It’s hard to believe that a year ago I was cuddling my little infant baby boy. The time passes way too fast. And, even though it doesn’t always feel like it, even the 9 months of pregnancy pass quickly. Especially as a first time mom, the 40 or so weeks of pregnancy don’t seem nearly long enough to prepare for baby’s arrival. From researching baby products to decorating a nursery to mentally preparing for baby’s arrival, it’s a stressful and exciting time.

Baby Registry Must HavesWith the thousands and thousands of baby products available, creating a baby registry is overwhelming and exhausting for everyone. When I was pregnant with Max I didn’t create a baby registry but I did for my first two kids and, more recently, I helped my sister with hers. As a starting point, every registry should include two basic categories of things: the important stuff you NEED for baby and fun stuff you WANT for baby. We’re often discussing want versus need with my six year old, and the obvious fact is that stuff you need takes priority. But, we think it’s important to include some extra gift options on your registry that will make you smile and squeal with delight.

Registry Must Haves

Of course, the jackpot registry item is one that checks both boxes. We have a couple suggestions for registry items that are must haves for a new baby AND will make you squeal with excitement.

1. Stroller. Register for a stroller you LOVE. One that you’ll push around the house, empty, daydreaming about what it’s going to be like with baby inside.

2. Nursery Decor / Crib Bedding. No matter what sleeping arrangement or nursery setup you have in your home, pick some decor or crib bedding that makes you happy. You and your baby will spend a lot of time in the nursery so make sure it’s a space that reflects you and your aesthetic.

3. Feeding Gear. Products to help you feed baby are a necessity during the first year, but that doesn’t mean they need to be boring. Register for a colorful nursing cover and bright and healthy, functional and whimsical bottles. Even if you plan to breastfeed you’ll want some bottles on hand.

4. Baby Carrier. We know there are a lot of options out there, but it’s worth the time to register for the carrier that will best fit your family’s babywearing plans. Get your partner involved and this is one item that will make everyone giddy. (Seriously, my husband was more excited than me when we received the baby carrier on my first son’s registry!)

5. Car Seat. The car seat is all business, we know, but once you settle on the best fit for your car and lifestyle, opt for the fabric you like most. This is the quintessential “Oh my gosh, we’re going to have a baby!” gear item so we know you’ll be excited to receive it as you prepare for your little one’s arrival.

Join the Conversation & Win!

We want to know: What is / was on your baby registry? Do you have one must have that all expecting moms should put on their registry? Twenty (yes, 20) of you who comment will receive a NUK Orthodontic Bottle.

NUK Orthodontic Tie-Dye Bottles

We are proud to partner with NUK to spread the word about the new registry must have Tie-Dye Orthodontic Bottles, which combine the advanced NUK nipple technology with colorful tie-dye graphics. NUK is the number one selling orthodontic bottle with a feeding nipple that supports healthy oral development. The nipple mimic’s mom’s breast shape and has a feeding hole on top (versus the tip) to help with digestion. The new Tie-Dye Orthodontic Bottles are available in 5 and 10 ounce sizes at WalMart, Target, Babies R Us and Amazon.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway ends April 3 at 11:59 EST. Winners will be selected at random from relevant comments. Open to 18+ residents in the 48 contiguous states. This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of NUK. The opinions and text are all mine.



Kate started The Shopping Mama™ in January 2009 when, after graduating law school, she traded in online legal research and writing for locating the best products for children. She shops for three kids ages 8, 6 and 3 from their home in Japan. Her military family is making the most of back-to-back overseas assignments by traveling every chance they get.

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  1. 1.
    Lilian Craig

    My child is a year old and she still uses her boppy. That was a must have for nursing. I also love my ergo baby carrier. As a military wife my husband deploys and is gone often. I love having her close and being hands free.

  2. 2.

    bottles, diapers, car seat and stroller

  3. 3.

    I am pregnant now with my first and feeling overwhelmed with preparing for baby. I am at 20 weeks right now and don’t know where the time went. The one thing that I know that I want is a jogging stroller! We are still researching which brand will work best for us though.

  4. 4.
    Sonya Morris

    Towels, wash cloths, bibs, bottles, pacifiers, diapers, and wipes.

  5. 5.
    joanna garcia

    the nuna leaf!

  6. 6.
    Olivia Rubin

    Swaddle blankets I am told are a necessity and you can’t have enough burp cloths – is that what they are called? !

  7. 7.
    Leah K

    A lot of little things that you forget you need if its your first baby. Like first aid, thermometer and covers, nuks, also bigger things if you have a big family cause some people like to go in on things like a pack n play and a car seat.

  8. 8.
    Emily Seifried

    My Boppy! I used it for nursing my baby boy, helping my little nephew hold baby and as an extra cushion for me to sit on after I came home from the hospital! It was probably the most used item I received from my registry. I also loved the removable (and washable) covers for it!

  9. 9.
    julie rmr

    definitely a big, functional, but pretty, diaper bag with lots of pockets.

  10. 10.
    Tiffany Holtzinger

    I believe one of the most important items to put on a baby registry are Gerber cloth diapers to be used as burp cloths! They are inexpensive, and they sell them in large packs! They wash up great!

  11. 11.

    Bum Genius Elementals All-in-One cloth diapers. Come August we will have two baby’s under two and need to up my stash of 12.

  12. 12.

    Aden + Anais blankets! These things are amazing and so much more than a blanket. It’s a carseat cover, a light or medium weight blanket and a burp cloth.

  13. 13.

    My must have was a good baby carrier.

  14. 14.
    Phylicia Phillips

    I’m due in August and desperately want an ergo baby carrier! Every mom also needs a nice baby monitor, getting a better one with our 2nd child.

  15. 15.
    Debbe P

    I don’t remember if I created a registry for my first baby (that was 8 years ago!). I do know that I wanted/needed a Boppy pillow, and I stick by that still with baby number 3. It is a lifesaver when breastfeeding.

  16. 16.

    Halo swaddling blanket sleepers. Those were a lifesaver with baby girl. She couldn’t sleep for the first few weeks without it! Now, I need some for my boy (due in 2 months!)

  17. 17.

    I made sure the Boppy Pillow was n my registry list. It is comfortable for breastfeeding.

  18. 18.

    I think swaddle blankets are a must – This time I have registered for the Halo Sleep Swaddle Sacks so they will last beyond the swaddle phase, but Oh boy are they crucial for the first few months!

  19. 19.

    well this is my 7th child. A lot of my baby gear is actually still from my first child 14 years ago…so I would like some updates like a new highchair

  20. 20.
    Amanda Alvarado

    One of my must haves was a NUK pacifier! Both of mine started having latch on issues if I evenTHOUGHT of using another type! LOL I’d say a good swaddler too – I wish I would have had one for my kiddos…oh well there’s always the next one! Oh and a good nursing pillow! Try them out before you buy because just because one works for one mom doesn’t mean it will for you!

  21. 21.

    I had adin & anis swaddle blankets, baby bjorn carrier, pampers & diapers

  22. 22.

    A baby sling or carrier! A must have!

  23. 23.

    The “My Brest Friend Pillow” is a must-have!

  24. 24.
    Stacey B

    For me, one must have is a bassinet, or bed side sleeper. It helps mom and baby sleep easier & more soundly.

  25. 25.
    Miranda Welle

    Hmmm. I can’t limit it to one! LOL. I’ll list my top few.

    #1: Swaddle Designs Swaddle Blankets. My favorite swaddle!

    #2: Petite Frites Swaddle Blanket. You only “need” one but they are amazing quality and so big that you can still swaddle your older baby! At 9 months, I can still fit my 18+ pound baby.

    #3: Stokke Tripp Trapp. The ONLY “high” chair that you will need. And it will grow with your child. No big bulky piece of plastic to trip over.

    #4: Robeez shoes. They keep your babies socks on and feet warm. They are made well and cute to boot!

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