Early in the pregnancy, usually after learning the baby’s gender, first time moms will have to prepare themselves for their arrival and create a Baby Registry in their favorite retail store. From small and simple items like pacifiers or teethers to the big, more expensive ones like car seats, your list should include everything you will need to take care of your little one. Parents frequently tend to choose a lot of items for their Baby Registry, including both the essential and the nice optional extra ones, but some might be on a budget and would like to focus only on the most useful products that will definitely make their life easier.
Whether you are on a budget or not, you still might be confused on what to get when searching and reading about so many different products. To help the lost future moms clear their mind, we selected the must-have items for a Baby Registry, explaining everything you need to know. And to make it even more helpful, this guide will be published in three parts: Newborn essentials, 6-12 months essentials and 12-18 months essentials. This way, you will be able to understand a little bit more of your baby’s needs for each stage.
Before we start, it’s important to notice that some of the items from this list are essential for all of the baby’s stages until they are toddlers, such as diapers, bath tubs or wipes. Therefore, we are going to mention these only in this first part of the Baby Registry Checklist article, because they need to be used ever since they are born.
Stroller – Let’s start with a good stroller. We already explained what the different types of strollers are and how you must consider your own personal needs to look for the most appropriate one for you and your child. A stroller will be used for at least 5 or 6 years, sometimes even more, so it’s an item that requires durability, high quality and functionality. Especially if you travel a lot or simply like to go out for some errands, a stroller will be your best friend. And since we are talking about newborns, just remember it needs to attach infant car seats and bassinets. Newborn babies need to be in a flat lie down position until up to 6 months.
Car seat – Babies up to 6 months need better support for their neck and head because they are still in development. This is why the infant car seat is recommended to be attached in a stroller and it is required by law in a car. You’ need car seats from the moment you take your baby home from the hospital until they are tall enough to fit into an adult seat belt, so it’s important to choose a durable, comfortable product that will protect your child. For that reason, some parents opt for taking a convertible car seat instead, that can be used for both small babies and toddlers.
Baby wrap or baby sling – Perfect for parents who need to be hands free either to use a computer, run some errands or just walk with a friend in the park, these items will ensure your newborn feel comfortable enough like they are being hugged. Many just like to sleep on it. You can also cover their head and even use it as a nursing cover. There are many great options to choose from.
Sleepsack – The American Academy of Pedriatrics do not recommend the use of any blankets in your baby’s crib until your child is about 12 months of age. The reason for that is blankets can increase the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), suffocation or smothering. The best option for you then would be a sleepsack. Sleepsacks are wearable blankets that will keep your infant warm and cozy safely. They improve sleep quality as well.
Baby nest – Growing among moms, this product works like a lounge for your baby to sleep, rest, play or even for tummy time. With breathable, washable and hypoallergenic material, these nests will accommodate the little one, making them feel like they are being hugged. Some parents swear by these and like to put the nests on their bed and have their baby sleeping with them. Great addition to your baby Registry, you can find plenty of brands available with many beautiful cover options.
Bassinet – Designed specifically to for babies from birth to about four or five months, bassinets are beds smaller than cribs that are easy to move around the house and can be attached in a stroller, playpens or play yards.
Water wipes – Made of 99.9% water and 0.1% fruit, these wipes are totally safe and gentle for the baby’s skin and do a perfect job cleaning and preventing rash and irritation. Just as diapers and diapers rash cream, you will probably need wipes for a long time, so you might want to get many of them.
Sound machine & Night light – Getting the baby to sleep through the night may be a concern for many parents to be. Bedtime routine is important to help with this process and some elements can do wonders; the room temperature, the right swaddling, the comfortable bedding and also a great and gentle sound machine and night light. A sound machine can be soothing and an amazing sleep aid for babies, which is why it has become an essential item for so many parents. As for night lights, go with the ones with nice stars projection or low-key light to create a cozy environment.
Nursing pillow – Even though some mothers say that nursing pillows are not exactly essential, others swear by them and recommend adding them to any Baby Registry. With a rounded shaped to snuggle against your abs and keep the baby positioned for breastfeeding, these pillows can help you relax, make your little one comfortable and prevent your back and shoulders from pain. Besides nursing, you can also use it for tummy time or even just to sit your baby.
Muslin swaddles – Super soft against baby’s delicate skin made with 100% cotton fabric, swaddles will make your baby cozy and help them sleep since they love being wrapped and hugged. Either swaddle sacks or blankets will have the same purpose, and it only depends on what works better for your child. However, swaddle blankets can be more versatile and also be used as nursing and car seat covers, or even burp cloths. There are plenty of packs from different brands with adorable prints for you to choose.
Baby monitor – Safety is never too much, especially when it comes to your newborn. You can find both audio and video monitors to install in your baby’s room. Most of them are wireless and feature two way communication, night vision camera and LED color monitor, so you can talk back to your baby and check at them day and night. This is a highly recommended item to have on your Baby Registry.
Nose frida / Nasal aspirator – Among all nasal aspirator you can find in the market, Nose Frida has been growing on parents as the most efficient one. It features a 15” long tube to be placed against the nostril as parent suck to draw mucus out of their child’s nose. Disposable filters prevent any bacterial transfer. Not only Nose Frida, but if you prefer, other more traditional nasal aspirators are available too and they also do a great job. When mucus is blocking the infant’s nose, it gets hard for them to breathe since they don’t know how to blow their noses yet.
Baby Care tools – A handy baby care kit usually includes nail clippers, soft bristle brush, fine comb and a thermometer. A convenient set with useful supplies to take care of your little one is another must have.
Onesies – Newborns don’t actually need a fancy wardrobe as they spend most of their time sleeping at home. Onesies such as bodysuits or footed sleepers are soft, easy to dress and provide snaps or zipper closure for quick diaper changing. Many brands have cute prints and colors to choose from, so you still can make them look adorable.
Diapers and Diaper bag – Babies grow really fast and you’ll be impressed at how fast it actually is. So when asking for or buying diapers, try not to have so many of the same size. All you will need in this stage from 0 to 6 months are diapers sized newborn, 1, 2 or 3, as they usually grow up to 16lbs. And of course you will have to keep them at a spacious and convenient diaper bag. For more convenience, we recommend diaper backpacks to allow you to be hands free.
Breast Pump – A breast pump not only stimulates your milk production and increases your milk supply, but also relieves the pain and pressure of engorged breasts. Very useful to storage your milk, you can find manual, electric, single or double devices available.