YOUR ULTIMATE BABY REGISTRY CHECKLIST FIND OUT THE ITEMS YOU ACTUALLY NEED
Choosing all the items to register for your new baby can be an overwhelming process. There are so many choices out there. You want to make sure you have everything you need but also don’t want to waste money on things that you will never use. This is exactly how I felt when trying to select baby registry items. I had to learn by trial and error after having three babies. I now know exactly what you need. Trust me I didn’t know the first time, I had items I never used, and I had to send my husband out to the store in the middle of the night to try to find certain essentials that I did not have!
Lucky for you I will save you the headache of trying to figure it all out for yourself. Read on to discover the items you actually need on your baby registry in every category including, nursery, diapers, feeding, clothing, gear, bathing, toys and extras just for mom.
This post may contain affiliate links. This means that if you make a purchase using my link, I make a small commission –at no cost to you. That being said, I am still giving you my honest opinion. Read the full disclosure here.
At the bottom of this post you will find a printable baby registry checklist that you can take with you when you register.
Before you register you will need to decide a few things that will determine what to register for. Read on to find out what those are and my advice on each.
Choose Where Your Baby Will Sleep
You will see in the baby registry checklist below a few of the items are optional. This includes the co-sleeper and the bassinet. Where your baby sleeps is a personal choice. Do you want your baby to sleep with you in your room in a co-sleeper, a bassinet or would you prefer them to be in their crib in their nursery with a sleeping monitor every night? Before my first child was born, I thought I would have her in her crib every night but when she came, I discovered it was easier for nighttime feedings for her to be in a co-sleeper every night.
Changing Table or Not?
Another tip for the nursery is you can purchase both a changing table and a dresser or you can just purchase a dresser and add a changing table tray, with a pad and a cover on the top to save space and money. I bought both, but I wish I would have just bought one dresser. I have seen some of the cutest changing pad covers out there. Like this one.
If you decide on a changing table be sure to get one with storage or add baskets to store all your diapers, and wipes so that you can give your baby a change without leaving them unattended on the table. Don’t forget about the diaper genie and the hamper placed next to the changing station for convenience.
The One Thing I Recommend the Most
One of the items that I believe is a must have for the nursery is the foldable napper. This is a light, foldable, portable spot for your baby to sleep. I found this so convenient to be able to place my baby in any room that I wanted to for her to sleep. I also noticed that because of the slight angle to the sleeper my baby slept great in it. Plus, it is great for traveling. I did not discover this until my second baby when my friend lent me hers. As soon as I got it I am not sure how I lived without it!
Choosing the Right Crib
When shopping for a crib think about what features you are looking for in a crib, or if there is a certain style you want in your nursery. You can check out my 10 Best Modern Cribs Compared post to see the ones I recommend for several categories including best price, best modern, best color options, best extra storage, best mid-century modern and more.
What I Wish Was Around When My Babies Were Little
I also recently reviewed the Snoo Sleeper, which is a highly advanced crib that I wish was invented my babies were little. It actually helps your baby fall asleep faster and sleep longer! Which, I mean is every parents dream come true. It is an investment though. So, you need to weigh the pros and cons. You can learn more about the benefits in the full article, What is a Smart Crib & is it Worth the Money?
The Right Blanket Can Make All the Difference
I also highly recommend these swaddle blankets. Let me paint this picture for you… When you are in the hospital the nurses, the angels they are, making swaddling look so easy. They do it flawlessly and your baby is tight and snug and sleeping perfect. Then you get home… and reality hits it’s not that easy! Your baby will move just a little and the blanket is completely undone.
This frustrated me so much as a new mom until I found these awesome swaddle blankets. You just Velcro your baby in and they get that tight snug feeling that they had when in the womb. It helps them sleep so much better. I tell you these things are life savers.
Why You Need a Rocking Chair or Glider
I did not realize the importance of this item until my baby was born. Sure, I thought that we would have sweet moments of me reading to her while rocking, which we did but that is not why it is a must have. It is for those nights when she is fussy and colicky, and nothing will stop her crying, but you are also tired yourself. You may not have the energy to walk around the house and rock her. It is helpful to just shut the door in her nursery and sit and rock her and soothe her until she falls asleep. Plus, they have some beautiful modern styles that would look chic in any nursery. Here is my favorite.
What Toys Do You Need Right Away?
Be sure to register for a variety of toys for different age ranges for your baby. Don’t get anything with the age recommendation over a year because he will get plenty of toys on his fist birthday too. Some of the toys that are great to have right away are a play mat, a mirror, rattles, teethers and plenty of books. Plus, learnings toys are a must. Check out my post, 27 Best Educational Baby Toys if you are interested in the best learning toys.
To Nurse or Not to Nurse?
This is one of the major personal decisions that you need to make to help decide what you will be registering for so that you can be prepared with what you need. There are tons of health benefits of nursing for you and your baby, I am sure you have heard about it by now. I have friends that were set on nursing but were not able to when their baby came so they had to switch to formula.
In the baby registry checklist below, I have included some items only for nursing moms. If you are nursing, you will need a breast pump. To tell you the truth I did not know this when I first had my baby and had to have my husband run out and buy us one. You will need this, so you can have a break from feeding your baby sometimes or if you need to run to the store and leave your baby with your husband. This also helps tell your body to produce more milk when your baby is first born or if your baby is having a hard time latching you can feed them your milk in a bottle. Basically, it is a must have for nursing moms.
Cloth Diapers or Regular?
Another important personal decision. The baby registry checklist below itemizes how many diapers you will need if you buy traditional diapers. The benefits of cloth diapers are they are better for the environment and they will save you money.
Another good option if you don't want to wash cloth diapers but you still want something that is better for the environment and healthier for your baby I recommend you try Eco Pea Co. They make environmentally friendly diapers and wipes that are made of bamboo. Their products are safe for the earth and for your baby. They are specially crafted for those with highly sensitive skin. You will be surprised by how soft they feel. You can save 20% if you sign up for a diaper subscription and shipping is free on all orders over $50.
How Many Bottles?
How many and the sizes of bottles to get will depend on whether you are breast or bottle feeding. If you are bottle feeding experts recommend about 12 bottles to start with. For a newborn you will only need 4 oz. sizes, but you can also get some 6 oz. to be prepared as he grows. I recommend buying bottles with a few different types of nipples. You will find your baby will prefer some over others. There is no way to know until he is born.
If you are breastfeeding, you will only need about 4 bottles. There will be times that you will pump and have someone else feed your baby. To catch up on some sleep you can have your husband take over the night time feeding on some nights.
Do I Need Other Feeding Items?
On this baby registry checklist I have included the high chair and some of the feeding items that you will need when your baby is about 4 or 5 months. If you like you can wait to purchase these items until your baby is a few months old. But most moms include these on their registries because someone might like to give this to you as a gift.
Bonus- a lot of baby registries have a registry completion discount, so you can purchase items on your registry that you did not receive as gifts for a percentage off. So, it does not hurt to include these items now. To learn more about this and all the other perks that are offered check out my article, 11 Best Places for Baby Registry Compared.
What Stroller Do I Need?
There are tons of options for strollers. They have some expensive ones on the market with tons of bells and whistles. What worked for me was to get 3 strollers. I’ll tell you why. First, I had one that you could snap the car seat into. This was a lifesaver when my baby was sleeping in the car and then when I got to my destination, I did not want to wake her. You can simply pop out the car seat and pop it right into the stroller.
The second one was a cheap light weight umbrella stroller. This works when he is a little older and does not need as much support. There will be times that you are traveling or just want to go to the park without bringing the huge stroller. You will be thankful that you just have this small stroller to throw in the trunk.
My third stroller is a running stroller. You only want this if you are a runner or want to go on walks on trails where it is hard to push a conventional stroller. I would not recommend to start running if you haven’t before with this stroller. The reason is it is actually very hard to push the heavy stroller and run. It is a definite workout! But a great way to get in shape after you have recovered. If you know you want a running stroller they also have them in the car seat connect ones like this. So you can save money and use this as your everyday stroller as well.
Health & Safety Essentials
Check out the baby registry checklist below to find out all the health and safety items you need for your baby. I recommended getting a kit that has all the essentials such as a thermometer, that nose bulb thing, nail clippers etc. Don’t forget all your baby proof items!
Baby Clothes- How Much Do you Actually Need?
It is not just you every mom is wondering this same questions. In the baby registry checklist below I list how much of each you need so that you are not constantly doing laundry. People love to buy baby clothes so you may end up with even more than you need but that’s ok too.
Don’t forget the coming home outfit. You will want the picture perfect outfit for her debut in the world. If you are having a girl you will be sure to find an adorable one in my post, 11 Most Adorable Coming Home Outfits for Your Baby Girl.
The Good Stuff Just for Mom
Be sure to register for some fun stuff for you like a cute diaper bag that shows your style and personality. I love the cute backpack ones.
You also get to decide if you want a baby carrier, wrap or sling. I recommend spending the extra money and getting an ergonomic baby carrier. You will love it. I had cheaper ones with my first two babies but they would always hurt my back and so I hardly ever wore them. Then with my third child I splurged and got the Ergobaby carrier and I was so happy. I wish I had done that with my girls. It is so comfortable. It makes it so much easier to get out and about without having to use a stroller all the time. It is also great for wearing around the house too. I think I had my son in that thing until he was two! Poor kid.
Check out the recovery section of the baby registry checklist below to find some helpful things for you based on whether you have a natural birth or a c-section. The hospital will give you a few things but not everything. I would recommend getting these before the baby is born because you will want them right away when you get home. You won’t have time to wait for Amazon 2-day shipping! You have to take care of yourself so that you can take care of that newborn.
The extras that I included in the baby registry checklist are things that are optional but that I found useful.
A note about pacifiers, some people don’t recommend them. One of the downsides is that when your baby becomes attached to one it is hard to get them to stop using it. Out of my three babies two of them wanted nothing to do with them and one was addicted and could not be soothed any other way. It is a personal choice whether you want to introduce it to your baby. In my experience on those nights when you cannot seem to soothe her you will want to try everything including a pacifier, so it is nice to have one or two on hand to see if it helps.
Now to the Good Stuff
Now you have all my tips on what you actually need for your new baby. Below you will find the Ultimate Baby Registry Checklist and you can click here to download the PDF version. I learned by trial and error so hopefully my mistakes will help you be more prepared for your new baby. Even though it is an overwhelming process to decide what you need be sure to have fun picking everything out. You don’t get these opportunities often in life, cherish it!
Moms is there anything that was essential for you that I did not include in the list? Please leave a comment and let me know.
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Download the Ultimate Baby Registry Checklist Here