I was so clueless about what to buy before I had my first baby. I knew I would need a crib, a car seat, some clothes and diapers, but beyond that I had no idea what I would actually use! There are so many crazy baby products available now, and so many different choices! Who knew there were 300 million options for baby bathtubs?
But your baby shower is approaching, and you have to make some decisions about what to put on your baby registry. To help you sort out the needs from the nice-to-haves, I made this baby registry checklist printable PDF.
This post contains affiliate links, which means I make a small commission when you purchase through these links at no cost to you. Thank you for supporting my family in this way!
I have also linked to some of my favorite baby products that I used or wish I could’ve used when my girls were babies. Feel free to check those out and choose for yourself!
Also, one of my favorite resources when I was research which baby products were the best, was Baby Gear Lab. They test out and review tons of products and help you make an informed decision. And, of course, Amazon reviews are always really great and super helpful!
If you plan on purchasing some items yourself, don’t forget to add them to your droplist on Honey. They’ll send you an email if the price drops (and they often do!). Click here to read about the best time to start buying baby stuff.
Big Ticket Items for Your Baby Registry Checklist
The best crib for your baby registry
This is the one we used. It’s a mini-crib which was fabulous for when we lived in a small apartment. Regular size cribs are unnecessarily large. Our 22 month old still sleeps in this mini-crib and we have no plans to buy a full-size. When she grows out of this one, we’ll put her directly into a big girl bed. Here’s a mattress to go with it.
Should register for a stroller?
You can spend as much or as little as you want on a stroller. Honestly, if you have a baby carrier you can probably skip the stroller until your baby is a little bit bigger and harder to carry around.
But we started out with a Graco stroller that my mom got at a yard sale. It worked fine! We upgraded to this jogging stroller when we had our second, though, and I looooove it. Highly recommend it if you’re into running at all.
You might want to consider what type of car seat you plan on getting when you buy a stroller. It’s really helpful to have a car seat that can click in and out of the stroller.
The best car seat for your baby
We had a Britax infant seat for our girls. It was very sturdy and I felt confident that it would protect them in an accident. I will say that it was a bit heavy and bulky, but I was glad for the extra exercise to help me lose the baby weight :).
You can skip the infant seat and go straight to a convertible seat that will last them until they don’t need a car seat anymore, but I think it’s worth it to have the convenience of being able to carry them around in the infant seat when you’re out and about.
Don’t forget to check a swing off your list
This swing was great because it’s small and battery operated, so you can move it around where ever you need it. The batteries lasted us the entire time our oldest was a baby, and I think we changed them once when our second was a few months old.
Just don’t use the swing for night-time sleep or when you aren’t around to supervise.
An exersaucer for your baby registry checklist
This is great fun once your baby has enough head control to sit in it! You definitely don’t want to leave them in there for hours a day, but it was such a life saver when I needed a few minutes to get the dishes done or work on laundry while the baby was awake.
I wouldn’t consider an exersaucer a “need” but it is really handy to have somewhere for the baby to play safely when they get a bit older.
Breast pump: I used a Medela Pump in Style, but I’ve heard great things about the Spectra as well. If you don’t plan on going back to work, this isn’t a huge decision. But if you’ll need to pump on a daily basis, you’ll probably want to spend the money to get a good one.
Check with your insurance company before you buy, though. Many times they will give you a pump for free because it counts as preventative care for your baby!
Bathtub: I tried a couple of different baby bathtubs. My oldest’s first bathtub was the kitchen sink, ha!
Then I found this tub at TJ Maxx and bought it on impulse. I really liked it because it folded up nicely and we were short on space at the time. It’s not the most durable, and it’s not great for newborns, but it worked well for us at the time.
With my second I was determined to find the best baby bathtub out there, and I’m convinced that I did!
I wound up getting this tub from Fisher Price, and I love it. It was super easy to use with a newborn, and it has multiple ways to use it as your baby grows. It even has special grooves on the bottom so that you can prop it up in the kitchen sink so you can bathe your newborn easily.
My only complaint is that it’s a little bulky and hard to store. But otherwise it was perfect!
Baby gates: This is one item you can wait to buy if you’re trying to save money. But you’ll definitely want to get a couple of gates once baby is on the move! I found that these paneled gates work pretty well because they’re so versatile. You can put your baby inside it to give them a safe, enclosed area to play in, or you can open it up and use it to block doorways of any size if you just want to keep the baby in a certain room.
These walk-through gates can come in handy, too, if you know there’s a certain door or hallway you know you’ll want to barricade often.
The best baby carrier
I LOVE to baby wear. It’s great for the baby and gives you your hands back so you can snuggle the baby and get a few things done at the same time. It’s also great for when you need to take the baby somewhere where a stroller just doesn’t quite work.
I like to use a boba wrap for newborns. It provides more support for their floppy little bodies, and keeps them extra close to you.
When they get a little older, though, a Lillebaby is definitely the way to go. I love this carrier because it’s very high quality and you can adjust it so many different ways to make it work for you.
Be sure to check to see if your area has a babywearing group that can offer support, advice, and maybe even a “library” of carriers for you to try!
Those are my thoughts and recommendations for all of the big ticket baby products that you’ll need. Click here for access to the full printable baby registry checklist pdf!