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.
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 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!
Dividers for Dresser Drawers (for when you stop folding and start stuffing!)
Side Table (you'll always have your hands full)
Hospital Gown Alternative for Mom for Labor (Loved this one)
Coming Home Outfit (with and without feet in case you have a long baby!)
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)
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!)
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.
Car Seat (Baby Gear Lab is a good resource for in-depth reviews and comparisons)
Stroller Organizer (Skip Hop)
Pacifier Wipes (Arm & Hammer)
Pacifier Clips (can be used to clip toys as well)
Diaper Bag (we found backpack-style to be really convenient!)
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!)
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 Pad (Munchkin)
Changing Pad Cover (wipeable for easy clean up)
Note: We recommend having a box of newborn diapers, but we don't recommend Costco-style "stocking up" on newborn size diapers. They can grow out of them pretty quickly, and you may find you like one brand over another. If you go with Pampers, like we did, be sure to use the app and enter the codes for cash back!
Baby Wipes (Water Wipes)
Butt Paste Applicator (Baby Bum)
Diaper Pail (Diaper Genie)
Diaper Pail Bag Refills (Diaper Genie)
Disposable Diaper Bags to contain smell if you can't throw it away immediately or if you're at someone's house and don't want their trash to smell terrible! (Sassy Baby)
Note: dog poo bags serve the same purpose if you already have those!
Wash Cloths (LifeTree Bamboo Cloths)
Note: we found that if we pat baby dry after a diaper change, we avoid diaper rash
Feeding (* is exclusively for breastfeeding, + for formula)
*Haakaa Silicone Breast Pump
*Nursing Bras (Sports Bra Style)
*Nursing Pads (Keababies)
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
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)
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!)
Baby Dish Soap (Babyganics)
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)
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.
Open Cup (EZPZ Tiny Cup)
Straw Cup (Munchkin)
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.
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")
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!)
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 Tub (Angelcare was our favorite of three different ones we tried, and it's cheap/easy enough to pick up at Target if you travel to someone else's house, want to do your bath time routine, but didn't pack your tub!)
Wash Cloths (we also use these as "dry cloths" for diaper changes: Life Tree Muslin or Green Sprouts Organic)
Baby Soap (Tubby Todd Hair + Body Wash)
Baby Lotion (Tubby Todd)
Bath Kneeler + Elbow Pad (thank us later)
Water Thermometer (worth every penny!)
Spout Cover (Skip Hop)
Non-slip Bath Mat (machine washable for the win!)
Finger Puppet Books
Activity Mat (we kind of think they're all the same, but we used Skip Hop. We love how The Play Gym by Lovevery was designed to give little ones a whole year of play)
Foam Blocks (great for building confidence with crawling and standing)
Read about Safe Sleep from the AAP
Taking Cara Babies Newborn Course
Note: We are not sponsored by, nor in a partnership with Cara (we wish!), but she is just our absolute FAVORITE resource for new moms! It's expensive, but WORTH IT!
Feeding Littles Baby-Led Weaning Course
Baby's First Year Memory Book (The Wonderful Baby You Are)
Month Blanket for Photos
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.
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
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
Pack n' Play
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!