I stepped into motherhood about a year ago. The waiting and anticipation of becoming a parent for the first time is probably the most magical, weird, and uncertainty-filled experience you can have in life. When it comes to preparation for anything, my default tends to be endless research—I can easily go down a rabbit hole on any topic. Baby gear being one of them, unfortunately.
For soon-to-be parents it can be so daunting looking at the endless lists of baby gear and gadgets, wondering, “Do I really need all this stuff?” I’ve found it’s truly impossible to know what the baby registry essentials are until after you’ve gone through the experience of having a baby and figuring out your parenting groove. “What you need” is so personal, varying from parent to parent, and it’s important to find what works best for you and your baby.
Coming up on a year postpartum, I wanted to write up some of my favorites—and what I didn’t love—from the baby gear I tried out.
All product opinions are my own and have been formed from my personal experience as a new mom.
Baby Registry Essentials
Here’s a list of my favorites from our registry and gifted items we received.
Diapers and wipes are never overrated. Find what works for you—I prefer plant-based, fragrance-free diapers and wipes. Subscription services are also so convenient and could be a great gift to a new parent.
All-purpose, ultra-soft cloths for spit up and other messes.
Swaddle blankets and sleep sacks for safe, secure sleeping.
Baby pajamas in a few different sizes—it’s nice to have some items that will fit your baby as they grow. That being said, any clothes with zippers are your friend!
Wipeable changing pad—easy clean up and less laundry? Yes, please. I love our changing pad from Skip Hop.
The NoseFrida aka the snot sucker. Way more effective and sanitary than the bulb-style nasal aspirators.
Baby Bjorn carrier. This is low-profile and easy to use. I received a wrap carrier and it was beautiful, but extremely time consuming to put on.
Don’t be afraid to ask for the big gear pieces like a stroller or carseat.
Don’t Forget Mom
Here are a few of my postpartum essentials to add to your registry or pick up for yourself.
Comfortable pajamas and a robe that are easy to put on. I lived in my pajamas for the first two weeks postpartum.
Reusable, cotton nursing pads. These are some of my favorites, and they can double as cotton rounds for removing makeup.
Invest in a breast pump with a hands-free bra.
What You Don’t Need
Here’s what I would recommend skipping adding to your baby registry.
Baby bouncers and rockers. These items can be really expensive (and are not recommended for baby sleep!) and babies definitely have preferences to specifics motions (rocking vs. bouncing, etc.) I’d recommend borrowing over buying these items so you can try them out first.
Bottle and wipe warmers. These definitely fall into the “unnecessary gadgets” category for me. A friend of mine brought up these can backfire big time if you plan on traveling or being on the go—babies get used to having warm wipes and bottles, and you may not be able to provide that if you’re out running errands or on an airplane.
Cute, expensive burp cloths. I, too, had aspirations of beautifully-printed, linen cloths to gently mop my child’s messy face. In reality, you will grab whatever is closest to clean a mess—t-shirts, kitchen towels, your own hands. Don’t get too hung up on aesthetics in this department.
Parents and parents-to-be, what are some of your top baby registry picks? Leave a comment with yours!