The Best Baby Registry Checklist: Must Haves + Skips

The Best Baby Registry Checklist: Must Haves + Skips For A Minimalist, tips for getting only the essentials on amazon, gender neutral items to put on baby registry for new mom, #babyregistry, #babyregistrychecklist, #newmom, #firsttimemom

I received some items in this post complimentary. This post contains affiliate links.


I can’t believe The Confused Baby will be here next month!! I’ve gotten a lot of questions about what stuff we are planning on having and getting. We didn’t do a baby shower, but I still put together a baby registry for friends who were asking and to score the free goodie bags you get for setting up a registry! More than that though, creating a baby registry allowed me to get organized with my checklist of what we still needed to get and what I decided to skip until later. I spent countless hours researching and talking with people to come up with what I consider to be the best baby registry checklist for us. Here’s everything we’ve gotten so far (or are planning to get) and what we decided to skip:

The Best Baby Registry Checklist: Must Haves + Skips

The Best Baby Registry CheckList: Nursery

Bassinet

Since we aren’t doing a formal nursery, we decided to opt for a bassinet that we can move back and forth between our room and her room. She will generally sleep in our room the first 6 months, but we both work from home so having the option to just push her bassinet in her room across the hall so we can use our room without disturbing her really worked for us.

We decided to go for the SNOO since this is our first. I know you “never know what a baby likes until they get here!” but we decided to take the plunge on this splurge. Sleep is really important to us both and Dr. Harvey Karp’s 5 S’s really make sense to me, E loves some good tech, and from all the reviews I read, people whose baby’s didn’t love the SNOO typically started on it a few weeks after they got here rather than right away. So we decided it was worth getting it from the start.

One reason I really love the SNOO is because your baby is clipped in so there’s no concern about her rolling in the middle of the night. The SNOO is basically a smart sleeper, where it has a built in white noise machine and rocking. If you baby starts to stir while in it, it increases the rocking and noise to lull her back to sleep minimizing the number of times you have to get up throughout the night. Obviously you still have to care for your baby, the SNOO stops trying to lull your baby back to sleep after a few minutes, but basically it’s that in between period of “could she fall back asleep if she self soothes or does she need to be picked up?” It’s a great way IMO to ensure comfort for all (she doesn’t learn to cry for attention and learns self soothing, but we have a “timer” so to speak for when to step in after a couple of minutes if the SNOO doesn’t get her back down). Plus again the peace of mind from a safety standpoint is really great.

>>> Happiest baby is having a massive sale on the SNOO right now too, shop it here! <<<

Hanging Shoe Organizer

Okay, maybe not the most traditional registry item! Again, we are moving pretty quickly after the baby gets here, so we aren’t getting any furniture for her yet. Instead I opted for a hanging shoe organizer for the closet to put her clothes, toiletries, etc. in. It’s a great space and cost saver for now. I liked this one because it has SO many compartments, but you could go with something that’s a little more basic like this one.

What we’re skipping in our nursery (for now):

We are moving a month or so after the baby arrives so we are waiting until she’s closer to 6 months to set up her room and we are settled in a new place. Until then she’ll be in her SNOO in our room or in the spare room across the hall from ours.

  • Crib
  • Changing table
  • Mattress
  • Bedding
  • Glider

[RELATED] 8 First Trimester Symptoms [+ How To Work Through Them]

The Best Baby Registry CheckList: Around The Home

Baby lounger / Dock-A-Tot

I debated if this was a luxury item or a must have for a long time. With us moving I wanted to ensure we only got the bare minimum. Ultimately I realized that we would need at least one place to sit baby that was more secure than random throw pillows on our couch. Seriously, when you’re watching TV or get up to get a snack, where will your baby be? Chances are you aren’t going to hold the baby 24/7 and running her up to her bassinet every time I need to do something two handed for 2 seconds seems a bit extreme. So what initially seemed as a luxury quickly became a must have and we quickly knew we wanted the Dock-A-Tot lounger.

We got this cover for our Dock-A-Tot and this lounger.

Floor mat and/or activity gym

Again, I’m not going to be holding my baby 24/7. I work from home and need somewhere for her to be near me, but not on me all the time. We saw the Lovevery Baby play mat and knew we had to have it! It’s great for tummy time and Lovevery Baby actually is designed for your baby’s development.

The play mat has five zones that can be revealed or concealed to prevent overstimulation and promote learning. It’s comprised of really quality and thoughtfully selected materials; like non toxic water based finishes, sustainably harvested wood, BPA and phthalate free plastic and silicone, soy ink, and 100% organic cotton materials.

Getting the Lovevery Baby play mat also gave us breathing room on getting toys and books. The first few months the baby doesn’t really need books or toys, and can really only focus on high contrast items which this play mat focuses on. Beyond that we are doing their monthly play packs that come with books and toys that are geared for each stage of development. LBH, beyond that, most babies just like every day household items. Give them a wooden spoon or spatula and they’re great!

Shop Lovevery Baby Play Mat and Play Kits here.

What we’re skipping on our baby registry for around the house (for now):

  • Toys and books (we are just sticking with the Lovevery play kits for each stage of development to keep things minimal and on par with baby’s growth)

The Best Baby Registry CheckList: Out & About

Car seat

You 100% need a car seat before baby arrives – most hospitals require you to have it in order to leave the hospital with your baby. So unless you’re planning on walking home or doing a home birth it’s most likely going to be a requirement asap.

We ended up with a couple of strollers that came with infant car seats. Before getting those, I was actually going to get the Graco 4ever 4-in-1 that transitions from newborn to booster seat settings. It’s a little pricier but it lasts for years and held up really well in all of the reviews I read.

We have: RIVA Travel System which comes with an infant car seat, and Baby Jogger’s City Go infant car seat.

[RELATED] RIVA Flex Stroller Review From A First Time Mom

Stroller/Travel Systems

You have a ton of options here. Like I just mentioned, we ended up with a couple of travel systems, which basically allow you to use the stroller in a few different settings (from bassinet, to car seat, to regular stroller seat). It makes transitioning things for every stage really easy. We do plan to wear baby most of the time, but with long walks with the pup or picking up groceries we knew we wanted a stroller from day one.

Favorite brands/products: We have the Baby Jogger City Luxe and Safety 1st’s RIVA. They are both great options for different price points. You can read my for the RIVA and watch my assembly video here. I went with the City Luxe over the UPPAbaby Vista (even though this one is SO cute!!) because it tended to rate a little higher overall on safety and a couple of other features when I read consumer reports.

Baby Carrier

I love the idea of baby carrying! You basically wear your baby on your chest or back and you can choose from different carriers that are more “clip-in” and buckle type, slings, and wraps. We were given a few carriers from a friend so we’ll see what we like most and if we need anything beyond that once baby gets here.

Brands people tell me they love: ErgoBaby and LILLEBaby

Playard / travel crib (optional)

Okay I debated adding this to the list since it isn’t really in line with my “minimalist” approach but decided to add it since we actually won the Graco Pack N Play in a raffle and so many people told us it was a must have. Personally if I were spending money on it, I’d probably hold off on this and order via Amazon Prime a couple of days before I actually “needed” it if I was traveling or dropping the baby at Grandma’s or something.

The Best Baby Registry CheckList: Clothing

Baby Clothes!

Legit, one of the easiest areas to go overboard! It’s all so tiny and cute! And I hate doing laundry often, so I wanted to both not spend a gazillion dollars (since baby grows so quick) but also didn’t want to be doing laundry every day (because at that point, with my water and electric it probably would’ve been cheaper to just get more clothes!).

Personally, I set a goal for myself that I wouldn’t spend more than $10 per item… and I wanted all mostly organic clothing. I stocked up on some staples that were on super sale from Kate Quinn Organics (only 2 newborn sizes, and like 13 variations of things in 0-3 months from kimono (for the first few days to prevent irritation from the umbilical area) to traditional onesies to long sleeve footies).

I figure if I need anything more than that in the first few months, I can also order some organic things from Amazon Prime for 2 day shipping. Fortunately we live in FL so this was pretty easy to get “weather appropriate” things without breaking the bank or going overboard on styles. I did get a few sleep gown options with the bottom knot and just open for easy middle of the night changes (#TeamNoButtonsAt3am!)

Favorite brands/products: Just a few of our favorites include Colored OrganicsUnder the Nile, Kate Quinn Organics, and Kickee for organic cotton basics; and for super cute, mostly organic/bamboo Riley & Cru, Quincy Mae, Spearmint Baby, and more great basics: June and January, H&M

[RELATED] Pregnancy Checklist: 15 Things To Do In The Second Trimester

Swaddles and/or receiving blankets

We only got a few of these. We got a really light receiving blanket, a heavier one that we hope will become her blanket for years, and a couple of swaddles that I just thought were cute and would be great for photos. I didn’t want to go overboard until we knew what we would actually need and what the baby will actually like.

Favorite brands for blankets: Barefoot Dreams CozyChic Receiving blanket, Kate Quinn Organics, LouLouLollipop

Wearable blankets / sleep sacks

With the SNOO we have to get their sleep sacks to “clip” her in each night. They also make sleep sacks that my friends rave about (they are basically the easiest swaddle ever and zip up which is supposedly a life saver for evening feeds). Sleep sacks and wearable blankets are great even if you don’t have a SNOO since most baby’s outgrow swaddles after a few months. Safety recommendations say you should skip any loose blankets in the crib until after at least 12 months.

People also rave about these: SNOO specific sleep sack, 5 second swaddle sleep sack made by Happiest Baby not for SNOO, and Miracle swaddle

What we’re skipping on our baby registry for clothes (for now):

  • Mittens (Our Lovevery Play kit 0-8 weeks came with mittens, beyond that I’d rather wait and see if this is needed for our babe)
  • Separate pants and tops (we are only doing onesies for now)

The Best Baby Registry CheckList: Feeding

Nursing pillow

I’m a “minimalist” with a straight up pillow addiction. No joke, as I write this I’m sitting in bed, atop three pillows supporting my back, one at my feet, three more to the left of me, and eight more piled atop a chair in my bedroom. I know I probably have *enough* pillows to prop the baby up on and give my arm a break while breast feeding, but we are going to register for this one that’s affordable and we have nothing like it’s shape, and if we get it great, if not, let’s see if we even need it!

Nursing accessories

I love Earth Mama products (it’s what I used on my bump through out pregnancy!). So I’m getting their nipple cream and booby tubes to have on hand just in case I need them. I got a nursing bra from Old Navy on super sale. Beyond that, I’m waiting to see what I need and figure I can always use a swaddle or something as a nursing cover if needed.

[RELATED] How To Deal With The Second Trimester of Pregnancy Symptoms

Basic burp cloths and bibs

We opted for these burp cloths on Amazon. They are pretty cheap (5 for $25). I figure if we need anything more than that we can use an old t-shirt. I’m holding off on bibs until the baby is closer to four months and really starts drooling a lot.

Baby bottles

We registered for this sample pack. We got a few bottles from doing all the different baby registries for free and I plan on breastfeeding so I feel like this is enough of a stash to start with and see a) what the baby likes and b) what we actually even need. I think because we are planning on breast feeding we will be leaning more towards Avent, Tommee Tippee, and Dr. Brown’s since they have wide-neck bottles which make it easier to go back and forth between boob and bottle.

Breast pump & accessories

We actually haven’t registered for this, but I put this on here as a just in case reminder! I get new insurance in January so I’m holding off until then to see which electric pumps are covered. If no good ones are covered, I’m going to get the Spectra S2 after talking with friends who tended to prefer it over the Medela. I’m going to get a Haakaa pump too as a back up (since baby is due in January and I don’t know when I’ll actually get the electric pump). It’s really affordable and easy enough to throw in a bag if I’m out and don’t want to pack the entire electric system.

[RELATED] The Confused Baby’s Gender REVEALED + How I Actually Feel About It

Pacifiers

I debated getting these too, but ultimately decided to have a couple on hand since I was a pacifier fiend as a kid. Literally, I walked around with at least 5 on me at all times, in my pockets, clipped to me, in my mouth, and in my hands. I was obsessed. If she takes after me at all she’ll take to them pretty quickly and so figured we should start with a pack in the house “just in case,” and snagged these.

What we’re skipping on our registry for feedings for now:

  • High chair
  • Bibs
  • Bottle sterilizer
  • Bottle warmer
  • Nursing covers (I don’t go out a lot and can always use a spare swaddle)
  • Milk storage bags
  • 4oz. bottles beyond the sample pack; Babies can only use these smaller bottles for a few months anyway so once we know what she likes we’ll go for the 8-9oz. bottles.
  • Specialized bottle drying rack and bottle brush
  • Pacifier pouch, clip, and wipes

The Best Baby Registry CheckList: Keeping baby clean

Diapers

I really debated whether or not to go the cloth diaper or traditional diaper route. Ultimately I decided to go with the traditional diaper route for a few reasons:

1) Like I mentioned, I hate doing laundry and I was not about to do it ever two days,

2) once you’re doing laundry every two days you aren’t actually decreasing your global footprint that much. The waste in electricity/water versus the waste of the diapers ends up not being so different since you actually still need a disposable liner in most cloth diapers as well

3) There’s no guarantee they’ll last for a second child, so again, no guarantee of massive cost savings since the actual cost of cloth vs. traditional may only be a savings of like $1,000 annually for one child when you think about your water and electric for keeping them clean and how pricey they are.

Again it’s a personal decision, I did a lot of research and that’s just what I chose to do based off our lifestyle. We aren’t stocking up on diapers, just getting a small pack of newborn ones until we know what she likes and see what size she is.

[RELATED] How To Eat Healthy During Pregnancy [+ What I Eat In A Day While Pregnant]

Wipes

Most pediatricians seem to recommend Water Wipes (which contain 99.9% water and 0.1% grapefruit seed extract) for newborns, or getting dry wipes like these where you just add water. So that’s what we are doing for the first couple of months and then we’ll go from there.

Changing stations

Like I mentioned, we aren’t getting furniture for the baby’s room until after we move, so we decided to skip a changing table/dresser set up. Instead we opted for a changing pad and diaper caddy on two floors (we live in a three story townhouse). This way things are always convenient and easily accessible wherever we are in our home.

Diaper bag

Ugh the struggle! Diaper bags are kind of gaudy and strange looking. We wanted something gender neutral and really simple/clean. Ultimately we found this one.

Baby bathtub

While we thought those flower tubs were super cute, once we read that baby will outgrow it in about six months we decided to just opt for this tub instead. It’s affordable, and transitions from newborn to toddler.

Baby shampoo/wash and lotion

You guys already know I love Weleda products for myself from my Instagram probably; so it should come as no surprise that the baby will be using their baby line! It’s constantly rated as a top brand for baby shampoo, diaper cream, and all the good hygiene stuff and I know their products are ethically sourced and follow top beauty/safety standards.

[RELATED] Fall Back Into A Fitness Routine: Tips & Workouts (Pregnancy Friendly)

Towel

Honestly, if we owned more than four towels we’d probably skip this. But since E and I only have two towels each (one we are currently using and the other is usually in the wash) – I figured baby should get her own towel too! Plus I couldn’t resist the little ears on this one or this one.

What we’re skipping on our baby registry for diapering and bath time (for now):

  • Changing table
  • Wipe warmer
  • Diaper pail
  • Tub toys

The Best Baby Registry CheckList: Health & Safety

Baby monitor

Honestly still need suggestions on this! We feel so overwhelmed and honestly may wait to get this until we move… Our current home has terrible internet (super fun for two work from home entrepreneurs). So from what we’ve read about a lot of the video monitors, it probably won’t work with our Wi-Fi. It seems silly to get a monitor we don’t really want for just a month or two until we move, then again on the flip side, it also doesn’t make sense for us to get a monitor that we can’t use for a few more months in case there’s an issue we wouldn’t know about until past the return window… So here we are considering not having a baby monitor the first couple of months, are we insane?! Drop me your monitor suggestions below!

Brands we are looking at/considering:  Infant Optics, Vtech (I used to use this when I nannied back in the day; it’s basic but works well), or Owlet

Baby thermometer

We just got this one since it had good reviews and reads in 10 seconds… I just remember being a kid and hating waiting the entire minute or so until I could take the thermometer out, so the quick read sold me.

Bulb syringe/nasal aspirator

Everyone tells me to upgrade from the bulb syringe you get at the hospital to a suction-powered nasal aspirator like the popular NoseFrida to remove baby boogies! Weirdly I think this is going to be fun?! Haha!

[RELATED] We’re PREGNANT! Our Pregnancy Journey

Baby-safe cleaning products

We started switching out our cleaning products for “greener” ones before baby, but decided to check out EWG to see how safe they actually are for baby. Now we are opting for products that get an “A” rating across the board – especially for detergent and things like that. A lot of brands market themselves as “baby-safe” or “green” but actually aren’t, so I’d suggest heading to EWG to do your homework before stocking up on a brand – and keep in mind just because a brand rates well in one category doesn’t mean it will in another!

What we’re skipping on our baby registry for health & safety (for now):

  • Cradle cap treatment
  • Colic relief treatment
  • Special baby nail clippers/scissors
  • Infant Tylenol/Advil: Use of a pain/fever reducer is not recommended by the AAP for babies under six months in age, unless directed by a physician.
  • Baby proofing gear – we already have a couple of baby gates for our dog and beyond that this type of stuff doesn’t really matter until the baby can crawl around 6-8 months so we aren’t registering for it now
  • Humidifier – I already had this one from Safety 1st when I was pregnant which we can use for the baby if she needs.

Phew! Okay, there you have it, everything we are looking at and skipping over for our baby registry!

What items would you add or skip from the list? Are there any brands you loved in particular?


RELATED:

We’re PREGNANT! Our Pregnancy Journey!

8 First Trimester Symptoms [+ How To Work Through Them]

How To Eat Healthy During Pregnancy [+ What I Eat In A Day While Pregnant]

The Confused Baby’s Gender REVEALED + How I Actually Feel About It

Pregnancy Checklist: 15 Things To Do In The Second Trimester


Here’s a quick list of all the must have items to have the Best Baby Registry Checklist:

  • Bassinet

  • Hanging Shoe Organizer

  • Baby lounger / Dock-A-Tot

  • Floor mat and/or activity gym

  • Car seat

  • Stroller/Travel Systems

  • Baby Carrier

  • Playard / travel crib (optional)

  • Baby Clothes!

  • Swaddles and/or receiving blankets

  • Wearable blankets / sleep sacks

  • Nursing pillow

  • Nursing accessories

  • Basic burp cloths and bibs

  • Baby bottles

  • Breast pump & accessories

  • Pacifiers

  • Diapers

  • Wipes

  • Changing stations

  • Diaper bag

  • Baby bathtub

  • Baby shampoo/wash and lotion

  • Towel

  • Baby monitor

  • Baby thermometer

  • Bulb syringe/nasal aspirator

  • Baby-safe cleaning products

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