One question I get asked all the time is what are my “baby must-haves” both for new, first-time parents or for those about to have their second (or third). I shared my baby registry essentials back in 2018 after having Lucy and talked about the items we loved and which ones we used. At the time, we lived in a small one bedroom apartment in San Francisco, so I was very mindful of what products we registered for.I I also wanted to ensure that the baby items were ideally (1) functional, (2) easy to store away and (3) ideally, aesthetically pleasing. Basically, I didn’t want our already small space to be completely overrun with baby things, but instead, integrate “baby” into our existing space. Now that we have a bigger home and just had a second baby, I still try to achieve the same things with any baby/kids item we bring into our house. And, many products have changed even in two years since I made my baby registry! I wanted to share an update and round 2 of my baby registry essentials!
Note: I didn’t include any baby clothes or any real toys! I didn’t personally register for toys and clothes, but have finessed our favorite brands over the last couple of years. I often share about baby toys we use on my Instagram; many of them are saved here!
Wraps, slings, and carriers – back when I was pregnant with Lucy, I originally registered for a Wildbird ring sling, a Solly baby wrap, and a more structured LilleBaby carrier. I never really used the Lillebaby and didn’t ever really try out structured carriers, but was OBSESSED with the Wildbird and the Solly. Two years later, I still use both brands regularly. I even used the Wildbird for Lucy as a toddler, and would bring a ring sling on every flight/trip just in case. Babywearing is my absolute #1 must-have, especially now that I have two kids. Being able to hold a baby and also be hands-free is a game changer — I’ve no joke worn Winnie in the WB ring sling or Solly wrap every single day since we’ve been home from the hospital. Here’s an Instagram story highlight sharing some favorite baby wearing moments.
Bumbo floor seat – not for newborns, but great for when baby is 4M+ and starting to sit up on their own! We have this with accompanying tray. We’ve used it a few times with Winnie already, but will start using more regularly soon.
Bouncer – it’s so helpful to have a place to set the baby down. Given we had a small space in SF, we opted to not get a jumper or big swing for Lucy, but did get this SkipHop Multi-Lift Adjustable Bouncer. This one is nice because it completely folds/breaks down, so super convenient for easy storage in small apartments, like ours. We actually were going to sell it on FB marketplace because I didn’t think we needed it for Winnie, but one day when she was screaming, we pulled it out and put her in it and she immediately calmed down. Since, we’ve used it every day! I think having at least one item that swings/moves/vibrates is key! This one just vibrates and plays music. I’ve heard good things about the BabyBjorn bouncer, too!
Wooden Activity Gym – another beautiful and functional item! I LOVE this and we get compliments on how cute it is every time someone comes over. We started using this when Lucy was a few months old, and now, Winnie uses it! Again, I was/am aiming for not a ton of super loud/bright/plastic/bulky baby items, so this definitely fit the bill in terms of form and function.
Activity Mat – we never had one of these for Lucy, but use this colorful activity mat for Winnie almost every day! It’s nice to have a little space for her to hang out on. When she’s a bit older, she’ll be able to interact with it a bit more, since it has crinkle paper, a little mirror, a squeaker, etc. People seem to love this one, too!
Sound machine – we were gifted two, but for the most part, just used our iPad with a Spotify “rain noises” playlist on repeat. We recently bought the Hatch Rest+ sound machine/night light for Lucy’s room and it’s INCREDIBLE. Worth the $$, no question. You control the sound and light from your phone and it’s just so easy. We also have the ‘regular’ Hatch Rest in our room next to Winnie’s bassinet, which has the same features as the Rest+ without the clock. We’ve gotten this sound machine for friends who are expecting – truly, this is a registry MUST!
Dockatot – obviously a splurge, but so nice and so happy we received one! Both Winnie and Lucy slept in the Dockatot for several months (Winnie still does) before they could roll over. A huge plus is that you can remove Dockatot cover to easily wash, and it’s fairly easy to travel with. We’ve brought it in our suitcase for babies to sleep in when visiting friends or family. It really is a lifesaver and I’ve heard good things about the SnuggleMe Organic lounger too.
Moses basket & rocking stand – instead of a traditional bassinet, I used a Moses basket next to our bed for the girls to sleep in. I now actually have two — one from Plum+Sparrow and one from Design Dua. They are both handwoven and gorgeous! Winnie will sleep in this on her own, or I’ll put the Dockatot inside of the Moses basket. When baby outgrows the Moses basket, it can be used for just hanging out in during day or as toy storage (pictured here!). We bought this Moses basket stand from Jolly Jumper on Facebook Marketplace.
Swaddles and blankets – you can’t have too many baby swaddles and blankets! For both girls, we started with traditional swaddle blankets where they were wrapped like little baby burritos. For Lucy, we then transitioned to the Love to Dream swaddle with her arms up by her face. For Winnie, we did the Ollie swaddle and then the Love to Dream swaddle currently. Here’s a post all about my favorite swaddles/blankets! The ‘regular’ swaddle blankets can be used after the swaddling phase too; I typically keep some in the car and around the house to play on or for an extra layer. Lucy STILL sleeps with a sleep sack; my favorite quilted ones for toddlers are from Kickee Pants.
Mini Crib – perfect for small spaces and so pretty. We have it in the “Natural” color and I’m so glad we registered for this crib, and received from my parents. I have several Stokke Mini crib sheets from this Etsy shop. Since Lucy was born, we’ve bought the extensions to turn this mini crib into a “regular size” crib that Lucy now sleeps in, and eventually, it will transition into a toddler bed. I was able to find a second Stokke mini crib on Facebook Marketplace, so now we have two of them in our nursery!
Rocker – we’ve had this rocker for 2.5 years and it’s still going strong! We love that it has a tall back, and has a modern silhouette. A good rocking chair is important as you’ll be doing a lot of it, especially in the early days. We still use the rocker daily for rocking Winnie, but also for reading to Lucy.
ON THE GO
NUNA PIPA LITE LX INFANT CAR SEAT – my in-laws gifted us the NUNA travel system set when I was pregnant with Lucy and we still use it all today! I’m not seeing an easy option to purchase, so I’ll list the car seat and stroller separately. This car seat comes with a base for your car so it’s super easy to get it in and out. The car seat itself weighs less than six pounds, which is one the the lightest on the market. We traveled all over with this carseat and two years later, Winnie is still using it. It’s really great and I couldn’t recommend more.
NUNA MIXX STROLLER – again, back in 2018, we were able to get the car seat and stroller as one package, but this is the stroller! It has a HUGE basket (perfect for #allthethings) and is sleek and so easy to maneuver. You can arrange the stroller “seat” is different ways (front facing, rear facing, fully flat as a bassinet) and also take it off to clip in the carseat instead (which is what we did while girls are still infants). The handbars also adjust so taller people don’t have to hunch over to push it. While the stroller itself isn’t lightweight, it’s SO easy and light to push. It sort of just glides with you and it’s really awesome. This has been our “at home” / in the car stroller.
Mountain Buggy Nano Travel Stroller – we didn’t register for this, but ended up getting it before our first trip with Lucy and SO happy we did. This is our travel stroller and we used from infancy into toddlerhood. I’ve raved about this stroller on Instagram and in my travel posts, but this might be one of the most used items we have. You can clip in the carseat to it (perfect for airports and travel). We’ve used this stroller ALL over — on cobblestone streets of Paris, around Amsterdam canals, up and down San Francisco hills, through gardens in Marrakesh, on the coast in Portugal, everywhere. It’s lightweight and folds into a little bag, so you can tuck it in the overhead compartment on the airplane. I literally could be a brand ambassador for this stroller LOL. If you plan to travel at all with your kid – GET THIS!
Stroller Organizer – we registered for a different one, but ended up buying this SkipHop stroller organizer because it fit our stroller the best. Perfect for holding keys/coffee/water/chapstick/phone/#allthethings.
Car Seat Cover – definitely an essential for us! Lucy gets so distracted, so good for her to be covered to nap on-the-go. We received one and now have two (in case one is in laundry, lol). We have one from Copper Pearl (can also be used as a nursing cover) and one from MilkSnob.
Baby Car Mirror – Keeps babies happy in car as they stare at themselves, and it’s nice for us to be able to see kids from the front seat.
BundleMe Car Seat Insert– this is a super cozy and soft car seat cover we used for both girls as they were both in January/February. Perfect for winter babies!
Window Shades – not glamorous, but something used daily! We have these window shades up in our car to block the girls from getting sun in their eyes.
Diaper Bag – for Lucy, I used the Fawn Design diaper bag and always got a ton of compliments on it! It’s really gorgeous and fairly spacious, but I had some small complaints about it (mainly that it was tough to fit my water bottle in). When I was pregnant with Winnie, I got new diaper bags that I like more! I have the Freshly Picked Classic City Pack (in black) as my smaller diaper bag and the Freshly Picked Large Diaper Bag (in Fig color) as my main diaper bag. The larger one is nice for two kids and has sooo many pockets! Both are gorgeous. And many people love Fawn Design too, so if you’re deciding between Fawn and FP, you probably can’t go wrong! My personal choice is Freshly Picked though.
Diaper Bag Insert – I am obsessed with this thing. I keep all diaper bag stuff (diapers, wipes, a few toys, burp cloth, extra diaper, etc.) in the ToteSavvy Mini and then can easily put the insert into any “regular” purse. Usually I just use my Madewell tote with the ToteSavvy Mini inside as my “diaper bag.”
NURSING AND FEEDING
Boppy Pillow – I really liked having this nursing pillow, especially in newborn phase and in middle of night. Now, we use the Boppy as a “Winnie lounger” (pictured below)
High chair – in SF, we didn’t have a ton of space and I didn’t want a big, bulky high chair. We registered for and received this Inglesina high chair that hooks onto our dining table and used it for a long time! We have friends who keep this high chair in their car for quick and easy high chair option when out and about at restaurants, etc. For awhile, we were using this Keekaroo high chair that was my moms which we loved, but I received a Stokke Tripp Trapp high chair and it’s my VERY favorite. First of all, it’s gorgeous and sleek, but it also grows with your child so can be used as a toddler seat and even adult chair. We also have the newborn insert which is a little hang out spot for Winnie in the kitchen until she’s ready for a high chair. If I could have a baby registry again, I would absolutely register for the Tripp Trapp chair if you have room for it in your home!
Bibs – once baby starts solids, you can’t have too many bibs! The silicone ones like this are easiest to clean up, but I also love our MatiMati ones (8 bibs for $20), and the SUPER cute Little Unicorn ones like this. I *try* to keep the “cute” bibs for teething/drooling rather than eating because BABIES ARE SO MESSY.
Haakaa – omg I can’t believe I didn’t know about this until I had Winnie. This is a ‘pump’ that you suction onto one breast while baby is eating on the other. The Haakaa catches your letdown milk. In the first few weeks after Winnie was born, I was able to save and freeze SO much milk just from this little thing!
Breast Pump – I ordered the Spectra2 via insurance, but haven’t used it all that much. If you’re going to be pumping a lot, a STRONG pump is key! I have never pumped a lot, but if you are going to be pumping, you should read this post from my friend Danielle! I did like having a hands-free, cords-free, battery-powered bump like the Willow pump for on-the-go pumping when I was away from Lucy to work or while traveling. I’ll be trying out another wearable pump called Elvie soon, too!
Feeding Set – this is a super cute feeding set we have that includes silicone bibs, a silicone plate, silverware and a bowl.
Bottles – I did research and registered for three types that I heard great things about — ComoTomo, Avent Natural and Lifefactory. Lucy would NOT take a bottle for almost six months, and we ended up trying all of them without luck. She finally did accept a Lasinhoh bottle. I’d recommend registering for a variety pack and NOT BUYING/REGISTERING FOR TOO MANY DIFFERENT BOTTLES. You will have so many bottles leftover that you don’t use (or, what my friend calls “a bottle graveyard”) ? For Winnie, since we had so many leftover, we’ve started giving her the ComoTomo bottles. She still is hesitant to take a bottle, but we are trying!
Baby Bottle Cleaner – we got this Munchkin stainless steel one and it doesn’t bother me to have it sitting out because it’s not bright green/blue like all of the other ones out there…?
Bottle Drying Rack – bottles and pumps come with so many parts! We got this clear bottle drying rack.
Baby bathtub – we registered for and received the Boon Soak Infant Bathtub. We used it once and gave it away because Lucy preferred to take baths with me instead! We never tried a baby bathtub with Winnie and instead, we just take our baths together!
Bath products – our favorite brands for baby shampoo, body wash, etc. are Tubby Todd, Honest, and Burt’s Bees.
Changing Pad/Basket – we’ve had the Keekaroo Peanut Changer since Lucy was born and still have it in our nursery. I love how modern it looks and even more, LOVE that we can easily wipe it clean (vs. having to wash and swap out changing pad sheets). We recently did get this changing basket for our bedroom while Winnie is in our room still!
Ubbi Diaper Pail – we almost didn’t get one of these because I thought it was “just another baby thing” BUT so happy we did!
Changing Mat – I love our leather Gathre changing mat. Easy to fold into diaper bag and wipe clean, plus looks so pretty. This is such a great, simple baby shower gift!
Wipe Warmer – we didn’t register for one, but ended up buying one at 2am on the Amazon app…because no one wants to deal with a baby screaming at 1:45am because of cold wipes. Probably not a necessity, but very, very nice to have, especially in early days.
Diapers & wipes – the easiest baby shower gift because THEY WILL BE USED. We registered for Honest and usually use these, but truly now use “whatever we can get.”
Pacifiers – Lucy never took a paci, but Winnie loves the BIBS brand.
Gathre Mat – I have several different Gathre mats and love them! We use the small ones (Micro size) under high chair and in diaper bag for on-the-go diaper changes. We use the medium sizes (Mini + Midi) alllll the time as Lucy is older — for picnics, at the beach, for coloring in the house, etc. It’s a very versatile product and I can’t recommend enough!
Brush/Comb Set – this is the prettiest brush set! It also includes a little silicone comb for baby heads!
Humidifier – adds moisture to the air, so especially helpful in the winter or when someone is feeling sick. It’s helpful for sinus congestion, sore throats, allergies, colds, dry skin, etc. We have definitely gotten our money’s worth out of this, and now have two humidifiers in our house!
Air Purifier – cleans up stuffy air in our apartment, especially helpful if you have a pet or live in an older home like we do!
Thermometer – lately in the day and age of COVID, we are using our no-touch thermometer!
Windi – not glamorous but incredibly effective and brilliant product for “helping baby pass gas.” Basically a lifesaver when she was pretty gassy early on.
BABY REGISTRY SHOPPING LIST
MOSES BASKET (BASSINET)
ON THE GO
NURSING + FEEDING
BIBS (for eating + drooling)
HAAKAA + OTHER BREAST PUMP
BOTTLES (personal preference – ComoTomo is my favorite)
ALLLLLL THE DIAPERS AND WIPES!