If you are having a baby for the first time, it can be overwhelming to know what to put on your baby registry. As a new mom myself, I have realized that you don’t have to spend a whole lot of money to be comfortable in having everything you need to take care of a new baby. Start with the things you absolutely need right away, like an infant car seat, a bassinet and some burp cloths and go from there.
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If you would like to breastfeed, many breast pumps are covered by insurance. Check out a site like Aeroflow that I used to receive my breast pump, before buying one full price with your own money. Make sure to set aside some time to have your doctor sign a note to send over to the company and for you to receive your breast pump. I would start the process in the second trimester, just in case the baby comes earlier than expected, so that you can have the pump ready to go.
With regard to the other items on this list, you can always wait for these to go on sale before you or your loved ones make the purchase. Notice, I did not include clothing items because babies grow really fast, and you probably don’t want to waste your money on a whole wardrobe of fancy clothes that the baby will never wear. Start by asking friends or family to send over what they don’t need anymore, or get a lot of secondhand clothes from a site like Mercari. The baby is honestly going to mess them up, so I wouldn’t worry too much about spending money on brand new outfits.
I also did not include baby books, because you can get them secondhand from friends, from a store like Thriftbooks, or FREE at your local library. We are trying to save some money out here!
Becoming a new mother is hard, but I hope my simplified list of baby registry picks gives you some inspiration and a place to start!
Honestly, any stroller will do, but this is a full size stroller that can be converted later into a double stroller for those of us who may be looking to have another child in the future. I like the ride, and it folds up well, but it is heavy. We got ours secondhand on OfferUp, so if your budget is tight, see if you can get something used. We also like this one because you can get adapters to fit almost any infant car seat.
The Chicco KeyFit was a no-brainer for us. It is an affordable and relatively lightweight infant car seat that is one of the safest on the market. Most importantly, it is very easy to install correctly every single time. With the infant inserts, it also accommodated our preemie when we brought him home from the NICU. I didn’t have to add any additional padding or support to get him positioned correctly.
At first, I was of the thought that a bassinet was unnecessary because you can just click the infant seat into the stroller. This is true for traveling and getting in and out of the car. However, if you just want to get out of the house and go on a walk, it is such a hassle to strap in a cranky, sleepy newborn baby. It would have been so much easier to lay him in the bassinet and go out, and if I had this, I might have gone on more walks with him.
Unfortunately, the bassinet does not come as a standard accessory with the City Select, and you have to buy it separately. You can also get these secondhand, or you can try something like the UppaBaby Vista that comes with a bassinet. On the budget end of things, one of these strollers has seats that can easily be converted into a bassinet.
We got this to travel with because our full-size Baby Jogger stroller is so heavy. This umbrella stroller folds compactly so that it can be carried easily, and is inexpensive enough that if it gets damaged as it is handled by baggage handlers that we won’t be terribly upset if we need to get a new one.
We are waiting to get this when it’s on a deep sale because Noah still fits in his Chicco car seat at 10 months old. This is a highly rated car seat that is relatively easy to install, and lasts until the baby no longer needs a carseat or a booster seat. In that respect (price per use), this item is worth the money.
This is a lightweight, budget car seat that runs under $100. The weight limit is 40 pounds and the car seat is super light (under 10 pounds). We got this one to take on airplane rides, but honestly it will work if you’re tight on a budget or want a seat for grandma or your second car.
I wish I had used this when Noah was much younger, because it would have freed me up to do more things around the house while he was sleeping on my chest. I use it almost daily now, for grocery trips, for going to places where you can’t really bring a stroller, and for getting him to fall asleep when he is all wound up. If you don’t get this one, get any kind of carrier. I highly recommend this one because it is easy to use and you can use it until they are about 35 pounds. I got mine secondhand.
Any diaper bag will do, but I like ones that have insulated pockets and a mat that you can fold out to change the baby on in case you are out in public and don’t trust the cleanliness of the changing surface. I also like the mats for changing dirty diapers so that it is easier to clean up whatever mess is left behind.
I love this high chair because it can be used by newborns as well as older babies. It reclines pretty far back and you can strap the baby in for security. This is nice because you can give the baby a bottle while you are sitting at the table eating dinner or doing anything else. It can also be lowered and elevated to accommodate different table heights, and it is very easy to clean.
This is a great budget sterilizer. You can fit a whole lot of bottle parts, pacifiers, etc. on the tray, fill it with water, and microwave for 5 minutes. That’s it. It’s very low-tech but it works.
Don’t spend a whole lot on fancy printed blankets or on products marketed specifically as burp cloths. Flour sack towels are very cheap, so you can stock up and get a whole bunch. They cover a large surface area and are easy to bleach, if necessary. Burp cloths get dirty and you will probably go through several in a day. These”burp cloths” give you the most for the price.
Cloth bibs are nice, but if you are worried about stains or want an easy clean-up especially as he or she transitions to eating solid foods, try these silicone bibs. There is a pocket to catch solids before they get all over baby’s clothes or the high chair, and you can just wash them with the bottles and baby dishes with soap and water.
I think the silicone is more hygienic than traditional bottle brushes, but we like this one for easy bottle clean-up. It’s simple and it lasts.
I tried a couple of breast pumps at first that just weren’t right. I needed a product that would allow me to fully customize the suction and the speed for the most comfortable and efficient pumping sessions, and this one was amazing. Additionally, I liked that I could unplug it and bring my pump upstairs to the bedroom or to the couch, so that I didn’t feel limited. This one is also on the moderate end of the price range, but it was worth it. I had a cheaper one that was so painful to use that I avoided pumping, which reduced my milk supply. I would say, just go ahead and invest in something that is comfortable and easy to use.
I did not purchase this, but I almost did! While my Spectra pump was relatively portable, I still had to sit while I pumped because any movement would mess up the seal between the flange and my skin, and it would lose suction. I found out that you cannot pick a baby up during your session, or clean, or make food. Just like my feelings about the baby carrier, if you have things you need to do around the house, get a portable pump like the Willow. I had long 30 minute pumping sessions 6+ times per day, that I was squeezing in during my son’s naps. Between washing the parts and getting set up each time, and then pumping, I felt like I was not able to spend as much time doing what I needed to do during what little free time I had.
Making baby food is easy, and these glass baby food containers are such a great help! These are also freezer safe, so if you want to make a batch of baby food and save it for later, you can store and freeze it in the same container. Another key player is this silicone ice cube tray. Each cube is about one small serving of food. Just portion the food puree, freeze, and pop out the cubes into labeled freezer bags. This way, you can have frozen portions ready-to-go for each meal, or mix and match foods as you please.
These spoons are very cute and colorful, but honestly any set of spoons will do.
Again, any bottle will do. However, because our son was coming home from the NICU after having his feeding tube removed, we needed to find a bottle that had very slow flow nipples. There might have been other brands out there, but Avent bottles seemed to have a pretty good range of nipples with different flow rates that were all compatible with the same bottles. As our son got better at feeding, we swapped the nipples with the next level of flow.
Bottle warmers are not necessary. But this one accommodates many different types of bottles and does not take up too much space. The only thing is that it does not measure bottle temperature. You have to adjust the timer according to how warm you want the bottle to be, which takes a little bit of trial and error.
I feel like every baby has this toy. After a couple weeks, you will have the songs that play on the piano memorized. It is fun and colorful, and transitions well as they grow up. When Noah was very new, we used it for tummy time so that he could lift his head and look up to see the colors on the piano. As he got older, he kicked the piano keys and now that he’s crawling, he crawls to the detached piano part, sits up and plays with the piano. I would say this was definitely worth the money.
This book has different colors and sounds that are fun for babies to explore. Our developmental therapist was happy that we had one and says that she uses it with all of her clients. It’s a very low-tech, low-cost way to help babies learn about their environment.
These are great for when the baby is sitting up and they need something to do. I did not feel comfortable with traditional building blocks because they have pointy corners and are hard. These are soft. They have different textures and are great for teething infants who like to put things in their mouths. Additionally, these blocks are stackable, they squeak when squeezed, and have numbers to help babies and toddlers learn their numbers.
This is one of the most inexpensive baby swings on the market, but it gets the job done. Noah loved this when he was around three months old, and it would entertain him and give me a break to get some things done while I watched from afar.
Diapers are always a personal preference, but after trying several brands, including the generic store brands, I have found Huggies to be my favorite. They are very absorbent, and just feel like high-quality diapers. They have always contained Noah’s blowouts, and he has never had a diaper rash. I would advise getting a sample pack and trying out different brands to see what works best for you and your child.
This is a very simple diaper pail. I love this one because you don’t need to buy brand-specific bags, which are an additional cost and a hassle when you run out. We have been recycling grocery bags and using them in our diaper pail. As long as the pail closes, the odor is contained. The only thing is, because grocery bags are not as deep, you will need to change them more frequently. We changed our diaper bags daily, and it was never a problem for us.
I tend to gravitate towards furniture by Delta Children’s. I like that this crib is not only very pretty, but can be converted to a toddler bed as the baby gets older. It makes me feel better to be getting more for my money with multiple uses over time.
Any mattress will do. I think it just needs to fit snugly in the crib and be a firm sleeping surface. If you have money to spend, I would try the Newton mattress. It is breathable and washable.
Again, any rocking chair will do, but this one is a dream. It is so comfortable that it makes middle-of-the-night feeds somewhat enjoyable. It is heavy and bulky, though, so if you have a smaller nursery, I might opt for a traditional glider or rocking chair.
We loved this bassinet, although Noah did not sleep much in it. I love that you can raise the bassinet so that it can swivel over the bed and you can safely “co-sleep” with the baby, while he is in his separate little space. The mesh sides make it easy to visually check in and see how the baby is doing, and one of the sides can pull down so that it is easy to pick the baby up for feeding.
I got most of mine secondhand because these can get expensive. We used these for everything: burp cloths, swaddles, sun shades, blankets, you name it. These are multipurpose, but swaddling is key. Noah slept a lot longer when he was swaddled, and my husband did such a good job getting a snug fit with these blankets. We liked them even better than the sleep sacks or the Velcro swaddles.
We are partial to these because Noah came home from the NICU with these. He has tried other pacifiers, but these were his favorite when he was very, very little. Like many of the items above, get as many different samples as you can get and test them out. Every baby is different.
Noah hated this in his crib, but we put this on his changing table. He always looked forward to watching the shapes go by during his diaper changes.
It is a night light and a sound machine, with several different sounds including white noise, nature sounds and lullabies. I like the night light function because it allowed me to see where I was going during night feeds without turning on a bright light and fully waking him up.
This baby monitor comes in at under $100 and provides sound and video monitoring. It does not hook up to your phone, but it comes with a handheld monitor. We were able to get a good signal throughout the house, even two floors down, and it has been a very solid baby monitor.
Build Your Baby Registry
Wow, I think that definitely covers it. These are the products that we have used and loved daily from our Baby Registry. Many of these things are just nice to have, but are not necessary. You don’t have to spend a whole lot of money to get ready for the baby. If you are looking to save even more money on baby gear, check out this post. I go through all the ways we saved on our baby gear, including how to get free samples! Good luck building your baby registry and, if you’re expecting, congratulations!