This post was written in partnership with Babylist. While there is a sponsored element to it, I built my registry on Babylist before this opportunity came to me, and I am thrilled to work with them to tell you about their great service for expectant moms.
I think most moms in the first trimester can agree- the only thing that gets you through the all-day nausea is looking forward to building your baby registry for your baby shower. What I did know was that there was no doubt I was going to use Babylist to create it, what I didn’t know was how overwhelming the process would be researching products! That’s why I wanted to put together this guide of resources from 2 of my real mom friends who helped me build my registry.
I first heard of Babylist from my other mom friends who used it to make their registries and loved how simple it was to use as a buyer. It was a no-brainer that I would use Babylist for mine- one registry to rule them all (and import from other sites if you’ve already started yours on Pottery Barn or somewhere else). Plus they have a price comparison tool (great for your registry buyers) to shop the best deal on the items you want.
i.e. no more registry substitutions… we see you people who buy from outside the registry!
Before we get into the recommendations, I just want to talk about how much I LOVED making my registry on Babylist. It was so easy to add anything to my registry from any retailer across the web thanks to the “Add to Babylist” button in my browser. Babylist allows you to organize your items by different categories of things you’ll need. My favorite feature is listing things as “must haves” and you can even make large, expensive items a “group gift”.
My baby shower is in a week and one of my friends just asked about how to contribute to a fund for larger items. It was so nice to be able to tell her about the group gift feature on large items and looks like it worked because she already contributed to one of our must-haves!
The entire registry-building process, while it could have felt overwhelming was made so much easier with this registry recommendation list from my two mom friends below. Instead of spending what could have been weeks researching and compiling a list, they sent me an incredibly detailed (15 page!) recommendation list of what they registered for, how much they used it, if they used it, and their feedback on what they’d do differently. I used this list and Babylist’s expert guides on different items I was considering to build my registry.
I wish I had timed this process because I probably only spent 10-15 hours building my list (which as a continual deliberator, is a pretty short amount of time for me- ha!)
Now knowing how much time I spent on building my registry, I want to help as many expectant moms streamline their decision process and Babylist definitely helps with that.
This list of items was compiled by two mom friends who gave me super detailed recommendations on what to buy as a first-time mom. For items that I’ve purchased and tested so far, I’ve added my review in italics.
Crib: Convertible cribs that turn into toddler beds are highly recommended- just don’t forget to register for the conversion kit if it doesn’t come with one. Our team said cribs from Pottery Barn Baby and the Babyletto crib were the best.
We got this crib from Wayfair, it was easy to set up and we plan on using this for baby number 2 so probably won’t use the conversion kit.
Glider/Rocker: A glider or rocker is a must. Our mom friends loved the Pottery Barn Baby gliders and recommend getting one you don’t mind falling asleep in on the reg. Performance fabric and slipcovers are great to help with quick clean-ups.
Changing Table: Our mom friends are obsessed with the Hatch Baby Grow. You don’t have to deal with putting sheets over a changing table–you can just wipe down the Hatch Baby Grow with a wet wipe. It’s also a scale so you can monitor baby’s weight, feed intake and the app is really user-friendly. They said the keekaroo is an okay alternative but it doesn’t have a built-in scale so why bother with that.
We went with just a regular changing pad with a changing table sheet. To protect the changing table sheet from stray sprays I got these waterproof changing pad covers that we lay down. It’s perfect to just grab and switch out when they get dirty.
Mattress: Babies spend a lot of time here, so our mom friends went with the Lullaby Earth. Just make sure you get one that fits in your crib because not all cribs are the same. They also recommend getting a two-stage mattress, meaning you can flip it over and use it for when baby enters toddlerhood.
We went with the Newton Essential mattress because I bought into their advertising about it being the most breathable on the market.
Bassinet: If you want to co-sleep, our mom friends went with the Halo BassiNest. The others went with the Snoo. The biggest benefit they said was that the Snoo enabled baby to start sleeping through the night at 12 weeks.
Our friends gifted us their Snoo so that’s what we’ll be using when baby is here. Plus we’ve hired a night nurse so my husband and I can return to work as soon as possible and baby can sleep in his nursery straight away.
Bedding: Our mom friends said wherever you get your crib sheets, they’re all good. Pottery Barn Baby has a great starter set and be wary of crib bumpers as they are potential SIDS hazards.
Ideally you’ll register for3 sheets and 2 waterproof mattress covers for emergency blowout situations in the middle of the night. Pro tip: put both waterproof mattress covers on to pull one off in middle of night to deal with blowout situations.
Bottles: Our mom friends said they had to go through a few bottles to find one their baby liked, and every baby is different so don’t get married to a certain type of bottle.
The best thing about registering through Babylist is that you can do their tester packages where they’ll send you a variety pack of bottles so you can explore what kind of bottle baby likes before you commit and waste money on 6 different sets of bottles.
One thing the moms agreed on is the Kiinde bottle system was great if you’re going to pump and feed.
We ended up ordering the Dr. Browns Anti Colic (because all males in my husband’s family had colic and these had the best reviews for colic reduction). If we have to change it later, I will be getting Babylist’s tester package!
Bottle Warmer: The Kiinde Bottle Warmer was the clear winner because it can fit every bottle.
This bottle warmer has been perfect for prepping formula/ breast milk for feeds. If baby is fussy and you can’t get to the bottle straight away, the leftover water in the device keeps it warm until you’re ready to use it.
Burp Cloths: Moms agree- use the Gerber prefold cloth diapers for burp cloths. If you have a particular refluxy baby you’ll go through 10 a day.
I registered for the Boppy and have gifted over 5 to different friends- it’s always well-loved!
We got the Dr. Browns Sterilizer & Dryer and even though I hate counter clutter, we end up using this 3 times a day to keep all the baby bottles clean and dry before storing them. The dryer takes about 45 minutes to complete it’s cycle but it’s been great so far.
Milk Feeding: Our mom friends love the Baby Brezza but do warn that sometimes the formula can come out clumpy. If you do the Dr. Browns pitcher, the downside is you have to warm the bottle before feeding whereas the Brezza heats while it mixes.
We registered for the Dr. Brown’s pitcher and the Kiinde bottle warmer for everyday feeds. This has been the most convenient for us since we’re using breast milk and supplementing with formula to feed baby.
Solid Feeding: When you plan on solid feeding, the Beaba Babycook was our mom friends favorite because it steam cooks the fruits/vegs while it purees them (bonus points- it comes in a variety of colors to match your kitchen aesthetic). They also recommend the Beaba stage 1 silicone spoons, toddler cutlery, and formula/snack containers.
If you plan on making your own food, they recommend getting the Sage Spoonfulls to figure out proper measurements.
Also, if you want to explore baby-led weaning, our mom friends loved the Feeding Littles course to learn how to do it.
Pumping: The Spectra S2 breast pump is the preferred pump from our mom friends and the wireless Willow was great for on the go. The biggest tip: register for extra parts so you’re not stuck in a constant wash cycle.
Here’s the best thing about registering with Babylist, THEY HELP YOU COORDINATE ORDERING YOUR BREAST PUMP THROUGH INSURANCE. Insurance will pay a portion (or all of) the breast pump you want, and Babylist has made it so simple to organize this on your behalf. I just used this and emailed the prescription form to my OB’s office and they’ll coordinate the rest. I am beyond impressed with this feature because I know how complex getting all the prices for every pump and every insurance can be. They made it transparent and easy!
After using this battery powered breast pump for almost a week, I can tell you that it’s really frustrating to be tied up to tubes while you attempt to have a normal moment with your husband/ friends/ family but still have to pump. I highly recommend looking into a wearable as well. I’m not sure if I’m going to continue on the breast milk feeding train, but if I do, I’m getting the Willow 3.0.
Also make an appointment with a lactation specialist to get your flanges fit! If you’re not using the right size, milk won’t come out and you’ll just be unnecessarily agitating your nipples.
Breast Care: Our mom friends recommend Earth Mama Angel Nipple Butter, and to relieve engorgement they used the Earth Mama Angel Boobie Tubes and ice/heating packs. They also recommend looking into a breast massager to help get clots out (you stick it in your bra while pumping).
When your milk comes in, IT HURTS. Highly recommend having a hot compress/ cold compress situation available and the Momcozy breast massager was a life saver to work the milk out while I pumped or baby nursed.
Bibs: Our mom friends said any cloth bibs are good for milk/formula feeds. For solids they now use Happy Healthy Parent silicone bibs. For drool, they use the Matimati and Posh Peanut (very thick and cute styles). When they’re toddlers, pocket bibs are going to be essential.
Water Cups: Our mom friends agree, the Nuk Learner for water is the best but then transitioning to open-lid cups when they’re older is best for coordination skills.
Stroller System: Our mom friends agree, the Uppababy Vista V2 is the best for multi-baby households. If you have just one, the Nuna Mixx 2 is the fan favorite. You can also register for the Nuna Pipa car seat and get the attachment for the Uppababy frame to make it more portable.
We got the Uppababy Vista V2 because we plan on having 2 and I am so impressed with it. It’s the Cadillac of strollers. It’s lightweight, easy to set up with one hand, and has a great turning radius (perfect for city streets). We’ll be able to use this for the next 3-to-4+ years of kids and look forward to it!
Convertible Car Seat: Our mom friends loved the Maxi Cosi Pria Convertible Car Seat and have no complaints.
We registered for the Doona because baby is going to grow out of the car seat when he’s more than a newborn, might as well get one that’s super easy to turn into a stroller when we’re out and about. The Doona has been amazing. Even after my c-section, it was so easy to get out of the car and setup all while baby napped peacefully. It’s such a great design!
Umbrella Stroller: Mom friends love the GB Pockit Stroller. It only weighs 9 pounds and is super compact. One of their must-haves. It folds up super small and has a shoulder bag. It also fits in an overhead bin on a plane.
We haven’t registered for one yet because it’s too soon for us to think about but this is on the list for when we get to that stage.
High Chair: Our mom friends agree, they looked for aesthetic and easy-to-clean high chairs for their households. They love the Stokke Tripp Trapp Bundle. But if you have a big kitchen island, the Bumbo works great until they need a bigger high chair. The Bumbo also turns into a booster when they’re older! For restaurant eating, they love the Ingeslia fast seat.
We got the 4Moms Connect high chair and can’t wait to use it!
Bouncer: The number one rec is the BabyBjorn Balance Mesh. It’s a great place to park baby when you want to shower or cook/eat. If you go with this product also consider registering for the wooden toy bar accessory.
We registered for the BabyBjorn as well and can’t wait to teach the dog how to bounce the bouncer- ha! JK.
Travel Crib/Portable Playground: Our mom friends recommend registering for the Lotus Travel Crib since it’s lightweight and the highest-rated on Amazon. Just remember to register for the fitted sheet.
Baby Loungers: When you need someplace to set baby while you eat or go to the bathroom, the Dock-A-Tot is the preferred lounger for newborns. Babies should NEVER be allowed to sleep in the Dock-A-Tot or left unattended in one.
The Dock-A-Tot has been the MVP of newborn life. We hang out with him on the couch all the time while he’s napping in it, and its a great place to stick him when you need two hands and can keep an eye on him. Highly recommend scooping one up. I also plan on using this little couch once baby can sit up on his own.
Monitor: Our mom friends agree- the Nanit is the number one baby monitor. They loved how easy it was to set up and that it’s portable.
The Nanit has amazing features and love that it alerts me when motion/ sounds come from baby’s crib. We haven’t put the breathing band on him yet, but for those who want as much assurance as possible, it’s the full kit to help you keep eyes on your baby when you’re not in their room.
Baby Carrying: Our mom friends agree, they said registering for the BabyBjorn One Air and a baby wrap was essential. They liked the LilleBaby Carrier the most. If you’re super fashionable you could look into the artipoppe baby carrier, but besides aethetic, we haven’t heard any stand out feature that the BabyBjorn couldn’t do.
Diaper Bag and Accessories: Our mom friends like diaper backpacks, and the Skip Hop Chelsea was their favorite for compartments. Make sure to register for the Munchkin Arm & Hammer Diaper Bag Dispenser. If you are a tote person, the Tote Savvy is recommended so you can switch through different purses.
I got the Tote Savvy since I don’t normally carry “bags” with me and plan on using an LL Bean tote or equivalent for baby things. The Tote Savvy has been great for our first two outings while I wait for my tote to come back from the embroiderer. I was able to just change bags out super quickly and get going to our appointments that much faster.
Diaper Pail: Our mom friends agree that the Ubbi is the best because you can use regular trash bags and hold the smells in. Plus it comes in a variety of colors to match your nursery aesthetic.
Ubbi hands down is a smell saver. It’s so easy to change and love that it locks the stink in.
We started with Pampers but because our guy is so big, the pampers were causing his upper thighs to get chaffed. We switched to Coterie and that fixed itself immediately. They really are so super soft.
Baby Wipes: Our mom friends agree just to get the biggest pack of Kirklands wipes from Costco. If you’re looking at the Pampers Aqua pure, the consensus was that they’re “less wet” than the Water Wipes.
Baby Wipes Dispenser: Our mom friends love the Ubbi wipe dispenser. A warning against a wipe warmer, is that if baby gets used to it, the wipes won’t be warm on the go and may cause fits during changes on the fly.
Portable Diaper Station: If you plan on hanging out somewhere a lot with the baby that’s far away from the nursery think about getting the Ubbi Portable Diaper Changing Station. It stores a changing pad, wipes, diapers, creams, etc in one area so you don’t have to run to another room whenever your baby takes a 💩.
We skipped this, felt like unnecessary clutter and opted for this gorgeous basket for his changing station.
Diaper Rash: Our mom friends must have: the Triple Paste and Baby Boudreax’s Butt Paste have worked best for them so far. If you use Aquaphor at every change you’ll reduce the risk of diaper rash and won’t need to use those.
Activity Gym: The Lovevery play mat is the favorite! Our mom friends used it up to 1.5 years old for their babies.
We got the Lovevery and can’t wait to use it- it’s beautiful and so well made.
Activity Center: Our mom friends babies love the Skip Hop Explore and have used it since about 4 months up to 9 months. They used it nearly every day during that time. You can buy the table and chairs that go with it to extend the life of it into toddlerhood!
Jumper: If you want one, the Graco Bumper Jumper was well loved!
Toys: For the early days, our mom friends just said keep it simple. The favorites were the Noggin Stick, Flappy the Elephant, wooden toys from Hape or Melissa & Doug, Sophie the Giraffe and Jellycat plushies.
Bath Support: The Angelcare Bath Support is great if you want to just stick the baby in your bathtub.
We don’t have a tub, so we registered for the Lalo.
Mat/Tubside Seat: Our mom friends agree, that the Summer Infant Tubside Seat is the best and the kneeling mats tend to get mildewy. Make sure to register for the Boon mat for the bathtub when the baby is sitting up in the tub.
Grooming: Baby is likely to get cradle cap, so make sure to register for the Fridababy Silicone brush!
Bath Thermometer: Our mom friends say the Ozeri Turtlemeter is a crucial must-have to make sure the bath temperature is just right.
Night Light/Sound Machine: Our mom friends love the Hatch Baby+ Rest because you can control it from an app, pick different sounds and change the night light color to whatever you want.
We got the Hatch Baby Rest and already set it up in the nursery. It’s like a gorgeous Google home.
Sleepsack: Our mom friends swore by The Halo Sleepsack Swaddle is great because you don’t have to deal with swaddling and reswaddling. The Merlin’s Magic Sleepsuit was key when they couldn’t use a swaddle anymore. They also liked the Sleepea and said it was the easiest swaddle and if you want to get a wearable blanket, the Woolino was a hit with their kids.
We have a few sleep sacks, but have found an oversized muslin swaddle wrapped snuggly around our baby has been his preference.
Blankets: Our mom friends recommended not registering for one unless you’re obsessed with a particular blanket. People always bring baby blankets to babyshowers and you’ll end up with plenty.
Clothes: For the first 2 months, babies will likely wear sleep gowns and pajamas that zip. The last thing you want to deal with are buttons and snaps at 3am feeds. The “Touched by Nature” gowns and other go-to brands are Pehr, Burt’s Bees, and Gap Baby. Magnetic Me onesies are a great treat and Target zip-up PJs are the best for budgets.
Medications: Our mom friends agree, they love the Little Remedies New Baby Essentials Kit. The Pacidose helps when babies don’t want to take medications. Also, the Dr. Browns tooth and gum wipes were great to wipe the residue away from gums and tongues after feeds. Finally, Mommy’s Bliss Probiotic Drops were helpful in regulating their kids digestion.
FridaBaby: You definitely want to register for the FridaBaby Bitty Bundle of Joy. It includes the nose frida (a must), nail clippers and file, and the windii. Most of them like the electric nail file more than scissors and didn’t have to worry about cutting baby’s hands with scissors/ clippers.
Teethers: Our mom friends love the Baby Banana Brush, Sophie the Giraffe, the Comotomo and NatureBond Baby Food Feeder were great for teething. Cute teething rings will likely show up at your baby shower.
Pacifiers: Our mom friends tried a bunch, but the MAM ones won out because the glow-in-the-dark ones are great for middle-of-the-night feeds. Some babies don’t care for pacifiers so don’t get too committed.
Thermometer: You can’t use forehead thermometers until the baby is 6 months, so register for a digital one for the bum. Our mom friends are impressed with the Kinsa thermometer because it links to an app and it’ll give you tips if there’s a fever. Kinsa also has nurses you can talk to if you can’t reach your pediatrician during off hours.
Our mom friends agree, the “Moms on Call” anthology is the go-to to teach baby eating, sleeping and playing schedules. And “Bringing Up Bebe” is a perfect perspective-story-meets-practicality on how to think about childcare. If you add two books to your baby registry, let it be these!
As a note, our mom friends did both VBAC and C-section so we have recs for both healing journeys. As always, if you have certain situations, always follow your Doctors advice on what to do. I personally had a c-section so can comment on that.
Binders/Girdles: Our mom friends loved the BellyBandit Mother Tucker Corset for C-Section delivery. VBAC births didn’t use this.
The Belly Bandit is nice, I like wearing it to sleep at night during those early days because your guts tend to feel a little, floppy.
Nursing Bras: Our mom friends waffled between the Cake Nursing bra and the ones on Amazon that have the best reviews.
I was just introduced to Larken and will be buying a few of those! I got one from Hatch and it’s not the most comfortable, but I’ve been wearing these True & Co bras ever since I grew out of my pre-pregnancy wire bras.
Underwear: Our mom friends love the Warner’s Women’s Hi Cut Brief Panties. They also just went straight for adult diapers instead of dealing with changing pads.
Adult diapers are HIGHLY underrated. The first few days out of the hospital, this was my preference instead of dealing with undies/ pads they try to give you from the hospital.
Things to Have at Home: Our mom friends agree, you’ll want the Fridababy peribottle, epsom salt for sitz baths, stool softeners, largest pads you can find, cheap cotton underwear, icepacks to put in your underwear, gas-x (for c-section shoulder gas pain) and tucks. The bulk Medline ice packs from amazon were great for postpartum healing.
If you made it this far, congratulations- you have the best baby registry starting point for your registry on the web! Using Babylist to collect and organize your registry items will help you streamline that process. An added benefit? After your baby shower, if you need to “clear your list” Babylist will give you up to a 15% discount on any items you need within 6 months of baby’s arrival.
Without a doubt, I feel so well taken care of knowing that I have my Babylist registry out there for friends and family to reference for gifts. It’s so reassuring to update everything in real-time and know that my circle is getting the best prices when they shop for us as well.