Registry Checklist for the First-time Parent
As a first time momma, I was lost when it came to knowing what to buy for my baby. When you hear babies come with lots of things, that is so true! Your baby is going to need things for almost every room in the house. Let this checklist guide you as you begin this new journey called Parenting.
Free printout at the bottom.
First things first, get the nursery ready before your 3rd trimester. You’ll be glad you did! Whatever items you don’t plan to buy yourself make sure you get them listed on your registry.
Several registries will let you “favorite” items that you want the most. I recommend doing that for any furniture needs.
- Crib – I think this one is pretty obvious, but I never thought about the fact that newborns are not using a crib. It was several months before I started putting my baby in it. I think everyone is in such a hurry to get the crib because it completes the look of the nursery and time really does sneak up on you. They grow too fast! If you plan to co-sleep this may not even be something you need.
- A Changing Table – If you’re cool with changing baby wherever maybe you just get a dresser. Personally, I like having a changing table and it can be turned into a dresser when my baby no longer needs the changing pad on top.
- A Chair – This one’s for you! You will want a cozy spot to sit or rock with your little one or even just a good go-to spot for when you’re spending time with them in their room.
- End Table – It’s always nice to have a table next to your chair for sitting down whatever is in your hands.
- Lamp – Consider if you need a lamp in the corner of the room or a cute table lamp that can be placed on your end table.
- Shelving/ Book Case – You know, for all the books you’ll be reading over and over again.
- Toy Storage – Babies will accumulate lots of toys throughout the years, so make sure you have a place to store all of them.
- Artwork – Artwork completes the room! Use this opportunity to put some fun, colorful art on the walls.
Other Items for the Nursery
Obviously a bulk of all your new baby items will remain in the nursery or, at least, you hope they will.
- Laundry Hamper/Basket – The laundry piles up fast!
- Baskets/Bins – These are great for storing all the things that a baby comes within a cute, trendy way.
- Diaper Genie -Not everyone is a Diaper Genie fan, but personally I found having one very convenient. If you have pets it will keep the pets out and most of the odor too.
- Diaper Genie Refills – Babies go through lots of diapers which means lots of genie refill liners, so make sure you add some of these to the registry.
- Diapers – Go ahead and ask for enough diapers to get you through the first year. Once you’ve figured out the brand that you and your baby likes best, you can exchange diapers for diapers at almost any store. (Just keep in mind, if you don’t have gift receipts most places limit how many times you can make an exchange without the receipt.) If it’s summertime, you might also consider adding some swim diapers to the registry.
- Size Newborn – approx. 300 diapers
- Size 1 – approx. 540 diapers
- Size 2 – approx. 480 diapers
- Size 3 – approx. 540 diapers
- Size 4 – approx. 720 diapers
- Wipes – Wipes can also be bought in bulk. Think about how much space you have for stashing boxes of diapers and wipes before deciding on how many boxes of wipes you’d like to put on your registry. I received 4 boxes of 8 packages of wipes and it lasted us almost a year.
- Muslin blankets – These blankets are lightweight and fantastic for packing into the diaper bag without taking up too much space. Muslin blankets can be used for a cover when breastfeeding, laying out on the floor for the baby to play on, covering up baby in the car, swaddling, etc.
- Swaddles – Muslin blankets are great but I’d get a couple soft, stretchy swaddles for bedtime.
- Sleep Sacks – My little one did not like being swaddled so we went straight to the sleep sack and she was much happier. Every baby is different, so I’d go ahead and be extra prepared by putting it all on the registry and returning what ends up not working. 2 or 3 sleep sacks should be enough.
- Quilt – We have a homemade quilt made by my daughter’s great grandmother. If you don’t have someone who plans to make one for your baby I recommend getting one, because it is great for laying out on the hardwood flooring so your baby can play, covering both of you up together and snuggling on the sofa together. Plus, it can be a piece that compliments the nursery. Ours is something my daughter will be able to cherish and use even as she gets bigger.
- Mattress Cover – To protect the crib mattress from any “accidents”.
- Mesh Railing Liner – I get super freaked out about my baby’s arms or legs getting caught between the railings while she rolls around in her sleep. Having a mesh liner helped ease my mind.
- Fitted Crib Sheets – I like to use the jersey sheets because they don’t get too cold or hot and are nice and soft.
- Bassinet Sheets – If you’re using a bassinet, you’ll need sheets for it too.
- Baby Monitor – My house is super small and my baby is so close to me I can hear every peep she makes, but if your baby’s nursery isn’t nearby or you are not a light sleeper I would definitely get a baby monitor. At times I wish I had, had one just to ease my mind at night. Glancing over at a monitor would have been so much easier than getting out of bed each time I wanted to check on my baby.
- Sound Machine – These really do help mask other sounds in the home, so that your baby gets more sound sleep.
- Nightlight – If your baby wakes up in the middle of the night you don’t want them to be frightened by complete darkness. Also great for going in and out of the nursery after ‘lights out’ so you can still see your baby and you avoid stubbing your toe on who knows what!
- Play Mat/Gym – The playmat is one of the best places to encourage tummy time and have fun with your little one.
- Aquafor – This stuff is great for baby acne.
- Desitin – this stuff is great for any redness on the baby bottom.
- Tubby Todd All Over Ointment – Also known as “miracle cream!” If your baby gets any kind of weird rash showing up, rub this all over it and it’s probably going to be gone the next day.
- Bulb Syringe – When a baby is a newborn they will more than likely spit up often and sometimes the spit just hangs out in their mouth. Use the bulb syringe to suck the nasty out.
- Pacifiers – It is recommended that babies use pacifiers until 6 months and no later than 2 years, and you’re not supposed to use them longer than 2 months. I would put at least 4 pacifiers on your registry. 1 for every 2 months and a backup.
- Toys – Toys help with learning and developing motor skills, so be sure to get a few. Soft rattles have been a favorite in our household.
- Burp Rags – We needed lots and lots of burp rags. At least get 24!
- Baby Clothes – Everyone always buys baby clothes. My recommendation is to only put specific clothing items on your registry. For example, A winter coat or swimming suit, dressy outfit for a special occasion, or the really cute outfit you saw that was maybe a little more over budget than you wanted to spend.
- Baby Socks/Shoes – If it’s summertime, your baby will probably be happier barefoot but if it’s cold out make sure you’ve got some socks and little booties on those footsies.
- Mittens – These are good to have around if your baby scratches their face often. The mittens will prevent them from scratching themselves.
- Hangers – Baby sized hangers for all the cute clothes you’ll be getting.
- Over the Door Shoe Organizer – Not for shoes but for easily storing blankets and sheets.
- Baskets or Bins – For storing all the little things like socks, headbands, bibs, etc.
Yep, you read that right! It’s important that your baby sleeps near you for the first several months. Some research even says your baby should sleep near you until age 1.
- Bassinet – If you’re not co-sleeping, you may want a bassinet to keep next to your bed during your baby’s first few months.
- Bulb Syringe – I know I mentioned this already, but I found it helpful to keep them anywhere I would be nursing. All to often I would find myself all cozy and situated with my little girl and out of nowhere… blech…. spit up everywhere! I needed the bulb syringe and I needed a burp rag.
- Burp Rags – The last thing you want is baby puke all over your pillow or bed sheets just before bed. Keep the burp rags nearby.
In the Living Room
- Boppy – This is great for laying your baby down next to you or to use during breastfeeding sessions.
- Swing – The swing has been my lifesaver when I need to get something done around the house and my little girl is wide awake and only wanting to be held – which is most of the time.
- Bouncer or Walker or Both – How big is your house? Like I previously mentioned my house is tiny, so having both of these space stealers was out of the question. We went with a walker that folds up and will also grow with her as she gets older.
- More Burp Rags – Seriously, you can’t have enough.
For the Kitchen
Start clearing out some cabinet space, because your baby is moving into the kitchen too!
- Bottles – If you are breastfeeding or formula feeding, a bottle will come in handy. We like Dr. Browns, because of the built-in vent system that helps prevent your baby from ingesting too much air.
- Bottle nipples – Bottle nipples come in different levels to use as your baby grows and allows them to drink at a faster pace.
- Bottle Warmer – When babies get hungry you’ll realize very quickly their patience won’t last long. It’s nice to have a bottle warmer that works fast for times like these.
- Drying Rack – Dishwashers are not great at drying baby bottles and all that comes with them, so having a drying rack is important. Ain’t nobody got time to stand and dry out all the little baby bottles.
- Breastmilk Freezer Bags – If you’re planning to breastfeed make sure you buy freezer storage bags because breastmilk only lasts 3-5 days when refrigerated.
- Teethers – Believe it or not time will fly and before you know it you’re baby is going to be teething so have some teethers on hand. Teethers you and put in the fridge like the teething rings or baby keys are great, but my personal favorite has been the mesh fresh food teether. I can put some fresh fruit in it and my baby stays occupied and happy much longer than if I just give her a teething ring.
- Highchair – This will be important when your fast-growing little one starts eating solid foods.
- Bibs – Eating gets super messy, so be sure to have a bib on them to protect their clothes from food stains.
- Bowls/Plates – You’re going to want some kid-friendly bowls and plates that you won’t mind having thrown to the ground a time or two.
- Utensils – Spoons and forks safe for babies will be important too as they try and learn to eat on their own.
- Sippy Cups – The same goes for sippy cups. They get to be independent so quick!
- Tylenol – I recommend putting Tylenol on your registry instead of Ibuprofen because the first time you take them in for vaccines and they run what is hopefully their first fever the only medicine pediatricians say to give is Tylenol. Baby Ibuprofen can’t even be taken until 6 months of age.
For the Bathroom
- Infant Bathtub – I found having an infant tub eased my mind when it was bath time. Bath time freaked me out when my little girl was a newborn, so having a tub with a hammock made everything feel much safer.
- Bath Seat – This is for when they’ve outgrown the infant tub and can sit on their own (6-7 months of age). Again, it just provides that extra sense of security and gets them used to sitting in an adult size bathtub.
- Baby Body + Hair wash – You gotta keep those babies squeaky clean. The baby brands are gentle on the eyes if the soap drips down their face or the inevitable moment when they rub their eyes with their soapy hands.
- Hooded Towels – I would add at least 2 hooded towels to rotate between. The bigger the better so you can bundle them uptight!
- Wash Cloths – Definitely not something you need to add. Unless you want your baby to have their own.
- Bath Toys – Bath toys help encourage bath time by making it fun.
- Toy Storage – You’ll want a place to keep all the wet toys after bath time.
- Water Thermometer – If you are worried about the bathwater being too hot or too cold add one of these cute rubber duck thermometers to your registry.
- Spout Cover – This is a bath safety precaution. You don’t want baby bumping their head on that sharp metal spout.
- Elbow/Knee Pads – Bath time is hard enough on your back, go ahead and get the knee and elbow pads.
- Brush/Comb – If they don’t have a head full of hair when they’re born, slowly but surely it will come in and you’ll want a brush or comb.
- Nail Clippers – Get some baby-friendly nail clippers, because clipping a newborn’s nails is scarier than you may think! Tip: trim their nails while they’re asleep.
In the Car
- Carseat – The hospital won’t even let you leave without knowing you have a car seat and that you know how to properly secure your baby. (Also keep in mind that the car seat you choose may come with a base.)
- Carseat Base – A base will allow for easily getting the car seat in and out of the car.
- Carseat Cover – If it’s cold out definitely get a car seat cover and even if it’s not cold think about having a cover, in the beginning, to help keep your baby from all the outside germs.
- Carseat Toys – Get some toys that hang from the car seat for your baby to play with when they are not sleeping in the car. My little one actually hated being in the car seat when for the first few months. She never slept in the car, so having some toys that would dangle in front of her helped distract her from the fact that she was stuck in her car seat.
- Backseat Mirror – This is one of my favorite things! I love that I can check the review mirror and see my baby. Also, she can see herself too.
- Window Shades – Get some rolling window shades to help protect your baby from the sun.
On the Go
- Stroller – Truly a must-have if you don’t want to carry the car seat or your baby in your arms everywhere.
- Pack n Play – This is good for traveling or even just to have up in the house for your baby to have a safe space to play in.
- Pack n Play Sheets – I like to keep a clean sheet or two rolled up in the pack n play carrying case.
- Baby Sling/Wrap – Babywearing is one of the greatest inventions. Not only do you want to be with your baby all the time, but your baby needs to be near you as well and babywearing allows for that and the chores to get done.
- Shopping Cart Cover – These are great entertainment for the little one, and they help keep the germs away. When do you think the last time a shopping cart was cleaned? Answer: Never!
- Pacifier Clip – A must-have so that the pacifier isn’t falling on the ground every 5 seconds.
- Sunscreen – Keeping your baby safe from the sun is very important. Make sure you are getting a sunscreen that is made with zinc oxide.
- Bug Spray – Kid-Friendly bug spray isn’t a bad thing to have if you’re an outdoorsy person.
- Diaper Bag – Consider if you will want a backup diaper bag to keep in the car at all times or if 1 will be enough. When choosing your diaper bag, think about functionality and how the diaper bag will best suit your lifestyle.
For the Diaper Bag
- Portable Changing Pad – Having one of these has been so convenient so many times. All too often you will find yourself somewhere that doesn’t have a public changing table. I will even put this down on the public changing tables, because… those things are gross!)
- Refillable Wipe Dispenser – Having one of these is much better than keeping a giant package of wipes in the diaper bag or having to buy travel size packages over and over again.
- Wet/Dry Bag – I like these for dirty clothes. If an outfit gets spit upon or God forbid we have a diaper blowout, I can put the dirty clothes in the wet bag and toss it in the diaper bag knowing nothing else is going to get contaminated.
- Pacifier Wipes – I have loved having these on hand for when the pacifier or a toy gets dropped in the restaurant.
- Toys – Believe it or not, babies get bored. Stock up on a few toys that you can rotate so your little one stays entertained.
- Hand Sanitizer – You never know when you’ll need this handy
Baby safety is so important and often forgotten until your baby is crawling all over the place getting into stuff. Make sure to put the necessary baby proofing items on your registry.
- Baby Gate(s) – A gate for any room you don’t want them wandering off in to.
- Cabinet Locks – Make sure to put locks on all the cabinets you don’t want your baby getting into like under the sink.
- Outlet Plugs – Plug all those outlets!
- Power Strip Covers – If you have visible power strips make don’t forget to cover them as well.
- Stove Covers – If your stove has the knobs on the front of the stove be sure to get covers for all of them.
- Edge/Corner Guards – Protect your little one from running into sharp edges of furniture.
- Finger Guards for doors – Things are good, so no one’s fingers get smashed in the door.
- Window Cord Winders – Wind up the window cords so your baby won’t get tangled or strangled.
Other Fun Registry Items
After all that serious baby safety is sure to add some fun items too!
- Watch Me Grow Blanket – Not only have I loved this, but family and friends love it too. I can take photos with this blanket of my little girl for each milestone to share with everyone we know and love.
- Any kind of baby keepsakes – There are so many keepsake ideas available. Pick a few you like to add to your registry. Photo albums, baby milestones books, baby’s first hand/footprint, keepsake boxes, etc.
There are so many other items out there for babies. These are just things that I have found necessary or helpful. Let me know what your favorite registry must-haves are. If I had to pick my top 3 items they would be,
1. Burp Rags
2. Portable Changing Pad.
3. Watch Me Grow Blanket.
Most registries include a free gift when you sign up like Amazon, Buy Buy Baby, and Target. No one said you had to stick to one registry. Just be sure to divide your items up in a way that makes sense.
When you create your registry think about your lifestyle and how your baby fits into it to determine what baby items will be the best fit!