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What you really need on your baby registry

Updated on January 14, 2014
Stores provide checklists when expectant parents create a registry.
Stores provide checklists when expectant parents create a registry. | Source

There is a plethora of information given to expectant parents from freebies at the doctor's office to detailed checklists from stores providing registries. Because this information doesn't come on a single sheet of paper but a bag anywhere from the size of a clutch to a small shopping bag, parents may think all the information they need is in there.

I'm here to tell you it is not.

Considering I'm working on my third pregnancy, I would say I'm sort of an expert when it comes to knowing what is really needed to survive life with a baby. And, either because I'm from New Jersey or because I have boys, or possibly both, I'm not exactly the sugar-coating type.

Of course, those checklists do help decide what's needed. The most important things are a car seat, a place for your baby to sleep and diapers. You need lots of diapers. (Target's registry book says 10-12 per day, and that is very true. Sometimes, you'll need two per changing.)

Other things you'll want to make sure you have are a stroller, onesies and a bouncer. Bouncers are especially good if you have older children who will want to "play" with the baby, or if you'll need to take a shower while alone with the baby.

*Note: The bouncer does not go in the shower. It goes on the bathroom floor positioned so you can peek out the shower curtain to see/make silly faces at the baby.

But, all of those things are listed on every registry. Here's what's not:


Yes, the checklists have storage for the baby, but if you have older children, you may want to use what they've been using for storage for the baby. Put new storage options better suited for your older kids on the registry. It's okay. It's still something you need because of the baby.


You need coffee. Babies sleep, but not always when you can sleep. There's nothing worse than needing a quick pick-me-up and learning you ran out of coffee. Fortunately, superstores like Target sell all types of coffee and it can be added to your registry.

Large Plastic Boxes

Where are you going to put that stockpile of diapers? Scan 2-3 large plastic boxes to store these under the crib. When the boxes no longer need to hold diapers, they can hold toys or clothing the baby outgrows.


This item is needed if you have other children. Thanks to the sleep deprivation and a new, needy child, the other children are more likely to find a way to get injured. Some of these injuries will be for attention, so don't feel like it's your fault.

Lots of Pacifiers

Pacifiers are on checklists, but you'll need more than one. They are very easy to throw, and baby always wants one right after throwing one down a sewer.

Hand Sanitizer

You will change a diaper somewhere where there is no soap in the soap dispenser or even no sink. Trust me.

Not Needed

  • Toys. Sure, put one or two favorite toys on the registry, but no more. Your baby will still end up with so many toys its first year, you'll wonder what happened to your floor. (Some of it will be your fault.)
  • Mittens. Socks stay on the baby's hands much better.
  • Changing pad cover. It's just one more thing to wash. The pad can be wiped clean.

CD Player

Yes, you may have some sort of MP3 player, access to an internet radio service or some other techie way to play music, but, really, do you want lullabies and The Wiggles to be randomly played on your personal device when sans baby? No.

Get a little CD player that can fit on the dresser or be hidden under the crib. This way, the baby can have his music, and you can still have yours.

© 2014 Samantha Sinclair


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