What I learned most from my registry experience is that it is best to seek advice from mamas that have carried out your goals.
If you want to breastfeed exclusively, then ask a breastfeeding mom about items that were most useful for her. If you want to cloth diaper, again, align your registry with someone who has cloth diapered or who is actively doing this. If your baby will be in full-time daycare, your registry might look a little different from a registry that was made for a stay at home mom and her baby.
Make sure you consider the source when getting registry advice, and take everything with a grain of salt; you know what is best for your family and your baby. With that being said, this registry list is coming from an exclusively breastfeeding mama who cloth diapers her baby at home. So, if that is your goal, then hopefully this can be of some use to you!
Before I get into the actual registry items, let me first put in my plug for Amazon as a registry source. I had two registries for my baby shower, at the recommendation of others (Amazon and Target), and I have to say I was blown away by the ease of use of my Amazon registry. Amazon offers multiple freebies through promotions and incentives, value through their low prices and high quality products, and Amazon’s candid reviews make it difficult to justify taking your registry elsewhere.
If I had to do it over again, I would just make an Amazon Registry. It was by far more useful for everyone. The majority of my gifts were purchased through Amazon, so that is my recommendation. You can click here to start setting up your registry!
Most of your shower guests, friends, and family likely have Prime accounts and will be SO GRATEFUL they can buy your gift from the comfort of their own home, with free shipping!
I use Amazon Affiliate Links throughout my post. This means that if you end up purchasing an item through the link I provide (or registering), then I get a small kick back. This does not cost you anything.
Crib and Sleep Essentials
- Crib. We chose this one for its rounded edges, neutral color scheme, and convertible options for down the road.
- Crib Mattress. This was highly rated on Amazon and has dual uses; a firm side for babies and a softer side for toddlers.
- Crib Mattress Protector / Pad. So you don’t have to worry about your mattress getting soiled.
- Bath Support. This one is nice because it’s not actually a container, so it’s super easy to clean. If baby has an accident, you can just wash it through, and baby isn’t sitting in dirty water. It also fit in our kitchen sink when baby was small.
- Bath Kneeling Mat. If you care about your knees, this is for you!
- Bath Rinser. A gentle bath stream for baby to play with.
Safety and Mobility Essentials
- Travel System (economical). This is a must – you can’t leave the hospital without a car seat, and it’s easiest if you are able to place baby in the carrier before you get into the car. I would recommend this car seat and Jogger stroller (travel system). The jogger is nice as a stroller because it’s so versatile. Keep in mind, baby will outgrow the carrier around a year old.
- Travel System (splurge). This travel system is a more pricey set, but it is super nice!
- 4-in-1 Car Seat. If you are thinking ahead, this is a car seat you can use from infancy to toddler years. The 4-in-1’s are great because they are multi-purpose and last until baby is out of a car seat (120 lbs)! We use this as a second car seat in our other car. The 4-in-1 is different from the ‘all-in-one’ because it also turns into a booster seat without the back. We recently purchased this Diono 4-in-1 for traveling and I have to say it is SUPER nice and the same price as the one above. I would almost recommend this one more-my baby LOVES the comfort of the Diono and it fits better on a plane.
- Car Seat Protectors. For your car(s) – this is a two pack with organizers as well. If you care about your car upholstery, it’s a good investment in my opinion.
- Car Seat Mirror. Get this before you go into labor. When I had to drive with baby, I felt completely blind without a mirror and not being able to see her. So, get the mirrors installed before you go to the hospital. Peace of mind is worth $$.
- Car Sun Shades. These are awesome because they just adhere to your window – no assembly required! They fold up so you can stick them in a diaper bag and take them with you between different vehicles.
- Stroller Organizer. Most stroller organizer designs are not large enough to hold modern iPhones or Androids. They have small containers by the handles, making it almost a necessity to purchase a stroller organizer. This one is great.
- Changing Pad. This is a basic changing pad that does the job.
- Changing Pad Covers. I have two and this is enough! You can get these in a set with the crib sheets listed above for cheaper.
- Changing Pad Liners. These go on top of the covers and can easily be thrown in the wash with your cloth diapers – they can be washed and dried! Baby will pee often in the beginning during a diaper change. The waterproof pads make it so easy to clean up and swap out with a new pad in seconds.
- Diaper Trash Can. This is the one we use and it’s pretty good. It’s honestly a little small for cloth diapers, but only in the beginning when we were going through like 15-18 cloth diapers a day. It’s perfect for disposable diapers. Now that baby is older, this is a nice diaper trash can for cloth diapers because it keeps the smell contained. My only complaint is that it is a little tricky to change the liners, but there is little to no smell with this trash can, so it’s a trade off.
- Diaper Trash Can Liners. These are for disposable diapers. If you are going to cloth diaper, then you don’t need these, you need the reusable ones listed in the next section.
- Diaper Wet Bags. These are good for traveling and to hold dirty diapers or anything wet. Honestly these are great for both disposable diapers and cloth diapers.
- Diaper Rash Cream. I use this kind because it is all natural and SAFE for cloth diapers as well. I bought three of these tubes (one for nursery, one for my baby bag, one for husband’s baby bag) and I can honestly say this amount will probably last the entirety of baby’s diapering days (or until the expiration date). A little goes a long way.
- Diaper Wipes. These are my favorite disposable diaper wipes – clean ingredients, not too wet, and very large.
- Diapers. If you’re looking for actual disposable diapers, I love these free and clear ones when I use them.
Cloth Diapering Essentials (if you are going this route)
- Wipe Warmer. This is a bit of a splurge, but a necessity in my mind. My baby didn’t mind diaper changes until it came to the wipes. She cried with cold wipes which would completely wake her up at night. So, the warmer is a nice tool to have if you want to change baby and then put them back to sleep. ALSO, it doubles as a towel warmer! When you are breastfeeding in the early weeks, you want warm or hot compresses on your sore chest. I wish I would have bought this wipe warmer sooner! By the time we did buy the wipe warmer, it was two months in and I had gotten over the pains of breastfeeding. So, my recommendation is to get the wipe warmer for both you and your baby before your baby arrives. I recommend this one because it holds cloth wipes (and allows you to use cloth wipes easily) and it gets a little warmer than a disposable wipe warmer, but it can also hold disposable wipes as well.
- Diaper Trash Can Liner. This is specifically for cloth diapers and for the diaper trash can mentioned in the previous section.
- Cloth Diapers. I have two different types and would recommend them both – Mama Koala and Alva Baby. There are so many colors and patterns to choose from! If you are serious about cloth diapering, commit to it now! I would put at least six to eight packs (knowing you probably won’t get them all) of cloth diapers on your registry list and tell guests that you are serious about it! You can save a LOT of money if your friends and family get you, or contribute to, your cloth diaper stash. Also, Amazon is the only registry site that carries such an extensive selection of cloth diapers!
- Five Layer Diaper Liners. These are more absorbent and for when baby gets older. The all in one diapers listed above come with their own liners, and I am still using those liners six months in, so at some point I will switch over to the 5 layer bamboo liners when she starts leaking through the other liners.
- Cloth Wipes. Put your cloth wipes in the wipe warmer, then after you use them, throw them in the cloth diaper trash can with your dirty cloth diapers and wash everything together! Super easy and cost effective, plus SO HEALTHY for baby’s bum.
- Cloth Wipe Solution. You can make your own solution most likely for less money, but I like these soap pieces. They’re super clean ingredients (better than any disposable wipe ingredient list), easy to use, and they save me time.
- Notice: I don’t have a diaper sprayer on my list. An exclusively breastfed baby’s poo is water soluble! No need to spray the poo off.
- Baby Safe Detergent. This is a really nice, clean (ingredient) detergent (cleaner than Dreft), and we use it for our grown-up clothes, too. It works well with cloth diapering, so an all around detergent that is safe for baby and works on tough stains as well.
- Baby Safe Stain Remover. If you are cloth diapering, this is a good investment. Even if you’re using disposables, this is still good for food and drool stains. I’ve only had to buy two bottles of this and it has lasted six months.
- Oxi Clean. I use this for tough stains on cloth diapers.
Feeding and Bottle Essentials
- Bottle Set with Pacifiers. This is the ONLY set I needed. Here is an honest mistake I made – I thought I needed a lot of bottles and pacifiers. I now have a stash of both that I’ve never touched just sitting in a cabinet collecting dust. This set comes with four bottles (two sizes), six nipples (three stages), and three pacifiers (two sizes). It’s an awesome set at an outstanding value. The nipples and pacifiers are shaped like real nipples when nursed, so it’s supposed to feel more realistic to baby. It’s highly recommended for breastfeeding moms. It’s also easy to clean and involves only three pieces (bottle, nipple, and ring), plus the travel cap. The bottles are easy to wash and assemble and great to take with you on the go.
- Bottle Warmer. Baby definitely likes the warmed milk more, but I have also fed her cold milk on hot days and she drank that as well. So, the bottle warmer is really more of a splurge. You can warm a bottle by putting it in a warm water bath as well, but its certainly not as convenient as the bottle warmer.
- Grass Drying Mat. This is great for drying all of your ‘stuff’ like bottles, pacifiers, breast pump equipment, dishes, etc. I think my husband likes this more than I do. We got the small one but I wish we would have registered for the larger one (as referenced here).
- Bottle Brush. I don’t have a bottle sterilizer or anything like that because I don’t bottle feed that much. I just use the bottle brush and scrub with soap and water to do a good cleaning, then leave out on the grass mat to dry! This one is nice because it has a built in nipple brush as well.
- Silicone Spoons. I put this on my registry for six months and beyond.
- Fresh Food Feeders. These are great to give your baby fresh food without the need to puree.
- High Chair. This is mostly for six months and on. We actually haven’t gotten a high chair yet, but this is the one we will get eventually. Multiple uses and grows with baby!
Textiles, Clothing, and Carrier Essentials
- Muslin Blankets. I have found that these all cotton muslin blankets are my favorite. We live in Florida, so they are cool and breathable, but are also very large and can be layered if needed. The blankets are lightweight, cotton, and awesome for swaddling as well. They are also large enough to lay out on the floor and place baby on for playtime.
- Washcloths. You need lots of washcloths. Opt for cotton ones. Get a lot. I have small jars all around the house with clean washcloths in them. I have one in her room, one in our family room by the couch, one in our room, one on the kitchen island… it’s like my grab and go for when the drool starts to flow. I also stash several in the diaper bags as well. You cannot have too many wash cloths.
- Bibs. I LOVE these bibs because they provide baby something to chew on and for baby to relieve some teething pains. They also give baby another texture to think about. I have not needed more than three bibs. This set comes with a bonus teething toothbrush!
- The Halo Sleep Sack Swaddle. If you are planning to swaddle your baby, this is an excellent choice. We used this a few times when baby was really young because it allows for three different options of swaddling – hands down swaddle, hands up swaddle, and arms out swaddle.
- Stokke Baby Carrier. I bought this after reading another reviewer comment that the Stokke Carrier is really supportive on their back. I will agree that this carrier is really nice and supportive, has a lot of options, and is really well made, but you definitely pay for it. It is on the pricey side, but if you buy the all in one, it will last the entirety of your carrying days. My husband and I fight over who is going to carry our baby, so it’s that good.
- Boba Wrap. This is a great carrier for when baby is really small. I get so many compliments on it in the grocery stores. You can basically wear it as a shirt over a tank top, and slip baby inside of it. Watch a You Tube video on how to wear it; very informative. It does get warm, however.
- Baby Clothes and Baby Toys. If there is something you absolutely love in terms of clothes or toys, add it to your registry. My experience has been that people buy baby toys and clothes regardless of what is on your registry. We received so many baby clothes and toys at our showers and when baby was born that there was no need to have an extensive list of these items on a registry. Plus, many mamas are willing to give away hand me downs if you are willing to take them. Most people will enjoy buying their own outfits for your baby. My biggest recommendation is these magnetic footie sleepers for baby’s hospital stay. They are so functional when you take into account the amount of times baby needs to be changed and checked.
- Digital Thermometer. Seriously. GET ONE! I don’t know why I didn’t see this at all on any registry recommendations or lists. Nurses use them in the hospital and I thought wow, that’s so easy. It takes literally three seconds and there is no undressing or holding baby still while you hold a cold thermometer under their armpit and hope for an accurate reading. This product is probably one of my biggest recommendations.
- Baby Monitor. This is a great monitor that doesn’t connect to wifi, so it’s a camera and monitor unit that just communicates with each other. There are plenty of other ones that do connect to wifi and to your phone, if that is what you want. We also got the traveling case and the additional camera with this one. It has been really helpful for naps and bedtime when you transition baby into a different room.
- Newborn Kit. This kit includes the infamous Nose Frida! I highly recommend this little thing if you have a stuffy baby. The kit also include a nail file and clipper, as well a mini peri rinse, and a few other handy things. Good to have around!
- Pack and Play. I list this as an essential because it really is; it’s a safe surface to lay your baby in that still encourages movement and rolling over. It also doubles as a bassinet if you want your baby to sleep in your bedroom with you. I will elaborate on that below. We liked this version because it comes with the newborn insert.
- Pack and Play Sheets. It’s good to have a couple of sheets to make the pack and play comfortable and easily washable.
Are they really essentials if they’re splurges? These are surprisingly useful items that I highly recommend.
- Boppy Lounger. This was a gift from my mother and not on my registry. We used it all the time. Mostly, we set it on our kitchen island and place baby on it so I can work on my laptop right next to her. She feels like she is apart of something and I’m right there and can interact with her. As long as you are with baby at all times, you can set baby down on multiple surfaces with the Boppy Lounger and it gives baby a nice platform to ‘lounge’ on.
- Snuggle Me Co-Sleeper. This was a game changer for us. I will elaborate on our sleep routine in a different post, but we used the Snuggle Me in the beginning on our bed, in between us. Baby slept in this first, and then I transitioned her into her own crib, in the Snuggle Me. She has used this for six months. We don’t swaddle her, she doesn’t fall asleep with a pacifier, just the Snuggle Me. This is also super for traveling with, and baby still feels like she is ‘at home’ when I put her to sleep. There is also the Dock a Tot which is a similar product.
- Baby Piano Play Center. My baby has loved this from pretty much week one. It’s small, can fit in a crib or pack and play if you don’t want your baby on the floor (in case of animals), and it keeps baby entertained for a while. It’s super interactive!
- Diaper Bag for Him. I bought this one for my husband – it’s a tactical baby diaper bag with changing mat and he loves it. He actually wants to show it off and take it everywhere we go. Hey, whatever works to get him excited about carting around diapers, wipes, and baby clothes. 🙂
- Diaper and Pump Bag for Her. I love this one from Sarah Wells. This was given to me as a gift and it doubles as a pumping bag as well. It’s a little pricey, but the quality is high and I can’t see myself not using it for the entirety of my baby’s diaper days. Of note: their customer service is exemplary and they stand behind their products.
Put these on your registry. Don’t hesitate to put stuff on your registry for YOU. It’s important you take care of yourself, because if Mama isn’t happy, no one is!
- Nipple Pads. I use these everyday. I used several PER day in the beginning when my milk came in. I have three sets so I don’t have to launder them daily. I like the reusable ones because in the long run, it’s money saved and better for you.
- Nipple Cream. This stuff is my favorite. In the first month, you will use this all the time. It’s also safe to nurse with the cream still on, so you don’t have to wash yourself before nursing. One jar was all I needed to get me through the first month.
- Nursing Cover Up. I bought two cheaper ones and wasn’t impressed. Then, I invested in this nice cover, and it’s all I need. So far, one nice cover up has been enough. I like this one because it’s cotton, breathable, and loose around the bottom, so it’s easy to slip baby underneath.
- Nursing Collection Cups. I was astounded at the amount of milk I was wasting (letting go into my nipple pads) on let downs. I put a collection cup on one day and almost cried because I could have been saving the let down milk all along! Put one on the side you are not nursing on and collect the let down as baby nurses on the other side! I also used the Hakaa during my early nursing days and this was really useful as well.
- Soothing Booby Tubes. These soothing tubes were really nice during the first few weeks of nursing. They are great to have on hand to get you through the hardest and most painful part of breastfeeding. They are reusable and don’t involve any chemicals against your skin, so you don’t have to wash yourself before nursing sessions. You can heat or chill them!
- Nursing Bras. I wear a bra or nursing tank (with nipple pads) all the time because I am breastfeeding. Even at night. So, I go through a lot of nursing bras in a week. Invest in some comfortable nursing bras. I like these because you can get a lot for the money. If you buy them in stores, you get the same quality but you pay five times as much.
- Nursing Tanks. These are my staples for all of my outfits. I wear a nursing tank with nipple pads and then usually a normal shirt over the tank. These tanks also work during pregnancy as well! These tanks have saved me from having to buy a bunch of designated nursing shirts. I highly recommend!
- Nursing Pillow. I nurse my baby on this Boppy Nursing Pillow everyday. It allows for more hands-free nursing. It’s not compact by any means, but for around the house, it’s really useful.
Here is my short advice with nursing / breastfeeding paraphernalia (take it for what it’s worth, from one new mama to another). I’m not an expert or a healthcare professional, but I’m still doing it after 13months involving a few rough weeks and lots of tears, so this is my takeaway: invest in yourself and your baby. Nursing is not easy. Make the investment early on so you are ready to go and you have set yourself up for success.
ITEMS I REGISTERED FOR BUT SHOULDN’T HAVE (REGISTRY DON’TS)
Here are some things that I wouldn’t put on a registry again.
- Bassinet. I registered for a bassinet (nothing crazy; not the Halo), and my baby never used it. She’s like 98th percentile in height so, she’s pretty much too long for it now anyway. Honestly, if I had a do-over, I would have put something else on my registry instead of this. I couldn’t justify buying even the super nice bassinets like the Halo because I knew that she wouldn’t be in it for very long.
- Burp Cloths. Burp cloths serve one purpose and one purpose only. They are small and are meant to go on your shoulder for when you burp your baby. First, I could never get my baby to actually burp on the burp cloth – it went everywhere but. Second, I don’t really like one purpose items like this. I wish I would have just put more muslin blankets and washcloths on my registry.
- Baby Shoes. I didn’t actually put these on my registry, but I wouldn’t, and I would recommend not even worrying about them until baby is walking (this was advice given to me by another mama as well). Just get socks. We bought one pair of baby shoes for when our baby went to a wedding, and that is the one and only time she has worn shoes in six months.
- Baby Powder. It is no longer recommended to use baby powder due to adverse health reactions. We’ve never needed it. The diaper cream has been enough.
- Crib Bumpers. I put this on my registry at first, but later deleted it after I learned that it is now against recommendations to have anything in the crib except a well fitted sheet.
- Multiple Pacifiers and Bottles. I said this previously, but you don’t need a ton. One set is fine to start with if you are strictly breastfeeding and following the guidelines for bottle and pacifier use while breastfeeding.
- Baby Clothes and Toys. I put a lot of baby clothes on my registry. What I found was that most people got even cuter clothes than the ones on my registry. I did get some super cute clothes, like Harry Potter outfits, but for the most part, I was pleasantly surprised at the other outfits I was given that were not on my registry.
ITEMS I WISH I WOULD HAVE REGISTERED FOR (REGISTRY DO’S)
These are items that I kind of wished I would have splurged on in the beginning, but didn’t.
- Baby and Toddler Scale. In the first month, baby’s weight gain is crucial. That’s all you focus on; are they growing? What percentile are they? Am I producing enough milk? I would drive all the way across town to my lactation consultant to weigh my baby. Reflecting on this, that was kind of silly considering I could have just weighed her at home with a baby scale. There is no way to tell how much baby is eating when breastfeeding, unless you weigh her before and after a feeding. I did this countless times at my lactation consultant’s office to make sure she was getting enough. It would have been nice to do it at home, too. So, if you have the extra money and room, it’s not a bad investment in my opinion. Now we weigh her at home with our scale. We just step on it holding her and measure the difference, but when they are newborns, it’s really all about ounces, and our scale is not that accurate. Also, there are apps to tell you percentiles with height and weight, so you can keep track of that yourself. Keep in mind, you usually go to the pediatrician’s office immediately after hospital discharge, then at two weeks, then at two months, then every two months after that, so you will get weigh ins then as well.
- Custom Baby Milestone Blanket. It’s easier to take photos when baby is lying down. The photos I have seen from the milestone blankets are really cute. I would imagine you could find these and customize them on Etsy. I have blocks and a chart, but it doesn’t work well when baby doesn’t sit still or sit up. This is probably not something to put on your registry as much as just purchasing it yourself, especially if you want it customized.