry your baby but also need to have your hands free. Also this Soothe Shirt by Lalabu has a built-in carrier system (not completely hands free like the other two, but still works as a one-handed pouch) and I'm excited to try it out. Solly wins for baby wearing early on, Ergo wins for most use overall and faster assembly.
Inglesina Fast Table Chair. An easy highchair option that takes up the least amount of space in a small kitchen. It attaches to any table and I like that the baby is at the same height as the adults when eating. Loved. Also this.
Summer Infant Baby Monitor. There are lots of monitors on the market, but I liked so many features about this one, particularly the extra large screen, the HD display, the two-way talk feature, the temperature monitor, and the 6 hour battery life. Plus, you can add extra cameras that work with the same receiver down the line if you need to see two rooms at once for multiple kids. This one didn't hold a charge and is no longer available, we have this version now and love it.
BLANKETS AND SWADDLES:
Summer Infant Swaddles. I like that these have two-way zippers instead of velcro closures, to make those middle of the night diaper changes just a little bit easier. These create a womb-like setting, fit newborns, and are at a good price point. We have this set in white and grey dot. Didn't use as much.
The NuRoo Swaddle. I love the design of this swaddle, the wide leg pocket design allows for healthy hip development, and the sizing adjusts to grow with your baby. It's so nice to take out the guesswork on the birth weight of the baby or which sizes you'll need to buy. (Note: the company recently upgraded the velcro on these swaddles, if you'd like the newer and stronger velcro option, the designs that feature this are Clouds, Dandelion, and Deep Space.) We have these swaddles in Clouds and Dandelion. Loved. Would re-buy.
The Ollie Swaddle. This company has an amazing story. Started by a single social worker who took on a foster baby on the verge of failing to thrive, she worked with a pediatric neuro-developmental psychologist to create a therapeutic swaddle, and she saw the baby begin to sleep better and achieve developmental milestones. I love the research behind this and that it's one-size-fits-all and can grow with a baby. We have this one in Nest. Major love. Got a second.
Numpfer Swaddles and Bibs. A Canadian-based small business that ships to the US and is run by a mom, who makes blankets and bibs that are 100% organic, made of mostly bamboo for the softness and also cotton for the stretch. They feel almost like a terrycloth, super absorbent and so soft, and come in all white with choice of contrast stitch edging. We have this swaddle in silver edging, and these multi-use bibs/burp cloths/wash cloths in white. Liked.
Little Giraffe Blankets. A classic. These are top of the line, luxury baby blankets. They're incredibly soft and so fuzzy. I love the delicate satin edging too. We have the small Luxe Blanky, and the larger Luxe Baby Blanket, both in cream. I can see these becoming some of our baby's favorites very quickly. So soft, but didn't use as often as I thought.
Max and Moose Swaddle Blankets. A small business run by a mother-daughter team in Utah. They make soft swaddle blankets made of bamboo, organic cotton, and spandex, allowing for extra stretch. The entire line is gender neutral, which I love, and a portion of proceeds benefits Every Mother Counts, a nonprofit that supports pregnant women. We have this one and I love the softness, stretchy fabric, and neutral pattern. I liked this blanket material, soft and stretchy.
Little Unicorn Swaddle Blankets. I wanted a few 100% bamboo swaddle blankets for their many uses. We have this white one and this grey one from the deluxe line and they are incredibly soft and multi-functional. I always gravitate toward the neutrals, but they also have amazing hand drawn patterns and modern designs, like this one, this one, and this one. Loved.
Chasing Windmills Swaddle Blanket. Talk about a beautiful blanket. This one is made of 100% merino wool, a multi-functional fabric that wicks moisture, resists odor, helps regulate temperature, is machine washable, and is super soft. Bonus: the wool is ethically sourced from a family owned farm in New Zealand. Love the concept and the designs. We have this one in Windmills. Neutral.
Zipaddee Zips Swaddles. Once the baby starts rolling over, this is an great swaddle transition option. The star-like design allows for freedom of movement for baby to push up, roll over, and move their arms freely, while still providing stretchy resistance to reduce the startle reflex. The brand was recently featured on shark tank and I've heard great things. We have a neutral print that's not currently available (similar here) and this one, which benefits the Ronald McDonald house and a sweet baby boy named Finn in critical condition, read more here. Liked.
Lulujo Muslin Sleep Sacs. Sleep sacs are another useful item for transitioning out of the swaddle. A million companies make them, but I like that these were muslin and have a two way zipper. This company also makes muslin swaddles and blankets, we have these, along with these cute towels for picnicking and a million other uses. Could have done without.
Petit Pehr Quilt. I wanted an heirloom quality, neutral quilt and was thrilled to have found this one by Petit Pehr. It's exactly what I was hoping for, mostly cream, with the cutest grey pin dot design on reserve and visible contrast stitching that makes it look handmade. I've been so impressed with everything from this company. I've written previously about their amazing storage bins here. Love love the bins, didn't need another quilt.
The Beach People Blankets. We're having a summer baby, and I want to spend as much time outside as possible, so it's fun to pick up a few new picnic blankets. These are made in Australia, and I liked that they're rounded for something unexpected. They have cool patterns and a line just for kids. We have this one and this one. Liked.
HEALTH & BATH:
Puj Tub & Puj Hug. I've heard so many good things about this tub, and was thrilled at how light and foldable it is, and that it's not plastic! It's made of a soft foam, it's mold and mildew resistant, it goes flat for easy storage, and it fits into any standard sink. The towel is awesome because it's designed with this tab that can hook around the mom while washing the baby, so you can pick up the baby hands free instead of with one hand fumbling for a towel. Both products are so functional (and so fitting for being designed by a mom who was a former engineer). Liked.
Owlet. This is a new type of baby monitor, a small sock that uses pule oximetry (the same as the monitor on your finger at the doctor's office) to monitor heart rate and oxygen levels while your baby sleeps. I like that it gives me one less thing to worry about as a new mom, especially in those first weeks home from the hospital. You can read more about the science behind it here. Never used it.
Crane Drop Humidifier. Humidifiers can be a helpful thing to have in a nursery to add moisture in the air and to help with a range of issues including dry skin, eczema, congestion, and colds. I've seen this one all over and liked the concept and sleek design. Great for colds, it got lots of use in the winter.
Babyganics Laundry Soap and Stain Remover. I hear to stock up on both, for all those baby stains, and I like this line of plant-based baby care items. Stain remover gets used all the time, regular detergent is fine.
Earth Mama Angel Baby Postpartum Recovery Products. This company makes a variety of natural and organic care products for baby and mom. Two products were recommended to me specifically for postpartum care by another mom friend, this one and this one. See more products I like by this company in these posts here and here. Loved loved!
Basik Organics. An Australian-based company that delivers to the US. I've liked their pregnancy products so far (like this bath soak and essential oil blends) and I have this cream (that works for babies and adults) and bottom balm for diaper rash. Continuing to use natural products, these were fine.
Dr. Brown's Baby Wash. Dr. Brown's is mostly known for it's well designed anti-colic baby bottles, but it also has a line of natural baby skincare products. Excited to try these out. The bottles are my favorite, for wash I like the similarly named but different company: Dr. Bronner's.
ZoLi BuzzB Nail Trimmer. Trimming a baby's nails can be hard. This product eliminates the worry of the dreaded skin-nip because there are no sharp edges, it's more like an electronic nail file. This seems like a great product to start with for first-time clippings. Like Piyo Piyo better (cheap, and look at the reviews!)
NailFrida by Fridababy. Another innovative nail trimming option in a different style. This one has a see-through window to allow you to see where you are trimming, and the mechanism is a hybrid between scissors and a standard clipper. Seems like a smart and safe design to me. Liked piyo piyo better.
NoseFrida by Fridababy. I've heard friends rave about this and the amazon reviews are incredible. I'm glad to have it and am curious to try it out. It's awesome.
ZoLi Nasal Aspirator. This is my second option for nasal drainage. It's electronic but cordless which is awesome, and works from age newborn on. I'm glad to have a variety of options in baby health care because you never know what will work best for you or your baby. NoseFrida works better.
All of these I liked but none I would consider a baby "necessity." Choose what you're into. For early toys and teething, I liked natural silicone ones like Oli and Carol (no holes for mold and a socially responsible company). Once they're a few months older, the wood toys and knit dolls have become favorites. You don't need much (in fact, the less you have to manage, the better) and a good cardboard box always wins for creativity and endless learning.
Otherware Teethers. A cute Canadian-based small business that ships to the US. I love the design of their silicone beaded teethers, and the choice to mix and match colors to create your own styles. I have this one in all white and this one in dove grey.
NomiLu Teethers and Pacifier Clips. This is a small business, run by a mom, and local to Washington. They make a variety of baby items, I like their wood teethers and pacifier clips; I've heard these can be such a lifesaver for preventing lost pacis and/or keeping them off the floor. You can attach a teether, toy, or pacifier to one end and the other side clips onto baby's clothes. I have this one, this in white, and these in off white and grey.
Natursutten Pacis. I love that these are made of all natural rubber and orthodontically designed.
Sophie La Girafe. A classic that has been around for years. Designed in France specifically for teething, this is a well known and globally loved baby item.
Tane Organics. We have a few items by this company (their organic cotton rompers and handmade booties are amazing) and we also love their hand knit bear, Homer, who is handmade, organic, fair trade, and heirloom quality.
Nin and June. Prettiest play gyms and a small business run by a mom and grandma. We have this one, and it's modern, minimal, and understated enough that I don't feel bad about leaving it out in our living room. You can attach felt garlands or other toys into the top hooks for extra baby entertainment.
Ooh Noo Alphabet Blocks. I searched high and low for modern, wood alphabet blocks with simple white letters in a sans serif font (this was a specific and high-maintenance search for sure) and was thrilled to find all that I was looking for in these. Pretty enough to use beyond just play as nursery decor on a shelf, or as monthly photo announcements.
Wilson and Willy's Blocks. I wanted a set of blocks for play that were painted in a neutral color set, and these were exactly what I was looking for. I love that they're handmade in the USA and have a dipped effect with imperfect edges.
Banner Toys. I love these. I have the Classic Baby Rattle, Elephant Push Toy, and State Rattle in Washington, as well as the California one that was gifted to us by a thoughtful friend. I think these are incredibly well designed toys and are beautiful enough to use as decor. They offer personalization on the state rattles and many others which makes for a sweet gift.
Roshambo Sunglasses. I loved that these tiny baby sunglasses are 100% UVA and UVB protective, made in Italy, chewable, BPA free, non-breakable, and they float in water. Plus, it's a small family run business and a portion of every sale benefits Autism research.
Ferm Living Kids Tent. I saw this tent on Pinterest randomly years ago, and just recently discovered the brand. I'm so glad to have found it and to be adding it to our child's future play collection. What an amazing concept and the cutest design. It folds and the legs come apart for easy storage which is a bonus. I can see this being used for lots of creative play in the years to come, both indoors and out.
Books. A full post is planned to highlight the ones we love once we're into a reading routine. Sneak peeks include: The Little Books Series, Press Here, Inspirational Nursery Rhymes, and the Sophie the Giraffe series.
FEEDING & NURSING:
So many lifesaving products in this category. See a more in depth post here on how I'm preparing to breastfeed and the products I recommend registering for, including bottles, nursing covers, storage options, and thing to help with pain. As far as introducing solids at 6 months, I'm excited to use non-plastic options like this bowl set and this bamboo spoon set, both available at Bitte Shop.
The Land of Nod Organic Changing Pad. I chose this one because I like the idea of going with organic as much as possible in the nursery to limit chemical exposure. This one seems to work great and fits standard changing pad covers.
Burt's Bees Baby Changing Pad Covers. I liked that the organic line by Burt's Bees Baby has soft fabrics, neutral colors, and a great price point. We have the changing pad covers shown here and here, and also the crib sheets shown here and here.
Diapers. This was a total guess on brands and amount. I've heard to plan for going through about 200 per size, but so much of that varies from baby to baby. I'm stocking up on size newborn, 1, and 2. All I know at this point is that we do not plan to use cloth diapers and I've heard good things about both Honest and Pampers Sensitive Swaddlers. We now exclusively love and use Costco.
Ubbi Diaper Pail and Wipes Dispenser. This diaper pail has the best reputation for odor control because it's made of steel instead of plastic. Another selling point for me is that it works with any type of trash/diaper bag, and I loved the sleek and understated design as a bonus. We went with the Ubbi for the Wipes Dispenser as well, I liked having a reusable place to store wipes and this one has a well-designed window so you can see when you need to refill. Yes to both.
Diaper Bag. I shared my winners in three categories (Best DIY, Best Backpack, and Best Splurge) in this post here. This isn't a NEED, you can get by with a regular purse and a ziploc or other reusable small bag of diapers, wipes, etc.
MATERNITY CLOTHES: See my maternity capsule wardrobe post here.
BABY CLOTHES: You can really go crazy in this category, but I'm trying to restrain myself and stick mostly to a color theme (neutrals, surprise surprise) so that everything matches. I hope to share all the ones I love in a baby capsule wardrobe post that will go live this summer.
That's my list! Would love to hear your must have baby items as well.
Shared in partnership with all brands listed, and some links are affiliate, although I was not paid to endorse any item shared. All product choices and opinions are my own.