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The baby essentials for your registry

Setting up a baby registry can be an overwhelming task, especially when you’re pregnant and unsure where to start. Babies really do need a lot of stuff, and knowing where to begin when starting to get your list of baby essentials together can be stressful. But filling out a baby registry can be fun, too. It can also make your life easier when you get closer to your due date. Why? Having a baby registry lets your friends and family know exactly what baby essentials you need the most and helps cut down on duplicate items being purchased for you.

Registries also give you a way to keep track of the baby essentials you’ve already received, so you know if anything is missing, you can purchase it yourself as you get closer to your due date. That’s why we’ve created this list of all the baby essentials you will need, from oversized items like a stroller and crib to everyday things like diapers and wipes

What is a baby registry?

A baby registry is a list of things that soon-to-be parents would like as gifts from their families and friends. Having a registry ensures that mom and dad can get everything they’ll need before bringing home their new baby. Baby registries are usually organized by the store that you’ve registered at and can be made online or in-person. Some stores have partnered with others so you can combine your registries and limit duplicate items.

Baby registries have the added benefit of free returns and price matching, with discounts on select items and welcome boxes with some free samples. Online registries can sometimes offer things like a gift-tracker, which will come in handy when it’s time to write those thank you notes, or have an app for your phone, so you can check out what’s being purchased from your registry while you’re on the go.

When should you make a registry?

You can make your baby registry as early as you want to. If you decide to create a registry online, many places offer a “private” mode, so you can discreetly add items in the first few months of your pregnancy before you’ve decided to announce it to your family and friends. You can also sign up for a few different registries and take advantage of the free samples you’ll get from welcome boxes.

If you’ve decided to have a baby shower, you should have your registries completed before the invitations are sent, so your guests will have ample time to choose a gift. However, feel free to continue adding things as the shower gets closer for those last-minute shoppers.

What baby essentials should you put on your registry?

This list will give you a good idea of the baby essentials you’ll need and actually use as soon as your new baby comes home, without any of the extra things that take up space and you won’t use.


  • Baby tub
  • Soft, hooded towels
  • Washcloths
  • Baby shampoo and body wash
  • Baby body lotion
  • Simple bath toys
  • Faucet cover


You should avoid putting pillows, blankets, and unnecessary items in the crib with your baby for safe sleeping. Instead, opt for a fitted sheet.

  • Crib mattress
  • Waterproof mattress protector
  • Three or more fitted sheets


When filling out this part of your registry, it’s always a good idea to include items in multiple sizes because your baby will grow out of newborn-sized clothes quickly. You will want to consider how old your baby will be during the next couple of seasons and what the weather will be.

  • Ten pairs of leggings
  • Ten pairs footed pajamas
  • Ten pairs of socks
  • Ten short-sleeve onesies
  • Ten long-sleeve onesies
  • Eight pairs of non-footed pajamas
  • Five swaddling blankets
  • Five burp cloths
  • Five bibs
  • Three sweaters
  • Three sleep sacks
  • One sun hat
  • One soft hat
  • One outfit to bring your baby home from the hospital in
  • Baby-safe laundry detergent


  • Diaper pail
  • Diapers (cloth or disposable)
  • Baby wipes
  • Diaper cream
  • Cotton balls


If you’ve chosen not to breastfeed, you will only need to register for the items that have been marked with an asterisk.

  • Breast pump
  • Breast milk freezer bags
  • Nursing pillow
  • Nursing bras
  • Nipple cream
  • Nursing cover
  • Baby bottles/ nipples*
  • Bottle brushes*
  • Bottle drying rack*
  • High chair*

Medical Items

  • Baby nail trimmer
  • Thermometer
  • Rubbing alcohol pads
  • Saline nasal drops
  • Suction bulb

Nursery Furniture

  • Crib
  • Bassinet
  • Glider or rocking chair
  • Changing table
  • Night light
  • White noise machine
  • Baby monitor
  • Baby books
  • Bins or baskets for storage


  • Bouncer or swing
  • Activity mat
  • Soft or cloth baby book
  • Wooden stacking blocks
  • Teething toys
  • Rattles
  • Stuffed animals
  • Blanket


  • Infant car seat
  • Stroller
  • Stroller bunting (used for rainy or cold weather)
  • Baby carrier
  • Diaper bag
  • Portable changing pad
  • Travel crib

What items should you NOT put on your registry?

A few things you should avoid putting on your registry are:

  • Baby wipe warmer - Unless you want this, we recommend not adding it to your registry. It’s not one of the baby essentials, and most parents say that they don’t even use it, anyway.
  • Crib bumpers - We don’t recommend putting a crib bumper on your registry or purchasing one at all. A baby’s crib should be free of all pillows, blankets, and accessories for safety reasons.
  • Dressy clothes - Your baby will spend its days spitting up and having diaper blowouts, and having formal garments that can’t be washed frequently aren’t necessary unless there is a special event you’ll be attending together.
  • Drop-down cribs - Although the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has ended drop-down cribs being manufactured in 2011, you may still come across them if someone you know has gifted you a hand-me-down or if you’re buying one secondhand. Always be sure that the crib you choose meets the current safety standards.
  • Toys - While having some toys for your baby is great, remember that they will be receiving toys for years to come, and the majority of toys aren’t necessary for your baby’s development.