What We Registered For

Registries are weird, aren’t they? They’re a socially acceptable way of making an enormous wish list as an adult. It felt so odd to make a giant list of things we’d like other people to buy us (felt weird at our wedding too) but it was also really fun.

That said, babies are expensive and having friends and family help with purchasing needed (and wanted) items to bring the baby home is so helpful (and generous). And while it’s fun to get gifts for our little guy, it’s also really nice to feel like the community we’re bringing him in to is welcoming him so whole-heartedly and wanting to be a part of making his first days, weeks, and months of life as comfortable as possible. He is so loved already and it’s been cool to see how much the people who love us automatically extend that love to him before he’s even arrived.

I’m a big product researcher so of course I did plenty of reading about every baby product before we added it to our baby registry. Our house is fairly small and our nursery is in the nook of our bedroom. We needed products that would fit our lifestyle and our small space.

What We Registered For - Baby registry must have items for first born baby

Here’s what we put on our baby registry and why. We used Babylist so we could add items from any store and so far it’s incredibly easy to use and our friends and family have had no issues. Please note, some of the below are affiliate links and some are not.

Big Items

Uppababy Vista Stroller (in Henry i.e. light blue/grey)

I know, a stroller that’s over $800. Trust me, this is not a typical Nadine thing to do. I’m currently wearing a dress I bought on the Target clearance rack for $7.

When I started researching strollers I quickly discovered that our use of a stroller would be vastly different from many Americans. I won’t be collapsing the stroller and throwing it in to our trunk to take to the mall or to Target. We wouldn’t be pushing it on nicely paved suburban streets. Nope.

Plowing a stroller through the streets of Philadelphia, with our 200-year-old sidewalks and tree roots that have dislodged bricks, takes a hearty stroller wheel. The more I read, the more clear it became that many strollers are not built with wheels to handle neighborhoods like ours.

I kept seeing the Uppababy Vista in our neighborhood and didn’t know if it was because it worked well in the city or our neighbors are just fancy. Turns out, it’s probably both. The wheels on this thing are rubber coated foam and are supposed to never go flat. It converts to a two-seater (oooh spoiler, we want more than one kid). Plus it was easy to collapse and open when we tested it in the store and it stands on its own once collapsed for easy storage. This will probably be a frequently used item so the investment could be justified (even by me, a self-proclaimed cheapo).

I did strongly consider the Baby Jogger City Select but when my mother-in-law watched me attempt to collapse and re-open it in Buy Buy Baby, she insisted I register for the Uppababy instead (I may have looked a little absurd/helpless). I also love that it comes with the bassinet, which we’ll need until our little guy gains some neck support since we won’t be clicking in an infant car seat.

Britax Boulevard Clicktight Convertible Carseat (in Circa i.e. all black)

We’re not getting an infant car seat. We don’t need our car seat to click in to our stroller (because again, we don’t really use our car). I didn’t see the point of buying an infant car seat that we’d rarely use, only to get another one when our kid outgrows it. This car seat is approved for newborns as small as 5lbs and is the only car seat our guy will ever need. We’ll install it in our car and leave it there. Plus, it’s one of the top rated car seats on the market.

Babybjorn Bouncer (in black/grey)

Again, I realize this is a weirdly expensive baby item. Over $100 for a bouncer when there are lots on the market for less than half that price! But this one folds completely flat! Which is key for people who live in an 11 foot wide row home. I also read too much on the internet (story of my life) about how many bouncers aren’t ergonomically good for babies. This one is. Plus it comes in several neutral colors. Neutral being key. Gosh I hate how so much baby crap comes in only obnoxious colors.

Babyletto Modo 3-in-1 Convertible Crib (in white/espresso)

Comes with the toddler conversion kit. And for $252, it looks high-end but doesn’t have such an absurd price tag. Pottery Barn Cribs are like $600! What?! We strongly considered a mini crib but eventually decided to invest a little more up front for a bed our baby could use through toddlerhood. N just assembled this so that Archie would have time to adjust to it. True dog lovers, we are.

Keekaroo Peanut Changer (in vanilla)

I was fully convinced to get this by a friend, who did the research and thought that a wipeable changing pad that doesn’t need a cover would be worth it (especially for a baby boy). She’s since had her baby boy and insists it was a worthy purchase. Apparently baby boys pee on themselves a lot during diaper changes? This will save us a lot of laundry, and thus a lot of trips up and down our double spiral staircase (yup, from our bedroom to the basement it’s two spiral staircases in a row. FUN.).

Chicco Lullago Portable Bassinet (in birch)

Here’s where I chose the cheaper item ($99) instead of the talked-about, fancy piece. I debated the Halo Bassinest but in the end, I just couldn’t justify $250 for an item he’s going to outgrow so fast. I like that this bassinet is simple, neutral (i.e. comes in beige), and portable. This will be set up at my bedside to keep the baby close for his first few weeks until he transitions to the crib (also in our room, but not at an arm’s length).

Dock-a-tot (in pristine white)

Because the Instagram marketing got me, okay? That’s why. Also because I think I’d really enjoy one in grown up size so I can see why babies would like them.

Ingenuity SmartSize 4-in-1 Soothing Solution

Fancy name for a swing, right? This item is a bit of a gamble. The reviews are mixed but I love that it has a bassinet option that is completely flat that you can attach in and swing.

Years of working at a children’s hospital have drilled in safe to sleep compliance in to my head. Babies must be on their backs to sleep. I know people love the rock-n-play (and many parents let their kiddoh’s sleep in them and the kids turn out totally fine) but it’s not safe to sleep compliant (just the facts here people) so it makes me nervous. No judgement, do what works for you. Having a swinging option that is completely flat makes me feel good about using this product for sleeping if we wind up with a fussy kid. The swing seat on this also can turn and swing in two directions.

Graco Pack-n-Play (in Pasadena)

Because this is a baby registry necessity, right?

Infant Optics DXR-8 Video Baby Monitor

We were undecided as to whether we needed a baby monitor in our small home but seasoned Moms insisted that it’s nice to be able to take a peek at your baby without getting off the couch. We did a lot of research and this seems to be well-loved by parents and reliable.

Gathre Maxi Playmat

I was not convinced by this item when I saw it on a friend’s baby registry. I bought it for them (because they’re big park go-ers) and we used it a few weekends ago to have a picnic with them and holy wow is it awesome. It’s wipeable, waterproof, and generally feels super luxe. I was sold. It folds up nice and compact and you can tell it’ll last forever.

Other Gear

Ergobaby 360 Baby Carrier (in pure black)

We’ll probably get a lot of use out of this and I love that the baby can face out once he’s old enough. And while I’m sure that N will use the wraps, he liked how easy the Ergobaby looked. Plus my bestie sent me the infant insert to borrow and so she saved us that $25.

Solly Baby Wrap (in clay)

I’ve had a few mamas in my life rave about the Solly Baby. The wrapping looked intimidating to me until I watched a video or two and tested it out on some of Archie’s stuffies (if you aren’t following me on Instagram, you’re missing out because these are the kinds of gems I share on my stories). It’s actually not hard at all and I love the idea of having my hands free to do stuff around the house or take a walk, stroller-free.

Baby K’tan Wrap (in black)

Solly Baby for dummies? Reviews say it’s pretty easy to get your baby in to this one. I like that we have this easier option for times when we are getting out of the car somewhere. This wrap does come in sizes though so I ordered in my size and N won’t be able to use it.

Dr. Browns and Avent Bottles

Both in glass (because I try to avoid plastic). Word on the street is some babies just like some bottles better than others so we’ve asked for just a couple of each of these to see which our dude prefers before buying more. Both of these brands are supposed to be easy for mostly breastfed babies.

Skiphop Moby Bath

Has good reviews and will fit in our stand up shower.

Munchkin Step Diaper Pail

Had good reviews and was cheaper than other similar items. I like the whole baking soda element. Reviews said it has good odor control.

Marpac Sound Machine

Top rated sound machine on Amazon. This has great reviews. Hopefully not annoying to parents. I think it’s technically a small fan that changes speeds to produce different white noise. I’m very interested to see what it sounds like when it arrives.

Aden & Anais Swaddles

Friends insist they’re the best.

Halo SleepSack

Apparently you get a newborn size one of these for free at the hospital. Quite the endorsement, isn’t it? Also a good back up in case we both lack swaddling skills.

Nested Bean Zen Swaddle Classic

I’ve read that some babies love this because it’s lightly weighted and makes babies feel like mama is still touching them. A friend insists her baby loves this swaddle but fought the Halo. We’re just registering for one so we have things to try in case our kiddoh is picky.

So yeah, that’s what we put on our baby registry. There are a few other items on there like diapers, a portable changing pad, wipe container, simple onsies, etc. I also shamelessly registered for the first three Harry Potter books in the illustrated version (none of my friends or family will be surprised by this and it’s my plan to start reading them aloud to him from birth).

You’ll also notice that almost everything above is a neutral color. I’m sorry, but I just cannot get on board with my house being a rainbow explosion of baby stuff. Plus, I don’t want everything to be so gendered in the event that we have a girl later. I’m just a neutrals girl. I don’t wear bright clothes. I don’t buy colorful home decor items. Is it wrong to want baby products that align with that? God knows the toys will still be colorful and that’ll be enough.

Now mamas, tell me, what products did you feel were an absolute must-have? I feel like every Mom has at least one product that she swears by and I’d love to know what they are!

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  • Liz

    If you are going to breastfeed – a boppy is great. My little one is almost 10 months old and we still use it. Also – for the changer, I would honestly just buy a pack (or 2) of changing pad liners. (Boppy brand is good, they still lay flat and don’t curl, besides being washed a million times). Even with the peanut, you still have to sop up the mess – which is no easy feat with a wriggly baby boy who is now also covered in pee. With the changing pad liner, just swoop him up, fold it up and remove it, then go back to changing. I’ve never had to wash my changing pad cover because of an accident (it just gets the normal weekly wash with the bedding) – the liner gets it all. Seriously, liners. Buy them.

    And the snot sucker, but even if you don’t register for it, you’ll end up with at least 3 from your shower (at least we did!). Also, multiple packs of the plain Gerber cloth diapers. The best and only burp clothes you’ll need.

    Oh! And I know every baby is different, but mine ended up loving the glass Evenflo bottles (you can buy them on Amazon). They’re simply easier to find, plus I like the narrow body versus the fatter Avents. I wanted Dr. Browns, but finding them in glass gets harder and harder.

    Ok, I’m going to go and try not to come back and comment every time I think of something else that I simply cannot live without (water wipes! And the OXO wipe holder!) (Ok, I’m really done now!)

    • A boppy was totally on my list and we actually already received it! I realized as I was laying in bed last night that I’d forgotten to put that on the list. I’ll definitely add some changing pad liners to my list. Also we already got a NoseFrida and I registered for water wipes and the OXO wipe holder. Woo hoo!

  • Rachael Jones

    I LOVE our Chicco Lullago. My girl has slept in it since we got home 3 months ago! I would suggest registering for some fitted cradle sheets to go with it – Chicco doesnt sell spares for the bassinet, but the Babies R Us brand cradle sheets fit tightly, so are safe for sleep.

    • I was wondering about the sheet situation actually. Thanks for sharing the tip about the Babies R Us cradle sheets! I’ll definitely add those to my list.

  • Kimmie Merkley

    Do NOT feel bad about an expensive stroller when you live in a city. They’re expensive because they’re worth it! We were living in Chicago when our first baby was born and I used the stroller every single day, and the car maybe once or twice a week. It is definitely worth it to get something nicer. Also, the fact that the Uppababy turns into a double is a huge selling point. I just had a second baby and shopping for double strollers was so annoying and expensive.

    Both my kids are boys so I have a little experience with the peeing thing and I can say that it totally depends on the kid. My first son peed during a diaper change 4 or 5 times total, while my baby (who is 2.5 months now) peed multiple times a day for the first month. Sigh. So you might get lucky and not really deal with it, or you might be wiping everything down all the time.

    Aden and Anais are amazing- I use mine as nursing covers a lot of the time. I don’t tend to use a cover even when in public, but sometimes if I’m wearing a dress and need to expose my whole boob to get it to the baby I’ll just tie two corners of the blanket together and put it over my head. Also, I would just kind of plan on not really figuring out the swaddling thing. I’m still not really good at it and just use SwaddleMes all the time, ha!

    I also wrote a blog post about my newborn essentials. A lot of the stuff you mentioned is on my list too, but here it is just in case:

    https://calmlybykimmie.blogspot.com/2017/05/my-newborn-essentials.html

  • In some ways, having the nursery be in the corner of your bedroom makes life a lot easier gear-wise! I think it’s now recommended that babies sleep in their parents’ room up to six months, which totally changes sleeping needs depending on if the nursery is elsewhere. (We’re getting a mini pack n’ play that has a bassinet on top and will fit next to our bed; he’ll sleep on it in our room for the first six months and then it can just be used as a playpen – or baby jail, which is what Jon calls it – when he transitions to his crib in the nursery.)

  • Why are strollers so expensive? Aghhh! But this seems like such a good list!

    xx Kelly
    Sparkles and Shoes

  • Great list. I always recommend getting a nice stroller. We have a city mini which for me felt expensive, but now I realize it is totally worth the investment. The uppababy sounds perfect for your lifestyle.

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