Skip to main content

Baby registry must-haves: This is everything that should be on your list

Here's the ultimate list of what you need, so the only thing to worry about getting is sleep

Couple sitting in the nursery.
Louis-Photo / Shutterstock

From picking out a name to picking out a nursery theme, having a baby comes with a thousand decisions that need to be made before you even have to start raising a little human. From the moment you find out you are pregnant, the list of what you’ll need to buy grows by the minute. But what do you need, and what can you skip? We have the baby registry must-haves, so you will have all the items you’ll need when you welcome your newest family member.

The best places for your baby registry

A pregnant woman holding a laptop in her lap while holding her belly
MVelishchuk / Shutterstock

Go big box or go online? No matter where you register, make sure you understand how the site or store works and check out perks like coupons for the rest of your wish list or free gifts for signing up.

Big box stores are always a good idea

While it may be overwhelming to shop in a big-box store with limitless options, it’s the perfect place to go for a baby registry for that reason. You can get everything on your list in one place, making it a lot easier. Target and Walmart also have online options, so you’ll have a wider range of items to pick from.

Online shops are an easy go-to

Then there’s the ease of clicking from the comfort of your couch, which is what you get registering with an online shop. Babylist is a brilliant site because you can add your wishes from any store there, and it gives you a free gift for registering. Amazon is a good bet because everyone knows and trusts Amazon.

What to skip altogether

Pregnant woman standing over wooden crib in rustic nursery
Ömürden Cengiz / Unsplash

Everyone tells you what you should add to your registry, but they should also tell you what you should leave off your list. Just because they make a million baby items doesn’t mean you need it all. If you see something on this skip list you think you would use, wait on it.

Items you won’t need

  • Wipe warmer
  • Shoes (if they don’t come with an outfit)
  • Crib extras like bumpers
  • Stuffed animals (you will be gifted these regardless)
  • A baby walker
  • Bottle sterilizer kit
  • Special bottle drying racks
  • Travel changing station kit
  • Car seat/grocery seat cover
  • Most teething supplies (gels/creams/necklaces)
  • “Baby size” anything (towels, washcloths) — see if regular size will do

The ultimate baby registry list of must-haves

Pregnant woman writing in a notebook.
Getty / Getty Images

These are the essentials, the musts, the stuff you will need when you bring baby home. If you get these items, you’re first part of parenting (at least when it comes to having the stuff) will be a lot less stressful.

For feeding

  • 3 to 5 bottles (we love Dr. Browns)
  • Bottle cleaning brushes for the tiny parts
  • Burb cloths or bibs
  • Formula

If you breastfeed

  • Breast pump
  • Milk storage bags
  • Nipple pads
  • Nipple cream
  • 2 quality pillows (for your back and for baby)

Diaper station

  • Changing station (with a pad or mat for baby)
  • Wipes
  • Diapers of various sizes
  • Rash cream
  • Baby oil
  • Baby lotion
  • Caddy or basket to hold items
  • Comfortable diaper bag/backpack

Bath time fun

Big gear

  • Car seat
  • Baby carrier/wrap
  • Baby bouncer/swing/lounger
  • Stroller

First aid/health items

  • Nail clippers/scissors
  • Thermometer
  • Nose sucker
  • Basic first aid-kit kit
  • Baby medicine/Tylenol

Nursery

  • Crib
  • Crib mattress
  • Sheets
  • Rocking chair (whether you breastfeed or not, get one)
  • Storage for clothing (dresser, hangers for closet)

Maybes for nursery

These aren’t must-haves exactly, but depending on your setup, you might need them.

  • Mobile for crib
  • Monitor if your room and baby’s room are far apart
  • White noise machine
  • Night light if no other soft lighting is in the room

Clothing for baby

This category is a bit all over the place. Some people don’t want an outfit for every day, some can’t afford a lot of clothes, and some don’t want the clutter. There is a bare minimum you should aim for, but people will gift you outfits you didn’t ask for, and you’ll be offered hand-me-downs. Take it all.

  • Onesies
  • Shirts/tops
  • Leggings/sweats/pants
  • Sleep sacs/swaddles
  • Footed pajamas
  • Socks

Get quite a few basic onesies in long- and short-sleeved varieties. Blowouts are real and will happen more than you could imagine. You won’t want to do laundry daily, so have a good assortment. For everything else, get at least two, so you have a few days between laundry days.

Toys

  • Books
  • Playmat
  • Tummy time pad
  • Soft rattles/blocks/crinkle books

It would be good to have a few toys for the car and the stroller, so you don’t have to worry about grabbing the same ones every time you leave the house.

Once you break it down to the basics, you need to keep your baby healthy, happy, safe, and warm when you bring them home, so it won’t feel so overwhelming while you are scanning things into your registry. It’s easy to get caught up in wanting every new baby item they just came out with, but all your little one needs is you and your love. And more diapers than you thought possible. Have these baby registry must-haves on your list, and you and your baby will be OK.

Editors' Recommendations

Dannielle Beardsley
Dannielle has written for various websites, online magazines, and blogs. She loves everything celebrity and her favorite…
Your questions answered – everything you need to know about baby-led weaning
Guide to this trending solid introduction method
Baby eating solids in a highchair

Feeding your newborn is pretty straightforward. They only need human milk or formula for the first six months of their life to thrive. Once your baby is ready to start trying new foods, things can get a bit more complicated.
Parents shift to making or buying purees as they begin to introduce their little ones to solid foods. Cue caregivers pretending a spoon is an airplane and feeding their little child some version of oatmeal or pureed peas and sweet potatoes. These days, some parents are taking a different approach and introducing solids straight away. It’s known as baby-led weaning.
What is baby-led weaning? The method, developed by former public health nurse Gill Rapley, involves adults giving babies solid foods in their natural form and allowing them baby to self-feed. If a parent makes spaghetti, meatballs, and broccoli for dinner, the baby will eat it, too. Proponents say it respects a baby’s independence and food autonomy and may reduce picky eating.
It can also be a ton of food. Here’s what to know about baby-led weaning.

When do I start baby-led weaning?

Read more
Why do babies growl? Understanding your little one’s weird sounds
We'll help you navigate this little animal stage with your baby
Mom holding her baby up to her face

There is no sweeter sound to a new parent than listening to their baby cooing and babbling. While you're waiting for those first words, those early squeals and giggles are simply delightful. With each sound, your little one is communicating with you even without saying their first official word. But have you ever sworn you've heard your baby sound more like an animal than a human? There are reasons why babies growl sometimes, and parents need the heads up.

If your baby has added growling to their language skills, you may be wondering why they chose to sound more feral than human. Turns out, it all depends on when and how they growl. Even though it might be unusual, it is pretty adorable to witness. Here’s how to decode why babies growl and what those noises mean.
Deciphering your baby's new sounds

Read more
Are baby walkers safe? 5 dangerous reasons you shouldn’t add one to your registry
Learn why baby walkers may be unsafe
Infant in baby walker

Baby walkers used to be a popular gift and toy, but their popularity has shifted over the years and studies have found they can be quite unsafe. This can be disappointing for some parents looking to give their little ones a bit of independence while also allowing them to be hands free.

Even though you may have used a baby walker as a child yourself, in this day and age, there is quite a bit of information about just how hazardous baby walkers can be. If you're considering getting a baby walker, adding one to your registry, or if you already have one in your home, keep reading before you pop your toddler in.
Are baby walkers safe?

Read more