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Must Have Baby Registry Items for the First Time Parent

Updated on August 12, 2014

Sifting through what's really needed for a baby can be a daunting task for parent's to be

A new baby is the most life changing event a person can ever be lucky enough to experience. It is also scary and overwhelming. There is so much to learn about diapering, feeding, and caring for a new baby. It can also be difficult to learn how to still attend to other life responsibilities during this transitional time. There are so many products out there for babies it can be hard to sift through and truly understand what will make your life easier and what is a waste of money that will just take up space in your home. These recommendations for your baby registry come from my personal experience with my babies. I've bought things I regretted and there are other items I simply couldn't live without. These product recommendations are all things I have personally used and loved.

If you find something you like you can click the yellow Register Now button to add it to your Amazon baby registry.

photo © melissamio - all rights reserved

Baby Swing

A good baby swing is my number one baby item. Not all parents would agree but I find it's a life saver for getting my little ones to sleep or nap. I use mine constantly during the newborn stage. I swaddle my baby so they're nice and comfortable and set the swing at a comfortable pace. However some babies prefer a side to side rocking motion to the forward and back swing motion. So I recommend a swing that can do both. My babies typically like to listen to a soothing noise like the ocean so I also prefer a swing with a couple of good noise/song choices. An AC adapter is also a must have feature for me because otherwise I go through D batteries like crazy.

Car Seat and Stroller

There's no way around it, you will have to have a car seat and stroller for your baby. This is one of the bigger ticket items and also one of the most important due to both convenience and more importantly safety issues. I spent a massive amount of time deciding what car seat and stroller to purchase. This decision is best made together because ideally you'll have a car seat that removes from a base in the car and can click into the stroller. Honestly this is a must have feature. You will not want to have to wake your baby up every time you need to get in and out of the car. You also won't want to have to strap and unstrap them every time you get in and out of the car on errands. It's so easy to grab the car seat with baby in it and go without disturbing baby.

I picked the Chico KeyFit System largely because the car seat is rated number 1 for safety by consumer reports and safety was my number one concern. I really loved how easily the seat pops on and off of the base. My one complaint was the stroller was really large and hard to fit in my smaller trunk plus it was very heavy. So I the recommend stroller frame (shown below) rather than the decked out stroller that comes with the system. Not only is it lighter weight, smaller, and more easy to navigate but it's half the price. It's also much easier to access any items in the storage compartment which was another big complaint of mine with the full blown stroller. I wish I had saved the money the first time around.

Chicco Keyfit Caddy Stroller Frame
Chicco Keyfit Caddy Stroller Frame

This stroller is light weight, small, with good storage and fits the Chicco KeyFit Car Seat.

 
Chicco KeyFit and KeyFit30 Infant Car Seat Base , Anthracite
Chicco KeyFit and KeyFit30 Infant Car Seat Base , Anthracite

I recommend buying an extra base if you have a two car family. It's so convenient to be able to switch between the cars without the hassle of moving the base around.

 

Swaddlers

This probably isn't something to brag about but after several children I still don't know how to swaddle a baby properly. The fact is I really don't need to. These swaddlers are so easy to use and my babies LOVE them. They sleep so much better while wearing them. My babies don't even need pajamas, only swaddlers. The best part is they open up to allow access to change a diaper without having to unswaddle the arms. This keeps baby warm and content and they fall back asleep easier at night. Swaddling a baby in a regular blanket wouldn't allow this type of easy access.

Tip-Baby Clothes and Diapers

Don't buy a lot of newborn clothes or diapers. Many babies never fit in them at all and if they do they won't for long. It could be a matter of only a couple days or weeks before they're solidly in size 1 diapers and 0-3 month outfits. When buying clothes as a new baby gift I always make a point to buy several different sizes for the first year so they don't get too many for the first couple of months and then have nothing.

Baby Playmat

A baby playmat is definitely a must have baby item. There aren't too many things that younger babies can do but these playmats seem to be one of the most entertaining options. Babies like and are stimulated by the bright colors. There's a lot to look at and a good play mat will have music or sounds to further keep baby engaged. It keeps baby contained while playing from pets or other children. It can be used as early as the newborn stage but can continue to be used for tummy time, crawling and more.

Baby Sound Machine

I love this baby sound machine. I bought it for my daughter as an infant to block out noise. At that time our house was particularly small and her room wasn't far from the main living area. It really helped her to stay asleep without us having to be concerned about the noise we were making. It has a lot of soothing sound and you can even combine certain sounds. I take it with us when we travel where it's extra helpful if we're sharing a hotel room. Even though she's now four she still uses it at night and during nap time.

Top 10 Useless Baby Products to Avoid

These are baby products that I personally feel are unnecessary for a new baby. They are items you would probably use only once or may never end up taking out of the box. They just aren't necessary and money could be better spent elsewhere.

  1. Dishwasher Basket for Bottles- This seemed like something that of course I would need. In reality most of the time you'll probably end up cleaning baby bottles by hand. The dishwasher just doesn't do a good job. However if you do use the dishwasher the bottles go in fine without any sort of basket and I've found mine to be totally useless. Instead buy a quality bottle cleaner to assist in hand washing.
  2. Wipes Warmer- This is another $20-$30 you'll never get back. Baby is going to have to get used to non-heated wipes for many of their butt changes unless you plan on never leaving the house. You're not going to carry this with you so why get baby accustomed to something that they won't have all the time and frankly isn't necessary. I've never had a baby seem put off or disturbed by a non-heated wipe. This is a waste of time and money. Instead put the money into another couple packages of wipes which you'll go through unbelievably quickly.
  3. Stuffed Animals- I swear stuffed animals understand how new stuffed animals are born yet still forget to use protection. They will be coming out of your ears in no time. You're not going to put stuffed animals in a crib with a newborn anyway for safety reasons and trust me by the time they're old enough to have some they will. You'll be wondering where they came from. Instead buy a nice baby blanky. This is something baby can enjoy right away and many end up forming a strong bond to their companion. They seem to particularly like ones with silky insides with an animal on friend on top.
  4. The Peepee Teepee- These little covers are intended to protect you from unwanted spray from a newborn boy while changing his diaper. However they're expensive and you'll find that you're really not going to pull one out every time. The same thing can be accomplished with the wipe that you use to clean him with. Instead stock up on diapers. The average baby will go through 4,700 diapers before being potty trained.
  5. Pacifier Wipes- A Pacifier wipe doesn't work any better than a regular wipe or using soap and water. They are totally unnecessary. Instead buy a pacifier strap to hook it to babies clothes. This will help prevent needing a wipe in the first place.
  6. Products Containing BPA or other Unsafe Chemicals- It was shocking to me as a mother to find out that many baby toys and feeding products are made out of materials that contain unsafe chemicals such as BPA. If someone gives me a gift containing BPA it will be thrown out. Exposure to BPA is a problem because of the possible health effects it has on the brain, behavior and prostate gland of fetuses, infants and children. It can seep into food from food containers and bottles. Also toys that contain unsafe chemicals are particularly bad for babies because they put everything in their mouth. Instead check labels and look for products that specifically say they are BPA free.
  7. Baby Bathrobe- I bought my daughter a Winnie The Pooh bathrobe with matching slippers because I thought it was the cutest thing in the world. It is and it made a nice picture the one time I put her in it. However on a regular basis baby is not going to lounge around the house in their bathrobe and slippers. This is just another step during bath time and you'll find that you want to dry baby off with a towel and get them into their clothes or pajamas. Instead buy a cute baby towel which you will use every time.
  8. A Baby Safety Helmet- These I think are particularly silly. Not only will baby look like a goof, he or she will probably hate it and either cry hysterically or figure out a way to get out of it. Babies have been crawling and walking for thousands of years without a helmet and I'd say our world population hasn't suffered for it. Instead buy products to baby proof the house rather than baby proof the baby.
  9. Baby Shoes- Baby shoes can be costly and at the end of the day are totally unnecessary. They can be a pain to put on and even worse to keep on. Expect to lose at least one shoe quickly and the other shoe baby will grow out of just as fast. Babies don't need shoes. If you have the expendable cash and think they're cute then buy away but it's not a practical or necessary baby item. Instead buy baby socks that look like shoes. They'll keep babies feet warm, are just as cute and cost significantly less than the average pair of shoes.
  10. White Baby Onsies- It seems like every baby registry has multiple packs of white baby onsies. Apparently everyone thinks this is an essential baby item. I still have multiple unopened packs. Onsies are a very functional and popular clothing choice for babies. Yet I never see babies going around in a plain white onsies that looks like an undershirt. Instead buy onsie outfits and make sure they're long sleeved and include pants if it's meant to be worn during colder months. These are the cute outfits you'll find you dress your baby in on a daily basis, not an undershirt.

Top 5 Products for the Breastfeeding Mom

If you plan on breastfeeding these are by far the top 5 products that I would not have been able to do without.

Lansinoh Soothies Gel Pads for Breastfeeding Mothers, 2 Count
Lansinoh Soothies Gel Pads for Breastfeeding Mothers, 2 Count

If you initially find breastfeeding to be painful (you most likely will) these pads are an absolute godsend. I held out due to the price since they only have a one time use. However once I finally caved and tried them I was angry with myself for not trying them sooner. They helped me to heal quickly and breastfeeding soon became pain free after their use.

 
L'ovedbaby 4-in-1 Nursing Shawl Grand Sand
L'ovedbaby 4-in-1 Nursing Shawl Grand Sand

You'll find that baby gets hungry regardless of what's on the agenda or where you are. A cover up is crucial if you don't plan on flashing the world because you will find that you have to feed baby in uncomfortable places.

 
Ameda Purely Yours Breast Pump - 17070
Ameda Purely Yours Breast Pump - 17070

Pumping offers a variety of benefits. It can help you build up your supply if it's lacking. It helps others feed baby so you can get out without baby or get some much needed sleep. If you ever plan on having any drinks while breastfeeding, pumping allows you to rid yourself of tainted breast milk. A good pump is really something you won't want to try to go without.

 
Leachco Cuddle-U Basic Nursing Pillow and More, Sage Pin Dot
Leachco Cuddle-U Basic Nursing Pillow and More, Sage Pin Dot

This pillow is great because it cradles baby in a comfortable way and brings them to the proper height for breastfeeding. It would get pretty heavy on your arms quickly if you don't have some type of support to hold baby.

 

Teether

When baby is cutting a new tooth (or teeth) they will be cranky, miserable and make sure that you are too. Having a good teether is a must to help ease their discomfort. Babies really seem to like this giraffe teether. It's not only a cute companion but it actually seems to sooth.

Changing Pad

You don't actually have to have a changing table, you can also attach the pad to the top of a regular dresser. However you opt to change baby you'll definitely need a changing pad. They are a comfortable place for baby to be changed, plus they can easily be wiped clean of any messes.

Summer Infant Contoured Changing Pad, White
Summer Infant Contoured Changing Pad, White

This is the changing pad I've used for my babies and it's worked well for us.

 

Ocean Wonders Soothe and Glow Seahorse

This Seahorse has been a favorite bedtime companion for my babies. The light on the tummy gives a soft glow for 5 minutes and helps baby feel secure while adjusting to the dark. It gradually dims to dark in a way that's not jarring and can actually help put them to sleep. The same goes for the song. I find this has really helped put my children to sleep so it's a favorite gift of mine to give at baby showers since it's something a lot of people don't know about yet is so helpful.

Baby Safety Must Have's

They must have baby products will help keep your baby safe.

Safety 1st Magnetic Locking System Key
Safety 1st Magnetic Locking System Key

It's crucial that you have some sort of safety device to keep babies out of dangerous areas like under the sink with all the chemicals. This magnetic locking system is by far the easiest to open for adults yet impossible for baby to open. Highly recommended.

 
Mommy's Helper Outlet Plugs, 36 Count
Mommy's Helper Outlet Plugs, 36 Count

Outlet plugs are another essential until baby is a toddler or child that understands not to stick their finger or a toy in the hole.

 
Summer Infant Multi-Use Deco Extra Tall Walk-Thru Gate, Bronze
Summer Infant Multi-Use Deco Extra Tall Walk-Thru Gate, Bronze

If you have stairs in your house then you need a safety gate at the top and bottom of the stairs for the first couple years of baby's life. I love this gate because it's attractive and I get compliments all the time whereas I find a lot of gates are an eye-sore. It's easy to operate as well.

 
Safety 1st Finger Pinch Guard
Safety 1st Finger Pinch Guard

Babies love to open and close doors. The problem is they don't know not to stick their fingers in the opening and can get some very painful pinched fingers. These keep the door from closing all the way and prevents baby from getting hurt.

 

Baby Registry Poll

photo © melissamio - all rights reserved

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What is your must have item for a new baby?

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    • julesh2013 profile image

      julesh2013 3 years ago

      The baby swing and Sophie! Absolutely! If I can add one, the BOB Revolution SE (I just posted a lens about it!).

    • profile image

      anonymous 3 years ago

      Nice lens, saw this featured on Check Out These Niche Baby Registry Lenses!

    • NoProblemmo profile image

      NoProblemmo 3 years ago

      I think for the first baby baby alarm is near the top of the list. But kids very fast become very loud and you can save some money with renting one. And with next kids parents are more confident and they don't need this anymore. If you are looking for something universal, something like a rattle or something to chew is always useful.