What do you really need for baby and is there such a thing as the perfect baby registry list?
How do you know what necessities you need for your newborn baby?
I found that the advice I got from actual moms on this topic was worth its weight in gold. Here is a collection of all of the mom advice I received on baby items along with what I learned throughout the first year of using these products with my first baby.
Hopefully, I can save you a lot of money and hassle when you make your baby registry checklist. I’ve compiled all of my favorite items in a list here, and you can read on for more details about why I recommend each product.
Disclaimer: this post may contain Affiliate Links. Read about what affiliate links are and how I use them here.
What Is a Baby Registry List?
Before you can create a baby registry list, you need first to understand how they work and what exactly they are. Many people have a wedding registry, so they know more or less the process, but others have never even heard the word before. A baby registry is a list of products you would personally like to be stocked up on once the baby arrives. These products are from retail stores where you register to. Any items will do, as long as they are in the baby category (so kitchen appliances can’t go on this list).
This baby registry list is meant to be shared with friends, family, coworkers, or anyone else who will be guests at your baby shower. In the age of social media, you can open up this list to followers or email it out to friends who live in different places. Some people are more personal with their registry; others are more open to anyone willing to gift them things for the baby having access. It is not strange to see baby registry lists posted on Facebook and be openly accessible to anyone and everyone who is “friends” with the person.
Another thing that differs for everyone is the number of stores you can create a baby registry list at, and which stores you register at. This is a fun process in which you (and your partner) can choose which stores have the most or the specific products you want your loved ones to purchase for the new arrival. There are even registries that have a universal option where products can be pulled from different stores and made into one baby registry list.
The beauty of baby registry lists is being able to get what you need and worry less about planning and more about becoming new parents. Some (or truthfully, most) people do not have the means to purchase every single thing their new arrival will need, especially if the baby came as a surprise. These baby registry lists are a culturally appropriate way to have people help you purchase things for baby out of the overflow of their hearts. They are seen as a welcoming of the child. Friends and family, especially those who have had children, know just how expensive buying all new things can be. Thankfully, in the United States, baby registry lists are a sweet sentiment. In other countries, it’s considered bad luck to buy stuff for the baby before he or she comes into the world. Yikes!
After the items are purchased, be sure to get access to the baby registry list purchases from the store so you can send out thank you cards. The stores will typically make sure that there are no duplicate gifts bought. Another perk is, many stores will offer a discount where you can buy everything that was not purchased by others off the baby registry list at a discounted rate. Stores are typically super helpful!
When to Create a Baby Registry List?
Creating a baby registry list can really be done at any time. For most new mothers and their partners, the reality of a baby coming becomes true at 12 weeks. This is when families and friends will be told, social media posts will explode, and the like. For the procrastinators and typical new parents, 12 weeks is much too early to begin crafting a baby registry list. For overly excited, non-procrastinators, and people who adore list making and gift getting, 12 weeks may be the sweet spot for beginning to plan.
Many do not begin until they find out the gender of the baby so they can color and design code things. The gender reveals usually happen by 20 weeks. But there is no right or wrong time to start unless it is last minute. Be sure to give yourself enough time to do the proper research and decide on the items you want to be on your baby registry list. And make sure you are providing your baby shower guests, social media friends, and loved ones the time they need to browse and buy their gifts!
FIRST ALWAYS CONSIDER
Before even getting into the item choices and then making your best baby registry checklist, you want to minimize spending on items you don’t need or won’t use. You also want to make sure you get those top-notch items that will really make a difference. Here are some general tips because baby items can rack up an insane bill.
When considering an item, ask yourself the following questions:
Will baby use the product long enough to justify the price?
Example: If you are considering two options for a nursing chair and plan to nurse multiple babies, you are going to use that chair for years.
Do you know what the pediatrician recommendation is here?
Example: When considering sleep options, AAP recommends sharing a room (but not the same bed) as the best way to reduce SIDS.
What season will your baby be born in?
Example: Baby wraps are amazing and my favorite way to carry a newborn. However, if your baby is born in the middle of the summer, you want to prioritize a wrap that has the least amount of fabric.
Does it grow with your child?
Example: The original diaper bag I got first didn’t work once L was a toddler, I needed a backpack style diaper bag because I needed to be able to chase, play and carry her easily.
Example: Once your baby is out of diapers, that changing table doesn’t have a purpose. Instead, invest in a nice dresser and use the top as a changing station.
Purchase items that fit your lifestyle
Example: When considering a stroller, do you walk places such as in a city? Do you want to wear a wrap? Depending on your lifestyle, you might use that stroller every day, or never. If you don’t know, pick one out but wait to purchase until after baby arrives. You can find organization tools for building a registry and nursery in our Bump Smart Nesting Planner.
Where to Build Your Baby Registry List?
Amazon Registry: I would say this is for sure a go-to for most moms. What does Amazon not have? I also found this easiest to use for my shower because everyone shops on Amazon these days and everyone seems to have prime. A lot of my family lives far away so prime (aka free shipping) was nice so they could send me bigger more expensive gifts.
MyRegistry.com: Another great option for hosting an online registry is the site myregistry.com. It’s free to use and allows you to import your registries from other sites onto one master list. I was able to compile my Amazon Registry, Macy’s Registry and Etsy items altogether. They also have a handy button you can install on your browser to add any item from any site to your registry instantly.
BABY REGISTRY CHECKLIST: THE NURSERY
We set up a nursery more as a space to keep all things baby. You have no idea what is going to work for you in terms of sleep so have a few options. Also, consider the new recommendation by AAP: Sharing the same room (but not the same bed) for the first year of life is the best way to reduce SIDs.
Crib: To save money and not have to buy a co-sleeper, bassinet, and crib, just buy a crib that can be converted into a co-sleeper. We link to a great tutorial for this on my post about registry items you’ll have to re-buy once baby arrives.
Crib Mattress, Sheet and Waterproof Mattress Protector: If you buy two sheets and two mattress protectors, then you can make the bed twice (protector, sheet, protector, then sheet). When that diaper explosion happens or when you are potty training, you can strip the bed once, and it’s already set to go. The best baby mattresses have protection against wetness.
Pack n’ Play: Another option is to have the crib in the nursery and a Pack n’ Play in your room for the baby until you make the room switch. A Pack n’ play is well worth your money because it works great for a travel crib. It also worked well for us when we traveled.
Moveable Mobile: A moveable mobile is awesome because not only can you use it for the crib but also for the car and the swing. Be sure to get one that is colorful with fun patterns and that plays music.
Dimmable Nightlight: During night time diaper changes, you want to keep the environment “still night time” so keep dimmable nightlights near your bed and near diaper changing station. Dimmable is key, so you can adjust them to see and turn them down again when you go back to sleep.
Closet Organization: We also outfitted L’s closet with built-ins which has been such an improvement in organization for her room. Another option is a hanging closet organizer to store items that don’t hang.
Clothes Hamper: A small item but don’t forget it. Pick a smaller one because baby/kid clothing is small and always covered in a mess. You want to remember to spray and wash them more often.
Changing Table/Dresser Top: While a changing table gets the job done, once your child is out of diapers, they have outgrown the table. Most moms seem to prefer changing the top of a dresser into a changing station. We just placed L’s changing pad on top of a dresser, but if you don’t feel comfortable with that solution, skip the changing table that will only last a short time, and invest in a quality dresser that your child can use as they grow up and install a changing table topper. This will make any dresser into a safe changing space by preventing the changing pad from moving around as baby gets wiggly. It also provides space for wipes and other changing needs in a divided compartment. Once baby no longer needs a changing table, simply remove the screws in the back and it is a plain dresser once again.
Blackout Curtains: While as a newborn, a baby can sleep in any environment, your baby will soon slowly start to form more adult-like sleeping patterns. A dark room even for naps is a must, so invest in blackout curtains.
Alli wrote an excellent guide to setting up a nursery that covers everything from pediatrician guidelines to organization hacks.
BABY REGISTRY CHECKLIST: THE DIAPER CHANGING STATIONS
I highly recommend having two diaper changing stations. One upstairs in the room the baby sleeps and one on the main floor. This is especially important if you end up having a c-section and can’t do stairs for a while.
Diaper Caddy Basket: To make switches between these two stations easy, use a diaper caddy basket that is filled with all of the essentials.
Diapers: I love Luv’s Diapers because they improved L’s night sleep. Whatever diaper you go with make sure you pick a diaper built for nights. I could be the difference between sleeping and not. I talk more about this experience in Building the Perfect Sleep Environment.
Diaper Pail: If you are reading multiple registry lists, you’ll notice that a lot of moms say this isn’t an essential. I think that’s because they probably had a diaper pail that didn’t actually serve them. I absolutely love our diaper pail, and I think that’s because I spent so much time finding one that was going to hold in smell. Not only is it scent-locking, but it also takes regular trash bags!
Additional features include a sliding opening that has a child-lock feature. I admittedly didn’t get the appeal of this until I had a walking toddler who wants nothing more than to get into the trash. The convenience of having somewhere to immediately put a poop-filled diaper near your changing station is awesome. You don’t want to skip this on your registry.
Baby Wipes: I wouldn’t stockpile this item. You have no idea what will work best. You might like the actual wipes, but the container they come in may drive you up the wall. Another important thing to consider is that baby wipes can sometimes be the cause of irritation or a rash. You want to try out a brand before buying a lot.
Diaper Clutch: Don’t waste your money on a diaper bag. You will want to use different types of bags depending on what you are doing or where you are going, so instead get a diaper clutch. Now all of your diaper supplies including the changing pad are all together. You can even just stick it in the bottom of a stroller.
Changing Pad, Changing Pad Cover and Liners: In addition to a changing pad and cover for the pad, I would invest in changing pad liners. This way the liner gets messy, so you don’t have to change the cover, and you don’t have to have a backup cover.
Windi: Babies are bad at farting, and they can have a lot of stomach pain. The best invention ever made for this is a Windi. If you have a colic baby, this could make a big difference. The reviews on Amazon pretty much sum up the awesomeness of this product while making you laugh.
Butt Paste and Butt Paste Brush: Every baby gets a rash so invest in some quality butt cream. A lot of moms like Boudreaux’s Butt Paste because it contains 40% zinc oxide. Zinc oxide is the ingredient that gives butt paste its protective properties so the skin can heal. Most brands only have 10-15%. A butt paste brush is a must, so your hands aren’t covered all the time. Butt paste is actually very annoying and challenging to wash off after diaper changes. You may have to do some trial and error to find the best baby butt paste.
BABY REGISTRY CHECKLIST: NURSING
After successfully breastfeeding my own baby for more than a year, I owe that success mainly to getting help at the hospital from a fantastic lactation consultant. Those first days and weeks are so critical. I wrote up everything I learned from my lactation consultant. Alli and I have also compiled everything we know about breastfeeding into a handbook because we found having the correct information in a quick, easy format was key to success. Another part of success is having support. Don’t wait till baby arrives, start now with our free breastfeeding email course to have that support network in place and to start building your knowledge.
Water Bottle for Mom: To successfully nurse, you need to stay well hydrated, so invest in a good water bottle or two that you like so you drink more water.
Breast Pump: A breast pump must be 100% covered by your insurance. Contact them today to find out how to get one. Also, check with your birth center as a lot of them will give you one when you deliver and bill your insurance company for you.
Nursing Bra and Camis: Absolutely essential for even the hospital were nursing camis, and sleep nursing bras. If you plan on having visitors during your hospital stay, having a nursing cami will not only make nursing very easy and accessible, but also will provide your stomach with coverage and may make you feel more comfortable.
Nursing Pads: I liked the reusable ones like these. They did a good job of absorbing milk on the opposite breast during a letdown and between feedings. I had an experienced mom friend give these to me at my shower, otherwise I might not have even known they existed! Definitely get a few to use right when your milk comes in. As a bonus, they work to wipe up spit up in a pinch as well.
Nipple Cream: Buy a small amount and be sure to read the ingredients. Baby might not like the smell or taste so it could cause issues with breastfeeding. You might need to try a few brands.
Glider + Nursing Stool: A glider is a must. Don’t get any other type of chair; they are not conducive to feeding a baby and especially not nursing a baby. A nursing stool is completely optional but I got one from another mom, and it really helps to make nursing easier and more comfortable. I would highly consider investing in one if you have back problems.
Nursing Pillow and Cover: You might want to wait and see if this works for you. Breastfeeding must be learned by both you and your baby. You two will find out what positions work for you. Most hospitals have these so try it out. If you like it, then buy one or make sure you can return yours if you find it doesn’t help. Most nursery chairs aren’t big enough for a nursing pillow so keep that in mind. If you want to use one or plan on using one, make sure to get a glider with the armrests open, so the boppy pillow, you, and baby all fit comfortably.
Nursing Cover: I never used a nursing cover until L turned three months. She then would become distracted and pop on and off. By using a cover, your baby will stay on because you close off all the visual distractions. I recommend getting the cover where you can still see the baby. It is so hard to latch a baby without being able to see them.
Bottles and Pacifiers: We got one set of 4 bottles and one pacifier. I recommend not buying any more than this before baby. I also recommend picking one brand and sticking with it. Switching brands is more likely to result in more problems than help. For the first six weeks, avoid pacifiers and bottles as these will really hurt your breastmilk supply. You also need to learn pace feeding to bottle feed a breastfed baby. You also have no idea if the baby will even like pacifiers.
Breastmilk Storage Bags: Great to have just in case. It isn’t recommended to start storing your milk in those first few weeks. Your milk is going to change so much that baby probably won’t even like it a week later. Focus on learning how to breastfeed.
Burp Cloths: You really won’t know how many you need till you have your baby. Some babies spit up a lot, others don’t. Get a few and then if need to, buy more after.
High Chair: It will be a while but if you want a special or really nice one, put it on your baby registry. You might get it as a gift. If you want one that works well and is only $19 from IKEA, a mom friend recommended it to me and we really like it.
Sippy Cup and/or Toddler Camelbak: L would never use a sippy cup but loved the Camelbak water bottle, which seems to be a favorite among all toddlers. Plus, they have awesome designs. Nuby is my all time favorite brand for a sippy cup, we have a lot of sippy cups and every single one ends up leaking at some point besides Tuby.
Make your own baby food: While there are a lot of options, pair a Magic Bullet blender with to-go containers that are freezable. You will be able to use the magic bullet for other purposes in the kitchen as well as those freezable to-go containers.
MAKING A BABY REGISTRY CHECKLIST: PLAY
Swing: Being constantly in motion during their time in utero, a swing is a must for a newborn. We loved the Rock n’ Play, make sure you get the one with the motor. When she outgrew it, she used the Mamaroo until at least 6 months. Moving around is always the best baby soother.
Rattle/Toy Rings: The first toys your baby will own. The first motor skill babies learn is to hold items. These are great for this.
Jungle Gym/Jumparoo: Talk about classic baby toys. What we see in every house is a floor jungle gym, which L used until she preferred to be sitting. Once she could sit, the Jumperoo is an excellent toy because it really works on strengthening their legs while also giving them a lot of different toys to play with. I could also count on these items to keep L entertained for 5-10 minutes so I could quickly accomplish a task here and there.
Board Books/Musical Instruments: A baby’s brain will increase a lot in that first year, and the best thing you can do is sing songs and read to the baby. You can also set books up so baby can see the pages during tummy time. Musical instruments like shakers, foot pianos or a toy ukulele are a must. Recent studies have shown that music affects the development of babies by helping cognitive and sensory development.
Mirror: Babies are fascinated with “the other baby in the mirror” and having a baby safe mirror you can place at ground level is an excellent way to make tummy time more fun.
MAKING A BABY REGISTRY CHECKLIST: HEALTH AND BATHING
Nosesucker: You are going to click this item and think, how gross. But I promise you won’t care when your baby can’t breathe because of a stuffy nose. There is a hygiene filter in it. The nose bulb suckers they give you at hospitals are worthless and don’t do anything.
Rectal Thermometer: The most accurate thermometer is a rectal thermometer so don’t waste your money on fancy forehead thermometers. When you call your pediatrician, and they ask for a temperature, they will always want this type.
Nail Clipper: Babies nails are long and they usually scratch themselves so a nail clipper is a must. I suggest buying a baby nail clipper or use an adult one but use it upside down. It is so much easier to ensure you only have the nail.
Infant Bathtub: You can buy an infant bathtub to use for those first few months. I have also heard of a lot of moms using a towel trick. You basically take an adult bath towel and fold it once hamburger style. Place it in your tub. You then fill the tub only so it is a little above the towel. You can place the baby on the towel.
Bath Toys and Books: While you won’t be using these in month one, putting a few on your registry isn’t a bad idea. People love to get you cute, fun items, but not all are useful. You will most likely get way too many newborn outfits and receive so many blankets, so hopefully, this might mean less of those.
Baby-safe Soap/Shampoo/Lotion: Don’t overbuy. You have no idea if the baby might have sensitive skin to any of these products. Also, remember not to over wash baby, it could cause dry skin issues.
Washcloths: It is a fun item to buy if you get some cute ones, but of course, any plain or old washcloth works.
Bath Towel: I didn’t add a hooded baby towel because they are so thin compared to a regular towel. We ended up getting one as a gift. We used it a few times because it was cute but L would always cry when we took her out of the bath. We switched to a normal bath towel, and she didn’t cry anymore.
Don’t forget Sunwear: A good sunblock such as blue lizard, which is what my dermatologist recommended for L. It changes color when UV rays are present so you can tell if you missed any spots. My favorite hat is from Sunday Afternoon because you can change the size and it does a fantastic job at really protecting your baby. It is important to protect the neck and ears. A sunburn that blisters before age 10 increases your chances of skin cancer.
MAKING A BABY REGISTRY CHECKLIST: SLEEP
Baby Monitor: We have gone through a few baby monitors. First, get one that has its own monitor. Our first baby camera paired with our phones but then if the baby was sleeping, our phone had to be the monitor and not a phone. The app had to stay open, or your monitor isn’t on.
Sleepwear: In addition to pajamas, I highlight three sleep outfits that I know are very popular with moms and for a good reason. When adding these items to your registry, think of what season you will be in for each clothing size. Consider what type of fabric should you buy (fleece or cotton) and use this handy chart that tells you how to dress baby based on the outside temperature. The thing that looks like a sack is a sleep sack, see below for description. Consult Alli’s post to learn exactly how many baby clothes you need in each size.
Swaddle: I suggest buying two small swaddles. Small is 0-3 months. You are wasting your money buying a newborn size; most newborns fit into 0-3 months just fine. Babies also grow insanely fast so don’t buy a lot in the small sizes. Also, once the baby is rolling, you have to stop swaddling.
Magic Merlin Sleepsuit: Once baby is around three months, you will want to switch to a Magic Merlin Sleepsuit. Designed specifically to transition baby out of the swaddle, it allows more freedom and flexibility than a swaddle. It was actually magic for us, and it came highly recommended by other moms so when we were desperate for better sleep, we bought one, and it was the best decision ever.
Sleep sacks: Sleep sacks are like comforters that you wear. Babies, and toddlers for that matter can’t have or don’t keep blankets on. I have found most people use sleep sacks for older babies, after babies transition out of the Magic Merlin Sleepsuit. It is really nice for temperature control.
Lovey: A lovey is important to have. I would suggest having a few options that are all different in either type or material. Around six months, a baby will attach to a lovey, and if you don’t offer one, the lovey could be your hair (true story). Get one that would be easy to include during nursing sessions. A baby associates you with comfort, and nursing with comfort, so if you nurse with the lovey, the baby will associate the lovey with comfort. An excellent idea is a burp cloth where one side is made of Minky material, and the other side is a fun pattern. Just keep in mind that it’s recommended to not have anything in your baby’s crib for the first year, more on this and sleep in building the perfect sleep environment.
Receiving Blanket: These are awesome to have, but you only need a few. You can use them to swaddle at the beginning and just to keep handy to hold and cuddle with the baby.
White Noise Machine: White noise machines will improve sleep but make sure you place it on the other side of the room, so it isn’t too loud for baby and won’t damage their hearing.
BABY REGISTRY CHECKLIST: TRANSPORTATION
Before buying anything in this category, think about your lifestyle. Do you live in a city where you walk to a lot of places? Do you usually drive? When you are outside, is it usually on paved walkways or more hikes?
Car Seat: Choosing the right car seat is not something to take lightly. You need to consider your lifestyle. When I have my second, I’m going for a 4-in-1 car seat, like the Graco 4-Ever instead of an infant travel system. For me, I rarely bothered taking the infant seat out of the car. I preferred to pop N into the Baby K-Tan and wear her. Also, when shopping, you can’t push a stroller and a shopping cart. The car seat in the stroller takes up a lot of room. I always ended up babywearing in most stores.
You also don’t know how long you can use an infant car seat, for some baby fits in it for a year. For others, you might at best get six months out of it before having to purchase another car seat. It all depends on how fast your baby grows.
But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get a travel system. In terms of ease of use and quality, the Britax travel system we had was amazing. The car seat clicked in and out with ease and adjusting the shoulder straps and buckles for a snug fit was a cinch. But for use as a car seat specifically, it just didn’t fit my lifestyle. The jogging stroller on its own however was something I got a lot of use out of, and still do!
I asked a good mom friend of mine, who works full time, to weigh in. She couldn’t have lived without her infant car seat travel system. It made life so much easier for her because so many different people would pick the baby up from daycare. It meant everyone just needed a base and the car seat could stay with baby. What a great solution.
A Wrap/Carrier: I had no idea how essential my wrap and carrier would be during that first year. A wrap is the best way to carry the baby in those first six months. Being on your chest in the first three months, known as the 4th trimester, is so calming for baby. It was also an amazing solution to getting naps in and me out of the house. I would strap the baby on and go for walks, which helped my mood so much.
When picking a wrap, consider the season your baby will be born. If it’s the middle of summer, a wrap with lots of fabric like a Boba will leave you sweating like crazy. For summer, consider a ring sling, a K-tan or even an Ergo carrier.
There are a lot of carriers out there but make sure the seat of the carrier extends to the baby’s knees. If not, you could be doing serious damage to their hips. I love the Ergo for that reason. It is also so light and easy to wear. It worked for me and for my husband, who is very tall.
Stroller: Strollers are expensive and if they don’t match with your lifestyle, it can be such a waste. You also don’t know what your baby will be like. Some babies hate strollers and prefer to be carried. A lot of strollers come with infant car seats so that could be a good deal. Just remember those strollers are heavy duty and bulky. If you know you will use it a lot, then it is worth the investment. If you don’t want to get an infant car seat and instead want to get a 4 in 1 car seat or don’t think you would use a heavy duty stroller, wait. Get an umbrella stroller for when the baby is bigger. They are usually around $20 and are a fantastic way to travel with baby through airports and other places where a stroller is necessary.
Push Car/Wagon: Another great reason to wait on that stroller if you don’t need it in those really months is after they can sit well, most prefer push cars and wagons. We can convince L to go anywhere as long as her wagon comes with. These toys also extend into the toddler years giving you so much more for your money. I also would have never thought these were such hot items among toddlers until I had one.
MAKING A BABY REGISTRY CHECKLIST: CLOTHING
The best advice I ever received on clothing is the smaller the size, buy less. Babies grow quickly. A lot of babies don’t even fit in newborn size for more than a few days. Next, always remember to consider the season, but that isn’t a guarantee. L was in 6-9 month clothing at the end of 3 months. If you receive a lot of clothing from showers, try to exchange a lot for bigger sizes, so you have variety and not a closet full of newborn outfits. Leave tags on EVERYTHING and keep receipts until you hit that size so you can exchange for different sizes when you don’t go through all of the clothing, or it’s the wrong season. Most stores will allow you to return months later as long as you have a receipt and the tags are still on the clothing.
Onesies: I wouldn’t buy two packs of newborn onesies. As you increase in size (0-3, 3-6, 6-9 and 9-12 months), buy more.
Footed Pajamas: I would get a pair or two in 0-3 no matter what season baby is born. Babies feet and hands get cold easily, and socks are a joke.
Newborn Hats/Mittens: You will probably get a hat at the hospital, but I would have one or two at home in 0-3 size. I have heard of people really liking having mittens for their newborn, so they didn’t scratch themselves and to keep their hands warm. We never used them, and I know of a lot of moms who didn’t either.
Socks/Shoes/Booties: Socks don’t stay on. Don’t bother trying to buy a bunch of baby shoes; they won’t stay on. Instead, get some Zutano booties in a big size, and they will fit even when they are little. We got the 24-month size, and they stayed on L’s feet since she was 4 months old until she started walking.
Leggings: A 3-6 pair of leggings if the due date is not summer. If it is summer, you could have one pair. L was a summer baby and she wore nothing but a diaper and a onesie on most days.
Offseason shopping: You should start now buying offseason such as winter jackets. I would focus on toddler sizes because at that point there is a really good chance they will be in each size for around a year. Get them in Spring, but buy toddler sizes (2T to 5T) so you are bound to use them. When you get to sizes like 18 months, 24 months, and 2T, there is very little difference. The changes in length are so small that we just skipped 24 months and bought 2T, especially for items like leggings. Hold items up and compare sizes at stores to see what’s worth your investment.
MAKING A BABY REGISTRY CHECKLIST: TEETHING
I am so jealous of parents whose babies seem to have no issues with teething. L was not a good teether, so we learned a few tricks along the way. Teething can start as early as month 4 so be prepared.
Infant Tylenol and Motrin: First, the safest things to give to a baby for teething include infant Motrin and infant Tylenol. For these to work properly, they must be at the correct dose, which is based on weight. It will say age and weight on the bottle, but weight is most important. As babies grow so fast, it is very likely you are underdosing so try to get an exact weight when using these medicines. Also, you should alternate Motrin with Tylenol because they work differently and therefore give different systems of your baby’s body a break. Do not use gels or tablets; most are not safe and are not evaluated by the FDA.
Toothbrush Teether: The banana teething toothbrush is the best teether with easy to grip handles. It also gets baby used to the brushing feeling, so they are more likely to tolerate getting their teeth brushed once they have teeth. The act of brushing is more important than the toothpaste to keep teeth clean and healthy, so this is an excellent way to start that process.
Fresh Food Feeder: Lastly, before the baby is eating foods, freeze breast milk into ice cube trays and give it to the baby through a fresh food feeder. Not only does baby get milk but the cold feels great on their gums. Once baby is eating food, place fruit like cold watermelon or cantaloupe into the feeder and baby will be able to chew on the fruit without the risk of choking.
DON’T FORGET PARENTING READING
The Happiest Baby on the Block is a classic on baby care that will give you a variety of tools to make caring for baby easier. I don’t know a single parent who hasn’t either read or watched this classic. Yep, it is available as a movie.
Breastfeeding and Sleep: Read and learn everything you can in these two areas before the baby is born. These will be your biggest learning curves once baby arrives. Sleep deprivation is also awful but a fact of life. However, that being said, knowledge and support systems are key here.
The Whole-Brain Child and Brain Rules for Baby 0-5 years: These books will change your life for the better. They take all the research done and tell you how to use it to create successful kids. Not only that, their tactics make life easier, not harder. Save yourself a lot of frustration. Brain Rules for Baby 0-5 years even has a parenting quiz on their website where you can see if how much you know about what research has shown for parenting. Whole-Brain Child at the very end has as charts which outline what tactics to use to enhance brain development based on your child’s age and development.
Oh Crap: You might think this is far off, but potty training will be here before you know it. The best way to succeed the first time is to read this book. Whenever I ask a parent about potty training, I get told “read the book.”
What Not to Put on the Baby Registry List
What you should NOT put on your baby registry list may be just as important as what TO put on it.
A Wipe Warmer
This is seriously useless. If you have purchased everything else and want your loved ones to feel like they’re showing care for you and baby by gift giving, then this might be a good item to add to the baby registry list. But if you really need the essentials, this is a good one to skip. It’s just not a need, and it tends to dry the wipes out. If you are really concerned with the baby’s bottom being uncomfortably cool, you can warm the wipe up between your hands.
These are the go-to of most people because they are warm, cuddly, remind people of babies, seem very important, and are super cute. Many go wrong by putting baby blankets on their baby registry list. Just keep this in mind: you don’t want your precious baby registry list items to be all blankets! Blankets are cheap, personal, and by the time the baby comes, you will likely have loads of them all on your own.
These are simply unnecessary. Cute, but wildly useless and incredibly expensive. Pretty much their only function is being attractive in the corner of the room. Much like buying a million throw pillows and blankets you don’t sleep with for your bed, a crib set will have you taking everything off of the bed every time you are putting the baby to sleep, then putting it all back on when they wake up. Crib sets usually just end up in the closet until they are useless because the baby has retired to a big kid bed. Choose your baby registry list items wisely! I will fill you in later on how the only thing you really need is the crib mattress, a waterproof mattress protector, and a fitted sheet.
As useful as these seem, they can actually be a hazard for kiddos. This happens when they put their head in between the bumpers and the bars. Many of the best baby experts advise against using crib bumpers for fear of potential suffocation, trapping, or strangulation. They are hazardous and useless. This means they can be skipped on the baby registry list altogether!
Making a Baby Registry Checklist is quite a task
One of the biggest things you will do while pregnant is prepping for baby. This entails buying a lot of items and then organizing them into a nursery.
Remember to make sure that the items you choose to put on your baby registry list are well worth your money and they fit your lifestyle. Utilize my registry printable packet to not only know what items to get but also to build your perfect registry in the workspace I provide.
Try to find the best deals as baby items can be very expensive. Babies go through items so fast that finding second hand is most of the time like new. I would try to find good garage sales in your area. Stock up on the best baby and kid items. Look on Craigslist for some of the more expensive items (we got the glider for $40).
Also ask around, try to find someone who will send you clothing and kid items who has kids a few years older than yours. You can also ask to borrow from a friend. We borrowed the Mamaroo from a friend and then she borrowed our Rock n Play after she had twins.
In those final weeks, it can feel very overwhelming. Outside of a registry, there are plenty of other awesome ways to prepare. You want to ensure you are prepared, your house is prepared, and your partner is ready. The more you prepare, the more confident you will feel going into motherhood.
I would love to hear your questions and thoughts on making a baby registry list! What is your favorite registry item as a mom or mom to be?
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Trina Fitzgerald is a wife, mom, and blogger. She is the co-author of the Week-by-Week Bump Smart Course, the Nesting Planner and the Breastfeeding Handbook. She attributes her success at breastfeeding her own children with working with lactation consultants in the hospital in the early stages and on a weekly basis afterwards. By writing at MomSmartNotHard, she educates mamas-to-be on all things pregnancy, birth and breastfeeding. Read more about Trina.