So here it is – the mother load! This is not “the” list, but this is our list and what worked and did not work for us. It is important to remember that you need to do what is going to work best for you and your family.
I EP (exclusively pump) so my list is geared toward pumping and feeding by a bottle, if you plan on EBF (exclusively breast feeding) or formula feeding, you list may be different. Use this as a guideline, exact, or not at all either way, my feelings will not be hurt!
Ok – Start by deciding where you want to register. We decided on Target (Target Baby Registry)and Babies R Us (Babies R Us Create a Registry). Both are really good with returns and both are easy to use. They both have apps however Babies R Us doesn’t have one for Android devices. If you go into the store to start/add to your registry they provide a FREE mommy gift bag, take advantage of this you get some great samples and coupons! There is a lot of hype to register on Amazon.com, I wish I would have done this since I am a prime member and know a lot of others also use Amazon it would have been pretty convenient for those who prefer to online shop (Amazon Baby Registry).
I printed off the Babies R Us registry checklist to help me get started. I read blogs and looked up lists and I like this list the best. You can find it here, Babies R Us Registry Checklists.
Nursery & Bedding
Crib – Find a style you like and look around. Try to find a good deal! I was able to get 20% off my crib by going to Buy Buy Baby. We opted for a crib that will transition with our babe. I like easy!
Mattress – Don’t over think this! There are a zillion different mattresses. The important thing is that you get one that is firm. It helps if it is waterproof too. Get mattress pad covers to keep the mattress in better shape longer. You will want 2 in case you have a middle of the night accident.
Sheets – You will need fitted crib sheets. Get a minimum of 2…just in case you have a middle of the night accident. A quick change of sheets and mattress pad and back to bed you go…hopefully! Some folks go with a whole bedding set that includes a tiny comforter, sheets and skirt that all match and go with a theme. This is great one-stop-shop if you can find one that matches your theme. We just opted with a sheet and my sister got us an adorable blanket that is heavier. We haven’t used the blanket yet because he is still too young to have a heavy blanket in the crib but I love it!!
Bassinet – This was amazing for us! We kept our son in our room till about 6-1/2 months or so. He was a big babe and kind-of out grew this little gem pretty quick. For the time we used it we loved it. It is easily portable from room to room and folds away when you don’t want it out. We chose the Graco brand but there is also the Fisher Price Rock N Play as well. Both are great!
Changing Table – We used a dresser that was about waist high and put the changing pad (you will want 2 changing pad covers in case you get poop on one – that way you have a backup and you can wait to do laundry – who wants to be do doing laundry all the damn time anyway, you have a baby to deal with now!) and a lamp on top. We don’t have the room for too many pieces of furniture and this route works great for us.
Hamper – Think about where you want to put your hamper – ours is within tossing distance of any shitty clothes. If you aren’t worried about where it’s located any type will do, it is a must have though. Your kid will have a ton of dirty clothes and you will doing laundry all the time so its good to have a place for it separate from your own.
Chair – Some people like gliders and some like rockers. I for one cannot stand the motion of a glider. We got a rocking chair recliner and I wouldn’t give it up for anything! Make sure you get something for your feet – either an ottoman or one that is part of the chair (I don’t know what those are called!)
Hangers – So I thought I would be hanging all of my babe’s clothes. It lasted one day. Our closet is not close to the changing table and since ours is a dresser it was so much easier to fold everything we are using in the top drawer and the next size up in the drawer below. I do hang the sizes he isn’t close to yet – just so I can use the hangers I have.
Crib Mobile – A lot of people like these and so do the babies. We did not have one because I couldn’t find one that fit our theme. Not much to say about this, it is what it is.
Diaper Stacker/Organizer – I LOVE my organizer. I have diapers, wipes, creams, lotions, burp rags, lovies, and a bunch of other shit on this cart and it is A-MAZ-ING. I highly recommend this. It has three tiers and rolls, super easy to put together and in a few colors to make sure it will work with your room. LOVE LOVE LOVE!!
Closet Organization – We have found it very helpful to have the racks in our closet. You can get the cheap DIY pieces to make your own design to fit your needs but we find it very useful. We also have the collapsible bins to put clothes, stuffed animals and toys in until we are ready to use them.
Wall Decor and Window Treatments – This is something to think about that I cannot help you with! This is all on you and the theme you are wanting in your nursery. I can tell you that I still do not have curtains on my son’s windows and he is 10 months old. We have blinds but to keep the light out we have blankets hung over the windows. Hey it get’s the job done plus curtains are expensive and super hard to pick out! It really is a commitment.
Soothers/Noise Machines – We have a soother that just did not work for us. The sounds on our soother were sounds like waves and whales that actually kept him up. We vetoed this ASAP. We should have went with a white noise machine if we were going to use anything. Remember every baby is different, some like noise and some just do not.
Blankets – OK, so there are a ton of different blankets and we have a million of them.
Receiving blankets – Take them all from the hospital and then ask for more! These are so much bigger than what you will buy in the store and are great for swaddling.
Swaddle Blankets – No brainier if you struggle to make the reviving blanket work.
Crib Blanket – My sister got us a super cute blanket that fits our theme so we opted for this instead of a set. We haven’t used it yet because he is still too young to have a heavier blanket.
Muslin Blanket – Muslin blankets are really great because they are so thin and big. You can use these to swaddle if you wanted to or you can cut them up like we did to make little lovies (security blankets) that he can sleep with. They are breathable so if he covers his face…scratch that…when he covers his face, we do not need to worry about suffocation.
Wearable Blanket – A.K.A sleep sack – best thing ever! We did not register for these but should have! Luckily we have some amazing people in our lives that surprised us and got us one after a couple attempts to make one failed. Some are filled with cotton to be warmer and some are not as thick. These are great for all seasons and work so well in lieu of a blanket for super young babes.
Car Seats, Strollers, and Carriers
Car Seat/Convertible Car Seat/Booster Seat – Some car seats are convertible to the point where it is the only car seat you need. These are amazing BUT unlike the bucket seat, it stays in the car. The standard bucket seat is great for teeny tiny babes so you can just leave them in the bucket to go in stores and what not. We started with a bucket that went up to 30 lbs and now have one convertible that is still rear facing but will go forward facing and to a booster. Make sure you follow all of the guidelines for installing, weight limits, and expiration dates on car seats. Safety first my friends!
Car Seat Toys/Accessories – We have a few toys that we got for his car seat. He didn’t really show interest in them and it really kinda got in my way when holding the car seat so we didn’t have it on too long. We got this and this. We did get a car seat cover too. We had one for winter that we didn’t use since he was a spring baby but we also got a lighter one since it is really hard to keep a blanket on when it is windy!
Car Seat Saver – We didn’t register for one and I haven’t gotten the time to get one yet but I really really want one! As of right now we just have a towel between the car seat and the actual seat of the car. It works for now.
Sun Shade and Mirror – My babe and I both really like the mirror! He loves to look at himself and I really like that I can see him with a quick glance in my rear view mirror. The sun shade is amazing too! I found a 2-pack that just pop open and stick on. Super easy and they even have a sensor that tells you if your car is too hot.
Diaper Bag – The original diaper bag we got was very big and had tons of compartments but we had an issue with the zippers skipping and not staying shut. We got another bag that we LOVE! Even though it is a tad smaller it works great and we are able to store everything we need for on-the-go. My husband even uses it! Score!! Here is another option.
Carrier – I tried the wrap, I really tried! I watched the videos and practiced and my baby about fell out! I gave up and went with a 4-in-1 that we can use for a little while. The bad news is that we are almost at the weight limit because I have a large 10 month old so we will have to opt for the wagon we got for Christmas. I LOVE my wagon.
Stroller – You can do a stroller in more than one way. Because we like easy, I went with a travel system. This included the stroller, car seat, and base. This way we only had to buy one more base for my husbands car. We went with a jogging stroller right off the bat because it was a little less bulky and easier to maneuver. The next step is to get an umbrella stroller that is even easier to cart around. If you don’t want go with the travel system that is OK too! Do what is right for your family.
Stroller Toys and Accessories – The only accessory we have for our stroller is a gigantic carabiner. We also have sunglasses for our babe that is great for bright days. We love to be outside so he wears his shades often. I have some strap cushions as well however they seem to get in the way for me so we don’t use these often. They very soft and super cute so if you want to use them, do it!
Feeding – Remember Fed is best! No matter if you are going to nurse, pump or feed formula – Just feed your baby!
Breast Pump – Most insurance companies cover breast pumps 100%. Makes sure you check into this before you go out and spend money on one. There are a lot of different brands and models out there so look into your options. I used this one and it works great! I should only have a couple more months left and will be done pumping after 12 months. A word of caution, the warranty on the pumps start the day they are shipped, wait as long as you can before you get one. Some can be picked up in the hospital after you give birth this might be one of the better routes since the warranty is only one year. In my opinion, electric double breast pumps are the best.
Breast feeding/Pumping Accessories – There are a couple of items that I found extremely helpful in my pumping journey.
Lanolin – This helps greatly with cracked nipples.
Hot/Cold Packs – These are great to help with clogged ducts or any discomfort you may have.
Hands Free Pumping Bra – A-MAZ-ING!! You won’t have to hold the bottles while you are pumping…free to browse your phone, work, etc.
Breast Pump Accessories – You may or may not need any additional accessories, however to get the most out of your pump, you may need to update few things every once in a while. I have had to change the membranes and I needed larger breast shields.
Nursing Pads – You have a couple of options here, disposable and washable. I used both. I used disposable the longest because it took quite a while to get my boobs “trained” and it was easier. The washable are nice though because you can get some pretty cute designs – if you want to show them off LOL – and they are washable so you are saving money.
Breast Milk Storage – Medela has a great starter pack for breast milk storage. It comes with a little tray that is useful to keep your milk separate from the rest of the food in your refrigerator. You will also need milk storage bags if you have a supply to where you have excess to freeze. I love the Target Up & Up brand because they seem more “sturdy” but they all get the job done.
Nursing Cover – There are several different options you can use for a nursing cover. If you plan on breastfeeding you may or may not want to cover yourself, this is a personal preference and do not let anybody shame you for feeding your baby in public…EVER!! If you don’t want to cover up, don’t!! Since I pumped, I made sure I was home so I didn’t have to cart my pump around so I did not use a nursing cover.
Nursing Pillow – This is an absolute must! A nursing pillow is so versatile and is great to use with sitting babe up, feeling, and tummy time! I recommend at least two covers in case one gets spit up on or dirty.
Bottle Starter Set – This was so overwhelming in the store! There are so many brands and types of bottles it is crazy. We went with a couple of 4 oz packs and a 9 oz pack to start with. It really depends on how often you want to be washing bottles. Some sets come with a sterilizer which is helpful as well.
Nipples – Some babies need a more open flow as they get older with nipples. There are slow flow (for about 0-3 months-ish), medium flow (for about 3-6 months-ish) and fast flow (for about 6+ month-ish). If you baby sucks harder and isn’t getting milk as quick as they need it, you may need a faster flow nipple. Not every baby needs a change in nipple though. Just make sure you get nipples that fit your bottles! 🙂
Bibs – You will want to register for two types of bibs for sure – the wipe off kind for when you start solids (I use these and these) as well as the more absorbent kind for drool and milk. Pick your favorite colors and designs and done!
Pacifiers – There are several types of pacifiers and my babe would only take one type (0-3 mo, 3+ mo). He did not like the shape of these. He really like to suck after eating so he used a pacifier for about the first 5 months or so and when we did sleep training we took it away. We haven’t looked back since. I tried it one day just to see what would happen and he thought I was crazy. 🙂 If you do use pacifiers, use a clip to keep them off the ground and easy to find! We did not use one and we lost them all of the time. These also make them easy to find. They make little pouches now too – these are new to me!
Bottle Warmer – We love our bottle warmer. I recommend using a warmer for sure. Microwaves can zap some of the nutrients out of the milk/formula as well as cause hot spots in the bottle. A warmer will warm evenly for your babe.
Baby Food Prep – The baby product industry has made some amazing things for baby food prep. They also charge a butt load! I recently had to start making my babe’s food due to a rare “allergy” called FPIES (more on that later). I use a standard food processor, a standard food steamer, and silicone ice cube trays. Yes, I could have spent a fortune buying baby branded items but let’s get real here…I am not spending that kind of money!
Sippy Cups – Ok, so sippy cups are a challenge. Your baby may or may not like what you buy the first, second or third time. I found that the first time you try a sippy cup that you use a nipple similar to that of a nipple from a bottle. Handles are a must though. That way their little hands can grasp and maneuver. All I can say is good luck and may the force be with you!
Drying Rack/Washing Accessories – You have several options here. We have a flat drying rack with accessories. I do wish sometimes we would have opted for a tiered rack that spins though. Either way, the job gets done. There are also items you can use in your dishwasher. We don’t run our dishwasher enough so we opted to hand wash and air dry. Don’t forget the bottle brush! We change ours out frequently so you may need a few – get one with a nipple brush built in you won’t regret it.
High Chair – We got a high chair that will transition with our babe. It has several height options. You can also get a good travel chair that has a tray for feeding. We have used our travel chair for holiday’s since he was so young his first time around. Go with what you feel will work best for your family.
Bathing, Diapering, Care
Diapers – First of all, there are several brands. You will more than likely get several brands as gifts. This is great because you can try out various brands to see what you really like. We ended up with Pampers. Make sure you register for all sizes!
Diaper Cream – I have made my own (Magic Diaper Cream), I have tried Boudreaux and I have tried and LOVED Triple Paste. Triple Paste is quite a bit thicker than the other brands and just worked better for us specifically. Lately I have been seeing a lot of this butt paste applicator. Before I ever had a kid, I would have thought to myself “what a scam!” Now that I have a kid…I really kinda want one. I just haven’t gotten around to getting one yet.
Wipes – This is a lot like the diapers. Find some that work best for you. I have found that the wipes with the fewest ingredients work best for my babe.
Wipe Warmer – We got one of these after the fact. It ended up being more work for us. The warmer was not for our family.
Portable Changing Pad – A lot of times, you will have a changing pad that comes with your diaper bag. These portable sets are really nice and convenient to have on hand. There are a variety of designs and features available.
Hand Sanitizer – Self explanatory! 🙂
Baby Bath Tub – We were so lucky here. The hospital that we delivered–I delivered–in gave us a tub. It was perfect. Not fancy but was safe and got the job done. Check with the hospital where you will be delivering, maybe they provide a tub. If not, find something that can be stored away nicely. You don’t need it out 24/7.
Towels/Washcloths – I have found that the best towels are a little bigger and have a hood. Nobody likes to be cold when getting out of the shower or a nice warm bath, neither does your little babe. 🙂 Get a few packs of washcloths unless you plan on doing laundry frequently. I have a ton of washcloths and am totally ok not doing laundry all the time!
Shampoo/Wash – So we found a scent that we totally loved. Our babe’s skin was too sensitive for it so we tried another scent that he also didn’t do too well with. We finally found one that works great and his skin doesn’t react at all.
Lotion – Along with the wash, we have the scent we loved, the second scent we tried and ultimately we gave up on lotion and use a tub o’ Aquaphor. It actually works amazing and his skin is soft and without any reaction.
Grooming Kit – You will want to pick up one of these kits. It usually includes a brush, comb and finger nail clippers (I have 2 clippers – one for my diaper bag and one for home). Baby finger nails are like razors! Keep an eye on them and trim as needed. People say to do it while they are sleeping…I was too scared to do any of that while he was sleeping because I had precious quiet time and didn’t want to wake him up. Trimming baby finger nails is terrifying until you get the hang of it.
P.S. Their nails are softer after a bath. This make them easier to trim too!
Thermometer – We have every thermometer you can have, I think. We have a under the tongue, a butt and a forehead. I have used all of them but use the forehead thermometer the most. It is sooo easy and doesn’t cause a mess at all. A butt thermometer is good to have for newborns but make sure you label it! 🙂
Humidifier/Air Purifier – I didn’t think we would use a humidifier as much as we do, but it isn’t because he is congested every night. We just somehow got into the routine of turning it on. We do not have an air purifier however I have heard great things about them. This would be great for kiddos with allergies!
Aspirator – You have seen the bulbs that the hospitals give out…these SUCK!!! The NoseFrida is the most amazing snot sucker ever! It gets all of the stuff that gets way up in their tiny noses so they don’t have to be as congested. Be sure to get the filter refills!
Detergent – Some people are sticklers about the detergent they wash their babies clothes in and other are not. We wash babe’s clothes with the same detergent we use on our clothes. It is just a free and clear brand from Costco (my husband has pretty sensitive skin). Some people choose to use baby specific detergent too. It really doesn’t matter what you choose as long as you have something to clean the millions of tiny clothing pieces that you babe will have.
Bath Accessories – The baby world has so many different bathing accessories it is crazy. Once we outgrew the infant bathtub, we went to a laundry basket. We tried a bath chair but it wasn’t for use. We now use a non-slip mat that works great! We use the water thermometer which is pretty straight forward and there are several cups and spout covers that are adorable.
Bath Toys/Storage – There are so many different types of toys and storage for bath time. It is so fun to find what your baby likes especially if they love bath time! My babe cannot wait until it is time for bath and gets super pumped each night. We have squirt toys, some ABC toys and a net to dry them. I have an issue with the net though, I have done everything to get the stupid thing to suction to the wall but it just falls off. It is totally user error though, I will get it eventually.
Dental Care – We started with this toothbrush (here is a variation) because he was teething and it made sense. We were going to use bristles eventually so why not get him sort of use to it. He LOVES it! Now that he has a couple of teeth we use an infant toothbrush with just water. He has a rare allergy so toothpaste is not something we can use quite yet.
Safety and Play
Baby Monitor – We love our baby monitor. We actually have 2 different types that we love. Our video monitor is amazing! We registered for one that is not WIFI capable. I have read too many creepy things of people hacking into the monitors and talking to people’s babies that I just wasn’t going to do that. We also have an audio only type that is great for heading outside to do some light yard work while babe is sleeping. BUYER BEWARE: The photo on the box of the monitor is NEVER as clear as it is in real life.
Baby Gates – So here you will have to get what is going to work best for your house and the layout of your house. There are so many types to choose from. We have a simple wood, position and lock gate that can get pretty wide and then we have a play yard that we rigged for the top of our stairs on our split entry home. Both work great for our layout and needs.
First Aid Kit – You can make your own kit or you can buy one. This is up to you but you will want the essentials. Don’t forget you may need to use it too so be sure to include some adult band-aids too! Get a travel first aid kit for your diaper bag too.
Home Safety – Fire Alarm, Carbon Monoxide Detector…these are pretty self explanitory
Swing – We all loved our swing. There are a ton of accessories and options that you can get with a swing. Find one you like and go with it. Not all babes like swings though so be prepared just in case!
Bouncer – Oh the bouncer! This was by far his favorite until he was mobile. He loved to bounce and play with the toys that were on there. Again, pick what you like and go with it. No need to over think it.
Play mat – We chose a play mat that had toys that dangle and make noise. One of the milestones is reaching for toys so this is fun thing to have. It is great to have for tummy time too!
Toys/Books/Music/DVDs – Here are a few toys that we love!
Shopping Cart/Highchair Cover – Get one! Shopping carts and restaurant high chairs are so dirty. Ugh I can’t imagine going out to eat without ours!
Clothing – Most of the following is pretty self explanitory so I am not going to go into too much detail on a few of these.
Jammies – We prefer 100% cotton since we have bouts of eczema. The fleece are so cozy and warm but are not as breathable as the 100% cotton. Get all sizes when registering or buying. Your newborn will more than likely wear jammies most days so you will want several of the smaller sizes.
Onsies – Our babe mainly wore just onsies until it got cold out. It was just easier to not have to worry about shorts during the summer. We have a ton of onsies!
Hats – We didn’t need to use hats because our babe did a good job regulating his body temperature really well and it was a warm spring and hot summer.
Mittens – We have these but never used them. He hated his hands covered. We just made sure his finger nails were trimmed so he didn’t scratch his face.
Jackets/Coats – We have more jackets than we know what to do with. Be sure to follow all safety regulations when it comes to coats and car seats. It is important that you do not have a coat on your babe when they are in their car seat because the puff of the coat can be deceiving even though you may think the straps are tight.
Well folks, this is the end of the list! I hope I have helped at least a little bit to ease anxiety for the thing you may need as well as help with any feelings of being overwhelmed. If you have any questions, please post in the comments section below and I will do my best to answer any questions you may have.