Unexpected Registry Must-Haves

Deciding what to put on your baby registry is a totally overwhelming task! There are loads of checklists telling you what you must have, newborn essentials, and of course, the indisputably perfect list of of my list of newborn essentials.

Beyond the basics, there are a few purchases I’ve made that I’ve LOVED, but you won’t find them on a normal baby registry checklist. Below is my list of 6 items to consider adding to your registry.

1. A touch lamp for the nursery 


Picture yourself, in the middle of the night, carrying a screaming, writhing, starving newborn to the nursery for a diaper change and feeding. The last thing you want to do is a. turn on a full-blown overhead light and really tick off your little one and b. fumble around trying to find the switch on a lamp. Here’s where a touch lamp is the perfect solution!I picked up this lamp from Target, and it’s been a perfect addition to the nursery nightstand.

2. Dimmer switch or nightlight

Sticking with the light theme, I also recommend putting your overhead lights on a dimmer switch, getting a nightlight, or finding a sound machine that does double duty, like the Hatch system shown above. Sometimes, you’ll want to be able to sneak into the nursery to check on your babe, or put away laundry, or just creepily stare at the masterpiece you created, and you’ll want just the smallest amount of light possible. You may also find this lighting to be useful in your bedroom near the bassinet, for nighttime feedings, and with toddlers.

The sound machine/night light combo I use is no longer being produced, but I’d love to try the Hatch! If you have, please let me know what you think!

3. A Bath Caddy

If you’re lucky enough to have a dedicated kid bathroom, you may not need to corral all the baby bath stuff. However, if the baby will be bathing in a shared or small bathroom, I highly recommend a caddy for bath time! You will want all your bath goodies in an easy to reach spot, easy to clean up, and easy to store. Even a cheap college shower caddy will do the job perfectly!

 4.  Double of Everything


Ok, maybe not everything. But there are a few things that even the most practical and frugal of moms would probably want to double up on. Some days are just really, really shitty. Literally. There were days on maternity leave when I went through all three changing pads and two changing pad covers and resorted to using car wash towels on the ground for diaper changes.

A few things to consider doubling up on: Crib sheets and mattress protectors, changing pad covers and protectors, sleep sacks and velcro or snap swaddles, packs of burp rags. You can only do laundry so quickly and so many times a day, yanno?

5. Newborn Kimono Shirts 

Everyone loves picking out cutesie or funny bodysuits, but what you really want are some kimono style shirts, at least for the first few weeks. This is what you may find your hospital has, too. Here’s why: new born babies are super floppy and squishy, and they have a fragile, protruding healing umbilical cord. Kimono shirts help with both of those problems; they don’t have to be pulled over a delicate little head (that head may have already spent many hours being squeezed through a small space. no need to relive the trauma again so soon!) and they’re a shirt, so they provide room for the umbilical cord stump.

6. Feeding spoons and bowls

aka thinking past the first few months

Little ones grow oh-so-fast, and their needs change quickly. Our pediatrician, for example, recommended starting foods at 4 months. FOUR MONTHS! I was totally not mentally prepared for this, nor did I have appropriate gear to feed an infant. If you’re lucky enough to have generous gift givers in your life, consider looking ahead and registering for feeding gear (food link), a few toys for sitters and crawlers, and baby proofing kits.


I know everyone knows that babies go through a lot of diapers, but I rarely see diapers on baby registries! Diapers are not fun. They’re rather boring, expensive, and take up a lot of space. But, they are totally and completely necessary, and you’ll totally appreciate having some on hand. Consider registering for a few packs of newborn, size 1, and size 2 diapers. You won’t regret it, and most stores have super generous exchange policies if you need to get different sizes.

What else do you love that isn’t found on a typical registry list? I’d love to hear what would be on your list!


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