This is a question that I see popping up all the time in my mom groups on Facebook and from friends who are newly pregnant. I remember being completely researched out by the time we had finally conceived E and the change in hormones was no help, I simply didn’t have the energy to start doing research into baby things. What I found helpful were Amazon links that friends sent me with their recommendations because all I had to do was click and save to my Amazon Baby Registry. If you are looking for Baby Registry inspiration, here is a list of items that I’ve found useful in the first 6 months after baby E arrived and links to Amazon for your convenience. This post contains affiliate links, which means I earn a small percentage when you make a purchase through my link, but this is at no extra cost to you. All the products that I recommend in this post are products that I’ve bought, used and loved.
Places for baby to sleep
A safe place for your baby to sleep is probably the most important thing to add to your baby registry. Always follow the ABC’s of Sleep. For more information about safe infant sleep, please take a look at this article, How to Keep Your Sleeping Baby Safe: AAP Policy Explained.
I absolutely could not live without my pack n play. E has slept in this thing since we brought him home from the hospital. I didn’t opt for any of the fancy add-ons, I read that the add-ons such as the changer get outgrown quickly, so I just made sure to find a play yard that had a bassinet level. Although many babies will outgrow the bassinet level quickly, it makes a difference in the first couple months to have them up at the higher level. This has made those middle of the night wakings easier because we keep it next to the bed and I just roll over and pick him up to feed him and then place him back in. We have also taken this with us when we’ve traveled and I like how easy it is to set up.
I also recommend picking up a few Graco Pack N Play Quilted Playard Sheets. I like these because they are soft and add a little extra padding to the playard mattress. I recommend more than one so that you have a clean spare ready to go for nighttime accidents.
This will be totally up to your personal style and tastes but I thought I would show you what I decided on and why. I had a really hard time choosing a crib, but I finally decided on this one, the Babyletto Hudson 3-in-1 Convertible Crib. The main reason I chose this is because it is GreenGuard certified, meaning that it has low chemical emissions, improving the quality of air where the product is used. A lot of the cribs I looked at that were not GreenGuard certified had lots of complaints about how the product smelled, so I decided that this was an important factor for me.
You will also need a safe place to set baby down when they are awake, the floor is usually good for this, but we have 2 dogs so when E was just a newborn, I felt much better about putting him in a bouncer or a rocker. The crib or pack n play is always a good option, but for us, it was nice to have some seating options as well.
We initially only had the Fisher-Price Newborn-to-Toddler Portable Rocker, but E would fuss every time I set him down in this (now at 6 months he likes it), so I ended up finding a BABYBJORN Bouncer on Facebook marketplace. E loved the BABYBJORN Bouncer as a new born, I think he liked it because of how it hugged him.
We also got E this Fisher-Price 2-in-1 Sit-to-Stand Activity Center that he started to enjoy around 4 months. Now at 6 months he is enjoying the activity center more than ever and it is a nice change from being on the floor playing in his play gym. It also keeps him busy after a diaper change, when I need to take care of spraying a poopy diaper.
For a play gym, I looked for something that had interesting features in the play mat as well as interesting hanging toys. The Skip Hop Farmstand Grow & Play Activity Gym is what I got for E. I like this play gym because it has a pretty large mat which features crinkle lettuce and a mirror as well as different textures for E to explore, plus it is so cute!
For the first 8 weeks of E’s life, he slept swaddled. Since he was born a month early, he was tiny and while there are all kinds of swaddle products out there, we found it easiest to use a large swaddle blanket, the ones measuring at least 47″ x 47″.
These are the ones we have and I love how soft they are. I’ve loved having a bunch of these swaddle blankets around because they have multiple uses. I’ve used mine to wipe up baby spit up, as a car seat cover, a blanket in the stroller or car seat, and as a floor mat for baby to play on.
There are a lot of swaddle products on the market, but we only tried a couple because we were pretty happy to swaddle using our blankets. E didn’t seem to have much of a preference either, some babies do have a preference. However, I was glad that I had a few options on hand to try out because it kept me from randomly ordering different swaddle products in the middle of the night when E wouldn’t sleep.
I recommend this if your baby likes to sleep with their arms by their head. E used one like this for a couple weeks once he was big enough to fit into it and seemed to like it, but he grew out of it pretty quickly.
I also recommend trying the Halo swaddle if your baby enjoys being swaddled because you can get a really tight swaddle that helps baby feel super cozy. This will highly depend on whether your baby likes being swaddled. Once E was big enough to fit into this swaddle, we tried it out for a few nights, but it didn’t seem to make much difference for his sleep.
We also love using these cotton muslin sleep sacks now that E no longer needs to be swaddled. These muslin ones are great for summers in Phoenix. They also make them in fleece for colder nights. We ended up with a couple in each size which is nice because we have backups for when there are accidents or leaks.
Stroller and Car Seats
This is another area where your personal preferences will dictate what will work best for you. I decided to choose the car seat first and then found a stroller that works with the car seat.
The reason I went with the Chicco Bravo LE over the Chicco Bravo is because the Chicco Bravo does not come with the child snack tray, which costs $29.99 and is necessary if you want to use this stroller with the car seat. In addition, the Chicco Bravo LE comes with a mesh seat insert, an extra visor on the sun canopy for a little extra coverage, a zippered storage compartment on the parent tray, a child snack tray, a black frame, and the KeyFit 30 Zip Infant Car Seat.
I spent so much time researching different high chairs, even bought 2 different high chairs, only to turn around and return them. There are plenty of good options out there, but as E started to show more and more interested in eating food, I was running out of time. I finally decided to go ahead and purchase the Stokke Tripp Trapp High Chair, Complete Bundle, and we are extremely happy with the purchase. E looks very comfortable sitting in this chair and I like how he can plant both feet on the foot rest, helping him stabilize while he sits in the chair.
I also ended up buying this Ingenuity Baby Base 2-in-1 Seat, it was on sale and I thought it would be a good option to keep at my parent’s house, we needed something smaller and easy to store and this fit the bill. I also took this seat with us on our recent road trip to California and it was easy enough to travel with. I like that this seat is portable and not too difficult to clean. It is also very easy to strap to a chair and feels sturdy.
We put this Skip Hop Moby Baby Bath Tub 3 in 1 Smart Sling, Blue on our registry and have enjoyed using it, especially when E was still floppy and didn’t have great head control. He fit really nicely into the sling and it has been pretty easy to bathe him in this tub.
This Munchkin Rinse Shampoo Riser has come in super handy for bath time. We use it to wash everything, not just his hair.
We have several sets of these Premium Hooded Baby Towel and Washcloth Gift Set – Large Certified Organic Baby Towels and Washcloths – Bamboo Baby Towel with Hood – Hypoallergenic Toddler Towels for Boys or Girls. Love how soft the material is and E seems to enjoy hanging out wrapped in these before getting dressed for bed.
Don’t Forget Mom!
These Women’s C-Section Recovery Slimming Underwear Tummy Control Panties were completely necessary for me in the first 12 weeks after E was born. This link was passed around quite a bit in my due date group as well, even for women who did not have c-sections. I actually wore these under the belly binder the hospital gave me and the extra support was welcome while I was recovering.
If you are going to try breastfeeding, here are some things that I ended up needing to make things easier and more comfortable:
Haakaa Manual Breast Pump – this is a great way to start stashing milk, it works by catching the letdown on the opposite side that wasn’t being nursed.
Medela, Harmony Breast Pump, Manual Breast Pump – I didn’t think I would be doing much pumping since I planned to be a stay at home mom, but this hand pump has gotten plenty of use. In the early days of breastfeeding it helped to pump a little off to relieve engorgement and to help decrease the force of my letdown. Now I use this pump whenever I need to pump enough for a bottle and it was very convenient for our recent car trip to CA.
Medela Safe & Dry Ultra Thin Disposable Nursing Pads – I tried several disposable pads and these were my favorite because they stayed in place and kept me relatively dry. These are good if you experience a lot of leaking like I did within the first 2-3 months of nursing.
Bamboo Nursing Pads (14 Pack)+Laundry Bag & Travel Bag – I like having a reusable option once leaking got somewhat under control, these won’t work very well if you leak a lot or often because they need to be changed as soon as they get saturated, a cold wet pad sitting against your skin is not my idea of comfortable.
Women’s Nursing Top Tank – these are a nursing staple and I like to wear them as pj’s and around the house when we aren’t going anywhere for the day.
Round Hot & Cold Packs (6 Pack) – Heat or Ice Therapy – one of these heated up really helped to help reduce pain from engorgement during the first couple weeks while your body adjusts to nursing.
While this list is missing things like baby clothes and other smaller items, the items listed have gotten a lot of use in our first 6 months and I would recommend them to anyone who is looking to fill up their baby registry.
If you enjoyed this post, leave me a comment and tell me what baby essentials would you recommend?