I’ve officially survived my first year of motherhood! Somehow I managed to navigate my way through that first year despite all the obstacles I had to overcome: sleep deprivation, postpartum recovery, feedings every 2-3 hours, colds and viruses, countless doctor visits, shots, alllll the messes that were cleaned up and let me tell you…there were a LOT! People ask me what the transition into motherhood is like. I tell them that it’s like being thrown into the deep end of a pool not knowing how to swim but somehow teaching yourself how. Most of the time you are flailing around and panicking thinking you are drowning. But somewhere along the way you figure out how to calm down, keep yourself afloat and then finally swim.
I’ve been looking back at all the things we had for our little guy and wondered what I would do different. When I was creating my baby registry, I felt completely in the dark about what to include. What kind of bottles should I get? Will my baby like a swing or hate it? What brand of diapers and wipes do I buy? How much of each size clothing should we have…blah blah blah. If I could do my registry over again, I would include some completely different things.
Below I have compiled a list of my baby registry must haves and do-overs. This isn’t a complete list of must haves but are things I didn’t include but would now if I could do it again. If you are anything like I was as an expectant first-time-mom, you want to know what items you will need and actually use outside of the obvious items like a crib, stroller, carseat, etc.
The kicker with all the baby stuff is that your baby will only use most of the items for a very short season of time before they grow or transition out of them and move onto something else. You really want to get the most bang for your buck. These baby registry must haves are things I WISH I would have had on hand when I first needed them. I either went ahead and purchased them myself or ended up needing them but by the time I realized it, my little guy may have been past the time where it made sense to get it.
I’ve linked every item and also included everything in an Amazon shop below.
Burp Clothes – and not just any burp clothes! We had a few burp clothes that were long and narrow. They were completely useless at actually catching spit up. My parents used these Gerber ones when I was little and they are still around and so useful! Now they aren’t the prettiest with a cute little design or made with super high quality fabric but they just do the job which is catch spit up and that’s what I want. They are also really handy to use for cleaning up other messes like bottle spillage or drool. You could use them as a little blankey or just really anything you might need a little rag for. They come in a pack of 10 so you aren’t doing laundry everyday. *Side note – they are technically called cloth diapers but we use them as burp clothes*
Fisher Price Sit Me Up Seat – This is soooo nice to have once your baby is about 2 months+ old. When they can hold their head up, you can put them in this little seat and sit them anywhere. I loved it because it took pressure off my little guy’s head from laying all the time which helped to prevent flat spots on his head. He loved being able to see what I was doing and be included. The little toys on the front also helped to entertain him so I could make dinner, send some emails or get ready for the day. It folds up easily making it travel friendly. I was so sad when he got too big for it.
Dr. Brown Bottle Set – I had registered for a few bottles but I really needed a set like this one. It comes with washing utensils to get in small areas and a variety of nipple and bottle sizes to grow with your baby. Also, if you are planning to use a breast pump, make sure your bottles will fit to your pumping parts! This never ever dawned on me until much later. I would have registered for this set and a set to go with my pump had I realized.
Phillips Avent Soothie Pacifier – These pacis are my absolute favorite – especially if you plan to breastfeed because I think they do a great job of preventing nipple confusion. My little guy was definitely a paci baby and loved to suck. I encourage you to have some on hand and ready. They could make all the difference as you tear your hair out from your baby crying when all they needed was a paci to suck on and comfort them so you could get some rest.
NoseFrida The Snotsucker Baby Nasal Aspirator – This is a mom favorite and while I never ended up using ours, I’m glad we had it on hand in case. Moms swear by these especially when babies are younger and can’t breathe through their nose to feed. Just put it on your registry to have in case so you don’t have to make a run at 3am.
Fisher Price 4-in-1 Sling n Seat Tub – Looking back, this tub is all you would need to transition your baby rather than the 3 different tubs we bought separately. Your baby will need some kind of sling/hammock to bath in before they can sit. Then once they can sit by themselves, the little seat insert is a great way to keep them from falling over and the tub still confines them into a smaller space. Eventually you won’t need one at all because your baby will be big enough for your actual tub. This is a great 3-in-1 option that will last until the big tub days!
Brica White Hot Sun Safety Car Shades – Another one of those things I never thought about until we realized we needed it. Even with tinted windows, these are great to keep the sun out of baby’s eyes and shade their sensitive skin.
Little Remedies Gas Drops – I know these have been a life saver for some babies who struggle with tummy troubles in the early days. When they are newborns and crying and you’ve gone down the list of obvious reasons like diaper change, feeding, sleep, clothing change, etc, it can be hard to diagnose what’s going on. Fortunately, we had these and used them from time to time to ease gas pains. Ask your pediatrician for the brand they recommend but our ped recommended these and they were great!
Black & White Books – great for development and “play” time when your baby is really small. As their eyes continue developing, black and white are some of the easiest colors for them to distinguish and the contrast will memorize them!
Baby Memory Book – I am absolutely in love with this baby book. I really wanted to have one and was hoping I could keep up with it. This book includes all the little details you would want to jot down about your baby but isn’t overwhelming at the same time. I never felt like it was too much to stay on top of. There are tons of places for pictures and even pages to fill out before baby gets here. It would be a great thing to have while you are still pregnant to fill out what you can before baby comes. Highly recommend!
Boppy Nursing Pillow & Positioner – I registered for a My Breast Friend nursing pillow but actually wish I would have had this one instead. Because it can be more than just a nursing pillow. It will transition with baby so they can lay in it, do tummy time with it and it will help prop and cushion them as they are learning to sit up. I think the My Breast Friend one was too structured for us.
Oogie Bear Nasal Booger and Ear Cleaner – another mom friend gifted this to me and we have used it SO much! One of those things I didn’t know I needed but has been something we’ve reached for so many times. Between colds, teething, and winter weather, we were always cleaning out his nose and it helped him breathe better. Sometimes he would fight it and scream but it would be worth it when we knew he had clear airways.
Those are the things I wish I would have registered for. You will never be able to see the future and know what you will need before you need it. But I think it’s helpful to read what worked for other first-time moms. And every baby is different so what worked for me may not work for you and that’s ok! It’s fun to celebrate differences.
At the end of the day, use whatever you need to keep you and your baby happy and healthy! Nobody will know your baby better than you so trust your instincts and their cues to you! Yes you will make mistakes and will have times when you could have done something differently or better but that’s ok. We aren’t perfect. Give yourself the grace and credit you so deserve for navigating motherhood because sister, it’s not easy! But there could be little baby registry must haves along the way that may help make it easier and what mom doesn’t love that!
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