I have to tell you, first time moms register for a ton of stuff. First time moms get a ton of gifts. In my case, we were absolutely blessed and got everything from our registry and more.
What I didn't know at the time, was that some things would not get used, or be used for a very short time, or not work out the way we had planned.
You see all the fancy baby gadgets and beaming reviews, the cute clothes in every size and color, the little shoes, and you just click "add to registry" excitedly.
You think "everybody has a changing table, I need to have one too!"
Maybe you don't need a changing table. Maybe you don't need an electric baby swing, a wipe warmer, or three pairs of newborn sized tennis shoes. Some people love these things, some people don't.
Some mamas get everything they need for their baby for $1000 or less. I've seen a $500 baby registry with all the bare minimum basics.
I'm not here to tell you what you need or don't need, or how many pairs of socks to buy. I've written, edited, deleted, and re-written this post about four times now.
I decided what would be easier is to re-make a registry, and add everything I wish I had registered for with my first baby. My first baby is now almost three, and my second baby is seven months old. I know what things we've actually used, what things collected dust, what things were a waste of money, and what things we've just put into the closet "for later" and never taken out.
I'll put pictures of the items and organize by category, and below the pictures I'll link the items and write a little note on why I picked them. Also - If you want to know more about baby registry sites, I've got a whole post on that here! How about all the free gifts you can get from them as well? In fact, I have an entire list of 30 freebies you can get during pregnancy!
This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you make a purchase through one of my links, I will receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. This helps to support my blog and family! See my full disclosure here.
Babyletto Gelato 4-in-1 Convertible Crib | Newton Baby Crib Mattress | Sealy Crib Mattress Pad | Burt's Bees Cotton Crib Sheet | Baby Delight Bedside Sleeper | Snuggle Me Organic Lounger and Cover | Hatch Rest Sound Machine | Babyletto Kai Rocker | Flisat Table | Flisat Stool | Trofast Bins | Burt's Bees Organic Blankets | Aden + Anais Muslin Swaddle Blankets | Copper Pearl Swaddle Blanket | Burt's Bees Jersey Knit Blanket
I picked this crib because the one we got for our first baby was a huge convertible crib with a built in changing table and dresser, and it took up half of the room. We didn't need all of that. Second baby used a pack and play crib, which is nice but temporary.
The Newton Baby Crib Mattress is the one we have now for toddler, and it was the fourth one we bought, trying to find the most comfortable one. I have a dozen crib sheets that shrank in the dryer and won't fit anymore, but the Burt's Bees sheets are so stretchy and don't need to be wrestled on.
I should have bought a bedside sleeper instead of a bassinet that couldn't come right up to the edge of the bed, or a huge pack and play.
We have a DockATot, and I hate more than anything trying to get the long tube edge piece back into the washable cover. It takes no less than 15 minutes, and never gets easier. I would much have preferred the single piece Snuggle Me Organic with a washable cover. (note, I get a ton of crap for recommending baby loungers. If you're uncomfortable, don't use one. No need to be rude to those who use them.) UPDATE NOVEMBER 2022- DOCK A TOT IS NOT SAFE TO USE ACCORDING TO THE CSPC
I use our Hatch Rest every single day, our baby is 11 months old now and I still run the rain sound on it for her to sleep. The toddler likes to change the colors with my phone, so everybody gets to use it!
I would have loved a nice rocker. We truly didn't have the space for it, but in a world where we did, I would have bought one in a heartbeat. This one is moisture repellent and doesn't get stained, so that would have been amazing.
The IKEA Flisat table and Trofast boxes are very commonly used for sensory bins. They're hard to get a hold of after Covid started, and I wish we would have had that one instead of the plastic table we got for first baby when she was old enough to sit in the chair.
Four different thicknesses of blankets, but still not a trash bag's worth. I cannot tell you how many blankets we have, but it's dozens. I have two of the biggest sized space bags full, and a full storage cubby in with the kid's clothes. I like these four materials, and have used every type at one point or another.
Earth Mama Organics Diaper Balm | Pampers Swaddlers Newborn - 3 | Kirkland Signature Baby Wipes | 3 Sprouts Diaper Caddy | Skip Hop Changing Pad
You're probably wondering why there's only five things here.
If I'm being honest, I hate changing tables. I'd rather change the baby on the floor, on one of those awesome wipable and foldable Skip Hop changing pads. I had a full changing table with my first baby and I stopped using it once she could roll. It collected dust and held only a few things on it, as it was built into the crib and she'd always come and grab things once she was able to pull herself up around six or seven months.
I had a diaper raffle at our first baby's shower and it was a great way to get a ton of diapers and wipes! I recommend that to every pregnant mama I come across. note- A diaper raffle is where each person who brings a pack of diapers or wipes gets their name put in a drawing for a prize! Our prize was gift cards, everyone loves those! Our baby shower was also co-ed, because I have brothers, not sisters, and it was very important to me for them to be there! Baby showers don't have to just be for the ladies, ya know!
I use this diaper caddy now, it fits a whole sleeve of diapers (from the large boxes) on each side. One side for each kid, in my case.
The Earth Mama Diaper Balm is the best one I've ever used. It's also the most expensive, which isn't the best option for most mamas. But it works soooo well! I like to use it beyond diaper changes as well. Dry baby ankles? Balm it. Forgot your chapstick? Balm it. Sunburn? Balm it. Don't forget to use my code TEACHINGMOTHERHOOD15 for 15% off at Earth Mama! With our first baby, we had one of those $70 fancy diaper pails. Changing the bag in that thing was one of the most unpleasant things I have ever had to do. I like to just put diapers in the garbage can and take it out at the end of every day.
Munchkin Sit N Soak Dual Stage Tub | Earth Mama Organics Calming Lavender Baby Wash | Earth Mama Organics Calming Lavender Baby Lotion | OXO Tot Stand Up Bath Toy Bin | Infantino Bath Toys | FridaBaby DermaFrida | Burt's Bees Washcloths
I have used two different tiny bathtubs on two different babies, and I disliked them both after using them. This one I will try if I ever have another.
Earth Mama Organics still stands as my favorite brand to put on my kids, and myself! We've done a bedtime routine with both kids their entire lives, bath with lavender soap, followed by lavender lotion and straight to bed! remember to use my code TEACHINGMOTHERHOOD15 for 15% off at Earth Mama Organics!
We currently have a big dollar store bucket full of bath toys, and there's a ton of water in the bottom. This OXO bucket lifts off of the base so you can easily pour out the water.
After about two months, your newborn will love to grasp things. Infantino makes very cute bath toys, we have another version of them. I do recommend supergluing the holes though, I found a very nasty duck in our bathtub recently. All squirt toys will get mold.
I speak such high praises of the DermaFrida because literally one use it gently peeled off my baby's cradle cap, and we've not had any issues since. It was sooo satisfying too!
I tried using those silicone washing things that are shaped like ducks or fish, and they got a ton of hairs and stuff in the bristles. I wasn't a fan. I stick with regular wash cloths, Burt's bees makes very good ones.
3 Pack Dotted Sleep N' Play | Flexible Laundry Hamper | Alepo Fleece Lined Baby Beanie | Simple Joys by Carter's Unisex Pants | Carter's Chenille Baby Booties | Burt's Bees Baby Booties | Simple Joys by Carter's Baby Gowns | Simple Joys by Carter's Short Sleeve Bodysuits | Simple Joys by Carter's Long Sleeve Bodysuits | ergoPouch 0.2 Tog Cocoon Swaddle Bag
I would have kept it SO SIMPLE with clothing if I knew how much we would never use. Shopping for baby clothes isn't rocket science, you really don't need much at all. Put down the baby Uggs! (She says to herself, after buying baby Uggs)
You do not want a fabric hamper, trust me. You're gonna have blowout clothes. Get something plastic that you can wipe off if you need to, there will be a time for it.
These are the best winter baby hats I've owned. Somehow, we own about 40 baby hats, and I hate most of them. Too small, too scratchy, too tight, too thin, it's like goldilocks and the 100 freaking hats. These are a little big for a newborn, but super warm for winter babies, stretchy, and cute. They still fit on my 7 month old, but it's June so they're in the closet! We used them all winter though.
These are simple, thinner material pants. If you have a winter baby you'll want thicker ones, but these are usually just fine. Carter's makes decent clothes for a decent price, I have quite a bit from them.
These are the best baby socks! Again more likely for a winter or fall baby, or if you keep your A/C low in the summer. They don't leave lines on ankles from being too tight, and they're nice and soft. The best we've ever had, and like the hats, we somehow acquired more socks than 10 babies would need.
I love booties because regular shoes go flying off of babies. At some point you may need these. Winter babies will need them to go out, summer babies may need them in a colder air conditioned house.
Literally, I could not have gone on without baby gowns for our second baby. Newborns require very frequent diaper changes, all night long. If you're quick enough, you can change them in the dark and keep them mostly asleep. Gowns make that an absolute breeze! Both of our babies would scream over just a little pee in their diapers until about two months old. I am so glad that's over!
I recommend onesies in both long and short sleeves, depending on your weather of course.
I love these ergoPouches, wearable blankets are so much safer than standard blankets and provide much more peace of mind when baby is sleeping. I prefer these over velcro because hello, velcro is so loud when your baby is asleep! Literally you cannot open them without startling the baby awake.
Boob Box Treasure Chest | Haakaa Silicone Milk Bags | Pumpables Genie Advanced Breast Pump | Philips Avent Anti-Colic Bottle Set | Medela 100ct Milk Bags | Philips Avent Fast Bottle Warmer | My Brest Friend Breastfeeding Pillow | Boppy x Babylist Breastfeeding Pillow | Aden + Anais Snap Muslin Bibs | OXO Tot Space Saving Drying Rack | Munchkin Sponge Bottle Brushes | Fisher Price Healthy Care Deluxe Booster Seat | PrimaStella Silicone Spoons | EzPz Tiny Cup | EzPz Mini Mat | Munchkin Any Angle Straw Cup | Mam Newborn Pacifiers | Philips Avent Ultra Air Pacifiers
If I had all of these goodies from Boob Box when I had my first baby, I would have had a much easier time breastfeeding. Hunter puts all of these things into one convenient box for mamas! TEACHINGMOTHERHOOD gets 15% off at Boob Box!
I love the silicone Haakaa bags, I use them to hold fridge milk and milk for traveling. (Like one hour trips to the in laws place). I haven't used them for freezing, I use disposables for that because I can't afford to make an entire freezer stash with silicone bags!
If you follow my blog or Instagram regularly, you'll see my extremely high praises for the Pumpables Genie Advanced. It works wonderfully as a primary pump, while giving you all the freedom of a portable pump. (Remember to use my discount code TEACHINGMOTHERHOOD at pumpables for 10% off!)
I've used tons of different kinds of baby bottles. These ones are my favorite. If I'm being honest, I would have exclusively pumped with my first baby if I knew how. It's much easier for me, knowing exactly how much baby is getting and the ease of my husband being able to feed the baby so I can sleep.
As unsustainable as single use plastic may be, it's just not practical to buy 100+ reusable bags for your frozen milk, if you're going to have any. I've got too many bags to even think about how much it would have cost to have reusables. Then, what would you do with that many bags after you've weaned?
Medela is the most sturdy plastic bag in my opinion, compared to store brands or Lansinoh. I've never had one break or tear.
The Philips Avent is the only brand of warmer I've ever tried, and the new version is so much faster than the old one.
Regarding breastfeeding pillows, I like both the Brest Friend and the Boppy. The Boppy doubles as a prop and tummy time pillow, which is the main thing we've used it for. I loved the Brest friend with my second baby, but due to our lack of latching we have exclusive pumped since the get-go and I hardly used the pillow.
For bibs I use both Muslin and Wipeable. Wipeable for starting solids, and muslin (snap, not velcro! velcro scratches) for the inevitable 3 month drooling stage! Food will stain muslin though, which is where the wipeable ones come in.
I love the space saving drying rack, and these munchkin brushes get the job done well. They're cheap enough to replace every time they get super grubby. Update: after reading on how much a sponge can hold bacteria, I've switched to silicone.
For starting solids, I love this little booster chair. We had a huge, expensive high chair with our first baby and I hated it. So bulky, so hard to move, harder to clean. This one I like to just set on the floor and sit with baby anyways. It has a good sized tray on it, which is good for the sticky mats.
These are my favorite spoons, they're so tiny and cute and soft. The cute colors are a bonus. EzPz makes adorable tiny cups, for little hands learning to drink from a cup. They also have superior sticky placemats and plates.
I like the munchkin straw cups because of the little weighted piece that helps the baby drink from lots of different angles. Be sure to watch the straws for mold and wash often!
Regarding pacifiers, of the many many kinds we've tried, both babies preferred the mam newborn and the Philips Avent bigger baby ones. They never cared for those super popular "soothies" or the cute itzyritzy ones, or the fancy and expensive frigg. They just don't seem to care for aesthetics! Ha.
Frida Windi | Frida 3 in 1 Picker | Nose Frida Kit | Frida Rectal Thermometer | Frida Accu-dose Pacifier | Electric Nail Trimmer | Mommy's Bliss Night Gripe Water | Mommy's Bliss Day Gripe Water | Infant Tylenol | Wellements Baby Feel Better Kit | Wellements Vitamin D Drops | Wellements Baby Tooth Oil | Earth Mama Organics Calendula Baby Oil | Earth Mama Organics Baby Face Mineral Sunscreen Stick | Earth Mama Organics Baby Mineral Sun Screen Lotion | Babyganics Bug Spray | Boogie Wipes | Zarbees Chest Rub
I didn't use the Windi's with my first baby. I did on the second, because she screamed a lot as a newborn and I was desperate to help her constipation from trying formula for a few days. (it did by the way, she felt so good after)
-side tip, when you're pressured into "just giving formula" because someone tells you to, let them kick rocks. Do it YOUR WAY, its YOUR BABY! You want it? Do it. Don't want it? Don't do it.
You're gonna be picking boogers. And ear wax. Your finger is too big, and q tips aren't safe. I love using specialized tools for this kind of special work!
Currently, both of my kids are sick with a cold and cough. I've used this nose Frida a million times this week, I don't know what I'd do without it. I know they make electric ones, but I'd rather do it myself so I know just how gentle it is.
A rectal thermometer is the most accurate way to get a true temperature. (Though it is very difficult especially on older babies!) There's a million forehead ones on the market, all with mixed reviews. We have one that's decent but isn't sold anymore, we tried to replace it with a new one but it read all over the place. I won't even try to pick one!
This cute little pacifier medicine dispenser is pretty helpful for most babies. My seven month old now knows the difference between her bottles, pacifiers, and this thing. So dosing medicine is tricky and has to be done basically drop by drop while I perform a show to keep her occupied!
I don't find myself cutting baby nails all that often, but I wish I had used one of these electric trimmers for those days of newborn nails. Tough to cut with a nail clipper because of how small and soft they are, but still so sharp that babies will scratch themselves and anyone around them!
Gripe water is something we've used occasionally on both babies, when they're just so gassy and inconsolable you're looking for anything to help them. I like the mommy's bliss one, personally I've tasted them all and this one is pretty mild and doesn't have to be refrigerated.
-side tip, newborns just HAVE GAS! It lasts for about two weeks. They have immature digestive systems, so don't let anyone tell you that what you're doing is giving them gas! (hi, it's NOT your diet, breastfeeding mama)-
It's always a great idea to keep a pain/fever reducer on hand. I've got a very large medicine box for our children, with how supply is lately in stores I like to make sure we're prepared for anything, especially a random 3am fever or sudden onset of a cold.
I've recently discovered the Wellements brand and my baby is using the cough medicine currently, as she's got her first cold. I also put the zarbee's vapor rub on her chest and feet, and if it looks like she's having teething pain (her bottom two are sooo close right now) I'll use a drop or two of the tooth oil. I bought the vitamin D drops because I'm wondering if maybe the amount I'm taking isn't enough for my baby, and if this will make any difference. Typically pediatricians recommend supplementing it.
Regarding sunscreen, it's so important to use. Direct sunlight can easily burn little baby skin! I love Earth Mama Organics sunscreen, I use the stick and the baby sunscreen on her and the kids one on my toddler. -side tip, the easiest and most fun way to apply sunscreen to babies and children is with a foundation brush! Don't forget to use my code TEACHINGMOTHERHOOD15 at Earth Mama Organics for 15% off!
If the kids do end up burned, or get bug bites, I put the Earth Mama Calendula Baby Oil on it. Super soothing! My toddler just got a pretty wicked rug burn, and after oiling for two days it's no longer irritated or bothering her.
Speaking of bug bites, I've found the babyganics bug spray works well and doesn't smell very strongly of chemicals.
I have been using the boogie wipes to clean sticky little nostrils for quite some time now. It helps to keep them moist and comfortable!
Skip Hop Forma Diaper Backpack | Skip Hop Bottle Cooler | Graco SnugRide Infant Seat | Cybex Gazelle Infant Seat Adaptor | Skip Hop Carseat Cover | Graco 4Evr DLX Car Seat | Cybex Gazelle Stroller | Baby Bjorn Bouncer Chair | Ergobaby Embrace Newborn Carrier | Tushbaby
I'm a crazy bag lady. I have a dozen diaper bags and backpacks, and out of all of those my favorite is the Forma. The space and style and comfort are not matched by any others that I've tried. We don't go out often, but when we do I bring pumped milk for baby. The Skip Hop bottle cooler is just enough room, and can also be used as a small lunchbox later on. (Update October 2022- I recently bought the Sarah Wells Lizzy Bag, and the Norah Backpack. Skip hop forma has been sent to the closet. Sorry not sorry, these bags are way better.)
With our first baby, we spent way too much on the "best" infant car seat and stroller combo. I was devastated later on to find out the "conversion to two kids" for the stroller was not as great as the sales guy made it out to be. We ended up buying a whole new stroller just to be able to configure the seats better. Of course, when we had just one baby, we didn't know that we would have another only two years later, we pictured it "later on, later on". The point is, you never know how soon that can be! I recommend a stroller that is able to be converted, and with lots of options for seating arrangements. (I personally didn't want to only be able to put the newborn down on the bottom seat!)
Also, you don't need the most expensive, top of the line newborn car seat. They don't use it nearly long enough to justify the cost. We should have bought this one for half the price! Make sure if you plan to use your infant seat on your stroller that you have the proper adaptor, or you'll be in for a surprise! Our toddler has been enjoying the Graco 4Evr DLX seat, which is the third one we tried due to her carsickness being aggravated by some other seats, somehow.
The Baby Bjorn bouncer chair is great for those earlier months when you need a place to sit baby, where they can still see you! Both of our kids have learned to bounce themselves by kicking, and it's very cute to watch.
Don't even get me started on baby carriers. How is it so hard to get strapped into some of these? How are they so bulky? I'm a shorter lady (5'3") so those huge ones with ten buckles and straps are just impossible to wear. This Ergobaby Embrace is the fourth one we tried, and I absolutely lived in it for the first 3 months of second baby's life. You would be amazed how many more things you can get done with a baby in a carrier! You can use the code TEACHINGMOTHERHOOD10 for 10% off at ErgoBaby!
I just bought a Tushbaby, because I am sooo tired of throwing out my back having to switch which arm to carry baby on because she won't sit in the stroller and we have to walk! I noticed if I front carry her in the carrier too long, her feet turn blue! So I try not to front carry too much, and if I carry with her facing me she turns around because she wants to see forward, and her neck gets strained. This is the main reason I wanted the Tushbaby, and because it's got storage inside to bring the small amount of stuff I cannot leave the house without. You know I love to get discount codes for stuff that I love- use TEACHINGMOTHERHOOD for 15% off at Tushbaby!
Manhattan Toy Baby Whoozit | Sassy Ring O' Links Rattle | Sassy Developmental Bumpy Ball | Manhattan Toy Wimmer-Ferguson Crawl & Discover Mat | Manhattan Toy Winkel | Comotomo Silicone Teether | Skip Hop Bandana Buddies Chime & Teether Toy | Munchkin Twisty Figure 8 Teether | Sophie The Giraffe So'Pure Teether | Sophie The Giraffe | Manhattan Toy Atom Rattle | Crane Baby Animal Plush Toy Zebra | The Very Hungry Caterpillar | Goodnight Moon | 100 First Words | Look! Look! | Skip Hop Explore & More 3 Stage Activity Center | Fisher Price Kick 'n Play Piano Gym
Every birthday, every Christmas, there will be toys. It's like a horror movie where the toys are chasing you and you cannot escape.
Anyways, these are some of my favorite styles. In our experience, babies love crinkly, high contrast (black, white, red) toys that are easy to grasp. I have also noticed both of my children have never cared for chewing on actual "teething toys"- at all! Especially the more expensive ones. But they will still hold onto them and play with them.
Pearhead BabyPrints Photo Ornament | Pearhead Clean Touch Inkpads | Little Pear Wooden Milestone Discs | Tiny Ideas Baby's First Year Picture Frame | Moon and Sun Baby Gift Box | Animals in Ark Gift Box
I'm a very sentimental mama! I love newborn footprints, monthly photos, and keepsake boxes. I love the baby's first Christmas ornament. One side is a foot or handprint, the other you add a picture. I made one for second baby with her handprint and a picture of the two of them together in their Christmas shirts. (We also made painted footprint ornaments, one for each set of grandparents, and all the aunts and uncles! I took two packs of the plain Pearhead footprint cards to the hospital for both babies. I wanted hand and foot prints from the very first day! The pads can be used more than once, and remember to bring extra paper in case it's tough to get it right. Newborns have tight fists sometimes! (FYI that can be a hunger cue!)
With first baby, I got one of those fancy monthly milestone blankets for taking cute photos. I didn't know how hard it would be to keep her in one spot once she became mobile, so after month 6 I was trying to find a way to pin the blanket up on the side of the crib and it became more of a chore than fun. With second baby, I bought these cute wooden month discs! We're onto seven now, and it's been very easy and much more flexible to set up cute backgrounds and get a quick photo. -tip- these can also be used along your pregnancy journey if you take photos for that too! I never did and I regret it! Oh yeah, all those monthly photos I mentioned? Right into the frame on first birthday!
These are the BEST little boxes, they're only $6.50 and they are unbelievably sturdy for a gift box. I use one for all the hospital stuff- bracelets, blanket, hat, that kind of stuff. Another is for assorted things like "first baby food jar and spoon", first prescription eyedrops from first case of pinkeye, first pacifier, blah blah blah. Each baby has two boxes, and then on their first birthdays I get a larger box to make a "time capsule" and ask all of the family to write a letter that the child will open on their 18th birthday. It's a really cool idea, I think! I got a nice box for my first baby from Michaels, it's a thick cardboard trunk style one with clasps.
Well that about wraps up everything I wish I had registered for with my first baby! As a first time mom, you don't know what you'll end up using or not using, liking or not liking. It's mostly trial and error. I hope that my trials and errors can help you along the way and figure things out a little bit easier! If you're here, you must be pregnant! I think you may enjoy these related posts - Check them out and see.
Guide to baby registry sites Ultimate list of pregnancy freebies
20 things I wish I knew about breastfeeding before having my first baby Pregnancy essentials Postpartum Essentials Hospital bag checklist
Plan to pump? I've got a whole slew of pump posts as well! Even if you don't plan to pump, you never know if you'll need to know!
Getting started with pumping guide
Breast pump comparisons/reviews
Common pumping mistakes that can hurt your supply
My personal pumping essentials