Having your first child can be extremely overwhelming, especially when it comes to your baby registry. Your friends will all have an opinion about what you need and it’s important to know that every parenting style is different. Just because something was the golden ticket for your best friend, doesn’t mean it will be for you. When I was preparing for Zelda’s arrival, I registered for a ton of stuff because it was on the list of things “I had to have”. I only ended up using about half of what I registered for, which is why I’m giving you a list of what I would want if I were to register all over again. These are the products I used until the very end and never regretted putting on my registry or buying for myself.
The first item on my list is an item I didn’t register for and had no idea I needed until I brought Zelda home – the co-sleeper. Yes, I said it. The controversial word: co-sleeper. Zelda and I still co-sleep, she will be three next month, and I know a lot of people are gasping or rolling their eyes, and you know what? To each their own. I love it, it works for us and I eat every second up. The truth of the matter is, even if you have no plans to co-sleep with your child you might have to do it at some point during the newborn stage. It’s comforting to see your child and know they are secure.
There are so many things that happen during this stage, so it is important to have them right there with you. The co-sleeper is gold and I loved it. I used it in my bed and to secure Zelda in general – on the floor, when we traveled, you name it. This is a fantastic alternative to a travel crib and allows your child to sleep securely anywhere. If you end up choosing a different route, you need to have a monitor close to your child at all times so you can hear and see them.
The second most important item on my list (and the costliest aside from furniture) is the stroller. Everyone has an opinion on this topic. It is something all moms are extremely passionate about because it is with you all the time. And while some swear by the UPPAbaby or the Bugaboo, for me it was the Orbit G3. People are immediately intrigued when they see me in action and I have demoed it so many times that I feel like an Orbit salesperson.
Last year, Orbit dissolved as a company but their products are still available. You can purchase one from a seller that offers a warranty so don’t be scared when you find out the company is gone. They are well made, worth the investment and it is the only stroller I have ever purchased. I am not one of those people who have seven or eight strollers in their front room. I live in a condo and I don’t have room for that.
You can easily break it down with one hand, it travels well, is lightweight and will grow with your child. In your child’s infancy, the stroller seat doubles as a car seat. It snaps into the base that is fixed to your vehicle and is extremely simple to use – just twist it on and off and you’re done in twenty seconds or less. Once your babe outgrows the first seat, it’s easy to upgrade to the toddler seat and they also have a larger car seat that works with the system. Zelda still uses this stroller and the toddler seat. I swear by this product and it has been in our lives since the day she was born. You will not be disappointed.
Now, let’s talk about bottles. I didn’t know it before becoming a mom, but bottle feeding involves a lot of parts and you have to get used to it. When you have a kid, they come with a lot of stuff and most of it is plastic (and colorful). The bottle system I fell in love with was Dr. Brown’s . Many people love these bottles and many people complain about them because there are a lot of pieces to clean, but those pieces are there for a reason. These bottles have an internal vent system which helps reduce your baby’s gas, spit up and burping. The vent system gets rid of negative pressure (aka air bubbles) and with all those things in mind, I didn’t mind the extra clean up. Zelda never had a ton of spit up and wasn’t a gassy baby. I truly believe it was because we used Dr. Brown’s bottles.
I also recommend registering for the sterilizer and the warmer because you will use them both. If for some reason you’re not into Dr. Brown’s, we used Medela intermittently and loved them too. With bottles comes the need for a drying rack. For this, we entrusted Boon. A word of warning, it’s usually advertised in a bright green color and looks like grass. Before you purchase it, I want you to ask yourself, do you really want plastic grass sitting on your countertop? It will live there for a long time – I’m staring at mine right now (three years after purchasing it). The difference is, I opted for the white on white and it blends into our décor. It’s not an eyesore and I’m not worried about tucking it away because I can’t stand to look at it.
Another super important item that should be on your registry is a swing. Again, everyone has an opinion on this and when I was pregnant all my friends suggested the mamaRoo Swing. They were right. I loved this swing and used it all the time when Zelda was first born. It has a variety of different settings (swing, rock, etc.) and allowed me to get things done. I introduced it to her early and it provided me with so much relief – it’s a game changer when you have both hands free. Additionally, I have lent this to many of my girlfriends (because it is one of those things you tuck away in storage). Always remember, sharing is caring! If you have one lying around, offer it to your girlfriend – she will be forever thankful.
Next up, swaddle blankets. It is so important to learn how to swaddle. The key to a successful swaddle is a soft and cozy swaddle blanket. I recommend Aden + Anais or Monica + Andy. I love them both because they are organic, muslin and were a total lifesaver for me. I couldn’t quite master it so Spiro was the main swaddler in our household. It doesn’t matter who does it – but someone in your household needs to figure it out.
People love gifting blankets – you might find yourself with an abundance of them and you will never use them all. Through the many blankets I received, I was easily able to pinpoint my favorite as the organic, breathable cotton blankets from Monica + Andy. The prints were so fun and it was easy to wrap Zelda right up!
You’re going to go through a ton of diapers and again, it’s something that everyone has an opinion about. And while it varies child to child, we love The Honest Company. We began using these the day Zelda was born and have never used anything else. They don’t leak, we love the prints and they offer auto-delivery — this was huge for us. We have been receiving a diapers and wipes every four weeks since she was born and I’ve never had to worry about running out. When you’re looking at any service, auto-delivery is king because mom brain is very real.
Those dirty diapers need to go somewhere and you don’t want to smell them in your house. This is where the Diaper Dekor Pail comes in. It masks the odor, looks sleek and easily fits in small spaces. In our house, it lives between Zelda’s dresser and the wall so it is nicely concealed. The bags are biodegradable and I recommend registering for refills because they cost a lot of money and you will go through them quickly. It’s like this with every diaper system and you will thank yourself later for doing it.
If you didn’t know, babies have little knives for fingernails. Get your baby a pair of mittens. It isn’t something you need to register for but definitely pick some up before the baby is born. A nail file is also extremely important and I adored the Little Martin’s Baby Nail File. I never had to worry about cutting Zelda or making her bleed because they simply buff the nails. It was super easy to use on Zelda when she was sleeping.
You will also end up using two bathtubs. When Zelda was a newborn we used a foldable bathtub that easily fit into our kitchen sink (and then under it when not in use). When she got a little bigger, we used a different, slightly larger tub from Boon that fit inside our regular bathtub. It was also collapsible so we could store it under the bed or in a closet. When you live in the city space is limited so finding compact items is essential.
I know this is gross and looks disgusting, but after you bathe your baby you will need to use the Nose Frida. I registered for this, received it and returned it because I thought it was so vile. Afterwards, I realized how it important it was and ended up going back out to buy it. Just suck it up, or should I say suck it out? You’re going to need this.
Another must have is a nap mat. This worked well for tummy time and Zelda was so comfortable on her mat. It was easy to move around and gave her a little spot of her own.
When you’re pregnant, everyone wants to buy you cute, tiny little clothes but the truth is your baby will grow so quickly that they won’t wear half of them. Newborns live in onesies. We bought so many Monica + Andy onesies! They are made from organic cotton and tie and snap in the front. You can easily dress your infant and don’t have to worry about pulling things over their head, which makes changing a diaper during nap time super easy. Monica + Andy also makes beautiful birth boxes and I recommend registering for one. They are a little pricey but hopefully you will get it from someone who REALLY loves you!
That concludes my newborn arsenal kit. If you register for everything I wrote about you will be ready to go. Naturally, items might come up that you want that I didn’t list. For instance, I didn’t use a travel crib and I know that is super important to some people. There are all sorts of things that other people live by that I didn’t list because they didn’t work for us. You’ll find your own groove!
I feel it is necessary for me to mention two other products that you won’t use in the newborn stage but that have been a game changer for my family. There are so many highchairs on the market that are $400 and up. I think it is totally unnecessary to spend this much (your call!) and we loved the Boon Highchair. As a brand, their products are made well, have clean lines and hold up beautifully.
The second item is the Pockit Stroller. This is one of the smartest pieces of children’s equipment that I have ever seen. It is super lightweight and breaks down to fit into a tote bag. It is by far one of the best travel strollers and I highly suggest putting it on your registry. When your child is old enough, it will be there waiting for you.
If anyone has any questions about these products please leave a comment below. I am happy to answer anything — I’m an open, unfiltered book! Don’t forget to register for décor, toys and all those things that are really based on your aesthetic. I love The Land of Nod for children’s décor, it is all so magical. They have some of the best pieces and we have used them in Zelda’s nursery and in her toddler room transition. Be sure to check out the evolution of her room and while you’re at it, you can peek at her birth story too! Her birthday is next month and I can’t believe she is already going to be three years old. It goes by so fast, so cherish every moment and let me know if you need anything on your motherhood journey. We are all in this together!