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Ultimate Baby Registry Checklist & Notes 2021 (with links!) - What you NEED and DON'T need for your new baby

My Ultimate Baby Registry Checklist & Notes 2021 (with links!) - What you NEED and DON'T need for your new baby!



After having my daughter and my son, I compiled a list of items that I hope you find helpful in creating your baby registry! It is on the minimalist side, as I don't care to have a bunch of stuff I don't need, especially since they grow out of stuff sooo quickly!


 


BASICS

Bassinet: You will use this next to your bed the first few months, before you transfer the baby to the crib overnight. I used it for the first 6 months, even though they were sleeping through the night before then.
  • Halo Bassinest Swivel Sleeper Essential and a fitted sheet (I tried out the infant insert in it, but it wasn't see through, so I returned it and just used it as it came. Also, get an extra sheet for blowouts.): https://amzn.to/3wDn4ZE

3-4 Swaddles: I don't use blankets as swaddles, because I feel like they are too easy for the baby to break out of. These days there are a TON of options, from velcro, to zippered swaddles to full body suits. I highly recommend the Miracle Blanket swaddle for overnight sleep! I used the velcro Swaddle Me swaddles as back up or for naps, for a quick easy alternative. The Miracle blanket swaddle had both babies sleeping 8hrs at 8-10 wks old. We tried the Halo sleep sack swaddle which I did not like for either baby. a few other zippered ones, the arms up ones, and velcro ones that weren't great either. Miracle Blanket was the best swaddle out of all the ones we tried- make sure to google a video or look at the directions on how to use it and put it on the right way. I've heard there are other great ones on the market too now, like merlin's magic sleep suit, but I haven't tried it.

3-5 Blankets: A few light muslin blankets, a warm blanket and a few receiving blankets. I didn't use blankets a lot, but some people do. I always have one light muslin swaddle blanket on the carseat or stroller to block the sun or shield from people. I also have one in the diaper bag, to put down if we go somewhere and need to cover the surface. Another 1-2 around the house to place on the baby if you want them covered during a nap next to you or on the couch for some tummy time. Warm blanket as needed.

Baby Swing, Bouncer or Rocking Lounger: Basically something to put the baby down in for when you shower, make dinner, eat, clean the house, work, etc. I got all of these items handed down to us. Kinsley liked the Baby Bjorn and Ryker liked the cradle shaped swing. I honestly don't really recommend electronic bassinets or swings, as they can create negative sleep associations and the baby can become dependent/not learn how to self soothe, when they are reliant on the swinging or rocking motion to be able to relax. Ryker was very fussy the first 6 weeks, but I resisted getting a fancy vibrating, bouncing, rocking swing and he learned to calm down on the unplugged swing with a paci. But... I hear great things about the mamaRoo, if an electronic swing is needed/wanted.

Boppy Newborn Lounger and/or DockATot Deluxe+: I used both a lot! We used the Boppy Lounger mostly on the couch and then also fed Kinsley bottles in it when she was a few months old. Nice to just have the baby next to you, slightly propped up to lounge or nap in. I used the DockATot mostly, for day time naps next to me on the bed or couch while I worked. Prob not 100% necessary, if you have the boppy lounger,  because it's pretty expensive, but it is a really great, snug place for them to feel secure in if they have trouble sleeping. I never used it for overnight or unsupervised sleep, but I know many who do and put it in the bassinet or to transition to the crib, even though this is not meant for overnight or unsupervised sleep. 

Play Mat: If you don't have a carpeted living rooms or family rooms or places where you will be hanging out with baby, one of these if great. We have the Baby Care Reversible Playmat and it's nice and thick and large. I don't recommend the foam floor tiles mats because they are not very shock resistant, hard to keep clean between nooks and crannies where they attach, and once the baby starts moving and grabbing, they pull them apart.

Optional: Playyard: We had the Ingenuity Smart & Simple Playard. We used the changing station on this in the living room for months until they out grew it, and just had a little changing pad on a desk in our room. The bassinet part we used while we put them down to wash our hands after changing, and occasionally to nap, but not often enough, so I would just get one with a changing station on top and that's it. Then it transitions to a infant and toddler portable crib/play yard which we used for naps at other people's house- but both grandparents ended up getting just the play yard for naps at their house, so we never really brought this anywhere. It's not a total must have, but nice to have a place to put them down in a confined space.


ON-THE-GO

Stroller (with Stroller accessories): We got the UPPAbaby CRUZ. I chose this over the UPPAbaby vista , which comes with the bassinet and also converts into a 2 seater when you buy the second seat attachment, but after talking with many friends who have this, verdict was, the cruz is smaller and more lightweight so much easier for me to get in and out of the trunk and be on the go quickly, you really only use the bassinet for a veryyy short time, so basically not worth it either, plus instead of buying the second seat for your second kid, you can add a piggy back ride along because a toddler isn't going to be wanting to be strapped into a stroller by the time the next baby comes anyway. You can always get a cheap light weight umbrella stroller if you need one for the toddler. Or have baby in a structured carrier on your chest with toddler in stroller, if you need an alternative. Also, don't forget a stroller organizer and a purse/diaper bag hooks- just somewhere to put your phone and water bottle/keys and a little fan for baby if it gets hot! Side Note: I had the UPPAbaby Snack Tray too but never ended up using it.
TIP: Put all UPPAbaby stuff on an Amazon registry because they will offer 15% off completion discount (buybuybaby does not offer coupons or discounts on uppa baby!)

Car Seat: Make sure that it is the same brand as the stroller, so it just clips right into your stroller- if you're not getting the same brand car seat and stroller, you will need to get adapters. Also get a  2nd base for your partners' car if they will also be driving baby. Around 1yr+ you will need a convertible car seat that will last you until they're like 10 yrs old, because it turns into a booster seat. I suggest just registering for it now, because it'll save you money, if someone gets it for you now. Note that carseats have an expiration date! So if you are using a hand-me-down, make sure it is up to date and safe.

Other Stuff: We got for each car

Diaper Backpack: Honestly, pretty much anything will do,  but I do reccomend a backpack over a purse. It is easier to be hands free with a backpack and if you get a black or neutral color, men can wear it too ;) I have the Ju-Ju-Be® Be Right Back Backpack Style Diaper Bag, that comes with a changing pad inside. It works fine, but there are probably cheaper versions that work just as well. 

Diaper Bag Essentials:
  • 4-8 diapers, a pack of wipes
  • a few disposable changing pad covers
  • hand sanitizer (one travel size Purell for adults and one Babyganics foaming or wipes hand sanitizer for kids)
  • baby sun screen (Made Of or Babo Botanicals brand for low toxicity ratings): https://amzn.to/2UFPB2r
  • snacks for mom (and baby once old enough)
  • cash for emergency
  • my allergy meds for emergencies
  • extra nursing pads
  • extra baby outfit(s) onesie/pants/socks
  • muslin blanket
  • burp cloths
  • extra pacifiers
  • a nursing cover
  • surface sanitizing wipes
  • a toy/book
  • teether 
  • extra Mom shirt in case of spit ups
  • small portable battery operated hand fan

1 Wrap Style Carrier: I didn't use this much for Kinsley because she was fine just hanging out on her own on the boppy. But Ryker always needed to be held, and I needed to be able to chase a toddler around the house, cook dinner, etc, and this made him feel cozy like I was holding him up against my chest, while I was hands free. I liked the K'tan over the traditional wraps, because it was a lot easier to put on quickly because it's "pre wrapped" already for you! I never used a sling because the K'tan was secure and grew with the baby with different position options. 

1-2 Structured Carriers: I used the Becco Gemini to take Kinsley grocery shopping while I pushed the cart. It was a little tall for front facing because it covered her chin/mouth until she got taller, but the X cross straps in the back were definitely more comfortable than the regular backpack type straps with the clip across the top of your shoulders on the ergo baby I have, which I am not a fan of. Also heard good things about the Tula. There are honestly a zillion brands and types. You can try them on and read reviews that are good for your height and body type online as well, before deciding.

FEEDING/TEETHING

5-10, 4oz glass bottles and newborn slow flow nipples: I used glass bottles and feel strongly about not using plastics whenever possible, in my baby's feeding products- Especially when putting hot liquids, like milk in them, and feeding to your baby (google the effects of plastic, if you want). Try 3-4 different types to see what works best and what your baby prefers. We ended up using "dr brown options +" the first year. The Dr. brown bottles do have a lot of pieces to clean which is annoying, but Kinsley liked the these the best by far- the nipple was soft and the anti-colic pieces made it easy for her to drink. Don't forget to get the different level nipples as they get older (but don't go too fast, because they can refuse the boob, since it's so easy to get milk from the bottle). For reference, we tried Avent, Comotomo, Nuk and Dr. brown- No need to register for large bottle packs, this is the same as diapers, your baby will decide what bottle works for them. We never needed the 8oz bottles with Kinsley because she never ate that much in one feeding, the most she ever drank was 5 1/2 oz in a feeding. They say to introduce bottle/paci around 3-5 wks after milk supply is in and breastfeeding is going well, but not too late, to avoid bottle refusal- then offer 2-3x/wk after that. I gave Kinsley a bottle with my pumped breastmilk once every night around 1 month, since I was pumping anyway, and didn't start with Ryker on a bottle until 2 months old- it was a nice way for CJ to get to feed her too. (Kinsley had a paci from 2-4 months old and we introduced a paci to Ryker at 5-6 weeks old). 

Bottle Warmer: We started with Kiinde Kozii Breastmilk Warmer and Bottle Warmer and the water sitting in it was gross and hard to clean. We switched to The First Years Quick Serve Bottle Warmer, which was cheap and good, and also warmed solids in small pyrex cubes when she was on solids, but can make the milk way too hot very fast. Also had the Dr. Brown's Milk Spa. Not something you'll use forever, don't need to invest a ton, but waaaay easier than trying to heat bottles in boiling water from a pot.

Cleaning
: I used all natural dish soap/dishwasher soap/all-purpose cleaner for the baby dishes. I never ended up using dishwasher, just did the dish soap and super hot water all by hand, but I didn't want the chemicals of regular dish soap in the baby's stuff (I read this article to help make a decision). I recommend using the brands Better Life or Made Of, for our soaps- they're easy to find and not too expensive

Sterilizer: Def do not need. Basically, it sterilizes and drys all the bottles, pacifiers, pumping parts, etc before the first time use. If you shake up the bottle or pumping parts with soap, rinse it and throw it all in the sterilizer right away, then it's clean and dry quickly and you don't have to spend so much time washing everything if your pumping... but it's not necessary if you just use pot of boiling water, since it's so temporary and expensive.

Breast Pump: If you're breastfeeding, I recommend the Spectra S2 over the Medela. It is a closed system and works great. In CA it's free through insurance! Just order it no sooner than 30 days before due date. I just called Edgepark: 1-888-394-5375 to place the order.


Vitamin D Drops: The now recommend this for infant supplement if breastfeeding. Your pediatrician will tell you when to start and for how long/how much
Formula (if needed): I was able to breastfeed both kids, so didn't need to do formula. Fed is fed, but please read the ingredients of formula, if you have to give it to your baby. The kind they give you in the hospital or pediatrician's office are usually made with the first ingredient being something like corn syrup... I read this article to find a better option when I had to supplement for a week when Kinsley was first born.
  • First choice: Hipp Organic Formula (not available on amazon)
  • If you need something quick from Amazon: https://amzn.to/3cRbPVF

Nursing cover: I used this when I pumped at work or in public

Nursing/Pumping Bras: I clipped the Bravado piece on to my amazon nursing bra and it was perfect for pumping! Don't get Lansinoh Simple Wishes Hands Free Breast Pump Bustier, I had it and it is strapless and falls if you have big boobs- annoying. 

Breastmilk storage bags: For when you pump. Lay filled bags flat in freezer, so they are easier to stack and store. Don't store in the door of the freezer, because this is the least cold place from the temperature fluctuating every time you open the door.

Disposable Nursing pads: I never used the re-useable ones I had bought. These were good. Keep extra pads in your purse, just in case! The Avent brand ones were a little too scratchy. 

Nursing pillow: I always used a nursing pillow when I nursed. Some women don't need one, but I found it really helpful, less stree on my wrists and arms, and also easier to be on your phone etc when the baby is propped up on the pillow, instead of holding them up. 

Burp cloths: I used these mainly to catch leaking milk as they nursed, so it didn't drip all over me. Neither kid really spit up too much. Honestly any towel or washcloth works.

Nipple cream: I honestly only used a few times, but wanted something without chemicals and organic. Some women get really bad cracking and bleeding the first week. 

High Chair:  You won't need this until ~6months old. We have the Graco Blossom LX 6 in 1 Convertible High Chair. This had a lot of parts and was kind of hard to clean and food gets trapped in the padding, and is big and clunky compared to the minimalistic ones, buuuuut we used the wheels on bottom to roll it around all the time and the booster seat it came with. I also used it as a place to put Ryker down in the kitchen, because the seat reclines, so he could lay back, while I roll him around the kitchen as I cooked or cleaned or fed Kinsley (He loved being up high and closer to me and I loved having a place to put him, instead of having to wear him, which was hard when I wanted to do dishes or cook near the stove). Honestly just get one that works with your space.

Baby Feeding Supplies - Plates, Bowls, Utensils, Cups: Once on solids around 6 months. I used silicone plates/bowls and spoons because we don't use plastic stuff for our feeding products.  I started with silicone utensils and as she got older got the metal utensils. For a sippy cup, I started with a glass straw cups from green sprouts and then transitioned to the silicone training cup from Bumkins - lindsayann15 for 15%off the bumpkins website! Kinsley loved using a mesh feeder when she first started solids! We introduced peanut butter and other allergens at 6 months and often- Read more about introducing allergens and first food recipes in my blog post here.

3-8 Bibs: If you get the wipeable Bumkins bibs, you should be fine with a 3 pack. If you are doing washing cloth bibs, you will need a ton- feeding time is messy. The Bumkins water, stain and odor resistant material is so much better than the fabric ones you have to wash, that we started with the first few months of solids. the colth ones all got stained and were gross and so much extra laundry- lindsayann15 for 15%off the bumpkins website!

3-6 Pacifiers: Wait ~1 month to introduce if breast feeding (if possible, to avoid nipple confusion, unless your baby doesn't have any issues with nursing). We tried avent soothies with both kids, but they would fall out of their mouth and we had to keep putting it back in. We switched to Mam and they both loved them. We used a paci at 2 months old with Kinsley, and by 4 months she refused them and switched to her fingers. We introduced it early with Ryker at 5 weeks, because he was a lot more fussy and didn't have any issues breast feeding, like Kinsley did. 

2-3 Teethers: We used one or two for a tiny bit with Kinsley, but she never really had a bad time teething and wasn't super interested in them. We had Sophie Giraffe which she never used, a liquid filled ring and a Mam silicone one. Can't recommend any specific kind unfortunately. 


BATHING

Baby Bathtub: We used this for a few months, then you have a huge plastic tub to store... prob do without and use the soft flower things that go in the sink, but it definitely was handy at the time to have their own little bath and not have to put them in the sink where we do dishes. I also used it with the newborn sling in, in the bathroom, empty, to put the baby while I brushed my teeth or showered. 

Baby shampoo/wash & lotions: I use either the brands Made of or any Babo Botanicals Sensitive Fragrance-Free products. We used the newborn foam and then the baby wash/shampoo. "Made of" also got good reviews- EWG verified and unscented, all-natural was important to me after reading this article. I never really used the lotion. I don't really like the idea of rubbing anything to penetrate into their skin if it's not necessary. 

3-4 hooded baby towels
: some organic cotton ones and some cute animal ones too :)

8-12 baby washcloths: For bath and for meal time!

Bath Books and Toys


TOYS

Activity Mat: We loved the Fisher-Price Deluxe Kick & Play Piano Gym! (But be prepared to know all the words to every song it plays, real fast haha.) We also have the Lovevery one, but it is expensive and honestly, not super exciting. Our Skip Hop Unicorn Activity Gym was way too boring for Kinsley and we rarely ever used it. 

Baby Toys: Don't forget you will get a lot of stuff at their 1st birthday, so start off slow. Toys accumulate and take over your house very quickly ;)


CLOTHES
Don't get too much newborn stuff, because some babies are born already grown out of it and straight to the 0-3m size. You aren't leaving the house too much the first few months so you really don't need too much at the beginning. We loved getting hand me downs- they grow out of stuff sooo fast and our kids didn't end up wearing half the stuff they had in the drawers. People love to give baby clothes as gifts.
  • kimono tops (this is what they wear with only a diaper on bottom at the hospital. You can take a few home with you too!)
  • short sleeve onesies/bodysuits (can wear alone or with pants over)
  • long sleeve onesies/bodysuits (can wear alone or with pants over)
  • Zippered one-piece footie pajama sleepers or open-bottom gowns (zipper or gown is key in beginning. don't bother with buttons at night at the beginning- so annoying).
  • sweaters or jackets
  • elastic waist pants/sweats/leggings
  • socks & booties
  • soft beanies
  • seasonal hats (broad-brimmed for a summer baby, soft cap that covers ears for a winter baby)
  • headbands, accessories, etc


LAUNDRY & TOILETRIES

  • Wooden Baby Hair Brush Set (I got the natural and not synthetic bristles. If you don't care, you can just take the one from the hospital: https://amzn.to/2xiBMey
  • Baby nail clippers- NailFrida The SnipperClipper: https://amzn.to/3dqZCqY
  • Mesh delicates wash bag for little items, velcro, headbands, loveys, etc
  • Gentle laundry detergent & stain remover (We used FIT Organic Free & Clear Laundry Detergent and shout Stain Remover on stains. I Don't recommend Dreft, it is sooo popular, BUT got a 5-8 on ewg! More about it here.
  • Baby thermometers: 1 Exergen Temporal Artery Thermometer and 1 Rectal Thermometer for first 3 months
  • Infant Tylenol (Dye-Free): https://amzn.to/3jrWdfq


NURSERY

Crib:
Any crib will do really. They grow out of it after 2-3 years, when they transition to either a big kids bed, or you can get the kind that transition to a toddler bed. I got the toddler guard rail too, just in case they discontinue the one for the crib we got. 
Crib Mattress:
It was important to me to get a natural organic mattress and sheets because they spend so much time in their crib, basically inhaling whatever chemicals are in the mattress with their head right on top of it all night, so we spent a little more on this. Make sure you get a firm, flat mattress that fit snugly in crib (less than two fingers should fit between mattress and crib) 

2-4 Crib Sheets: These were the softest. Get a few in case of blowouts. 

Storage/Toy Baskets: Get clear plastic bins for under crib, for extra storage!
Dresser/Changing station/Diapering: We just used the top of the dresser to put the changing pad and kept diapers and wipes in the top drawer. We didn't find a need for the topper that is made for dressers to convert to a changing station. I liked the wipe clean kind, instead of the ones that need a cover you have to wash. I also loved having the cheap disposable changing pad covers to put on top and just throw away when pee or poop got on it, so I didn't have to wash the changing pad as often. Keekaroo peanut changer is another option but way more expensive. I also used folding storage boxes to separate clothes inside the dresser. 
  • Disposable Changing pad covers: https://amzn.to/2S3G30p
  • Changing Pad: https://amzn.to/3j0DWpl
  • Foldable Cloth Storage Boxes: https://amzn.to/2xjTkHy
  • Dekor Plus Hands-Free Diaper Pail: https://amzn.to/2wsXlcr
  • diaper cream/Ointment: I recommend Made Of or Babo Botanicals brand (after reading this). Neither kids got diaper rashes really, so we only used it a handful of times: 
  • 4 large boxes of disposable newborn and size 1 diapers pampers pure - don't buy too many bc you don't know what size you will need!
  • Diaper pail and liners: https://amzn.to/3h6rbrT (we used the Dékor Plus Diaper Pail- ubbi, diaper genie, dekor all got good reviews. they all smell like poop if they are on formula, and once they start eating solid food... just wait. Breast milk baby poop doesn't really smell at all first few months)
  • Wipes: https://amzn.to/3x8IAFL (We used waterwipes after reading this. Honest wipes were thicker but too dry. Only complaint about water wipes is the are more difficult to get out of the package. 
  • Dresser (we just put the changing pad right on top, without the special changing table dresser topper tray)

Baby Monitor: We used the nest on our phones for when we were away from home and used the one with a screen to have on all night, next to our bed, for when we were home, or for grandparents/babysitters to use. We also used the nest thermostat sensors, so see the temperature in the kids' rooms. 

Nightlight/White noise machine: NEED a sound machine! We have the skip hop elephant one and use the white noise sound on it. It has a nightlight and stars projector. Heard great things about the Hatch, for when they are around 2-3yrs+

Cool mist humidifier: (warm mist can breed bacteria in the humidifier) We used this when Kinsley got sick a few times. It helped her sleep/breath better.
Crane Ultrasonic Cool Mist Drop Shape Humidifier (also get the Crane Demineralization Filter Cartridge): https://amzn.to/3x9MZIK


Seating: I suggest getting a glider and not a rocking chair. It's safer too because kids can't get stuck under the rocking chair bottom

Windows: We used blackout shades in both kids' rooms- Definitely helped create a dark cozy environment for better sleep! Kinsley's had decorative curtains over it.
  • Cordless Blackout Shades
  • optional curtains

Lighting: If you need an overhead light fixture in the room, or a bedside/table top lamp

Decorative Pieces/Details on Kinsley and Ryker's Nursery (with links!):

Closet:


OTHER

  • Books for kids: Ask for books instead of a card at your baby shower. You can google cute rhyming quotes to put on the invitation, noting this request. This will help you build your library for your little one and have a special note in the cover from all of your guests. 
  • Meals: Ask for meal delivery gift cards (like uber eats, postmates, instacart, etc), or to have dinner sent, instead of flowers or newborn clothes once the baby comes. We found that a great meal was wayyy more appreciated than some flowers that require more work than you want to do.
  • Resources for parents: get the book "Babywise" and watch "Happiest Baby on the Block Streaming Video"
  • Pediatrician: find one and set up a meet and greet. Make sure they work with the hospital you are delivering at
  • Apps: Download baby tracker app for feeding/diapering, etc - so helpful in beginning! Also download The wonder weeks app (for after they are born) - it calculates developmental leaps based on their due date this was so on target with Kinsley and gave peace of mind if her behavior changed and we saw she was going through a leap, we knew it would be over soon. Wasn't as helpful with Ryker. Not a must have, but helpful info on where they are at developmentally.
  • For Mom: I bled about 6 wks with both vaginal and c-section births.
    • If you have a vaginal birth: Always Discreet Incontinence & Postpartum Underwear for Women. Basically grown up diapers, but in my opinion these were easier than a giant pad and mesh underwear from the hospital- but still take home a bunch of the mesh undies and giant pads just in case, anyway! Or wear the diapers with a pad, so you don't have to buy giant grannie panties you will never wear again or don't stain your own with blood etc. Also, take home the peri bottle and dermoplast from the hospital.
    • If you have a c-section: thin pads or panty liners should be fine.
    • Stool softener for c-section or vaginal birth! They give them to you in the hospital, but you want to keep taking them when you get home!


THINGS I NEVER USED

Used this a few times- shopping cart cover Boppy® Baby Chevron Pattern Shopping Cart Cover

on the go changing pad Skip Hop Pronto Signature Changing Station - Zig Zag Zebra target don't really use this often, can do without, diaper bag has one in it anyway or bring disposable changing pad sheets

wipe dispenser or warmer OXO Tot® Perfect Pull™ Wipes Dispenser in Grey amazon just put wipes in the top drawer of the dresser, with the changing pad on top. heard the warmer dries out wipe. we never used the wipes dispenser and takes up more space

Nose frida target never used this- the bulb syringe we took from the hospital was fine for the very few times she got a cold and was stuffy the first year

activity center SKIP*HOP® Silver Lining Cloud Activity Center and Exerciser target we didn't end up using this to sit her in after reading about the negative side of putting babies in sitting positions before they are ready (see article in link here) but we used the table for her to pull herself up on and put toys on when she was older



MY ULTIMATE NEW BABY GUIDE
The notes, spreadsheet and schedules below that I put together along the way are my ultimate go-to guides that I hope you find helpful (and share with your friends)! From what to pack in your hospital bag, to sleep schedules (so they actually sleep), easy recipes to feed your baby for their first solid foods or homemade play dough to keep them entertained... I hope these resources help prepare and guide you through your journey through parenthood.



@THELINDSAYANN NEW BABY GUIDE RESOURCES:
  • {VIDEO} My Story: If you want some background behind my first baby's pregnancy announcement and our infertility journey
  • Minimalist Hospital Bag (for New Baby, Mom and Dad/Partner): What you NEED and DON'T need for labor, delivery and recovery
  • Nanny Guide: Info to leave for your baby's nanny, babysitter, grandparent or care giver while you are away