1. A Baby Carrier:
Go to a boutique baby store and look at baby carriers outside of their package. Try them on, and see which one you and your significant other feel the most comfortable wearing. Buying an Ergo is a popular choice - and there is even a waist expansion belt that will allow you to try it on while pregnant.
2. Car Seat and Travel System:
Having a car seat that can snap into your stroller is a huge convenience when your baby is small. Having a car seat installed in your vehicle is mandatory to bring your baby home from the hospital. Even if you are wary of placing such a pricey item on your registry, it's good to remember that people may want to go in on gifts as a group, and having something in this price range is a great option. This Britax Travel System is a great price, and includes a stroller that the car seat fits into. You may find yourself upgrading to a different type of stroller down the road, but having an all-purpose stroller that doesn't break the bank is a great way to save money immediately. (Especially with your first child, if you can foresee having to purchase a double stroller in the near future.)
3. Breast Pump:
If you are planning to breastfeed, spending the money on a good pump is essential, especially if you are planning on returning to work and pumping regularly. Having a double electric is convenient, and takes less time to express milk. The positive thing about a brand like Medela is that most hospitals have accessories that are compatible. If you need to pump while you are in the hospital, they will supply the hospital grade pump, however, you get to keep the accessories (since they obviously cannot re-use them for sterility purposes) so having those extra tubes, connectors and shields could really come in handy down the road.
You're going to need lots of diapers. If you're looking to cloth diaper your little one, register for the brand that you want, plus the accessories such as wetbags, sprayers, etc. If you're a disposable kind of family, put various sizes (not just newborn) on your registry.
5. High chair:
When you are in the market for a high chair, think of practicality. While the one in the store may look soft, and cozy, are you really going to want to wash the cover all the time when your baby (inevitably) spills on it? Having a highchair that is easy to clean is essential. Two popular brands that are innovative with easy clean highchairs are the Baby Home Eat high chair and the Boon Flair brand.
6. Swaddle Blankets:
Swaddle blankets are lightweight blankets, typically made of a soft and natural material called muslin. The great thing about swaddle blankets is that they are much bigger compared to typical baby blankets. A normal sized swaddle blanket is 47"x47" square, allowing for the baby to be wrapped tightly, without the blanket having a corner that will slip out. The brand adan+anais is a popular choice, and can be purchased in many larger retail stores, such as Target. Also, since they are such light fabric, they can also be used for other things such as a quick nursing cover, or a car seat cover.
Sometimes, you're going to have to put your baby down to do things. Swings are wonderful, and allow your little one to feel comforted and entertained while you regain the ability to use your hands. You may find that your baby has a directional preference, so having a swing like this Fisher Price one that will rock side to side, as well as front to back, may come in handy down the road.
Did we leave anything out?
Tell us in the comment section what your favorite item was that you registered for.