Baby Registry for First Time Moms

We read at least 67 different baby registry checklists while pregnant to figure out exactly what to register for. Google and Pinterest searches like "complete baby registry", "Type-A mom baby registry", "things everyone forgets to register for", "things you don't need on your registry", etc. etc. etc.!


So, between our (admittedly, excessive) research and FTM experiences, we've compiled a list of the things we ACTUALLY used in the first year. Yes, it's a lot. But, if we didn't use it, we didn't include it. This post contains affiliate links to products we personally used (and liked!), which means that if you make a purchase, we may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. Our goal for this checklist and the associated product recommendations is "everything you need" with time saving (e.g. dishwasher or washing-machine safe) and affordability in mind. We only tended to "splurge" if meant more sleep for mom and dad or safer sleep for baby! As always, nothing here is medical or expert advice, so check with your healthcare provider with any questions.


The PDF checklist at the bottom of this blog is simple (no product recommendations if you prefer to skip our commentary!)

General Tips for Where to Register

Register at Amazon for these Baby Registry Perks:

  • Receive a Welcome Box with gifts valued up to $35.

  • Take advantage of the completion discount on select items from your registry. Eligible items can be purchased at a 10% (or 15% for Amazon Prime members) discount within 60 days of your Baby's Arrival Date. You receive two coupons, so you can place two orders to purchase eligible items using this discount. Review terms and conditions here.

  • Hide items you don't want your mother-in-law to see on your registry by designating them as private and still use the discount coupon!

Register at Target for these Baby Registry Perks:

  • Take advantage of the 15% discount on anything left on your registry starting 8 weeks before baby's arrival. You receive one 15% off coupon, so you can place one order to purchase eligible items using this discount. See details here.

  • Target offers a Welcome Kit with coupons and samples. Picked up in-store, subject to availability.


Nursery

  • Bassinet

  • Note: We loved the Snoo for the peace of mind that baby couldn't roll over as well as 8 hours of sleep by 8 weeks. You can buy new, rent, or buy used, and definitely check for Black Friday deals!)

  • Bassinet Sheets - at least one (Burt's Bee's)

  • Crib

  • Crib Mattress (Newton Breathable/Washable Mattress)

  • Crib Mattress Waterproof Cover (Newton)

  • Crib Sheets - at least two (Aden + Anais Breathable)

  • Noise Machine (Hatch)

  • Baby Monitor/Camera (Owlet)

  • Note: Some pediatricians do not recommend the Owlet monitor because it does not prevent SIDS, despite some customer perceptions that it may. However, we liked the peace of mind of just knowing C was breathing in those early days!

  • Hamper

  • Dresser

  • Dividers for Dresser Drawers (for when you stop folding and start stuffing!)

  • Rocking Chair/Glider

  • Side Table (you'll always have your hands full)

Clothing

  • Hospital Gown Alternative for Mom for Labor (Loved this one)

  • Coming Home Outfit (with and without feet in case you have a long baby!)

  • Velcro Swaddles: 0-3M (Ollie, SwaddleMe)

  • Note: if you buy or rent a SNOO, it will come with 1 Small, 1 Medium, and 1 Large Snoo Sleep Sack. Because blowouts...we recommend purchasing an extra of each size (Small, Medium, Large). These will be the only swaddles you need, and you may be able to find them on Facebook Marketplace or Mercari for cheaper!

  • Two-way zipper Footie Pajamas (all sizes)

  • Onesies (all sizes)

  • Hats (a beanie or two for the hospital)

  • Sun Protection Hat (Green Sprouts)

  • Blankets (a few light muslin blankets as well as a couple thicker/cozier ones for the stroller or carseat)

  • Socks (all sizes)

  • Pants (Leggings, Sweatpants)

  • Shorts

  • Sweatshirt or Jacket (don't forget to take off thicker jackets before putting baby in the carseat)

  • Sleep Sack (used once baby ages out of swaddling ~3-4 months)

  • A pair of shoes or booties size 1 or 2 (you may only have baby wear them a couple times, but they're oh-so-cute!)

  • A reusable swim diaper and a swim suit (if you think you'll be in the pool or at the beach the first year)

  • Scent-free Detergent

WTFTM Tip: You may be asking, BUT HOW MANY OF EACH?! Fair question. The answer is that it kind of depends on how often you can (and are willing to) do laundry. For clothes like onesies and footed PJs, we thought having 1 per day was helpful, so that you can stretch laundry to once a week. But, we don't necessarily recommend completely stocking up in all sizes from 0 to 12M for all clothes because you may find you LOVE a particular brand (fits well, washes well, stretches over the head easily, etc.) and dislike others. Register across the board for sizes of clothes your baby will wear frequently, but keep quantities of particular clothing items to 3 or 4 in case you don't love it. 

Gear

  • Car Seat (Baby Gear Lab is a good resource for in-depth reviews and comparisons)

  • Stroller

  • Stroller Organizer (Skip Hop)

  • Pacifier (Wubbanub is machine washable, Avent Soothie is dishwasher safe and doesn't get water trapped in the "nipple" like some others)

  • Pacifier Wipes (Arm & Hammer)

  • Pacifier Clips (can be used to clip toys as well)

  • Diaper Bag (we found backpack-style to be really convenient!)

  • Ergonomic Baby Carrier or Sling (Ergobaby 360 Cool Air Mesh, Wild Bird)

  • Note: read about the benefits of baby wearing here

  • Car Mirror (there are debates around if these can be a risk during a car crash, so you can discuss with your pediatrician or skip it altogether!)

  • Swing (Snuggapuppy - read about time limits/safe usage from the AAP)

  • Newborn Lounger (Please note that the Boppy was recalled by the U.S. Consumer Product and Safety Commission on September 23, 2021)

  • Bouncer (read about safe usage from the AAP)

  • Pack n' Play

Changing

Feeding (* is exclusively for breastfeeding, + for formula)

  • *Haakaa Silicone Breast Pump

  • *Nursing Bras (Sports Bra Style)

  • *Nursing Pads (Keababies)

  • *Lanolin Nipple Cream (Lansinoh or Tubby Todd Organic Nipple Balm)

  • *Breast Pump

  • Note: you can often get a double mechanical breast pump for free through your insurance using sites like YummyMummy and many others!

  • *Hands Free Pumping Bra

  • *Nursing Pillow (Boppy, and it doubled as a support pillow when learning to sit around 5-6 months)

  • *Milk Storage Bags

  • +Pre-mixed Formula

  • Note: if you're planning to breastfeed, we hope it goes spectacularly well for you! Even so, if you'd feel more "prepared" by having some formula as a back up, or if you're planning to formula feed from the get-go, pediatricians often recommend pre-mixed at first because it's sterile - as opposed to the canned powder.

  • +Formula Dispenser (Boon)

  • Bottles (Comotomo, Dr. Brown's)

  • Note: Even if you plan to exclusively breastfeed, most moms will introduce a bottle before 8 weeks so that baby gets comfortable being fed pumped milk by someone else (spouse, daycare worker, babysitter, etc.). We recommend getting one of a couple different brands as opposed to the 50-piece set, so that you can see which kind baby likes (and which ones are the easiest to clean!)

  • Drying Rack (went with this dishwasher-safe OXO rack over the trendy, but hand-wash only, Boon grass rack!)

  • Burp Cloths (Green Sprouts, Aden + Anais)

  • Baby Dish Soap (Babyganics)

  • Bottle Sanitizer

  • Cost saving alternative, but takes a bit longer: boil items in pots on the stove

  • Dishwasher Basket (Munchkin)

  • Microwaveable Sterilizer Bag, if needed when traveling (Medela)

  • Bottle Warmer

  • Note that you don't have to warm bottles. Breastmilk or formula can be given at room temperature or cold, but some prefer to serve it warm.

  • Bibs (Bumkins Short Sleeve, Bumkins Long Sleeve, Green Sprouts)

  • Plates (EZPZ Mini Mat, Green Sprouts)

  • Bowls (EZPZ Tiny Bowl, Green Sprouts)

  • Open Cup (EZPZ Tiny Cup)

  • Straw Cup (Munchkin)

  • Spoons (Olababy, Gootensils, Green Sprouts)

  • Silicone Placemat (Neat Solutions, Green Sprouts)

  • High Chair

WTFTM Tip: Most registries offer an option to make a particular item private, so you can add things like Nipple Cream to make sure you remember to buy it yourself without your friends and family seeing it. Our recommendation is to add EVERYTHING to the registry so that anything that wasn't purchased as a gift will qualify for the coupons.

Health/Safety

  • Gas Drops (Mylicon)

  • Vitamin D Drops (Baby D Drops)

  • Probiotic Drops (we tried a few different brands, and found Mommy's Bliss to be the easiest/cleanest dropper)

  • First Aid Kit

  • Nail Clippers & File (FridaBaby with "spy hole")

  • Baby Brush

  • Gas/Constipation Reliever (FridaBaby's Windi)

  • WTFTM Share: C only needed this once around 2 months, but *whew* did it do the trick!!

  • Nasal Aspirator (FridaBaby's "Snot Sucker" seems weird, but it works wonders!)

  • Cool-mist Humidifier

  • Thermometer (Kinsa)

  • Hand Sanitizer

  • Portable Soothing Machine (Rohm was great, but we personally did not like the popular "Baby Shusher")

  • Toothbrush (SmileFrida for you to "brush" their gums and the Nuby Shark or Green Sprouts Learning Toothbrush for when baby can hold it on their own - great for use during bath time and diaper changes!)

  • Infant Tylenol (check with your pediatrician as to if/when it can be used)

  • Childproofing (baby gate, outlet covers, latches, stove knob covers, etc.)

  • Spare batteries for your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors

  • If you have a pool, install a fence and an alarm.

Bath

Activity

Etc.

Things We Didn't Use

  • Bottle Brush: If you choose bottles with a large opening like Comotomo or if you put them in the dishwasher, you don't need to bother with a special brush.

  • Dedicated Changing Table: You can place the changing pad on top of the dresser, on the floor, etc.

  • Trunk Changing System: It was faster to just use a blanket.

  • Nose Wipes: Use a wet wipe.

  • Pacidose: Medicine, like Tylenol, comes with its own dispenser which works fine.

  • Gripe Water

  • Baby Mittens: We just kept nails trimmed and filed, or used the "hand flaps" on the infant clothing.

  • Clothes hangers: These are nice for Instagram pictures of the nursery, but everything ends up getting shoved in the drawers!)

  • Infant bathtub for the sink (e.g. Blooming Baby) - the Angelcare bathtub worked well from infancy to 6 months

  • Bath Caddy

  • Baby Robe

  • Wipes Warmer: Warm the wipe up with your hand or just use it "cold"

  • Baby Food Processor/Blender: We chose to do Baby Led Weaning

  • Electronic toys with lights/sounds/songs: We received some as gifts, and our babies did like them, but we tried to limit use after reading about potentially decreasing in quality/quantity of language (some more information)

  • Contained Activity Centers/Exersaucer: Recommended to keep usage to a maximum of 15 minutes, twice a day, to avoid hip dysplasia which didn't seem worth the price to us, but some people LOVE them, so totally up to you! (AAP, Rehabilitation Nurse's Recommendation from CHLA)

Potential Health/Safety Risks (Discuss with Your Pediatrician!)

  • Bath squirting toys: can get moldy no matter how well you clean them, so we opted for bath toys without holes like these

  • Sit Me Up Chairs, Bumbo Seat, Walker, Door Jumper: some info about potential hip dysplasia

  • Crib Bumpers/Quilts: AAP reports they are a SIDS risk

  • Infant Sleep Positioners: AAP reports that they can be a suffocation risk

Things You Can Likely Buy Secondhand (Facebook Marketplace, Once Upon a Child, Craigslist, Goodwill)

  • REMINDER: Check if a particular item has been recalled before buying it secondhand (Consumer Product Safety Commission)

  • Baby Carrier or Sling

  • Swing

  • Bouncer

  • Stroller

  • High Chair

  • Changing Pad

  • Diaper Pail

  • Bassinet

  • Crib

  • Pack n' Play

  • Clothes

  • Infant Tub

  • Sound Machine

  • Books

WTFTM Tip: Once Upon a Child is a nationwide secondhand baby store that has nearly everything you could imagine for clothes, gear, and toys. All items are well organized, and you can often find clothes with the tags still on. Check if there is a store near you!

WTFTM Baby Registry
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