Finding the perfect combination of products for your baby registry can be tricky and time-consuming. There’s a ton of information to sift through—from pricing to specifications to reviews. You need to find products that fit your lifestyle and your parenting style. And if you’re expecting your first, you may not even know what your parenting style is yet.
In order to compile the most useful list of baby registry essentials, we went to the source: new mothers. They have high expectations and absolutely zero patience for products that don’t perform well. After all, they’re toting around precious cargo, and it’s not as if they’re getting a ton of sleep.
Consider this your ultimate baby registry checklist, comprised of standout products that have risen to the challenge and met seasoned moms’ exacting standards. From changing pads to diaper bags, these items score high marks for efficiency, comfort for parent and baby, and of course, style.
Hands-Free Baby Carrying
There are three key things you want in a baby carrier: a breathable fabric (because you can get seriously hot with a baby strapped to your chest), something that’s easy to put on without a 7-page instruction manual and comfy lumbar support so you don’t end up with serious back pain. The Colugo model checks all the boxes, and moms love all the extra pockets, which can sometimes eliminate the need to bring a diaper bag. It also accommodates babies from birth to 33 lbs so you don’t need a separate infant insert as with some other brands.
No-Stress Bath Time
No registry would be complete without a baby bath, and this adorable, whale-shaped model is worth the hype. It offers different stages of support for babies from birth to over six months, and parents rave about the versatile size and adjustable sling.
A Hybrid Car Seat-Meets-Stroller
Doona Car Seat & Stroller
This top-rated travel system can smoothly transform from car seat to stroller in seconds without disturbing a sleeping baby, which any mother knows is priceless. “This is the item I absolutely could not live without,” says Meg Doepke Newman, SVP of Global Brand Partnerships at fashion brand Johnny Was. “It’s simple to install in cars and cabs, and it can be wheeled into restaurants, grocery stores or really anywhere.”
It’s also helpful if you’re juggling two little ones. “It will make shuttling around a two-year-old with a baby in tow so much easier,” says Doepke Newman, who is expecting her second. Some key features include a five-point harness, adjustable handlebar and a stretch canopy available in seven colors.
Swoonworthy Baby Sheets
Land of Bébé Bijou Crib Sheet
Products that’ll get lots of mileage are true registry must-haves. Soft cotton crib sheets in cool colorways are the perfect staple for your baby’s nursery. “These are the most elegant crib sheets in patterns and textiles that I would love to have anywhere in the house,” says New York-based mom Giovanna Campagna and founder of clean beauty brand Joaquina Botanica.
An Easy-To-Clean Changer
Most traditional changing pads have a spongy base and a fabric cover you have to put in the washing machine when it gets gross. Not this one. “The Keekaroo changer is so easy to wipe down and clean,” says Doepke Newman. “It eliminates the need for changing the pad cover on a regular basis, which makes life much easier.” That’s something any new mom can get behind. This model is made from soft polyurethane; is BPA-, PVC-, latex- and phthalate-free; and is available in five colors.
Stage-Appropriate Baby Toys
As a new mom, it can be extremely difficult to stay on top of age-appropriate baby toys. But Lovevery has changed that with its stage-based play essentials subscription kits. “Every other month, a new box of activities arrives,” says Doepke Newman. “It takes the pressure off me knowing that ‘educational’ and stage-appropriate toys will arrive on a regular basis and help keep my son engaged.”
Soft, Multitasking Washcloths
Bamboo Organics Baby Washcloths
“Super soft baby washcloths are a must-have for the sensitive skin of a newborn,” says Dr. Mary L. Stevenson, a skin cancer surgeon and cosmetic dermatologist at NYU Langone Mohs and mom of two little ones. This set is ideal for delicate, sensitive skin because they’re made from soft, gentle, super absorbent bamboo. They’re also great stand-ins for cleaning messy hands and faces during mealtimes.
A Versatile Changing Station
Skip Hop Changing Station
When you’re a busy mom, sometimes the simplest things are priceless, making them a must for your baby registry checklist. “This changing station is the best for travel,” says Campagna. “It holds diapers, wipes and a mat so comfortably and compactly.” Plus, its small size makes it easy to pop into your stroller, diaper bag or car.
An Uncomplicated Swaddle
Miracle Blanket Swaddle Wrap
“As a mother of two under two (the first of whom hardly slept at all from the start), I found the most valuable tools for life with a baby have been ones that helped me get them to sleep, and to stay asleep,” says South Florida mom Mariana Savage, Principal at Mariana Savage Design. “Swaddling was difficult and cumbersome until I was introduced to the Miracle Blanket,” she says. “It’s easy to get a quick, tight swaddle that keeps their arms secure, without over-tightening. This added hours of sleep throughout the day and night.” Other pros: It’s made from 100% cotton so it’s easy to toss in the washer and dryer, and it’s available in a wide variety of colors and patterns.
A Soundproofing System
Another key to helping baby sleep? A good sound machine, says Savage. “The ’Lectrofan is by far the best—it drowns out any noise that might creep in.” This highly-rated machine has 10 different fan sounds and 10 variations of white noise sounds to mask disturbances. It also offers precise volume control to drown out even the loudest distractions (like the doorbell, a dog barking or noisy toddler siblings), and it comes with both an AC power adapter and USB cable.
A Captivating Mobile
Fisher-Price Precious Planet 2-in-1 Projection Mobile
“All my babies have loved this,” says Georgie Alexandre, Director of Business Development with real estate company OJO Labs. And with two young children and a nine-week-old, Alexandre is an expert. “I call it their baby TV,” she says. “It’s a silly one, and it works.” But what keeps babies so enthralled? In addition to adorable animal friends that spin, it projects images onto the canopy of the mobile. It also features heartbeat and womb sounds, nature sounds and classical lullabies, and can be converted to a ceiling projection music box. Parents love that it’s easy to install and comes with a remote.
An On-Demand Bottle Maker
Baby Brezza Formula Pro Advanced Baby Formula Dispenser
This gadget mixes, heats and dispenses formula in seconds, which is a lifesaver when you’ve got a hangry, impatient baby. “I love it because it’s one button and boom—the bottle is ready,” says Alexandre. It has three temperature settings and works with most formula brands and bottle types, too. If you want the option of being able to make a bottle from your phone, Baby Brezza also makes a WiFi model option.
A Comfy Baby Station
“The DockATot is a way to safely have your baby next to you during those very first postpartum days,” says New York-based mom Joanna Rude, who has a five-year-old son and four-week-old daughter. “It provides easy access to your baby during naps or downtime when they’re not in the bassinet or crib.” While it’s a splurge, other reviewers love this baby pillow for supervised lounging, tummy time, quick diaper changes and even when traveling because it serves as a familiar space that’s lightweight and easily movable. The cover is machine washable and is available in a wide variety of colors and chic patterns.
Simply Magnetic Me Footie 2-Pack
It often feels like babies go through about 17 outfits a day, and there’s nothing more frustrating than fumbling with buttons, snaps and zippers when you’re trying to do your umpteenth diaper or outfit change. Enter these super soft organic cotton footies with magnetic fasteners. “Baby clothes with magnetic closings are brilliant because there are no concerns about snagging babies’ skin,” says Rude. Some other thoughtful details: The zero to three month sizes have built-in mitten cuffs, and the nine month sizes and larger have grippy feet.
A Chic Diaper Bag
Fawn Design The Original Diaper Bag
As a new mom, you schlep around a lot of stuff, and you want to look good doing it. This bag doesn’t scream “diaper bag,” and it also makes your day-to-day errands with baby look effortless—even when they’re not. “I love that this baby bag can convert to a backpack,” says Rude. “It’s so key to be hands-free on the go, and I found that shoulder bags or messenger bags always slipped.” This sleek design comes in vegan leather in three sleek colors.
A Do-It-All Bassinet
Snoo Smart Sleeper Bassinet
This tricked out bassinet offers all kinds of cool features. It claims to add one to two hours of sleep a night for your baby thanks to “calming, womb-like motion and sound;” its 5-second swaddle feature curtails rolling to an unsafe position; and through the mobile app you’ll get daily updates and advice. “The Snoo was invaluable in helping our baby sleep and for providing peace of mind,” says Amanda Starbuck Hanlan, who is mom to an eight-month-old baby boy. “It’s expensive, but you can also rent it through the Happiest Baby site.”
Odor-Free Diaper Disposal
Playtex Baby Diaper Genie Complete
Practical diapering essentials are critical for any baby registry. The Diaper Genie has been around since the ’90s, and through thoughtful updates it has remained one of the most popular diaper pails. New moms love that it covers all the basics—it includes a hands-free foot pedal, a built-in antimicrobial, easy-to-install refills and clamps that seal in stinky diaper smells. “I like the Diaper Genie because it’s tall, and as a tall person I don’t have to bend way down,” says Starbuck Hanlan. “I also like that you can add clean laundry scent refills to the inside lid to combat odors.”
An Adaptable Highchair
Stokke Tripp Trapp Highchair
The beloved Tripp Trapp chair is a core item on many moms’ baby registry checklist because it comes with a baby seat attachment and features adjustable seat and footrest heights to accommodate your child from birth to adulthood (it transforms into a regular chair). Parents also love that it’s compact and easy to wipe clean. “This highchair is elegantly designed and gives your child great foot support, which other leading brands don’t, making it easier for them to hold themselves comfortably when they start to enjoy solids.” says Campagna. Note: The infant attachment is sold separately.
An Intuitive Stroller System
UppaBaby Vista 2 Stroller
Top-rated for over a decade, this classic stroller system is a dream. It comes with both a bassinet and baby seat, and allows for multiple configurations so you can easily transport up to three kids. It has a roomy basket underneath for a diaper bag, groceries or toys, and installing and removing seats is a breeze. The one-step fold is super easy, plus there are a variety of cool, make-your-life-easier accessories. Best of all, this stroller will make you feel like a million bucks because it’s so darn good looking (and comes in ten colors).
Clean, Gentle Baby Products
Bathing and diapering a newborn can be stressful for new moms because even seemingly insignificant things can be irritating to a baby’s skin. That’s why moms love the clean products from Tubby Todd, which are made with moisturizing ingredients including shea butter, calendula oil, beeswax and lavender oil. This set of essentials comes with their Hair and Body Wash, Everyday Lotion, Sweet Cheeks Diaper Paste and All Over Ointment. It’s available in lavender and rosemary scent, or fragrance free.