The Practically Complete Baby Registry Checklist

We found most guides to be not helpful. They either contained “Just the basics" or way too many items to be practical.

 min. read
July 12, 2021
The Practically Complete Baby Registry Checklist

We did all the work so you wouldn’t have to!

Wanna skip ahead? ➔ Go directly to the checklist

My wife, Laura, and I are expecting our first child in December of this year! We are beyond excited and are truly grateful since the likelihood of having a child naturally was starting to feel like it was slipping through our fingers. If you would like to read more about our fertility story, visit Henry's Story.

But I digress.

Laura and I are ridiculously huge planners. I am a software engineer by trade, and she is a professional organizer. Individually, we are detailed, thorough, and love things to be “right.” As a team, we excel at research and love planning ahead to make sure everything is in-place.

Now, I know there are those of you who have had multiple kids already, and are probably laughing at your screen reading this, yelling “You cannot possibly plan for a baby no matter how much research or work you do!”…spit flying from your mouth as you wrangle your two-year-old away from playing with the kitchen knives.

Ok…let me just say, I hear you. As a future parent, I imagine I have NO idea what is about to hit me. As a future parent, I imagine I have NO idea what to really plan for, despite my best efforts. People say my life will change…and I can only trust them and trust that I have no clue what my wife and I are about to experience.

I get that.

But that does not mean we cannot try to plan.

My sister and her husband just had their first baby last August. Most all of our friends have multiple kiddos. Laura and I have been reading and saving articles about babies and parenting since we were married three years ago. Our parents even love to chime in, giving their advice and input. The concept of planning for a baby is not foreign to us. We have an abundance of resources and successful examples for both inspiration and guidance.

So, it is without hesitation we heavily leaned on these sources when creating our baby registry. Coupled with my detail-oriented research prowess and Laura’s amazing ability to put pieces together, we got to work on figuring out exactly what we needed for baby.

There are plenty of guides to creating a baby registry, but we found most to be not helpful. Either the lists contained “Just the basics,” or they contained TOO many things…WAY more items than what would be practically possible.

Where were the “Goldilocks” lists? The lists that had a thorough amount of practical items, but not too much or too little? Where were the lists that were “just right?”

We got to work creating one. And we REALLY took our time on this…researching, reading, trying to find the most-appropriate, albeit, practical items we could for our future little one!

Laura doesn’t like clutter…and we have a smaller home with minimal storage space. We just cannot buy whatever we wanted. As such, there were three criterions for each item:

  1. Do we really need this?
  2. Will we use it more than once?
  3. Can we use it for a second child or sell it if not needed anymore?

Near the end of this process…and it was a months-long, hours-draining process…Laura looks at me and then at our list and says, “Boy, I wish we had something like this when we started making our registry! Think of all the time we would have saved!”

Then she said, “Maybe we can figure out a way to share this with people, so they can use it to help create their registries!”

And that is just what we are doing! We are giving any future parents out there all the knowledge and research we did to get to this point! We have created THE Complete Baby Registry Checklist, and we want anyone who can use it to use it!

You might be thinking, “Why are they just giving this to us for free?”

We are. There is no catch for you…I promise.

I will say as a disclaimer, some links on this page and the checklist are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I may earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase. But if you don’t buy those products, that’s totally fine as well! We just want to help you get your conversation started regarding what you might need for your future baby.

The Checklist Prelude

The checklist is divided into three parts.

The first part is "Essentials," sorted into 10 different categories. Based off our extensive research, these are the items that, we feel, solidify and round out any baby registry checklist. We’ve included links to the specific items we chose for this part. You may decide you’d like to get the items we chose, or you may like to do your own research first and, possibly, choose a different item. Totally fine!

The second part is an individual clothing checklist. This is broken down by age and the season in which that age range will happen, to account for the types of clothing needed for the temperature and weather changes. To determine what season it will be for each month of baby's first year, I created a grid like this:

Baby Age-Season Clothing Grid
Baby Age-to-Season clothing graph for the first year.

Just a caveat, since I had to look this up, "Month 0" is the month baby is born. The specific scenario in this article's checklist is modeled off of the above grid...for a boy born in winter. But you may choose to modify or amend the list to fit your needs.

To save waste and time, a good majority of the checklist's clothing items, for us, are being fulfilled through the UpChoose clothing subscription that outfits Baby based on age for his first year. Baby wears the clothes they send us, and we send them back when he outgrows them. We don’t need to store extra clothes or worry if something will or will not fit.

Finally, the third part of the checklist is for specific toys. Unlike the more-general “play-items” in the main checklist, this is where you’d place any specific toys you want to register for. You may notice our toy list is small, and we designed it that way. My wife and I chose to leave the majority of our toy decisions to the Lovevery Montessori Toy Subscription we registered for based off baby's age.

The toys we did specifically register for are based off incredible experiences with that toy and/or glowing recommendations from our friends and family.

The Practically Complete Baby Registry Checklist

Here it is, folks!

Months of planning and extensive research all boiled down into one, easy-to-digest, practically complete baby registry checklist to help any new or future parent be as prepared as possible when baby arrives!

If you do not have a baby registry yet, you might want to do that first before looking at this checklist. We used Amazon, Target, and Buy Buy Baby.

For your convenience, I have created the checklist in four different places in an effort to cater to anyone’s specific interests or workflows.

The Todoist and Print versions are basic checklists while the Google Sheets and Notion versions contain checklists, our suggestions, and a full baby registry project manager.

If you have any suggestions on how to improve this list or make it more-digestible, or have any questions, feel free to contact me!

I hope this list helps you in every way possible!