When soon-to-be parents set out to create their perfect baby registry, oftentimes a lot of time and research is dedicated to selecting the perfect big-ticket items — you know, the obvious stuff. Which crib will be the ultimate centerpiece of their baby’s nursery while also being safe and practical? Which car seat has the highest safety ranking? What swing are other parents raving about? As a mom of three (and a fourth due in a few short weeks,) I can totally relate to putting the most thought into the baby registry necessities.
However, as I’ve found out through experience, there are definitely some baby registry items that don’t get the recognition they deserve. Because, honestly, it’s the simple, underrated products that have a way of making new parents’ day-to-day lives ridiculously easier. (Especially when you consider the small cost.) Most of the time, these under-appreciated gadgets serve a very specific purpose — but because they solve real issues that most parents are faced with, these items are invaluable. And guess what? You can find plenty of these gems at Target!
In case you didn’t already know, Target has a reputation for being a safe haven of sorts to parents. (Particularly if you’re lucky enough to slip away for a solo trip to a store.) And it isn’t difficult to see why. You have an opportunity to get out of the house with your kiddo if one or both of you is going stir-crazy. Plus, many locations have a Starbucks. So you can leisurely sip your liquid caffeine while strolling down the aisles filled with amazing home decor, irresistible outfits, and of course, a kick-butt selection of baby gear.
As I recently found out, expecting parents can score a free welcome kit with $100 worth of samples and coupons inside after they’ve completed their baby registry at Target. Other perks include 15 percent off everything left on your registry eight weeks before your baby’s due date, as well as being able to return items up to a year after your baby’s due date. So get out there and start that Target baby registry, parents-to-be! And while you’re at it, be sure to include these underrated — and extremely useful — items. (Don’t forget to bookmark this page for future reference, either.)
1. Boudreaux's Butt Paste
As a new parent, I did everything within my power to make sure my baby was promptly changed every time after he had a wet or dirty diaper. I incessantly checked his diaper, not wanting him to have to sit in anything yucky longer than necessary. But alas, diaper rash still happened from time to time; it’s just part the whole diapering business. It took me going through a few different products before realizing that Boudreaux's Butt Paste is where it’s at. Guys, I cannot sing the praises of this diaper rash cream enough. It’s thick, it’s creamy — and it gets the job done. At the first hint of redness, I can head off full-blown diaper rash with a layer of Butt Paste. And even if my baby ended up with a particularly sore tush after some gastrointestinal distress, you can bet regular application of Butt Paste had him back to normal in no time flat.
One Amazon reviewer wrote, “Never thought that I would be writing a review for a butt cream, but this product works magic on my little one's tush. Whenever there is any irritation, we lather this cream on and the rash is typically gone overnight."
2. NoseFrida “The Snot Sucker”
It's true that those nasal aspirators they give you at the hospital work fairly well for keeping a baby’s nose cleared out. But as far as long-term use is concerned, they’re also highly unsanitary. Enter: The $15.99 NoseFrida “The Snot Sucker.” It may seem a little gross at first, but you place one end of the snot sucker near your baby’s nostril and the other end in your mouth — and then literally suck the snot out. Don’t worry: Because of the replaceable filter, the snot doesn’t actually go into your mouth. This handy device is easy to clean and extremely effective; but it’s not something that’s widely known about by everyone. Check out this video from NoseFrida to see how it’s done.
A positive Amazon review reads, “We use the Nose Frida daily. It does such a good job. I could never get anything out with a bulb. This removed snot & boogers on the first attempt. It is NOT gross. After trying it once, you will understand how great it is. I just WISH they would include a cleaning brush with it! You have to rinse it out immediately, before it dries. For thorough cleaning (or dried boogies), you need to purchase a straw cleaning brush.”
3. Munchkin Travel Bottle Warmer
Whether you’re on vacation or simply out and about with your baby and need a way to warm her milk, this $24.99 Munchkin travel bottle warmer has got you covered. This particular model is powered by a car adaptor. Simply plug it into your car, and your little one can have a warm bottle of formula or breastmilk on the go — without having to worry about finding a place to heat up the milk. Granted, a travel bottle warmer isn’t necessarily something you’d use every day. But it’s definitely a convenient piece of baby gear to have. And you won’t be sorry you included it on your Target registry.
4. Ubbi Diaper Caddy
If your house is fairly big — and especially if you have more than one level — a diaper caddy is one of those practical baby registry items that doesn’t get the recognition it deserves. But take it from a been-there-done-that mom; these things are super handy for keeping your diapering needs organized and all in one, portable location. The Ubbi Diaper Caddy comes with plenty of space for all of your diapering necessities, including a changing pad and nifty drawer. At $39.99, it is on the pricier end. But this also happens to be a totally doable price point for many baby shower gift-givers. So this is definitely an item I would include on your Target baby registry.
5. Skip Hop Style Driven Backseat Mirror
For safety reasons — and as recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) — infant and convertible car seats must be placed rear-facing in vehicles for ideally the first two years. (Just make sure to follow the height and weight limits of your particular seat.) Which is fine; parents want their children to be as safe as possible in the event of an accident. However, having a rear-facing infant can be incredibly frustrating because parents can’t easily glance back and check on their little one. Which is why a baby mirror is yet another underrated registry item on my list. This Skip Hop mirror is $19.99 at Target — and it easily attaches to the headrest of your car’s seat, so you can glance in your rearview mirror and see his smiling/upset/sleeping face reflected back at you. Trust me, this small tool can make a big difference in parents' peace of mind.
6. Boppy Pillow
On the surface, a nursing pillow doesn’t seem like it would much of a game changer. But for first-time breastfeeding moms, they can be a lifesaver. Because there’s definitely a learning curve when it comes to getting into position with a floppy newborn, helping your baby achieve a proper latch and relaxing enough for your milk to letdown in the first place. This $39.99 Boppy nursing pillow can help with all of these steps. (Bonus: There are a ton of cute cover patterns to choose from.) Even if you don’t plan to breastfeed, a Boppy pillow can still be used to help your baby get comfortable during bottle feedings. They’re also useful for supervised tummy time and can be used as a comfortable place to prop up your baby/help him practice sitting up.
7. Boogie Wipes
I know, I know. It might seem kind of silly to include wipes specifically designed to wipe your baby’s nose on your registry. (Instead of baby wipes that you already have.) But, hear me out. Because as with the “snot sucker” nose aspirator, they serve an important purpose. Instead of wiping your little one’s nose raw with dry tissues or using regular baby wipes, Boogie Wipes can gently and effectively get the job done. These natural saline wipes not only help clean and dissolve snot and boogers, they’re extra soft — so they help soothe and moisturize areas that are raw from constantly running. Bonus: They’re hypoallergenic and free of alcohol, parabens, sulfates, chlorine and phthalates. So toss a couple of 30-count packs of wipes in your registry for $3.99. You won’t be sorry.
8. Halo Sleep Sack
Confession: I never quite mastered the art of baby swaddling. (Somehow, my babies would always bust out of my sloppy swaddles within a matter of seconds.) Which is what makes sleep sacks so amazing — because they actually stay on. Not to mention, according to the AAP, infants should be put to sleep on nothing but a firm mattress with a fitted crib sheet. That means no blankets, no pillows, no toys, no crib bumpers, no stuffed animals, etc. However, a wearable blanket can help keep your little one cozy without the risk of suffocation. This Halo Sleep Sack wearable blanket is made of soft micro-fleece and is a safer option to blankets. It unzips from the bottom for easy diaper changes and is even recognized as “hip healthy” by the International Hip Dysplasia Institute. At $21.99, the Halo Sleep Sack comes in three different sizes and a variety of patterns. So pick a few of your favorites, add them to your baby registry, and be in awe of their magic.
9. Ergobaby 360 Baby Carrier
I cannot stress how much I have loved the Ergobaby 360 Baby Carrier. My constantly-wanting-to-be-held babies wouldn’t allow me to set them in a bouncer or a swing for very long before needing to be close to mama. So if I ever wanted to actually get anything done around the house, into the Ergobaby 360 they went. My third child in particular practically lived in this carrier for the first year of her life. I used it at home, at the grocery store, while walking around the indoor track at our fitness center, at the park — you name it. At $179.99, this is certainly one of the pricier items on my underrated baby registry item list. But the investment is more than worth the payoff.
One five-star Amazon reviewer wrote, "I absolutely love this carrier and I am so glad I purchased it! I was hesitant because of the price, but it's rated #1 for a reason. So far, we've only used the front facing position with the infant insert for my 6-week-old. She falls asleep after being in it for only a few minutes and she loves being close to mommy. It is very comfortable for us both. We plan to use this for hiking trips in the future, so I'm glad it is ergonomic for baby's hips."
10. Lansinoh Disposable Breast Pads
As a new breastfeeding mom, I didn’t realize how truly essential breast pads were until I leaked through several shirts in one day. That’s when I knew I’d need to start wearing them around the clock, especially when I went back to work. Because, unfortunately, a mother’s milk letdown can be triggered by so many different factors — even if she’s not currently trying to feed her baby. These Lansinoh Disposable Breast Pads never failed me. Include several 100-packs (for $11.89 apiece,) on your registry, and you’ll be set for a few months. Even if you’re not planning on breastfeeding your baby, your milk will still likely come in after delivery. And as your milk is drying up, you’ll want to protect your clothing. So these are absolutely for all moms, not just breastfeeding moms!
11. Burp cloths
Fair warning: Newborn babies tend to spit-up. Like, a lot. My husband and I learned pretty quickly that it was necessary to have a burp cloth near the baby at all times — especially right after a feeding. In fact, it’s probably a good idea to have a rotation of about a dozen of these on hand because you’re going to be washing them pretty frequently. This $15.99 four-pack of Trend Lab Flannel Burp Cloths will help get you started. There’s a pretty good variety of adorable patterns from which to choose, too. So pick three or four packs of your favorites to include in your baby registry, and you’ll be good to go.
12. Small trash bags
This isn’t necessarily something you’ll find in the baby section, but hear me out. If you’re visiting at a friend or family’s house, or even if you’re out with your baby and don’t want to stink up a public restroom, having a small trash bag on hand is incredibly useful. Simply pop the offensive-smelling diaper into the bag, tie it off, and you can toss it into a trash can without causing the entire surrounding area to smell like baby poop. These are great for car trips, too. Pop a roll of small trash bags into your diaper bag — 25 of them for $2.29 at Target — and you (and others) won’t have to suffer through a malodorous diaper. Sure, it’s not fancy or exciting. But this highly underrated item is infinitely useful. You’re welcome.
13. Wubbanub Pacifier
At $13.99, it might seem like a steep price for a single pacifier. However, the Wubbanub Pacifier is worth the splurge. Because not only won't it get lost as easily as a standard pacifier, but the adorable stuffed animal attached to it will help soothe your baby — while looking completely adorable in the process. One rave review on Amazon wrote, "These are great! The stuffed animals attached to the paci make them so functional! Not only are the cute, sweet and comforting, the animal helps them stay in place for newborns that haven't quite figured out their hands yet. They also make them easy to find! I love the fact that WubbaNub has teamed up with Soothie bc they are one of the best pacies for breastfed babies (causing less nipple confusion)! Totally recommend, we have bought several!"
14. Oball Rattle
As your babies work to master their hand-eye coordination, they'll often drop toys he’s playing with simply because he can’t quite control those fickle fingers yet. Which can be incredibly frustrating for your little one and for you — because you’ll be the one picking up the dropped toys over and over again. That’s why having an Oball Rattle handy can be such a lifesaver. With so many places for tiny fingers to grab, this toy is much more difficult to accidentally drop.
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