What I Wish I Put on My Baby Registry
It’s one of those inevitable motherhood moments: Eventually, you look back and you wonder, what was I thinking?
Whether you thought you could do it all on your own (guilty) or wound up with a nursery full or registry gifts that didn’t quite get the use you thought they’d get, it’s easier to understand what you’ll need as a new mom after you’ve—well—been a new mom.
And if you could look back and do it all again? You’d likely craft the perfect registry—one that’s helpful, prioritizes your needs as a new parent, minimizes the amount of “stuff” building up in your home, and includes all of the everyday essentials.
Lucky for you, we’ve rounded those products, services, and items up for you—straight from moms who wish they’d had them on their baby registries their first-time around.
If you’re learning how to swaddle sleep-deprived at 2 a.m., blankets that are supposed to magically turn your baby into a bundled up burrito or snap swaddles can add up to pure frustration. “I never figured out how to swaddle ‘the right way’ and always found it so complicated,” says Clare Smith, a 31-year-old from Jersey City. “The velcro swaddles were perfect in the middle of the night when I was exhausted and needed to change my daughter and re-swaddle her quickly—so easy and time-saving!”
Baby Bjorn Bouncer
There are a lot of baby bouncers out there—some fancier and pricier than others—but many new moms swear by the lightweight simplicity of Baby Bjorn’s bouncer, which requires basically no assembly, can be easily transported around your home (or packed in the car if you’re traveling), and comes in chic neutral shades. “It’s a comfy place for baby to hang out,” says Brianna G., 30, Boston, MA. “My baby loved sitting in it as a newborn and once she got a little bigger, she could control the bounce herself which she seems to love.”
A Cash Doula Fund
Sometimes the things you wish you’d had in the early days of new motherhood aren’t things at all. Case in point: Many new mothers—including Erica Ignjatovic, 34, founder of Little Honey Money, a tech platform for new motherhood support based in Los Angeles, CA—say that a fund cover the costs of a doula is something they’d put on a registry looking back. “With a doula’s support, there are so many things that you don’t have to learn the hard way as you enter new motherhood,” says Ignjatovic. “It’s crucial to have a safe space for your physical, emotional, and mental health—someone who you can be open with about the most personal, intimate details during your pregnancy and postpartum. It’s a different kind of openness and support than what friends and family are able to provide.” In fact, she adds that she believes having a doula is the single most valuable thing a mom-to-be can invest in—and it’s even more meaningful if your loved ones are able to contribute to it.
Hatch Night Light and Sound Machine
Gloria Kennett, 33, a new mom from Chicago, IL thought a night light and portable sound machine would be enough, but when a friend gifted her the Hatch nightlight-meets-sound-machine, she was glad she did. “Those middle of the night newborn feedings in the nursery have been so much easier when I can use one free hand to go into the app and turn on or adjust the light brightness and sounds as needed,” she says. “It even has timers you can program. When our girl is a little older we can test the colors to train her on when it’s night or okay to get out of bed (we hope)!”
A Kneeling Pad for Bath Time
“In all of my registry research and chatting with friends, I never once thought about how rough bath time would be on our knees,” says Alexis A., a 37-year-old mom in New York City. “Three weeks into awkwardly bending over the tub and we knew we needed them —and a rolled-up towel wasn’t cutting it!”
Fisher-Price Sit Me Up Floor Seat
The baby market is full of products that new moms wonder if they’ll need. Ashley P., a 33-year-old based in Houston, TX found this chair, in particular, to be an easy way to keep baby
part of the action (during mealtime, for example) at an affordable price. “It allows my husband and me about 20 minutes to eat with both hands and she gets to work on her motor skills grabbing toys from the tray,” she says. An added bonus: “I also think it’s helped her on her journey to sitting up. She seems to be getting better every day!” Plus, with Prime delivery, this one could be at your door in two days’ time.
A Sterilizer for Breast Pump Parts
Initially, you might have your sights set on boiling your pump and bottle parts to sterilize them (who needs another clunky appliance on the countertop anyway?) but that doesn’t always check out. “I don’t know what kind of hero I was trying to be by hand sterilizing and drying a million pieces each day,” admits Alexis. “Once I gave in and bought a sterilizer, I instantly saved about 30 minutes each day by no longer having to fill the pot, wait for a boil, watch the parts, and hand dry everything. Save yourself the headache and most importantly, the time—it’s way too precious.”
A Meal Delivery Service
As a new parent, homecooked meals can be one of the first things to go out the window. (Grocery shopping, recipe finding, cooking—who has the time?) And while delivery food is always a welcomed gift from friends and family, sometimes you do crave something homemade. That’s where a meal delivery service comes in. With pre-portioned ingredients, easy recipes (that you can usually make in 30 minutes or less), delivery, and just the right amount of food you need to limit a massive cleanup, these kits are the easiest way to cook with a baby. Plus, taking even a few minutes to put your mind on something else—and maybe spend a few minutes with a partner—can be a much-needed break.
Something Just for Mom
The baby has needs — and so do you! Don’t feel weird or guilty adding something that is just for mom. "People skimp out on registering for anything for themselves, but you can—and should," says Olivia Howell, editor in chief of Gugu Guru, a universal baby registry site.
"Having a newborn is so hard, you're allowed to ask people to make it easy for you!" I. So. Wish. I. Did. This.