I published a baby registry guide post (here) almost two-and-a-half years ago, and I’ve been sharing it with friends ever since. I recently read through it again and realized a lot of links were broken, and that I needed to add new ‘Emi favorites.’
When I first compiled this list, I thought to myself, ‘I need to make a concise list of all essential items for a baby’s first five months.’ Then I listed all of the products we use on a day-to-day basis, and oh-my-gosh – it is quite the opposite of concise. Babies require lots and lots of stuff.
I felt very overwhelmed while creating a baby registry, even though I was fortunate enough to be given recommendations from a number of friends. I decided to register on Amazon.com – I’m so glad I did, as it was very convenient to have everything in one place. My list of essential baby items is pretty lengthy. I’ve provided a little description to each item which will hopefully help guide you! If you have further questions, please feel free to email me.
Since the list is pretty overwhelming, I have put asterisks next to the ‘top of the list’ items! I hope this helps.
- Rocker: A good rocker is absolutely one of the most important purchases, as you spend lots and lots of time feeding. We bought the Graham Glider from West Elm and have loved it for both girls.
- Rug: Tummy time is very important (although babies may not like it at first). Make sure to have a soft rug – we have the Henley Rug from Pottery Barn for Isla and this Safavieh rug for Emi. They are great (and stains, like vomit, wipe out easily).
- Crib: Safety is critical with your crib, but you also want one that looks nice in the nursery. After tons and tons of deliberation, we bought the babyletto Mercer Crib. It’s perfect, and we’ve used it for both girls.
- Mobile: Although Sasha was too worried to hang the mobile over Isla’s crib (it’s literally weightless, but pick your battles!), so we put our mobile from Max & Me Homewares over the nursing chair and Isla loves to stare at it. My mom made a similar looking one for Emi, which I also love.
- Chest of Drawers: For Isla, we bought the world’s most popular (pretty certain that’s a fact) dresser from IKEA. In order to spice it up, we added Anthropologie knobs. For Emi, we bought the Pottery Barn Kids Blythe Dresser & Topper Set.
- Huggable Hangers and Clips: We have hundreds of the Joy Mangano Huggable Kids Hangers and the corresponding clips. It makes hanging the girls clothes so much easier and more condensed. I am not a big fan of folding!
- *Owlet Monitor: This is a must have! Read my post about why I wouldn’t put Emilia to sleep without it here.
- *aden + anais Cozy Muslin Swaddle Blankets: These are THE BEST swaddles I’ve ever used. They feel like the hospital swaddles, which keep babies wrapped up. To this day (Emi is almost 6 months), she cannot get out of it, even with those strong wiggly arms!
- HALO SleepSack: With Isla, we didn’t use the sleep sack at first (mainly just the SwaddleMe – below), but started after she got bigger and wanted to have her arms out.
- Summer Infant SwaddleMe Adjustable Infant Wrap: Sasha was a master swaddler, but I was not. And Isla didn’t love being swaddled at first, so it stressed me out. These SwaddleMe wraps are a lifesaver. We used them in the hospital and continued using them until she was about 10 weeks old. I highly recommend them!
- aden + anais Muslin Swaddle Blankets: There are few products I recommend buying more than muslin swaddle blankets. I have a ton of swaddles – other favorite brands include By George Baby Boutique, Little Unicorn and A Little Lady Shop.
- BreathableBaby Breathable Mesh Crib Liner: Once your baby becomes active, mesh liners become a necessity. We went into Isla’s room on a number of occasions to find her leg all of the way through the slats – she wasn’t happy about it either. These mesh liners are a lifesaver.
- *Lulla Doll: Okay, this is on my list of Top 10 Baby Items for sure! It plays a heart beat sound and womb music, and Emi snuggles on it every single time she falls asleep. It is the cutest thing ever, and the best sleep aid! The ONLY downside is that if you don’t stop the sound, it plays with 8 hours (normally a benefit) but for nap time, I’ll forget to turn it off, so the batteries drain quickly. A pack of $12 rechargeable AAA batteries is a great thing to buy as well as the doll!
- Security Blanket/”Lovie”: Isla and Emi both loved/love to put the lovie on her face at night to fall asleep. It used to concern me, but now I know she’s strong enough, I’m okay with it. She takes her lovie bear, or as Sasha calls it, her “bestie” everywhere. This one from Baby & Child is incredibly soft. We love it.
- MAM Pacifiers, *Avent Pacifiers and Soothie Pacifiers: These are seriously the best pacifiers. I recommend buying two of each brand, and then getting more once you figure out which your baby prefers. These are the three that we’ve found work the best.
- *Fisher-Price Newborn Rock n’ Play Sleeper: I do not (repeat: do not) know what I would have done without the Rock ‘N Play in the first few months of Isla and Emi’s lives. This is the only thing they would sleep in at first, which was okay with us because it’s so light that we could move her around the house without her noticing.
- *DockATot: Read my post here about the DockATot. We have been using it for months now, and it is a total game changer. Also, whenever we travel, we bring it with us – it makes life so easy.
- *Summer Infant Baby Zoom Wi-Fi Video Monitor: We love our monitor. We originally bought another, but ended up returning it and getting the Summer Infant one. Sasha is able to watch the girls from the office due to the wi-fi capability, and I think that’s adorable. UPDATE (August 2017): We recently started using a Nest Camera in each of the girls’ rooms and absolutely l.o.v.e. them! The quality of the camera is so high! I will write a dedicated post about them soon and will link back here! We have an IQ in Emi’s room and an Indoor Cam in Isla’s room. I would recommend getting a cheap audio monitor in the baby’s room as well! More to come.
- American Baby Company Waterproof Pad Cover: Trust me, you need a mattress pad cover. Unfortunately, blowouts are inevitable, and you’ll want to protect that fancy mattress (below).
- Simmons’ BeautySleep® Organic Crib Mattress: It seems kind of silly to spend this much on a mattress, but once you have a baby, you’ll understand just how important it is to have them sleep well.
- Crib Sheets: There are a number of places to get crib sheets, but I recommend Land of Nod, By George Baby Boutique, or Serena and Lily. We ordered three sets for Isla, which was a mistake, as two is definitely enough.
- Cloud B Sleep Sheep: While we leave Emi with the Lulla Doll most nights to play sounds to put her to sleep, the Sleep Sheep is much louder, which is helpful if guests are over and you want to drown out noise. We also play the Shusher if it’s noisy in the house.
- *Honest Co. Diapers and Wipes: As a brand ambassador, it’s safe to say I adore these diapers. I’ve blogged about them here and here. You can now order them on Amazon, but we love the mindless delivery option!
- Simmons Organic Contour Changing Pad: Perhaps organic is a little fancy pants, but who wants their baby getting changed on a pad filled with chemicals? And your baby will spend lots of time on his or her changing pad! We also have friends who have the Keekaroo and love it – it’s smart because it’s rubber and won’t absorb any pee!
- Changing Pad Cover: We love these soft ones from Baby & Child, as well as ones from By George Baby Boutique.
- Diaper Genie and Refills: This is a requirement! Diaper Genies have a special closure so that no diaper odors leak into your room.
- *Dr. Smith’s Diaper Ointment: Dr. Smith’s cream has been a lifesaver on a number of occasions – it makes the rash diaper so quickly (we’ve tried all the brands, and this is the best one!).
- Diaper Bag: Nordstrom has many great options for Diaper bags, in a big variety of prices. I love my Fawn Design backpack.
- Diaper Wipe Case: You fill this up with wipes to toss in your purse vs. carrying a big pack of wipes! Very convenient to have.
- 4moms mamaRoo and/or rockaRoo: These motion infant seats are like baby hypnotizers. The girls have loved both so much (the mamaRoo is being borrowed from a friend).
- *BABYBJORN Bouncer Balance: As mentioned above, the bouncer is one of the ‘must have’ items. I cannot tell you how helpful it is to put Isla in the bouncer while I put dishes away, cleaned the house, showered (true story), etc. We added the Skip Hop Stroller Bar Activity Toys to the bouncer.
- Skip Hop Activity Gym: We first put Isla in the activity gym around 10 weeks, and Emi even earlier, and they absolutely loved it. This one is so pretty! We also have this Skip Hop one in the playroom, and Emi adores all of the bright colors and lights.
- Sophie the Giraffe Teether: This is the ‘it‘ toy for babies, and I now know why. Isla and Emi have both loved chewing on Sophie’s face. It is a wonderful teether that is also cute (and has accompanying stories!). These versions with the handles look great too. We also have this HABA Teether and love it – very easy for babies to hold onto!
- Babies ‘R Us Stages & Ages Tub: This tub is perfect for newborns and still good at 5 month olds. There is a little net to use when they are itty-bitty, then you can remove it and have your baby sit comfortably while being bathed. Isla loves it. We also have the 4moms Infant Tub, and when I do bath time vs. Sasha, I use this one! Read my post about it here.
- Skip Hop Bath Kneeler: Do this to save your knees! You’ll use it for years.
- Skip Hop Hooded Towels: These are our favorites! We have a few – the unicorn gets used most often!
- Honest Co. Bath Wash/Shampoo: As I mentioned in this post, we love the Honest Co. wash/shampoo, as it is totally tear-free.
- Bath Toys and Bath Toy Organizer: These are perfect for bath playtime – which starts around 3 months.
- BABYBJORN High Chair: This high chair is everything. I love how clean and modern it looks, and it’s very sturdy and keeps babies upright. It also comes in pink, which is pretty much EVERYTHING. Ha. I put Isla and now Emi in the high chair while I’m in the kitchen and put a few toys on the tray, and they stay entertained. We have friends who love their 4moms High Chair too (which is magnetic and has plates and cups that don’t fall off!).
- *Dr. Brown’s Bottles: These are our favorite bottles – I really think they help with colic. I don’t use bottles often, since I nurse most of the time, but neither girl had issues when I gave them a Dr. Brown’s bottle. Read more about them in my Dr. Brown’s post here.
- Dr. Brown’s Bottle Warmer: As I mentioned earlier, this bottle warmer is a life saver. We love it – small enough to store under the counter too.
- Medela Microwave Sanitizing Bags: This is the fastest and easiest way to sanitize bottles and pacifiers without having to run the dishwasher all of the time! You need these.
- Lansinoh Breastmilk Storage Bags: Easy to use bags which will get used a lot if you plan on pumping and freezing your milk.
- BABYBJORN Soft Bib 2 Pack: You’ll get lots of bibs as gifts, but register for these, because they’re the best, in that the food is just wiped off.
- aden + anais Muslin Burp Cloths: I had one of these over my shoulder for the first few months! They’re really soft, which is good since your baby’s face will be against it a lot.
- Medela Pump In Style Advanced Breastpump: I love this pump – you can get it free through your insurance (details here). I use it when I’m able to sit still for a little while, but I also got the Medela Freestyle Pump for an extra $175 as my hands are pretty tied these days and I need the flexibility of moving around when I pump.
- Medela Contact Nipple Shield: I genuinely think that if I did not have the nipple shield, I would not be breastfeeding today. Breastfeeding hurts at first, and this reduces the pain tremendously.
- Lansinoh Disposable Nursing Pads: These are requirements – you will leak a lot if you breastfeed, and need lots and lots of nursing pads for your bras.
- Bravado Body Silk Seamless Nursing Bra and Boob Bras (Sports and Regular): These three bras are my favorite! I’m in constant rotation with them.
- Lansinoh Soothies Gel Pads: I used these when Isla was one day old, as my boobs ached so badly. They are amazing. Buy lots of them!
- Lansinoh Lanolin: You’ll use a lot of lanolin when you first start breastfeeding. Start before it hurts!
- Bebe au Lait Nursing Scarf: A nursing scarf is very functional, and this one is classic and stylish too. I always have it with me!
- *BABYBJORN Travel Crib Light: Everyone talks about the Pack N Play, but the BABYBJRON Travel Crib is WAY better! It is so light. We traveled with it to France, Russia and Australia! It’s nice because the mesh crib means that the babes can see what you’re doing too!
- BABYBJORN Baby Carrier We: The best active baby carrier (see post here)! This is a must-have for any new parent.
- *Solly Wrap: I truly use this wrap almost every single day! I think every new mom needs one – read more in my post here.
- *Chicco Keyfit 30 Infant Car Seat and Base: Most of our friends have the Chicco Keyfit 30 and like it – it gets the best safety ratings. The base is so easy to clip into your car too!
- Bebe au Lait Car Seat Cover: You need a car seat cover if you plan on walking outside often – we use it for sun protection mainly on our morning and evening walks.
- *BOB Revolution: The BEST running stroller – this thing is made to deal with trails. The wheels are big and sturdy, but it folds up into a relatively small size and doesn’t weigh a ton. Now that we have the two girls, we have the BOB Revolution Duallie. We use it every morning and evening when we walk Belle, and I run with it!
- *Baby Jogger City Mini Single Stroller: The best city ‘everyday’ stroller! We love the City Mini. You pull a lever in the center and it folds so easily and does not weigh a ton. On days when I’m running multiple errands, I’m putting this in and out of the car and it’s so easy to do. We added a Skateboard attachment for Isla and still use this all of the time with Emi. If you think you’ll have two babies close in age, you might want to opt for the Baby Jogger City Select. It allows you to add another seat when the time is right. It’s not as agile or light as the City Mini, which is why we chose that, but I have friends who have the City Select and love it.
- Baby Jogger Car Seat Adapter: The car seat adapter is for the Chicco Keyfit to be placed on top of the stroller – I use this on the City Mini, so if Emi falls asleep in the carseat, I just put her on the stroller and don’t have to wake her up.
- BOB Chicco Car Seat Adapter (Single and Double): You need this if you get the Chicco Keyfit 30 car seat and order a BOB stroller.
- BOB Console (Single and Double): This console allows you to put keys, cups, etc. in it so that you have two free hands to push. This smart phone holder is very useful too – I will put my phone on speaker in it while I’m walking the girls if they’re sleeping to chat with Sasha or friends.
- Bluboon Stroller Fan: We now have two of these – one for Isla and one for Emilia! It is so hot outside in Houston that we need one for each girl. The fact that you can re-charge vs. replace batteries is so nice!
- The Mommy Hook: I put my groceries or purse on this hook. It’s very convenient.
- Skip Hop Stroller Bar Activity Toys: We use the activity bar for the stroller and the BABYBJORN Bouncer Balance.
- Brica Car Seat Mirror: Having a car seat mirror is really important so you can see if your baby is sleeping or awake – they can also see you and Isla loves that.
- Britax 2 Pack EZ-Cling Sun Shades: These stick well to the car windows and stop a lot of sun glare from entering the car.
- American Red Cross Deluxe Nail Clippers: These nail clippers are perfect for getting tiny little nails cut (although I bit them off for the first few months – per a recommendation from our pediatrician).
- Braun Ear Thermometer: We use this for ourselves now too! The ear thermometer is really accurate, and neither of the girls have minded having her temperature taken.
- The Snotsucker by FridaBaby: This is unthinkably gross – you suction air into a tube and pull boogers from your baby’s nose. Yuck. But guess what? It really works.
- *The Windi by FridaBaby: Also gross (same company, go figure!) – the Windi is put into the baby’s anus to relieve gas. It was a huge lifesaver for our gassy little ladies. If your baby is gassy, I highly recommend trying the Windi (our pediatrician swears by it).
- *Gas Relief Drops: We swear by these! Just a tiny squirt and their tummies feel much better!
- Babyganics Mineral-Based Sunscreen: This is the good stuff – I’ve read a lot of reviews about other sunscreens, and I think this one is the best. Isla is not bothered by it at all.
- Summer Infant Brush and Comb: These are the perfect size and the brush is very soft! They’re cheap too, which is nice.
- Good Night, I Love You: We end every day with this book and a prayer. It’s our absolute favorite. I read the left pages and Sasha reads the right.
- Monkey and Me: My aunt just gave us this book, and it’s one of our favorites. It’s very simple, but the repetition is good and the animals are so cute. I like acting it out.
- Room on the Broom: Such a cute read! It’s a British book that all American babies should own.
- Snuggle Puppy: “Ooooh, Snuggle Puppy of mine!” I could sing this all day long. Perfect for a family with a dog (also those without).
- Pear Tree Farm: A childhood favorite – I love reading this book to Isla and the pictures are interesting where she seems fascinated by each page.
- God Gave Us You: I adore this book. I want Isla to know how glad we are that God gave us her!
- Love You Forever: Oh, cue the tears. Seriously. I cannot read this without crying. Maybe one day? It’s so cute though. You need it.
- On Becoming Baby Wise: This is much more boring reading for parents, but we like a lot of the Baby Wise sleeping and feeding theories. We also read Bringing Up Bebe, which was really insightful.
- Baby Milestone Book: This one from Artifact Uprising looks amazing! I wish I had bought it, but it came out a few months after Emi was born!
- Mittens: Newborns will scratch their face, and it’s tough at first to clip their nails, so make sure you bring mittens to the hospital. There are a lot in that pack, but you will lose them! So it’s worthwhile getting these!
- Socks: I’m a little prejudice, but I think that all babies need Trumpette socks! We love these ones with the rattles.
- Shoes: Let’s get real, they really don’t need shoes in the first five months, but these Freshly Picked moccs are the cutest!
- Onesies: If you’ve been reading S&MT for any length of time, you’ll know I love dressing the girls up, but let’s get real – onesies are most practical, and you need lots of them. I love ours from Old Navy, Carter’s, Baby Gap and J. Crew. Other favorite brands are cuteheads, Splendid and Janie & Jack.
- Hats: Babies need little hats for when they’re born, since they love being warm. I love these bow hats so much!
- Footed PJs: My favorite footed PJs are those from Carter’s with the little animals on the butts. Having footed PJs means you don’t have to worry about your baby kicking their socks off in the middle of the night.
- Bows: People often ask what my favorite bow companies are! The four I order the most are Willow Crowns, Wunderkin Co, A Little Lady, Baby Bling and Zozu Baby.
A question for my experienced mom followers: What other items would you add to an essentials list? I’d love to hear what products you couldn’t live without during the first five months. Please let me know in the comments below!