As you prepare for the day you bring your newest family member home, people will start asking you where you're registered. After all, the birth of a baby is one of the most joyful events ever, and people want to contribute to the celebration.
But what should you put on your baby registry? There are so many baby products out there that it can be hard to narrow down what you need. Especially with your first baby, how do you know what's really important? Instagram and social media moms that post everything they just got their baby can make it difficult to see what is realistic for your needs and what are more luxury extras.
Don't get clouded in your choices. Here are a few guidelines to help you choose the items you will use and love.
Make a Universal Baby Registry
There are plenty of stores that promise they have everything you need for your baby. And while they probably have lots of the things on your list, there are lots of different options out there. Sites like myregistry.com , or babylist.com let you pull together items from many different stores to create one list that encompasses exactly what you want. This way you can include products from small boutique stores you love, instead of only the standard products you find in big box stores.
What about Big Items?
You may jump on the opportunity to put high price tag items on your list! This can be a fail, or a win. Consider who your guests are and it may be better etiquette to place items on the registry that are a very good mix of lower priced and a few high priced if you have some people you know will want to make a big purchase for you.
Items like an expensive stroller travel set should really be purchased on it's own, unless you feel that your chances of having it bought on the registry are good to go. Also, having more low-mid priced selections is considerate and gives your guests options and they can purchase several things.
If you have someone who is just itching to spoil your new baby, then feel free to put more expensive things on your baby registry. New grandparents may love the idea of buying the crib that will hold their first grandchild. Some stores offer a discount on items from your registry that weren't purchased, so it may be worthwhile to add things you're going to buy anyway. A few of the bigger items to add are:
- crib mattress
- car seat
- stroller travel set
- jog stroller
At least these high priced items are real necessities, making them useful and appealing choices.
This part is so much fun. Tiny baby clothes are just adorable. People will advise you not to waste money on baby shoes, because they are useless and they usually won't stay on very well. They're totally right, but baby shoes are also ridiculously cute! If you want to indulge in a few, go ahead. You probably don't need a whole wardrobe though! Choose 1-3 pairs of shoes in various sizes. Neutral colors and ones that claim they have great staying power (like with snaps) are best.
Do also ask for clothes in different sizes. Those newborn outfits are going to be too small before you can even believe it. You'll want a range of sizes from newborn up through 12 months.
- 6-8 onesies
- 6-8 snug jammies or sleep gowns that snap or zip closed
- 5-6 outfits for pictures or outings
- a few sweaters or jackets
- 6-8 pairs of socks
- no-scratch mittens or onesies with mittens
You may have heard of having a layette, which is a newborn wardrobe and accessories. Yep, you will need a layette, but no need to go overboard on it because you won't know how long it's going to be used for until the baby is born.
So again, choose a few newborn but go mostly for a range of sizes up to one year. Your babe could grow out of newborn onesies within weeks!
Mom Life Tip: Since you will have wide range of items for different age times, go get some organizer containers, label them by age phase, and store the appropriate clothes and gear in each applicable one till it is needed.
Baby Gear and the Must Haves
There are so many things that come with taking care of a baby! Here is a summary of musts to make your life a little easier, which includes some extras you will eventually need down the road.
- baby monitor especially if you live in a multi-level home
- 4-6 bibs
- 5-7 burp cloths
- diapers (again, ask for these in a range of sizes not just newborn)
- consider cloth diapers (better for the environment)
- bassinet (bedside bassinet like the Halo, for easy feedings at night)
- baby bathtub
- rectal thermometer and forehead thermometer
- baby nail clippers
- swaddle blankets and baby hat(s)
- changing pad (you don't necessarily need a changing table) but you should have a pad
- travel changing pad
- flushable wipes...lots and lots of wipes!
- bottles (a set with different nipples and cleaning supplies is best) If you are breastfeeding and pumping consider something like Munchkin Latch bottles so baby can switch back and forth from mom to bottle.
- premium microwave sterilizer bags for the bottles/bottle parts
- bottle warmer
- rock n play / bouncer so you can set your baby down
- playmat, activity gym
- ear and nose cleaner (the NoseFrida is great)
- sound machine
- a few developmental toys (black and white contrasting toys)
- table chair for when baby can sit up (this is awesome because it can take place of a high chair and is portable)
- for later you need outlet covers, toilet lock, cabinet locks, knob covers, furniture guards, and gates as necessary
- baby food storage
- cool mist humidifier (a warm mist breeds bacteria!)
- diaper pail and liners
- soft washcloths and make sure you use different ones for diaper area versus body/face (if you already have some then omit these)
- gentle laundry detergent (just ensure everything is washed well and look out for skin sensitivities with baby)
- pacifier if you decide
- baby carrier / sling / wrap
- baby body wash and shampoo, lotion - Go organic and natural with as little irritants as possible. Baby just doesn't need to be over soaped and lathered.
Extras: Now these are not necessities, but some parents really like them and they could be nice to have.
- wipe warmer
- newborn lounger (these only last a few months)
- changing table
- vibration mat
- fancy diaper bag
- sounds machines/soothers
- nursery decor and storage baskets
- bath kneeler
- breath / heart monitor like the Owlet
We left out these items because they are distracting or can be hazards: crib bumpers and extras, comforters, used cribs or carseats, car seat mirror, any clothing with small sewn on parts/trims/cords.
Here is a tip that you'll be grateful for after some amazing diaper fail at 2 AM: When you put a sheet on the crib, put a mattress pad down first, then a fitted sheet. THEN (this is the genius part) put down another mattress pad and another fitted sheet. This way, when the sheets need to be changed in the middle of the night, you can just pull off the top fitted sheet and mattress pad, and the second set is ready to go. Make sure the fitted sheets are snug on the mattress and won't slip off.
- 4 crib washable mattress pads and protectors
- 4 fitted sheets
- 4-6 lightweight receiving blankets
- 2 heavier blankets or car seat covers
Again, don't let your baby sleep with blankets, bumpers, toys, etc. It's a safety hazard! Basically it needs to be just baby on the mattress. #BareIsBest
If you're planning to breastfeed, there are a few items you'll want to have. You don't need to register for a breast pump, because your medical insurance will cover that. You will want some gear, though, and a basic wardrobe of nursing clothes. Here are a few things that will come in handy for breastfeeding.
- breast pads
- milk storage bags
- lanolin / coconut oil / nipple cream
- nursing pillow / nursing bra / pumping bra
- wide strap nursing tank
- nursing hoodie
- nursing sweaters and a nursing tee that you can wear bump, breastfeeding, and beyond
Ensure nursing journey success with a designated space, water bottle handy, and a comfortable glider chair.
Setting up the nursery or a space in your bedroom can be a happy way to spend time while you wait for your baby. A baby registry helps the people who love you share in that joy. Happy shopping and showering!
Get further prepared for the arrival of your bundle of joy with our Third Trimester Checklist.
Continue to care for yourself with our Survival Guide for the Third Trimester here.