Your Essential Baby Registry Checklist

Your Essential Baby Registry Checklist

Looking for the ultimate baby registry checklist?

We’ve got you covered.

Babies come with a lot of paraphernalia.

For such little beings, they certainly need an entourage of items to get them through the day.

And, in the spirit of the old proverb of it takes a village to raise a child, friends and family will likely want to jump in and help you get the stuff you need together.

So what should be on your baby registry checklist?

We’ll take you through our ultimate list. But first, the 411 on baby registry essentials.

In this article: 📝

  • What to put on your baby registry
  • What do you actually need on a baby registry?
  • How much should you put on a baby registry?
  • What should you not put on your baby registry?
  • Is it rude to buy a gift not on the baby registry?
  • When in pregnancy should you start a registry?
  • What is the most popular baby registry?
  • 86 must-have baby registry items

What to put on your baby registry

A baby registry is a list of things that you need for your baby.

It’s typically organized and managed at one store or marketplace — either online or locally — and the process is facilitated by the retailer.

So once you’ve put your list together, you can step away.

There are many benefits to having a registry.

The first is that you will get gifts you actually need.

It also takes the stress out of shopping for your baby shower guests.

Plus, because the registry will keep track of what’s already been bought, you can avoid a situation where you have duplicates.


And there’s another bonus here.

Many registries offer a bunch of perks.

Hello discounts, price matching, freebies, and easy returns!

What do you actually need on a baby registry?

The wonderful thing about a baby registry is that it can cover your full range of needs.

From small essentials like diapers and diaper pins to larger items like high chairs, there’s so much choice here.

And all of it will be useful.

How much should you put on a baby registry?

That’s totally up to you, but again, try to separate the wants from the needs.

If you’re living in an apartment, you may not have enough space for a giant stuffed gorilla. 😬

And too many “things” can also be overwhelming.

You can feel like you’re drowning in “stuff” that you think you’re then supposed to use.

Remember babies need to be fed, loved, and kept warm.

That’s all.

But if there’s space for it, we’re totally on board with the gorilla. 😉

What should you not put on your baby registry?

There are no exact rules here — but there are some items worth thinking twice about.

Consider what you actually need.

There’s so much marketed at new mamas that it can be hard to separate out what is essential and what is just the product of good marketing.

Things like baby wipe warmers and baby cologne (yep, it exists) are perhaps best left off the list.

And the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends against using baby powder as it can cause breathing problems.

And while breast pumps are more on the essential side, health insurance plans must cover breastfeeding equipment.

So it’s probably not necessary to put these on the list.

Also, try not to go overboard with luxury, expensive items.

Strollers, car seats, and cribs are necessary, but they come with a hefty price tag.

Unless you have family and friends who want to put their money together to buy these big-ticket items, they can be quite an ask!

You also may want to note that your registry doesn’t have to only include new items.

Babies are babies for a pretty short period of time.

So passing items from one mama to the next can be a cost-effective and sustainable solution.

Plus, they come with a story.

And consider going beyond newborn items.

Again, the time flies by and you’ll soon be needing to upsize.

Is it rude to buy a gift not on the baby registry?

Are you the one attending a shower?

Is it rude to get a gift that’s not on the official list? Nope.

But remember to be conscious of the mama-to-be’s preferences.

If she’s said she’d like to use cloth diapers, don’t arrive with a jumbo pack of disposable diapers.

If she’s told you of her wish to formula feed, you may want to put that breast pump back on the shelf.

While you may be trying to be helpful, she might feel undermined.

And preferably only go off-list if you really know the person or believe in a specific product.

If you’re a three-time mama and you found the perfect lovie that ALL your babies cuddled till their toddler years, by all means.

Gifts based on experience are always welcome.

When in pregnancy should you start a registry?

If you’re having a shower or sprinkle, it’s a good idea to set up the registry before you send the invites out.

That will give your community ample time to shop.

And while there’s no one way to do this thing, showers are generally held early in the third trimester — usually, it’s the sweet spot when symptoms are not too bad and you’re not too close to your due date.

So working back from there, sending out invites about a month to six weeks before your shower should give your guests enough time to prepare.

And all going well, your registry will be set up by then so that you can get the details to your guests.

(Don’t stress if it doesn’t work out exactly like this. You can always send them a note about the registry down the line.)

For some, the excitement of a coming baby is too much to contain, and they get to work on their registry immediately.

Others choose to wait until the second trimester to start creating their list.

Those who have previously experienced early pregnancy loss or pregnancy complications may want to wait until they’re further along.

You may choose to start planning your registry before telling family and friends you’re pregnant.

Know that most registry services have a privacy setting for just such cases.

Do what feels right for you.

And know that if you’re feeling anxious in any way and need some support (at any time), you can check in with the mamas in the Peanut community. We’ve been there, and we’re here for you.

The only practical thing to consider is to have your registry done by the time the invites for your baby shower go out.

That way, guests can make their selections in good time.

It also means that once your shower is over, you’ll be able to see what essentials you still need. And have the time to sort them out.

It’s common to have a baby shower between 24 and 32 weeks.

You’ll be over the worst of the first trimester symptoms but far enough away from your due date.

So you might want to aim to have your registry ready by around 24 weeks to fit in with this.

It’s then just one less thing you have to worry about in the last busy months of pregnancy.

(But again — there’s no one way to do this thing.)

Another thing to consider is that you may want to wait until you find out the sex of your baby before creating your registry.

This usually happens at the 20 week scan.

But rest assured — there are plenty of gorgeous unisex items out there to carry you through if you want to keep it a surprise.

What is the most popular baby registry?

Right, now it’s time to choose your registry.

There are various options here, depending on your needs.

Here are some of our top picks:


This one is easily our top pick for baby registries.

You can add anything from any store, you get a free baby box (with goodies for you and baby), and you get 15% completion discount on the Babylist store!

Plus, one of our favorites is that you can add things you can’t buy in stores, like vouchers for house cleaning, home-cooked meals, walking the dog, and loads more – so it’s budget-friendly for everyone.

Just download the app and get adding!


When it comes to easily ticking off all the essentials in a way that’s convenient for your friends and family, it’s hard to beat Amazon.

It also means that your guests can easily get their gifts delivered to you even if you’re having a virtual shower.

The Tot

If you go for this option, you’ll be looking at some well-curated items that teams of experts have tested.

Plus, they are an eco-conscious platform.

The site is also very easily navigable, and the registry easy to set up.


This one’s a good option if you’re looking for great deals and perks.

They offer significant membership deals and have in-store pick-up and same-day delivery options.

If you want to shop local, you may also want to register at a baby store in your neighborhood.

This can be a particularly good idea if all your guests live in your area.

86 must-have baby registry items

Ready to get your list together?

Decide which of these baby registry must-haves you’d like to include.


  1. Short-sleeve onesies
  2. Long-sleeve onesies
  3. Socks
  4. Footed pajamas
  5. Non-footed pajamas
  6. Leggings
  7. Sweaters
  8. Hoodies
  9. Sun hats
  10. Winter hats
  11. Bathing suits
  12. Snowsuit
  13. Booties


  1. Bibs
  2. Breast pump and parts (if you’re not getting this through your health insurance)
  3. Nipple cream
  4. Nursing cover
  5. Nursing pillow
  6. Nursing bras
  7. Baby bottles and nipples
  8. Bottle brushes
  9. Bottle sterilizer
  10. Bottle drying rack
  11. Bottle warmer
  12. Breast milk storage bags
  13. Formula
  14. Formula dispenser
  15. Sippy cups
  16. Small bowls
  17. Baby utensils
  18. High chair
  19. Baby food cookbooks


  1. Swaddling blankets
  2. Sleep sacks
  3. Crib
  4. Bassinet
  5. Baby monitor
  6. White noise machine
  7. Crib mattress
  8. Waterproof mattress pads

Cleaning and grooming

  1. Bath tub
  2. Nail trimmers
  3. Baby-safe laundry detergent
  4. Hooded towels
  5. Washcloths
  6. Baby shampoo
  7. Bath toys
  8. Baby shampoo
  9. Baby toothbrush and toothpaste
  10. Baby lotion

Pooping and peeing

  1. Diapers (You get to choose whether you’re going cloth or disposable.)
  2. Baby wipes
  3. Diaper cream
  4. Diaper pail
  5. Diaper bag
  6. Changing pads

Healing and comforting

  1. Pacifier
  2. Teething ring
  3. Thermometer
  4. Saline nasal drops
  5. Suction bulb

Playing and learning

  1. Soft baby books
  2. Baskets for toy storage
  3. Activity mat or baby play gym
  4. Stacking blocks
  5. Teething toys
  6. Rattle
  7. Stuffed animals
  8. Baby swing
  9. Baby jumper or bouncer
  10. Nursery decor


  1. Car seat
  2. Baby carrier (our Peanut moms love how the MiniMeis G4 baby carrier strengthens baby’s core while taking the pressure off mama’s back)
  3. Stroller (expensive, of course. But may be an option for a few people to go in together)
  4. Stroller bunting
  5. Stroller phone holder
  6. Portable changing pad
  7. Car window shade

Memory making

  1. Photo albums
  2. Photo frames
  3. Baby’s first-year book


  1. Doula
  2. Newborn photo shoot
  3. Help with cleaning and tidying the house
  4. Home-cooked, prepared meals
  5. Babysitting while mama sleeps (or does whatever she feels like)

All the best, mama!

Exciting times ahead.

Share your gifting wins (and gifting fails) with us.

Even if it’s that giant stuffed gorilla! 🦍

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