the baby registry


hi friends!  since you were so unbelievably supportive in my two previous questions, I figured I’d bring up the subject of the baby registry and see what your thoughts are.

I hadn’t thought too much about the baby registry but since family have started asking where I’m registered and what they can buy us, I thought I’d get started.  I’m pretty picky when it comes to what we want for our little man.  I know we want to avoid plastic and unnecessarily large toys as much as possible and I’ve got pretty strong feelings about what he will be wearing, so I figured it’s a good time as any to start working on one.  and let me tell you… if you don’t already know, registering for a baby is hard!  unlike registering for wedding presents where we browsed sites with googly eyes and drooled over all the wonderful things we’d love to have in our kitchen or bedroom, I haven’t the first clue on what I really need for our little man.  naturally my registry quickly filled up with all sorts of cute things but aside from a few necessities I know we’ll need I’m stuck as to what else to register for.  we’ve already bought our crib, changing table / dresser, stroller and car seat so we’re pretty much set on most of the large things, but what else does that leave?  I can’t imagine putting breast pads or nipple cream on a registry so I think I know the basics on where to draw the “we buy vs. family buys” line, but tell me…  what are the absolute necessities that you’re registering for?  what can I live without? I’d love to hear your thoughts.


  1. 21


    Meg said:

    I’d suggest adding some everyday necessities like burp clothes, and swaddling blankets, it looks like you have the aiden and anais ones pictured up there and they are GREAT. Also you may want a bottle sterilizer for the microwave, depending on the brand of bottle you use. Bumbo chairs we use all the time, especially once they start gaining back strength, it’s a great alternative if they don’t like tummy time. A Nursing pillow and any mustela bath products, particularly their eczema/dry skin lotion, great for babies dry skin.
    Also, if you want one (some like them), a white noise machine. They also have that stuffed lamb that produces the sound of a heart beat along with other noises, which can be attached to a crib and I know many parents who have used it.
    An alternative gift is classes at a local nursing station (not necessarily on breastfeeding, they have all kinds from infant cpr to sleep strategies, etc.) They are usually $15-25 each.
    Those are the things we use most and I like to buy expecting friends! Hope it’s helpful!

    • 21


      alyson said:

      ooo… gift classes is a GREAT idea. thank you!

  2. 21


    JamieM said:

    Defintely a boppy!

  3. 21


    Gabrielle said:

    When it comes to baby showers I definitely go off the registry of the parents-to-be and typically don’t get something “practical”. I leave that to the people who are already parents and have good products to share. My sister (who has two kids) usually gets things that were useful to her as a new mom. I think that having a lot of “cute things” is a fair way to go and that way you leave the “practical things” to the people who either know you well or know about being a new parent well!

    • 21


      alyson said:

      not to sound completely ungrateful for your comment, but isn’t that what a registry is for? I get that people want to buy something “fun” for the parents-to-be but sometimes I feel like buying things that are not on the registry is a waste of money. don’t get me wrong, I always love cute little things and I’ve been known to do the same and bought something that I liked for the couple, but from experience, it takes a lot of work and time to come up with things to put on the registry that you actually need.

      I think the best thing is to spend the money on something practical, regardless of how much fun it lacks, then throw in something cute and inexpensive for fun.

      • 21


        alyson said:

        I hope that doesn’t sound rude!!! I just wanted to point that out too. :)

  4. 21


    jenw said:

    I know you’re not looking for bigger things (I wasn’t either) but I finally got my 4 month old a play mat and she loves it. A highchair is another thing you might want down the road.

    • 21


      alyson said:

      yes, I love the idea for a high chair. I just didn’t think about registering for things that we won’t need for 6 months or so.

      • 25


        Beth said:

        I’m due in 3 weeks or so, and a few moms I talked to recommended not getting a high chair. Since we have a small house with limited floor and closet space, we registered for a Bumpo and a clip-on chair instead. The Bumpo can be used when she’s really small and as a free-floating seat of sorts, and the clip-on chair can be used once she can sit up on her own, and we can fold it up and take it out to restaurants, too. Just some other options!

  5. 21


    Gabrielle said:

    Hmmm… I just reread what I wrote and I think it sounded that I typically do NOT use the registry. (By saying “go off the registry” I meant I USE the registry, not look for something else).

    What I mean is, if someone has a registry I use it but I also think it is inevitable that people like to get things that are not on the registry (as we learned for our recent wedding) and in the case of baby showers, I find that it is often other new parents who have useful products from their own experiences that they themselves didn’t register for, but would if they could do it all over.

    Does that make sense?

    • 21


      alyson said:

      oh that’s fine!! :) I guess I’m just a little overwhelmed and frustrated with the whole thing. it’s so time consuming that I’d HOPE my family uses it!! {hint hint!}

  6. 21


    Jen said:

    Receiving blankets. You can never have enough to swaddle with. And while dressing babies in cute outfits is great – it’s pretty impractical. So I would just register for as many cute sleeper/pj’s you can, because seriously, he will be living in them for the first months.

  7. 21


    Melissa said:

    I’m going to be a first time mom too, and I was feeling completely lost on what to register for. However, I found all the comments on this article incredibly helpful:

    I also stumbled across myregistry.com which allows you to register for gifts from multiple websites (including places/stores you wouldn’t be able to normally “make a registry” with… like etsy). I feel like this has helped me to register for things I actually want (instead of –for example –registering for cheap plastic toys because that’s all Babies R Us carries, or disposable diapers because they don’t carry cloth diaper options, etc).

    I hope that helps!

    • 21


      alyson said:

      yes! we used MyRegistry.com for our wedding and it was great!

  8. 21


    michella said:

    I’ve seen the bottles around before and loved them. I forgot who they are by though – do you remember? thanks!

  9. 21


    Hayley said:

    Hi there! A large, lightweight swaddling blanket, and several Velcro swaddlers [there are some nice organic ones], some sort of swing or baby bouncer chair [someplace to put the baby so you can go to the bathroom without them screaming], a baby carrier [try several different- some folks like the wrap style, and some folks like the vertical carrier style], and of course a car seat and stroller [buy ones that work together]. If you plan on breastfeeding don’t register for bottles or anything bottle related. Though you may want a breast pump and you definitely want [need!] nursing pads. Congrats!

  10. 21


    robin said:

    One thing I wish i had registered for was a convertible carseat. We didn’t need it until our son was about a year old but they are really expensive (the good ones, anyway) and I sort of kicked myself for not registering for it. We ended up buying the Maxi Cosi which has been great – he’s 3 now and still in it. If you are going the cloth diaper route, a registry for all the sizes you’ll need (newborn to toddler) is also a great idea since those really add up too! One last thing, an Ergo carrier!

  11. 21


    Sharlene said:

    Definitely a baby carrier. That’s a great idea :) I’d recommend an ergo. As much as they aren’t the cutest of all the slings, they are by far the comfiest! I’ve had a baby bjorn, sleepy wrap (just like a moby wrap), a hammock style carrier and a hotsling. The hotsling had so many styles to choose from and was good to chuck in the bag for quick shopping trips (so lightweight and folds small to fit in the bag), but wasn’t so comfortable for me or her as she got bigger. The sleepy wrap was awesome for winter and when she was little but after that I really didn’t use it.
    With the ergo I really didn’t feel like I was carrying any weight at all, even as she got bigger. And bub felt so secure in it, I wish I’d gotten it earlier.
    I registered for a lot of big things and a lot of friends gave me lots of small items that I found really helpful eg. baby feeding spoons, digital thermometer, bath toys & bath toy organizer (mesh bag), pawpaw ointment, teething toys, stroller toys (that hang off the stroller so they can’t throw them away!), stroller blankets etc
    You got quite a lot of good suggestions up top, and I’m sure many more to come :)

  12. 21


    Dana said:

    I second the ohdeedoh registry thread recommendation. A lot of our favorites are mentioned: aden and anais swaddling blankets, boon drying rack, sophi, summer infant velcro swaddlers. It sounds like you have all the big things, but registering for a carrier or two (we have the moby wrap and an ergo and use both constantly) and a bouncer might be good idea. A good breastpump is a must if you are planning on breastfeeding for the long-term and are returning to work. Someone mentioned not needing bottles if you are breastfeeding, but having your husband feed your little guy a bottle is a really nice way for some bonding time. (Dad can feel a little left out in the beginning when you are breastfeeding constantly.)

  13. 21


    Sally Mae said:

    Last summer I helped organize a baby shower for a close friend who was also trying to limit the number of unnecessary plastic things. Instead her and dad-to-be decided to only register for cloth diapers and liners. It was perfect and made gift giving really easy for all of the guests and it greatly helped the parents get established in their cloth diapering! Most sets were around $25.00 so it was totally affordable, practical, and of course, cute as ever!!!! I loved the idea and plan to do the same when I am pregnant….someday;)

  14. 21


    Sally Mae said:

    Sorry Alyson, I just realized you already posted about your cloth diapers, duh! Of course you did;)

  15. 21


    Shayna said:

    The ergo saved my life in the first few weeks when I was going crazy in the house all day. We took our babe out for hikes starting at week 1 and it’s the only place she’ll sleep during the day for longer than 15 minutes. You’ll need the infant insert to go with the Ergo in the beginning. I also like the Maya wrap for wearing around the house and quick trips out.

    Instead of the velcro swaddlers we love the “miracle blanket”. It doesn’t have any velcro (which our daughter easily busted out of in the first few weeks and can be scratchy) and we find it gives her a better swaddle.

    - breast pump (I love my Medela)
    - boon drying rack
    - vibrating chair
    - “my breast friend” totally lame name but way better than the boppy
    - oh, and zipper pyjamas! snaps are cuter but a major pain in the ass in the middle of the night. get at least 3-4.
    - pants with feet because socks always fall off

    And Dana is right on; my husband loves to feed our daughter and it’s super sweet to see them have that time to bond (and to give you an hour or two to take a break!).

  16. 22


    kristina said:

    ERGO, without a doubt. You will use it every single day. Get the infant insert too. And I would get a moby too because they’re so snuggly for newborns. You can wrap him onto your chest and put your sweatshirt or coat over both of you.

    Aden + Anais blankets, which you already know about.

    Sound machine (Graco sweet slumber is the one we have. still use it every night).

    Ooh, we LOVED our tub. Spa baby. It’s like a bucket. And Dashiell loved it for the first 6 months. Babies like to be submerged and warm! Not laying in 2 inches of water. The Puj Tub is super neat but I don’t think it lasts very long because it’s so small. When he’s a teeny guy, you can just bath him in the kitchen sink. :)

    And obviously you need BlaBlas.

    Footie pjs. Lots for the first few months. Because you have to wash them constantly and it’s pretty much all he’ll be wearing.

    If you’re going to cloth diaper, definitely register for diapers.

    If you’re really feeling practical, a breast pump. They’re expensive!

    And one tip – don’t register for bottles. We registered for the same ones you posted because they were glass, and I liked the way they looked, blah blah. Guess what? I had to try 7 different kinds before (at 6 months) I found one he would take. If you’re going to breastfeed, go with one made specifically for breastfed babies… which means the nipples are really soft and shaped a certain way. The lifefactory weego’s are most certainly not. I gave ours to my friend who exclusively bottle-fed. Some babies take whatever you give them, but I know soooo many women who struggled for months before they either found something that worked or just gave up entirely.


  17. 22


    mjb said:

    we love the puj tub! and we had people give us lots of hand-me-downs for things like the bumbo. but getting stuff for older ages is very helpful.

  18. 22


    martha said:

    I think the best thing is to start out with just the bare essentials and then see how it goes. Little babies don’t need much at first, and if you wait you won’t end up with a bunch of stuff you don’t need.
    I know that’s not very helpful in terms of what to tell people to get you though.
    My two favorite gifts were a gift certificate to a diaper service (we used cloth) and meals after the baby was born.

  19. 23


    Jenny said:

    We just registered a few weeks ago and it was pretty overwhelming! On the one hand I wanted to avoid a whole bunch of unnecessary stuff (especially big plastic nonsense), but I also wanted to register for plenty of stuff I liked so that people had choices and I could hopefully avoid receiving gifts that won’t be used or don’t fit with our lifestyle.

    Even though there might not be a Giggle store in your area, you should still check out the site (www.giggle.com) and the registry list. So many people shop online anyway and Giggle is very picky with what they sell. Instead of offering 40 types of every product, they pick two or three that are safe and well-made and sell those. You’re welcome to check out what we registered for (my name is in my email address, without the #1). Good luck!

  20. 23


    abby said:

    Hey Alyson-
    loving these question posts-such a great wealth of info here.
    Obviously, I haven’t had a baby yet-but one thing I remember my sister loving was a bunch of friends got them gift certificates to several of their fave take out restaurants. It was nice-her far away friends could feel like they were bringing meals to the new parents :)
    Maybe that’s a strange thing to register for-but I’d take that over a lot of things, hehe.

  21. 23


    Ashleigh said:

    Having just gone through this (Henry is almost 3 months old), I thought I’d share the things we love most:

    - Boppy x2 (one upstairs, one downstairs)
    - Boppy covers x3 (they have cute organic ones too)
    - Baby Bjorn Babysitter Balance ($$ but our baby loved it from the start)
    - The toy bar for the Balance chair
    - Activity Mat (I know, plastic yuck, but he really does like it)
    - BOOKS! (I made him bookplates and wrote who the book was from on each one)
    - Blabla and Cate & Levi dolls & animals
    - Puj tub (keeps his precious self safe in the sink – I’ll need a new tub in a couple months though, since he’ll outgrow this)
    - Moby wrap
    - Ergo with infant insert
    - Regular sling to wear around the house (I like Hotslings)
    - Stroller that the carseat can clip into
    - Swing
    - We love the Arm’s Reach Co-Sleeper (we’ll keep him there a couple more months, then transition to crib)
    - Bumbo
    - Aden & Anais blankets x8
    - Baby wash cloths (I like bamboo – I feel like regular washcloths are rough on newborn skin!)
    - All natural bath stuff (Weleda, Erba Baby, California Baby)
    - Baby massage oil (we like California Baby I Love You oil)
    - Breast pump (I have Medela Swing, and I guess it’s fine)
    - If you’re going to breast feed, skip bottles
    - Footie pjs x5
    - Little baby mitts (for those long fingernails that you’re afraid to cut but they just keep growing and you can’t keep up with filing and the baby is gouging at his eyes…)
    - If you’re committed to cloth diapers, you could register for things to go-with (wipes warmer, cloth wipes, overnight diapers like Rumparoos, other cloth diapers you may want to try (we love Fuzzi Bunz), Diaper spray (California Baby, Kissaluvs), Diaper bin, Pail liners, Charlie’s Soap

    Sorry this is so long!!! :)

  22. 23


    Allison said:

    Here’s my must haves:
    - Diswasher basket (for pacifiers, bottle parts, etc
    - pacifier clip/strap (also great for toys and teethers)
    - Butt Paste diaper cream
    - mesh lingerie bag (wonderful for wrangling baby socks and breast pads)
    - swing/chair for baby when you need to put him down

  23. 23


    Jo said:

    Have you been to Poshbaby? It is a fabulous Portland store. I have a 9 week old (Levi, like your man!) and would say the top things so far for us have been a little sleep bassinett by Summer for our room, the miracle swaddle, My brestfriend nursing pillow (especially if you have a C-section),G-diapers with both the cloth and disposable liners, tons of burp rags, the Combi vibrating chair.
    Oh, and a carrier (bijorn or Moby).
    And most importantly, if you are BFing, ask your doctor for a prescription for APNO cream – it will save you. You have to have it made at a compound pharmacy, so if you can get it before you go home I highly recommend it.
    Also our friends signed up using Mealbaby.com and brought us dinner every 2 or 3 days for the first 3 weeks, which was a life saver. Not only did we get food, we got to see our friends.

    Congrats! I met you at the Little Winter event (I was the HUGE preggo girl that kept knocking things over with her belly) :)

  24. 23


    rebecca said:

    time flies and i like the idea of getting some things for later on such as the bigger car seat – britax marathon or the like. in fact, our new guy used the “bucket” for a bit, but we quickly traded up to the rear-facing marathon because it was easier to get him in/out of and we never carried him around in the bucket anyway.

    moby for sure – already saw it on here a number of times.

    bumbo and boppy as others have mentioned.

    a good friend of mind had her registry on amazon and was able to list things from all kinds of places – even a mobile from my etsy shop. i thought the potential in and convenience to do something like that was really great.

    we didn’t have a registry for either of our babes, but for the first one we did have a shower where everyone brought a book for the baby to build his library – something that was important to us.

  25. 24


    Make sure you register for an infant carseat, and the next carseat up! Infant car seats allow you to take the baby into movie theatres, restaurants, etc. when they are very little. They only fit until 22 lbs or so, which can be less than a year in some cases!

    also, I thought that registering for a wipe warmer was totally frivolous, but my baby loves it. Cold wipes wake my baby up when I am hoping he will fall asleep, and not to mention it makes diaper changing time more enjoyable for him! Also, if your having a boy, the wipe warmer will stop him from peeing on you as much. He will still pee on you, but just a lot less!

  26. 25


    Mari said:

    There are lots of great suggestions above and I totally agree with most everything that people mention. Definitely register for things that he will need in 6 months to a year if you have the room to store them. A highchair that is easy to clean (i.e. not too many nooks and crannies since food goes everywhere), some toys like a playmat and bouncer for the doorway, and backpack baby carrier for hiking. Odds are you will get hand-me-down clothes that will work for the first 6 months so remember to register for clothes in the 12-24 month range. My boy is big and was wearing 12 month clothes by the time he was 6 or 9 months and now at 18 months he is 2T and 3T. (Oh along that same line, a good massage therapist has saved my back over the past year of hauling a big boy around.)

    As for the whole debate of registering for bottles or not I would say buy one or two and a small container of formula just in case. I was dead set against formula but I had a really hard time nursing and it was at a middle of the night feeding when my son was just not getting enough milk from me that I decided I needed to supplement with a little bit with formula. I was very glad that someone had given me some that I had put in the back of the cupboard assuming that I would never need it.

  27. 26


    Keren said:

    As the mother of 2 boys (4 and 6 months) who lives in a small apartment, I advocate that less is more. A lot of the very useful things people mentioned (bumbo, rockers, etc.) are things that baby outgrows quickly, and can be found practically new at a local baby consignment store for a fraction of the price.
    I would recommend the best stroller you can afford, one that will work with your car seat, but also if possible have a detachable bassinet, like this one: http://www.babyjogger.com/city_select_lp.aspx. You can use the bassinet as part of the stroller, but also as a place for your baby to nap in the house. And, as you’ll find, it’s great to be able to transfer a sleeping babe into the house with minimal interruptions. And if you’re planning on having more kids, it’s nice to have a stroller that can convert to a double down the road. Also think about where you live-do you have a place to store the stroller? Do you have to haul it up and down 2 flights of stairs multiple times a day?
    Depending on the size of your living space, a baby monitor. We have one with 2 receiving stations, and the chargers are swappable, so it’s easy to move the base station and receiver: http://www.angelcare-monitor.com/United-States/en/products/angelcare-monitor-AC2012P.
    The Ergo carrier, which many have already mentioned, is so incredibly useful and comfortable, and can also be used as a back carrier until your child is 40 lbs.
    For baby’s first few months, swaddlers! the aiden and anais ones are great on a warm summer day. A knit swaddler is great for chillier weather, like miracle blanket or these http://www.amazon.com/First-Years-Organic-Swaddler-2-Pack/dp/B001OB83GM/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1296058923&sr=8-1
    If you don’t have a stroller bassinet for the baby to sleep in, a moses basket is a great alternative for inside the house-you can easily move it from room to room. We only used ours for baby’s first 3 months, but boy was it great to have in that time. (We got ours on craigslist, and I made new bedding for it.)
    Regarding bottles-I wouldn’t register for too many since some babies have a preference for one type or another. You might want to try a few different ones before you decide on a brand. And it’s nice to have a kind that has multiple accessories so you can use the bottles as sippy cups down the road.

  28. 26


    coral said:

    I hated coming up with a registry, and honestly I think most people have no idea what they need and just fill theirs with random stuff!
    some thoughts:
    1. don’t be afraid to return gifts of clothes that will be the wrong season for the size they are. I was too polite and now have too-small clothes in storage with their tags still on.
    2. register for or buy lots of books. You will tire of reading the same ones over and over.
    3. in the first couple of weeks all you really need are diapers and someone to bring you dinner. If anyone offers to coordinate a bunch of dinners being dropped off to you, take it! My husband and I would have starved otherwise.

  29. 28


    Heather said:

    You have such great recommendations here! My baby just turned three months, and we love the aden & anais swaddlers, the medela breast pump (we have the instyle, but i heard the freestyle is rad b/c you can walk around with). I definitely recommend getting a pumping bra – those things rock b/c you can go about your daily life (keep the blinds down!) and still pump. I also recommend baby clothes that don’t require going over the baby’s head – the kimono style tops worked best for me for awhile because they are cute and my little guy was not into onesies since it required lots of fiddling. We also love our playmat, lamb swing, and the cloud B sleep sheep (i would get the “on-the-go” one b/c it clips in your carseat!) Another idea – ask people if they have receipts – we have so many clothes that we could have returned and gotten bigger sizes for that we weren’t able to use. So exciting! Babies are the best!

  30. 28


    kim said:

    i am far from a new mom, my little guy is 7, but if there is one thing i bought too much of and never used, is clothes. i hate to burst your bubble, because i know how much you adore cute little baby things, but honestly, a ton of cotton sleepers and sleep sacks, onesies, kimonos and pull on pants/tops is all you need for quite some time.

    i think someone above said it…nice (and usually expensive) clothes for babies are impractical and often inefficient. a couple of cute outfits for showing him off is usually more than enough.

    and i second the dinner idea…i once bought an expecting friend a bunch of gift cards to her fave take out restaurant

    • 29


      alyson said:

      thanks Kim! I can’t believe hoe much money some people spend on baby clothes. and for them to only be able to fit into them for a month or two? it blows my mind when I see a $100 bodysuit. yes, it’s merino wool, but for $100!? yikes. I’m much more practical than that.

  31. 29


    kim said:

    gosh i know…believe me i bought my fair share of expensive things (ah, live and learn).

    what i WISH i had spent it on….spa treatments for me after the baby was born. serious backache from holding the little guy all the time :)

  32. 31


    Lindsay said:

    I would NOT register for bottles. everyone is different but my boy wouldn’t take the bottles we initially bought. he would gag on all different kinds of nipples. We tried several types and he just wasn’t going to take a bottle. He went straight from breast to spoonfeeding/breastmilk from small cup. if you want to try bottles i would buy one of a certain brand and make sure he takes it before you invest in lots. hope that helps!

  33. 31


    Lindsay said:

    also, i would register for some good children’s music you can enjoy together! like raffi, renee & jeremy, elizabeth mitchell etc…. then you can incorporate songs into your routines and rituals. and finally, Hi! I went to Plant c/o 2001. A friend pointed out your blog to me and I finally realized that I recognized you! Crazy!

  34. 4


    eliza said:

    I haven’t read through all the comments, but here are a few more ideas. Top of the list is a baby carrier or two. A Moby wrap or similar for infants is the best, awesome for your back too! Ergo for older babes, though you can purchase an infant insert. Seriously the best things people could register for, I think.

    Other necessities: receiving blankets, pre-folds (can also be used as burp cloths), gentle baby products. You will need some infant clothes, but it’s great if you can get used or hand-me-downs–they grow out of them so fast, so don’t get anything too cute for first 3-6 months!

    Not a necessity, but a bouncer that you can set babe down in is nice. Baby bjorn makes an okay one (their baby carriers, however, are not good!).

    For a bit down the road, Stokke trip trap high chairs are awesome. An investment, but they can be used for many years.

    Also, have peeps sign up to deliver meals. Loved idea of baby care classes people can register for too.

  35. 6


    sonya said:

    baby carrier(s), as have been mentioned.

    olive oil. non-traditional, sure, but good, organic, cold-press olive oil is expensive AND the one of the best moisturizers for your little dude. i massaged it into my guy’s head daily to ward off cradle cap.

    cloth wipes/baby wash cloths. not sure if you’re planning to use cloth wipes along with your diapers, but if you’re laundering at home, it’s not a chore to toss them in the wash with the dipes. you will need millions (just kidding, but it really is one of those things that you can’t have too many off. several dozen is reasonable.) **fyi, if you add to some warm water a few drops lavendar scented baby wash and a few drops burts bees apricot oil and put it into a spritz bottle, you’ll have very delightful smelling wipe solution that will clean and moisturize little mister baby bum with every change. plus, those lovely scented wipes go into the diaper pail after changing and help keep bad odors from getting out of hand.

    -gift certificates to restaurants (especially those with delivery or carry out options), or to any grocery store that delivers/grocery delivery service! if there’s one thing i that would have made my first few months as a parent easier, it would have been delivered groceries!

  36. 22


    Kate said:

    (Sorry – bit late to the party, but can never resist these questions!!!)

    Can I just preface by saying you don’t need a bottle steriliser!
    Guidelines have changed, and now it is recommended that you wash bottles in hot, soapy water! It is such a simpler way to live too. My four kids never drank from sterilised bottles, and they are all healthy and happy kids.

    For my first two, we lived in a tiny aptmt in Paris, so we didn’t have room for lots of stuff. I went without a lot of things I would have loved, because there was just no room for them! One of them was a baby swing (motorised, it swung itself and vibrated), which my mother-in-law had at her house and I LOVED it because it instantly calmed my babies, and always put them to sleep, but they are bulky, especially for an item that is really only good for six months. If you have the room, definitely think about one. Even think about hiring one. I bought one for my third and fourth babies though!!

    On my mother’s advice, we had some simple newborn outfits to start, some gifted clothes and some hand-me-downs and that was it. She told us to wait and see what suited us and then go buy it. Such good advice! I quickly worked out that I preferred wrap/Kimono/button-front style to pull over style when it comes to onesies/bodysuits, and found the brands that I liked best. I admit I bought higher quality onesies (Zutano brand is a clear favourite http://www.oliebollen.com/SearchResult.aspx?KeyWords=zutano) but I would all over again, as they wash well, wear well and feel much nicer than the cheaper brands. My sister sent a big care package of Bonds things from Aus and they were great as well. I would wash baby’s clothes 2-3 times per week, and so had (for winter babies in EU) apx 6 short sleeve onesies, 6 long sleeve onesies, 5 long sleeve shirts, 10 pairs leggings (some light cotton, some heavy wool), 10 long sleeve bodysuits (5 were footed), 20 singlets, 10 pairs socks, 4 hats, 5 cardigans (two heavy, two medium, one light) and 2 pairs cotton booties and 2 pairs little ugg-style booties. When we lived in EU during winter, I obviously had outside clothes as well but you’ll figure out what you need according to your climate. Instead of clothes, perhaps register for gift vouchers to clothing sites/stores?
    And even though you’re having a boy, LEGGINGS! I had a girl first time around, so didn’t put her in pants pre-walking. When I had my first boy (#2) I bought and was given the most darling little pairs of pants, but often found that the waistbands/buttons/pockets had dug into his lovely skin, and they seemed so bulky on him. It wasn’t long before I pulled out his sister’s leggings (yes, even the pink ones, but not in public!) and started dressing him in these each day. Then I went and made/bought a bunch of super cute ones in boyish stripes etc. Since then all my kids have regularly worn leggings. My second daughter won’t wear anything but leggings!

    I am still in love with my Ergo carrier, it is a godsend. We bought the infant insert and it was great from 6 wks and up.

    Sleeping bags! We buy the Grobaby brand which I know is expensive, but expensive for a reason! Their quality is well above any other brand we’ve tried. Try and buy the ones with the little velcro flaps at the back so you can put baby in them in the car/pram.

    If you’re planning on carrying baby in carseat for first couple months (we did) a car seat cover is a good idea for when out and about. They’re made to fit the seat perfectly, can be used when carrying and shield baby from sun/noise as well as giving him somewhere private to nap when out. I found ours on Etsy.

    Maybe register for the Baby Led Weaning book? Do a bit of research and find out if it’s your thing first though. Because we did this, our kids started solids later, and we had a simple IKEA Antilop high chair over a large splat mat. I cannot praise this high chair enough!!
    It can be stored easily, is sooo easy to clean and really durable. My MIL bought a big, fancy one to use at her house and honestly cleaning it up after each meal really annoyed me. Also, if you want to buy things for down the track, one of the little booster high chairs that clips onto a normal dining chair for travel is excellent! My kids used these as regular boosters when they started joining us at the table for dinner.

    Pull over, tie, button or snap bibs. Velcro ones are too easy for baby to pull of once they learn how, and the velcro is SO annoying in the washing machine. I loved bibs with towelling on the back.

    Nappy/Diaper bag: A handbag style looks great, but I used it for all of one week before I started using a messenger style or backpack. I would put clean MCN’s and wetbags in a cotton drawstring bag, then I would put in two sets of spare clothes in large, ziplock bags because you can assume that if you need spare clothes, something wet and potentially yucky has happened to the other ones!
    My current satchel is this one: http://www.storksak.com.au/product.php?shopprodid=451&variantid=439

    Definitely register for books, especially box sets like Dr Seuss that are lovely to have, but you never think of buying yourself. Don’t forget your own childhood favourites!

    Gift vouchers to online stores. Shopping is a very low priority thing in the first week, so online shopping is a nice way to get the things you need and vouchers are great. I mentioned clothes before, but also grocery vouchers are really helpful (I know it sounds ungrateful but when a friend of my MIL’s dropped over groceries, a lot of them went uneaten as they were food products we just didn’t eat, and some of them had things I was allergic to in them, so I discourage people from shopping for new mom’s unless they know them well!).

    Also don’t forget something for you! A masseuse that comes to you, for example, so baby can be at home while you still get to relax. A haircut, a clothing voucher for yourself, a cleaner etc etc

    I’m sure I’ll think of a ton of stuff I haven’t mentioned and you’ve already been swamped with info but hopefully there’s something I can share that’s helpful!!