Wee Guide: The Annotated Baby Registry List

Wee’s totally subjective, overly opinionated guide to all the baby crap you need (and don’t need) Read more

baby registry guide

One of the most useful things I ever did as a pregnant person was to sit down with a mama friend (Ashley!) who walked me though one of those huge registry checklists from the big-box baby store. Those lists are completely overwhelming, mostly because they cover everything anyone would ever possibly need. (And also because they’re trying to sell you stuff.) I needed help navigating not just because I was clueless, but because like a lot of Philly families, we didn’t have unlimited space for storing stuff that a) we wouldn’t really use or b) wouldn’t need for another two years. The goal was to find out — like, for real — what we really needed, what we maybe needed, what we didn’t need at all, and what we would definitely want to return if we received as a gift.

Anyway. It was so helpful to get a (somewhat) educated, b.s.-free advice session that we decided to offer up our totally unsolicited, overly opinionated take on one of those giant overwhelming baby registry lists. Here, the stuff we hate, the stuff we think you can just borrow, and the stuff you need to own because it will save your sanity.

***

Clothes
So Rule Number One: If having a shower or two, you probably shouldn’t plan on buying a whole lot of clothes — people buy the hell of baby clothes, especially the cute stuff. Same goes for receiving blankets. Still, there are some necessities that you’ll want to make sure you either buy or register for, and that’s what we’re going to focus on here. (Note: A lot of this stuff — especially clothes! — you can find used on neighborhood list serves, at reputable consignment sales or secondhand spots.)

  • Side-snap Tees: YES.
    C says
    : They’re perfect for newborn belly buttons, and also less scary than at first than pulling on onesies over the tiny baby’s head. They make them long- and short-sleeved. You’re safe with 4 to 6 of these things, but can’t go wrong with more.

  • Bodysuits. YES. Long and short-sleeved, at least 4 to 8, depending on how much other clothes you have and how often you want to wash.
    A says: I really liked the gowns too — they are warm, soft and because they are open at the bottom, making diaper changing easy. I liked the footies, too, but you don’t need too many pairs.

  • An outfit for baby to leave the hospital in. YES. Complete with tiny hat and socks.
    A says: I wouldn’t go crazy-expensive on this one. At this stage, they are all bundled up and your favorite newborn pic probably won’t be this one.
  • A couple soft hats and a bunch of socks. YES.

  • Swaddle blankets. YES.
    C says:
    Regular baby blankets work just fine for swaddling (and they’ll show you how in the hospital), but the SwaddleMe velcro ones became the go-to. (Pictured, above.) They are SO easy to use. Aden & Anais make muslin ones with snaps, and those are great, too — quieter than velcro for midnight changings. I got so obsessed that we had about eight, but that’s a little silly .. you can get by with three or four. A lot of people these days are also loving the Miracle Blanket Swaddles and Woombie, I know.
    A says: I’d get just a few in some different weights, some people like the gauzy ones, others like something a little more substantial, we really liked the SwaddleMe ones, too — especially for sleeping. When they start to get a little older, like around two to three months, I like the Halo Sleep Sacks.

  • Mittens. NO.
    C says:
    We never used these because we swaddled, and no hands were escaping that thing.
    A says: Ditto.

  • Anything beyond the newborn-to-3-month age group. NOT AT FIRST.
    A says:
    The little babes only wear loungewear all day, and after you have some parenting under your belt, you’ll start to know more what your kid will wear in the 3 to 6 months phase — or else be prepared to make returns.
    C says: You’ll get a bunch for gifts, which will save you some trouble down the road. Don’t worry about buying a whole lot yet.

  • Wearable blankets. MAYBE. If you swaddle, you’re probably okay on this front for at least four to six months. If you don’t swaddle, SleepSacks are great.

  • Pants. NOT AT FIRST. You’re going to probably want the kid in one-pieces with snaps for the first couple of months. Easier to change. And the pants are all so big, even the small ones.
    C says: I love legwarmers instead of pants. The coverage of pants; the changeablilty of a onesie. My favorites are BabyLegs.

  • Seasonal Clothing. NOT AT FIRST.  (We’re talking buntings, swimsuits, jackets, etc.).
    C says: This stuff is perfectly fine to have, but a little bit of a crap shoot. You might use it, or you might end up with a closet full of coats, swimsuits, and so on that never get worn. I wouldn’t necessarily register for them, but it’s cool to keep them if you get them … and then apply a buy-as-needed approach.

  • Pee-pee teepees. NO.
    C says:
    So cute, but so useless. They never stay on. And you can just as easily use a diaper.

***

Safety/Health

  • Baby Monitor. YES.
    A says:
    You’ll want to shell out the extra bucks for a video monitor. I’ve been happy with my Summer Infant one (despite the fact that the battery was recalled), and think it’s a worthy investment, since you have it for years. I would skip the ones with the breathing monitor. I have two friends who said they are too sensitive and cause too much stress over false alarms.
    C says: I second the video monitor. My mom made me feel like I was caving into helicopter parenting when we opted for the video version, but I will tell you that being able to check on that kid with one eye closed while lying in bed (as opposed to having to tromp to the crib or what have you) is worth a lifetime of Boomer eye-rolls. As for the breathing monitor, I, too have heard about problems, but I will admit a bit sheepishly that we inherited one of those Owlet foot monitors for our second child, and … I liked it. (I know! You’re supposed to be more relaxed and all lackadaisical with your second kid, not up the ante on the monitor situation. Believe me, I feel a little shy admitting this — but the sock meant a whole lot less of those midnight urges to wake up and check the monitor for breathing. In truth, I don’t know I’d have spent the money on a new one, but getting one as a hand-me-down … well, I liked it.)

  • Safety gates, locks, covers, etc. NOT AT FIRST. It’ll be at least 6 months before you need this, and there’s plenty of time to figure out a baby proofing plan. When it comes time, though, gates are great to borrow from a friend or buy secondhand.

  • Humidifier. Yes.
    A says:
     Helps in the winter when they have colds (and they will have colds).
    C says: We use ours all the time. I think general wisdom has that cool-air ones are safe (because  — duh! — the water doesn’t get hot like the warm-air ones do), but we have a warm-air one, and I actually like the way it warms the room in the winter. We just keep it safely out of reach.

  • Thermometer, first aid kit. YES.

  • Nasal Aspirator. YES.
    C says
    : Skip the bulb version and buy the more expensive — and 100 times more effective — Nose Frida. You won’t regret it.
    A says: Ditto.

  • Infant Medicines. A FEW, BUT YOU CAN BUY AS NEEDED.
    C says: Not a bad idea to keep infant Advil on hand. Ask your pediatrician what else he/she recommends to keep at the house.
    A says: We are big fans of Tylenol in our house. Not until the baby is a few months old though.

  • Baby Toothbrush and Teething Gel. NOT AT FIRST.

  • Nail Clippers and Emery Boards. YES.

  • Brush and Comb. SURE.
    A says:
    We only used a soft brush on the babies. Then moved to a Wet Brush when the girls got older.

  • Chemical-free Cleaning Supplies. SURE. It’s nice to have this stuff on hand — you’ll be having lots of visitors, and want to do lots of wipedowns. It’s easier than ever to find good, quality cleaners that aren’t laden with chemicals, even if you still feel the need to keep the bleach wipes around, too.
    A says: Check out local shop SoapBox in Queen Village. The sweet and knowledgeable owner makes all her own cleaning supplies.

  • Gentle Laundry Detergent. YES.
    A says:
    Dreft is expensive but I’ll admit we still use it because it’s baby smell in a bottle. We also use Tide Free and Clear.
    C says: I used to love Dreft so much that sometimes I would toss my own shirts in with the first baby’s load. Since those days, I’ve switched to All Free and Clear — now anything with scents sort of bothers me. So I’m all about All Free and Clear, and also sometimes Seventh Generation (they also make baby stuff, did you know?)

  • Furniture and Television Straps. YOUR CALL.
    A says:
     Just make sure there’s no way anything could possibly fall on a child.
    C says: When it comes time for baby-proofing, you might want to use these on some furniture. (Brought to you by someone who has read every single scary story every written about falling bookshelves and TVs.) We’ve anchored a couple of dressers.

  • Shopping Cart/Restaurant High Chair Cover. NOT AT FIRST.
    A says:
     We got one and used it twice. I found it’s more of a pain (and another thing that needs to be cleaned) than it’s worth.
    C says: We haven’t really felt the need for one with either kid.

  • Night-light. YES. It’s helpful when you’re up in the middle of the night.
    C says:
    Our white-noise machine has one built in. Handy.

***

Nursing & Feeding

  • Breast Pump & Accessories. YES. Call your insurance company to get set yourself up with a pump. (#ThanksObama!) If possible, do it before you have the baby — you’ll be glad to have the pump already at home and ready for you if you need to pump to get your supply up, or if you have trouble breastfeeding at first.

  • Breast Milk Storage Containers. YES.
    C says
    : I really like the Nuk bags. They’re sturdy and they zip easily, and they stack handily in the freezer in the storage rack, which I also recommend. Lots of people use Medela, too.

  • Steam Sterilizer Bags and Cleaning Wipes. YES.
    C says:
    I use the sterilizer bags almost exclusively. They’re so easy. The wipes I almost never used.
    A says: I sterilized obsessively with my first and not once with my second, FWIW. Just lots of hot soapy water.

  • Nursing Bras, Pads, Soothing Ointments and Gel Pads. YES. YES. YES.
    A says:
    Get just one nursing bra and a nursing tank to bring to the hospital — there are so many different types, once you start nursing, you’ll have to make a trip to the store to hone in on what you want/need and what works best for you.
    C says: Agreed. One of my favorite nursing bras for the first month or two came from Target — the Basics Women’s Stella variety. It was $25. I lived in it. (Later, I came to like some other stuff: See this post for a few faves.) Also, I preferred the reusable cloth nursing pads to the disposable cotton ones. The cloth ones were softer. (For more on boob care — favorite balms, gels, breast shields and more — see here!)

  • Nursing Pillow and Cover. YES.
    A says:
    Awesome thing to borrow from a friend! I really like the Boppy (pictured above) because it’s easy to use and easy to clean and my kids still use it as a pillow.

  • Nursing Stool. Maybe. If you don’t have an ottoman or footstool of any sort, then it might be worth considering.
    A says: I never used one.

  • Burp Cloths. YES. Take the number you think you’ll need, and then multiply it by three. Then add three more.

  • 8-12 Bottles and Nipples. YES.
    C says:
     Honestly, there are a ton of good ones on the market. We’ve used Medela and Thinkbaby (the latter of which transform into sippies down the road); I have friends with gassy babies who swore by Dr. Brown’s. I know Avent is popular, and Comotomo (pictured, above) has happened since I had my first baby.
    A says: We tried a lot of different bottles and like Dr. Brown’s the most. Although, a warning: There are a lot of pieces in these bottles so there’s a lot of washing. Buying bottles can be overwhelming. Just pick a few to start and some newborn or Level 1 nipples. There will be plenty of more bottle buying in your future.

  • Bottle Brush. YES.
    C says:
     The ones that have their own stand are the most convenient. (Oxo Tot makes a good one.)

  • Bottle Sterilizer. NO.
    C says:
    I’ve boiled my bottles, and I’ve used the microwave sterilizing bags. I’ve never used the sterilizer that we own.
    A says: See steam bag answer above.

  • Bottle Drying Rack. YES.
    C says:
     The Boon grass version is cute, and super functional. We use two, because our bottle sprawl is significant.

  • Dishwasher Basket. YES. It’s another option for washing/sterilizing.

  • Bottle Warmer. NO. (OR MAYBE JUST BORROW ONE.)
    C says:
    We have always just run the bottle under warm water. Works just fine, and it means one less thing to own.
    A says: We owned the Dr. Brown’s one, which wasn’t too expensive and quick. We used it for a few months with both kids. Breastmilk heats up quickly under warm water

  • Infant Bowls and Spoons. NOT AT FIRST.
    A says: Got plenty of time for this.

  • High Chair. NOT AT FIRST.
    C says:
    Stick it on your registry, for sure, but don’t feel the need to run out and buy one immediately if you don’t get it. Also, if you’re in a small house, consider the types that attach to a table, like the Chicco Caddy Hook-On, as opposed to the ones that sit on the floor. It’s a great space-saver.
    A says: Put it on the registry. I love love love my Stokke Tripp Trapp. It’s expensive, but it’s beyond sturdy, easy to clean, streamlined and keeps the kids nice and upright.

  • Booster seat. DITTO.

  • Bibs. YES.
    A says:
    For your registry, put a few of the plastic Baby Bjorn ones on there which are great, but expensive. For the newborns, you just want some tiny, soft ones.
    C says: We never really did newborn bibs (not big spitter-uppers in our family), but I agree that the silicone pocket bibs are great for when the kids start eating a few months in.

  • Formula/Snack Dispenser. POSSIBLY.
    A says: 
    If you do formula instead of/along with breast milk, these are helpful for getting out of the house.

  • Make-your-own Baby Food Gear. MAYBE.
    A says:
    I know a lot of people have a desire to do this, but in reality, it doesn’t always happen. You’ve got time to think about this. If you get it as a gift, save the receipt, just in case.
    C says: We make a lot of our own food, and we just use a blender. The baby food trays for the freezer, however, are helpful. (They’re like ice cube trays with lids.) But Ash is right: You’ve got time.

  • Baby Food Cookbooks. NO.
    A says:
    So many online tools for this, not sure if it’s needed.

  • Toddler Cups (Soft/Hard Spout Sippy & Straw). NOT AT FIRST.
    A says:
    Plenty of time for this! Especially if cabinet space is at a premium.

  • Splat Mat, Disposable Placemats. DITTO.

  • Feeder for Strained Foods. DITTO.
    C says:
    We love ours, but didn’t start using it until the baby was five months or so.

  • To-go and Storage Containers. DITTO.

  • Insulated Bottle Tote and/or Reusable Ice Pack. YES.

  • Pacifiers. YES, BUT NOT A LIFETIME SUPPLY.
    A says:
    Don’t buy more than a few; you don’t know if your kid will take a paci or not.
    C says: If you buy two, try two different types. Some babies take one kind but not another. Though how can you resist one of these?

  • 2-3 Teethers. NOT AT FIRST.

***

Bath & Potty

  • Diaper Pail/Refills. YES ON THE PAIL; MAYBE ON THE REFILLS.
    C says: You know, you might want to try regular garbage bags in your diaper pail. We have a Dekor, and found out after about 1.5 years of buying the really expensive refills that our regular kitchen trash bags worked just as well. It is definitely worth checking.

  • Diapers, in progressive sizes. SORT OF.
    A says:
    You’ll really just need the newborns. Plenty of diaper trips in your future!

  • Wipes & Ointment. YES.
    C says:
    In this vein … you should think long and hard before you sign up for a wipe warmer. Consider: If you get that kid used to warm wipes, then he’s going to be mightily unhappy when you’re out and about and he’s suddenly expected to deal with cold ones. We returned the warmer we got, and never looked back.
    A says: Big no on the wipe warmer. Get some wipes to start. We like Butt Paste for ointment.

  • Baby Shampoo/Wash. YES.
    Ask a million moms what they use, and you’ll get a million answers. (And that’s a post in itself.) Generally the clean-ingredient, fragrance-free, sensitive stuff costs a bit more… but hey, all the more reason to register for your top choice. (And you can save money so many other places.)
    C says: My doc once suggested Cetaphil, which isn’t pricey.

  • Baby Bathtub. YES.
    C says: 
    The tubs with the mesh slings in them are really wonderful and secure for a tiny newborn, and as the baby gets bigger, the sling can come out to make more room for the baby.

  • Bath Support. NO. We had to Google this to even see what it was.

  • Bath Toys. NOT AT FIRST.

  • Bath Toy Storage. DITTO.

  • Bath Kneeler. YES, YES, YES.
    A says:
    A must!

  • 4-6 Hooded Towels. YES.
    A says:
    This is a favorite for gift-givers. We got three after our daughter was born.

  • 6-8 Baby Washcloths. YES.
    C says:
    The baby ones really are softer than most of yours. Worth having seven to 10 of them.

  • Shampoo Rinse Cup. OTHERWISE KNOWN AS A CUP? SURE.

  • Bathtub Spout Cover. NOT AT FIRST.
    A says:
    You’ve got plenty of time before they can reach for this. We actually never got one.
    C says: Same.

*** 

Nursery & Decor

  • Bassinet. YES.
    A says:
    Good thing to borrow from a friend, since you only use it for a few months!
    C says: We did borrow from a friend (thanks, Ash!), but we ended up using a tiny hand-me-down cradle for the first few months instead of the bassinet.

  • Crib. OBVIOUSLY.
    C says: Another great thing to buy used, if you can. The neighborhood list-serves have ’em a lot.

  • Crib Mattress. YES.
    C says:
    We got a great deal on an organic crib mattress on Overstock.com.

  • Waterproof Mattress Pads. YES, BUT YOU DON’T NEED THE THREE THAT THE REGISTRY SUGGESTS.
    A says:
    We only have one and have only ever needed one.
    C says: We have two. If you have easy access to a washing machine, two works just great.

  • 3+ Fitted Crib Sheets. YES, BUT AGAIN WITH THE NUMBERS.
    C says:
    We have two, which I alternate. We’ve been just fine with that. I could see maybe having three if you’re really worried about the baby having more than one leakage incident in one night, but chances of that are slim. And more than three just seems excessive.
    A says: We have three. This came in handy when the kids started going to daycare because we had to provide our own sheets.

  • 2-3 Sheet Savers. HUH?
    A says:
    Neither of us are sure what this is.

  • Changing Table. SORT OF.
    C says:
    To get the most function out of every piece of furniture, we use a dresser as a table, and put on top a changing pad. I trimmed down a non-slip rug mat and stuck it underneath the pad to prevent any movement.
    A says: Samesies.

  • Changing Pad. YES.
    A says: You might want to consider more than one, especially if you live in a row home, so you don’t have to go up and down many steps. We had one in the baby’s room and our third-floor room. Saved a lot of trips.

  • 2-3 Changing Pad Covers. YES.
    A says:
    Pick up a pack of the diaper pad liners. (I liked Boppy brand.) Sometimes poop and pee gets on the changing pad covers, so it’s easier just to wash a liner than the whole thing.
    C says: Ditto Ash’s note. We have about 8 of those diaper pad liners, and they’ve gotten heavy rotation.

  • Dresser. YOUR CALL.

  • Hutch or Other Shelving. YOUR CALL.

  • Glider & Ottoman. YOUR CALL.
    A says:
    We never had one, and it was fine. We couldn’t fit it in our small room!
    C says: If you do get a rocker or glider, I would definitely go for the ottoman, too. You’re going to want your feet up while you nurse or bottle feed.

  • Sound/White Noise Machine. YES, YES, YES.
    A says:
    Especially in our loud city spaces. We got one for our bedroom, too, so that whoever is napping can get some peace and quiet. We love the Dohm ones. Expensive, but durable and a nice, natural sounds.

  • Hamper. YES.

  • Matching Quilt, Dust Ruffle and Valance. YOUR CALL.
    C says:
    Do people still do valances?

  • Mobile. YES. Why not?

  • Diaper Stacker. YOUR CALL.
    C says:
    We just stick our diapers in the top dresser drawer.

  • Wall Hangings or Decals. YOUR CALL.
    C says: Is it weird that they tell people to register for these things?

  • Storage Baskets/Bins. YOUR CALL.

  • Toy Chest. YES. You will need something to put toys in — even baby toys — else they really will slowly take over your life.
    A say: There are a ton of super cute baskets and bins available at Land of Nod, Target, and more. My kids have these large, soft ones from 3 Sprouts. They were way cheaper than wooden toy chests.

  • Lamp. YOUR CALL.

  • 2-3 Bassinet Sheets. YES. Though hopefully you can borrow these from the friend with the bassinet.

  • Baby Sized Hangers. YES.
    C says
    : One or two sets did it for us in the beginning.

  • Little Chairs and Table. NOT AT FIRST.
    A says:
    Plenty of time on this.

*** 

Baby Gear & Travel

  • Infant and/or Convertible Car Seat. YES.
    A says: There are a lot of different stroller/car seat, carrier systems you can get. Just know that you’ll need to get a new car seat in a few years once the baby can face forward. We liked the car seat option that clicked into the stroller because it fit well in restaurant highchairs and shopping carts and such.
    C says: We had a great experience at Buy Buy Baby, where the stroller/car seat experts really helped us figure out the best stuff for us. I would highly recommend taking a couple hours to do some recon and get professional insight.

  • Extra Car Seat Base. YOUR CALL. This could be useful if you’re a two-car family, or have a babysitter or grandparents who do a lot of carting.

  • Car Seat Head and Body Support. YES.

  • Seat Protector Mat. NO.

  • Waterproof Seat Liner. NO.

  • Car Mirror. YES.

  • Car Window Shade. YES. Multiple shades.

  • Car Seat Bunting/Cover. NO.
    C says:
    When we’re In the car, we just use a blanket if it’s really cold. Also, most cars have heat, so …
    A says: We got this sleeping bag type stroller blanket from JJ Cole, which keeps the baby warm and fits snugly, however, you can’t use it while driving.

  • Stroller or Travel System. YES. (This is another one that could be a post in itself, but your best bet is to hit up the stroller section at Buy Buy Baby.)

  • Umbrella Stroller. NOT AT FIRST, ALTHOUGH REGISTER IF YOU WANT TO.
    A says:
    Plenty of time for this one, since the baby probably won’t be big enough to sit comfortably or safely in this stroller for a while.

  • Stroller Footmuff. YES. This is clutch for getting out of the house with that baby.
    C says: Another thing you can often find used on a list serve. I’ve gotten two from neighbors!
    A says: See above, under Car Seat Bunting.

  • Stroller Rain Cover & Sun Shade. YES.

  • Stroller Netting. MAYBE. If you’re giving birth in a buggy season …

  • Baby Carrier. FOR SURE.
    A says
    : There are a lot of options, none are perfect. We got an Ergo, and then bought a used Bjorn, and I also used a Moby. They all serve different purposes. Great thing to borrow from a friend!
    C says: Personally, I think the Ergo is the most comfortable for the both parent and baby, and you can use it from nearly the beginning. For a newborn, I also really loved my K’tan, which is like a Moby for dummies. You should definitely check out the AWESOME (FREE) carrier tutorials/fittings at Nesting House in South Philly. Minnow Lane in Fishtown also has a nice selection of carriers, and can help you make the choice, too!

  • Bouncer or Rocker. YES.
    C says:
    This is a tad iffy, because there seem to be bouncie babies and swing babies, and you don’t know which you’ll have until you stick them in a bouncie and a swing. We had both, and used both. These are great things to borrow from a friend or get secondhand because you will probably only use them for four to six months or so.
    A says. Definitely try to borrow from a friend or buy cheap. The Baby Bjorn rocker is the best thing I borrowed.

  • Playard. (A.k.a. a pack-and-play). PROBABLY. If you travel a lot or want to set up a secondary sleep station in your house, a pack-and-play is very helpful. This is a great thing to borrow or get second-hand.
    A says: Yes. We use ours a ton … even within our own house when we have guests so that someone else can sleep in the baby’s room and the baby can bunk with us. They are super durable and easy to put up and down and not that expensive. My Graco has survived two kids and doesn’t show any sign of aging.

  • 2-3 Playard Sheets. YUP.

  • Diaper Bag for Mom. YES.
    C says: It doesn’t necessarily have to be a diaper bag — a roomy bag that is comfy to carry works, too. The one benefit of a diaper bag worth considering is that some have zip-out panels that double as a changing mat for baby. One thing: A backpack or cross-body style seems to be easiest to haul around, especially if you’re carrying the child. For my second kid, I bought this, and love it.
    A says: Loved my Petunia Pickle Bottom for my first. Used it only for a few months with my second.

  • Diaper Bag for Dad. NAH. Any cross-body messenger bag will do for most guys.

  • Changing Mat. YES, LOOK FOR THE PORTABLE KIND.
    C says: One of the best things I own is a fold-and-go diaper kit, which is simply a changing mat that folds up, and has pockets for a couple of spare diapers and a slender box of wipes. When I don’t want a full diaper bag, I toss that in my purse and we’re good.

  • Toys for Car Seat and Stroller. YES. A few dangle-y rings or crinkly toys never hurt.

  • Travel Bags for Car Seat and Stroller. MAYBE.
    A says:
    If you travel a lot a stroller bag will help keep your stroller intact. But only if you travel a lot. We never checked a car seat.

  • Cup and Snack Holder for Baby. NOT AT FIRST. Register for it if you want, but you’ve got time.

  • Storage Console for Parents. YES. A cupholder helps.

  • Stroller Hooks. YES.
    A says:
    A must! Especially since we take the stroller to the food market.
    C says: Our stroller won’t support them. Boo. So check before you buy.

  • Standing Platform Stroller Attachment for Older Siblings. EVENTUALLY, PERHAPS.
    A says:
    Our daughter never liked it. We’ve got two (sigh) doubles. Double strollers are a discussion for another time.

  • Swing. YES.
    A says
    : Good thing to borrow from a friend as they kids don’t love them for that long, and they are pricey!

  • Entertainer and/or Jumper. NOT AT FIRST. This is another thing that’s great to borrow when your baby gets old enough.
    A says: Our older LOVED her jumper. The younger only used it for two months or so. Good thing to borrow.

***

Toys & Learning
Note: You’ll get plenty of gifts and pick up stuff along the way. Don’t overload this stuff at first.

  • Activity Mats and Gyms. YES. Even for little tiny babies, a little activity gym is awesome. As soon as they can focus their eyes, they’ll like to look at the dangling toys.
    A says: We like this Skip Hop one. It’s light and washable.

  • Books. YES. Can never have too many. The touch-and-feel books are especially fun to stock up on. And anything Sandra Boynton.
    A says: A good thing to pick up on ListServs, Google groups and consignment stores.

  • Extra Batteries. UM, SURE?

  • Rattles and Take-along Toys. YES.

  • Stuffed Animals. Okay.
    A says:
    You’ll get these, too.

*** 

Gifts
Chances are, you have more necessary and immediate things to register for. These are the kinds of things people go off registry to buy, anyway.

  • Piggy Bank. WEIRD.

  • Photo Albums & Frames. EH.

  • Keepsakes/Memory Book. YES. Because if you don’t have a baby book, then you won’t have anything sitting there making you for guilty for not recording all of your baby’s milestones in a timely fashion. (Seriously, though, you’re going to want one to be there when you finally get around to it.)
    C says: One of my favorite gifts was this great baby briefcase, which is basically a file folder for all the important documents — social security card, birth certificates, medical records, and etc.

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Mom & Dad

  • Pregnancy and Parenting Books. HA! Like you haven’t already bought a million.

  • Pregnancy and Postpartum Skin Care. Kind of a waste on the registry, but whatever makes you feel better!
    A says:
    Regular, gentle products work great and are cheaper.

  • Pregnancy Pillow. YES.
    C says:
    I just bought a small wedge-shaped one, and then spent my whole pregnancy wishing I bought one of those full-body ones. Don’t cheap out here, you’ll wish you hadn’t.
    A says: Full body one is everything.

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And finally … a random assortment things you’ll find on no registry list that you nevertheless will want to make sure you have:

1. Tucks. (For the bathroom.) That’s all we’ll say about that.

2. Granny panties. Either the ones you get at the hospital (ask for tons of them!), or your run-of-the-mill Fruit of the Loom. It’s all you’re going to want. Trust us.

3. Good quality hand lotion for you. There’s a lot of hand-washing happening for at least three months. It’s rough on your hands.

4. Zutano’s baby snap-on booties. They’re warmer than socks (they’re fleece!), and super cute and easy.

5. A Rock ‘N’ Play Sleeper. They’re portable, about $50, and often a cozier fit than a bassinet for sleeping. A lot of babies (and moms!) love them to pieces for nap time; some even use them at night.

6. Gentle lotion for the baby.

7. A cleaning person. (Ha! We kid.) (But also, not.)