When I was pregnant with Adeline, I made sure to do lots of research on what I thought we’d need once she arrived. I also got input from a lot of mom friends to see what they suggested. We were abundantly blessed by all of our friends and family at our baby showers, but once they were all said and done, it was the gifts I didn’t necessarily register for, or think of on my own, that have ended up being some of our favorite things. I’m so thankful for these thoughtful gifts and ideas because without them I’m not sure we’d have survived! I wanted to put together a list of a few of the baby products we never knew we needed, as well as items we ended up purchasing last minute on a whim because someone told us, “you for SURE need that!” Several of these items ended up on our registries simply because of a friend’s recommendation and I’m so glad I listened! Hopefully this list helps a future mama out there too! Boy moms – most of these things have cute boy “versions” too, if you’re not needing pink.
*No affiliate links were used in this post, just my personal recommendations!
My Favorite Baby Products I Never Knew I Needed…And Why
My mom randomly picked up this little teething necklace for us on one of her visits early on, and sure enough it became Adeline’s absolute favorite small toy. It may seem simple, but it’s the perfect size for her hands to hold and wave around, and now that she’s beginning to really teeth she actually uses it for its intended purpose! For a long time she’d somehow get it worked up onto her shoulder and it would look like she was carrying a purse, so we’ve nicknamed this toy, “Adeline’s purse”, even though it’s definitely not a purse. Nuby also makes a cute version of this.
My mom also got us Adeline’s first Wubbanub, this one specifically, and oh my goodness does she LOVE it. The Avent Soothie Paci was the first type of paci we gave Adeline and now it’s her favorite thing ever. They’re supposed to be good early on if you’re breastfeeding as well – something about helping to make sure it doesn’t interfere with the baby’s latch. Anyways, we’ve stuck with it and never switched paci’s so needless to say her Wubbanubs go with us everywhere. I also strongly believe it helped her with hand coordination early on, since she quickly learned to pick it up, turn it around, and get the paci end into her mouth. *Once she actually starts getting teeth I’m hoping to get her switched to something like a MAM that’s more of an “orthodontic” paci.
A friend of mine at church raved about these with her babies, so I added them to my registry simply because she loved them so much. After doing my own research on the benefits of high contrast toys and newborns, I knew it was a good addition! Adeline loved staring at them when she would practice tummy time, and during our first couple road trips they were good to have in the backseat for her to look at. This one specifically unfolds and has tons of black and white pictures for baby to look at it. I’ve also got the baby animals black and white book – Adeline loves it as well!
During one of Adeline’s first weeks at daycare I saw another little baby wearing these bandana bibs, and I thought they were so cute! By that point Adeline was definitely a spitter and I was hating regular bibs because of how floppy and non absorbent they are. Amazon has 10 million different styles and brands, so I basically just picked the ones I liked best. These specifically are my favorite, but we also have these and they seem to be a bit smaller, maybe for a smaller baby. Now that Adeline is almost 8 months, the latter are almost too small. She wears one of the above pictured ones to school almost everyday though. Bandana bibs make great baby shower gifts, and I’m pretty sure I’ll be gifting ALL my new mommy friends a pack of these.
My mother in law and sister in law got these for us for Christmas, and I wish ALL my burp cloths were this nice. We have a ton of burp cloths, but these stand out because they are so soft, and super absorbent.
I bought this (except ours is actually a soft brown color) randomly at TJ Maxx when I was pregnant and I’m so glad I did! It’s the softest thing in her entire nursery and it kind of melts my heart thinking about how sweet it is. Adeline isn’t quite old enough to actually use it and cuddle with it, but when she does she loves rubbing it up against her face and just holding it in her hands. It’s super soft, and I imagine it’s going to eventually turn into her “security blanket”, which I’m totally fine with because I think it’s adorable. There are tons of different types of loveys out there, but this one again, I found at TJ Maxx. This was the closest I could find to it – ours is brown but it looks almost exactly like this, with the exception of ours also has a little tie where you could attach a paci.
This obviously isn’t ours, I found this on Google to use as an example, but it looks to be the same soft fabric and style. A sweet church friend (who owns the shop I linked to!) gave Adeline a monogrammed pink burp cloth, with her initials embroidered in blue, and it’s one of our most used burp cloths, along with the Burt’s Bees ones I mentioned earlier. We also received a monogrammed bib, and I just love it! There’s something extra sweet about seeing your baby’s initials on things, and even though they’re for cleaning up nasty spit up, it makes it just a little bit not so nasty. If you’ve got a shower coming up, don’t be afraid to ask for monogrammed or embroidered gifts! I wish I’d asked for more. Side note – if you’re traveling, staying with other kids, or using it at daycare for some reason, having their names or initials monogrammed on there helps make sure they don’t get mixed up!
I wish we’d registered for these, but I didn’t think we’d need them so soon! If you think about it, go ahead and just add these to your registry. I promise you’ll use them! Adeline LOVES her set of keys, and she started playing with them probably around…4 months? Maybe 3.5 months?
My sister in law had the boy version, and I remember my nephew loving it! A few weeks ago we picked this up for Adeline and she has been lovvvvvving it. I wish I’d thought to just register for it because I think she would have loved playing with it a lot sooner. It’s got 3 different levels, and it sings songs, names body parts (like foot, arm, ear, heart), and asks questions.
This is another thing we bought after Adeline arrived that I should have just registered for. I use this ALL THE TIME. Like, all the time. Maybe it’s a first time mom thing and maybe I won’t care with the next, but it grosses me out to lay her on public changing tables. And, when we change her in the car, it’s nice to have something to lay on the seat first in case she pees everywhere. (Because yes, girls pee everywhere too, much to be surprise!) Plus when we’re traveling, this serves as our changing table. I love this one because it’s big enough to store diapers and wipes in it, and folds up nice and easy for when you’ve only got one hand.
This is one of those things I’d seen around, like on blogs or at church, and one of my sister in laws had one so when I found a promo code to basically get one for free, I jumped on it. We ended up using it pretty much every single time we took Adeline out of the house for the first few months. It was so nice if she was sleeping to be able to cover her and keep her from waking up! And, when we were out in public in those early weeks, it kept nosey strangers from getting down in her face and breathing all over her.
Again, this was a recommendation from my SIL. (I know I keep mentioning my SILs, but I have three and they all have kids, so they come with lots of knowledge!) Adeline loved this whenever she was super super fussy and we couldn’t calm her down on our own, or if we honestly just needed to lay her in her crib and walk away for a few minutes. It never really put her to sleep, as much as it calmed her down and just helped her relax. It would definitely be worth buying though.
So, in the early days they tell you to take a baby’s temperature rectally in order for it to be the most accurate. So, we did, and it was as traumatic as it sounds. But, once she got big enough for her temp to be taken under her arm, we switched to this thermometer. I love it because it’s color coded! Once the reading is done, it beeps and then lights up in either red, yellow, or green, indicating basically no fever/normal, low grade fever/maybe kind of the start of a fever, and whoa nelly definitely fever. I’ve always felt like digital thermometers are hard to rely on because I always seem to get a different reading each time, but this one we’ve really liked and trusted so far!
Cutting a baby’s nails was something I NEVER thought about. It didn’t even cross my mind that it would need to even happen until I realized she was scratching herself and I looked at her nails only to realize they were a mile long! Thankfully one of the first aid kids we were given had nail clippers in it otherwise I may not have thought to have registered for any! Clipping her teeny tiny nails is still terrifying, but it’s a must!
I’d never even heard of this until a friend at church suggested it while I was registering. It’s worth every single penny. Promise. Adeline napped in this for weeks and weeks and weeks. She even slept on it a few times when she wouldn’t sleep anywhere else, oops! (You’re apparently not supposed to let them sleep sleep on it, but I promise I was being safe. When you’ll do anything to get them to sleep, sometimes you let them sleep on the newborn lounger for two hours in the middle of the night!)
For the love of every baby in this world, register for gas drops! I had NO IDEA that gas was a “thing” in babies. NO IDEA. Why did no one tell me this??? Thank goodness a friend of mine thought to gift me a box at one of my showers otherwise we may have never discovered them! We LIVED off these drops for months and Adeline really, really benefited from them. Gas drops plus gripe water were a regular occurrence over here.
So, we received and registered for, a lot of baby blankets. But, this Pottery Barn blanket that we were gifted with Adeline’s name and birthday monogrammed on it, is hands down my favorite!!! It is so soft, great quality, and I would 100% tell future mamas to buy one!
We registered for and received a full size Cloud B Sleep Sheep, which we loved and still love, but this smaller version is a little easier to attach to the car seat. I’m pretty sure Adeline was crying one day in Target so I picked this up real quick and she stopped once it started playing music. We also found it helpful for when we were putting her IN the carseat and she was getting upset, it helped to have the sweet lullaby music playing to calm her down.
I wish I’d bought stock in these zip up jammies from Old Navy. Seriously. I didn’t discover them until Adeline was wearing 3-6 month sleepers, but as soon as I did I wished I’d found them sooner. Ya’ll, they are WAY better than Carter’s jammies/sleepers. Promise. They’re softer, lighter, and have the hand covers for when baby is still really restless and scratches themselves. I feel like they’re sized a little more accurately than Carter’s too – meaning I’ve always thought Carter’s stuff runs REALLY small. I still dress Adeline in these at night when I have a pair clean. LOVE LOVE LOVE them. Love X’s 1,000,000. (Side note – whoever thought to make FREAKING BUTTON UP jammies, was obviously a dude. Buttons absolutely suck when you’re half asleep and trying to change a diaper at 3 am!)
Buy one of these. For. Real. I almost never even put it on her mattress because I thought it might be overkill. BUT, a few weeks ago when she threw up in her crib in the middle of the night, I’ve never been so thankful for listening to my mom as I was in that very moment. Even if their crib mattress is “waterproof”, you still want to have an extra layer of protection under the sheet.
This was again something I’d never heard of until two of my SILs and my MIL recommended it. I ended up borrowing it from a SIL and loved it. I didn’t use it religiously by any means, but in the early days of nursing it’s definitely 10 billion times more useful than the Boppy pillow. I felt like my Boppy pillow was stiff and just got in the way and eventually would just make me mad enough to throw it across the room and use a regular pillow instead. But, the Brest Friend I loved because you can strap it around your waist and you can basically nurse the baby without having to hold or support the baby at all. It keeps baby in the perfect nursing position. And that my friends, is a HUGE deal when your nipples feel like shards of glass if they don’t latch on properly!
We got this for Christmas, or one similar, and I’m so glad we did! We have hardwood floors in our living room so having this extra padding for Adeline to roll around on now that she’s “playing” more has been SO nice. This would also be something I should have just registered for.
This is one of those things that my mom suggested we get but I swore up and down we didn’t need. I was wrong, she was right, and we use it every day. It’s fantastic. It sterilizes your bottles in TWO MINUTES. Literally the best invention ever, especially if you’re constantly washing bottles and pump parts like I am but don’t have time to run your dishwasher all the time.
Again, this was a SIL recommendation. We haven’t used it that much yet, but I’m hoping it’s as much of a miracle worker as everyone says it is.
I have two of these and Adeline loves them!! I remember seeing these in a cute little children’s store here in town and thinking I should probably get one. I don’t actually wear them, mainly because she pulls them too hard and they get stuck in my hair, but I just let her hold and chew on them when I can watch her, or during church to help keep her quiet. They are definitely a hit, and she drools alllllll over them.
Add this to the list of things I never thought about either. We were gifted an adorable pair of Carter’s baby sunglasses and I’m so glad we were! I had never even thought to register for or buy a pair for Adeline. She loved wearing them at first, but now that she’s learned how to take them off, they don’t stay on for very long. BUT, before she figured that out, it was nice to have her eyes protected when we’d go on stroller walks.
This is also something I didn’t actually register for but was gifted. Love it simply because food and gunk easily wipes off and it doesn’t stain! I never thought they were the cutest bibs so I honestly didn’t think to really ask for one, but I’m so glad we were given one because we use it all the time now!
I think that pretty much covers it! I could go on and on about other items we use on a regular basis, but these are a few of the things I didn’t think would be so helpful! It’s funny how different I’d make my registry if I knew then what I know now.
Happy almost weekend everyone!! I am bursting at the seams to get outside and walk/run with Adeline except for the fact that it’s approximately 958374 degrees here, aka hotter than the surface of the sun. Maybe one evening this weekend we’ll get out. I’m craving exercise like crazy!!
What would you add to the list? What’s something you were gifted that you ended up loving? What’s something you never thought to register for?