Have you been browsing the stores, ready to register, but you just can't pull the trigger because you are overwhelmed by this?
I was too. Actually, I had a really hard time finding a good list of everything I'd NEEDED (and nothing more) online. So we are going to do our best to help you with a great DETAILED list of all the items we couldn't live without.
Bath and Diapering:
- Diapers: 1 small package of NB diapers (you're newborn will grow faster than you think! and if you have a preemie, you can always go out and get more) and 3 boxes of size 1-2. Ash W and I used Pampers and both LOVE them...but I know people that love Huggies just as much.
- Cloth Diapers: I feel like more and more people are doing this, and good for them! I'll be honest and say I don't know much about cloth so do your research if this is the way you are going. Don't forget that you need some extra accessories like sprayer and inserts! And you still might want to register for a few disposables since those are great for long trips out of the house.
- Wipes: You'll need a to register for 1 or 2 of the plastic reusable bins and then 900 boxes of the refills. If 900 seems excessive, then just do 5 or so...but trust me you'll use every last wipe and then some. Again, we love Pampers brand!
- Diaper rash creme: Destin and Auqaphor are good brands, 2 tubes of the stuff should last you awhile.
- Infant bath tub: Look for one that has a mesh "nest" for newborns that you can remove as baby gets older.
- Baby wash and lotion: Anything Aveeno and also Johnson and Johnson Night Time is good, 2 big bottles of both will last you forever.
- Towels and Wash Cloths: I know they are cute but you really only need about 3 hooded towels and 5-8 wash cloths.
- Faucet Cover : Either an inflatable or plastic kind will work…both will keep baby's head from hitting the hard bath faucet.
- Bath Toys and Storage : Squirt toys, bath books, rubber ducks are all great! Don't forget a hanging storage container too keep everything out of the way.
- Tylenol and Ibuprofen: You'll need lots of these for fevers and teething so at least 2 of each is good on a registry. Go for generic brands if you'd like, they are just as good!
- Teething tabs: These work wonders for a teething baby and 1 bottle will last for awhile.
- Q-tips: You won't use these much so register for 1 of the smallest packages you can find.
- Medical Kit: these typically have nail clippers, a brush/comb, medicine dropper, thermometer, nasal aspirator…etc in them. If you don't register for a kit, at least make sure to have some clippers and a thermometer on your list!
- Infant toothbrush and toothpaste: Just 1 of these will last while the teeth are still coming.
- Toddler toothbrush and toothpaste: It says toddler but I started using a small toothbrush on my daughter fairly early (around a year).
- Formula: Even if you plan on nursing, having a small can of formula at home for supplements or "just in case" is a great idea. If you plan to formula feed, you might want to think twice about registering for a bunch of the same brand. You might find that your baby tolerates a different brand or kind better as you go.
- Pump and accessories: DO NOT BE CHEAP -having a nice pump makes a huge difference! I know it is hard to justify that $300 expense right off the bat, but if you plan to nurse…you'll save it in a few months of not buying formula. Medela is a great brand, I wish I would have gotten the hands free (I had to pump 100% of the time). It is a good idea to buy your pump in a "bundle" like the Pump In Style. This comes with your pump, "funnels" (LOL) and tubing, charger and adapter, plus a cooler with freezer pack and storage bottles.
- Pump cleaning wipes: These are great when you are pumping on the go or when you go back to work. They are a bit pricy so register for a few packs. Go for the Medela brand…they know what they are doing!
- Storage bags: Medela brand storage bags are a great way to store your milk in the fridge and freezer. Register for 2 but you'll most likely need more.
- Nursing wrap: AKA- "hooter hider" (cracks me up every time). You should really only need 1 of these if you are planning to nurse.
- Boppy Pillow and Covers: These are great for nursing Mom's OR for bottle fed babies. You can lay them on the floor to help baby sit up, and they are great for helping siblings "hold" baby. Register for 1 pillow and a cover.
- Bottles: Dr. Brown's bottles are great but I will warn you, there are lots of parts to wash. I'd recommend for nursing Moms: 3 - 4oz bottles and 3-6 - 8oz bottles. For bottle feeding Mommas, double that. Remember, you can always go back and get more but you can't return opened bottles! Extra bonus- Dr. Brown's bottles fit on Medela pumps so you don't have to transfer milk from bottle to bottle!
- Nipples: Go with the same brand of nipples that you did with bottles. Most come in different stages of "milk flow" so register for about 2 packs of each stage.
- Cooler and ice packs: You'll just need 1 cooler that is big enough to hold a few 8 oz bottles standing up with a freezer pack.
- Mesh dishwasher basket: You could live with 1 but I'd suggest getting 2 of these, especially if you are bottle feeding. I recommend mesh because you can't fit a ton of things into the plastic ones that are sold (normally only 3 bottles at a time!). You can also easily wash pacifiers and other small accessories that are dishwasher safe in the "nets".
- Bibs: You'll go through bibs like they are going out of style so 15-20 should do it. Keep in mind these are kind of like clothes, people will buy them because they are cute and don't care what you register for. ;o) Also, a lot of newborn outfits will come with bibs. You should also consider adding 5 plastic bibs to your list for when baby starts solids (easy to wipe off and won't stain!).
- Bowls, plates and utensils: Plastic bowls, plates, spoons and forks…you'll need about 10 of each. Take and Toss brands are super cheap and my daughter actually seemed to like them better than anything else! They are dishwasher safe and easily reusable, but also safe to throw away (hence the name).
- Highchair: Make sure the chair you choose will be easy to wipe down and that any cloth (like the seat cushion) can be removed and washed!
- Travel seat cover: These are great for putting your baby in a shopping cart or high chair when they start sitting up. They keep the germs off hands, toys in check (have hooks for links) and are a soft seat for baby.
- Food processor and storage: If you have time to make your own baby food, do it! And if you don't already have a food processor, stick one on your registry. Don't waste money on one specifically for baby, any food processor will do. Don't forget to add storage containers to your list!
- Sippy Cups: These are similar to the pacifiers…you just don't know what your baby will prefer. Register for a couple of different types to have on hand when the time is right to move to a cup.
- Bottle warmer: This will warm up baby's bottle safely and evenly in an instant!
- Teethers: Get some gel teethers that you can stick in your fridge when baby starts to get sore gums. This giraffe isn't the kind that you stick in the fridge, but this was my daughter's favorite.
- Pacifiers: Believe it or not, these come in different sizes. Register for a few different brands of the Newborn/0-6 month sizes. You never know which brand your baby will prefer. Don't bother with other sizes until you know baby's paci of choice.
- Burp rags: You'll need 850 of these, seriously…850.
- Changing pad and cover:The contour changing pads are great for your nursery. You can pop these babies right on a dresser for a simple, more compact and cheap solution to a changing table. They come with removable/washable covers so make sure to register for 1 of those as well!
- Crib and mattress: Sometimes you can get a special- buy the crib get a mattress included!
- Fitted sheets: 3 sheets should be plenty, you'll be changing these in the middle of the night often and will appreciate 1 or 2 extras.
- Waterproof mattress pad: Getting 2 or 3 of these is a good idea…see comment above haha.
- Mobile: Help baby fall asleep (or just give them something to stare at so you can get 5 extra minutes of sleep!)
- Lamp: At least 1 lamp (that's really all you need) is a good idea for soft light in the nursery when you are up at night with baby.
- Clothing Storage: Think dresser or some way to fold and organize things in a closet.
- Tinny Hangers and Tags: Those clothes are soooo tinny, you'll need a few packages of little hangers to keep them organized. Also, the closet organizer tags are a great way to keep clothing sizes separated so nothing gets lost (and as a result, never worn!).
- Rocker: Having some kind of rocking chair is life saver in the nursery (or even somewhere else in your house). Ottoman is optional, but it is nice to put your feet up and relax while feeding baby.
- Window treatments: Having blackout shades is great! You'll be thankful you are able to keep the light out and baby sleeping in!
- Diaper storage: This could be anything from a basket to a plastic storage system. I had this one for our nursery and I loved that you can take the side compartments off when we didn't need them anymore.
- Book storage: You'll want to keep plenty of books in baby's room to eventually help with the nighttime routine. A book shelf, book ends or even a few baskets are all good options.
- Night stand: Something to go next to your rocker so you can easily set your phone, bottle, burp rag…anything you need right by your side.
- Toy box or other storage: The older your baby gets, the more "stuff" that ends up in there room. Have a couple of extra baskets is great!
- Sound spa: LIFE SAVER. The white noise helps sooth your baby…my 2 year old still loves this!
- Night light: Basically to keep monsters at bay. :)
- Blankets: 3 big soft fluffy blankets are great for laying on the floor for tummy time or covering up in the car. For a newborn, 8-10 receiving blankets will help swaddle baby and catch spit up.
- Monitor : Angel Care Monitors are the best and can really save your baby's life. Both Ash and I have been woken up to the alarm going off because kids were "smothered" in a blanket or sheet, plus I know multiple other people that have had the life saving alarm go off with their babies. If you get anything on our list…get this. I know it is expensive but it is worth the peace of mind and should you need it, your baby's life!
- Decor: Don't forget all the cute extras like picture frames, baby book, artwork for walls, and rugs. Just make sure to keep your color scheme in mind.
On the Go:
- Diaper bag: Lots and LOTS of pockets for bottles, keys, pacifiers…etc. You might even consider registering for a bag for Daddy also!
- Plastic formula holders: These are not only great for formula, but for rice cereal or Cheerios as well! Get 3 of these, you won't be sorry.
- Changing pad: 1 reusable changing pad is enough for your diaper bag, but you may consider getting 1 or 2 boxes of the disposable ones as well. These are great for at home when your contour pad is dirty, or when you are in a pretty nasty public restroom.
- Clorox wipes: 1 or 2 of the travel size packages are great to keep in the car, diaper bag…where ever!
- Carseat: A lot of people opt for the travel systems which come with an infant carrier, car base and stroller. These are amazing and so convenient!
- Carseat cover : Winter babies will appreciate being snuggled up under one of these and it really does keep them warmer than just throwing over a blanket because it wraps around behind them as well.
- Strap covers: Save your baby's neck from safety belt burn with these car seat strap covers.
- Mirror for car: See what your baby is up to with a child safe mirror that fits on the headrest of their seat. It gives them something to look at while they are front facing and lets you see what baby is up to back there.
- Infant head support: If your infant carrier doesn't come with great head support, register for a pack of these.
- Stroller: If you opt out of a travel system, make sure you put a stroller that will fit a carrier on your list.
- Car organizer/seat protector: These are great for keeping an extra supply of diapers in the car, and protecting your seat from nasty car seat indents.
- Pack and Play: Great for overnight stays! Ash W and I kept ours up all the time for our babies to use as a changing table and "napping station" in the living room until baby got older.
- Toys: Small little toys or books to keep in the car and or attach the the carseat
- Links: These are a great way to keep baby's toys on the carseat/stroller/shopping cart and off the floor.
For Fun, Soothing and Development:
- Swing: I'm not sure how you would survive without a swing for baby. Get one that swings front to back OR side by side and plays music…great for getting baby to sleep at 3 AM.
- Bouncer: A bouncer is a great thing to move around the house and place baby in while you are busy (think showering, making dinner…etc). Some will just use a swing but if you don't want to lug it around the house and up/down stairs, go for a cheap bouncer.
- Sleep system for your room: If baby's room isn't super close to yours, you might opt to have baby sleep in your room for the first few days/weeks/months (let's not get into years here haha). Some use a Pack and Play, or a cosleeper, cradle or small crib. Whatever fits and your room and works for you!
- Floor mat/jungle gym: Great for tummy time and just laying around and exploring the toys dangling from above.
- Jumper/Excersauser/Walker: Some parents will want all three, my daughter only had a jumper. I'd register for a jumper and see how your baby developed before you get the others.
- Books: Baby won't be able to get enough books and you probably won't have to put these on your registry to get them…but put a few of your favorites on there just in case.
- Toys: Go wild with toys! Make sure to go all the way up to 12 or even 18 months, you'll be thankful you have some toys stashed away for future use. Good starter toys of course would be rattles, plush animals, blocks, teethers…etc.
- Safety Items: Every home is different so what you need might not be the same as another new Mommy. Just make sure to have plenty of wall plugs, drawer and cabinet latches and maybe a few door locks on your list.
- Sleepers: Newborn to 12 months…register for at least 5 of each size
- Sleep sacks: My daughter lived in these for the first 3 months of her life. I'd say about 5 of these (they are all 1 size).
- Onesies: NB - 12 months…these are more for layering and keep seasons in mind while registering! A pack or two of each month will get you by for the first year.
- Coat: For winter babies only…I do not want to see someone with their infant in a coat in July haha
- Socks: NB - 12 months, you'll need lots!
- Outfits: Only register for what you absolutely can't live without…you'll get so many clothes as gifts, you won't know what to do with them all!
- Hats: Get several NB size and then a few for whatever size your baby will be in at winter time.
There you have it! It looks like a long, overwhelming list of "must haves" but I have thought long and hard and every single one of these items made our lives easier and I'm confident they will make your's easier too. Don't freak out if you don't get everything on you list…most of this stuff you don't need until baby is a little older anyway. Just make sure you have some clothes, diapers, wipes, a bed and something to feed baby with when you get home…the rest will fall into place as you figure things out.
Don't see something on the list that you THOUGHT you needed? Check out our post on "Items You (and Baby) Can Live Without".
And don't forget to check out our Registry 101 post for general tips.