Setting up your baby registry is one of the biggest tasks to complete before baby arrives! Who wouldn't doesn't want the most precious things for your new bundle(s) of joy!
The baby product industry has exploded with gadgets and gizmos and there is a LOT. But take it from two experienced moms—there is a lot of stuff you'll need but you don't need it ALL. You will survive without wipe warmers and pacifier wipes. There are plenty of options in every category to find something that fits your style and lifestyle and you don't have to become "that house" with plastic toys and bright colors everywhere. There will be so many things you didn't think you'd ever become, say or do but WTH did you know about kids before you actually have them?
Stroller. Think about your lifestyle. Are you in the city or the suburbs? Do you have stairs in your apt or home? Can you close it with one hand. Does your car seat work with it? It's like buying a car. You'll want to test drive a few. Some top selling, mom-approved strollers: Uppababy, Colugo, Baby Jogger, Nuna, Babyzen Yoyo.
(Author's note: Even with trying to keep things minimal— with two kids— we have a single, a double, a jogger and travel fold-up stroller). You won't need all these at once and consider buying second hand.
Car Seat. Most important to know: Every seat sold in the US must meet the same benchmarks around safety and installation. So you're really looking at things like compatibility with your stroller, easy of installation and safety indicators and features. Many of the popular brands include: Uppa Baby Mesa, Chicco Key Fit 30, Nuna, Maxi Cosi.
Wraps & Carrier. We're huge fans of the Colugo baby carrier (and frankly, everything Colugo!) Tons of people swear by the Solly wrap (once you've mastered how to wrap it - watch a Youtube video!)- great for around the house or easy walks in the neighborhood. Ergo or Baby Bjorn for more structure and good for walks, hikes, etc. Try to get to a store to try them out for yourself! You may find yourself feeling like a prisoner at home, so these wraps and carriers give you a little bit of your freedom back.
Swaddles & Blankets
Nothing keeps a baby snoozing longer than a swaddle. Think Baby Burrito. Ollie Swaddle is popular because it has velcro, which is super helpful keeping baby snug as a bug. Keep in mind there will always be a few dirty, a few in the wash and one in the crib and one in the living room. We also love Aiden and Anais, Monica and Andy, Little Unicorn and Halo Sleep Sacks.
Sit and Play at Home
Playmat + Activity Sets - You'll want to practice tummy time and give your baby a space to stretch out. Gathre and Toki Mats have some really chic mat options and Lovevery and Skip Hop have great activity mats.
Rocking Chair/Glider. You'll spend A LOT of time in this over the years, so make sure it's to your liking in style, size and function. It's a great investment! Pottery Barn Kids or Babyletto have great options. Purchase this early as many chairs have long lead times.
Lounger + Bouncer: Mobility with baby around your home or apartment is key. You'll need a safe place to lay your baby down throughout your home and the Boppy Lounger or Baby Bjorn Bouncer are our top 3 can't-live-without items.
No matter what you're practicing -- breastfeeding, formula or some combo in between, remeber that Fed Is Best. That's all. Moving on....
Bottles- This category can be a doozy as most of the time, it depends on the baby. Some of our faves include ComoTomo, Dr. Brown's and Philips Avent bottles.
Nursing Pillow - Boppy or the Nook are popular choices. Even if you don't plan to breastfeed, these are helpful to support head and neck and even assist in tummy time!
News flash! You will feel like all you do is wash bottles in the beginning. Make it easier on your household by getting steamer bags. Throw them in the microwave for 3 min to sterilize and disinfect the bottles and parts. A bottle drying rack (like the famous Boon Grass Countertop or Oxo Tot) and Bottle cleaner* are also key. *these double as a wine glass cleaner, too...
New to the scene: Haakka - a breast pump that that's easy to use, perfect for traveling and cord free. We say throw it in your handbag, meet a friend for coffee or go out to dinner with your husband and use it on the go!
Breast Pump (if you plan to do so!): Lots of great options in the Spectra 2, Medela and Willow (hands free!). Pro Tip: Look to see if your health insurance covers the purchase of a breast pump through insurance or many can be purchased with HSA/PSA dollars.
High Chair: If you have a generous group of friends and family and the space to store it, now might be a good time to register for a high chair. (You'll likely start with solids around 6 months!) Decision factors really come down to aesthetics, size and ease of cleaning! Many families are loving the Stokke (great modern aesthetic with a small footprint), Lalo, Oxo Tot Sprout. Another interesting option, the Inglesina Table Chair, which can be used permanently at home or on-the-go!
Diapers + Crib
Diapers- So many options. Whatever you do, put it on a subscription plan!
Diaper Pail - A total must-have. If you have two changing stations in your house, you might need 2 of these! We loved the Diaper Genie and Ubbi. Pro-tip: Buy the generic refill bags to save $$$
Baby Monitor- You can go really techy these days or keep it quite simple. Best to consider its range and how strong your wifi is throughout the house! If you're planning on more kids, make sure you can add additional cameras to the set. Go all out with the Owlet Smart Sock + Cam (bonus - the Owlet can be purchased with your HSA/FSA!) or Infant Optics or Motorola.
Crib Mattress Cover - No opinions which one is best but you'll need one!
Sound Machine - We love the Hatch and the Skip Hop Owl.
Bathtime & Toys
Tub- Plenty of great options (that don't need a lot of thought) : Boon, Fisher Price, Angelcare
Washcloth - We love Aiden and Anais!
Shampoo / Body Wash - We love clean brands like EO, Honest Co, Babyganics, Ever Eden.
Toys- Too many good ones to list but we love all sweet baby toys from Skip Hop, Baby Einstein, Manhattan Toys and Lamaze,
Non-Sexy Items and Tips Nobody remembers to tell you
Changing Pads- For all of the million diapers a day (and night) you'll change, there are reusable pads like this or disposable ones here. Some mom groups have sworn by using doggie pads. Because just like the wedding industry (where everything is marked up), there's an up charge when labeled "baby".
Detergent- Anything "Free and Clear" (like Tide). Per our go-to dermatologist and mom, there is no need for baby-specific detergents. See note above about the baby-tax.
Nursing Pads: If you go the reusable route, people love Bamboobies. A great disposable option is Lansinoh. If you're breastfeeding, you'll need something!
Things you'll likely get as gifts (think neighbors, your parents friends, co-workers), so maybe keep off the registry!
Baby Blankets - you'll get plenty of these. But if you do put one on your registry, go for the Little Giraffe!
Books - If someone is throwing you a shower, perhaps the hosts could suggest giving a book instead of a card to help build the baby's library.
Baby clothes - You'll get so many as gifts in the first 6 months. Pro tip: we always like to give 6-12mo since there is such a surplus of gifts already coming in for the newborn phase). Some of our fave, newborn snuggly brands include Kate Quinn, Kissy Kissy and KicKee.
Baby Bags- While we're leather goods specialists (10 combined years at Louis Vuitton), we don't think you need a specific baby tote - perhaps it's all about the transferrable compact organizers (like these). But if you're looking, consider hands free (backpack or fanny pack!) - Colugo just launched a tote, Dagne Dover and Kibo are popular "official" baby bags!
Are we missing something that you couldn't live without? Hit us up: firstname.lastname@example.org