Registry Must-Haves Beyond the Essentials
This blog post is guest authored by Alexa Bloom. Alexa is an Arizona native turned Minnesotan, currently residing in Denver, Colorado. She lives with her husband, sister, baby Asher (9mo), and two pups. Before becoming a full-time mama, Alexa held multiple leadership positions at two of the fastest growing companies in the world. She has been practicing yoga for most of her life and has taught both adults + kids yoga over the years. In her free time you can find Alexa traveling, hiking, and enjoying life on the lake with friends & family.
Congratulations! You recently found out the life-changing news that you’re growing a human. Just in case you need to hear this today: you are a superhero. You’ve officially begun this incredible and transformative journey called motherhood.
Just over a year ago, I was in your shoes as a first-time pregnant mama. I had just announced the exciting news, and without a beat started receiving all the well-intentioned advice. I polled all my friends and my husband read an entire book on best baby products. We found many resources with the hundreds of items we’d need upon bringing our little guy into the world. Not overwhelming at all, right?
Fast forward several months. After building a thorough registry, having three baby showers, receiving many generous gifts, and placing countless Amazon and Target orders once baby arrived… I have reflected on all the stuff.
It’s true, most of what you see on a comprehensive baby registry checklist is essential to caring for your new tiny BFF. However, over the past 9.5 months with mine, I’ve narrowed in on the specific products that may not be on every list out there but have been the most helpful for us. Pre-baby I would have never guessed just how much I’d love these items.
So, new mama or mama-to-be, here’s what I am loving and using daily. These are a few of my favorite things.
[This post contains some affiliate links but all product recommendations and opinions are my own. If you use these links to buy something, Oh Baby Consulting may earn a small commission.]
Things that don’t interrupt baby’s sleep
Yogasleep Rohm Travel + Dohm Sound Machines or Hatch Rest
The most important factor here is these white noise machines do not operate on a timer, they are continuous. When I look back, this may have been one of the biggest “oops” moments we had as new parents. We went through multiple sound machines – Big Red Rooster, Sleep Sheep, Baby Shusher to name a few – and could not figure out why our baby woke up so often. We quickly realized (with Jamie’s guidance) that continuous white noise is a huge step toward restful nights for parents & baby.
Things that make bath time better
LOVE MY Medical Grade Cotton Towels
Don’t worry, I’m a sucker for the cute animal hooded towels too. But do they actually dry baby within seconds? These medical-grade towels are so soft and absorbent, it still shocks me hundreds of baths later. Extra points because they can be used as a lightweight stroller blanket/cover or swaddle as well.
The First Years Sure Comfort Deluxe Tub
We tried two different tubs and this model with the newborn sling was the clear winner. Baby A was SO comfy in the sling for months. Then as he started to grow bigger and sit on his own, having the backrest and the ergonomic design was ideal.
Things that make your life easier
FridaBaby Baby Basics Kit
I’m a big fan of this company and all their “fuss-busting” products. The SnotSucker, SnipperClipper, SkinSoother, and 3-in-1 Nose, Nail + Ear Picker are items we use multiple times a week. These are simple and intuitive products that help us take care of all of our little one’s hygiene needs.
Surprise! Newborns go through a lot of diapers and outfit changes. You may have already been advised not to buy anything with buttons, specifically to make your 3AM changings a bit more finessed and less fussy.
I listened to everyone and made sure to stock the drawers full of zippered clothing only. Then, one of my best friends had her baby a few months later and leveled up. She told me these magnetic onesies are life-changing and she’ll never buy anything else. Excuse me while I throw a goodbye party for all the buttons and zippers because now I’ll never go back either.
Things for baby to chill in
These luxury essentials are combined together because truthfully there’s a reason they’re so popular. They are incredibly well-designed and each serve their own legitimate purpose, especially in the first few months. A note about the Boppy Pillow – the newborn lounger is great, but the Nursing Pillow is where it’s at. Even when or if you’re not nursing, your babe will use this as a prop to help with tummy time, sitting up, and beyond.
Note from Jamie: Please refer to the title of this category: “Things for baby to chill in. Remember that these helpful items are meant for supervised awake time only. The safest place for your newborn to sleep is on a firm, flat surface that is approved for sleep (i.e. a bassinet, crib, or playyard.)
Things for baby’s development, delivered to your doorstep
Lovevery Play Kits
The Montessori approach has always resonated with me. It incorporates the concept of non-electronic toys (made from natural materials) that allow little ones to develop their brains and explore the world around them through hands-on learning and collaborative play.
Don’t ask why, but early on I decided it might be better to piecemeal together all kinds of toys and books along the way before diving into the monthly subscription.
This was a big waste of time and money. Lovevery has already done the research and crafted beautiful boxes with intentional play objects specifically for your child’s age range. I have learned so much from reading the booklets that come with each box where it explains my LO’s big little world and how I can foster his growth. These kits provide just as much development for him as it does for me as a parent. The Play Gym is another must-have with a lot to explore even in the first couple months of life.
Something to cherish
Lucy Darling Baby’s First Year Book
Before becoming a mom, I figured all baby books were more or less the same. This one was gifted to me because I am the opposite of a scrapbooking queen, and I truly appreciate how straightforward yet whimsical it is. It takes about 5-10 minutes to fill out each month’s page and has space to add a photo and fill out personal anecdotes. I love it for the busy mama who doesn’t need to document every single detail, but wants a really special keepsake for all the memorable moments (firsts, holidays, birthdays beyond year one).
Something for you
Mina Baie Diaper Bag
“Mina Baie is the diaper bag company for moms who hate diaper bags.”
These beauties were designed by a modern mama who absolutely nailed it when she sought out to create a modern, chic bag that ‘sparks joy.’ I am particularly drawn to the stylish and minimalist design, and they did not skip over any details or much-needed compartments. Sometimes this bag is the one thing that makes my hot-mess mom life feel glam. Plus why not be obsessed with the thing that will go with you everywhere?
Things I can’t live without, but did not need until 4-6+ months:
Here are a few things I love but didn’t need in the first 4-6 months:
- Silicone Catch Bibs
We did a mix of purées + baby-led weaning starting at 4 months and boy does it get messy. These bibs catch the food that doesn’t make it to baby’s mouth (50/50 ratio for sure) and are 100% necessary for every single meal. Note: Mushie is a popular brand with a great product, but there are tons of dupes on Amazon that are basically the exact same.
- EZPZ First Foods Set
This has everything you need for starting solids 6 months and beyond. Learning to self-feed is a big milestone and these products have special features that are both functional and developmentally appropriate.
- Stokke High Chair
I just love the modern design & function of these highchairs. I chose the Clikk which is simple and easy to clean. The Tripp Trapp is another fan-favorite for its comfort seat and adjustability as baby grows.
- Num Num Gootensils
These are hands-down my all time favorite baby spoons (and recommended by pediatric feeding therapists, occupational therapists & speech language pathologists). My little one wanted to self-feed right away and I attribute it almost entirely to these spoons.
- SkipHop Activity Center
We started using this around 4-5 months and oh my goodness it was so convenient for us and so much fun for baby. I will never forget watching his eyes light up as he spun around in the rotating seat and played with each little developmental activity.
Things I simply did not need
Here are a few things we just didn’t use or don’t recommend registering for.
- Wipe Warmer This seems ideal but in reality is unnecessary and can dry the wipes out.
- Bottle Warmer Every baby is different, but mine never had a preference for warm milk.
- Baby Shoes Although they’re adorable, there’s really no need for little sneakers or shoes until they’re older and walking. Babies love to be barefoot in the house, and soft socks or these booties for outings is perfect.
- Peepee Teepee #boymom things… yes, you will get peed on many times. My experience: a wipe on top works just fine.
- Tons of clothes in NB size Admittedly I had a big baby who grew out of this size by one month, but I felt having 5-10 NB outfits was more than enough. Invest in more 0-3M as they will last much longer.
- Bumbo Seat Tried it and wanted to love it. Baby was uncomfortable and strapping him in was not easy. It only helped with sitting for a couple weeks at best.
Last but not least, if you want to add the gift of sleep to your registry, Oh Baby Consulting gift cards can be found here. We personally chose the Classic Infant Sleep Package when our son was around 14-16 weeks old, and it was the most life-changing gift as new and exhausted parents. I can honestly say that if we hadn’t invested in sleep training, we certainly wouldn’t have the time or energy to devote to other important things. Make sleep a priority, and the rest will fall into place.
If you’re exhausted, totally overwhelmed by your child’s sleep habits, or looking for answers to the sleep questions that keep you up at night (literally), then you’ve come to the right place. I’m Jamie, founder of Oh Baby Consulting, and my goal is to help your family get the sleep you need to not just survive, but thrive!