A few months ago, I polled a lot of my mom friends on some of their absolute favorite items that should become my baby registry must-haves. I left it open ended so that they could highlight whatever was their favorite and most useful item, as well as what was the most useless. Needless to say, I learned a lot!
I know we all read tons of things online and no one knows who to trust or what is sponsored content, so I can guarantee you that nothing on this list is sponsored! All opinions are 100% my friends’, and who can we trust better than our own friends?
There are definitely some controversial items (re: baby carriers, swaddles), but there were also a lot of strong opinions about things I didn’t expect, such as wipes, changing pads and bottles. From my friends’ sage advice and detailed explanations for why they loved items, I crafted my own perfect registry. My hope is that you’ll be able to take the below items and make your own perfect baby registry, with much needed girlfriend advice!
15 Baby Registry Must Haves
“I didn’t believe my friends that I would actually care about the weight of the mattress until I had to change the first set of sheets! Not only is this mattress a healthy option for baby to sleep on, it is also SUPER lightweight, making sheet changing a breeze. I didn’t bother getting the dual sided mattress because I was told the toddler stage isn’t much different, so I went with the single firm option! Always make sure the mattress your baby is sleeping on is super firm… this is also a sleep safety measure.” – Liza L.
“Very Dad friendly (haha and mom too, let’s be real) and especially ideal for middle of the night diaper changes.” – Erin R.
“They are SO much easier to get on/off in the middle of the night than snaps!! You’ll get a ton of clothes no matter what so don’t register for them in general but this is the one item I would recommend registering for!” – Kristin F.
“Honestly, my fear once my baby came home and my husband went back to work was, how am I ever going to be able to go to the bathroom or shower?! Although it took her a few weeks to get used to the movement, this became my saving grace. I’d keep this in the bathroom and plop her down in it, turn it on, and do my business.” – Liza L.
” The baby bed that can go anywhere: parents’ bed when newborn, bassinet, even the floor if you’re in the kitchen or something and need the newborn there…the Dock-a-Tot also eases the transition when baby moves into crib/new room. It is designed to almost feel like the baby is being held in a parents’ arm nook. Breathable SIDS-approved machine washable fabric. Do not be tempted to buy knock-offs” – Allison D.
“Used multiple times a day. Jones slept through the night starting at 4 weeks and i attribute that at least partially to the dock a tot!” – Lindsey H.
“Babies like the white noise and it allows you to get away with more noise when sneaking around them at night. It’s also a must have if baby will be in the room with you. We actually have gotten really accustomed to sleeping with it now — it drowns out the city noises pretty well, like the 4am garbage pickup!” – Kristin F.
“All the baby books suggest routine but we were always on the go, so having this as a constant background for bedtime was really helpful to create a constant. Dock a tot was helpful for that too… but this you can travel with and still use it. It is obviously on the ocean setting” – Erin R.
(disclaimer, none of my friends registered or bought this, but quite a few said they had!)
“I also wish I bought the Uppababy Vista stroller instead of my Bugaboo Cameleon. I have always wanted a bugaboo so I was stuck on the idea of getting it. However, the Uppababy can really handle those curbs! It is super agile and has amazing storage underneath the carriage. Also, depending on the model, if and when you have two babies, you can add a second seat on the bottom! ” – Liza L.
“Uppababy is great but pricey, we have Britax which is fine but doesn’t have a lot of storage space and has sticky wheels… wish we had bought the Uppababy” – Ali L.
“Hands down best changing pad. I still use it today. You can fold it up and carry it without bringing a diaper bag with you. It’s fantastic on airplanes as well. My three year old still fits on it (which was important when I had to change him on an overnight flight that didn’t have a changing table on the plane – so I just put the changing pad on the floor).” – Crystal H.
“For locating in the middle of the night when the last thing you want is to turn on the light!” – Angie L.
“These are AWESOME. I prefer them to the SwaddleMes or regular swaddle blankets. She loves being wrapped in it & the zipper makes it SO much easier to change diapers at night.” – Kristin F.
“since you like to swaddle your baby for the first few months to mimic the womb, the halo sleep sacks come with a velcro piece that makes it so easy to swaddle a baby. No more loose swaddle blankets for the fear that the baby will jostle and they will loosen (creating an unsafe sleeping environment). As the baby starts to use his/her hands and doesn’t want them glued down to his/her side, you can graduate into a sleep sack without the velcro, which essentially is a cozy warm blanket that stays on the baby!” – Liza L.
10. Water Wipes
“Water Wipes are the best baby wipes. Yes the are hippie and organic but they just actually work the best” – Erin B.
“Como tomo hands down, do it in the first 3 week window! The nipple on the bottle is the most real/comparable to an actual nipple which makes it easy for the baby to transition back and forth” – Erin K.
12. Arms Reach Mini
I actually had three friends mention this (and one amazing one who is letting me borrow hers!) and they all mentioned the adjustable height for higher beds, the small size, and the fact that it’s height is ideal because the last thing you need after giving birth is to bend over excessively several times a night!
“Life saver! If I had a dollar for every time I just wiped that thing down instead of having to wash some sort of cover in the laundry I’d be rich!” – Kate M.
“If I’m not mistaken, I think Kate (above) actually recommended this to me!! My husband was wary of the price but we both agree it’s WORTH EVERY PENNY. I could not have a baby without it. It’s the EASIEST thing to clean. you don’t want to deal with any fabric changing pad because that means you’ll have to wash it a ton.” – Kristin F.
“Got this Keekaroo diaper changing pad the 2nd time around and it was fantastic!” – Erin K.
“A full pump is totally necessary too but a small, hand-held portable pump is very convenient when you can’t haul around the big one.” – Allison D.
15. Ikea High Chair
“The $20 Ikea plastic high chair is amazeballs. I had an expensive high chair and it was a bitch to clean, so then I scoured the earth for one that would be easy to clean – this was the ticket!” – Kate M.
Controversial Items/ What you should not register for
“K’tan wrap for newborn then the Boba (Ergo later for hiking on back)” – Erin K.
“BORROW one of each brand from a friend, try it out, and see if you like it. Moby, Bjorn, the bigger Bjorn, Ergo, Solly, K-tan, there are sooo many out there and everyone has a different favorite. They all fit differently on different body types. I have literally 6 carriers and it’s so annoying” – Allison D.
“Seems like an obvious but I used them for everything. I had them all over the house. They wash well, and have better coverage than burp clothes. Versatile since they are blankets too. As swaddles, they actually suck, or we sucked at swaddling I guess. But I would also have a few velcro swaddles on hand in case your baby takes to them.” – Erin B.
“My biggest waste was buying all of those fancy kissy kissy pima cotton swaddle blankets! I did not need them. I still don’t need them. Okay, maybe buy one or two for taking your baby home from the hospital (for the pictures), or for throwing one over your baby on a morning walk in the stroller. But, I never used them. Honestly, before I learned about the Halo Sleep Sack, Chloe was being swaddled to sleep in the hospital blankets she came home with (I stuffed a few more in my take home bag!) The hospital blankets are nice and nubby because they’ve been washed so many times, so they tend to have some nice friction! The brand new ones you buy are so soft that they don’t hold the swaddle as well.” – Liza L.
“What you don’t need — lots of swaddles. Just get the sleep sacks. They’re easier and better for transitioning to hands out. Also, I had a vision of making all of my daughter’s starting solids, and bought a baby puree machine. That lasted for about a week before I went back to work. Don’t use it now.” – Ali L.
“Diapers…lots of people register for them. It’s a little tough because you don’t want to get too many of a particular size because you don’t want to end up with unused diapers that are too small. Instead, I recommend just registering for a ton of wipes — I don’t think we bought wipes for the first 6 months!” – Kristin F.
Some additional amazing feedback from my friends!
“The first few weeks and months are all about the schedule. It was hard for me to remember if I showered that day, never mind when my son last had a bottle. This app lets you track everything. (Down to which breast you bf last with!) seems silly but a lifesaver!” – Brittany C.
“Mustela – their baby shampoo supposedly stops baby from getting that flaky “cradle cap” – maybe my son wouldn’t have gotten it anyway, but we really like it.” – Kate M.
Fan for Baby’s Room
“Apparently mama’s womb is the same decibel level as a football stadium. Babies need lots of white noise and fans keep the air moving. I like Hunter fans the best” – Allison D.
Sound Sleeper App
“White noise wherever you go. So key for good sleeps!” – Brittany C.
Decent Dresser/Changing Station
“I splurged on a Restoration Hardware dresser with the add on box that screws into the back and is fit for the changing mattress and wipes box. When baby is done with diapers, simply remove it and they can use the dresser forever. Cheaply made dressers are really crappy. Use the top drawer of the dresser for rows of diapers, replacement bags of wipes, and swaddle blankets so you have your whole system.” – Allison D.
“If your girl likes pacifiers. Good to attach toys too when you’re traveling or flying” – Erin R.
“Get a “sleep” nursing bra – okay, so I bought regular nursing bras of these at 9 months pregnant thinking I would be a similar size and basically wasted a ton of money because none of them wound up being even close to fitting. So I would recommend buying a sleep nursing bra to start (it’s fine / enough support to generally wear around – kind of more like a sports bra, so less specific sizing wise) until your milk comes in and THEN order a bunch of styles/sizes online from somewhere with free returns so you can figure out what’s comfortable (and don’t try them on right after you’ve fed because then they’ll be too tight later!) Of the many bras I bought I wound up throwing out most of them. I really liked the Bravado wireless one and the Pea in the pod bounce back full coverage sleep bra – I would wear that to sleep even in the future not nursing, it’s amaaaazing!” – Kate M.
That’s it! I hope you all enjoyed this list of non-sponsored, first hand quotes from my rockin’ momma friends on everything they loved, hated, and in between. Let me know if you have any of these items or thought of something I missed!