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Baby Registry Checklist: What You REALLY Need For Baby

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See all the baby registry essentials you need for the first year of your baby’s life, and download my FREE printable baby registry checklist PDF.


Getting ready for a new baby is such an exciting time!

I was lucky enough to have two baby showers (being that our boys are 6 years apart, and we had to ditch a lot of our baby items when we moved), and know just how exciting it can be walking around the store with a scanner.

I loved dreaming up their bedrooms, picking out the clothing they would wear, and figuring out which baby gear would work best for us.

But with so many options and products available, it can be kind of intimidating trying to figure out what the things a baby needs!

Rest assured, whether you are registering in the store or creating your baby registry online, this baby registry list has all of the essentials and necessities you need on your registry (with some little unknown tidbits that you can use for items you didn’t get from your baby shower but still need)!

So, from a mom of three, here’s my list of Baby Registry Must-Haves…

This post contains affiliate links, however, all opinions are my own.

Essential Baby Gear

Baby Carrier

Baby carriers helped me out SO much in the beginning.

When you have a screaming, red-faced newborn demanding every second of your attention, it’s nice to be able to carry them while having your hands free!
You can wash bottles, fold laundry, go grocery shopping, and even breastfeed while wearing your infant in your baby carrier. 

This one is my absolute favorite carrier now!

The Lillebaby is great from newborn on through toddlerhood!

We are using it right now, and I can’t stop raving about it.

I remember reading about it last year while I was pregnant, but wasn’t really sure what all the hype was about.

Now, I don’t want to leave the house without it.

I love it because I can use it to carry Jax until he’s about 45 lbs.

Not that I want to hoist him on my back at that age – I don’t think my poor spine could take that!

Infant Car Seat + Base

I know companies make a fully transitional car seat that can fit babies from newborn through age 3 or 4 depending on weight…but I want you to think about moving your sleeping newborn from their car seat all snug and comfy into the big, open stroller – or into the chilly winter morning air through the Target parking lot.

It’s a sanity saver to not wake a sleeping newborn so you can move them for five seconds.

Save your sanity – you’ll need as many brain cells as you can hold onto later on in parenting for this nightmare I’ve been reading about called, “Common Core”.

Or puberty.

I haven’t gotten there yet – I’m just saying.

Bouncer

This infant seat is like a bouncer and swing all-in-one! It has five unique motions that mimic Mama, has a machine-washable seat cover, and can now be controlled via Bluetooth with your smartphone!

Stroller

With your infant car seat, you can easily place your napping newborn into their stroller without having to remove them and wake them so you can run some errands or go for a brisk walk.  

This one is my favorite, especially for petite moms, because of its easy fold down and carry!

Feeding Essentials

Bottles

  • Aim to purchase (or register) 6-8 4 oz. bottles (because newborns eat roughly every 2 hours)
  • 8-12 9 ounce bottles (these bottles will be around for quite some time).

Register for more bottles if you want to avoid spending more time washing a fewer amount.

Bottle Warmer

This one isn’t necessary, but some babies take to formula better when it’s warm.

Drying Rack

I have a dishwasher, and chances are you do too.

But if I waited to clean my bottles in the dishwasher only, with no handwashing, I would need 3-4x more bottles just to not run out.

Newborns eat every 2 hours, so you’re going to need a good bottle brush and a drying rack.

I’ve linked my absolute favorites (the bottle brush is freaking AMAZING – it actually has a full head of bristles that are soft and durable and totally gets the job done!)

Dishwasher Basket

You can place smaller items in the top rack of your dishwasher (as many brands recommend placing their baby products here if going into the dishwasher at all) without losing them by putting them into a dishwasher basket!

I still use our dishwasher basket (even without bottles, sippy cups, or pacifiers) for little things like small toys, measuring spoons, and soft toddler spoons.

Pacifier

  • 4-6 pacifiers will get you through the first few months at home with a fussy newborn.

Alright, so not everyone uses these. They’ve been a great tool in our house, though, especially when trying to get our sweet pea Jax to nap for longer than twenty minutes.

They say being a newborn is exhausting, and I’m sure that was true for Jax because that kid almost NEVER slept.

So, we gave in for our sanity and introduced the pacifier when he was a month old.

I’d recommend keeping at least ONE on hand, you never know if you are going to need one or not.

Bibs

  • 8-10 soft bibs while bottle-feeding
  • 4-6 plastic bibs when they start solids

You’ll need to register for soft drool bibs (have you seen the bandana-style ones? So cute!) as well as some silicone bibs for when you start solids!

I’d recommend getting the plastic or silicone bibs that do NOT have a velcro neck closure, as they can irritate your baby’s sensitive skin and be an unnecessary cause for distraction (which makes trying new foods more difficult for you, and annoying for baby).

Burp Cloths

Newborns tend to spit up – more often than we’d like, and typically at the most inopportune moments possible!

Burp cloths are an absolute necessity – they help keep your clothes clean as well as baby’s, mop up unexpected messes when you’re out and about, and make excellent dust rags for your home later on ;).

Rock ‘N Play

If you have a little one that ends up having acid reflux, these are lifesavers!

With a reclined lounge position, this lounger is great for the early months.

They even fold up to store out of sight.

We used ours every day after feedings to keep Jax propped up to keep fluid from building up in his ears after feedings and help with his reflux.

High Chair

I don’t own this one – we decided to use the high chair we kept from when my oldest son was a baby.

But for the next little one, this is going into the cart!

It has a tray that swings open and can be removed to go into the dishwasher, an easy to wipe leatherette seat in really cute colors, and folds down flat so it’s super compact.

Teethers

  • 2-4 teethers

You’re definitely gonna need these! Here are my favorite teethers.

There’s nothing like a crying, miserable baby who can do nothing about their swollen, sore gums except cry all day and all night :(.

Find a mix of teethers that you like (some that are bumpy or have different textures, and some that can be frozen).

If they can be placed in the dishwasher, that’s a huge plus.

Clothing & Diapering

Diaper Bag

Find a diaper bag that fits your everyday style!
 
So many diapers bags have multiple straps now so you can wear them many different ways (my favorite is the backpack/crossbody style because it’s so versatile!).

Clothes

If your baby is born around a holiday, consider getting a special ‘baby’s first Christmas’ (or another holiday) onesie for them!

Or, if there’s a wedding that will be coming up soon after your baby’s birth that you’ll be braving with your newborn, register for a special dressy outfit for them.

My second son was born a few days before Easter – we were actually discharged on Easter, so I picked up a special Easter onesie for him with a hat that had bunny ears! He’ll probably hate me for that later, but I couldn’t resist!

Diapers

  • 2 boxes of size 1
  • 2 boxes of size 2 diapers
  • *Cloth diapers
  • 2 tubes of diaper rash cream (this one is my favorite!)
  • 2 boxes sensitive baby wipes

My personal advice would be to not register for the newborn size, only size 1+.

This way, you aren’t stuck with possibly more than one box of Newborn size diapers only for your little one to have outgrown them before you got to use them.

You can steal diapers from your recovery room before you leave as well – just be sure to check through your insurance coverage to see what items are covered, and what you’ll be charged extra for ;). 

*If you choose cloth diapers, there are a ton of different options. We tried cloth diapering because I loved the idea of helping eliminate diaper waste in landfills and have always been passionate about recycling and reducing waste.

Personally, I found them to be difficult to clean after we started solids, experienced frequent yeast problems, and had to size up 1-2 sizes in clothing just to button a onesie over the diaper. But, to each their own!

If you create a registry on Amazon, there are tons of cloth diaper options and prints you can add to your registry!

Diaper Pail

Having a diaper pail can be great because you have one designated place to put your child’s messy diapers without having to stink up your regular kitchen trash can.

The Diaper Genie is probably the most popular choice, but here’s a great alternative that doesn’t require any special bags or refills.

Sleep Essentials


You may also like: 10 Tips To Help You Survive Sleep Training

Humidifier

As a young single mom, I honestly shrugged off the advice I was given when it came to my son being sick.

I was tired of everyone’s opinion and ended up listening to almost nothing I was told unless it came from my pediatrician’s mouth.

Now that I’m older, and have another little one – I can tell you from experience that the one piece of advice I really wish I had listened to was to run a humidifier in your children’s room while they are sick or congested.

Dry sinuses, bloody noses, and cracked lips — humidifiers can help soothe these familiar problems caused by dry indoor air. Humidifiers can also help ease symptoms of a cold or another respiratory condition. – MayoClinic.org

Humidifiers make your little one more comfortable, and can help them feel a little relief in the midst of being sick!

And for a tiny human who is miserable and can’t yet speak for themselves, that means much more in their world.

You don’t have to run it every night, but try to run it once a week, when your child is sick (or starting to get sick), and during cold winter months when there’s a ton of dry air.

Baby Monitor

Video monitors help you keep an eye on your sweet pea while they sleep or play in another room.

I still use mine to make sure my 18-month-old isn’t causing too much trouble upstairs while I have to run downstairs and switch the laundry!

Crib Mattress & Cribs Sheets

  • 4-6 crib sheets
  • 1-3 washable crib mattress pads
  • crib mattress
  • *crib
  • cushioned changing pad (whether you buy a changing table or are using a low dresser as a changing table, you’ll need a cushioned changing pad to lay your baby on).

Because cribs are one of the more expensive items you’ll put on your registry, it’s always a good idea to put it on your list because most stores will offer a discount on items that are left over after your baby shower for you to purchase.

Portable Crib

Portable Cribs, also known as Pack ‘N Plays or Playards, are great for on the go, travel, or for putting your little one down in a safe spot so you can go to the bathroom or fold laundry.

I’ve even seen a friend of mine turn hers into a ball pit once her child got a little older. Neat idea, right?

Blankets

Again, safety standards today recommend NOT placing blankets in your child’s crib or car seat to avoid accidental death, but these are great for the lap while baby is being observed in the stroller, rolled up to help position your older baby in a shopping cart seat, or even as a light nursing cover.

Muslin blankets are the softest ever!

Swaddlers

  • 2-3 swaddlers

Swaddlers will be your best friend, new mommy! The really cool thing about swaddlers is that while they mimic a straight jacket (sorry, but they totally do!), they create a sense of warmth and security.

Newborn babes have their startle reflex (also known as the Moro reflex) until at least 3 months old, but this can actually last until they’re six months old!
Swaddlers help keep little ones from waking themselves up, which means mama will get more sleep, too.

While blankets are not recommended in cribs due to SIDS and other safety concerns, swaddlers are considered safe as long as they are used properly.

Sound Machine

*LIFESAVER ALERT*.

This is an amazing sound machine, we use it with Jax for naps and bedtime.

He likes the sound of a waterfall, so we turn out the lights, place him in his crib, turn this bad boy on, and close the door.

Works like a charm!

I love that it can run on either batteries for when we go camping/out of town, or plugs into the wall. Plus, it’s under $20, score.

Breastfeeding Essentials


You may also like: How To Qualify For A Breast Pump Through Your Insurance

Breast Pump

If you have health insurance (I hope you do for all those OB appointments and your hospital stay coming up), they will most likely cover the entire cost of a breast pump or even a percentage every 36 months.

If you do not have insurance, or they will not cover any of your cost towards a breast pump, you can place it on your registry for a discount later.

Milk Storage & Pumping

Nursing Pillow

The Boppy was my best friend while breastfeeding for the first time with my second sweet pea!

My back wasn’t aching from bending over to hold Jax while I breastfed practically all day.

I haven’t tried any other breastfeeding pillows out there, but I never felt the need to with the Boppy.

It provided just the right amount of support.

Nursing Cover

If you’re anything like me, breastfeeding in public seems pretty daunting.

Nursing covers, while not for everyone, can make having to breastfeed in public more comfortable.

There are even some fancy nursing covers that double as a stroller and car seat cover. 

Health & Grooming

Grooming Kit

When selecting a grooming kit for your baby registry, pick one that has:

  • baby nail clippers
  • soft baby hairbrush
  • petite hair comb
  • bulb syringe 
  • toothbrush 
  • finger gum massager

I always grab these kits off a friends registry when I see them because I know they will certainly get use! 

Thermometer

I love our thermometer, here’s it the one we have!

I have found that the ear reading is more accurate and consistent than the temporal reading.

Nasal Aspirator

We love the Nose Frida. 

This is a modern take on the traditional bulb syringe and is much more effective.

You’ll just have to get past the word “Snotsucker” on the box! Don’t worry mama, these have filters!

Bathing

  • baby tub with newborn sling
  • 2-4 hooded towels
  • 6-8 washcloths
  • baby shampoo
  • baby lotion for sensitive skin
  • gentle baby detergent

I definitely thought infant bathtubs with a sling were a total rip-off.

But when you are crouched over the bathtub, which seems one hundred times bigger than your soft and delicate newborn who is now slippery wet with soap, and screaming, you’ll be wishing you had a safer, size-appropriate option to bathing your little one.

Plus, positive experiences lead to less fussing in the future when it comes to tub time!

Your baby will pick up on your stress, and bath time will resonate as a stressful activity for your baby.


Alright, mamas! That’s it for my roundup of Baby Registry Must-Haves! I hope you enjoyed reading, and this list helped you put your registry together.

Be sure to snag my FREE Printable Baby Registry Checklist!

 


Originally published September 2017, updated September 2021.

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