When you first get pregnant, there is so much on your mind that it can be very stressful. From symptoms and what’s going on in your body to how your life is going to change after the baby comes, you can’t help but feel completely overwhelmed.
When I found out I was pregnant for the first time, even though we were trying for a couple months and had been talking about how much we couldn’t wait to have a baby, the initial shock still hits you like a ton of bricks, like OMG THIS IS REALLY HAPPENING.
Starting a baby registry and learning about all the new baby gadgets and gizmos can make your head spin. Every baby is different so some things that worked with my babies may not work for you. Also, if you ask your parents what they used when we were babies, you will hear totally different recommendations than what your friends who are currently having babies might say. They come out with new baby products all the time to keep up with the evolving markets and research, and also the fact that us millennials will buy anything to help our babies sleep, eat, and be comfortable.
This isn’t a minimalist’s list, but quite an extensive compilation of Must Haves for your registry or new baby. Now it’s all dependent on your budget as to what you would view as a necessity, as a baby could sleep in a card board box if need be, but use your discretion if you’re on a tight budget as to what is important and what is not. I’ve also included some things that I would say, save your money on, and other tips from a seasoned mama!
I didn’t include every brand because I have obviously not tested them all out, but I can speak for ones that I have used and reviewed myself and what worked or didn’t work for me. Happy shopping!
Related Post: Financial Must-Dos Before Baby
If you haven’t already started a registry, be sure to sign up with Amazon Baby Registry first. They have the largest selection of any baby/mommy items, free returns, 15% off completion discount for anything that wasn’t bought on your registry, Prime 2 day shipping, and a ton of other perks.
Also if you want an in store registry and a place to actually go in and look and feel the products, Buy Buy Baby is your best bet.
This post may contain affiliate links for which I would receive a small commission should you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
Touch Lights & Night Lights– Have a night light by your bed and the bassinet for those late night feedings and wake ups so you don’t have to put on the bright light and wake the baby even more.. These night lights are great and have a sensor to turn on only when it’s dark. Put one in your hallway, bedroom, bathroom, and nursery. These adjustable night lights are great to put on the dresser next to the diaper changing station and you can adjust the brightness on your own.
Bath & Health
Utensils –These Grabease utensils are the BEST for little hands. For a little older children, the OXO Tot Utensils are the only ones you need- the metal fork is necessary to actually pick food up and the handle fits well in their hands.
Plates & bowls –These plates (EZPZ)have worked great for suction. I get the ‘mini’ ones because I found out that the regular size mats are too big for most high chair trays. The minis are plenty big enough. These bowls are fantastic as well!
Sippy Cups – I have found these Munchkin 360 cups to be good for not leaking the most. I am also partial to a straw cup because it’s the best for oral motor development. I do love these munchkin straw cups. They’re great for the first cup to transition baby from a bottle and learning to drink from a straw, but sometimes they do tend to leak more when thrown.
Bibs – These Bumkin bibs are easy to clean and cover a large area. For when baby is just learning to eat, these long sleeve ‘smock bibs’ are good for the most coverage, especially good in the colder months when baby will be wearing long sleeves. If you don’t want sleeves, these rubber bibs really work to keep baby from pulling them off and are super easy to clean.
Crinkle Books – These little books could keep my daughter occupied all day long. When they start to grasp around 3 months, they’ll love the sensory (auditory and tactile) feedback it provides and also love turning the pages.
O-Ball Shaker – The holes in the O-Balls are perfect for little hands to grab and move. This one is a great toy because it has a rattle which allows baby to start learning cause and effect (that he can grab and shake a toy and it will make noise).
Light and glow toys to push – This toy also teaches cause and effect, allowing your baby to push a button to light up and play sounds. Watch your baby start dancing to the music and see his excitement when he realizes he just made that happen. These kind of toys are used a little on the later side of newborns, but at a few months your child will begin to press buttons.
Soft Plush Toys– This Lamaze Play and Grow Freddie the Firefly combines bright colors and textures to stimulate the senses. It has the crinkle texture which babies love to feel and hear, as well as dangling parts to chew on and manipulate.
Crib Mobile – A mobile is great for when your baby starts visually tracking objects around 2 months. The movement will grab their attention and they can watch as it spins in a circle. Attach it to the baby’s crib or bassinet, but you will want to remove it once your baby is sitting up and can reach it. There are sometimes mobiles attached to baby swings and pack n plays which are great additions to look for when you’re shopping for them.
Activity gym – An activity gym is great to do tummy time. The toys and bright colors give them some more visual stimulation, as well as objects to reach for and grasp.
Nursing and post partum
Postpartum Items you may not want to register for, but definitely buy beforehand:
Heavy Maxi Pads You’ll bleed for 2-6 weeks postpartum so have these on hand.
Briefs Yep, this is about how sexy you’re going to look for those first few weeks after the baby is born. Embrace it! But these ones are so soft and comfy, you’ll never want to take them off.
Ameda Nipple Gel Pads- These were by far my favorite postpartum accessory! My nipples were soooo sore after the first couple nursing sessions that I could barely tolerate her feeding! You can put them in the refrigerator so they are cool and keep them on your breasts in between nursing sessions.
Save all boxes, packaging, and receipts– Amazon has a great return policy and Buy Buy Baby let’s you return within a year of purchase from your registry. I had to return things that I wasn’t happy with and you may not even use something for 4 months after the baby is born. Also, you will want to store the baby gear in boxes once you’re finished with it, especially the stuff that you may only use for 1-2 months. I know how exciting it is to get everything after your baby shower and want to set everything up, but try to wait until you really know what your baby will need.
Don’t take off all the clothes tags and wash everything as soon as you get it, especially newborn stuff. Your baby could be in newborn clothes for a week or 3 months. You don’t need 15 onesies in each size, maybe 6-7, and pajamas, in each size. You’ll probably get the most clothes in sizes newborn & 3 months so definitely exchange for larger sizes if needed.
I hope I was detailed enough for you and helped complete your registry because I know it can be overwhelming. Let me know if you have any other questions about products or baby essentials!