Baby Registry Checklist
Just when my husband and I thought that our diaper changing days were long gone, we were pleasantly surprised to find out that we’re expecting baby number 3! Our boys, who will be 11 and 9 when their sister arrives, are very excited for this new little one, even if it means that we’ll have to make some changes and add some things to our cozy little home.
And speaking of those additions…
It’s been nearly a decade since I’ve had to shop for baby items. In fact, over the past few years, I’ve gotten rid of more baby items than I’ve purchased. So we’re almost starting from the beginning.
We have some random things left over from when our boys were little, like my Boppy and my Snoogle (because, let’s face it, even after having a baby, those are sort of comfy things to use), our changing table (don’t ask me why…not sure how this managed to stay in our house), our Pack-n-Play (because I thought we could keep it in case any babies came to visit), and various clothes that I wasn’t willing to part with (some are unisex enough for Little Miss but others are not). But some of the larger things, like a crib, baby swing, bouncer, etc., have been long since donated or given to friends for their babies.
So here I am, thrust back into the world of babies and I’m having to build a registry list for our soon-to-arrive tiny human.
Since I’ve been through this twice already, I have a good idea of what items we’ll find most useful vs. ones we could really do without. But there are new brands and things that they didn’t have just 10 years ago that I may now find useful. And there’s this store called Buy Buy Baby that I’ve never shopped at that I may find items at as well. With both many weeks to go and things coming sooner than I think, now’s the time to get that list started.
Here are the first 10 items I’ve added to my wish list. Now, some of these are the bigger things that I know we’ll need in the short term as well as later in the first year. Most times, you can easily fill in the smaller things, but I want to make sure that I have a list of the bigger items we’ll need.
We really loved our little Kolcraft bassinet, and I’d like to get another one like it. Most lists, like this one from Mommyhood101, list the HALO Bassinest Swivel Sleeper at the top of their lists. I would really prefer something that has a little bit of storage under it, like the Simmons Kids SlumberTime Elite Gliding Bassinet. It has everything we’ll need for Little Miss to bunk with us for a few months. And my husband will really dig the nightlight on the mobile (makes checking on her at nighttime so much easier).
2. Infant Car Seat & Stroller
I’m putting these two together because they can often be purchased as a set. Let’s talk about car seats first. Each car seat is stamped with an expiration date when it should no longer be used. The best explanation of why that I can find is from The Car Seat Lady: “Plastic becomes brittle and weak as it ages – two qualities you don’t want in a car seat that has to withstand severe crash forces. Therefore it’s important that the plastic is new enough that the car seat will be able to perform properly.” So any older car seats that we have (which are more toddler seats that we’ve used with our younger son) won’t work for Little Miss. Another super awesome tip: when you have expired car seats, you can drop them off at most fire departments where they will use them for training. That, and these wonderful firefighters will even install your new car seat for you to give you even more safety assurance.
Now, on to strollers. We still have our double stroller (two, in fact, because my cousin also gave me hers), but a double stroller is more than what we’ll need. And plus, I do quite a bit of walking and jogging, so a vehicle where I can easily take her along may be in order. I took a look at Safe Baby Reviews and Babygears Guide and was happy to see that my preferred stroller and infant carrier, the Graco FastAction Fold Jogger Click Connect Travel System, received great reviews.
3. Baby Bottles & Feeding
Most of my baby feeding knowledge has been with bottle feeding, so I was happy to see that my favorite Dr. Brown’s Natural Flow Bottles were still a favorite on many lists. These worked well with my boys and I’m hoping for the same with my little girl. Take a look at Lucie’s List where you’ll find great advice for both bottle feeding and breastfeeding products.
4. Baby Swing
Oh the baby swing…where would I be in the first few months without you?! My boys loved our Fisher-Price Ocean Wonders baby swing way back when and we’ll definitely need another one. I checked out MyCutieBaby.com and The Baby Guides to see how this one stacked up today compared to newer brands, and it’s still tops. The MamaRoo Infant Seat is another rocker or swing that I’ve heard of, but I’ve had some friends who have liked it and some who haven’t. I think I’ll stick with the Fisher-Price Deluxe Cradle ‘n Swing.
5. Baby Bouncer Seat
Holy wow, are there a lot of bouncers on the market now! The bouncer was just as important for soothing our babies as the swing. There weren’t quite as many then as there are now, so I did a little digging on Baby List and Parents.com to take a look at what people are saying about newer seats. There are several interesting ones like the Baby Björn Soft Cotton Bouncer and the 4moms bounceRoo. With everything else that we’ll need to get and only use for a small amount of time, I want to keep this particular purchase affordable, so what’s going on my list is the Fisher-Price Bouncer or possibly the Fisher-Price My Little SnugaMonkey Special Edition Deluxe Bouncer if my younger son (who LOVES monkeys) has anything to say about it.
6. Baby Carriers, Wraps & Slings
I can’t remember the name of the two baby carriers I tried with my boys, but I remember that neither of them were comfortable for them or me. And “baby wearing” was just becoming a thing so when I went looking for what baby wrap or sling to add to my list, I was again surprised at how many different ones were out there. I’ve read several reviews from sites like Top 10 Reviews and others, and I’ve settled on the Moby Wrap because I think that it will fit my body shape much better than some of the others. Mommyhood101 has a great write up as well about baby carriers, but I think I’ll try the wrap first.
7. Baby Bathtub
I’m not sure if my opinion on baby bathtubs will be the most popular among baby bathtub makers, but it’s not an item that I’m looking to spend much on (or asking others to do). When I was pregnant with my oldest, I couldn’t wait to use his baby tub. I registered for what was the Cadillac of baby bathtubs at the time (that I now cannot remember the name of). It had a lovely mesh hammock, a gentle fillable shower to help clean off those suds, and a nice sized basin for him to soak in. And he hated it. And my younger son hated it. What ended up being easier for us was the good old bath in the sink till they were old enough to sit up. Then, we used an inflatable tub (a rubber ducky for my oldest and a Winnie-the-Pooh tub for my youngest son). For my Little Miss, I have added this sweet inflatable whale tub to my registry. I am a bit intrigued by the Puj Flyte Compact Infant Bath that fits in the sink, but I’d rather put the extra money we’re saving with the inflatable tub towards the diaper fund. The Bump has a nice list of baby tub recommendations if you want something with a few more bells and whistles.
8. Play Yard/Portable Crib
As I said above, we still have our Graco Pack ‘n Play from when our boys were babies. It’s still in great condition and ready for one more round of baby sleep and play. Looking at the models on the market now, it’s closest to this one that has the bassinet attachment and movable changing table. Even though I’m not adding one to my list, I highly recommend adding one to yours. They come in handy when traveling, even if it’s just to Grandma and Grandpa’s for dinner. Consumer Reports has great advice about choosing the play yard that’s best for you. And if you plan to use your play yard for a portable crib for travel or just napping, make sure to add some fitted sheets to your registry, too.
9. High Chair
We had the most adorable high chair for my boys that my husband’s grandma gave us (she liked it because it had jungle animals on it). It was amazing for my oldest son, who was sad when he had to give it up for you younger son. Our younger son, being the precocious little gent that he is, figured out how to wiggle his way out of the chair’s 5-point harness (no matter how tight we had it) and climb out. We ended up getting another Fisher-Price Healthy Care Deluxe Booster Seat for our home (we had one that we kept in the car to use when eating out; another highly recommended purchase as you can use it anywhere instead of asking for a high chair at restaurants). He couldn’t climb out of that one!
The cute little high chair with the sweet jungle animals has long since been passed on, so I decided to register for one that’s a bit middle of the road: Graco Swivi Seat 3 in 1 Booster High Chair with Smart Swivel Rotating Seat. It will fit on one of our kitchen chairs and save a little space, too. If we had a little more room (and less people in our house), I would consider one of these recommended by Parenting. There are some really cool ones on their list.
This is an item that we won’t need for a few months after she’s born but it’s definitely on our list. My boys loved their Baby Einstein entertainer, and I’m happy to see it receiving some good reviews on several lists. I like this list from Kid Savers Network as it goes through all the features on a few different options. We’ve listed the Baby Einstein Rhythm of the Reef Activity Saucer on our registry as the one my boys had has been donated a few times over by now.
These are my personal top 10 being a parent for the third time, but I know that first time parents may need many more items to prepare for their little one. Here is a checklist of the additional items you may want to consider including on your registry along with some of my own preferences for each category:
For the Baby’s Room
- Crib: There are so many crib choices to consider while also thinking about the decorating of your nursery and safety as well. The best place to find advice on finding the right crib for you and your little one is through Consumer Reports.
- Crib Mattress: I’m personally partial to Serta crib mattresses but this is another item where Consumer Reports can help guide you to the choice that’s right for you.
- Mattress Pads
- Changing Table
- Changing Pad
- Mobile: My boys LOVED their mobiles. I preferred the ones that were battery operated to the ones that you had to wind in order to play. The battery operated ones tend to play longer.
- Swaddling Blankets: For my second son in particular, swaddling him helped him sleep like a champ. Having swaddling or large receiving blankets will help you bundle your little. Not sure how to swaddle? Check out this video from Baby Center.
- Receiving Blankets
- Crib Blankets, Afghans & Quilts: I’m personally partial to handmade blankets. If you have someone close to you who knits, crochets or quilts and they’ve offered to make you something, take them up on the offer. And do them the favor of using it for your little one!
- Toys & Toy Holder
- Grooming Kit
- Thermometer: I’m still a huge fan of our Exergen Temporal Thermometer. It’s great for taking a temperature while your little one is sleeping.
- Nasal Aspirator: Never underestimate the need for a good nasal aspirator. I know several parents who swear by the NoseFrida Snotsucker Nasal Aspirator but the one I have had luck with is a battery operated one. There are a few out there on the market.
- Onesies & Bodysuits: Can you ever have enough onesies for your baby? No. The answer is no. Gerber and Carter’s have some of the best still.
- Baby Mitts
The Diaper Bag
Toys & More
- Baby Teethers: Sofie the Giraffe Teether is still quite the popular choice.
- Tummy Time Toys
- Car Seat/Stroller Toys
- Blocks & Stackers: Fisher-Price’s classics are still a favorite among the tiny humans.
- Play Gyms: My younger son had a Bright Starts Gym and loved it. It was great because the sides folded up and I could make sure that my older son (who was 2 at the time) didn’t run over him when he was playing. This time, I’ve added the Infantino Go GaGa Infant to Toddler Play Gym & Fun TeePee to my list. It looks fun!
I’ve got my baby registry list all ready now on Giftster so I can check that off the grand to do list before the baby arrives. If you choose to use both Giftster and in-store registries, I highly recommend that you list your store registry links to your Giftser list. This way, your family will have one central location to find the many ways to spoil you and your little one.
Now…to find where to put all these things we’ve registered for…
This journey is far from over but we all couldn’t be more excited. A big congratulations to all the families expecting little ones this year!