Buying for baby may feel overwhelming—blankets and bottles and booties, oh my! But registering for your baby can be fun and help you really lean into your desire to nest. You can register for your baby almost anywhere, but you may want to choose to register at a baby-specific store or a superstore to ensure you can have all of your baby registry list must-haves collected in one place—easier for you and for gift givers.

Unsure where to start when it comes to what to actually put on a baby registry? We’ve got you covered! Explore our list, which we’ve grouped by activity to keep things as simple as possible for you as you compile your baby registry list must-haves.

Baby Clothes

Dressing baby can be a lot of fun, but you may be surprised by how much clothing and other fabric items baby can go through in a single day. Buy the following in multiples and in sizes ranging from newborn to 6 months or even 12 months, and consider seasonal weather:

  • Elastic-waist bottoms—pants, shorts, skirts

  • Hats—sun hats, cold-weather hat, and soft hats

  • Layering clothing—sweaters, sweatshirts, and hoodies

  • Onesies (both long- and short-sleeve)

  • Pajamas (with and without feet)

  • Socks

  • Swaddling blankets and sleep sacks

Bath Time Registry Items

You’re going to want to keep that new baby smell for as long as possible. Having these items at the ready will go a long way toward making bath time easy and enjoyable for you both:

  • Baby-safe soaps, shampoos, and lotions

  • Bath toys

  • Baby bathtub

  • Hooded towels (especially those with cute additions like animal ears!)

  • Washcloths

Bedtime Registry Items

Gone are the days of loading up cribs with stuffed animals and blankets. Focus on these three pieces of bedtime gear for your registry:

  • Baby monitor—either old school or high-tech video, depending on your savviness

  • Crib mattress

  • Dimmable lighting or nightlights

  • Fitted sheets

  • Mattress protectors and pads

  • White noise machine—keep those household disturbances at bay

Furniture Pieces

Outfitting the nursery (and other areas of your home) with new pieces of furniture can be as fun as it is practical—though avoid hand-me-downs and used items to ensure safety:

  • Crib or bassinet—whichever is right for your space, but note that baby will grow out of the bassinet faster

  • Changing table

  • Highchair

  • Rocking chair or glider chair

  • Storage, storage, storage—baskets, bins, boxes, hangers, and a dresser

Diapering & Health Needs Registry Items

A groomed baby is a happy baby. Stocking up on these items will help you help baby stay comfy in their perfect baby skin:

  • Baby nailcare kit

  • Diapers galore—in a range of sizes, too

  • Diaper cream

  • Diaper pail or disposal gear

  • Nose suction bulb

  • Thermometer

  • Wipes and other disposable cleaning items

Mealtime Registry Items

Whether you decide to nurse baby, supplement with formula, or use formula exclusively will change what you decide to put on your baby registry in this category. Once you decide how you’ll feed baby, your list may include:

  • Bottles and nipples—more than you think you’ll need

  • Bottle cleaning gear

  • Breast pump and parts

  • Breast milk storage gear

  • Burp cloths and bibs

  • Nursing gear—clothing, covers, pillows

Playtime Registry Items

Play is important for baby’s development at every stage. Here are perfect playthings to add to your baby registry; opt for soft versions where possible:

  • Baby books

  • Blocks and stacking toys

  • Rattles and noise-making toys

  • Stuffed toys

  • Teething toys

Traveling Gear Registry Items

Make sure venturing out with baby is fun and enjoyable for everyone by making sure you have this gear accounted for:

  • Car seat

  • Carrier (some car seats convert into carriers for double duty)

  • Diaper bag and travel diapering needs

  • Portable crib

  • Stroller

What Not to Put on a Baby Registry

If you’ve registered for gifts before—for a housewarming, or wedding, or birthday—you’re likely familiar with the desire to add some aspirational items to your list. The world of baby registries includes the bread maker and gravy boat pitfalls that other registries have; here are a few things you can confidently leave off of your list:

  • Crib bedding/pillows/toys. Nothing but a fitted crib sheet should be in the bed with your little one, so leave bumpers, pillows, and anything that could obstruct baby’s movement or breathing off your registry.

  • Hand-me-downs. While your registry isn’t likely to include listings of your cousin’s first-born’s old highchair or the crib your in-laws saved, well-meaning relatives may offer up these items. What was once considered safe, though, may no longer be appropriate for you and your baby to use—and may even be hazardous. Say thanks but no thanks to these offers.

  • Occasion-specific clothing. Even if you’re relatively certain of your baby’s due date, and even if you’re sure you want baby to be a pumpkin for Halloween or have always dreamed of a specific Valentine’s Day outfit for your little one, resist the urge. Baby might not fit this item by the time the occasion comes around. Save this purchase for down the road.

Let the nesting commence! Now that you’re armed with what to put on a baby registry, get started on putting together the perfect registry for the needs of you and your baby.

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