One of the biggest requests from my fellow moms-to-be out there is a blog post with our registry essentials (because there are so many choices to make and they can be SO overwhelming!) Today, I’m SO excited to be teaming up with buybuy BABY to share all the baby products we’ve chosen for LR’s arrival!
I will preface this by saying, this is an absolute DREAM partnership for me and one I had hoped would be in the cards for us whenever the time came! Bed Bath and Beyond (their sister store) was our main registry for our wedding and we could not have had a better experience. They carry EVERYTHING and the staff at the store was so helpful in making what is a VERY overwhelming experience into a fun and stress-free one. Not surprisingly, our experience with buybuy BABY was exactly the same! (Also, by the way, if you’re in the process of registering for your wedding, definitely check out our wedding registry post here!)
Our Registry Essentials from BuyBuy Baby
We chose to head into the store for our registry appointment on a weekday afternoon, and felt so safe the entire time–the store wasn’t crowded and the staff was very mindful to adhere to social distancing, everyone was masked, etc. If going in-store isn’t something you’re comfortable with, they also offer virtual registry appointments where a specialist can walk you through everything you need and answer any questions you have!
Our two cents: If you’re comfortable and able, we HIGHLY recommend going into the store. 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?
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...
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:
- Very lightweight (we’re talking, 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!
Because we have a unique “city” situation, our carseat situation is also a bit unusual. We’re actually getting two carseats. Hear me out before you think I’m nuts. 😂 (But city people, you’ll want to take note of this!)
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 carseat 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 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 need something with more heavy duty wheels/tires and something with a lot more storage. We do a LOT of walking.
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!
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 carseat, it grows out of the Doona. Unlike a regular stroller that can last you through multiple phases and years. (We’ll cross that bridge when we get there though!)
For when LR is a newborn, she’ll need either a carseat 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 control!) I was actually going to get the bassinet attachment because I didn’t think two carseats 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. And I liked that it has a little reader to help you determine the seat is correctly installed, which is nice for peace of mind!
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.
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!
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 an 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!
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!
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.
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 selfishly I really wanted that one too 😂 so we can share it), but we also registered for this one, which is made of cooler mesh material, which will be great for her in the summer. It’s a little more manly as well. I have a few different wrap carriers at this point, so I thought he also deserved some options. 😉
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. But 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!)
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!
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. 😆 Comes in tons of colors too!
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.
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!)
Portable White Noise Machine:
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.
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!
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!
Like you would with bottles and packs, 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.
I hope this helps all my expecting moms out there make their registry process a little easier!
Huge thanks to buybuy BABY for sponsoring this post, and thank you for supporting my amazing brand partners!