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 Babylist.com, 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).
Oh, and did you know there’s a diaper shortage because of Covid? Yeah, that’s fun too… I paid $20 for one package (regularly $8) on Amazon the other day because they were sold out in all the grocery stores. Fun fun.
A Diaper Bag. Be sure to register for a diaper bag for both mom and dad. We got a nice looking backpack for Dad that's actually pretty versatile, so I use it as well. If you like nice purses (like me) and aren’t a huge fan of most diaper bags, you really should register for one of THESE from ToteSavvy. They’re a tote organizer that works in a LV Neverfull. I love mine. A diaper bag is great but this is nice to have if you want to use your LV instead.
Video Car Monitors/Mirrors. While the video car monitors seem like a brilliant idea (they show you a live video of your baby in the backseat), they didn’t work for us since they are NOT wireless. You have to install the monitor on the top of your dashboard and then have the wires strung down, plugged into a cigarette lighter in most cases, and then the wires have to get somehow fed to the back of your car where the camera is. This, to me, is messy and we definitely didn’t want to install it in our nice cars. So actually the traditional mirror just works best.
The Health & Safety Stuff
First of all, you need a good baby monitor. One that can be pulled up with an app on your phone is best, so you don't have to carry around a monitor with you. I love the Nanit Pro and Nanit Plus models because you and your partner (or any other caregivers, for that matter) can view baby at any time using an app on your phone, it will tell you the temperature and humidity in the room, you can customize notifications for noise or movement, and even use it in a different room or take it with you when you travel. These models come with a floor stand or a wall mount, which you can install over the crib. Be sure to get the separate stand (or the bundle linked above) so you can use it in your master bedroom when baby sleeps in the same room for the first six months (which is recommended by the AAP).
Oh, and it might sound "extra" but you should also consider getting a second camera. We purchased a travel camera (which we can obviously use for travel) that we mostly use for Tristan's naps during the day when he's not in his Snoo (since he naps either in his "big crib" upstairs in his room or downstairs in the Nuna Playard). Having a second camera, so you don't have to hook and unhook your main camera when you want to be watching the baby in a spot other than where you have it set up, is pretty clutch. We use the GoodBaby Video Baby Monitor.
Considering getting one of those smart socks? Well, I would recommend doing so only if that's the camera you're going to use (not getting both). The Nanit, for example, shows temperature, humidity and can track growth if you use their crib sheet. So personally, I don’t think the Owlet smart sock is necessary, imho. You’re basically paying for a fancy camera twice.
Find a baby app you like now. I really like Hatch Baby. I say that because if you like that app, you might want to consider registering for the Hatch Baby changing scale (because they make one that works specifically with that app, which we have).
Though they make baby care timers so you can track things like feedings, diaper changes, naps, etc., these are sort of obsolete now with the introduction of smart phone technology. I feel like a baby care timer is super unnecessary since you can just use an app. The one we use has the option to add caregivers to your account (so for me, I added Byron and our nanny) and everyone has access to record the same stuff (feedings, diaper changes, naps, pumping, etc.).
While you're at it, make sure to add (or just buy) Gripe Water and Mylicon (linked above). Per the advice of my friend Katie, I stocked up on various health items before Tristan had his first cold. The items that Katie recommended were doTERRA On Guard essential oils (to put in a diffuser or humidifier in baby's room to loosen phlegm and open airways), ChildLife Essentials First Defense, Zarbee's Naturals Baby Soothing Chest Rub, and Maty's All Natural Vapor Rub--all for baby's first cold.
You might also want to get some Booby Tubes by Earth Mama Hot and Cold Nursing Packs for sore breasts and nipples from nursing or pumping. These packs can be put in the freezer to act as a cold pack or in the microwave for heat.
Thermometers. Though the traditional rectal thermometer is cheap, do yourself a favor and get a digital thermometer that can take temperature on the forehead or in the ear.
Baby Gates. Even if you don’t live in a large house, it’s likely you’ll need a baby gate or two to cordon off various spaces in your home. If you have a large home, you’ll obviously need several. Pay attention to type when you register for them as well: you’ll need different types of gates for stairs and doorways.
Clothes. Okay, so some might disagree on this but, personally, I don't think you should register for a bunch of clothes. I didn't register for clothes because we got a lot of hand-me-downs, but even though we actually asked people NOT to buy clothes, we still received a ton of clothes as gifts.
Whatever you do, DO NOT register for newborn or 0-3 months. People also seem to like to buy the cutesie newborn sizes, and not a lot of older sizes. So if you do register for clothes, register for the older sizes (6 months and up) or politely ask guests to purchase clothes for ages 3-6 months or above if they choose to purchase outfits. This is especially important if you are having a little girl: the girl outfits are just so darling that you will get tons of them, even if you didn’t register for them. DO register for a lot of baby hangers though!
I do have one caveat though… DO register for super comfy bamboo jammies (see my favorites linked above) that have either a dual zipper or magnetic closure. This is one of the few clothing items that I would highly recommend registering for because: a) they are SO superior to the traditional snap cotton jammies and b) they are expensive. My favorites are by Little Sleepies, Angel Dear and MagneticMe (the magnetic closure is just brilliant).
And DO register for more expensive clothing items like down jackets for winter, baptism dresses or suits, specialty shoes you might like, etc.
Pacifiers. If you are planning to go the pacifier route, do yourself a favor and register for a variety, since you don't know what your baby will like. Babylist makes a great pacifier assortment box. You'll also want the lightweight ones for when baby is smaller, like the Philips Avent Ultra Air Pacifier.
Swaddles. I also wouldn’t register for that many swaddles, because you will get a lot of swaddles gifted that probably aren’t from your registry. The only swaddles I would consider registering for are the velcro or weighted ones, since muslin swaddles are often gifted and… well, just aren’t as easy to use as the velcro ones.
Blankets. This one is tricky, and will depend on your friends and family. I had SIX baby blankets made for me, so I’m happy I didn’t register for any. But if you must, no more than one (since that’s really all you need).
Breast Pump & Extra Parts. You should definitely decide what kind of breast pump you will want to use, and if you are going to invest in hands-free, traditional or both. While it may sound over the top, if you are a working mom, you may want to consider BOTH a traditional pump and a hands free one. The hands-free pumps are expensive, but worth it since they are a lot more discreet and allow you to pump on the go. I even know a lot of stay-at-home moms that get these since they offer you more freedom to do things around the house and multitask while you pump.
With that said though, I do think you definitely need a traditional pump FIRST. These are important to establish your supply (even if you are breastfeeding, it can help it come in faster or help you produce more) and unfortunately the hands free pumps just aren’t as effective as a traditional pump like a Medela or Spectra.
Some hospitals will let you rent a Medela, and if you have insurance you can also use it for a breast pump. Most insurance will cover a standard breast pump or as much as half of the cost of a hands-free pump like Elvie or Willow. I used 1NaturalWay.com to get half of my Elvie covered, and then I used a hand-me-down Spectra from my sister-in-law and just purchased new pump parts (like the hoses and flanges).
If you do opt for a hands-free pump, do yourself a favor and register for it, as well as some extra parts. The Elvie parts, for example, are expensive AF (like stupid expensive for pump parts compared to other brands). Measure your nipples now and get extra flange parts cause they’re like $50 for just the flange and then the catchment things are sold separately and then the little green parts are also sold separately. It’s such a scam. I ended up having to buy two sets of the size they don’t fucking give you cause apparently my nips are on the smaller side. So I had to buy the 21 mm because they only give you 24 mm and 28 mm. Okay, rant over…
Sound Machines. Be sure to register for a both a stationary and travel sound machine. For a stationary one that stays in the nursery, I like the Hatch Rest. You’ll also want a travel sound machine, like the “Shusher” or Rohm by Yogasleep. You can place them in their infant carrier in the grocery store and stuff and it keeps them sleeping/calm while you’re on the go. We also use ours for daytime naps in the Nuna Playard downstairs.
Nursing Bras & Tanks. Register for everything, including things for you mama! Be sure to register for high quality nursing bras and tanks—especially tanks—because these too can get expensive and you will definitely use them. I am living in them these days and wish I didn’t have to buy them myself. The bras and tanks from Blanqi are great.
Nursing Pads. There are tons of washable ones everywhere that are inexpensive, or Blanqi makes nice ones that are more expensive (and perfect for a registry so you hopefully don’t have to buy yourself).
Extra changing pads or covers. This might sound a little “extra” but you definitely need more than one changing pad cover. You will want extras for when there is an accident (it happens more than you might think!) and you need to wash one. So get AT LEAST two.
If you happen to have a big house, add a second changing pad and then double the amount of covers you register for. If you have a two story house that would require you to go up and down the stairs frequently, do yourself a favor and set up a second changing station somewhere on the other floor. We have our first obviously in our baby’s nursery upstairs, and then put a second one on the counter in our laundry room downstairs. We actually use the one downstairs in the laundry room WAY MORE than the one in his nursery.
If you are planning to just use the scale changing table (like the one I mentioned earlier by Hatch), here are my thoughts on the scale one… it’s awfully cold and sterile feeling. Though it basically makes it a waste of money, we don’t even use ours for changing him. We just use it to weigh him. The standard changing pads with the covers are just softer and more comfortable. Yes, harder to clean (you have to wash) when baby shits everywhere. But the wipe down scale one is just so hard and unfriendly.
Be sure to add some waterproof changing pad liners. Even if you don’t end up using traditional changing pads, these can go in between the Snoo “mattress” (really just a foam pad) and the sheet so any accidents don’t go through to the mattress. Tristan has already had an incident where he peed all the way through his diaper, pajamas, swaddle, sleep sack and sheets… so thankfully we had the changing pad liner in there or it would’ve gone straight through to the mattress as well. I really like these: https://amzn.to/3xJfKeT
Wipe Warmer. Some people say these are unnecessary. I beg to differ. Baby knows the difference between a warm wipe and an ice cold one… and yes, they obviously prefer the warm one. Be nice to your baby.
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