I’m a research nut. So the second I learned I was pregnant, I started Googling… a LOT.
As a first-time mom who leans minimalist, I wanted to buy only the essentials. My husband and I had also chosen not to find out the baby’s gender ahead of time, so we wanted to make sure anything we bought before the birth was gender neutral. Also, because I work full time as a website copywriter and designer, I needed items that would fit my new working-mom lifestyle.
Our son, Calvin, is now five months old, so I’ve had a chance to break in almost all the items on my baby registry. I’m pleased to say my research paid off — I’ve loved almost everything I registered for!
I’d hate to keep all these fantastic products to myself, so today, I’m sharing them with you. Hopefully it saves you from doing hours of your own research.
This list is ideal for fellow working moms, but any parent would benefit from buying these baby products. (If you do buy from the links on this post, I may receive a small commission — but I promise these opinions are 100% my own.)
Here are the criteria for items I’m including in this “Ultimate Baby Registry for New (Working) Moms”:
And before we dive in, a few caveats / tips for creating your own baby registry:
I cannot recommend wearing your baby enough, especially at the beginning! Newborns are so light and snuggly; baby-wearing helps you bond and frees your hands to do other things.
I invested in this structured carrier by Ergobaby, which is great for the long walks we like to take with our dog. It’s super breathable, even in those hot summer months, and allows for a variety of different carrying positions from 7–45 pounds.
I also love the attached hood to protect your baby’s head from the sun or rain, as well as the detachable pouch (perfect for doggie bags, snacks, and a paci).
This TENCEL baby carrier is less supportive than the Ergobaby, but more stylish. I actually wore it to my brother-in-law’s wedding and got a bunch of compliments on it. (I have the Oat Dot color.)
The Solly Baby wrapping process takes a little while to get used to, but once you do, it’s pretty easy. I also love that it’s compact enough to fit into my diaper bag.
I’m obsessed with this bouncer! It’s lightweight and lays flat, so it’s perfect for travel; we’ve brought it on several road trips already. There are no batteries or plug-ins required — the bouncer moves when your baby does (or when you tap your foot on the bottom).
I had read mixed reviews about “powered” baby swings like the MamaRoo, so I was grateful to be able to borrow my sister’s to see if I liked it before buying it. Honestly, Cal didn’t love it. We’ll stick with the BabyBjörn!
Pssst: If you get this, you’ll probably want a toy attachment like this to keep your baby busy once they can reach for things.
This Montessori-inspired activity mat from Lovevery lives on our living room floor — so it helps that it isn’t a total eyesore.
We use the mat mostly for tummy time; Cal loves to look at the high-contrast images and listen to the crinkly paper on one of the five different sides (each one focuses on a different area of development).
The Lovevery Play Gym is super easy to set up and comes with removable accessories, so it’s a pretty good bang for your buck.
We’ve only just started using our Jolly Jumper (since you need to wait until your baby can hold their head up with full neck support), but I already know it’s going to be used a lot over the next year. It’s a great way to not only keep Cal busy, but also help him develop his balance, strength, coordination, and rhythm.
We have the Jolly Jumper with the door clamp, which is less bulky, more portable, and cheaper than the one with the stand.
I debated a TON over whether to buy the Snuggle Me Infant Lounger or the DockATot. I’m actually a little embarrassed at the number of YouTube reviews I watched about these baby loungers.
I ended up choosing the Snuggle Me, as it’s cheaper, a bit smaller, and easier to clean; you can machine-wash the lounger itself, and the optional covers (which I do recommend) are super easy to slip on and off.
However, the Snuggle Me does not have padding on the bottom (since the idea is to create the sensation of being held), so if you plan to use your lounger on a table or hardwood floor, you might actually be better off with the DockATot.
The DockATot may also be better for bigger babies — Cal is already outgrowing the Snuggle Me, although that doesn’t concern me much since he’s becoming too active to really enjoy lounging in it for very long anymore, anyway.
Now, do you NEED an infant lounger? No. But it is a nice option for laying your newborn down when a crib isn’t close. And the Snuggle Me is cute, cozy, and 100% organic as well.
After all the research I did on car seats, I’m so glad I picked the Nuna PIPA. It’s obviously cute — we picked the light Birch color, which not only stands out in a world of black car seats but also gets less hot in the sun.
The PIPA is also incredibly functional. Of course, it’s safe (as all car seats these days are); it’s also super lightweight, soft, and easy to install. You don’t even need the base, so it’s awesome for traveling.
My favorite feature is the full-coverage, UPF 50+ canopy to keep Cal protected from the light, elements, and prying strangers. The magnets aren’t strong enough for my liking, but that’s my only complaint.
This compact travel crib was recommended to us by our missionary friends, who travel internationally a lot, so I trusted their opinion. And they were right!
The BabyBjörn Travel Crib is incredibly simple to set up and fold up, and the mattress is surprisingly comfortable. Calvin has always slept great in it.
We got our stroller secondhand from my aunt and uncle (thanks, David and Suzie!), so I didn’t actually do a ton of research on strollers. However, I do love ours, so even though it’s several years old now, I feel good about recommending the Baby Jogger City Select Double Stroller (I imagine the latest model is even better!).
The beauty of this stroller is that it can be configured in so many different ways, including as a double stroller for when baby #2 rolls around. It folds down easily and can be customized with a variety of accessories, including the stroller adapter we had to buy for our Nuna PIPA car seat.
And it’s clearly durable, since it has now gone through four kids and is still holding up well!
With so many diaper bag options out there, I finally narrowed them down to the Freshly Picked Classic Diaper Bag II and the Fawn Design Original Diaper Bag.
In the end, I chose the Freshly Picked bag for a few reasons: it has padded shoulder straps, insulated pockets, and enough space for my 15-inch laptop (although, TBH, I’ve rarely put my laptop in there — I usually use my breast pump bag for that; see below). I also like the look of the Freshly Picked bag a little better. Five months in, and the Butterscotch color still matches every outfit.
This is the cutest little changing mat. It’s faux leather, so it’s easy to wipe down (a must when you’re dealing with 💩!) and folds nicely into your diaper bag. The Gathre Micro Mat is versatile, too; I’m sure you could use it as a placemat, for crafts, etc.
I like being able to see what Calvin’s up to when we’re driving around (is he sleeping? Breathing? Covered in spit-up?). This backsesat mirror is a cinch to install, and the tan color matches my car’s interior.
If you are breastfeeding, you NEED this nursing pillow. Yes, I said need.
I actually bought the DockATot La Maman Wedge Nursing Pillow first, because #aesthetics and all. But I found it impractical and not very comfy, so I returned it and bought the bbhugme Nursing Pillow instead.
I hadn’t bought the bbhugme pillow previously because I thought it was too expensive… but let me tell you, it’s been worth every penny. The tie allows me to wear it around the house, and the malleable shape allows me to morph it to my current position. The cover is easy to wash, and the materials are soft and safe.
The pillow was even designed by health professionals to ease neck and shoulder strain, so it’s really just good for your health! (Or so I told my husband when he saw the price tag…)
Even I am surprised by how open I’ve been to breastfeeding in public. The Amma Cocoon nursing cover has, naturally, followed me everywhere I go.
It’s chic, versatile, and breathable for both mom and baby. The Cocoon is even wrinkle and stain resistant; when you do get it dirty (and Lord knows Calvin has), just throw it in the wash. This has definitely been one of my favorite baby registry gifts.
Your health insurance should cover a breast pump for you, so check your policy to see what you’re eligible for. Mine covered the Spectra S2 Plus, but I paid a little extra to get the Spectra S1 Plus, which is portable and rechargeable — and definitely worth the extra $40 or so. Trust me, you do NOT want to be plugging in your pump every single time.
The Spectra S1 Plus works great as far as I can tell, having no other experience to compare it to. But I imagine that, no matter what pump you’re using, pumping still sucks (pun intended. Ha).
I was thiiiiis close to buying a wearable breast pump like the Elvie or the Willow, but since my insurance didn’t cover them and I was already spending a fortune on this baby, I refrained. I bet they would be such a luxury, though!
I searched high and low (at least on Google) for a good, cute breast pump bag, and the options were sadly slim — at least if I didn’t want to look like I was toting around a child’s oversized lunch pail. (Seriously, what’s with all the cheesy designs on these breast pump bags?!)
I ended up springing for the Sarah Wells Abby Breast Pump Bag in black. It’s admittedly expensive, but honestly worth it considering I use it every single day. It’s very high quality, not to mention pretty chic, given the fact that it’s holding a clunky breast pump. There’s also a laptop sleeve, which was a MUST for me, since I knew I’d be using this as my new work bag.
Other pros of the Sarah Wells Abby bag: it’s roomy, sturdy, easy to clean, and full of perfectly sized pockets. I’m glad I got it.
I’ve tried only one pumping bra so far, so there might be better options out there, but I’ve liked the Simple Wishes Hands-Free Breast Pump Bra as well as I probably could. It’s sturdy, machine washable, and adjustable, fitting right over your nursing bra.
I mean, it’s a pumping bra, so it’s not the most comfortable thing you’ll ever wear. But at least it keeps your hands free while you do other stuff.
A must-have for your breast pump bag! These wipes are AMAZING at removing milk residue from your pumping parts — no rinsing needed. Super handy when you don’t have a sink and soap available.
These nanobébé bottles look a little funny, but hear me out. They’re designed to look and feel like a boob to encourage a smooth transition from breast to bottle (though my favorite part is that they’re stackable!). Apparently, these bottles are also anti-colic, nutrient preserving, and even award winning.
I registered for the nanobébé Baby Bottles Breastmilk Starter Set, which includes bottles, pacifiers, and a warming bowl. I also asked for the travel cooler, storage bags + organizer, and silicone bottles for good measure. (If you get the Spectra breast pump, you’ll also want the adapters for it.)
Although I was worried about giving Cal a bottle for the first time, he took to the nanobébé right away. There’s a little bit of a learning curve — make sure the base is always on tight, and heat it with the nipple on, not the lid! — but I love this line and highly recommend it.
I wore this manual breast pump a lot when I first started breastfeeding and had a ton of supply; it’s a great way to collect extra milk without doing a thing. You simply suction it to one breast while the other is nursing, or just wear it in your bra — I imagine that’s helpful if you are prone to leaks.
The Elvie Curve won’t get you as much milk as an electric pump, but it’s portable, wearable, and decently comfortable. Just make sure you don’t accidentally tip it over; also, although it claims to be dishwasher safe, you’ll likely want to hand wash it.
Fortunately, my nanobébé bottles are dishwasher safe, but sometimes I still need to hand wash them — and I always hand wash my Spectra breast pump parts (when I’m not using my Dapple wipes on the go).
I thought about getting one of those Boon Grass Countertop Baby Bottle Drying Racks that everyone seems to have, but they take up so much room and are hard to clean. I registered for the OXO Tot Space Saving Drying Rack, which is dishwasher safe and fits neatly under our sink when not in use.
Because I don’t want to use the same brush to wash Calvin’s bottles as the one I use to scrub our pans, I also got the OXO Tot Bottle Brush with Nipple Cleaner and Stand.
We don’t have a high chair. We have the Inglesina Fast Table Chair, which (I hope) is even better.
Although there are some classy-looking high chairs out there — the Lalo and Stokke brands come to mind — they’re still high chairs, you know? We also don’t have a ton of space in our house. So when I learned about the compact Inglesina Fast Table Chair, which clamps right onto your table, I was intrigued.
We haven’t used it much yet, since Cal is barely old enough to start solids, but I think this product is going to be a winner. It’s even portable, so we can bring it on trips, picnics, or restaurant outings.
First of all, this brand is just plain adorable. I think I registered for about 50 different mushie products.
I especially like all the silicone feeding products from mushie, such as the suction plates, feeding spoons, snack cups, and bibs. Again, I haven’t really been able to use these yet, so take my recommendation with a grain of salt. But I like that they’re non-slip, BPA free, and cute to boot.
I honestly don’t know why anyone would buy any changing pad other than the Keekaroo.
Okay, the traditional changing pads are undoubtedly comfier, but I can’t imagine cleaning those things, especially as often as Cal soils his!
The Keekaroo Peanut Changing Pad wipes down easily and even limits bacteria growth thanks to its water- and puncture-resistant outer shell. It’s also nonslip (though there’s an optional buckle belt if you want it), and it’s softer than you’d think. Plus, the vanilla color has that minimalist vibe we millennials love.
You don’t need a liner, but I do usually use one since the pad itself can be a bit cold for Cal, especially in the middle of the night. Options for liners that fit the Keekaroo Peanut Changing Pad are limited, but I found this set of three liners that works just fine.
A diaper pail’s a diaper pail… but at least the Ubbi (in white) doesn’t look so bad. It’s steel, so it supposedly locks in odors better than the others, and you don’t need to buy any special bags to use with it.
I will say that a foot lever would be more convenient than the Ubbi’s handle, which you have to push back and forth — not ideal during blowout situations — but I suppose the handle helps keep odors out and is harder to access by little kids.
This little silicone spatula is the best $10 you’ll ever spend.
Diaper cream is notoriously hard to get off your skin; that’s kind of the whole point. Avoid getting your hands messy and use this soft applicator instead. When you’re done, simply clean it with a baby wipe and suction it back onto your changing table.
I did not buy a wipes warmer; that’s one thing I read that many moms found unnecessary. I did, however, buy this OXO Tot Perfect Pull Wipes Dispenser, which allows you to grab one wipe at a time, using just one hand. It’s so much more convenient (and cleaner) than fumbling to open a bag of wipes when you’re dealing with poo.
Cute, affordable, and lightweight, this diaper caddy from Parker Baby is handy for taking on road trips or just around the house. It fits all the essentials.
We’ve tried a handful of different diaper brands by now, and my favorite is the same as our pediatrician’s: Pampers, particularly the Pure line. It’s hypoallergenic for Cal’s sensitive skin, and it just seems to fit his butt the best; we’ve had the fewest blowouts in these.
I also love the Pampers Aqua Pure Wipes, which are wet enough to be effective but gentle enough to not cause irritation.
Pro tip: sign up for the Pampers Club App, which you can use to scan codes that come with your products to save money on future diapers and wipes.
Calvin isn’t immune to a little diaper rash here and there. Boudreaux’s Butt Paste Maximum Strength Diaper Rash Cream has always done the trick. I like this size with the flip-top for easy application (especially when paired with the Bumco Baby Bum Brush!).
The Ollie could be the only swaddle blanket you need. The adjustable Velcro closure means it’s not only easy to put on; it also grows with your baby from birth — in fact, we’re still using it as a sleep sack after five months. Calvin loves it, and we do too!
If the Ollie is too expensive — or if you want multiple swaddle blankets (and, let’s face it, you do) — the SwaddleMe blankets are also great: soft, easy to put on, and with a handy zipper at the bottom for midnight diaper changes. The small/medium size fits for only the first three-ish months, though, so you’ll need to buy a few sizes.
OMG, these PJs! I knew snap closures were supposed to be a pain, but these magnetic closures make even zippers seems tedious. The Magnetic Me material is also super soft and stretchy.
Although some of the designs are a little cheesy, I’d take the most obnoxious Magnetic Me print over the most stylish snap or zippered pajamas any day.
Honestly, why do we even bother with baby socks and shoes?! They never stay on!
However, to appease the older generation, which seems to think bare baby feet are borderline abusive, there are Velcro booties, like these from Goumi Kids x Babylist. (The knit ones are cute for colder climates, too.) There are lots of other brands that sell adjustable booties, but I do like the Goumi brand, which is soft and organic.
I had my eye on some fancy-shmancy cribs from West Elm and the like, but I’m glad I went with this simpler one from Wayfair. The white / walnut color matches my mid-century nursery decor, and the 3-in-1 design allows the crib to easily convert to a toddler bed later on.
Admittedly, this is not the most aesthetic baby registry item I own. It’s a little bulky. But the Arm’s Reach Clear-Vue Co-Sleeper Bedside Bassinet is quite functional, with the wheels and storage space and all.
I partly registered for this bassinet because I thought I might end up co-sleeping with Calvin, and if I did, I wanted to be prepared with a safe option (the side of the Arm’s Reach bassinet folds down to attach to your bed). Fortunately, Cal’s been a pretty good sleeper overall, so we’ve never had to co-sleep.
I also thought I’d end up moving the bassinet around the house more. And I thought I’d use the storage underneath the bassinet more. I haven’t really done either.
That said, a bassinet in general is a good idea if you’re planning to follow the American Academy of Pediatrics’ recommendation to sleep in the same room with your baby for the first six months. I’ve been pleased with the Arm’s Reach Clear-Vue Co-Sleeper Bedside Bassinet for that use.
A sound machine is a MUST for a newborn. The Hatch Rest not only offers a variety of different sounds and volumes, but also triples as a nightlight and time-to-rise machine. (It also doesn’t look hideous.)
My favorite feature is the Bluetooth connectivity. When Cal cries in the middle of the night, I just tap the app and slide the light on — no need to fumble for a switch.
There’s a second-generation Hatch Rest machine available, too, but I’ve found the original to be more than sufficient.
We haven’t actually used our baby monitor much yet, considering Cal is still sleeping in our bedroom, but the times we have, I’ve been really impressed with the quality of the Infant Optics DRX-8 PRO. It has great resolution and optical zoom for its five-inch screen. It also has Active Noise Reduction, which filters out background noise, such as your sound machine — it’s amazing to hear the difference when you turn it on or off.
The Infant Optics DRX-8 PRO doesn’t use Wi-Fi or apps… which is a con if you love convenience, but a pro if you prefer privacy.
If you buy this baby monitor, bear in mind that you’ll probably want a mount for it. I bought this one and like it.
Here’s another 3-in-1 machine I love. You do not need the FridaBaby AND the Hatch Rest, but since I wanted an air purifier, this one made sense. Not only is it compact and affordable compared to other air purifiers, but it also includes two white noise options and four nightlight color options.
The sound and light quality does pale in comparison to the Hatch (and there’s no app connectivity), so if you’re debating between the two, go with the Hatch.
Tiny people call for tiny things. These OXO Tot Expandable Drawer Dividers help organize your baby’s things, no matter how big (or small) your dresser drawers.
I’ll be honest, Cal HATES this thing. 😅 As Troy says, “It sounds like you’re sucking out his soul.” I also recognize that the thought of literally sucking boogers out of your baby’s nose is definitely not appealing.
However… it works. And it’s surprisingly addictive.
To answer your unspoken question, no, you will not get snot in your mouth. It’s impossible. But, yes, it’s gross (pro tip: always clean it out right away!).
While Cal does not enjoy the snot-sucking process, he does enjoy the end result: the ability to breathe easily. I honestly don’t know what we’d do without it, especially during sick season.
I know, this product sounds unpleasant too, but hey — no one said having a baby would be glamorous.
Rectal thermometers are the most accurate temperature gauge for newborns, but they’re a little intimidating. I like that this one has a gentle tip that stops before you go too far, plus a light-up display that reads the temp within 10 seconds and remembers your previous 10 readings.
If you can’t tell by now, I adore the whole FridaBaby brand. This 4-in-1 Grow-with-Me Bath Tub is no exception.
Space-wise, I would have probably preferred to get one of those compact, soft seats that fit in your sink, but our sinks aren’t that big. (Even if they were, something about bathing my baby in the sink sounds a little icky to me… maybe because I don’t clean my sinks every day.)
Anyway, this tub, while kind of large, serves the purpose it needs to: it’s sturdy, non-slip, and quick-dry, and the soft sling allows it to grow with your baby from 0 to 24 months.
Cal has sensitive skin, so I try to use only hypoallergenic, nontoxic products on him. The Pipette brand of baby shampoos and lotions is great. (Bonus: you can get it at Target!)
I do have a traditional baby nail clipper as well, but when using it, I did the dreaded thing: I cut poor Cal’s little thumb. 😭 Cue the tears (from both of us).
This baby nail trimer file from Little Martin’s Drawer, while more powerful than I’d expected, is a safer alternative. It also includes a light, so you can see what you’re doing in dim settings.
I love these silicone teether bracelets from mushie because you can slip them around your wrist for handy access anytime. Simple, cute, and practical!
This teething mit fastens around your baby’s wrist so they don’t lose it. It also has that crinkle-paper texture babies love.
Can you tell I have a teething baby on my hands? These pacifiers started as simple binkies for Cal to suck on; now, they’ve become teething toys for him to gnaw on.
I like that this starter kit has multiple nipple options. Cal preferred the round ones and actually didn’t take to many other pacifier brands (though we were gifted several). The one-piece silicone design is safe and easy to clean. As a bonus, the teether ring fits around your finger and is easy to attach pacifier clips to, so you don’t lose them as easily.
These are nice for a first-time mom who doesn’t know what the heck to actually DO with her newborn (aside from feed, change, and snuggle). Each Curious Baby card explains and illustrates a different activity you can do to not only entertain your baby, but also support their development through age one. Definitely not a necessity, but a “nice-to-have.”
Now THIS is a necessity! While the hospital does provide you with some stuff (and don’t be afraid to ask for ALL the freebies you can get), the products in the Frida Mom Labor + Delivery Postpartum Kit are undoubtedly higher quality.
The best item is the Upside Down Peri Bottle, which cleanses your “area” much more easily than the cheap squirt bottle the hospital gives you.
Speaking of your “area,” if you have a vaginal birth, it’ll thank you for buying Dermoplast. ‘Nuff said.
Since we’re getting really TMI here, I may as well tell you that this collapsible sitz bath is a nice alternative to taking a full-on bath during your postpartum recovery (which you probably won’t have much time to do then, anyway). I also bought these bath salts, which are soothing.
Hydration is so important during the postpartum period, especially if you’re breastfeeding. A hydration multiplier like Liquid I.V. is a yummy way to support your milk supply; I would always keep a glass by my nursing chair.
Emily Oster is my favorite author on all things parenting; she takes a data-driven (yet relaxed) approach to all the controversial issues. Expecting Better is her book on pregnancy; Cribsheet tackles everything that comes just after giving birth.
After bringing Calvin home, I spent what felt like every midnight nursing session Googling things like, “How long should I feed my newborn?” or “When should I start sleep training?”
An online sleep course like Taking Cara Babies or Little Z’s Sleep can help answer a lot of those questions, bringing you much-needed peace of mind (and sleep!) during such an exhausted, uncertain time. Both have programs from birth through age four and have received rave reviews from parents.
Whew… that was a BEAST of a post. 😆 But once I started, I couldn’t stop!
I hope you find these products as useful as I have. Remember, you do NOT need them all, let alone need to pay full price for them — I hope you can take advantage of hand-me-downs, secondhand stores, and Facebook Marketplace whenever possible.
If you have any questions about building your baby registry or motherhood in general, please feel free to reach out to me. I’m obviously no “expert,” especially not yet (is anyone, ever?), but I know that navigating your first pregnancy can feel lonely and overwhelming, and it can be helpful to talk with someone who has recently gone (and is still going) through the same things.
But let me assure you: you ARE ready, you ARE built for this, and you ARE the best parent to your baby.
Now, go forth and register! 🎁
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