Even the most seasoned of parents likely feel some amount of anxiety when they are crafting their baby gift registries. After all, many of the items you’re choosing are the staples necessary for any new baby, including a safe crib, cute-yet-functional clothing, and soft blankets. But, what about the extra gear you haven’t even considered yet? And what do you do when the options seem endless?
Not to worry! Whether you’re expecting your first child or your fifth, we have your registry covered from all angles. Check out our guide to today’s must-have items.
1. Choose a Great Stroller/Car Seat Kit
Whether you’re traversing a mall, a wooded trail, or the sidewalk outside your front door, a stroller is a must-have item for any parent. Model and brand are up to your discretion or budget, but we believe you just cannot beat a jogging stroller. These strollers boast wheels of air-filled rubber, built to handle any kind of terrain smoothly. They also last longer, have more features, and support even the most voracious fitness buffs.
The drawback, of course, is the weight as compared to your basic umbrella stroller. However, these strollers generally do not exceed 20-25 pounds — lighter than many standard travel systems. The real benefit is that a car seat can click directly into the stroller or accompanying car seat base. For the money, we suggest the Graco FastAction Fold Jogger Travel System.
2. Build Your Changing Table Arsenal
As the classic book will tell you, “Everybody Poops.” Therefore, it’s essential to be ready as possible for diapering until your baby begins to potty train at around age two. In the roughly 730 days in the meantime, gear up with the best diapering tools on the market:
- Diaper Genie. This must-have item makes diaper disposal a breeze. Consider registering for refills, so you are not caught without a replacement at an inopportune moment. We can attest that the scented variety does smell better than the all-natural odor your baby will put out.
- Changing Pad. Keep your baby comfortable while protecting your changing table. A waterproof option is easy to clean, and you can even add a removable cover for extra protection and warmth.
- Wipe Warmer. It might seem like a gimmick but trust us — it isn’t. In fact, there is nothing more alarming for a baby during a 3 a.m. diaper change than a freezing-cold wipe. Wipe warmers keep a stockpile of wipes in a warm place for easy access. Bonus: Some even feature a built-in nightlight for easy location when you’re exhausted and in the dark!
- Butt Paste. For years, parents have sworn by baby powder to prevent diaper rash — unfortunately, pediatricians now urge against using powder to treat diaper rash for multiple reasons. Fortunately, creams and pastes deliver a good barrier between the baby’s skin and moisture, so you and the baby will be good to go. We recommend Boudreaux’s Butt Paste to make sure your baby’s diaper rash is soothed and healing properly.
3. Stock Your Healthcare and Grooming Kit
Babies need grooming just as much as adults do — potentially even more so. There are several safety and grooming kits available as an all-in-one option. Or you can build your own — just include:
- Nasal Aspirators. To help babies get rid of boogies, a nasal aspirator bulb gently sucks the mucus from the nasal cavity, clearing the airway. You can opt for the more high-tech electronic versions, but the simple bulb works just fine.
- Nail Clippers. Along with safety mitts on your baby’s hands, it’s important to keep the baby’s nails trimmed and clean. Make sure to use clippers explicitly designed for babies, as larger ones tend to nick their sensitive skin.
- Thermometers. This is one item not to go cheap on — a good thermometer is essential! We like the Kinsa Smart Thermometer because it is FDA-approved to take your baby’s temperature three separate ways (axially, orally, or rectally). It also has an app to help you track the temperature of multiple family members quickly and easily.
4. Choose a Mat for Play/Tummy Time
Babies spend most of their first few months on their back, so finding a clean, soft surface for tummy time (while supervised, of course) is integral to their neck muscle development.
Classic gym and playmats are a wonderful way to keep babies entertained and curious while also providing a comfortable and safe place to play — and prepare their bodies for sitting, standing, and walking. There are many electronic versions with lights and sounds, but go simple and safe for a quieter and less overstimulating option.
5. Create Your Registry!
Now that you’ve built a list of must-haves for your baby registry, where should you register? We have that covered, too. Check out this list of the 7 Best Baby Registry Services for Expectant Parents to start compiling your wish list. By the time your baby shower rolls around, you’ll have the most comprehensive registry in the history of babies!
Read Also: Top Tips for Buying Baby Clothes