Picture this scenario. Your doctor has just informed you of your expected delivery date, and your friends are more than excited.
Being the loving and supportive friends they are, they came together and asked you to create a list. As a first-time mom, you ask yourself, “what are the nursery items that are must-haves on my checklist?”
You will not be the first mother to be confused about what items to put on a checklist, and you won’t be the last. Of course, all parents know that diapers and baby crib are essential must-haves, but how about a baby thermometer and burp cloths?
We know how overwhelming it can be for moms and parents during pregnancy, so the idea of a list might not register as a priority. However, this article looks to give you an idea of the items that your preferred retailer should get.
Want to know what items qualify as baby registry must-haves? Then stay with us to the end of this article to see what should be on your list, along with other vital questions answered.
How Do I Make A Baby Registry?
Making the perfect list does not have to be an uphill task. If you prefer to see the items you want in person, head into a retail store like Target or Walmart.
That way, you get to feel the baby essentials and talk to a salesperson for more clarity and information.
If you are the type of person who likes to hear from others through reviews, check sites like Amazon. The beauty of most companies that allow you to build a registry with them is that you can add items you like from other sites.
Here are some helpful tips when creating a baby registry checklist;
1. Begin with the obvious items
You know that babies do a lot of sleeping, so it is perfectly fine to have a bassinet as the first item on your list. Next, add an infant car seat to that list because as long as you have a car, there will be times when you have to go out with your baby.
2. Allow gift-sharing
Suggest that whoever wants to give you gifts contact you privately if they’re going to bear the cost of an expensive item. Gift-sharing is common with essential items, like a baby stroller or an infant car seat.
3. Narrow down on brands
If you have one type of product from four brands, cut it down to one or two at most. This would help those buying you gifts have an idea of what you really want to get, instead of mindless buying.
4. Remember that there is no “perfect” registry
Creating the “ideal” baby registry is not exactly possible. Every item which the salesperson is recommending to you was bought by someone else for their baby. Nothing is entirely useless if other parents purchased the item.
What you are trying to achieve is get the best list possible, not pass some life or death exam.
5. Update your list often
There would always be some new addition that you suddenly remember after your first visit to the store. For example, it is usual for you to make up to three visits to your preferred retailer to effect changes, whether at your local Walmart or Amazon.
What’s better than being able to access your registry via your phone and make the needed changes?
6. Keep it a secret if you wish
Amazon allows you to make your registry private. If you are creating your registry with Target online, do not tick the box next to “Make my registry publicly available online.”
Some stores would have your registry live immediately after you start creating it. However, the likelihood of random individuals randomly clicking through what you may have selected is low.
Who Should I Go With When Making Plans For What To Buy?
The first option should be your partner, of course. If your partner declines your request to go, make the trip with another family member or close friend. It is not uncommon to go with your mother or your sister.
It would be a big plus if you can get someone who has had children before to go with you. Their experience would definitely come in handy.
As A Mom, When Should I Start Planning?
Most parents begin creating theirs after twelve weeks of pregnancy, as the first trimester draws to a close. Other parents do not start planning against their baby’s arrival till the doctors have confirmed their baby’s gender.
There is no such thing as planning for your baby too early, but you sure can be too late if not careful. On the other hand, registering early gives your friends and well-wishers enough time to make purchases based on their budget.
How Many Items Should I Put On My Baby Registry?
There is no magic number that works for every parents. Depending on what feels right, and what is within your budget, you could have anywhere between 50 to 130 products on your checklist.
What Should I Include In My Baby Registry?
Drafting a list of what to include on a baby registry list can be difficult, especially if it’s your first time having a baby. Experienced moms would have a better idea, but I guess you’re reading this because you would like to know what needs to be bought.
Below is a list of items that every expectant parent should have on their checklist;
1. Swaddle Blankets
Do you see how those nurses in the hospital wrap your baby in swaddling clothes and place them beside you? If there is anything you need to take away, it is that swaddling clothes are important for baby sleep.
Make sure you have several swaddle blankets for your baby. Alternatively, you can use a wrap swaddle, so you can wrap your baby up a little bit tighter.
2. Infant Car Seat
Infant car seats are an absolute necessity, as most hospitals would not allow you to leave without having a car seat installed.
Car seats are usually equipped with special placeholders at the backseat for babies. Never seat your baby in the passenger car seat, as a sudden halt could be detrimental.
Make sure the car seat you are getting for your little one has a four to five-star rating from the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration.
A stroller would come in handy if you are the type of parent who always fantasized about taking walks with your baby.
Ensure your baby stroller is lightweight and provides more convenience for mothers when out and about with their baby.
A stroller could get expensive, depending on how fancy the stroller is. It’s always a great idea to get a stroller as a gift or have several friends pool money to buy one.
4. Double Electric Breast Pump
A good breast pump is among the must-haves for new mothers. Breast pumps help you get a good supply of breastmilk and have the freedom to get other errands done.
You can freeze the milk and keep it for late-night feeding sessions. Most times, your insurance may even cover a pump.
5. Baby Monitor
If you live in a big house, you have to buy a baby monitor, Not only do baby monitors help you keep an eye over your baby, but most monitors have white noise along with other features.
White noise helps babies fall asleep faster and easier. Most baby monitors now have lullabies, temperature sensors, and in-built cameras to access a video feed of your little one while you work from home.
Click on any of the links below to check out our recommended baby monitors for new parents.
- VTech DM221 Audio Baby Monitor
- Infant Optics DXR-8 Video Baby Monitor with Interchangeable Optical Lens
6. Baby Bassinet
A baby bassinet would usually be the first option when it comes to a sleeping space for newborns. However, you may have to upgrade to a cot or crib soon, Opt for a convertible crib that can function as a daybed, toddler bed, twin-size bed, and a full-size bed as your child grows.
Click on any of the links below to see our top picks for baby bassinets;
7. Burp Cloth
Make that in the plural, as babies tend to spit up whatever they eat, especially during breastfeeding.
Burp clothes should be made form cotton, and have a soft feel to them
8. Diaper Bag
A diaper bag is handy for packing diapers when you are on the go and need to make diaper changes. When going for a diaper bag, go for one that is lightweight, and can be clipped to your stroller.
Whether cloth diapers or paper diapers, your diaper bag is not suited to one particular type of diaper. Any diaper bag fits all types of diapers.
9. Nursing Pads
Nursing pads are disposable pads worn by the mother to absorb any breast milk that may leak while feeding the baby.
Disposable pads are usually inserted between the bra and the breast, and help reduce the chance of stains from breast milk.
10. Baby Thermometer
Some mothers love to obsess over the smallest details about their baby, including the baby’s temperature.
A baby thermometer would help keep track of your baby’s temperature so you can spot any irregularities on time.
Should You Put Diapers On Your Registry?
You should not put diapers on your registry along with clothes, toys, and baby blankets. Diapers are one of those gifts that you would have so many of them at your baby shower.
So why bother paying or making others pay for an item that you would most likely receive in excess?
What Should You Not Put On Your Baby Registry?
As parents, it is usual to want to spoil your little one with the finest things of life, and we can all relate, especially if you have the means.
However, while it is good to get the much-needed baby gear like cribs, and necessities like diapers, there are items that you do not need.
Below is a list of items that you should not bother adding to your baby checklist;
1. Crib Bumper
Crib bumpers have not been proven to offer additional safety benefits to babies. Instead, the opposite is the case, as crib bumpers put your baby at risk of suffocation.
For the sake of saving your baby from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, the American Association of Pediatrics has cautioned against crib bumpers in the crib. Safety first before anything else.
2. Changing table
Some older parents would see this point and debate it, but there is a reason why a changing table should not be on your baby registry list.
Changing pads are better alternatives to changing tables. Changing pads are cheaper and offer more mobility, as you can change your child’s pad anywhere in the house.
3. Bottle sterilizer
Bottle sterilizers are more like a “nice-to-have,” but it still doesn’t qualify as a necessity. Water boiled in a regular pot will work just fine in sterilizing bottle parts.
4. A Ton Of Baby Clothes
Everybody is going to buy baby clothes even if you do not include them as part of your baby’s gifts. The issue is that you would get so many baby clothes that your little one would outgrow in less than 12 minutes.
The best way to go about clothes for newborn babies is to go for clothes sized from zero to three months of age.
5. Baby Bathtub
When it comes to newborn babies, it is recommended that you bathe your baby once a week. If that is the case, why would you think a baby bathtub should be part of your must-haves?
7. Baby Blankets
Just like baby clothes, everyone and anyone will buy blankets for your baby, so much that you would have to give some blankets out. But, in addition to that, blankets may also pose a suffocation risk to your baby.
8. Baby Shoes
Baby shoes look cute when you think about it, but the truth is you do not need them for newborn babies. Until your baby is a toddler, he or she may not need shoes, so why bother adding baby shoes to your baby’s registry list?
9. Fancy Crib Bedding
Yes, you want your baby to have a lot of “stuff” to play with, especially in their crib. But, in case nobody told you, the safest baby cribs are always the most empty baby cribs!
If you added baby items like a crib skirt, a crib quilt, and a crib bumper, you could scratch them off your baby registry checklist right now.
10. Bottle Warmers
Another item that could be classified as “nice to have” but not a must-have; bottle warmers should not be a priority for most parents.
Many babies would gladly take formula at room temperature or even when the formula is cold. Breastmilk is also suitable for most babies. If your baby happens to prefer their baby formula warm, here is what you can do.
Put water in a pan, heat until warm, and place the feeding bottle in there for a while.
Alternatively, you can set the bottle under a warm water faucet and run until the formula becomes warm.
11. Disposal System For Diapers
Keeping diapers in your house for some days before disposing of them will have your home smelling of baby poo. A garbage bag that you empty regularly is as good as a Diaper Disposal System.
12. Baby Food Processor
New mothers often feel that everything has to be done with perfection, as babies are fragile and need to be handled with extra care.
That is true, but do not buy a baby food processor because of that fear. Baby food processors would take up kitchen space that you would have used for other purposes.
A regular food processor would work for your adults, as well as your baby. Get a baby processor that is easy to clean, as the last thing you want to deal with is mold.
13. Baby Laundry Detergent
You can use the same detergent for everyone’s laundry in the family, including the baby’s laundry.
Unfortunately, one ingredient found in a laundry detergent targeted at babies contains a toxic chemical known as 1,4 dioxane. 1,4 dioxane is a possible carcinogen, as listed by the U.S Environmental Protection Agency.
14. Baby Toys And Stuffed Animals
There are not too many toys that your little one can enjoy just yet. Plus, you can be assured that you would receive toys and stuffed animals in droves during your baby shower.
Again, do not put stuffed animals or toys in your baby’s crib for their safety.
15. Baby Towels
Baby towels are always filled with beautiful designs and come in baby-friendly colors.
However, these cute towels do not usually last for more than two months before your baby outgrows the towel.
Which Baby Registry Is Best?
There are many baby registry stores ranging from e-commerce giant Amazon to retail stores like Target.
The best baby registry would have to be Target, thanks to the benefits that they offer.
Some of the benefits offered by Target as our top registry pick include;
1. Free Welcome Box
Once you create a baby registry with Target, one of the perks you get includes a welcome kit with some free products, samples, and coupons.
2. Free Shipping
If the coupons and welcome box aren’t enough, you get free two-day shipping when you spend over $35 or use your Target RedCard.
3. Free Returns For Up To A Year On Items For Up To A Year
Parents can choose to return or exchange any item on their list for up to a year.
4. Completion Discount
Target offers a completion discount of up to 15% of the items left in your registry two months before your date of delivery. That way, you can purchase more items for less.
5. Universal Registry
Target allows you to add items found on other websites to your register on Target.
6. Price Match Guarantee
Target would match the price on items you purchase from them by finding the items for less from local competitors to get the best value of your bucks.
Is It Rude To Put Expensive Items On A Baby Registry?
It is not rude to put expensive items on your registry. As a matter of fact, baby items are not cheap either. Most baby registries offer a discount with more items you add and how long you leave the baby items in the registry.
Items like baby strollers, convertible cribs, and baby car seats are not cheap either. If you know that your friends have the means and are liberal with money, go ahead and add that baby crib or stuffed toy you’ve always wanted your baby to have.
Creating a registry does not have to be as hard as it may seem, especially if it is your first time. It would help to go with someone who is more experienced, so you get only what your baby really need.
Take advantage of the discounts and more offered by Target, Amazon, Walmart, and other stores for the best registry offers.