pregnant woman holding onesie
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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 a number of factors. You’ll want to consider the space in your home, where Baby will be sleeping in the early days, if you’re looking to buy just the necessities early on and more items over time as he grows, 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 very 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 and 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 safely use the products and only use the products in the manner intended and recommended.

Sleep

  • Bassinet or bedside sleeper
  • Crib
  • Crib mattress
  • Sheets and waterproof mattress pad (at least two sets of each in case of accidents)
  • Baby monitor
  • Swaddling blankets
  • Receiving blankets (for snuggling, but not for use in crib until baby is at least a year old)

Soothing

  • Rocking chair or glider
  • White noise machine
  • Mobile
  • Humidifier, fan, or air purifier
  • Night light
  • Teething rings
  • Pacifier
  • Swinging, rocking, bouncing, or vibrating baby seat (essentially something that can soothe Baby with some gentle wiggling and jiggling)

Travel

  • Infant or convertible 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
  • Diaper bag and travel changing pad
  • Wet/dry bag to store dirty clothes or diapers
  • Baby carrier, sling, or wrap
  • Car seat cover and/or stroller cover (for cold weather or rain)
  • Backseat mirror

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, including onesies, pajamas and/or sleep gowns, side snap shirts, pants, one piece bodysuits, socks, booties, soft caps, no-scratch mittens: With a lot of these garments – especially the onesies, pajamas, tops, and bodysuits – you’ll want to look for snaps at the crotch as well as an envelope-style neckline or snaps at the neckline for quick diaper changes and for ease going on and coming off when dressing. You may also want seasonal garments as necessary – for example, if Baby is born during warm weather, you may want items like a sun hat, a swimsuit, and a warm weather romper or two, and if he is born during cold weather, you may want items like cardigans or sweaters, a soft cap, warm mittens, a bunting bag or fleece snow suit for venturing outdoors, and a wearable blanket or two to be worn over pajamas at night (since regular blankets aren’t safe for use while baby is sleeping until he is at least one year old). Just how many cute little clothes you want to buy will likely depend on whether or not you have a washer/dryer at home, how often you think you’ll do laundry, and how fast Baby grows. It doesn’t hurt to start off with just a few itty bitty things, since you don’t yet know just how big he will be when he arrives and how quickly he will grow.

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
  • Nursing cover

Baby body care

  • Bathtub
  • Baby body care products (such as gentle shampoo, body wash, lotion and sunscreen)
  • 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)
  • Wash cloths
  • 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 his back or getting in some important tummy time_
  • Play jumper or activity seat – these sort of toys come by many names (like Exersaucer or Jumparoo, for example) but it’s essentially a chair and playset hybrid that Baby can sit, bounce, and spin in while playing with the gizmos and gadgets that surround him. These are ideal for once Baby is stronger and can be in a supported, seated, upright position
  • Baby seat or lounger
  • Teethers, rattles, and other baby-safe toys
  • Books

Safety

  • Carbon monoxide and smoke detector

As Baby grows

  • Another car seat intended for a bigger baby (if the model you got isn’t convertible and won’t grow with Baby)
  • High chair
  • Bowls, plates, baby utensils, and sippy cups
  • Food storage containers and snack containers
  • Baby proofing products
  • Baby gates
  • Potty
  • Step stool
  • More clothes, toys, and books (for your little one as he grows to be not-so-little-anymore!)

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