I remember the instant we found out we were pregnant; I couldn’t wait to get going on shopping for all the wonderful items that I thought I needed before our daughter arrived. Nine months spent preparing for the little bundle of joy that would later join us; picking out items for her, which turned out to be even more fun than I had expected it to be! I was spending money on all the cute things that caught my eye for her and it didn’t take long to quickly fill up her closet and dresser with all the stuff that I thought she needed.
Fast forward to baby number two and I quickly realized that there was a lot of things that I had purchased for my daughter that I really didn’t need for my son. After having a year and a half under my belt as a new mom, I started to realize that some of the things I had purchased, although cute, weren’t quite necessary. I decided while pregnant with baby number two, that I wanted to be more careful with the things I was buying; saving money on items that we really didn’t need. I also realized that a lot of the items that had made my original baby registry list at the time of my first pregnancy were fun but maybe not as practical as they should have been. I had regretted not putting items on my list that I could have really used, and instead, later had to buy myself.
Now that I have experienced two pregnancies and lived with two newborn babes, I feel like I have a bit of an idea of the things that new moms really need; all while keeping budget and practicality in mind.
Here is my ‘Top 20 Items for a Baby Registry’ and the why behind them. 🙂
1. Braun No touch + forehead thermometer -I’ve had mine since before my daughter was born. It’s been durable (my child plays with it from time to time with her stuffies :)), completely accurate and the number one recommended brand by pediatricians. I got it early on because I wanted to be fully prepared for when my daughter experienced her first fever. One of the most anxiety provoking situations as a new mom was worrying when my babe had an abnormal temperature. I had a bazillion questions running through my head.. Is her temperature too high? Is this temperature concerning at this age? Do I need to take her to the hospital? There is nothing worse than waking up in the middle of the night to your babe burning up with little access to support. Anything to reduce my stress and anxiety in those times was a life saver. The Braun No touch + forehead thermometer with Age Precision® technology does just that. You can set your child’s age, take their temperature, and then use the colour coded feature to help accurately interpret the results. The no touch feature allows you to hold the thermometer up to five cm away from your babe’s forehead so you can creep in their rooms at night and check their temperatures without waking them, which is a major stress reliever!
2. Vicks Mini Cool Mist humidifier -We live in such a dry and cold city that my poor babes are always having nosebleeds, especially at night. I feel so sad when I enter their room to find blood all over the sheets because they had a nosebleed while sleeping. The Vicks® Mini FilterFree Cool Mist Humidifier in my opinion is the perfect size for nurseries and kid’s rooms. There are many Vicks humidifier options available, including various sizes, but I like how this one fits perfectly on my son’s side table. Not only does the added moisture help reduce nose bleeds and dry noses but it also helps with congestion and coughs during colds/flus. And, if you like scents for extra relief, you can also buy Vicks VapoPads® in menthol, rosemary or lavender to use in the humidifier.
3. Travel playpen/crib/bassinet – There are so many cute items in this category, such as wicker bassinets and Moses baskets. However, the reality is you don’t NEED those items. I fell for the gimmick and got one because they are super cute, but I barely used it. If you are going to buy only one item in this category, I suggest a travel playpen that can double as a bassinet for when baby is first born. We used our playpen/bassinet during the first six months of both of our babies lives while they slept in our bedroom. We still use ours now at our parent’s houses for quick afternoon naps or on the road when we go to our cabin/stay at hotels.
4. Nursing pillow – Nursing wasn’t my favourite thing to do and I am always in awe at the women who could nurse on the go. I found it very uncomfortable and always needed a good pillow to support baby while doing it. It made it more comfortable for me (decreased the stress on my back) and therefore made me happier, especially in the wee hours of the night.
5. Breast pump – If your benefits cover it or if you can afford it, an electric breast pump seems like the only way to go. I didn’t use mine tons with my first baby (but it did come in handy when I got mastitis twice), however once my second babe came, I was much wiser. I worked in an extra pump feed each night after he went to bed during the first three months of his life. I stopped once I knew I had a decent supply of milk stored in our freezer. This supply gave me the freedom to go out more with my first babe and on date nights with my husband, which was definitely needed after baby two!
6. Double stroller – We always knew we wanted a second baby fairly quickly after our first, so we invested in a double stroller from the get-go. It seemed like the smart investment rather than buying a single stroller to use for about two years, only to sell it for less than we paid and spend again on a double stroller. If you can afford it and plan to have a second child soon after, I highly recommend this plan.
7. Car seat – A fairly obvious one as you can’t leave the hospital without it. If you don’t care about the bucket function of the newborn style seats, you can save yourself some money and get one that converts from newborn until toddlerhood.
8. Bouncer – Some form of a bouncer was a must have for us as both of our children loved spending time in bouncers. Especially with baby two, as it allowed us to free up our hands a bit when our older child needed our attention.
9. Rocker – There are so many styles of this out there, it’s a seat that you can clip your baby into and it rocks. Our first loved it more than our second but we found it to be a lifesaver in the evenings when she was fussy. She almost always napped in it during the later evening, which if anyone has experienced, can be a challenging and fussy time with new babes!
10. Baby wrap – Baby wearing is a craze right now and I too, jumped on the bandwagon. I used my wrap a lot with my first babe who was fairly fussy if I didn’t hold her during mundane tasks. She would often fall asleep in it while I cooked, cleaned and even decorated a wedding venue one time! My son was a lot heavier and so I found it harder to do with him. I also found wearing him created a physical barrier between myself and my older daughter who would become jealous, therefore I didn’t use the wrap as much with him. My husband preferred the sturdier style carrier and wore our son lots in it. I personally preferred the wrap style and the closeness it offers. It’s also a lot smaller to pack in a bag when travelling. We always check in our stroller so boarding an airplane with two young kids isn’t always the easiest. Baby wearing even for this purpose only was super helpful for us.
11. Highchair – We never purchased an expensive highchair. Instead, I bought one from a big box store. It’s plastic, easy to clean and comfortable enough for as long as my baby needs to sit in it for. The luxury ones are beautiful but the thought of having to remove and wash the material in them continuously, seems silly to me. The plastic one was cost effective, very easy to take care of and it’s simple, white look went great with the decor; therefore, I think it was a win-win!
12. Sound machine – Doesn’t matter what brand or what style you buy, as long as it serves its function. Kids ones or adult ones, it didn’t matter as long as it had white noise. Sound machines have been a life saver for us. Our kid’s bedrooms are right next to each other so having a sound machine in each bedroom has allowed us to not panic in the night when one of the two wakes up, as we know the other won’t hear it. For travel it has been a huge help; allowing us to all sleep in one room together. We have one with a nightlight in it which my daughter likes right now, but not sure it’s a must have feature, as many kids won’t need the nightlight. However, to save on costs down the road, the built-in light feature is nice.
13. Bath seat – Our daughter was on the tinier side, so we used our bath seat for a LONG time with her. Since our son is bigger and we now bathe our kids together, the bath seat didn’t get used as long with him. Despite that, it was still a necessary safety item that we have got good use out of for both kids.
14. Diaper pail – It’s just plain convenient and contains the smell of dirty diapers. Being in a two-storey house, my hands are often full carrying down children and items that I need on the main floor with me, so bringing down a dirty diaper on top of everything else isn’t always a possibility. The diaper pail made life with a newborn much easier.
15. Rocker chair – I had my old nursery chair from when I grew up recovered and have used it in both kid’s bedrooms. I got it recovered in a neutral colour (light grey) knowing I could use it for either gender, depending on what we had. It’s currently in my son’s room and is large enough for my son, daughter and I to all squish in together and read books. Having one that is big enough makes life easier now, as I can do the kid’s bedtime routine together. After we are done using it in the kid’s bedrooms, I will likely move it downstairs to be used in the playroom; so the investment in recovering it was well worth it!
16. Single Monitor – We opted to buy two separate monitors for two reasons. One, so we could split them up between parents for when our son was a newborn and two, so we could send one with our daughter when she goes on a sleepover to a grandparent’s house. When my son was first born, I would often have his camera on my side of the bed and my husband would take our daughter’s camera to his side, so we could be responsible for one child each during the night. We still currently use a camera in my daughter’s room; as I always like to know what she’s up to in there. 🙂
17. Burp Cloths – I found that out of everything baby related in terms of cloth-based items, I used these the most. Blankets are great for swaddling and cuddling but I always overdid it with those. Burp cloths however, I did not initially overdo. I bought a couple of burp cloths for my daughter and then raced out quickly within the first few weeks she was born to get some more. With my son, I loaded up on them from the beginning and good thing I did, as he was a spitter-upper more than my daughter ever was, and we went through many a day!
18. Soothers/Teethers – My daughter loved teethers but disliked soothers (other than to chew on) and my son loves soothers but dislikes teethers. So, based on these personal experiences, I say to buy a couple of each to start and then go out and buy more of whatever they like if you need more once your child is in that phase.
19. Diaper bag – I used my diaper bag A LOT with my daughter (until almost two) and a decent amount with my son too (until he was about one). Having a large bag that you can throw everything into, including undies when you are potty training your older one, snacks for both and even car/restaurant toys was great. The backpack style if it works for your life is even better. Super easy to wear and throw on while keeping your hands free; especially if you have more than one babe to care for.
20. Camera – There was a lot of things I missed on my first registry when my daughter was born (including many items I put on here) but a camera was not one of them. I had already purchased so many clothes, blankets and toys for my daughter that I didn’t exactly need anymore. When my shower rolled around, I had asked my guests if they were comfortable with it, to kindly purchase gift cards that I could use towards buying a more expensive camera, so I could take pictures of my babe as she grew. It was such a good investment and I’m super happy I did it!
Those are my must have baby items. Some obvious, and hopefully some that are less obvious. You will ALWAYS enjoy buying clothes and cute items for your babes and I don’t think there is anything wrong with that. But, when you are on a budget and you are given the blessing of having a baby shower, I highly suggest registering for items that are necessary but less exciting to buy on your own. Clothes from your great-aunt Edna, may not fit with your style but a Braun thermometer or a Vicks humidifier from that same great aunt will be practical and appreciated when the time arises that you need them. And let me tell you, you WILL need them!
*This post was sponsored by Vicks humidifiers and Braun thermometers. All opinions, pictures and content are my own.