When you’re about to become a first time mom, it can be hard to know the difference between the baby registry must haves and what is just completely unnecessary. There is soooo much baby stuff out there, and honestly, half of it is overkill (I had to learn this the hard way).
Now as a mom of two boys, I know what items I wasted money on with my first baby and what I actually used with both.
Like those adorable, teeny, tiny baby shoes you can’t resist? Nope.
Baby wipe warmer? Unnecessary.
Pee pee teepees? They don’t work.
You get the picture.
This list of baby registry must haves are things that I personally consider the essentials for the first 6 months. And I would buy all of them over if I was a first time mom again 👶🏻.
If you haven’t registered yet, go ahead and start your baby registry here first. Then come back so that you can easily add items as you go through the list.
Ready now? Let’s get started!
Baby Registry Must Haves For Your Diaper Station
First, a word on diapers. Obviously, you’ll need a lot. But how many are we talking?
One big box of newborn diapers is enough to start. My babies both weighed only 6 lbs at birth and grew out of them super fast. And if your doc thinks baby is going to be large, you might not even need newborn size!
Also, in my opinion, newborn diapers are awful!
Baby is going 10-12 times a day, so I guess leaks are expected but sheesh!
While I found that Huggies diapers worked better for our babies than Pampers, I didn’t realize how much I would prefer one brand over another.
If I could go back and re-register for diapers, I would make a diaper fund that people could contribute to instead of registering for boxes of diapers (Amazon baby registry allows you to do this).
Mark my words:
People are going to buy you diapers anyways! Registry or not!
You don’t want to end up with an over supply of newborn sized diapers.
With a fund, you can buy the size you actually need and the brand you prefer.
You’ll be going through A LOT of wipes. All I can recommend for this is that you save money by getting a big box. I’ve tried different brands and like Huggies Natural Care the best.
Diaper Rash Ointment
All babies get a little diaper rash at some point so you’ll want to keep a good diaper rash ointment at baby’s changing station. The stuff I use is literally called butt paste! I always use it at the first sign of redness or rash. It works. Simple as that.
While you could technically change your baby on the floor or couch, crouching down or bending over to do so 10-12 time/day will get old real fast.
I ended up having a c-section with my first son, and this would have been extremely painful to do postpartum.
I used this contoured changing pad on top of a dresser, which was at a comfortable height for me to do diaper changes. I recommend you do the same whether it’s a dresser or table.
Placing the changing pad on top of a dresser is much more practical than buying a “changing table” that will just become a useless piece of furniture once baby grows out of it.
Changing Pad Covers
My firstborn son frequently peed on the changing table. I don’t know what it is with some babies, but as soon as the diaper comes off and that cool air hits, they tinkle!
We were already doing laundry once a day, and we couldn’t keep up with how often he was soaking the changing pad covers.
We started out with one set of waterproof covers, and then frantically ordered another set on Amazon for a total of 4 covers. It was moments like these that made us finally get a prime membership (so we could get things delivered within 0-2 days). 😅
Every mom needs a diaper bag for all of baby’s essentials. You won’t leave the house without it!
I went for a backpack style diaper bag because I wanted it to be hands free. I chose a simple grey one because I wanted my husband to be able to carry it too and not feel like he was carrying a purse. There are lots of cute diaper bags out there though if you prefer to be a little more fashionable with it.
It’s definitely more of a personal choice, and one you won’t want to forget to make before baby comes.
Baby Registry Must Haves For Feeding
Burp cloths are a must and not just for burping…
We used them for wiping up just about any milky, drooly, or unexpected mess:
Like the multiple times our firstborn peed while my husband was holding him and it went right out the side of the diaper.
Our second son was also just a puker. It was as if he didn’t know when to stop nursing and he would throw up what seemed like a full feeding.
We definitely used a lot of burp cloths to try and catch it lol. Because of this I personally prefer these plain burp cloths over any of the cute ones that I got for my baby shower. I mean, nobody looks cute with puke on them. The plain ones are a nice size and since they’re also used for diapering, they are super absorbent.
Whether you decide to breastfeed or bottle feed, a pillow makes feeding baby easier and more comfortable.
Some people swear by the My Brest Friend pillow and having tried both, I can say that the Boppy pillow was much more comfortable for me (I didn’t like that the other one goes all the way around my back making it weird to sit back).
I also used the boppy to prop up my babies for tummy time. This is a crucial part of baby’s development and you’ll be doing it multiple times a day from birth.
You don’t have to cover up when nursing in public if you don’t want to! But if you do want a little more privacy, opt for a nursing cover. You’ll want something that allows you to see baby and that’s lightweight (things can get sweaty in the summer 🥵).
Did you know that many insurance companies cover 100% of the cost of your breast pump?
Yup, that means you don’t need to register for one. But I’m still including it on this list of baby registry must haves just so you don’t forget.
You can check your availability on the aeroflow website here . Just have your insurance card ready and you’re on your way to a free breast pump (and all the parts and bottles that go with it!).
Breast Milk Storage Bags
If you plan to pump and freeze breast milk for baby, you’ll need to get some of these breast milk storage bags.
Even if you’re planning to breastfeed, it’s always a good idea to have some formula on hand as a back up plan or in case of emergency.
We kept some in the cupboard, but luckily, I was able to breastfeed both of my sons without any issues.
The formula never went to waste though. I always mixed it with their first rice cereal!
Washing your infant’s baby bottles with the same old sponge you use for the dishes is a no no. There’s a whole sanitation aspect around bottle feeding and a bottle brush is a good start. Not only is it more sanitary, but it also just makes washing the bottles generally easier.
Baby Registry Must Haves For Bathing
Some might argue that you can just bathe your baby in the kitchen sink. But my sink is large and deep and that would also require all the dishes to be done. Ha! I personally prefer a bathtub with an infant insert (this is the closest one to what we have). This makes bathing a slippery and wiggly newborn much easier and safer.
Newborn babies have such delicate skin, you’ll want to have some soft, new towels and wash cloths for bath time. I recommend getting at least two hooded towels. I like these towels here because not only do they come in cute animal designs, but you can also choose a smaller size for infant and then a little bit bigger size for baby to grow into.
When I was a first time mom, I cut my baby’s nails the first few weeks with a clipper that was part of an infant set. Then I learned the hard way that clippers are horrible for tiny fingers.
I accidentally pinched and clipped the skin on the tips of my son’s fingers…. not once, but twice.
He bled. He cried. I cried. It was just awful.
Please save yourself from the same terrible mistake I made and get these baby nail scissors instead.
They are not sharp like clippers, and it is so much easier to see what you are doing.
Four years and another baby later, I have never once cut either kid’s skin while using the nail scissors.
It’s really easy to irritate baby’s skin, so a baby wash that is gentle and free of harsh chemicals is a must.
I received this gift set at my baby shower, which comes with both baby wash and lotion as well as a body wash for mom.
The body wash for mom actually ended up coming in handy when I developed a super itchy rash on my stomach about 4 weeks postpartum.
Didn’t see that one coming.
We’re still using the baby wash on my 4 year old and one year old! They also enjoy the bubbles it makes if you pour it while filling the tub.
Must Have Baby Registry Items For On The Go
Car Seat/Stroller Combo
Probably one of the biggest baby registry must haves is a car seat and stroller system since you can’t leave the hospital without a safe way to transport your little one home. We opted for the Chicco Bravo Trio Travel System. I literally can’t say one bad thing about it.
Both of my boys used the Chicco Keyfit car seat that comes with it and were happy campers in it. We have taken it on several trips where I had to install it in rental cars, and I was able to do it safely in under 1 minute.
The stroller is fantastic as well as it has a large basket underneath for my diaper bag or boppy pillow (because hell yes, I brought my boppy everywhere during the infant phase). It also transitions to a toddler stroller which reclines for naps on the go.
Ok, so you can probably live without having a backseat mirror in your car. But for me, this was a must because I wanted to see that my little one was safe in his car seat while I was driving.
Then you can see if baby has fallen asleep (and there were definitely times when I desperately needed him to fall asleep in the car).
A baby carrier is a wonderful way to hold baby snuggled up close to you while keeping your hands free.
Here are a few of the ways that I have used mine:
- Around the house to cook and do chores
- To go places that aren’t stroller friendly
- To get baby to fall asleep when all else fails!
There are soooo many baby carriers to choose from though, and I really feel like this is one thing that is unique to each mama. You might not know what style baby carrier you like until you try it.
I tried a few baby carriers:
- Moby Wrap – Tying the wrap felt time-consuming and laborious, and I couldn’t seem to get baby in right so I gave up on this one.
- Baby Bjorn – This was ok for the newborn phase, but there’s no back support so it wouldn’t work when baby gets heavy. And I didn’t like that baby’s arms and legs were so exposed (it was Spring/Summer when my son was an infant and I was trying to keep the sun off of him.)
- Lillebaby Baby Carrier – This is the one I went with. For me, it was the easiest to adjust and take on and off by myself. The back support is amazing (I could carry my 21 lb. 13 month old who wasn’t walking yet).
A lifesaver for desperate times! We never gave our son a traditional pacifier, but would offer him a Wubbanub when he cried in public or in the car. They’re the perfect first friend and soothie for baby.
Baby Registry Must Haves For Getting Baby To Sleep
There’s nothing worse than working so hard to get baby to fall asleep only to try and put them in their crib and have them wake up from that pesky moro reflex (involuntary arm movements as if baby thinks he’s falling). These Velcro swaddles keep baby wrapped up snug and warm like they’re still in the womb which is exactly how you want them to feel.
If you don’t know how to swaddle with a blanket, the Velcro ones make it so much quicker and easier (and way less likely that baby will break out of the swaddle in my opinion).
Muslin Swaddle Blankets
These Muslin swaddle blankets are some of the best baby blankets you will use. And hint, hint, they aren’t just for swaddling baby.
Here are some of the ways I have used mine:
- To shade baby in his car seat
- As a nursing cover
- To clean up drool/milk
- As a sanitary barrier to do a diaper change in a public bathroom.
I always keep one in my diaper bag.
Pack N Play
Creating a safe place for your baby to sleep is paramount in order to reduce the risk of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome).
What does that mean?
- Baby is lying flat on his back
- No loose objects in the crib (stuffies, blankets)
Both of my sons slept in a pack n play at my bedside during their infancy. Even though I transitioned them both to a “real” crib by 6 months, we have continued to use the pack n play for overnights (and even just naps!) at the homes of friends and family and while traveling many times over. It’s super easy to pack up and set up in minutes and your kiddo can fit in it until age 3. If you decide to use this by your bedside, don’t forget to add a pack n play mattress and sheets to go with it.
One of the best things I got on this list was a Dohm machine.
When you’re exhausted as all hell, you’ll do anything to help baby sleep better (so you can too!).
It is THE WORST when you work so hard to get baby down for a nap only to have him wake up 15 minutes later because a dog barked outside or a dish got dropped.
A white noise machine drowns out these outside noises, but also, it’s a proven fact that babies sleep longer and deeper with white noise playing.
I completely agree with this, and I wouldn’t give up our white noise machine for anything!
You’ll need a safe place to set baby down now and then and this Fisher Price Baby Swing is the way to go.
Not only is it an easy place for your infant to take a nap, but there were times when it was the ONLY WAY to get our son to take his last nap of the day.
That last nap can be a real doozy.
Even in the middle of the night, sometimes putting our son in this swing for a short time was the only way to calm him! (He slept in his crib at night as babies should not sleep unsupervised in a swing).
We used the swing until our son was about six months old. That’s when he outgrew the need for it and began sleeping every nap in his crib.
To me, a swing was a huge baby registry must have as I can’t imagine not having it to save our sanity as we navigated through the difficulties of baby sleep.
When baby goes to bed for the night before you or is napping in a crib unsupervised, a monitor system comes in handy. I personally prefer a system with a camera so I can see baby rather than just hear. This is the monitor system I have, which was great when baby number two came around because I could add a second camera to it.
When you’re up in the middle of the night with baby, the last thing you want to do is turn on the lights. We placed a few soft night lights throughout the house so we weren’t bumping into things in our sleep-deprived haze.
But my most favorite is this dimmable night light. I love that I can adjust the brightness with the touch of my hand and place it wherever I want.
I used to set it close to me while nursing in the middle of the night so I could see what I was doing (hey, breastfeeding takes practice at first!).
It’s also perfect for right next to baby’s changing pad.
This is especially handy when traveling! I always bring it when we stay overnight with family or at a hotel. Otherwise, you never know where the plug is going to be for a traditional nightlight.
Clothing Must Haves For Baby Registry
Going Home Outfit
You always hear, “Don’t buy newborn sized clothes!”
Yes, it’s true they grow out of them in the blink of an eye. But, I mean, you have to have a few things.
You can’t just bring your baby home in a blanket from the hospital. Pick something adorable to look at and keep you going while you’re in labor.
Before you know it, you’ll be taking pictures of your new baby in it.
We brought a Little Me brand newborn sized sleeper as our first son’s going home outfit. He ended up being only 6 lbs. 1 oz. and this was swimming on him, but fit nonetheless.
Since you don’t know exactly how big your baby is until delivery, I’d say it was a good choice brand to fit either a small or large newborn.
Of course you’ll need socks for their little feet, but also you may also want to use them for… their hands! Newborns love to touch and scratch their faces. You can use a pair of socks on their hands to keep the scratching at bay.
My favorite though, are the outfits that have built-in roll over cuffs at the end of the sleeves. Genius!
Must Have Baby Registry Items For Your Medicine Cabinet
Our firstborn was majorly gassy. In the middle of the day, in the middle of the night, you name it. You could just tell he was so uncomfortable and he couldn’t get it out. We tried bicycle legs, tummy massage, but the only thing that really worked was this gripe water. My husband and I call it the magical elixir. It would calm him literally instantly and then you’d hear this big grown up sounding toot shortly after lol.
Our youngest son didn’t have the same gas problems (thank goodness), but he would get terrible hiccups. We used gripe water for this too.
There’s no doubt you’ll try to protect your infant from illness, but sometimes its unavoidable. If they’re running a fever, you’ll want to have a thermometer to check the severity as fevers in infants can be very serious. An inner ear thermometer is not accurate until about 6 months of age, so get one like this that can be used on the temple.
If your infant does have a fever, you’ll be glad to have some infant Tylenol on hand especially if it happens in the middle of the night. Your doctor can advise you on the correct dosage for their weight if needed.
Nothing says welcome to parenthood more than sucking snot out of your sick baby’s nose… with your mouth! Sounds gross, I know. But using a nasal aspirator is the most effective way to remove congestion since baby can’t blow his own nose (and you won’t get snot in your mouth, promise 😉). I like this one here because it’s hygienic and re-usable.
Final Thoughts On Baby Registry Must Haves
If you were feeling confused about what you will need for baby, I hope my list has left you feeling more excited! And organized, of course (you started your baby registry, right?)
While baby will need a lot of things, these are really just the baby registry must haves to bring your little one home from the hospital and for the first 6 months of their life. Nothing over the top or that I know you won’t use.
When you’re done making your registry, be sure to check out my next post: