If anything’s for certain, it’s that there are approximately a hundred million baby products out there, and figuring out what you actually need can be super overwhelming.
Planning for baby’s arrival should be one of the most exciting times of life, and you shouldn’t be up to your ears in baby product reviews, so:
We’ve got you covered. Say hello to the Everyday Mamas baby registry.
We’ve asked 12 seasoned moms, Everyday Mamas who were very recently in your footsteps preparing to welcome baby home, to recommend the products they’ve loved most —what they needed and what they didn’t need, what they’d buy 3 of and what they’d skip.
Most of the items on this list were suggested multiple times.
Without further ado, here are the tried-and-true items that you’ll actually use (and nothing more):
“If you’re planning to breastfeed, this is a must-have, in my opinion,” says Allie, mom of 2 with one on the way. You can buy extra covers for these and swap them out to wash if there is spilled milk — and they come in two shapes, a C-shape (great for breastfeeding) or this lounger, pictured, which is a nice comfy spot to set a newborn down.
You’ll probably end up using this as your purse, so find one that’s durable and sturdy, but also one you love! “Practical is good, but pretty is a must,” says Ellen, mom of 4. Erin, mom of one in Australia, recommends that you look for one that you can easily wipe down and disinfect — inside and out.
They’re obviously great for travel, but even if you don’t plan on any trips, these are nice to have — a safe place for baby to sleep within reach for quick night feeds, or a day trip to Grandma’s house — and easy to move from room to room.
Newborns LOVE these. Michaela, mom of 2, says it best: “A lightweight, slim baby bouncer comes in handy for all sorts of things. Easy enough to haul around the house and small enough to fit in a bathroom, they might even allow you to take a shower!”
Rockaroo or Swing
Swings are a total lifesaver sometimes. This 4Moms Rockaroo is super nice and smooth, but not every baby likes it — yes, they have preferences at the age of 1 day old. You might want to borrow or test a swing or two before making the purchase.
This one has four different positions, which is great as your baby grows. Start with baby in front as a newborn, and move to the back when she’s a toddler! Dads can wear these too. Gabby, mom of 3, recommends this one for all of the above reasons, and because it goes around your waist to help distribute the weight.
It’s hard to beat a wrap with a newborn. You probably won’t need more than one, so head to the store and test out the one you like best. Some of them are hard to wrap at first, but you’ll get the hang of it! This one is a Solly baby wrap — our mamas also recommend Boba, and ring slings.
You’ll definitely need one. And this is one thing you might not want to buy used — most carseats have an expiration date for safety reasons. It’s generally easiest if you get an infant seat that snaps easily into your stroller, so keep that in mind as you’re testing those (see below)! This carseat is a Chicco keyfit 30 which is very easy to install.
You’ll need it by the time your baby is about one year old (sometimes sooner) so why not register for one? Often, these can hold kids from 5-65 pounds and can turn to be forward facing too. Monica, mom of 2, loves this one because her daughter can easily see out the window (not too bulky!)
You may not need a big Maserati stroller like this double BOB right away (unless you’re having twins!), but Lauren, mom of two, did recommend that you consider a stroller that will grow with your family. Some of them have “joey” seats for a toddler to ride when baby #2 comes along! And, we do recommend finding one that is an easy snap-n-go with your infant seat (or, comes with an adapter for that, like the Joovy one below).
Andrea, a sleep consultant and mom of 2, says that a noise machine is great because “it not only blocks out random noises that could jolt a baby awake, it also mimics the kind of noise that baby experienced in the womb, and thus makes them feel more comfortable!”
Video monitors are all the rage, but, several of our moms said that they like the old audio ones better. There is less risk of someone hacking into it, and, they’re much more affordable! If you do go with a video monitor, this one comes highly reviewed.
You’ll need one for sure, so stick it on the registry! It’s nice to get one that converts to a toddler bed later on, but sometimes baby #2 will oust your toddler anyway 😉 just remember that crib bumpers, or anything in the crib besides baby, are no longer approved for safe sleep guidelines.
Here are a few other things you might use in the nursery:
Regardless of how you decide to feed plan to feed your baby, you will definitely want two things to start with: burp cloths, and a high chair.
The best ones are actually cloth diapers like these. So absorbent, stains come out easily, and they’re nice and soft.
Try to think about what’s most important to you in a high chair. Does it need to look pretty? Be collapsible? Easy to wipe down? Does the tray need to be removable? Different high chairs have different strengths and weaknesses. But at the end of the day, the best bang for your buck is probably the IKEA Antilop.
If you’re planning to breastfeed
The top recommendations from our moms were:
- Lanolin. “Just get it,” they said. Bring it to the hospital with you too!
- Nursing bras and tanks — we’ve included a few recommended options below. Even if you don’t want to put them on your registry, you’ll definitely still want them.
- Nursing cover. You can use a blanket or something else if you want, but when you’re first starting out you might appreciate how easy this one is.
- Nursing pillow. We listed this boppy above, too, in “gear” — this will be helpful support for your back for all those newborn nursing sessions especially.
- Breast pump: we’re mentioning this here because you might want to get one, but check with your insurance before you register for it because it’s often free with insurance. The Spectra was most highly recommended and closest to hospital-grade and we HIGHLY recommend a hands-free pumping bra to go with it.
If you’re planning to bottle-feed (formula or breastmilk):
Dr Brown’s bottles are generally another safe bet, especially for colicky babies, but they do have a lot of parts to wash.
Whatever you do, start with a very small batch of bottles. Chances are, your baby will have a preference or flat-out refuse certain bottles, sending you running back to the store to test another kind.
Bottle Cleaning Accessories
Baby Brezza (optional)
If you’re going to be using exclusively formula and/or feeding multiples, you might consider splurging on this Baby Brezza that will magically mix your formula and water and churn it out at just the right temperature.
It’s a luxury, for sure, but if you’re using it everyday it will definitely pay off.
Ellen, mom of 4, says she can’t live without her bath rinser and it’s a favorite gift for an expecting new mom.
Baby Shampoo and Soap
Several of our moms recommended this highly, while others said they just bagged poopy diapers and stuck them in the regular old trashcan. This is an affordable and scent-sible option (get it!) , but do know that if you have multiples or more than one child in diapers, it will probably be too small for you.
Boudreaux’s Butt Paste
Diaper rash, be gone! It’s probably also worth collecting some A&D cream too as these two creams can tag team even the worst of rash flareups.
We mentioned this above in the nursery section, but you’ll definitely want a changing pad — probably one of these for at home (you can also get covers for these, but Halley, mom of 3, says to skip, it’s easier to wipe it down).
Make sure you also get a foldable one for traveling or outings. Sometimes, they’ll come with the diaper bag, but it’s worth checking.
Health and Safety
Michaela, mom of two, says: “When your baby is sick for the first time, the last thing you want to worry about is running to the store to grab a thermometer.”
Ellen, mom of 4, says, “No one tells you how essential a humidifier is for a baby until you’re in total panic mode during baby’s first cold and you don’t know what to do!” Register for a GOOD and quiet humidifier like this one and keep that thing handy for cold season!
Last but not least, a few odds and ends you might consider. Our moms recommended that you NOT register for clothes, toys, or blankets, because people will give them to you anyway and you’ll be overloaded (although, muslin blankets like the ones below are so hard to resist!).
And swaddles are really more of an essential than an accessory, say Becca and Lauren, both moms of two. We would recommend registering for several of those.
Got something to add? Let us know your recommendations in the comments below!