Creating a baby registry is exciting—and brimming with expectant enthusiasm. But it can also be filled with a lot of second guessing: How many items are too much for a baby registry? Is it rude to put expensive items on my baby registry? What should I take off my registry? And while some registry asks are a no-brainer (all babies need a safe place to sleep!), if you start talking to experienced parents, you’ll begin to hear that some of the most clutch baby gifts fly under the radar!  

So, before you start whittling your baby registry down, take a look at our list of surprising baby gift gems. To unearth these unsung heroes of the baby registry, we combed Reddit, message boards, and comment sections. Here’s what we learned…


Let’s face it, no one is clamoring to buy the humidifier off your baby registry. Upon opening, there will not be a collection of awws. The humidifier will not be ceremoniously passed around in a circle for all the guests to look at…and that’s fine! When your baby is congested with dry, flaky skin and struggling to fall back asleep, you are going to thank your lucky stars that Aunt Jane took one for the team and gifted you that wonderful sinus-clearing, sleep-helping cool mist humidifier.

Baby Wipes

Folks love to give diapers. They fashion them into festive baby shower cakes and even create raffles around them where each gifted box of diapers is exchanged for a raffle ticket that can turn into fun prizes at the end of the shower. Baby wipes, which have way more uses than diapers and always fit, get no such treatment, but they are needed just as much!


Okay, so exactly no one wants to give you a standard plug-in nightlight from the hardware store…and that’s actually a good thing. As a new parent, you’ll need something a little bit more customizable so that you can diaper and swaddle your baby in the middle of the night without the chaos of flipping on the bright overhead. To ensure you get the nightlight you need, register for something that’s not only cute, but multi-purpose, like SNOObie. People love buying adorable and useful things—and SNOObie fits that bill, featuring brightness control, white noise, lullabies, an OK-to-wake feature for older years, and more.

Outdoor Blanket

An outdoor blanket isn’t a baby gift that people resist buying, it’s simply one that’s rarely registered for. Why? Because parents-to-be simply don’t think of it! Here’s why an outdoor blanket is something to consider: It can be used indoors anytime you need a soft-ish place to set your bub down. An outdoor picnic blanket is way bigger than a playmat. It’s sturdy and water resistant, too, which is key for drippy, sloppy, leaky movers and shakers. And an outdoor blanket is exactly the blanket you need for future park visits and other outdoor adventures.

“Wet Bag”

A “wet bag” is a waterproof bag designed to keep wet, or dirty, or poop-covered items away from the rest of your stuff while you’re on the go. It’s an item no one wants to want, but with parenthood comes products you never thought you’d pine for. The first time you are caught off guard by a spit-up soaked bib or mid-checkout diaper blowout in Target, you’ll be beyond grateful that this lifesaver was a plus-one gift your experienced parent pal added to your baby shower present.

On-The-Go White Noise Machine

These days, a sound machine can be found on nearly all baby registries—and for good reason: White noise is a super star of the 5 S’s for soothing babies, proven to not only help quell upsets, but to help infants fall asleep and stay asleep. (SNOObie, the all-in-one white noise machine/nightlight/baby soother designed by pediatrician Dr. Harvey Karp, is often a top baby registry pick.) But, what happens when you’re out and about, or staying at Nanas, or in the car, or even a flight of stairs away from where the sound machine lives? That’s when you’ll be kicking yourself if you didn’t add a portable white noise machine to your baby registry. Don’t let that happen! One to consider: SNOObear, this A+ on-the-go white noise machine is responsive to a baby’s cries, can be strapped to strollers and cribs, can be cuddled as a lovey—and you can even easily remove the small speaker box and toss it in your diaper bag for a super-compact travel white noise machine. So many wins!

Bath Kneeler

A bath kneeler certainly seems like a "skip”—and it very well might be for some. But for others, it’s a bathtime game changer. While you can bathe your little one in their portable tub nearly anywhere, at some point all parents are relegated to the bathroom, where they are stuck kneeling on the cold tile floor while carefully bathing—and later supervising—their offspring. A quick bath can easily turn into a drawn-out water-infused play fest and your knees won’t enjoy it. Do your creaky joints a solid and register for a pad. Bonus: You can repurpose some bathtime kneelers—like Skip Hop’s whale-shaped Moby kneeler or Munchkin’s adorable Dots kneeler—into Girl Scout-style “sit-upons,” aka comfy and portable, water-repellent cushions to take camping or to sporting events.

Soft Pants

Bodysuits, dresses, rompers—and even cutiepie feetie PJS—are top of the want-to-buy clothing heap. Pants, however, are for some reason rarely a go-to baby shower purchase. But think about it: When have you ever left the house with no pants on? Never! Babies need pants, too. It’s true that infants can chill all day in their pajamas (jealous?) or in just a bodysuit, but eventually you’ll want to signal to your baby that the day has started (bye-bye all-day jammies!) by dressing them. Enter soft pants, which are just the ticket for keeping little ones cozy and warm.

The No-Brainer Swaddle

The traditional muslin swaddle blanket is amazing. It’s a breathable swaddle, it’s a nursing cover, it’s a burp cloth. Please, register away! But have you ever tried to burrito wrap a baby in a muslin swaddle in the middle of the night? Even folks with advanced placement origami under their belts will struggle. Do yourself, your partner, your baby, and anyone who will ever help you with your little one a favor, and register for ready-made swaddle blankets, like the multi-award winning Sleepea, appropriately dubbed the “5-Second Swaddle.” Sleepea’s internal arm bands and leg flap—plus two-way zipper—ensures your baby will be safely and quickly swaddled every time. Plus, the Sleepea 5-Second Swaddle was voted Best Easy Swaddle by Babylist, Easiest Swaddle to Use by What to Expect, and reviewers for New York Magazine’s The Strategist simply note that Sleepea is “magic”—so you know you’re getting a winner.

Postpartum Healing Items

Even less popular than gifting a good ol’ humidifier is gifting the parent-to-be perineal cooling pads. After all, nothing brings a yay-you’re-having-a-baby party down like a public reminder that your crotch will soon be…in a state. That said, you need those pads—and panty liners and maxies, disposable undies, perineal numbing spray, witch hazel pads, and a peri bottle! Thank goodness for brands like Frida, that package all these not-so-fun must-haves together and in a way that at least gives them a fighting chance to get purchased off the baby registry!


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Disclaimer: The information on our site is NOT medical advice for any specific person or condition. It is only meant as general information. If you have any medical questions and concerns about your child or yourself, please contact your health provider.