mother holding child wearing matching outfits

The Ultimate Baby Registry Checklist for First Time Parents

By: Brooke Hamilton


So you’re planning for your new arrival? Congratulations! Pregnancy is a beautiful journey, no matter how busy it can be! Between doctor or midwife visits, planning a baby shower, a gender reveal, and thinking of the perfect name - you probably have a lot on your plate.

Creating a baby registry can be one of the most daunting tasks for first-time parents-to-be. Though infants may be tiny, they certainly require their fair share of equipment! We’re here to help you create the ultimate baby registry checklist with the most essential baby items you will need for your bundle of joy.

What is a Baby Registry and How Does it Work?

First, what is a baby registry? A registry is a list of baby items usually created online or in a baby store by the parents-to-be with all the equipment and essentials they need for their new baby.

Typically, baby shower guests access the registry online or in the store and purchase gifts for the expecting couple. Having a baby registry allows parents to register for exactly what they need and what they want, and decreases the risk of getting duplicates of any one item.

Many larger online retailers offer baby registries that allow you to add items to your registry from their store. Others, however, will enable you to curate your own “universal registry” by adding different products from many online retailers.

Whatever you decide, the premise is the same. Parents go online or to the store and add things they like or need to build their ultimate baby registry. Once it’s complete, most parents share the link or store name where their registry can be found on their baby shower invitations.

Creating Your Baby Registry

So, after deciding where you’d like to build your registry, the next step is adding items to it. This can be overwhelming! There are so, so many baby products out there, with new ones coming on the market all the time.

We are here to remove some guesswork by providing you with a baby registry checklist. We'll take it one category at a time. 

Nursery & Sleep Essentials

Most parents decide to set up a nursery space for their little ones. Here are some things you may want to include in your nursery:

  • Crib

  • Crib mattress

  • Crib mattress protector

  • Crib sheets

  • Glider or rocking chair

  • Changing table or dresser with a changing pad

  • Sound machine

  • Nightlight (many sound machines double as nightlights)

  • Baby monitor 

Our Favorite Part: Baby Clothing

The fun part! Infant clothes are irresistibly cute, and in our opinion, you really can’t have too much. Babies grow so fast, though, and some don’t even fit in newborn sizes when they are born.

You really don’t need a whole closet full of newborn baby clothes. Your little peanut will be wearing larger-sized clothes before you know it, so it's a good idea to register for various-sized baby clothes.

Remember to consider the weather! That little infant snowsuit may be adorable, but you probably don’t need it if your little one is due in the spring and you live in a warmer climate. Likewise, if your baby is due in winter, you may want to stock up on thicker leggings, warmer footie one-pieces, and pieces for layering. Check out our list here, and if you’re wondering how to dress your baby for sleep, we have you covered there, too!

  • Footie one-piece baby clothes (our favorites are zippered one-pieces that make the middle of the night diaper changes SO much easier.)

  • Baby Bodysuits (short and long sleeve)

  • Soft and stretchy leggings, shorts, or bummies (depending on the season)

  • Footie leggings (great for little bitty ones, so you don’t have to worry about socks falling off or getting lost in the washing machine)

  • Socks

  • Swaddles and/or sleepsacks

  • Hats and mittens (if colder)

  • Sun hat (for summer babies)

  • Layering pieces (like sweaters, cardigans, or zip-up jackets)

Baby Bathtime Essentials

A baby fresh from the bath is like heaven! Make sure you have these essentials on your list of baby registry items to make bath time a breeze and extra snuggly.

  • A baby bathtub or baby bath seat with a newborn insert

  • Baby soap and shampoo

  • Soft-bristled brush

  • Gentle washcloths

  • Cozy hooded towels

  • Cup (for rinsing)

Toys for Your Growing Little One

Toys are entertaining and help your little one learn about their world and even develop speech and language skills. We suggest adding a variety of toys for different stages within that first year.

For example, black and white board books or soft books are great for newborns, while stacking cups and balls are more suitable for your 6-month-old. Books are always a great choice because it’s never too early to start reading to your baby! Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Rattles

  • Black and white board books or soft books

  • Crinkly soft toys

  • Balls

  • Board books with colors or different textures

  • Stacking cups or stacking rings

  • Soft stuffed toys for playtime

You may also want to add a baby swing or baby bouncer to this list. An activity mat is also great for tummy time, and as your baby gets older, she may like to play in an activity center where she can sit or stand. Bonus: many activity centers convert to little tables for your toddler.

Feeding Essentials for Your Growing Baby

Whether you breastfeed, formula feed, pump, or combine all three, you'll need some equipment. Ultimately, how you decide to feed your baby is incredibly personal, and your feeding equipment will look different from this list depending on what route you choose. We’ll get you started with these ideas:

  • Nursing cover

  • Nipple cream

  • Burp cloths

  • Nursing pillow

  • Bibs

  • Pump (electric or manual - it’s great to have both)

  • Bottles and bottle nipples (Consider getting a range of different bottles and nipples to sample because some babies may prefer one type of bottle over others. Once you decide what works best for your baby, you can stock up on that kind.)

  • Pacifiers (the same concept applies here - get a range and don’t get too many of one kind. Your baby may not even like pacifiers!)

  • Bottlebrush

  • Bottle drying rack and/or bottle sterilizer

  • Bottle warmer

Before you know it, you'll have a little one that is ready for solid foods. So, register for things you'll need to feed your baby solid foods when she is ready, typically around six months old.

  • High chair or booster seat

  • Plates

  • Spoons

  • Cups

  • Sippy cups or baby water bottles

  • Snack cups

Diaper Changing Station

Yes, you can actually register for diapers! You will spend a lot of time changing your baby’s diapers, so you better be prepared. You’ll soon discover what brand of diaper you and your baby like best.

As you go, you’ll find the brands that keep your baby dryer longer or cause less frequent blowouts. So, register for a few different brands and styles of diapers and diaper rash creams to figure it out.

  • Diapers

  • Diaper rash creams

  • Diaper wipes

  • Diaper pail

  • Diaper caddy

Diaper caddies keep diapers, wipes, and diaper rash cream nicely organized near your diaper-changing pad or station. Consider adding two or more to your registry so you can have multiple diaper-changing stations in different rooms or floors of the house.

This is especially handy if you have toddlers to chase after. You can even add an extra outfit to the caddy to have one handy in case of a blowout. Bonus: a good diaper caddy can easily convert to a toy storage bin as your child grows up.

Traveling with Your Baby

You’ll definitely need to be prepared to take your little one out and about with you. From the larger items, like strollers and car seats, to smaller items, like changing pads and car seat covers, there’s a lot in this category to consider.

  • Infant carseat

  • Car seat cover (a receiving blanket also works well)

  • Stroller

  • Diaper bag (if you’re looking for a stylish and versatile diaper bag, we have the ultimate 5-in-1 Diaper Bag)

  • Travel changing pad (we have one of those, too, and it’s super cute!)

  • Baby carrier or wrap

  • Portable crib and portable crib sheet

Miscellaneous Baby Essentials

Apart from baby clothes, and equipment essentials like a car seat, you’ll also need a few of these miscellaneous items.

  • Baby grooming kit

  • Baby blankets or receiving blankets (though you shouldn’t allow your baby to sleep with a baby blanket, baby blankets and receiving blankets make great car seat covers, nursing covers, stroller blankets, or play mats for tummy time.)

  • Baby proofing items like electric outlet covers or baby gates for stairs

  • Cool mist humidifier

Final Thoughts

It’s important that you take your time building your list of baby registry essentials. These are items that you will use every day with your precious little one! Consult your pediatrician, read reviews, ask other moms around you for their favorite baby items - or items they felt didn’t live up to the hype! As your shower gets closer, check in on your registry to ensure you have enough options with a wide range of price tags to meet your guests' budgets.

With this list of baby registry must-haves in hand, we hope you feel more prepared to create your baby registry. And if you’re searching for the perfect fitted crib sheets with matching changing pad to go with your nursery theme or color scheme, make sure you browse our beautiful collection. We even have matching baby clothes, postpartum robes, and soft swaddles to complete the look.