Baby Registry Checklist: All the Baby Products Under $50 I Wish I’d Asked For
There are few things more overwhelming than bringing a little person into the world. When trying to figure out what to put on your list of baby registry items to prepare for what this new baby life has in store for you, the sheer amount of thing choosing can seem great to new parents – not to mention all the different choices for each of these “essentials”.
The multitude of options for your baby registry checklist, such as sleeping bags, diaper bag optionsbottles, teats and moses is vast and seemingly endless, all for that little creature you haven’t met yet. It’s hard to pinpoint the essentials, those baby registry staples, from the endless sea of clutter that marketers want to convince you you can’t live without.
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In reality, once your new baby has arrived, the products you spend hours agonizing over won’t be as important as you think. Babies really only need a few things (food, clothes, diapers, a safe place to sleep), and every baby is indeed different, with different preferences. Are any of these elements really necessary? No. That being said, here are several baby registry staples that ended up being key to my parenting journey, ones that I wish I had known to sign up for instead of panic buying on Amazon in those first few weeks. You can also check out our picks for the best diapers, best baby monitors, best car seats And best baby clothes.
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If you take any advice from this list, make it this: invest in as many magnet suits as your budget allows. These are pricey, but in my experience, well worth it. No zippers, no snaps – just little magnetic buttons that allow you to quickly and easily open and close your baby’s pajamas, perfect for cloudy-eyed changes in the middle of the night. The fabric has a lovely soft, almost silky feel, and there are lots of cute patterns to choose from. (My baby’s Pop-pop loves them too, as they’re easy to use even with arthritic hands.)
We brought our little girl home from the hospital, armed with multiple Halo swaddles and blankets, only for her to burst or hate them all. She seemed to want to sleep with her hands up, so I ordered a Love to Dream swaddle. She immediately seemed more comfortable at nap time, and we kept them on until she was ready to transition (as you get taller, there are “transition” options that allow you to close sleeves). These swaddles also provide the added benefit of making your little one look like a flying squirrel.
My lactation consultant recommended these bottles as the most similar in shape to a human nipple and the best for helping to improve baby’s latch. They are easy to clean and pack in a cooler. Plus, they’re a steal compared to the much more expensive Comotomo bottles I had on my registry. Although my baby didn’t seem to have a real preference for one or the other, the Evenflo’s were the ones we stuck with.
What do you actually do with a newborn all day, when he’s not eating or sleeping (which, to be fair, is most of the time)? This Baby Einstein mirror might not be the prettiest, but my baby loved it – giving him a way to look at himself and some high contrast patterns made tummy time much easier for us at first . She also liked looking at the high contrast animal cards, which made her smile.
Speaking of tummy time, once your baby reaches three months, this water mat will help make that activity more engaging and interesting. It’s basically a mini waterbed for babies, and gives them a different feeling when they’re on their tummy, and something to watch with the floating fish. You can also try to wedge them in different ways using the inflatable sides. This helped us extend our tummy time sessions a bit.
Between spitting up, diaper breakouts, and drinking messy milk, newborns can get dirty pretty quickly. For those times when you don’t want to take a full bath (or those fun times when any of the above happens immediately after a bath), these Johnson’s Head-to-Toe Wipes are nice to have on hand. They’re just large, soft, hypoallergenic, pre-moistened baby wipes that let you do a quick cleanup.
Really, the goal here is to sign up for more burp apparel than you could ever imagine. Our baby is a frequent spitter and we have burp clothes strewn around the house at all times. These Hanna Andersson’s are nice and sweet, and slightly larger than the Burt’s Bees ones I had on my registry, for about the same price.
I signed up for an old baby nail clipper, I think I know how to cut nails, how hard could that be? At least for me, it wasn’t necessarily difficult, but scary – newborn babies wiggle around and their fingernails are so small that I was terrified to approach them with clippers. Not to mention, newborn nails grow surprisingly fast and need to be trimmed often, lest your training Wolverine scratch his face. This battery-operated electric nail clipper is a lifesaver: it has three different age-grading attachments for babies (and some adults too), a light so you can see what you’re doing, and two speeds in each direction. You can even tidy up while your baby sleeps (strange but true, at least in my case).
This one is for the parents. I naively thought I could fit all my breastfeeding/expressing gear into a nice little caddy. I was very wrong. A small storage cart like this will actually hold everything you need, like your pump, extra pump parts, snacks, a water bottle, burp clothes, and whatever else you might need (and shout out to postpartum nurse and Instagram influencer Karrie Locher for the idea). And you can roll it from room to room so you don’t get stuck on the couch all the time.
This one is an honorable mention as it was indeed on my registry after a friend’s recommendation. If you’re someone who hates having sticky hands, you need this tool that really can only be called a butt spatula. Apply your baby’s diaper cream to this little silicone brush and place it on her bottom, saving your hands from becoming a mess. It has a suction cup mount so it can sit on its own on your changing table, and it’s easy to clean.
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