Build the Perfect Baby Registry

Build the Perfect Baby Registry

Note: Updated on 9/25 with notes on what we use, what we don’t, and what I’ve bought since.

When I started building my baby registry, I had literally no idea where to start. I googled a couple of lists but felt completely overwhelmed. Was a diaper genie really necessary (yes) and what the heck is a Rock ‘n Play anyway? I switched to a new strategy which was to email 10 of my favorite new moms and ask them what I should put on the registry. Luckily, my friends are amazing and three of them sent me full on word documents with links and all!

After I compiled my list based on their recommendations, I had one of friends go through it and clean it up by adding more items and taking out the ones that I probably didn’t need.

Gifted from friends

A few of my friends gave me a bunch of stuff that they didn’t need anymore for their babies. It was so generous of them, and I was able to take the following items off of my baby registry because of their thoughtful gestures.

Baby Bjorn bouncer We use this constantly.
Naturepedic organic mattress
Naturepedic organic changing pad
Diaper genie Very necessary.
Nuna LEAF Curv Swing I know a lot of babies that love this, but ours isn’t into it at all.
DockATot Sleeper Station Amalia sleeps in this in her crib every night so we’re obsessed. Great for napping too!

Gifted for nursery

In addition to the items listed below, we were gifted some amazing pieces from Serena & Lily for the nursery including a glider, rug, and dresser that will double as a changing table. I’ll share more about those details in my nursery reveal, coming soon.

Serena & Lily Hudson Crib c/o
Serena & Lily crib sheet c/o
Happiest Baby SNOO c/o Read my full review here.
Little Giraffe blanket c/o

On my registry

In addition to the extensive list below, I bought a lot of the smaller things myself like diaper cream, extra onesies, socks/gloves, leggings, bibs, hats, baby soap and moisturizer, etc., so that we’d be guaranteed to have them on hand at the time of her arrival.

There are also a bunch of cute, more unnecessary things like stuffed animals, cute outfits, and toys on there that I’m not including in the list below but may want to be considered when building a baby registry.

My Little Nest organic waterproof crib mattress pad (2 pack)
Aden + Anais crib sheet
Burt’s Bees organic cotton crib sheet
Pottery Barn organic changing pad cover
Burt’s Bees organic changing pad covers 
Fisher Price Jonathan Adler sensory gym She loves this. We use it daily! I highly recommend it.
Diaper Genie refill bags
Lots of diapers… We originally were going to go with organic ones but after discussing with many moms, learned that Pampers Swaddlers prevented the most poopsplosions.
Changing tray to create a changing table out of a dresser
Fisher Price Rock ‘n Play She loves this and even slept in it for the first few nights home when she refused to lay on her back. 
Spectra hospital grade breast bump I’ve had a ton of success pumping and I think this pump has a lot to do with it.
Medela breastmilk storage solution I bought converters so that the Spectra pump can use these bottles but I always just end up pouring the milk into the bottles we use (Dr. Brown’s- see more below.
OXO Tot bottle brush
Boon countertop drying rack
Boon orb bottle warmer
Uppababy VISTA stroller
Uppababy MESA infant car seat
Dreambaby backseat mirror
Brica sun shades for the car
JJ Cole Urban Bundleme for the stroller when it gets cold
Uppababy MESA car seat base (for second car)
The Mommy Hook
Uppababy Carryall Parent Organizer You need this. Trust me!
Babybjorn travel crib
Vineyard Vines diaper bag (We ended up getting this one gifted from our friends at Vineyard Vines and we love it!)
Totesavvy diaper bag insert This is very helpful for switching bags when we want to on a whim.
Skip Hop changing station We’ve used this numerous times, and I love the storage for poopy clothes if necessary.
Arm & Hammer disposable changing pads
Beco Gemeni cool mesh carrier
Baby Shusher to put in the stroller. This has saved us time and again.
Sleep Sheep to put in the crib. We turn this on whenever we put her down. It turns off after about an hour.
Seventh Generation baby wipes We ended up getting some Water Wipes as a gift and like them even better.
Fisher Price bathtub
Burt’s Bees organic cotton wash clothes
Aden + Anais hooded towel
Sophie La Girafe teether
Summer Infant baby monitor We ended up not liking this because the battery life was so short. We bought this Babysense monitor based on Amazon reviews which we like a lot. It doesn’t connect to your phone but that was intentional for us.
Boppy breastfeeding pillow
Burt’s Bees organic cotton burp cloths Buy a lot more of these than you think you need.
HALO Sleepsack in microfleece
HALO Sleepsack in cotton
Aden + Anais easy swaddle We pretty much hated every swaddle except for the Summer Infant SwaddleMe swaddles which we still use. I recommend getting 4-5 so you don’t have to do laundry every day. We use stage two size small/medium.
Safety First grooming kit
Aden + Anais bibs
Aden + Anais swaddle blankets
Gerber short sleeved newborn onesies These fit her for about 2 minutes!
Gerber long sleeved newborn onesies Same with these
Baby bandana bibs
Addition: Dr. Brown’s bottles We were using some other bottles for night feeds but switched to Dr. Brown’s when she went through a period of lots of gas. As soon as we made the switch the gas was gone so now we stick to these!
Addition: Kimono-style onesies Amalia lived in these for like the first four weeks of life. I bought a pack of short sleeved ones and a pack of long sleeved ones from H&M and they were good for a while. I got the 1-2 month size. They get totally pooped and spit up on so I wouldn’t recommend spending a lot. 


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  1. hithaonthego said:

    We used a Velcro swaddle as well (Miracle Blanket and one by Summer Infant) and double-swaddles Rho once he was super squirmy and sleeping at longer stretches. Onesies with a kimono-style top were a lifesaver in the beginning for easy changing. Our Fisher Price swing was a necessity for colic. Solly baby wrap and the Sakura sling were my favorite carriers for the early days.

    6.16.17 · Reply
  2. Brittany Olander said:

    Sakura bloom ring sling! And we loved the Lillebaby carrier (still use it to this day!) I also used Honest diapers and never had any leaks- I think it totally depends on the baby and their anatomy, ha. We have the same Uppababy system and love it- although that carseat is HEAVY. you’ll get a nice arm workout!

    xo, brittany
    weekend links + steals are on my blog today!

    6.16.17 · Reply
  3. Stacey Dunderdale said:

    Glad to see the disposable changing pads! I was going crazy with all the accidents we were having until someone mentioned them. Also… I cut them in half to double the amount! Worked out great and saves the changing pad.
    -Stacey and Baby Zoe

    6.16.17 · Reply
  4. Leslie Linn said:

    there’s a little thing called an “itz been” it’s like a little timer that keeps track of your last feed, how long since your last diaper change, how long they’ve been sleeping for and even which breast you feed off of last. it’s a total life saver in the early weeks when you’re so sleep deprived you don’t remember your own name. Loved it with both my girls.

    6.16.17 · Reply
  5. See if someone you know has a Bumbo seat- it’s awesome, but only for about a month. It’s this sweet little spot where baby can sit up but before they figure out how to crawl out of the seat. It’s really great for that short period of time, but it’s fairly useless once they learn to escape.

    6.16.17 · Reply
  6. Kate Tarsi said:

    Totally my opinion but… the Halo Bassinest if you are sleeping with her in your room for the first few months! Sits right up next to your bed so that you don’t even have to get out of bed in the middle of the night! I hear her cry, reach over and grab her to feed and change her and put her back in! It is a lot less bulky than the pack and play, is adjustable and sturdy, plus it has a bunch of music, night light and vibrate settings too. Highly recommended!

    Also – there are these really awesome nursing/car seat covers. Don’t know if you plan to nurse or not, but even if you just used them as a light car seat cover during the hotter months. They come in awesome floral colors and their customer service was phenomenal after I had a rip in mine!! They are called Milkmaid Goods. Here’s the website:

    Best of luck! It is a crazy, scary, wonderful, and overwhelming experience, but just remember:

    There is no one stage that lasts forever. Everything changes, gets sorted out and then you’re on to the next phase. Even at the worst of times, it never lasts!!

    6.16.17 · Reply
    • Kate Tarsi said:

      ALSO… non- registry related, but The Baby Tracker App is great for tracking diapers, feedings and sleep in the first few months.

      And when it’s go time, there’s an app called Full Term that tracks your contractions and helps you determine when it’s time to go to the hospital!

      6.16.17 · Reply
      • BeaJG said:

        That app saved my life! It really made it super easy to keep track of everything!

        6.16.17 · Reply
  7. BeaJG said:

    Hey Jules!! What kind of bottles are you going with?? I breastfed my son for 13 months HOWEVER I strongly recommend getting your baby used to being fed from a bottle (with your breastmilk) every now and then… believe me, doing this early on will make it easier for you to step away for a bit and have someone else help with feeding. I suggest buying one bottle from different brands (2 or 3) because you never know which one will make it easier for her and the going from there.
    Also (and I’ll prob. Get a lot of crap for this one) pacifiers. I dont know where you stand on these ones but here’s what I did after getting the advice from a few friends and our pediatrician we decided to give him pacifiers after the first month… babies have a natural need of sucking (it helps them self sooth) and it is also recommended by the AAP to help prevent SIDS. We only gave it to him at night before bed and after about 10 months, all the pacifiers were magically taken away 🙂

    6.16.17 · Reply
    • Anne [A Squared] said:

      Agree with the above! My girl was EBF for the first 8 months of her life, but getting her used to bottles with pumped milk was crucial so that her dad, grandparents, and eventually, her nanny could feed her too. Dr. Brown’s have been the best– the parts are annoying, but they are great for keeping baby’s gas at bay.

      And I totally didn’t want to do pacifiers, but they are a huge help. My baby didn’t like the Wubbanub, so we use MAM instead.

      This one is also controversial, but my toddler is an AMAZING sleeper and I give huge credit to the Merlin’s Magic Sleepsuit. You can only use it for a few months (post-swaddle and pre-rolling over), but it is phenomenal.

      6.16.17 · Reply
  8. Justine said:

    Hi! i too would recommend having some pacifiers. For her first 3 months my daughter used a Wubbanub but eventually got tired of it. I would also get some small newborn sized bibs- they are helpful if your baby drinks from a bottle and when the drooling starts to get heavier that way their little chests don’t get soaked through the clothes! Down the road- I’d also suggest this ice cream teether- it’s super cute and my daughter loves it! My daughter is almost 10 months and this post made me happy thinking about all the things I got for her!

    6.16.17 · Reply
  9. Kaitlin said:

    Ditto on the Solly baby wrap. I used mine around the house a lot when my baby was a newborn and wanted to be held all the time.
    We’ve also had good luck with Bambo Nature diapers. When she was tiny Pampers swaddlers in the newborn size were the only ones that fit properly, but once she got a little bigger the Bambo diapers worked well. I’m also a big fan of Watee Wipes.
    Loved the layette clothing from H&M, especially the kimono style onesies – so much easier for dressing newborns when they have no neck control.

    And I’m sure you have bottles on there too. We really like Comotomo and the Philips Avent Natural glass bottles. My baby is exclusively breastfed but we had to give some bottles of expressed milk in the early days, and now she gets a couple bottles a week and has always done well with these 2 styles. The Philips Avent bottles are also compatible with the Spectra pump so you can pump directly into them. And if you end up breastfeeding past the first month or 2, a manual hand pump is great to have on hand – small enough to throw in your bag and so easy to clean.

    Also recommend the Halo swaddle sacks. We gave up the full swaddle pretty early on because my babe really wanted her hands free, but the Halo sack was great because it has a lot of flexibility and we could still wrap it snugly around her torso 🙂

    6.16.17 · Reply
  10. jennie lopez said:

    Moms are by far the most generous group of people I know. You’ll get more hand me downs rolling in as you realize things like, my kid doesn’t want the Ergo, I need a Solly; they won’t sleep in the Halo sack, who has a Miracle blanket? I thought for sure my baby could just work with whatever I asked for – not the case! These little people are already born with personalities and opinions of their own! And you sound like you already have quite the network of moms who will be so eager to help in whatever ways they can.

    6.16.17 · Reply
  11. Annie Vu said:

    My baby slept in a Halo bassinest for the first few months. It goes in your room right next to your bed at the same height which makes getting her in and out easy. She didn’t like it at first and preferred the rock and play. But once she transitioned, it was great!

    Also, a Wubbanub pacifier! I didn’t think we’d do pacifiers, but whatever it takes to sleep is worth it. The wubbanub helps the paci stay in their mouths, and it doesn’t take long for them to figure out how to grab it and stick it back in their mouths. So much easier than constantly having to do that yourself!

    A play gym for tummy time and sensory time on their backs. Bright starts has awesome ones. And target has one that looks like a tee pee that my girl loves and still plays under.

    Baby thermometer.

    Zippered pajamas. Buttons are the devil at 3 am.

    Car seat mirror and sun shades.

    6.16.17 · Reply
  12. curateher said:

    Hi Julia! I loved my Rock n’Play, My Breast Friend Nursing Pillow (yes, in addition to the Boppy), and babywearing devices. I like the NuRoo, Boba wrap and LILLEbaby. Babywearing will give you so much freedom to get a little bit done during the day, especially if you get to a point where you can nurse in the carrier. I’m just starting to blog and did a post about my best registry items (and the ones to skip) that you can read here:

    Good Luck!

    6.16.17 · Reply
  13. Jeanie Marie said:

    Great list! Check out Tommee Tippee Milk feeding bibs for early on, Aden and Anais burpy bibs, and NoseFrida! We survived with the bjorn bouncer. We just used our travel crib for a short time in our room when baby came home. We also used a crib wedge to help with sleep until they could roll over. Our first had reflux/protein intolerance and our second just liked sleeping on an incline. Have a wonderful shower, they are such a special thing!

    6.16.17 · Reply
  14. Monica said:

    Hi, in my opinion, you wont really NEED all those stuffs. Of course it s nice to get presents and most of those baby things are really cute. But me as a mother of 2 (2 and half and 3 and half yo) i realised this. you ll end up not using many expensive items because babies love to experiment w/whatever and not with the exact super luxe gym their mum selected w much care. Also, most of those items are developed to try to exted their use over time, not for a real kid need but to justify their hi prices. They actually prevent babies to build their skills because everything is too assisted (examples are: special food for babies after 1 yo, diapers after 18/24 months, special seats for eating after 1 y or so…) i tried to let my kids free from those deivces as soon as i could (w safety of course) and i discovered they can be much more independent and confident and skilled than we usually think. Best wishes

    6.16.17 · Reply
  15. Janine Love said:

    Great list, Julia! You
    definitely seem to be savvy in all things “baby gear” and I just know that you are going to be a terrific Mom! I had my little guy 4 months ago and have learned so much – (I was not nearly as prepared as you!) As just a note, perhaps it’s been mentioned and potentially you plan on using the Sleep Sheep (which is too cute not to have) but I just LOVE the Dohm noise/sound machine. In particular during his naps when I’m trying to do dishes or vaccum or laundry… Or at least it puts my mind at ease that I won’t wake him 😉

    Good luck with everything!! So excited for you and Anel. It’s such a trip – an amazing one at that!

    6.16.17 · Reply
    • Jordan Fellows said:

      +1 for the Dohm. It is so old school and plugs in, but it works! We had the baby shusher at first, but then our babe started waking up whenever it turned off (it’s on a timer) so we bought the Dohm. Best decision ever!

      6.16.17 · Reply
  16. Julie said:

    Definitely Aden and Anais burpy bibs! Those things are the best. A dohm sound machine too. And a rock’n’play. I had a mamaroo, a bjorn bouncer, and a rock’n’play, and they were all great but the rock’n’play is the one we couldn’t live without. But all babies are different and I’m sure you can borrow one or find a used one if you get desperate.

    6.16.17 · Reply
    • Oh good! We have a Rock ‘n Play so hopefully she loves it too 🙂

      6.19.17 · Reply
  17. anne said:

    The copper pearl bibs are hands down the best!! They have a waterproof fleece so the baby stays dry. We use one daily on our 5 month old and have been for the past three months. She drools so much! Plus then you don’t have to search for a burp cloth for feeding. We also clip her pacifier to it. the colors (leopard print, silver stripes, florals) are adorable, and I ended up throwing out the Aden and Anis ones we had because they get SOAKED! CP’s nursing/car seat covers and swaddle blankets are amazing also.

    Get the OXO travel drying rack and brush- so you don’t have to use someone’s dirty kitchen sponge or a hotel bathroom towel when traveling

    We love (!!!) The Kiinde system. You pump directly into bags and then the baby feeds from them. After a few medela bags cracked when defrosting I really cried over spilled milk.

    Dairy Fairy Ayla pumping/nursing bra. This is one of those things I wish I had known about from day one, because I spent so much time and money trying to find a good nursing bra or pumping bra before a friend told me about this. Fits well, lacy and sexy (which is hard to feel postpartum) and you can pump and nurse with it. Anything that makes pumping a little better is good in my book.

    Every baby is different- ours HATED the rock n play (and we were initially gifted two), so unfortunately you never know! I bought the mamaroo online at 1 am one desperate night about 3 weeks in and luckily she loved it.

    6.16.17 · Reply
  18. Veronica said:

    Girl, my two BIGGEST recommendations to any mama are the Keekaroo peanut for easy clean up after diaper changes and the owlet!

    6.16.17 · Reply
    • I’ve never heard of either but will check them both out now, thank you!

      6.19.17 · Reply
      • alex said:

        I recently added the Keekaroo to my registry as well. I read a lot about the Owlet but some of the information made it seem like it would just cause me to be even more anxious (I’m already pretty nervous!). Curious to know if you decide to try it and what you think!

        6.19.17 · Reply
  19. Jamie said:

    A NoseFrida for a stuffy nose!

    6.16.17 · Reply
  20. Caroline said:

    Definitely get your free breast pump through your health insurance! I know the Spectra was one of the options we could have gone with. Aeroflow makes it really easy!

    6.17.17 · Reply
    • Oh my goodness thank you! I thought the Spectra wasn’t covered but now I see it is. You just saved me $200 because no one has bought it for us yet. Thank you!!!

      6.19.17 · Reply
  21. Sara said:

    This is a good list but just remember there are women around the world having babies without any of this stuff and they do just fine. All the baby really needs is you. I had my first son in our tiny one bedroom apartment in NYC, we didn’t have a shower because we knew we had no room for all the stuff and I did fine without any of it. Sounds like you wouldn’t ever do that because you are hyper prepared for this baby but just wanted to remind you, you’d still be perfectly fine without it.

    6.17.17 · Reply
    • A great reminder, thank you Sara 🙂 After I got all the stuff at my shower this weekend, I’m feeling a little overwhelmed so keeping most of it in boxes for now and will decide what I need once she’s born.

      6.19.17 · Reply
  22. Seldon McArdle said:

    A fisher price swing such as this:
    will be immensely helpful at times. And a My Breast Friend pillow is amazing for the hospital and beginning of nursing. The Boppy is great for later, but the Breast Friend has great back support cushioning.
    You are going to be an amazing Mom!

    6.17.17 · Reply
    • Thanks! Do you think we need that swing in addition to the Nuna swing? I feel like there is so much stuff! Ha

      6.19.17 · Reply
  23. I actually just bought this monitor! My husband wanted something way techier though. What made you go with the summer infant monitor?

    6.18.17 · Reply
    • Two of my friends said they loved it so I just trusted them! Haha too tired to do anymore research at this point. I’ll let you know how we like it 🙂

      6.19.17 · Reply
  24. Ruth said:

    This is a really silly little item that some people think is way over the top but my husband and I love it! We have the 4moms infant bathtub and just recently bought the 4moms spout cover for the tub. It lets you know the temp of the bath water so you know it is safe for baby. Yes, I could bathe my baby without it but it makes life so much easier to not have to wonder if it is a good temp for baby. I have some items that other moms think are over the top and unnecessary and yes technically they are. I could raise a healthy and happy baby without them but during the early days when no one is sleeping well, you are just trying to figure out how to be a good mom and life just seems a little out of hand having easy helpful items can be a such a relief.

    When I was pregnant, I thought baby food makers were so silly. After trying to use the food processor I had and it taking so much time, so many dishes and not being able to make baby food while baby was napping, I gave in and did some research. The Baby Breeza baby food make is amazing! It steams and purees. It is really a set it and forget it kind of machine. I would highly recommend it if you are thinking of making your own purees!

    6.18.17 · Reply
  25. Jen said:

    “Growing a Baby and Pushing it out” by Clemmie Hooper
    I love her instagram “mother of daughters”

    6.20.17 · Reply
  26. Kristi said:

    A good thermometer. Either one that scans her forehead or goes in her ear. The kind that take the temp in their ear has been better for me.

    6.21.17 · Reply
  27. Melissa said:

    This is a small item but I love and still use the Honest Bottom Wash Spray for diaper changes on my toddlers. My kids also loved the Mom-a-Roo when they were infants, but probably not necessary with the rock-n-play and swing. Lastly, highly recommend getting pajamas with zippers, not snaps (so annoying during middle of the night changes). Enjoy this exciting time! 🙂

    6.21.17 · Reply
  28. Ashley said:

    Did you consider cloth diapers at all? As “crunchy” as the rest of your lifestyle ( not being negative:) as I’m similar) I’m surprised you aren’t using them. If you considered it can you share your thought process? I’m hoping to do it but we live in a condo in DC with shared laundry but hopefully we will live before then for a unit with own laundry.

    7.9.17 · Reply
    • We didn’t, actually! We talked about it for a second and then just realized that there is going to be so much going on that we didn’t want to add that layer of complication. I SO admire everyone who uses cloth diapers, but it didn’t feel like the right option for us!

      7.10.17 · Reply
  29. Emily Bell Watson said:

    Thank you for this extensive list – and congrats on welcoming Amalia to the world. Question: any advice on where to register (Baby List; Amazon; Buy Buy Baby; etc)?

    8.7.17 · Reply
    • I actually used BabyList so that I could pull from a bunch of different sites. I loved it! Hope that helps.

      8.8.17 · Reply
  30. Betsy said:

    Hi Julia!
    First off, congratulations! Amalia is absolutely beautiful, and I love following along your new journey as a mom. This list is so great, but I’m wondering – would you consider doing an updated version of this post now that the baby is here? What you can’t live without, what’s still in boxes, etc. (Or maybe this post already exists?) I’m 20 weeks along and super intimidated to start the registry process. This post is so informative but wondering if you still feel the same way about these items?

    9.14.17 · Reply
    • Thanks so much, Betsy! Great idea. I will update this in the next week for you 🙂

      9.15.17 · Reply
  31. Samantha Valadez said:

    Are you using pacifiers? If not, why not? If so, why?

    9.26.17 · Reply
    • Good question! I forgot to add that in but will now. Originally we were going to stay away from them because we didn’t want her to get too dependent on one, but since then we use them when she really can’t be calmed. We’re lucky that she’s not obsessed with it, so it’s been fine in that regard. So basically we only use it in dire situations!

      9.27.17 · Reply
      • Samantha Valadez said:

        Thank you!

        9.28.17 · Reply
  32. Margaret said:

    This is such a helpful post! would you consider updating this post now that Amelia is older with how long you used some of the items, what were must haves, what you might do without, and other things you bought you wish you registered for?

    6.18.18 · Reply
    • Julia said:

      Definitely! I think next month when she turns one I’m going to do a post on the most helpful products over the last year.

      6.18.18 · Reply
  33. Antigoni said:

    Hi Julia!
    I know it’s been a while since this post… jus wondering if you tried mamaroo4moms?

    8.9.19 · Reply
    • Julia said:

      I didn’t! But have heard great things about it.

      8.10.19 · Reply