The Ultimate Baby Registry Checklist

     Although pregnancy is a long, long journey filled with many highs and lows, one of the best things about expecting a baby is the baby shower. It’s a day of pure love, where everyone is there to celebrate the new life about to enter the world. Oh, and there are also the presents! Not only is it a lovely feeling to be showered with gifts for your little one’s upcoming arrival, it’s also extremely necessary. Even if you live a minimalist lifestyle, babies need a lot of things, especially in their first year of life. There are some big-ticket items, and many small ones, and they all add up to a considerable sum that can add stress to expecting parents. This is why making a baby registry is so important. Your friends and family will be eager to help out, so the best way to let them is to make an online registry with the items you need. This not only helps you avoid getting multiples of the same item, it also ensures that you’ll get only the things you need. With so many necessities, it’s hard to know where to begin, but we’ve compiled the ultimate checklist so you can find everything you need as quickly as possible!

mom's hand on pregnant belly over kyte baby footies laid out on the bed

WHERE TO START AN ONLINE REGISTRY

     When it comes to building an online registry, there are many places that offer registry setups, including Babylist, Amazon, and Target. Each store has its own perks that come with using their registry tool, so it’s important to compare the benefits. Amazon may be the most easy to use because your friends and family likely have their own Amazon accounts, which simplifies the process. Target has the benefit of having a vast number of locations, which makes in-person returns or exchanges super easy. You can also create and share your wishlist made on our website!

     Babylist is one of our favorites. While Babylist offers all the material items you’ll need for the baby, it also allows you to ask for help with its Helps & Favors feature. Your friends and family members can sign up to bring home-cooked meals when you’re home from the hospital, walk your dog, clean your house, watch an older child, etc. This feature makes sure that you really do have everything you need when the baby comes. It also has sample registries for second-time parents, parents of multiples, and those adopting an older child. It’s overall the best place to create a registry, and our pick for expecting parents!

WHEN TO START THE REGISTRY

     Honestly? As soon as possible. Building your registry as soon as you find out you’re pregnant gives you the time to compare products and figure out which ones are best suited for your family and home. There are a ton of options for every possible baby product out there and the sheer number of things you’ll need can make your head spin. Our advice? Do your due diligence so you don’t end up with things that don’t fit in your home or things you won’t use. It will reduce the baby clutter and save you money when everything you really need has already been gifted to you.

THE ULTIMATE CHECKLIST

NURSERY

This is where most of the expenses will be. If you’re working within a smaller space, you may want to opt for a mini crib rather than a full-size one. However, keep in mind that a mini crib may be too small for your child to comfortably stay in until they’re ready for a toddler bed. Even if you have a crib, a bassinet is a good idea for the first few months. It allows you to easily access your baby, especially if you have a bedside sleeper, without having to get out of bed multiple times a night. This is especially helpful for moms who are recovering from a C-section.

  • crib
  • crib mattress
  • at least 2 fitted crib sheets 
  • bassinet or bedside sleeper (this may be easier for the newborn days)
  • mattress pad
  • baby monitor
  • sound machine/night light (many sound machines have a built-in night light)
  • rocking chair
  • dresser
  • pacifiers (try many different brands)
  • swaddling blankets
  • baby blankets
  • bouncer
  • lounger

FEEDING: 

If you have health insurance, a breast pump is most likely covered under your plan. Check with your insurance before you add an electric breast pump to your registry. Make sure you still add extra pump parts to your registry though, as you’ll still have to replace the duckbill valves every few months to keep your pump working effectively. If you have an electric pump, you may not care to have a manual pump. However, a manual pump is handy for on-the-go pumping to relieve engorgement. A silicone breast pump, like the Haaka, is also incredibly handy for treating blocked ducts. Filling it with warm water and epsom salt is an effective way to treat clogs and prevent mastitis. We recommend having all three types of pumps for these reasons!

  • electric breast pump
  • extra pump parts
  • manual breast pump
  • silicone breast pump 
  • burp cloths
  • utility carts (useful for creating a nursing station)
  • baby bottles
  • extra nipples
  • microwave sterilizer
  • bottle drying rack
  • bottle brush
  • reusable breast pads
  • nipple cream
  • freezer bags for milk
  • freezer storage container
  • high chair
  • bibs
  • baby-friendly utensils
  • baby friendly plates/bowls
  • straw cup
  • nursing pillow

*If you plan to create a breastmilk stash, you may want to defrost one bag and test it before creating too large a stash. Some moms have high-lipase breastmilk, which causes stored milk to take on a soapy taste that some babies refuse!

DIAPERING:

If you choose to go the cloth diaper route rather than disposables, your registry may look a little different. If you choose disposable diapers, make sure you don’t stock up on the newborn size. Newborns quickly outgrow this size in a matter of weeks, some in a matter of days. Register for one box of the newborn size, then register the rest for size 1 and 2.

  • changing table
  • changing pad
  • changing pad covers
  • diapers (don’t get too many of one size)
  • wipes
  • wipe warmer
  • diaper rash cream 
  • diaper pail
  • diaper pail bags

BATHTIME:

Bathing your baby can be incredibly daunting at first! Before your baby’s umbilical cord falls off, you’ll need to give sponge baths instead of full submersion in water. Pick soft washcloths, like ones made from bamboo, for your registry. They’ll be extra gentle for your baby’s delicate skin, and make the process easier. 

ON-THE-GO:

When choosing a car seat, you’ll have to make the decision on whether to go with an infant car seat or straight to a convertible car seat. Having  a convertible car seat from the start means that you will stick with the same car seat from when your little is a newborn to when you eventually turn the seat to front-facing for toddler years. However, an infant car seat gives you the flexibility to easily detach the car seat and carry it from car to stroller to home. This is the much easier option when your baby is a newborn. If you decide to go with an infant car seat, we recommend registering for two car seat bases and installing one in each parent’s car. This will allow you to quickly and easily drive your baby in either car.

  • infant car seat
  • car seat blanket
  • 2 car seat bases
  • car seat mirror
  • “Baby on board” sign
  • stroller
  • playard
  • diaper bag
  • folding changing pad
  • pumping bag
  • insulated bag with ice pack (for pumped milk)
  • baby sunscreen
  • car shades
  • ring sling
  • portable sound machine
  • baby sun hat
  • stroller fan
  • pacifier clips

HEALTH & SAFETY:

Although you don’t necessarily need to baby-proof your home when your baby is a newborn, it’s not a bad idea to do it ahead of time. Babies develop very quickly and your little one will be on the go before you know it. Many parents don’t begin baby-proofing until they realize they need to, i.e. when an accident happens or almost happens. Get the jump on it before you don’t have the time to!

  • humidifier
  • baby nail clippers
  • electric nail file (trust us, this is way easier for newborns!)
  • nasal aspirator
  • saline spray
  • infant tylenol
  • gas drops
  • vitamin D drops
  • gripe water
  • thermometer
  • outlet cover
  • baby gates
  • edge protectors 
  • baby toothbrush
  • baby hairbrush

CLOTHING:
When adding clothing to your registry, take the season of your due date into account. You’ll want the clothes in the sizes that are appropriate for the climate. Rather than stocking up on newborn sizes, you may want to go straight to the 0-3 months size. Your baby will quickly outgrow the newborn size, and may even be too big for it at birth! Read our blog post here for a more cohesive breakdown of what clothes you’ll need for your little bundle of joy.

PLAY TIME:

This is the best part of making your registry! Newborns have terrible vision, and can only see things that are high-contrast, like black-and-white, which is why you’ll want to register for high-contrast books and toys. Other toys like rattles and play gyms are a great way to measure whether or not your baby is meeting developmental milestones such as shaking the rattle, connecting cause-and-effect to the noise it makes, and batting at toys hanging from the gym.

  • baby books
  • high contrast cards or toys
  • stacking toy
  • baby blocks
  • teething toys
  • rattle
  • touch and feel toys
  • tummy time mirror
  • play gym
  • musical toys
pregnant mom standing and cradling belly

Now that you have your registry checklist, it’s time to pick and choose which products from each category you’ll want for your home. This is truly the fun part about building the registry and it gets you even more excited about your baby’s impending arrival! There are about a million things expecting parents need to do to prepare for bringing a new life into the world, but a registry is one of the best and most helpful ways that your loved ones can help you welcome your newest family member.


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