So, as the mom of a 19 month old, it may seem like I'm officially out of the baby game and into the fascinating world of Toddlers (I am.), but hindsight is 20/20, and having survived the newborn stage, I now have firsthand experience about what you need (and what you don't...) in those early days. As a first time Mom, it can be so daunting trying to put together a registry...especially for those looking for modern pieces. So! I'm hoping this list can be helpful to those soon-to-be mamas looking for a little guidance...
Infant Car Seat
This is a great item for a registry since it's a big ticket purchase! We did tons and tons of research about safety, stroller compatibility and overall weight; this one for the winner for us. It worked with the stroller we selected (using an adaptor) and it can be easily installed using only a seatbelt, which makes it great for travel.
This drying rack is usually shown in green, but thankfully it comes in white. We don't have a ton of counter space and lucky for us it comes in two sizes (small and large). There's really no avoiding it...you will end up using this all the time (especially if you pump!!).
Sleep Sacks are a great way to keep your baby warm and cozy, and a huge help for battling The Moro Reflex (when newborns startle themselves awake by flapping their arms and legs). It's best to have a few in rotation for inevitable blowouts and spit-up. These were my favorite because the Velcro makes them idiot proof and you can gradually begin to leave an arm out for self-soothing (key during sleep training!).
I made it my mission to find some neutral, beautiful toys for Charley...ones that we both would like :) This brand makes the cutest, handmade, heirloom quality soft toys. We've had this piggie since day one and it's a favorite. These wooden toys are great for teething babes who love to chew on everything. Bitte Shop, Smallable and Over The Ocean are my go-to resources for modern kids toys.
A baby monitor helps gave me such peace of mind once we switched Charley out of our room and into his nursery. It's also a must-have for sleep training. Again, this can be a big ticket item, so definitely a good thing to include in your registry. This is the one we have; it works, but there are certainly better options. This one is pricey, but connects to your phone through a secure network. Also, if you already have one of these, it's easy to repurpose as a baby monitor!
Swaddle blankets are a very popular shower gift. I ended up with way too many, but my favorites were by this brand. They are hands down THE ABSOLUTE SOFTEST! The prints are cute, but they come in neutrals too.
When we started giving Charley a bottle, we began with these, but there were way too many parts and pieces to clean. Not ideal for a sleep deprived new mom. We tried these too, but ultimately switched to these. They were super easy to clean and mimic the shape of Mom, so there's no confusion :)
When Charley was really little, we bathed him in our kitchen sink using this tub insert. It's lightweight and folds completely flat, so it's also great for travel. We started a nightly bedtime routine that included a bath during the first month and it really helped with sleep training.
I've talked a lot about how much I love using our baby carrier for travel, but it was such a lifesaver in the early days when Charley would only sleep in my arms and I needed to get things done. This one is really great because it distributes the weight on your hips, rather than your back. It also can be worn several ways and grows with your baby. Some people prefer wraps, but I loved the structure of the carrier.
In an effort to streamline things, I use this pouch as a catchall for diapers and wipes. It's easy to throw in my purse or Charley's bag. It's also a good idea to put diapers and wipes on your registry. You go through an incredible amount during those first few weeks and it's nice to have everything ready to go. Finding the brand you and your baby like best takes some trial and error, but these are my favorite diapers and wipes for sensitive skin.
I could do a whole separate post on surviving your baby's first cold, but suffice it to say, having a humidifier is essential. This one looks modern and minimal, plus it gets the job done. This one is also very cool.
From an aesthetic standpoint, I loved this bassinet, but couldn't justify the cost. In the end, this bassinet was perfect for us; it's super easy to move from room to room and can be taken down and set-up so quickly, which is great because we ended up traveling with it a ton
Everyone told me we needed a bouncer, and everyone was right. We tried this one and this one, which I loved for it's sleek and modern design, but Charley hated them both. His favorite was this one which went again my design sensibilities, but at least it was somewhat neutral? (We also have this bouncer; it connects to our highchair which we used for feeding once he started solids.)
Tummy time is a crucial part of life with a newborn. I looked at lots of play gyms and most were super bright and loud, which I understand is necessary for stimulating your baby, but I also wanted something that could fit nicely in our living room without taking over. This play gym was neutral, but had bright pops of color and Charley really loved it.
White noise is a huge sleep cue for babies. I've tried a few and this one is the best: a variety of white noise options and adjustable volume. We have two and I couldn't imagine our life without them. For on the go, this is a registry must-have.
I never really wanted a traditional diaper bag and love this backpack for on-the-go. Best of all, Charley can use it when he's older! Inside, it has a little slot for a changing mat. I loved the look of these changing mats but not everywhere has a proper changing table, and I wanted something with a little more support, so this is the one I ended up using the most.
What You DON'T Need
Everyone is different, but for us, these things were totally unnecessary...
A bottle warmer (though I do love the design!). We just put bottles in a mug of warm water to bring it up to temp.
Breastfeeding Pillow - this ended getting in the way more than anything. It was easier to just use a regular pillow, and once I really got the hang of it, I didn't need any additional supports to feed.
Wipe Warmer - This is nice to have, but also kind of extra.
Baby Shoes - I know, I know, they're so cute. But honestly these were a pain to get on and Charley just wore socks.