Breaking down the baby registry

Setting up your baby registry? Here’s what to splurge on, what to skip, plus a few outside-the-box ideas.

You might not need it, but you'll love it. 

Blooming Bath
This soft, colorful flower-shaped pad ($40) turns your kitchen sink into a baby bath. It later serves as a bathtub cushion for bigger babies — a simple solution to the slippery, awkward plastic baby bath. 


Arm’s Reach Co-Sleeper Bedside Bassinet: Co-sleeping isn’t for everyone, but if you’re rooming with Baby, it’s really nice to have her safely by your side for a quick soothe or midnight feed. This diverse line of compact bedside bassinets can really help a family with a fussy baby get more sleep.

Skip Hop Versa Diaper Bag
Your diaper bag will be your purse for the next two years, at least. It might as well look like one ($70)! This bag is not only stylish, but it’s also extremely well organized with insulated pockets for bottles, sippies and snacks.




This is the granddaddy of nursing pillows. Your friends may prefer other brands, but the Boppy seems to be the most versatile — good for both bottle and breastfeeding and also an ideal support for tummy time. Don’t forget to stock up on covers and consider a travel Boppy as well.

White noise machine
There’s been a bit of controversy over the safety of white noise machines lately. As long as you’re not placing it right against baby’s head with the volume maxed out, you should be fine. The womb is incredibly noisy. This helps Baby transition to the world beyond.

California Baby Diaper Area Wash
This natural spray ($12) uses tea tree oil as an anti-fungal. This goes beyond the thick, greasy barrier method of diaper-rash care by healing the affected area. The spray enables you to take care of the job one-handed, without getting cream everywhere as you handle your baby.


Moby Wrap
While there are many baby carriers to choose from, the Moby Wrap (and carriers like it) is perfect for the newborn. It’s soft, stretchy, swaddle-like and one size fits all. You pick it up and put it on without worrying about your partner’s perfectly set straps and clips. Many parents are intimidated by the DIY tie-on nature of this product. Don’t be scared! There are tons of YouTube videos showing how it’s done and once you’ve got it down, you’ve got it down.

Think outside the Boppy

Cabin-fever relievers
You might request a Blooma yoga class pass (pictured, above), a Minnesota Zoo membership or parent-child swim class — anything that gives you a chance to get out and connect.

Easy eats
Ask for a CobornsDelivers gift card, a trip to Let’s Dish, meal-delivery service, take-out menus and gift cards to your favorite restaurants.

Birth and postpartum support
Spring for post-partum doulas, a night nurse, a lactation specialist or childbirth and parenting education classes.

Help wanted
Ask for housecleaning, a gardener or a diaper service. These things can make a huge difference in your daily grind.


Don't skimp...

Your breast pump
Avoid nipple chafing, carpal tunnel and inefficient pumping sessions by going deluxe, double pump and high tech. (See our breast pump story here for more tips.)

Stroller/travel system
Go handy, sleek, manageable and versatile. Remember that all car seats pass the same rigorous safety tests, so they’re all on par in that department. Follow recalls and choose what works best for your family. Convenience is a must when out and about with Baby! Check out the Graco LiteRider Classic Connect, the Britax Affinity (pictured, below), the Britax B-Agile Double (for twins) and the stand-on tandem strollers by Joovy (accommodates Baby and a toddler big brother or sister): Joovy’s Caboose line of strollers (starting at $150, above) can accommodate Baby as well as your growing toddler.

Splurge: Britax’s Affinity stroller includes a base frame ($600) and a color pack ($100). It’s compatible with other major infant car seat brands — such as Chicco Key Fit, Graco Snugride 32 and 35 and others — when used with an adapter frame ($50). 


Receiving blankets
You’ll get plenty, but the slightly stretchy muslin blankets are best: Think breathable, big and easy to swaddle. SwaddleDesigns Chevron Marquisette Swaddle Blanket ($15, pictured above) comes in pink and six other color choices. It’s 100 percent breathable, lightweight, soft cotton. Its generous size — 46 inches square — makes it easy to swaddle. Aden + Anais (below) is another excellent brands. A+A's Easy Swaddles are made with organic cotton and simple snaps.

Don't bother.

Between your own trips through the Target baby section, your neighbor’s hand-me-downs and “easy” gifts from acquaintances and co-workers, you’ll get plenty of the following without requesting it on your registry:

Cute, impractical outfits that will make your baby squirm with discomfort.


What's YOUR must-have baby registry item? Comment below!