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With an overabundance of baby products on the market in literally every category, it can be hard to make the “right” choice when shopping for your little. I approached my baby registry like I approach most things in life: with a lot of research, a spreadsheet, and a little bit of overthinking about whether I made the right decisions. In the end, my research – along with some trial-and-error – paid off. Now, when a friend tells me they’re pregnant, these are the top 10 products that I have full confidence in recommending for the first 6 months of parenthood.
Green Sprouts Burp Cloths (3-pack for $26.99)
Thin enough to easily drape over your shoulder or lay under a baby’s head, but absorbent enough for a big spit-up, Green Sprouts Muslin Burp Cloths are a newborn necessity. Order a few and always have one at arm’s reach – plus avoid doing laundry every day.
Keekaroo Peanut Changing Pad ($129.95)
The Keekaroo Peanut Wipeable Changing Pad has a lot going for it: you can place it on top of any dresser, its curves prevent rolling, it’s far sturdier than its competition, and it grows with your baby until they’re out of diapers. The one downside is that it can be a bit chilly – just use changing pad liners as a buffer between the changing pad and the baby as a workaround.
Guava Lotus Travel Crib ($400)
In the early months of parenthood, my husband and I found ourselves traveling to visit grandparents or having a weekend getaway about once a month, and the Guava Lotus travel crib & bassinet was (and still is!) a reliable companion. The Essentials Set starts with a bassinet, which we used for about 4 months before graduating to the travel crib. It collapses easily, and has room in the travel case to tuck in a sleep sack and extra sheets.
Ever worried about whether your Airbnb or grandparents house will have a dark enough room for your baby to sleep well? The Slumberpod is your answer. It’s essentially a blackout tent with no bottom that fits perfectly on top of the travel crib, making it easy to provide a dark sleep environment for your baby no matter where you are. It even includes a small pocket with a window to place your baby monitor. Pro tip: cut a hole in the baby monitor window to be able to see more clearly.
Yogasleep Rohm Travel Sound Machine ($29.99)
The Hatch sound machine is great for your nursery, but a mobile sound machine is a must for stroller naps or for when you’re traveling. I first learned of the Yogasleep Rohm Travel Sound Machine from Eva Chen’s Instagram, and agree wholeheartedly with her: it’s easy to use, maintains a charge well, and takes up barely any space.
Baby Bjorn Mini ($99.99)
Baby carriers are an oversaturated market, and it’s one of the items I researched most. I found the Baby Bjorn Mini to be perfect for the first 6-9 months. Its design is a mix of a baby-wearing wrap and a structured carrier, which is a balance that I found to be the “Cinderella” fit for me. Combine that with its cross-back design for weight distribution and ease of use, and I don’t think it can be beat.
A word of caution: I transitioned to a structured carrier when my baby reached about 15 pounds because the baby’s weight bears down on your shoulders; my husband still uses it at about 20 pounds. If you’re prone to back or shoulder pain, you may want a carrier that puts the baby’s weight on your hips instead.
Owlivia Cotton Footed Joggers (2-pack for $17.99)
Baby socks have a way of disappearing – particularly when babies are first born. The Owlivia Footed Joggers were our MVP for the first 3 months. They fit my small baby before she started putting on the pounds, and I didn’t have to worry about lost socks or cold baby feet. Win win!
Flap Happy Original Flap Hat ($16.95)
If I had a dollar for every baby sun hat I tried, I would have a nice start on my daughter’s college fund. Baby hats always run big (even for my daughter’s 90th percentile head!). Even when they do fit, they never stay on – that’s where the Flap Happy sun hat is different. It’s a little dorky looking, but its front brim, back flap and elasticated cap have secured it as my go-to sun hat.
Munchkin Arm & Hammer Disposable Changing Pads (10-pack for $6)
You’ll always see a travel changing mat on registry must-have lists, but you’ll rarely see the disposable ones. These from Munchkin come in handy in a restaurant, on road trips or during airline travel to lay under or to use instead of your travel changing mat – particularly if you’re wary of germs you may pick up in a public restroom.
Save yourself some time and energy in researching what to put on your baby registry. These products will make everything from everyday spit-ups and diaper changes to your first road trip to naptime walks around the neighborhood that much easier. Whether you’re a soon-to-be parent or looking to gift something to a new parent, you won’t go wrong with choosing anything from this list.