Updated on 4/3/16: This is a post from my archives that I started when I had a six month old. I periodically update it to include all our favorite baby items. Over time I’ve become a little more minimalist about baby care, so this is a complete, but simplified list! Enjoy + Congratulations! xoxo. Lindsey
Building a baby registry is a task that starts midway through your first pregnancy, when you have just begun to grasp how little you know about babies. Unlike your wedding registry, the list is not simply about personal aesthetic, since safety and necessity are also factors. You haven’t even met the person who will use all these items. And let’s be honest, everyone has an opinion about what you “need” and what is “cute.”
Now that my kids are 4 and 2 and 3 months old, I have a tad more experience under my belt. I went back through my registry list, and this is my updated, complete, and edited list of registry items. I often get asked by pregnant friends what we actually used and what you can do without. These are the things we use, love, and love to give to friends.
p.s. We registered on Amazon’s Baby Registry, and I would still highly recommend it!
Moses Basket + Stand – For the first three months, the babies slept in our room (and all over the house) in this little basket. Update: For our third baby, we borrowed the stand from friends, and I LOVED it, not so much for the rocking but because it keeps the baby off the floor and out of reach of older siblings. You’ll also want some bassinet sheets and a waterproof mattress pad cover.
Sleep Sack – I swear by these mini sleeping bags once a baby outgrows swaddling. Both our babies slept in them all winter until they were big enough to sleep with a comforter. Sleep sacks also help prevent SIDS because you don’t put loose blankets in bed with the baby. You’ll want both medium and large sizes. In the summer, you can use a muslin sleep sack instead, although we had some issues with the muslin ripping.
Sound Machine – After a few months of tiptoeing around our squeaky house, we added this sleep conditioner to the nursery to mask the noise. It helped Evelyn jump from 30 minute to 90 minutes naps, and we take it with us when traveling! Update: We now own two of these – one for each of our kids’ rooms.
Pacifiers – The hospital gave us a couple, but I would recommend having some on hand, just in case. Update: This version with a little animal attached is genius. Our third baby didn’t use a paci for his first three months, but then one day he started using them. The animal makes it harder for the paci to fall out and easier for a baby to find the paci. I also really like this pacifier clip, which is great for holding a paci or small toy, and doubles as a teether.
Crib Quilt, Bumper, and Skirt – My mom bought us a gorgeous screen printed crib set. UPDATE: We’ve used the quilt everyday as a blanket for our babies to play on (and protect our rugs from spit up) and as a toddler quilt once they outgrew sleep sacks. The skirt is really just for looks, and I wouldn’t recommend the bumper at all. I love ours – it is SO cute, but they make changing the sheets more difficult and aren’t recommended due to SIDS. So, definitely find a quilt you love, and I’d recommend choosing a gender neutral one, unless this is something you want to buy new for each child.
Video Baby Monitor – Originally this felt like a really important investment, but now we never use the monitor. If I was doing it again, I wouldn’t purchase one. That being said, this monitor does work very well.
Bottles – Introduce a bottle within the first month, so your baby gets used to drinking from one (if you’re nursing) and keep going with it at least once a week, so you can work up to date nights away.
Highchair – Originally we chose a high chair that was hard to clean and pricey ($200+)! The IKEA one is so simple, priced well, and I love the minimal design. We bought it for our second baby, and it holds up really well. You don’t need a high chair until you have a six month old, so you can wait on this purchase if you need to.
Silverware – Around six months when you start feeding your baby cereal, little spoons + forks are handy.
Bibs – I love the colors and quantity in this pack. They have a waterproof center lining to keep your baby dry from drool too. We go through them quickly! While more expensive, I keep this burp cloth/bib combo in our diaper bag for emergencies.
If you’re nursing…
Breast Pump – This brand is about half the price of most others and has worked perfectly (as a work-from-home mom). If you purchase a pump, start using it around 2 weeks after giving birth and introduce bottles before one month. I did add this set of extra bottles with an insulated travel carrier. Check to see if your insurance covers the cost!
Breastmilk Storage Bags – This brand – no problems, lower price.
Gel Pads – These little miracles saved my life during the first month of breastfeeding. Keep them in the fridge before each use. They are made of the same gel applied to burn victims. I prefer them over lanolin cream.
Bra – During the first month, I only wore sleep nursing bras (an underwire bra can cause clogged milk ducts) or nursing tanks. Then I went to Nordstrom and got fitted for this pretty lacy nursing bra in black and tan.
Nursing Cover – I wish I had bought a nursing cover with our first baby, especially this indigo one since it covers your back too. But by our third baby, it has become harder and harder to spend money on baby stuff since I know it won’t get as much use. Instead I make do with our swaddle blankets, which really work just fine.
Puj Tub – For the first 4 months, this keeps a baby snug and upright for sink baths. Then it can lay flat in the tub for a soft spot to land in a shallow bath until they can sit up.
Hooded Towel – Super cute.
Washcloths – You’ll want separate cloths since a baby’s skin is so sensitive.
Soap, Shampoo, & Lotion – Evelyn broke into a rash the first time we put lotion on her skin. After that we stuck to Aquaphor soap at our doctor’s recommendation. Then we switched to Baby Magic soap + lotion when she was older.
Diapers – Pampers Swaddlers have been our favorite for sizes N-3. We signed up for Amazon Prime + Amazon Mom to get a 20% discount and free 2-day shipping on everything. We switched to up & up diapers at size 3.
Wipes – I’m a big fan of Huggies wipes. Hint: tear them in half for smaller wipe jobs.
Changing Pad – You’ll also want a soft cover. Keep track of the dimensions if you are shopping for a dresser to place it on. It can be a challenge to find the right depth, but it’s worth it to find a piece of furniture .
Diaper Dekor Plus – This is another item I wouldn’t purchase again. It still smelled like dirty diapers, so we’ve transitioned to taking the diapers out more frequently and using a normal trash can.
Maclaren Triumph Stroller – This lightweight stroller doesn’t come with a lot of bells and whistles, but is sturdy and easy to use. I wish the wheels had a little more shock absorption and that it had a larger umbrella cover to shade a baby’s face, but it’s still a winner in my book. I would recommend adding the cup holder. Note: This isn’t recommended for the first three months, so we use the Ergo instead. Also, see below for what I wish I had bought…
Baby Jogger City Mini GT Double Stroller – Since our kids were 18 months apart, we splurged on this stroller. I love it, and my only complaint is that it is a little unwieldy to open and close. However the wheels are really heavy duty, the seats are comfortable, and it pushes like a dream. If I was doing everything over again, I would have bought this as our single stroller too, instead of the Maclaren. It fits through single doorways too, in case you were wondering about that! I would recommend the car seat adapter and parent console. I know it is a lot of cash to spend, but you can resell them for well over 50% of the price or find them secondhand on Craigslist.
ERGObaby Carrier – We consider this one of the best gifts we were given and still use it frequently. We often substituted the Ergo for the stroller.
Solly Baby Wrap – These wraps are super cute. If I had to choose between them, I would pick an Ergo for sure, but for the first 6 months, a wrap can help you keep your hands free. A friend taught me to have it tied before driving somewhere, then you can just grab the baby from the car seat and slide them in the wrap. So smart.
Car Seat – Two thumbs up. We’ve used it for all three kids.
Pack N Play – A classic choice for a reason.
Bouncer – This is a life saver. Our kids took naps and loved sleeping in this bouncer. For less than $30 we even bought a new one for our third baby. It’s not cute, but it is a must.
Note: We also borrowed a hand-me-down play gym, bumbo, and jumperoo. They are lifesavers! Ask around if someone has a set you can borrow, or purchase them second hand. They are SO helpful for a limited amount of time, so try not to pay hundreds of dollars.
Congratulations! I hope our list helps you along the way. If you’re interested, I found these resources incredibly helpful during pregnancy:
Feel free to ask any questions in the comments, and I’ll respond. xo, Lindsey.