Back before June was born, we worked with buybuy BABY to compile our baby registry, and shared a blog post of the biggest “heavy hitter” items we registered for. Fast forward to now (a year to the DAY from when this post was originally published–how crazy is that? I didn’t even plan it that way!) June is 10 months old! I’m constantly asked what we ended up using/not using from our baby registry, and that’s what I’ll share with you today! Keep in mind, what worked for us may not be what works for you, and that’s totally fine!
(Note, this original post was sponsored by buybuyBABY, but this post refresh is not!) I still stand by them as my go-to for baby registry and do think they are unparalleled in not only the selection of products they offer, but their service and how they make a super overwhelming topic much less stressful! (I will say the same about Bed Bath and Beyond, their sister store, which was our main registry for our wedding!)
Also note that I will share a couple additional items that we found helpful (or not helpful) that aren’t from buybuyBABY but can be found elsewhere! (Though the bulk is still from BBB!) Even if you have a BabyList and include items from other places, I still recommend popping into the BBB store to see things in person.
Below you’ll find the original post with my “updated” commentary in bold and italics underneath!
Our Registry Essentials from BuyBuy Baby
First thing’s first, we chose to make an in-store registry appointment and I’m so glad we did! There is no replacement for being able to actually see and compare all the products in person, fold up strollers in person, see how much a car seat weighs, etc. It definitely made me feel more prepared and confident in the decisions we made.
Shout out to Alexis and Alex:
Alexis was our in-store registry consultant. She took us all around the store and was able to answer a lot of questions for us in every section. Just being able to ask her, “okay…which one of these options do most parents like best?” was SO helpful. She also made sure to point out what were the “must have” items in each part of the store, and which ones were the “nice to haves.”
Alex is the store’s stroller and carseat specialist. He was so patient with us, he answered all our questions, and helped us narrow down options based on our needs. I also really appreciated that he provided his POV and said, “I have this for my kid and we’ve had a really positive experience with it. This is a great choice!” Just makes things way easier when you have an expert guiding you, you know?
Update: So many of you messaged me after saying, “We went in to see Alex because of your post and he is a LEGEND. He made our whole day he was so helpful and now we’re so relived to have finally gotten the stroller decision checked off our list!”
Perks of registering at buybuy BABY:
A one-stop shop:
They have the widest selection of baby products out there. It’s so much easier to have ONE go-to for everything, vs. piecing together a registry from a bunch of different places. (It makes it way easier to track gifts that way too, more on that below). Plus, another obvious factor: you (and your loved ones who are shopping for you) can use those amazing Bed Bath and Beyond coupons on your registry items. (Who doesn’t have a few Bed Bath and Beyond coupons lying around?)
One on one help and assistance:
Like I mentioned above, you get unlimited access to an expert to answer ALL your questions, whether that’s online, over the phone, or in person! I can’t tell you how invaluable this was for us. It saves you hours upon hours of having to research the differences between products online!
15% off of anything left on your registry:
This is HUGE! There are always things you end up needing after the fact that may still be left on your registry, and buybuy BABY gives you 15% off anything that is left over! That’s a massive cost savings.
Copy a friend:
Major convenience factor–if you have a friend who has registered at buybuy BABY, you can copy items over to your registry super easily!
Easy gift tracking:
Track everything in your online dashboard or their app. So you can track what you still need, who to send thank-you’s to, etc!
Same day delivery and 2 hour curbside pickup:
Need something ASAP? They likely have it in store. And you can arrange for curbside pickup OR they’ll deliver it to your house same day for $9.99!
Above: Alexis and Alex who were SO incredibly helpful to guide us along in making all kinds of decisions!
Our Registry Must-Haves:
Here are the MAIN heavy hitters we chose at buybuy BABY, along with a few other smaller essentials at the bottom. Of course, this is not EVERYTHING you could possibly register for. Rather, this is my handful of items that I think will be the most helpful! Also worth noting, we have a small city space. So we’re mostly focused on getting just the minimum items we NEED for a newborn vs. registering for everything we could POSSIBLY need for her first year. But everyone’s needs are different! Only you know what’s best for you and your family and your situation.
After SO much research, we decided on the Baby Jogger City Mini GT2. (Despite the name, it’s not actually a jogging stroller. So don’t let that hang you up.)
Yes, let’s address the elephant in the room: everyone out there has the Uppababy, and it’s a great stroller, and it’s REALLY cute–it’s just not what we needed personally!
Our unique situation: We live in a second-floor walk-up in the city and we don’t have a landing at the bottom of top of our stairs to store a stroller like many buildings have. The Uppababy is just too big and bulky for me to be hauling up and down our stairs, collapsing and popping it up all while carrying a baby in a car seat. Our neighborhood also has its fair share of bumpy sidewalks. So the Baby Jogger 3-wheel setup and the GT2 tires were very enticing.
To sum up, our stroller requirements are:
- Lightweight (I can carry it up many stairs with one arm).
- Could collapse and pop up with one hand.
- Easy steering & heavy-duty wheels to easily navigate narrow Chicago sidewalks and go over the bumpy/uneven ground. (Which is what made us go for the GT2 vs just the GT.)
For ALL those reasons–the Baby Jogger was unparalleled! It also helped that Kelly insisted I needed to look at no other strollers, as did Alex, who helped us in the stroller and car seat section of buybuy BABY (it’s what he uses for his son who was born last year, so I feel like that’s the biggest endorsement of all) AND the one other mom in the store at the time said, “YEP! Don’t mess around with the other strollers–if you live in the city, go with the Baby Jogger!”
So there it was! Baby Jogger all the way!
While I do love this stroller and I’m still glad we got this for a “traditional stroller” option, we have barely touched it. We carry her EVERYWHERE in her Babybjorn. Babywearing all the way–we hardly ever use a stroller. It’s just way too much of a pain to lug it up and down the stairs. And we love wearing her. It’s way more fun! If we lived on the first floor or we had an elevator, or even a platform at the bottom of the stairs where we could store a folded-up stroller, I might think differently (although I don’t think I would, personally). It’ll be interesting to see if we use it more this summer when she’s bigger. And I don’t have to haul both a bassinet and the stroller base up and down the stairs. Stay tuned!
Because we have a unique “city” situation, our car seat situation is also a bit unusual. We’re actually getting two car seats. Hear me out before you think I’m nuts. (But city people, this might be helpful!)
Have you heard of the Doona? Everyone I know with one can’t stop raving about it. And say it’s their #1 essential, and I can see why. It’s a car seat that has wheels that flip into a stroller in about two seconds–eliminating the need to schlep a big ole stroller with you every time you go in the car. (Neal calls it “the transformer.”)
This will be our “car” car seat. While we are lucky enough to have a garage, it’s detached and down three flights of stairs (which get slippery in the winter). It’s also a small, tight-fitting squeeze with not a lot of room in between our car and our two neighbors cars. It’s also not remotely convenient (and doesn’t make me feel super safe) to store the stroller in our car/garage and always go in and out through the garage/alley when we want to go on a walk and use the stroller (like many city people do).
Basically, what I’m saying is, if you live in a situation where access to your car is limited or annoying, you might want to copy this setup!
The Doona will also serve as our “stroller” whenever we have to go somewhere in the car, run errands, zip out to see grandparents, etc, to eliminate the need to drag the Baby Jogger stroller up and down the back stairs, in and out of the garage/etc. The Doona can’t be our everyday stroller just because we do live in the city. And we need something with more heavy-duty wheels/tires and something with a lot more storage. We do a LOT of walking, and the dinky Doona wheels aren’t made for long mileage.
On the flip-side, if you live in the suburbs and you don’t expect to be putting miles and miles on your stroller on uneven ground all the time, you could probably just get away with the Doona alone and call it a day! (I do have friends that have done this!)
The Doona is also great for air travel (as long as you’re going somewhere that you don’t need a more heavy-duty stroller for)–because you don’t have to worry about checking a stroller! Additionally, you don’t need to use it with a base. So it’s great for Uber, Taxis, etc!
Keep in mind, the only drawback is that it’s an infant-sized carseat.
So once your kid grows out of that sized car seat, it grows out of the Doona. Unlike a regular stroller that can last you through multiple phases and years. Again, you’ll have to buy an infant carseat anyway. So in my opinion this is SUCH a worthwhile purchase as a two-in-one.
I think we’re in the minority here that we never used our regular stroller. But we totally could’ve gotten away with just the Doona for the sole reason that we just wear her in the Babybjorn anyway every time we’re out for a walk. When we DO want a “stroller” to take her to dinner to have a contraption for her to sit in, we just use the Doona because it’s not bulky like a regular stroller. (Granted, now she sits in a high chair if we go to a restaurant. So we don’t use it for that purpose now either. But up until she was big enough to sit in a high chair on her own, we’d bring the Doona to dinner).
I think if you plan to use a stroller ALL the time (for walks and going longer distances) and you live in the city, this cannot be your only stroller. (It has no storage and like I said, the wheels are dinky/don’t have shocks. So it’s not great on uneven sidewalks or long distances).
Also–confirming we do in fact LOVE LOVE the Doona for travel especially. We’ve never had to check a bulky stroller and that’s such a game-changer. I can’t tell you what a breeze it is for travel. I’m going to be so upset when she outgrows it and we have to haul a stroller and giant car seat with us to travel. (I haven’t found a travel stroller yet because we haven’t needed one. But I’ll keep you posted!)
The only drawback to the Doona is that it is heavy. So if you’re unable to lift heavy things, you may want to go in-store to try this out first to make sure you can carry it with a baby in it!
For when LR (updated note, seeing me call her “LR” makes me LOL so hard now) is a newborn, she’ll need either a car seat OR a bassinet attachment to ride in for her Baby Jogger stroller. (They don’t transition to the “regular” stroller seat until they have more neck control!) I was actually going to get the bassinet attachment. Because I didn’t think two car seats was necessary. But talking with Kelly and Shaheen, they actually said the opposite. And I’m glad I went with their recco. Of course, totally a personal choice. But sharing mine in case it helps you!
We’re bypassing the bassinet because A. We need the least amount of stuff possible since we have very little space in our condo. (But if space isn’t an issue for you, you might find it’s a great fit for your lifestyle!) B. The car seat is MUCH more functional because it’s both a car seat AND you can lift it out of the stroller to take it into a restaurant, a friend’s house, etc. While that’s totally doable with a bassinet, it’s just more of a pain because it’s larger and bulkier.
Additionally, say we walk to a friend’s house this summer, but want a ride home at night–we’ll want a car seat (that clips in with just a seatbelt and doesn’t require a base) with us for that purpose. (Vs. if we only had the bassinet, we’d be out of luck.)
That being said, we decided we wanted a car seat to go with the Baby Jogger AIR GO carseat.
Keep in mind that ALL car seats are safe because they are all required to be put through the same safety tests. And meet the same exact same safety standards. More expensive does NOT equal more safe. So please do not feel the need to spend any more than your budget allows on a car seat. That being said, you do pay up for features that might make life a little more convenient!
Personally, my main priorities were this: as light as possible– as I know I will often be carrying her in the car seat AND the stroller down the front stairs whenever I leave the house. AND we knew we wanted something with the option to buckle in without a base for easy travel. The Babyjogger Air Go fit the bill for those qualifications.
Remember, you can get an adapter for almost any car seat for almost any stroller. So feel free to mix and match. In our case though, Baby Jogger fit the bill for what we needed in both instances! Just a personal preference!
For what it’s worth, I think it’s HIGHLY worth going into buybuyBABY and asking their amazing stroller/car seat guru for their help. They are so knowledgeable and Alex’s recommendations made the decision a lot less overwhelming. Comparing and researching car seats online made my head spin–being able to say, “Alex, can you show me your top two lightest weight car seats–and if you had to choose, which would you buy for your baby?” made it so much easier I could cry.
LOLING as I’m re-reading this now. Things don’t always go as planned!! We never used this second car seat. She hated the car seat when she was a newborn. And would scream so loud and make us SO flustered. So we never used it as the attachment for the baby jogger stroller (to take her out for a walk, for example) and instead, DID end up panic buying the bassinet attachment. Which I will say did come in handy when we DID in fact use the Babyjogger stroller. As far as a car seat goes though, it is REALLY lightweight. So I think it’s a great car seat overall if you aren’t looking to go with the Doona and want a system that goes together with the Babyjogger stroller!
We’re going for the Hatch Grow changing pad and scale and will set it atop LR’s dresser! Another “upgrade” that is nice to have, but not a NEED to have. My friends have loved the Hatch changing table. As it’s helpful when baby is little and monitoring their weight is really important! buybuy BABY has lots of other more budget-friendly changing pads to choose from too if you just want a changing pad without the bells and whistles. Shop them all here!
This worked for a couple weeks and then it stopped being accurate. So all in all I would say this was stupid and would not recommend buying it. 😂 LOL. However! The app (“Hatch Baby”) that it connects with IS actually really helpful. So just get that app! I do like that this wiped down easily though. So instead I’d just get a similar one without bells and whistles.
Another techy item that has come highly recommended to me was the Hatch light and sound machine. It emits a super soft glow that is enough light for night changings and feedings. But not enough to disturb baby. It’s also a white noise machine. Which every parent tells me is essential.
Of course, you have lots of options for playing white noise in baby’s room. But I much prefer having something like this vs. setting up a speaker and using my iPhone to play a white noise playlist. That way we can leave it on in the background. And don’t have to worry about baby hijacking our Spotify.
When LR gets older, I will definitely be using the “time to rise” feature–which lets her know when it’s OK to get up and get out of bed!
This thing is a lifeline–buy it! And buy this version because it synchs with your phone and it allows you to control the volume for the white noise from your phone–so, say, if the baby is sleeping and you have friends over, you can turn the volume up to drown out the extra noise! There were also so many times when I forgot to turn the white noise on. And I didn’t want to go back in and risk upsetting her to turn it back on, so that was very nice!
A MUCH debated topic–what baby monitor is the best? To be honest, there are a lot of great options out there–and none of them is the wrong option!
I have a lot of friends who are first-time moms and they LOVE the Owlet system. So I knew this was the route I was going to go very early on. I don’t think any other baby monitor brings you this kind of peace of mind.
It’s a two-part system–one part “sock” that wraps around their little foot to monitor their breathing, oxygen level, and heart rate (and notifies you if your baby gets into any “danger zones”) and then one part camera that syncs to an app on your phone so you can keep an eye on them at all times. No more staring at your baby or sneaking into their room wondering if they’re still breathing!
I love, love, love the Owlet. I don’t know how I would sleep without it. It gives me so much peace of mind and it’s so helpful because it tracks her sleep and awake times. So I know how much sleep and the quality of sleep she’s getting. I also REALLY love that the camera and the sock are both Owlet. Because I only have to open ONE app to see both things. It would be really annoying/not worth it to have the Owlet sock and a different camera. It’s not without its flaws (i.e. when the Wifi goes out and we have to reset it) but I love that I can always see her because I’m never not without my phone.
Note that the FDA did announce that they should be considered a medical device (which it was not considered previously). And thus they changed what they can monitor/offer and I’m not totally up to speed on it. But it seems like they still offer it for sale on their website! However, they’ve come out with a lot more similar heart-rate/breathing type monitors since June was born, so I’d do your research!
Also, another baby monitor to add that we use for travel: This long-range audio monitor from V-Tech! It’s super long range (audio only) and it’s been a game-changer on trips! It reaches far enough to where we can, say, be outside by the pool while she’s inside napping while on vacation! Can’t recommend enough. (For more travel with baby reccos, see this post!)
We will be exclusively formula feeding so this one is an absolute must-have for us. Many of my friends say this item is #1 on their list of baby essentials: the Baby Brezza! It’s basically a Keurig for baby formula. It’s MAGICAL (I’ve helped friends make bottles at their houses). All you do is load it with the formula of your choice (there’s a dispenser up top, it’s not like K-Cups!), adjust the ounce settings, and push the button. It takes seconds and also works with any kind of bottle. A luxury for sure, but one that saves a lot of time and effort! We’re going to be besties with this little machine.
This machine is absolutely legendary and if you formula feed regularly it’s going to make your life a HELL of a lot easier! Make sure you read the instructions on how to clean it and do it regularly though or it may not dispense the formula correctly! See our Bottle Feeding essentials post right here!
The thing Neal is most excited about. He’s wanted to be a dad for SO long, and has been looking forward to wearing his baby in a baby carrier ever since I’ve known him. I got him this BabyBjorn Mini for Christmas but we also got this mesh one, which has more back support.
We use and love both of these for different things, see my BabyBjorn review and comparison post right here for the breakdown! Our BabyBjorn carriers are easily our #1 most used and must loved item of the past 10 months with June. We wear her EVERYWHERE. It’s not only so much easier than using a stroller in the city, it’s also way more special because we get to snuggle her everywhere we go!
Another thing that has come highly recommended to me is this bouncer–I was actually surprised that it doesn’t actually have any electronic component–it doesn’t vibrate or move, rather, the baby uses its own movement to create the bouncing. Doesn’t sound like anything special, but it has amazing reviews both from our friends and online! Many say it’s nice to put them in and set on the counter or table while you’re making dinner, eating, getting ready, etc. (Of course, never leave them unattended in it!)
This was great for the newborn months, but we didn’t use it a TON. Although I know people who use it ALL the time, so definitely still worth registering for.
We don’t have a photo of this one as they didn’t have it in store. But buybuy BABY carries it online! We opted for the Babyletto Kiwi Glider–it’s what a bunch of my friends have and they rave about it constantly. It’s definitely pricey, but the reclining factor is key. Plus it has a USB port to keep a charger plugged in at all times–again, not an essential, but a huge convenience!
I LOVE this chair. I think the reclining factor is very key for those late nights in the nursery, but if the price point is too much of a stretch, you’ll be just fine with a regular chair, too.
Not sexy, but necessary. Alexis said this Ubi one was most popular with parents. So we didn’t spend a lot of time wavering over the decision.
Definitely a necessity!!!
I put Neal in charge of researching and choosing a crib mattress and we ended up going with this one. It was a top-rated mattress and we liked that it’s double-sided. It has a firm side for safe infant sleep and then can be flipped over to a softer, more plush side for toddlers! It’s also waterproof (a must-have in my book). And meets fire safety guidelines without the use of harsh chemical flame retardants.
It’s worked great. June hasn’t complained about her mattress. ;-P DEFINITELY definitely glad it’s waterproof.
Other smaller items:
Bottles and pacifiers:
Bottles and pacifiers are such a personal preference. The best piece of advice I got was to pick three brands and get a couple of each, see what your baby likes, then you can buy more of that! We got both Dr. Browns and Como Tomo as both came highly recommended, but again, I know everyone is different! (Don’t forget the bottle cleaning accessories!)
She liked the Dr. Browns bottles and MAM pacifiers best–but every baby is different! I was not a fan of the Como Tomo.
Portable White Noise Machine:
Definitely a must! We bring one every time we travel!
Pack n Play with bassinet:
This one has great reviews and is under $100! We weren’t looking for anything fancy–portable and easy setup is the name of the game! Also comes with a full-sized bassinet which is great for traveling with a newborn, or even setting up in your room at home if you don’t want to get a separate bassinet for baby to sleep in when you are sharing a room.
Never used the bassinet attachment on the pack n play once and I really wish we would’ve splurged for the Baby Lotus travel crib which you can buy on Amazon. It’s much lighter, more compact, easier to travel with, and can be worn as a carry-on backpack. This is probably the #1 product I would do-over, but also, isn’t really a huge deal either.
We have this bathtub that a friend gave us already (she was gifted an extra!) These little hooded towels and matching washcloths are SO sweet! (The lemons! The veggies!) This pad is also great for parents’ knees to help them from getting bruised while leaning over the bathtub!
I think the little bathtub thing was helpful but we didn’t use it after a couple of weeks. We ended up just laying her down flat in our sink in a tiny bit of water and she preferred that as it kept her warmer and she could kick/splash in it!
Baby skincare products:
Everyone I know raves about Mustela products, and this Newborn set comes with a small size of each of their bestsellers to test out!
We love Mustela but also Evereden (all my favorite Evereden products reviewed in the post) and Pipette! HIGHLY recommend the Pipette sunscreen and baby balm stick, Mustela Micellar water and the cleansing oil–the Micellar water is great for when you don’t want to do a full bath but they need to “freshen” up.
Like you would with bottles and pacifiers, Alexis recommended getting one of each of the most popular swaddles, seeing what your baby likes best, and then buying more of that one! (Every baby is different!) So we decided to register for the Halo Sleep Sack the SwaddleUp and the MiracleBlanket swaddle.
Different swaddles worked for us at different stages–but we ended up using this batwing swaddle trick with whatever swaddle we were using and that was what was most helpful because she was a stinker and always broke out of her swaddle no matter which one we used. Honestly if you can borrow as many different kinds second-hand from friends, I’d try to do that so you can figure out which swaddles work best for you and then only buy more of that kind if you need to. It’ll save you a lot of money! When we dropped the swaddle we transitioned to Kyte sleep sacks and love and highly recommend those!
Other things we’ve loved for June:
We loved this thing! I think it went a long way in encouraging independent play from a very early age! We would do lots of tummy time on this mat every day, and she could lay there for a long time and be entertained with all the things dangling from the top and staring at the black and white cards! It has so many great things for their development! I resisted this for a couple weeks because I didn’t want any kid stuff in my living room but then I caved and it bought me so much time that it was totally worth it. (This one also isn’t offensive looking, comparatively speaking.) We didn’t really end up using the Dock a Tot because we just put her under here anytime we needed to set her down, and she was always so happy there because it kept her busy!
Luckily one of my best friends lent me hers and we’ve used this for several months. (Once June could crawl she was done with the Lovevery Play gym!) This is a great place to pop her in when we need to get something done and it kept her busy for a long time. (Now she’s VERY busy and gets pissed when we put it her in it after a couple minutes, but it gave us a good several months! (From age 4 months or whenever they can easily hold their head up–through whenever they will tolerate being in it, haha–usually until they’re a very busy crawler!)
I wouldn’t have registered for this because we would’ve had nowhere to store it for the first 4 months of her life, and now I’m glad I can give it back to Kate because I don’t want it sitting around my living room anymore. 😂 I’d recommend only getting what you need for a NEWBORN and then buying/borrowing the rest as you go!
We got the IKEA SNIGLAR crib and have absolutely zero regrets. Use acetone to remove the ugly warning label they print on all the sides!
Any “extra” things like wipe warmers, bottle warmers, bottle sanitizing machines, etc.
We didn’t want to get her used to warm wipes or warm bottles if it wasn’t necessary–that just means more stuff to lug around with you if you’re on the go! (And it hasn’t been necessary for us, although I do know it is necessary for others!) We just used the microwave bottle sanitizing bags to sanitize bottles–definitely didn’t need another giant thing on our counter. Everyone is different, and had she shown a preference for say, warm bottles, obviously we would’ve purchased a bottle warmer after the fact!
Diaper cream spatula and/or applicator:
Saves SO MUCH mess when applying diaper cream!!
These muslin burp cloths and bibs from Amazon!
(The I loved the bibs because they look kind of like cute bandanas and would save her clothes from drool and spit-up!)
We got the Ingelsina chair because we have no space for a high chair and this one just clamps to our kitchen counter! It’s such a space-saver and highly recommend for city people! At the lake house, my MIL got her a Stokke Steps high chair and we LOVE that. If I had more room I’d totally get one for our condo.
Things we did not use a lot personally:
Dock a tot:
I LOVED how pretty my Dock a Tot was, but we didn’t use it very much after she was a couple weeks old, because anytime we needed to set her down we would just put her on the floor on the Lovevery play gym (referenced above). The Dock a Tot is also not sleep safe, so it’s really just a “baby drop zone” and the play gym functioned as that for us and also kept her busy for longer and was good for her development!
I LOVE our Design Dua bassinet, but I figured out quite quickly I could not sleep with her in the room. I was too nervous and every noise she made kept me awake. (Newborns are noisy!) Because we already had the bassinet, we moved her into her own room, but kept her in the bassinet for the first several weeks as we thought it probably felt more comforting/cozy to her–but in reality we didn’t NEED it and she could’ve totally gone straight into her crib. I know we aren’t the norm though, and that had nothing to do with her bassinet. The bassinet is lovely and I can’t recommend it and the base attachment enough. It’s also so pretty and you can use it as a regular basket to hold stuffed animals, blankets, etc once they outgrow it.
I don’t really know what section to put this in because I really loved my Solly wrap to wear her around the house (and sometimes on walks) when she was really tiny, but then by the time she was a couple months old I never used it again as I opted for the Babybjorn every time because it was just much easier and faster to get on and off, and she didn’t like being so constricted in the Solly wrap after she was a couple months old! I say it’s still worth having on hand for when baby arrives though, you never know what you’re going to prefer!
I hope this helps all my expecting moms out there make their registry process a little easier!
Huge thanks to buybuy BABY for sponsoring the original version of this post, and thank you for supporting my amazing brand partners!