TLDR: You may think you have everything on your baby registry you need, but moms often forget to add products for themselves. This list comprises all the things that take care of moms too, including cozy comforts and services to help your mental health.
Bottles, crib sheets, burp clothes, onesies, a stroller, a baby first aid kit–these are baby basics that everyone should have on their registries. While you probably have all the baby stuff covered—you’ve talked to the pediatrician and you’ve consulted with all your mom friends—you may have forgotten something major: you. What do you need as a new mom to feel like you’re succeeding? To feel like yourself? To take care of your body, mind, and precious time?
We’ve been there, researching “What do I need on my baby registry” and reading every listicle and checklist out there. But there’s something about going through the process yourself that uncovers gaps in your registry, mostly for your own self-care and sanity. So, I asked all the moms and doulas here at Expectful what they wish they had put on their own registries—you know, the thing that we ended up ordering for ourselves at 2 a.m. after a big feeding—and have compiled all the moms must-haves you need to add to your baby registry.
You’ll notice as you read through the list that there are a few items that our staff doubled up on. It just goes to show you how important they are to the postpartum/motherhood experience!
Here are the items our team wishes they put on their baby registry, in their own words:
Baby Registry Products and Gift Cards For Moms
Sitz Bath2 : I can’t tell you how many times I’ve stopped by the pharmacy to pick up a sitz bath for a client after their birth. They are so helpful for soothing hemorrhoids, healing tears, or just giving bits some TLC after birth. It’s not glamorous, but it works wonders. — Michelle Berninger
Eye Mask5 : Sleep when the baby sleeps they said… Well, most newborns lean towards the nocturnal side, so daytime naps are essential to cutting through the fog of those early postpartum days (and weeks). Register for an eye mask so you can block out the light and catch some zzzs any time of day with your mask on. — MB
Nipple Care6 : If you’re going to breastfeed, your nipples will need some lovin’. Lanolin, healing balm, silverettes…All of these products are AMAZING at helping to heal nipple damage but the real key to pain-free nursing is a good latch. — MB
Botanical Garden or Park Membership: When you have a newborn, and beyond that, you take walks. So many walks. It’s a great way for your baby to see the outdoors, work on seeing things far away, get some fresh air, and even soothe them to sleep. And for us mamas, it’s a great way to get your body moving toward recovery. But as the days blazed on, I started to get tired of our same route. I would have loved to visit the nearby botanical gardens every few days to mix up our walking routine. — Virginia Furnari
Facial: A gift card to a local spa is every new mom’s dream. What I would have given to escape away to the spa, smell those herbal fragrances, and have someone pamper me for a couple of hours. I’m getting lost in the thought now… — VF
House Cleaning Services: You’ll be shocked at how much equipment dishes and tools you use with a little one—it’s really hard to keep it all clean and tidy on top of caring for your baby. Something I wish I had registered for: someone to help clean my house. — NW
Local Spa Gift Card: Treat. Yo. Self. Is anything more satisfying than a fresh mani-pedi? — MB
Daily Harvest Gift Card7 : With a toddler at home, another on the way, and a husband with no paternity leave, I’m also asking for meal delivery gift cards from some of our healthier go-to restaurants. A delivery service I love is Daily Harvest—it’s part smoothie, part meal, part dessert, and fully delicious. — Emily Watson
Hair Salon or Spa Gift Card: Plan this ahead of time by adding it to your registry. Whether your hair starts to fall out a bit during the postpartum period (like so many other women) or you just need to take a nap in a pedicure chair, you deserve this self-care moment. — EB
Date Night Gift Card: Pick your favorite local restaurant and add it to your registry. I’d be willing to bet that it’s the first thing to be purchased off your registry! I wish I had it on mine! — EB
Help IOUs: This is a throwback to when you would gift your parent a homemade coupon for “one free hug” or “one free kitchen cleaning,” except this time, you’re the one getting to cash in. For my first pregnancy, I had a really hard time asking for help and giving clear directions. I had no idea what I needed. This time around, I’ve already asked my mom, sisters, and in-laws to come for a few days each around the 4-8 week post-birth mark when sleep deprivation starts to really take its toll so they can help around the house, hold the baby while I sleep, or run to the grocery when the last thing I want to do is move. — EW
Expert Services For Moms
Consultations with an expert are like getting a gift card for knowledge. And if you register for a virtual appointment, you don’t ever have to get out of your stretchy pants and slippers.
Lactation Consultation: I would first recommend a Lactation Consultation. It goes without saying that the transition from pregnancy to motherhood is a big one, but maybe something that goes more unsaid: breastfeeding can be really hard. It’s not so easy for everyone. That’s why I would hands down recommend registering with a trusted Lactation Consultant because even if you aren’t having a problem, there are still so many things they can teach you: how to correctly use your pump and store your breastmilk, how to increase your supply, and even how to wean when you’re ready to stop breastfeeding. — NW
I spent way too many hours googling and texting friends in the middle of the night about nursing. The help I got in the hospital wasn’t nearly enough—my milk was only just coming in when I left to go home—and I should’ve gone straight to the experts from the beginning. This pregnancy I’ve got lactation support on my baby sprinkle list! — EW
Connect with a Lactation Consultant before the baby arrives to get the real low down on how to get started on the right foot. Plus, you’ll know who to reach out after birth if your baby throws a feeding curveball at you. — MB
Infant Sleep Consultation: Similar to lactation, you don’t need to necessarily have a baby who has a problem with sleep in order to use these services. There are so many routines, regressions, and tips to know about when going through each stage of development with a baby, so it doesn’t hurt. And then if you do have a sleep problem, you have an expert on speed dial. — NW
Nutrition Consultation: Skip registering for lactation tea, and add a nutrition consultation to the list. They can help you better understand exactly what you need to sustain your milk supply, combat fatigue, and support your healing body. Another idea? Start a meal train, register for a meal prep or delivery service, or get gift cards for grocery delivery and take-out to keep your belly full and your head clear. — MB
Baby Registry Products For Baby
Nanit Baby Monitor11 : Talk about peace of mind! This baby monitor is sleek, easy to use, trustworthy, and monitors all the things we care about breathing, sleeping, and cuteness (hi, baby video!). It left me so at ease that I was able to actually get some shut-eye when my baby did. — NW
Bonus Tip: Try to resist adding so many diapers. I picked a brand that didn’t work for us and then I was stuck with many that I couldn’t return because I had thrown away the boxes/receipts.
Being a new mom can have its ups and downs, but there is a community out there ready to help with advice and care and to ensure you are not alone. Take the time when crafting your baby registry to include yourself, because giving your mind and body the gift of peace and nourishment will better allow for a deeper relationship with your baby.