Registering for your first baby can be such an overwhelming process. For me, it felt like this foreign language with no easy way to navigate to find the products I needed in simple, modern designs. It took a ton of research during all three trimesters, searching countless blogs, discovering brands through social media, and speaking with other new moms to really find what I was looking for. Welcoming a new baby into your life shouldn't force you to completely change your lifestyle, but rather enhance it; so I made it a priority to do the research and find products that would suit our baby in our home, and that would last through each development stage. I wanted to put this guide together towards the end of Faire's infant stage, as I truly feel this list only does itself justice having lived through and tested most of these products first hand.
On sites where to register, BabyList is a fantastic universal online registry, with options to add products from any store, including small, local shops. They also offer helpful reviews and guides. For big box stores, Buy Buy Baby and Target are great, especially for those who like to shop items in-store, and of course Amazon, for the Prime members. (Side note: Amazon Prime is a game changer for the new mom, when even a quick trip to Target seems too difficult to manage.)
I hope my guide serves as a helpful tool for any expecting or new mamas who are looking for advice on what to register for, or what essentials were a must purchase for baby. Over the next few years, I plan to make updates to this guide to keep it as current as possible. I will note, these products worked best for us and may or may not fit your family's needs. As most of us know or will soon realize, every baby is different and will take to certain products over others. The joys of navigating through your ever-changing seasons of motherhood!
Stroller. After months of stroller research, we settled on the Nuna Mixx. It has a sleek, compact design and has both rearward and forward-facing options, with a flat incline sleeper seat. This stroller couldn't be more easy to manage and the compatible Nuna Pipa infant car seat easily attaches to the stroller. We also own a jogger, and the BOB Revolution SE has been the best one for our family in terms of style, function, and price. We use this stroller anytime we go for family walks in our neighborhood or when we will be on rougher terrain. It has the smoothest ride and provides a good amount of lounging room for baby. We haven't purchased an umbrella stroller yet, but we've been eyeing this one.
Infant Car Seat. One of the top-rated infant car seats on the market, the Nuna Pipa checks every box on our list. Safety, minimal design. and comfort, all in a lightweight seat. Again, it attaches seamlessly to our Nuna stroller, as well as a few other stroller brands like Uppababy (with the separate adapter).
Infant Seat. The 4Moms Mamaroo was a lifesaver for us in the early days, buying me those few extra minutes to shower. The seat offers 5 different movement options and a variety of built-in sounds.
Baby Monitor. We have been very pleased with the Nest Cam, which is used in conjunction with their app. Set-up is a breeze and has really great picture and sound. We started using this video camera once we transitioned Faire from her bassinet in our bedroom to her nursery crib at 4 months. During the early months, we used the VTech Safe&Sound audio monitor.
Swing/Bouncer. If you haven't caught on yet, we own almost every piece of Nuna gear they make. The brand is THAT amazing. The Nuna Leaf is a beautifully structured swing with a light, calming motion. The separate Wind attachment will provide the movement work for you with 6 speed settings. I have also heard wonderful things about the BabyBjorn Balance bouncer.
Bassinet. We originally purchased the BabyBjorn cradle, which has a nice minimalist design and is made from a soft, airy mesh fabric. As a newborn, Faire would only sleep at an incline, so we also bought the Fisher-Price Rock 'n Play. This Lotus bassinet by Guava Family has a simple design and it functions with their portable crib, which we absolutely love.
Convertible Car Seat. If possible, I recommend registering for a convertible car seat. Depending on the size of your baby, you may need to make the transfer from an infant car seat to a convertible seat sooner than you think. We made the switch at 7 months to accommodate Faire's long legs and to give her the extra space. We have this Maxi Cosi version and have been very pleased with it so far. I have also heard great things about the Graco 4Ever and Nuna's new convertible seat Rava.
Portable Crib. We currently have two portable cribs. Our Nuna Sena is kept upstairs in our master, which provides a quick, easy set-up. We also have the portable crib by Guava Family, which is used for travel and play during the day at home. They carry a UPF protective sun shade, making a great tent option for beach days. (I mention more on this crib here.)
Baby Walker. I can't say enough great things about the Joovy Spoon. A baby walker that provides the perfect balance of playing and eating. The tray insert is removable and can easily be thrown in the dishwasher, the cushioned seat is machine washable, and we just love the clean design.
DIAPERING AND LAUNDERING//
Diapers and Wipes. Pampers Swaddlers and The Honest Co are our go-tos. For wipes, we have always used, loved, and trusted Pampers Sensitive. A new brand I have recently discovered, Parasol, makes eco-friendly diapers in the most beautiful prints and from what I have heard, are extremely soft. These are on the list to try soon.
Changing Pad. I can't say enough amazing things about the Keekaroo Peanut changer. It has a strong puncture-resistant outer shell, it's antimicrobial, and entirely water resistant, making for easy cleanup. We have the gray colorway and it fits perfectly on top of the changing table, leaving enough room for other diapering essentials. For travel, we use the micro changing mats by Gathre, which are wipeable and they fold up easily for the diaper bag.
Detergent/Cleaners. Babyganics and Seventh Generation are my two favorites for all-natural, hypoallergenic detergents. These highchair and toy wipes are so quick and convenient to use.
NURSING AND FEEDING//
Breast Pump. I found both the Medela Pump In Style and the Harmony manual pump to work best for me. The Freestyle version is a fantastic option for hands-free, mobile pumping on the go. I was able to get the double electric pump through my work, so be sure to check with your insurance carrier ahead of time to save a couple hundred dollars.
Nipple Cream. This natural nipple butter was recommended to me over and over again by mamas, and I can't rave enough about it. This balm was a lifesaver in those early nursing days.
Nursing Pads. I was most pleased with Bamboobies, and wore them at night when early morning leaking was the worst. I also used Lansinoh disposable pads when I was traveling or on the go, since they are easy to toss out.
Bottles. Every baby is different and will take to certain bottle nipples over others. We started off with a few different brands: Dr. Brown's, Comotomo and Joovy. I recommend registering for just one or two bottles per brand, as opposed to a whole set, because you never know what your baby will prefer. We ultimately settled on Comotomo, which is made from a super soft silicone to mimic skin, making the transition from breastfeeding to bottle seamless.
Pacifiers. It wasn't until we bought and tested literally every single pacifier to figure out they just aren't Faire's thing. My favorite ones on the market, and which seem to be the most popular with babies, are Natursutten, WubbaNub, and MAM.
Highchair. After purchasing the Antilop highchair from Ikea a few months ago, I really can't imagine using anything else. Seriously, you cannot beat the price ($19!). Check out Yeah Baby Goods for silicone placemats and cushion covers for the Antilop. For a higher-end model, Stokke Steps and Tripp Trapp are both beautiful options.
Floor Seat. This Mamas and Papas Snug seat, similar to the Bumbo, comes in a great neutral tone (Putty) which we were hoping for since the seat primarily hung out in the living and dining room. The tray is fantastic for quick feedings and the suction activity feature is an added bonus.
Bibs. For feeding, we love these by Tommee Tippee and these by Baby Bjorn. Easy to clean and the deep front pocket helps save outfits from the mess. For the everyday drooling and milk, I usually dress Faire in a bandana bib. Aden + Anais makes a great cotton muslin version and Copper Pearl sells packs of four in fun prints.
Baby Dock. The DockATot was a lifesaver (read: sleepsaver) in the early months and it definitely helped with Faire having a smoother transition from bassinet to crib. I recommend purchasing the smaller "Deluxe" size to start, as we ended up not even needing the large size since she transitioned easier than expected.
Swaddlers. We loved these Ergo swaddlers and this Ollie swaddle when Faire was really young. Once she could roll over, we then transitioned her to the Halo SleepSack Swaddle and the original SleepSack, which she still sleeps in.
Sound Machine. We love this white noise machine by Dohmie, which creates a soothing, whooshing air sound.
Solly Baby. My favorite method of carrying Faire during the newborn stage was with our Solly Baby wrap. We used it weekly until she was 5-6 months old, but as she got heavier and stronger we started using the slings more often. The wraps come in gorgeous colors and prints that change seasonally. I love every wrap in their capsule collection.
Ergobaby. An absolute must for the registry list and one of my husband's favorite ways to bond with baby. It's designed like a backpack that can be worn multiple ways, and its great for baby once they are able to face outward and see everything going on around them. We have the Ergo 360 which has 4 positions for baby.
Sling. My two favorite sling brands are Sakura Bloom and Wildbird. The sling definitely took a little more time getting used to its functionality, but once you get the hang of it it's so quick and easy to put baby in and out, making running errands a breeze. The linen fabric is extremely breathable and provides great coverage for nursing.
Tub. The Puj Flyte was a favorite in our household in the early days and makes bathing baby in the sink a breeze. It folds up easily and is fantastic for travel. We are also a fan of the 4moms infant tub, which we used up until Faire was around 8 months and could sit up on her own, unassisted. We love its fresh water filtrating system and the digital thermometer features.
Bath Products. If you're a new or expectant mother, you may have discovered Tubby Todd by now - one of the many reasons I love Instagram is all of the brands I have discovered through the platform. Tubby Todd is 100% all natural and every product smells amazing, works wonders, and they have super quick shipping. Our favorites are the hair and body wash, dream cream, and baby fresh spray. They recently launched their new Mama line, which I can't wait to try out for the next baby. Another brand we love is Mustela - great newborn shampoo (their foaming wash that helps with cradle cap) and we always stock up on their facial cleaning cloths.
Bath Toys. Boon makes some of the cutest bath toys on the market. We are obsessed with these jellies, floating water bugs with net, and bath squirts. This whale pod makes scooping and storing toys at the end of bath time quick and easy.
Humidifier. This cool-mist humidifier by Crane is super sleek and has a modern drop shape. We've gotten tons of usage out of this during the past year, and it has really helped with Faire's sleep when she's been sick.
NoseFrida. NoseFrida is a must for the household. We always have a basic bulb syringe on hand, too. Both are necessary during those nasty colds.
Thermometer. Our recent go-to has been this smart ear thermometer by Kinsa, which connects to a fabulous app and is a breeze for checking temps on a wiggly toddler. This temporal artery thermometer by Exergen is also a great option.
Nail Clippers. These Safety 1st baby clippers are pretty basic but get the job done. I have also heard good things about the ZoLi nail trimmer, which I've read works better on young babies when their nails are extremely soft.
Sunscreen. This stick sunscreen by Babyganics. I don't leave the house without it in my diaper bag.
Baby Gate. Not necessarily a product you need to include on your registry, but something to keep in mind. We recently purchased this steel gate by Munchkin and are so in love with the modern design.
TOYS AND TEETHERS//
Stuffed Animals. Hazel Village makes beautiful handmade animals, perfect for little ones. They make the most adorable dress-up clothes for their animals, making it a great toy for growing with your child. Jellycat also makes the best plush animals.
Books. Other than your classic first books, I love plush books like this one and this one by Wee Gallery. These art cards are great because they come in black and white, great for engaging and entertaining a young baby.