Baby Registry

October 23, 2011

When I first registered for C, I got overwhelmed and cried (which for sure had nothing to do with pregnancy hormones).  I had no idea what I needed or didn’t.  And I prefer to take Big Projects (like having a baby) step by step rather than all at once so it was just OVERWHELMING.  Now 3.5 kids later, I know what I use and don’t use, need and don’t need.  So, while your mileage may vary, here’s my list of what I’d need, maybe need, and not need if I were having a first baby today (some linked to about what I have):


  • Carseat (with extra base if the baby will frequently be riding in more than one car)
  • Stroller base for carseat which can also be a plain stroller once the kid’s too old for the infant seat (I actually don’t use a stroller often, but when I need it, I NEED it.  The places I need it most: mall, a county fair, an amusement park or a zoo- places too big to walk around carrying a baby and without shopping carts).  You can buy this with the carseat (called a travel system) or separately.
  • Diaper bag for running around (totally look on Etsy and stuff, the ones in the stores are boring and this is a fun purchase- all you REALLY need is lots of pockets, it doesn’t need to be something designed as a diaper bag.  I keep mine in my car all the time still.)
  • Bottles (I used these, but might switch this time because they leak sometimes.  I would suggest going simple- just bottle, nipple, and the ring that holds on the nipple.)
  • Monitor (one that would tell you if the baby stopped breathing, which gives me HUGE peace of mind about my SIDS paranoia)
  • Sling or carrier (I like this one, and I have a cheap generic version, and flip the kid to outward-facing once they hold their head up, but I know baby carrier-obsessive people who need one of these– better for inward facing, for hiking and stuff).  I also have a cheapo version of a sling which is nice for around the house.
  • Vibrating seat OR swing OR both.  We’ve always had both but probably don’t need both.
  • Baby shampoo/wash (I just have Johnson’s shampoo and use it as a wash and shampoo)
  • Place for baby to sleep (I like having it in my room the first few months to avoid running around at night, we have a cradle at the foot of our bed)
  • Sheets for baby sleep location, at least two sets
  • Swaddlers with velcro, probably at least three (I like this brand specifically and I’ve tried a few, these ones hold the baby in best)
  • Pajamas (the only clothes you NEED at first) that snap on and off easily- full length with feet for spring/fall, fleece for winter, shorter or onesies for summer
  • Blankets.  Cannot have too many.  They don’t sleep with them at first, but they throw up on them, you hold them in them, you do tummy time on them.  People will give these though so don’t sweat it too much.
  • Baby nail clipper
  • Infant gas drops and baby tylenol
  • Butt paste
  • Diapers
  • Wipes (I use Costco brand for both)
  • Formula if you’re formula feeding.  I don’t know how to pick out an infant formula, they’d probably give you some to start with at the hospital.  Even if you’re nursing I’ve always had a can in the house, usually you get some for free at the hospital.  That crap about having it in the house being evil and sabotaging the magic breastfeeding is ridiculous IMO.  Once in a while it doesn’t hurt.)
  •  Breast pump if nursing (I had this, but this time around I’m getting a better one.  Probably don’t need a better one if not working, actually might not need one at all if not working.)  I do recommend having it in the house before the baby comes, at least a cheapo manual one.)
  • Milk storage bags (this brand specifically, others leak)
  • Lanolin if nursing, just one tube is fine
  • If you’re nursing, nursing bras and clothes that you can move around a lot and have buttons.  Not too important at first and you can stay in pajamas a lot of the time when the baby is new, but choose new clothes with this in mind.  (When I buy stuff for baby showers or new moms, I like to buy button-down pajamas for them.)


  • Wipe warmer (good for winter baby who doesn’t like cold stuff on his butt, not needed otherwise)
  • Diaper Genie (love mine because I’m lazy, but wet diapers can just go in a pretty-frequently-changed indoor trash and dirty ones can just be walked outside in a plastic shopping bag.)
  • Changing table/changing pad.  (Really, this can just be done on the floor, like I do about half the time.)
  • Boppy, if nursing (love mine, but the same can be accomplished with pillows once you’re used to nursing)
  • Pack and play (we keep ours in the den for infant to nap nearby while we’re doing stuff quietly or to contain older baby like a playpen)  Necessary if you travel a lot probably.
  • Mobile.  Usually comes ON bouncy seat/PNP/swing.  Not a big deal but some babies like them a lot.  Same with source of tinkly music.
  • Bottle brush (easier than a sponge or whatever for bottle washing)
  • Baby thermometer (I haven’t figured out how to use one even now.  I feel their hands and faces and if they’re warmer than normal but happy, I don’t worry; if they’re warmer than normal and seem fussy, I’ll hit the tylenol.  If they’re hot, I’ll hit the tylenol AND worry.  But some people like exact numbers).
  • Play mat thingy.  Never had one but a lot of people like them.
  • Pacifiers.  Some babies go for them, some don’t.  I’ve had three kids who liked them at different levels.  They did all like them as infants for at least a little while.  (Then C dropped hers for her thumb at 3 months old, R had to be wrenched from hers at 2.5, and A just sort of abandoned hers at 1.5).  Different babies like different types, but we’ve used Avents for C/R and Soothies for A.
  • Nursing cover if nursing.  Some people don’t seem to need these and some people are sort of offended by the idea that nursing should be COVERED UP.  I like it because it lets you feed the baby discreetly wherever you are and because of my own unwillingness to show my stomach if I pull up my shirt and because I think it’s polite to be modest about nursing.  Also for an older baby (6 months +) it can keep them from getting distracted and looking around while feeding in public.  I keep mine in my diaper bag in the car.  Plus, handy spare blanket or cover for the baby in the stroller if they’re sleeping.
  • Nursing pads.  I never needed (I only leaked when I was nursing on the other side, and I’d just grab a washcloth when I did, but absolute necessity for some people who leak a lot.
  • Decorations for nursery.  I didn’t really get into this.  Baby doesn’t pay much attention and we’ve never had a ton of space for it or spent a ton of time in the baby’s room (I take the baby wherever I want to be).  I’m working on doing a nice room for the girls now that they’re aware of it and big enough.


  • Bottle/pump part sterilizing equipment.  There’s a cycle on the dishwasher for this, you can boil stuff if you really want to, and I am pretty convinced that hot water and soap works fine anyway.
  • Burp cloths/bibs.  They will save their spitup for when there is NOT one handy and you’ll just have to change their clothes and yours, so why bother?
  • Baby washcloths/any other special cleaning equipment.  Their skin is not so sensitive that you can’t use a regular one.  Same with towels.  And baby robes are a pain in the ass to get on and off.  I wouldn’t bother with a hooded towel or a robe until they’re standing and running.
  • Baby laundry detergent.  I stopped bothering after the first kid and never had a problem.  If they have super sensitive skin, maybe?
  • Special magical rocking chair.  I sit on the couch or wherever I feel like sitting.  At night, I nurse in my bed.  If you’re a rocking chair type or really visualize using one a lot, then go to town.  If the kid wants to rock but you’re not into it, get a swing.
  • Bumbo chair.  There’s not that much time between “can hold head up” and “can sit on own” and it takes a lot of space.  I’d rather just prop the kid in the Boppy if they want to sit that badly.
  • Toys.  Infants really don’t care.  By the time they’re older people will buy them as gifts.
  • Clothes.  I mean, needed, but as infants they’ll wear mostly pajamas and onesies, and people will buy them as gifts whether or not you register.
  • Diaper holding thingy.  I just stack mine.
  • Baby bathtub.  I just hop in the tub or shower and take baby with me.  As infants, they can get bathed in a sink.
  • Feeding equipment.  They won’t need it for a while, and then, surprise, you can offer them food on the tips of regular spoons.  A few small bowls and sippy cups are good to have, but not until at least 6-8 months.
  • Bottle warmer.  Sean would just pour a mug or bowl of hot tap water and stick the bottle in it to warm.

4 Responses to “Baby Registry”

  1. LB said

    Interesting… there are def some things on your Do Not Need list that I consider must haves, such as the burp cloths and baby bathtub.

    • I take a lot of baths myself. So it just makes sense to take the baby in. So much easier than trying to hold a slippery baby straight in a tub or the sink… you can manipulate it to wash SO MUCH easier.

  2. thewaiting said

    Thanks for posting this. I am getting to be overwhelmed with the idea of creating my registry because I don’t trust that the lists the stores suggest are realistic. I’ve been hoping that a veteran mom would post a detailed list like yours. Thanks!

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