After I processed the shock and excitement of seeing two pink lines pop up on my pregnancy test, I wanted to jump into planning for my sweet baby to be. As a first time mom, the many, many lists of “Baby Registry Essentials” made my head spin. It seemed like every time I went online, I was slammed with more and more ads for baby items, all branded as necessary. As a military family traveling with our service member for training, I had to pare those very long essentials lists and targeted ads down to the very bare minimum. We would be moving several times in our baby girl’s first year so it was important for us to keep our belongings minimal. 

There are so many different baby items that are presented as being essential. Many items come with celebrity endorsements and reviews that make it all too easy to add to cart. Some items are even marked as being the ONE thing you need to get your  baby to sleep through the night, or to take a bottle without spitting up. All of this is subjective! The reality is that every baby is different, and some things may work for one baby but flop for another. As I started to think about what items to add to my baby registry, I decided to keep things very basic. With the convenience of two day shipping, if I forgot anything or decided that I needed it after all, it would be easy to order whatever I forgot directly to my door! 

When you start a baby registry, whatever site you choose will supply you with a massive list of categories, and items in each category. Everything from bottles to car seats to baby clothes is included, and all of it is marked with little checks for you to mark off as you add items to what will surely be a very extensive list.

Don’t panic! You don’t have to add every single item to your list. I started off by thinking about baby’s safety. I added a bedside bassinet for her to sleep in and a travel system for the car. I chose a (portable!) baby bathtub as well. I chose sheets, wearable blankets, and baby towels to go with the safety items.

It can be very overwhelming to look at the feeding options, especially as a first time mom. I decided to plan for formula and breastmilk, because at the end of the day fed is best! I chose some burp cloths, a breastfeeding pillow, and a set of three baby bottles. I also added some bottle brushes and a drying rack.

The fun part is adding cute baby clothes to the registry! Don’t forget to plan for what season your baby will be born in. A July baby like my daughter doesn’t need a snowsuit in newborn sizes! People love to buy baby clothes, and in my experience they tend to choose newborn and 0-3 month sizes if you don’t specify what size you need. 

One of the very best things you can do on a modern baby registry is create a diaper fund. This is a way for people to contribute cash that you can apply to future purchases of diapers and wipes. When you add a diaper fund to your baby registry, people are likely to purchase a physical item and donate to the diaper fund! Did you know that, according to, the average baby goes through 2,500 diapers in their first year of life? Every donation helps when you’re looking at having to purchase that many diapers within a year! Diaper funds also make it so that you can choose the brand and sizes that you need as the baby grows and needs them. 
Of course, like the many other baby registry essential lists that are floating on the Internet, this one is based on my own personal thoughts and experiences. I hope that you always remember that your baby only truly needs a safe space to sleep, food to fill their tiny belly, and a loving parent. Everything beyond that is just a bonus!

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