Top 5 Baby Registry Essentials: Budget & Pricey Options

Champagne Taste and Beer Can Budget: Savannah Walsh’s Top 5 Baby Essentials, Savannah Walsh and her family in a field.

Savannah Walsh shares her personal baby registry "must-have" list, along with options for each, whether you're up for a splurge or want to save.

Blogger (and brand-new mom of five!) Savannah Walsh is That Caffeinated Mom. Here she shares her essential baby items and her thoughts on where to spend and where to save when you pick products for your baby. She’s also giving us a peek at her full MyRegistry.com baby registry so you can get a few ideas for your own gift list.

Throughout my years in the baby world I have gone through a lot (and I mean A LOT) of baby stuff. When I first had Sky, I was overwhelmed by the amount of baby stuff there was. Everyone had a different favorite baby item that I just HAD to have. The books told me I HAD to have a this and a that and a this-that. The options are never-ending, and let me tell you, I have tried just about every single one of them.

Some people may say I have expensive taste… okay fine, everyone says that. But over the years, I have come to realize that in the baby market it's not always the “nicest” item that is what you truly need… and yet sometimes it's EXACTLY what you need. So, let’s dive into this a bit deeper. Which baby items do you need to drop the dollars on, and which can you save a few?

Here is the “Savannah Walsh's Top 5 Baby Essentials: Budget & Pricey Options,” giving you guys my personal baby essential product list and setting the record straight on where to spend and where to save!

PLUS get FULL access to all of my favorite baby products on my personal gift registry by MyRegistry.com, where you can create your own baby registry for FREE (ummm, HELLO SAVINGS) and you can add items from ANY online retailer. That’s right, you guys! No more registering at 10 different stores, and no more sacrificing on what you want! Now you can do it all, in one convenient place, in a few simple steps.

Baby Swing

Okay, full disclosure… not all babies like the swing, it’s true. However, I still feel it is among the most important “big ticket” baby items. You will always need a safe place to put baby down, and it is a major bonus if it will also help soothe baby. Out of my four kids, I had one that LIVED in the swing, two that liked the swing most of the time, and one that would last 5–10 minutes tops. If your baby is one of the ones that loves the swing, praise be, because it’s a lifesaver. And if not, you have a safe and convenient place to quickly place baby when you need a pee break.

Pricey Option

The MamaRoo Classic Infant Seat is a compact, beautiful, modern swing that mimics the movement baby experienced while in the womb. The MamaRoo certainly comes with all the bells and whistles, with both a sitting-up and reclined seating option, four different built-in sound options, and a MP3 player input along with bluetooth connection so you can control the five different swing and sway options and five different speeds directly from your phone.

Budget Option

The Fisher Price Cradle’n Swing is a classic-style baby swing that has pretty much maintained the same design for the last 15 years. It has six speeds and two swinging motions—back and forth and side to side. The swing itself is pretty basic and isn’t flashy.

Essential Swing

Fisher Price Cradle’n Swing! I love our MamaRoo for its compactness and aesthetic appeal, but it doesn't swing nearly fast enough or with enough pull to put an uneasy baby to sleep. It doesn't have a back-and-forth swinging option either, which I find to be really disappointing. The Fisher Price Cradle’n Swing may not be fancy, but it does exactly what it’s intended to do with its multiple speed options and two great swing motions. In my book, it still holds the “most worthwhile purchase” award.

Bassinet

It always surprises me how many people ask me, “Do I actually need a bassinet, or can I just go straight to a crib?” Yes, you 100% need a bassinet. Not only for the Health Canada Safe Sleep practice, but also out of convenience. New babies don’t sleep well in large open spaces (remember, their first home was the womb!), and they are much more likely to have a successful sleep in a bassinet than a crib for the first few months. You are also going to be getting up so often during the night for feeds or to simply soothe your babe. It's way more convenient to have baby right beside your bed, and this way baby can still smell and hear you, complying with both of the Health Canada recommendations and simply reassuring babe.

Pricey Option

The Halo BassiNest is the only bassinet on the market designed to rest directly on the edge of your bed with a full 360-degree swivel, giving you and baby the opportunity to feel like baby is sleeping right with you while still being safely in their own bed. The BassiNest has a one-of-a-kind “lowering bedside wall” for incredibly easy and convenient access to baby. The premier edition includes a soothing centre completed with a night light, four soothing sounds, and two different vibrations, helping ease baby to sleep.

Budget Option

The Bily Rocking Bassinet is a classic bassinet that hasn’t changed much since the ’90s. It comes with a classic canopy with two dangling toys and a large basket underneath for easy and convenient storage. The battery attachment does come with soft music and vibration to help soothe baby to sleep. The Bily Rocking Bassinet is on wheels for easy and convenient moving.

Essential Bassinet

Halo BassiNest Swivel Sleeper! This is one product that I fully found worth the price. It truthfully makes nights easier, in my opinion, with both the swivel and the mesh sides to easily see baby. I would absolutely recommend purchasing one of these to help make your postpartum experience easier!

High Chair

Everyone needs a high chair for those first food experiences with your baby, but do you need one right away? In my opinion, no, not at all. There are high chairs with newborn options available, so you technically could use them right away, but to me they are just a big waste of space until you really need them. I personally don’t pull one out until we are thinking about starting solids (minimum 6 months), however other people love having it as an extra seating option with the newborn options, which means it really is personal preference.

Pricey Option

Like everything else designed by 4moms, this high chair has all the bells and whistles while still looking chic and modern. With its magnetic tray that allows one-handed removal, to the fully magnetic tray top, stopping cutlery from being thrown, the 4moms High Chair is definitely all about convenience. It’s sleek looking and compact and is a nice addition to every dining room.

Budget Option

The ANTILOP High Chair is an incredibly simple plastic highchair that is exactly that, simple. It's incredibly compact, with a removable tray, and can be easily taken apart, making it perfectly transportable.

Essential High Chair

IKEA ANTILOP High Chair! Now, don’t get me wrong, I really love my 4moms High Chair, and I am glad I have it, but do I think it was an essential purchase? Not at all. Truthfully, we had the ANTILOP High Chair previously, and it was more than acceptable. Plus, you can’t beat the price point!

Baby “Lounger Pillows”

Baby lounger pillows have become really popular over the last two–three years. With my first two babies, I feel like we all just used our nursing pillows propped up with regular pillows to attempt to make a newborn “lounger,” but by our third, I definitely started noticing the trend of the lounger pillows. By our fourth, I was desperately in search of one. Disappointed to discover that you cannot get a Dockatot anywhere in Canada due to liability concerns, I started doing lots of research on the most popular alternative baby loungers.

Pricey Option

The one-of-a-kind Snuggle Me Organic is a sensory lounger that is designed to help calm baby by “pulling them in for a hug.” The hugging sensation is known to comfort baby and remind them of being held. The Snuggle Me comes in a variety of custom-dyed colours in their new “bare” option, which allows you to use the Snuggle Me without a cover if you choose. Otherwise, there is a huge selection of colours in a variety of materials. Snuggle Me also comes in a toddler-sized option and has accessories like “puddle pads” and carrying bags to help maximize the use of your Snuggle Me.

*Please note: All infant loungers should be used with supervision only. Please practice safe-sleeping protocols.*

Budget Option

The Boppy is a basic newborn lounger pillow that is designed to comfort baby while partially propping them up. It has a carrying handle directly on the back of it, making it easy to transport, and has a wipe-clean design, so no covers are needed.

Essential Baby Lounger

Snuggle Me Organic! I was truthfully shocked by how quickly I fell in love with the Snuggle Me when I got it. It really helped my baby feel she was still being held when I would place her in it, giving me some amazing supervised naps. The Snuggle Me also has numerous uses between a newborn lounger, tummy time pillow, floor pillow, etc. I highly recommend a Snuggle Me Organic lounger to any and every new parent!

Carriers

Not everyone is a babywearing person. I’m personally a bit of an in-betweener. I wear my babies often when they are newbies, but after the first few months it starts becoming less and less frequent. However, I do think that everyone should find the right carrier for them! There is always a time and a place for a carrier. Whether it be a fussy baby that needs to be worn around the house so you can finally get dinner started or a crowded public place that you can’t bring a stroller to, I think everyone will benefit from having a carrier that they like and find comfortable. Now, for carriers my criteria is a bit different than the rest of the list. Carriers are such a personal comfort choice that I don’t think it’s as simple as what I personally think is the best option. So instead here are my two personal favorite baby carriers in two very different price zones!

 

The Ergobaby 360 is an incredibly diverse carrier with lots of different customization options. It has four different carrying positions, crossing-optional shoulder straps, and allows you to carry baby both toward you and outer facing. The Cool Air Mesh addition is made from a breathable “3D air mesh panel” to keep both baby and mom cool in the heat. The Ergobaby 360 is also one of the few carriers on the market that doesn't require any form of newborn insert, so you can have your baby directly in the carrier from birth right up to 45 pounds, making it one of the longest-wearing options on the market.

 

The Beluga Baby Wrap may just look like a simple piece of fabric tied, but I can assure you it’s so much more than that. The Beluga Baby Wrap is made from sustainable bamboo fabric with a one-of-a-kind four-way stretch. The wrap stretches around your baby, making them feel safe and secure, while allowing your hands to be totally free. The Beluga Baby wrap can be worn from birth to 25 pounds.

See Savannah’s entire MyRegistry.com list of must-have baby items here.

To see more of Savannah on her own website, head to That Caffeinated Mom.

About the Writer
Canadian blogger Savannah Walsh is the mom of five little ones and the face behind That Caffeinated Mom, where she talks pregnancy, birth, postpartum struggles, and everyday mom life in her own relatable and very candid storytelling style. Savannah has created a space for moms from all walks of life to connect over motherhood by telling the real-life story of a regular mom, including the tough parts of motherhood we sometimes shy away from. When Savannah had her first baby, she knew very little about the mom world and quickly felt overwhelmed by the number of options available to her, from baby brands to parenting advice. Over the years, she’s tried just about every baby and kid product there is, along with developing her own parenting style and devising ways to stay sane while balancing a busy household. Savannah joins us every month on MyRegistry to share her stories, mom tips, and favorite baby products.


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