Ultimate Baby Registry Checklist (What You Actually Need)

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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'll never use.  That's why I created the ultimate baby registry checklist, so you'll know what you need to put on your baby registry.

I'll 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.

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At the bottom of this post, you'll find a printable baby registry checklist that you can take with you when you register.

Before you register you'll need to decide a few things that'll 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'll 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've seen some of the cutest changing pad covers out there.

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 bassinet. 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. Plus, it's 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'm not sure how I lived without it!

Choosing the Right Crib

When shopping for a crib think about what features you're 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 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 when my babies were little. It actually helps your baby fall asleep faster and sleep longer!

Which, I mean is every parent's dream come true. It's an investment though. So, you need to weigh the pros and cons.

The Right Blanket Can Make All the Difference

I also highly recommend these swaddle blankets. Let me paint this picture for you… When you're 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's not why it's a must have.

It's 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's 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's my favorite modern swivel glider.

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're 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 before you make your registry. That way you can be prepared with what you need before your baby comes.

In the baby registry checklist below, I have included some items only for nursing moms.

Breast Pump

If you're nursing, you'll need a breast pump. To tell you the truth I didn't know this when I first had my baby and had to have my husband run out and buy us one.

You'll need this, so you can have a break from feeding your baby sometimes.  You'll also need it for those times you run some errands and leave your baby with someone else or if you're returning to work.

This also helps tell your body to produce more milk when your baby is first born.  It can help too if your baby is having a hard time latching so you can feed them your milk in a bottle. Basically, it's a must have for nursing moms.

Cloth Diapers or Regular?

Another important personal decision is whether to go with re-usable cloth or regular diapers.

  • The benefits of cloth diapers are they're better for the environment, and they'll save you money.
  • Traditional diaper benefits are they are way easier and less messy.

The baby registry checklist below itemizes how many diapers you'll need if you buy traditional diapers.

How Many Bottles?

How many and the sizes of bottles to get will depend on whether you're breast or bottle feeding.

For Bottle Feeding

If you're bottle-feeding experts recommend about 12 bottles to start with.  For a newborn you'll only need 4 oz. sizes, but you can also get some 6 oz. to be prepared as he grows.

For Breastfeeding

If you're breastfeeding, you'll 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 partner take over the nighttime feeding on some nights.

I recommend buying bottles with a few different types of nipples. You'll find your baby will prefer some over others. There is no way to know until he's born.

Do I Need Other Feeding Items?

On this baby registry checklist, I've included the highchair and some of the feeding items that you'll 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 didn't receive as gifts for a percentage off. So, it doesn't 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 and cheap ones that'll get the job done too.

What worked for me was to get 3 strollers. I’ll tell you why.

Stroller Travel System

First, I had one that you could snap the car seat into. This was a lifesaver when my baby was sleeping in the car.  When I got to my destination I didn't want to unbuckle and wake her. You can simply pop out the car seat and pop it right into the stroller.

Light Foldable Stroller

The second one was a cheap light weight umbrella stroller. This works when he's a little older and doesn't need as much support.

There will be times that you're traveling or just want to go to the park without bringing the huge stroller. You'll be thankful that you just have this small stroller to throw in the trunk.

Running Stroller

My third stroller is a running stroller. You only want this if you're a runner or want to go on walks on trails where it's hard to push a conventional stroller. I would not recommend starting running if you haven’t before with this stroller.

The reason is it's actually very hard to push the heavy stroller and run. It's a definite workout! But a great way to get in shape and get out with your baby after you've recovered.

Combo Stroller

To save money you could also get a running stroller that connects to a car seat.  Instead of purchasing two separate strollers.

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's 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're 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'll want the picture-perfect outfit for your baby's debut in the world.

You can get a little inspiration with these posts:

11 Most Adorable Baby Girl Coming Home Outfits

Top 27 Baby Boy Coming Home Outfits

The Good Stuff Just for Mom

Cute Diaper Bags

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.

Baby Carrier

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'll 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's so comfortable. It makes it so much easier to get out and about without having to use a stroller all the time. It's also great for wearing around the house too.

Mom’s Recovery

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'll want them right away when you get home. You won’t have time to wait for Amazon 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's 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 couldn't be soothed any other way.

It's 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'll want to try everything including a pacifier, so it's nice to have one or two on hand to see if it helps.

Baby Registry Checklist Printable

Now you have all my tips on what you actually need for your new baby. Below you'll find the Ultimate Baby Registry Checklist and you can click here to download the PDF version.

Even though it's an overwhelming process to decide what you need be sure to have fun picking everything out. You don’t get this opportunity often in life, cherish it!

Other articles you might like:

10 Best Baby Registry Places Compared

10 New Mom Hacks Making Life Easier with a Baby

19 Small Nursery Ideas (with Huge Style)

19 Best Boy Nursery Ideas

The Best Girl Nursery Ideas You'll Want to Copy

Download the Ultimate Baby Registry Checklist Here