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Registry checklist: Just what do you need?

Once you’re expecting your first little one, there’s just no way around the fact that you’re going to need some baby gear in your life. So, just what do you need? From cribs to carriers, bathtubs to breast pumps, swaddles to swings, this list can tell you where to begin.

A registry checklist like this should be used as a starting place since what works best for your family will depend on several considerations, such as:

  • What space Baby will be sleeping in the early days
  • If you’re looking to buy just the necessities early on and more items items over time as they grow
  • If you’ll be borrowing any baby gear
  • If you want items that are versatile and can grow with your baby
  • If you want to splurge on a few items, if you want to stick to a strict budget or any number of other factors.

Think of this as a list of suggestions, not a be-all, end-all list of absolutely everything you need. When picking out all of this baby gear, there’s no right or wrong, only what works best for your family. And when you do get this gear, make sure you read the product instructions to learn how to register and use the products safely.

Remember that baby products should only be used in the manner intended and recommended.


  • Bassinet, bedside sleeper, or crib and mattress
  • Sheets and waterproof mattress pad (at least two sets of each in case of accidents)
  • Baby monitor
  • Swaddling blankets


  • Rocking chair or glider
  • White noise machine
  • Humidifier, fan, or air purifier
  • Nursery light
  • Pacifiers
  • Swinging, rocking, bouncing, or vibrating baby seat 


  • Infant car seat (including a car seat base if you get a car seat model that needs one, plus an extra car seat base if you have more than one car)
  • Stroller (an alternative is a car seat/stroller combo like the Doona)
  • Diaper bag and travel changing pad
  • Wet/dry bag to store dirty clothes or diapers
  • Baby carrier, sling, or wrap

Diaper duty

  • Changing table
  • Changing pad and changing pad covers (at least two can be helpful in case of accidents)
  • Diapers, wipes, and diaper balm
  • Diaper pail and trash bags or pail liners

Clothes and linens

  • Dresser or other space to store clothes (often changing tables include plenty of drawers for clothes storage)
  • Hamper
  • Gentle laundry detergent (dye and fragrance-free)
  • Clothes (starting with Newborn or 0-3 months sizes)
    • Onesies – short and long sleeved
    • Soft pants with covered feet
    • One piece outfits that zip, button, snap or magnet together
    • Pajamas or sleep gowns
    • Seasonal garments like sunhats, swimsuits, rompers OR cardigans, soft hats, stroller bunting or a snowsuit
    • Wearable blankets for cool overnights
    • Booties or socks made for newborns
    • Keep in mind that this is one area where you’ll likely receive TONS of unrequested generosity. You’ll easily be able to buy what you need or want as time goes on and baby grows, as long as you have the basics to start.

Feeding time

  • Nursing pillow and nursing pillow covers (at least two can be helpful in case of accidents – like leaking milk, spit up, or other messes)
  • Breast pump and accessories (if breastfeeding)
  • Formula (if formula feeding)
  • Bottles, nipples, and bottle accessories (such as bottle sterilizer, bottle warmer, dishwasher bottle basket, bottle drying rack, and milk storage bags)
  • Burp cloths
  • Bibs
  • Nipple cream
  • Nursing pads and nursing bras

Baby body care

  • Bathtub
  • Baby body care products (such as gentle scent-free shampoo, body wash, and lotion)
  • Baby grooming products (such as comb, soft brush, toothbrush, nail file, nail clippers)
  • Baby first aid items, such as thermometer (a rectal thermometer and another if you like, such as an ear or temporal thermometer), nasal bulb, saline nasal spray, and even infant acetaminophen (but you’ll always want to check with your pediatrician before giving your little one any medicine)
  • Washcloths
  • Hooded baby towels

Fun and play

  • Playpen, play yard, or portable crib
  • Play mat or activity gym (ideal for when Baby still does a lot of laying on their back or for getting in some important tummy time)
  • Baby seat or lounger
  • Teethers, rattles, and other baby-safe toys
  • Books


  • Carbon monoxide and smoke detector

As Baby grows

  • Another car seat intended for a bigger baby (keep an eye on the height and weight restrictions for your infant seat, they vary from brand to brand. As soon as they outgrow any specification – it’s time for a new seat!)
  • High chair
  • Bowls, plates, baby utensils, and cups
  • Baby proofing products
  • More clothes, toys, and books (for your little one as they grow to be not-so-little-anymore!)

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