The must haves for your baby registry.

If you are newly expecting mom, or haven’t entered a baby store in many years, just walking in to start your baby gift registry can make you feel lost. In the baby store you’ll find the cute, useful, can’t live without, and the useless baby items. Unfortunately, the baby items that you won’t be able to live without will often not be revealed until your baby is born and teaches you what he prefers. But since you’re better of preparing for baby before he’s born, here is a list of what to put on a baby registry that most parents will find makes life a bit easier with a new baby. 

Also, don’t fear the checklist for your baby gift registry. Some moms feel greedy asking for baby stuff and become reluctant to put too much on their baby registry. Really, there’s no need to hold back. It takes a village to raise a baby and the baby shower is the first opportunity for your village to help you out. And they want to help out. If friends and family find your baby registry is lacking choices, then you risk getting 20 blankets, 10 photo frames, and no diapers or diaper bag. Making a baby registry is for your own use as well. You can update it with things you need as you think of them and use it as your own personal to do list.

Baby Parenting BooksProduce more breast milkCredit: Flickr: Myllissa

Is a fever of 100 degrees F dangerous for a newborn? How do you get a sleepy baby to latch on? What if your letdown is too fast? Do you know what “letdown” means? Is the poop supposed to look like that?

First on the list is to stock up on the wealth of knowledge available from the experts: doctors and parents. Of course the other items on this list will help you through the first year. But the books can be your true lifesaver when your baby does not like the swing, cries for hours, you learn the terms “sleeping like a baby” and “soft as a baby’s skin” must have been termed by people without babies , or you find breastfeeding is not instinctual. These books will help you with the big stuff and little things that having you worried in the middle of the night.

The Happiest Baby on the Block
Amazon Price: $15.00 $7.93 Buy Now
(price as of Sep 27, 2015)

Baby book suggestions: AAP’s Caring for Your Baby and Young Child Birth to Age 5, The Happiest Baby on the Block and The Happiest Toddler on the Block both by Dr. Harvey Karp, Early-Start Potty Training by Dr. Linda Sonna, The No-Cry Sleep Solution by Elizabeth Pantley, and The Baby Book by Dr. Sears. One more must have for baby learning is not a book but a website with all the breastfeeding information you need:

Baby Swing

After reading the baby books from above you learn that babies enjoy and benefit from constant movement and physical closeness from their parents. Some babies need this more than others. A swing will help give you a break and if you have a baby that needs movement and noise to sleep, and will become a sleep-saver for you as well.


Inside the womb is a noisy place. Having a sound machine that makes heartbeats, ocean waves, or other white noise makes babies feel at home, like being in the womb.  A portable noisemaker will help your baby relax and sleep in any location.

Munchkin Nursery Projector and Sound System, White
Amazon Price: $31.99 $15.00 Buy Now
(price as of Sep 27, 2015)

Baby Carriers

A baby carrier allows you to provide physical closeness for your baby and keep your hands free. You’ll be amazed at what you can accomplish with a baby attached to you in a carrier. There are two main types, and adding both to your baby shower gift registry will prove valuable. The sling carrier works well for the first 3 to 4 months as it closely mimics the squeeze of a womb. For older infants a carrier that lets their arms and legs hang out and lets them face out to the world works well. When choosing a sling carrier, choose one that keeps baby’s face from getting buried in fabric. They should always and their face out and be able to breathe fresh air.  

A tip from an experienced mom: Don’t be afraid to put the more expensive baby carrier on your registry. These do tend to be more comfortable and durable.

BABYBJORN Baby Carrier Original, Gray/White, Mesh
Amazon Price: $99.95 $50.04 Buy Now
(price as of Sep 27, 2015)

Diaper Bag

You’ll need a diaper bag to carry more than diapers. But this really doesn’t need to be expensive. One with lots of pockets and that closes easily will work well.

Stroller and Car Seat

A stroller travel system gives you a heavy-duty stroller and infant car seat all in one. The stroller will be used for years, the car seat maybe only a few months. Some babies do better in a more upright car seat such as a Britax convertible as they get older so you may want to add two types of car seats to your registry. To pick a good stroller test it out without help from a store clerk. Good strollers should be easy to fold up and open up while you are holding a baby with one hand. So try this with strollers you are considering. Try to fold and unfold the stroller with one hand without reading or getting instructions from anyone. If the system is too complicated or it can’t be done with one hand, keep looking.

Breastfeeding Supplies

While you don’t actually need any supplies to breastfeed, there are several items that will make it easier. Lanolin for sore and cracked nipples, a nursing cover for privacy, and a breast pump and breast milk storage supplies are all good items for a baby gift registry checklist. Even if you plan to not work outside of the home, add a breast pump to your baby gift registry. Babies eat every hour to two hours (some more than that!) 24 hours a day. For some babies this feeding schedule doesn’t let up for several months. If you plan to be away from your baby for more than an hour, especially in the first 3 months, you will need a breast pump to provide him breast milk while you are gone.

A tip from an experienced mom: do not opt for the less expensive hand pump. These are difficult to use and very inefficient. Do get an electric pump, preferably one with 2 pumps.


Most newborns sleep better when swaddled. However, swaddling is a skill that some parents find difficult to master. A premade swaddle makes it must easier to wrap and settle a fussy wiggly baby. Register for swaddles in small, medium, large. Babies can outgrow a swaddle seemingly overnight and you don't want to discover you don't have a swaddle that fits at 2 am.

Ear Thermometer

There are plenty of thermometer choices so that you don’t have to take a rectal temperature on your baby. Ear thermometers are accurate enough to give the information you need to know and take only seconds to use.  Other thermometers such as pacifier thermometers or under-the-arm thermometers take more time and a more compliant baby to work.

Thermoscan Exactemp Ear
Amazon Price: $69.95 $59.95 Buy Now
(price as of Sep 27, 2015)


By the time baby is reaching for your food, which can start as early as 4-months of age, you’ll want a high chair where he can eat and make messes that don’t involve your lap and plate. Choose one with a tray that is easy to remove and clean.


Diapers are certainly one of the must haves for the baby registry list. However, you really don’t want boxes and boxes of the same size and brand of diapers if you are a new parent. A large baby will not need newborn size diapers for more than a couple of weeks. And every brand fits a bit differently. And every baby is sized a little differently. So what to put on a baby registry then? A little bit of each. Register for one box of Huggies, Pampers, and /or Seventh Generation in various sizes, and / or cloth diapers if you prefer. This way you’ll get to sample diapers and learn which one works best for you and baby.