Starting a baby registry can be a daunting endeavor. There are just so many options out there. Where do you start? Once you've chosen a place to host your registry (and make sure to look for one that offers bonus perks, like a free welcome kit with coupons and other goodies), it's time to pick out the things that you'll need when your little bundle of joy arrives.
But don’t worry because we’ve got you covered! Here are 15 suggestions, all from expert moms who have been there before. From diaper bags to toys, these are some of the best new parent goodies.
1) Grooming and Health Items
Yes, newborns need grooming and health tools. Things like nail clippers designed to handle their tiny (yet sharp) finger and toenails are definitely something that must be placed on your registry.
Then there are useful items, like bathtubs and bathing devices, baby shampoo, gentle body wash, and lotion. These are items that you’ll use over time as your baby ages, so it’s always a good idea to place them on your registry.
2) A Diaper Bag (Or Two)
More than one diaper bag? Why not! Ask for a small diaper bag for those moments when you’ll only be out of the house for a minute or two, as well as a larger model that holds everything that you need when traveling with your tot.
Sure, using two diaper bags might seem unnecessary, but when you’re carrying a baby around all day, you’ll appreciate less weight on your back and arms.
3) Pack and Play
This is one of the most versatile things that you’ll ever have for your precious baby. It’s a foldable device that looks a little like an old-fashioned playpen, only smaller and more streamlined.
A pack and play can be a playpen, or it can also double as a crib in a pinch for those moments when you decide to stay overnight at Grandma’s. With a practical case that includes a shoulder strap, you can take it with you to visit friends and family, ensuring that your little one will have a place to play or nap, no matter the circumstances.
4) Clothing in Various Sizes
There’s nothing more fun than picking out baby clothing. Plus, it’s something that you’ll need since little ones tend to get milk, snot, spit-up, dirt, and more on their outfits several times a day.
Smaller babies tend to wear onesies that are either long or short-sleeved, while older ones can get away with cute full outfits, like dresses, shorts, and t-shirts. So, why not register for general clothing types and let your loved ones play personal shoppers for the day?
Although diaper cakes tend to be one of those common and sometimes tacky gifts at baby showers, diapers are indeed needed. Placing several sizes of them on your registry (suggestions include those ranging from newborn to size 2, giving you plenty of options as your little one grows) is a great idea. And let’s be honest, they can get expensive!
While you may just get several packs of diapers from your friends and family, you might also receive a diaper cake – just as we mentioned. Trust us, those diapers will definitely come in handy!
6) Bottles and Other Feeding Utensils
Even if you plan to breastfeed exclusively, you’ll still need bottles, just in case. Plus, as your baby grows, they’ll need fun things, like sippy cups, small bowls, and a miniature set of utensils.
It’s a good idea to put a variety of options on your registry, so your loved ones can pick their favorites! Besides, you’ll need more than one set of everything; parents know that you can never have enough clean utensils!
It’s never too soon to give your infant a toy rattle or bright-colored stuffed animal. As long as you keep them under close supervision and don’t place the toys in their crib, your little one will thrive with play-based enrichment. If they’re on your registry, your baby can use them from the moment you get home from the hospital.
8) Blankets, Swaddles, and Bedding
Swaddles help newborns feel warm and comfortable. You can either register for special swaddle blankets that have pouches or pockets for their feet, or simple blankets that are designed to become a swaddle. Standard blankets and bedding, such as crib sheets, are also essential to have on hand, as they not only make your nursery look complete but they provide some warmth and comfort for your sweet little one.
9) Personalized Items
There’s nothing like a personalized picture or piece of art to hang in your baby’s nursery. Other options include signs with your infant’s name, picture frames, books, and more. While infants may not notice or appreciate these personalized presents until they’re older, these gifts do make cherished keepsakes.
10) Bouncers and Swings
Keeping an older baby occupied and stimulated is much easier when you have bouncers and swings on hand. Since these tend to be on the pricier side, it’s a good idea to place them on your registry. This way, several people could have the chance to join forces and buy them for you.
11) Strollers, Carriers, and Car Seats
All of these items can be a bit expensive, especially strollers, which tend to come with plenty of fancy accessories and add-ons these days, such as heavy-duty wheels designed for bumpy park paths and even multiple drink holders. Baby carriers, which can be strapped onto you for those moments when you need your hands free, and car seats, are also necessary items.
You’ll need at least one of each – sometimes, more than one – so it’s good to place them on your registry. If you want, see if you can try on samples of the carriers when you’re at the store, so you can see which one fits the best.
12) A Pump and Related Accessories
Oh, the joy of pumping! If you want to breastfeed your child, then you’ll more than likely need to have a breast pump on hand. This allows you to pump and store excess milk, alleviating some of the pressure on your breasts. Plus, if your significant other wants to take over a feeding, allowing you to get some extra rest, the pumped milk will be a godsend!
There are special bags for freezing and storing the milk that you’ll need in case you end up with an ample supply on top of the pump itself.
13) Nursing Aids
Nursing is definitely a process! So, new moms who plan to nurse will need plenty of supplies beyond the pump and accessories. Since breastfeeding can hurt, leaving mom with chapped nipples and sore breasts, it’s a good idea to register for some of the things that can give you relief, such as nursing bras, ice and warm packs, and even nipple cream.
These little goodies can make life so much better for a breastfeeding mom! Trust us, the other women at your shower who have been down this path will understand your needs and will clamor to be the one to purchase these items.
Newborns may be too young to read, but who doesn’t love a good story? There’s nothing like getting a jump start on your child’s library, starting with board books and puffy books (the kind that can be chewed on) from your baby shower registry. You can even register for classic kids’ books if you plan on turning your little one into a reading fanatic.
Think about asking those attending your baby shower to swap a traditional card with a book instead. Ask them to write a personalized message inside the front cover, so you can enjoy their gift for years to come!
15) Gift Cards
As a new parent, you will love gift cards! We know that not everyone wants to place gift cards on their registry. However, it is a great idea to have a few. Trust us! You can ask for restaurant gift cards, especially for those that deliver (like pizza places), or even DoorDash ones for those days when you’re too busy with your infant to put a meal together.
Going beyond that, gift cards for big box or specialty stores can help you buy baby supplies that you either ran out of or didn’t receive at your shower. You simply can’t go wrong with gift cards!
In Conclusion – Register for a Variety of Goodies
While some new parents feel guilty registering for a plethora of goodies, it’s always best to give your friends and loved ones options when they’re showering your little one with love. Try to put items of all different price points on your registry, and allow them to mix and match and choose what they want to spend.
No matter what, you simply can’t go wrong with these 15 gifts when it comes to your baby shower registry. After all, some things are cute, and some are “must-haves,” but in the end, you’ll be glad you have them all when your little nugget arrives!