Baby Registry Must-Haves

For many new moms, especially first-time moms, creating a baby registry is an exciting and helpful first step in setting up a nursery. It allows the relatives and friends who want to give you a gift to look to your registry for guidance about your needs and tastes, and it helps to avoid duplication of gifts. Additionally, after the shower or the baby’s birth, the company that sponsors the registry will help you with exchanges and will often give you a discount on items that you still need to complete your nursery.

At first the whole process may seem a bit overwhelming. There are hundreds of different products, and many of them are unfamiliar to first-time parents. Additionally, many registry lists contain suggested items that you might not need or be able to use. (If you have a tiny apartment, for instance, you probably won’t have room for large items like a baby swing or a glider/ottoman.) To get started – and to establish what you really want and need – it helps to break down the registry into a few major categories, divided into “the basics” and additional items you may want or need. The following list can help you tackle some of those decisions:


The basics:

Changing table
Crib sheets
Crib blankets
Changing table covers

You may also want:

Bassinette or co-sleeper
Diaper pail
Diaper pail liner refills
Laundry hamper
Crib bumpers
Swaddling blankets
Mobile Baby monitor
Toy chest
Soft baby toys or rattles

Baby Gear

The basics:

Car seat (and car seat base, if needed)
High chair
Diaper bag

You may also want:

Portable crib or playpen
Bouncy seat
Play and exercise mat


The basics:

Bottle cleaner brush
Burp cloths
Baby utensils
Baby plates and bowls

You may also want:

Bottle warmer
Nursing pillow
Breast pump
Breast milk storage bags


The basics:

Pajamas (at least 5)
Onesies (at least 5)
Play outfits (at least 5)

You may also want:

Receiving blankets or stroller blankets
Sleep jacket
Booties or soft-soled baby shoes
Special occasion outfits such as tiny dresses or suits


The basics:

Nail clippers
Brush and comb
Baby shampoo and lotion
Baby first aid kit
Baby medicine kit (gas drops, Tylenol, etc.)

You may also want:

Baby bath tub
Baby bath towels
Baby wash rags
Safety gates
Drawer and toilet locks

If you don’t get everything you thought you needed by the time the baby is born, don’t panic. Give yourself a few weeks with the baby so you can determine what you really want or need. Some moms like having hooded baby towels, for instance, while others prefer to use regular bath towels. Similarly, some babies love the soothing motions of a swing, while others hate being stuck in the seat.

In the end, you and your partner and your baby will make the final choices based on your personal preferences and comfort level. So don’t feel pressure to register for or buy that one trendy baby item that everyone else seems to have. Take your time registering and make your purchases carefully, based on what is best for you, your home, and your baby.

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