Do you really need that? What items really are baby registry must haves? You want to make sure you have items you really need and aren’t wasting money.
Asking my mother was of no help as she never had a baby shower. Apparently, they weren’t a thing in the ’80s. That plus how times have changed and baby products have evolved. After spending hours, if not days, putting together my own baby register, here is my complete list of baby registry must haves that you REALLY NEED.
When putting together my baby registry, I went to BuyBuyBaby & Target with two of my friends separately, that are both mothers. I wanted to hear from them about what they thought were baby registry must haves. With their help of them and months of using the products myself, here are my favorite baby items to register for in 2021.
I have EVERYTHING on the list below and have taken things off & added products. I will be updating this list regularly with new products to the market that I and baby Atlas (my son) love. I just had baby #2 in July 2021, and updating this list again.
This baby registry must-have list is not going to include things like a crib, diapers, baby onesies, or any obvious items that can be chosen on your own, depending on your budget and taste.
For those short on time, click here to go straight to Amazon where my list is on one page!
Oh, and don’t forget most insurance companies will cover your breast pump! For each pregnancy, I have gotten a free breast pump, click here to see what breast pumps your insurance covers. We also put together this step-by-step guide on how to get a free breast pump through insurance. It’s super easy and only takes a minute.
When To Start a Baby Registry
That is what I asked myself at 22 weeks pregnant. I thought I had months to figure that out, but I really didn’t. Most baby showers are held between 30-35 weeks, and baby shower invites go out 6-8 weeks in advance. You’ll want to start putting together your baby registry around 20 weeks and have it finalized by 24 weeks.
Note that putting together a baby registry isn’t just a few hours said and done project. Odds are you will spend hours tweaking it and categorizing the products, etc. Then you’ll start reading reviews and swapping products in and out.
I am glad I had my baby showers at 32 and 34 weeks pregnant because I had baby Atlas at 36.5 weeks. You never know when the baby will come, so having your shower earlier than later is a good idea. Plus, you’ll have more energy to put things away, buy items you didn’t receive, etc.
Best Places To Start A Baby Register
This is going to vary based on the stores located near you and where you prefer to shop. We personally registered at all the places below and had them imported to my Babylist registry.
Babylist then merged all the baby registries into one list, so those attending my baby shower see prices at several stores for each item, and they could see all store registries in one place. PLUS, most places give you a baby registry gift bag/box just for registering and a coupon code to use after your shower to purchase items left on your baby registry.
- Target – Free welcome kit in-store & a 15% off coupon code for everything left in your baby registry & anything else you’d like to add eight weeks before your due date. – Create your Target Baby Registry Here
- Amazon – Free gift box mailed to you & 15% off completion discount for prime members & 10% off for nonmembers. The discount code will appear in your account 60 days before your due date and is valid for two orders with a maximum discount of $300 for prime members. – Create your Amazon Baby Registry Here
- BuyBuyBaby – Free goody bag in-store & a 15% completion discount to purchase baby registry items & anything else you’d like
- Walmart – Free welcome box but NO DISCOUNT CODE – Create your Walmart Baby Registry Here
- Pottery Barn Kids – No free gift but 20% off discount code good for registry items & anything else for six months following your event date, valid for unlimited uses online & in-store
Top 10 Things On My Baby Registry
1. Happiest Baby Snoo – This was our #1 must have on my baby registry and a splurge gift. I can’t imagine life without the Snoo. After reading countless Snoo reviews and videos, we knew the Snoo would be worth the investment.
They offer rental options for those that want to test it out. The baby will only use this bassinet from birth to 6 months, but the sleep we’ll get was worth it. Make sure to watch for Snoo holiday sales. Often there are 20-40% off sales bringing the price down. *We love our Snoo so much that we brought our Snoo to Mexico with us on our one-month-long trip. We checked it in its original packaging. Read our complete Snoo review.
2. Doona -If you travel a lot or live in a big city, you’ll want to check out the Doona. This car seat & stroller in one will make traveling so much easier. No need to bring both a stroller & car seat. The Doona is a car seat and, with a click of a button, turns into a stroller too.
Make sure to read my best Doona accessories article to have the best setup! We really put the Doona to the test on our 4-week trip to Mexico, as we rented a car in Cancun and visited many cities & beaches. The Doona is the best travel stroller. It was perfect since we rented a car and needed a car seat & stroller. Click here to read our Doona car seat stroller review.
3. Elvie Breast Pump – This is a game changer for all breastfeeding mama’s out there. Wireless pumping, it’s amazing. I can’t imagine not having this pump. You can literally pump anywhere. I have gone into the TJ Maxx while pumping. I suggest buying a few extra pump parts. I have four complete pump sets, so that I only have to do the dishes two times a day. Make sure to read my Elvie Pump vs. Elvie Stride which is better, and my Elvie Stride review.
4. Baby Breeza Pro Advanced –When Atlas stopped breastfeeding, and we went to 100% formula, we only lasted one week before we invested in the Baby Brezza. Whoever invented this is a genius. Yes, its price tag seems high, BUT if you break down the price by the bottle, it’s pennies a day. The Baby Brezza pours a hot fresh bottle in less than 15 seconds. No more waiting 5 minutes with a screaming baby!
Click here to read our Baby Brezza Formula Pro review. We swear by it
5. Owlet Sock– Another great peace of mind is the Owlet Sock. The OwletSock tracks your baby’s heart rate and oxygen levels and alerts you on your phone & base station if they are too high or too low. You can view the levels and camera right on your phone through the app.
We sleep so much better knowing we’ll be alerted should something ever happen. *We also brought the Owlet Sock to Mexico on our one-month-long trip. As we love the sock, the camera isn’t the best. We’d suggest buying the sock only and a different camera, we use the Nanit camera.
6. Joolz Aer – Joolz makes some of the most gorgeous strollers on the market. If you are looking for the best travel stroller that is a single this is it. It folds with one hand, stands up when folded, and you can fold it while holding your baby (trust me, I do it). It is just amazing. We have gate-checked and brought it on the plane. It fits above in the overhead bins. This stroller is just the best. You can purchase it on Amazon here.
7. SlumberPod – Once your child hits six months, you’ll need blackout curtains and all, which isn’t easy when traveling or even going to your parent’s house. We just started using the SlumperPod and LOVE it. It creates a blackout environment and reduces sound. It’s perfect for hotel rooms & even airports/friends or parents’ houses when traveling. It folds down into nothing and fits right into my bag. We have a special discount code for SlumperPod.
8. Nanit Pro Camera – This camera is awesome, and I wish I had gotten it sooner. We got it when Atlas was 18 months and, within a week, bought another one for baby #2’s room. There is no lag in the camera, the connection is awesome, we love the insights and videos it records, and it has breathing wear too.
9. 4Moms MamaRoo 4 – A baby swing is a must, and the best baby swing on the market is 4Moms MamaRoo4. What we love about the MamaRoo4 is that it has motions & speeds, and it is Bluetooth enabled so I can control it from my app. Atlas loves the car ride motion while listening to waves. He’s going to love the beach like his mama.
10. Zoe Twin Double Stroller – So we ended up having our two little ones back to back. They are 20 months apart, so we needed a double stroller. If you are looking for the best double stroller that is travel friends and isn’t huge, consider the Zoe Twin. Here is our complete Zoe Twin review.
Baby Registry Must Haves
1. White Noise Machine – There are several white noise machines on the market. We opted for the Hatch Baby Rest Sound Machine. It’s not only a white noise machine but also a nightlight, and we love that we can control it from our phone and not have to go into the room. We’d also suggest getting a small travel white noise machine for the stroller or car seat. You got this one for under $10.
2. WubbaNub – We don’t know a child under four that doesn’t have at least 3 WubbaNubs. Kids love these things, and we can see why. A cute stuffed animal with a pacifier attached. It’s also great for the parents as it’s easier to find! There are tons of animal options, and they are constantly coming out with new ones. We’d suggest registering for 2.
3. NoseFrida Snotsucker – When we first saw the NoseFrida, we instantly said, “no, not doing that.” Well, according to my fellow mommy friends, it’s a baby registry must have and yes, we will be doing that, and we’ll be happy to have one in the home when we need it. Just put it on your registry and hope you never need it, even though you will…
4. DockATot– We use our DockATot on our spare bed in our office so we can easily watch the baby while we work. There hasn’t been a day gone by that we haven’t used it. You will get your money’s worth out of it. A DockAtot has tons of uses. Often babies prefer to sleep in it. It’s a safe place to set them in, change a diaper in, and much more. We loved the Deluxe size so much that we got the next size up, the Grande, and know we’ll have years of use out of that size as well.
5. Playard with bassinet & changing table– If you live in a two-story house like us, you’ll want a 3-in-1 Pack N Play on your first floor. It’s super convenient to have a bassinet, changing table, and playpen on the first floor and not have to run upstairs all the time. There are so many options ranging from $50-400, and because of this, both grandparents have one at their house. Which is super nice for us. One less thing to travel with. We have this one in our home, the 4moms Breeze Plus (super easy to set up but heavy), and we travel with the Guava Lotus it packs up into a backpack, and we carry it on our flights. If you had to pick one, we’d go with the Guava Lotus.
6. Baby Wrap/Carrier – There is no doubt you’ll want some sort of baby carrier or wrap. Picking one is hard. We personally didn’t trust ourselves to put some of the wraps/slings on 100% correctly, and somehow we would drop the baby.
The wrap that looked the easiest to put on and the safest for the baby was the Baby K’tan original, which we plan on trying out, and the price is right, being under $50. For an everyday baby carrier that my husband can also use, we also registered for the Ergobaby Carrier 360 All Carry Positions. If you plan on using the Ergobaby 180 with a newborn, you’ll need the Ergobaby Easy Snug Infant Insert for babies 7-12lbs. We didn’t get the infant insert. Instead, we also got the Ergobaby Embrace which is just for newborns 7-25lbs- with no insert needed.
7. Bamboo Swaddle Blankets – Another baby registry must-have is swaddle blankets. We prefer the bamboo fabric ones. Here are some of our favorite bamboo baby clothes brands. We have a bunch of bamboo swaddles from Kyte Baby. Click here for $10 off your first order
8. Newton Baby Breathable Crib Mattress – When looking at mattresses, we originally thought it was crazy to spend $300 on a crib mattress, but then we thought about it. Our baby is going to be using that mattress for 3+ years and breathing it in, etc. We should really care what it is made of. We opted for the Newton Baby Crib Mattress, which is 100% breathable and proven to reduce suffocation risk (SIDS), and it is 100% washable. These factors we knew would help us sleep better at night once he starts rolling over at night.
9. Nested Bean Zen Sack – This is a registry must have for sure, don’t wait a month or two of sleepless nights before getting it. The Nested Bean Sleep Saks mimics your touch and the feel of your arms with a weighted chest. Your baby will be sleeping better in less than three nights, which means you’ll be sleeping better & longer. Best $35 you’ll spend. For newborns, we’d also suggest the Nested Bean Zen Swaddle. I made the mistake of not starting to use it until Atlas turned three months. The first day I used it, he went down for a nap while still awake instantly. We now use it daily for naps.
10. Baby Car Mirror – When on the road, you’ll want a mirror to see your baby in its rear-facing seat. They are super cheap if you are a two-car household register for two, one for each car. Make sure it’s crash-tested & shatterproof.
12. Superbalm– I swear by this stuff! This has helped clear up Atlas and Isla’s baby acne & cradle cap.
13. Blooming Bath Lotus – The Blooming Bath Lotus is perfect for baths in the sink with babies 0-6 months old. It’s super soft, the petals create a safe seat, and it’s compact, just throw it in the dryer after a bath, and it only weighs one pound. It’s perfect for traveling, whether it’s to grandma’s house or a hotel!
14. Lulyboo Portable Baby Bassinet – This is the perfect travel bassinet. It weighs only three pounds and folds up, so you wear it as a backpack. It’s great for days outside at home, at the beach, the park, or changing station, and for us, it’s a safe place to sleep when at hotels. If you travel a lot like us, it’s a great portable bed & cosleeper. We usually put it in our checked luggage. *We brought to Mexico on our one-month-long trip. We used it on the beach and when we went to a hotel for three nights.
15. Electric Nail Filer – Trimming baby nails is stressful. Our son had super sharp nails, and we have to file them every two days. This electric nail filer is so easy and gentle. We’ve been using it since he was one week old.
If you are getting the Doona, make sure to read my best Doona accessories article.
Baby Registry Nursing & Feeding Must Haves
1. Boppy Nursing Pillow – A Boppy pillow isn’t just for nursing & feeding. It’s also great for tummy time! If you plan on nursing or not, you’ll want a Boppy nursing pillow for feeding. We use it so much we have two, one on each floor of our house.
2. Milkies Milk Trays – Try and reduce your use of single-use plastic and get some milk trays. I have two sets of trays, and it works out great. It’s super easy to freeze and store my breastmilk with the Milkies Milk trays. Make sure not to put the trays in the dishwasher. They get a little bent out of shape and don’t lay flat in the freezer afterward.
3. Haakaa Breast Pump – I am sure you’ve heard about the Haakaa recently. It’s crazy how much breastmilk the Haakka catches while you are nursing on the other side. Every drop of saved breastmilk is worth it. For $12, it’s worth every penny.
4. First Years Bottle Warmer– When Atlas was a few weeks old, we were able to get away with warming up a bottle in hot water, but ever since he began drinking 4+ ounces, we’ve used a bottle warmer. You just pour in water and set the timer for how long you’d like to heat it. You don’t need an expensive bottle warmer, we’ve had several, and this cheap bottle warmer was the best. We had high hopes for this Dr. Browns Bottle Warmer, but it was really bad. The bottle would come out blazing hot, and the heat was so inconsistent. * We also brought this to Mexico. It travels great.
5. Breastmilk Alcohol Test Strips – After not drinking the entire pregnancy, you may want a glass of wine or a drink. I know I did. After my first dinner out with friends, I had two beers, and when I got home, I pumped and tested my breastmilk for alcohol right away. The breastmilk alcohol stripes indicate different levels of alcohol traces, every time I tested, even a small trace, I threw away my milk because I didn’t want to risk anything.
6. Baby Breeza Electric Mixer Pitcher – If you don’t splurge on the Baby Breeza Advanced above (which I couldn’t live without), I suggest their mixing pitcher. With a touch of a button, it perfectly mixes the formula with no clumps! I bring the mixing pitcher with us when traveling and to our cabin. It’s nice to make 28 ounces of formula at once and with no clumps. For under $20, it’s a great deal.
Baby Registry Toy Must Haves For Under 1-Year-Old
1. Kick & Play Piano Gym – Who knew this $40 toy would be our son’s favorite? This was the first “real” toy he’s played with. Just before he turned two months, we brought this out, and he loves to kick and hear the piano and see himself in the mirror and the toys above him. *This was the only toy we brought to Mexico. It’s his favorite!
2. Sit to Stand Learning Walker – It’s great to get a few toys that grow with your child, and you can use them during many learning periods. The sit-to-stand walker is one of those. We can’t wait to watch Atlas start standing with it and learning to walk.
3. Baby Einstein Take Along Tunes – This is the perfect toy to take anywhere, and babies love it. We have two of these as well, one that is always in my diaper bag and one in our toy bin at home. It was only $9, so in case it gets lost, it’s no biggy.
4. VTech Peek & Play Tummy Time Pillow – Early on, you’ll hear over and over how important tummy time is. This is a great toy where babies will actually enjoy tummy time. Our son Atlas is okay with tummy time for a set amount of time, and then he gets angry, but we can always extend tummy time with this toy pillow.
5. Sophie the giraffe teether – Ask any parent about Sophie, and they instantly will say yes, you need a Sophie, the giraffe. Well, now that Atlas is teething, we are now one of those parents. Yes, you need one. I don’t understand why it costs $25, though.
Now that I shared my favorite baby items, I’d love to hear from you! What are your favorite items? Anything I should check out and possibly add to this article?
Don’t Forget to pin me for Later
OTHER BABY GEAR & TRAVELING WITH KIDS PRODUCTS
We have several other reviews on our favorite travel products after putting them to the true test…TRAVELING with them. Here are a few other articles to check out:
- Doona car seat – The Best Car seat
- Doona Liki Trike – Best Travel Trike
- Joolz Aer – The best travel stroller
- SlumberPod – Blackout cover for pack’ N plays so you can have the lights on in the hotel room!
- Zoe Twin Double Stroller – The best travel double stroller
- Elvie Stride – Wearable hands-free breast pump
- Best Wagon Strollers
- Best Strollers for Disney
- How to get a free breast pump through insurance
- Baby registry must-haves
- Willow Go – Wearable hands-free pump with no cords
- Best Bamboo Brands – Yes, the clothing is worth every penny
- Snoo $1800 Bassinet – Do we love it?
- Veer Wagon – Why is it our favorite?
*Full disclosure I was gifted: Snoo, Elvie, Doona, Mamaroo 4 & Breeze, Joolz Geo2, Owlet Sock & Cam, DockATot, and the Clek Liing, BUT all opinions are honest. If I didn’t fully love a product, I wouldn’t promote it or include it in this article. Trust me, everything on this list, you’ll love and be glad you own it. Being a new mom can be tough. I’m all about products that make my life easier & more enjoyable. This article contains affiliate links from which I earn a small commission that cost you no extra.