11 Must-Have Baby Registry Items

Just last week Jay and I had dinner with friends who are expecting a baby in April. We talked about all the usual topics — names, nursery decor, cravings, and, of course, to-do lists! It’s amazing how much preparation goes into having a baby! There are questions for your doctors, things to bring to the hospital for delivery, food-shopping lists for a healthy pregnancy, things to buy before the baby arrives and the lists go on and on!

A fellow TV producer, single mom, and friend has agreed to take the guess work out of at least one of those never-ending lists for you. Cara Lemieux is tacking the baby registry because she knows just what it’s like to want to be completely prepared before your baby arrives! Her list will make your life easier:

Ultimate Checklist for Your Baby Registry

by Cara Lemieux

Okay, so practicality is king when it comes to motherhood. I know those frilly little dresses and mini-cords are super-cute, but I am going to let you in on a little secret – they aren’t what you really want when you have a baby.

You want something that makes your life EASIER, gives you a few more seconds of free time and allows you to multitask like you have never multi-tasked before.

So here is the ultimate baby registry checklist…and if you are the one doing the buying, this list might help you win the “best gift ever” award.

1. Dishwasher Basket for Nipples and Bottle Parts: Washing and sanitizing nipples is tedious and time consuming, which is why I am obsessed with throwing them in a dishwasher basket, running the hot cycle, so they get sanitized and calling it a day. I also make sure to choose an environmentally-friendly dishwasher detergent.

2. A Comfortable Front Carrier: You need 8 free hands when you are a mom. And since I have yet to find something that supplements the 6 hands you don’t have – I can only tout the importance of keeping the two reliable ones you do have FREE. There are a number of great ones on the market, but my daughter really loves the Ergobaby Carrier. The child is always facing your body, and it can be worn on your front, back or hip. Additionally, it has survived many cycles in the washing machine.

3. A Stroller You Love…And you will love it if you can push it one hand: Are you seeing a theme here? When you are pushing that stroller, chances are you are doing something else at the same time – holding an umbrella, drinking your 17th cup of coffee, or talking to a friend that is telling you your life will not always be this busy. All very important.

So make sure that you test drive a stroller pre-registry, and that you able to push it with one hand. I promise – you will thank me.

4. More Crib Sheets Than You Think You Need: How often do you do laundry? Once every 7 days? So register for one sheet for each day of the week, plus two. Sound crazy?

Well you are talking to the woman who just rode out a terrible stomach virus with her one-year-old. We went through all of the crib sheets we owned in 2 days. Not good.

5. Two of Anything the Baby Can Puke or Poop on: Having a newborn in the dead of winter caused me to fall crazy in love – with the car seat cover. But those early explosive diapers and spit-up filled days can leave your car seat cover in a sad state. So register for two.

6. A Stroller Hook: There are a bunch of different kinds on the market and they all have one thing in common – they are genius. It’s a hook to hang your shopping bags and anything else you can think of, off the stroller – which will essentially become your oversized purse on wheels.

7. A Diaper Bag That Can Be Worn As a Backpack – Nothing is worse than trying to run errands and having that diaper bag slip off your shoulder repeatedly. My sister tipped me off to this, and bought me one that has a shoulder strap, back-pack straps and can be attached to the stroller (which most can).

8. Baby Medicine – My sister is a pediatric nurse and she wins the award for best baby gift ever. As I mentioned above, she bought me a great diaper bag and she filled it with a baby medicine cabinet! Obviously you need to ask your doctor when you can give your little one pain relievers, but the last thing you want to do is call said doctor at 3 am, and have her tell you to give your child a pain reliever – only to realize you don’t have anything in your house for the baby.

So help a new mom have these key items on hand:

• Baby pain reliever

• A thermometer – I love the kind you can scan on their head

• Anti-gas drops

• Saline nose rinse

• A nasal bulb syringe

9. Diapers and Wipes – Ask around to see what brand fits your needs and then register for a variety of sizes. Everyone loves to know that their gift is being used – and we all know these will be.

10. A Video Baby Monitor – All parents will tell you they check to make sure their child is breathing far more times than are sane – this valuable tool helps you spy on their tiny chests rising and falling.

11. Something to Protect Your Smartphone – File this under: WHY DIDN’T I THINK OF THAT! My daughter is obsessed with my Smartphone and she baby dials people all hours of the day and night – you’ll see – it’s like drunk-dialing, but worse. I just came across the Laugh & Learn Apptivity Case and I think it is a must-have for all new moms. Check out other types depending on what kind of phone mom has.

Cara Lemieux is a network news producer turned single mom. Well the moment she turned down a glass of wine, she went from single and social – to mom. Now she is relying on her amazing family, friends, and very honest sense of humor, to raise my daughter Ellie. She is a contributor for LifetimeMoms and she shares her musings about everything from diapers to the daily drama of juggling a challenging career, as a single working-mom in television, at www.MeAndDucky.com

12 replies
  1. Lanora Pietrowicz
    Lanora Pietrowicz says:

    It’s a lot of fun to get and give an assortment of gifts items and it’s a good way to ensure that everyone is included in the family during the happy occasion. It’s especially good to remember any other little brothers or sisters in the family, who may perhaps and probably feel somewhat left out by all the fuss over the new baby…

  2. Denina
    Denina says:

    What a great list, so glad to see that you have listed a comfortable baby carrier – I recommend that people try a few before they buy because every carrier fits every person differently!

  3. Cara Lemieux
    Cara Lemieux says:

    Hi Angelina!
    EXCELLENT question. And rest assured, there are a lot of items to help with an small apartment. As far as when to register…whenever you are ready. I registered at 6 months, had a shower at 7 1/2 months, but that is more a personal decision. You just want to register in enough time for people to get something you want…definitely by the time your shower invites are sent out, Here are the best space saving collapsible items I relied on:
    1. A Bath Seat that can fold up flat: I used the Summer Infant Mother’s Touch Baby Bather. Put suction hooks in the tub and hang it on there so you can shave your legs without bumping into things.
    2. As Lauren noted, a bouncy chair is important too. I loved the Maclaren Rocker, because it also folded up. And it vibrates.
    3. Another option that also folds up flat is: Fisher-Price Newborn Rock & Play Sleeper
    4. I also have a high chair that folds up! I can squeeze it on the side of the fridge. Graco Contempo High Chair – Classic Pooh
    5. I used this mini-crib till Ellie was about nine months old. Delta Riley Mini Crib – Cherry

    ***Also, I forgot to mention that those baskets are really good for washing breast pump parts and a nice nursing cover-up is always a good gift. I never left home without mine***

    Good Luck Angelina

  4. angelinap13@gmail.com
    angelinap13@gmail.com says:

    At what point in the pregnancy should I begin to buy things or register? Also, Can u recommend necessary items for a small NYC apt? I am trying to keep it small and simple.

  5. Lauren
    Lauren says:

    I would add a bouncy seat to the list if you have any interest in taking a shower in the first several months of your baby’s life.

  6. Bitts
    Bitts says:

    Instead of #1, I would recommend an excellent book on breastfeeding, such as “The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding,” with the name and number of the local La Leche League Leader or IBCLC lactation consultant written inside! Adequate preparation for nursing goes a long way to breastfeeding success, which would eliminate the need for #1, until, perhaps, the mother returns to work.


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