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How to Prioritize What's on Your Baby Registry
Updated on
April 28, 2023

How to Prioritize What's on Your Baby Registry

By Babylist Team
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How to Prioritize What's on Your Baby Registry .
How to Prioritize What's on Your Baby Registry

Even if you’re planning on embracing your inner minimalist, there’s a lot to think about when you’re building your baby registry.

How many items should you add? What are must-have essentials and what falls more into the “fun-to-have” category? And how can you create a registry that’s both fun for gift-givers to shop but also ensures you get everything you need to be ready for your little one’s arrival?

We’ve done the organizing for you. We’ve divided some of our most popular registry items below into three categories: must-have items, nice-to-have items and items that are simply fun to gift and to receive. Thinking through your registry in this way will help you get organized—and will also help your guests identify the essentials on your list versus some of the more fun items so they can decide what they’d like to give.

More of a checklist person? Our baby registry checklist can help you figure out what you need, too.

Pro Tip:

You can mark any item on your Babylist registry as a “must-have” simply by clicking on the heart icon when you’re adding it to your list. You can also create custom categories—just like we’ve done below—within your Babylist registry and add products within each category if you want your friends and family to be able to see how you’re organizing your registry.

About Babylist

With Babylist, you can add any item from any store onto ONE registry. Start your registry today and get a Hello Baby Box full of free (amazing!) goodies.

Must-Have Baby Registry Items

Infant car seat

A safe way for your baby to travel when you’re in the car is a must-have. You’ll get about a year of use out of an infant seat (depending on the seat you choose and your baby’s size) and many seats will click right into your stroller so you’ll be able to make a travel system.


From single strollers and jogging strollers to city-friendly picks and affordable models, there are lots of options when it comes to strollers. We recommend adding the stroller you plan to use every day as a must-have.

Safe sleep space, mattress and bedding

A safe place for your baby to sleep is an absolute must. Put a crib, mini crib, bassinet or a sleep-approved playard on the top of your baby registry list so you’ll be sure your little one’s sleep needs are met. And don’t forget a mattress and crib sheets, too.

Swaddle blankets

Swaddle blankets are good for so much more than just keeping your new addition warm and snug. You’ll use them as a makeshift changing pad, a soft play space, a burp cloth on the go and lots more.

Changing pad

While you can change your little one just about anywhere, a changing pad makes it a whole lot easier—and since you’re going to be changing a lot of diapers over the next few years, we think it’s a must-have. You can choose from a more traditional pad with a separate cover or a wipeable option.

Diapers, wipes and diaper cream

And speaking of diaper changes…don’t forget to add diapers, wipes and diaper cream to your registry. No explanation needed as to why these are a must!

Bottles and nipples

Add bottles to your list of essential registry items even if you’re planning on trying to breastfeed. Pro tip: babies can be picky about bottles, so don’t register for a full set until you know what your little one prefers. Instead, add a Bottle Box so you can try out some of the most popular options.

Bibs and burp cloths

Babies are messy, and even before you start feeding your little one solids you’ll have plenty of spilled milk and spit up to deal with. A pack or two of burp cloths and four or five bibs is a good place to start.


Humidifiers keep moisture in the air and allow your little one to breathe a bit easier when they’re sick or stuffy. It’s not the most exciting item to add to your registry, but it is one of the most useful.

Thermometer and infant healthcare/grooming kit

Another health-related registry must-have is a thermometer (you’ll need a rectal thermometer, as that’s the gold standard for taking an infant’s temperature) and a first aid kit. Make sure the kit has what you’ll need to care for your little one and includes things like baby nail clippers, a nasal bulb syringe, a comb or brush and other similar items.


There are so many different types of pacifiers to choose from, so be sure to add a few to your registry list. The sucking motion is comforting to babies, and they’re perfect for soothing a fussy little one.

Skin and hair care

While an infant bathtub isn’t a must-have (we’ve included it in our nice-to-have section below), you will want to add baby-safe skin and hair care to your registry. Babies, especially newborns, have ultra-sensitive skin, and you’ll want to make sure you have the right types of products on hand when it’s time for the tub.

Nice-to-Have Baby Registry Items

Convertible car seat

While many convertible car seats can be used from day one, most parents don’t decide to use one until their little one outgrows their infant seat—which is why we put a convertible seat as a nice-to-have so you’re ready to make the switch when it’s time.

Lightweight stroller

A lighter-weight stroller is a definite nice-to-have. It’s a good choice if you’re traveling or during those times when you don’t want the hassle of your full-size, everyday stroller.


Lots of parents choose a bassinet as a safe sleep solution for the first few months. Many babies feel more snug and secure in one instead of in a large crib, and a bassinet also makes room sharing a lot easier.

Baby monitor

A monitor is a must-have for some families and a nice-to-have for others. Your decision will probably depend on the size of your living space and if you think having a watchful eye on your little one will ease your new-parent anxiety.


A glider is one of our favorite nice-to-haves. Although not necessary, it does make feeding (and snuggling) a lot easier.

Sound machine

White noise can help babies sleep better and longer. Adding a sound machine to your nursery or your baby’s sleep space is a good way to start promoting healthy sleep habits from day one.

Nursery storage

Nursery storage may not be top-of-mind when you’re building your registry, but it deserves a spot. It will help you manage all the stuff that’s about to come your way and make you feel more organized.

Baby carrier

Some parents love babywearing while others prefer using a stroller when they’re out and about. Depending on where you think you might fall, you may want to add a carrier to your registry.


A playard comes in really handy during those times you need a safe, contained space for your little one. Some also offer bassinet and changing station options built right in, another plus.

Diaper pail

Can you use your normal trash can to hold your baby’s dirty diapers? Sure. But lots of parents find it easier and more convenient to use a diaper pail that stays right in your little one’s nursery.

Diaper bag

A regular backpack or tote will work just fine, but some parents prefer a diaper bag that’s specifically designed around storing everything you need for a day out with your little one.

Swing or bouncer

You’re going to need to give your arms a break, and a swing or a bouncer are both great options for doing just that.

Activity gym or play mat

Babies are pretty easy to entertain, which is why an activity gym or a play mat isn’t a must-have—but they are really helpful for stimulating your little one’s developing brain and keeping them busy when you need a break.

Baby bathtub

A baby bathtub makes bathing your little one a lot easier than it would be if you used your full-size tub. There are lots of options, including sink inserts and smaller tubs that fit within your regular bathtub.

Bottle drying rack and bottle brush

Both of these things help with the many bottles you’re going to be dealing with if you bottle feed your baby, so adding them to your nice-to-have list is a good idea.

Nursing pillow

If you’re planning to breastfeed, many nursing parents find that a nursing pillow helps out in a big way with properly positioning baby and making the process easier all around.

High chair and other products for solid food

You won’t need a high chair from the start, but many parents choose to add one to their registry so they have it on hand when it’s time to start solids (usually around six months or so). You may also want to add other feeding accessories to your list—things like waterproof bibs, plates and bowls, utensils and food storage options.

Fun-to-Have Baby Registry Items

Nursery decor

Once you’ve taken care of the basics like a crib and a dresser, it’s time to turn to the fun stuff. Adding decor like wall hangings, art and a mobile is a fun way to express yourself and let gift-givers in on your personality.

Allll the cute clothes and accessories

If there’s one thing people like to gift to new babies, it’s all of the cute outfits and accessories. And who can blame them—it’s hard to say no to itty bitty shoes and tiny hats. They’re pretty fun to “ohh” and “ahh” over and a great way for your guests to have some fun with your registry.

Books and toys

Books and toys are so much fun for your baby—and they’re also really fun gifts to give! Don’t forget to add a small selection to your registry so gift-givers can choose something they like.

Toy subscription

A subscription service that delivers age-appropriate toys right to your door is something most parents end up loving but wouldn’t necessarily think of buying themselves. Add one to your registry instead.

Lovies and stuffed animals

Many people love to give stuffed animals as gifts to new babies. Add a few to your registry to help guide your friends and family toward what you like.

Baby food maker

The perfect gift from one foodie to another, a baby food maker is a good registry add if you think you may be venturing into the world of making your own baby food when the time comes.


Keepsakes like milestone cards, a handprint kit or a first-year frame are things you’ll treasure forever and are really fun gifts for friends and family to give, too.

Gift sets

Gift sets run the range from super useful (like this one from FridaBaby, for example) to super-adorable (baby headbands, anyone?)—but they’re all really fun gifts to give and to receive.

This information is provided for educational and entertainment purposes only. We do not accept any responsibility for any liability, loss or risk, personal or otherwise, incurred as a consequence, directly or indirectly, from any information or advice contained here. Babylist may earn compensation from affiliate links in this content. Learn more about how we write Babylist content and review products, as well as the Babylist Health Advisory Board.