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Plus, what to leave off your list and our favorite baby registry sites
Preparing for a baby is like preparing to run a marathon—you need to ready your mind, body and spirit, and you’ll need to rely on the support of others to get through it.
A baby registry checklist is a super useful tool for putting together your plan. From knowing what kind of items to include (and exclude!), to the best baby registry sites, check out our guide to these nine registry must-haves.
Baby Registry Items
This should be at the top of your list, because, well, your baby is going to poop a lot. Running out of fresh diapers on-hand is any parent’s nightmare, especially if you’re out and about. Plus, diapers can be expensive, making them an excellent, practical and logical baby registry item choice. The Honest Co. offers eco-friendly diapers in a range of colors and patterns, while Pampers designed its Swaddlers diapers specifically for newborns. You could also consider a “Diapers for Dad” party—how great would it be to see his buddies walk into a bar with a package of diapers?
2. A Go-To Diaper Bag or Tote
Having everything you need by your side for both day-to-day activities and emergencies is so essential, and a diaper bag or large tote to carry and organize all your items in one thing is the perfect way to do it. Plus, today’s bags are stylish and discreet while being more versatile than ever. The CoolBELL Baby Diaper Bag Backpack is perfect for either parent and includes insulated pockets for milk storage, and this tote from Pottery Barn Kids offers a super stylish design with plenty of packing room.
3. Tons of Pillows (Especially a Nursing Pillow)
Whether its a pregnancy pillow, body pillow, breastfeeding pillow or bed pillow—trust us, pillows are your best friend throughout and after pregnancy. For keeping comfortable as your body changes, we recommend The Snoogle for finding support in all the right places, and breastfeeding moms will also want to check out the Boppy (also great for tummy-time and assisted sitting when baby is older) and My Brest Friend (which features a comfy wrap-around lumbar back support and a flatter top surface) for nursing support.
Having a safe, reliable and multi-functional stroller is key to life with any new baby. The Graco FastAction™ Jogger LX Travel System is essentially two strollers in one—it features a lightweight car seat carrier for newborns, and transforms into a toddler stroller your little one can use as they grow. With two cup holders, extra storage and foldability, this makes a great baby registry item.
The best crib is one that’s safe, sturdy, secure and stylish. This Sorelle Berkley 4-in-1 Convertible Crib and Changer at Buy Buy Baby comes in a gorgeous gray and features an attached changing table with two drawers, perfect for storing extras. And don’t forget the mattress, too—this is an item to invest in because your baby will sleep in it for typically three or more years. The Emily Natural Crib Mattress is made from safe, natural materials like GOTS-certified organic cotton and coconut, as well as wool layered over a supportive, 150-coil innerspring.
6. Cooler Bag
Just because you’re nursing doesn’t mean you don’t have things to do and places to be. When you pump on the go, your milk can only stay at room temperature for so long, so a proper cooler bag for your breast milk is essential. We love PackIt bags, which come in a ton of cute designs and have cooling packs built in to the bag’s soft walls. Just fold and toss them in the freezer until ready to use.
7. Nursing Cover
While moms can breastfeed anywhere and everywhere, some feel more comfortable with a little coverage. A cute nursing cover is both functional and can give moms peace of mind and comfort while nursing in public. Some multifunctional styles even work as a car seat cover, too! Items that do more than one thing are the holy grail of baby gear.
8. Drying Rack
A drying rack is a great and easily overlooked baby registry item for nursing moms, especially since it’s recommended to air-dry clean pump parts and bottles. A drying rack that’s specifically designed for baby-related gear will properly drain any excess water and keep all those little pieces together and organized. Munchkin and OXO make simple racks with lots of posts and pegs, while Boon’s “grass” racks are cute and functional.
9. Waterproof Mattress Cover and Extra Sheet
Babies are cute, but let’s be real—they’re messy. Between spit-up, drool and diaper leaks, your babe is going to make its mark on all the nice things surrounding them. Protect the crib mattress with a waterproof cover and have an extra sheet on hand for easy middle-of-the-night clean-ups. This one from the American Baby Company is a great option.
What Not to Put on Your Baby Registry
While there are many helpful resources to advise you on what to include, it’s just as important to know what not to put on your baby registry. Leave toys, blankets, stuffed animals and multiples of the same items off your list.
Your Breast Pump
It’s relatively easy—in fact, too easy—to overload your baby registry. Save some space on your registry and order your insurance-covered breast pump through Ashland Breast Pumps. Under the Affordable Care Act, most insurance companies are required to cover the full cost of a breast pump for a new or expectant mom. And when it comes to finding the perfect insurance-covered breast pump, we’ve got you covered! Just look here.
If you plan on pumping at the office or away from home, we’d recommend adding a second electric or manual pump to your list (and don’t forget about additional accessories and pump parts!)
Baby Registry Sites
Now that you have your baby registry checklist, you’ll need to actually register. There are a ton of baby registry sites online, but a few stand out for their ease of use, plethora of products and robust features. Amazon, BabyList, Buy Buy Baby and Bed Bath & Beyond are all dynamic and have nearly everything you could want—with classic retail chains like Target and Walmart rounding out everything else.
At Ashland Breast Pumps, we’re here to help women through all stages of pregnancy and their introduction to motherhood. Contact us to learn more about getting your insurance-covered breast pump.