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  • Lauren Wood

Baby Registry Checklist

All the items you need, and some that you might not necessarily "need" but will surely make your life a whole lot easier! Use this as a checklist when you create your baby registry.

Here's a list of my favorite baby products that I've either purchased myself or were gifted from my baby registry. I did a TON of research before compiling my own baby registry on, and also got a ton of recommendations from friends, and now that I've had an opportunity to use a lot of the items I received, I'm sharing with you the ones that I love the most and have found the most helpful now that baby is here.

The Big Ticket Items

The things you need the most that also happen to be the most expensive. Yup, your baby will put a dent in your pocketbook and she's not even born yet! Let's hope family and friends gift some of these to you because the cost adds up quickly!

Nuna MIXX Next Stroller. This stroller is just. so. nice. I was actually blown away by the quality of this thing. Who knew strollers could vary so wildly in quality too? Yes, the price tag on this stroller is on the high side, but trust me when I say that a good quality stroller is worth every penny. If you get a cheap one, you will surely be cursing at yourself later when it doesn't collapse easily, won't glide smoothly or falls apart. This stroller is one you're sure to love.

A stroller travel bag. You’ll need one if you plan to fly. The gate check storage bag won’t protect it and airline staff who handle these things don’t give a fuck, so I would get the travel bag that will protect your expensive ass stroller… oh and make sure you register for one that’s specifically for YOUR STROLLER because I registered for a Tumi one thinking it was a universal stroller travel bag and later found out it doesn’t fit my stroller… ooops.

Nuna PIPA Lite Infant Carrier. I never knew how important an infant carrier would be until I got one. And maybe you're a little more "baby educated" than me, but do you know that your fancy convertible car seat won't work for an infant? Thankfully I figured this out before I made my registry. A friend told me that a friend of hers didn't know this, and couldn't take the baby home from the hospital in the car seat they bought. So they had to frantically go out and buy one that day in order to take the baby home.

This infant carrier is awesome because it clips in and out of the Nuna MIXX Next stroller (see above) using the infant carrier attachment, which comes with the stroller (so no additional purchase is necessary). You can do this one handed too. And this infant carrier is one of the lightest on the market. Trust me, you will thank me when you're not having to carry an unnecessarily heavy infant carrier on one arm.

Also, don't forget to get an extra base if you have two cars and don't want to switch out the base from car to car. If you and your partner are both going to be driving the baby around, you will absolutely need a second base (linked above).

Infant Carrier Covers. Though this isn’t necessarily a “need”, you will definitely want one. These will cover your infant carrier and will not only protect you baby from outside germs but can muffle the noise a bit. They’re great cause they can double as a nursing cover.

Nuna RAVA Convertible Car Seat. Okay, so we haven't actually used this thing yet, but I've taken it out of the box and let me tell you: the quality is top notch (just like the infant carrier and stroller). This will surely get tons of use and is one of the few car seats that is actually really nice looking.

SNOO bassinet. We actually chose to rent this item, but if you've got generous family members, this is definitely an item that you should add to your registry. And yes, it's completely worth the $1500 price tag. This thing shimmies and shooshes your baby to sleep, mimicking the environment that your baby was used to in the womb, and it works. So those extra hours of sleep at night? Priceless.

NOTE: You might notice that some of the traditional "big ticket items" like a crib, dresser and rocking chair/glider are missing. Personally, I didn't want to wait until my baby shower to get these items, and also didn't want people to spend that kind of money on baby gifts. So I purchased these myself, months before baby was set to arrive (and thankfully I did because he came a month early!). But if you can stand to wait, I would HIGHLY recommend including these as group gift items on your registry, as the costs can add up quickly. If you'd like to see the items I purchased for Tristan's nursery, you can find them linked here.

DO buy/order your baby room furniture early though because there are furniture delays because of Covid. And yes, you need a glider/rocker. Mine is magical and worth every damn penny.

The Everyday Necessities

These are the things that you will use every day, so don't skimp on quality. Babies grow out of clothes faster than you can blink but they'll nap or play in a lounger every day, you'll use a bottle sterilizer more times than you can count, and you'll use a baby carrier everywhere from the grocery store to the trails, in your home and away traveling.

DockATot. Yes, this is a necessity. And yes, you will use it every day. In fact, this might actually be the most-used baby item in the lot. You will use it for your baby to lounge around the house with you, for playtime, to put baby in it on the floor while you have to pee (seriously), or for supervised naps throughout the day. Though DockATot expressly states (for liability purposes) that the DockATot is not for sleep, that's it's most common usage among moms. Supervised, of course, but it's still amazing and wildly helpful.

And while the extra covers are stupid expensive (they're half the price of the DockATot!), you should get one. It's nice to have an extra cover ready for when baby leaks through his or her diaper or spits up all over it. They are a bitch to dry and it’s always nice to have a second waiting. While we're on the topic: be sure to add one of those waterproof changing pad liners in between the cover and the foam insert.

The DockATot Cabana Kit is also a great addition, as you can use it to lounge outside and provide protection for baby from the sun. While this is obviously great for poolside lounging, we use it just when we want to chill outside but don't want baby to have to be in the sun. He sometimes takes naps while I sit in a sun lounger and read, and the open design allows the air to circulate and keep him cool.

Baby Carriers and Bouncers. A baby carrier is a must because it's not just for travel anymore. "Baby wearing" has become a full-blown philosophy, with hundreds of books and Facebook groups on the topic. You will use these to get things done around the house, calm a fussy baby (this works magic for mine--just add a little bounce to your step and he calms right down), go for walks, grocery shop, hike, etc. The list of uses is endless, really. So find a good quality one, and get one that's comfortable. We have the navy blue BABYBJÖRN Baby Carrier above and absolutely love it.

I listed the BABYBJÖRN Bouncer above in "everyday necessities" since this is something you will use every day. Want to simply wash your face, brush your teeth, or perhaps shower at a time when baby isn't sleeping? Then this bouncer will be your best friend. Use it to keep baby constrained to a safe place and entertained while you have to do things around the house (supervised, of course).

Baby Brezza Bottle Sterilizer. If you plan to bottle feed at all, this is a MUST. And even if you're planning to exclusively breastfeed, a sterilizer comes in handy a lot to clean pacifiers, teething rings, and pretty much anything plastic that baby likes to put in its mouth. I like the Baby Brezza Sterilizer because it can sterilize or dry (or both!) and has settings for 30 mins, 45 mins and 60 mins.

Philips Avent Bottle Warmer. The Philips Avent bottle warmer works great and warms a bottle in just a few minutes.

Bottles! I have both the Philips Avent glass bottles and the Tommy Tippie bottles. While I love the glass bottles (and plan to use them when Tristan is a little bigger), the Tommy Tippie bottles were recommended by my doula for combination breast and bottle feeding. The nipples are breast-shaped and they are slow flow, which also mimics the flow of the breast. The reason you want slow flow is so baby doesn't get "lazy" and complacent with quicker flow bottles, then refuse the boob (which I was told is the most common reason for "nipple confusion" problems--it's really "bottle preference" instead of nipple confusion).

And make sure to register for the 4 oz. size since these will mostly be used when baby is younger. Once you know there's no "nipple confusion/preference", you can stop using these and opt for something with a quicker flow as baby gets older. The Philips Avent glass bottles are great but again, you’ll need slow flow nipples in the beginning. While we are using the Avent bottles right now, we couldn’t use ours in the first couple months because the nipple flow was too fast.

Bath Essentials. You'll need an infant tub for when baby is too small for a full size bath tub, soaps, hooded towels, wash cloths and eventually some fun squirty toys for bath time when baby is a little older. Consider getting a padded mat for your knees for when baby graduates to the big tub.

Soaps & Lotions. I registered for Honest Co soaps and lotions and I think I got like 10 from people who weren’t buying from my registry. Lots of people gift soap for some reason. In hindsight, I wish I hadn’t registered for it… but then again, you can never have too much soap.

Diapers and wipes. You will need a lot of them. Let me repeat that: A LOT OF THEM. So you might as well register for them so you get a head start and don't have to buy as many. Better yet, ask whoever is throwing you a shower to do a diaper raffle so people actually gift them to you. Diapers aren't sexy so that's usually not what people will want to gift you... unless they're a mom of course. Then they get it.

So do yourself a favor and actually REGISTER for diapers. That’s the one thing I wish I got more of (I registered for them, but unfortunately no one wants to buy them). And register for A LOT of newborn diapers. Tristan started off in preemie diapers and we went through 10-15 PACKAGES before even switching to the newborn size. Seriously. You go through AT LEAST 10 a day in the first couple months (sometimes like 20), so just do the math….

While we’re on the topic… I registered for all the cute organic Honest diapers. That, I think, was my first “new mom fail”. The old school Huggies and Pampers brands are, unfortunately, just better (bad for the environment, good for baby). They are more absorbent, keep things in better, and have the indicator line that shows if baby is wet or not. I wanted to NOT like these brands but they are just better for some reason. They’re also the only ones we found that were small enough for our little guy when he was born—and the Huggies Little Snugglers were what they used in the NICU. We prefer the Huggies Little Snugglers over the Pampers, though both work pretty well. Our friends told us the same thing before we had Tristan (and for some stupid reason I didn’t believe it… ugh).