Creating a baby registry can be kind of overwhelming. For being such little tiny humans, babies seem to need a TON of stuff. Some baby stuff is kind of hard to resist. The clothes are so tiny! The toys are so cute and so much fun! And it helps to think ahead and check out the practical stuff, too. Sure, a newborn isn’t going to be using that high chair any time soon, but it’s a good idea to see what kind of stuff is out there… because a lot of it will get used eventually!
Many baby stores will have a registry department with a staff member designated to help parents out as they add gifts to their baby registry. The staff member may even walk around the store, giving parents advice on what to register for, and how many. At the very least, the store may provide a printed guide with suggestions for what to add to the registry. There are also plenty of these handy-dandy lists on-line.
Lots of first-time parents will register for the basics: clothes, a stroller, a car seat, a monitor of some sort, blankets and towels, a diaper bag, maybe some sort of baby carrier… and on and on and on. However, a lot of things can get accidentally left off the list, or forgotten about entirely. What’s probably most forgotten about? Things to help parents adjust to their new life with baby at home! We’ve put together a list of things that new moms might forget to ask for… Add them to your registry today!
15 Nip Cream
Don’t forget to take care of yourself, mom. You might not know exactly what you’re going to need, but it’s better to have it on hand for when the need strikes. Nipple cream, lotion, or butter can help soothe dry, cracked nipples. Some nipple creams are made with lanolin, which comes from sheep. It’s thought that if your skin has a problem with wool, it might also react with the lanolin. Some parents are also concerned with pesticide levels found in lanolin. You can instead look for a natural, plant-based nipple cream that contains ingredients such as beeswax, olive oil, coconut oil, or calendula.
Another good addition to your registry? Some nursing pads. Leaks happen unexpectedly, so nursing pads can help protect your new nursing bras and your shirts. There are even gel-filled nursing pads to soothe painful nipples. You can find disposable or machine washable varieties in baby stores and online.
14 Hands-Free Pumping Bra
Planning to pump? Then you probably remembered to get or register for a breast pump and other pumping accessories. Lots of women plan on using an electric pump for their convenience. If you’re thinking of using an electric pump, then don’t forget to add a hands-free pumping bra to your registry!
The hands-free pumping bra or bustier comes with little slits in the cups that are just the right size for holding a breast pump flange against the breast. This leaves your hands free to do other activities. You can read a book, check your phone, eat, or type.
Even though they’re only meant to be worn during pumping (not all day) some hands-free bras and bustiers can get a little expensive! If you’re crafty, you can check out Pinterest for ideas on how to make your own DIY pumping bra. According to this mom, all you need are a few leftover hair elastics to make one.
13 Baby Meds
You probably don’t even want to think about your precious new baby getting sick or hurt, but it’s still good to be prepared. Unfortunately, it will happen eventually. So think about asking for a supply of baby meds just in case.
What to include in baby’s medicine cabinet:Diaper rash creamHydrocortisone creamAntibacterial ointmentPetroleum jellyInfant Tylenol (check with your doctor for dosage)Infant Ibuprofen (check with your doctor for dosage)Symethicone (gas drops)Gripe waterSaline nose drops
In addition, you’ll also need the following:
ThermometerBaby nail clippers/nail fileCotton swabs/gauzeBandages or first aid kitNasal aspirator (the nose bulb – take one from the hospital!)Baby-safe sunscreen
Always consult with your pediatrician before giving your baby any medicine. Many doctors don’t like to suggest Tylenol for babies under 2 months, or Ibuprofen for babies under 6 months. The same thing goes for many over-the-counter decongestants, cough suppressants, and cold remedies.
12 A Car Organizer
You may end up lugging a diaper bag everywhere you go, but there are times when even the most organized parent forgets something. It’s a good idea to keep a stash of baby supplies in the car. You can pack your diaper bag with all the essentials, but you also have to remember to replace things as they get used up. (Diapers, wipes, poop bags, etc.) There’s nothing worse than carrying your diaper bag somewhere only to realize that you’re out of diapers!
Things to consider keeping in the car:
Diapers and wipesSnacks and sippy cupsBottled water (for mixing formula)First aid kitPacifier or other loveySmall toysA change of clothes for babyA change of clothes or an extra shirt for you. You never know!
Of course, then you’ll need some place to put all of this stuff. You can find lots of great car organizers that fit over the headrest of the driver or passenger seat and hang down over the back.
11 Lots And Lots Of Diapers
You might have remembered to register for diapers, and practical gift-givers like to help new parents out by starting them off with a diaper supply. But it’s amazing how many diapers newborns can go through in a day. While all babies are different, you can expect a newborn to go through anywhere from 10-16 diapers a day. This number will gradually taper off once the baby’s digestive system regulates, but you’ll still fly through diapers! Cloth diapers can be a big investment up front, but most users swear by them. They’ve come a long way in materials, designs, and how they’re made. You just have to decide if you want to wash extra laundry.
Whatever diapers you use, you’ll need a lot, and you’ll need to be prepared for when your baby moves to the next size up. With growth spurts, this can practically happen overnight! So it’s good not only to have a stockpile of small diapers, (just be careful that you don’t end up with all newborn size diapers; some babies skip the newborn size and go straight into size 1!) but some in the next few sizes up, too, so you always have the next bigger size ready just in case!
10 Baby Wipes
In addition to all those diapers, you’re going to need a lot of wipes. Whether you use disposable diapers or cloth diapers, you’re still going to need baby wipes, so it’s a good idea to register for lots and start stashing those away, too.
And while your kid won’t be in diapers forever, baby wipes are always a good thing to have around. They’re great to keep in the car to wipe off the dashboard, clean up small spills in the console, and to wipe your hands off after pumping gas. They’re great for shining up shoes and leather goods. You can use them to dust off furniture. (Better yet, give your toddler a baby wipe or two and let them “help” you with that chore!) They can help absorb spills and stains in rugs. Supposedly they can even remove deodorant marks on clothes. They can be used to remove makeup, too!
As for the wipe warmer? Some people say you have to have one; others say skip it.
9 Chargers, Cords, And Memory Cards
When you go into labor, you could be at the hospital for hours before things get exciting. In the meantime, you’ll be doing lots of waiting. And waiting. And waiting. So be prepared. Considering asking for a really long USB cord, charging cables for your phone and/or tablet, or a portable charging pack. You could be spending a lot of time browsing your social media while you wait for your little one to show up, and you don’t want your phone to die out before you have a chance to update Facebook with the big news of baby’s arrival. (Extra long cables can come in handy at home, too, when you’re stuck on the couch under a sleeping infant with a dying cell phone!)
And then when baby does finally arrive, you’ll probably want to take a lot of pictures. Consider asking for an extra memory card or flash drive so that you have a place to back up all of those first photos.
8 Pocket Nanny/Reminder Tool
In the hospital, you’ll probably have a nurse or lactation consultant show you how to record how often you nurse, on what side, and for how long. They may also make you keep track of how many wet/dirty diapers the baby makes each day. Some parents like to track this information for awhile so they can get an idea of how much their baby eats and how often they need a diaper change. This is good information to have when trying to establish baby's schedule or plan how many diapers you need to have on hand, and it’s also a good idea to keep track of this info for your first baby’s first visits to the pediatrician.
But with everything going on, it can be hard to remember to write down this info every single time you nurse or change a diaper. That’s where a Pocket Nanny like this Itzbeen timer comes in handy. The Itzbeen will tell you that Itzbeen… however many hours since you last nursed the baby. Or gave a dose of medicine. Or since the baby napped. If you don’t want the hassle of another gadget, you can always download an app for your phone that does the same thing!
7 A White Noise Machine
One of the most-asked questions all new parents get is “How’s the baby sleeping?” As a result, many parents will try just about anything to get their little one to sleep as long as possible, even through the night, as quickly as possible.
One popular method is to use a white noise machine in the baby’s room. White noise helps block out background sounds that may startle your baby and wake him from sleep. This means deeper sleep and longer naps. Some white noise sounds (like the sounds of a babbling brook or rain falling) can also have a calming and relaxing effect.
There are white-noise machines that you can plug in and place on a dresser or nightstand. Other white noise machines are smaller and portable, and can even be tucked in a diaper bag or purse if you’re traveling. Many stuffed animals come with built in soothing lights, lullabies, and white noise, as well. And yes, there's an app for that, too.
You probably registered for things like a baby swing, a humidifier, a night light, and a whole bunch of stuffed animals, toys, and baby gadgets…
So don’t forget the batteries!
Many parents have their own favorite go-to gadgets and devices that they depend on to entertain or soothe baby. Many parents swear by a rock and play or a seat with vibration in it to calm their baby and lull him or her to sleep. But these items might not come with batteries, so make sure you have a supply of all different sizes on hand at home. You don’t want your tot’s Glo-Worm (or other bedtime soother) to run out of juice right before bedtime and not have any batteries around! And that Pocket Nanny and white noise machine we mentioned? A lot of those take batteries, too!
And the older your kid gets, the more batteries you’ll probably need. It’s a good idea to stock up on batteries before birthdays and gift-giving holidays because not everybody remembers the batteries!
5 A Waterproof Mattress Pad (For You!)
When you registered for baby bedding, you probably added a bunch of crib sheets and mattress pads to your list. (Here’s a tip: try layering multiple mattress pads and crib sheets on the mattress. Mattress pad, crib sheet, mattress pad, crib sheet, mattress pad, crib sheet. Pile on as many layers as you can. It makes clean up super easy in the middle of the night when you’ve had a diaper leak or spit up. No sheets to look for and change! Just yank off the dirty top layer and you have clean sheets underneath!)
But what you might not have thought about was a mattress pad for you. You never know when your water will break, so it’s not a bad idea to protect your mattress. Also, consider the after effects of delivery. You’ll be leaking breast milk and who knows what else. Better to play it safe and keep your mattress protected.
4 A Swaddle Or Sleep Sack
Even if you don’t register for them, you’re bound to receive a lot of receiving blankets as gifts. People love to give receiving blankets. In the hospital, they use those familiar white, blue, and pink blankets, so you’ll probably end up coming home with one or two of those, too.
No matter how many times you practice on a baby doll in childbirth class, or how many times you watch the nurse do it on the hospital, sometimes swaddling the baby burrito-style seems impossible. Problem solved! Register for a swaddle bag or sleep sack instead!
The swaddle bags come in different sizes and keep your baby wrapped up snuggly tight without having to remember how to fold and where to tuck. They usually close with Velcro or a zipper so getting them in and out is a snap. Some sleep sacks are made so that you can tuck the baby’s arms in or let them out. And when baby really starts kicking, the leg area of some sleep sacks are extra roomy!
3 Dry Shampoo, Toiletries, and Other Postpartum Must-Haves
You might want to ask some mom friends for advice on how to care for yourself when you get home from the hospital. They can give you the scoop on how to deal with postpartum blood loss and healing as well as what to do when you finally poop. Some friends might even go so far as to recommend different pads and fiber supplements. With the right supplies, you can make your own a super-soothing chilled postpartum pads (a.k.a padsicles) to have waiting for you when you get home.
Beyond postpartum care, it’s so nice to get home and finally take a shower in your own bathroom. But some new moms either don’t have the energy or don’t feel like they have the time to enjoy a lengthy shower session. If that’s the case, consider asking for some toiletries to help you feel human again, like the following:
Dry shampooDeodorantExtra hair elasticsA refreshing face maskFacial moisturizerLip balm or chapstick
2 Snacks and Other Goodies For When You Come Home
It would be amazing to leave the hospital and come home to a fully stocked kitchen. Short of asking someone to go grocery shopping and do your cooking for you, it might not be such a bad idea to ask someone to come up with a stash of snacks and other convenience items for when you get home. Foods that are quick to make, like instant oatmeal, macaroni and cheese, and frozen meals are all great to have on hand, as are granola bars, smoothies, and fresh fruit.
Nursing moms need extra calories (somewhere around 500 calories a day) to keep up with the demands of milk production and feeding their new little one. It helps to have nutrient-rich snacks sitting around so that you can eat and sip small meals throughout the day. This will help keep your energy level up and make sure that the baby is getting decent nutrition as well.
1 Gift Cards
It might sound like a silly thing to ask for on your baby registry, but gift cards are always a welcome treat! Gift cards to baby stores are great because if you receive several, you can combine them and put them towards a large purchase. (Like big ticket items or ones that you registered for but didn’t receive!)
Another great gift card idea? Cards for nearby grocery stores and restaurants. Gift cards to your local grocery store are a great idea, especially as you’re taking time off work, welcoming out of town visitors who want to meet the baby, and worrying about hospital bills. And restaurant gift cards are a lifesaver when you don’t feel like cooking – especially if the restaurants offer delivery or pick up/take out!
The best gift card ever for new parents? One to Amazon. You can use it for baby supplies, Amazon Fresh and Pantry orders, and in some areas, even restaurant delivery!