Over a year into this whole motherhood journey and the #1 question I get asked by moms is: what are your MUST HAVE baby products? So I rounded up everything we used and loved for Olivia’s first year. My biggest piece of advice when crafting a registry is to think beyond the first few months! And to remember that every baby is different. What worked for us may not work for everyone. Feel free to comment below or DM me on Instagram if you have any questions about these specific products- happy to give more details!
- 4Moms Pack n’ Play—We used this instead of a bassinet and we are SO glad we didn’t spend the money on a bassinet. Bassinets are bulky and Olivia only slept in our room with us (in this Pack n’ Play’s bassinet insert) for 3ish months. We’ve traveled a ton with this Pack n’ Play already and it’s so easy to transport everywhere. We keep it set up on the first floor of our house with the changing station attachment for all diaper changes when we don’t want to run upstairs. (Note- Make sure to register for the bassinet sheet and the pack n’ play sheet!)
- DocATot – We used this quite a bit for Olivia’s first 3 months. After that, we didn’t use it much. It is expensive so you can definitely go without it, but we enjoyed it for lounging with her on the couch or in our bed. Note: It is NOT safe to let a baby sleep in this unattended. Another cult product in this same category is the Snuggle Me Organic lounger.
- Babybjorn Bouncer – THIS IS A GODSEND. We love this bouncer so much for the first 6 months. It is so light and easy to take around the house. It is what I set her in if I needed to quickly shower, use the bathroom, use both hands in the kitchen, etc. We even travel with this thing because we like it so much. We were also gifted the Momaroo Swing but Olivia does not like it—could be personal preference.
- Halo Swaddles– Your baby will likely be swaddled for sleep for the first 12 weeks. These were our favorite swaddles (yay velcro!). It’s a good idea to have 3-4 at least.
- Kyte Sleep Sacks– After 12 weeks your baby will transition to a sleep sack for sleeping. We LOVE these Kyte ones. They last forever. We have them in 1.0 and 2.5 TOGS (tog= how heavy the sleep sack is depending on what temperature you keep your house)
- Newton Crib Mattress – Yes, it’s expensive but this is a cult-favorite mattress. I did a lot of research on this before purchasing and so far, Olivia loves it.
- Sound Machine—Love our baby Hatch!
- Infant Optics Baby Monitor – I like having a physical monitor vs. an app on your phone that relies on WiFi. This one has been amazing for us!
Note: The number of baby clothes you will be gifted is overwhelming. If you do decide to register for baby clothes (it’s really not necessary), I’d register for a variety of sizes for the first year! Your baby will 100% just wear zippered onesies for their first 3-6 months so definitely buy mostly those. Our favorites are from Carters, Gap, and Old Navy because they’re cute and inexpensive for the couple of weeks that they’ll fit. We also personally prefer the ones with 2 way zippers and fold over mittens like these! A few other baby clothes to consider registering for include:
Formula Feeding Essentials:
- Burp Cloths—These are the best. Buy 3-4 packs of these. You will use them.
- Bottle Warmer – Some people say this is unnecessary, but we liked it for warming up breastmilk from the fridge. Some babies don’t mind cold milk at all, others want it warm.
- Bottle Drying Rack – We like how compact this looks on our counter for drying bottles.
Note: If you’re hoping to breastfeed, definitely be prepared with some of the breastfeeding essentials listed above, but don’t go too crazy with buying every single thing in case your breastfeeding journey does not work out. Also PLEASE know fed is best. Breastmilk is great but so is formula. Thank you for coming to my TED Talk. 🙂
- Nail trimmer – Amazing! You’ll never accidentally cut your baby with this!
- Tubby Todd Products—This bundle is KEY. The shampoo is perfect, the lotion is great for dry skin, and the all over ointment is our secret weapon for baby acne and cradle cap!!
- Kneeler Pad—Yes, you really do need this for all the hours you’ll spend kneeling on the floor during bath time.
- Baby bath tub – We’ve used this since day 1!
- Silicone brush – Nice for shampooing and for cradle cap
- Diapers and wipes – You can never have enough! We personally use Kirkland diapers and Water Wipes (best for sensitive skin)
- Wipe Dispenser – Sounds dumb but it makes pulling out wipes with 1 hand a breeze. We have one for each floor of our house.
- Changer – Wipes clean and comfy for diaper changes
- Diaper Pail – Love this one because you can use regular garbage bags. We have one on each floor of our house.
Here is a list of meds and first aid items I recommend having on you. Fridababy, Little Remedies, and Wellements are some of our favorite brands.
- Rectal thermometer
- Infant Tylenol
- Saline Spray
- Fridababy Snot Sucker
- Gas Relief Drops
- Gripe Water
- Cool Mist Humidifier
- Vitamin D drops (if breastfeeding)
- Baby scale – not 100% necessary, but I liked having a scale at home so we could weigh Olivia when we were having issues with weight gain early on
- UppaBaby Travel System—Best stroller hands down. So comfortable and so easy to maneuver. We also use the Mesa car seat because it easily clicks into the stroller. (Pro tip: Get 1 car seat base for each car you have so you can easily move the seat from car to car without having to reinstall the base!)
- Evenflo Revolve 360– This is what we upgraded Olivia to as her “big girl car seat”. I didn’t know that little ones typically only use their infant car seats for the first 6-12 months of their lives.
- Bob Jogging Stroller– This has been great for us because Patrick is an avid running and this allows him to bring Olivia with him on runs. We bought ours used off Facebook Marketplace for $50!
- Stroller phone holder and cup holder – Added this to my stroller and it’s AMAZING
- Travel Stroller Bag – We use this to gate check our stroller to help protect it on airplanes. Much less expensive than the Uppababy brand one!
- Uppababy Snug Seat– We got this insert for the stroller seat because Olivia was a small baby and it allowed her to use the big stroller seat from an earlier age which she loved!
- Baby Hiking Backpack– We are big outdoorsy people and love to hike so we registered for this backpack and Olivia absolutely LOVES it. She wasn’t big enough to use it until around 9 months but it will last us many years to come!
- Fawn Design Diaper Bag– This diaper bag is super spacious and not too bulky. I personally love that it’s backpack style to keep my hands free for carrying the baby.
- Stroller Fan– This is a MUST for hot days outside. We own 3. We recently bought this one that’s even higher powered!
- Car seat cover– In the days of COVID, I love having a car seat cover when I have to take the baby indoors anywhere. Keeps germs away and keeps people from trying to get too close to her in public.
- Solly baby wrap– Loved this wrap for the first 4-5 months for baby-wearing.
- Babybjorn Carrier– This carrier is a little sturdier for 3months+. This is what we have used while traveling with her.
- Portable White Noise Machine – We don’t go anywhere without this for naps on the go.
- Car Mirror – So you can see baby while driving (register for one for each car)
- Travel Bottle Drying Rack
- Travel Bottle Soap
- Travel Wash Basin– For washing bottles in hotel room sinks
- SlumberPod – Our NUMBER ONE product recommendation for traveling. It makes sharing a hotel room with a baby a breeze and perfect for when you’re traveling and you cannot control the sleeping environment for your baby.
A few of Olivia’s favorite things for the first 6 months. Babies don’t need much in the toy department in the early months, but here are some things that keep her stimulated, entertained, and help with tummy time.
- This parenting book – I love all of Emily Oster’s books and this book was so helpful. Recommend to read the first few chapters before having the baby!
- Babywise – Read this before baby arrives and follow the advice/schedules and it helps set you up for good sleep + schedule habits!
- Adult diapers – These are a godsend your first 1-2 weeks postpartum
- Maxi Pads
- Fridamom Peri Bottle—This one is SO much better than what they give you in the hospital
I wrote a whole blog post on all of our nursery furniture/organization/etc. here: http://marybethmarlowphotography.com/olivias-nursery-tour/
Things we regret registering for (but this is total personal preference, every baby is different!)
- Pacifiers—Olivia never took one so the 10 different types we bought all went to waste (saving them for our next baby though in case that baby takes a paci!)
- Blankets – We registered for a handful of blankets but quickly realized people LOVE going off-registry for blankets and we ended up getting like 15 baby blankets which is way too many. 2-3 good blankets are all you need. Our FAV baby blanket (pricey but oh so soft is Saranoni)
- Boppy Lounger/Breastfeeding Pillow – Honestly just never used this
- Baby shoes/socks- Very impractical and the baby will kick them off in 2 seconds
- Baby-specific laundry detergent/stain remover—normal detergent is 100% ok to use on baby clothes
- Baby bottles – We registered for a brand that our baby ended up hating. Every baby is different so buy 3-4 different types and see what your baby likes! Olivia ended up loving these Brown bottles (she used the 4oz bottles for the first 3 months then moved up to the 8oz bottles).
- Baby wash cloths/towels – Normal adult washcloths and towels work just as well if not better
- Vehicle seat protector (to go under infant car seat) – These are actually not safe or recommended and will make your car seat slide around)
- Owlet Sock—We never used it. Felt like an extra gimmicky thing to cause more anxiety in new parents.
- Hospital gown, hospital socks, etc. – The hospital gives you everything you need! I bought a “cute” hospital gown for pictures and it ended up getting it dirty and needing to throw it away. Not worth it!
- A bottle sterilizer – it’s bulky. Just use your dishwasher.