As a first-time mama, I found myself equal parts over the moon and overwhelmed when it came to putting together a baby registry. Where to start? What do we actually need? What is worth investing in? With so much information out there, I struggled to determine where to begin.
Enter: The Veteran Mom Group Chat.
I messaged my five closest mom friends and asked them to send me their registry musts and, wow—they delivered. Every single one of them sent me a list with every single thing they put on their registry, plus a few they didn’t, but wished they did. This list is a compilation of their wisdom and experience through the lens of my own preferences and favorite. I hope it provides you with the peace of mind and helpful guidance my friends gave me.
You got this, friend!
P.S. There are a lot of places you could choose to build a registry, but I personally loved using Babylist. It allows you to register for items from any retailer in one single spot (no pregnant woman has time to manage multiple registries) and provides a seamless user experience for those purchasing gifts.
Convertible, mini, mobile—as with most baby things, there are tons of options out there when it comes to picking a crib. The most important thing? That it meets safety guidelines—and rest assured, it will if you’re buying it new. I wanted something simple and affordable, so I opted for this one from IKEA. If you don’t mind a higher price point, this 3-in-1 option converts from a bassinet to crib to toddler bed, features wheels for easy moving, and looks beautiful.
Tip: No matter what mattress you choose, they all have to be made according to the same safety standards. We like that this one is 100% organic and is double-sided with two levels of firmness: one for infants and one for toddlers.
Waterproof mattress topper
Because accidents happen and throwing a topper in the wash is 1,000x easier than cleaning a mattress…especially when you’re facing a 2 am blowout. This two-pack allows us to have one on the mattress and one at the ready.
Again, accidents happen, so go ahead and register for a few sets! These ones are SO soft and come in the cutest patterns and colors.
A couple things to consider when you’re choosing a bassinet—the size of your space and whether you’re wanting something you can travel with. Lots of my mama friends loved the collapsible sides and swivel design of this one for easy nursing while they recovered from delivery. We opted for a Moses basket—it’s cute, safe, and we love that it’ll double as functional decor to hold toys when our little guy grows out of it.
Between nursing, bedtime stories, and everything in between, I figured I’d spend a lot of time in this chair. On the list of things I love about it: it’s (SO) comfortable and the ottoman opens for extra storage which was key for us since our nursery closet is small. I chose the cream color with performance grade fabric and plan to use this for cleaning any accidents and spills (it made our cream-colored couch look brand new earlier this year after I spilled an entire cup of coffee on it).
Our nursery closet is small, so we wanted something with lots of storage that would also double as a changing table. We found one on Facebook Marketplace that checked all the boxes for us, but love this 8-drawer option from IKEA too!
Not a must, but helpful. These are adjustable, don’t require any tools, and create a neat space for clothes, diapers, burp cloths…you name it.
Dirty diapers inevitably mean a dirty changing pad too, so we opted for this wipeable one. It’s easy to clean with a cushioned pad, mobile, and safety belt.
There are three categories of baby monitors: 1. Audio only. 2. Audio and video. 3. Health tracking. Within each category there are tons of options to choose from, each with their own pros and cons. We wanted one with audio and video capability that didn’t connect to wifi–this one is great.
New baby = looooots of laundry. Pick something based on your style and budget here—it doesn’t need to be fancy.
Barking dogs? Noisy guests? Phone on loud? No problem. Sound machines are magic when it comes to helping your little one fall and stay asleep. There are tons on the market and you can’t go wrong as long as they make that soothing whooshing sound, but we love this night light and sound machine duo.
So. Many. Diapers. Tip: Instead of cards, ask shower-attendees or loved ones to purchase a pack of diapers. The last thing you want to do in those first few weeks is wake up to a blowout at 3am only to find yourself out of diapers. These are hypoallergenic and made to stand up to blowouts.
Stock up and keep them in your bag, the car, stroller…everywhere. These are hypoallergenic and 20% thicker than other wipes—a.k.a more bang for your buck (naked baby).
Diaper rash isn’t fun for anyone. A unanimous favorite among all of my mama friends, this is made without harsh chemicals and can be used for both treatment and prevention.
Not a need, but definitely nice to have. This one features a weighted plate that dispenses one wipe at a time and a silicon gasket in the lid that keeps wipes fresh and moist. Think of it as your best friend when it comes to one-handed changes (which there will be plenty of).
Helpful for keeping diapering things organized and in one spot. This is a good size with lots of compartments.
I started using this while I was still pregnant because I was immediately taken with it—there’s SO much to love! It’s made from neoprene, which not only feels luxurious but looks good, too (even dad’s excited to wear it). Wipes, binkies, diapers, burp clothes…even a laptop—there’s a compartment or a clip for everything. Plus, it comes with a portable changing mat, extra pouches, and stroller clips.
Travel changing pad
A must when it comes to on-the-go changes. This is soft, compact, and machine washable.
All car seats in the United States are required to pass the same minimum standard testing, so when it comes to picking one, you’ll want to choose one based on your vehicle, budget, and lifestyle. (Do you need something that’s easy to travel with, is compatible with your stroller?) We opted for this ultra-light option from Nuna knowing we’d be taking our little guy out and about a lot.
Like having eyes in the back of your head (especially since baby will be facing backwards). Tip: Register for multiple if you have more than one vehicle.
An essential. We love that this looks like a luxury stroller but comes at a fraction of the cost. Plus, you can get adapters so that you can clip your car seat right in (meaning no need to wake that sleeping babe as you transfer them from car to stroller).
The easiest way to keep your hands free and baby close. The Solly is our go-to: It’s lightweight, compact, easy to wash, and keeps little one comfy and cozy. Plus, it comes in so many beautiful colors and patterns.
FEEDING + NURSING
You can’t have too many! Muslin ones are my favorite.
These silicone options are great because they’re easy to clean and the pocket catches dribbles and spills.
Electric breast pump
Tip: You might be able to get one free through your health insurance, so be sure to check. This one is lightweight and portable.
Manual breast pump
Helpful when you don’t want to bring your bulky electric pump with you or need to take the edge off before your next nursing session. The Haaka gets the job done and rings in at $12—score!
Bottle drying rack
Not necessary, but helpful. You will clean lots of bottles.
For cleaning the lots of bottles.
Freezer storage bags
To keep that liquid gold safe and stored. I got these.
Another item where baby will probably have a preference and yay! Babylist has a box for this one too.
You won’t need this for a little while, but it’s great to put on the registry anyways. If aesthetics is your aim, the Stokke is a stunning option. We preferred the price tag (and similarly minimal design) of the IKEA high chair.
BATH + HEALTH
Helpful to keep your little one contained and safe early on. We don’t have a bathtub in our place, so we love how the foldable Puj can be used in the kitchen sink!
Let’s be honest, you can certainly dry your little one off with any bath towel, but the hooded ones are too cute to pass up.
Shampoo / Body wash / Lotion
Clean ingredients and the next-best-smell to that newborn scent.
The essentials you might not think about, but you’ll use them often. This kit comes with a snotsucker (seriously, so helpful), gaspasser (again, helpful), a nail clipper, and skin soother.
A 10-second quick temp, because (unfortunately) fevers happen.
Your best friend when it comes to dressing your newborn.
Part two, for the colder months.
These are soft, snuggly, and cute—just like your little one.
No cold feet around here!
A sleep essential for your little! These are so silky soft and just the right material to keep baby cozy but not-too-hot during warmer months.
I think that about does it! What else do you have on your registry wishlist? Anything you thought you had to have but then didn't use at all? I'd love to hear!