When my husband and I found out we were expecting our first child, it was surreal. I mean, we were completely elated about those positive pregnancy tests, of course — but a part of me was also freaking the heck out. Because I had no idea what I was getting myself into.
Although it was an exciting prospect to pick out adorable baby items for our registry, it was also overwhelming. I had a basic idea about what babies needed. You know, the obvious things, like: A crib, a car seat, stroller, swing, clothes, play pen, bottles, etc. I would get so excited while perusing the baby clothing sections because pretty much anything newborn-sized was simply adorable. In the midst of my awwwwing over all of the cute baby registry items, I overlooked many of the less-exciting — but still completely necessary — baby products.
My husband and I wound up picking up a significant amount of items after I gave birth to our son (and on our own dime) simply because we had no idea we’d be needing this stuff in the first place. And how would we have known anyway? We had never done this whole parenting thing before, after all. So like the majority of first-time parents, we sort of winged it and figured things out as we went. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing; I just wish I would have had some advice from a been-there-done-that parent to help fill in the gaps in our baby registry.
Now that I’m about to have my fourth child, I would love to use my personal experience to help better prepare other first-time expecting parents. That way, they don’t find themselves in a similar predicament. Because on top of the sleep deprivation that comes with parenthood and caring for a newborn, who wants to deal with forgotten baby essentials? (Yeah, I didn’t think so.) So be sure to bookmark this page for future reference, and let’s take a look at the must-have baby registry items you probably forgot. Because I know I did!
1. Baby Digital Thermometer
It’s never fun when your child is feeling under the weather — and it’s not necessarily something you hope to use as a new parent. But trust me, you should definitely have a digital baby thermometer on hand. As uncomfortable as it might sound, the most accurate way to take an infant’s temperature is rectally, according to BabyCenter. (So you’ll want to make sure to have both a thermometer and some vaseline for lubrication available.) This $11.95 baby digital thermometer should do the trick. Just be sure to clean it thoroughly after each use — and to check with your pediatrician to determine what you should do if your baby is running a fever.
2. Baby Booties
I’ve always pointed out that baby shoes are completely unnecessary baby registry items. Because I mean, where is an infant going to be walking anyway? (Spoiler alert: They won’t be walking anytime soon.) So unless you’re buying cute shoes specifically for photos, I’d skip them altogether. With that said, sometimes your baby needs an extra layer on her little toes when the temperature outside is particularly cold. Enter: Baby booties. Not only are they completely adorable, but they help keep your baby’s feet nice and toasty. This pair of $12.99 Luvable Friends Baby Cozy Fleece Booties are a solid option for you to consider.
One satisfied Amazon customer wrote, “These booties are so easy and quick to put on busy little feet. The top closes with Velcro. There are grippers on the bottom but haven’t really used them as my baby is only 6 months and is not walking or crawling. These are the best product I’ve found for busy feet that don’t keep socks or regular shoes on. Perfect for cooler weather as I can throw socks under or wear as is. I wouldn’t probably use these during summer since they would be way too hot. Love that these seem comfortable for all day including in the crib.”
3. Mattress Pad
So you undoubtedly have a crib on your baby registry: Check. And you even remembered to include a crib mattress, which is often sold separately: Check. But another crib-related registry item you’re definitely going to need is a mattress pad. Because babies tend to spit-up a ton and occasionally leak through their diapers at night. So having that extra protective barrier between your little one and the actual crib mattress is of utmost importance to the longevity of that mattress. My suggestion? Make it a point to include at least two waterproof crib mattress pads on your baby registry. (That way, you’ll have one to put back on the mattress while the other one is being cleaned.) This Sealy Stain Protection Waterproof Fitted Crib/Toddler Mattress Pad for $19.79 is a fantastic option to consider.
4. Extra Fitted Crib Sheets
As with the waterproof mattress pad, thinking to have more than one fitted sheet for your crib is something that likely slipped your mind. Because in the frenzy of selecting adorable items for your baby registry, crib sheets aren't exactly the most exciting part. However, for the same reasons I listed above to invest in multiple mattress pads — diaper malfunctions, spitting up, etc. — you'll absolutely be needing a few extra fitted crib sheets. I'd say at least three to be safe. (And to make sure you have replacements while the soiled sheets have a chance to make it through the wash.) This $14.99 Gerber 100-percent Cotton Fitted Crib Sheet is not only functional, but it's adorable as well. With 11 different color options from which to choose, pick a few of your favorites and you’ll be prepared for any middle-of-the-night messes that come your way.
5. Burp Cloths
So if you haven't caught on by now, babies — and especially newborns — tend to get a bit messy. (It's a good thing they're so darn cute, right?) It's not their fault; this whole life-outside-the-womb business is kind of a huge adjustment, after all. So it can take a while to become efficient when it comes to eating and digesting. In the meantime, spitting up in between feeding sessions will pretty much be the norm, as the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) points out. For this reason, parents should make sure they're well-armed with ways to cope — and this includes having an arsenal of burp cloths on hand. This 10-count of Gerber Birdseye 3-Ply Prefold Cloth Diapers will help get you started. Although yes, they're technically cloth diapers, these work perfectly as burp cloths because they're so thick and absorbent. So be sure to add at least a couple packs of these to your baby registry, and then to always have a few with you wherever you go. (Along with extra changes of clothes.) Trust me, you'll be needing them.
6. Snot sucker
We've clearly established that babies have tendency to be, well, messy. Because parenthood equals dealing with and cleaning bodily fluids galore — and your baby doesn't know how to blow his nose yet — you'll also need a way to help keep your baby's nose clear. Which means you'll need to make sure to have some sort of nasal aspirator to suck out snot and boogers for your little one. For $19.89, not only do you get the rave-reviewed NoseFrida "The Snot Sucker," but you also get a handy bottle of saline drops. With this combination, you will surely be able to keep your baby's nose clear and clean. If you're curious to see how this tool actually works, check out this YouTube review to see a mom and her baby in action.
One satisfied Amazon customer wrote, "I read about this product on a blog, read lots of reviews, watched YouTube videos then found it for the best price on amazon (Walmart offered it for the same price). It’s a little odd, and I can’t imagine anyone but a loving, concerned parent would be willing to try it out. It’s great! The spray is minimal and light, didn’t bother my fussy babies. I sucked so much drainage out of their noses to clear the nasal and back of the throat areas. My kids are sick and just miserable and as a parent, it breaks my heart that I can’t help and they can’t seem to understand how to blow their noses- but now I can help! It’s something you’d have to consistently keep up with while they’re sick, and often if it’s allergies but it does help. And when you’re “sucking” you don’t come in any contact with boogers, you suck through the straw, there’s a filter and you can see it but not touch it."
If your baby is anything like mine, then those little feet will be kicking like mad once he's out of the womb and actually has room to stretch out his legs. Unfortunately, this means your little one will be perpetually missing a sock. You'll find random baby socks under the couch, in your car, hiding in your dryer, stuffed into other articles of clothing — pretty much anywhere but on your baby's feet. For this reason, making sure to accumulate way more infant socks than you think you might need is probably not a bad idea. This $15.99 12-pack of Simple Joys by Carter's Baby Socks is just one adorable option. Although, if you don't want to deal with matching different colors and/or patterns, you can always opt for plain, white socks. That way, you'll always have a matching pair whenever a sock goes MIA. Because it will happen.
8. Board Books
It's common knowledge that reading to your children offers a number of benefits — and that includes newborns, too. The best part is it doesn't really matter what you're reading to your little one; all she needs is the hear your voice, inflections, and vocal patterns. Still, babies have a way of destroying paper books with their grabby little hands, spit-up, slobber, mouthing, etc. So you're going to want something sturdy that can withstand a little physical abuse. That's why this been-there-done-that mama strongly recommends building a library of board books. This $9.39 Goodnight Moon board book is a timeless classic that you'll soon be able to recite from heart. Believe me, our copy has been well-loved through the years.
9. Breast Pads
Whether you're planning on breastfeeding your baby or not, breast pads are a must for new mothers. Because once you delivery your baby, your body starts preparing to feed that baby — meaning your milk comes in whether you intend to use it or not. For moms who plan on formula-feeding from the start, this means going through the uncomfortable process of allowing your milk to dry up. (So you're going to want something other than the clothing you're wearing to soak up the breastmilk that leaks out.) Likewise, breastfeeding moms will need breast pads for the duration of their breastfeeding journey. Because unfortunately, letdown can be triggered even when you're not actively trying to feed your baby. (And who wants to deal with milk-soaked shirts at night/work/the grocery store? I didn't think so.) These disposable Lansinoh nursing pads are perfect for absorbing unwanted leakage. Grab two 100-count boxes for $22.95 on Amazon.
One highly satisfied mother wrote, "Lansinoh is THE best when it comes to nursing pads (and nipple cream) My baby was born early and this past month with her in the NICU and me pumping 24/7 to keep up my supply theyve been a life saver, no joke especially at night! Highly recommend to all moms!"
10. Diaper Caddy
With so many diapering supplies — a changing pad, the actual diapers themselves, wipes, diaper rash cream, and more — it's incredibly convenient to have everything in one place. A diaper-changing station of sorts, if you will. What's even more convenient is having all of your diapering supplies in one, portable location. Enter: The diaper caddy. Especially if you have a larger home with multiple levels, I would recommend having at least a couple of stocked diaper caddies handy. Sure, they're not particularly exciting to have on a baby registry. But you won't regret having one in the slightest. This $19.99 Ubbi Portable Diaper Changing Station has a spot for everything, and even includes a changing pad, too.
A five-star Amazon reviewer wrote, "I don’t think I’ve ever been so excited about changing a diaper. I needed something portable so I could carry it to different rooms and have everything in one spot. This is perfect. Keep in mind the wipe container is separate (which is fine if you buy wipes with flip top lids, not loose ones).Product comes with the container which has a drawer and a slot for a changing pad. The Ubbi changing pad that comes with it is great, it is easy to clean, doesn’t let water through, and if you are using a smooth surface it creates friction so it stays stable.The caddy itself also has little rubberized feet so it also will not slide across your hardwood floor or off the dresser you set the caddy on. The little drawer is perfect to hold small things, I currently have a 3oz tube of butt cream, and I store extra pacifiers in there."
11. Diaper Rash Cream
No matter how diligent you are in changing your baby's diaper ASAP after she gets it wet and/or dirty, it's bound to happen at some point: Diaper rash. And let me tell you, that red tush does not feel good — which I'm sure your baby will have no problem letting you know. As frustrating as those angry, red rashes can be, you can quickly get them under control if you have the right diaper rash cream. Plenty of parents agree that Boudreaux's Butt Paste is the best product out there. Seriously, though. I've tried multiple different kinds of store-brand diaper rash creams — and none of them even come close to how effective this stuff is. So make sure to include a few tubes of this miracle cream — one for the nursery, one for the main living area, and one for the diaper bag. Because if you head off the first signs of redness with Butt Paste, you can save your baby some discomfort in the long run.
12. Nail Clippers/File
From my experience, few things are sharper than newborn fingernails. If you don't keep them trimmed and filed, your baby is bound to scratch up his little face — and various parts of your body, too. For $12.99, you can snag this NailFrida the SnipperClipper Set by Fridababy. It includes a SnipperClipper baby clipper, which features a patented safety spy hole — allowing parents to see exactly what you're clipping. The set also includes a baby nail file in a curved "S" shape, which is specifically designed for tiny fingers.
One amazon reviewer wrote, "I love these clippers!!!!! Fridababy has done it again with this awesome product! I was able to quickly clip my 11 MO's nails without tears (from either of us). The spy hole helps so much better than magnifying glasses on other clippers. I used it in sunlight and I was able to see his little nails through the hole perfectly. Another great feature is that there isn't a "clip" noise!"
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