Ultimate Baby Registry Checklist

The ONLY Baby Registry Checklist you need! From a mama who LOVES to research baby items!

baby boy registry checklst

Y’all, I am a SUCKER for a good baby registry checklist.

I was finished with my registry by the time I was 11 weeks pregnant with my firstborn. I Pinterested all-the-baby registry checklists and compiled my own to make sure I didn’t miss anything.

Now that I’ve had two babies, I’ve refined my list and only included the things I used and loved (or that my friends have loved) and would buy again. Here’s the Ultimate Baby Registry Checklist; I hope it’s helpful!

((And mamas, you do NOT need all of these things! Babies just need a place to sleep, milk to drink, some diapers, and some clothes. Everything else is extra and just makes life little easier. Do not stress! You’ve got this!!))

BEST baby registry checklist

Before you begin:

This is a lot, mamas! Take your time digesting the information. Feel free to read one section of the Ultimate Baby Registry Checklist at a time, update your baby registry for that section, and come back later to read the next section. There’s so much to learn about babies, and it can very easily get overwhelming. There is no rush. None of us know it all; we learn as we go. I made this list to hopefully have a lot of information in one place for you to refer to throughout your pregnancy and your child’s first year. Don’t rush. Breathe.

Check out my other posts on registering for baby: Baby Registry Tips and 12 Things you DON’T NEED on your baby registry.

*Disclaimer: I am not a medical doctor, just a mama who likes to learn and teach. I promise not to share anything that goes against current research/recommendations by experts (like the AAP-American Association of Pediatrics, KellyMom.com, etc…) , but please do your own research as well. I have embedded links to articles with information I wish I would have known before having kids. Also, please reach out if you know something I should know about a specific product. I am learning alongside you!

*There are affiliate links in this post.  Read my disclosure policy to learn more.*

what do newborn babies need

Ultimate Baby Registry Checklist for baby sleep

what crib to put on baby registry

1) Crib

We have and love this crib from Amazon (we have two!). There are plenty of other cribs that are on the cheaper side (there’s a really dreamy and cheap wooden one from Ikea). Just know that you don’t need an expensive crib or bedroom suite. More expensive does not always mean the product is safer. However, if you get a hand-me-down or thrifted crib, be sure to check the AAP recommendations to make sure it’s safe to use (drop-down sides and slats closer together than 2 3/8 inches are no longer considered safe).

The crib I linked is “convertible” but all that really means is that the side railing can come off and make it a “toddler bed”. You have to purchase the toddler bed railing separately, and in order to make it a full bed you have to purchase other things as well. So, it’s pretty gimicky, but I like the crib on it’s own, and taking the railing off is a simple way to transition your toddler from a crib to a twin/full bed.

crib mattress for newborn baby crib

2) Crib mattress

An expecting friend asked me if I thought the new, “breathable” mattresses were worth the expense. According to the AAP, these mattresses haven’t been proven to reduce the risk of SIDS. So, if your mattress meets the safety recommendations, you’re good to go; no special mattress needed!

waterproof crib mattress pads to put on baby registry

3) 2 waterproof mattress pads

what do newborn babies need

4) 2 fitted crib sheets

Sometimes they’ll be just a little spit up on the crib sheet and you won’t need to change the mattress pad. Sometimes it’s a complete disaster and you have to change both! You can even layer all four of these (mattress pad, crib sheet, mattress pad, crib sheet) for even quicker nighttime disaster clean-ups! You just remove baby from crib, pull off soiled sheet/pad, change baby, and you’re good to go!

what to put on baby registry

5) 3 velcro swaddles

Y’all, with my first baby, I thought I would just swaddle him with a muslin blanket and didn’t take velcro swaddles to the hospital. DO NOT BE LIKE ME! I repeat, DO NOT BE LIKE ME! Trying to swaddle him that second night in the hospital, after birthing the first night and being awake for over 100 hours straight… it was AWFUL! I was delirious and so emotional and I couldn’t figure out how to get it tight enough that he wouldn’t bust out of it. All I wanted to do was sleep! I had to call the nurse to swaddle him several times (ask for help, friends). They were so helpful! We were so crazy that we even swaddled with a blanket for several weeks until we finally pulled out the velcro swaddles we had been given- LIFE-SAVERS! These are must-haves on the Ultimate Baby Registry Checklist!

My second baby’s hospital experience was SOOOO much better because I packed the swaddles. Easy-Peasy. Done and Done. DO IT! I use both the SwaddleMe and Halo Sleep Sack. I use Swaddle Me’s for tiny babies and then transitioned to wearable blankets with the Halo Sleep Sack. Totally my preference; you don’t need both.

See: Transitioning out of the swaddle

what to buy for new baby

6) 2-3 wearable blankets

Wearable blankets are a great step after weaning from the swaddle. It’s recommended for babies to not sleep with blankets, pillows, or other loose items in the crib. A wearable blanket is a great alternative to a loose blanket!

having a baby what do i need

8) Sound machine/nursing night light

Guys, guys, guysssss! Second to velcro swaddles, this is my favorite thing in this section of the Ultimate Baby Registry Checklist. You can get cheaper white noise machines, for sure, (and you can probably get cheaper white noise machines/ nursing night lights)… but I JUST LOVE THE HATCH REST!

It is obviously, as I’ve stated, both an adjustable night light (you can change the color and brightness), and an adjustable sound machine (you can change the type of sound and volume). We use a different color for naps and nighttime and always, always use white noise for all sleep (as recommended by sooo many baby sleep experts).

I also love that you can program the Rest from your phone; You can up the volume if you have guests and then lower it when they leave! It can be programmed to change or turn on/off at certain times; you can use it as an “okay-to-wake” clock when the kids get older (i.e. it will turn green at, let’s say, 7:30, to mean “hey kids! You can come out of your rooms now!”). We have one of these for both our kids and will be purchasing subsequent ones if we have more!

things you need for new baby

9) Different pacifiers to try

Your baby does not HAVE to use pacifiers (neither of mine did). However, pacifiers can be great to help soothe fussy babies, and there is evidence that they may help reduce the risk of SIDS.

You will probably get a few different types of pacis even if you don’t put them on your registry. If you don’t, and want to have some on hand to try, I would suggest not investing in a lot of the same brand, because some babies prefer different pacis. Wait to see if/what your baby prefers and go from there!

Note for breastfeeding mamas: It’s recommended to not begin using a paci until breastfeeding is established (this is due to the possibility of nipple confusion- sucking on a paci is different than the breast- and not wanting to interfere with the cues your baby gives to your body, through nursing a lot, to make milk). Neither of my babies took pacis, but I did try a few times (and it should be noted that having a paci in my diaper bag SAVED a long drive when my son was two months old. I held it and it helped soothe him when I couldn’t nurse while we were driving.)

list of everything babies need

*Lovey (not included on my official list)*

A lovey was originally on the Ultimate Baby Registry Checklist, but decided to remove it as it goes against current AAP safe-sleep recommendations. I am sharing for the sake of openness, lest you think I adhere perfectly to all guidelines.

We introduced a lovey to my son at 7 months, and my daughter at 4 months. The idea behind lovies is that they can be a “positive sleep association” and an object to help them self-soothe. The safest kind of lovey to introduce is small, breathable, and free of plastic pieces. Some baby sleep experts say they’re safe to introduce when babies can lift their heads well or crawl, but they are not approved for safe sleep by the AAP. Therefore, use your best judgement with whether or not you will use one.

Ultimate Baby Registry Checklist for diapering

what baby needs for diapering on registry
My husband changing his first diaper!

what do new moms need for baby

1) Changing pad

first baby registry checklist

2)  2 changing pad covers

Any changing pad and covers will do. Changing pad liners aren’t really necessary if you have two covers, but you could get one cover with a set of liners if you prefer.

I, personally, don’t think it’s necessary to get a changing pad that is also a scale, but it could be helpful if you are having issues with baby weight gain (and/or have a preemie baby or find it secondhand). A friend also mentioned just getting a wipeable changing pad, and that makes a lot of sense as well!

list of what new babies need

 3) Caddy/Basket

You’ll want diaper creams, lotions, Q-tips, combs, etc… somewhere on or under the dresser/changing table. Designating a drawer also works well (I put diapers in a drawer). You just want to make sure everything has a place and you don’t have to search for what you need every time you change a diaper.

Tip: If baby’s room is upstairs or away from the main living area, have another caddy/changing station where you spend most of your day!

everything first time moms need for new baby

 4) 1 case size newborn diapers

what do i need for a baby

5) 2 cases size 1 diapers

things a baby has to have

6) 1 case wipes

Some babies’ bums are sensitive. I started out with cheap Walmart diapers on my first, and had to move to Pampers because his bottom was getting red. I started out with Pampers on my second, and had to move to Huggies because her bottom was getting red. We had similar situations with wipes.

Some babies don’t have any issues switching brands of diapers and wipes, but you really just never know. If you are gifted a lot of diapers, I suggest either returning them for gift cards that you designate for diapers, or only opening the small packs to see how your baby responds. This make it possible to return the unopened packs/boxes if it turns out your baby can’t use a particular brand.

I love Water Wipes, Hello Bello, and Huggies Natural wipes. I have mama friends who get diapers and wipes cheap at Sam’s as well!

Ultimate Baby Registry Checklist for the nursery

baby nursery decor registry
HEMNES 8-drawer dresser, white, 63x37 3/4 "
what a baby really needs

1)Dresser/changing table

Rather than purchasing a separate changing table, I love just having the changing pad on top of the dresser. The clothes I need are right below, and I’m using furniture I won’t eventually have to remove from my kid’s room.

I absolutely love the Hemnes dresser (and that whole line of furniture) from Ikea. We have three sets in our house- one in each kid’s room and one in ours. They’re a PAIN to assemble, but they’re the best bang for your buck as far as furniture goes. I was originally going to paint an old dresser for my son’s room…but I realized I wanted the drawers to function well, and it just made more sense to purchase something new. I LOVE that this dresser has 8 drawers– and the 4 on top are perfect for things like diapers, pajamas, wash clothes, etc… small things that wouldn’t take up enough space in the larger drawers!

everything i need to buy for my first baby

2) Glider with Ottoman

If you have the space for it, you need a chair in baby’s room for nighttime feeds (and bedtime rocking, book-reading, snuggles; so many things). In my experience, sleep is disrupted way less when you move baby as little as possible. Make a bottle before entering baby’s room (if bottle-feeding), and then feed them in their room. My mom found our glider on sale on an online resale group and we had it recovered. Ours didn’t come with the ottoman, though, and I wish it would have! It’s so hard to feed baby if you can’t put your feet up!

baby nursery list

3) Laundry hamper

My kids’ laundry hampers drive my mother insane. They are primarily fabric, and “collapsible”… so when you go to hang something wet on the side (like a washcloth or wet onesie), it pushes the side down and makes the hamper collapse in on itself. It looks really slouchy. I bought the hampers to look pretty and go with the decor of my kids’ rooms- and the hampers ARE cute, haha-, but they aren’t very practical . Learn from me: buy a sturdy hamper!

baby nursery checklist

4) Side table/nightstand

We went ahead and bought this and the 6 drawer chest that go with the dresser that we love. We figured the kids would use them for the foreseeable future, and didn’t want them to go out of stock before we had the matching pieces. Currently, I store a basket of bedtime books, the Hatch Rest, and a small clock/picture of them as a baby.

what do i need for nursery

5) Lamp

I have two lamps in my kids’ rooms: a desk lamp and a floor lamp. I don’t think two are necessary, but I think one is super helpful when you’re getting them up from sleep. Nothing aggravates me more than a bright overhead light when I’ve just woken up! I like to ease my kiddos into being awake in the same way I like to be eased awake.

new baby nursery checklist

6) Rug

This one, like many in this section, is totally based on preference. I love a good area rug to make rooms feel more cozy and put-together, especially if you have hardwood floors like we do.

Target has pretty good prices for rugs, and they frequently have sales; I purchased the one for my daughter’s room here and it was a great price!

What size rug do I need?” The general rule of thumb for rugs is that it should be touching most pieces of furniture in the room. Both of our nursery rugs are 5’x7″; the rugs take up about half of the square footage of the rooms (nursery decor posts coming soon).

what does a baby need in their room

7) Black-out curtains

This is a sore subject for me. I had a vision of my baby girl’s room, and the focus of it was these STUNNING yellow curtains. They were expensive, but I got gift cards at her baby shower, so I decided to splurge. When i got the curtains, they were STUNNING, but they weren’t “black-out” at all.. even though they were marketed as such.

That’s just a warning that some curtains may be marketed as “blackout”, but that doesn’t mean they are. We had to add blackout shades under them to reach the darkness sleep experts recommend (we also take these on trips). My son’s curtains are MUCH darker and work much better; they are from Target and are the Cloud Island brand.

Note: The design rule for curtains is “high and wide”– measure length according to this rule to insure you don’t get curtains that are too short.

Another note: Ikea has super cheap curtain rods!

best baby monitor for baby registery

8) Video Baby monitor

THIS BABY MONITOR IS THE BOMB and had to be included on my Ultimate Baby Registry Checklist! . I’ve recommended this video monitor to a ton of my friends, and they love it as well! It’s SO, SO cheap. We have one for each of our kids and just love that we can pull the cameras up on our phones and don’t need a separate monitor. If you would rather have a monitor (or have a sitter who needs to see the kids), you can easily use an iPad as the monitor.

We can also check on the kids when we are away from the house. This was such a help when they were tiny and I was extra-anxious to leave them for any period of time.

Ultimate Baby Registry Checklist for bathing/cleaning baby

everything you need for new baby

registry list for new baby

1) Baby bathtub

We have loved this bathtub for both kids. It has a newborn sling you attach to it, and it can sit on top of the kitchen sink. That option works really well until they start splashing and then you have to move it to the tub, haha! There’s a side they can lay back in, and then you switch them to the other side when they are able to sit up with support. You will know when it is time to stop using the bathtub because they will be pulling up on it like crazy! (and man, that is one of the most annoying times to bathe babies- when they just start pulling up; slippery babies trying to pull up in the bathtub is just a recipe for disaster!)

baby registry list for bathing a new baby

2) 3-4 hooded towels

We LOVE our hooded Ikea towels! They are actual towel material, rather than the suppppppper thin baby towels most brands make (those soak up nothing!). Return those thin towels, mama, they aren’t worth the hassle!

what do you need for bathing a new baby

3) Baby washcloths

While the thin towels are useless; I love the thin baby washcloths! I don’t have a strong opinion on washcloth brands, I just prefer them thin and small because it’s much easier to wash their ears, faces, and between rolls (*gush*) when the washcloth isn’t huge!

baby soap for baby registry

4) Shampoo/Body wash

Ohhhh mannn, my babies both have very sensitive skin. We had an awful experience with an allergic reaction my son had to amoxicillin (the reaction was just TERRIBLE and lasted for MONTHS). We ended up going to an allergist through all of that and she felt the eczema on his legs and recommended Baby Dove, so that’s what we’ve been using since! If your baby isn’t sensitive, you’ll likely not have to worry about what kind of soap to use.

toys for baby registry

5) Bath toys

There were a few periods of time where my son HATED bath time. Check out this post to see how we got through that… (read: it was awful and we had to get creative!).

Bath toys are super helpful distractions so you can wash baby, and also help elongate the bath when mama and daddy need a few more minutes to breathe! You definitely don’t need to buy any bath-specific toys; any cups or plastic toys will do. But if you do buy some, we love stacking cups and any other plastic toys like blocks, trucks, or animals.

*Update: I originally had squirting toys on my list (with a caveat to change them often due to mold), but I saw an article about a little boy getting cellulitis due to the mold, and removed it from this list. There are many other options; you don’t need squirters!

brush and comb to put on baby registry

6) Hair brush/comb

If you’re like me, you’ll need a few of these. We’ve gone months at a time without them because they’re just one of those things I can never find; they get shuffled back and forth to each kid’s room, thrown behind the dresser, put in bags on trips, and who knows where else! They’re a must on the Ultimate Baby registry Checklist.

baby cleaning baby registry

7) Q tip safety swabs

These must be a new(ish) invention because my mother was amazed by them! They’re “safety swabs”-Q-tips for babies that balloon out past a certain point– so you can’t stick them in too far! Brilliant!

baby nail clippers for newborn baby registry

8) Nail clippers

I don’t have these; I just have like 3 pairs of these. However, I may need to purchase these because they look awesome!

Ultimate Baby Registry Checklist for nursing

what do i need for breastfeeding

I have many more blog posts in the works about breastfeeding. I’m currently nursing my second baby and have really loved it (I’ve loved it OVERALL; it was SO, SO hard at the beginning).

While I get my posts together, here are some of my favorite resources for nursing:

Note: I don’t care how you feed your baby; just feed them! 😉

breastfeeding pillow to put on baby registry

1) My Brest Friend

I.loved.this.thing! Man, y’all, I know it seems like everything on my Ultimate Baby Registry Checklist is my favorite (and if you’re my friend, you can vouch that everything being “my favorite” is a running joke… lol… I’m a bit hyperbolic!). But really… when I say I love this, I really, really, do. Nursing my newborn son would have been impossible without it. I didn’t use it as much for my second (she was a DREAM to nurse; I didn’t realize how hard my son was until I had my daughter). You just don’t know how hard your nursing journey will be until you begin it.

Get one of these if you can (I borrowed one for my first and got one secondhand for my second). DEFINITELY take it to the hospital with you. Nursing newborns is HARD.

nursing needs for baby registry

2) Nipple cream 

OUCH! That’s all I have to say. Getcha some nipple cream; it’s an absolute must. Put it on whenever you can- as soon as you can (in the hospital, for sure). And no worries, just wipe it off when baby needs to eat- it’s safe for baby as well!

Warning: This stuff is straight grease and WILL stain! Apply this cream, put a nursing pad over it, and then a nursing bra or tank. The shirt you wear over that should be one you don’t care about staining. I learned my lesson the hard way!

list of what to buy for breastfeeding moms

3) Reusable nursing pads

These are just SOOOO much softer than the disposable ones! They feel like velvet on your nipples! My poor, bleeding, cracked nipples thanked me when I used these instead of the disposable ones (the cracked parts would stick to the cotton. Imagine wiping a cottonball across chapped lips… yeah… nuff said=)

4) Nursing bras: 1, 2, 3,

Before kids, my boobs were NOT small. Now (nursing a 1 year old), they are HUGE… and WHEN MY MILK COMES IN AND IS REGULATING?!?! It’s flipping ridiculous. SERIOUSLY.

Buying bras has always been a pain for me, but when nursing it’s just multiplied by about 12 million. Or, it WAS… UNTIL I DISCOVERED THESE BRAS! I loveeeee Target’s new line. They are CHEAP… they are in my size… they’re NURSING BRAS….AND THEY HAVE A WIRE! I know y’all little-boobers don’t get it… (who WANTS a wire?!)… ummm, we do, honey… or our boobs hang to our knees. JUST SAYING! haha.

Check them out, y’all. (And please, if anyone has a nursing sports bra recommendation, pleaseeee send it my way. I haven’t found one that’s not a million dollars yet!)

gel packs for breast engorgement nursing mom registry

5) Gel packs for engorgement

One of my besties bought these for me… and holy guacamole at the relief! Use them hot, use them cold, but have them around for when your milk comes in; the relief is immediate!

Mom tip: You can use these as cold compresses for toddler bumps/bruises or to keep a packed lunch cool, not just for breast engorgement!

baby registry for breastfeeding moms

6) Manual silicone breast pump

Soooo many breastfeeding mamas swear by this! I got one and tried it out and it was absolutely amazing (I bought the cheaper version of the popular brand)! You put it on one breast and nurse out of the other… and it magically collects milk without even needing to pump! I’ve heard mamas say it eliminated their need to use a breast pump!

7) Electric breast pump- free from insurance

If you have insurance, you should be able to get your electric breast pump for free. Call them and ask what you need to do to get it; I had to get my provider to fax a form for me. If it’s free; it’s for me!

I don’t have an opinion on which pump to get, as I barely pumped, but your insurance will only let you choose between a few so don’t look them up before you see which ones you can pick from.

Don’t get breast pumps secondhand. There’s not a way to completely clean all of the parts.

See: How to Clean Breast Pump

baby registry for nursing moms

8) Breast milk storage bags

There are a million different brands of breast milk storage bags. From what I’ve read, people really like Lansinoh or Medela brands. People always have these leftover, though, so be sure to ask around before you buy!

baby registry for pumping moms

9) Sanitizing bags

There are a few different ways to sanitize bottle and pump parts, but these reusable sanitizing bags seem like the cheapest and easiest way to go! My best friend used these and loved them. You can use one bag for up to 20 times each!

first time mom baby registry

10) A few different brands of bottles

My kids never took bottles; I tried with my son but never really tried with my second (for a lot of reasons; mainly laziness to pump on my part…ha). But if you’re going back to work (or will need to be away from your baby for more than a few hours) you definitely need some bottles.

Breastfed babies are sometimes more picky with which bottles they will take, so don’t stock up (unless you’re given a lot). I recommend having a few different kinds of bottles and trying them out to see which baby likes. I’ve heard great things about Dr.Brown bottles!

See: How to bottle feed the breastfed baby; Introducing the bottle

best baby registry

11) Burp cloths 

You are gonna need some burp cloths. Both of my babies spat up a lot, for different reasons; it just happens! One of my friends loves using these cloth diapers as burp cloths. I really love muslin ones like these and these.

Note: This is something else people like to give for gifts. You don’t necessarily need to put them on your registry; just make sure you have some before baby comes. You can also use receiving blankets as burp cloths (what do people even use those for, anyway!?).

what to put on my baby registry

12. Cloth Bibs*

*I literally never used these, either, but many friends have, so I’m including them here! Sometimes babies drool so much their clothes get soaked, or they’re really messy when drinking and a bib is helpful to catch some of what they spit up.

*Pumping mamas:*

I asked a few of my friends who pumped if there was anything they would add to my list. Here are the things they said:

  • Hands-free pumping bra
  • Second/Backup pump and pump parts: it makes it easier to wash less often
  • Pump battery pack
  • Large Tupperware that will fit all the pump parts so you can put them in the fridge and rinse, but not wash between pumping sessions
  • Mini-fridge access at work (or cooler and ice packs if a fridge isn’t available or you’re on the go a lot)

Thanks Alysha, Heather, and Courtney for your help! You guys are rockstars!!

Ultimate Baby Registry Checklist for formula-feeding

what formula fed babies need
Two of my besties feeding their babies at the pumpkin patch

There are so many ways to feed your baby! You can nurse, exclusively pump, formula feed, or any combination of the above! Sometimes you choose your method of feeding, and sometimes it chooses you. There’s no judgment here, mama.

Note: A few of these items are repeats from the “nursing” category because I’m assuming you’ve chosen one or the other. Ignore the repeats if you’re doing both (or being prepared for both)- which IS an option, you guys! You CAN nurse AND give formula! All feeding options are valid options!

1) Formula samples

You can get formula samples for free from the hospital where you birth or from your child’s pediatrician. You may also receive free samples in the mail from formula companies (they get your information from the stores where you create baby registries). Many people also post formula they no longer need on social media.

In short: don’t pay for formula samples. Also, don’t stock up on formula before you know what baby can tolerate. Babies’ tummies are sometimes sensitive to different brands, and you won’t know until you try it!

See: bottle feeding from the AAP; another post from AAP

best bottles to put on baby registry

2) (3) 4-5 oz Bottles 

Babies start off drinking small amounts of milk at a time, regardless of their feeding method. You’ll start off with these smaller bottles, and then move on to bigger (8 oz) bottles when your baby begins to want more than 4 ounces at each feeding.

Bottle nipples come in different sizes (think of it like straw sizes-you can either get a little out at a time or a lot out at a time) . As babies age, they can handle more milk at once (and using a bigger nipple size also helps cut down on how long it takes baby to take a full bottle).

See: Selecting your bottle nipple level

bottle and nipple brushes for baby registry

3) Bottle/ nipple brush

4) Bottle drying rack

formula fed baby registry

5) Sanitizing bags

These are tried and tested things that help keep the many parts involved in bottle feeding clean.

See: How to Sterilize and Warm Baby Bottles Safely

registry for formula feeding mamas

6) Formula mixing jug (or machine , if you’re feeling fancy)

My best friend discovered this mixing jug, you guys, and it changed her life! You can make 32 ounces of milk at a time, fill your bottles, and you’re ready for the day! (I am not fancy enough to have a baby milk Keurig, but that one looks COOL! Have any of y’all had that?)

what do bottle-fed babies need

7) Travel Formula Dispenser

You HAVE to have one of these! You fill each section with the amount of formula you need for one bottle so you can make bottles on the go!

what do new babies need

8) Burp Cloths

You are gonna need some burp cloths. Both of my babies spat up a lot, for different reasons; it just happens! One of my friends loves using these cloth diapers as burp cloths. I really love muslin ones like these and these.

Note: This is something else people like to give for gifts. You don’t necessarily need to put them on your registry; just make sure you have some before baby comes. You can also use receiving blankets as burp cloths (what do people even use those for, anyway!?).

everything to buy for a new baby

9) Cloth bibs

Some babies are super messy eaters! Especially when they are young and learning how to eat! These bibs are super soft and very absorbent, to catch the milk that doesn’t quite make it in!

Ultimate Baby Registry Checklist for starting solids

starting solids baby registry guide

CandoKiddo is such a helpful place to start when you want to learn about how to start giving your baby solid food. She is a Pediatric Occupational Therapist and has many free resources and a course called “Food Before One” that is just wonderful!

See also: Starting Solid Foods

what do babies need when starting solids

1) Divided plates

These plates are so great and help remind me to offer variety at every meal. The sections are deep enough for serving soup and purees (mashed potatoes, apple sauce). This is helpful because you don’t have to use a bowl for soup and then another plate for fruit and bread, for instance. Things get complicated (and messy) when toddlers have too many things in front of them at the dinner table.

baby registry guide for feeding babies

2) Spoons

what do babies need on registry for eating

3) forks

I love this silverware! I’ve found that forks that aren’t metal reallly struggle at picking up food!

baby led weaning baby registry guide

4) Small snack plates

best baby registry for starting solids

5) Bowls

baby registry list for new moms

6) Small open cups

We don’t have these, but they’re similar to ones we have! I like to use different plates/bowls for snack-time. The little cups are great for learning how to drink from an open cup (we like to use ours for “Daddy’s orange juice” on Sunday mornings with pancakes).

best checklist for new babies

7) Snack containers

I swore up and down that I would never have these containers because I thought they were so silly before kids. But, here I am! Ha! There’s really not another option out there for babies who are learning to eat snacks out of bowls/cups. These are very helpful when I need a few minutes to cook or to make baby last while in a stroller.

everything you need to buy for a newborn

8) 2 straw sippy cups

first time mom list for baby

9) 2 “open” sippy cups

There’s soo much info out there on what kinds of cups we should use with our babies. I’ll give you the short version here: open cups and straw cups.

I’ve been seeing new info recommending not to use the Miracle 360, or at least not use it for long. We still use it with our kids with no issues; do your research and decide what will work for you. I would love to do open cups most of the time, but I’m not ready to make that leap with milk spills quite yet!

gifts for new baby

10) 2-3 teethers

It’s a great idea to have options for things for drooly, teething babies to chew on! My kiddos have enjoyed this banana teether and Sophie the giraffe.

baby registry gifts for first time moms

11) High chair

If I could have any high chair, it would be the Abiie Beyond or the Stokke Tripp Trapp.I did not research high chairs before having my first, so I registered for one that ended up being silly.

When I started read more, I discovered that they need to have foot rests, and if they are able to grow with them, it’s a huge plus. I ended up replacing our high chair with a (now discontinued) wooden high chair that I found at a consignment sale. Look at consignment sales/stores/resale groups first! You will be amazed at what you can find for SO much cheaper than retail!

If I were to buy a new high chair with a smaller budget, I think I would get either the Langur from Ikea or the cheaper Antilop from Ikea one with this foot rest, or try make my own footrest.

See: How to Choose the Best High Chair or Booster Seat

what do brand new babies need

12) 2-3 plastic bibs

These bibs are fabulous! I also really like Bapron bibs– they tie under baby’s armpits/around their back so the sides don’t come up; ABSOLUTELY GENIUS!

baby checklist for first babies

13) Splatter mat

When babies are learning how to eat solids, it isn’t pretty. They drop, throw, sling, and smear food everywhere. Like, A LOT OF FOOD. Like, EVERYWHERE. (Just warning you, mamas!)

When my son was starting solids, we put a garbage bag under his high chair, but that got old fast and I just gave up. I actually just bought a new dining room rug because our last rug got SO nasty. To prevent having to buy a new rug, you could buy a splatter mat, or you could use a garbage bag, plastic table cloth, or even a reusable picnic table cover. You could also buy a washable dining room rug like this; I am swooning over these!

I have thought about treating our rug with a spray like Scotchguard (my mom’s idea), and I’ve also toyed with using an outdoor rug inside. Currently, we are just treating our new rug like our third baby and using Resolve like crazy! (You could even say “goodbye” to the dining room rug for a bit; I promise they eventually learn to eat not like animals and rarely spill things! haha! My 2.5 year old does SO, SO well with food, even notoriously messy food, and he’s been that way for a while!)

Ultimate Baby Registry Checklist for health/safety

baby cleaning items for baby registry

what to add to baby registry

1) Thermometers

The same kind of thermometers can be used orally and rectally (and in the underarm), however, you may want to have one designated for “rectal”, because…ew… haha. You may also want to get some covers for the thermometers you use rectally, because once again, ew.

Notes: Rectal is most accurate. Do rectal temp until 6 months, and then you can switch to doing ear temp, and if you aren’t sure about accuracy you can check armpit/bottom to double check. However, you will know when your baby is hot; you can feel it. Also, it’s not technically considered a “true” fever until it’s 100.4. (link for more info)

*I have tried a lot of thermometers, but have not found one I love. I have a temporal one, an ear one, and a few plain digital ones. The ear one is more accurate than the temporal one, but I’ll keep looking for the best one*

list of things you need for baby

2) Nasal aspirator

This thing, you guys. If I typed out how you use it you would never trust me, but I promise, they are SO INCREDIBLY HELPFUL for when you have stuffy-nosed babies who can’t blow their own noses. We take for granted the things like being able to blow our own noses.

Note: My friend’s husband swears he gets whatever cold the baby has every time he uses these… and it makes sense when you know how it’s used.. SOOOO USE WITH CAUTION (BUT YOU STILL NEED IT! haha).

3) Medicine dropper

There’s no need to register for one of these on its own, just make sure you have one. You will probably get one in a “baby care kit” someone gets you! (I feel like I was gifted a few)

things you have to buy for baby

4) Infant or Children’s Tylenol/acetaminophen

*Acetaminophen is the drug; Tylenol is a brand.*

If your baby is under 12 weeks, do not give medicine unless directed by your child’s pediatrician. A newborn with a fever is a very big deal. Call your doctor (many have on-call nurses you can talk to 24/7) if your newborn has a fever.

Acetaminophen is the only safe fever-reducer for babies under 6 months; after 6 months they can also have ibuprofen (Motrin). There are also acetaminophen suppositories that were lifesavers when my second had RSV and wouldn’t take oral medicine. 

“Infant” and “children’s” Tylenol are the same thing; “children’s” is usually cheaper. The concentrations used to be different, but due to confusion and incorrect dosing, they are now the same.

See: When to Call the Pediatrician: Fever, Acetaminophen info and dosage chart; Ibuprofen info and dosage chart

things you need to buy for a new baby

5) Baby gate(s)

Depending on the layout of your house, you may need a baby gate to help keep baby safe and in baby-approved areas of your house. These are also helpful to take on vacation to keep baby away from stairs, etc.. Newly mobile babies are young and so susceptible to accidents.

things you have to buy for a new baby

6) Baby-proofing kit

Babies get into everything! Baby-proof your house as soon as you can- before they become mobile.

I have really enjoyed @safebeginnings on Instagram for all sorts of information about how to keep babies and toddlers safe. It’s a lot of information to digest, and a little scary to learn about, but awareness is key to preventing so many accidents that needlessly take children’s lives.

See: Childproofing Your Home

things you should buy for a new baby

7) Carbon monoxide and smoke detectors

Make sure you have them and check to make sure they’re in working order (as soon as possible, but definitely before baby arrives).

what you need to buy for a new baby

8) Baby sunscreen

The recommendation is to not use sunscreen until 6 months of age; try to keep baby out of the sun instead.

We LOVE both Aveeno and Blue Lizard sunscreens.

See: Sun Safety and Protection

things to buy for a newborn

9) Baby bug spray

We love this bug spray and have to use it almost every day in the southern summer.

Mom tip: keep a travel size bug spray and sunscreen in your diaper bag; you never know when you will need either!

what you should buy for a newborn

10) Baby toothbrush

This looks really cool, but you don’t HAVE to have one. You can use a washcloth before teeth come in, and then get a very soft-bristled toothbrush to use when teeth begin to emerge. We use Tom’s fluoride toothpaste, but opinions differ on whether fluoride is needed or not.

See: Oral Health Info; Baby Teeth Info and Care

things you need to have for a newborn

11) Baby-friendly laundry detergent

I am beginning to move in a less toxic direction as far as household products go, but I am not there yet with laundry detergent. There are many more natural options than the one we use, and so many have strong opinions about laundry detergent, but I am not one of them. You do you, boo!

Let me know if you have a natural detergent you love that also gets your clothes clean! (Also, I’m not the one who does laundry at my house, so I don’t really get a vote in this area- my husband is WAY too particular to let me fold anything-… and I’m NOT COMPLAINING- OH MY GOODNESS HOW I LOATHE LAUNDRY!)

Side note: We cloth-diapered my for 5 months and I found that many cloth-diaperers use Tide F&C, so that’s why we started using that.

Ultimate Baby Registry Checklist for baby play

toys to register for newborn baby

Repeat after me: “My baby does not need a million toys. My baby does not need a million “containers”. My baby needs me.”

Your.baby.wants.you. Your face, your eyes, your smell, your voice, your cuddles, your milk (that you give in whatever way you choose ;)). You do not need all the things: not the lights and noise, or the swing, or the seat, or whatever-new-fangled-thing-marketing-people-are-coming-up-with-these-days. YOU.DON’T.NEED.THEM.

Thanks for coming to my Ted Talk, haha. But for real. Check out CandoKiddo and all the things she has to say about “baby holding devices”. This will be its own blog post- and probably a few- but I wanted to put it on here as well.

things you should buy for a new baby

1) Boppy Pillow and Cover

Boppys are great for tummy time, and also for supporting little ones who are holding your little one! They’re also good places to lay your tiny newborn (on top of a blanket) while you’re between sides while nursing or while cleaning up spit-up off your shoulder.

*The Boppy is not recommended for baby sleep*

things new babies need

2) Extra Boppy Cover

It’s a good idea to have two Boppy covers. My son spat up a ton in tummy time so we had to wash our covers frequently!

what new babies need to have

3) Activity gym

Activity gyms are so, so good for baby play! There are a ton out there that work great. I had my husband make one like this because I didn’t want to ours to be super busy. My bestie has the Lovevery activity gym and loves it, but you do not have to have it!

See: low budget-Ikea activity gym, high budget- Lovevery activity gym

best things new babies need

4) Baby mirror or non-glass mirror for baby play area

Babies love to look at themselves ALMOST as much as they like to look at you! They love mirrors! With my first we just used a full length mirror we had and put it up against the wall and it worked so well! Since we had a toddler, with my second we had this smaller mirror and she loved it!

what should i have for my new baby

what do i need for a baby

what should I have for a new baby

5) Black and white, high contrast, or baby face books 

Babies love books like these! Use these books in tummy or floor timebabies can’t see like we can quite yet; they prefer black and white or high contrast books!

what should i buy for a new baby

6) O ball

what do new babies need

7) Plastic links

This ball is so good for grasping and bringing objects to the mouth- it has holes for little fingers! My kids have loved batting at it and kicking it. You can connect so many things to the activity gym with the links!

Ultimate Baby Registry Checklist for baby clothes

what should i put on my baby registry

Don’t go out and purchase tons and tons of baby clothes before your baby gets here, and don’t remove tags from future clothing sizes until you know your baby will fit into it when it’s seasonally appropriate. Babies grow fast! Some don’t even wear the newborn size at all, and most grow out of it very quickly. Babies generally triple their weight during the first year, so they are not in those sizes very long. It’s hard to buy baby clothes early because you don’t know how quickly they will grow and what the weather will be like when they need the next size. (But do know that the growth slows when they get to toddler sizes; my son was in 2T for about a year)

Note about baby clothing sizes: Baby clothes come in sizes by age in months: Newborn, 0-3 months or 3 months, 3-6 months/6 months, 6-9 months/9 months, 9-12 months/12 months, 12-18 months/18 months, 18-24 months/24 months, and then the toddler (T) sizes start: 2T , 3T, and then 4T. A 4T is the same as a kid size XS. The toddler sizes are based on the age in years your toddler is (generally speaking, of course).

My son, 2.5, is on the smaller side and has just moved to 3T clothes and 4T pajamas; my daughter just turned 1 and is between 18 and 24 month clothes (both clothes and pajamas run small, in my opinion, but this of course depends on how your child is built).

what do all babies need

1) Zip-up sleepers

ZIP-UP SLEEPERS, YOU GUYS! RETURN ALL OF YOUR BUTTON-UP SLEEPERS- you are very, very welcome. Ain’t nobody got time to figure out which button goes where when you’re delirious from no sleep. (Depending on how often you do laundry, you need between 4-7 per size- in my opinion.)

new baby registry summer

2) Short Sleeve Onesies

If you are having a summertime baby, this is all you need for your newborn– I promise! I am very simple and practical when it comes to baby and toddler clothes. It should be comfortable, easy for you to put on, and easy for baby to move in. Don’t spend a ton of money on boutique clothes your baby is going to spit-up, poo, and play in, unless that’s your thing, I guess! I like Carter’s and Old Navy for clothes

Word to the wise: Old Navy sizes run very small in little baby sizes- their 0-3 month is more like newborn, 3-6 is more like 3 month, and they don’t have 6-9 month clothing like most baby clothes. They just have 6-12, which run more like 6-9.

new baby registry list

3) Socks

Baby socks are the bane of my existence. They’re cute and all, yada yada, but MY GOODNESS, their tininess makes it hard to keep up with and/or organize them by size. I’ve gotten hand-me-down socks with both of my kids, and ended up just taking them to Goodwill because I couldn’t figure the sizes and also, I am not a fan of frilly girl socks (I love me some free clothes in general, though).

With that said, you still need to have socks for your kids because if you don’t, old people (and very, very young people like my mother 😉 ) will judge you. Keep them in your diaper bag at all times for visits to Grandma’s (and I’m most definitely not speaking from my experience whatsoever, here…). Also, just buy regular white socks– they go with every outfit and you can use them on girls and boys. AND GET THE ONES WITH THE SIZE ON THE BOTTOMS OF THEM (what a genius idea!!).

new baby registry checklist

4) Long sleeve onesies

winter baby registry checklist

5) Pants

cold weather baby registry checklist

6) Hats

Layer the winter babies! That is, of course, if you take your winter babies out of the house. I have a December baby and we didn’t leave the house until March (and this was pre-pandemic…ha…not leaving the house for “just” a few months doesn’t sound as crazy these days!).

cold weather baby list of needs

7) Booties

I didn’t know about these when my winter baby was little- but I definitely would have had them had I known! Socks can be kicked off pretty easily, but these cannot. I’ve seen so many people recommend them!

Ultimate Baby Registry Checklist for Travel

what do babies need for travel

what do newborns need list

1) Infant car seat (optional) plus base

In my opinion, “travel systems” (car seat plus base, and a stroller) are overpriced and overrated. Your car seat doesn’t need to “click” into your stroller if your stroller reclines until almost flat. If you’re going to get one, get them secondhand. We bought ours secondhand on social media (from someone we know).

My favorite car seat resources:

newborn baby registry

2) Convertible car seat

We REALLY love our convertible car seat; we have two of the same. It has a foot support that can be pulled out for extended rear-facing (up to 50 pounds) and it forward faces up to 65 pounds. Our 2.5 year old is still rear-facing and will be as long as possible because it is safer.

basic playard

3) Basic Playard

best registry checklist

4) 2 playard sheets

Playards are incredibly convenient and helpful to have! We use them in our bedroom with our newborns (so we can get to them easily when they wake frequently to eat). We take them on vacation for our babies to sleep in. There are so many fancy playards out there, but you don’t need them; just put the simplest one on your registry!

Note: They sell playard mattresses, but I’ve found that they’re too soft for babies (too soft means they pose suffocation risk; the AAP recommends firm sleep surfaces) so I’ve never used one for either of my babies and they sleep just fine.

what do newborns need

5) Backseat mirror

Rear-facing babies means you need a way to see your baby’s face when in the car. It reduces my anxiety to be able to check on the kids when we are driving, and it helps comfort baby to see mom or dad is still near.

what should i have for a newborn

6) Travel high chair

It’s so nice to have a compact high chair to take to grandma’s, friends’ houses, outside for a picnic, and on vacation. It is very hard to hold a baby and feed them at the same time. THE ARMS. THEY’RE EVERYWHERE AT THE SAME TIME!

what should i buy for my new baby

7) Stroller

Okay y’all, so with my first, I got a nice stroller for walks (we have a nice trail by our house), and I also got an umbrella stroller to store in my car for random other times when I needed a stroller. And, real talk, DOES ANYONE ACTUALLY LIKE UMBRELLA STROLLERS? I cannot stand them. My kids look slouched and uncomfortable, the handles are too short (and I’m 5’4″!!), and there’s no room for me to put anything anywhere! I much prefer to lug my nicer stroller places. End rant, you guys, but the disdain runs DEEP.

Anywho, get a stroller that meets your needs. Do you run or walk a lot? Do you need a smaller stroller because your car is smaller and it has to fit in your car? Think about your daily life now, and what it would look like with a baby; what do you need or not need? You can always wait until baby arrives to see what needs present themselves! There’s no pressure to buy all-the-things beforehand! Be sure to check local resale pages for big purchases; you can find really good deals for lightly-used baby items!

See: Stroller buying guide

best gifts for new moms

8) Stroller caddy

This is a MUST on the Ultimate Baby Registry Checklist! Strollers do not come with enough storage; the designers must be men or people without kids! Kids need stuff, guys (especially when it’s hot, or you’re trying to get in a good, long walk without a meltdown). I love, love, love this caddy. I can fit a ton of things in it: water bottles for me and baby, snacks, toys, bug spray, sunscreen keys, chapstick, etc…

new baby gifts

9) Muslin Blankets

These are a must for diaper bags! They can stand in for so many things in a pinch:sun shield , changing mat, burp cloth, breastfeeding cover, swaddle, play mat, comfort item (lovey), and soo much more!

gifts to buy new baby

 

 10) Warm minky blanket/ 2 stroller blankets

In the winter, we keep a warm blanket in the car and one in the stroller (obviously, we wash these when they get dirty, haha).

We also received personalized minky blankets that we use as the kids’ first blanket they sleep with (shout-out to Aunt Jess for the best gift ever!).

*Note: You will probably get a lot of blankets even if they’re not on your registry; they are super popular baby gifts.

11) Baby carrier

I got my Ergo on Zulily for a really good price and I’m so thankful I did! I’ve tried a few other types of carriers and the structured cariers make me feel like baby is more secure.

My son HATED being “worn” but my little girl… SHE LOVES IT! She’s over a year old and I still wear her sometimes. It’s especially helpful when you have a toddler you need to be able to have hands on at all times.

Note: There are a few different kinds of Ergos; I have the original, which they say requires the newborn insert. Rather than buying the insert, you can roll up a muslin blanket instead! There are also other kinds of Ergos that are worth looking into. My best friend has the Adapt and she loves hers! It doesn’t require an insert.

what to add to baby registry

12) Diaper bag

I have two diaper bags. My first bag was a big gift from my mom and her friends when I had my first baby. And, YOU GUYS… IT IS THE MOST BEAUTIFUL THING I HAVE EVER SEEN OR WILL EVER SEE. I.LOVE.IT. And, I will use it forever. BUT, it is not the most practical. There aren’t many useable pockets, and space is limited inside. I prefer to use it for a “mom bag”, rather than diaper bag.

Enter, my lovely friend Ashley who purchased me the best diaper bag ever. It is a great price, comes in a ton of colors, has a TON of useable pockets (inside and outside), and so much more! This is the diaper bag you need when your baby is tiny and you need all the things. YOU CAN FIT SO MUCH IN IT! I know so many mamas who have it and see it everywhere! You must have this on your Ultimate Baby Registry Checklist!

what to put on first time mom baby registry

13) Portable diaper changing kit (reusable changing pad)

Babies always poo at the most inconvenient of times and in the most inconvenient of places. Always, always, always have all the changing necessities with you! This DEFINITELY includes a portable changing pad. Public places are NASTY (we are aware of this SO MUCH MORE since Covid, right?!).

what to put on newborn baby registry

14) Wet bag(s)

This is a carryover item from when we cloth-diapered. I wouldn’t have bought a pack of wet bags otherwise, but I’m so glad we have them! One stays in our swim bag (I store an extra set of clothes in the front, and put the wet bathing suits in the inside before leaving the pool). One stays in the diaper bag (with an extra set of clothes as well, and put the dirty/wet clothes or soiled diaper on the inside, when there’s not a trashcan close by).

You do NOT have to have these; plastic baggies or grocery baggies would work just fine! I just really love my wet bags so I’m including them here!

what do i need to add to baby registry

15) Simple sound baby monitor

We love to take these on trips rather than taking and setting up our video monitors.

Final thoughts on registering for a newbaby

I know that was SO MUCH, Y’ALL! I am sorry if I overloaded and overwhelmed you, but I wanted all of the information here on the Ultimate Baby Registry Checklist.

Let me know if you have any questions, think I missed anything, or have something to add! And again, you certainly don’t need all of these things; these are just things I’ve loved or things friends have loved! You also do not need to buy most things new; ask around and try to get the best deals you can.

Having a baby doesn’t have to break the bank. The number one thing they need is you- your attention and your love! The rest are just details!

YOU CAN DO THIS, MAMA!

Lots of love,

Related baby preparation articles

12 things you DON’T NEED for baby

Baby shower tips you NEED

What to do with baby gifts you HATE

How to organize your baby’s clothes

everything you need for a new baby
Hey, it's Anna! I'm a teacher-turned-SAHM of two young kids. I love to research all things parenting and kid-related and share them on here.

4 Comments

  1. Meredith Blakeley
    September 10, 2020

    Fantastic list! I would add, as an alternative to typical lanolin cream, Earth Mama Angel Baby has some great nipple cream. I always used a big ziplock bag for pump parts but a washable tupperware container would be nicer to the environment, however I hate dishes and that adds another lol. There is a thing called sock-ons that will keep your baby’s sock on, they kind of look like a pre-done ankle ace bandage, but they’re white. I agree that Old Navy has some weird sizing, I’ve always found them to run big but I don’t think we bought stuff from there until after 12 months. The one outfit we were gifted from Gap was huge for the size it listed. Carter’s was our standard bc they’re pretty consistent.

    Reply
    1. Anna Barrett
      September 11, 2020

      Yes! I’ve heard of Earth Mama Angel Baby and have friends who have loved the cream! And yes to the dishes! I’ve never heard of the “sock-on” thing but that sounds awesome!!
      Thanks so much for reading and commenting!

      Reply
  2. Caroline Lovejoy
    September 10, 2020

    This is the most complete list for baby must-haves that I have ever seen! Thank you!!

    Reply
    1. Anna Barrett
      September 11, 2020

      Thank you! I so appreciate your encouragement!!

      Reply

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