Do you need to decide what to put on your baby registry or need to buy a baby shower gift for an expectant mother? This is a tough task but as a pediatrician I can certainly give you advice on the kinds of useful gifts I would give my own friends.
I have so many recommendations that to help you organize, I break them down into 3 lists. List #1 is the big-ticket items, list #2 has the essential items, including my five highest ranked recommendations and then list #3 has some nice to have items.
Here are some of my must-haves for every baby registry:
List #1: Big Ticket Baby Gift Items
These are items you may want to consider purchasing for yourself or suggest that a group (such as your co-workers) go in on them for you. Prospective grandparents may be kind enough to help you out here too. I suggest you have these items in place way before your due date, giving you time to get comfortable with how to use them and their safety features.
- Crib and nursery furniture
- Infant car seat (Don’t forget: you won’t be able to leave the hospital without this)
- Breast pump and other breastfeeding products, if you choose to breastfeed
List #2: The Essential Baby Gifts
I recommend that parents ask for the following items on their baby registry with these top five being very important:
- High quality humidifier. I recommend the Crane cool mist humidifier which even has a dishwasher safe tank.
- Gum care products for babies. A fun one I like is “The Brushies”
- A great thermometer. Rectal thermometers are the most accurate for newborns and I highly recommend the Vicks thermometer, but a good temporal thermometer can be used as well.
- Higher end skin products such as Aquaphor that are hypoallergenic and keep newborn skin moisturized.
- To round off the top 5, I recommend a hygienic and safe infant nasal aspirator and of course I would love you to consider Doctor Rose’s Infant Nasal Aspirator.
For more great ideas, take a look at this additional list of essentials:
- Diaper bag
- Baby slings or wrap carriers
- Baby bathtub with bath items
- Baby monitor
- Nursing pillow
- Bouncy seat
- Portable playpen
- Dishwasher container to hold bottles and pacifiers
- Baby first aid kit with baby clippers
- Bibs and burp cloths
- Disposable or cloth diapers and wipes
- Crib sheets
- Swaddle blankets
- Portable changing pad
You may have noticed that I don’t have bottles on this list. Regardless of whether you are breastfeeding or not, you will for sure need a few bottles, but you may not know what kind of bottle your baby likes until you see how feeding goes during those first few days. I recommend buying a few different kinds of bottles/nipples on your own and seeing which ones work best once you get home.
I also didn’t have clothes as part of this list. Trust me, you are going to get plenty of clothes – you don’t need to actually have them on your registry.
List #3: Nice To Have Baby Shower Gifts
Think ahead to how busy your days will be once your baby arrives! Some of the more creative items that I’ve seen appear on baby registries:
- A cleaning service
- Contributions to the baby’s college fund
- Postnatal massage or spa treatments
- Mother-and-baby classes
Bonus List #4: Items You Don’t Really Need For Baby
It’s easy to get overwhelmed with all the product options that are available for you and your baby. Although these things may seem nice, you probably won’t use them and they will just take up precious space.
- Wipe warmer – by far the one gift most new moms say they never use
- Bottle warmer – you can simply put your bottles in a bowl of warm water for a few minutes
- Baby mittens – unless your baby is actually having issues with scratching herself, you will probably never need these
- Baby shoes – you don’t need to invest in shoes until your baby is walking, just put your baby in socks or booties
- Baby clothes detergent – make sure you are using a detergent that is safe for the entire family, not just baby
This is such an exciting time during your pregnancy. Enjoy the celebration and rest easy knowing that your nursery will be well-stocked with items you and your baby need.