Baby Registry Checklist: What Do I Actually Need for Baby?

The day we found out we were pregnant was both the happiest and most stressful day of my life. I think you can probably tell by this post that I am a planner and LOVE organization. Once I found out I was pregnant my initial instinct was, I don’t know the first thing about what a baby actually needs! Granted while I’m sure some of this delirium had to be hormone induced I felt extremely overwhelmed nonetheless.

When creating your own registry list you have to really think about it in categories (or you can DOWNLOAD MY FULL REGISTRY CHECKLIST with an estimated cost breakdown!)

  • Nursery Décor
  • Baby Gear
  • All Things Feeding Related
  • Bath time/ Essentials
  • Health
  • Clothing
  • Toys

Even armed with our list in hand, it was a whole other ball game when it came to deciding WHICH specific model to buy in each category. I mean have you ever gone to the stroller section in a baby store? There are at least 50 and some how you’re supposed to know which one you want? HELP!

While my husband and I did know specifically what brands we wanted for our big-ticket items, it was impossible to know everything. This is why I’m telling you to go to a baby store with knowledgeable staff. If a store has employees who specialize in certain departments only all the better! It makes these people VERY knowledgeable about that specific item.

Below are a few key questions to ask yourself when trying to decide what specific model you may need for your big-ticket items.

Baby registry checklist

Which Crib Should You Buy?

  1. Do you care if your crib meets certain quality standards?


You should! If you’re crib is not JPMA (Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association) certified I would go ahead and remove it from the list of contenders. What is JPMA you ask? Well first of all they are a non- profit organization that tests juvenile products at various independent labs yearly. This allows to to meet the highest standards.


  1. What material is the crib made out of and finished with?


You also want to look for a solid wood crib. Cribs that are made with PVC, plastics or particleboard all contain harsh chemicals from glues that are not good for your little one’s lungs. The finish is also just as important and should be either a stain or water base paint. Certain paints can be high in VOC’s toxins, which are also not good for new lungs.


  1. What will you use this crib for in the future?


Are you planning on having another baby? If so, do you plan on letting them use this crib and purchasing a toddler bed for your first child? A lot of brands carry a 3-in-1 crib design that converts from a crib, to a toddler bed with rails, to a full size bed with a backboard. This is a more cost effective option if you have multiple children and you would like their furniture to grow with them.


Which Stroller Should You Buy?

  1. Are you a runner?


No? Me either! But if you’re planning on being fairly active, maybe taking a weekly stroll, then you’ll want a stroller that can handle off-roading a bit. In the various stroller’s we’ve tested we found that a stroller that had actual rubber tires filled with foam lasted a lot longer than the conventional plastic wheels that easily were eaten up by harsh pavement.

Foam filled tires for one will not pop! So there’s no risk of having a flat tire on the side of the road. They are also great shock absorbers so you won’t bounce your little one around so much when you’re making those tight hairpin turns on your walk.


  1. What kind of storage does the stroller provide?


If you haven’t noticed already, babies require a lot of stuff! So you want to make sure you register for a stroller that not only has enough room under it to hold your diaper bag, but also room to put items while you shop. It is sometimes a lot easier to place a sleeping baby in a stroller rather than get a shopping cart, but you need room for other items too! The stroller we ended up getting, while very nice, does not even hold our diaper bag underneath it, which is kind of a pain.


  1. Does the stroller come with adapters or easily allow your infant car seat to clip in?


Your little one will not be able to sit up unassisted in the stroller for a few months; therefore you will be transporting them pretty much everywhere in the infant car seat. It is so much easier to take a sleeping baby out of the car and easily snap the car seat into the stroller so trust me when I say you NEED to ensure your stroller is compatible with your car seat. A lot of brands will sell pieces you can easily attach to the stroller to make it compatible with a different brand car seat.


  1. The last VERY important question: Does the stroller have cup holders?


I know this sounds silly, but after the many walks you will be taking, cup holders are a necessity. We registered for a stroller that had various clip-on additions. We found one that holds up to 2 cups and even has a center section for my phone!


Which Swing Should You Buy? What to look for in an infant swing:

  1. Do you plan on traveling with the swing?


Some swings come with the ability to run on battery power alone and therefore are a lot lighter. They generally aren’t as sturdy and do not come with as many features. We got my mother this type of swing since she would be babysitting quite often. If you do not have to worry about the swing being extremely portable then I would recommend buying one that has a wall adapter.

During those sleepless nights, and sometimes days, your baby may decide that they cannot sleep unless they are being constantly rocked. Having a swing that will run continuously is very useful.


  1. Does the swing you are considering only swing one direction?


By now I’m sure you’ve caught onto a theme here, that babies can be very particular. If by chance your baby likes being rocked from side-to-side instead of forwards and back then you’re in trouble if your swing only swings in one direction. The swing we ended up getting can easily switch between both directions and you know what? Our daughter likes it when we change it up! Sometimes all it takes to stop her fussing is to change the directions of the motion.


  1. Does the swing have various speed settings?


Again, back to a very particular baby, some little ones will like to be rocked very fast, as was the case with our daughter, while others like to be rocked gently. Most swings will come with a speed adjustment of some sort, but the more options the better in my opinion. Our swing for example has six speed settings.


  1. Can the chair of the swing be removed and carried around?


This is a great feature to have if you’re trying to consolidate the sheer number of things you will need. Many parents also get a bouncer chair, but I personally never saw the point. Most of them don’t rock by themselves.

The chair of our swing is very easily removable and turns into a free standing rocking chair. This feature allows me to easily carry it to other rooms in the house and keep an eye on my sleeping baby. This of course is not a necessary feature, but is an excellent one to know actually exists!

Once you have your list the next obvious question is how much is this all going to cost me. And can I afford it? It is very hard to financially plan for how much a baby will actually cost you.

Download a copy of my full registry checklist along with an estimated cost breakdown below.


DOWNLOAD MY FULL REGISTRY CHECKLIST with an estimated cost breakdown!

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