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When you find out you’re expecting, there’s a lot to do. One of those to-dos is to figure out which baby registry items are worth adding to your list.
After all, creating the registry is the easy part. It’s all fun and games until it’s time to start adding actual products, right?
When you start looking at all the different baby products out there, that’s when those overwhelming feelings start to set in.
Good news though. This baby registry checklist includes all the essentials you’ll need to care for your baby.
And, you’ll even find a few product recommendations sprinkled throughout that’ll make life as a new parent a whole lot easier too.
Why create a baby registry?
A baby registry, if you didn’t know, is a free service that’s provided by certain stores where you can create a list of baby items that you’d like to have.
Then, you can send your link to friends and family members any time you’re asked for gift ideas.
Not only does it help you out because you’re getting some of the baby items you need, it’s convenient for those caring people in your life who want to get you something special because they won’t have to guess what to get you.
They can simply check out your registry and choose one of the items on your list that haven’t been purchased yet.
Where should you create your registry?
I remember when I was expecting my first baby. This was more than a decade ago. It was still common to walk around the store and scan the items you wanted to add to your registry.
These days, you don’t even need to leave the house.
The easiest and most convenient place to create a baby registry now is without a doubt Amazon. Everyone buys everything on Amazon. Everyone is familiar with how it works.
And, it’s totally free to create a baby registry, so go do that right now if you haven’t already!
When is the best time to start a baby registry?
Some moms like to start this process around the 12 week mark.
But, honestly, it’s never too early! We recommend creating your baby registry as soon as possible, especially if you plan to announce the news to friends and family and definitely if you plan to have a baby shower.
Even if you aren’t planning on a baby shower, it’s still a good idea to create a baby registry, because you never know who is going to ask you what you need for the baby.
Plus, with a registry, you can easily keep track of what has been purchased and what still needs to be bought.
Newborn registry must-haves for the nursery (and sleeping)
Some of your nursery items will be big-ticket items, and that’s ok. Don’t shy away from adding more expensive items to your registry. For one, you never know who will be feeling extra generous.
And, the other reason for creating a registry in the first place is to help you stay organized and keep up with what’s been purchased and what has not.
Bassinet or crib
The first item to add is a bassinet or crib.
Some parents choose to skip the bassinet entirely, but I do want to mention that if you know you will be having a c-section, a bassinet/bedside sleeper is helpful to have by the bed while you are still recovering.
If you decide to jump right into a crib for your baby, don’t forget to also add a firm mattress for them to sleep on as cribs don’t typically come with one!
You may be wondering – How many crib sheets do you really need?
You will need at least two and definitely more if you plan to do laundry less often, so this is an item you may want to heavily consider putting on your registry.
Nursery blackout curtains may sound a bit weird at first, but they are more helpful than you would think.
If your baby is a light sleeper as many babies tend to be, these will help you keep the room nice and dark so you’re baby can get some sleep, and you can get a little break too!
They’re also an excellent solution if you’ve noticed a street light that’s a tad too bright at night.
These come in all sorts of styles and colors. You can even buy a portable window shade. These are absolutely game-changing for vacations or staying overnight with family that may not have your usual blackout curtains in their homes.
Rocking chair or glider
Whether you prefer a glider or a rocking chair, having a comfortable place to sit while you are nursing or soothing baby back to sleep is a must-have.
If you’re on the taller side, no worries, there are some comfy options for you too. Be sure to read over our favorite gliders here.
Changing table/changing pad
If you’re limited on space in the nursery, you may want to consider a changing table and crib combo rather than adding two separate pieces of furniture.
These are so helpful and usually have additional storage shelves and sometimes drawers for storing smaller baby items.
Otherwise, a stand-alone changing table will work.
If you feel as though you don’t have the room for a changing table at all, a changing pad will ensure your surface (whether it be the bed, floor, etc.) is protected from messy diaper changes.
A baby monitor is definitely a must-have. You want to be able to keep an eye on baby while they are sleeping, even if you are not in the room.
There are many different types of monitors available, from audio only to ones with video displays. Decide what features are most important to you and go from there.
That being said, highly recommend getting one with video though. We used an inexpensive one for our second child and it still got the job done!
If you haven’t heard, blankets are a no-no for sleep.
That’s why sleep sacks are an important item to have on your registry. They help keep baby warm without the need for bulky blankets and is a much safer option for baby.
Make sure you have an extra one handy to use while the other is in the wash.
Babies love to be swaddled for sleep. It makes them feel safe and prevents them from involuntarily waking themselves up.
How many swaddles do you need?
You will need a minimum of 3 swaddles, but probably no more than 6. Since swaddling stops when baby can roll over, you don’t need to end up with a huge stash.
White noise machine
A white noise machine is great for helping baby sleep, especially if you live in an area with lots of noise.
These are not only soothing for baby, but they are helpful for masking other sounds that could wake baby up such as pets, siblings playing, or an older child coming home from school.
A night light is nice to have in the nursery (or in your room if baby hasn’t yet graduated to the nursery) for those middle-of-the-night feedings, diaper changes, etc. just so that you can see where you are going without having to wake baby up too much with a bright bedroom light.
Some white noise machines also double as a night light, so that’s something to keep in mind.
You’ll need somewhere to store all the baby clothes and other items. A dresser is a must-have for the nursery. It can be used for more than just baby clothes and can last for years to come.
Also, you may want to consider adding some storage solutions like baskets or dividers so that everything can stay organized.
Baby registry items for feeding baby
Remember, fed is best, so try not to stress too much over how the baby is fed. We know you’re doing a great job either way.
Nursing pillow & breastfeeding supplies
If you will be formula-feeding, you can skip this one.
If you plan to breastfeed, a nursing pillow is going to be your best friend. As far as which nursing pillow you should add to your registry, you can’t go wrong with a Boppy.
And, if you are sure you’ll be having a c-section, add the My Brest Friend Pillow – It’s a little easier to keep baby in the right position when you’re tummy is tender.
Also make sure you have all the other supplies you need such as nursing pads (you’ll get the most from reusable ones).
It may be a good idea to add a breast pump too, even if it’s just for occasional use. Check out the Haaka breast pump if you want something simple that requires zero manual pumping.
Bottles & nipples
If you plan to formula feed, add bottles and nipples to your baby registry. There are a ton of different types available, but here are some of the top recommended ones that parents love:
- Dr. Brown bottles have been around forever. We used these for a while with our first.
- Phillips Avent are an excellent choice as well
- The Tommee Tippee bottles are fantastic simply because of the formula dispensers that work with them.
You’re going to deal with a lot of spit-ups and burp cloths are going to save your clothes on many occasions.
So, how many burp cloths is enough? You need at least 10 burp cloths.
Bibs (especially teething bibs)
Bibs were the most useful, in my experience, when my kids were teething. With our second, we used teething bibs and they were so helpful so soaking up all the extra drool, and they kept baby entertained too.
These come in the cutest designs you’ve ever seen.
What baby clothes should I add to my registry?
Baby clothes are adorable, but you don’t need to add a ton of newborn outfits to your registry.
Your baby will outgrow these before you can blink twice. Instead, various different sizes that your baby can grow into.
Specifically, I would add plenty of the following to your baby registry.
You can purchase long sleeve or short sleeve onesies, and you’ll need somewhere between 7-14 for the first 3 months of baby’s life.
That being said, go ahead and add a couple packs of those bigger sizes – namely 3-6 months and 6-9 months for sure.
Or “footy” pajamas as we like to say. These are super cute and also comfy for baby to sleep or play in, depending on the time of the year.
Also, try to plan ahead if you can. If you know your baby will be born in the summer, add up baby’s age when it will be colder weather and add some of those sizes to your registry.
You’ll probably want a few outfits for going out and showing off your sweet baby, that’s understandable. But don’t go too crazy as the baby may not even get a chance to wear the outfit.
Again, you’ll look back at pictures after only a couple of months and wonder how they grew so fast.
You’re going to want to have a good number of socks and hats for your little one if you’re having a fall or winter baby.
Changing diapers is going to be your life for the next little while. Here’s what you’ll need.
You’ll need diapers, diapers, and more diapers. But, I wouldn’t add too many Newborn size diapers to your registry list – Babies normally outgrow that size insanely fast.
If you’re concerned about the ingredients and chemicals that are in conventional diapers, you may also want to read over our comparison of Hello Bello vs. Honest diapers (we do have a preference if you’re curious).
Cloth diapering is also an option. It’s not for everyone, but there’s no denying it’s much better for the environment if that’s something you are interested in looking into.
And, with diapers, you’ll need some baby wipes too.
If you are looking for a good disposable recommendation, you can find out why we love Honest Co. wipes here.
Otherwise, any baby wipe (preferably without added fragrance) will clean your baby’s bottom.
If you’re extra crunchy (are we still using this word?), you can also make your own baby wipes. You’ll just need to add a pack of cloth baby wipes.
Diaper cream will always be an essential baby item. Go ahead and stock up 2-3 tubes of this stuff and you’ll be set for a while. Not sure which brand to go with? We’ve had the best luck with Boudreaux’s Butt Paste. It works.
Baby must-haves for everyday travel
Whether you’re going to the grocery store, taking baby to their check-ups, or going out to eat as a family, there are a few items you’ll need.
The first one is a car seat. You need a car seat that has a 5-point harness to safely take baby from point A to point B in the car.
Like almost every other baby item, there are cheaper options and there are more expensive products to choose from.
As a mom myself, I’ve learned that the best answer is usually somewhere in between, but that’s totally up to you.
However, I do have one word of advice – Make sure it comes with an infant pillow insert. If it does not, you’ll need to purchase a separate one so that your tiny little bug fits snugly.
Stroller and/or baby carrier
Strollers are great for helping you get around with baby, but a good baby carrier can come in handy too, especially when you need both hands.
As far as strollers go, think about the type of terrain you’ll be using it on. If you’ll be going on gravel roads or other bumpy paths, a lightweight stroller isn’t going to work out very well. These, however, will!
Next, add you a nice, spacious diaper bag.
If you already have more than one kid, or you plan to add to your family very soon, go ahead and pick a bag that has enough storage space to fit everything you’ll need for outings.
Travel changing pad
This goes hand-in-hand with your diaper bag, because it’ll be in your diaper bag any time you or your partner leave the house.
Having one of these is nice to have because you never know what kind of surface you’ll be working with when it’s time for a diaper change while you’re away from home.
Baby registry items for bath time
There are several baby items you will need for baby’s bath time routine as well. Here’s the list.
Baby bath tub
Totally up to you, but I’m usually fond of the products that will last the longest.
A gentle baby wash or shampoo will be needed as well. There are so many different products that are safe for baby to use, so you may feel a little overwhelmed by all the choices.
More and more parents are buying more natural products for their little ones. If you’re wondering which baby shampoos are actually worth it, you can find our favorites here.
Hooded baby towels are a must for bath time. They’re usually a lot softer than your average towel and a bit stretchy, so it’s easier to wrap around baby snugly after baths.
How many bath towels do you need? You will need at least 3 or 4 towels for your baby.
Tiny wash cloths
To go along with your baby towels, also add some wash cloths that are made for babies to your registry. These are much smaller than the wash cloths you or I use, and thinner, softer, and usually stretchier.
Misc. baby items that are nice to have
Now for the nice-to-have baby products. While these aren’t 100% necessary, they will make your life much easier.
Baby floor seat
A baby floor seat is a baby item that I loved, but there is one thing to look for.
I’ve had a better experience with the ones that have a wide base rather than the Bumbo seats because this prevents them from tipping over if baby gets a little too excited.
Diaper pail or disposal system
These often make an appearance on a lot of the “unnecessary baby items” articles that are circulating Pinterest, but, they do have their place in the nursery.
If you don’t want to be dealing with any smelly diapers, you may want to consider adding one of these to your baby registry.
Baby swing or bouncer
For example, those times when you really need a shower and there’s no one else to watch the baby, this is the perfect gadget to bring into the bathroom with you.
A playpen can also be helpful because it’s a safe, enclosed area where baby can crawl around and explore once they are mobile.
These are life-savers to have while you’re knocking out a few house chores such as washing dishes or cleaning up the kitchen.
Many of the playpens also have a changing table attachment.
Newborn must-haves for health and safety
You’ll want to be prepared with all the health and safety essentials before the arrival of your baby.
Healthcare and grooming kit
Here are some of the items you will need for the perfect health and grooming kit.
- Nail clippers and/or file
- Gum brush
- Baby Tylenol (highly recommend the dye-free formula)
- Nasal aspirator
- Baby gas relief drops
What you shouldn’t put on your registry
While there are so many things that you need to add to your registry, there are so baby items that you can definitely skip!
Eh, they could be nice to have, but not needed. It will be one of those items that ends up sitting around contributing to clutter.
You can make a wipe warmer simply by holding it in between your hands, which is actually faster and more efficient anyways.
You won’t be wanting to run around the house to the room your wipe warmer is sitting in before you have to change your baby, especially when there’s a messy situation to handle immediately.
Cute, yes. Practical, no.
Baby shoes are adorable, but infants do not need baby shoes because they really aren’t walking around anywhere. You’ll end up with a fussy baby who kicks off their cute little shoes every chance they get.
Register for baby blankets is not helpful because every aunt and uncle is going to gift you some sort of a blanket for your new bundle of joy. You can avoid having too many blankets by skipping that item on your registry.
A bedding set
You do not need a bedding set since newborns do not need blankets for sleeping (thanks to sleep sacks) and crib bumpers are not recommended.
Tips for eco-conscious parents
If you’re trying to keep your baby registry as eco-friendly as you possibly can, here are a few tips for you specifically.
Try to look for products that are
- EWG-certified for skincare products
- Made up of harvested wood or organic cotton
- Recyclable, reusable, or decomposable
You may also want to consider cloth diapering your baby instead of buying disposable diapers.
Check with family and friends before making your list to see if there are any baby items you can score that are gently used and still in great condition. This will help you save money over all too.
Although, keep in mind that while it’s a great eco-conscious move to use second-hand baby items (as long as they’re clean and sanitized for baby’s use of course), it’s still recommended to buy a new car seat for your baby.
To wrap it up, that’s our list of the baby registry items you’ll definitely want to consider adding to your own registry.
To wrap it up, that’s our list of the baby registry items you’ll definitely want to consider adding to your own registry.
It may seem like quite the overwhelming list at first, but try to take it item by item, and pay attention to reviews and other parents’ recommendations.
If there’s any item you feel we’ve skipped, please let us know in the comments so we can add that asap!