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Baby Registry Must Haves

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Cara Dumaplin

RN, BSN, Certified Pediatric Sleep Consultant

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Have you started your baby registry? I know it can be both exciting and overwhelming. I’d love to share tips about when to begin your baby registry, what baby items are “must-haves,” and which ones to skip!

As you think about registering for all of the physical items you’ll need to take care of your baby, don’t forget about the less tangible things you might need. In my newborn class, I’ll walk you step-by-step through the strategies you need to confidently navigate the first few months of your baby’s life: how to read your baby’s cues, calm your fussy baby, set up a flexible schedule, work towards longer stretches of sleep at night, and truly love the newborn stage.

Where to register for your baby shower: anchor

Registry apps like Zola and Baby List are great options because they allow you to pull from different websites and stores to have one registry. You can also create registries at stores and sites like Target, Walmart, or Amazon. Specialty stores like Pottery Barn and Crate & Barrel have registry options as well.

Expert Tip: You may consider registering at multiple stores or for more items than you expect to receive. Why? Many baby registries offer a completion discount so that you can purchase any remaining items at a reduced price (usually around 15% off).

When to start making a baby registry:anchor

You can start your registry as soon as you feel ready, but you’ll want to keep in mind that creating a baby registry can take time. Starting in the second trimester will give you time to research so that you feel confident in the products you need.

Baby registry must-haves and favorites:anchor

Baby diapering anchor

Plan to have at least two diaper changing stations in your home; one in your baby’s nursery and a diaper caddy in the main living area where you spend most of your day. Find some of my favorites here.

  • Newborn diapers (1-2 boxes)

  • Size 1 diapers (2-3 boxes)

  • Wipes 

  • Diaper rash cream (2)

  • Diaper cream applicator (2)

  • Diaper caddy

  • Changing pad

Baby feeding anchor

These baby feeding products are things you’ll use now and as your baby transitions to solid food. Find some of my favorites here.

  • Baby bowls and spoons

  • Burp rags (5-10)

  • Bibs (5-10)

  • Feeding support pillow

Bottle feedinganchor

Here are products to consider adding to your registry if bottles are part of your feeding plans. Find some of my favorites here.

  • 2-3 different types of bottles

  • Bottle brush and soap

  • Bottle drying rack

  • Bottle warmer

  • Automatic formula dispenser


If you plan to breastfeed and/or pump, these are items that you will find especially helpful. Find some of my favorites here.

  • Nipple cream

  • Silver nursing cups

  • Pumping/nursing bras and tanks

  • Nursing pads

  • Breast massager

  • Burp rags

  • Breast milk collector 

  • Microwavable sanitizing bags

  • Breast pump and accessories (Check with your insurance as most plans cover one hospital-grade pump per pregnancy.)

  • Breast milk storage bags

  • Bottles

Expert Tip: No matter how you plan to feed your baby, be sure to have a couple of bottles on hand. If you pump, you’ll need them to offer expressed breastmilk.

Even if you don’t think you will ever use formula, I do encourage you to keep a small supply for your own peace of mind. Consider a small canister of powdered formula or a few bottles of the ready-to-feed formula to keep for an emergency. Maybe you won’t need them, but if you do, you’ll be so glad you have them.

Baby bath anchor

Bath time will become an activity both you and your little one enjoy! Since newborns have sensitive skin, it’s important to have supplies and products specifically for babies. Find some of my favorites here.

  • Infant bathtub

  • Baby soap

  • Lotion

  • Bath toys and toy storage

  • Infant towels (2)

  • Washcloths (6-8)

  • Bath water thermometer 

  • Spout cover

  • Kneeling pad

Baby health anchor

While you won’t use these items on a regular basis, you’ll want to have them on hand for when your little one is sick. Find some of my favorites here.

  • Rectal thermometer

  • Cool mist humidifier

  • Medications (Infant or Children’s Tylenol, Mylicon drops, etc)

  • Nasal aspirator

  • Infant brush or comb

  • Fingernail clippers or file

  • Sensitive skin laundry detergent

Baby sleepanchor

Having a great sleep environment will help set your new baby up to be a great sleeper, and these items will help! Find some of my favorites here.

  • Sound machine

  • Swaddles (2-3)

  • Sleep sacks (2-3)

  • Pacifier sampler pack

  • Bassinet, play yard, portable crib, or crib*

Want tips to help set your mind at ease about baby sleep before your little one arrives?
I have a free download called 5 Things Every Expectant Parent Needs to Know about Baby Sleep.

Baby play anchor

Before you know it, your sweet little one will be able to stay awake longer and will need age-appropriate play items. These are some essentials for young babies. Find some of my favorites here.

  • Play mat

  • Board books

  • Developmental toys (rattles, sensory toys, etc.)

  • Contrast cards

Baby gearanchor

These are the “bigger” items that your baby might need throughout their day. Find some of my favorites here.

  • Car seat

  • Stroller

  • High chair

  • Infant carrier for babywearing

Baby travel anchor

Whether you travel often or only plan to get out of the house for short periods of time, here are things that can be helpful on the go. Find some of my favorites here.

  • Diaper bag

  • Portable crib or play yard*

  • Portable crib or play yard sheets

  • Portable sound machine

  • Changing pad for diaper bag

  • SlumberPod

  • Portable/clip-on high chair

  • Lightweight stroller

  • Stroller fan


Even if your baby doesn’t spend the first few months sleeping in the nursery, you’ll still want supplies for your nursery on your registry. Find some of my nursery favorites here.

  • Crib*

  • Crib mattress

  • Mattress protector

  • Crib sheets (2-4)

  • Changing pad

  • Changing pad covers (2-4)

  • Blackout curtains

  • Glider and ottoman

  • Receiving blankets (3-5)

  • Baby-sized hangers

  • Decor

  • Diaper pail and bags

  • Dresser drawer organizers

  • Night light for nighttime feedings

  • Storage bins for clothes and toy organization

  • Baby or memory book

Baby Clothinganchor

Register for baby clothes in a variety of sizes! You’ll be surprised how quickly your little one will outgrow their newborn clothes. Also, consider the season in which your baby is due, this will help make sure you have appropriate clothing to keep your baby comfortable. Find some of my favorites here.

  • Newborn onesies (at least 5)

  • 0-3 month onesies (at least 5)

  • Newborn pants (at least 5)

  • 0-3 month pants (at least 5)

  • Newborn footie pajamas (at least 5)

  • 0-3 month footie pajamas (at least 5)

  • Socks (5-10)

  • Coming home outfit

  • Hair bows and headbands

  • Seasonal clothing (swimsuits, jackets, winter hat, coat)

Expert Tip: For your coming-home outfit, consider purchasing both a “newborn” size and a “preemie” size. Even babies born at 7-8 lbs may not fill out a newborn-size outfit. Carters is a brand with many preemie options. Old Navy and Baby Gap also have a wide selection of “up to 7 lb” outfits that are perfect for many babies in the first couple of weeks.


If you are expecting twins or triplets, you’ll want to consider having multiples of everything on this baby registry list. There are also some products designed for twins that will make life a little bit easier! Find some of my favorites here.

  • Double stroller

  • Separate sleeping spaces

  • Split screen monitor

  • Extra wide glider or rocking chair

  • Feeding pillow for twins

  • Baby carrier designed for twins

For Momanchor

Don’t forget to include items that you will need as well! Keeping yourself comfortable postpartum is also a priority. This may look different depending on the type of delivery you have. Find some of my favorites here.

  • Mesh underwear and pads

  • Witch hazel pads 

  • Dermoplast numbing spray

  • Breast pads

  • Peri bottle

  • Robe and slippers

  • Leak-proof water bottle

  • Baby sleep class

Unsafe or Unnecessary Baby Products anchor

When registering, keep in mind there are some products you’ll want to avoid. Why? Some popular baby items are considered unsafe for infants. 

Unsafe baby items to avoid:

  • Crib bumpers. Crib bumpers, even the mesh ones, are not safe for infant sleep. The American Academy of Pediatrics(1) recommends nothing except a fitted sheet and a pacifier in the crib for at least the first 12 months. This includes crib bumpers, loose bedding, loveys, and stuffed animals. 

  • Infant loungers. Infant loungers and pillow-like products are unsafe places for infants to sleep or lounge in unattended. Recently, there have been recalls on products such as these due to the increased risk of suffocation when used improperly.  

Expert Tip: If you aren’t sure about a product, you can check my safe sleep checklist

Baby Registry FAQanchor

There is no specific number of items that you should have on your baby registry. When you bring your baby home from the hospital, there are only a few items that are true necessities. Things that I consider true necessities include diapers, wipes, onesies, bottles, swaddles, and a safe place to sleep. However, there’s no harm in putting extra items on your registry. Many registries offer a registry completion discount that can be applied to any items on your registry that you still need.

Yes, absolutely! By including your baby registry on your shower invitation, you can share with friends and family the items you truly need and want for your new little one. 

You can share your baby registry however and wherever you would like! There are no rules here, so do what feels right for your family.

Of course! When a more expensive item is included on a registry, you can often make it available as a “group gift.” This allows for friends or family to contribute to that larger item if they would like.  Even if no one purchases or contributes to the more expensive items, many registries do offer a completion discount so that you can purchase any remaining items at a reduced price.

You can absolutely make a baby registry for your second or third child. While you may still have most of the larger items from your first baby, some things do need to be repurchased. Even if you aren’t having a shower or sprinkle, creating the list for the completion discount can be a great idea!

*Safety Note: anchor

Please be sure that any sleep surface that you purchase is labeled “crib,” “bassinet,” “portable crib,” or “play yard.” These are specific labels indicating that the product is approved by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) for safe sleep. My safe sleep checklist has all the information you need.

Are you ready to have a great little sleeper?

If you're overwhelmed, exhausted, or just not sure where to start. I was there too. Let me show you everything you need to confidently handle sleep so your whole family can thrive!

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