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So you’re pregnant and preparing eagerly for your new little baby. You’re establishing the nursery, debating over names, and stocking up on newborn clothing. Your mind is spinning as you anxiously anticipate your sweet little newborn baby and you’re stressing over each preparation.
You have your shower date set (unless it is a surprise!) and suddenly your inexperienced not-yet-mother self needs to create a registry so your guests can bless you with helpful baby supplies. If you’re anything like me it’s an overwhelming task to enter the store with the scanner and walk around trying to anticipate the product needs of a life that you’ve not yet met or cared for. And, if you’re anything like me, you have no idea what to put on a baby registry. Aside from diapers and wipes, you’re at a loss as to what your new baby will need. (Ok, maybe you are a little bit more educated than that – but I wasn’t!)
If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the task of creating a registry, I highly recommend taking a mom friend with you to help (that’s what I did!) However, I’ve also compiled a list below of registry items that I would recommend for your list. There are many moms with checklists online, so I suggest taking a look at a few of them. Each mom and each family is different but you’ll get an idea of which items are commonly listed to help you build your own registry list.
Did you know you can also create a registry online with Amazon? If walking through the store seems overwhelming to your (probably) very pregnant self, then you can create one on Amazon from your couch! An Amazon registry also makes it easy for distant friends and relatives to shop and send their love. If you’re are taking the online route, I’ve included an Amazon link with each product that I’ve listed below so you can easily click through and add each item to your list.
I’ve separated my registry list into categories of “must have” and “nice to have” items to help you differentiate if you are trying to keep your list to essentials. If you are on a tight budget I also recommend that you keep your registry list smaller and focused on important items. You can then track your registry as your shower date gets closer and if the essential items are being snatched up you can add some of the “nice to have” products. This will help your shower to equip you with some of the more important items so you don’t feel the financial strain to purchase them yourself before the baby arrives.
Here’s a list of “must have” and “nice to have” baby registry items from a mother who’s one year out:
“Must Have” Registry Items:
- Crib – You might already have a crib if you’ve been working on your nursery setup, but if not I would make sure that this one makes it on the registry!
- Crib Mattress – Waterproof options are great for a crib mattress since you will likely be cleaning up more than a few bedtime diaper overflows.
- Car Seat – There are several brands of infant car seats that are all effective and safe. Be sure to choose one that snaps easily into your stroller and take note of its ease to carry. You will likely be toting it around quite a bit once baby arrives!
- Stroller – You can get a stroller just to clip your carseat into or one with a seat as well as the ability to clip in the carseat (like the one linked). I recommend a stroller that has a seat as well as the ability to clip since you will get a longer useful life out of it once your child transitions out of the infant car seat. It is however a more expensive option.
- Changing Table – There are so many different styles for changing tables depending on your decor and needs. We bought one with drawers before our baby girl was born because it matched our nursery decor and could be used as just a dresser once she outgrows the need for it. However, a few months after she was born we purchased one without drawers to keep downstairs since we discovered we were changing the majority of her diapers in the living room!
- Medical Kit – A medical kit was an essential for us very soon after our baby arrived. We needed to use the syringe in it to supplement feeding in the first several days and we gradually came to need several other items in it including a hair brush, nail clippers, thermometer, etc.
- Velcro Swaddles – I HIGHLY recommend having velcro swaddles on hand before baby arrives! They are so much easier to use than receiving blankets and make all the difference in a newborn’s sleep (you can read more about my thoughts on that here.) I would recommend adding some in both small and medium to your registry since your baby will grow into the mediums fast but the mediums are too big to securely swaddle a newborn.
- Baby Monitor – If you can’t hear the nursery from every room in your house, then a baby monitor is an essential! We love having a video one that lets us keep an eye on our daughter without any sound, but an audio one still lets you keep tabs on your baby’s sleep from throughout the house.
- Bottles – We used and loved Tommy Tippy Anti-Colic bottles. They worked great for us for bottle feeding breastmilk as well as supplementing with formula and helped cut back on gas issues due to air intake from the bottle. I would recommend putting a set with 4 oz. to 9 oz. bottles on your registry since baby’s volume needs change quickly in the first year.
- Diaper Bag – My over-the-shoulder diaper bag has served us relatively well, but I actually ended up using an ugly backpack diaper bag from the consignment store for several months. I loved having both of my arms free with the backpack bag so I highly recommend that type. There are some really cute ones out there that can be worn over the shoulder or on the back!
- White Noise Machine – White noise machines are great for drowning out sounds to help baby sleep and imitating the sound of the womb to settle newborns. If you want one that’s less mobile and doesn’t need to be charged you can always use a white noise app on your phone or tablet as well.
- Changing Pad – This doesn’t need to be anything fancy, but you will want something to lay your baby on that isn’t too uncomfortable for them and keeps them from rolling off of the changing table if it doesn’t have any sides.
- Changing Pad Cover – I highly recommend a wipeable changing pad cover since it makes leaks or messes much easier to clean up!
- Crib Sheets – There are so many cute designs for crib sheets to fit whatever your nursery theme is!
- Baby Bathtub – We struggled the first several months to figure out how to best bathe our daughter, since our baby bathtub was just a blow-up shell without any newborn insert. I highly recommend a bathtub with a mesh newborn sling to make it easy to bathe your baby from birth until they outgrow the tub!
- Electric Breast Pump – Before you add this to your registry, make sure to check with your insurance about a free one! We were able to get ours free as first time parents through our insurance company, but we had to call to inquire. If your insurance company doesn’t provide one, I recommend and have been very happy with the Madela Pump in Style Advanced.
- Breastmilk Storage Bags – Even if you don’t plan to return to work and pump, you will be happy to have some breastmilk storage bags on hand! I became a stay at home mom after my daughter was born, but still went through a couple boxes full of bags since I pumped each night to maintain my supply and would have to pump on occasion while away from my daughter.
- Nursing Cover – There are so many nursing cover options, so find one that fits your style! I used one with a wide ring around the neck with our daughter and liked how easy it was to see her and feel modest, but I might try a scarf option if we have another child.
- Nursing Pillow – Nursing was so much easier with a pillow that fit around the waist. It supported our baby and kept my arms from growing tired as she ate.
- Disposable Nursing Pads – If you’re planning to breastfeed then it would be a good idea to have at least a few disposable nursing pads on hand. I used them pretty consistently for the first several months to be sure that I didn’t leak through any shirts to cause embarrassing scenes.
- Burp Cloths – I felt I never had enough burp cloths with our baby girl! She was a big spitter and I would go through multiple cloths a day trying to keep her and I dry. She loved the super soft ones and would smile when we brushed them across her mouth.
- Bottle Brush(es) – Bottle brushes are an item I never would have thought to put on our registry, but an experienced mom gifted two of them to us at my shower and they have been thoroughly used! They make it so much easier to clean out bottles and I still use them on sippy cups. Some brushes even have a small nipple brush screwed into the handle which is extremely handy for the hard to scrub nipple of the bottle!
- Pacifiers – Our baby never took a pacifier, but for those that did most moms claim they are essential. You may have to experiment with a few different kinds, but don’t forget to throw a pacifier on your registry list.
- Diapers – We used Pampers Swaddlers diapers when our daughter was a newborn, but figured out over several months that our favorite for affordability and effectiveness were the LUVS. We asked for a ton of diapers on our registry and didn’t regret it! We went several months without the financial burden to purchase any because we received so many as gifts.
- Wipes – They’re not the cheapest, but we quickly came to prefer Huggies One & Done wipes. They are extremely moist and thick enough to do the job well. Adding wipes to your registry could again save you some expense after your baby’s birth – you will likely use them for a couple of years after all!
“Nice to Have” Registry Items:
- Baby Carrier – A baby carrier is extremely convenient when your baby sleeps well while held by you or you are walking somewhere that’s not so stroller friendly. I know many moms (including myself) prefer the Ergobaby carriers to keep their babies nestled, content, and sleeping well on the go.
- Pack ‘n Play – It was a hard call whether this fell into the “must have” or “nice to have” category since for us it has been a travel necessity. We also loved the reversible napper feature on our Graco model that our daughter slept well in in our living room for the first several months of her life.
- Pack ‘n Play Sheets – Since Pack ‘n Play mattresses are not the same size as standard crib mattresses, it’s important to have one or two sheets to fit your Pack ‘n Play.
- Swing or Bouncer – We didn’t use a swing or bouncer seat much. We borrowed a swing to use for a month or so and I got a bouncer seat at a yard sale that we used on occasion, but for us they were not essential items.
- Baby Gas Drops – It seems that every baby has different ailments that seem to plague them in the early months. Acid reflux and gas are particularly common problems. Our baby girl didn’t have any terrible issues, but gas drops were quite helpful to ease her discomfort on a few occasions.
- Formula Dispenser – We didn’t use a formula dispenser until we began weaning our daughter around 7 months of age, but when we did it was a very handy item to portion out formula and throw in the diaper bag!
- Baby Wash Cloths – Babies can obviously be cleaned by a regular wash cloth, but baby wash cloths are especially soft so they don’t scratch or cause abrasion. They are small cheap item that isn’t essential but is worth adding to the registry.
- Baby Towel – Again, a baby can be dried with a regular towel. However, there are many cute hooded baby towels on the market that are gentle on baby’s skin and make it easy to cuddle them dry quickly after the bath is over.
- Manual Breast Pump – I didn’t purchase a manual breast pump until several months after our baby girl was born, but once I did it made spending an evening out so much easier to do! I didn’t use it regularly but when we were out a manual pump made it easy to pump while my husband was driving so that our evening wouldn’t be interrupted. I loved my Medela Harmony manual pump.
- Infant Size Hangers – You will want a way to hang all of the adorable baby clothes you are given!
- Diaper Genie – This was another item that we purchased after our daughter was born, but it’s an investment that we have definitely not regretted! We actually keep ours in the living room so that dirty diapers stay contained and easy to dispose of.
- Extra Diaper Genie Refills – You will probably be using diapers for at least a couple years, so you won’t regret adding several extra diaper genie refills to your baby registry!
- Car Seat Cover – Many nursing covers double as carseat covers, but you may want to have a cover to block our images and light when your baby is sleeping in the carseat. If you are due in a winter month, you may also want a car seat warming cover that fits around the bottom of the carseat and over the baby’s legs and feet.
- Bath Toys – Having a few fun toys can make bath time so much more fun for a baby that’s starting to interact.
We love the cute little squirter toys.
- Baby Headbands/Bows (if girl) – If you’re having a little girl headbands and bows can be such a fun way to dress her up!Putting a few on your registry can help give your friends and family an idea of your style since some of them won’t be able to resist getting you cute accessories.
- Infant Bowls – You won’t need them for several months, but if you add a set of baby bowls to your registry you won’t regret once your little one hits the solids phase. I especially recommend a set with lids. They make it easy to store any food that your baby doesn’t finish in one feeding!
- Bib(s) – You won’t need these right away either, but once your baby transitions to solids you will be happy to have them on hand. I highly recommend wipeable bibs to cut down on your laundry and make meal clean up easier.
- Baby Spoons/Forks – You won’t need them for several months, but you will be glad to have some spoons and forks ready when baby takes the plunge into the world of purees.
- Clothing – You will probably be gifted quite a bit of clothing without even adding it to your registry, but putting a few items on gives your friends and family a peak into your style preferences.
Want to print out this list to help you through the store? Download the printable PDF checklist HERE!
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You can also click below to read more of my thoughts on prepping for motherhood: