From bouncers to swings and loungers, these baby seats can be a lifesaver when you want to free yourself up to eat a quick meal or go to the bathroom while baby is awake and ready to play. Ladies and Gents, let’s go grab our seats!
In general, Bouncer’s should be lightweight / easy to move from room-to-room. I wouldn’t recommend a bouncer that requires batteries, because changing them out constantly is a hassle. Also, you wouldn’t want it to poop out right when your baby has finally calmed down.
The Fisher-Price Deluxe bouncer is extra plush and has electronic bells and whistles that will keep baby engaged for hours. Think hanging toys that baby can reach for and spin, as well as songs and calming vibrations.
The music plays for 20 minutes to give you time to unload the dishwasher or get a little extra work done. Plus, the soft removable newborn insert supports your baby’s head and neck — and it’s machine-washable. It can be used for babies who weigh 20 pounds or less.
Winner of Baby Center’s “Best Mom Picks”
The sleek, battery-free BabyBjorn bouncer is designed to help your baby bounce herself (safely, of course) to develop her balance and motor skills.
With four reclining positions, this baby bouncer is great for rest or play and folds completely flat, so you can easily carry or store it. It can be used once your baby weighs eight pounds.
Also good: The ergonomic fabric seat supports baby’s back, head and neck. Once your child can walk and sit unassisted, reverse the fabric cover to turn it into a comfy chair — it can hold kids up to 29 pounds, generally around age 2.
Baby floor seats provide the support and assistance your baby needs for sitting up before they’re quite ready to do it on their own. They are great for placing on a kitchen counter while you are needing to multitask or for feeding the baby.
This multi seat can be set on the floor or used as a booster seat and placed on a dining chair for table-side eating. It has the contoured comfort of the original Bumbo Infant Seat, while having the advantages of a booster seat for the table.
The tray is useful for mealtimes or activities, and can removed and stored on the back of the chair. The height is adjustable, and built-in chair straps are retractable. A soft foam cushion keeps babies comfortable, but can be removed as the child grows.
This is a super supportive chair, so it’s great for when your baby still isn’t able to sit up on their own. It’s also great for when you’re wanting to give your baby a break from laying down all day.
NOTE: It does not have a food tray, but you can attach toys to it to keep your baby busy. Also, a Doctor told a friend of mine that this seat is better for your baby than the Bumbo because it gives your baby better leg movement. (Versus the Bumbo is a little more snug on the legs.)
The first three months of a baby’s life is the hardest time for the little one as they are still trying to adjust to life outside of their mother’s womb. A swing can be an awesome way to help them through this time. The reason why is because it helps to mimic the womb. The rocking and swinging motion will remind the baby of the movement they felt when they were in the womb and how mom would walk, moving her hips.
Five motions with adjustable speeds, plus built-in sounds for ultimate soothing. Cozy, washable seat with optional newborn insert. The built-in mobile entertains curious older babies. Bluetooth-enabled and MP3-compatible so you can play baby’s favorite lullaby.
Winner of Baby Center’s “Best Mom Picks”
It outshines the competition regarding soothing ability thanks to its fully customizable features. It has soft, plush fabrics, and many song and nature sounds. 6 speeds and 2 swinging motions.
The quirkily patterned mobile can be turned on to rotate while the baby is in the swing and has a mirrored surface to entertain the baby from below.
WARNING: it does take up a lot of space and is not easy to store.
The Nuna Leaf has become a parent favorite mainly because it’s so visually pleasing thanks to its modern design, but also because it is silent (no creaking or white noise machine that switches off after a certain period) and lightweight.
It can travel anywhere, indoors or out because of it’s lightweight and that it’s not attached to a cord. The batteries will never run out, because there are none – and this means it’s cheaper too.
The age range is huge compared to normal baby swings – birth to 130 pounds. The seat is wide enough so that little babies won’t roll out thanks to the velcro harness and since it is built kind of like a hammock – bigger kids can sit in it and watch TV.
WARNING: Nuna’s website claims that the seat will maintain a swaying motion for over two minutes with a single push, and after reading a bunch of reviews — that is not always the case. According to Baby Gear Lab: The sway time may change depending on the weight of the baby, but even so, two minutes is hardly enough time for a parent to do anything but sit and wait to give the next push. The primary purpose behind having a good baby swing is to use it as an alternative to a caregiver’s arms. So, although the Leaf may be a more visually appealing product to have in your home, we don’t think it’s worth the tradeoff of the extra effort involved to keep it going.
Baby loungers provide a safe and comfy spot that lets baby rest, lounge, play, cuddle, do tummy time and get diaper changes.
Note: I recommend purchasing/registering for 2 cover sheets, so when one is dirty from all the spit up and milk spills, you have a clean one ready.
Instead of the Bobby Lounger, I used the Bobby Breastfeeding Pillow as my lounger. But, I think the Bobby loungers are a great way to rest your baby when you are pumping/folding clothes, etc. It is also great for when friends and family come to meet the baby for the first time to have them in the lounger so everyone can see the baby at once and take turns holding the baby and putting them down.
A Dock-a-Tot is a unique lounging pad designed for when your baby needs extra support. It can also be used as regular loungers for rest, lounge, play, cuddle, tummy time and diaper changes. I was handed down mine by my sister, who said she never ended up using it for her baby that was born 5 months prior to mine. I ended up not using it either.
My night nurse recommended NOT using it because it’s better for the baby to get used to sleeping in the crib immediately. I found it to be very expensive and unnecessary. But, to be fair to the Dock-A-Tot, my friends that had very small babies (6 pounds or under) said they loved the Dock-A-Tot because it made them feel like their tiny baby was cozier and more protected when sleeping in their crib.
Shop your tushies off for every item included in this post below!
From breastfeeding to eating solids, babies are inherently messy eaters. To make your life easier for all the many stages of eating, here is a rundown of all the best feeding accessories to have on hand.
You will want to register or purchase 6-10 bottles and nipples. You won’t know which is the best to use until your baby arrives and makes their preference known, but here are the top favorites:
- Dr. Brown’s is known for their patented venting system, designed to prevent air bubbles from being swallowed (similar to breastfeeding). This helps reduce burping, gas, spit-up and even colic. This vacuum-free effect also ensures all the essential nutrients in milk and formula are preserved.
- Don’t register for 4oz. bottles, just use 8oz. bottles and only fill it up with as little or as much as you need.
- Pro tip: pick a unique design/color so you can keep track of your bottles when visiting family/friends’ houses with other babies there.
- Winner of Baby Center’s “Best Mom Picks”
- Winner of The Bump’s “Best of Baby ” (for glass bottles)
If your baby doesn’t take to Dr. Brown’s, the following options are also very popular:
- MAM bottles are also designed to help reduce burping, gas, spit-up and even colic.
- These bottles are also self-sterilizing – simply remove the bottom of the bottle, fill with water, insert the nipple, reattach the bottom then heat in the microwave for three minutes.
- The bottle tops feature a wide, rounded mound and naturally shaped nipple to help breastfed babies accept the bottle and avoid nipple confusion.
- The soft, squishy silicone bottle has a skin-like feel for a soothing touch and better grip.
- With just three bottle parts—the nipple, the ring and the bottle—the Comotomo is super-easy to wash, either by hand, in the dishwasher or via a sterilizer; plus, the wide neck means you can fit your hand (and sponge) inside without the need for a special bottle brush.
- Two anti-colic vents are built into the nipple (read: no extra parts to assemble or clean!) to make sure baby doesn’t gulp down air, leading to less spit up, burping and gas.
- Winner of The Bump’s “Best of Baby”
- Baby instinctively connects to the bottle’s familiar shape, while 2x faster warming satisfies baby’s immediate hunger needs. Our award-winning baby bottles for breastfed babies encourage a smooth transition from breast to bottle (and back).
- A breastmilk storage bottle that cools 2xs faster to reduce bacterial growth. Even warming prevents hot spots & Quick warming allows to use safe temperatures.
- The included breast pump adaptor means you can conveniently pump directly into your bottle, seal for perfect breast milk storage, warm, and feed all from one baby bottle. Easy to clean and assemble.
- Slow flow 360 degree double vented system prevents colic and baby gas. Optimal for a breastfeeding newborn.
When it comes to bibs, the higher up on the neck the better. This helps to stop spit-up/drool sooner, which helps prevent rashes. You will want 4 to 8 cloth bibs, and only 2 to 4 of the silicon/wipe-off style bibs since they are easier to clean.
Easy to clean, you can just wipe up – plus they catch food in the built-in bucket.
Wipe-Off Bibs offer full waterproof protection for your child’s clothes during mealtime.
You will want 8 -12 burp cloths and that they are very absorbent. Unfortunately, the cuter ones typically are not as absorbent (lookin at you cuties aden + anais).
- This is the updated version of the Boppy – makes breastfeeding and bottle feeding easier and more comfortable thanks to it’s wrap around the waist design.
- Its wraparound design hugs your body, while the backrest helps prevent back and neck soreness.
- The original and classic nursing pillow.
- Winner of Baby Center’s “Best Mom Picks”
- Moms love to use the Haakaa not as an actual breast pump, but as a way to save milk when breastfeeding.
- While nursing on one side, moms attach the pump to the breast not being used to help save tons of milk that tends to leak out when not being nursed.
- “The Keurig of Baby Formula”
- The Formula Pro measures and mixes water with powdered formula to the perfect temperature and consistency every time.
- Definitely more of a luxury item than a necessity. (But I personally *love* it!!)
- Warning: Very important to keep parts clean and to clean often.
- If you plan on feeding your baby formula at any point, I suggest getting a bottle warmer.
- Here’s why: not many people realize, but formula is good for up to 24 hours. (Read the box if you don’t believe me!) This means if you serve up an 8oz. bottle and your baby only drinks 6oz., you do not have to dump those 2oz.!
- Simply put the bottle in the fridge and use it for the next feeding. All you have to do is add 6 ounces (or however much needed) on top of it and heat it up! Realizing I didn’t have to throw out all of those last few ounces was such a life saver because, let’s face it, – formula is expensive!! – so every drop counts!
Bottoms up to your (soon-to-be) very fat caterpillar! 🙂
When it came time to do my Baby Registry when I was pregnant with my son Chase, I felt paralyzed. Everyone I spoke to gave me different advice.
Of course, every baby and parent is different, which leads to very different experiences. This makes taking any guidance super difficult because there’s a ton of conflicting opinions on gadgets / brands / products / etc. I remember wondering, “where do I even begin?” and “where is the best place to register?” and “how many stores is too many to register for?”
So, I decided to create a Baby Registry Guide as a way to keep myself organized with all of the products I had been researching and hearing about. In this post, I will share my thoughts on the best places to register and an outline of items I suggest registering. Hopefully this will help in alleviating some of the stress I remember feeling when it came to tackling a Baby Registry.
Best Places to Register
I suggest registering at only two stores. One ‘mega’ store/website and one local store. You want at least one registry to be accessible to your friends and family that may not be able to attend the shower in person and can easily mail it to you directly. For your main registry, I suggest a ‘mega’ store/website like BuyBuyBABY, Target, Walmart or Amazon. These ‘mega’ stores not only have everything, but sticking to one store for the majority of your purchases will make returns easier. For your second store, I suggest registering at a local store as an option for those friends and family able to attend your shower in-person.
There are also Registry websites like BabyList.com or MyRegistry.com, which allow you to add items from *any* site, including Amazon, to your registry. My only hesitancy with these sites is that since they are newer and not yet a well-oiled machine like Amazon, so I know some people don’t find them user-friendly.
[Note: If using BabyList.com or MyRegistry.com, you can create a “Private List” and compile all the items that you need, but don’t necessarily want to register for (i.e. nipple shields, bottle brushes, etc.)]
If the item you are registering for is available at both the ‘mega’ store as well as your local store, I suggest registering for it at the local store — as people prefer to easily pick up items to bring to the shower. Also nice for those last-minute shoppers, like myself. 🙂
Registry *Must-Haves* Checklist
Below is an outline of items you will need to register for. As part of my Mama ArdyParty series, I will do individual posts that go more in-depth on each category and provide options of items to choose from. You can use this list as a starting point to get acquainted with the necessities and as a general checklist.
Gear & Travel
- Car Seat
- Carrier (i.e. a strap on accessory to carry baby on your chest)
- Travel Accessories (portable changing pad, back seat car mirror, etc.)
Infant Activity Gear
- Infant Seating
- Pack ‘N Play
- Activity Gym
- Portable Highchair
- Breast Pump
- Accessories (burp cloths, nursing pillow, bottle warmer, etc.)
- Bath Products (shampoo/bodywash, lotion)
- Bath Tub
- Bath Accessories (toys, sprout cover, kneeling pads, etc.)
Health & Safety
- Cleaning Supplies (bottle drying rack)
- Safety Kits (plug covers, cabinet locks, first aid kit)
- Baby Monitor
- Newborn Basics (short-sleeve onesies, long-sleeve onesies, footie PJs)
- Newborn Accessories (socks, no-scratch mittens, caps/hats)
- Swaddle Blanket
- Accessories (sound machine, mobile, baby hangers, etc.)
- Diapering (diaper pail, changing pad, wipe warmer)
Items You Need, But Don’t *Need* to Register For
The following items are things you will need, but you don’t necessarily need to put them on your registry. Either because there are more important items you’d rather your friends purchase for you (i.e. stroller) or you will most likely receive as gifts regardless. Some items I chose not to add to my registry because they were either super cheap (nipple brushes) or super expensive (crib), and I was more comfortable purchasing them on my own.
Plenty of people do register for these items – so it’s completely up to your personal preference if you want to add them to your registry!
- Changing Table
- Diaper Bag
- Book Shelf
Cleaning / Meds:
- Bottle Brush (2)
- Nipple Brushes
- Baby Detergent
- Meds: (Baby Motrin, boogie wipes, Neosporin, etc.)
- Gripe Water – pro tip: dip the baby’s pacifier in gripe water to help soothe! **Must-Have**
- Safety Q Tips – pro tip: in addition to cleaning ears, these Q Tips are great for applying diaper rash cream instead of using your fingers!
- Baby-safe cleaning supplies (Babyganics dish soap for bottles, Mustela Cleansing Water on changing table, etc.)
- Nipple Cream
- Nursing Bras (Ollie Gray or Simple Wishes)
- Nursing Pads
- Nipple Shields (these helped me SO much when first trying to breastfeed – but you can also ask a nurse to provide you one at the hospital)
- Bottle Sterilizer Bags (some bottle sets come with these included)
- Milk Storage Bags (some bottle sets come with these included)
- Bottle Nipples (level 2 and level 3) **Must-Have**
- Purified Water (Recommended to use filtered/purified water when making formula bottles up to at least 6 months of age. Also important to put water in first, then add formula. Putting formula powder in the bottle first won’t mix as well and can give baby colic. )
- Diaper Rash Creams (Aquaphor, Cortizone10, Triple Paste, Desitin, Butt Paste)
- Baby Wipes
- Pampers Swaddles (Winner of Baby Center’s “Best Mom Picks of 2018”)
- Note: Don’t purchase too many diapers in the NB size because babies grow fast and the hospital will give you plenty to take home. Also, if your baby weighs 8 pounds or more at birth, they might already be ready for Size 1.
- Playtex Diaper Genie – liners and carbon fillers
Gifts People Love to Give
Below are items that even if you register for it – your friends/family will likely go off registry. Everything on this list I probably received 4 or more as gifts after Chase was born. So I did not register for any of these, but all are must-haves!
- Angel Dear Blankies (2)
- Baby blankets
- Swaddle blankets (perfect for stroller / car seat covers)
- Baby Books (the crinkle books are the best for NBs!)
- Toys (Flappy the Elephant!)
- Stuffed Animals
Items You *Won’t* Actually Need
As mentioned, every baby and parent is different and that leads to very different experiences. This makes taking advice difficult because there’s a ton of conflicting opinions on gadgets / brands / products / etc. These are just some takeaways I felt I heard consistently among friends… but, again, completely up to you!
- 4 oz bottles
- Don’t register for 4oz. bottles!! Just use 8oz. bottles and only fill it up with as little or as much as you need.
- Swaddle blankets
- No need to register for any of the original swaddle blankets. These were made before wearable ones like the HALO were invented. No need to make your life more difficult by trying to learn how to swaddle your baby with a loose blanket when there’s an invention for that.
- Swaddle blankets are also more dangerous because it’s possible for a baby to wiggle out of it.
- I suggest not registering for any, and I bet you will still receive a ton as a gift. And although you won’t use any for actual swaddling, they do serve as wonderful stroller blankets and car seat covers.
- Bottle Sterilizer Machine
- Most recommend hand-washing bottles/parts and leaving them in a bowl of warm water overnight and then air-drying them using the dryer racks. I did a lot of research on bottle sterilizer machines and couldn’t find one brand that was reliable.
- Reviews mentioned that they can’t wash that many bottles at a time, aren’t compatible with the bottle brands you may end up using, or they break after a few months of use.
- Also, a lot of bottle sets come with sterilizer bags as another alternative to an expensive sterilizer machine.
- Baby Food Processor / Maker
- I personally don’t see myself making hand-made baby food, but if that sounds like something you’re interested in doing, I’d look at The Bump’s Best of Baby list, BabyList.com’s Best Baby Products list and Baby Center’s top baby products list.
- Since your baby will likely be on a breastmilk and/or formula diet for the first 6 or so months, I wouldn’t put this on your registry and just wait to purchase when that stage comes.
- Thermometer – Owlet Smart Sock:
- Tracks your sleeping baby’s heart rate and oxygen levels; silently monitors your baby and alerts parents if something is wrong.
- Although highly rated online, I’ve heard the sock falls off frequently from the baby wiggling and you get an alert that your baby has stopped breathing (!!) when it actually hasn’t! So it seems way more stressful than helpful.
- Winner of Baby Center’s “Best Mom Picks”
- Winner of The Bump’s “Best of Baby”
- Ubbi Diaper Pail
- A very popular brand – you will see it at every baby store and on a ton of people’s registries. I heard it works great at first, but then it doesn’t contain the smell very well after a few months. But I’ve also had friends that haven’t had an issue…
- I personally don’t like that you have to use your hand to open it. A hands-free diaper pail comes in handy …A LOT.
- Winner of The Bump’s “Best of Baby”
- Motorola Baby Monitor:
- Very commonly used, but I don’t think the image on the monitor is that great… and I’ve heard it breaks. My friends that have it suggest buying two for when it inevitably does break… not a great start!
- HALO Bassinet or the SNOO
- Everyone I know that has a HALO/SNOO doesn’t end up using it for much longer than a few months.
- Both are SUPER expensive $$$ and most moms decide to use a Pack ‘N Play or a cheaper bassinet since it isn’t used for long.
- Fisher Price Rock N Play:
- I inherited mine from my sister and some babies LOVE this. Mine doesn’t. Regardless — it has been recalled !!!
- A new study has shown that babies that are 3 months or older can suffocate in the Rock N Play. This is because they are able to roll over.
- If you receive one as a gift, just make sure not to use it once the baby is older than 3 months.
Woof… That’s A LOT of stuff!
I know all of this may still seem very overwhelming and like a staggering amount of stuff. I’m no expert on parenting or babies, but I personally felt that by having the items on this list, I felt more prepared and less scared of what was to come with a newborn. I also made sure not to open everything I received at my baby shower in case I got duplicates or the items didn’t come in handy so I could return them. The majority of registry items are returnable for almost a year if you don’t need them… and if not, there’s always the option of regifting. 😉
Stay tuned for more!