Baby registry

Baby registry checklist

Truth: You actually don't need to buy everything at the store. Here's what you really need, what’s nice to have and what you can skip (plus, a printable baby registry checklist PDF to bring with you).

By Today's Parent

Baby registry checklist

Photo: iStockPhoto

Don’t let an aggressive salesperson push you into buying everything in the store. Here’s what you really need, what’s nice to have and what you can skip.


  • 8 undershirts or onesies (short- or long-sleeved, depending on season)
  • 5 nightgowns (for use until the cord stump falls off)
  • 8 stretchy one-piece sleepers
  • 5 pairs of pants
  • 2 newborn hats
  • 8 pairs of socks or booties
  • 2 cardigans or jackets (more in winter)
  • Bunting bag or snowsuit for winter baby
  • Laundry detergent for infants


  • 3 large cotton blankets
  • 8 receiving blankets (they also make handy burp cloths)
  • 3 soft muslin blankets for swaddling or nursing, or to use as a stroller shade

If you are nursing:

  • Lots of bibs
  • Burp cloths
  • Breast pump
  • Milk storage containers or bags
  • Nursing pillow
  • Nursing bras (if buying before baby is born, buy one cup size larger than your bra size during pregnancy)
  • Breast pads (disposable or washable)
  • Lotion for sore nipples

If you are formula-feeding:

  • Lots of bibs
  • Burp cloths
  • 8 four-ounce bottles with low-flow nipples (for newborn months)
  • 6 eight-ounce bottles with medium-flow nipples
  • Bottle and nipple brush
  • Formula (be sure to check expiry date and note the lot number in case of recalls)
  • Thermal bottle carrier

If you're using disposable diapers:

  • Two boxes of newborn-size diapers (it’s better not to buy too many in advance in case your baby grows quickly)
  • 1 diaper pail (with a set of bag refills)
  • Changing pad
  • Baby ointment or barrier cream to prevent rashes
  • Disposable wipes

If you're using cloth diapers:

  • 50 to 60 reusable diapers
  • 8 waterproof covers
  • Disposable wipes or a couple dozen reusable washcloths for cleaning baby’s bum
  • Wet bag (for storing dirty diapers on the go)


  • 1 infant tub (or use a large dishpan in the sink, or take baby in the bath with you)
  • 12 washcloths (separate from those used during diaper changes)
  • Baby soap or cleanser
  • Soft-bristled baby hair brush
  • 3 soft-hooded towels

If you’re using a bassinet:

  • Approved bassinet and bassinet mattress
  • 4 fitted bassinet sheets

If you’re using a crib:

  • Approved crib and crib mattress
  • 3 waterproof mattress covers
  • 4 fitted crib sheets
  • Sleep sacks (you’ll need a variety of sizes as your baby grows)

If you’re co-sleeping:

  • Firm mattress (not a water bed)
  • 3 waterproof pads to place under baby

Other necessities

  • Approved infant car seat
  • Stroller that reclines (or has a bassinet attachment) so a newborn can lie flat
  • Nail clippers or scissors
  • Bulb syringe for suctioning nose mucus
  • Baby thermometer
  • Medication in case of fever

Nice-to-have items

  • Rocking chair or glider for feeding and soothing
  • Sling, fabric wrap or structured baby carrier
  • Bouncer seat
  • Diaper bag (a backpack works well, too!)
  • 2 to 4 pacifiers (if you choose to use these and your baby likes them)
  • Change table
  • Portable change pad
  • White noise machine
  • Baby monitor (video or audio)
  • Playpen or travel crib
  • Activity gym
  • Foam tiles for when baby is sitting up and crawling
  • Rattles and other baby toys
  • Mobile
  • Night light
  • Sun shade for car windows
  • Mirror for seeing infant in a rear-facing car seat

Print out this baby registry checklist pdf and take it with you when you go to register.

This article was originally published on Aug 07, 2017

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