What to Register for Your New Baby

Before Toby was born, I felt totally overwhelmed by all the choices of baby products. I had no idea what to buy or where to shop or what we’d really need. (I remember bursting into tears to Alex one night on our way to dinner!) My wish was just to know exactly what other parents were buying for their babies, but, despite tons of research, I couldn’t find a full registry list anywhere online. I was bewildered.

So, my darlings, now that Toby is here, I’d LOVE to share a complete list of the things we bought when he was a newborn. I wrote down every single thing (big and small), so you could literally get this list and be done with it. Or, of course, add/subtract as you see fit. Congratulations to all new parents! Hope this guide is helpful. xoxo

UPDATE: There’s an updated 2017 list here.

OK, here goes…


A random tip:

When I registered for my baby shower, I used, since it lets you register from all different stores (not just one). That way, you can bring together exactly what you’d like for your baby registry (even items from etsy), instead of being limited to one store’s selection. Just a thought!


We bought four great books to read before the baby arrived which made us feel more confident and prepared:

* The Happiest Baby on the Block (both the book and DVD) about how to calm a crying baby. Dr. Karp’s tips work like MAGIC.
* Jo Frost’s Confident Baby Care—by the SuperNanny! I loved her assured, encouraging tone, and she offered great advice about taking care of a new baby (baths, diapers, etc).
* The SleepEasy Solution about naps and nighttime sleep. Practical, gentle advice about how to teach your baby to get the sleep he needs. A friend recommended this to us, and I’m so glad she did. It saved us when Toby was four months old and suddenly decided he hated napping. :)
* The Nursing Mother’s Companion, an amazing, lifesaving guide to breastfeeding, which made everything much easier. (I mentioned this book in my breastfeeding post, as well).


And here’s everything else we got:

Infant car seat — Graco infant car seats are fantastic and very easy to use. Pretty much every parent I know has this one. (You can also get a frame to turn it into a stroller, which is great for everyday life, as well as traveling.)

Crib — We loved Wal Mart’s cribs, surprisingly! Our friend Abbey had one, and they’re modern and chic; they look sort of like the gorgeous Oeuf cribs, but are 1/3 the price! We got the Olivia, but they’re all nice. (You can see it in Toby’s nursery here.)

Crib mattress — We chose this natural soybean mattress. FYI, experts say it’s best and safest to get a firm mattress for the crib.

Crib mattress pad — We got this NaturePedic organic mattress pad.

At least three fitted crib sheets — Experts recommend changing the crib sheets approximately once a week (since they get spit up, dust, etc. on them), so we’ve found that it’s helpful to have three sets of sheets, so you’re not always running to the washing machine. We splurged on the cute fitted sheets from DwellStudio, and also got a plain white one from Target.

Noise machine — Babies love white noise since it makes them feel cozy, like they’re in the womb. (Total silence can freak them out!) We got this white noise machine for naptime/nighttime, and it’s awesome (I love that it has two different volume settings; and doesn’t have wave/forest/rainstorm sounds, which I find distracting; it’s just plain white noise similar to a fan).

Fan — Experts recommend having a fan to move air around in the nursery and keep the air fresh. we just used a fan that we already had.

Baby monitor — We are OBSESSED with our video monitor. You can see the baby on the little screen, so know if he’s asleep or playing in his crib. It’s also awesome when you’re a brand new mom and (if you’re like me) totally neurotic and want to constantly check to see if your baby is breathing:) Instead of getting up and tiptoeing into the baby’s room, you can just zoom in on the monitor! It was totally worth the money for us, since we’ll use it many times a day for years; on a million friends’ recommendations, we bought it when Toby was a few months old and haven’t looked back.

Alternate baby monitor — If you don’t care about having video on your monitor, we also had this Graco monitor for the first few months, and it worked really well. A great thing about this one is that you can put it on vibrate, so if you’re watching TV or have friends over, you will be sure to hear it.

Stroller — A stroller is a super personal choice, based on your city/lifestyle/budget/etc. We use two strollers for different reasons: First, the Graco stroller frame simply lets us just add wheels to the car seat, to turn it into a stroller). These are great when babies are super little, since babies sleep in them really well and you can take them on long walks/out to restaurants/etc. It’s AMAZINGLY easy and awesome to use when traveling, as well, since you can pop them in and out of the car or taxi.

For everyday use, we use the Maclaren Triumph, which is for babies 3 months and older. It’s comfy, light and easy to fold (to stick in the trunk of the car). Many of our friends highly recommended it, and we love it, too. Toby has happily ridden in his for the past three years!

Stroller blanket — Good for chilly fall and spring days. We love the DwellStudio blankets–adorable!

Stroller bundle bag for winter — Bundle bags are AMAZING. If winter gets cold where you live, you can just pop your baby into one of these instead of having to dress him in a bulky snowsuit or giant jacket/pants/etc. Our friends swear by them, too. Since we walk everywhere in New York, we splurged on this one from 7 A.M. Enfant, which a friend had highly recommended. It’s the warmest (but most expensive) option. Alternately, a less expensive—but still great—choice is the BundleMe stroller bag. I’ve seen tons of moms around the West Village with it, and it looks super cozy. Honestly, I’d probably just go with the BundleMe if we were doing it over again!

Baby carriers — I love wearing Toby on walks around the city. It’s lovely to cuddle up, and he adores it. Using a carrier also lets me have both hands free and I can easily walk around crowded streets, grocery stores, etc. There are lots of great carriers (and slings!), but my all-time favorite is the Ergo. The Ergo is beloved by pretty much every mom I know, since padded straps go over both shoulders and it sits on the hips, so the weight is distributed really well. It’s super comfy, even with older babies; honestly, sometimes I’ll forget for a second that I’m wearing Toby. :) I love the Ergo.

High chair — Lots of moms seem to love Stokke, but since our apartment is tiny, we got the Phil & Teds Lobster Highchair, which clips onto a table and is super small to store. It’s great. FYI, the older version of this chair–the MeToo–was recalled because some clamps were faulty, but this version is A-OK. (Here’s Toby sitting in it, if you want to see it in action!)

Daytime diapers — We use Honest diapers for the daytime, since they’re pure and chlorine-free. And they have the cutest patterns! Babies wear diapers 24/7 for years, so it was important to me that they be very pure and natural on his sensitive skin.

Nighttime diapers — When Toby was about six months and started sleeping through the night (p.s. more on sleep here!), we got him Huggies Overnight Diapers; they’re so absorbent that he doesn’t wake up when he has a wet diaper (which is great for both him and us:).

Diaper wipes — We like Honest wipes, since they’re natural and chlorine free.

Diaper Dekor (or Genie) — We got a Diaper Dekor to use as a trash can for diapers in the nursery; it works well, is cheaper than the diaper genie, and keeps the room smelling nice! It’s easy to use and, for us, was well worth the price (we would have had to buy a trash can for the room anyway), and I like that you can open it with your foot (versus your hand). Whether you need one of these might depend on what type of trash disposal you have (we can only take out our trash twice a week), and if you already have a good foot-pedal trash can.

Diaper Dekor bag refills — Just extra trash bags for the dekor.

Diaper rash cream — For diaper rash (which pops up now and again) or random irritation down there, we use the very gentle, all natural Honest cream.

Maxi pads — Most moms bleed lightly for the first month or so (no big deal), as your uterus goes back to its normal size (yay), so you’ll want some maxi pads on hand.

Changing pad — We didn’t get a changing table, but instead just put this contoured changing pad on the top of a dresser. (We hooked it on with a strap and sticky pads for safety.) It works really well and also saved money. Whatever works best for you!

Changing pad cover — Lots of cute styles out there!

A few packs of cloth diapers— When Toby was little, we used these for EVERYTHING and had one hanging over the arm of pretty much every chair in the house! Great for cleaning random spit up, using as a burp cloth, shielding baby’s head from the sun when you’re walking around outside with him (they’re very light, thin and breathable). FYI, you can wash and reuse them.

Diaper bag — It’s great to have a dedicated diaper bag (when Toby was a newborn, for example, I carried diapers, wipes, a cloth diaper for burping him, and a water bottle). The diaper bags in baby stores are fine but aren’t always that cute. I use Moop’s market bag, and I love using it everyday.

Storage bins — We got some basic bins and drawers from the Container Store to put under the crib. We also got an amazing Dwell storage bin for storing all his toys and blankets (and it looks good on the floor!).

Saline drops — Saline drops are just plain salt water. Pretty much all new babies have stuffy noses, and you can drop this salt water into his or her nose and then it will loosen up the mucus and he’ll either sneeze it out or swallow it. We use it all the time :) Great for when he has a cold, too. You can also use the aspirator, below.

Aspirator — Also called a bulb syringe. This is for sucking snot out of a baby’s nose. :)

(P.S. Have you seen this?! I’ve never tried it, but people swear by it:)

Baby nail clippers. (Update: We got baby nail clippers for Toby, but for Anton, we just use our adult clippers and they actually work fine!)

Digital rectal thermometer — Good to have on hand, for when you think your baby might have a fever. (I heard a great tip: if you think your baby might have a fever, kiss his forehead to see if it feels warm; it’s an easier way to tell than using your hands.) you put vaseline on the tip.

Baby acedominophen — This can be good to have in the house in case your baby gets a fever or is in pain for some reason. (FYI, our doctor said not to give a baby any medicine before he’s two months old, so you might check with yours.)

3 thin, soft blankets — People like giving blankets as gifts, so you might wait to buy these until right before your baby is born, since you’ll probably get them as a present. We used ours for tummy/floor time during the day with Toby, and also we put one in the diaper bag, so he can lie on it if we go to the park. We also use it to drape over the stroller on sunny days or when he’s napping in the stroller. (We don’t use blankets in his crib, though, since experts advise against it.) If you do buy some, I’d recommend Aden & Anais muslin blankets, which are light and lovely.

3 swaddles — We LOVED swaddling!!! Toby slept much, much better (and longer) when he was swaddled, since his wriggly arms didn’t startle him as a newborn. We swaddled him for naps and nighttime until he was 5 months old. Many experts and doctors recommend swaddling newborns; it’s wonderful and super cozy, like being in the womb. We tried a bunch of different kinds — velcro swaddles, the hospital blankets, Aden & Anais swaddling blankets… our FAVORITE by far was the Miracle Blanket, which helped Toby’s arms stay put (meaning: he didn’t bust out of it in the middle of the night). I would highly, highly recommend it; we loved it.

6-8 T-shirts and 6-8 onesies — Toby was born in the early summer, so he didn’t wear very many clothes as a newborn — usually just a diaper or cotton onesie. The tees and onesies from babyGap, Gerber and Carters all fit well and are easy to snap. (FYI, everyone loves to give baby clothes as gifts, so you might be surprised at how many cute clothes you’ll get from friends and family:)

2 pairs of pajamas. When Toby was teeny, he slept in just a diaper and his swaddle. But once he hit five months and wasn’t swaddled anymore, we dressed him in these adorable pajamas by Dwell. He’s since outgrown them, but Alex jokes that we should frame them, since they remind us of how heartbreakingly sweet he looked sleeping as a little baby (with his butt in the air:) We also love, love, love Hanna Andersson pajamas, which are more of a splurge, but so soft and last forever.

Gentle laundry detergent — We like Mrs. Meyer’s Baby Blossom detergent, which is gentle for sensitive skin.

Puj tub — We LOVED this tub. You can easily put it in the sink with one hand, and it’s very soft and comfy for a newborn baby to lie in (versus hard plastic tubs). The absolute best part is that it stores FLAT, so that you can stick it in a closet when you’re not using it.

A duck hooded towel. So cute, it hurts. (Here’s Toby wearing his.)

Baby washcloths — We just got cheap ones from Carters, and they work well. (And the designs are sweet!)

Baby shampoo & body wash — We use Honest.

Teethers — Every baby I’ve ever met loves Sophie the Giraffe (made in France!), and Toby also spent some happy time chomping on this Lifefactory teether.

(P.S. Here’s Toby hanging with Sophie in California:)


If you decide to breastfeed:

My Brest Friend Pillow — I LOVED LOVED LOVED LOVED LOVED this pillow, which made breastfeeding soooooo much more comfortable. The pillow supports your lower back and helps position the baby at chest-level, so your back and arms don’t ache. Just makes your life easier and more comfortable. (I used it many times a day until Toby was big enough to sit on my knee during feeds, probably around 4 months.) I LOVED it!

An extra slipcover for the My Brest Friend Pillow — The pillow comes with a slipcover, but I found it helpful to have an extra one when washing the original one.

A breast pump — We had the Ameda double pump, and I really liked it. It’s great to have pumped breast milk in the fridge, so that your husband can feed the baby a bottle at night while you get extra sleep; or if you go out to dinner or to a movie, your husband/mom/babysitter can feed the baby a bottle. (P.S. breast pumps look intimidating, but I was relieved to find that it didn’t hurt at all.)

Lansinoh milk storage bags or bottles — You can store your pumped breast milk in these and pop them into the fridge or freezer. Super easy to use!

Bottles — Babies seem to prefer certain bottles over others, so you might have to experiment to see what your baby likes. We love this glass bottle from Lifefactory (I liked the idea of using glass better than plastic).

Lansinoh breast pads — Your breasts might leak for the first few weeks/months (mine leaked like crazy!) so you can just pop these pads into your bra and they absorb the milk. Comfy and great. (FYI, I pretty much wore a nursing bra all the time—even to bed—along with these pads to absorb leaks.)

Lansinoh nipple cream — To help soothe nipples when you’re first breastfeeding (note: your baby can drink from your breast even if you have lanolin cream on your nipples; it’s 100% safe and natural for babies and they don’t even notice it).

Nursing bras — In NYC, there’s an awesome store on the Upper West Side called The Upper Breast Side that will do bra fittings and has a great selection. The nursing bras I liked best were the pretty lace ones by Elle MacPherson.

Nursing shirts — If you’re nursing at home, you can just pull a regular shirt up or down, or take your shirt off, of course, but when you’re in public, it can be nice to wear either a V-neck shirt or a nursing shirt for modesty. You can buy them at lots of places (Gap, Target, etc.), and I LOVED the ones by the brand Boob; they’re super cute.


Some extras:

Books — We love board books, like The Runaway Bunny and Good Night, Gorilla.

A play gym — My mom sent us one, and at first I thought it was the most hideous thing…but my mom was right: Toby loved it. :)

Nightlight — If the nursery is dark at night, you might like a nightlight. (For us, the street light outside the nursery window let in enough light for us to see our way around. We do have this amazing egg nightlight, though, because we love it.)

Formula — Again, how and what you feed your baby is a very personal decision, but here’s what we did: Even though I was breastfeeding, we found it helpful to have some formula on hand, in case you’re away from the baby and he suddenly gets hungry, or if you find yourself super tired and would like your husband to feed the baby while you nap, etc. We chose Similac Advance Early Shield.

Travel crib — If you travel a lot, you might want to register for a travel crib. we did a bunch of research and, while there are cheaper options (Pack n’ Play, Phil & Ted), the crowd favorite BY FAR was the Baby Bjorn Travel Crib Light, so we decided on that and love it. It packs up into a super light little suitcase for carrying through airports, etc., and it’s comfy, safe and amazingly easy to use.

Car window sun shade — Newborn babies’ eyes are really sensitive, so it’s great to get a sunshade for the car window/s. We don’t have one because we don’t have a car, but other moms seem to love it. (Note: the car seat will face backward for the first year or two, so a shade for the rear window is great.)

Rearview mirror for the car — We don’t have a car, so we didn’t get one of these, but other moms seem to love them, so you can see the baby’s face while you’re driving.

Pacifiers — Many of my friends swear by pacifiers for their newborns, since it helps them soothe themselves and stay calm during naps and while on outings, etc. Toby didn’t like pacifiers (he just spat them out time and time again:), but you might try them out, if you’d like.

Moms and dads, do you agree with these? What would you recommend? I would love to hear! And, most of all, congratulations to the new parents out there!! xoxo

(Photo by June Hong)

  1. Thank you so much Joanna! I’m five months pregnant now and am putting together my registry. There’s so much to choose from and I wasn’t sure where to start. This has been such an invaluable help.

  2. this is an older post so i am not sure you will get this question. if so, what were the first books you bought when you found out you were pregnant. there is so much to know and i was wondering which ones you read/liked. thanks!

  3. Thanks for putting this great list together! It definitely is very helpful especially for first time mothers like me!

    You look great throughout your pregnancy! And look fantastic after! Did you wear any post pregnancy bands to help your tummy get back into shape? And not a single stretch mark on your pregnant belly!

    Can you recommend products you used during your pregnancy? And can you give us a idea of what your meals were like during your pregnancy? Thanks!

  4. This is perfect! Thanks a lot. This will help me a lot in helping my sister get the things for her baby!

  5. Thank you, thank you, thank you! I’m amid my registry creation and am overwhelmed by the options and reviews — as if I don’t have enough on my mind already! I just knew you’d have the answers. :) Cheers, Jen

  6. Anonymous says...

    We got our crib from Ikea, it was reasonably priced, and easy to put together.

    I agree with the 3 fitted sheets, there always seems to be wash to do, and having an alternate on hand is nice. Same goes for onesies, the more the better, especially the white ones that stain so often.

    We used a fan, and the white noise from the fan made our noise machine obsolete- luckily the noise machine was part of a stuffed animal (sleep sheep) so we still got use of it.

    We have both the baby video monitor and the audio one. Love the option of having both. The audio one we have is from Sony, and I love the option of having it plugged in, or being able to use it “wireless” with a battery.

    The bundle me stroller bags were so wonderful! It was nice not having to struggle with the straps on the carseat in winter with the added bulk of a winter jacket. The little ones stay so warm and cozy in there, it was a favorite place for naps!

    We also used a changing pad on a dresser. It did take me a while to find one the right height, but I didn’t want to have a dresser and a changing table with our limited space.

    I completely agree about swaddling. Boy did we have interrupted sleep until we used one of these. Our houdini still managed to get out of the swaddle on some occasions, but for the most part the velcro variety was wonderful! We used call our swaddled baby, our “baby burrito”!

    You can come and meet my daughter, she has no interest in Sophie, the teether. I bought one, but she just squeaks it once in a while. In fact she doesn’t like any teethers so far, aside from chewing on the nipples on her bottles.

    The only thing I don’t see on your list that I absolutely love is a nursing cover, that shields mom and baby when needing to discreetly nurse in public. I have used it when the in-laws have come to visit in the past too.

  7. Anonymous says...

    Good Girl – Where the bloody hell were you when I was trying to find a full list for everything for the baby’s nursery and birth?
    I did the same thing as you – scoured the internet, copied and pasted lists until I had a full list of what I needed to take to hospital and then what I needed when my new bub arrived.
    I gave this list to my best friend thinking she would be appreciative. I think she really just looked annoyed – I’m hoping it was just her morning sickness and not me!

  8. Tara Tufo says...

    This is such a great post…i’ve come back to it a couple of times. Thank you!

    Here are some of our favorites (we have a 3 month old boy):

    BabyBjorn Babysitter Balance: expensive, but so worth the money. We put him in it and he doesn’t fuss, just smiles. It’s great when I have to do a load of laundry, etc. I also just bought the wooden toy bar that attaches to it.

    Nap Nanny Chill: Our son had a lot of reflux and gas the first month and this was great for sleeping. At night we slept with it between us…my husband did really like it, but it made me feel so safe and secure (I slept with my cell phone near me so i could use the light to check his breathing). We never worried about rolling over on him or he rolling up against the sides and suffocating (the sides are low enough to keep him in, but not cover his nose and mouth). Best part, the elevation really helped with how he felt.

    Medela Tender Care: Great for sore nipples…but also great for baby’s skin. Because he spits up so much he tends to get slight rashes on his face. I put Medela on his face and it clears right up. I love it! Mustela PhysiObebe also works great for this.

    A&D Ointment: I bought almost every diaper rash cream on the market…natural and not so natural…and none of them worked. Most made his diaper rash worse. My dad suggested A&D and it cleared it right up. I wouldn’t use anything else.

    Burp cloths: I love the Babies R Us cloths. Soft and absorbant. You can NEVER have enough burp cloths. We also recieve a ton of blankets from the hospital…I cut up most of them for burp cloths…so soft!

    Diapers: now that he’s sleeping through the night we are using Huggies overnights. He pees a lot! The Seventh Generations we use in the daytime just didn’t work…I was washing the sheets every day.

    Happi Tummi Removable Waistband: if your baby has major gas or colic, this is great. you heat up the pack in the microwave for 15 seconds, put it in the soft cover and wrap around baby’s tummy. always soothed and comforted my little one.

    Large double sided mirror: bought on amazon, put above his changing mat. he loves looking at himself and when he’s bored with that I flip it over for the developmental side…really great, now on his crib.

    Maxi Cosi Mila stroller and Mico car seat: My husband is a chef and HATES strollers…well, I insisted we get one. Therefore I had the task of finding a stroller that could handle the rough streets of the Lower East Side and still had a very small footprint. The Mila folds up like an umbrella stroller and is amazing. We both love it!

    Philips Avent Twin Breast Pump: Half the price of the most popular pumps on the market and works amazingly well.

    Uncle Milton Moon in my Room: bought on amazon…we love it!

    Etsy: great for decorating his room. I purchased his sheets from Hush Baby Co…they had so many options to choose from in gorgeous designs. Here is a link to her fabric gallery…you can mix and match for your custom order: My favorite thing about Amazon is “listmania” at the bottom of the page. I love looking at the suggestions for baby products from moms and dads that love the same items as I do. I’ve spent hours looking at educational toys, etc. *I have one heck of a wish list that I’ve saved all my faves to.

    Also…Amazon offers great discounts on diapers, etc. through Amazon Mom.

  9. Wonderful! I am pleased to see I have just about everything. Now we just need to get our apartment in order and considering we just moved and have workers in and out replacing the kitchen, it’s easier said than done. YIKES!!! Good thing I still have five weeks until I’m due…and fingers crossed the little bundle will be late.

    I appreciate the list SO much, Joanna! Truly helpful and reassuring. xoxo

  10. Great list but can I just advise against keeping a baby in a car seat for longer than the car journey. It can cause problems with spine development, reflux and breathing difficulties. They are designed just to keep the baby safe in a car.

  11. Fabulous list! I have two munchkins(9 & 6), and find many of your product recommendations were staples back when our kids were babies. One product that I would recommend (seriously a game changer) are the Signing Time video series. We took an infant signing course with our first when he was 6 months old and he was signing back to us at 10 months, and our daughter signed at 8 months. Our children could tell us when they were hungry, tired, had teething pain etc. Not to mention the awesome communication ability my husband and I now have when at noisy events and in crowded rooms. We just catch each others eye when we need to let one another know when we need assistance, are running to the car, taking the kids to the bathroom, could use a drink refill, would like a dance partner, or even a simple I love you. No need to interrupt conversations, squeeze through crowds, or shout over loud music. It is so handy on so many levels.

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  13. LOVE this post! Thank you so much!!!!!!!

  14. Our humidifier is super awesome for letting our Peanut get some rest when she has a cold. Also, one of her favorite toys from about 3 to 9 months was a bag of ramen. She loved the crinkly sound.

    I had a c-section and found that a gigant-o wedge pillow was really helpful while I recovered.

  15. Also – 3rd post geez. I forgot for the nursing moms – get two nursing tank tops (the kind the unhook) so you can throw one in the wash when it gets too sweaty/milky and you still have a fresh one. Cloth nursing pads are great but for the night out on the town I used a throw away (super absorbent) one. Cannot remember the brand.

    I’ve really enjoyed Amanda Soule’s blog and her books for waldorf style parenting type and sewing you can do with kids. She has a recent book out called “Rythm of the Family” which is amazing.

  16. An added note — my sister-in-law used a diaper service because they had no laundry in their rental suite (and if you were using eco diapers it’d be similar in price). She liked it and also used Gdiapers and 7th generation for those times when you didn’t want to lug around wet diapers. (I used a wet diaper sack for those moments – bought at a store that sold cloth diapers). You can use diaper services if you are in larger centres (small towns like us don’t have diaper services!)

    Other things we loved for baby stage: electronic thermometer (never needed ear one or rectal one), small baby wash cloths (I cut up old flannel sheets from thrift and serged edges). Also bought new ones – there are great for wash cloths for hands, bums etc on the road cloths. Bouncy chair/swing (also found second hand — I loved the kind that had different speeds and music even though the music was annoying – kid liked it).

    We borrowed an Ergo baby carrier for a trip – loved it! I found one second hand for sister-in-law for half price ($60). Most parents I know swear by it for comfort and for how long they can use it – ie the age of kid to still be carried in it.
    I made a few floor blankets, my Mom bought some fabric (flannel) and made a few receiving blankets for us. I liked the zipper pjs for infants, stretchy pants. I always hated the onesies shirts – and left the “tail” hanging out of daughter’s pants. We used a hanging IKEA basket type thing for clothes for her. Boxes and labeled older clothes.
    Bought 2nd hand trike from kid consignment store and re-sold later for same price.

    Hmmm – what else – in a pinch a small rubbermaid bin works as a baby bath.
    For non diaper looking baby bags -try this seller on Etsy
    Or better yet go to burda style website (if you have sewing machine) and make one by hand. Burda site has lots of free patterns. I often buy fabric and thrift stores or in remnant section of fabric stores. Hope this helps make people realize that babies don’t have to cost a lot — you don’t need expensive items to raise babies.

  17. kathryn says...

    Was going to write about the Metoo recall too! Would hate to see anything happen to that beautiful little boy. Great list by the way

  18. Anonymous says...

    Great list!!!

    I just wanted to send you a WARNING though about the Meetoo chair from Phil and Teds. They have been recalled due to fall and amputation hazards. Here is the link to the Consumer Product Safety Commission about the recall:

  19. Leontine says...

    I am in no need for all these tips since my ‘babies’ hit puberty (hard) but looking at the photograph of that precious sleeping baby… Oh! I regret SO much now never taking a photo like that of my babies! Of course I could still do that now but believe me… not such a pretty sight anymore!

  20. I know you probably don’t need another comment added to this amazing list but THANK YOU! I am 22 weeks pregnant and started assembling my registry a few weeks ago and seemed to be drowning in it. This was so helpful and informative. I have loved following your blog over the last few years and am loving the addition of Motherhood Mondays which are full of some amazing insights for us soon to be mothers!

  21. Tami SK says...

    Such a helpful post, thank you! I, too, was scouring the internet for a list like this. I’m expecting twins in January so now I just need to figure out what I need 2 of. : )

  22. This is a great list! We love our Maxi-Cosi car seat, and now we’re using a bath ring (after graduating from the Puj), and that’s pretty great, too.
    One thing, though: I believe Phil & Ted’s no longer makes the MeToo chair– some babies got their fingers caught in the clamp part. I’m not sure whether the Lobster is still for sale, either…We’ve been using the Bumbo (which sits either on the floor, a chair, or a table) and are thinking about getting the Baby Bjorn high chair, which is collapsable (and so would be really helpful in our 1 BR apt!).

  23. Anonymous says...

    Absolutely fantastic list!

  24. Thank you, Thank you!!! My son is turning 4 months in a few days and has suddenly decided he HATES naps. I just bought the easysleep solutions book and can’t wait to read it!

  25. Wow. Your list is So different than mine in a lot of ways. One thing I did discover with this last baby that I think every new mom should know is that Depends work so much better than pads. Seriously, no tugging or worrying about it being in place and definitely no leaks. And so sexy. Kidding.

  26. This list was absolutely perfect! I have an 8 week old and this list has everything!! Good job! Thank you for sharing :)

  27. I have to say that babies are as expensive as you let me be(aside from higher rent for more space if needed and daycare or lost wages…)

    We used cloth diapers, nearly all clothes were second hand/thrift store (cheaper than consignment), infant car seat with stroller attachment was borrowed, 2nd size car seat was $100 from consignment store, crib was free off of craigslist in our area, we had about 14 cloth diapers which were $14 a piece, some other diapers bought on consignment store prices, baby bath tub, diaper pail all from thrift/consignment store. IKEA white high chair $5 or $10 from consignment store. We bought 7th gen deiapers sometimes. GDiapers are great as well. Loved Motherease cloth diapers (the best we found-our daycare even let us do cloth there). The best purchase we made was our 2nd hand chariot stroller with bike attachment for $300 (we later re-gifted to my sister in law).
    My daughter is 4 now and her single bed is from my childhood days and is in great shape still.
    Babies aren’t expensive – if you want to ‘measure’ up in the mommy circles with those kind of people then yes babies could be pricey.

  28. What a wonderful, list, Joanna! My hubs and I are hoping to start a family next year, so I will keep this great post bookmarked for the (near) future. Thank you! xo

  29. Thank goodness I’m on birth control – haha! That’s a LOT of stuff!

  30. Anonymous says...

    Nice list and choices! And not too bad regarding the amount it would come out to (3.500 dollars I would estimate). In Greece, since everything is so expensive that would be considered a steal, but on the other hand, seeing that list, I suddenly felt for expectant Mothers who do not have the financial luxury to get even one tenth of that list :(

  31. We also had to use coin-operated laundry during the first 6 months, so after using a diaper service for 4 months, we stopped and used seventh generation. It’s true – it’s really really hard to do cloth diapering when you have shared laundry facilities (for one thing, you can’t use clean rinsing detergent, which is best for cloth diapers). Now that we have our own machines, it’s super easy.
    Our baby loved the baby gym from IKEA, which is a lot more attractive than most (was so glad she liked it!), and we like their white plastic high chair. You can often find them on craigslist (so you don’t have to buy new plastic and can spend less) and they wipe up easy, are easy on the eyes, and the legs snap out so you can take it over to a friend’s house for dinner.

  32. This is the best… and so needed. It is incredibly difficult to find clear advice from a thousand and one voices all telling you what to buy but this is great advice to the new mom, as I will be in a few months so thank you so much.

    Also, I have a doctor friend who suggested running a maxi pad under water before you deliver and putting in the freezer then when you return from the birth you put the frozen maxi pad in your underwear and instant relief. Since I’ve never given birth before I thought this was funny, but what do you think? My mom thought this was the best advice ever.


    i’m feeling a bit lost… my hubby and i just found out we’re expecting… but i’m confused as to where to start!

    i’m happy to have some opinions… :)

    thanks again,


  34. Anonymous says...

    I had a question: I loved the Schatz egg lamp that you posted earlier but in this post you mention a night light. Does the egg not provide enough light to function as a night light?

  35. This is one of my favorite posts from you EVER! i don’t have children yet, but it isn’t too far off for my husband and I. We are always talking about what to buy and little things we see. I can’t wait to share this with him. i mean, this is honestly print-worthy for us! So helpful. Thanks!!

  36. Anonymous says...

    This is so sweet of you Joanna, many many thanks!!!

  37. Thank you! I’m a brand new mom-to-be and feel like im drowning in products!

  38. I’ll be using this list A LOT in the future. I just wanted to thank you so much for taking the time to write it up!

  39. One of the things that I tell all expecting moms to have on hand is a pair of comfortable shoes that you can put on and take off without using your hands!

    I made a huge list before my first baby. I asked all of my friends with kids for a list of their “essentials” and then turned it into my own super-list. Each time I had a baby (I’ve had three), I refined my list, and have sent it by request to dozens of expecting mothers. Funny, but some people think they need so much stuff, others need to keep it simple. One dad recommended a giant stroller with cup holders and all the bells and whistles, and another recommended the most light-weight possible. My style is mostly on the minimal/natural/frugal side, but there is some more expensive and high quality stuff on there, too.

    If you are reading all of these comments, you’re probably expecting a baby! If you want to see another list, send me an email, and I’ll send it to you. thebroodinghen (at) gmail (dot) com

  40. Great list! I’m expecting my second, and I have a different list of things I loved for my first – but these are great to keep in mind.

    As far as cloth diapers go – it’s just super expensive without your own washer and dryer. I considered it, but disposables are actually similar in cost considering the effort and money to wash the cloth. Yes, I figured it out given my son’s usage!

    Baby carriers did not work well for me – my son was weird about them (and being carried at all, to be honest. he always pulled away instead of cuddling in). So we used a hideous bouncer for him. I always trip over the darn thing, but I couldn’t have lived without it.

    As my son has gotten older (he’s 3 now), he absolutely has to have a night light (also good for motels which are often pitch black). We have the Ikea Spoka (cute) and the Mobi Tykemate. Both are really great.

  41. Wow, this list is definitely all-inclusive. We didn’t use nearly all of those things for our baby (he co-slept, didn’t use pacifiers, and we had no reason for baby moniters), but two things we definitely couldn’t have lived without that weren’t on your list were a sheep skin rug/mat and the Moby wrap, for really intimate skin to skin time with both papa and mama. Thanks for the list!

  42. Wow! So nice of you to share all of that. I’m sure you really helped out a ton of people :) xo

  43. these are such great points and tips!! we don’t have a washing machine in our apartment (we do our laundry at a laundromat/service down the street), so cloth diapers seem sort of impossible for us, i would think? i will look into it. xo

  44. Andréanne says...

    Wow! Thank you! It will be very useful! There are so many things I had not thought of!

  45. Fantastic list! We have a 7 month old girl and this list would’ve been great to know about!

    I would add the Kiddopotamus SwaddleMe, that’s the only way our daughter will sleep and it’s been a life saver!

  46. This would have come in handy a few months ago. I was so overwhelmed when shopping for our baby girl. I had no idea babies need so much stuff and the number of options for everything is ridiculous. The only thing I would add to your list is gripe water. Madeline is now 1 month old and the gassiest baby I’ve ever met:) This really helps.

  47. Katrina says...

    I love all the ideas out there!
    My baby is almost 4 months old, and the advice that was given to me was that you hardly need anything in the first 3 months…and, if breastfeeding, this is quite true.
    Change of clothes, diaper, blankets, and boob- baby is set to go!

    But I also thought I’d mention something few moms know about and which is worth looking into – a practise called ‘diaper free’. There are people who are hard core about it, and some who just use the principles ( like us!) but the basic idea is to help your baby be able to eliminate in the toilet. We started holding our baby over the toilet in a comfortable fashion when he was 2 weeks old after naps , feedings and before going out, and were AMAZED how quickly he picked up on it. Now, he only goes through 2-3 diapers a day, and we had previously been going through 10-12.
    It’s not for everyone, but the it’s really something interesting to look into – and it’s NOT potty training, just letting you become more aware of your babies needs, not using force or pressure.
    It also doesn’t take any more time then a diaper change!

    Just a thought :) :) :)

    Great post, Joanna!!!
    ( anyone with questions can reach me at hagiaz0 *at* hotmail *dot* com)

  48. I was just passing through and popping on blogs that I’ve never been on before. So greetings folks from Lebanon county’s Amish community. Richard

  49. Awesome list! We’re wading through this process right now. If I can make 1 more suggestion though, for pre-baby reading: Baby Bargains!! Real-people experience and reviews on almost everything you need for baby. Save SO much time when you look online or instores to choose which manufacturer/model to register for or buy.

  50. So helpful!! Thank you thank you thank you.

  51. What a fantastic list! I wish that you had written this last year! I think it is important to mention baby carriers – I like the Ergo, we had a snugli for when my baby was smaller, but we traveled around France and Denmark this summer with her in it. It was much easier then lugging a stroller around and she was very happy napping on our backs.
    Also, we just bought a smaller stroller, The City Mini, which is a similar price point to the Mclearen, but has three wheels, and folds up with one hand (all you do is pull a tab). It is great when you live in the City and don’t have a car and use the Metro and buses frequently (or you live in a walk-up!)

    anyways, love your blog!


  52. I loved every single thing about this crib! We have a 19 month old and I’m 7 weeks pregnant with our second. The first time was a blur of tiredness and trial and error as we tried to navigate life with this fascinating new creature under our roof! Now, second time around, we’re ready and prepared to tackle babyhood JUST the way we intend to (now that we know what to expect in every way!)! LOVED a lot of the products you suggested, especially the baby bathtub and striped frenchie stroller! THANK you for compiling such an awesome list. I ADORE YOUR BLOG and it’s the best part of my morning! Thank you for always delivering incredible blog posts.

  53. hey jo! love the list and your blog! love the wal-mart crib. i know you have a few months to go but looking forward to your thoughts on life post-crib! i’ve got #2 on the way and may have to gently steer my 2 year old to a toddler bed soon to save on space – – andie

  54. Thanks (again) Joanna!

    I look after six month old twin boys and I still don’t think I could sort out what we will need when we have a baby.

    Very helpful list. Very interesting (and reassuring) to see that you have made some practical as well as Eco-friendly choices. I don’t think cloth nappies all the time would work for us.

  55. One question: why not use cloth diapers all the time? (instead of plastic!) I cringed when I read that you throw away 12 diapers per day… Are cloth diapers too complicated, or?

  56. hi, i made few days ago on my blog a list of things i suggest to use if traveling with a small baby (i travel a lot with my Beatrice, so far in her first 10 months we’ve been in 7 different european nations and off to Beijing, so she’s been already a lot in trains, car, airplanes..i agree with you maclaren strollers are so light and easy and take such a small space in the trunk, i would like to add in your suggestions a pop up crib in case of traveling or going out for dinner at friends (they are so light and comfortable) but they work until the baby that doesnt know how to roll (my pop up crib is a french brand, dodo nomade, cheaper than samsonite, but im sure in us there are similar) and for babies already with rolling skills, as travel cot much lighter than typical graco travel cots, the tent – cot, like the peapod deluxe in us (nscessity in uk) : it works until the baby is 4 years old and comes with self inflating mattress and sleeping bag, weights 3.5 kgs and takes really small space, you can wear it on a shoulder or hang it to the handles of the stroller when transporting it)

  57. This is perfect. Hubby and I were just talking about making a list so we can start working on our registry tonight. I was going to look through your archive for a list, and ta-da! First post. Awesome. Thanks!

  58. What an admirable mom you are! Your list would be very much helpful. Going to bookmark this post. Thanks!

    Buy WoW Account

  59. this list makes me want to procreate.

  60. Oh my stars! Who knew one tiny person would need all those things.

  61. I hope this post help all the new parents and would be parents. I can share only one thing that feeling of your baby in your hand is just like that you are in heaven. It just like that you just watch your baby whole day…………..
    Winter Wedding

  62. Anonymous says...

    Loved our post and the timing is scary- just after reading it I had a positive pregnancy test! I am in shock but over the moon!

  63. Very thoughtful and thorough list. I wish I’d known about the saline drops, what a great idea. I totally agree with the sound machine, we have the same one. I use a free white noise app on my iPhone for naps away from home! Earth Mama Angel Baby Natural Nipple Butter was an absolute essential for me those first weeks of breastfeeding.

    I wrote a similar post when my little guy was two months old: Three months later I’d add that I love my Ergo, love it! Also, I’d still like to throw our car seat off our balcony!

  64. Agree with all, amazing post!! We are a couple weeks out from meeting our little guy and swimming in boxes from Babies R Us. I’m at the point where I actually want to take some stuff back, start simple and see what we need as we go along. This is a great guide.

    I also really admire your style :)

  65. Thank you so much for this post!!! I am definitely planning to use this when we have a baby… the thought of figuring out what to buy sounded so stressful to me. Also it’s fun to read! Thanks again.

  66. Anonymous says...

    Hello from CA!

    This is SUCH a great list.

    My big advice for moms who think they want to try nursing is to stock up on a couple different things for sore nipples before the baby arrives. Because when you need these things, you REALLY need them and inevitably it’s the middle of the night and all the stores are closed. I tried the Lasinoh cream, but my favorite-favorite nipple cream was olive-oil based and was from a company called Motherlove. I think they carry it at Whole Foods and I know you can get it online. And LilyPadz soothing gel nipple pads also help- you put them in the fridge to cool and then into your nursing bra after each nurse.

    Also I ended up not getting a Graco infant carrier. I carried each of my boys around in a sling (and later an Ergo), and we used an infant-to-toddler convertible seat from Recaro for the car- just an option in case you don’t want to have to buy an infant carrier and then a convertible car seat. Really love the Recaro seats btw- we now have their booster and it’s great.

    The white noise machine is a total lifesaver!

    Joanna, thank you. Monday posts are my favorite!

  67. Wendy says...

    we put a glider on our baby registry just for fun, we tried it in the store and liked it, and a generous relative actually purchased it for us! the glider was totally a luxury item (monte design luca glider) but we use it all the time and its one of the things that i miss most when we’re traveling. we’ve rocked our now 1-year old to sleep in it almost daily and its awesome for sleepy parents!

  68. Anonymous says...

    THis list is great and really complete. Thank-you.

  69. I have been meaning to compile a list of our favorite baby things for Milo but haven’t yet! Our favorite baby goodies are our Aden & Anais sleeping bags and blankies, Mustela baby products…they are bliss in a bottle, oxo night lantern for midnight nursing and diaper changes, my bumble ride stroller we got on clearance :) and Milo’s Gund comfy cozy giraffe. Of course there are lot more essentials but these have been our faves!

  70. Very nice, thanks for sharing.

  71. Thanks for the fantastic post! I’m sending it on to a few newly pregnant mamas in my life. :)

    One recommendation that just may change your (and Toby’s) life- the Swiss-made NoseFrida (aka snot sucker). It’s about 100x easier, more comfy and more effective than a traditional nose aspirator. It looks odd and feels really… intimidating to use at first, but I promise this little blue piece of plastic has saved our lives more than once. I give it as a shower gift to all the mamas I know, it’s that good.

  72. Lisa M says...

    Thank you Joanna! We’re expecting twins in December, and I have to admit to feeling somewhat overwhelmed by the products and choice on the market. This helps so much.

    Did you use a rocker/bouncer with Toby? Lots of mums have suggested these too me, but as ever, the range and price bracket is huge, so would appreciate any feedback/tips.

    Thanks again

  73. Thanks Joanna! I’m due in 12 weeks, and I’ve been working on the mother-of-all-lists based on various blogger’s recommendations. I have to say I’ve done pretty well – but your list filled a couple of gaps, I particularly like the Miracle Blanket. Thanks!

    (PS The idea of ‘registering’ for baby stuff seems so odd to me, it doesn’t happen here in Australia (yet). It seems practical, but I think my pals would tell me to bugger off if I told them what they had to buy me!)

  74. I love your Motherhood Mondays! I’m 33 weeks and my shower is this weekend. This list is amazing and your insight on the products is very reassuring. I gotta say, I first followed your writing on Smitten and found Cup of Jo after and its been lovely to read about your life as a wife and now mother.

  75. this is so nice of you to do for all those new mama’s out there. i have 2 boys(3&6) and funny enough we used a lot of the same things as you.
    i didn’t read through everyone’s comments so maybe someone has already mentioned it but i just felt i should share that the Graco infant car seat gave my younger son(borrowed it when he was born)a severe reaction because of the fire retardant material. he looked like someone poured acid on his skin, it was horrifying!i do believe they stop using that material because it turns out that it had a high amount of formaldehyde in it, no wonder his soft baby skin melted off. btw my friends children did not have the same reaction in the exact same seat. sorry to be a downer just thought people should be informed.

  76. I am going to pick up a few of these for baby 2! I wish I had known sooner about the importance of swaddling…it was an art I eventually mastered…but those miracle blanket wraps have my name all over them!

  77. thank you so so much for this post! we’re expecting in february and i’ve really been lost about what exactly we need to register for!

  78. Your list is almost identical to mine. Lucia was a MAJOR spitter upper so some days we went through three or four changes of clothes, onesies, swaddles etc. Since she was born in the summer we used lots of onesies and my favorite brand was Gerber. I also ended up putting her in fun colorful onesies and tiny outfits too. We also had a couple of those Summer swaddles.

    The Aden and Anais blankets were a must and she still uses them! I love that they are so lightweight.

    We had the Graco snug ride and it was great that it went with the Uppababy stroller that we ended up getting. We just snapped it right in and eventually when she grew out of it and we had to get a bigger car seat we just put the regular seat on the stroller. The stroller is ginormous so we also have a maclaren for when we travel and for the car but our every day stroller is the uppababy which has great wheels for navigating around the city and it folds VERY easily…I was able to hold Lucia in one arm while collapsing the stroller with the other. I also LOVED the Ergo! I actually used it recently and she weighs over 25 pounds and I agree that it was so comfy that I almost (almost) forgot that she was strapped on to me!

    We also are 150% in love with our monitor. We have the same one that you guys have and can’t imagine NOT having it. Some parents don’t want or need one or only use one with sounds and no video but we really like this one.

    We use the brand diapers and they have been great even for over night. she’s been sleeping through the night since she was about 5 months old and I think she has had two leaks since then.

    speaking of sleep, Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child by Dr. Marc Weissbluth is our bible. Love that book and it came highly recommended by many moms. I would pass that recommendation on in a heartbeat.

    I used the Medela hands free pump and the Lansinoh breast pads…I tried so many since I was like niagra falls and these were by far the best for me.

    I could go on and on….

    this is a great list! I wish I had it when I was registering:)

  79. Ahhh.. I’ve had breakdowns as well from being so overwhelmed with what to buy! This helps in more ways than you know. Thank you for sharing!

    xo Nadia

  80. Anonymous says...

    What a wonderul picture!

  81. Great post! My picks would be a little different because I had twins, but I do have that pump and I don’t love it. The little white valve things inside keep tearing (I’m super gentle with them)so I have to keep buying more, and they don’t sell the spare parts anywhere close. The wall adapter quit working. Luckily, I called Evenflo and they replaced it.

  82. You are a savior to many, Joanna. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  83. One of my favorite posts to date! I couldn’t agree more with the nursing pillow and swaddle; such lifesavers with my little girl! Motherhood Mondays is becoming one of the things I look forward to after the workday besides holding my daughter as I read. Thanks Joanna!

  84. Great list! I agree 100% about the ergo, the miracle blanket and the snap & go for the car seat. Instead of a white noise machine we had this:
    because of the 5 minute auto-shutoff, “womb bear” became a unit of measurement in our house when Micah was an infant: “honey, haw many womb bears did it take to get Micah to sleep?” (the answer was usually 5-8!)
    I would also add a bouncy exercise ball like this one:
    We would swaddle him tight, cradle him and then bounce on that ball (all while listening to the womb bear!) I remember feeling like I was going to have to do that for the rest of my life! Now he is three and we read stories and snuggle in his big boy bed and it is easy peasy and so much more fun!!!

  85. Anonymous says...

    Great list!! My son is 7 months old and we’ve used just about everything you’ve mentioned. Funny what you said about the play gym…I also thought it was kind of big and ugly. Guess what made my son smile for the first time? That darn ugly play gym! We got SO much use out of that thing. Now, we have something even bigger and uglier…an exersaucer. He loves it. He also loves his Johnny Jump Up…it’s a bouncer that hangs in the doorway. It was a bargin…around $20 at Walmart. He has spent many hours in it, happliy bouncing away.

  86. From another 25 weeks and counting mom to be, I would like to thank you sooo much for your Motherhood Mondays posts! This one especially. We registered and had a shower already (my family lives far away and I was already traveling to see them so we had an early shower while I was there), but there’s so much I couldn’t register for a the big box store! I greatly appreciate the advice from a real mom. Thank you!

  87. Good list. I would add some kind of baby bouncy chair or baby swing. Our kids loved these (not all kids do) but it’s also helpful to have a safe place to strap kids in if you need to.

    Another useful item for us were mobiles and those musical crib soothers to help babies keep calm and sleep.

  88. Great post! When I was pregnant, my best friend took me to the local baby shop to show me all the things I should register for and I’ve been forever grateful for her insight since she is a mom who’s been there, done that. You’ve basically given this gift to every single reader!

  89. Wow, this might just as well be on of the most useful posts i’ve ever read ha! thanks for sharing and taking the time to do this!

  90. Sorry for all my comments… I meant to say that the Orbit G2 car seat is the best! The stroller frame is super easy to collapse as well :) & that baby photo almost looks like my baby, wow!

  91. Colic Calm is the best product for upset tummies, gas, reflux… the black colour is not attractive, but it has only natural and safe ingredients in it! My Pediatrician approved :) xx

  92. The best stroller is the Orbit G2! We have it and absolutely love it! The fabric is certified ‘green’ and doesn’t make babies sweat like other brands polyester. We also love the 360 rotation so it’s easy to get in and out of the car and onto the stroller frame.

    California Baby products are the safest on the market for babies (& adults too!) The Lansinoh breast cream is great (I never had sore nipples!)

    I wish I would have known more about the sleep books. My little guy is 10 months and has never slept through the night properly (some babies are just bad sleepers.) We’ve tried so many things! xx

  93. As a nanny I have tried pretty much every product on the market and this is a great list. I do agree with Michele gas drops can save your life in the middle of the night. I have found Mylicon to work best. I also love the keekaroo wooden highchair. Its small, easy to clean and kids can use it until they’re big enough to sit a the table comfortable; which is sometimes old as 4 or 5 depending on their height. Costco also makes a great chlorine free, bamboo biodegradable wipe. I have to say that they are by far my favorite wipe; theyre big, dont rip while your pulling them out of the package or using them (i find both huggies and pampers to be wimpy wipes) and they are eco friendly.

  94. thanks joanna! great list! im due in just 5 short weeks (yikes!) and i have already registered and received many things on this list…i have a lots of gift cards from my shower left and i am missing many items, but this list really helps me narrow down what is left.
    thanks cindy

  95. Thank you thank you thank you!!! I’m 18 weeks (as of yesterday) and I cringe when I think of all the stuff that the big stores make me *think* that I need. Sigh. this REALLY helped!

  96. so, so great- i have my baby shower next weekend. i’m definitely going to add a few things to my registry. it’s nice to hear what other moms have found useful.

  97. Great list!

    I have the same diaper bin and recently found out (meaning that I tried it because i’m cheap) that I can use regular garbage bags (like the big black ones) in it. I think they work even better than the refills and of course muuuch cheaper, and you don’t have to go out and buy refills.

  98. My baby niece loves Sophie the Giraffe, too! Had no idea it was so popular.

  99. As many others said, thank you so much for the list. It’s super comprehensive, and very helpful. I’m not pregnant, but kids are in our future, and this will be very helpful. Thanks!

  100. Anonymous says...

    Great information!

    As a side note, I really appreciate that you prefaced your breastfeeding section with an “if you decide to…” It’s so respectful and comforting to those of us who can’t/won’t.

  101. Morgan says...

    WOW! I will also be printing this out for future use, I don’t anticipate having a baby anytime soon but would be wonderful for the future! Joanna, you are a wonderful mother and Toby is so lucky to have you. xoxo

  102. Amazing post–thank you so much! I am three months away from meeting my little boy and my husband and I are in registry hell. This really helps sort through everything!

  103. Anonymous says...

    The best androgynous diaper bag out there is (drumroll)… a backpack! And you probably already have one around the house.

  104. Wow, this is great, thank you!! None of my friends have started to have babies, so the thought of it is definitely overwhelming. This list will help a bunch when it’s time!

  105. This comment has been removed by the author.

  106. I’d love to tack on a couple other suggestions, if I may!

    These Tweezerman scissors are wonderful for cutting a baby’s nails (I know you have a clipper listed but I was all thumbs with those):

    I’ll also say that I found it really great to buy myself a few cute pajama sets (Target and Kohls have great, comfy, affordable options) shortly after my now 16 month old was born. I’d never been very big into PJs before (always just wore a t-shirt to bed), but something about having myself dressed in something “put together” really helped me mentally when I was waking up at all hours of the night and often staying in my PJs the whole day. Don’t forget to take care of yourselves, new mamas!

  107. I Can. Not. Wait. for your sleeping post. I am such an exhausted mama (to a 3 1/2 month old) and need a little encouragement that babies do eventually sleep through the night! Can’t wait to hear your wisdom!

  108. This is a wonderful list for new parents.

    My big thing with my girls was receiving blankets, and more receiving blankets…or as you have suggested cloth diapers…you will be amazed at how often you are wiping something up.
    Sofie is a staple! and on the nursing front, I stocked up on Old Navy spaghetti strap tanks and would wear them under my tshirt or blouse- pull the shirt up, the tank down to reveal just the nipple and you are covered. Worked great for me and didn’t limit my wardrobe.
    The other tip I have is I bought a foldable fabric picnic basket ( and it is the perfect size for a wipe container, a few diapers and a few sleepers or onsies, great if you live in a multi level house like I do…diapers were always within reach.
    Congrats to all new parents out there!
    Thanks Jo for another great post.
    Happy Monday all!

  109. i’m so glad that this seems helpful to expectant mothers. i remember just WISHING i could find a list like this, so it’s my pleasure to write it out for other mamas! :)

  110. thank you for these comments! great tips all around. and Kiana, we use the car seat in taxis (about once a week) and when we travel (in rental cars). we also needed it when toby came home from the hospital in a cab :)

  111. you could not have posted this at a better time! i’m 21 weeks along and have been thinking that i need to start registering. thanks so much for this article! xo

  112. You’re a superstar Joanna!

    While I’m not pregnant and don’t foresee having a baby in the near future, I know where to go when the time comes. You always writing such thoughtful (and useful) content. Keep up the great work :)


  113. Oh wow this is one of the most helpful posts I’ve ever seen. I don’t have any kids and very little experience with kids, so I’m never quite sure what to get my friends at baby showers. They always get so many onesies, so I don’t want to do that, but I’m not sure what to go for instead! This year appears to be the year of babies in my social circle… 3 friends are pregnant right now and 1 just gave birth 3 weeks ago so I need to brush up on this stuff :) Thanks Jo!

  114. i was in the midst of starting a registry and was totally stumped until i saw your post! thanks so much!

  115. the best thing i received as a new parent was my keurig machine. waking at 5 or 6 was new to me, and making coffee was a must, but seemed so complicated at such an early hour! now i just push a button, et voila, steaming coffee to help me come to terms with dawn.

    all of my friends who are expecting can expect to receive a keurig from me at their shower!

    any new moms who don’t have one – get one quick you won’t regret it!

  116. I have to tell you that as a non-mom, you make motherhood and everythign that goes with it look manageable and even enjoyable. thanks for easing my fears!

  117. Wow…this list is amazing! My sister is having her first baby in March and she is going crazy because she never knew that you had to register for SO many things.Ha-Ha. I will definitely be giving this list to her.

    The one thing she has started looking every where for is a good diaper bag that doesn’t look like one. I think that may be a dilemma for every new mother these days!

  118. I am totally bookmarking this post for the future! Thanks for taking the time to write all this out, Joanna! xx

  119. Great list! What about a crib saver sheet? hooks over the fitted sheet so you don’t have to take apart the crib to have clean sheets.

  120. Joanna, this is a great, super useful list. May I ask though why you would need a car seat if you don’t have a car?

  121. AMAZING. You just saved my life! We are scheduled to register in the next 2 weeks and I’ve been completely overwhelmed.. this list is straight from heaven! THANK YOU!

  122. wow joanna i want to double high five you for the work you must have put into this! i’m totally printing this out and giving it to every new mom i know, not to mention saving it for myself when the time comes. thank you for doing this! you are so awesome!

  123. what a great list! a couple of things to add..
    i recommend a neutral looking diaper bag so that your husband won’t be ashamed to carry one and my recent discovery with my second one is the Wubbanub Pacifier. My first was not into the pacifier but my second, she loves it! And wubbanub is great because basically there is a little stuffed animal attached to the pacifier. So when she was swaddled, it would rest on her body and if she spit out she would still be able to find the nipple since it basically rested on her body. now that she’s rolling around, she can find the pacifier in her crib and put it back into her mouth. and this is not a must have but both my kids loved it. it is a hideous and monster size contraption called the excersaucer. my five year old still gets into it to play! and one more thing, i’ve been able to find a lot on the list used or as hand me downs! there’s a treasure trove of used baby items out there!

  124. cp says...

    Holy cow! This is the best thing I have read today, so helpful. Thank you! I’m 17 weeks along, and have begun trying to think of where to start with half of this stuff. Ha!

  125. what a great list! since you’re concerned about what kind of diaper you’re putting on toby’s tush, i’d look into modern cloth diapers! we did sposies with our first, but have done cloth from the get-go with out 2nd and we’re LOVING it.

    also, breastmilk works just as good as saline spray. plus it is a good remedy for pink eye :)

    i’m going to have to look into that stroller more – i’ve been looking for the perfect stroller for ages. it feels like by the time i find the perfect stroller she’ll be too big to ride in one!

  126. That seems like a good list (I wish I’d known about the multi-registry list–I went with Babies R US and Amazon). I registered with this thought in mind: “Did people raise children without this 60 years ago?” If the answer was “yes,” then I went on to deciding if I thought it would work for me.

    My next step, before shower invitations went out, was to have a friend I trusted look over my registry (years ago she had offered to go to Babies R Us with me, but our schedules didn’t match up when the time came).

    We also tried to focus on buying things when we needed them. For example, the activity gym came when Baguette was at a developmental stage when she could use it, not when she was born.

    Oh, and the best thing I’ve found for diaper rash, even the angriest cases, is Bag Balm. You can buy it in drugstores.

  127. Excellent list! I would highly recommend the Lansinoh wipes. They are pricier but my kid has gotten diaper rash maybe twice in 2 and 1/2 years and I credit the wipes. Or rather, I should credit the friend who told me about them when I was pregnant.

    And I second the Miracle Blanket recommendation. We also tried a few but Luke would be out of them in 30 seconds. The Miracle Blanket kept him wrapped up all night. My babysitter once told me that the thought of being wrapped up in one made her feel panicked but the babies adore it. I had three since we invariably had the middle-of-the-night poop leak. Ew.

  128. Oh, and baby gates are great for when kids start crawling/walking. Try to find on that has a latched door so you can get in/out without having to crawl over it (although my kids eventually learned how to unlock/unlatch it as toddlers!).

  129. when I was little, our aspirator was blue and we called it “The Blue Meanie” :(

  130. Just shared our registry yesterday and loved reading yours. Amazon also does a universal registry! Thanks!

  131. This comes at a perfect time! Thanks so much for sharing!! :)

  132. Wow, this is the most extensive list I’ve seen! So glad to see you actually use the stuff you’re suggesting we buy. And a good range of prices, too!

  133. Wow – this is the BEST and most extensive list of must-haves for baby ever! I will be passing this on to all the pregnant friends that i know!

  134. wow, this is so helpful! we’re expecting our first baby in december and still need to register. thank you, thank you!

  135. Thanks a bunch for this! We’re expecting in February and I’ve been waiting to register. This will be beyond helpful. I’m also loving the all-in-one registry site – how did I not know about that sooner!? Thanks!

  136. Jo, AMAZING list! Thankfully, I’m NEVER going to have to register for baby stuff again (I had two kids within 15 months, we’re now in the “finding a preschool” stage for my daughter, Edith).

    Our house is really old/cold and heated with wood, so I always had a crib quilt for my baby and they slept fine (I tucked them in REALLY tight like they were being swaddled), though I understand the concern. Especially helpful with our first, who was born during an ice storm that knocked power out for weeks (fun!).

    I used cloth diapers on my kids for the first few months. The extras I now use as a replacement for paper towels in my house. Easy to wash/dry, and I drastically cut down on our paper usage in the house. I highly recommend it!

  137. Anonymous says...

    it worries me that babies need so much stuff…i am now v overwhelmed and not even pregnant.

  138. Thanks for mentioning the maxi-pads. I worked with a midwife center and we would run a bit of water over the pads then freeze them in a large bowl (so they have the right curved shape). Then, viola, you have an absorbent ice pack! I was surprised by how few new moms knew about this.

  139. Not even married, so I’m a bit of a ways off of having a baby, but WHOA will this come in handy when I do!

  140. This is so great! I am going through this right now. My husband and I are expecting our first baby in December and are so overwhelmed with all of the choices for the baby. This helps a lot, thanks for sharing!

  141. Jackpot! I’m expecting (25 weeks and kicking!!! My baby is kicking me..) and this is a SUPER post!

    Totally “glued” on the tips!


    Luciane at

  142. It has been a few years since I had my own, but I babysit a precious 7 month old and we can’t live without the Mylicon Drops for upset tummies.

    And your local library has the most awesome books, cds, dvds for babies. Style. Without Spending!
    I put together collections ~ would be honored if you stopped by for a visit!

    xoxo michele