5 Essentials for Your Baby Registry Checklist

If you're prepping for the arrival of a little one, you've probably noticed that baby registries can easily become near-endless lists of single-use gadgets, and clothing your child will grow out of in the blink of an eye. Here are the must-have baby registry ideas you really need to get your home ready for your new addition without going overboard.

  1. The Nursery

    Your biggest purchase for the nursery will be a bassinet, or crib, waterproof mattress and bedding. A changing table (or a simple changing pad) is also essential for diaper duty. Speaking of diapers, you'll need lots of them! Instead of stocking up on a single size, start setting aside about $10 a week to build up a diaper fund. That way, you're not stuck with too many newborn-size diapers if your child grows out of them quickly.

  2. Layette

    You'll want an outfit to bundle your newborn in for the trip home from the hospital, as well as several changes of onesies, sleepwear, and socks/booties. Stock up on both newborn/0-3 month sizes as well 3-6 month staples since most children outgrow their first set of clothing very quickly. And, if you'll have a cold-weather baby, shop for an outdoor layer like a wearable fleece blanket, or a jacket and hat.

  3. In the Kitchen

    Since the last thing any new parent wants to make time for is hand-washing bottles, you'll need either a bottle sanitizer, or a basket to hold small baby bottle parts if you plan to run them through the dishwasher.

    Your child will be eating solid foods before you know it, so you'll need a high chair for feeding time. But instead of going the store-bought baby food route, consider registering for a blender that will allow you to make your own homemade baby food. Don't make the mistake of choosing a single-use baby food blender, though. A high-powered blender (like Vitamix) will allow you to control exactly what goes into your baby food (which can be as simple as single-ingredient banana or pea purees, or baby food recipes with a balanced mix of fruits and veggies). Talk to your pediatrician about when your child is ready for each new food stage.

    Remember, the best blenders can also help new parents stay energized with healthy recipes like smoothies, soups...even wholesome side dishes and entrees. Look for a good-quality blender that's guaranteed to last several years so it can grow with your young family.

  4. Travel Gear

    A car seat is one of the most important purchases you'll make for the safety of your child. Opt for an infant car seat for the first stage of your baby's life, or buy a convertible or all-in-one model that will adapt to your child's needs as they get older.

    Choosing the right stroller is also key. Before you go shopping, consider your needs: a standard lightweight model may be enough for running errands, but if you want to go jogging or push it through parks, you'll likely need one with a heavier-duty frame and tires. A carrier or sling also makes it easy to carry your baby with you on short trips. A travel changing station can easily be thrown in a bag or attached to the stroller so you're always prepared.

  5. Gadgets & Tools

    Out of all the tools and gadgets you could put on your baby checklist, most new parents will tell you that a baby monitor is the most essential so you can keep tabs on your little one from anywhere in your home, and sneak in some shut eye whenever the opportunity arises.

Getting this pared-down list of essentials on your baby registry will allow you to relax and enjoy the remaining time before your happy arrival.

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