There are many items that can be specifically helpful for babies with Down syndrome, but experienced parents of infants with Down syndrome also emphasize that they need or want the same things any baby needs. Below is a list compiled by some “mom experts” on items they found particularly useful that you might want to add to your registry. You can also take a look at our ongoing Pinterest list for more ideas.
Let’s get the list started with a few of our “must have” items:
Two products for congestion are an absolute must, the NoseFrida, otherwise known as the snot sucker (I know, it looks gross, but trust us), and saline mist.
And since research shows the benefits of sign language for our kids, put Signing Time videos and flashcards on your list. The videos are fun, the songs are catchy, the flashcards are helpful with learning speech and reading, and your other kids will enjoy them too.
We also have a booklet for your loved ones, “Your Loved One Is Having a Baby with Down Syndrome,” that can help friends and family understand the diagnosis better and can help them learn some ideas for supporting you.
See also: Sharing the News with Friends and Family chapter in our book, “Diagnosis to Delivery: A Pregnant Mother’s Guide to Down Syndrome.”
Missy Skavlem also has blog about “Things You Might Want if Your Baby Has Down Syndrome” that can also give you even more baby registry ideas.
In addition, take a look at The Very Best Carriers for a Baby with Down Syndrome by Meriah Nichols to find out more about and the different carriers available.
Other suggestions from moms include the following:
- Baby carriers and wraps recommended by moms: Baby Tula, Ring Sling, Mouna Wrap, Mei Tai Wrap, Baby K’Tan
- A laminator to make activities, flashcards, and picture boards
- Primo EuroBath tub. “Since it took him longer to sit up, the size was wonderful to accommodate him laying back longer. Kids can also sit up on the opposite side until they are at least 2 years old — very roomy and much more secure than just the big tub.” —Amy
- Graco Stroller Frame. “very light and easy to fold and unfold!” —Amy
- Bouncer vibrating seat.
- Rechargeable batteries and charger. “Everything needs batteries- swing, toys, crib soother – that was such a great gift.” —Kelly
- A swing that rocks from left to right to help baby sleep (IF that is an issue)
- Summer Infant Swaddles
- The books Gifts 1 & 2
- Playlists or CDs with lots of instrumental lullabies. “My son has loved music since he was in the womb, and he found music very soothing when trying to sleep.” —Stephanie
- The Stokke Tripp Trapp chair. “This chair is great as baby get older and needs a chair he can climb into independently, and these chairs last forever!” —Stephanie
- A high chair that has support for the feet and that will grow with the child. “The foot support so the knees and lower legs are at a 45 degree angle is very important!” —Christine
- The Nuk Brush training toothbrush
- Maroon Spoons
- Reflo cups, 360 cup, bear straw cup
- z-vibe oral motor tool
- Ba Baby Bottle Holder
- Boppy pillow. “Great for nursing, tummy time, sitting support, elevation if congested…it has 1,001 uses!” —Kerry
- Toys that provide tactile stimulation and musical toys as the baby got older
- A floor mirror that can lay flat or stand up
- Toysmith Teether Ball
- Crayola Jumbles
- Infant rattles and other early toys that can be held with shorter fingers and thumbs. “Some of the others we had were just too big around for him to be able to grip.” —Sarah
- A great colorful mat for tummy time
- Projection mobile for the crib with music. “This was awesome! Great for building those eye tracking muscles!” —Christine
- One piece puzzles to learn the concept of doing puzzles
- Foamnasium two-stair piece
- Push trike
- Leapfrog Spin and Sing Alphabet Zoo toy. “It takes very little effort to make it spin, so he can reach out and spin it himself, and he’s only 4 months. Very motivating for tummy and side time on the floor.” —Amy
- Foldable infant gym. “For the baby to rest his head and shoulders on. It makes it much easier for him to lift his arms to go after the toys.” —Rachel
- Kidz-Med VeraTemp. “This is the only one we have found consistently gives an accurate reading and lasts.” —Missy
- Cetaphil lotion
- Crane humidifier
- Aveno products for sensitive skin
- Baby sense or Angelcare motion monitor. “Goes under mattress and alarms if baby stops breathing. Helped me sleep much much easier!” —Kerry
- A baby monitor with a camera
Reflections from moms about the different gifts they received and how they were helpful:
From Anna, offering different perspectives on breastfeeding and Down syndrome resources that could be wonderful gifts:
“If you’re planning on breastfeeding I [recommend] getting in touch a good lactation consultant that has experience with Down syndrome. Along those lines, the book, “The Nursing Moms Companion” by Huggins is great for general information. Purchase a good double-breast pump or have a plan in place to rent a double-pump professional grade pump from the hospital/birthing center, etc… if necessary (gift certificates to rent a pump make a great shower gift!)!
I also second the Baby K’tan (great for keeping your baby’s legs together while babywearing).
We also LOVED the Lamaze Chime Garden for motivating our little one to reach out, etc. It starts with a very light touch.
Have on hand the book, “Babies with Down Syndrome: A New Parents’ Guide.” If you start reading it and aren’t “ready” put it down and keep it on the shelf as a “resource.” I referred to it often in the 1st year.
Other resources are the Gross Motor Skills in Children with Down Syndrome and Early Communication Skills for Children with Down Syndrome (our local library surprisingly has the Speech book).
Most importantly enjoy your pregnancy and getting ready for your sweet baby!”
From Kerin, describing different breastfeeding resources, toys, and books she appreciated as a new mom:
“If mom is planning to breastfeed, have contact info for a good lactation consultant! It can make all the difference in the experience for mom and baby.
As for stuff: we found that it was good to have a nice variety of small toys that can be hung from activity gyms or car seat handles and put on the floor as lots of tummy time is a must for those gross motor skills. Also, we didn’t use a bouncy seat as we didn’t want to get too much in the habit of having our little one just sitting around, but to improve sleeping (when congestion was really bad) and for when we really needed a good seat for him before he had head control, the Fisher Price Rock-N-Play was wonderful! I highly recommend it.
I also recommend the book, “Gross Motor Skills in Children with Down Syndrome: A Guide for Parents and Professionals” by Patricia C. Winders P.T. It’s been an invaluable resource for me, even with weekly PT. I know many others who found it helpful as well.”