Developing your baby registry can be one of the most fun and anticipated experiences of pregnancy. It can also be incredibly confusing if you’re new to the world of parenting. With so many items available, how will you know which products are the best and what you’ll actually need?
At this stage, it’s normal to feel overwhelmed and uncertain. To ease your nerves, we’ve outlined a few essential items that you’ll want on your baby registry, as well as some optional items worth considering.
Diapers, Diapers, and More Diapers
If most of the items you’re looking for are available second-hand or at an affordable price, then it makes a lot of sense to ask for something you can’t have enough of: diapers. In fact, some baby showers focus almost exclusively on pull-up diapers. However, this can be risky as it’s sometimes difficult to predict which kind of nappies your baby will like and which will be less desirable. The last thing you want is to be stuck with dozens of boxes of diapers that cause rashes or itching.
If you’re interested in cloth diapers, you can tackle the high upfront cost of this approach by having loved ones purchase all the essentials from your registry. Many cloth diapers are available, so this may take some research. Common solutions include:
- All-In-Ones: These diapers come equipped with liners and limit the need for folding.
- Prefolds: These diapers are divided into sections and include middle layers with various absorbency levels.
- Customizable flats: These are the most work, but they are the easiest to fit on a quickly growing baby.
When drafting your registry, aim to include at least one box of disposable diapers per size. Hopefully, you’ll receive even more than you ask for, as it takes much less time than you’d think to go through a single box. If you like the idea of using high-end diapers, this is your chance to get a significant expense covered.
In addition to diapers, you’ll want a diaper pail — or cleaning equipment if you go the cloth route. Don’t forget butt paste or cream to protect against (or resolve) the dreaded diaper rash. You’ll also need more wipes than you can possibly anticipate, so don’t hesitate to stock up.
Getting around with a baby can be challenging, but many types of car seats and strollers make it easier to escape your home. Consider systems that integrate strollers and car seats, so you can easily remove your baby from the car and then pop them into the stroller.
Jogging strollers are essential for active parents, while others may prefer smaller, lighter strollers for indoor use.
An additional option for travel is babywearing, which is a great bonding opportunity for both parents. Explore options such as the Babybjorn or the Moby Wrap. Older babies and toddlers can be transitioned to hiking backpacks.
While the ideal baby registry will include a wide range of products at lower price points to accommodate those on a budget, it’s also worth your while to add a few upscale items you’re worried about paying for on your own. Nursery furniture could easily prove the most costly addition to your list, but it could be a huge help if someone on your list purchases it for you.
Above all else, you’ll need a bassinet, a crib, and mattresses for both. Depending on your preferences and the amount of space in your home, you may opt for a convertible crib that can eventually turn into a toddler bed.
Some parents add a Snoo or other advanced option in lieu of the traditional bassinet. Remember that, because these are so incredibly expensive, they are unlikely to be purchased unless multiple gift-givers team up — or if somebody feels extra generous.
Other optional items should include a baby changing table, a glider for nursing, and a play yard such as a Graco Pack ‘N Play. Take a close look at your nursery to determine whether you have enough space for these additions — and if so, think about which products will fit in best with your space.
As you develop your registry, go light on the onesies as you’ll almost certainly receive many whether you add them to your list or not. Friends and family love to give onesies — often in the newborn size that can only be worn once before being discarded.
Instead of focusing on onesies for your baby’s first few months, ask for several in larger sizes. You’ll also want plenty of swaddles and zip pajamas, plus cold-weather clothing — depending, of course, on where you live and when your bundle of joy arrives. Accessories such as socks, shoes, and hats are also great to have on hand.
Bath time with an infant can be a delight, but it’s that much better when you’re equipped with all the essentials in advance. Be sure to add these bath tools and accessories to your registry:
- Tiny washcloths and towels
- Baby lotion
- Baby soap
- Waterfall bath rinsers
- Bath toys
- Bath toy organizers
- Baby bathtubs
Books And Toys
Your newborn may be capable of little more than crying, but that will change soon. As your baby grows, you will want plenty of books and grasping toys (such as rattles).
When your baby is in infancy, aim for high-contrast books with lots of black and white. Babies love to gaze at these books and listen to their parents read. Later on, soft books are fun to touch, while board books accommodate older babies and toddlers.
A playmat is a great option for a baby registry, as it encourages tummy time and gives your infant something compelling to look at. Add a simple, foldable mat for travel, plus a more ornate play gym with different textures and loops for grasping.
Supplies for Mom
The registry may technically be for the baby, but the parents will also need support as they adjust to the realities of life with a newborn.
New mothers, in particular, deserve products that help them recover from childbirth as quickly and comfortably as possible.
Additionally, breastfeeding supplies can help make the nursing journey a bit easier. Many people will be happy to purchase registry gifts for both mom and baby. Some things to include are:
- Breastfeeding pillows
- Nursing bras and tops
- Lanolin or coconut oil
- Easy snacks for moms trapped during cluster feeding
In addition to the essentials highlighted above, we’ve listed several odds and ends that are incredibly important for new parents but often left out of registries:
- Baby nail clippers
- Baby Tylenol
- Nasal aspirator
- Baby laundry detergent
- Gift cards for quick purchases after the baby arrives
It’s Time to Prepare the Registry
As you finalize your baby registry, think carefully about what will fit into your lifestyle as a new parent. It’s impossible to know exactly everything you’ll need or use, but a well-rounded baby registry will make you feel more prepared for parenthood. You’ll never regret stocking up as you await the arrival of your beloved baby.