My son is just over 8 weeks old and I finally feel like I am in a place where I might be able to offer useful baby registry checklist suggestions to other new or soon to be new moms. This list is for new moms (or dads!) who want to know what they REALLY need when baby arrives.
In all honesty – you don’t need much. You could technically survive with just diapers and wipes, a few swaddle blankets, and a safe place for your baby to sleep. The rest is really just for your convenience, but your convenience matters!
Below is a list of all of the items that we regularly use and nothing more. The length of this list might surprise you considering the “minimalist” title, but if you’re planning on staying active and productive (running errands, eating at restaurants, getting stuff done around the house, etc.) while still caring for your baby then you will benefit from having some “stuff.” I consider every item on this baby registry checklist to be essential for making my life more efficient as a new mom.
FREE CHECKLIST SPREADSHEET: I explain each item in detail below, but I also created an easy to view Baby Registry Google Spreadsheet that lists each item, brand name, price, and link to make things simple! Feel free to make a copy (File > Make a copy…) then use it as a checklist by adding an “X” in column A next to any items you purchase.
(This post contains affiliate links. For more information, see my disclosures here.)
NEWBORN TRANSPORTATION ESSENTIALS
- CAR SEAT – A must have if you plan on traveling anywhere by car. You can really go one of two ways here: convertible car seat or infant car seat (read more about the differences between the two on BabyList). I chose the UppaBaby Mesa infant car seat which attaches to our UppaBaby stroller. It can also be used to carry my newborn around outside of the car. This is super handy when a stroller is too bulky and wearing the baby doesn’t make sense (e.g. visits to the dentist or chiropractor). Also, some hospitals ask that you place your newborn in their car seat before discharging you from the hospital – check with your hospital beforehand to confirm their policy. Other great options that I considered are the Britax, Maxi Cosi, and Nuna Pipa. We were also gifted a Graco convertible car seat for when our babe grows out of his infant seat.
- STROLLER – As far as I’m aware, there are three main stroller categories: modular, jogger, and travel. The best stroller for you depends on your lifestyle. Sometimes it can be nice to have more than one stroller (gasp!) – I was gifted a modular stroller (UppaBaby Cruz) and I purchased a jogger second-hand for my baby to grow into. Choosing a stroller was easily the most difficult decision for me. Something that helped was creating a spreadsheet with all of my “nice-to-have” features along the left column and all of my favorite strollers along the top. In the end I chose the stroller that checked the most boxes!
- DIAPER BAG – So far I am loving our $35 diaper backpack.
- CHANGING MAT – I love our Skip Hop changing mat. It includes pockets that can store diapers and wipes so I can either fold it up in the diaper bag, or carry it on its own.
- CARRIER – A high quality baby carrier might be my #1 most valued baby item. Before I gave birth, I collected multiple second-hand baby carriers including a cute fabric baby wrap (I’ll say to you what many others said to me – cute, but not worth it). If I was to go back in time, I would have told myself to forget the rest and invest in the Ergobaby 360. I didn’t want to believe the hype (because $$$) but I finally broke down and purchased one (still cost me over $100 purchased second-hand) and it has seriously saved my back and shoulders. Don’t forget the infant insert for babies less than 12 lbs!
NEWBORN CLOTHING ESSENTIALS
- 5-10 ONESIES – The number of onesies you need really depends on how frequently you plan on doing laundry. I do a load nearly every day so we’re fine with just a few in each size. Sleeve length also depends on the climate/season your baby is born into – my summer baby hasn’t worn a single long-sleeve onesie yet!
- 2-4 LEGGINGS – See above, we haven’t had a need for pants or leggings since our baby was born during the summer season. If it gets cool in the evenings, we simply swaddle him in a muslin blanket.
- SOCKS (optional) – I had a June baby and he hasn’t worn a single sock in his little life.
- BEANIES (optional) – Same thoughts as above. My baby wore a beanie in the hospital and not once since.
- SLEEPERS (optional) – Again, optional depending on climate. My baby sleeps in a onesie and a muslin swaddle (or sometimes just a diaper and swaddle), but there were a few nights soon after we brought him home when the air was cooler and the sleep gown was our favorite (babies require diaper changes SO many times throughout the night in those first few weeks, make it easy on yourself!).
- 7-10 SWADDLE BLANKETS – Some people swear by expensive velcro or zipper swaddles, we have been just fine using muslin blankets. Plus, they can be used for SO many other things (stroller cover, nursing cover, burp cloth, etc.) it’s nice to have a few extra on hand.
NEWBORN SLEEP ESSENTIALS
- ROCK N PLAY – A friend recommended that we forgo a traditional bassinet in favor of this guy. I have nothing to compare it to but our babe has been a champion sleeper so far (I better not be jinxing myself by typing that!). Plus, it’s less than $100 – a great deal considering how expensive most traditional bassents can be.
- NIGHT LIGHT (optional) – This isn’t essential, but a good night light is SO nice to have! This one is great because it adjusts to a white light or a softer yellow light and has a range of brightness settings. It also holds a charge VERY well – we use it for 8+ hours every night and over the course of 8 weeks have only re-charged it twice.
- BABY MONITOR – My husband chose this one because he was paranoid that wifi versions can be hacked. Regardless of cyber-security, we have loved it so far!
NEWBORN FEEDING ESSENTIALS
- NURSING BRA(S) – Really nice to have a few comfy pairs.
- SLEEP NURSING BRA – Things were sensitive those first few weeks and soft sleep bras helped me deal at night. Also if you’re leaking a lot, sleep bras plus nursing pads are the way to go.
- NURSING PADS – Helpful in case of leaks.
- LANOLIN CREAM – Breastfeeding isn’t always easy or glamorous. I used this regularly during the first 6 weeks of breastfeeding when things were still sore. Bring this with you to the hospital too!
- NURSING COVER – If you plan on breastfeeding in public but aren’t interested in a public boob display, forget covering up with a flimsy blanket over your shoulder, these covers are SO much easier. I got two so I am never without a clean one – highly recommend.
- 20 BURP CLOTHS – You will use these all the time, everywhere.
- PUMP – I very highly recommend one with a rechargeable/portable battery so that you can be mobile while pumping. During my morning pump I’m able to make myself breakfast, do the dishes, and answer emails without any problem. I’ve been using the Spectra S1 and really like it so far.
- HANDS FREE BRA – An absolute must if you want to multitask (which trust me, you will)
- 4-8 BOTTLES – Before you load up on bottles, make sure your babe likes the brand you choose. Our baby has been SUPER picky when it comes to bottles and after trying three highly recommended brands (Dr. Browns, Tommee Tippee, and Comotomo) we are just now finally getting him to take one without fussing – very important since I plan on returning to work after my maternity leave.
- BREAST MILK BAGS – Not much to say here other than I wish there were good options that weren’t single-use.
- GLIDER (optional) – Not an essential (I almost didn’t get one myself) but if you have the space and the funds, it’s really nice to have. I highly recommend something soft/upholstered with armrests and a high back to rest your head against (you will be so grateful for this during those middle of the night feedings).
NEWBORN DIAPERING ESSENTIALS
- DIAPERS – One of my friends calls Huggies “diapers for dummies” because there is a yellow line that turns blue when the diaper is wet – a feature my husband is particularly fond of.
- WATER WIPES – These are nice if your baby has sensitive skin since they include just water and fruit extract. The only problem is they are a pain to pull out of the packaging one-handed, which brings me to my next suggested item…
- WIPE DISPENSER (optional) – Handy if you choose to use a brand of wipes that is difficult to pull out of its packaging.
- AQUAPHOR – Helps to prevent diaper rash.
- DIAPER CREAM BRUSH (optional) – I say this is optional because you could technically apply that butt cream with your fingers… let’s just say it’s a very nice to have item.
- KEEKAROO CHANGING PAD – I was turned off by the price point of this changing pad and ended up with a traditional changing pad and cover I found second-hand, but now that I have changed 232032 diapers I wish I had ponied up for this changing pad instead. All it takes is one midnight mess to make this investment worth the money!
- CHANGING MAT COVERS (optional) – If you do end up with a traditional changing pad and cloth cover, these add another layer of protection so you don’t have to change/wash the cover quite as frequently.
- DIAPER PAIL (optional) – We change the majority of our newborn’s diapers in our bedroom, having this odor eliminating diaper pail makes that situation bearable.
NEWBORN BATHING ESSENTIALS
- BABY BATH – I like that this could be used on our counter, in our kitchen sink, or in our actual bathtub.
- 2 HOODED TOWELS – You don’t need anything fancy, just something soft
- WASHCLOTHS – Again, nothing fancy just something super soft
- EARTH MAMA WASH – I like the ingredients in this baby wash and it doesn’t overly dry out my baby’s skin like other baby wash products do
- COCONUT OIL – I swear this helped eliminate my baby’s acne and dry, flaky scalp issues. We don’t use anything else on our baby’s skin.
- CRADLE CAP BRUSH – If your baby has cradle cap or a dry, flaky scalp this brush will help clear things up.
- NAIL FILE – Because clipping baby fingernails is the scariest, we have used this tool from day 1 instead.
OTHER NEWBORN ESSENTIALS
- THERMOMETER – Our pediatrician recommended that we stick to the classic rectal thermometer for our babe, so that’s what we got!
- PACIFIER – Like with bottles, you might need to try a few different pacifiers before you find one that your newborn likes.
- LOVEVERY PLAY MAT – Newborns don’t really interact much with toys, but they do start noticing contrast colors and become much more aware of their surroundings. I like this play mat because it will grow with my baby and doesn’t look hideous in the middle of our living room.
- BOOK – As mentioned above, newborns don’t interact too much but they will pay attention to contrast colors. If you want to introduce your babe to books right away, black and white books are what kept ours most captivated.
If you’d like to use this list as a starting point for your baby registry checklist, check out my Newborn Registry Google Spreadsheet. It lists each item, brand name, price, and link. Make a copy (File > Make a copy…) so you can add/delete items and make it your own.
My last tip would be to buy second-hand whenever possible. It will save you a ton of money and since a majority of baby supplies are made with plastic materials, you can feel good about not directly contributing to over-consumption / over-production of non-renewable resources. I personally love using Facebook Marketplace for this.
Above all, congratulations! Motherhood is the best 🙂
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