I’ve raised six babies, three girls and three boys over the course of eleven years. I often kept baby items to use with the next child, so I’ve figured out which baby products last, and which ones don’t. In this post, I’ll give you my best baby registry ideas for a new baby, as well as some for the new mama.
@dinkumtribe This is an old video I found of me with our oldest child (who’s finishing high school! 🤯). Hard to believe she was ever this small!!! @DinkumTribe ADHD family travel @DinkumTribe ADHD family travel @DinkumTribe ADHD family travel #thislittlepiggy #babydays #momsoftiktok #sweetbabies ♬ original sound – DinkumTribe ADHD family travel
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TL;DR: all 50+ of my baby registry suggestions can be found on our Amazon storefront in the Baby Registry Ideas list.
Table of Contents
A reminder for new parents
As a first-time parent, you want to do everything just right for your new arrival. You watch all the YouTube and TikTok videos, and attend all the prenatal classes. It’s an exciting time, and you want to have everything that your new baby needs.
Retailers know this, and capitalize on it. It’s common for a universal baby registry to list so many “baby essentials” that you could easily fill a small house! I’m here to help you decide what your ACTUAL baby registry must-haves are.
@dinkumtribe These moments were so incredibly precious! I married an amazing man, and he’s always been such an engaged father. @DinkumTribe ADHD family travel @DinkumTribe ADHD family travel @DinkumTribe ADHD family travel #babydays #sweetbabies #dadsoftiktok #preciousmoments ♬ a thousand years (lullaby)
Make your list of baby registry essentials
I recommend using the Amazon Baby Registry program to create your online baby registry. They offer free shipping with orders over $25, free returns on most items, and there are lots of great options for personalized baby items as well.
Once you’ve created your Amazon Baby Registry, you can easily share your list with baby shower guests, family members and friends who want to help fill your wish list. Click on the link below to start now!Shop Amazon – Create an Amazon Baby Registry
Please note: I struggled with breastfeeding with my first child, so I know firsthand the kind of mom guilt that can show up whether you’re bottle feeding or breastfeeding. FED IS BEST.
While these recommendations will include things specifically for breastfeeding moms, please understand that I am in support of whatever works best to keep you and your baby healthy.
1. Nursing pads (at least 30).
You will go through nursing pads (and shirts) so fast while breastfeeding! Have lots of extras so you can change whenever leakthroughs happen (several times a day, in my experience). This set comes with a super cute carrying bag to keep them clean in the chaos of the diaper bag.
2. Nursing covers (at least 2).
One cover can be in the laundry while the other one is in use. One of our babies would spit up her entire meal at least once a day, so we started buying multiples of items like this.
I prefer the kind with a support ring that allows me to see the baby’s face, but isn’t too hot for summer (5 of our babies were born in the summer). If you live in a cooler climate where heat is not an issue, this kind would probably be great.
3. Reusable straw cup with lid (2 or 3).
I loved having one of these cups at each spot where I might be breastfeeding the baby. So one near the crib, and another near the couch. That was the best way I found to keep hydrated. Trust me on the lid and straw, babies start flailing while they nurse and they have scary good aim!
4. Nursing pillow with three or more washable covers.
The Boppy was given to us when we had our first baby, and ours lasted through 6 years of breastfeeding infants. Love that thing! We found many uses for it beyond breastfeeding, too.
5. Breast pump
If you are breastfeeding, this is a must-have. Manual pumping takes forever, even if it is substantially cheaper. A good breast pump pays for itself in less time spent pumping and ease of use.
Even if you don’t plan to breastfeed, you may find it useful to borrow or rent one of these for a couple of days after birth when your milk comes in. It can be super uncomfortable if you are engorged and have to try to manually relieve that pressure. I used a full-sized pump like this after every single one of our babies was born.
1. Footie pajamas with zippers (7-9 outfits)
We loved the Carter’s brand, particularly since Costco often carries them at low prices. It’s a good idea to get fleecy warm ones if you live in a cold climate (or are having a winter baby); lightweight, thin ones if you live in a warm place (California, Florida).
Get the zippered kind! Snaps will make you lose your mind as you are buttoning up after night feedings. Ask me how I know…😒😴
2. Onesie shirts (7-9)
These are great to use as an extra layer if it’s cold. If it’s a hot summer day, use alone as a shirt. They also come in so many fun designs, like your local MLS team.
3. Baby socks (12-18 pairs)
Pro Tip: use to cover hands too so that baby can’t scratch their face accidentally. You’ll thank me when you realize how terrifying it is to try to trim baby fingernails! Also, these smaller items of clothing get lost in the laundry, so buy extra.
First Aid Kit Baby Registry Items
*Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional, nor is this meant to be medical advice. I am simply sharing what items I found indispensable for my own babies. The best baby registries include many of these items.
In an ideal world, a newborn baby wouldn’t ever get sick. The reality is, baby will probably get a head cold no matter how cautious you are about germs. Every one of my babies caught a cold at least once in the first couple of months.
Babies can’t take any decongestant medicines, so a humidifier is the next best thing. Cool mist humidifiers are safer for baby, but harder to keep clean.
If it needs a filter, or distilled water, keep those on hand. You do not want to be running to your local store at 10 pm hoping they have it in stock!
Get a thermometer that scans the forehead without touching it. They’re more expensive, but you’ll thank me when you don’t have to wake your baby up to check their temperature.
We actually have an ear thermometer that we have used since we had our first baby, but they aren’t accurate on infants under 6 months, and the new forehead ones are incredibly reliable.
3. Nasal bulb syringe
EEEWWW. I was grossed out by this concept at first. However I quickly discovered that when my baby was miserable and stuffy, I was pretty desperate to find a way to make him or her more comfortable. This is one I don’t recommend keeping for a second baby. Often hospitals will give a nasal bulb syringe to you for free.
4. Nail trimmers
Trimming your baby’s nails may be one of the most stressful experiences you will ever have. Tiny fingers and even tinier nails on a squirming infant is a recipe for pinching a fingertip.
This is a pretty basic trimmer that will do the job.
Nowadays they also have little electric files, and if you can swing it, totally get one of those! If not, a glass of wine after completing the nail trimming job would probably be a good plan. Just kidding… or am I?
5. Diaper Cream
No matter how often you change baby’s diaper, diaper rash will eventually show up. The very best diaper cream we’ve found is Desitin, and the best way to get rid of diaper rash quickly is to slather a thick layer of Desitin onto baby’s sensitive skin areas with every diaper change until the rash goes away.
If you can’t get Desitin, find another diaper cream with zinc oxide, or use petroleum jelly.
For the Nursery
1. Swaddling blankets (3 or 4)
How often do you want to do laundry? If it’s not five times a day, at midnight and 3 am, make sure you have several extra of these blankets.
Some babies sleep best swaddled, while others only need it for a couple of weeks. Thinner blankets tend to work best for swaddling.
2. Pack N Play with extra sheets
So much better than a traditional crib! We were gifted a sturdy wooden crib that converted to a toddler bed for our first baby. We found it was too bulky and it no longer looked nice after teething babies gnawed on it!
For our last baby, we got a Pack and Play with the bassinet conversion, and we used ours until baby was nearly two years old. These are sturdy, and can go everywhere, perfect for travel. We started with the baby in our room, then later moved baby in with older siblings.
You’ll want lots of crib sheets—diaper blowouts and spit up happen. Plan for them.
3. Diapers and wipes (or cloth equivalent); wipes warmer
Have enough on hand for a 2 week supply if possible. However don’t get too many of the smaller sizes (newborn and 0-3 months), you’ll be amazed at how fast they grow out of them!
Wipe warmers are nice to have, but not essential. We never used one, but that’s mostly because we couldn’t afford it.
I’m not going to get into the cloth vs. disposable debate here, because in my opinion you should do whatever works for you and your family. Raising kids is hard enough without getting into debates on things like diapers.
4. Bottles (for breast milk or for formula)
Get whatever kind is easy to clean and not too expensive. You will use a lot of these. Quite often you can’t reuse bottles with the next baby because the rubber nipples degrade over time, so keep that in mind when you buy.
5. Baby monitor
This is only necessary if you have a huge house, or if the baby won’t be sleeping in the room with you for the first few weeks. I found that after 3 months, I could hear the baby crying from any room in the house. Prior to that, the baby went with me throughout the house in a little bouncer seat or baby swing, and was always in sight.
An audio monitor is really all that’s necessary- video monitors have their own safety issues.
6. Rocking chair
Test drive as many of these as you can. I find that it’s a really personal choice which one will work best for you. I did find that the wooden glider ones tend to pinch fingers if you have older kids, and may need tightening occasionally to prevent squeaking.
Get as comfortable a chair as you can afford, because you will be spending a lot of time in it, and probably dozing off in it.Also make sure that it’s covered in easy-to-clean fabrics for the inevitable spit-up that will have to be cleaned off.
7. Swing/ bouncer seat
A baby swing or bouncer seat is great for when baby just won’t be happy, and you’re needing a break. It’s also ideal for when you are doing something that requires baby not to be next to you in a carrier (such as cooking bacon).
Some people do manage to cook with baby on their back, but I found that too much for my brain to attend to at once, so the swing was a huge help.
8. Sound machine
Every apartment we’ve lived in had a construction site next door, so I don’t know why it took us so long to get a white noise machine. We got one for our bedroom and one for each of the kids’ bedrooms when our first son was born, and our sleep has been so much better.
Whether you have a lot of noises outside, or a noisy dog or loud kids, a sound machine can be key for good baby sleep.
This is an item that’s nice to have, but I don’t consider it essential. We’ve always lived in small homes/apartments when we were having babies, so floor space was a premium and we never had a changing table. We had a diaper caddy and did diaper changes on the floor or carpet using a changing pad.
If you decide to get a changing table, I strongly suggest choosing one that can later be used as a dresser for your older kid.
10. Diaper pail (nice to have)
We had a diaper pail with our first two babies, and it was helpful in reducing diaper smells. However by the time we had our second baby, we were going through so much trash as a household that we could just put the disposable diapers in the regular kitchen trash and empty it throughout the day. So we no longer needed a diaper pail.
Cloth diaper services provide you with a diaper pail to store the diapers in. If you are using cloth diapers and washing them yourself, you’ll want a diaper pail for keeping dirty diapers separate from the regular laundry.
11. Hooded Baby towel and soft washcloths
This makes bath time much easier, since most standard towels are huge for a baby. Baby washcloths are much softer than a standard washcloth, which would be too rough for baby’s sensitive skin.
12. Baby bathtub
This is an item that’s only needed for a few months until baby can sit up. We were blessed to get one secondhand, but a baby bath sponge would be another option if you don’t have space for the full baby bathtub.
Baby Gear on the Go
1. Car seats
You will want one seat for each car if possible. Otherwise get multiple bases, so you can plug it into whatever car you need. Some car seats also coordinate and snap right into a stroller, and this is definitely a system you will find useful!
There are car seats that convert from infant to toddler to big kid seats, but they are generally wider and more difficult to fit into a small or older vehicle. We preferred to use the rear facing infant car seat until age 2, then switch to a toddler or big kit seat.
2. Car Seat Bumper
Some car seats come with this extra support ring that is meant to support your newborn’s head. You can also buy them separately. Newborn babies are so tiny that their head easily flops around in the seat if they don’t have this added support.
3. Car seat mirror
This mirror attaches to the seat that the baby’s car seat is facing, so that you can see the baby’s face using your rearview mirror.
Look for models that are convertible, allowing you to lay your baby down or sit your baby up. Many models are also designed to integrate with a car seat, allowing you to move your baby from the car seat base right into the stroller—boom!
You won’t always want to carry your infant. Plus strollers are awesome for toting all the gear!
When we had babies and toddlers, a double stroller was a lifesaver! We had 4 kids under 6 for several years, so that allowed us to keep the youngest ones moving without having to carry everything and everyone ourselves.
If you plan to go walking or jogging postpartum, a stroller designed for jogging is a great investment. You’ll be glad to have the option to get out of the house and exercise!
5. Baby soft carrier/ sling
Again, having more than one carrier or sling is worth it if you can swing it. Slings take some training to learn how to safely secure the infant, so plan to practice getting it right with a partner to help before going out with it for a long time.
Spend money to get the comfy baby carriers. Babies may not weigh much, but that weight starts to be uncomfortable fast if you don’t have a well-built carrier.
6. Diaper bag
Definitely get a backpack style bag! For the last 2 babies, I didn’t even bother with a specific diaper bag, I just used a Jansport backpack.
However, now they have diaper backpacks that even give you a changing area like this, and if we have more babies, I am for sure getting one of those! Those changing tables in public restrooms are scary with germs, so plan to bring your own changing pad everywhere, or cover the public table with paper towels.
7. High chair
You won’t need this until around 4 months old, but it’s definitely one of the best things to include on your baby registry list.
We tried various sizes and styles for our baby high chairs, but we finally settled on the Ikea high chairs for our last 3 babies. They’re inexpensive, easy to clean, and easy to assemble or disassemble (for road trips).
A high chair with cushioning is a popular option, but be aware that they are hard to get properly clean. If there’s a washable, removable cushion, that usually works well.
8. Baby toys
A newborn baby doesn’t need any toys. However, most parents, relatives and friends love to give babies toys! Be sure that any toys you allow your baby to play with are approved for infants.
The age rating on many toys exists to keep babies and toddlers safe, as well as to help parents and caregivers understand what toys will be developmentally appropriate for babies and kids. Small items that could be a choking hazard aren’t appropriate for babies and toddlers, no matter how cute or fun they look!
My favorite baby toys were usually soft plush toys, or wooden toys with baby-safe paint, or sturdy plastic rings. I also recommend avoiding electronic toys—they tended to make noise randomly at night when I was trying to get my baby back to sleep!
This isn’t exactly a baby item, but rather a general suggestion. It’s a great idea to get a discount warehouse membership, such as Costco or Sam’s Club, if you have one nearby. Diapers, clothes, food, etc., are all common items that are available at a discount at these stores.
We got our Costco membership shortly after our first baby’s arrival, and it totally paid for itself with the additional items we were purchasing.
I also highly recommend joining parenting groups or online parenting communities. It’s a great way to pick up expert tips from other parents at the same stage you are in.
We received many of the big-ticket items (stroller, car seats, baby swings) as hand-me-downs from other parents whose babies had outgrown them. Just be sure to check any secondhand baby gear online to see if there’s been a recall before using it with your baby.
Your ultimate baby registry checklist
I’m sure there’s more items I could add, but I’ll let the retail registries do that for me. So many things we used for the specific needs of one baby, but not for others. Pacifiers are a good example of this- some babies really love them, others couldn’t care less. So I didn’t include them on my list.
This guide contains the tried and true favorites I used with every baby, and reused again and again. If you plan to have more than one baby, and have the storage space, it’s worth it to invest in quality products that can be reused. I’ve shared my method and organization for storing items that I plan to use again later in my kids clothing post.
Frequently Asked Questions about Baby Registry Ideas
What is the #1 baby registry item?
Car seats are the most popular registry item, because in many places you can’t leave the hospital with your baby without a car seat. If you are able to obtain one from a friend who no longer needs it, check to be sure that there aren’t any recalls on it and that it hasn’t expired. Baby car seats expire after a certain number of years because the plastic can start to degrade.
What month should you start your baby registry?
You can start it whenever you want to, but most moms begin adding to a baby registry during the second trimester (around 12 or 13 weeks). By that point, the risk of early miscarriage is greatly reduced, and it takes some time to decide what baby registry items you really need. Around 20 weeks, many expectant parents are able to find our their baby’s sex, so they can start to add items that are specific for male or female infants.
How to get free stuff for your baby?
Here’s where it makes sense to sign up for a baby registry in several places! Many baby product companies offer free samples, a rewards program, or a Welcome Baby box. Look at Amazon, Target, WalMart, Enfamil (formula), Huggies, Pampers to start with.
How many items is appropriate for a baby registry?
If this is your first baby and you’re having at least one baby shower, I’d suggest a minimum of 50 items at various price ranges (remember you’ll have multiples of some items). You’ll probably need 100-125 items altogether, but if you’re getting some hand-me-downs or secondhand baby items, you won’t need as large of a registry.
Do you put expensive things on your baby registry?
Definitely! Many friends and family love to buy baby items, and sometimes they may pitch in to cover one larger item. I received my pack and play crib and a glider rocking chair as group gifts.
Experienced moms, what would you add to this list? Tell us in the comments!
© Copyright Jennifer D. Warren. First published: October 5, 2021. UPDATED AND EXPANDED: June 28, 2023