Parents, you’ve got questions, we’ve got answers.

Or just as likely, we’ve got questions and you’ve got answers.

Challenge: Ultimate Baby Registry

My All-Time Favorite Essentials for the Baby Registry

Vote up!
Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Email this article


Your first baby is an exciting time. If you’re lucky, you’ve got a lot of people around to give you tips and advice and tell you about everything coming with the arrival of the baby. That’s a great thing, and you should embrace it. But with every year, there are new must-haves for new babies. Your friends with toddlers will have very different advice than your mother, who will have very different advice than the mommy blogs you’ve been reading since you found out you were expecting. So what do you really need for baby, and what can be skipped when you create your baby registry. I pared down to the basic essentials, but don’t be afraid to embrace the sentimental too.

Big Ticket Items


Stroller / Baby carrier - Being cooped up with the baby is no fun. A stroller is good for running errands, getting fresh air and helping your new baby explore the world! It’s also a big help for Mom’s sanity!

Car Seat - Even the most dedicated city dwellers need a good car seat for cabs and buses. Don’t be afraid to do your research and be specific, since safety regulations are constantly changing.

Crib or Bassinet - Your baby needs a place to sleep! Whether you choose bassinet, Moses basket, or crib, this is one big ticket item that can’t be missed. Choose something convertible, that will grow with your baby, to save you money and hassle later on.

Diaper Bag - As every mom knows, a good diaper bag can move mountains! They’re a lot trendier now, and a great way to store everything you need, from extra clothes to baby wipes, to snacks.

Baby Bathtub - It’s not a pricey item, but it is a big one, and important. You won’t need a bathtub for the first few weeks, but you’ll be glad you have one, whether it fits inside your own bath, or in the sink!

Baby travel crib - Whether you travel a lot, or just want somewhere safe to keep the baby while you both get some fresh air, a sturdy, fold-able travel crib is a great addition to your register.

Useful Must-Haves


Clothes - Remember not to ask for too many newborn sizes. Babies grow fast! And newborns arrive in a variety of sizes from 5-8 lbs, generally. There’s a big size difference there, and your little one might be growing into his one-month sizes sooner than you think!

Diapers - Make it clear if you choose the cloth route or have a preferred brand of disposables. You’ll definitely want some newborn sizes, but don’t overdo it, same as with clothes.

Bottles, bottle brush - If you’re bottle feeding or pumping, stock up a lot, because you’ll go through them quickly, and you’ll find you never have a clean one when you need it.

Formula or Breast Pump - Whichever you choose, make sure everyone knows, so they can get you the right equipment.

Baby nail clippers - It sounds amazing, but even newborns can have long nails! Keep little faces protected by keeping her nails cut.

Baby lotion, diaper cream, baby powder - There’s a lot of specialized baby products, from milder soaps, detergents, wipes, and powders. Stock up, and you’ll figure out what works best for you in no time!

Pacifier tether - Because you would swear you lose more pacifiers than you ever bought, some days.

Special Gifts

Books - I loved the idea of a kid library. Now, you can get personalized books with the baby’s name in them, or entire Little Golden Libraries online. Start your baby off right!

Baby Blankets - You can never have enough blankets. Use a waffle-weave or muslin blanket for swaddling, and a knitted cotton blanket that will stretch as baby grows. There’s nothing nicer than a handmade keepsake for babies, and moms stuck in the house might choose to take up embroidery, so they can give baby’s things some beautiful personal touches.

Soft Toys - Speaking of unique baby things, did you know you can personalize soft toys, too? Babies love Lovies, blankets with little stuffed animals. They’re great comfort objects for grabbing, squeezing, and chewing during those difficult teething months. And you could always do with a few extras for when they need to go in the wash!

For Mom


Baby book - A pregnancy diary and keepsake book for baby’s first few years may be more for Mom’s sake right now. You’ll want something to remember all the special moments and keep your hands busy when you’re feeling cooped up. But as your child grows, she might appreciate the time it took to save the reminders of when she was small.

Keepsake Box - If you’re not the scrapbooking type, a silver keepsake box might be better for keeping mementos. Baby’s first curl or first tooth come to mind, but a keepsake box can also hold pictures or patches of the baby’s favorite blanket. Soon enough, you’ll have a treasure trove of keepsakes to look back on!

Easy Meals - This one is a godsend for new parents. Whether it’s coupons for a meal delivery service or homemade meals for the freezer, every new mom needs meals. Long nights with a newborn don’t exactly leave you with enough left over for a home cooked meal, and free meals are always welcome.

Having a new baby is a thrilling experience, but it can get overwhelming. If you’re a new parent, the last thing you want is a lot of new things for the baby you can’t actually use. The only thing worse is getting baby home, and realizing there’s something important you’re missing. The last thing you want is to be scrambling for something you forgot to buy. This list will help you sort through the necessary from the unnecessary, so you don’t feel swamped by bad advice, and you can enjoy the celebration leading up to your new arrival!

This post comes from the TODAY Parenting Team community, where all members are welcome to post and discuss parenting solutions. Learn more and join us! Because we're all in this together.