First Year Baby Items – What I loved, and what I didn’t need!

I was recently asked by an acquaintance if I had a list of items that I registered for when I had Isaac. Being a nanny, I knew that there were some items that I must use; they were tried and true and worth the cost.I am pretty particular on some items, but I am also a minimalist. I circulate toys, hide them in storage bins and put away when outgrown.   Some essentials are worth investment while others could be DIY-ed, purchased on sale, or sought out hand-me-downs from friends. This list goes beyond your typical registry, but encompasses items I liked during the first year. I had 5 showers, and amassed a majority of what is listed here, but if you don’t have crazy friends that insist on too many showers this list will still be helpful. Please, remember that your baby will grow very quickly! Don’t just register for younf baby items, but big baby items too! I though it might be helpful to have a group of items that I felt were not important to buy or can be thought of differently and even items that I returned. Some baby items just get in the way and are ugly in my opinion. Some items were just not useful to our family and our house. As, I write this, Isaac is 15 months. So, we are through the baby items and into the toddler. I will have to continue to update you on toddler stuff in the future.  As I was messaging her, I thought this info was valuable enough for a blog posting… And now I have one!  Ha Ha. These are just my opinions and experiences :)

One quick note… All the items that we registered were gender neutral, we waited until the baby was born to find out the sex. That ended up being a blessing because we didn’t get as many cute outfits as I have seen my friends get. People bought us the STUFF that we needed and could use for many babies to come! And, after Isaac was born people bought and gave us more clothes than we needed. I did buy a few bedroom items that were boy focused once Isaac was born – more for fun and for his nursery decor. They were things like 2 fitted sheets, blue bunny for a “lovie”, blue lamp, boy clothes, etc. We will not need to buy a bunch of different items if we have a girl in the future; we are set for a long time. I did register smart, returned items through the year as Isaac didn’t use them…Buy Buy Baby was great for that. I will have to post sometime in the future “How to Register Smart” because I did get it down to a science.

But back to the blog. My friend wanted help, so here was is list…

Baby Registry List – What I loved, and what I didn’t need! 

Invest in:

  • Stroller that will last and grow with you. I love my Britax B-ready. It also turns into a double for next kid. Do your research on this item! Read reviews, watch youtube videos, etc.
  • Car seat that works with your stroller – I love the Britax Marathon. Do your research on safety and function! (The last 2 years they’ve had sales in June – like buy a stroller get the car seat free.)
  • Baby carrier – love my Ergo sport.
  • Video Baby monitor!! Best invention ever. Love my Summer.
  • Medala Breast Pump. I went threw a few that I borrowed. Wished i would have invested in a new one.

Don’t buy:

  • Huge high-chair. Use a portable but nice seat that fits on a chair. Easy to clean, less bulky, tray fits in dishwasher.
  • Matchy & expensive Crib Sets. Buy some cute sheets that you love and sleep sacs and thin cozy blankets. (See “brand specific” for what I love).
  • Baby towels, they only last a bit. Just use a soft warm towel that you would like.
  • Baby traditional tub
  • Separate changing table – use a long dresser add pad that has room for items in reach and will last into childhood.
  • Baby food maker…waste of money! I did love to make baby food, but my cuisinart food processor worked perfectly.
  • Stuffed animals – people will buy these for you like crazy! And, you won’t want them.
  • New books.
  • Shopping cart protector – I carried Isaac in my Ergo until he was big enough to sit up.   I used a blanket occasionally.
  • Clothes 0-3 months. They will come in droves and baby won’t get to wear them all. When possible ask gift giver ahead of time to buy bigger sizes or even exchange some for larger sizes.

Things that I returned: 

  • Boon Bath Scoop. I adore Boon, and this scoop was so cute! I found though that it hogged too much of out shower space and since we all share a bathroom it was out. I will likely get it again when we have another bathroom.
  • Eddie Bauer portable crib. I actually got 3 of these and initially kept 1. I just never used it so I exchanged it for some items I needed.
  • Moby Wrap. Isaac was a big baby and I enjoyed the Ergo more.

Brand specific things that I love: 

  • Aden and Anaias swaddle blankets – We have 8! Very multi-function. blanket, nursing cover, burp cloth.
  • Sleepsacs by Halo (they zip down!)
  • Dr. brown bottles (only need 2 of the 4 oz, 12-16 8 oz)
  • Skip hop diaper bag
  • Skip hop bottle bag
  • Skip hop changing pad – - love this!
  • Skip hop play mat (it’s just so cute, we splurged and I loved)
  • Puj Bath tub – for the sink
  • Nuk bowls with lids  (12+)
  • Beaba spoons (mommy fed)
  • Nuk spoons (baby fed)
  • Nuk sippies – new ones are spill-proof
  • Munchkin -suction bowl set of 3
  • Exergen Temperal Thermometer – best!
  • Bundle Me cover for car seat in winter. No baby coats!
  • Desitin
  • Aquafor
  • Diaper Genie & refills
  • Pampers wipes – no other!
  • Pampers diapers until about 1.
  • Huggies diapers seemed to fit better after 1.
  • Okie Dokie Baby socks – they stay on!
  • Oshkosh toddler socks with non-slip tread – they stay on until baby pulls them off :)
  • Target Toddler soft shoe slip-ons
  • Carter onesies – white! So great for under things. Ask for them in short/long sleeved depending on season and in sizes up to 24 months.
  • Baby Bjorn potty seat (we aren’t training yet, but I registered for it since it is $30 and I already know that I love it. Yes, I love a potty seat.)
  • One Step Ahead shampoo rinse cup.
  • Scout by Leap Frog – talking/singin Dog. Isaac has adored this thing since 3 months old.
  • Wubbanub pacis – Isaac did not take a paci but this is what I bought him. Triplets boys I nannies LOVED them. Easy to find in the dark, and great transition is to cut paci off.
  • Linens and fabric that coordinate (not match!). You can get fabric samples in the mail for cheap then buy a la carte! my best idea!
  • Tide Free and Clear laundry detergent – wash family laundry together? Yes!
  • Ikea drawer organizers
  • Umbrella stroller – It is nice to have a slimfit stroller for travel, quick runs, etc. We love the Chicco Fit because the handles are higher than most others. My tall husband does not have to lean over.
  • Groegg room thermometer. I cannot believe how much I rely on this thing! It also doubles as a nightlight.
  • Boppy pillow with plush cover and extra linens. I originally first borrowed this item. But since I breastfed Isaac I found that the used one did not give enough support. I ended up replacing with a nice new one. Worth it! (If not nursing, a hand-me-down is totally fine.

Hand-me downs &/or baby sales: 

  • Pack’n play – we got 2, one for us, one for grandmas
  • Bumbo seat – great for outside or the beach as well as inside. We did not actually use ours as much and as long as I thought we would, that is why it’s a great item to borrow.
  • Swing – we got a small one that was easy to move from room to room. You may be wondering why this is not on my essential list. Isaac hated his swing. He much preferred his vibrating bouncy seat. We regretted this being a new, expensive item on our registry.
  • Vibrating bouncy seat – - must! We called this the $1000 chair, because that is what we would have paid. Brought ease to his gas and our ears.
  • Exersaucer or jumper, really don’t need both
  • Push/riding toy
  • Books
  • Tent and tunnel w/balls
  • Toys
  • Melissa and Doug puzzles and wooden toys
  • Links
  • Baby Einstein DVD set.
  • Clothes – 6 mo. and over. Look for your local twin and multiples club sales. Here they frequent all over the city in the spring & fall. I buy up for the next couple sizes.

Things that you might not think of: 

  • Back pack & matching lunch bag- we have an LL Bean which will last forever. Use it all the time.
  • Baby hangers – pants and regular.
  • ihome and ipod
  • Cool mist humidifier
  • Baby meds
  • Lovies that you can go back and buy more of once you know they do love them.
  • Washable pads for changing table, so you dont have to change the cover all the time.
  • Restaurant style toddler wooden seat for table.
  • Nursing supplies – nipple cream, steam bags, breast milk storage bags, nursing comfort bras, etc. You will want this early on, so don’t wait to buy. You can always return unopened items if you end up not nursing.
  • Pack of white wash cloths for misc. baby clean-up. I got 20 from Sam’s club for something like $12.
  • Baby bath therometer
  • Baby grooming kit, training toothbrush and toothpaste.
  • Picnic blanket – waterproof, zip-up. Great for the park with baby/toddler/kids! Skip hop makes one, but got mine at Bed Bath & Beyond for $20. Worth every penny.


  • Baby log (I used a small 3 ring binder and would empty the sheets but keep for reference)
  • Baby line-a-day journal (you can buy them too). Makes a great gift!
  • Baby food cookbook.
  • Diaper organizer – I used a basket to hold diaper, just prettier.
  • Bathroom organizers – I chose a navy and white trash can, cotton ball holder, soap dispenser and tooth brush holder organize Isaac’s grooming, lotions, and put sanitizer in the soap dispenser. It is cute, not babyish, and added color and organization to the room. I thought it was genius!
  • Wall art – white frames & cards, canvases, frame clothes, etc. – See Pinterest!
  • Wooden blocks – See Etsy!
  • Music playlist of soft songs you enjoy too – See iTunes!
  • Crib Mobile – See Pinterest!
  • Burp cloths from cloth diapers – See Pinterest!

A few books that are awesome for letting you know what stuff to buy is Baby 411 and Toddler 411. You can get them cheap on Amazon and I used these a ton when deciding on what to buy.

I am sure there is more, but that is what comes to mind. Here are a few blog posts that may have some additional info:

Regarding Nannies – Favorite Things Nursery Tour

Regarding Nannies – Top 5 Organizers For My Nursery 

Regarding Nannies – Top 10 Items on My Registry 

Regarding Nannies – Stroller Review – Britax B-Ready 


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>