Baby Shower Registry 101: Essential Gifts for Baby
When you’re newly expecting, there’s a shopping phenomenon that occurs.
Baby clothes—seemingly inanimate objects—start leaping into your cart at Target.
Affecting most moms-to-be at a moderate level, grandmothers report the anomaly occurring frequently and in large quantities.
The only way to stop the barrage of baby socks, baby dresses, and baby onesies is to get organized with a baby registry list.
There’s no wrong way to build a baby registry. Some parents take a minimal approach, and others are more maximal.
Today, we’re sharing our take on baby registry essentials.
These are the items you’ll want checked off your list first. They won’t inspire buyer’s remorse (like those Target baby clothes that wink and whistle as they stroll past the self-checkout scanner).
No, these online baby registry items have been selected by real moms so that you can be certain they’re worthy purchases for you or your gift-givers.
By creating your online baby registry at myregistry.com or babylist.com, you can add products from any retailer. This is a great way to register for the exact brand and product you want instead of searching for substitutes available from big box stores.
Now that you’re up-to-date on online baby registry etiquette, let’s get into what you really need to take care of your baby—and yourself—as you move into an amazing new phase as a family.
Baby Registry Must Haves: Wearables
In our experience, zipper pajamas are the only way to go for 0–3-month-olds.
You’ll be changing 10+ diapers per day early on, and convenience is key. Footed, two-way zipper onesies are the easiest way to keep your little one comfortable and diaper-change ready.
Trust us that you do not want to wade through overskirts and leggings and vests while dealing with a wiggly baby’s full diaper.
For baby’s gentle skin, we recommend going with an ethically made bamboo or organic cotton pair of zipper pjs.
You’ll also want to keep a bonnet or hat on their head nonstop in the early days to keep them warm and snuggly.
*Did you know pediatricians recommend keeping your newborn’s room between 68 and 72 degrees? That’s much warmer than my 38 weeks pregnant body desired (64 degrees), but I adapted for my baby girl.
Another good tip is to choose onesies that include fold over hand mitts.
Early on, you’ll want to keep your cub from accidentally scratching his or her face, so it’s best to keep those claws covered. While big box stores will suggest baby mittens, the mitt separates almost never stay on your newborn’s hands and will absolutely get lost behind the couch or in the dryer. Skip the individual mitts and go for fold-over onesies.
If you end up needing a mitt in a pinch, we recommend using baby socks instead. You’ll already have these on-hand (see what we did there), and they’re less likely to fall off.
Here are a few of our most recommended options for the best baby registry outfits they’ll actually wear.
Quincy Mae Bamboo Zip Footie // Organic 2-Way Zip Romper // Floral Bonnet // Printed Socks, Set of 4
We do have one caveat to add on the useful baby gifts topic: You may want to register for an outfit they’ll wear for newborn photos or family pictures. In that case, we recommend the adorable Amalia Romper for blue-eyed baby girls and this plaid set for sweet baby boys.
So, take it or leave it: add a photo-ready outfit to the registry.
Top Baby Gifts Worth Their Salt: Feeding
Everyone is different when it comes to feeding, and you won’t really know what your little one prefers until they’re out and about. That said, we absolutely swear by a few baby registry essentials in the feeding arena.
First, you’ll want to use burp cloths that cover a large area.
Murphy’s Law is applicable to spit-up: If it can get on your favorite outfit, it will.
UNLESS you pick burp cloths that cover more area and are soft against baby’s skin.
A muslin burp cloth is going to be your best friend for keeping things fresh. We recommend stocking up on burp cloths so that there’s always one in reach, especially because you’ll want to wash them often.
Other useful baby gifts in the feeding department are a breast pump, breast milk storage essentials, and baby bottles. Many insurance providers will cover at least part of the cost of a breast pump, so we suggest starting there when selecting your model.
As for breast milk essentials, we love this all-in-one kit for keeping your milk supply organized and your bras leak-free. And when it comes to breastmilk baby bottles, this Nanobébé US bottle was named the Best Baby Bottle by the BUMP for breastfed babies.
We may not have a crystal ball that can predict your baby’s preferred bottle nipple, but we’re confident this is the place to start. Add a single or 3-pack to your registry, but don’t stock up too heavily. You’ll want to test it out with your little one before getting one in every color.
Around 5 or 6 months, you may find yourself reaching for baby’s first solids. Our 100% BPA and chemical-free silicone feeding supplies by Mushie are the way to go. They’re cool baby gifts with their trendy color options, and they make fun baby gifts from the friend who is looking out for your future.
New Baby Gifts for Sound Sleep
When we were pregnant with our first child, my husband and I were living a life of luxury (read: necessity) in a one-bedroom apartment. To make room for baby girl, we transformed our small dining room into a make-shift bedroom with a pack-and-play that included a napper, changing table, and storage for clothes.
Assuming you aren’t quite as space-limited as we were, you’ll want to pick up a basinet and bedding that you love. This is where you’ll take an abundance of photos and videos, and you’ll never forget those sweet sleepy moments.
It’s also important that your changing area protect what’s underneath while supplying adequate cushion for your child. This diaper changing pad is agile enough for home and travel, or you can set up a stationary changing pad with removable changing pad covers.
In reminiscing about our time as a new family of three, my partner reminded me that a blackout curtain, noise machine, and bamboo swaddle were absolutely essential. Additionally, we leaned heavily on a humidifier in the dry mountain air.
Best Baby Registry Gifts for Health & Hygiene
I’m five+ years into motherhood, and baths are the bane of my existence. If I can, I gift this parental privilege to my husband, who is much less bothered by the experience.
However, I do take joy in selecting earth-friendly and human-kind products for my kids. These bath time goodies from Mushie and Gryph & IvyRose fit the bill, as do the adorable flower training toothbrushes for building healthy routines.
Since we’re keeping the baby registry list to must haves only, it’s absolutely okay to skip a baby bath tub and opt for the kitchen sink instead. In terms of what to put on baby registry, we also suggest a baby thermometer, snot sucker, and fingernail clippers.
Best Baby Registry Gifts for Getting Out of the House
Some of the most delightful moments occur when you step out of the house as a mom-and-baby pair. For me, pushing a stroller in the sunshine felt like self-actualization. I loved how it made me feel like a “real mom,” and the walks around the block were beneficial to my mental health.
That said, in the hierarchy of the best baby gifts, I’d place strollers and car seats at the very top. You’ll want a stroller that is appropriate for newborns and up, such as this luxury stroller by Stokke. The infant car seat and carry cot for newborn are available separately, so make sure to add those to your baby registry, as well.
A note on car seat bases: my mother-in-law insisted on gifting us an extra base so we could keep one installed in each car at all times, and that move was brilliant. If you have room on your registry, add a car seat base for each vehicle.
Complete your baby gear essentials with a diaper bag that fits your needs. With my first child, I chose a diaper bag that was fashionable, but it didn’t fit my laptop. As a work-from-coffee-shops mom, it was really important to pivot to a laptop-friendly option for when I was on-the-go with my second child and her big sister.
This vegan leather bag satisfies laptop needs and stores all the bits and bobs in 11 organized pockets. Plus, it’s gorgeous and comes with stroller clips.
Baby Registry Must Haves
While this post sticks to just the baby registry essentials, you can certainly add additional items such as developmental toys, natural rubber pacifiers, nursery furniture, decorative items, and more. Let your village provide the things you need as your family makes room for another person (or people) to love.