When I was pregnant with my first, I spent so much time making my registry. Blame it on my type A personality, maybe it was the fact that I had way too much time on my hands while on bed rest, or I was just nesting, but I researched every baby item known to man, in order to create the perfect registry for my little babe. While plenty of people will think it’s overkill, I love research and love hearing other people’s suggestions, so I kept looking for an entire list of what someone registered for, and how they liked it. Now that we’ve gone through two newborn phases, I’m looking back, knowing completely what we used and didn’t use that I got/registered for. So, for all the first time moms, or mom’s looking for new baby gear, with a type A personality like me, here is my list of EVERYTHING you could possibly need for baby, and my opinions on all of it.
This list is a good starting point if you are creating your baby registry, and you can take off anything you’ve already gotten, but I tried to include every little basic item in case you are starting from scratch. Enjoy! If you are a mom or dad and think I missed something, please let me know and I’ll add it (Note: Items are in order by category).
I also made an example registry that is similar to what I registered for when I had my first. I used Baby List to make it, which is an awesome baby registry site that lets you register for things from any website and keeps it all in one place. It also shows shoppers all of the different stores it is available at so they can shop wherever they choose. It is so easy to use, and made registering a breeze! Here is my example registry of specific items, similar to below with descriptions and tips.
For the Nursery:
Crib. Whether your baby sleeps in it every night, just for naps, or hardly ever, I don’t know anyone who has had a baby and didn’t use a crib. I won’t suggest a particular brand, as it is so subjective to personal taste, but don’t get a drop-side (they’re banned, and dangerous), and note that most cribs now-a-days convert to a day bed and full bed, but the kit to change it cost an often quite large, additional amount and if you plan on having more kids, you’ll probably just keep it as a crib and move the older babe to a big bed.
Crib Mattress. Also subjective to taste, we got ours used from a friend. In my opinion, most mattresses, as long as they aren’t super worn out, are pretty similar, and some crib/furniture sets come with one.
Crib Sheets. I like having two or three so I’m not rushing to wash just one. There will be late night accidents and you’ll want to be able to throw on that second sheet, or follow my tip in the next item.
Waterproof Mattress Cover. Your sweet little baby will have many accidents, these save your mattress from being ruined. Get two so you can wash one and have one ready. Note: I layer Sawyer’s crib from bottom to top: mattress cover, sheet, second mattress cover, second sheet. That way if he has an accident in the middle of the night, I’m not trying to find the other sheets and get them on, I can just pull off the top two and put him back to bed. This has been SO nice and convenient for us, but I did wait to start doing it until he was past the age where I was worried about SIDS so it wouldn’t make more bedding than is safe.
Blankets. A word of caution- you will probably receive so many blankets as gifts, people love to buy them. If you register for any, you will receive even more than you would have gotten in the first place. Unless there is one or two you really, really want, or you are registering for the one that matches your bedding, I highly recommend leaving these off of your registry. I didn’t register for any, and we were given about twenty. I’m not joking folks. My friends had the same experiences, or registered, and therefore ended up with tons and tons. For me, the exception to this rule is specialty swaddler blankets or ones that matched our nursery.
Swaddling Blankets. So many different kinds that wrap, Velcro, etc. We bought the popular Aden and Anais blankets and loved them. I couldn’t have more good things to say about them, we use them daily, usually just as a light blanket to go over baby or to swaddle. I also use them as a nursing cover or car seat cover if I don’t have ours. The only downside would be they are really lightweight, so if you are having a winter baby, these probably aren’t thick enough on their own for chilly days. For swaddlers that secure baby all tight without wrapping, we bought a Miracle Swaddler for our second son and are IN LOVE with it. They are definitely pricey, but worth every penny. I got mine used and he sleeps in it every night.
Other Crib Bedding. Crib skirt, Mobile etc. Your baby can definitely get by without these things, but if you want to register for them, go for it!
Room Décor. Some people register for decorations for the nursery, this is totally up to you! We had ours already done before the shower, so the only thing we registered for décor wise was a cute laundry hamper.
Bassinet. Most people like to keep baby in their room at the beginning. I have bassinet that has a frame, or can lock into the top of our pack and play and love that I can move it around like that. Both of my boys have slept in that for the first weeks home, and it was great. You could also use a co-sleeper which are like little bassinets that go on your bed to keep them safe but close.
Rocking Chair. This is something I thought I didn’t need and regretted later. You need some kind of chair in the nursery to sit in during night feedings, sleep training, or just time you spend in their room. You’re going to be tired, and it will be so worth it. Trust me, sitting on the floor is not fun. Yes, you can get by without one, but if you have the money/space, it is so so very worth getting. Bonus points if it is comfy enough to sleep in, because there will be a time you will want to.
Sound Machine. Definitely worth buying before you have baby. It can drown out the visiting family, the doorbell ringing, dogs barking, and all the little creaks a house makes that can startle a baby so easily. Many newborns are comforted by the womb-sound option. This may be a life saver at 3 a.m. (trust me, there will be nights when you are trying everything to get them to sleep. It’s good to have a few tricks up your sleeve.) Ours can run either plugged in or just on batteries, which has been nice when we’ve been out of town and there are no outlets in the hotel room (true story) or when we were having work done on the house and the power had to be off during naptime.
Baby Monitor. There are three kinds- sound, video, and motion monitors. Sound only are your basic, classic monitor where you can hear baby. Video monitors have sound as well, but add video, usually with night vision, and many have extra features like being able to talk to baby or being able to link in on your phone. Motion monitors lay under baby and have sensors that can tell you if there is a concern, like if baby stops breathing for some reason. Monitors range in price from about $16-$300+ and you pretty much get what you pay for. We have the Sony Baby Call, it’s a basic audio monitor but we have loved it and it’s been fantastic; I love that it came with two receivers. I can’t vouch for any other brands or suggestions, so if you have one you love, give it a shout out in the comments so other moms can know!
Diapers. We used disposables, and no argument, Pampers Swaddlers are the BEST. I’m not exaggerating when I say they are hands down the best diapers on the market for any baby- chubby, thin, long, short. They don’t leak, are sensitive, and we have never had a single blow out in them. I think that alone speaks for itself. They are on the higher end of the Pampers line, but if you coupon, you can often get them for cheaper than even the Wal-Mart diapers. There is a good reason that these are the diapers hospitals use. Note: no matter what diapers you use, don’t buy Huggies Little Snuggler’s for newborn boys. While they are great in the other sizes, and we’ve used them, the newborn size has a large umbilical cord cut out which makes the perfect little hole for little baby boys to pee out of. We were given a large box of these and Sawyer peed out of every. single. one. My friends noticed the same thing. They’re great diapers, but skip the newborn size if you have a boy, we have used them in the bigger sizes and had no problems. I don’t have recommendations if you are doing cloth diapers, but there are plenty of articles out there on them if you Google it.
Wipes. I like Huggies, but don’t care too much which kind we use, most wipes seem to be created pretty equally.
Diaper Rash Creme. I like Bordeaux’s Butt Paste. Yup, that’s the name of it.
Diaper Bag. So much to do with personal preference, but you’ll need one to tote all those baby supplies!
Paci Pod. It’s a little thing that clips on your diaper bag to keep paci’s from getting yucky in your purse and makes them easy to grab in a jiffy. This is probably one of the greatest things I got for baby and the most used.
Changing Table/Changing Pad/Changing Pad Cover. We had a changing table and pad and loved it, other’s say they didn’t use it at all. Go with what you think you’ll do and what you have room for. Ours is actually a dresser that we secured the pad to, that way we can take the pad off and use it as a normal dresser when we’re past the baby stage.
Diaper Caddy. We have a diaper caddy in our downstairs that holds diapers and wipes and has a drawer for anything else you need. It’s so convenient to be able to grab and change the baby, and keeps me from having to make a trip upstairs every time I want a diaper. This is another one of my top ten favorite baby items. Here is the one we have.
On the Go Changing Pad/Diaper Holder. I have never used an on the go changing pad, we always just put him on a blanket on the little changing tables, but I do have little case that holds the diapers and wipes which has made it really easy to just grab that out of my purse and go change baby.
Baby Wash. We registered for Johnson and Johnson’s. It’s a classic, and we’ve loved it. I’m sure there are other great brands out there, but we were given so many bottles, that that’s all we’ve used.
Baby Shampoo. Might not be your first thought of something to register for, but we needed it right away. While the regular head-to-toe wash is great, the shampoo does do a better job of getting their hair clean if they have a lot, and taking care of cradle cap.
Washcloths. These are usually personal preference based on your taste for colors and patterns, but I like the really soft ones that are thinner. They do a better job cleaning chubby folds and aren’t as rough.
Baby Towels. The little hoods are made to keep baby warm when they get out of the bath, plus the look adorable. My two year old still loves putting on his monkey towel after every bath and looking in the mirror.
Baby Bath Tub. We have just your good old blue baby bath tub with the mesh insert for when they are tiny. It worked great, no complaints here but there are some other awesome looking ones on the market.
Spout Cover. These often look like a whale, duck, or some other character. It’s basically a rubber block that goes over the bath spout to keep your baby from hurting their head on it. So worth it to have, our new bath faucet is too big for one and our toddler bonks his head on it while playing in the bath tub all the time and it always makes me cringe.
Nipple Cream. If you are nursing, buy a nursing cream with Lanolin or some other relief agent in it before you have the little babe, and pack it in your hospital bag. Trust me, use it. Use it before you are sore or in pain, and you may avoid a lot of issues trying to learn to nurse. Nipple Cream can be your best friend if you are nursing. I don’t know one person who hasn’t needed it. With baby #2 I used the Honest Company’s and fell in love with it, it’s worth a few more bucks in my opinion.
Nursing Pads. From what I know, almost every single mom I’ve ever met used these, and used many boxes of them. I didn’t use a single one. Never had an issue with leaking, but I think that’s pretty rare, so it’s good to have a box or two in case you need them, some people even take them to the hospital, but it’s a good chance your milk won’t come in that fast.
Nursing Cover. Necessary for nursing discreetly or around people you would feel awkward not using one around. I like that mine has boning in the front so I can see the baby, especially at the beginning when they don’t have the hang of things quite yet. After we get nursing down, I can use a blanket comfortably, but the nursing covers are really nice.
Breast Pump. Most insurances cover these now, but if yours doesn’t, they are a great thing to have for a nursing mom. Even if you don’t plan on being away from baby long enough to need a supply, I pumped some and kept it in the freezer and was able to use it when I got really sick and my supply dried up for a few days.
Boppy. Is that like Kleenex where it’s a brand but we call all nursing pillows boppys? Nursing pillows seem like a simple pillow, but makes it so much easier to nurse in the beginning while baby is tiny and helps with proper latch. We also used ours for tummy time and play time and bought a cute cover so it would match the nursery. Mine is just the regular Boppy.
Bottles. We use Avent bottles and have loved them. I have two kids, and watched a lot of other babies in my life, and these are my favorite bottles hands-down. They are easy to use, never leak, and hold up to everything. I also love that the bottles and sippy cup nipples and lids are interchangeable and we have taken advantage of that a lot. Runner up would be Tommy Tippee for similar reasons. The only bottles I have used and really didn’t like were Dr. Browns. Sorry if you are reading and loved them, I just found them to be a hassle as they have so many different parts, leaked easily (maybe I just put all the parts together wrong?) , and aren’t quite as easy for baby to hold when they’re big enough to hold their own bottle.
Bottle Brush. Pretty self explanatory, you need one to get in all the little parts of the bottles and nipples.
Nipples. The bottles often only come with nipples for newborns. It’s a good idea to have the bigger sizes on hand because they get frustrated when that milk isn’t coming fast enough, and you don’t want to have to run to Target to get a bigger size.
Pacifiers. I like the Avent ones. As long as they are orthodontic though, I think you can stick with whatever you’re baby will take.
Burp Clothes. I wouldn’t register for them because you’ll most likely be given some cute home made ones, but these are necessary if your baby is drooly or spits up a lot, and so good to have in your diaper bag for quick clean ups even if they don’t.
High Chair. That baby is going to be eating solids before you know it! We chose a high chair that folded up pretty compact because we knew we would be moving and wanted something easy to move and that wouldn’t take up too much space, but there are lots of options based on whatever it is you are looking for.
Spoons. Baby spoons, pretty simple, but I like the Gerber ones that are a little wider.
Hand and Face Wipes. There are going to be plenty of times where you will be out and about and baby will get messy. Baby wipes aren’t made for faces, they’re made for little bums, and if you use them on baby’s face, they may break out in a rash. Hand and face wipes are safe for little faces, and many of them are also safe for wiping down paci’s, which fall to the ground far, far more often than you could know. These wipes are awesome so you don’t have to run to the bathroom to wash a paci or get paper towels to clean off a new-eaters mouth. My favorite are made by Johnson and Johnson.
Bibs. Feeding bibs are usually easily wipe able and definitely necessary once you start solids.
Medela Quick Clean Sterilizer Bags. While it’s not necessary to sterilize bottles or pump pieces every time you use them, it is a good idea to do regularly, and especially if you are having trouble getting them clean. These bags are cheap, last twenty uses each, and are so easy to use. Fill them up with stuff, add water to the line, and pop them in the microwave. So much easier and space efficient than those bulky sterilizer things.
Infant Car Seat. I won’t put a particular brand recommendation because new car seats come out all the time and there is such a large range of prices, but there are a few things to look for- I like one with nice padding, some are so thin the baby is basically sitting on plastic. I also like to pick them up and see how heavy they are. There are some really nice, light weight car seats, and others that feel like your lugging around a heavy suitcase. Add a fifteen pound two month old and you can’t even get that thing into the house. This is especially important if you are petite as the heavier ones are usually a little bigger too, which might make it hard for you to carry. Don’t worry about features like “goes all the way up to 35 pounds!” No one keeps their kid in an infant car seat until they are 35 pounds, that is how much my four year old nephew weighs, that would be ridiculous haha. So if the one you like only goes to 25 pounds, don’t worry, they’ll probably be ready to move up to a rear facing or convertible car seat by then anyways. Last thing to look for is that if you buy your car seat used, make sure it won’t expire before you are dong using it! The expiration date should be on the bottom of the carseat somewhere.
BundleMe. These are little footmuffs for car seats, they make it so your little one is super warm in the winter. We’ve never used one, but they seem nice for winter babies!
Convertible Car Seat. A lot of people don’t register for these or get them early, but if you need a more expensive item on your registry or you are just trying to look out for good deals ahead of time, this is something to keep your eye on. My son screamed in his infant car seat every. single. time. that we drove somewhere. The entire way. I don’t know what it was about it, but he hated it, so we bought the Graco Myride 65 when my son was five months old(which can hold a baby as small as 7 pounds so I guess if you wanted, you could put even a newborn in this, it does come with the headrest and pads for a tiny baby). We kept him rear facing, of course, but something about moving into the bigger, higher car seat, and we no longer had to hear him cry in the car anymore. It was amazing. We have LOVED everything about the Graco 65, except how wide it is. It works great in our cars, but has been hard to fit in other people’s if the back row is full. I would buy this car seat again any day though.
Stroller. Strollers are another thing that are highly up to your own preference. My suggestion would be at least to have one lightweight stroller that you can easily take anywhere and a jogging stroller. I never put my infant car seat into it’s stroller it came with, but if you read the item above, my son hated his infant car seat. We could’ve been just fine off with a lightweight stroller with a nice size basket and a jogging stroller. I use my jogging stroller most of the places we go. It’s so much easier to push and has a good sized basket. I do love our travel system stroller, it just hasn’t gotten much use.
Infant neck rest for car seat. Our car seat came with an “infant support system” but we still had to buy a headrest for the first few weeks or else their little head just falls to the side non-stop.
Window shade. I like the ones that suction on, and don’t pull down so the older kids aren’t playing with it.
Mirror. Little mirrors that make it so you can see a rear-facing baby in your rear-view mirror. This was a sanity saver on long trips for us, so I didn’t worry every time baby made a strange sound and climb over the seats trying to figure out what was wrong.
Strap covers. I think most car seats are coming with these already on them, but ours didn’t and the ones they sell separately are pretty dang cute. Not a necessary item, but they are nice.
Socks. Unless you already have tons, register for a pack or two. They get lost so easily, and go through so many sizes in the first year. Babies can’t regulate their temperature for a long time and you need to keep those little toes warm to keep their body temp right.
Other clothes. I personally suggest that you do not register for any baby clothes, this is my own personal opinion and others may disagree, but here is why. People love to buy tiny little baby clothes, and even if you don’t register for them, you will get tons. If you register for them, people will think that is all you need, and that is all you will get, or you will get so many more than you need. Plus, most people only buy baby clothes as a gift in size newborn or 0-3 which most babies don’t wear very long, and it’s often hard to return baby clothes, so I highly suggest not registering for these. Also, people are going to buy you whatever baby clothes they think are cute, not what is on your registry. I promise you will still get baby clothes as gifts from lots of people. The exceptions for me are if you are having a shower for a second, third, etc. child that is a different gender and clothing is what you need, or if you have everything else and just need clothes.
Bouncer. Great for having somewhere to put baby while you make dinner, get things done, etc.
Swing. So many babies just love these, it might be your saving grace. Sawyer didn’t like swings, so maybe borrow one first and see if your baby likes it before committing to buying one!
Rock and Play. I thought these were just another silly baby item that I didn’t need, until I put my baby in a friends and he sat quietly and happily for so long (which he had never done before). A lot of people use these as a bassinet at first and they are awesome if you travel a lot or don’t have a lot of space because they fold flat. Another plus of the rock and play is that they have a slight incline, which is important for babies who spit-up a lot or if you have a c-section, as they have increased spit-up in the first few weeks. The incline keeps them from choking on their spit-up, so if you are having a planned c-section, you might want to get one especially for that reason. our nephew in their rock and play at the beach
Bumbo/Prince Lionheart Seat. We used this thing so much! Sawyer absolutely being able to sit up in it until he got too big. Make sure if you buy one used, that it has the recalled piece added (there was a recall on the bumbo ones last year, but they offered a belt which you could order to make them safe again). Even with the belt, please, please don’t put your baby on a counter or high place in these. I know too many people whose babies have fallen off of a table or counter in a bumbo seat; they are made for being on the floor.
Exersaucer/Jumper. We used our exersaucer a lot, but it was borrowed so we’re going to get a jumperoo this time around. Basically some kind of seat surrounded with toys for baby to sit and play it. Our first loved it, hopefully the second one will too! I’m choosing a jumperoo for this time around only because they collapse down and we’ll save it for future kiddos. The exersaucer does takes up a lot of space.
HEALTH AND SAFETY
Door locks. We lock all of the lower cabinets in our kitchen and have since Sawyer could crawl. Since not all of our cabinets have an adjoining one for the easy loop latches, we also love the magnetic ones which can go on a single cabinet and are really easy to open.
Outlet covers. While I know these are really pushed by stores, I don’t know anyone who uses them after baby #1 because they often attract the baby to the outlet when he wasn’t really interested in the first place, and then they want to play with the outlet cover. We found it was easier and in the long run safer just to keep a very close eye and teach baby not to touch the outlets.
Furniture straps. I cannot stress the importance of these enough, but nothing I can say will do justice to this post from another blog. Something so small can be very important.
First aid kit. These are great because they usually have all of the little first aid and grooming things you might need. Finger nail clippers, medicine dispensers, classic thermometer, nail files, a baby toothbrush, hairbrush, ours even had a little rattle.
Ear thermometer. We use this so much now that our baby is big, but when they are really tiny you have to check their temperature the old fashion way.
Nose Freida. This looks disgusting to anyone whose never used one, but anyone who has one will tell you it is irreplaceable. So much better than the bulb aspirators they give you at the hospital, these clear out babies nose of snot and let baby breathe. You can see the original on my example registry.
Boogie Wipes. These may come off as silly, but you don’t know how great these things are until you’ve tried them on a super runny nose. Baby wipes aren’t made to use on faces (like mentioned before), so these wipes are perfect for that sensitive, runny nose. They also take off food and marker easily. You could skip these though and just use the hand and face wipes mentioned before.
Humidifier. The pediatrician will often recommend you run a humidifier at night when baby has a cold, so it’s good to have before that first cold hits. I know some people who run them every night no matter what, and others like us, have never been able to use one because it bugs our toddler’s asthma, but I’m still glad we have it for the baby.
Laundry Detergent. If you are currently using a detergent with perfumes or dyes, you won’t want to use that on the babies clothes as most babies skin is very sensitive when they’re born and it can give them a rash. I wash our entire families laundry in All Free & Clear. It is my favorite hypoallergenic and sensitive detergent.
Baby Books. These are fun to register for and nice to have as they get older, plus they look cute in the nursery. My favorite’s are the BabyLit Primers.
Johnny Jumper. Kids love these things, we got a lot of use out of ours.
Stuffed animals. Not necessary at all, and you are not supposed to put them in their sleeping space, but they do look cute in the nursery and little babies like to play with them.
Baby gyms. A place for baby to lay and do tummy time with brain stimulating illustrations and toys. I’m not a huge fan, but others are, so go for it if you think you’ll use it!
I hope that helps you get started on what you might need for baby. Obviously you don’t need everything on this list, but I hope it was helpful to look through and see what all is out there and a mom’s opinion on it!
Just a reminder, I have my example registry on BabyList where you can go see exactly what I’m talking about for each item if you don’t know what they are. There are a lot of baby things out there and I hope that this gives you a head start or a starting point on what you might need! Good luck and congratulations on that exciting addition you are expecting!!!
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