Okay, get ready for a bit of a long post on this one. You’ve been warned!
When I was pregnant for Jackson, we started our registries pretty early and after a trip to one store, I found myself incredibly overwhelmed. We went home, because I thought I could do it all online, and I ended up sitting on the couch crying (damn hormones) because I just didn’t know where to start!
This list started as a spreadsheet that went around my office when three of us were pregnant at the same time. Throughout my pregnancy, I added the things I wanted or had heard about. Now, the second time around, I’ve been using this same list to double check things that we have, need or need to replace.
General Registry Tips:
The first time around, I registered at Pottery Barn Kids (where our bedding was), The Right Start and Target. I would recommend looking at places with the most variety in products and also those who have a great registry completion discount. Amazon, Babies R Us and Giggle are the three that I did this time – not because I’m expecting to have a shower or gifts, but instead so that we can get that discount! I also cannot recommend Amazon Prime enough, it’s well worth the money for the fast shipping.
I’ve got this divided into categories and included my recommendations for products, where I can. If you want to just see the list and recommendations, click here to go to a Google Sheet, which you can feel free to save and modify for your own use! I know it won’t be everything you need or want, but I liked it a lot as something take some of the pressure off and get me started.
- Tub // We had the 4Moms Infant Tub and loved it! I like that it tells you the water temperature and it also looks very comfortable for baby. We also have the water spout cover, which we used on Jackson’s bath tub for quite a while.
- Baby Washcloths // I have the washcloths from Pottery Barn Kids because they coordinated with our bathroom setup. They are really thick, absorbent and wore very, very well (I still have them). Make sure you look for high quality material on these, I had a set from Target and they were thin, flimsy and didn’t absorb at all.
- Hooded Baby Towels // We also bought ours from Pottery Barn Kids and are still using them! I plan on picking up new ones for baby #2. Again, these are very absorbent and cozy for baby – plus the gingham comes in lots of colors and they’re super cute.
- Grooming Set // Just a simple comb and brush set is important to have.
- Toy Storage // You will likely get bath toys as gifts, and baby will be sitting in a big tub before you know it. This little guy sticks to the wall and you can also use the scoop for hair washing.
- Baby Shampoo & Lotion // This is a lot of personal preference on what you pick for products. I loved the sort of traditional Johnson’s Baby Products (baby wash, lotion, night time products and a gift set here), because they just have that “baby” smell. We also liked Mustela (we did receive this gift set) and heard great things about California Baby (gift set here). People also do love the Honest Company, but I’ve never tried any of their products so I can’t speak to them personally.
- Crib Wedge // I didn’t get one of these, but heard that they’re especially helpful in babies with reflux. Jackson had reflux for a few weeks but right when I went to buy things like this, it just went away on its own (thank goodness!).
- Ultimate Crib Sheet // Save your cute crib sheets and be sure to pick up 2-3 of these crib sheets to protect them. I had 3, so that I always had a clean one handy for middle of the night incidents!
- Crib Sheets // These will depend on your nursery decor, but make sure you have at least 3 of them. Jackson’s were from Pottery Barn Kids and baby #2’s are from Serena & Lily, so I also picked up a few (less expensive) extras for travel.
- Crib Bumper // Yes, I said it, a bumper. I had one for Jackson and do have one for baby #2. I will not be keeping the bumper in the crib while the baby is in there, but I like how it looks and I don’t mind taking it in and out.
- Crib Skirt // This also depends on how you do your baby bedding. I loved the finished look of adding a skirt to our crib, so I was happy to add it.
- Receiving/Swaddle Blankets // These are SO handy to have around! I had a baby who hated to be swaddled, but we traveled with these for chilly airplane rides, always had one to tuck in the stroller on walks and had them to lay on a rug for tummy time in a pinch. Aden and Anais makes the best and they come in cute little sets.
- Side Snap Shirts (short-sleeved, newborn and/or 0-3 mo.) // I really liked these little tops for the early days when there was lots of swadding and diaper changes, and especially before the umbilical cord falls off. I also used these for layering under pajamas!
- Light and Heavy Caps // Little hats are always good to have around for your little one, especially for those early trips to the doctor and outdoor walks. Depending on boy or girl and your schedule, you can get fancy hats or just easy basics. I’ve always liked these little knot ones from GAP too.
- Cotton Onesies (long-sleeved) // Basic white onesies are something you can never have enough of. I used these as sort of under shirts or put pants on over them for days around the house. They can also be used for your “Monthly Update” photos with the month stickers.
- Newborn Nightgowns with Drawstrings // These are great for nighttime and easier middle-of-the-night diaper changes. They also make lots of cute little prints for these and Babysoy makes some of my favorites.
- Pajamas with Feet // Whatever you do, stick to pajamas with zippers! The snap PJs are super cute but let me tell you that the last thing you want to be doing at 3 AM is sit there trying to figure out which snap you missed when you’re re-dressing baby after a diaper change. You can get these nearly everywhere, we love ours from GAP and Carters.
- Socks // When Jackson was a newborn, he spent his days in onesies and socks. Socks also go missing pretty easily, so it’s nice to have lots of extra pair. Don’t spend a ton of money on these and make sure you’ve got a lot of basics. I also love socks that look like shoes (boys // girls).
- Take Me Home Outfit // I typically say not to splurge on newborn clothes, but this is where I would. I had a super cute pajama and hat set for Jackson to wear at the hospital for visitors and photos and it’s always nice to have a cute outfit to go home in. You’ll have lots of photos that you will keep forever, so you might as well dress for them. For me, this includes an outfit for mom too (shop here for great mom-friendly options!).
- Hangers // I really don’t like plastic hangers, but that’s entirely a personal preference and we don’t keep them anywhere in our house. We bought wooden hangers from Hangers.com and I’ve used them for Jackson and will use them for baby #2. I have also upgraded Jackson to the “kids” hangers from the baby ones and they’ve been really great!
- Hampers // This sort of depends on how your house is set up, but I recommend that you have two hampers or one divided one. I separated clothes and towels, but also made a specific spot for stained or “treated” clothing. You’ll be doing laundry a lot and this sort of helps prioritize! By the way, I love this laundry tote for carrying things up and down stairs!
- Newborn Diapers // Make sure you have lots of diapers stocked up at home. The last thing you’ll want to do is run out and pick up more within the first few days of being home from the hospital. I just used disposable diapers, but have heard that people loved using these GDiapers.
- Diaper Dekor // We liked the Diaper Dekor for a diaper pail. It holds a good amount of dirty diapers and it contained the smell pretty well. We did use these little Arm & Hammer pods in the bottom, as well to help with that!
- Diaper Dekor Bags // It’s good to have a few of these refills stocked up at home, as well. It’s just another thing you don’t want to run out of.
Wipes // You’ll need them. Lots of them. Stock up!
- Diaper Caddy // Our changing table had a little spot for a basket, but I liked keeping a little diaper caddy stocked in a cabinet in the living room for changes during the day (I also kept bath stuff in here because we used our baby bathtub in the kitchen sink). It’s also good to keep a changing pad with it.
- Diaper Bag // Diaper bags are a lot about personal preference. I had this Timi & Leslie bag with Jackson, but will be using two different bags with baby #2. I will have this “fancy” bag, which I’ll use with this insert and/or some Truffle pouches, and I plan on this being my bag far beyond it being a diaper bag. I will also be using this Lily Jade bag for travel and days where I need more stuff. These Barrington Gifts totes with an insert or some pouches are also really great!
- Disposable Changing Pads // For your diaper bag. These are great to have because sometimes you’ll have to change the baby in a car, on a floor and sometimes things are just plain messy!
- Disposable Green Diaper Baggies // Another one for the diaper bag. When you just can’t find a trash can, these are exactly what you need for dirty diapers!
Feeding for Baby:
- Pacifiers // These “Soothies” pacifiers are very similar to what we got in the hospital and they were the ONLY ones that Jackson would take (which didn’t even last very long, he wasn’t a pacifier baby).
- Pacifier Wipes // Munchkin Arm & Hammer makes great packs of pacifier wipes and I kept one in my diaper bag, car and stroller. Those things get dropped ALL the time! They say that you don’t get as obsessive about these things with a second child, but I’m all about keeping as many germs away as possible.
- Bottles // We had and liked the Dr. Brown’s bottles. It’s good to have a variety of both 4 ounce and 8 ounce bottles, as well, so make sure you have some of both. Also make sure you have both level 1 and level 2 nipples (which you would change to at about 3 months). A new addition to the “bottles to try” is the brand new Munchkin LATCH bottle. It’s designed to help transition from breast to bottle and back. The design is really innovative and also looks modern and sleek – perfect for all of you stylish moms!
- Bottle Drying Rack // When I had Jackson, everyone was registering for this grass countertop drying rack. It is cute, but I will say we didn’t use it more than we used just a towel for drying.
- Bottle Basket for Dishwasher // Another thing to help keep everything organized. Plus the last thing you want is to have any bottle parts drop to the bottom of the dishwasher and melt while drying.
- Extra Bottle Brush // Just as with anything else, extra cleaning supplies are good to have on hand. Whether this gets dirty and gross, or you have two people catching up on dishes, it’s good to have an extra!
- Bottle & Dish Soap // I liked the Babyganics wash for bottles and parts when I washed by hand.
- Bibs (cloth) // These Green Sprouts bibs were my favorite. They wash up well and last a good long time, plus they provide good coverage. I’d rather have packs of these than the cutesy little bibs that don’t absorb anything.
- Bibs (plastic) // It’s always good to have a little collection of these on hand and the plastic ones come in particularly handy when you start solid foods!
- Burp Cloths // I loved the Aden & Anais Burpy Bibs! they sort of wrap around your shoulder and neck and they’re great. You can also use them as a bib on the go.
- Nursing Pillow // The Boppy was a great pillow for us. I used it even as a support to hold Jackson after feedings (like when my arms were tired or I was just tired). I also hear that the My Breast Friend pillow is a winner.
- Nursing Pillow Covers // For obvious reasons, a back up cover (or two) is a good idea for feedings!
- Infant Car Seat // We chose the Graco Snugride 35 car seat for our infant seat, were very happy with it and will be using it again for baby #2. We found that it was really easy to install, adjust and take in and out!
- Infant Car Seat Base // You’ll want a coordinating car seat base in each car that your baby will ride in frequently. I have one and my husband has one so that we can take easily take either car for school drop off, out running errands or road trips. It’s not a big deal till you have to install and re-install the base every time you switch cars!
- Snap & Go Stroller // At the beginning, we used our Snap & Go stroller more than our nice stroller. It folded up super easily and, if the baby was napping, all you had to do was gently take the car seat out of the car, pop it on the stroller and go about with your errands, out to lunch or wherever you’re headed! Just get the one that coordinates with your car seat, which for us was this one.
- Car Mirror // With baby being rear-facing in the car seat, you’ll obviously want to know what’s going on back there – especially if there’s crying and you need to find out if you have to stop and do a quick feeding, diaper change or otherwise. There are plenty of car mirrors to choose from, but I looked for one that had a shatterproof surface and also would sit up and tight where I wanted it to look.
- Stroller // We have and LOVE our UppaBaby Vista stroller. I loved it because it has a bassinet and a seat, along with lots of great accessories. We really used it until Jackson was past 3 years old. It’s easy to set up and put down, and I can’t say enough good things!
- Jogging Stroller // I’m not a jogger, so I didn’t have one of these. But I do hear that the BOB stroller is the one to get!
- Pack & Play // A Pack & Play is another one that’s a “nice to have” for many reasons. We used ours as a changing station in the early weeks after Jackson came home from the hospital. It has also been great for traveling and we really used it for a couple of years.
- Swing // When it comes to a swing, I would recommend the MamaRoo. It moves in 5 different ways (options to try depending on baby’s mood!) and you can plug your iPod into it for music. It’s also sleek and stylish, so it’s not something that looks bad sitting around your house – which also doesn’t seem like a big deal, but just wait till you get all of the “ugly plastic” toys and things to sit around. You’ll be craving some function and style, and this is one of the best for that too.
- High Chair // We have the Bloom Fresco high chair and can’t say enough good things about it. It is absolutely an expensive high chair but we used it as a “cradle” for the baby to sleep at the dinner table with us and then used it until Jackson moved to a booster seat at age 2. You can find many great options under $100!
- Sound Machine // Sleep Sheep was a favorite here. It makes a lot of “soothing” noises and automatically turns off. We also had a couple of iPhone apps for naps on the go!
- Baby Monitor // You can get fancy and spend a ton of money on a monitor if you want to. The most important things to me were picture quality, the “voice of God” feature and a good sized display. We’ve had a few different monitors and Summer Infant has been my favorite brand. If you are like us and need one with a dual view, I really like this one. For a solo, this one has a really nice big display and all the features you’ll need!
- Baby Carrier // I didn’t really use one of these for Jackson, but I plan to for baby #2. I plan on getting a Solly Baby Wrap for wearing in newborn days along with an Ergobaby carrier. Ergobaby also has a newborn insert that I think will be really great for doing things around the house or even getting out and taking a walk with baby on board!
- Musical Mobile // This is sort of a personal preference on if you want one of these. I like them because they look cute in a nursery and the music and rotations are something for baby to do (really good for when you’re folding laundry in baby’s room!). Pottery Barn Kids always has really cute ones, so they’re one of my favorite spots to look.
- Bouncy Seat // There are TONS of bouncy seats that you can choose from! We loved this Maclaren rocker for Jackson and will be using it again. It has a vibration you can put on, but I would also set it near the couch and rock it with my foot while I sat and worked or ate lunch.
Health & Hygiene:
This list is a great one to write down and take with you for a Target run. It is what you need to basically stock your medicine cabinet before baby arrives. Inevitably, you’ll end up needing something that’s not on this list, but at least you’ll have a starting point. I linked to a couple of items below that were great for us.
Burt’s Bees Diaper Rash Cream
Mylicon Gas Relief
Little Noses Saline Nasal Drops
Gauze Pads (for circumcision)
Cool Mist Humidifier (this one)
Medicine Dropper, Syringe or Spoon
Nasal Aspirator (Nose Frida or this Graco battery-operated one)
Thermometer (flex tip for rectal)
Laundry Detergent (Dreft or Tide Free)
Stain Remover (Love The Laundress for mom’s clothes!)
Okay, that’s it for now! I’m hoping to try out some new products with baby #2 and will update this post with any that we love (or don’t love so much). I also want to hear from you, what do you love or what don’t you like so much?
And don’t forget that the Google Sheet is available for you to use and modify as needed!