My #1 Baby Registry Must-Have

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Having had four babies back-to-back (to-back-to-back), we get a lot of questions about baby gear. Tons of emails have asked which products we find essential, as traveling parents with a minimalist sensibility. What makes life easier? Which picks could we not do without? We've been all over the board with baby stuff as our family has grown and changed, but I do have a baby registry must-have that's been on my list since baby number one. The brand has improved and tweaked this item over the years to the point that I can easily say it's my top pick, hands-down.

1 Baby in Pack N Play

From our long-term sponsor Graco, I present the world-renowned Pack ‘n Play! This baby registry must-have has been on the scene since 1987. Today's version has the same tried-and-trued functionality that we've known and loved since then, but this is NOT your mama's playard.

Our Baby Registry Must-Have is 5-in-1

2 Baby bouncer, changer, pack n play

The upgraded Pack ‘n Play that we recommend for everyone's baby registry today is packed with tons of functionality beyond the essential baby containment needs. The Pack ‘n Play® Quick Connect™ Portable Bouncer Playard still keeps the kiddo in place, while also offering an infant bassinet, portable bouncer, changing table and side storage.

3 Graco Pack n Play with infant bassinet


The infant bassinet plops in using Quick Connect connection points that are truly…well…quick. This raised bed area for newborns comes in or out with four simple flicks of the wrist, meaning that it's easy to use this as a bassinet at night or nap time and transition it to a changing table or play area during the day.

4 Graco Pack n Play changing table

Changing Space

This changing table is huge! I've tried using various “drop in” crib changing tables and pads in the past without much success. My giant babies tend to outgrow that sort of stuff by the time they reach a few months old. For once, that's not an issue! This extended use space is made for babies up to 30 pounds. My massive 19-month-old gets his diapers changed on here regularly.

Diaper Caddy

Do you see that awesome side storage caddy? You'll never understand how helpful that is until you find yourself with a poo-covered baby and it dawns on you that your wipes are stashed in a tote just out of reach. Having it right at hand, attached to the changing space, is essential.

5 Graco Bouncer


The portable bouncer clicks in and out just as easily as the changing table and bassinet. It has two vibration speeds that actually vibrate (as opposed to some other portable bouncers I've tried in the past) so there's one less thing that needs to be added to the registry separately.

With all of this stuff that can click in and out and be used independently or on its own, this Pack ‘n Play is a totally configurable space that changes just as fast as baby does.

Nap and Play Area

As our family travels, we're getting a ton of use out of this. There's no designated diaper storage or changing table outside of our Pack ‘n Play in our RV, where this serves as the baby's primary space and bed below the big kids' bunk. It folds up nice and neat in a carrying case like every Pack ‘n Play we've used, and it's easy to stash out of the way when we don't need it.

With modern products that serve double, triple, quadruple and even quintuple duty, parenting is made easier. Graco also makes it convenient for parents-to-be to find products for their growing family. Former Babies“R”Us exclusives are now available on and other retailers. You can get more details and see options for moving your registry here.

What's your baby registry must-have?


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