Essential Items You Should Add To Your Baby Registry

Whether you are prepping your registry for you baby shower, or your little one's arrival is right around the corner, you want to make sure you have all the essentials added to your baby registry. Check out these must have items to put on your baby registry list.

featured image thumbnail for post Essential Items You Should Add To Your Baby Registry

May 25, 2023


8 Min Read



Disclaimer: Some of the links provided in this article are affiliate links and we receive a commission when you purchase an item after clicking on the link. As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.

One of the most stressful things to do before your little bundle of joy arrives is making sure that you have everything that you need listed on your registry. Making sure that you choose the right items and have all the essential, must have baby items before your little one arrives is crucial to making those first few months easier.

Registry sites give you a HUGE list of "essentials" that they say you need to add to your registry. But what truly are the essentials that you will absolutely need for those first moments with your baby. We go through the list of essential items that you need and give you our pick of the cheapest, but best option for each product.


Your baby is going to sleep...A LOT, especially in the first few months. You want to make sure that you have a comfortable and safe sleep space set up for them. A crib is one of the obvious setup essentials for any nursery.

We are big fans of items that grow with your children. A crib is a great option for that as there are many options for convertible cribs that can transition from a crib into a toddler bed, day bed, and even a full-size bed. You have to buy the accessories to convert them, but buying a convertible crib helps you save in the long run, so you don't have to buy new bed frames as your child grows.

Our Favorite Cheap Pick: Graco Benton 5-in-1 Convertible Crib


If you plan on having you baby sleep in your room with you for the first few months (which is super beneficial), then you will want to make sure that you get a bassinet as well. A bassinet is great to have your baby right next to you for easy access when they wake up overnight.

We love the option for a bassinet that converts into a playard for when your baby grows up. There are some great options of playards that have a bassinet insert. That way you can use it as a bassinet in the first few months, but still get use out of it as your baby grows as well.

Our Favorite Cheap Pick: Graco Pack and Play On the Go Playard


When it comes to sleeping, the crib is always the essential part that you hear about, but you need to make sure that you have a mattress to put in it. For a baby, you need to make sure that you have a mattress that is very firm so that your baby can't sink into it when they start rolling over. That is a serious SIDS risk.

Another great option for growing with your kids here a little bit here too is a mattress that is firm on one side, and a little softer on the other. That way the mattress can be used in the crib on the firm side, but then you just flip it over when converting into a toddler bed.

Also, with your mattress, you will want to make sure you get a Mattress Protector (for the inevitable spit up), as well as some Fitted Sheets

Our Favorite Cheap Pick: Safety 1st Heavenly Dreams Baby Crib and Toddler Bed Mattress


When your baby starts to sleep in their own room, you will need a monitor to keep tabs on them overnight and during nap times. A great monitor is ideal for making sure that you baby is safe and content while sleeping.

We have always been on the side of getting monitors that are not connected to our Wi-Fi. We don't like the thought of someone potentially being able to gain access to cameras in our house randomly. There are many super fancy options out there that might be beneficial, but there is nothing wrong with a simple monitor.

Our Favorite Cheap Pick: Kidsneed Baby Monitor with Camera and Audio


If your kids are anything like ours, they will love going for walks and being outdoors. If we could go on 5 mile walks every day, our kids would be in heaven. Having the right stroller that provides a smooth and comfortable ride is a necessity.

We recommend a jogging stroller for the best experience while walking (and no you don't actually have to do any jogging, we sure don't!). A jogging stroller comes with bigger wheels that handle bumps and uneven terrain MUCH better than a regular stroller. This makes it much easier for walking around areas that might not have paved pathways, or even just getting over a big bump in a sidewalk.

Our Favorite Cheap Pick: Baby Trend Expedition Jogger Stroller

Car Seat

You can't leave the hospital without a car seat. So, i guess you could call this one essential. If you are traveling a lot, then a comfortable car seat is a must have. Even if you don't travel too much, you will be going to a lot of doctor's appointments. Especially in the first few months.

Infant car seats are pretty nice in that they have a handle for easy carrying in and out of places. They can get pretty heavy when carrying, but being able to keep your baby in the car seat and set it in a shopping cart when you go whopping makes going out to stores a whole lot easier.

Our Favorite Cheap Pick: Baby Trend EZ Flex Loc Infant Car Seat

Tip: A Travel system is a great way to save and combine your stroller and car seat into one purchase! We LOVE our Baby Trend Expedition Jogger Travel System!


This can be your saving grace in those first few months as a part. A swing can be a great way to sooth your baby and keep them sleeping for a little longer during nap time. It's a great place to set your baby in when you need to try and get something done and need a safe place to put them.

We would not have survived our first few months of parenting without our baby swing. It is one of the most helpful things we've gotten. It was also the first thing that made us feel like we could do this parenting thing, as we put our oldest in it as soon as we got home from the hospital!

Our Favorite Cheap Pick: Ingenuity Comfort 2 Go Compact Portable 6-Speed Cushioned Baby Swing


A carrier is a great way to carry your baby around while still being able to get all the chores done around the house. Otherwise, you are going to be spending a lot of your time trying to do everything one handed as you are carrying your baby around with the other.

You want to make sure that you have a carrier with good support, otherwise you are going to end up hurting your back or your hips in the process. But, if your kids are like ours, strapping them in the carrier and vacuuming up the house is a great way to get them to sleep when they are getting fussy!

Our Favorite Cheap Pick: Infantino Flip Advanced 4-in-1 Carrier

Tummy Time Mat

Tummy Time is one of the first exercises that your baby will do. It is super beneficial for helping them strengthen their neck muscles so that they can start lifting their head up on their own. And then, it becomes a great tool for helping them start to roll over. Getting a tummy time mat can also help with developing skills like grabbing and focusing on objects.

We love our tummy time mat and have used it a great deal for both of our kids. It's something that we have been able to set our kids on to help occupy them for a little bit of time during the day.

Our Favorite Cheap Pick: Fisher-Price Baby Playmat Deluxe Kick & Play Piano Gym

High Chair

For easy feeding once your baby gets to the stage where they can eat solid foods (usually around 4 months), a high chair/booster seat is a must have. It's also a great spot to have your baby within arm's reach while you are trying to eat your dinner as well.

We were planning on having more than one kid. So, we originally went with a high chair that could be used as a stand-alone while also having an option to be strapped to a chair. But we like the option of chairs that can be strapped to seats at the table. It takes up a lot less room than one that is a stand-alone.

Our Favorite Cheap Pick: Fisher-Price Spacesaver Simple Clean High Chair


Especially if you are formula feeding, getting bottles that work well and don't spill or leak are an essential part of your parenting setup. Even if you are breastfeeding though, there are bound to be times where your baby is feeding with a bottle and you still want to make sure that they are high quality.

We originally used the Playtex Baby Nurser Bottle with Pre-Sterilized Disposable Drop-Ins Liners, which were super convenient and a lot less time needing to sterilize bottles, but now the liners are very hard to find so we had to switch what we were using for our second.

Our Favorite Cheap Pick: NUK Simply Natural Baby Bottle with SafeTemp

Bibs/Burp Cloths

Spit up and drooling are two things that are inevitable with babies, and you will go through your fair share of both bibs and burp cloths. So, you want to make sure that you are stocked up with as many of these as you can get your hands on!

Our oldest son lived in bibs, because he was very spit up happy every time we tried to feed him. But we also use bibs a lot as the kids have been teething. The bibs save shirts from getting soaked, and when shirts get soaked then your babies neck will most likely break out in a rash which is not ideal.

Our Favorite Cheap Pick: NUK Simply Natural Baby Bottle with SafeTemp

Bathing Essentials

You won't need to bathe your baby very often at first. It is recommended to only do it about once a week at the beginning. But you will still have to and making sure that you are well stocked with everything you need for bath time is essential.

A bathtub that fits over your sink is a great option for the first few months. It saves on bending and makes it a little easier to rinse and wash using the faucet.

Here are some essentials that you want to make sure you have:

We also recommend getting a Knee Pad for when your baby get a little older to save your knees when bending over the tub. You will thank us later!

Our Favorite Cheap Pick: Fisher-Price Baby to Toddler Bath 4-In-1 Sling ‘N Seat Tub

Grooming Kit

There isn't a substantial amount of grooming that comes with a baby, but there is enough. One of the main things that needs groomed is their nails! Baby nails get really sharp and one thing that they seemingly love to do is scratch at their face. Try to keep your baby's nails trimmed the best you can to avoid an endless number of scratches all over their face.

A lot of these kits also come with a thermometer which is another must have item. Every pediatrician will recommend a rectal thermometer as they are the most accurate. And they are not wrong!

Our Favorite Cheap Pick: PandaEar Baby Healthcare and Grooming Kit

Final Thoughts

These are the essentials that every parent will absolutely need to get through their parenting journey. There are many more things that will make your journey a lot easier, and you will find a lot of those along the way as well. Just make sure that you don't end up buying one of the baby items that you don't really need.

Are there some items that we missed? What are some of the essentials that you think should be on every registry? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below. We always love to hear your thoughts and opinions.

As always, we hope that you found this to be helpful on your journey of being a Paycheck 2 Paycheck Parent!

Read our Comment Policy before Commenting

We welcome respectful and engaging comments. Anything that we view as inappropriate or off-topic will not be allowed in the commments. All comments are subjetct to approval before being posted. Here are some tips when choosing to comment:

  • Do not include spam or solely promotional comments. Including a link to relevant content is permitted, but comments should be relevant to the post topic.
  • Do not use any profanity when commenting.
  • Do not include any language or concepts that could be deemed offensive. Note this may include abusive, threatening, pornographic, offensive, misleading or libelous language.
  • Do not attack an individual directly.
  • Do not harass other posters. Please be respectful toward other contributors.
  • Anonymous comments are not allowed. We only accept comments from posters who identify themselves.
  • Please use your real name and email when commenting. Any comments from accounts that have any false information will not be allowed.
Profile picture

Written by Aaron & Mysti Keglovits a husband and wife team that have mastered the art of raising a family while living paycheck to paycheck.

Follow Us on Social Media

Related Posts

featured image thumbnail for post 12 Baby Products That You Don't Really Need to Buy

12 Baby Products That You Don't Really Need to Buy

All of the items that you "should" put on your registry sound great. But, what products can you leave off your registry and not miss one bit.

May 10, 2023

Read More

Sign up for a FREE Budget Template