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Your Baby Registry: What Things Do You Really Need? What Should You Skip?


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I’ve had a bunch of readers ask about setting up a Baby Registry. Everyone who already has kids knows how expensive everything can be. But, as a first time Mom, you might not really know what things you need to add to your Registry and which things you should totally skip.

A lot of Baby Websites have put together Baby Registry lists, like this one from Parents Magazine. But, everyone is so different! And you might not necessarily need everything on the list.

Here are the items I think all new Moms should have:

  • Diapers
  • Wipes
  • Desitin or Other Baby Rash Cream
  • Washcloths
  • Baby Shampoo/Baby Wash/Baby Lotion
  • Binkies
  • Binkie Clip
  • A Few Baby Onesies. ( I would recommend washing and drying some of them beforehand because you never know what size your baby will be when they arrive.)
  • I love Baby Sleep Gowns. They are perfect for quick diaper changes in the middle of the night. No snapping or buttoning anything in the dark.
  • Baby Blankets you can swaddle your baby in.
  • Medical Grade Nose Syringe. (Ask your nurse at the hospital if they have one you can keep.) The store bought ones are NOT good.
  • Thermometer
  • Baby Nail Clippers
  • Baby Bathing Seat/Tub you can put in your bathtub.
  • All items you might need for Nursing or for Bottle Feeding
  • The Angelcare Baby Monitor! It will sound an alarm if your baby stops breathing for longer than 20 seconds. I personally think this is a MUST! I got a lot more sleep because I knew the alarm would go off if something was wrong. You don’t always have to keep checking on your baby.
  • Baby Swing. I am a big fan of the Fisher Price Cradle N Swing: Snugabunny. We had a different swing with baby #1. But it was battery operated and we ended up spending more on batteries than if we would have just gone with one that plugged in. This swing is wonderful!
  • Baby Stroller
  • Baby Carseat
  • Baby Crib and/or Baby Bassinet/Pack n Play with Bassinet

Ok, Your Turn!! What Items Do You Really Need to Add to Your Registry? Which Items Should You Skip?

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14 Comments

  1. I personally like the Fisher Price Rock N Play sleeper rather than a bassinet. I had a bassinet with my other three children and I (and my husband) and babies, really didn’t like them. The Rock N Play is so easy to transport and comfortable and SO EASY TO CLEAN! It also is great for babies with acid-reflux.
    I also LOVE the Miracle Blanket for swaddling. It is a little expensive, but totally worth it! All four of my kiddos have slept though the night around 6 weeks!
    The thing I would skip is the Boppy Nursing pillow. I thought I would use it for sure, but I ended up using it for a week or so and then it was just annoyingly big (although, I have heard they are great for twins).

    Reply
  2. Oh man I guess you just never know because I’m on baby #5 and I absolutely LOVE my Boppy! I also have never/will never use the Angel Care Monitor. No wonder new moms spend so much;) I love having a front carrier for when they are new and for when they are bigger I LOVE my backpack to carry them in. Perfect if you love the outdoors!

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  3. I use my Boppy all of the time!!! I would definitely get one of those. Also, I loved the halo sleepsack. My baby slept in his till he was 9 months old and it started getting warmer. And I would totally get the Angel Care Monitor had I known about it. Also, try to borrow a bassinet. You may not need to use it for long. WE used ours for 3 weeks.

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  4. Don’t be too stressed out, when they first come all you need is a car seat and an outfit to get home in. Everything else you can pick up after the baby comes if you need to. You will probably get diapers at the hospital (and don’t be afraid to look into cloth diapers and wipes, it isn’t as scary as it seems!). I would have enjoyed a swing or bouncer, but we didn’t have much room and wearing my baby turned out to be the best solution. Also be prepared to use a lot of burp cloths and change a lot of clothes when the burp cloth doesn’t catch all 😉
    Personally, after my baby came, I found it a lot easier to know what we really needed and what we didn’t. But if you are registering for other people to buy stuff, go for all the “maybe” items, and if you get it, great!

    Reply
  5. https://www.bedbathandbeyond.com/product.asp?SKU=16084697 This product is great instead of buying a bathtub.

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  6. Advice for baby registries are hard because everyone finds different things essential. Try to borrow some things at first to see which ones you really will use and then buy those. Try to stay with gender nuetral colors on the big items if you plan on saving them for future children. My biggest waste of money was the stroller/carseat combo. Now, don’t get me wrong. I loved it and used it all the time. But when baby #2 came along when the first was 2 we upgraded to a double and the single sat in storage until I passed it along to my sister. Unless you are planning on having big spaces between kids I would recommend buying the carseat and trying to borrow or find the single stroller secondhand that would work with your carseat. Or just start with a double stroller, you always have a ton of stuff anyway.

    I used my boppy a ton for my first 3, but hardly at all for the last 2. It was super nice for my older kids to use when holding new siblings and for tummy time for babies.

    My cradle swing is a must have and something I reccomend. I didn’t have it with my first one because the expense of getting everything else ruled it out. I got it for #2 and I regret not having it for the first. We had the very first FP cradle swing and it has made it through my last 4 kids, my niece, a friends baby and is still going strong and will soon be passed onto another. It does use batteries, but we invested in some rechargable nickle cadmium ones that hold a charge very well and have lasted just as long as the swing. I like that it is battery operated because I can take it where ever I go in the house or outside and don’t have to try to find a plug.

    Definetely get (or make) nursing blankets and the carseat cover. I absolutely LOVED both of these with my last two and they would have made life so much easier with #1-3.

    I have never used my baby monitor, ever. Well, I use it now to listen to my 3,8,9 & 11 year old kids while they are in the play room downstairs to supervise what’s going on when I need to be upstairs cooking or whatever else I need to get done. But I never used it for my babies. I personally think bassinets are a waste of money. Unless your baby starts super small and grows slowly, you don’t use it enough to get your money’s worth. All of my kids started out in the crib and they did great. Don’t pre buy a ton of binkies, your kid might not like the stache you bought and sterilized and your out the $$. Buy one set and then go from there.

    Invest in a decent diaper bag. The cheap ones fall apart so fast they are not worth it. You end up spending way more to keep getting new ones.

    Don’t buy the super cheap crib mattresses if you want it to last through all your kids. But don’t buy the super fancy ones either. Get something in the mid range with decent support but not overly soft.

    When buying clothes, look for ones with layers that would be good for varying seasons so you don’t have to rebuy as many clothes for a baby born in a different season. I got a halo sleep sack/swaddler as a gift for baby #4 and when I first saw it I thought it was so stupid and needless. It turned out to be one of my favorite pjs and I bought another one for baby#5-not because it wore out, but because first one was pink and last baby a boy. I loved how much better my babies slept in them and they were just as easy to change as carter’s sleep sacks. Again think gender nuetral colors so you don’t have to rebuy them, since they aren’t super cheap.

    Bottle drying gear isn’t neccessary in a dry state like Utah (where first 3 were born) but absolutely necessary in a humid/wet state (last 2 born in WA state). If they aren’t absolutely dry when I put them away they get a nasty mildew/moldy smell even when sterilized.

    I’m sure there’s more, but time to stop wasting nap time on the computor. Good luck!

    Reply
  7. A good thermometer, I like the braun thermoscan.

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  8. I just thought of the #1 item I wouldn’t go without. The electronic nose sucker by Graco! Best $20 I have ever spent!!!!! Especially when my kid had RSV. That thing saved us soooo many trips to the suction clinic

    here is my soap box on baby gear!
    Priority number one is all a baby needs is love, food, warmth and safety. Whatever you have or don’t have. Whatever you can afford or can’t afford. Most of the extra stuff is nice to have…but isn’t priority! I have rarely bought anything for my baby full price. There are always coupons to Buy Buy Baby, Target, Babies R Us. I am not a pro at coupons, but I do think coupons for baby supplies are EASIEST to come by. I didn’t have a baby shower for my second because I was having another boy, but I still registered for stuff so I could discounts (during registry sales) on the stuff I wanted for my second.
    A safe carseat is priority #1. I am willing to spend more on a safe car seat than anything else. My Chicco infant car seat and Recaro toddler seat are what I went with.
    I thought I would like my car seat cover more than I did. But I didn’t. I also don’t use the boppy as much as I thought I would. I loved my swing with #2, but not so much with #1. I had tons of binkies with #1 so I pre bought some for #2. Turns out #2 won’t take a binki….or a bottle. My stroller I use almost EVERYDAY. So when I had two I needed a reliable double stroller. The double stroller I got (City Select by Baby Jogger) was super expensive and never goes on sale, nor can you ever use a normal coupon for it. That was until the baby registry sale came along and that was the only way to get 20% off. 20% off a $700 dollar stroller is a HUGE deal, and a stroller was VERY important for me so I justified the cost. Check costco.com. It is amazing what you can find at costco.com that isn’t in the store. We got a really nice crib mattress
    I just thought of the #1 item I wouldn’t go without. The electronic nose sucker by Graco! Best $20 I have ever spent!!!!! Especially when my kid had RSV. That thing saved us soooo many trips to the suction clinic

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  9. Skip the diaper genie. The refills are overpriced and it is not worth the hassle.

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  10. I think in UT especially where good sidewalks are kind of rare, you need a stroller with air in the tires. So any jogging brand, and you want to pick one with standard tires so the innertubes are cheap–and every brand of jogger has a carseat kit. No one told me that so I thought I had to have a Graco one. Lots of things too, you can get 2nd hand. My stroller I completely redid in blue chevron because I already had a stroller that just wouldn’t work, and I didn’t want to invest anything else that might not pan out. Went to KSL and paid $25 for a babyjogger and then liked it so much, I made it an original. Did anyone add saline? You can’t properly suck a baby nose out without saline. I cloth diapered for a long time, so baby legs cut the need for pants. I liked the ones I made myself the most out of target knee socks. There are super easy tutorials online, and I could whip out 2-3 in a 30 minute period.

    Reply
  11. I forgot to add, take as many hand me downs as you are offered. My friend was on government assistance and had absolutely no money when she was expecting her first. I offered her any and all of my stuff. She didn’t want it, because I didn’t have the fanciest, newest, most top of the line stuff. I took every hand me down I was offered with my first and it allowed me to have some super fun stuff I know I would have never bought (like a playmat) because money was tight. Now with baby #5 coming, because of the smart choices we made back then, we can now buy the things we want, not just what we need. And it’s so worth it!

    Reply
  12. Love my boppy! I didn’t get it until child #2, and very much wished I had had it for the first. Halo infant sleep sacks help me sleep better as well as the baby. I know that the baby is warm but I don’t have to worry that they have kicked their blanket up over their head (another item I didn’t have until child #2). Don’t buy too many newborn or even size 1 diapers until you see how big your baby is (same goes for newborn clothes). Two of my babies used newborn diapers only at the hospital and outgrew size 1 by the time they were a month old.

    Reply
  13. Lots of burp cloths. The ones I love the most and work the best are the ones made from cloth diapers. Also love my boppy for propping baby and nursing. And totally agree with skipping diaper genie. I hated that thing.

    Reply
  14. Also love the temporal scanner thermometers. They cost a little more but are so much easier and faster than the others.

    Reply

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