Baby registry

by Ashley on March 29, 2011

I count myself pretty lucky to have some really helpful friends in the city–most of whom have small children and are happy to share their opinions on which “baby essentials” are in fact essential. With tips from family and friends, I think we’re starting to get a feel for which sorts of things we should be making space.  It’s a good thing: Aron and I made the mistake of walking into Babies R Us one day, unprepared, and found ourselves wandering aimlessly through aisles with a scan-gun in hand and feeling completely overwhelmed. We were much happier the following day in the small (but well-stocked) giggle, in SoHo.

So far, these are probably the top five most recommended items for our registry. What must-haves would you add? Are there gifts that you weren’t expecting but really loved? Or, if you’re pregnant like me, that you’re hoping to get? Did you add cute onesies and such, or stick to the basics? I’d love to hear!

[Images from giggle: ERGObaby Carrier, Baby Bjorn Travel Crib Light, My Brest Friend Nursing Pillow, Puj Infant Sink Tub, Aden+Anais Swaddle Blankets]


Lisa March 29, 2011 at 9:55 am

First off-congrats on the babe, and on the new blog! Looks like you’re off to a great start–the Ergo and the muslin swaddles are my top-two! Aden+Anais also makes great sleepsacks for when they’re a bit bigger. Some other stuff: cloth diapers as burp cloths; no highchair–a booster is great and takes up less space; a play mirror for him to stare at himself in; ipod speakers/CD player +soothing tunes. If you’re planning to nurse, invest in a good, HANDS FREE pump and learn how to use it BEFORE he comes–this will avoid a frantic, stressful moment in the early days. The list can go on and on and on, but these are things that just came to mind. What an exciting time for you!

Ashley March 29, 2011 at 11:21 am

Thanks so much, Lisa! These are great suggestions. Maybe a silly question, but do you have a source you like for the cloth diapers you use as burp cloths? Thanks again!

Lisa March 29, 2011 at 2:40 pm

My pleasure! I think they were the Gerber organic prefolds. They are cheap, come in packs of 6, and we had tons of them. While we received some ‘fancy’ burp cloths as gifts, we always opted for the diapers.

Urska March 29, 2011 at 12:35 pm

Congratulations on the little boy. I suggest you to go register with a friend whose parenting style you admire. They will be able to tell you what works for them and what it does not. In my opinion Diaper Genie, wipe warmer, bottle warmer are a waste. The simpler you go with the baby the easier it is. Find an awesome lactation consultant. They might become your best friend in the first month. That is if you will be nursing. Hands free breast pump is a must. I tried a few and Medela is my favorite. Try borrowing it and just buy replacement parts. MacLaren Volo stroller. Britax carseat. Dr. Brown bottles.
As for clothes people got us a bunch at baby showers and I stocked up on extra at garage sales. As people know the sex of the baby they won’t be able to help themselves to not buy clothes. Good luck! It is exciting getting ready for a first baby.

Melanie March 29, 2011 at 12:50 pm

Congrats! I would second that keeping it simple is best. We didn’t buy masses of stuff and used everythinwe bought. A nice rocker chair is also a good investment, we have one by Bloom, not sure if it is available in the US.
The ergo is great, you will need an infant insert for the start. We used ours until about a month ago when Noah got too tall for it at 18 months old, we now have a Boba, definitely worth looking at as another option.
Medela is also the best breast pump, IMO. The electric one was fab for us.

Melanie March 29, 2011 at 12:55 pm

Posted too soon. Are are must. You get through loads in the beginning and we still use them now, lovely and soft from frequent washing. You can buy great ones from Ikea as well as flannels for topping and tailing. Basic cotton clothes for the beginning as well, again nothing fancy but easy to get bubs in and out of. We had little ninja style bodysuits! I was clueless when I was pregnant so agree that going with a friend whose parenting style you like is a great idea. X

Erin March 29, 2011 at 1:14 pm

My Brest Friend was a lifesaver for me (especially because I had an unexpected c-section) and maybe even something you’ll probably want to pack in your hospital bag — I had Jesse run home to get ours. I’m not sure a hands-free pump is necessary though. I could pump out 5-6 ounces in just a few minutes with my hand pump once I got the hang of it — although I was pumping mainly to relieve over supply and to have some on hand so Jesse could take over feedings when I needed sleep. is a great site for all things cloth diaper related. I’m not sure if you’re interested in going that route, but I tried a few different types and could chat more later if you’re interested.

I think the Ergo is great for once your little one can support his head. From what I’ve heard from friends, it’s not ideal for infants. Friends of ours passed on a Moby wrap, which is pretty awesome. As it turned out, Miles hated “baby wearing” and loved his stroller, so our stroller has been the most used baby registry item.

Jesse and I are so excited for you!

Anon March 29, 2011 at 1:29 pm

I second the Ergo as a must! Anything, really, that will keep your baby wrapped up and protected from sun and the occasional overly inquisitive adult when you are out on a busy NY street is good.

Lisa March 29, 2011 at 1:39 pm

woohoo!! congratulations on your family’s up-coming addition! as for suggestions, the only must-haves that i can pass on are boudreaux’s butt paste and plain white cotton baby t-shirts. granted, my baby boy grew up in arizona and hawaii, so we didn’t have to deal with cold weather, but for the most part my shortstack ran around in diapers and cotton t’s. when we did leave the house, i dropped him into a pair of simply-made baby boxers that i had sewed out of my favorite materials. as for the butt paste, if you get past the name, you won’t find a better way of dealing with diaper rash or butt irritation! i stake my little boy’s sweet tushy on it!!

Martina March 29, 2011 at 2:22 pm

As a lactation counselor, I’m really happy to see the nursing pillow! I know a lot of folks have trouble with those because their effectiveness really depends on your height, so it might require a little practice to see what you need. A lot of people like baby slings, both for carrying around the little one and for a little built-in privacy for nursing. Metro Minis on the UES and Caribou Baby in Greenpoint are awesome resources.

Ashley March 29, 2011 at 2:28 pm

These are such great tips! Thank you all so much! And Martina, thanks for the local store recs!

A.W. March 29, 2011 at 3:11 pm

Our baby just turned one a few weeks ago, so I can recall how overwhelming it is to sort through all the baby products out there. A few things we love:
1. the bumbo baby seat
2. Uppababy Vista stroller
3. Aden+anais burpy bibs


Sam Sidney March 29, 2011 at 5:11 pm

Here are some of my favorite toys when the little guy gets bigger.
Congrats on the baby and the blog.

xo. Sam

Hannah March 29, 2011 at 5:37 pm

I’m so excited that you’ve started this blog, Ashley. I can’t wait to see what you discover.

I agree, Babies R Us is totally overwhelming. I try not to go there.
We tried not to buy a lot of “stuff.” But we did get the essentials, stroller (Uppababy, love it), car seat (Chicco, love it), carriers, baby clothes.
Some items that I’ve found useful, and some general tips:

The Sleep Sheep. I put it on when our Stella sleeps and naps. It helps drown out the noise I make around the house, and it’s also easy to travel with.

A bath thermometer.

We have the Mobi wrap, the Ergo, and the Baby Bjorn. When Stella was really tiny she liked the Ergo (with the infant insert) and the Mobi. At almost 4 months, she likes looking out at the world, so the Bjorn is our go-to carrier.

If I were you, I’d skip the various in-house baby bouncers. The car seat works just as well (you just have to manually rock him), and you’ll save on space.

We’ve got the neutral Skip Hop duo diaper bag in black. It’s a great bag, but it now feels too small and doesn’t completely close at the top, which makes it a pain when traveling. I’d recommend something a little bigger that closes completely.

One of our favorite gifts from a friend was actually a Kicky Pants sleeper: The material is so soft, and it fits well.

Have fun picking!

Clare March 29, 2011 at 6:47 pm

I agree with the above comments too, especially the UPPABaby Vista, I love, love, love it!

Also, I can’t recommend highly enough the Fisher Price Newborn Rock n’ Play Sleeper. It won’t ever win any style awards, but it is a fantastic product, the best baby seat/chair/rocker on the market in my opinion. Our baby slept in this all day and sometimes all night when she was newborn. The reviews are all faultless and very deserved.

Sleep bags also are brilliant and should be used from birth so you can reduce the use of loose blankets in cribs. Halo are a good brand, they wash and wash and wash and still look brand new.

Enjoy this very special time, it’s so exciting! Congratulations.

Ashley March 29, 2011 at 9:21 pm

Thanks! The bumbo and sleep sacks also seem to get high marks all around. Will have to check out the sleeper. Sam–totally agree with you about wooden toys! Thanks for the link.

We’ve decided to go with the Bugaboo bee. We were pretty excited about the City Mini, but Aron is 6’7″ and kicks the back with his long strides. The bee still weighs only about 17 pounds (light enough for me to lift down subway stairs easily) and collapses with one hand, but it has extendable handles that work for him. It’s also pretty small and works for newborns, though we were torn about the Vista vs Bee–everyone does seem to love it! And the bassinet piece was tempting!

Thanks again! Loving these great suggestions!

kate March 29, 2011 at 10:42 pm

I love the new blog – and congrats! We have a three month old, so I second the Ergo, the Bumbo and Aden + Anais wraps. We also love the Summer Infant SwaddleMe – it’s the cheaters version of the swaddler and oh so helpful in the middle of the night. For soft toys, I love the Under the Nile Veggie Crate.

I’d recommend NOT registering for clothes. You end up getting a TON anyway…

Liza March 29, 2011 at 11:02 pm

Good choices! I am a fan of everything of your top 5. I also love the bugaboo bee, but because I work in a kid’s store I want to make sure you know that although it’s super easy to fold, it’s not one-handed. It does have one of the easiest folds, but you do need 2 hands.

Ashley March 29, 2011 at 11:15 pm

Thanks for the tip on clothes, Kate! I was wondering if that were the case. I’ll check out the Swaddleme.

Good point, Liza–that’s actually true, but Aron figured out that you can release the left side with one hand and then the right with the same hand, let it drop and then use that hand to pick up the folded stroller. It was hilarious: we took turns trying it holding a breast pump box under one arm, football style so that our left arm wasn’t in use. I’m not sure we’ll need to, but it does work!

Olivia March 30, 2011 at 2:18 am

love your blogs and congrats on the upcoming baby. We love travelling too and continue to do so with baby (we have a 10mth old) We used the puj tub too. I recommend the Pura Kiki bottles
I got the basics as I didn’t want clutter of baby stuff and love it so far.. especailly for travelling because they are lightweight, stainless steel and easy to sterilize (hot boiling water required only)

Enjoy the pregnancy and wishing you all the best of luck.

Jane March 30, 2011 at 5:04 am

Wonderful selection and comments. I agree with all and would have loved this shortlist when we started to sift through baby stuff for what we actually needed. Our 9 month old loves his Ergo (Bjorn Active for the first 5 months). I too was caught between the Bee or CityMini. We chose the CityMini for its easy fold, which was was critical for our third floor walkup with bags and a wriggly baby (baby prefers the carrier though). I agree with the SwaddleMe for babies who bust out of swaddles. And I thoroughly recommend lactation consultant, Susan Burger, who holds weekly breast-feeding clinics on W19th. Love PureBaby and NatureBaby for clothing. I would also consider Bjorn Babysitter Balance (or something similar) as an essential. Enjoy!

Megan March 30, 2011 at 8:26 am

Congratulations! I love Hither and Thither and I know I’ll love this new spot just as much:) You are definitely off to a wonderful start with your essentials. A cute and roomy bag that works for mommy and daddy was vital for us! I never used an actual diaper bag because there were so many cute multi-pocketed bags out there as it was! But we went through a few due to heavy use:) I would also say find a brand of soft, simple clothes! All those tiny mini-me outfits are so darn cute but they are such a pain to wash and clean etc. My baby girl lived in simple things for her first year. Lastly if you cloth diaper, there is an attachment for your toilet where you can rinse diapers out there instead of in the sink! It is wonderful! I am looking forward to following your journey! Good luck and enjoy every minute of it:)

Amy March 30, 2011 at 8:29 am

My advice is just to relax, enjoy and follow your instincts. You’ll know what’s right for you once you get there and let’s face it, millions of people have done it and survived as will many more ahead! It changes everything, but it’s the best adventure you will ever experience. I can tell you are going to be awesome parents.

Oh, and I agree about the blanket sleepers (or bag sleepers). It is so much easier changing a diaper at 3am — trying to stuff their sweet little legs back into the other type can be a challenge.

Ashley March 30, 2011 at 8:29 am

Thank you–these are great! And thanks so much re the sites and checking out the new one!

Deanna (Silly Goose Farm) March 30, 2011 at 9:32 am

Really, the only baby accessory you need is a dog. It can entertain your kid, clean-up after them (and on occassion, actually CLEAN the kid itself), serve as nanny and baby monitor, and if you have one big enough, can be hooked up to a toboggen and tote kids instead of you having to push them around in a stroller. I have one dog per child here and it seems to be working lovely 🙂

katie March 30, 2011 at 10:02 am

I have some suggestions! The better basics burp cloths from giggle are the best! Also, def register for the Beaba cooker. Some of my other favorites are a sleepywrap ( and the swaddleme blankets. Also, I would highly suggest buy buy baby over babies r us. Good luck and I love your blogs.

Gao March 30, 2011 at 12:55 pm

Congrats on the baby! From a mother of 4 (11, 10, 2 1/2 and a 3 month old)…these were my life savers:

1. Baby sling. Your choose of the Ergo is great, but it might not work too great w/o the newborn insert for the first 3 months of the baby’s arrival. The Moby wrap is absolutely fantastic for newborns up to 4 months in my opinion (which I used for all my babies because they were all MN winter babies), but the fabric can get way too hot for the summer months…so keep the Ergo for after babes is 6+months plus (unless you plan to get the newborn insert) and for those precious first months…I suggest a ring sling type of carrier like the Maya wrap.

2. The Bumbo babysitter was an absolute life saver after 3+ months or whenever your baby has good head control. It lets the baby sit upright and see the world vs laying down all the time. It also doubled as a high chair for my babes until they were about 10 months. We even brought it to the beach, parties etc so that babes could see everything/everyone.

3. Swaddle blankets are great…and every baby will be different, but my babes never escaped out of regular ol’ swaddle blankets so I never had to purchase the sleep bag types swaddle blankets. Experts suggest the sleep bag blankets to reduce SIDS, but regardless if you choose the sleep bags or just regular ol’ fabrics…they are a must-have as well.

4. A pacifier. Some parents absolutely will not give their babes one…but get one just in case. It can be a total life saver when the babes needs that extra sucking action to soothe themselves. If you plan to breast feed, establish a good breast feeding routine first before you introduce the paci.

5. An excersaucer for when the baby is 5+ months…it provides tons of entertain for the babes so you can get some things done.

The baby won’t need much but your voice and arms for the first 3 months as entertainment…:) Congrats again!

bbells March 30, 2011 at 2:48 pm

i second and highly recommend the halo sleep sacks that swaddle and the swaddleme cotton swaddlers, i bought all the cute aden and anias ones and have not used them because the velcro is so much easier and he doesn’t squirm out of them.

also the puj is iffy, it doesnt keep the baby submersed in water so they can get cold, i got the tummy tub and my super sensitive baby loves it because it feels like the womb and he stays warm the whole time, plus its not that big.

congrats! this is a trip!

Amanda April 1, 2011 at 10:37 am

Lots of good ideas already listed so I’ll stick to nursing/pumping ideas.

If you are planning on pumping routinely, you will want additional bottles and freezer bags. I pumped after going back to work with my daughter and am on my first week back with my son and plan on pumping until the end of the year.

I highly recommend getting more of the bottles that fit your pump, eg, Medela pump bottles and lids. You will not want to have to do dishes every single night even if you plan to and having some spare bottles will save you! You can find just bottles and lids online or at Buy Buy Baby. Lots of other places (Babies R Us and Target only carry them in bigger kits of stuff you won’t need more of). I’d also get a package of more membranes for the pump. Doesn’t work without it and they are so tiny and easy to lose. I once had a hotel cleaning person throw mine out while they were laid in the bathroom to dry out with the rest of my supplies. Made the hotel go out shopping until they found some for my next pumping! Now I carry extra in my pump bag.

If you have a car and think you could end up pumping in the car (I do if I have to be out for client meetings), get the car adapter for your pump.

As for freezer bags for freezing breast milk, go for the cheaper Lasinoh ones. The Medela ones can be used with your pump directly but I always found that potentially more messy than it was useful.

I would avoid getting many bottles for the baby to use. If there is anything a baby has an opinion on and will share it, it is their bottle or more specifically their nipple. We’ve gone through multiples with both kids and of course they don’t like the same thing. Many people say something more breast like is more appreciate, eg Dr Browns or Born Free. True with my son, not at all true with my daughter. She wanted skinny old school style nipples. If it wasn’t mom she wanted it to have nothing do with mom. My son completely rejected those. To each their own!

Good luck and enjoy!

Vanessa Rae April 7, 2011 at 2:40 pm

I must say that I am loving both of your blogs and to join in the conversation, I have the Ergo and it’s a life saver and so cozy for both the bittle and I. I would add the Magic Bullet Blender to your list, it’s a mini food processor that makes whipping up baby food an easy task.

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