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Creating a Baby Registry: What You REALLY Need

Don’t fall for all the hyped-up items; stick with the tried and true to make your life easier

By Gigi Schweikert
SPONSORED 8:20PM 02/12/20

Well-meaning family, friends and colleagues often want to gift parents-to-be and new parents sentimental baby items that can be treasured for years and even passed on to the next generation. The truth, however, is that the people involved in a newborn’s first few weeks of life really just want one thing: sleep. 

And diapers. But we’ll get to that in a moment. 

A newborn baby doesn’t need books or toys just yet, nor does a newborn need formal outfits or even shoes. They can’t walk anywhere, for one, and the first month of life will be a repeating cycle of feedings, naps, diaper changes and, for the parents, laundry. For these reasons, new parents should consider sticking to the basics when creating a baby registry to ensure they get items they really need and will use. 

Here are essential baby items that will help everyone persevere through those first few weeks. 

The clothing basics

Onesies, particularly those with zippers, and bodysuits will be a new parent’s best friends, and the great news is that they often come in packs. Opt to include 10 newborn-sized bodysuits and five newborn-sized onesies on the registry, as well as at least 10 three-month-sized bodysuits and five three-month-sized onesies. There’s no telling how big your baby will be when he or she is born, or how fast they’ll grow, so this will help everyone be prepared for different possibilities. 

The right furniture

Fact: babies need a lot of furniture. A crib (don’t forget to include a mattress pad and at least three fitted sheets!), a changing table and a dresser are all crucial. If there’s limited space in the baby’s room or area, there are plenty of useful changing table and dresser combinations. A rocking chair or glider, preferably one with a matching ottoman, will make feedings comfortable for you at all hours of the day and night. 

Diaper-changing supplies 

Newborns can go through a lot of diapers, which is why no baby registry is complete without three boxes of newborn-sized diapers and, in preparation for possible quick growth, two boxes of Size 1 diapers. Wipes, diaper cream and a changing station for that changing table are all a must. Remember: organization will make those middle-of-the-night diaper changes and feedings as efficient as they can be! 

Baby on-the-go

A rocking swing will provide the little one with a soothing place to rest while parents do things around the house. (Like laundry.) Since parents will need to bring their baby to pediatrician appointments, registering for a diaper bag—and always keeping said diaper bag packed with the essentials—will come in handy when everyone needs to leave the house in a jiffy! 

Baby hygiene

After a certain amount of time (and under a pediatrician’s guidance), parents will start bathing their baby. (But not every day!) Instead of worrying about separate items such as shampoo and soap, parents should opt for a large bottle of a shampoo and body wash combination. Also important are baby lotion, baby oil, baby laundry detergent, washcloths and hooded towels, plus a baby nail file to literally keep the edge off of those (surprisingly sharp!) nails. 

On the hygiene note, babies will spit up and drool quite a bit, which is why there is no such thing as too many receiving blankets or bibs. There should be at least 20 on the registry, as this versatile item can double as a burp cloth and later serve as an actual blanket. 

And don’t forget about mama! 

A new mom needs all of the help she can get, which is why items aimed at maternal health and wellness should absolutely be included on a baby registry. From nursing bras to special creams and lotions to cooling pads to breast pumps and related accessories, there are many ways to make a mother’s life easier after delivery. 

Remember: When planning their registry, new parents and parents-to-be should focus on items that will be most useful during their baby’s first few months. Family and friends and acquaintances will likely continue to bring gifts on a regular basis after the baby is born, which is why expectant parents should stick to the basics and not worry about fancy frills.