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Pediatrician-approved baby registry items

Last Modified: July 06, 2022

Women & Children, Family Medicine

baby registry

Creating a baby registry is exciting, but it can also be intimidating and a bit overwhelming. With so many products on the market, and new ones coming out all the time, it’s tough deciding what to say “yay” or “nay” to. Reshma Khatri, MD, PPG – Pediatrics, is here to help mothers-to-be, with her tips for a smart registry focused on practicality, safety and the development of your little one.

Navigating your registry

Many people start a baby registry once they find out they’re expecting, but it’s important to keep researching products and adding them to your list as your pregnancy progresses. Also, don’t be afraid to reach out to friends and family who have infants and young children. Get their honest opinions on the latest and greatest so you can feel informed as you compile your list.

If this isn’t your first baby, your registry may be slightly different because you probably already have the basic items and supplies at home. The items listed below are based on what any caregiver might need and use within the first few months with a little one. Remember, you can always add things to your registry based on your baby’s individual needs, but these are a few of my favorites to help you get started.

General must-haves
  • Car seat – You will need something to bring your baby home in. I recommend researching a few options, then checking them out in person at the store before purchasing. You’ll want to consider the weight, style and compatibility of the car seat with your vehicle (be sure to read your owner’s manual for specific instructions). Convertible car seats can be a great choice because they grow with your child, but you’ll need to register for multiple seats if you have more than one car. If you choose an infant car seat, you may only need to add multiple bases to your registry.
  • Baby carriers, slings and wraps – These are wonderful! They allow you to go hands-free and are very comforting for babies who enjoy being close to their parents.
  • Diapers and wipes – There are so many options! This boils down to preference and performance. Do you want cloth, disposable, eco-friendly, etc.? The list goes on and on, so keep an open mind and remember what you like in the beginning may not be what you use down the road. Try all types and varieties to find what works for your baby. Also, many registries these days have what’s called a diaper fund. It allows friends and family to contribute a dollar amount so that the registrant can use the funds to purchase diapers and wipes in the future. Loved ones can contribute as much or as little as they want, and you can purchase what you need easily.
  • Diaper bag – Be sure to choose a durable diaper bag that suits your style and needs. It must check off both form and function boxes while toting all the things! After all, it will be one of your most-used items and a constant companion for the next few years.
  • Clothes – This may seem obvious, but it can trip up some parents-to-be. When it comes to baby clothes, you’ll want to ask for an assortment of clothing in various sizes for different seasons, not just newborn or 0-3 months. Babies grow out of those smaller sizes extremely fast, so purchasing a variety of items in different sizes will make those transitions a little easier.
Feeding essentials
  • Breast pump or haakaa® – If you plan to breastfeed, these are life (and milk) savers! One parent raved that the silicone breast pump was the best product from her registry because it allowed her to save every last drop of breastmilk.
  • Breastfeeding pillow – This may feel like a splurge, but they are helpful when nursing or feeding. These pillows provide a stable and comfortable surface that helps position your baby while reducing your neck, arm and back strain.
  • Bottles – This can be tricky, but you won’t know which bottle to purchase until your baby arrives and lets you know their preference. Instead, register for a few different bottle samples. It will help narrow down your search when you’re ready to buy.
  • Bottle warmers – While it isn’t necessary to warm your baby’s bottle, this product does make it a lot easier if your baby has a preference. Fortunately, there are plenty of options on the market, so you can easily find one that fits your needs and budget.
  • Nursing camisoles
  • Nipple cream
  • Burp cloths
  • Bibs
Nursery needs
  • Crib/bassinet – Most cribs today must meet strict safety standards, so purchasing a crib depends on your space, lifestyle and plans for the future. Remember, no matter which crib you choose, all parents and caregivers should follow the safe sleep guidelines with babies always sleeping alone, on their backs and in a crib.
  • Changing pad – This might be all you need the first few months since you will likely change your baby in the room where you hang out, so portability is key.
  • Baby monitor
  • Night lights
  • Sleep sacks
  • Sensory toys
  • Teething toys
  • Playpen
  • Swing
  • Books
Health necessities
  • Temperature/humidity monitor for room
  • Nose syringe/suctioning devices
  • Thermometer
  • Grooming kit
  • Nail file/clippers
  • Bathing supplies
  • Lotion/moisturizer
  • Medical grade monitoring devices – Unless your pediatrician recommended it, you do not need this product. In fact, it may lead to unnecessary anxiety and stress for new moms and dads. I have had many calls from panicked parents dealing with constant alerts from their devices even though the baby is okay and doing well. These monitoring systems aren’t necessary and often make parents worry needlessly.
  • Diaper pail – This seems like a logical registry item because it can help contain the odor of soiled diapers. However, many parents have said this product is great for the first few months but is less useful later when babies eat more solid food.
  • Tummy time mat – This is a great item to have down the road, but it’s not completely necessary right away, especially if finances are an issue and you’re trying to prioritize.
Final thoughts

As you begin your journey into parenthood, don’t forget that every family and baby is different. What worked for a loved one or friend may not work for you. At the end of the day, it’s not about fancy products. It’s about you and your new little one. But if you’re still feeling overwhelmed or unsure once your baby is born, please speak with your pediatrician. They can help guide you in the right direction.

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