10 Baby Registry Must-Haves—According to a Paediatrician
As you create your baby registry, it is tempting to add every cute little product you see…and feel overwhelmed by all the options. But does your baby really need all that stuff? Staying focused on must-haves that boost safety, health, and sleep will help you make the perfect list!
Safety Baby Registry Must-Haves
Luckily, these have never been safer! All car seats must pass strict safety standards. So, picking a favourite comes down to weight, style, and compatibility with your car (read your owner’s manual).
The NHS says children should ride rear-facing as long as possible (that is until they hit the max weight recommended by the manufacturer). And, once switched to a forward-facing car seat, they should use that as long as possible, before moving to a booster seat.
To maximise value, some parents choose a convertible seat to use from day one until their child outgrows it at 4…or even, 5, 6 or 7 years of age!
Other parents choose a rear-facing infant seat for the first months and switch to a convertible car seat later. Why? Because infant seats are fairly lightweight and easily snap in and out of a base—making them portable with the baby strapped in. Many also conveniently clip into a buggy, which makes it easier to move your baby around and about town. (Note: Infants should never sleep unattended in a car seat. Sleeping seated is risky, because a baby’s heavy head can fall forward and make it hard to breathe.)
I highly recommend baby-wearing. Babies feel right at home in slings and carriers. They enjoy being snug against their parents’ chest and feeling the warmth and jiggly motion while being carried…much like the same happy feeling they enjoyed inside the womb. Slings also leave your hands free for the million other things you have to do!
Sleep Essentials for Your Newborn Baby Registry
For thousands of years, mums have wrapped their babies to help them stay calm and happy. Young babies are not great at controlling their bodies. When trying to suck their fingers, they may whack themselves in the face. And, when they get fussy they often flail and startle…and cry even more!
Swaddled infants are less likely to upset themselves, and they also are better able to focus on other calming techniques, like shushing, the side or stomach position, swinging, and sucking (which together with swaddling, are known as the 5 S’s.)
To take the hassle out of swaddling, check out Happiest Baby’s Sleepea, the 5-second swaddle. A parent fave, it is easy and safe. Made with 100% organic cotton, it is better for babies…and for the planet!
To lower the risk of SIDS, the NHS advises infants sleep alone, on the back, in their parents’ room. For most families, a cot is the best choice due to its compact size.
But, there is a problem with cots…they are too boring! They are really just immobile, silent little boxes meant to protect babies from intrusive siblings and family dogs. But, they do nothing to aid sleep. That is…until recently.
In 2016, my company debuted SNOO, a ‘smart’ cot that uses the constant rumbly sound and gentle rocking babies loved in the womb. Those soothing rhythms can quickly settle fussing and aid sleep. As a bonus, SNOO is the only sleep solution with a special clip-in swaddle that keeps infants safely on the back—all naps/all night.
Sleep is one of the most precious gifts you can give to a new parent. So, it is easy to see why Motherly, PopSugar Moms, Women’s Health, and New York Mag are all calling SNOO the new, must-have, ‘life-changing’ baby registry item.
People used to say, Tip-toe, the baby is sleeping!, thinking infants needed quiet and stillness to sleep. Today, we know that still, quiet rooms are sensory depriving to new babies. In utero, your child heard the constant, whoosh of blood pulsing through the umbilical blood vessels. After birth, babies still crave womb-like sound—that is why they love car rides, hoover sounds, and white noise. I suggest using our Happiest Baby White Noise for all naps and nights, as well as for calming your baby in the car. (You can get our specially engineered sounds in a huggable lovey form with SNOObear!)
Registry Must-Haves for Your Baby’s Health
Sooner or later all babies develop a fever. So, you will want to add a baby thermometer to your registry. You are best off choosing a digital one because—if an old-fashioned thermometer breaks—your baby may be exposed to toxic mercury contained inside.
Nail File and Mittens
For such tiny beings, babies have surprisingly sharp nails which get even sharper after cutting them. And, those sharp nails often lead to face scratches. So, it is best to file the nails to create a smooth edge or even use mittens to keep your little one from hurting herself. (Always, check inside the mittens to remove any loose strings that might wrap around a finger and cause injury.)
Babies are astonishingly cute, but they are also famous for having tons of boogers. And, a stuffy nose can make it hard to sleep. You will want a nose syringe to clear congestion to help your baby breathe easily…and keep up appearances. This inexpensive little tool is an absolute must-have!
We all know that breastmilk is the amazing, nutrition-filled nectar of the breasts. In fact, there is a book called, ‘So That is What They are There For,’ because feeding a baby is the No. 1 reason why breasts exist.
You may know that this milk is a wonderful mix of protein + fat + a special brain-enhancing sugar + vitamins developed over the millennia and specifically to nurture tiny, growing humans (very different from the milk of a cow or mouse or whale).
But, you may not know that it is also enriched with generous amounts of healing antibodies, vitamins, enzymes and even white blood cells that give extra protection to our babies’ vulnerable, immature bodies.
And, breastfeeding is great for mums, too! It reduces the risk for breast and ovarian cancers, shrinks the uterus back to normal, and releases a daily flow of prolactin and oxytocin, hormones that fill your heart with feelings of love, success and delight.
Nevertheless, many of us know women for whom nursing was not easy or automatic. If you cannot or choose not to breastfeed, there are several carefully developed artificial milks that can come to the rescue.
Fortunately, the vast majority of new mums find nursing simple and deeply meaningful. And, there are several smart steps you can take—beforehand—to help you land in that group who find breastfeeding bliss:
- Use a breast shield if you have flat or inverted nipples (ask your doctor to check)
- Buy or rent a great breast pump
- Get a comfortable breastfeeding pillow (many mums find it easier to nurse when the baby is on a small pillow positioned closer to the nipple, which can help reduce neck and wrist strain)
- Note on your baby registry that you would like a gift certificate to see a local lactation consultant
Other Baby Registry Essentials
Dummies have gotten a bad rap for a long time. Parents worry their baby might get so attached he will never give up the habit—but this doctor fully endorses them! Sucking is a natural soothing mechanism for babies (and one of the 5 S’s!). It lowers your baby’s heart rate, blood pressure and stress levels. I like soft silicone dummies, but babies often have their own specific dummy-shape preference. If one type does not work, you may want to try another. And, if your baby keeps spitting it out, try this simple trick to help your baby develop the ability to keep it in.
Although dummies have big benefits for the first 6 months—at least—it is wise to avoid any nipple confusion by delaying the dummy until breastfeeding is going well (usually a few days to a week). Finally, here are some tips for giving up the dummy for when the time comes!
Final Thoughts on Baby Registry Must-Haves
There you have them—my top 10 baby registry essentials. For more inspiration, take a peek at these Nursery Essentials for Your Baby Registry.
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Disclaimer: The information on our site is NOT medical advice for any specific person or condition. It is only meant as general information. If you have any medical questions and concerns about your child or yourself, please contact your health provider. Breastmilk is the best source of nutrition for babies. It is important that, in preparation for and during breastfeeding, mothers eat a healthy, balanced diet. Combined breast- and bottle-feeding in the first weeks of life may reduce the supply of a mother's breastmilk and reversing the decision not to breastfeed is difficult. If you do decide to use infant formula, you should follow instructions carefully.