- Family and Parenting
My Baby Registry Checklist. What You Need During Your Baby's First Year
Expecting a baby comes with tons joy and hassle at the same time. And one of those is combining a baby registry. For those who already have kids, that part is easy, they already know what they will need and what should't be spent money for. For all the newbies into the parenting world, there is a lot to learn... I remember, when I was combining my baby registry, I was searching for baby registry checklists and samples to understand not only what I need, but what brands are better. I can assure you, stores' checklists are designed to make you spend much more than you actually need, and figuring that out took tons of time and effort. So I decided, to keep track of everything I use, and once my baby turns one year, to write a hub on what exactly I used, and what things from my registry were a waste of money. For those of you who don't have time to read it all, here is the link to my edited baby registry with all the things I actually bought, USED and LOVED (I removed everything that I didn't use or didn't like). For those of you who want to learn a bit more about each item, pour yourself a cup of tea and let's delve into the baby registry world :)
Of course it all depends on the preference and budget. But if you are pregnant for the first time, you don't even imagine how fast babies grow and how little clothing you need of each size. Here is what worked for me and my son David.
Clothing for 0-2 months
1. Gerber Baby Newborn Long Sleeve Side Snap Mitten Cuffs
These are great since they are side snap, I didn't have to wear something over the head of my baby which made things MUCH easier. They also have mitten cuffs, so you don't need to buy separate mittens. The newborn size took us well up to 2 months. And I paired them with the...
2. Summer Infant SwaddleMe Adjustable Infant Wrap
Babies love to be swaddled. And for my son, for his first 1-2 months that was the only option while sleeping or eating, since he was so active with his arms, that weren't they swaddled, he would neither sleep nor eat. I bought 6 SwaddleMe wraps and that was more than enough. I think I would have managed with 4 as well, if I did washing more frequently. They are also very easy to use and comfy for the baby.
Clothing for 2+ months
Here everything definitely will depend on your taste, preferences etc. If you want to know how many pieces of each size we ended up using, check out my baby registry. Here though, let me show you my favorites, and must-haves in my opinion.
1. Carter's Side Snap Bodysuits
Side snap once again. Yes, I love side snaps! No need to get the baby mad pulling onesies over his head. I actually use side or front snap bodysuits exclusively up until now and my baby is already 13 months old.
2. First Impressions Bodysuits
Super cute short-sleeved bodysuits for summer time with the snaps on the front.
Baby Skin Care
I should confess that I bought tons of creams, lotions, diaper rash creams etc. But ended up not using any of it. My baby didn't develop any diaper rash, and I didn't feel I needed to moisturize his skin additionally. So the only thing I did use and can recommend is a sunscreen.
Babyganics Mineral Based Fragrance Free Sunscreen - SPF 50+
I really like the consistency of this sunscreen. It feels really soft and pleasant to the skin. And protects from the sun perfectly.
1. Stokke Flexi Bath
If you are like me and don't have lots of space in the bathroom, you would really appreciate this folding bathtub. It's very convenient to use and easy to store. It is made of plastic. Not sure what folding places are made of, but looks and feels like a rubber. Does not leak and feels very smooth, so there is no danger for baby's tender skin. The bath tub comes in different colors and will take a baby from birth up until 6-9 months. I do not recommend buying the newborn support for this bath, since it is not secure and not of much help.
2. Babies R Us Octopus Floating Thermometer
Super handy thermometer which shows if the temperature in the bath is right for the baby. The price is below $3, so there is no reason not to buy it.
3. Earth Mama Angel Baby Natural Non-Scents Body Wash & Shampoo
I researched lots of brands to find the option which is as healthy as possible and ended up using this one. The shampoo is made without synthetic fragrances, Triclosan, phthalates, parabens or harsh sulfates. It is also toxin free, rated 1 for toxins on EWG's Skin Deep Cosmetics Database. They claim it to be so safe, that hospitals use it for NICU babies. I do recommend buying a non-scents type, since I tried a scented one and my baby developed a skin rash. No problems with non-scents so far.
4. Munchkin Shampoo Rinser, Blue Jiraffe
For proper bathing a baby, you will need a rinser. I used this one and have no complaints. It's affordable and does its job.
5. Carter's Hooded Towels (2)
I bought different towels first, but ended up not using them because they were too harsh. I switched to Carter's, and they are much softer. There are also plenty of different colors and designs to choose from.
If you followed my hub from the very beginning, you already know that I used SwaddleMe for the first 2 months of my son's life. That was his sleepwear as well as regular "clothing" for most of the time. When he learnt to control his arms and stopped hitting and scratching himself, and waking himself up, we switched to the following.
1. Carters One Piece Micro Fleece Sleep Bags (2)
I did prefer a sleeping bag/sack over a footie, since it's much easier to change a baby at night. This one is warm enough for Californian winters, but if you live in colder states, you probably should consider something warmer.
2. Baby Soy Kimono Bundlers, 3-6 months (2)
For warmer weather, this side snap bundler with a pair of socks worked great for us. It also has mitten cuffs, if you'd like to use is for younger babies.
Furniture and Decor
Of course this part depends on lots of things, including the budget, room size and furniture you already have. But I personally consider these 3 things a must have.
Since I wanted a modern feel to the nursery, I chose grey and white Babymod Modena Convertible Crib, and I really love it. It's not very expensive, but gives sleek and modern look and feel to the room.
2. Nursing Chair
When I was compiling my baby registry, I wasn't sure if I need a nursing chair. I am so glad I did buy one. It is a must for the first months of baby life if you plan to nurse. Babies do nurse around the clock and you'll be spending more time in the nursing chair than somewhere else. It is important that nursing chair is comfortable for you, so go around, sit in a bunch and choose the one that's right for you. The most comfy for me was Little Castle Monaco II Glider. It is pretty expensive, so I didn't buy an ottoman to go with it. It is possible to live without the ottoman, but if you have money to spend, do consider buying one. It's so much more comfortable with it.
3. Changing Table or Board/Tray
That's a pity that there is almost no choice of changing boards/trays in the United States. That's a life and space saver for those having tiny nurseries (like us). In Europe there is much more choice of changing trays that you can secure to the top of a crib saving the space that you would have to use for a changing table. Since I am not in Europe, I had to buy Bloom Universal Change Tray, the only option available in the U.S. I could find.
4. My Baby Sam Chevron Mobile, Aqua/Gray
Mobile is said to be very important for early baby development, since it allows to track the objects and develops vision and hearing. I chose this model because of the contemporary feel.
5. Boon Glo Nightlight with Portable Balls
This nightlight is really cool! The light balls are removable, and the lamp can glow in different colors. Very cool both as a lamp and as a toy.
1. Safety 1st Heavenly Dreams White Crib Mattress
Of course you can splurge on your baby's mattress. But I consider this mattress to be pretty good and with a great price tag. It is hypoallergenic, provides firm support and has waterproof outer cover.
2. American Baby Company Waterproof Fitted Crib and Toddler Protective Mattress Pad Cover
Even though the outer cover of the mattress is waterproof, you still need a protective pad. This one works pretty good for me.
3. American Baby Company 100% Cotton Percale Fitted Crib Sheet
Of course sheet design is a personal preference. But I really like this one. It works great for a contemporary nursery design. There are plenty of colors to choose from to match any design of the room.
4. American Baby Company Heavenly Soft Chenille Crib Sheet
This one is REALLY soft, and it feels great to put a baby on it.
1. Ubbi Steel Diaper Pail
This one keeps odors great! I've read lots of negative reviews on other pails (which are made mostly of plastic) and do not regret spending a bit more and getting this one. Another advantage is that instead of using "special" bags from diaper pail manufacturers (additional expenses), you can use regular garbage bags with this one. It also looks nice in a room and there are plenty of colors to choose from.
2. Boon Loop Diaper Caddy
That's a shame that this diaper caddy was discontinued by manufacturer. It's very convenient and looks modern and sleek. It contains a large compartment for diapers, special place for wipes and small compartments for creams or other little things.
3. Dynarex Disposable Underpad, 17 inches X 24 inches
If you don't want to change sheets every time you leave your baby without a diaper, or if you want to add an extra protection to that very expensive white coach your baby is laying on, these are must haves. A 100 pack was sufficient for almost a year for me.
4. Skip Hop Duo Special Edition Diaper Bag in French Stripe
While looking for a diaper bag, I was searching for not only convenience, but style, since the style of the bag I am carrying around all day is very important for me. At the same time, I didn't want to spend $$$ on designer diaper bags. Skip Hop Special Edition diaper bag in French Stripe works great for both style and practicality. It's not too big (that was what I was looking for), but still very practical, has plenty of compartments, including side pockets for bottles, and separate changing pad. If you are looking for something compact, stylish and practical - that's the best bet.
1. My Brest Friend Deluxe Nursing Pillow
That was a life saver for the first month. This pillow is amazing and allows baby to nurse with minimal effort from your side. A must have for the first time mothers who are just getting used to nursing. I have absolutely no idea what I would have done without it. Though pretty soon (3-4 months in our case) the baby outgrows it and you will need a pillow # 2.
2. Boppy Nursing Pillow
Once my son refused to be nursed from My Brest Friend pillow, I switched to Boppy. It is definitely more convenient for larger babies, and it's versatile, since it can be used not only as a pillow, but a positioner, or tummy time help.
3. Gerber Rolled Birdseye Prefold Diaper
This is not a category mistake. Yes, a diaper. But I used it as a burp cloth and it did the job perfectly. It also comes in bright colors and looks really good.
4. Johnson's Nursing Pads - Contour
I've tried almost all brands of disposable nursing pads on the market. And these are by far the best. The thing I like the most is that they are contour, and have a nipple shape as well. So if you are wearing pretty tight tank, they look much more natural. They are also pretty absorbent and soft.
5. Motherlove Nipple Cream
For all those not familiar with breastfeeding, believe me, for the first couple of weeks, your breasts will be very sore. So you need a cream or ointment. The hospitals recommend using Lansinoh Lanolin, but I didn't find it very helpful and really hated the consistency (sticky and unpleasant to the touch). Motherlove nipple cream worked much better for me. It was really pleasant to apply it and the same way as Lansinoh Lanolin, you don't have to remove it before feeding your baby. It contains 100% certified organic ingredients. And they say it can also be a great diaper rash ointment, though I didn't try it in that role.
6. Hygeia Breast Pump
No matter if you are returning to work right after your baby is born, or want to become a full-time mom, you will need a breast pump. Luckily health insurances now provide them free of charge, and in most of the cases you don't need to spend your money. The important thing though is to request the right pump from insurance. I chose Hygeia since it is one of the few closed system double electric pumps. It is very important for a pump to be closed system, since you don't want the milk to get inside the pump causing mold, parts of which can eventually get into the expressed milk. Hygeia breast pump worked perfectly for me, and allowed to express enough milk in about 15 minutes.
7. Simple Wishes Hands Free Breastpump Bra
Pumping can become quite a hurdle if you have to hold the bottles every time yourself. This bra was a savior for me, allowing to do "hands-free pumping".
8. Dr. Brown's Natural Flow Newborn Feeding Set, Wide Neck
If you are pumping, you will need some bottles to feed the baby when it's time. This set was sufficient for me for the first year (taking into consideration I stayed at home and breastfed exclusively for the first 8 months). I used bottles only at night and while going out. Dr. Brown's bottles are said to prevent colic. My baby didn't have colic, though I am not sure if I just got lucky, or it's due to the bottles. The set comes with 2 small and 3 large bottles and accessories, a cleaning brush and level 1 nipples.
9. Dr. Brown`s Natural Flow Level 3 Wide Neck Nipples
I skipped level 2 and introduced level 3 nipples when my baby was 6 months old.
10. Boon Orb Bottle Warmer
When using bottles, you'll also need a bottle warmer. This one is both practical and nice looking. It heats the bottle using steam and works very quickly - no more than a minute. It includes a part for jar warming as well, when you start solid foods.
11. OXO Tot On-the-Go Travel Drying Rack with Bottle Brush
A portable rack and brush which can also be taken for travel. Pretty small space for drying (2-3 bottles and parts max), but was enough for me (since I wasn't using bottles too much).
12. Health o meter Grow with Me 2-in-1 Baby to Toddler Scale
I included the scale in this section, because since my baby was exclusively breastfed since birth, it was very important for me to check that he was eating well and gaining weight, so at the beginning, I weighted him before and after each feeding. This scale is great, since it has a removable top part, and will serve you well beyond the infancy and into toddlerhood.
When you introduce solids, you'll need more feeding accessories. Notice, that I don't include any bowls or plates, since I used cups and bowls I already had at home and didn't buy any "special" baby bowls or plates. I think that time for those will come only when my son will start attempting eating by himself. I don't see that happening in the near future.
1. Boon Swap Baby Utensils (2 sets)
These are great. Very convenient and not too large for baby's mouth. They also have two sides and can be used as silicone or metal (which can be used in the future I assume).
2. Boon Pulp Silicone Feeder
Frankly speaking, I have not used it yet. But I plan to. The feeder seems very nice done and convenient to hold.
3. Bumbo Multi Seat
I decided to go with this seat instead of a highchair. This is very convenient and does not require an additional space. It can be attached to a regular chair, and the insert can be taken away when the baby grows. The little tray secures to the back when not in use.
4. NUK learner Cup
Another thing I haven't regularly used. I tried to introduce my son to a cup, but he wouldn't take it yet... Should try a couple of times, or may be try another brand...
5. Carter's Feeding Bibs (2 sets)
I first used bibs with velcro, but my son would pull on it and get rid of the bib pretty quickly. I have been looking around for bibs with snaps (not many choices on those), and found these. They work perfect for us.
1. Philips Avent Soothie Pacifier, 3+ months
If you plan on using pacifiers, Philips Avent Soothie worked best for us. I was trying to introduce other ones, but David would take only this. We used Monkey pacifier mostly (see # 2), but buy these just in case to have some spare ones on hand.
2. WubbaNub Brown Monkey
This is not only cute, but super practical. When David was little, he would stop sucking the paci, it would fall from his mouth and he would cry. The monkey (and there are many other toys to choose from) would allow to position a pacifier in a way that it is easier to hold it in place. When he became bigger and started holding the pacifier by himself, it was much easier to learn to put it into the mouth holding a toy, than if it was just a small pacifier. Was a savior for me during car trips, since most of the times he was able to put the pacifier in his mouth by himself. It comes with Philips Avent Soothie.
1. Chicco Keyfit 30 Magic Infant Car Seat with a Base
If you are really on a budget, you can skip infant car seat and go with a convertible right away. But infant car seat makes life much easier for the first couple of months. I can't imagine being without it, and we used it up until 11 months. The biggest perk is that you don't have to wake your baby up to put him into the stroller or vice versa. It is also super convenient while traveling (much better than carrying around a huge convertible seat). The con of this model is that my baby's back was always sweaty. Not sure if it's because of the fabric Chicco uses, or if it's the case with all car seats.
2. Chicco Keyfit Caddy Stroller Frame
I bought the frame, since I wanted something lightweight. And it was much easier to load it into a car than a regular stroller. Chicco Keyfit Caddy is very easy to maneuver and to fold with one hand. It can also stand folded on its own, which is great. I have made a video review on the car seat and caddy, so be sure to check it out below.
3. Fisher Price Platinum Cradle Swing - My Little Lamb
The swing is a must have. Great thing to soothe a cranky baby. I have not tried other swings, but this one worked for us. I chose it because it is designed in a way that it takes less space than most of the others (other have larger and wider legs). The only complaint for this model is that it's very noisy, but I have no idea how it compares to other swings in terms of noise. I have made a video review on this swing where I described all its features (all swing modes, music, lights etc.). You are welcome to watch it below.
4. 2015 Maxi Cosi Pria 70 Convertible Car Seat, Bohemian Blue
You can skip the first two items, but you can't go without convertible car seat, either from the very beginning, or when the baby outgrows the infant car seat. I chose Maxi Cosi Pria 70 in Bohemian Blue because I was looking for a fabric with more natural feel. As I mentioned earlier, the infant car seat cause my baby's back to sweat, so I was hoping to avoid that with the convertible seat. The fabric on this model inside the seat feels like linen. It doesn't prevent sweating 100% of the time, but it's definitely much better than it was with Chicco infant car seat. I also really liked the color and the style of this car seat. It looks very special.
5. BabyHome Emotion Baby Stroller, Cloud
Another thing you can't avoid buying is a stroller. I have been looking for a long time to find something lightweight, practical and nice looking, and found BabyHome Emotion stroller, which combines all these features. It is very lightweight (not heavier than Chicco frame to the feel), looks great and modern and what's more important has a decent basket underneath with an easy access to it. Most of the strollers are designed in a way that it is very hard to access the basket. This one is an exception. The stroller comes in a variety of colors for any taste.
6. Graco Pack 'n Play Playard with Cuddle Cove Rocking Seat, Winslet
You probably will need a playard sooner or later anyways. But if you have two or more storied house with bedrooms being upstairs, you will definitely need a playard for a baby downstairs. This Graco playrad is the best I could find. First off, it comes with a rocking seat. That was the only thing my son would go to sleep in for the first month or so. He needed rocking all the time, so that was a life saver, especially at night. It also helped carrying him from room to room while he was sleeping. An additional bonus is a sound machine, that makes different nature sounds (kind of white noise) as well as plays classical music. That also was a great helper/soother for the first 1-2 months. The playard also comes with the changing board and organizers. Both the seater and the changing board will last for 1-2 months at most, then the baby becomes to heavy for them. But the playard itself will serve for many more months (if not years) to come. My son is now 13 months old and he naps and plays in the playard. I really like that it's sturdy and firm.
7. Baby Einstein Activity Jumper Special Edition, Neighborhood Friends
I chose this jumper, because it seemed the sturdiest of all I saw. To say the truth, we could have done without it, because my son doesn't like being in it and never jumps, just hangs in there... I guess it depends on preference, but I do recommend this model for those whose kids like jumpers. It's very easy to adjust levels and can be done even with the baby in it.
8. DaffaDoot Back Seat Mirror
Probably not a gear, but rather an accessory, this mirror is very helpful to check on the baby while driving.
Health & Baby Care
1. Skip Hop Hare Brush and Comb Set, White/Orange
First and foremost, you'll need a brush and a comb. I opted for this cute hare set, which looks great in the nursery.
2. Pigeon Nail Scissors
Another very important thing is nail scissors or clippers. I decided to go with scissors, since I felt it would be easier for me than with clippers. This scissors are great, very convenient use, have rounded edges and doing their job amazingly well. They come straight from Japan, so don't hesitate in their superior quality.
3. Braun Forehead Thermometer
I can't say that I am 100% satisfied with this thermometer, it's not always accurate (or may be I don't use it correctly), but it is quick and can be used while baby is asleep, which is an additional advantage.
4. Graco NasalClear Nasal Aspirator
Great aspirator that is fast, easy to use and mess free. Well, there is a bit of a mess when you have to clean it, but not too much.
5. Infants' Tylenol Pain Reliever-Fever Reducer Oral Suspension
Won't say much here. You just need to have an infants' Tylenol just in case.
6. Ddrops Baby 400 IU
Doctors recommend introducing vitamin D to 3 months old babies who are nursed exclusively to avoid vitamin D deficiency and rickets. This particular brand is the most natural vitamin D you can get. The serving consists of a one drop and the only ingredient used is coconut oil. The drop can be administered on a mom's nipple just before breastfeeding or on a pacifier. The packaging is a bit frustrating, because the vitamin comes in a bottle, but has only a little bit of liquid in it, so it seems like it's almost empty. The one bottle contains 90 drops, so it has 3 months supply.
7. Zarbee's Baby Multi-Vitamin
If you continue to nurse exclusively, sooner or later your doctor will recommend adding multi-vitamin with iron to prevent anemia. The only natural multi-vitamin with iron I found was Zarbee's, it contains no artificial stuff and preservatives.
I bet you will get lots and lots of toys from friends and family. I just wanted to share what toys my son enjoyed (and still enjoys) during his first year and beyond. I did a lot of research to find "the best" toys for babies in terms of development, so here they are:
1. Sassy Floor Mirror, Blue
Many developmental specialists who write about baby's brain development indicate that mirror is an important toy from the very beginning. This one can be put on the floor or attached to the crib. Like all baby mirrors, it's made not from glass, but from some reflecting material.
2. Lamaze High-Contrast Panda Rattle
Newborn babies do not see different colors, only black and white up until 3 months, so this rattle, made of cloth, is perfect for the youngest. It has red rear side, so also stimulating for a baby who starts seeing colors.
3. Fisher-Price Rainforest Melodies and Lights Deluxe Gym
I found this playmat to offer the most - variety of toys made from different materials, bright colors and sound.
4. Lamaze Peek-A-Boo Forest Soft Book
This is a great first book for a baby. It is soft, makes sounds and great to teach baby a peek-a-boo concept.
5. Lamaze Clip & Go Moose Mortimer
One of the favorite toys by far :) The moose is made from different materials and textures and makes different sounds, from rattling to squeaking and crunching. Perfect for cuddling, teething and exploring.
6. Infantino Spiral Activity Toy, Blue
I bought this one to attach to a car seat, but it didn't work with our seat. Still, it's a nice activity toy.
7. Carter's Bumpy Ball
A "three-in-one" toy, works as a ball, rattle and as a sensory experience.
8. Imaginarium Stacking Ring
I like this one, since it's made of wood and I like natural textures and materials. Most of stacking rings are made of plastic nowadays. The inside is pretty thick and smooth, so that the baby won't hurt himself.
9. The First Years Stacking Up Cups
Stacking and nesting are important skills to practice, and this cups also are great as bathroom and sand toys.
10. Battat Farm Bath Buddies
These are great for teaching baby animal sounds as well as for bath play.
11. Green Sprouts Fruit Cool Soothing Teether, Apple
Teether that is easy to hold, has distilled water inside and can be chilled in the fridge for the extra relief of those irritated gums. The material is free of BPA and PVC.
12. Kids Preferred Amazing Baby Soft Book
This is my son's favorite toy up until now. The book has different sensory experiences, textures, noises and pieces to chew on or hold on.
13. SwimWays Baby Spring Float
Great float for summer pool fun.
Here are some things I used postpartum and during nursing period that I consider handy.
1. Bravado Designs Womens' Body Silk Seamless Nursing Bra
I bought two of those bras in black and beige and used them since pregnancy and up to a weaning a baby from the breast. They are super comfy, soft and great for nursing.
2. Lamaze Cotton Spandex Sleep Bra for Nursing and Maternity - White
This one is a great night bra. Super comfy and soft. However, I did not use it during the day, since its shape doesn't fit most of the clothing.
3. UpSpring Baby Shrinkx Belly Postpartum Belly Wrap
This belly wrap is great in helping to get slim belly back after delivery. However, it is not smooths under clothing and is visible if you are wearing something tight.
4. HipSlimmer Post-pregnancy Hip Slimming Corset
Last, but not the least - hip slimming corset. As you might know, the hips are becoming wider during pregnancy to help with easier delivery. But they say, that it is possible to get them back to where they were before the pregnancy, if act right away after delivery. This corset is pretty inconvenient to wear, that's why it is recommended to be worn at night. It is pretty rigid and uncomfortable, but I guess that's why it is working...
That is the end of my baby registry checklist with all the things I used during my baby's first year of life. I hope it will help you to prepare your baby registry and understand what things you might need. I also hope that my mini-reviews would help you to make a decision on item or brand that would work best for you and your baby.
If you have any other things that you consider must-have items from your registry or experience, feel free to leave a comment below.