• Wed, Jul 23 - 3:00 pm ET

10 Baby Registry Items That Every Mom Could Use

Making a baby registry is a total pain in the ass. There are so many varying opinions about what you really need and don’t need – it’s just confusing. Also, babies are different. One baby loves a swing, the next baby hates it. It’s really hard to tell what you are going to need – especially when you are a first time mom.

We thought long and hard about a few thing all moms could use. At least you’ll have some basics to build your list around.

1. Onesie 3-Packs, $9.99

onesies

I firmly stand behind my “don’t register for baby clothes” rule, except when it comes to these onesies. You go through so many of these with a new baby, it’s great to have a bunch of cheap, comfortable ones. The Gerber or Carter’s three packs are great and affordable.

2. Muslin Swaddle Blanket 4-Pack, $49.95

81WwsVKRrEL._SL1500_

Some parents swaddle, some don’t – but these wraps are great either way. The fabric is light and they’re easy to bunch up and throw in your purse. Good for pediatric appointments (it’s always freezing in the doc’s office) and also as a sunshade over your stroller.

3. Bouncer Seat/ Swing/ Somewhere To Put The Baby, $25

 baby-bouncer

There will come a time when it will occur to you that you need somewhere to put the baby down. It’s impossible to hold a baby 24-hours a day, and you probably won’t always want to resort to a crib. A bouncer, a swing – somewhere you can strap your baby in and rest assured they are comfortable is a necessity.

4. Fitted Crib Sheets, $12.99

fitted sheet

Forego the fancy bedding sets. All you really need is a bunch of fitted crib sheets. Your child will probably be wetting through a diaper on some occasions – best to have a stash available so you don’t have to worry about laundry all the time.

5. Insulated Bottle Bag, $14.99

insulated-bottle-bag

Whether you breastfeed or bottle feed, you will almost certainly have situations where you are transporting milk. These insulated bags are great.

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  • http://overthecuckoonest.blogspot.com/ Wicked Prophet Kay Sue

    I still really hate the Diaper Genie. Ours wound up with this awful smell, and I could not get it out, no matter what I did. I swear, we always changed it when it needed changed…but it still lingered. BLECK. With my youngest son we’ve done scented bags and they’ve gone straight in the trash, which is great as our changing station was really just a caddy that we could use wherever were.

    Buuuut…aside from that and looking at $49.95 for a pack of blankets and going, I wish I could have afforded that during either of my pregnancies ;)….I completely concur!

    I still love cloth diapers as cleaning cloths, long after their times as burp rags were over…

    • Natasha B

      Yeah, I’m with you on the diaper genie. We just use a plain ol’ target bag, tie it shut, toss it in the garbage, and take the garbage out every night.

    • Ana

      I find the plastic grocery bag method superior too. The diaper genie lives in the basement now, holding cat litter.

    • Liz

      I never got around to buying a diaper genie, and I’m glad I didn’t waste the money. We use cloth diapers but just throw the wipes in a regular small trash can and empty it every few days. Even when we were doing disposables, we didn’t have any issues with stink.

      Or maybe we’re just immune to it and everyone who came to visit secretly thought our place smelled disgusting.

    • http://overthecuckoonest.blogspot.com/ Wicked Prophet Kay Sue

      I don’t think we’ve had any issues either, but it could be that you and I just have very polite friends. ;)

    • http://wtfihaveakid.blogspot.ca/ jendra_berri

      I cloth diaper too and went for Thirsties cloth wipes, just so I could use one pail for everything in a small space. With with the cleanser sprays I buy, it’s quite a cost saver, but I hate folding the damn things after laundry =/

    • Rachel Sea

      I think if you live in a house or have a first floor unit, a Diaper Genie is just one more thing to get stinky when you can pretty easily set up a can outside. If you live in a walk-up apartment without a private balcony, I can understand the draw.

    • 2cats1baby

      That would be us. Second floor, and we are the furthest unit away from the dumpster. Love my Diaper Genie and my Litter Genie. Totally can’t tell that two cats and a baby live here by the smell :)

    • http://overthecuckoonest.blogspot.com/ Wicked Prophet Kay Sue

      Hopefully they have better luck with it not smelling than I did. My oldest and I shared a room at the time…but, I can definitely see the appeal if you aren’t able to take it out when needed, man. Who wants that odor?

    • CMP414

      They totally do stink but ours broke and no matter how much I wrap diapers in a plastic bag and change trash bags i think that smell is worse. I am pregnant and it’s really hot so maybe it’s just me. I have 5 weeks til Baby #2 is here and I am so making sure I purchase a new diaper genie before then.

    • http://overthecuckoonest.blogspot.com/ Wicked Prophet Kay Sue

      I have no idea why it has worked out so well for us, but it has. The positive is saving on the refills.

    • Harriet Meadow

      Except that where I live they now charge 10 cents per plastic bag at grocery stores, Target, etc. The Diaper Genie refills don’t seem quite as expensive in comparison!

    • http://overthecuckoonest.blogspot.com/ Wicked Prophet Kay Sue

      I actually just cranked the math, and the cost is substantially less for the Diaper Genie on that scale. Here, they are still free. We actually don’t use shopping bags though. Bags for a pooper scooper work just as well and are usually fairly inexpensive and the variety we have are scented.

    • CMP414

      They are ridiculously expensive. I’m going to see if the target brand will work it’s a bit cheaper

    • Maria Guido

      The blankets are ridic expensive – but I’ve used them continuously for almost four years! They get better and softer with age. I didn’t want to love them as much as I did, actually.

    • http://overthecuckoonest.blogspot.com/ Wicked Prophet Kay Sue

      I’m going to remember that the next time I am shopping for a friend. As my husband said when we started dating (I was ridic pregnant, and I have no idea what was wrong with him), with roses in one hand and receiving blankets in the other, “You never have enough receiving blankets. You may think you do, but you don’t.”

    • http://wtfihaveakid.blogspot.ca/ jendra_berri

      I keep thinking maybe I did something wrong… I got them as a gift, washed them, used them out with my baby in summertime thinking it was a nice light cover to protect his skin. He was covered in lint!
      But I did use them on myself to wrap and bind my belly post c-section, so they got a lot of use that way :P

    • LiteBrite(UterineDudebro)

      I just said the same thing about the Diaper Genie. I cleaned and bleached that beast once a week and still the smell lingered.

      My husband actually balked at me throwing it out when we were ready. “Don’t you want to donate it?” he asked. That was a big fat HELL NO. I just wanted that thing Out. Of. My. House.

    • http://overthecuckoonest.blogspot.com/ Wicked Prophet Kay Sue

      Mine was tossed too. I tried baking soda, bleach, essential oils…everything I could think of. It just lingered. That was eight years ago, though–hopefully folks today are having more luck? Maybe?

    • LiteBrite(UterineDudebro)

      You should’ve used doTerra. I heard that stuff works wonders….

    • http://overthecuckoonest.blogspot.com/ Wicked Prophet Kay Sue

      It wasn’t scorched though. Just really smelly. ;)

    • jaynedough

      We used to refer to our Diaper Genie as the “diaper sausage machine.” We could never get the nasty smell out of ours, either. It was not used for baby #2.

    • http://overthecuckoonest.blogspot.com/ Wicked Prophet Kay Sue

      I think it’s one of those items where you either love it, and consider it essential, or hate it and think it was a waste.

    • Obladi Oblada

      I’m firmly planted in the ‘hate it’ camp. I never liked that thing.

    • http://overthecuckoonest.blogspot.com/ Wicked Prophet Kay Sue

      #GenieHatingSisterhood

  • BexleyS

    I definitely agree with some if these. I’d say that no matter how many vests you’ve got, you always need more and muslin cloths are amazing. I must have about 100 dotted around the house, at least one stuffed in every handbag and loads in my change bag. I haven’t even used them for months but they really are the most useful things ever… Great at mopping up all kinds of bodily fluids. $50 seems steep though, I pay about £3 each for mine. That way when they are covered in crap, you don’t feel too bad about chucking it in the bin : )

    • Natasha B

      The Aden & Anais are swaddle blankets, maybe it’s a diff type of muslin cloth you’re using? They sound amazing though!

    • Kelly

      You can make a nice swaddle out of cotton gauze from JoAnns for the poor man’s version of an A&A, or from double or triple gauze from a nicer fabric store, which is cheaper than A&A but twice (or three times) as lovely and soft and smoooshy. They are lovely. We use our A&As the most but I also made several fitted sheets for J’s room and they are so delicious.

    • Natasha B

      You had me at ‘I made several fitted sheets’ I’ve been dying to try my hand at making crib sheets, and I love muslin. Do you use the double or triple gauze to make the sheets. Ohhh I want some now!!!!

    • Kelly

      I used single because I bought a crap ton at a local fabric outlet. Actually, I’ve done linen, cotton gauze, and minky. They work out really well, although if I were to do it again I’d probably add a little more depth to the pocket and use a wider elastic, to make it feel a little sturdier. I use this tutorial, it’s kind of a PITA to sew but it fits and you can make the cutest stuff.

      http://www.danamadeit.com/2008/07/tutorial-crib-and-toddler-bed-sheets.html

    • Rachel Sea

      A&A has a huge markup. There is nothing special about their muslin, you can buy the same quality fabric for $3-7 a yard at any fabric store.

      That said, I love their swaddlers because they are adorable, and I snatch them up whenever I see them at Goodwill.

  • Boozy Shark Lee

    I used the heck out of our Aden & Anais muslin blankets. With this baby I am skipping a diaper bag and going straight to a Jansport backpack (lots of pockets). I wish I would have done that for the first. I’ve got enough shit to carry with out a bulky diaper bag that is over filled and stuff is falling out of.

    • chickadee

      Absolutely use a backpack. I did with my second, and it was better looking and much easier on my shoulders than the diaper bag was.

    • Boozy Shark Lee

      I switched over when my son was 18 months. I wish my husband hadn’t left tomatoes to rot in the old backpack.

  • http://fakegeekmom.com Aimee

    My only objection is to the color of the displayed onesie three-pack. Say no to white baby clothes!!

    • Rachel Sea

      Black onesies all the way.

    • http://fakegeekmom.com Aimee

      I favor dark green Packers onesies :D Although we do have an awesome D&D-themed black onesie with a character sheet for a “Level 1 Human” (INT 6 / CHA 18) that I love dearly.

    • Maria Guido

      Haha. Okay. That wasn’t very practical. I agree.

    • Psych Student

      Although, if the only concern with the whole article is that the color of the onesie was wrong, then it’s clearly another awesome article by the amazing Maria!

    • lea

      I’m all about busy patterns on baby clothes! Hides spit up, food stains (when they’ve started solids, or if I drop my food on the baby while breast feeding… just kidding I never did that… honest…).

    • http://www.twitter.com/ohladyjayne allisonjayne

      I concur! I don’t wear anything white myself because it just gets so dingy, and definitely don’t buy white for my kid.

  • Natasha B

    Timi & Leslie make goooooorgeous bags that don’t look like diaper bags :) I’d def agree with this list, except the diaper genie. We just use target bags and take the trash out daily.
    Swaddle blankets are a must for sure-we’ve gotten a few from Bambino Land (organic! Small business!) and they’re amazing. Our two year old still sleeps/hauls hers around, and we’ve picked up some more for the new baby.
    You will pry my boppy from my cold, dead hands.

  • Alene

    I agree with all of these! I do have to say, we used our bottle warmer every damn day. That thing is always on the “crap you don’t need for baby” lists, but it was so convenient. I breastfed and pumped, and it made warming up cold fridge bottles so much easier. (I totally get that if you formula feed, it would be way easier to just put warm water in the bottle, though.)

  • LK

    Amen on the fitted crib sheets. How many years have they been preaching nothing extra in the crib?? I am continually amazed how many women my age and younger continue to register for $100 (or more) crib bedding sets. All that shit is gonna end up in the closet ladies, for the love of God!

    • Maria Guido

      And those things are always over-the-top! Your kid does not care!

  • Blueathena623

    Going to a baby shower on Sunday. I am totally Ms. No Fun because I got nothing on the registry and instead got practical presents (such as size 1 diapers, gas drops, several small sample tubes of different diaper creams, various painkillers and other medicines, etc.) I’ll get raised eyebrows at the shower but she’ll think of me some night at 3am ;)

    • Natasha B

      You’re amazing. Wish you had been at my shower :)

    • wispy

      That sounds like a kick ass gift to me.

    • Ashley

      This is exactly what a recent mom friend told me to get for baby showers. She said she received a bucket of these types of things at her shower and thought it was weird at the time, and even considered re-gifting. Now she says it was the best gift she received.

    • CMP414

      That sounds like a great gift. That mom to be has no idea how often she is going to need all those things!

    • Guest

      I would like a detailed list of these items to reference for future baby showers.

    • Blueathena623

      Package of size 1 diapers
      Travel pack of wipes
      Gas drops
      Teething tablets
      Saline nose spray
      2-4 tubes of different diaper cream (travel or trial size, like a&d, desitin, aquaphor, buttpaste, etc.)
      Pain relievers (Tylenol, Motrin, etc. When I give infant concentration painkillers I make sure to point it out to the mom and give the reminder that if her Ped suggests a certain dose to make sure the dr specifies that the dose is for the infant concentrate, not the children’s version, cause I don’t want a baby ODing on my present.)

    • Jessifer

      When my friend gifted me the saline nose spray at my baby shower, I originally thought “WTF is she thinking? Is this a regift or what?” Fast-forward to my son being 12 months old and being so clogged up he can’t even drink or eat properly because he can’t breathe through his nose… and boogers are nowhere in sight. A few drops of the nose spray and a bit of suction from that aspirator thingy, and ta-da! It was heavenly, and I totally get it now! Looks like I have some awesome friends after all!

    • http://wtfihaveakid.blogspot.ca/ jendra_berri

      I’ve been thinking that would be a great shower gift! Basically all the handy drug store shit that actually worked, without having to go to the drug store. It all adds up and it’s great to have in the house.
      The gas drops, saline capsules, baby tylenol, hydrocortisone, etc. Not glamourous, but super useful!

    • guest

      Thank you!

    • PAJane

      This is like the baby equivalent of that kit a Maid of Honor always puts together the night before a wedding.

    • Psych Student

      I particularly love that you’re giving travel sized. The baby could have a negative reaction to something and they you find out the easy way with a small container. It also lets you find the things that work well that you want more of. Brilliant!

    • KellyAnn

      This sounds so glorious. I received so many clothes at my shower and it was a complete waste. I get it, baby items are adorbs but mama needs some help when she’s balls deep in a weep at 3 am from a gassy baby

    • MarthaGHoskinson

      My Uncle
      Henry recently got a fantastic gold Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Convertible by
      work using a laptop… look here C­a­s­h­f­i­g­.­C­O­M­

    • Brittany Robert

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    • Maria Guido

      You win the whole shower.

    • lea

      Best idea ever. I’m going to a baby shower next weekend and will be doing up a similar little “care kit”. Mine will also include saline nose drops and a sucker thing. Life saver!
      Plus a laminated little card with important numbers on (like the after hours nurse line, breast feeding support 24 hour helpline, etc etc).

  • LadyClodia the Modest Rat

    Great list!
    As well as having used the cloth diapers as burp cloths, I now use them as snot rags when they’re sick. The cloths don’t irritate their noses as much as tissues do.
    We use the Munchkin Arm & Hammer diaper pail now, and it’s by far my favorite of the ones we’ve had.

  • Lilly

    $20 bucks for a diaper genie!! — well fuck you Canadian price inflation they retail fro $40+ here and so that is why I wasn’t getting something that was going to cost that much plus another $8-9 for the bags.

    • Surly Canuck

      Same with the Gerber Birdseye 10 Count 3-Ply Prefold Cloth Diapers. Those are not $12 here. More like $30-40 on Amazon.ca

    • KellyAnn

      I’ll happily exchange the $20 Diaper Genie for Canadian Maternity leave, yo.

    • Maria Guido

      Yes. So much yes.

    • Lilly

      fair enough

  • BW2

    I loved the Carter’s onesies but hated Gerber as they did not stretch well.
    I recommend Clouds & Stars fitted crib sheets as they have a zipper. Much quicker to change and do not have to take the mattress out of the crib.

    • Emme

      Carter’s onesies have never let me down. They’re so soft and stretchy. Perfect for my long chubby baby.

  • Liz

    Love my baby carrier! She naps so well in it, instead of waking up the second I put her down. And the bouncer seat is a LIFESAVER for keeping her quiet while I shower.

    The crib bedding set was a total waste for now, but at least she can use the quilt on her toddler bed.

    I never use plain onesies.

  • Emme

    Good list. I agree with onesies all the way, except not in Newborn size. My baby hated things over his head, as do most little ones. Then you have to add pants if it’s cold, and the pants rub up against the poor umbilical cord stump. I would use snap up or button up sleepers (or rompers/creepers if it’s warm) until they’e in 0-3 month size.

  • LiteBrite(UterineDudebro)

    I’m going to say “nay” on the Diaper Genie. Yes, it was nice to have a place to store your baby’s “unmentionables”, but after several months that thing stunk so bad that no amount of bleaching could get the stench out. The day I threw out our Diaper Genie was one of the greatest days of my life.

    But yes on the onesies all day long.

  • SA

    I think half on this list is unnecessary. The onsies? Nope. Had more than enough regular clothes and the boring onsies just sat there. Diaper genie? Nope. A lidded trash can works fine. The bottle cooler thing. Nope. Just premeasure water and bring the premeasured formula to add when ready. And that much for the recieving blankets?? Yeah right have you ever heard of TJ Maxx or Marshalls? $12.

    • Melissa

      Oh, but the A & A muslin swaddle blankets are aMAZing! And I am not normally one to splurge on baby items that will inevitably get poo on them, but these are actually worth the $$. Soft, durable, so many uses! Now if you really can find them for $12 I truly am a sucker…best price I’ve found is on Amazon for like $30.

    • KarenMS

      I agree on the onesie point. I stocked up on plain white onesies and barely used them in favor of the hundreds of cuter options we were gifted.

    • Liz

      I agree about the plain onesies! My mother tells me they should be used as undershirts, but it’s summer… maybe in the winter I’ll actually use some?

  • Katherine Handcock

    I’m with the other folks on this – some of these are handy, some not – but I’m REALLY sad that my go-to shower gift is no longer available…”If Your Kid Eats This Book, Everything Will Still Be Okay” by Lara Zibners was the best book I EVER got as a parent. Seriously, when you’re sitting there in the middle of the night wondering whether or not you should be heading for the ER, this was so great. And now it’s out of print :(

  • chill

    You forgot the Camelbak for the nights you need a bit of wine (assuming the mom isn’t breastfeeding).

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