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The Baby Registry List I Wish I’d Had

This isn’t just another baby registry list. This is the list for you if you’re all about functional and frugal. It has what you need, for good prices, and nothing more, plus a section about what not to put on your registry.

baby registry items in a bag

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Let’s be honest right up front. There’s a zillion baby registry lists out there. They all claim they’re the best or the ultimate or the one that only has stuff you really need.

But I still have yet to find one that’s really what I wish I’d had, one that had all the things I really needed but didn’t have anything that I could get for free or that I’d end up not using.

So now that I’m on the other side of baby registries and baby showers, I made that list for you!

To give you an idea of the kind of list this is going to be, I spent less than $7,000 on EVERYTHING maternity- and baby-related with my first daughter, including paying my midwife. And I don’t regret a thing.

First Things First: Where and When

Obviously, before creating your baby registry, you’ll need to decide what site you’re going to use to create it. There are a lot of companies that offer registry services. But I recommend Amazon, for no other reason than the fact that everyone uses Amazon and Amazon has everything.

It’s hard to beat that.

You might also be wondering when you should create your baby registry. It’s up to you, really, but here’s a few things to consider:

Do you want gender-neutral or gender-specific items?

I recommend gender-neutral colors for everything besides clothes. If you’re planning on having multiple kids, you’ll save a lot of money in the long run. If you want any gender-specific stuff, though, you’ll need to wait until you find that out. That’s usually around 20 weeks.

Would having it done help you feel calmer and more prepared?

Anything you can do to remove stress from your life during pregnancy is probably worth doing. Emotions affect your body. So if having your baby registry done will get rid of some negative emotions, get ‘er done.

Do you have a lot of time to spend on baby prep?

If you spend a lot of time at work or with other commitments while you’re pregnant, you’ll probably want to start on your baby registry earlier. It takes a surprising amount of time to add all the things to your registry. So if you only have an hour here and there, the earlier you start the better.

Just make sure to have your registry done a few weeks before your baby shower so your guests know what to buy!

The Best Baby Registry List

In those first weeks postpartum with my first baby, I made sure to take notes. I wrote down things I was grateful I’d gotten and things I had to go buy because I hadn’t bought them but needed them.

From those notes and the baby registry I actually made, here’s the list I wish I had – the most frugal, functional, practical baby registry list you’ll find.

By the way, by “baby registry” I mean anything you’ll need to take care of your baby or yourself in those first weeks postpartum. I don’t include things like dishes, bibs, or outlet covers that you won’t need until later.

TIP: One way I saved money was by waiting to buy things I wasn’t sure I’d need or want. So if there’s anything on this list that makes you hesitate, leave it off your registry. You can buy it after your baby is born if you find that you do actually want it.

What To Put On Your Baby Registry

I’ve divided this list into 8 categories: diapering, sleeping, bath and health, breastfeeding, recovery, gear, clothes, and what not to buy. Even divided into categories, the list is pretty long. So I’ve created dropdowns for each category to make this page easier to navigate.

Just click on the pink boxes to expand each category as you go. Remember, you are different from me and your baby isn’t my baby. If you really want something that isn’t on this list, add it! If you don’t like some of my recommendations, ignore them.

Most of all, have fun!

Now let’s begin.


The average child will use more than 7,000 diapers in their lifetime. With that in mind, I hope you’re ready to become a diaper-changing pro. Here’s some things you can put on your baby registry to help make all those diaper changes a little easier.

DIAPERS: I didn’t actually put any diapers on my registry but you could if you wanted to. You won’t know for sure how big or small your baby will be until he or she is born. Because of that, it’s best to have both newborn and size 1 diapers on hand when baby arrives.

I tried nearly every brand of (reasonably priced) diapers out there and found one clear winner: Costco’s Kirkland Signature brand.

They were the only ones that contained blowouts reliably. They’re also the cheapest I found. And they have pretty decent ingredients (no fragrances, dyes, etc.) so that’s a win-win-win.

If you’re not a Costco-goer, Amazon’s Mama Bear Gentle Touch Diapers were my second choice because of the price.

I did try Honest brand diapers too. I only had them for a few weeks but I liked them while they lasted. They’re definitely on the pricey end, though.

WIPES: I tried a few brands of wipes. I didn’t want a bunch of added ingredients so I tried to find brands that fit that bill. My favorite ended up being Walmart’s Parent Choice Ultra-Sensitive Wipes. They have just a few good ingredients and are the cheapest I could find.

Costco’s are pretty similar to Walmart’s, just a little more expensive.

I also tried the 99% water Amazon Mama Bear Wipes and liked them. But I soon realized I was paying more than I needed to. Plus, we decided a little more cleaning power would be good for those extra messy diapers.

You’ll go through wipes pretty quickly. And the more you buy the cheaper they are. So I recommend you buy wipes in bulk (like the box of 9 packs at Walmart).

CHANGING TABLE: I do think a changing table is a good idea. But don’t spend more than you need to. My advice? Find a used dresser of the right height at a yard sale or online and call it good.

That way it’s a two-in-one purchase: storage and a changing table. And you can use it even after you don’t have kids in diapers anymore.

Just make sure to get a dresser with so your feet can fit under it and you don’t stub your toe every time you step up to it.

FOAM CHANGING PAD: I started out with a typical fabric changing pad and fabric covers. They worked fine. But the pad wasn’t as waterproof as it said and neither it nor the covers were easy to clean.

After one too many messes caused by blowouts, my husband found this foam changing pad. It’s a little on the pricey side but it is FANTASTIC. I don’t regret buying it at all. 

It’s so easy to clean and doesn’t absorb anything. If you’re going to spend a little extra on anything, this should be it.

HANGING DIAPER CADDY: Having a big diaper caddy with lots of pockets is unnecessary, in my opinion. But it is nice to have diapers and wipes within reach without having to open a drawer.

I crocheted myself a cute little hanging basket and we keep diapers in there. We have room for the wipes on top of our changing table. If you’re not a crafter or don’t have room on the changing table, there’s lots of options online.

crocheted hanging diaper basket

DIAPER RASH CREAM: Most babies get diaper rash at some point, so it’s a good idea to have some cream on hand. My first daughter didn’t have a bad diaper rash until she was almost a year old. But when it got her, it got her bad.

Every other time before that, if a rash started to appear, we used a natural calendula salve on it and it was gone within a day or two.

But when it got bad, the salve wasn’t enough. We needed more of a barrier so her skin could heal.

We tried DesitinBoudreaux’s Butt Paste, and Aquaphor. They all worked about the same for us. My favorite is probably the butt paste, though, because of the shorter ingredient list.

Some rash creams are meant to prevent diaper rash. While they can be helpful, just be aware that petroleum, which is found in most creams, creates a seal on the skin. So while it creates an effective barrier while diaper rash is healing, it may inadvertently cause long-term dry skin and prevent your baby’s skin from truly cleansing.

So I recommend keeping diaper rash cream on hand but using it only when a rash starts to appear.

RELATED >> 29 Diaper Changing Hacks You’ll Wish You’d Known Sooner


Sleep will be your one goal for you and for your baby in those first few weeks. Here’s what you actually need on your baby registry to be ready for comfy bedtimes.

CRIB: If you want a traditional wooden crib, I’d go with one like this that “grows” with your child. You can also get one like this that is really easy to store.

If you want the ultimate thrifty option, just do what I did: buy a Pack N’ Play. You can get one with a bassinet-height insert so it doubles as a bassinet and crib.

Part of our reasoning for getting a Pack N’ Play instead of a crib was that we weren’t in a house yet. That meant moving again was in our near future and a travel-friendly bed was ideal for that.

Plus, it was cheaper than anything else, and we didn’t need to buy a bed for home and a bed for vacations.

If you’re curious about other alternatives to cribs, check out I Never Used a Normal Crib. Here’s What I Recommend.

CRIB MATTRESS: No matter what crib you buy, you’ll need to get a mattress. This one fits perfectly in a Pack N’ Play and is firm enough to be safe but soft enough to be comfortable. It comes with a waterproof washable cover, too.

CRIB SHEETS: I’d also recommend getting some sheets for the mattress. It’s an extra layer to protect against leaks. And it’s easier to remove and wash than the zip-on cover of the mattress.

BLANKETS: Did you know that swaddling can be bad for babies’ hips? Not all swaddling is bad. Just make sure to leave enough space for your baby’s knees and legs to move out and up. We decided to use blankets for swaddling, so we got a few of these nice lightweight ones.

I also recommend you get a slightly heavier baby blanket, like flannel. My great-grandma gave me a double-layer flannel blanket and we used it a ton. It was especially nice on cold days. It was small enough to easily cover our daughter while she was in her car seat but not so bulky that it was hard to use.

SLEEP SACK or WEARABLE BLANKET: You can also buy sleep sacks for swaddling. My sister-in-law loves this one, but I never got one. Rather than a sleep sack, we switched from swaddling with blankets to using a wearable blanket. We got some for free, but these ones are similar to what we had.

After our daughter grew out of the smaller sizes of wearable blankets, we got this one which she wears over her pjs. We’ve loved it. You might want to get two so that you always have one available even if one is in the wash.

NOISE MAKER: Most babies sleep better with white noise. My husband and I sleep with a fan on anyways, for the same reason, but we decided to get a noise maker in addition to that. It’s been especially nice for traveling. This one isn’t too pricey and works well.

BABY MONITOR: All kinds of baby monitors exist – ones with cameras, ones that track your baby’s breathing and heart rate, ones that connect with your phone. But I really didn’t think any of that was necessary. I opted for a simple audio monitor and it’s worked just fine for us.

The parent unit has a rechargeable battery that lasts for 8 hours. It has a clip so you can easily carry it around with you. And it’s got a really good range (best-in-class, they say).

Bath and Health

My mom recently told me that she bathed my older sister every day until I was born. I didn’t get nearly that many baths. Ha! However often you bathe your baby, you’ll want some good products to use. Here are the ones I think are worth adding to your baby registry.

BABY BATH: I didn’t buy a baby bath initially because I didn’t think it was necessary. For the first few bath times, we just put a towel down in the freshly-cleaned kitchen sink, filled it up with a little bit of warm water, and washed our daughter there.

That worked but was easiest with two people – one to support the baby and one to wash.

My husband and I wanted to be able to easily bathe the baby on our own, so we bought this bath. I’ve liked it for several reasons:

  • It’s safe and stable during bath time.
  • It can be used for a newborn, a baby who can hold their head up but not sit up yet, and a baby who can sit on their own.
  • It fits perfectly in a typical sink and sits safely on the bottom of a normal bathtub.

It is a little bulky so it’s not super ideal for small spaces. But all the collapsible baths had reviews saying they collapsed in the middle of bath time. That is definitely not ideal.

WASHCLOTHS: We got some baby washcloths because I wanted to make sure we had some that would be gentle on our daughter’s newborn skin. This is one item that isn’t strictly necessary but that I felt like was important enough to spend a little bit of money on.

TOWELS: Baby towels, on the other hand, didn’t make the list. Rather than buying baby-specific towels, we just bought some nice new full-size towels.

That said, I do understand now why hooded towels are nice – babies lose heat through their heads quickly and it’s important to keep them warm. But I still haven’t bought any.

BODY WASH and SHAMPOO: Most of the time you’ll see baby body wash and shampoo combined in one. This is another area I tried to avoid unnecessary and harmful ingredients.

I was gifted an Aveeno brand wash. But when I tried it, it seemed to irritate my baby’s skin (probably because it had fragrance in it). So I bought this fragrance-free Hello Bello Shampoo and Body Wash instead. It doesn’t irritate my daughter’s skin and has a nice squirt top that makes it easy to dispense. And it’s cheap!

LOTION: I went back and forth about buying baby lotion. But eventually my daughter’s skin got dry enough that I decided to buy some. I chose baby Cerave lotion and haven’t had any issues with it.

NAIL CLIPPERS: Babies’ nails grow so fast! You’re going to have to clip them often. I always got nervous about cutting my daughter’s nails, but it’s not as bad as you think. You get used to it (and faster) once you do it a few times.

We use these baby nail clippers. They come in a two-pack so you’ll have one for at home and one to throw in the diaper bag!

NOSE PICKER: This isn’t the most glamorous thing on the list but it’s so useful! The OogieBear was a gem recommended by my sister-in-law and I’m glad she told us about it. It works like a charm getting those little boogers out.


I am a HUGE fan of breastfeeding. And though it’s a normal, natural, beautiful thing, it does take some learning. And anything you can do to make it easier is definitely worth it. These products helped me.

BOPPY PILLOW: A Boppy pillow is going to be your best friend. At the beginning, your baby will take a while to eat. They’ll get faster as time goes on but they’ll also get heavier. Having a pillow that fits around you snugly is going to provide relief for your arms, shoulders, and wrists. Plus, it makes it a lot easier to do things one-handed.

BOPPY PILLOW COVER: Your Boppy Pillow isn’t going to come with a cover, so make sure to add one to your registry, too. It might even be nice to have two for the times it gets covered in spit up and you need to wash it.

BURP CLOTHS: You’re going to need burp cloths and you’re going to want A LOT. We ended up buying a few more packs of burp cloths after the first few weeks. We were going through them super fast, because of my milk coming in and lots of spit up, and we were sick of doing laundry every day.

I’d recommend getting about 25 burp cloths so they last you a few days. Don’t worry, they don’t have to be expensive. These bamboo ones are super soft and absorbent. And they’re cheap!

BREAST SHELLS: During those first few months, the breast your baby isn’t eating on will leak a lot of milk while your baby drinks. You could let it soak into a nursing pad. Or you could put in a breast shell and collect that milk!

You can freeze the milk you catch, in case someone else needs to feed your baby. Or you can donate it for babies in need. 

MILK STORAGE BAGS: That milk you collect needs somewhere to go. I’ve liked these storage bags. Just make sure you only use bags once and you keep the milk well frozen until you’re ready to use it.

NURSING BRAS: I didn’t like nursing bras at first but I’m glad I didn’t give up on them. I’m so glad I have them now. It takes a second to get used to unclipping and clipping the hooks, but it’s so much easier than trying to use a normal bra. 

I tried these nursing bras first because a lot of people really like them. They worked well enough. But after about two months, all the clasps were broken and they came undone randomly underneath my shirt. So I don’t recommend those ones.

As a more reliable option, I’ve really liked these from Target. The neckline is a little higher than normal bras but that hasn’t bothered me too much. The cup lining is sewn in so they don’t get all bunched up in the wash, which is nice. I used them for nearly a year and the clasps never broke.

After several months of breastfeeding, I needed a smaller size bra. (That’s normal – your body gets better and better at producing just what’s needed when it’s needed.) I tried these from Amazon and so far I’ve like them just as much, if not more, than the Target ones.

BEDTIME BRAS: While not strictly necessary, it’s nice to also have some extra comfortable bras for sleeping in. You can buy fancy ones meant for bedtime or you can just get simple cotton bras that are a size too big. That’s what I did.

Buying one size up is good while your milk is coming in because your breasts are much fuller during that period. Then later on the extra roominess is nice after wearing a fitted bra all day.

NURSING DRESSES: If you wear dresses regularly, you’ll definitely want some nursing dresses. Unlike a shirt, if your dress isn’t made for nursing, you’ll need a private room for breastfeeding so you can take the dress completely off.

Nursing dresses can be super pricey if you buy the fancy ones. But you can get ones that are both functional and stylish if you know what to look for.

My favorite kind of nursing dress actually isn’t a nursing dress at all. Smocked-top dresses like this one aren’t designed for breastfeeding, but they’re stretchy enough to allow you to pull the neckline down out of the way. I was super excited when I figured that one out.

(Just make sure you don’t get a fake one that doesn’t have a stretchy neckline!)

There’s also some good options on Amazon for great prices, if you’re looking for more typical nursing dresses.

The basic style of nursing dress has a top layer to lift up and a crossover underneath. You can also find ones that have an elastic band on the top layer so it doesn’t look like a nursing dress.

MANUAL BREAST PUMP (HAAKAA): Though I don’t use my Haakaa a lot, I have been glad to have it. The Haakaa is a “manual breast pump.”

Some people use it to collect milk, like a breast shell, by putting it on the breast the baby isn’t feeding on. In order to get it to stay on, though, you have to use suction and I found that really uncomfortable.

For me, it’s been nice to have a Haakaa for those times when it’s been a while between feedings and my breasts need some relief. It’s an easy way to express just enough to be comfortable again.

For a while I kept it in my diaper bag in case I ever ended up somewhere without my electric pump and needed to express some milk.

ELECTRIC BREAST PUMP: Now, I think exclusive breastfeeding – meaning only breastmilk and baby at the breast most of the time – is best. Even if you do exclusively breastfeed, though, pumping may still be necessary sometimes, like when you need to go somewhere for a few hours without the baby or when your baby is sick and won’t eat.

If you have insurance, you might be able to get a breast pump for free or for cheap. Make sure to ask your insurance company about it before your baby is born because nice breast pumps are expensive!

I got this closed-system hospital-grade one and it’s been really nice for the few times I’ve needed it. 

PUMPING BRA: If you’re going to be pumping – especially if you’ll be pumping a lot, like if you need to go back to work – I recommend getting a pumping bra. Since I don’t pump often, I haven’t bought one but it’s a hassle not to have one, to be honest. This is probably the one I’d buy if I got one. 

BOTTLE: If you’re exclusively breastfeeding, you don’t need a cupboard full of bottles. One nice glass bottle with a natural response nipple has been enough for me. 

BOTTLE BRUSH: Bottles are hard to clean without a brush meant just for that, so I got this pack of bottle brushes. I’ve used them for other baby stuff too – my breast shells, pacifiers, pump parts. It’s good to have one designated brush for baby stuff rather than using the same one as you use for all your dishes.

BREASTFEEDING COVER: Even if you’re comfortable breastfeeding in public, there may be times or places you’ll want a cover. Initially I tried one of those stretchy fabric covers that works as a car seat cover and a nursing shield but I didn’t love it.

While my daughter and I were still figuring out breastfeeding, I needed both hands to help and support her. I didn’t have an extra hand to hold the shield out of the way so I could see her. 

So I tried this 360° cover instead. It works better. My husband actually added a little extra support to it so it formed a little tent. But once we got past those first two months, just the boning in the neck was enough to make it really functional.

NIPPLE CREAM: Those first few days and weeks are a toughening-up time for your nipples. They’ve never been used to feed a baby before so they can be quite sensitive for a little while.

If you’re doing what you can to avoid engorgement and mastitis and your baby learns to latch on well, a good nipple cream should be enough to soothe the tenderness until they toughen up.

Definitely go with an all natural one that’s safe for your baby to ingest. I swear every time I put my nipple cream on, my baby would decide she wanted to eat a little more. But it wasn’t a problem because I had this awesome all-natural cream

NIPPLE SHIELDS: Nipple shields were another thing I didn’t buy until I realized how much I needed them. Every baby and mom is different, but my baby latched on great right after she was born and then the next time I tried to feed her it was super painful.

I had a little breakdown and ended up spoon feeding her hand-expressed milk through the night. 

In the morning, my mother-in-law went to pick me up some nipple shields. Nipple shields are really thin silicone nipples – kind of like a bottle top – that you place over your nipples when breastfeeding your baby. They minimize or eliminate pain while your baby is learning how to latch on properly and your nipples are getting used to it.

They were a lifesaver for me. I recommend you have them on hand in case you need them.

REUSABLE NURSING PADS: In case no one has told you yet, let me: as your milk is coming in, you are going to leak. A lot. You will need nursing pads, no question. I wanted some reusable (machine washable) ones so I wasn’t throwing away disposables constantly. 

Bamboobies brand newborn nursing pads are fantastic. They’re super soft and really absorbent for fabric ones. They come in packs of 4 pairs, but in those first few weeks you won’t even make it through one day with that many.

I literally bought 10 packs. It was worth it. You need that many if you don’t want to do laundry every day (and who does, especially if you’re a new mom?).

You could also buy some of their heart-shaped ones which are supposed to be more discreet under your shirt. You’ll just want to wait to use these ones until a few months in when your milk supply has evened out because they can’t hold as much milk before soaking through.

The heart-shaped ones don’t stay in place as well, though, so I usually just use my round ones.

In addition to being cheaper in the long run, I also recommend reusable nursing pads because the disposable ones can irritate your skin. If I wear disposable pads for too long I can definitely feel the difference. 

DISPOSABLE NURSING PADS: That said, I would definitely get some disposable nursing pads. Not only are they a great backup if you really need to do laundry, but they’re really nice for travel because you don’t have to store the wet ones somewhere in your diaper bag, you just toss ’em!

NURSING CHAIR: I went back and forth about buying a nursing chair. I wondered if it was really necessary. We already had a rocking chair but it was wooden and narrow. I couldn’t fit my Boppy Pillow in it and I worried about bumping my baby’s head on the armrests. 

We already had a recliner, too, but it didn’t rock. And I soon found that I didn’t like nursing in it anyways because even upright it felt too reclined to nurse in.

After a few weeks, I decided to get a glider chair and it’s been so nice to have. I got a nice used one online and saved a ton of money. If you can’t find a used one or feel more comfortable buying new, this one is similar to the one I have.

Whatever you get, I recommend getting one with a high enough backrest that you can comfortably lean your head against it because chances are you’ll end up taking more naps in your nursing chair than you probably think.

CLOCK: It might seem kind of funny to have a clock on a baby registry list, but I bought one after having my baby. You’re going to want to have an idea of how long your baby is taking to eat and how long he or she goes between feedings.

If you don’t already have an easy-to-see clock in the room where you’re breastfeeding, I’d recommend adding one to your registry.

READ MORE >> 20 Breastfeeding Hacks That Will Make Your Life Easier


Postpartum can be challenging. So if there are products that can make it a little easier, I’d say that’s worth spending some money on. Here are my top tips for postpartum products to put on your baby registry.

BELLY BINDER: I was skeptical about belly bands; I thought they were just for people anxious about being skinny again. And they do help with that, but they actually help with healing, too.

The first time I put on my belly binder after having my first baby, it felt amazing. Everything inside your abdomen is returning to it’s pre-pregnant place after birth and your core muscles are weak. The band provides support and feels so good, both on your abdomen and your back. 

HEALING SALVE: I used the same healing salve as nipple cream and to help my perineum heal. I tore and got stitches after birth. I think the salve is part of why I healed so quickly.

Even if you didn’t tear, this stuff could be great for the “skid marks” a lot of people have after vaginal birth. And if not that, it’s great for just about anything, like babies’ bottoms, pregnant bellies, or dry hands and feet.

PADS: For a few weeks after giving birth, it’s going to seem like you’re on your period – a really heavy period. Your midwife or the hospital will provide some pads to you, but you’ll definitely need some more than what they give you.

Maybe you don’t want to put this on your registry, but it is something you’ll need so I included it here anyways.

PERINEAL TEA: My midwife made me perineal tea to aid in the healing process. She used it to make me “pad-sicles,” meaning she put tea on several pads then froze them for me so I could use them later. They felt amazing.

I also used the perineal tea in a peri bottle to wash off after going to the bathroom since wiping was not something I wanted to do with fresh stitches.

PERINEAL SPRAY: In addition to the perineal tea she made, my midwife gave me some of this Earth Mama Perineal Spray. It was super nifty to be able to just spritz some on after each bathroom trip for some extra cooling and healing. (All those natural ingredients smell really good too!)

WITCH HAZEL PADS: Adding a layer of these Tucks Medicated Healing Pads (the main ingredient is witch hazel) inside your pads helps with inflammation and can soothe discomfort, too.


This is the category I had the most fun with. You could spend a million dollars on baby gadgets and gear. But these are the things I actually used and liked that I think are worth adding to your registry.

CAR SEAT + STROLLER: You can buy a car seat, seat base, and stroller separately, but this combined “travel system” is a great deal and makes a lot of sense. Just pop the car seat off the seat base in the car and pop it on the stroller and you’re good to go. No unbuckling and jostling the baby needed!

Some other great things about this stroller:

  • It has large wheels for a smoother ride.
  • It folds up for semi-compact storage and can stand on its own when folded.
  • It has an additional canopy to shield little ones completely from the sun (instead of just one-directional protection from the car seat canopy).
  • Once your baby has outgrown the car seat, the stroller has an adjustable seat for toddlers. 
  • The canopy and seat can both be removed to make it more light-weight for travel. 

NOTE: If you plan on having lots of kids, especially if you want to have them close together, a double stroller might be a good option. This one is really nice and works for twins or for a baby and a toddler.

DIAPER BAG: I considered getting a plain ol’ backpack to use as a diaper bag and that probably would have worked fine. But this diaper bag didn’t cost much more than a high-quality backpack, plus it came with a fold-up changing mat which is really nice to have on the go. 

You can fit a lot of stuff in its many pockets. It even has some insulated pockets, which is nice if you need to keep a bottle cold or warm for longer.

READ MORE >> What to Pack In a Diaper Bag (+ free checklist)

BABY BANDANAS: I added baby bandanas to my registry because I thought they seemed nifty and I’m really glad I did. Around 2 or 3 months when your baby’s saliva glands start to go wild, you’re going to be glad for an easily-removable layer to change when it gets soaked through rather than having to change the whole outfit.

These muslin bandana bibs are really absorbent and have two buttons for adjustable neck width. 

SUN HAT: Though newborns are supposed to stay out of the sun for a few months, you’ll want a wide-brimmed hat for when you start taking them outside.

PACIFIERS: While I was pregnant, I learned about “nipple confusion,” so I wasn’t sure if I should put pacifiers on my registry or not. I didn’t put any on my registry, but I bought some after just a week or two.

We actually ended up with two different kinds of pacifiers because my daughter didn’t like the first kind we got. She preferred Dr. Browns pacifiers. And I like that they’re 100% silicone and butterfly-shaped rather than round.

They’re also easy for my daughter to grab to put back in her mouth. And they’re dishwasher safe, too.

By the way, nipple confusion is when newborns have a hard time establishing breastfeeding because they are given pacifiers or bottles early on. Some say it’s a myth. But some women and babies have struggled with it. We decided it was worth the risk, especially because breastfeeding was already going well.

PACIFIER CLIP: I didn’t buy a pacifier clip until a few months in, but I should have put one on my registry. Babies drop their pacifiers all the time and a pacifier clip will keep it attached to them even when they spit it out.

I crocheted a pacifier clip before I bought one. It was cute…but also disgusting. Of course, my baby chewed and sucked on it all the time so it was often soaked in spit and then it would start to smell. Because of that, I definitely recommend getting a silicone one, not fabric.

BOUNCER: A bouncer is a must! Here’s why I like having a bouncer:

  • It’s an easily-portable, safe place to set your newborn down when you need to do something you can’t do with a baby in arms.
  • It’s inclined so it might be more comfortable for your baby when he or she isn’t happy lying flat on their back.
  • The automatic bouncing can help soothe a baby when nothing else seems to be working.

You might be able to find a used bouncer with a washable cover to save some $$ but if not, I’d say it’s worth it to buy one new.

BUMBO SEAT: I finally got a Bumbo Seat when my first daughter was a few months old, and it’s been so nice to have. Our daughter loves to sit up and see the world, and it’s been nice to have a place to put her when we can’t hold her. (She got too big for the bouncer real quick.)

Bumbo also makes a bigger version with a food tray. I haven’t tried it, but it’s probably a good option if you’d prefer one that will be usable for longer.

BABY LOUNGER: I originally bought a baby lounger because our first daughter slept best on our bed those first days and we were more comfortable with her in a little bed than just straight on our mattress.

Since then, it’s been nice to have for other reasons too, including camping and being able to move her from our lap to her crib after she falls asleep.

PACK ‘N’ PLAY: If you didn’t get one to use as your crib, I recommend getting a Pack N’ Play. You’ll be glad to have it when your baby needs to nap at Grandma’s house or when you’re on vacation.

BACKSEAT CAR MIRROR: A car mirror is one thing I actually put on the “don’t buy” list originally and then ended up eating my words. I’d heard the typical “car mirrors are dangerous” logic so I didn’t get one at first.

Eventually, my husband and I decided that the benefit of being able to see our daughter from the front seat (and her being able to see us) was greater than the risk of an unlikely accident.

STRUCTURED CARRIER: The first baby carrier I bought was a Maya Wrap. I loved the idea of it. But my daughter didn’t like being in it at all. It was also hard to get it just right so it was secure and comfortable.

Within a few weeks of our daughter being born, we bought this structured carrier. Our daughter liked it much better and it was easier to put on than the ring sling. It was SO nice to be able to hold her while we got other stuff done so I highly recommend you get some kind of carrier.

I’ve also heard good things about the ErgoBaby 360 structured carrier. It’s a little more expensive but people say it doesn’t hurt even after wearing it for a long time. Plus, the leg support is adjustable so it’s better on baby’s hips and circulation even when you wear him or her forward-facing.

FOAM FLOOR MAT: If you have hard floors, I recommend getting this foam floor mat. Babies need time on the floor so they can learn to roll over and move around. I hesitated to put my baby down in the kitchen, though, because of the hardwood floors. (I got over that eventually.)

Having a foam mat made it more comfortable for my baby to play next to me on the floor while I cooked and did other things in the kitchen. Plus, it provided extra padding for times when she fell backwards when she was still learning to sit on her own.

FAIRY LIGHTS: This is a personal preference, but I’m putting it on here because I’ve liked it. When you get up to feed your baby in the middle of the night, you’ll want a softer light.

I have a lamp by my nursing chair, but I also have these fairy lights strung around the edges of the ceiling, too. Often, I won’t even bother turning on the lamp because these provide enough light and make it easier for both me and my daughter to get back to sleep after.

Another option is to put a red light bulb in a nearby lamp. Red light is softer on our eyes than blue or white light so it will make it easier for you and your baby to get back to sleep.


When it comes to baby clothes, my opinion is that you don’t need to buy any. Why? Because chances are you can find plenty for free. You will save thousands of dollars over your kid’s lifetime if you find free clothes.

For example, I got two big bins of baby clothes from my dental hygienist who noticed I was pregnant and wanted to get rid of hers. Then we borrowed a ton of clothes from my sister-in-law who had already had a few kids and was still storing hers.

Plus, everyone loves buying baby clothes so you’ll probably get lots of new outfits as gifts, too.

That said, if you do decide to buy some clothes, here are a few tips.

  1. Don’t buy newborn mittens. They don’t stay on babies’ hands. Socks work better, so just get a few extra of those.
  2. If you want to buy as little as possible, buy pajamas instead of onesies and pants for the first few months. You just need to make sure your baby stays warm, and they’re sleeping most of the time anyways. Why not just have them wear pjs all day and save the money you would have spent on other clothes
  3. As a combination of the first two, pajamas with those fold-over mitten sleeves and built-in footies are the best. Everything is connected so you don’t constantly have to pull socks back on to make sure baby is staying warm.
  4. Snaps are better than zippers, in my opinion. At least while your baby can’t hold their head up on their own, zippers get all bunched up in their face. Plus, we liked being able to undo just the bottom snaps rather than having to take the whole outfit off to change diapers. You can find double-zippered outfits now, which allow you to do the same thing, so it’s really a personal preference.
  5. Check the thrift store first. Why spend extra on something when you could get it for a few dollars at a thrift store?
  6. Buy the bigger size. Babies don’t care if their clothes are baggy, and they’re cute no matter what they’re wearing. To save money, buy a size bigger than they’ll fit in right away so they can wear it for longer.
  7. Get these white Gerber onesies. They come in an 8-pack and they’re a great price. They go with everything (which is nice if you’re getting mis-matched clothes for free) and they’re soft and stretchy. Plus, they seem to be on the big side of the age they are labeled for, so they last a little longer before you have to move up a size.

What NOT To Put On Your Baby Registry

Now that we’ve covered what you actually need on your registry, let’s go over a few things you really don’t need to put on there. 

CLOTHES: Like I said above, you can probably get all the baby clothes you need for free (or at least super cheap). If there are a few specific things you want, feel free to put them on your registry. For the most part, though, get clothes from friends and family who have already had babies.

BASSINET: You can find bassinets for a wide range of prices, but you really don’t need one. Buy a Pack N’ Play or a normal crib that you can use for years rather than spending money on something you’ll only use for a few months. 

DIAPER PAIL: Every person I’ve talked to that has bought one has said a diaper pail isn’t worth it. None of them actually keeps the smell at bay. It’s not worth the extra money.

At the beginning when the diapers don’t really smell, just use a normal trash can. Then when baby gets older and the diapers stink, take them to your big trash can outside right away.

WIPE WARMER: I considered buying a wipe warmer but I’m glad I didn’t it. You can warm a wipe up in your hands a little, if you’re worried about the cold, but it hardly bothers them. It’s just not worth the money.

BOTTLE DRYING RACK: You don’t need that many bottles (especially if you’re breastfeeding) so you won’t have that many to wash. Just use a towel on your counter for drying like you do with all your other dishes.

STERILIZER: Yes, it’s important to keep your baby’s bottles and other things clean, but you don’t need a fancy machine for it. Soap and hot water gets things clean. If you want a little extra sanitizing power, just boil some water and stick them in there for a few minutes or put them through a load in the dishwasher. 

FORMULA: If you are trying to breastfeed, I recommend you don’t keep any formula in the house. You CAN make breastfeeding work! I know you can! Of course there are special circumstances when formula may be necessary, but I believe those are few and far between. So make it a non-issue for yourself and don’t even give yourself the option of using formula.

BOTTLE WARMER: For some people, a bottle warmer might be worth it. I considered buying one. But the better my baby and I got at breastfeeding, the less I felt like I needed it.

For those few times when someone else needs to feed my baby with a bottle, they can easily warm up stored breast milk in a pot of hot water. If you find yourself in the same boat, don’t worry about getting a bottle warmer.

NURSING TOPS: I got one nursing shirt before I had my daughter and I hardly use it. I find it easier to just lift my shirt up and out of the way. Nursing bras are a yes and so are nursing dresses, but nursing shirts aren’t necessary.

FAUCET COVER and BATH SET: You don’t need lots of accessories for bath time. The faucet covers people sell are unnecessary. Just move the faucet out of the way or scoot your baby away from it. And you don’t need special rinse cups or kneeling pads – use a kitchen cup and a rolled up towel instead. 

And there you have it – the baby registry list I wish I’d had. I hope it’s helpful to you and removes at least a little bit of stress from your pregnancy and baby prep.

Until next time,


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