When we were expecting Sophie, I waited quite a while before starting a baby registry. It felt really overwhelming to me--I didn't know what I needed, so asking people for specific items seemed kind of impossible. I spent a lot of time reading blog posts about what essential baby stuff they stuck to (at the time we were in a smaller townhouse and we weren't sure if we were going to move or not), and I liked the idea of keeping it simple. We were also traveling from California to Virginia for our baby shower, and I wasn't sure how it would be to ship a bunch of stuff back.
We already had a crib (this one, which we found used and lucked out because they threw in the changing table as well), and I knew that at the least, we would also need a car seat, diapers, and a few things for her to wear. Once I started thinking about everything else as bonus items that would make our lives easier, but weren't 100% necessary, it took the pressure off and I was able to have a little fun with our baby registry.
Before I get started I'll first say that we used Babylist to build our registry, which I really liked because you can pick items from any website and not be limited to a specific store. Here are the things we registered for and use all the time (I included more information about each item below):
- We registered for this UppaBaby carseat and Rob's parents were generous enough to buy it for us, and then we personally bought this stroller which we're obsessed with (not pictured above). It was definitely a splurge, so we didn't add it to our registry (It's a personal preference but I felt pretty uncomfortable registering for anything over $300). We do really love it though, and we use it all the time. I like that it comes with a bassinet and a seat but you can also use the Mesa car seat--having options are always great, especially if you got to where you're going and the baby fell asleep in the car. It also works as a double stroller, so we were confident buying it knowing that it was going to last us a long time and get a lot of use in the future as well.
- Carter's onesies are my favorite. I don't like a ton of prints or colors so I like that they're pretty basic. For those first few months we spent a lot of time at home and if Sophie was even wearing any clothes, it was most likely a Carter's onesie. We got a lot of short sleeved ones and quite a few long sleeved ones as well.
- I'm a huge fan of Doddle & Co.--I was lucky enough to spend some time with Nicki Radzely a few years ago at Alt Summit when she was still working on getting the company started and I was still a few years away from having kids, but I kept them in mind and they were kind enough to send us a few pacifiers after Sophie was born.
- I've talked about my love of this nursing pillow before, so I'll just leave a link to it here for you again. We still use it every day.
- I lusted after this diaper bag for weeks and couldn't ever seem to buy it before it sold out. I love that it can be worn as a backpack and is neutral enough that Rob can wear it without feeling like he's dragging a purse around. It also fits a ton of stuff and I just think it's really a beautiful bag.
- We use this baby wash every night at bath time and it's been great.
- I definitely registered for a few cute things that weren't necessities, and these moccasins went on the list as soon as we found out we were having a girl. They are so cute and they stay on really well and I love them.
- Love this tub, it's perfect for those first few months where they're so tiny. It also takes up no room at all and is great to travel with, you just fold it in half and throw it in your suitcase.
- We got these little sweatpants in a few different colors--they were soft and cute and went with all of our onesies.
- My friend Paige recommended this play mat and it was so great--they can lie on their back under it and look up, and you can move the arch down to the ground so they can look at all the little toys during tummy time. We still have it in our nursery and Sophie plays with it every day. I'm all about stuff that transitions well and can be used for a longer period of time, so this has been perfect for us.
- I wasn't sure we needed a DockATot but I registered for it anyway because I'm a sucker and saw a lot of them on Instagram. Rob's coworkers threw him a shower and surprised us with one and we did end up using it a lot. Now that she is so mobile we don't use it anymore, but it was nice to put in bed and hang out with her in the mornings when we were too tired to get up. I also used to put her in it on the couch and fold laundry or work on my laptop.
- We used these bottles almost exclusively for a good six months (now we use them in addition to the ones that come with my breast pumps). Sometimes they leak if they fall over but overall I really liked them.
- The Rock 'n Play was our saving grace for several months when Sophie went on a crib strike. She'd nap there during the day and sleep for a few hours at night while Rob was still up. It was a game changer for us.
- We use this drying rack for bottles and pump parts and it doesn't take up too much space and it's also not completely hideous, which I think is all you can ask for in an item like this.
- I randomly registered for this milk storage collection even though I don't have a Medela pump, so that's kind of weird, but I do like the bottles and the little caddy you can put in your refrigerator. I still use it to store milk so I'd recommend it, especially if you have a pump that goes with it. I didn't love their bags so I switched to these Lansinoh ones once we used them up.
- Another cutesy thing: these bows are really adorable. They're soft and slightly oversized--Sophie doesn't wear a ton of bows but she does have a green one and it's really sweet.
- I love these hats for fall and winter. Basically if it's a hood or a hat, it should have little bear ears. (That's the rule in our house, at least.)
- We used these swaddles when we brought Sophie home from the hospital. I didn't like the idea of swaddling her with a blanket (mostly because I could never figure out how to do it), so I opted for anything with velcro.
- We also registered for a couple baby carriers: a Solly wrap and one from ErgoBaby. Wraps/baby carriers ended up being a thing we used more than I thought we would. Other than the ones we registered for, we also have the Boppy one I wrote about here, which I use the most. If I had to choose only one, I think I'd go with the ErgoBaby because it's easily adjustable, so Rob and I are able to both use it without much fuss.
Well, that's quite a list! Baby stuff does seem to multiply and take over your house pretty quickly. I didn't register for many one-use things or specialty items like a bottle warmer or sanitizer, baby food maker, etc. If I could do it with something I already had, then I kept it off the registry. We also didn't buy hardly anything for her until we brought her home from the hospital. That sounds weird but it was easier for us to spend time with her and get into a routine and then figure out what we needed to make it easier. There's really not much that we bought or received but haven't used, and I think it's because we did our best to stick to the basics until other things we needed presented themselves.
I hope this post helped! I'd love to hear what baby items you registered for and loved, or if you got something you thought you needed and then never actually used it. Let us know!
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