Photo courtesy of Babylist. If you need to make a registry they’re your one stop shop!
This post has been a long time in the making, but due to motherhood, a ton of life changes, perinatal yoga teacher training and also a desire to really test out all of this baby stuff before sharing my opinions on it, it’s finally getting done! Here it is, my registry re-do– what I would actually put on my registry now that I’ve made it through the first six months.
I’ve partnered up with an amazing new brand called MOMBOX, the perfect care kit for new moms, and they’re giving away a box of the best postpartum essentials to one lucky winner! I recently found this brand and immediately thought, Wow, what a perfect gift, wish that had been available a few months ago! Read to the bottom for details to enter.
I remember when I first started my registry, it was like OMG, what do I even need? If you don’t have kids it’s really hard to know, plus, it’s been 4.5 years since my sister had a baby and it’s amazing how fast products have evolved since then. I made the mistake of posting on Facebook and asking people for their must-haves, which was helpful in a few instances, but primarily just made me more confused and overwhelmed.
Tip #1: What works for one baby may not work for another, so my primary advice would be to not to go too crazy on everything before your baby arrives, instead, stock up on those Amazon Prime (aka gold) gift cards so you can do some ordering during late night feeding sessions as needs arise.
Side note: how did Moms live without Amazon prime??
Tip #2: In your exhausted state you may think you need something that you really don’t, so wait 24 hours before buying things that are not critical to you or baby’s survival because you may realize you were just in a sleep-deprived hallucination state whilst ordering.
Tip #3: Buy used! I was able to score a lot of gently used items before Scarlet was born, but I didn’t realize how much stuff is for sale through Nextdoor and Facebook Marketplace until after. It’s generally pretty cheap and basically brand new. Reduce, reuse, recycle!
Let’s jump right in. I’ve separated my list by ‘must haves,’ ‘nice to haves,’ and things I didn’t really love or need aka ‘skip it.’
- DockATot or Snuggle Me Organic– When I bought this thing I was like, wtf? Why and how is it so expensive? But listen, you will want to “doc” your baby and have a cozy little place for them to hang out regardless of what room you’re in. Babies LOVE the snuggly feeling and it’s very easy to care for. They recommend not co-sleeping with it, but we did and it felt very safe! The Snuggle Me wasn’t out yet when Scarlet was born, otherwise, I would’ve opted for that because it is certified organic and anything that your baby uses a lot you’ll want to be really high-quality ingredients.
- Rock N’ Play– This thing surprised me too. When Scarlet wouldn’t sleeping in the Dock a Tot, Wyatt was wildly rocking her (she loved it) in the Rock N’ Play. I think I paid $15 for it used and it was our favorite chair by far.
- Diaper Genie– I don’t know if there’s a better one of these on the market, there probably is, but you will definitely want one. I’m not that impressed with this brand, but my sister had it and liked it so I went with it. I’d love to see a more eco version that has compostable bags. If you know of one, please share in the comments! I also got a small one at a garage sale that was nice to keep upstairs at first when we used a million diapers a day.
- A good play mat/sensory gym– Your baby will spend a lot of time on this mat. I was told in our tummy time class that babies are getting behind on milestones because they’re in a device of some sort or other much more frequently than they used to be. Tummy time is super important! I bought a Skip Hop mat used and it was great, but if I did it again, I’d put this LoveEvery one on my registry! It’s important to have different toys to hang and switch out and babies start to get really bored once they catch on.
- Little Nomad mat- I’ve loved having this mat underneath Scarlet’s play mat because we spend so much time there together so it gives me some padding to sit on as well. It also looks nice and was fun to put the puzzle pieces together. I only wish I had ordered a size up!
- That one colorful rattle toy– This one, they all love it!
- Burts Bees Organic Burp Cloths and Crib Sheets– They’re so soft and come in neutral colors, really love their stuff.
- Baby Oil- Love the Earth Mama version or just use Olive Oil or Coconut. Food grade oils are great since they provide extra fatty acids to baby!
- Diapers- We’ve used Earth Baby compostable diapers and loved the service and Naty diapers or Seventh Generation when we’re traveling.
- SwaddleMe velcro swaddles– We got so many nice muslin swaddles, which have come in handy as lightweight blankets, but we never once used to swaddle. It’s very hard to get baby swaddled tight enough in a muslin swaddle and the velcro does the trick!
- Merlin’s Magic Sleep Suit– We used this miracle invention to transition Scarlet out of the swaddle because she was ready to sleep in her own crib so early, and it is so awesome. It was comforting and kept her from moving around too much.
- Boon Bath Tub– We’ve loved this tub! It’s expandable so it will grow with her and looks nice in the bathroom. It is fairly large so if you’re short on space or have a small tub, it may not be the right one for you.
- Gripe Water- Who knows if this is just a placebo thing or not, but this definitely seemed to calm her down on tough nights. We liked this one with natural ingredients.
- Backpack diaper bag– I have a Skip Hop and this one and they’ve both been good but I’d probably get a Fawn Design bag if I could do it again, it’s just so pretty.
- Skip Hop Diaper Holder– I bought this after seeing it on a million must have lists and while it is kind of big and bulky for everyday use, it’s so nice to have when changing in a public bathroom or on an airplane!
- Baby Activity Center– With proper use these are so much fun for babies who are ready to stand up but are still a bit challenged in that area. Max 30 minutes a day in here but she loves it so much!
- Kippins Lovey Blankets– I’m not even sure how I found this amazing Australian brand, but I noticed that Scarlet loves blankets and fabric early, and wouldn’t take a pacifier so I ordered her one of these since they are made of organic cotton. She loves to suck on them and they’re safe for cuddles while sleeping!
- Baby Towels– Get a few super soft towels just for baby, they’re so cute and nice to have for bathtime!
- Baby Monitor– We got this one and it’s fine, but the picture quality isn’t awesome and it dies pretty quickly. I’d probably go with a Ring or something with a better picture, but I also like having a separate monitor from my phone.
- Nail Scissors– I like nail scissors more than the clippers and these ones came highly recommended.
- Baby Washcloths– Love these! You don’t need a ton, but it’s nice to have separate ones from your own as they’re much softer.
- Frida Baby Snot Sucker– Strange, but does the trick!
- Organic crib mattress and a good crib– Unless your baby is sleeping with you forever, you’re gonna need these.
- Mesh food holders– These have been great as baby transitions to solids and needs more distractions
- A few different bottles to try out– We liked the glass Avent bottle and ultimately the ComoTomo, although that one took longer for her to warm up to.
- Breast milk bags + storage– I like these
- Bowl and spoon set– Love this one that I got recently
- Beyond Junior High Chair– Looks nice is adjustable and semi-easy to clean
- Boon Drying Rack– Seems silly, but it’s actually been really handy since baby stuff needs to be washed so frequently! It also has lots of cute accessories so you can make it work for your needs.
- Dohm sound machine– A veteran Mom bought us one of these and we quickly bought a second for our bedroom too. It’s simple yet very effective and works better than the other ones we tried w/o bells and whistles.
- Silicone Baby Freezer Tray– Great for storing purees in after making them! Perfect serving size
This is a tough one. Babywearing is so awesome and fun but each wrap seems to be good for one particular thing only (ie just for infants, or not travel-friendly, or only faces one way, etc). I own several types at this point and admittedly spent WAY too much money getting different options each time someone recommended a new one to me. At the end of the day, my opinion is that the structured options provide the most support and are safest, but I did like the Solly wrap when she was teeny tiny. I know many people love the ring sling, but I couldn’t figure it out and felt like it was totally messing up my already tense shoulders (which my Chiropractor confirmed). I’d recommend borrowing from friends to find the right one for you and just put a well structured one on your registry that allows baby to face in or out, I have the Lille Baby now and love it.
- Zip pajamas only- Promptly return any snap crap. These ones from Pact were my fave, but it looks like they may be phasing them out, unfortunately.
- Plenty of onesies and leggings- in newborn to six months, but not expensive, they will probably get ruined because, well, poop.
- Zutano Shoes– Get a couple neutral pairs as socks don’t stay on.
- Hats– Knoopy knots are so cute and actually stay on!
MOMBOX is packed full of new Mama must-haves!
- MOMBOX– These boxes are full of the best products to help ease postpartum aches and pains from head to toe. We’re giving a box away, scroll down for details!
- Earth Mama products– I love everything I’ve tried from this brand, especially the nipple cream, baby oil and the baby face cream.
- Frida Baby Mom Washer
- Hakaa Manual Breast Pump– Don’t waste a drop of milk, get one of these!
- Breastfeeding tanks, bras, and shirts- This is one thing I didn’t really think about before Scarlet was born and wish I had! Breastfeeding is awkward at first so the easier the access the better! I got some cheap tanks on Amazon that I’m still wearing at night. Otherwise, it’s been hard to find good options but H+M Conscious Collection, ASOS, and Gap have some options and then I really just started looking for easy access options at brands I already like.
- My Breast Friend Nursing pillow– Boppy sucks, end of story. I got one of these from another Mom and found it much easier to use.
- Food– Put this on your registry! Munchery, Door Dash, Caviar, whatever gets food to your house! This is a must have especially if your husband doesn’t cook (cough, cough).
- SOMA water pitcher- I received this at an event and I’m so grateful for it now. The thirst during breastfeeding is real and a water bottle is good but this pitcher is better, especially if you have a two level house!
- Nursing pads- Just get a ton of them.
- Alcohol Test Strips– These are nice to have and give peace of mind.
- Hands-free pump bra- I’m bad about using it, but it’s so much easier to pump hands-free!
- Bottle Warmer/Steam Bottle Cleaner– Similar to the baby food maker, this is nice to have, especially for mamas who primarily bottle feed and for dream feeds, but it’s not absolutely necessary. I use the sterilizer all the time because I hated the microwave steamer bags.
- Halo Bassinest- This was a very generous gift from my Dad and while it is very sturdy, Scarlet barely slept in it as she primarily co-sleep with us in the Dock-a-Tot for the first few months and then moved to the Bassinest briefly and then to her own crib shortly after.
- 2nd Chair Option- Get a used swing or another type of baby chair so you’ll have a couple of options and can see which your baby prefers. I’d put the BabyBjorn Bouncer on my registry if I could do it again as Scarlet didn’t like the swing.
- Baby Shusher– It’s silly but it definitely worked for us. Literally just makes a shushing sound so you can rest your voice, even when the rest of you is exhausted.
- Organic changing pad– This thing has been nice. I wouldn’t say it’s necessary for survival, but I’d recommend it.
- Baby Food Maker– If you’re into baby food optimization and cooking baby food like I am, this is definitely a nice gadget to have. It cooks, steams and purees so it’s a one-stop shop. I waited until recently to get it, but wish I would’ve put it on my registry. We have this one and the setup was confusing, but now I’m loving it!
- Amber teething necklace– Seems to help with drool and if nothing else, it looks nice. Make sure to find one that is raw amber.
- Muslin swaddles– Only request one pack to use as blankets later on. Once you discover velcro swaddles you WON’T use these, unless you’re trying to take impressive Instagram photos, trust me (see velcro swaddles above)!
- The Teething Egg– She only likes chewing on the other end, dumb purchase.
- Bumbo Chair– It was really hard to get her in and out of the Bumbo safely (Scarlet has impressive thighs!).
- Halo Sleep Sacks- Never worked for us, too much fabric and hard to get it tight.
- Boppy Pillow– Sucks, period.
- Pacifiers– Don’t put them on your registry, just wait to see if your baby is into them. We got at least 15 as gifts, which seemed a bit strange to me. Don’t buy people pacifiers, it’s a personal choice.
- Baby Socks- Just don’t bother.
- Snap PJ’s- Way too much poop for all those snaps!
- 4Moms MamaRoo Chair- I got one on Nextdoor, but still not worth it, Scarlet liked it for a very short period of time.
I’m hoping I remembered everything, and if not I’ll update the post. Hope it’s helpful! If there’s anything else you loved, please share in comments!
Visit my Instagram page (@CelseaJenkins) for details on entering to win a MOMBOX for yourself or a new mama in your life! We’ll choose a winner on Wednesday, September 18th or to purchase a box use code CELSEA10 get 10%, + always free shipping.