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The Ultimate Baby Registry Guide: What you need for your new baby

Updated on January 26, 2011

Deciding what to get for baby comes with many unknowns if you’re a first time mom. How should you know what they need other than something to keep them warm, milk (formula or breast), and diapers? The following is a list of what you might want to get or register for.


  • Clothes: Whether you ask for them or not, you’re going to get them. So you don’t even have to ask for them, for they shall come. You do, however, want to make sure that you are getting a variety of sizes, and that your baby has some sleeper onesies to keep them warm at night. Hats and socks are good to have too.
  • Dresser: You’ve got to put all those clothes somewhere...
  • Crib: To be safe, get one with slats no more than 2 3/8 inches apart, with corner posts no more than 1/16 of an inch above frame, with no cutouts in headboard or footboard, and with top rails at least 26 inches above mattress.
  • Crib mattress cover: protects mattress from accidents
  • Crib sheets: get more than one in case baby has an accident.
  • Sound machine: (see “how to soothe a fussy baby”)
  • Changing pad: get one of these. you can put this on your changing table if you have one, or you can throw it anywhere, thus making your own changing area.
  • Changing pad cover: for accidents.
  • Baby wipes: like diapers, ask for many.
  • Diapers: VERY IMPORTANT. If nothing else, ask for diapers. All different sizes! Tip: at your baby shower, have a diaper raffle where when your guests bring diapers, they get a raffle ticket, and then have prizes for the raffle (don’t forget to tell them about the raffle on the invitation).
  • Blankets: get only a few because they’re not recommended in the crib when baby is sleeping, so you don’t use them too often. At most you need one pack of receiving blankets and one or two bigger or thicker blankets.
  • Swaddling: get a swaddling blanket, OR large blankets (Aden + Anais make great ones). Receiving blankets do not work well for swaddling.
  • Sleep sack: this goes over a sleeper onesie and is an extra layer (like a blanket) if you’re not swaddling or if your baby has outgrown swaddling.
  • Burp cloths: Ask for or buy yourself many(at least 12) burp cloths! You will fly through these suckers.
  • Box/Basket/Bin for toys- these are nice to have.
  • Baby Bathtub
  • Baby soap/shampoo, brush, washcloth, and cotton balls: Brush for applying the shampoo, cotton balls for the face.
  • A&D ointment: works on diaper rash, but also on healing circumcisions.
  • Nail clippers: buy small nail scissors rather than nail clippers (try “sassy” brand).
  • Infant acetaminophen (tylenol): is good to have just in case.
  • Thermometer: you’ll want this around just in case.
  • Medicine dropper: most infant medicines come with droppers, but you could get a medicine dropper too.
  • Portable changing pad: these are awesome so you can throw them in whatever bag. I recommend getting a large one, like the “J.L. Childress Full Body Changing Pad.”
  • Formula: if not breast feeding. Maybe, if breast feeding, have one around just in case.
  • Bottles: get nipples for different stages (products are really clear on which nipples for what ages), and a bottle brush. You can get a bottle drying rack, but it’s not necessary, and if you do, get a nice one, because the cheap ones fold and the bottles parts fall everywhere.
  • My Brestfriend pillow: This is GREAT for breastfeeding, but works for bottle feeding too. It’s wonderful because it latches on and sits securely, which a boppy does not. (if you get this, consider getting an extra cover for accidents)
  • Breast Pump: get one if you’re breast feeding and are away from your baby. There are all different priced ones. I’d suggest going for the “medela pump in style,” but if that’s too steep, a cheaper one will get you through.
  • Breast pads: these will protect you from leaking all over your shirt! The medela brand are very nice.
  • Milk storage bags: for storing pumped breast milk (remember: breast milk is good for about 6 hours at room temp, about 6 days in the refrigerator, and about 6 months in the freezer)
  • Lanolin: for sore nipples. (tip: in addition to lanolin, rub some of your breast milk on your sore or cracked nipples. Breast milk is medicinal) Another use of lanolin is for when your baby begins drooling, apply some below their lip, on their chin, to reduce chaffing or rashes-- you can also use chapstick, but lanolin is especially made knowing small amounts will be ingested by babies.
  • Nursing cover for breast feeding in public
  • Pacifier and pacifier clip: get a clip(I like the “booginhead” kind) because the pacifier will fall out all the time, this way it’s attached to your baby and won’t fall on the floor.
  • Car seat
  • Car mirror: so you can see the baby from the rear view mirror.
  • Stroller: you can get a stroller-car seat travel system. This is helpful if baby sleeps in the car seat.
  • A front carrier: a cloth one like the “Moby wrap” is great (see why in: “how to deal with a fussy baby”). You may also want a front backpack like carrier like the “baby bjorn”.
  • Sanitary napkins: sorry ladies, smooth birth or not, you’re going to need these for about a month after giving birth.
  • Hemorrhoid pads: see: sanitary napkins. “Tucks” are a good option.
  • A portable crib/playpen: these are great if you go anywhere, or to put your baby in around the house, or to use as their crib. These typically come with a bassinet attachment so you can use them with your newborn to your toddler.


  • Bibs: bibs are awesome for keeping those cute outfits nice and clean! But they are not a must until baby starts solid foods.
  • Diaper bag: if you want one, get one, otherwise any bag will do if you have a portable changing pad and can fit the wet wipes, diapers, etc.
  • Diaper pail: This is great if you don’t want to take the trash out regularly(and I’m fairly certain you wont) because it blocks odors. (I had the “diaper dekor plus” and loved it)
  • Diaper pail refills: a MUST if you get the diaper pail.
  • Rocking chair: these are great, but more often than not, you will end all over the house (on the couch, in your bed, etc.), so if this is not a priority for you, you will certainly survive without it.
  • Mobile: you don’t need one of these. I mean how often are you going to leave baby in their crib when they’re awake? But it wont hurt either.
  • Baby monitor: this is a judgement call, but you’ll probably be able to hear your baby crying throughout the house.
  • Boppy pillow: these are okay when babies are a little bigger, but when they’re brand new, the boppy often sits low on you waist whereas the “my brest friend” attaches around your waist and you can adjust where it sits.
  • Bottle warmers: these are convenient, but it’s not too hard to stick some water in a mug, microwave it, then stick the bottle in the warm water. (remember-- don’t microwave bottles)
  • Bassinet- your baby will grow right out of this. Try, instead, investing in a Moses basket, which can be much less expensive and equally effective.
  • Changing table: This isn’t a necessity. Pros: provides a designated area where you can store stuff.
  • Backpack: A baby backpack is great when baby gets bigger for going on walks, hikes, or just for going around the house.
  • Nightlight: you don’t need this, but a dim lamp of some sort it good to have in the baby’s room.
  • Swing: some babies love them, some don’t. If you want to try it out get one used (most have washable covers).
  • Vibrating chairs: see: swing.
  • Baby play mat: see: swing. These are good for putting your baby on the ground, but you can also put them on a blanket with toys around them.
  • NOTE: I suggest getting one of the previous three if you can.
  • Wipe warmer: totally not necessary. Baby might not love the cold wipes, but they can’t have warm wipes on the go, so might as well not get them used to it, right?
  • Baby towel w/ hood- these are nice, but you could use an adult towel just as easily.
  • Crib Bumper: these aren’t totally necessary, and are often advised against because of suffocation risk, so if you do get one get a breathable type.


  • BABY POWDER: skip this! For your baby, one puff of baby powder is equivalent of half a cigarette. Not good to aspirate! Even for adults.
  • Baby oil: you probably wont use it.
  • Baby lotion: you probably wont use it.
  • Sleep positioner: Do not use these.
  • Postpartum wraps/girdles: chances are that you will be too busy to use these

Think long term:
One of the best ideas is to ask for, or to get, things you will need long term like:

  • A high chair
  • Baby spoons (I like the gerber soft tips)
  • A stroller for larger babies/toddlers, or a lightweight stroller(like an umbrella stroller).
  • A car seat for larger babies
  • Larger clothes
  • Diapers in all sizes!!
  • Teethers (“Sofie the giraffe” is the best)
  • Toys and books
  • Baby-proofing materials (outlet plugs, cabinet & drawer locks)

(Where you register is your call, but I will say, is great because they have products from all different websites)


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