Your Baby Registry Must Haves List
A dear friend of my mine just told me she is expecting! Insert happy dance! She is one of those people that I was really rooting for. I knew she wanted a family but it wasn’t coming easy for her and when I heard she was pregnant I got all sorts of warm fuzzies in my heart and tummy. When she asked me to help her with a baby registry must haves list…like what she will ACTUALLY need, I was excited to help out. I polled the League of Moms community to see what would be on their list too! Anything you want to add? Let us know in the comments.
What you ACTUALLY need
This a whole other blog post, so I won’t even get started here, but here are some things to consider when picking your stroller…
- Weather conditions where you live i.e. will you be taking it in the snow? If snow is in your forecast then larger tires are needed and maybe even skies!
- Where will you go with your stroller? Will you be taking it on transit? Or putting in the car? If you are mostly a commuter, you’ll need something durable, big basket but also something you can get on the bus. If you are taking it in and out of the car then make sure it can fit in your car!
- Are you planning on more kids? If so, you might want to think ahead and get a stroller that can grow with your family.
- Budget; if you have a budget but see something you can’t afford, keep in mind second-hand options.
Ideally get a stroller that you can use with your infant car seat as you don’t want to wake a baby to take them out of the car.
Want to test drive some strollers? You can rent strollers to test with TryMe Baby Strollers!
If buying second hand, check out Stroller Cleaners to make it like new again!
Keep in mind that your everyday stroller will most likely not be your travelling stroller as you’ll want something really compact, like an umbrella stroller. So note that for your budget!
I have a few strollers starting with the Uppababy Vista which has served us well for one child. I bought an older model so it cost much less than buying a new model (kinda like a car). I intended to use the Vista for both kids, but I preferred having the kids side by side so I bought a Valco Snap Duo side by side stroller (second hand) and I really love it for the two kids! We also have a travel stroller which is a Mountain Buggy Nano which can actually fold up into the overhead compartment of an airplane (though who knows when we’ll be travelling again!)
Not sure if you are a baby wearing fan? There are groups and consultants out there to help! The League of Moms community definitely agree that a carrier is a MUST on your list! If you can only afford one carrier, then my recommendation is to get a structured carrier. I love my Beco Gemini for longer walks and for when the baby gets bigger. The criss-cross straps help with support and avoiding back pain. If you have room in your budget, I would also add a wrap to your list. I used the Moby wrap which was lent to me by a friend and though it did take some practice, once I got use to it, it was perfect for around the house for when the baby needed to sleep and I needed to do stuff. My second kid basically lived in the wrap for her first few months.
Pro Tip: Bring a wrap to your delivery. I was able to nap without worry at the hospital as I used it to strap the baby to me.
If you have a car, then you need one of these. I always tell people, that the first car seat is really only going to last you for the first year because your baby will be too tall or too heavy, so don’t go crazy on a really expensive one. The next car seat will last you much longer, so you can splurge a little more!
Pro Tip: Nervous about installing your own car seat? Check out this service that come to you and installs your car seat. They’ll answer all your questions too and teach you how to do it yourself for next time.
I love a good bouncy chair because you need somewhere to put the baby! You can’t be holding a baby while getting dressed, brushing your teeth, showering and so on. Candidly, I had one on every floor of my house (all handed down to me) and it was great, because on every floor I had a place to put the baby #lifesaver.
You don’t need any official diaper bag, though many of those come with an insulated areas for bottles and a change pad. Ultimately, get something you and your partner will like carrying. We used a simple backpack and had no issues.
Pro Tip: Make sure it can fit under your stroller.
PORTABLE CHANGE PAD
If your diaper bag doesn’t come with a change pad, then get one so you can stop and change a diaper anywhere. I have changed diapers all over the city from benches to the back of my car to department stores change rooms. You gotta do what you gotta do!
DIAPERS & WIPES
Okay this is obvious, but I didn’t want you to forget! With respect to diapers, there are options for reusable diapers, which you can clean yourself or use a cleaning service. I know many people that did a combo of the two, they would use reusable at home and then disposable while they were out.
Pro Tip: Don’t buy too many newborn diapers because depending on your baby’s size you may not need many!
Since you’ll be changing diapers everywhere, equip yourself with lots of bags for poop! Obviously not ideal from an environment stand point, so if you can find reusable or biodegradable options then go for it and let me know about them. Also, you don’t need special baby poop bags, dog poop bags or grocery bags work just fine.
Receiving Blankets: these are so great for swaddling, covering for breastfeeding and so much more! These get dirty easily so get a ton of them! These are easy to get second hand from friends or Facebook buy and sell groups.
If you want the baby in your room to start then you’ll want a bassinet. Both our kids slept in our room until they didn’t fit in the bassinet anymore at about three months. It was handy for breastfeeding to have them nearby. This is one of those items that are easy to borrow from a friend, so start with that option before you go off and buy one because you will only use it for a short time.
A crib, a mattress and bedding. It is your choice on how fancy you want to be. Just remember to put nothing but your baby in the crib. No pillows, blankets or toys until they are much older. If you plan on buying a second-hand crib, make sure it isn’t a drop-side crib which were outlawed many years ago.
SLEEP SWADDLES & SACKS
The Love to Dream Swaddle is a favourite amongst the League of Moms community including many sleep consultants. This specific swaddle lets your baby have their hands up and in their mouths and it is super easy to put the baby in. It also zip-up and down for diaper changes which means less disruption during late-night changes. This swaddle also avoids you having to learn to swaddle with a blanket and let me tell you that is a game-changer as swaddling sucks in the middle of the night! When your baby starts rolling then you can transition them into a sleep sack, here is one we love!
Pro Tip: You don’t need to change a pee diaper (unless your baby is prone to rashes) if your baby is asleep, wait until they wake up for a feed. You definitely need to change poop diapers no matter the time of day or night.
Sleep is soooo important for the baby and you, so make sure you have the necessary tools to achieve good sleep for all! A sleep consultant will advise you start with good habits from day one and one of those is using a sound machine. Specifically put the sound machine between the baby and the source of the sound. This is one I have used and I have one for each of our kids. This one gets recommended a lot because it is inexpensive, and can run on batteries (in addition to being plugged in) and it has settings to last all night.
In those early days you don’t need any clothes other than sleepers and onesies. You’ll be tempted to buy all sorts of cute clothes, but I say keep it simple! I like the zip up sleepers the best and specifically the ones that zip both ways as you can change diapers without completely undressing your baby.
You’ll be doing more laundry with all those blankets and onesies. You’ll see what works for your family, but this is my personal favourite
Babies poop I don’t need to tell you that. Get this stain remover. You’ll thank me and the League of Moms community for recommending it!
CAR SEAT SAFE WEAR
What does this mean? Kids can’t wear puffy jackets in their car seats as it doesn’t allow the straps to be tightened properly, so make sure you buy something that is safe for the car seat. Any fleece is generally safe. When they are young babies, you’ll just dress them in their everyday wear and add blankets and a car seat covers when you are travelling in the car, but you’ll want a snowsuit for outdoor walks. MEC and Colombia have these or if you are lucky you can find at your local Winners for much cheaper.
You won’t need this right away, but if you are registering then put it on your list! Here are some things to think about
- Is it easy to clean? Are there lots of crevices where food can fall? You will be cursing at any chair that has places for food to hide.
- Do you have a space for a stand alone chair? If not, you can get a booster that sits on an existing chair.
- Do you need a tray or will you chair always be up against a table?
- Do you want it to grow with your family? There are some chairs that will transition from high chair to a toddler chair.
- Budget: of course you can buy a second-hand option here, but do a really good inspection job (ie look under the tray, take it apart), as you don’t want to inherit a chair that wasn’t well maintained.
FORMULAS & BOTTLES
If you are planning on formula feeding, then make sure you have some ready to go, even if you are not planning to formula feed having some easily accessible is a good idea. I had trouble breastfeeding my first in the beginning and needed to rely on formula until I got the hang of it. With bottles, you might want to have a few different ones handy to see which one works best for your little babe and once you figure it out then you can get more. Better yet borrow from someone before you invest!
Like the high chair you won’t need this right away, but definitely register for it! Plates, bowls, cups, utensils and bibs….for some reason everyone has lots of bibs, so just ask a friend for some rather than buying new.
Sippy cups get their own heading because there are so many out there and you may need to try a few to find which ones work for your baby. Top priorities are is it leakproof? Can my child hold it on their own? Is it BPA free and durable? Also, how much will I care if I lose it because I guarantee it will happen! Your baby will start using sippy cups around 6-9 months old. I really liked the Think Baby bottles which I got second hand!
For me this was a big must! We hired a company to install gates and drawer locks. You can absolutely do it yourself, but I didn’t want to mess with safety around stairs. You can read here for some baby proofing tips
Everyone needs a little care kit and the most important part of that kit is a thermometer; one that is easy to use and read. This Vick’s digital thermometer is my favourite because it is basically for dummies! Along with a number, it gives you colour indicators – red means fever, green means no fever. It’s also waterproof so you can wash after using rectally which is recommended for more accurate temperatures.
The NICE to have List
Really I found that any old pillow will do, but my kids were both messy eaters, so even with a receiving blanket on the pillow it was a mess and hence I wanted to have a designate breastfeeding pillow. Keep one on all levels of your house so you don’t have to run up and down when it is time to feed.
Pro tip: I kept a small Ikea pillow in my car as well as there were many times when I needed to pull over to breastfeed.
This was important to me, because it meant freedom to get out for more than 2-3 hours at a time. Some people need these because breastfeeding simply didn’t work, but they still want the option to give their baby breast milk. I had an automatic double pump which was great and efficient and I also ended up getting an inexpensive hand pump which I liked for travelling and because it was super easy to use/set up.
Again another non essential, but it is nice to have a place to toss diapers in that is nearby and designed to keep smells out. I am not sure if one holds smells better than the other but the Dekor is sleek looking and is the one I have in my home.
DO NOT put poop diapers in your pail, get those out of the house asap!
For some pails, you can get away with using regular garbage bags so you don’t need to spend to buy the special pail bags. That is the case with the Dekor pail.
GUILDER / ROCKING CHAIR
Having a place to breastfed, read, cuddle with your baby is really nice and one that is soft and can rock or glide is even nicer. While not an official necessity this should be high on your list of nice to haves
You can basically change a baby anywhere, but it is really nice to have a station where all your diapers and wipes are, plus somewhere you don’t have to break your back by bending over. You can get great change tables second hand or even at Ikea. You can have a dresser double as a change table. If you do get a change table you’ll want a change pad to go with it.
Do you really need one? Honestly, unless you live in a mansion you are going to hear your baby cry. We never left ours on overnight because any little noise would wake us up unnecessarily. I liked having one as my kids got older just to see if what they are doing when crying and to assess if I really needed to go into their rooms.
Stay away from the WiFi ones, while they are convenient, there have been stories about people hacking into the systems which is just plain scary.
I am a big fan of soothers. Both my kids took to to them as babies and it saved my sanity many many times. If you commit to them, buy like a hundred, as you will lose them and trust me you don’t want to get stuck without one. Get soother clips too!
Having somewhere for the baby to lay down, practice tummy time and roll around is key. A blanket will do just fine, but if you can find an inexpensive play mat with hanging toys it is nice for the baby to have something to look at and grab at.
When the baby is very little, using the kitchen sink is probably fine, but that also means you need to make sure it is empty, with a new baby that sounds like too much work to me! So get yourself a baby bath and use it as long as you can as it also saves you money and the planet water because you are not filling up a whole bath. If you have a small space, there are some tubs out there that fold up. Here is the one we have. You’ll want a bath insert until the baby can sit up.
CAR SEAT MIRROR
This is not a must have, but you’ll have piece of mind seeing your baby while driving and it’s nice for them to see you too!
If you are planning to take lots of walks, then it’s nice to have a handy spot to keep all your necessities close by. I personally have the Skip Hop one!
The SPLURGE list
These first few months are tough so I highly recommend you do what you can do to outsource!
MEAL DELIVERY SERVICES
There are some that you have to cook yourself, but they do all the work with respect to prepping the ingredients and there are some that offer prepped meals (see here) that you keep in your freezer until you are ready. And of course there is also UBEReats when in need.
GROCERY DELIVERY & PICK UP
Another must for any parent (new or otherwise) is grocery pick up or delivery! Lots of groceries stores now offer curbside pick, there is Instacart and there are a bunch of independent businesses offering fruit and veggie boxes too. From a registry perspective, perhaps you ask for gift cards from grocery stores you know offering these services.
I think everyone should have this on their registry because you know you won’t have the energy to keep a baby alive and a house clean. You know what they say, sleep when the baby sleeps, clean when the baby cleans!
You deserve to be pampered, you just had a baby! I know what you are thinking, ‘I’ve just had a baby!” I can’t leave the house. Check this mobile service especially for mamas that comes to you!
Want to download this list? Click here!
League of Moms / 02/14/2021