When I was pregnant, the thought of registering was so overwhelming to me. I read a million opinions and reviews of what to get/not get, and I was still confused. It turns out, every baby really is different, which is probably why it’s impossible to find a complete list of everything that you’ll definitely need.
However, I’ve done my best to compile not only a list of things that I would recommend registering for or buying, but the reasons why I would or would not recommend something. I hope that this will help others as much as possible to not be too overwhelmed. This is not any kind of short list, but I wrote it exactly how I would want to read it if I were trying to decide what to get for a new baby. Good Luck!
Note: Some affiliate links are included below. This means that if you click on a link, it will take you directly to the product on Amazon (saves you a separate search!) and if you buy it or something else, I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thank you!
Palmer’s Cocoa Butter for Stretch Marks – The smell made me nauseous at first but I got used to it. I started using it when my belly really started growing, around the beginning of the 2nd trimester. I would recommend using it after delivery, too. Probably the cheapest stretch-mark cream and worked fine for me.
Bump Nest pregnancy pillow- I don’t know if this was totally necessary, but it’s definitely comfortable and I enjoy using it, and I’ve heard it’s a lifesaver for some people. This one is more expensive than some of them, I don’t know if it’s actually better though.
“The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding” book– A little bit extreme as far as “breast is best” goes so don’t let it offend you if you end up using formula, but had a lot of good information to skim throug to help prepare for breastfeeding.
Comfortable underwear in a bigger size– I liked the kind with lace at the top since they didn’t cut into my belly.
Maternity clothes– Target and Old Navy often had basic maternity clothes on sale (I prefer Old Navy shirts and Target dresses), and I love my full-panel jean shorts fom Target. I realized that full-panel pants were more comfortable and flattering than any with just stretchy waists, at least on me. If you’re going to be wearing jeans a lot, I would get nicer ones. I wore some from Target but never really loved them. I loved my black leggings from the Motherhood Maternity outlet when I was pregnant in the winter. However, now being pregnant in the Summer, I don’t wear the leggings at all.
For Mom (& Dad)
Skip*Hop Duo Special Edition Diaper Bag ($56)– Cute and functional. Not an obnoxious print, but still looks like a diaper bag.
Lily Jade Diaper Bag ($200-$300+)- These bags are more expensive, so I didn’t get one at first. However, after over a year, I got tired of my diaper bag and was ready to upgrade. I love how these look like normal purses, have a ton of pockets, and can also be worn backpack style. The quality is great, I feel like it will last for a long time and was worth it. Would definitely recommend!
Bamboo Belly Bandit ($70)- I’ve heard really good things about using this after delivery. I don’t know what my stomach would have looked like if I didn’t use it, but it can’t hurt. I judged the size from whatever their website said to do. I was right in between 2 sizes and I went with the smaller one and I was glad that I did. I started wearing it 2 days after delivery and wore it almost all of the time (even to sleep) for about the first 6 weeks. It was annoying but if it helped my stomach to tighten up, definitely worth it. I heard that the Bamboo was more comfortable than the normal one.
Post Delivery essentials– Pads (XL and just regular for when it slows down and you don’t need giant ones), panty liners, Tucks, stool softener, cheap underwear in your pregnancy size (I had a pack of 10, and that was good), Dermoplast spray (my hospital gave me some but if yours doesn’t, get it! Made me feel so much better!)
Target “Women’s Nursing Full Coverage Bra” (Gilligan & O’Malley) ($17)- My ‘every-day’ bra. I like that it was cheap because your boobs change size multiple times so if it only fits for a little while, you can just get another size. I heard that underwire can cause clogged milk ducts so I tried a bra without it, but it was so uncomfortable. I just made sure this one wasn’t too tight, I love it and have never had any problems with clogged ducts. I didn’t buy it until a few weeks after delivery, so my milk was in but I wasn’t engorged anymore, so I could find the best fit. Pre-pregnancy I was size 34 C, and I ended up getting a 36 C in this one. If you do buy it before delivery, I wouldn’t take the tags off so you can make sure it’s the right size, and possibly just buy 2 different sizes and then return one.
Target “Women’s Nursing Comfort Sleep Bra” (Gilligan & O’Malley) ($17)- I actually don’t wear this as much anymore, but I wore it a lot at first. I don’t sleep in it because of the hooks, but it’s perfect for lounging around the house and in the hospital after delivery. I got a size Large and it was nice to wear when my boobs were extra big when my milk came in, but still fits ok now too, just for around the house. I would recommend getting this one before delivery to wear at the hospital and when you first get home, until your boobs get to the size that they’ll stay so you can buy a normal bra.
Target “Women’s Nursing Sports Bra” (Gilligan & O’Malley) ($21)- I got size Medium which isn’t really tight on me, so if I want to actually work out, I wear real sports bras, not this. But I like this one for going for walks, when I want more support than a normal bra, but don’t need it super tight. It has lightly shaped cups so you can wear it out of the house, but there’s no underwire. I got it in black.
Loose sports bras– When I sleep, my favorite things to wear are looser sports bras that I already had. I wear them loose enough to be comfortable, but tight enough to keep a little pressure so I don’t leak.
- Nursing Tank tops- I bought some and returned them because they were expensive, didn’t fit great, and I never wore them. Instead, I bought a cheap cami that I can just pull down if I need to wear a tank top and nurse. Some people love these, though.
- Nursing sleep bras- Any kind with hooks isn’t comfortable to sleep in, and I didn’t like the kind that criss-cross in the front (from Target) because they would move too much when I was sleeping. Some people really like them, though, and maybe a different brand would be better.
- Diaper Dude Messenger II Bag- Fun (but expensive) way for Dad to feel more involved. It’s nice for him to have his own bag if your diaper bag is girly, but a backpack with pockets or other bag that you already have would be fine if he doesn’t care. Johnny really liked this, but he never uses it… not really worth it, for us.
Aden & Anis Muslin Swaddle Blankets ($35)– Love them! 1 pack (4 blankets) was fine for us. We also have a Carter’s brand one and it’s exactly the same, I don’t think the brand matters. Used them for swadding at first and they worked great, but then we realized that the Velcro swaddle blankets (below) work better. These are still great to have for other things, though.
Sleeping gowns – Good for newborns when they’re not moving around a lot, and you’re doing a lot of diaper changes.
Swaddle Blanket with Velcro ($20 for 2)– Works wayyy better than swaddling with a normal blanket and it took us wayyy too long to realize that. We have the “Swaddle Me” brand from Target, but there are a lot of different types. We had 2 in size “small”, then 2 more in size “medium/large” for when he got bigger and we still swaddled at night.
Love to Dream- Love to Swaddle UP ($29)- *Disclaimer* I have never used this but I’ve heard first-hand that it’s great for babies who don’t love to be swaddled but still like to feel secure. My first baby liked the swaddle but the 2nd one didn’t, so I really wish I would have gotten this for her. I would try a normal swaddle first and if the baby doesn’t sleep well, then try this.
Footie PJs– Baby wore these to sleep every night (after we stopped using gowns), under a swaddle, and then without the swaddle. We usually had about 6 in his current size, but it probably wouldn’t hurt to have even more, depending on how often you want to do laundry. Zippers > snaps.
Sleep Sack (sleeveless)- We don’t use this a lot, we usually just put him to sleep in footie PJs and keep the house at a comfortable temperature so he doesn’t need any extra blankets. We’ve used it a few times when the house has been cooler, but his hands get so cold! So if you live somewhere where it gets cold or keep your house cold, I would probably get one that covers their arms and hands (I think they make some that are kind-of a star shape). But if you just want a light extra layer, these are fine.
Wouldn’t Recommend Buying:
- Gerber Terry Socks– Don’t stay on very well, I would try a different brand. I liked having white socks to match everything, though.
- Snap Side shirts- Never used them, we liked onesies better.
- Baby no-scratch mittens- The hospital told us that babies can choke on these so instead, they recommend onesies that have mittens included. We never even really used those though, I think the problem of ‘baby scratching themselves’ is overrated.
- Blankets and burp cloths- We got so many as gifts, I wouldn’t buy or register for any except for the muslin ones, or any that you really want.
Health and Safety
Angelcare Video, Movement, and Sound Monitor ($230)– Love this! The movement monitor sets off an alarm if it feels the baby stop moving (aka: breathing). We’ve hardly had any ‘false alarms’, and we love the peace of mind that it gives us. The video and sound are good on it, too. We are not crazy, overprotective parents at all, but SIDS is very real and I am an advocate for any kind of breathing/vitals monitor. (*We tried the Owlet Vitals Monitor and it just didn’t work for us. I think it’s a great idea in theory and apparently other people like it, but it had false alarms multiple times per night, every night, so we returned it.)
Exergen Temporal Artery Thermometer ($35)- Love how easy it is to use, can even be used without really disturbing a sleeping baby. Ours seems to be a little off though, I use the rectal thermometer if I want a very accurate reading (like for a high fever) but I like this one just to confirm my suspicion of a low fever (like with teething) before I give Tylenol/Motrin.
Pampers Swaddlers Diapers, size NB–These worked great for us when the baby was tiny, like 2 weeks old or less. However, around 2-3 weeks we started having lots of blowouts, so we switched to Huggies NB since they seem to be a little bigger.
Huggies Little Snugglers– I think it really just depends on the baby, but we liked these in NB size once the baby was a few weeks old and not teeny tiny. Huggies seems to run a little bigger than other brands, in my opinion, so they’re good for in-between sizes.
Luvs & Target brand diapers– Once baby got bigger, I tried both Luvs and Target brand diapers, and they both work great for us. ***Note: before my first baby was born, I wanted nothing more than to stock up on diapers in every size, but I didn’t know which brand I liked best… and it definitely took trying them all out for me to decide. So no matter how badly the nesting feeling, I would recommend not buying a ton of diapers before the baby is born. You can always ask for gift cards instead of diapers or, if you receive some as gifts, don’t open the box and you can usually return them to most major stores and switch them out for whatever you end up liking, even with no receipt. I also feel like cheap store-brand diapers work just as well as more expensive name-brand, they just sag more when they get wet. I also tried a couple different brands of organic diapers (Seventh generation & babyganics, I think?) and they were terribleee, leaked within 10 seconds of him peeing.
Diaper booster pads– When the baby got older, we had the worst time with him leaking through his diapers every night. We tried almost everything, and this is what finally worked for us. I got them at Babies ‘r’ us (Buy Buy Baby does not sell them) but I think I also saw some at CVS. We use 2 and fold them in half (sticky sides together) and put it in the front of the diaper.
Desitin Maximum Strength– We’ve tried a lot of diaper rash creams and this one has worked the best for us. A lot of people love Boudreaux’s, but it didn’t work as well for us. I would recommend trying different ones (not stocking up before baby is born) since every baby is different.
Vaseline– *for boys after circumcision* Recommended over A&D Ointment by our pediatrician, but he said A&D is fine too. You’ll need small gauze squares, as well, but the hospital will show you what to do.
Orajel (Nighttime)– Definitely recommend it! Seemed to help sometimes when he couldn’t sleep from teething. *Update: I’ve heard that some pediatricians do not recommend this, although mine has never mentioned it. There is a warning on it that says it could cause breathing problems but in my non-expert opinion, I imagine thats if you used a ton of it and it really covered their mouth. We always use a tiny amount, and max a few times per day. Definitely talk to your pediatrician if you’re unsure.
Regalo Top of Stairs Expandable Metal Gate, with Mounting Kit ($65)- Actually have this at the bottom of the stairs. It’s annoying, but I think any baby gate is. I’ve never tried any others to compare it to, but it had good reviews, and works fine for us. I do like how it comes with different ways to mount it, so you can either drill it into the wall/railing, or just Velcro it around the railing if you don’t want to drill. Also, Regalo’s customer service is excellent, I requested an extra piece to help my gate to be more secure, and they sent it immediately with no hassle and no charge.
Regalo Extra Tall Top of Stairs Gate, with Mounting Kit ($49)- I liked the “extra tall” part for the top of our stairs. It’s exactly the same gate as the one listed above, just a little taller.
NoseFrida Snotsucker Nasal Aspirator ($16)- When your baby is struggling to breathe, it doesn’t matter how gross it seems, it’s worth it. And there is a filter and a long tube so there is no way you could accidentally get snot in your mouth from it. Extra filters sold in a separate pack.
Crane Ultrasonic Cool Mist Drop Shape Humidifier ($50)- Used it when I was pregnant and sick, and I felt like it helped so even though I can’t really tell if it helps the baby, I hope so. Humidifiers are always recommended for babies though so I assume it helps, and you can’t give them any kind of medicine for a cold so this is one thing you can do to at least feel like you’re helping. Easy to use and kinda cute but honestly if you find a cheaper one, that’s fine. I keep this in the closet and only bring it out on rare occasions when the baby is sick, so it probably doesn’t matter what it looks like unless you’re keeping it out all of the time.
Safety 1st 8-Second Fold-Up Thermometer ($13)- Got this one to have as a “more accurate” thermometer for rectal temperature and it works well.
Outlet Plugs– I got some form Target and they work fine, I’m sure they all do.
Mommy’s Helper Slide Latch Cabinet Safety Lock ($3)- Haven’t used it yet, but did a lot of research on ‘childproofing’ and these seemed to have good reviews. *Update: we currently have rubber bands tied around the knobs of each pair of cabinets that we don’t want Beau getting into, and it actually works great. They are less obvious than actually child locks, and are easy for us to take off when we need to. So cheap, but I don’t care! Also, we do not keep anything super dangerous (knives, chemicals, etc) in any low cabinets that he could reach, whether there is a lock or not.
Safety 1st® Swing Shut Toilet Lock ($12)- Our baby actually doesn’t mess with the toilet at all, so I never had to get this. But I did a lot of research on ‘childproofing’ and these seemed to have good reviews so if I have to get one eventually, it would be this.
Bi-fold Door Lock ($10 for 2)- For our pantry… Obviously didn’t need these until he was older but once our little piggy figured out that snacks were kept in the pantry, we couldn’t keep him out. I like how this one doesn’t need to attach to the wall/rip paint and you can’t even notice it. Would be good for closets too or any other bi-fold doors.
- Dreft Laundry Detergent– I’ve heard that “All Free & Clear” or the Target brand of Dreft is just as good and is much cheaper, so I would probably buy that instead. Beau never showed any kind of skin sensitivity so after one bottle of this, we switched to normal detergent and that’s been fine
- ‘Boogie Wipes’– I have them but always forget to use them, I just use baby wipes. I don’t think these are necessary.
Medela Freestyle double electric hands-free Breastpump ($400)- It’s great! I got it for free, passed down from someone who had already used it, but most insurances will cover a pump. This one is very portable so if you’re going to be traveling with it a lot and want to be able to pump without being plugged into the wall, this one is great. I’ve heard that the “In Style” is bigger but works well, too, the bad thing with that one is that it has to be plugged in. It was nice to have this one but if it came down to buying this or getting the “In Style” for free from insurance, I would definitely get the free one. The 24mm flanges (breastshields) are what come with it and that size worked fine for me. It comes with everything that you need, besides a bottle nipple, so you don’t have to buy any extra valves or anything. However, the hooks that make it “hands-free” are annoying… I think a hands free pumping bra (like the Medela “Easy Expression” bra) might be better. I’ve also heard that people who pump a lot recommend having 2-3 sets of pump parts so they don’t have to constantly wash one set.
Medela Calma Bottle ($17)- Supposed to be as similar as possible to breastfeeding so the baby doesn’t get confused, if you’ll be doing both nursing and feeding pumped milk. Has worked great for us, and I love how there is only one option for the flow of the nipple (like breastfeeding) so you don’t have to worry about buying different nipples. We’ve also used it with formula and it worked for that, too. Our first baby liked this one fine, but our second baby hated it, so you might just have to try different ones.
Avent Bottle– Eventually switched to this with formula and it works great, as well! I’ve heard a lactation consultant say that she doesn’t have a certain bottle to recommend for a breastfed baby, just any bottle that has a wide nipple like this. Slightly easier to clean (if you’re hand washing) than the Calma. Our second baby preferred this one.
Lansinoh Breastmilk storage bags ($20 for 100)- For if you’re going to be pumping/saving milk at all. I like these better than the Medela brand, they’re easier to open/close, and cheaper. You can lay them flat to freeze, then stack or line them up in the freezer to save space.
Medela quick-clean 5-count micro-steam bags ($5 for 5)- These are great and much easier than boiling, only 2 oz of water and a few minutes in the microwave and everything is sterile. They’re also pretty cheap, since you can get 20 uses out of each bag.
Lansinoh Lanolin ($10)- Used it a lot at first with my first baby, definitely bring it to the hospital with you. I don’t use it anymore though, so probably 1 or 2 tubes would be enough to start, and they sell it at wal mart if you ever need more.
Lansinoh Disposable nursing pads ($13 for 100)- Love them! Went through a lot of them at first when I leaked a lot, but stopped using them after a couple months when my supply regulated. I went through a couple of boxes, but they sell them at wal mart if you ever need more.
Avent Soothie Pacifier ($5 for 2)- Love them! Only kind of pacifier he really used. Has used them since 2 days old and had no nipple confusion or problems nursing (I was worried about that so I didn’t give it to him at first, and I wish I would have!). We also loved the Wubbanub to help the paci stay in place. However, pacis are so personal, I would not buy a lot of one kind before you know what the baby likes. *Update: I’ve heard that if the baby keeps taking a paci when he/she gets a little older (like 1-2ish), these are worse for their teeth and can cause them to buck out some, I think there are other brands that are better for teeth, like ones with bigger tips. I don’t know personally though.
Munchkin Bottle and Nipple Brush with sponge ($5)- works great! I definitely recommend the one with the sponge on top, we also tried the Munchkin one where it’s a brush only (no sponge) and the bristles are too stiff, making water spray everywhere when you use it.
Boppy pillow ($40)- I used it at first when I was getting used to nursing. I also used it to sit on when I was sore and recovering from delivery, and it helped a lot. It was nice to have, but I could survive without it. If you’re going to get a nursing pillow, I would recommend the ‘My brest friend’.
My Brest Friend Nursing Pillow ($30)- I got this as a gift for my second baby, and I much prefer it over the boppy. I thought it would be annoying to buckle it around my back, but it’s not, and that helps it to stay exactly where you want it. I love using it for night feedings, it keeps my arm/the baby in a good nursing spot so I can relax while she’s eating. I could survive without it, but it is nice to have.
Teething feeder ($5)- Kind of like a pacifier but made of netting so you can put foods inside of it and they can gnaw on it to taste the food, but not choke. Annoying to clean the netting, but we loved it and got a lot of use out of it. Also great to put ice inside for teething or just entertainment.
Ikea Antilop High chair, tray, and cushion ($26 with cushion)- Love it! It’s sturdy, cheap, so easy to clean, Beau seems comfortable in it, and doesn’t scream “obnoxious baby gear” to me as much as other high chairs. We liked the little cushion in it at first when he was smaller, and then eventually took it out so the chair is even easier to clean. Definitely recommended.
- Drip Drop Bib ($10)- These bibs are fine, but we got so many bibs as gifts, I wouldn’t register for or buy any yourself unless you don’t get a lot.
- Medela quick clean wipes- I didn’t get them, but I don’t think I would use them. There are a lot of little crevices to clean on the pump parts, that I don’t think you could reach with these. I think soap and water would be easier.
- “Soothies” Gel pads- For sore nipples… I used them but didn’t like them. They got warm quickly, they didn’t absorb leaked milk, and I didn’t like how sticky they felt. I preferred just Lanolin. Some people really like these though, so they might be worth it to have just in case.
- Washable breast pads- (to catch leaked milk)… Awful! They didn’t absorb the milk, they actually repelled it so it leaked everywhere. It could have just been the kind that I had, but I’ve heard bad reviews of others, too.
- Plastic Placemat- We have the ‘TinyDiner’ one but we’ve never used it, it’s one more thing to worry about and I always forget about it, and it’s too big and bulky to keep in my bag all of the time. Grocery stores sell sticky little plastic liners for tables and they are so much better.
- Baby snack container- I just use a small Tupperware for snacks in my purse. The containers are cute and probably useful, but not necessary.
- Plastic spoons- We have the Nuk ‘rest easy’ spoons and they worked fine but, eventually, the plastic started peeling off.
- Bottle drying rack- I’m sure this is useful, but we never had one and we were fine. So if you don’t feel like buying it, I don’t think it’s necessary.
- Milkscreen Test Strips- Tests breastmilk for alcohol… I imagined sipping a cocktail while my newborn slept, then casually testing my milk to make sure it was safe when the baby woke up and politely asked to eat. Reality: The baby could want to eat at any time so unless you have a stash of pumped milk, you better be ready to feed him AKA very few cocktails for you until that stash is built and/or the baby is on a predictable feeding schedule. The only time I did use these was when I went to a wedding and pumped the next morning, and wanted to know if I should save the milk or not… surprisingly, it still wasn’t safe, so I’m glad I had these, but I wouldn’t bother buying them unless you have a special event like that or you really like to drink even on 3ish hours of sleep every night.
Bath & Potty
Fisher-Price 4-in-1 Sling ‘n Seat tub ($40)- Love it! The sling worked great for a newborn, and we loved the ‘bumbo-like’ seat for when he could sit up, but still needed support. We almost got the kind that constantly supplies new water, but I’m glad we didn’t. He’s never pooped in the water, and I like using it on the bathroom floor so I can reach him better than if it had to be in the tub to be by the faucet. We also almost got one of the little pads to use in the sink. That would have been nice at first but he outgrew our sink so quickly, it wouldn’t have been worth it.
Baby washcloths ($7 for 10)- We use these not only for baths, but to throw on top of his penis during diaper changes, in case he pees. Regular washcloths would work fine, too, you probably don’t need baby ones specifically.
Hooded Towels– I like the hoods more than I thought I would, I feel like it helps to keep the baby warmer when they get out.
Johnson’s head-to-toe wash– Smells good and works for us. We also got the lavender kind because it’s supposed to be calming, but I don’t really notice a difference. I know babies who have really sensitive skin and have to use special soap, so I wouldn’t buy a lot of one kind until you’re sure it works for you.
Disposable Diaper sacks ($1 for 75 from the dollar store)- Dollar store brand works great! They are definitely nice to have for when we’re out of the house, and I also use them for dirty clothes while we’re out, if necessary.
Puj ultra soft spout cover ($10)- I liked it because the color doesn’t scream “baby”. It’s very soft and works well, but I’m sure that most any spout cover would be fine.
Oxo tot bath toy bin ($16)- Cute and simple to hold bath toys. Again, I liked it because it’s not an obnoxious color, but I’m sure any bath toy basket would work.
- Diaper Genie- We had one and used it for over a year, and then finally realized that it’s more hassle than it’s worth. The refills were so expensive, and switching out the bags was miserable, they smelled so bad. Now, we just use plastic grocery bags in a normal small trashcan that we take out every day. And if it’s an especially smelly diaper, we’ll tie it up in a grocery bag immediately and it’s fine.
- Baby Lotion- I have it but I’ve never used it, I’ve read that it’s usually not really necessary and actually better for the baby to not use it unless they have dry skin. I would wait and only buy it if you feel like you need it.
- Munchkin Blow-up tub- Yellow Duck ($17)– I thought it sounded good for traveling (like in a hotel where you don’t want the baby sitting on the floor of the tub), but it’s a pain to blow up and deflate, and I have never felt the need to drag it along when we’re traveling.
Fisher-Price Charlotte Convertible Crib ($170)- Love it! Easy to put together and not expensive compared to some cribs.
Regal II Deluxe 2-Stage Innerspring Crib Mattress by Colgate ($170)- Not the cheapest mattress, but not the most expensive. We’re happy with it, but I’ve heard that cheaper mattresses are just as good. You can flip it over for a ‘toddler side’ that’s a little softer; most mattresses that we looked at had that.
Summer Infant Contoured Changing Pad ($20)- It’s great! We used to use it on top of a bed and that was fine, but I much prefer it on top of a dresser. No need for a whole ‘changing table’, this on the dresser is perfect for us.
Summer Infant Ultra Plush Changing Pad Cover ($15)- Fits our changing pad, I don’t know if you can use different brand pads and covers. 2 might be nice to have, but 1 would probably be fine if you use the covers (below).
Boppy Waterproof Changing Pad Covers ($13 for 3)- Need these! Saves you from changing the whole cover every time it gets messy… which is often.
Oliver B Flat Panel Crib Skirt ($25)- Hides under the crib so you can store things there. This one is plain so I like it but any brand would work.
Fitted Crib Sheet– We have 3 and that’s a good amount for us, 2 would even be fine.
Graco Pack ‘n Play Playard with Automatic Folding Feet in Pasadena ($80)- Used this as a bassinet at first, easy to set up and take down. Bigger than a bassinet but we didn’t want to buy an expensive bassinet that we would only use or a few months. I liked the raised part in the top (not all of them come with that, and you can take it out for when the baby is too big for it). Some playyards come with changing pads, but I wouldn’t have used it. Some also come with a ‘napper’ for the baby to sleep in, and I don’t know if he would have slept better in that, or not.
Graco® Pack ‘n Play® 2-Count Waterproof Playard Sheet ($28)- (Or whatever waterproof sheets match your playard) Soft enough to use as a normal sheet, you don’t need another sheet on top of it. Easy to wipe off, definitely recommend.
Halo Bassinest Swivel Sleeper ($200)- Used a pack n play with my first, and this with my second, thanks to my sweet sister-in-law who let me borrow it… This is not a necessity, the pack n play work fine, but this is so much nicer. My favorite parts: It swivels so you don’t have to climb around it to get in and out of bed, and the side pushes down so you can reach the baby easier. Those sound like small details, but if you’re in pain, tired, and getting up a million times per night, they make a huge difference. It also has a night light, sound machine, and can vibrate. I’ve heard of moms (who are having babies at different times) splitting the cost and sharing this, since you only need it for a few months.
HoMedics Sound Spa Lullaby Sound Machine ($25)- We didn’t get a sound machine at first because I didn’t want him to get dependent on it, but I wish I would have! We use it every time he sleeps, it helps to drown out other noises that could wake him up. It’s also great to have if he’s sleeping in the same room with us (like in a hotel) so that he doesn’t wake up if one of us makes noise. This one also has a projector, which we don’t use. I think any sound machine would work fine. *Update: Still love this sound machine, but they do seem to stop working after a while. I got the Dohm sound machine for our 2nd baby after reading rave reviews, but I’m honestly not happy with it… it’s a nice noise (a real fan noise rather than a canned fake noise) but is not loud at all… maybe I got the wrong one or something? But I prefer the HoMedics one.
Floating photo ledge ($14 for 24in shelf)- Love these for displaying books, and also to use as normal small shelves, too. We have the baby monitor and some frames on one, and it works great. We got the 24in from smartfurniture.com
- Waterproof crib mattress pad- I thought these were necessary and used them, until I realized that our mattress is waterproof so this was pointless and just one more thing to wash/deal with. If your mattress is not waterproof, however, I would definitely use these.
- Crib Bumper- We have one of the breathable ones but I’ve heard so many bad things, even about the breathable ones, that they scare me. *Update: Once Beau was older and could move around well, we ended up using the breathable bumper for a little bit because his legs got stuck sometimes. We don’t use it anymore, but if you do, I would recommend the breathable kind over any others.
Baby Jogger® City Mini™ Single Stroller ($250)-
PROS: Lightweight; reclines to almost flat for tiny and/or sleeping babies (LOVE this); great stroller overall… we used it a lot and loved it.
CONS: Baby cannot face you (Beau went through a stage where he hated if he couldn’t see us); handle doesn’t extend so tall people might kick it; cannot convert to a double stroller; expensive compared to cheaper brands (I don’t know if it’s actually worth it?)
*This was the first stroller that we had and we really did love it. If you’re not planning on having kids close enough together to need a double stroller, I would recommend this one.
Baby Jogger® City Select™ Single Stroller ($530)-
PROS: Can easily turn the baby towards or away from you; handle extends; can convert to a double.
CONS: Heavy to get in and out of the car; expensive.
*Once we found out we were expecting again, we got this stroller. If you are planning on having kids close enough together to eventually need a double stroller, I would just get this one to begin with.
Baby Jogger City Select Tray ($20)- For snacks aka bribery to sit down and let me squeeze in 25 minutes of somewhat stress-free shopping. I actually had this on the “do not recommend” list first because it was unnecessary for a baby, but it is 100% necessary for toddlers. So you don’t need it immediately, but you’ll want it eventually. This is the one for the City Select stroller but definitely get one no matter which stroller you have.
Baby Jogger Car Seat Adapter Single – Multi Model ($41) – This is the adapter that lets you connect the car seat to the stroller. But there are different adapters depending on which stroller and car seat you have, this just one is the one for our Peg Perego carseat and the City Select stroller.
Britax stroller organizer ($30)- Love it! We actually use both cup holders at the same time a lot, so I’m glad there’s 2 instead of 1 like some stroller organizers have.
The Mommy Hook– Since my diaper bag can’t fit on the stroller handle if I have the stroller seat reclined, or if I’m using a purse with normal handles. Also really nice to hold shopping bags.
Stroller fan [with cage] ($18)- We first had the “baby fans” with the soft foam blades and although they didn’t hurt him, he would constantly grab the blades so they would stop. This one is much better and ours is re-chargeable (via usb so you can even use a cell phone portable charger if dies while you’re out- so clutch!)
Baby k’tan Breeze wrap ($60)- I like how this one (the “breeze” version) has half of the wrap made of a netting material to make it cooler when it’s hot. I don’t like how it’s pre-sized and you have to choose a size when you order it, because sometimes I feel like it doesn’t fit perfectly… but I do like how it’s easier to put on than one that you wrap yourself. If you have any way to try on some wraps or ask other people’s opinions, I would do that. I used this with both babies when they were tiny, but didn’t like it once they got bigger and heavier. If you try your newborn in a more structured carrier (like the Lillebaby or similar) and feel comfortable, I wouldn’t bother getting this one.
Lillebaby Carrier ($125)- Recently got this and I love it! I’ve never had an Ergo but I think they’re similar… I did a lot of research on both and went with this one because you can get an extra type of carry with it (hip- for toddlers) than the ergo offers. It also doesn’t require an infant insert, and there is no velcro. It is also cheaper than the Ergo. It’s easy to take on and off and very comfortable. I’ve tried Beau on my back too and that’s actually comfortable too, although I’ve never carried him for any period of time. Would definitely recommend.
Peg Perego Primo Viaggio 4-35 Infant Car Seat ($300)- Highly recommended for safety by an ex-firefighter. It’s great! (He also said anything by Britax is really safe, too)
Peg Perego Primo Viaggio 4-35 Infant Car Seat Base ($100)- The car seat comes with 1 base already, but we got another one so we could have one in each of our cars. It’s been nice, but definitely not necessary. If I did it again, I don’t know if I would buy this. However, if you think the baby will have to ride in both cars often (like 1 parent drops off at daycare, 1 picks up, or something) it would definitely be worth it to have. But you can always strap the seat in without the base, if you want the baby to ride in another car, it just takes longer.
Britax Marathon (G4.1) Convertible car seat ($290)- Very happy with it. Recommended by an ex-firefighter who said it was one of the top 5 safest convertible car seats. He recommended Britax brand first, but also Peg Perego and Recaro.
Brica Delux Baby In-sight Mirror ($24)- We didn’t have a mirror at first because of the fear of it flying off and hitting the baby, in the case of a wreck. But then we got this one that plays music and lights up (controlled by a remote on your sun visor- genius!) and it helped Beau to stop crying so many times, definitely great for our sanity. And it actually is really nice to be able to see him, and I think he likes being able to see us, too.
- Summer Infant Complete Coverage Piddle pad– Car seat experts say ‘don’t use anything with the seat that didn’t come in the box’ for safety reasons, since it could technically make the seat not as safe. I got this anyway, then never used it, and returned it. His diaper hardly ever leaks in the car seat, and it’s easy to just clean off the seat.
- Extra Portable Changing Pad- I don’t know why I got this? My diaper bag came with a portable changing pad (most do) so I just used that.
- Shopping cart/high chair cover- I had one and used it a few times, but it was definitely more hassle than it’s worth. The baby would slide down in it, I couldn’t get a good grip on the cart handle, and it was bulky to carry in and out of the store/restaurant. Grocery shopping/eating at a restaurant with a baby is already enough work, this was just one more thing to deal with. I’m not a germaphobe so I prefer to just wipe down the cart/high chair (if that, lol) but if germs freak you out then you might like this.
- Baby Bjorn ($80)- We got this for free as a hand-me-down, but we wouldn’t have bought it on our own. It has a reputation of being bad for baby’s hips so I tried it a couple of times but I was paranoid about it… I did feel like the baby’s legs “dangled” which is apparently bad for them. I’m sure it’s fine for a little bit of use like if it’s given to you but if you’re going to buy one anyway, I would get a different one like the Lillebaby, Ergo, or Tula.
Fisher-Price Snugapuppy Bouncer ($60)- I picked it because it wasn’t brightly colored, but I actually do wish I would have picked one with more toys hanging down, or on a bar in front of him. He’s sat in others like that and likes playing with them so although the bright ones are more obnoxious, I would go with one of those. This one does work fine, though.
4moms mamaRoo Classic Infant Seat ($180)- This was the only way that Beau he would sleep at first, aka this saved our lives! However, Grace sleeps a million times better than Beau and doesn’t need this. So, I would recommend either keeping the box/receipt in case you want to return it, or waiting to get it until you have the baby and find out if he/she needs it. There is a newer version that you can operate through Bluetooth on your phone, but I don’t think that’s necessary. There is also a cheaper version with only 1 option of movement, the Rockaroo, and I think that one would work just as well, since I can’t even tell the difference between the movements on this one. You also need the newborn insert ($30).
Fisher-price rainforest Jumparoo ($105)- Baby loves it! And it’s helped him learn how to put pressure on his legs for standing. I’ve seen others with even more toys on them and if I did it again, I think I would get one of those. This one is good, but it really only has 4 different toys, and I think he would like it even more if there were more options. He also loves the ‘walker’ kind with wheels but I’ve heard those aren’t really good for them? I’m sure it’s fine as long as they’re not in them for extended periods.
Skip*Hop alphabet zoo activity gym ($75)- I liked the colors of this one the best. He likes it, and it’s light and easy to move around the house. He’s tried one that makes sounds when he kicks it, and that one is neat too because it’s more interactive. I think any kind of activity mat would work, I don’t think a $75 one is necessary.
Sofie la giraffe teething toy ($25)- Cute and easy for baby to hold so I would add it to the registry if you want, but I don’t think this expensive of a teether is necessary… there are much cheaper ones (even knockoffs of this) that work just fine so don’t spend your last dime on this.
On the Night You Were Born book ($8)- My favorite baby book! Still can’t read this without tearing up.
University of Florida 101 in My First Team Board Books ($11)- Such a cute book for Gator babies.
SwimWays Canopy Spring Float ($20)- Love it! We did ISR swim lessons and they actually recommend that you don’t use any type of floats (false sense of comfort in the water)… however if you do use any, they recommend ones like these over the arm floaties. We used it when baby was younger to let him kick around in the water.
Bumbo Floor Seat ($45)- He used to sit in this when we fed him, when he was too small for a high chair. I don’t think it’s 100% necessary since most people only use it for a short amount of time, but definitely nice to have.
- Toiletries– including shower necessities and stretch mark cream. I also fixed my hair and makeup on the “going home day” so I was glad that I brought a hairdryer, straightener, and makeup. Those obviously aren’t necessary though.
- Hand-held mirror– I couldn’t get out of bed because of the epidural, so it was nice to have a little mirror.
- Stool softener– They should give this to you there. They started giving it to me with my pain medicine immediately after delivery, and then once a day after that. If they don’t give it to you, ask for it, I think it definitely helped! I also bought my own and continued taking it at home for a week or so until I was less sore.
- Prenatals– You need to keep taking them if you’re breastfeeding.
- Rubber flip flops– cheap ones for the shower.
- Socks– wore them most of the time, but my hospital also gave me multiple pairs.
- Warm robe– it was cold in the room, sometimes.
- Comfy clothes/PJs with easy access to your boobs, and a comfy nursing bra. I got a cheap night gown with buttons on the top and loved it… I could hike it up when I got in bed, but it would cover me if I had visitors and wanted to get up. I also never wore my own underwear in the hospital, I loved the netting ones that they give you because they were comfortable and I loved how I could just throw them away and get a new pair instead of worrying about more laundry. Some people hate these though and I still have no idea why… if you don’t love scrubbing blood stains out of your clothes, you will probably love these.
- Going home outfit– I wore a comfortable black maternity dress and that was perfect. I was still wearing giant pads so wouldn’t have been comfortable in pants.
- Lanolin and nursing pads (and soothies, if you decide to get them).
- Normal clothes, PJs, and jacket/hoodie.
- Swim suit– they say to bring this in case you want to get in the shower during labor, so he can get in with you and not be awkwardly naked in front of the nurses. I didn’t get in the shower during labor, but I would pack it to have just in case.
- Going home outfit– I wouldn’t worry about bringing too many clothes besides this, unless you really want to. They have shirts for them to wear that are the side-snap kind, which is good because they’re always taking them off to check them, and those are easier than onesies while you’re in the hospital.
- Hats– They will give you hats which actually stayed on better than most that I had. The baby stays wrapped up a lot so you can’t really see his/her outfit (hence why I just kept him in hospital onesies) but you can always see the hat, so I would bring some cute ones. He also wore hats a lot after we got home, so I would invest in some that stay on well.
- Sound machine– We set it up in the hospital and it was great.
- Important documents- ID, insurance card, and birth plan. I recommend pre-registering at the hospital to save time when you’re in labor.
- Snacks and water bottles– we drank the water bottles a lot, I was really glad we had them. I also took a tiny sip of water (sorry, nurses!) right before it was time to push. My favorite snack by far was a giant jar of trail mix (“Monster” from Target) because it was easy to grab a handful when I was taking pain medicine at odd hours (postpartum) and needed something in my stomach. I also liked having Clif Bars, and Johnny liked having gum.
- Pillows and blanket- I didn’t use them, but Johnny did
- Boppy/My Brest Friend Pillow- To use with the baby and/or sit on after delivery
- Baby book– for footprints
- Pediatrician name
- Camera, Camcorder (and chargers), phone chargers, and a power strip so you can plug them all in.
- Night light- *Possibly*- My hospital bed had a button that you could press to turn on a little light, which is necessary when trying to latch a newborn in the dark. But if yours doesn’t have this, some kind of light would be very helpful.
- “Thank you” gifts for doctors and nurses- something pre-packaged, I heard they don’t eat anything that you make yourself. We brought mini packages of peanut M&Ms and kept them in a little basket in our room, and they all loved it.
- Yoga ball- With the first baby, I brought it and left it in the car, just in case I wanted it for labor. For the second baby, I didn’t bother bringing it because EPIDURAL.
- Carseat- installed
What we didn’t use:
- DVDs, ipod, and music player- 1st baby- I was either writhing in pain (pre-epidural) or sleeping (post-epidural) for most of my labor, so I didn’t have time for any of that. 2nd baby- same for pre-epidural and or post-epidural I was too excited to focus on anything like that, I preferred to just talk. But I guess it depend on you/your labor.
- Towels- 1st baby- brought them and didn’t use them. 2nd baby- didn’t bring them. Even though the hospital towels were small, I liked not having to worry about getting them stained and/or taking them home for laundry.
- Diapers, wipes, burp cloths, and pretty much anything else that they baby needs. The hospital has it all.
- Baby nail clippers- the hospital recommended you just use a file, but we didn’t even use that.
- Coins for vending machines- we brought snacks and got take-out, we never got anything from vending machines. You might want to, though.
- Breast pump- Hopefully you won’t need it and, if you do, the hospital should have a [sanitized] one that you can use, that is probably even better than yours.