Baby Registry: A Dad's Perspective


Fun Fact

My rationalization when creating a baby registry list when expecting Ziggy went something like this:  "I am growing the human, so why on earth should I be expected to do all this other stuff, like figure out what he/she will need?"

 Thankfully, I have an incredibly supportive husband who gladly took on the task.

He recently put together this list for one of our most favorite couples who are expecting their first baby this fall, and it was too good not to share.  If you're wondering what your baby needs (and doesn't need), this is the real deal, modified from a general internet checklist.  

Find my thoughts sprinkled throughout in italics.  <3    

Nursery furniture

The necessities:

____ Crib or co-sleeper

Do a crib for sure and make sure it does not have an attached changing table.  In hindsight, ours was a bad idea.  It is really nice for the first year, but Ziggy uses it to crawl out of the crib and has for a while.  

____ Crib mattress

You would think they would be included, but they aren't...

____ Changing table

As I said above, get a separate changing table that will make a nice dresser later.  I wish we would have done that. 

____ Bassinet (though it's only safe until 3 months or 15 pounds)

We got a Moses basket with stand and loved it!  Super portable and easy to move from room to room.


____ Rocking chair or glider

Huge!  We got a glider and still use it everyday.  Love it!  I think this is the one we got, or at least similar.  Gliders are easier to move when you are dead tired and look like a legit piece of furniture later. 

____ Humidifier or vaporizer

Helped Ziggy sleep better. Here is the one we got. (it's super quiet) 

____ Dresser/chest

We just bought an old antique with character.  Remember in reality, you won't really have many clothes out at a time cause they grow so fast.  Essentially changing all of the baby's clothes each season.  

____ Hamper

____ Baby monitor

Don't get a video monitor or you''ll just stare at all the time.  We got this one, and we still never use it unless we travel.  Get an extra receiver in case batteries die or so you have have it in more than one room at a time!

Exhibit A

Exhibit A


____ 2 fitted crib sheets

Make sure they are the right size...we made that mistake...

____ Crib bumper that ties on securely

We didn't use them.  Babies don't really move and when they do, they'll learn.  I also liked being able to hear the slats of the crib to know if he was awake or not.

____ Several thin cotton receiving blankets

Get these.  Best Ever! Super soft and dry super fast.

____ 2 waterproof mattress protectors

Self explanatory... 

There shouldn't be anything in the crib before the baby can roll or move freely.   Just a swaddle blanket or a sleep sack.  I can teach you how to swaddle.  I was the master and Ziggy couldn't get out all night.  Swaddling really helped him sleep, which helped us sleep.  {Once they can roll, it's a different story, see exhibit A above.} 



We didn't really do this.  Baby needs to learn how to live in our house, not the other way around.  We did lock the stuff under the sinks and medicine but aside from that, we just dealt with it.  If you want to babyproof, here's what "they" reccommend:

____ Gates at the top and bottom of all stairs

____ Cabinet latches

____ Drawer latches

____ Outlet covers

____ Fireplace bumper

____ Furniture anchors

____ Toilet lock

____ Corner guards for low tables



____ 8 or so bottles with newborn nipples (try several brands to find the one your baby prefers)

This is true.  Ziggy liked a couple but all babies are different.  Try 5 or so different brands and see which one she likes.  

____ Bottle-cleaning brush and dishwasher basket <- loved this thing!

 ____ Bottle-drying rack

Yep, it helps a lot: the grass drying rack (we still use it almost everyday)and the twig rack that fits inside.

____ Several weeks worth of baby formula to start

We (well Sarah) breastfed so I really don't know anything about formula. 

____ 6 or more bibs

Don't get white!!!  They stain quickly and look nasty regardless of how clean they are. Overall a good rule for the next couple years.

____ 6 or more burp cloths

Cloth diapers (prefold diapers) are really nice to have around.  They are designed to soak up a ton of moisture and are very useful.

____ Insulated cooler/carrier for outings

Any kind will work... small beer can coolers ironically hold the same shapes as baby bottles. Food for thought.

____ Dry formula dispenser

Don't know about these.  

____ Bottle sterilizer

They make microwave bags that are great and super quick!

____ Bottle warmer

We just used a pot and'll get good at estimating the time...

For breastfeeding

____ Nursing pillow

A big old pillow worked fine for us--but yes, you will want something designated upstairs and down to getting funky. 

____ 2-3 nursing bras

I loved these simple cotton ones for around the house from Motherhood.  I never really found a great nursing bra for wearing out-so honestly just stuck to my regular bras and made them work.  These tanks from target were my fav--they come in a million colors--were great through pregnancy, postpartum, for nursing, and I still wear them now!  

____ 2-3 boxes of nursing pads

You basically need a case of nursing pads.  Be prepared.   

____ 6 or more burp cloths

____ Breast pump

Talk with your insurance company and see what they will cover.  Using a hand pump sucks, so do all in your power to get an electric one. 

____ Breast milk storage bags or containers

The bags are clutch!  Find the brand that goes with your pump.  

____ Several bottles and nipples if someone else will be feeding baby pumped breast milk

Get an extra set of bottles that are compatible with your pump.  Even if baby doesn't like them, you will use them to pump into and store milk in.

____ Nipple cream (for the first few weeks)

Earth Mama all day.  Others recommend that you wipe cream off before feeding baby.  Trust me, you will not be up for cleaning before each feeding.  

Solid-food feeding

____ High chair

We love this one. It doesn't take up a lot of space and looks nice.  And it was given to us from 3 very special people! 

____ Plastic bibs

This style is the bomb.  They catch a lot of what doesn't make it into their mouth.  (which is a lot), and can be rinsed clean!

____ Infant feeding spoons

All same but after a while I like these the most. (A backpacking company makes them) 

____ Infant bowl

Anything with suction cups on the bottom.  If it doesn't have suction cups, don't get it until they are at least 2 years old.

____ Mess mat for under the high chair

Get a cheap, cute, dark or patterned rug from Marshalls or Gabes.

____ Baby food mill (if you're ambitious enough to puree your own baby food)

Don't waste your money on baby food makers.  They are basically overpriced food processors.  Use your food processor or blender!

Basic Baby Care

____ 2 packs of newborn diapers to start

Newborns are pooping machines.  Like every two hours machines...  Aldi makes good diapers that are pretty cheap.  I honestly didn't find a difference between any of the name brands. 

Don't stock up on too many newborn diapers-baby may or not wear them depending on how big they are at birth.  They also grow FAST! We cloth diapered after 4 weeks.  Learn more here.  

____ Wipes

Same as above (we bought cloth wipes and made a simple solution.  I personally think that it stopped him from getting diaper rash.  He really only got diaper rash a couple of times.  

____ Diaper rash ointment

We didn't use it much but when you need it, you need it!  We like this one. 

 ____ Waterproof changing table pad 

____ 2-3 changing table pad covers

Yep, cheap changing table sheets. 

____ Diaper pail or trash can with a lid

We got one with our cloth diaper service and just bought it.  I love the thing.  We can have 4 days worth of used 2 year old diapers and the basement doesn't smell.  Here is ours...

____ 4-5 waterproof square or rectangular pads for under baby's bottom (protecting the cover that's protecting the pad -- you won't be sorry)

Our diaper bag (Jandd) has one build into it. Expensive but totally work it. Plus, built by a mountaineering and bike pannier company. PS, my panniers are Jandd  and you don't look stupid and girly. The front unzips and has a changing station built into it.  You will want one of these, too.

____ Baby Lotion

I just use my natural cream on his skin.

____ 2 hooded towels

All the same... You'll get tons of these given to you...

We started using our towels for him after about 4 months--you can cozy them up better in a big 'ol bath towel!

____ 4 washcloths

You'll get tons of them.  

____ Infant tub (for after the umbilical cord falls off)

These are a little weird.  We registered for one of these and hated it.  Great idea, but your sink has the be exactly the right size.  Then we bought a super cheap one for the bathtub and liked it..

____ Bath seat or inflatable tub-within-a-tub (for after 6 months)

Nope, just let him play in the bathtub...

____ Baby bath wash

We use this stuff... (expensive but no harsh chemicals or soaps)

A little bit goes a long way, and it's good for hair and body + no tears!

____ Baby comb and brush set

Don't know what kind we had.  That's how much we used it...

____ Nail scissors/nail clippers/nail file set

I found that real ones are better.  The baby ones are cheap and not sharp and thus, less safe.  Go with your own. 

____ Cotton swabs


____ Cotton balls


____ A baby-size robe

While these are insanely useless, they are so cute.  Soooo... you probably won't resist buying one.  Speaking of cute... 


So first things first... the less snaps and more zippers you can find, the happier you will be.  When you are tired and want to just change a diaper snaps are the bain of your existence.  Zippers are the best things ever invented, especially if you don't need to worry about franks and beans!


____ 7 or more snap-crotch bodysuits/onesies

More or less what your baby will live in and you'll get a ton of them (with really cheesy and more than likely dumb sayings) These things a the best.  They are snap closure but only three of them and you'll find that only snapping two of the three is perfectly fine and saves time in the end.  I think 7 is too little unless you really like doing laundry.  They become the socks or underwear of your laundry, ie, when they are all dirty, its time to do laundry...

Start with this one or maybe this one.

____ 3-4 T-shirts and/or side-snap shirts

They are functional but i feel like most of our 0-6 month tops were ones with 3 snaps around the crotch.  They are nice to through on in a pinch though.

____ Several snap-up rompers

ZIP UP ROMPERS!!! Not snap up ones.  Check out kid consignment stores for lightly used ones cause you'll only use them for 3-4 months before they are too small.

Examples... 13 snaps to close...or one zipper...

____ Several shirt-and-pant sets

 You'll get more matching sets than you know what you do with.  One note, many companies like Carter's sell combo packs where you get something like 2 pairs of pants and 3 shirts on the same hanger for super cheap.  Marshall's always has a good Carters selection!

____ 7 pairs of pajamas and/or sleeping gowns

Again, zipper and no snaps but even better is the sleep sack!!!  Especially for the first few months when you can't have anything in the crib, these things are warm and super easy to use! 

 ____ Sun hat

Nice to have and fairly important.  I thinking solving the whole world peace thing is easier than getting Ziggy to wear one though... Patagonia makes nice reversible ones...

____ Cold-weather hat

____ Cardigan sweater

____ Bunting or snowsuit if it gets cold

One note we heard about for these. Becareful with puffy material like down or similar materials as they will put a buffer between the baby and the straps in a car seat and can lead to movement in a car seat.  We never went with puffy stuff but rather went for a gently used Patagonia Synchila fleece.  same warmth but no loft.  I bought ours one ebay and washed it a couple times...

A nice full body fleece suit is nice to have for a winter baby when traveling though. 

____ 6 pairs of booties and/or socks

You'll get tons of these cause they're cheap and people think they're cute.  

____ Baby hangers for the closet

Many places let you keep baby hangers from the store.  The majority of places let you keep the hangers.  Don't really worry about them. 

It's nice to have:

____ A special outfit to bring baby home in and/or show her off

Just make sure you have clothes really.

____ A wearable sleep sack if it's cold, to use instead of a blanket

Strictly optional:

____ Shoes (until baby is walking outside, i.e., the toddler years)

Nope, useless unless you want to dress her up all fancy-like.  maybe 6-9 months you can make an argument for them.

We loved these Robeez boots for when he first started walking.


Going Out

____ Car seat that fits a newborn

Get the combo set.  I liked this one by far the best...

____ Stroller that accommodates a newborn

Nope, you'll just use the car seat for a while.  

Then, if you do anything off pavement ever, you must have this.  

____ Diaper bag filled with diapers, wipes, and a spare outfit

____ Front carrier

We liked the ergo baby.

____ Sling (for the newborn stage)

We did use one.  I actually liked it a lot .  I got a bunch of shit for it but ziggy would fall asleep in it...

____ Baby backpack (for after 6 months)

Love this thing.  Pricey but I has used the hell out of it.  

____ Stroller that your car seat fits onto

Bob and Britax work together so everything fits well.  You do need to buy an adapter though.

____ Rain cover for the stroller

You're not going to go for a walk in the rain.  And if you get caught in it, you're not going to have a rain cover prepared anyway.  

____ Sunshades for the car windows

We have one but don't use it.  Don't get one. 

____ Big diaper bag for overnight trips

We just use an old backpack or something similar


Mirror to see baby in the car

They say this is a no-no.  But, we used it while he was rear facing to see him, and now it is one the back of the seat so he can see himself. 

Other Stuff

____ Bouncer seat

We borrowed one from a friend.  It was nice, but not worth buying.  I would put Ziggy in it when I showered.  (then again, for about $50, it might be worth it...just so much crap to keep in the house...

____ Stationary activity center 

____ Swing

Again, borrowed from a friend.  This is something we used daily for the first 3 months though! 

For soothing

____ Several pacifiers (try different brands to see which one your baby prefers)

true. Ziggy liked these: (MAM brand)

____ Mobile for over the crib or changing table

I'm making one for you... it will be much better than the screen door I made...

____ Lullaby CDs or other soothing music


We bought and use this thing every night. Get it.  Night light, white noise, classical music, and ipod connection.  Also download Toddler Radio on Pandora for the car and prepare to never listen to anything adult-like while cruising ever again.

The medicine cabinet

____ Thermometer

We have a touch one... but prefer the rectal ones...they seem more acurate.  

____ Infant Tylenol

Yep.  Sometimes a life saver

____ Nasal aspirator

Get the nosefrida!  Yup, just when you thought you would never suck another human's boogers out of their nose..  

____ Teething ointment or other teething remedy

Some folks have talked about amber bracelets but we just used popcicles and frozen teethers.  Get a few sets of mesh teethers.  They are amazing.

____ Vapor cream and/or vapor bath

never used it

____ Saline nose drops

never used it

____ Antigas medicine

Huge!  Get gripewater!!!  it is like a magic potion!









Well, that's all we know.  If you read this, it likely means you are trying to figure it all out.  Whatever you get (or don't get) will be perfect.  CONGRATULATIONS!  It's a wild ride. Be sure to ENJOY the time you have before your life is forever changed.  ;)


xo sarah and chris


Find this checklist as a PDF here.


OH!  And a doula.  Get a doula.