The Top 10 Products I Wish I Registered For as a First-Time Mom
When you’re expecting your first baby, your world instantly changes. You’re scouring sections of your home to improve, organize, and clean. You’re considering how to implement healthier lifestyle options, like swapping out plastic Tupperware for glass or switching your laundry detergent to something cleaner. There’s an immense amount of responsibility when our bodies no longer become just ours, and while it’s a beautiful transformation we’re experiencing, it’s also overwhelming. As first-time parents, we simply don’t know what we don’t know.
Since I was the first among my friend group to have a baby, my resources for help were limited. Instead of asking my community questions about baby products, I asked Google. While some articles were helpful, it was mostly information overload. It was difficult deciphering what a must-have baby product vs. a nice-to-have baby product was. I felt like everyone and everything was trying to sell me something, and honestly, it worked.
Looking back, we ended up with products on our baby registry that we never used, donated, or painfully tried to return without a gift receipt. And at 3 am, I found myself frantically purchasing products on Amazon that promised: “this product” was the holy grail for sleep-deprived parents. Let me be the first to tell you— do not fall for it and hide your credit card.
My experience building my baby registry for my first born daughter Amelia was one of the reasons I founded Poppylist. Despite hours and hours of research, I still managed to end up with things I did not need. The entire experience was complicated, overwhelming, and time-consuming. How did a simpler way not exist? I became determined to help parents build a better baby registry that works for their entire family.
Now, as a mom of two, with 2x the baby registry experience and having a career that affords me the opportunity to speak with hundreds of parents about baby products, this is my gift to you.
Here are the top 10 things I wish I would have registered for as a first-time mom and why:
1. A Smart Crib
We decided to purchase The Cradlewise for my second daughter, Zoey. Since she was 13 weeks old (now five months old), she's been averaging 6.5 hours of sleep (now closer to 9). She is soothed and bounced back to a deeper sleep when she begins to stir, and the smart detection has helped our entire family get precious hours of continuous sleep. Another smart crib option is The SNOO, which also has a rental option. Do I feel bad that a device is helping me get my baby back to sleep? No. I'm a better mom when I’ve slept, and the smart crib is basically a cheaper version of a night nurse. Trust me, add it to your registry!
2. Air Pods (or wireless headphones)
You’ll have a sleeping baby in your arms on and off for months. I use my AirPods daily to listen to podcasts and audiobooks, scroll TikTok when I need a good laugh, etc. The airpods allow you to watch or listen to something without disturbing your little one. Wireless is key, too. The cord will be one less thing they can grab when they start reaching for things. Just make sure your AirPods are in a safe space away from your baby when they’re not being used.
3. Cordless Vacuum
Hear me out. When you become a mom, simplicity, ease, and convenience will rule all. And when your home needs a little tidying, a lightweight cordless vacuum will actually be the holy grail of cleaning products. We’ve had this Shark for three years now, and it’s stood up to toddler finger food, postpartum hair loss, socks filled with dirt that get dumped out on the carpet, and everything in between. This vacuum will buy you time and clean floors. A baby registry must-have.
REBELSTORK is the first North American Baby Gear Marketplace created for a new generation of socially and fiscally responsible parents. If you’ve taken the Poppylist quiz, this is a registry item our Environmentalist Parents love! REBELSTORK drops top deals on open box, overstock, and used baby gear daily. New parents can use this gift card to purchase any remaining item on their baby registry. Like I mentioned earlier, at some point, you’ll identify something new you didn't know you needed once your baby arrives, and this gift card will help ensure you can purchase exactly what you need at a fraction of the cost. For example, a swaddle without velcro or a jogging stroller you didn’t want to store for 6 months. Trust me, this is the gift card you want on your registry when you’re thinking about making one of those 3 am Amazon purchases!
5. Robe & Slippers
You’re about to become a mom, and you deserve something truly splurge-worthy. You will be inside the home recovering after the baby, your body will be changing, and clothing is basically optional for the next several months, so you need the perfect robe and slippers. Consider adding the HATCH-to-Hospital Kit to your baby registry. It’s filled with little maternity luxuries, including a nightgown, robe, and undies—all made of organic bamboo —and socks made in Italy. Another great option is this robe from Barefoot Dreams. Pro tip: make sure the robe has pockets!
6. Telehealth for Maternal Care Services
By adding a Ruth Health gift card to your baby registry, you’ll have on-demand personalized care when you need it most. Depending on your situation, you’ll be able to redeem your gift card for one (or multiple) services: lactation consultation, c-section recovery, or pelvic-floor training and recovery. It’s hard to predict what type of help you’ll need, but Ruth Health is the leading telehealth clinic and care hub for pregnancy and women’s health. For example, I had to leave my home four times when I had Amelia due to her shallow latch, but I would have much preferred a virtual visit in the comfort of my own home (and robe!) vs. leaving the house. You’ll be so relieved to know help is available as soon as you need it.
7. Food Delivery Service:
When you’re caring for a newborn, it’s hard to prioritize the care for yourself, especially when it comes to your nutrition and food. Meals should not be a burden, and it’s one of the reasons you need to add food options to your baby registry. This shouldn’t replace a meal train (the less cooking you can do, the better). My favorite complete meal package is from Spoonful of Comfort. You can select one or many of their different meal options, like this New Parent Care Package. If you build your baby registry with Poppylist, you’ll be able to decide what gifts (like food) you want to be delivered and when— like a little stork dropping off dinner! Additional food delivery gift cards that can be added to your baby registry: GrubHub, Uber Eats, DoorDash and InstaCart.
You will need different gear at different times. Instead of piece mailing these big-ticket items together, register for one good quality travel system that includes a bassinet. My favourite is the UPPABaby V2. This travel system allows for multiple configurations, multiple kids, and provides everything you need for the first several years. The bassinet is perfect for naps on the go with your infant, and having the option to go on walks outside significantly improved my mental health and lowered my postpartum anxiety.
9. Multiple Massage Gift Cards
After both of my girls, I experienced residual swelling in my hands, legs, and abdomen. I worked with my OB-GYN and determined that a postpartum lymphatic drainage massage would be a great option to help reduce the swelling. In addition, I found these massages helped increase circulation and lowered my stress hormones, bringing both physical and emotional relief. I had my first 30-minute massage two weeks postpartum and continued them bi-weekly for two months. Work with your healthcare provider and register for the self-care massage that you need and deserve.
10. Baby Carrier
I cannot stress the freedom you’ll feel when you’re hands-free, even if you’re baby-wearing. And chances are if you’re baby-wearing, he or she is probably asleep— yay! The ErgoBaby Omni 360 is the one carrier that does it all and grows with baby from newborn to toddler (0-48 months; 7-45lbs). This carrier effortlessly allows you to do whatever you need. Make yourself a meal, walk to check the mail, do a light exercise, walk to get coffee, put away the dishes in the sink, etc. It’s gender neutral and built with breathable fabric to get you through all four seasons of the year.
As you build your baby registry, I hope it’ll reflect YOU, the parent, as much as it does your baby. People in your community will look for tangible ways to best support you as a new mom, and giving them the option to gift products and services to better aid in your fourth-trimester recovery and beyond will be one of the best gifts they can buy you.
Of course, there will still be the frantic 3 am Amazon purchase, but we hope this list of ten must-have baby registry items will set you up for success.
You’ve got this, mama.
About Sarah: Sarah Hollingsworth is the Founder & CEO of Poppylist. After a difficult return to the workforce from maternity leave, Sarah decided to step away from her career to focus on family, health, and to pursue a new entrepreneurial journey. In July of 2019, Sarah launched Poppylist— a simplified baby registry platform that helps parents be who they want to be, starting with the right products for their growing family. Sarah resides in Austin, Texas, with her husband, Scott, and two daughters, Amelia and Zoey.
Help fill out your registry on Rebelstork with our newborn shops.