Skip to main content

What Do You Really Need for Your Baby?

  • Author:
  • Updated date:

Cat is a new mom of a beautiful baby girl! Learning as she goes, Cat is excited to share her stories and adventures as a mother and a wife.

Photo by Emma Bauso from Pexels

Photo by Emma Bauso from Pexels

Things to Consider When Creating a Registry

Sure, you could go on Amazon and start adding everything that Amazon recommends. Maybe you have found a list on Pinterest and you plan to buy every single item on their list because they seem to be a mom that has it together. Or, perhaps you are adding everything your best friend bought because she's a mom and you trust her opinion.

You could do that, and you'll likely end up with everything that you need. However, you may not end up with products that are the best fit for you and your little one. You could also end up buying much more than you actually need. Here are some things to consider before you just copy a list from someone else.

  • Lifestyle: Everyone has a specific lifestyle, and your baby items should definitely fit your unique way of living. My family chooses to use more natural products that are safe for our baby and pets. Therefore, we wanted brands such as Babyganics, WaterWipes, and Seventh Generation. If you live organically, you may want cloth diapers instead of disposable ones. If you live a cost-effective life, you will likely want generic brands. Do you travel a lot? If so, you'll likely want travel gear that will hold up to that. Are you an outdoorsy family? If you are, find a travel system that will hold up to different terrains.
  • Living Situation: Apartment, house, and shared living all require different setups. In both an apartment and shared living, your options for a nursery may be minimal—or nonexistet. In those cases, you may not be able to fit a crib and a bassinet in your living space. However, in a house, you may have the option to provide an entire room for your baby, in which case you would likely want a bassinet and a crib. Do you have to walk up a lot of stairs to get to your home? If you do, consider lighter strollers and baby carriers so you aren't lugging up too much weight every day.
  • Your Network: Having friends that have children can be a huge benefit. If their kids are older, they may have a crib, for example, that they don't need any more for you to take. Don't shy away from hand-me-downs! You'll appreciate having the extra cash for other things. Not having this network isn't a bad thing at all. I didn't have many mom friends until I was close to my delivery date. If you don't have friends or family who are able to hand down items to you, they may have great advice on items that worked for them. That's still valuable, and it can be great to get their input.

The Nursery

Filling up your nursery or designated baby area is very exciting. That was my favorite part of baby shopping. When I created my list, I added everything that Amazon suggested and all the items that Pinterest pushed. Later, I started cutting down the list once I realized that we just didn't need everything. I'm so glad I cut back! It saved us some money for other things down the road.

The Must-Haves

  • Crib or Bassinet: You don't need both if you live in tighter quarters. However, keep in mind that the bassinet will only work while your baby is unable to stand or flip out of it. If you have to choose between the two, I would recommend getting the crib. If you have a separate room as the nursery, I recommend getting both as you won't want to run to the nursery every time your baby cries in the first few months.
  • Dresser: A dresser or anything that has drawers will be great for keeping clothes, socks, bed sheets, and diapers organized and easily accessible.
  • Night Light: Simple and affordable, this is a small thing that you will thank yourself later for purchasing. When you don't want to wake your baby up by flipping the light on, but you need to see, this will save the day.

The Nonessentials

  • Changing Table: This is an item that is more for your convenience. There are dressers that have a built-in changing table on top. That is what we have and we do use it for each diaper change. However, you can lay a blanket down and change your baby on your bed, couch, or crib and get the same results as you would with a changing table.
  • Rocking Chair or Glider: Yes, rocking chairs and gliders both will help you soothe your baby. No, it's not the only way to soothe them. So, if you can't fit a chair in your living space, don't stress over it. Just pass on it and get accustomed to the famous "walk and bounce" method of soothing.
  • Diaper Genie or Trash Can With Lid: You can walk dirty diapers out to your main trash can if that works best for you. I have found that it's nice to have a trash can next to the changing table so I don't have to carry a dirty diaper through my house. We use a simple trash can with a lid and foot pedal to open it. Diaper Genies are just a nicer trash can that locks in odors. If odor is a huge concern, you may want a Diaper Genie instead of a basic trash can.


It's easy to get carried away with clothing: shoes, headpieces, and so on. You do not need twenty onesies for your baby. Also, those newborn tennies are adorable, but your newborn will not be walking for some time. When choosing your baby's wardrobe, you will want to keep the weather in mind. My little one is an August baby and that is a hot month in Texas. So, we did not get newborn sized outfits with long sleeves. If you are expecting a winter baby, think long sleeves and thicker mittens.

The Must-Haves

  • Onesies: You'll definitely want 8 to 10 newborn sized onesies and 10 or so 0-3 month sized onesies. If you're able, wait on the larger sizes until you see how your baby is growing. If they are growing rapidly, you may not need the 3-6 month size for long and, therefore, you wouldn't need to get too many. If you care about fashion trends, you may also want to wait for onesies that are in style and in season.
  • Socks and Mittens: Babies can, and likely will, scratch themselves. Mittens are a must to help prevent your little one from scratching their face. Our daughter scratched her legs with her toenails as well, so socks were a must for us.

The Nonessentials

  • Shoes: Until your baby is learning to walk, shoes are unnecessary. If you want them for photoshoots, a single pair is likely sufficient. As long as they have socks to cover their feet, they're good to go!
  • Headpieces and Accessories: Once again, this would be more for photoshoots. Many babies don't like to wear headbands, hats, or other accessories. So, I wouldn't recommend investing a lot of money in this category.


How you plan to feed your baby will affect what you will need. However, even if you plan to exclusively breastfeed, it's a good idea to prepare for formula or bottle feeding. Some babies cannot get everything they need from breast milk and your pediatrician may ask you to supplement with formula. Your baby could also have trouble latching and you may need to pump and bottle feed. For these reasons, I believe it's best to be prepared.

The Must-Haves

  • Bottles: You don't have to overdo it on bottles, but you may want to add a few different brands and types to your list. Do your research and add the brands and styles that you feel will work best for you.
  • Formula: Similac and Enfamil are popular and pediatrician-supported brands that I would recommend. If you do plan on breastfeeding, only add one container of powdered formula.
  • Bottle Brush: If you don't have one already, you will absolutely want a bottle brush. Many brushes that are marketed for baby bottles come with a smaller brush so you can detail clean those small bottle pieces. This is also great for cleaning the pieces to your breast pump.
  • Breast Pump: Even if you plan on exclusively breastfeeding, get yourself a pump! You will hit a point where pumping may be necessary or you may want to start freezing a supply for when you're ready to stop breastfeeding but still want your little one to have breast milk. Most insurances will cover a pump for free. So, check websites like Aeroflow to see what you qualify for.

The Nonessentials

  • Nursing Pillow: Pillows like the Boppy are great. I won't lie, my Boppy has been an amazing item that I use during every feed at home. However, I could live without it. If you don't want one or cannot afford one, you'll be fine if you don't have it. The biggest benefit to a nursing pillow is that it keeps my arms from getting tired and it supports my baby for a consistent latch.
  • Burp Cloths: A washcloth or hand towel will work all the same for burping. Burp cloths aren't expensive, so I would recommend adding it to your registry but don't feel like you absolutely have to have them.


Whether you are just going to the doctor or heading cross-country, travel items will be needed. As far as how much you will need definitely depends on your lifestyle, as I mentioned earlier. When choosing your travel items, consider the weight of the item, safety, past recalls, and storage capabilities.

The Must-Haves

  • Travel System: A travel system is a car seat, stroller, and baby carrier combo. Typically, the car seat will double as a baby carrier as well. You could just buy a car seat and not buy the stroller, but I promise you that you will regret not having a stroller. Buying these items brand new as a system is typically cheaper than buying them separately as well.
  • Diaper Bag: Though it doesn't have to be an actual diaper bag, you're going to want something to put diapers, wipes, extra clothes, and pacifiers in. Amazon has plenty of affordable diaper bag options that you can add to your registry.
  • Car Window Shades: You will want to protect your baby's eyes in the car. Window shades are easy to install and will make car travel a lot easier on your little one.

The Nonessentials

  • Body Carrier Wrap/Harness: These are the carriers that have you strap your baby to your chest. Though not essential, they will come in handy to let you hold your baby with both hands free.
  • Pack n' Play: Depending on your situation, this may actually be a "must-have". If you are traveling with a baby and will not be at home, you will need a pack n' play or portable bassinet. However, if you don't plan to travel or sleep-over away from home, you won't need this.

There's More!

This isn't everything that you will need or want to consider for your new baby. I could write a book with every product out there to consider for your new addition. What I've provided is a breakdown of the main items that I found on recommended registry lists and such. I hope you found this helpful and that you will use this when creating your registry.

© 2020 CatG