Registering for a baby without already having a baby is, well, challenging! Thankfully we were one of the last of our friends to have a baby so we had plenty of really helpful advice! What I’ve learned is that 1. Every baby is different 2. Every parent is different — while the list for a new baby may look similar for all of us (bottles, pacis, jammies, baby bathtub) the specifics are just a matter of opinion (and budget!). We are blessed to have very generous friends and family who gifted us with almost everything you’ll see on this list.
These 25 items turned out to be our favorite, most-used products for Madelyn from birth to three months (and the first 20 are under $100 each—great for a registry!).
Madelyn loves to be swaddled and I hands down believe swaddling has made a huge difference helping her sleep these first three months. We ended up with an array of swaddles from receiving blankets to muslin to stretchy to velcro. While I have used them all in one way or another we have found this velcro swaddle to be the absolute best for sleeping. The velcro makes it super easy to use and our little houdini cannot wiggle her way out of it! I never found a color/design I loved but hey, function over aesthetics for this one.
$35 for a pack of 3, size small
I also use these Mushie muslin swaddles a lot under her play gym or in her car seat (I love the rainbow one). Kyle liked using the receiving blanket we were given at the hospital the most for cuddling on the couch because it was a warm, thicker fabric (make sure to take it home with you!)
TBH, we were a little timid to use a pacifier at first as you hear so much about nipple confusion and I really wanted MJ to breastfeed. Thankfully after a couple days of trying to tough it out our family convinced us to give a pacifier a try and I’m so glad we did! Thankfully Madelyn has no trouble switching between pacifier, breastfeeding and bottle feeding. We were told that different babies prefer different types of pacifiers so we registered for several different ones. Madelyn immediately took to this pacifier and never really liked any of the others we tried (we also tried the Natursutten Orthodontic Pacifier and the Cutie Pat, but she didn’t like those as much. We were also gifted a couple of the WubbaNub pacifiers but haven’t tried those yet.) I really like the Bibs pacifier because you can order on amazon and I love the muted color options!
$16 for a pack of two. I like the ivory and vanilla colors the best!
I cannot recommend this white noise machine highly enough. We use it all.the.time. It’s technically a travel noise machine but has worked great for us at the house! Even in this midst of a renovation project that is loud, this little machine has kept MJ snoozing! We ended up ordering a second one after loving the first so much. We keep one in her diaper bag and one by her bassinet. It makes all the difference helping Madelyn sleep, we even take it with us to Target #diva. It’s small and easy to transport but has great battery life. It comes with different noise options and volume levels.
So yea, Madelyn has long nails and would scratch her face if we didn’t have hand mitts on her. Also socks just do not stay on baby feet so being March in Minnesota, she lived in footie jammies! And yes, it’s true what they say no matter how cute buttons are, zipper pajamas are the way to go!
We were gifted this sleeper in the sushi pattern at MJs baby shower. It’s a pricey item especially since babies grow so quickly. We are so glad we received this as a gift though because my frugal self would not have invested otherwise. It turned out to be hands down the best jammie ever! Bonus: it’s made of stretchy material so Madelyn could wear the 0-3 mo size from the day she got home from the hospital and is still able to wear it today three months later.
$35 for one sleeper from Angel Dear, size 0-3 months
For a more budget friend option, we purchased a set of These jammies from Target (but I’m telling you, she outgrew them quickly, invest in one the Angel Dear sleepers if you can!)
$13 for three sleep and play outfits, I ordered the fruit print for MJ.
MJ started to develop some baby acne around three weeks old. I read that coconut oil could help with that so we gave it a try and I definitely think it helped! She also got a little cradle cap under her eyebrows and we used it for that as well! I’ve also had friends use it instead of nipple cream for breastfeeding. So, take this with a grain of salt… but we love it!
$5 for 14oz at our local grocery store. We have the Wild Harvest brand.
I like this bottom balm because it’s clear, not thick and white like other diaper rash creams. We tried several varieties including Destin and Boudreaux but the Zarbees Daily Bottom Balm was our favorite (this is absolutely one of those personal preference items I think!). It’s easy to clean off whereas other creams were so thick and caked. Thankfully she hasn’t gotten diaper rash yet so may need something stronger if she does but the Zarbees bottom balm has been great for everyday use.
$9 for 4 oz. We go through about one 4 oz tube per month. We keep one in her diaper bag and one at changing table, so buy a couple!
Let’s talk about boogers. They are frustrating and uncomfortable to try to dig out! We were told by not one but several (like more than 7) friends to get the Fridababy Nose Frida. Even though I thought it was totally gross, we listened to those who have gone before and ordered it. But, yuck! Thankfully we had not gone there yet, when my friend Marieanna sent us this booger getting tool and these boogie wipes. We are obsessed and use them almost daily! Total life saver! Hopefully we will not be sucking boogers out of MJs nose anytime soon, thank goodness!
Oogiebear Booger Tool : $13. I recommend buying two. We keep one in our room and one in her diaper bag!
Boogie Wipes : $9 for 2 pack (90 total wipes). We keep one pack in our room and one in her diaper bag. We go through about one pack per month.
I’ll be honest, we didn’t register for a baby bathtub because I planned to do swaddle baths in the sink. We were gifted this bathtub at our baby shower and I’m so glad! The swaddle bath was great for the first few weeks but once she got a bit bigger it was nice to have this little bathtub to sit her in the big bathtub. It kept her body warm submerged in water while also keeping her head elevated (and saving our backs!).
$20 on Amazon (also available at Target). We got the grey color.
We love these scalp scrubbies to prevent cradle cap. They are soft and I didn’t worry about using them on her head even when she was teeny tiny. This is our favorite hooded towel! We pop it in the dryer for a few minutes to get it warm and cuddly for when MJ is finished with her bath. It is a bit big for her but something she can use for a long time! Kyle’s mom had it embroidered with “Baby Skidmore” and we’re obsessed!
Hooded Towel: $22 on Amazon. We have the white one.
I looked into a lot of wraps because several were recommended to me. Everyone has their own preference and opinion when it comes to wraps. We were gifted a ring sling but haven’t tried it yet, as well as an Ergo carrier which I imagine we will use more as she gets bigger. Right now the Solly wrap is perfect! It took a couple practice wraps to get it right, but once you know the system it’s really fast and simple to put on. I love having her close while I’m getting chores done around the house and it was also great when we traveled through the airport. She is starting to want to face out more though so I think she might be outgrowing the Solly (sadly). But it’s beautiful (I got the neutral stripe) and I love the stretchy, soft fabric.
This class was recommended by two of my friends and it was worth every single penny! It was much more than a class just about sleep, it taught us a lot about baby rhythms and helped us feel confident reading Madelyn’s hungry/sleepy cues. She quickly got into a rhythm of eat, sleep, play and I believe that was (in part) because Kyle and I felt like we knew better how to guide her based on what we learned from Cara’s class. Highly Highly Recommend making the investment!
I’ll be honest, I registered for this Little Dove play gym because I liked how it looked! The toys are minimal and neutral and the natural wood is gorgeous. I wasn’t sure how much MJ would love this play gym because I was told babies are drawn to black and white and bold patterns (initially) and bright colors after that. So hmm.. What’s my neutral loving heart to do?! Well, I’ll tell you what, Madelyn loves this play gym! She loves the rainbow toy that crinkles (especially now that she is big enough to grab it herself), she loves holding onto the elephant wooden toy and has been batting the moon rattle since she was teeny. I like that the toys have different textures (some soft, some natural wood) and they each have a different function. Confession: I did add an additional toy (see below) that has the black and white patterns and she does probably love it the most. But hey, compromise!
We were gifted Mortimer the Moose from my mom. Would I have picked it out, nope (see above on love of neutrals and anti-primary colors lol). But it is MJs absolute favorite toy! We hang it from her play gym and it’s been so good for her to bat (initial) and now hold and scrunch. She loves it, and it’s designed to be developmentally good for her brain so that trumps my desire for all things neutral lol.
We were gifted these Wee Gallery black and white art cards for baby and love them not only because they are super cute but because we know they are good for MJs development.
$16 from Amazon (we have the baby animal set)
We have come to learn that not all onesies are created equal! These Honest Co Onesies are our absolutely favorite. I like them the best because they button across her chest and don’t have to be slipped over her head. They also have hand mitts which Madelyn wore for the first 8 weeks to keep her from scratching her face.
$20 for a 3 pack. I recommend getting one set in both newborn size and size 0-3 months.
This was a great way to try out different bottle styles without having to purchase a set of each. The Dr. Browns bottle ended up working the best for Madelyn but every baby is different, that’s why I like getting to sample several!
$30 Bottle Box from Babylist includes five different bottle types to try.
I initially wasn’t going to get a diaper pail because I’ve heard mixed use reviews from several friends and a horror story about bugs from my sister (eek!). I also felt like it was a bit of a splurge since we could just throw her diapers away in our regular trash can. We ended up buying this Ubbi diaper pail and love it! I like that it is made of steel not plastic so it doesn’t absorb smell and I like that it uses our regular everyday kitchen trash bags instead of specialty bags (so it feels more cost effective and less boujee). The only thing I don’t love is that it doesn’t have any type of floor protection around the bottom so it does slide (on hardwood floors) and needs some kind of pad under it to not scratch the floors.
$67 from Amazon. We have the white one.
With a little bit in tow it’s nice to keep this hand sanitizer around even when we’re not living in global pandemic times! A friend of mine gifted us this Honest Hand Sanitizer and it smells soooo good! I keep it in Madelyn’s diaper bag (which seconds as my purse for now).
$3.50 from Amazon (get the Grapefruit Grove scent, so good!)
We are so blessed that our friends and family gifted us these big ticket items (we purchased her SNOO bassinet ourselves, I’ll do another post reviewing the SNOO because it was a big decision and investment for us).
I can’t tell you much about this baby monitor except that Kyle did a ton of research and chose this one. I really should have him write this review lol. I do know he intentionally chose this one because it has a higher quality camera. My biggest stimulation for a monitor was that it had a physical monitor (not an app on my phone). Sorry that’s not much to go on, but it’s been great.
We used the money Kyle’s parents gave us to buy Madelyn’s stroller and car seat. Who knew it would be so tough to pick out a stroller #facepalm but without knowing exactly how we wanted to use the stroller it was tough to decide because so many options and variations exist. We ended up choosing the Uppababy Vista V2 Stroller and Mesa Car Seat. We liked the bassinet option and all the different configurations of the Uppababy system, the shock absorbing suspension, the travel capabilities, and that the stroller is easy to fold and pretty compact. So far I’ve used the stroller mostly for neighborhood walks and shopping! It was also great to travel with and use at the airport. I do foresee myself wanting to invest in a jogging stroller in the future though.
Vista V2 Stroller : $970 from Amazon (we purchased the Stella Colorway and it is gorgeous!)
Mesa Car Seat: $350 from Amazon (we purchased the Jordan Colorway)
My sister gifted us the Mamaroo baby swing and while Madelyn didn’t take to it right away, once she hit about a month old she loves sitting in her swing. Her favorite is the rock-a-bye setting at level 4!
$220 on Amazon. We have the classic grey.
One of my best friends generously gifted us Madelyns bouncer seat. Just like her swing, she didn’t take to it right away but once she hit about a month old she started liking it more. Now that she can kick her feet and bounce herself (three months) she loves it even more! I like how light weight the seat is so I can move it from room to room while I’m working or doing dishes or folding laundry. A must-buy in my opinion! It’s been a game changer for me to get things done while still keeping MJ nearby!
$200 on Amazon. We have the Khaki/beige color. It’s beautiful and super soft.
Phew! That was a lot! Probably the longest blog I’ve ever written. It was so helpful for me to hear recommendations from others when purchasing for Madelyn so I hope this was helpful for you. We are so blessed to have most of this list generously gifted to us by friends and family. Baby stuff adds up that’s for sure! I am working on another post (coming soon) about how we budgeted for health care costs for pregnancy + delivery as well as how much we increased our personal budget to cover having a new little person in our lives.
If you have any questions (or product recommendations you loved for baby!) please leave us a comment or shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Good luck with your little one!