A few friends have been asking me recently if I have created a baby registry. I’m honestly so grateful to these friends for asking, in large part because I wasn’t sure what the etiquette was on a surprise second babe that arrives 10 years after the first one. I have of course given everything away at this point, and they’ve reassured me that it’s totally cool to register again, so setting aside my mama-angst and unnecessary guilt, I decided to set myself to the task.

Here’s the thing. The one major chain of baby stores that is most known for baby registries just isn’t my thang. Maybe it’s the nausea-inducing scent of plastic when I walk into the store – or perhaps it’s the overall sense that my individuality must be shelved in favour of the primary-coloured preferences of the masses – but I get the heebie-jeebies whenever I go in there. A pregnant friend recently described said baby store as “hell on earth.” Not sure it’s quite that bad for me, but pretty close. Products on offer are limited to the brands willing to sell to them in serious bulk, and the unique and interesting and more personal approach to designing the life you want for you and your babe is completely absent from the experience.

So what’s a girl to do? Well, I started by perusing Etsy and of course found all kinds of adorableness {some of which you’ll see below}. Trouble is, as much as Etsy feeds my longing for unique, personal and one-of-a-kind, they don’t have everything I need.

Enter MyRegistry. A quick Google search for “how to create your own custom registry” had me landing on their site and quickly discovering that I could in fact create a totally personalized and unique wish list all in one handy little place. Their site will also help friends and family source the things on your wish list for the best possible price, and they can check them off your list when they pick them up. Add to that Google’s shopping search engine {all you do is enter the name of the product you’re looking for and Google finds all the online retailers who offer it and shows you comparative pricing with shipping} and you and your friends and fam will be scoring deals in no time.

Now I admit, my list ranges from the practical to the stylish to the totally unnecessary {as you’ll see below}. I decided to have a bit of fun with it knowing that my friends will more than likely be practical, and besides, it was fun to just see what’s out there in this present-day world of baby paraphernalia! There may be a lot to edit through as you begin your search, but I think every mama should have the chance to decide just what she wants and needs to make this precious season of life both functional and beautiful. So without further ado, here are the essentials, the play things, the sleepy styles, the stylin’ threads and the luxuries that I “spied with my little eye” and found to be fabulous.

ONE // TWO // THREE // FOUR // FIVE // SIX // SEVEN //

A few notes on just a couple of my picks above:

ONE: Rather than register for a pack-n-play this time around, I am much more intrigued by Stokke’s Bounce N’ Sleep. Don’t let the beautifully simple and organic design fool you – this basinet is loaded with features and takes up way less floor space than the old-school pack-n-play. I think it will be perfect for those first few months beside our bed and will transition into a great bouncy seat or extra nap location for later on once the little guy has graduated to his crib. Love the idea of being able to rock the babe to sleep while lying down myself.

TWO: I absolutely love the simple, modern design of Nuna’s Leaf. Check out this video to see how elegantly this baby swing functions. I love innovative designs like this one! Beyond the beauty of its function, its design is clean and contemporary. Forget feeling like a primary-coloured plastic factory threw up in your house! Nuna has taken the design-savvy buyer into account and designed a functional product that you’ll be happy to add to your home without fear of detracting from your décor. Its silent and seamless function and elegant design will no doubt add to the peace and quiet of your environment!

FOUR: The Bumbo Chair came out after Noah was born, but it quickly became my favourite shower gift for friends having babes, and without fail they all loved it and used it more than they ever expected. Great for those months before the babe can sit up on his own, this means that play time on the floor can go beyond tummy time to allow little ones to interact with their environment more easily.


When it comes to toys, I know one thing for sure: I don’t want anything that lights up, makes a lot of noise or requires batteries. Those toys may be created for the amusement of children, but I’m pretty sure they are also created for the crazy-making of parents. Simple, old-school, tactile exploration is what I’m into {along with a little Fisher Price record player action and a vintage Viewmaster for some nostalgic, throw-back-to-my-own-childhood good times}. Interesting wooden toys that have simplistic functions and ignite the imagination are totally my jam. Oh yes, and what little boy doesn’t want {need?} his own teepee for the play room? I can just picture Noah crawling in their with his little bro as he gets older and reading him stories and teaching him how to make shadow puppets with just his fingers and a flashlight. Perfect for brotherly adventures on rainy afternoons or post-nap snuggles and book reading safaris with Mom + Dad.


OK, forgive me for going on a tiny rant for just a moment, but why are baby sleep clothes so blinking expensive? I mean, seriously! I struggle with that in a huge way given how little fabric is actually harmed in the making of said garments. I’m also a big fan of good quality, soft and durable cotton, and if you don’t want to pay an arm-and-a-leg for something that will no doubt become the containment unit for a pooptastrophy at some point…well, you have to search hard. So my wish list includes some super adorable, mid-priced options as well some super practical, hard-wearing, good quality ones from Marks & Spencer {who ship to North America very reasonably and sometimes for free!}. The only catch with the M&S ones is that they are fastened with snaps rather than zippers, which is why I love the footed sleepers from Boden so very much.

As for blankets, they get pooped on, peed on, puked on, drooled on and worked as hard as any other garment involved in the sleeping and feeding routines of the little babe. So my philosophy is find some good quality blankets, muslin swaddles and burp cloths and make sure you have enough to get through the days when you find yourself changing outfits more frequently than you can count. If you’re like me, I’m not a fan of doing laundry everyday, so having a few on hand is just smart.


Style is so personal, so fun, such a great opportunity for creative expression. And thank the good Lord, fashion for wee boys has come a looooong way, baby. I’m particularly loving Zara, Boden USA {a British import},  Etsy,  Seed Heritage, Zuzii and Freshly Picked for their fresh and unique threads. Giving the babe a sense of style is just about good parenting, right?


As a woman who loves texture, culture and world travel, these four little international luxuries are total decadence to me, not just for their place of origin and their utterly swoon-worthy charm, but for the memories and stories I imagine making with them as I play with my little man.

ONE: I confess there is more than a bit of nostalgia wrapped up in my love for the British lifestyle brand Rowen & Wren‘s Rock Ewe Rocking Sheep. I was obsessed with horses from the moment I knew what they were, and as a child I had a rocking horse that ignited my spirit and joined me in my imaginary dressage competitions around the globe. This delectably tactile, shaggy ewe just takes my rugged wooden horse on springs to an entirely new level. Can’t you picture the wee one burying his sweet face into its fur like he’s nuzzling the neck of his favourite companion? As it turns out, Rowen & Wren even ships to Canada. Hmmm…

TWO: Another Rowen & Wren charmer, this knitted friend Socks the Fox is just all kinds of handsome and witty and delightful in one sweet, smiling little stuffy.

THREE: Pièrre le Bear. Seriously. His name is Pièrre le Bear. And he is carrying a baguette. And wearing a perfect striped French t-shirt. And a beret. How could you not love him?? 

FOUR: Clearly Pièrre and Jean Luc are the best of friends who share picnics of baguette and red wine in the park overlooking the Louvre. Mind you, they never overindulge to the point where Jean Luc can no longer fit into his perfectly tailored skinny jeans. There is a balance between indulgence and restraint, after all.

And there you have it! My top picks – from the practical to the decadent – for what I have on my “want, wish, need” list for this little man. To all you mamas-to-be out there, take heart! In the overwhelming sea of gadgets and garments lies the opportunity to design the life you want with your little one, and that is truly about the heart of your home, not the stuff. Keep your wits about you, stay true to yourself, be gentle, and take as many opportunities as you can to just enjoy this journey. And read this article. You’ll be glad you did.