baby registry checklist

Preparing for the arrival of your little one is exciting, but it also comes with a lot of to-dos. After all, your newborn will need clothes, nursery furniture, baby gear, and many more items. Creating a baby shower gift registry list is a great way to take some of the pressure off yourself. It’s a smart, timesaving way to get organized before your baby’s arrival, and it lets your family and friends know which essentials you’ll need and want.

Whether your baby shower is in the works or you’re doing some preplanning ahead of time, we can help you build the perfect baby shower registry list with this ultimate guide.

What Is a Baby Registry?

A baby registry is a list of items from a local store or online shop that you would like to receive at your baby shower or before your baby's birth. The list can also serve as an organizing tool to help you keep track of what you still need to get once you see what you’ve received at your baby shower.

There’s no need to hold back when making your registry. Just think to yourself, “What do I need for my baby?” Make note of all the things—both big and small—you’ll want and require for your baby.

The longer your list of baby shower registry items is, the more choices your friends and family will have. It’s a good idea to include a wide variety of price points, too, so there’s something to fit everyone’s budget.

Aim to have your registry list created by the time the baby shower host sends out the invitations, so that the details of your registry can be included on the invites.

Besides a baby registry checklist, you might find a hospital bag checklist essential in the month before your baby’s birth. This is a list of all the necessary items you’ll need on the day of your baby’s arrival!

Benefits of a Baby Registry

By creating a baby shower registry list, you can let your loved ones know what you really want and need; they, in turn, will appreciate knowing that they’re giving you something you’ll love and use.

It’s also a handy way to avoid getting duplicate gifts. By having a baby registry, you can be sure to have the essentials you’ll need for your newborn.

You might find it’s not just baby shower guests who ask you for your registry details, but perhaps coworkers, acquaintances, and even your neighbors who may want to surprise you with a gift from the list.

When to Start Creating Your Baby Registry

You can put your baby shower registry list together whenever you have the chance, but try to give yourself plenty of time to research products and think through what you need. To help, we’ve put together top lists of the best baby products based on the votes and experiences of Pampers Parents.

You’ll want the baby registry to be ready by the time your baby shower invites are sent out, so check in with the host of your shower about when they plan to do this.

Like many parents-to-be, you might find it convenient to start to prepare your registry toward the end of the first trimester, adding more items during the second trimester as you start making decisions about which products are best for you and your baby.

You may want to change your selections or add items to your list once you know your baby’s gender—if you’re finding out ahead of time, that is! You might decide to find out whether you’re having a boy or girl during the mid-pregnancy ultrasound that takes place at around 20 weeks pregnant.

Once your baby shower registry is complete, the host of your baby shower can include your registry information in the shower invitations or share it via email or social media.

Watch the video below to learn all about setting up your baby registry.

8 Things to Consider When Choosing Where to Register for Your Baby

You can create a registry in person at your local department store, big-box store like Target or Walmart, or independent retailer. You can also make a baby registry online through many retailer sites, a popular option being Amazon.com. There are no “best” baby registry stores or sites—what’s best for you may not be the best for another parent-to-be. Read more about all your options in the list below.

Here are eight factors to consider when choosing stores or sites for your baby registry list:

1. Convenience for your family and friends. You might like to have a physical store baby registry as well as an online baby registry option so that it’s easy enough for those who prefer to walk into a shop and choose a gift, as well as for those who prefer to shop online. In many cases the same store will have both options; for example, Target and Walmart will have physical locations as well as an online store. So, instead of having two lists or two separate baby registries you can have just one with the two different buying options.

2. Easy to create and manage. If you’re wondering about how to make a baby registry, ask around for advice. Ask mom-friends and acquaintances about their experience with putting together a baby shower registry. Once you chose one, try it out to make sure the registry list is simple to use. It should also be easy for your baby shower guests to navigate. If you opt for a list in a store, the store associates might be able to help you, and you might be able to take a closer look at the products you’re considering adding. Online baby registry sites might be a good choice if you want to take your time adding and deleting items as you do your research.

3. Good prices. Shop around and choose to register with a physical or online store that offers good prices. Have a selection of variously priced items on your registry list to ensure all your baby shower guests find something within their budget.

4. Wide selection. Some stores offer a wider selection of product types, brands, and models than others. Check to make sure the items you’d like are on offer.

5. Discounts and promotions. Find out whether the store offers special deals or price match guarantees. Others might give you freebies like samples and coupons for registering with them. Some offer a discount when you buy those remaining few items that weren’t purchased by your baby shower guests.

6. Easy returns. Even though you’ve created your registry, you may still want to return some items if you change your mind. Check whether the exchanges and returns policy is generous before deciding on where to register.

7. Free shipping. Some registry lists offer free shipping, or free shipping over certain spending limits. Your baby shower guests will appreciate it.

8. Personalization. Some stores let you personalize your online baby registry with photos, while others let you track who bought which item so you can send thank-you notes more easily.

What to List on Your Baby Registry

Now comes the fun part. If you're wondering what to put on your baby registry, the list below has plenty of ideas for all the baby registry items you might like to include. You can navigate by category, or you can read through the entire list, making note of those you'd like to include.

Diapering

These may not be the most glamorous of gifts, but you'll appreciate having plenty of diapers on hand during those first few weeks and months with your new baby, along with other diapering essentials:

  1. Diapers (in various sizes)

  2. Diaper pail

  3. Diaper bag

  4. Changing pad

  5. Baby wipes

  6. Diaper rash cream.

Feeding

Whether you plan to breastfeed or formula feed, or you're still undecided, you'll need a variety of supplies. You might also want to list some of the things you'll need for when your little one's ready to transition to solid foods. Feel free to combine both nursing supplies and feeding supplies on your registry list, including items such as these:

7. Nursing pads

8. Nursing pillow

9. Nursing bras

10. Burp cloths

11. Breast pump

12. Nipple cream

13. Formula

14. Baby bottles and nipples

15. Bottle warmer

16. Bottle sterilizer

17. Bottle and nipple brush

18. Breast milk storage containers for storing expressed breast milk

19. Baby food maker

20. Small bowls

21. Baby utensils

22. Sippy cups

23. Bibs.

Baby Gear

These are the big-ticket everyday items you’ll need. Oftentimes, friends or family members decide to get together to buy one of these for you. For some of the items, like a car seat and stroller, you may want to test in store first before adding to your list:

24. Car seat

25. High chair

26. Stroller

27. Baby swing

28. Baby carrier

29. Portable crib or playpen/play yard

30. Baby bouncer.

Bathing

Baby bathtub to add to the registry list

Bath time is a great opportunity to bond with your baby. You’ll need a bunch of items to get the job done and to have some fun, too:

31. Baby bathtub

32. Baby shampoo and body wash

33. Towels

34. Hooded towels

35. Washcloths or body sponges

36. Bath toys (like rubber duckies).

Clothing

It’s almost impossible to have too many baby clothes but the key is to have outfits and accessories in various sizes that will suit the weather for the first few months of your baby’s life, such as these:

37. Receiving blankets

38. Bodysuits

39. Undershirts/T-shirts

40. Pajamas/sleepers

41. Nightgowns

42. Jackets

43. Sweaters

44. Rompers

45. Socks

46. Booties

47. No-scratch mittens

48. Hats

49. Bunting bags/sleeping sacks

50. Hamper.

Nursery Essentials

Consider if you want your nursery to have a theme or style before choosing these items. Then think about what exactly you’d like to have in your nursery, including big items like the crib and rocking chair, and smaller décor items like wall decals and framed images:

51. Bassinet

52. Crib

53. Crib mattress

54. Fitted sheets

55. Changing table

56. Dresser

57. Rocking chair, glider, or armchair

58. Mobile

59. Night-light

60. Humidifier

61. Any nursery décor you’d like

62. Toy chest

63. Storage boxes and baskets.

Health and Safety

No baby registry list is complete without some health and safety items, many of which may need to be tested and/or installed before your baby arrives:

64. Babyproofing essentials, like outlet covers, cabinet locks, or corner guards

65. Baby gate

66. Baby thermometer

67. Baby first aid kit.

Electronics

Technology can help make keeping an eye on your little one easier. Some of these electronics may help you during those times when you need a second set of eyes:

68. Baby monitor

69. Baby sound machine

70. Baby activity and health tracker.

Personal Care

To help you feel more prepared for taking care of your growing baby, you might like to add some of these personal care items to your registry list:

71. Baby sunscreen

72. Lotion or cream

73. Baby oil

74. Baby nail clippers

75. Baby toothbrush and toothpaste

76. Baby hairbrush

77. Bulb syringe for nasal mucus

78. Gentle laundry detergent.

Comfort Accessories

You may consider registering for some practical items that will help soothe your baby when they get fussy, such as any of the following:

79. Pacifier

80. Teething ring.

Books and Playtime Accessories

In addition to all the practical necessities, your friends and relatives might also enjoy giving some books or some cute and playful gifts. You and your baby will enjoy these, and it will be fun for your baby shower guests to see your little one reading and playing in the years to come:

81. Children’s books

82. Toys

83. Rattles

84. Activity center

85. Play mat

86. Stuffed animals.

Keepsakes

Some guests might even like to add a more personal touch, so you can always suggest the following keepsakes:

87. Quilt

88. Photo frames or albums

89. Artwork

90. Baby’s first-year memory book

91. Personalized accessories, like a bodysuit

92. Hands-on help. Some sites let you register for gifts that do not come from a store, like home-cooked meals and babysitting services. These might be especially useful in those first few weeks at home with your newborn or after your return to work.

Creating a Registry List for Your Second Baby

If you’re not a first-time mom, you may want to think about what must-have items you'd like to list in the baby registry for your second baby.

Although there may be quite a lot you can reuse from your first baby, such as a baby gate and baby swing, there may be some items your older child is still using. So, you might need a second set of bigger-ticket items like a

1. stroller

2. high chair

3. car seat

4. crib

5. nursery furniture item.

There may be things you'll need more of, or different styles of, such as

1. diapers

2. teething rings

3. sheets

4. clothes in different colors or patterns for your second baby

5. stroller or double stroller (if you think it may be easier to take both of your children out in the one stroller)

6. keepsakes.

Creating a Registry List for Twins

If you’re having twins, then you may have to plan your baby registry checklist a bit differently, as you inevitably will need two of many important items. Here are some must-have items you’ll want to add to your baby shower registry for twin babies:

1. Double stroller

2. High chairs

3. Car seats

4. Infant carriers

5. Cribs

6. Dressers.

24 Baby Registry Must-Haves

Creating a baby registry is a big job that can sometimes feel overwhelming! The list of things you need for a new baby can get massive in no time as you can tell from above.

The following baby registry checklist pares the wider selection down to just the best essentials and includes a quick explanation of what makes the items must-haves:

1. Stroller to fit your needs. Strollers come in a range of styles, and vary quite a bit in price, so it’s important to examine your family’s needs. You could consider a double stroller for your twin babies, a jogger stroller for upping the pace with your little one, or an umbrella stroller for compact storage when not in use.

2. Car seat for every ride. You'll need a car seat to take your little one home from the hospital, and for every trip after that. Check that the car seat you’re planning to add to your registry meets current safety standards and that it’s easy to safely install in your car. You may want to check out the model you’re considering in store first.

3. Hands-free baby carrier. Baby carriers help you hold and move around with your baby without tiring your arms. They’re great for bonding with your newborn, and for when you need to do other things with your hands while holding your baby. You might start with a wrap when your baby is quite young, and then graduate to a soft-structured carrier when your baby gets a little older.

4. Sturdy crib. Your new baby will need a place to sleep. When you’re outfitting your baby’s nursery, you’ll want to have a good, sturdy crib as the centerpiece. The crib should meet current safety standards, so it’s a good idea to do some research before making your registry pick. If you prefer to have your baby sleep in a bassinet for the first few months, you might consider adding one to your registry.

5. Firm crib mattress. What’s a crib without a mattress? You’ll want a firm mattress for your little one because it’s the safest. Beyond that, you may choose between an innerspring and a foam mattress.

6. Easy-to-clean changing pad. A changing pad is a must-have. Add one to your registry list that is comfortable for your baby and is easy to clean for you.

7. Essentials like diapers and wipes. Since your baby will inevitably go through a lot of diapers, it’s a great idea to have diapers and wipes on your baby registry, too. And, if you’re wondering what size diapers to put on your baby registry, go ahead and choose a range of different sizes as you’ll eventually need them all. Register for diapers and then transform all of them into even more gifts using the Pampers Club app—every package of Pampers that you scan into the app equals rewards for you and your baby.

8. Odor-proof diaper pail. You’ll be changing lots of dirty diapers, but by having a good diaper pail that seals in all the odors, your baby’s nursery won’t smell like it!

9. Practical diaper bag. Your baby will require a lot of stuff, and you’ll need some way to carry all that stuff when you're on the go. That means a good-quality, easily organizable diaper bag is a necessity.

10. Comfy chair for snuggling. Whether you prefer a rocking chair, armchair, or a glider, having a comfy chair in your baby’s nursery for feeding your baby, soothing her, or just for snuggling is a gift you’ll really appreciate. You might also like to specify the color so that it matches your nursery décor.

11. Baby monitor. Common advice given to new parents: Sleep when your baby sleeps. However, you might feel more comfortable when you put them down to sleep if you have a baby monitor. Monitors help you keep an eye and an ear on your little one even if you're in another room.

12. Wearable blanket or sleeping sack. Your newborn will be sleeping a lot during those first few weeks and months, and you'll want to dress them so that they’re warm enough but don't become overheated, which can be a risk factor for SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome). A wearable blanket or a sleeping sack is a good choice for a young baby.

13. Baby bathtub. Although your baby may not need tub baths for a while yet, having a baby bathtub is useful as it’s designed to be just the right size for young babies. Some tubs can even fit into a larger kitchen sink.

14. Soft bath towels. After bath time, you’ll want to wrap your little one in something soft and absorbent that's just the right size. Add good-quality baby towels (perhaps even the kind with a hood) to your registry list.

15. Safe playpen/play yard. Interested in giving your baby a bit of freedom while still keeping a watchful eye on her? Add a playpen to your list. It can easily be moved from room to room; some even fold up for transporting to Grandma’s house.

16. Floor mat for playtime. As your baby becomes more mobile and independent, you’ll want a floor mat or rug that they can play and crawl on comfortably and safely. If it has an eye-catching print, or a race car track drawn on it, it’ll be even more fun for your little one.

17. Baby wardrobe. The type of baby clothes you add to your registry will likely be determined by your taste, your budget, and even the season your baby is born in. You might like to list some bigger sizes, too, that your baby can grow into in a few months. You might like to add some bodysuits, tees, leggings, rompers, bloomers, beanie hats, socks, and booties to your list. If you know whether you’re having a boy or girl, you may want to specify certain colors or prints that you’d prefer.

18. Baby thermometer. At some point your baby will develop a fever, and you’ll need to take their temperature. Thermometers have come a long way since your own childhood. The newer digital ones are much safer and easier to use.

19. Relaxing baby swing. You’ll appreciate having a baby swing, which you can use to soothe your baby when they're fussy, or so they can kick back and relax while you take care of things nearby.

20. Durable high chair. A good, sturdy high chair is a must-have when it comes time to feed your little one solid foods. You might want to look for one that has a harness to keep your baby secured in their seat. Some are also easier to clean than others, so consider that, too.

21. Bottles, nipples, and pacifiers. Bottles are a traditional registry staple. Even if you plan to exclusively breastfeed, it’s a good idea to have a few bottles so that someone else can feed your baby pumped or expressed breast milk from storage or so that you can store some breast milk to give later.

22. Baby food blender. If you’re thinking of making your own baby food at home instead of buying the small jars from the supermarket, you might consider registering for a specialized baby food blender.

23. Burp cloths and bibs. Burp cloths and bibs are very much a necessity when it comes time to feed your baby. Whether you’re breastfeeding or formula feeding, you’ll want to have burp cloths, and once you’ve transitioned your baby over to solid foods, bibs to help keep things on the cleaner side—but we can’t promise that.

24. Help and favors from family and friends. In addition to all the baby gear you’ll need, you may appreciate getting some hands-on help in the form of home-cooked meals, babysitting of your older children, or pet sitting. Think about what kind of practical help you might like in the weeks (and months) after your baby is born.

These are just some suggested baby shower registry must-haves, as to how many items should be on a baby registry, that’s completely up to you. So, feel free to add more—you can make your baby shower registry list as long as you like!

The Bottom Line

With these ideas, you’re ready to start creating your baby shower registry checklist. Good luck with planning for the arrival of your little one—this is such an exciting time. And have fun at your baby shower!