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The Baby Registry Checklist

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Taking you through it step by step.

Figuring out what you need for your baby can be overwhelming, everyone has their ride-or-die recommendation, you have little to no clue what most of them are or if they are actually essential. Is a bottle warmer a must-have? What are newborns supposed to wear? Is it weird to put nursing pads on your registry? No. Only the easiest, softest growsuits. And hell no girl. Put all the postpartum care on that registry that you care to. Our Lists are perfect for curating your gift registry, but if need a little more guidance, we’re here for you. Here’s our ultimate Baby Registry checklist.

How a baby gift registry works

Your registry is an opportunity to curate everything you're going to need for life with a new baby. This serves as a wishlist for friends and family that want to gift you and your baby, and also helps you keep track of what you’ll still need and how it will all work together.

When to make a baby gift registry

Anytime is the right time. It can be before you’ve shared your news, or later when you’re starting to plan out the functionality of life with a baby. From our own The Memo Gift Registry insights, we know that most customers start to build their gift registries from three months gestation, and share with their friends and family at around 6 or 7 months, sometimes to coincide with a baby shower invitation. Not that you need a baby shower to have a registry. In some cultures it’s the norm to give baby gifts only after the baby is born, in which case the registry is sent out with the baby announcement.

What to put on a baby registry

Your registry can be very thorough, limited to smaller items or one big thing that you know you really want (and friends can put in to get it for you). It can be just newborn or include things you’ll need for when the baby is older, like a highchair or 6 month+ clothing. It can just have stuff for baby, or also stuff for labour and postpartum recovery. We recommend putting everything on your gift registry. It means there’s lots of options for friends and family, it keeps it all in one easy to navigate place and it gives you the opportunity to shop anything still left on your gift registry after it’s been shopped and closed at 15% off.

Where to start with your registry

We recommend starting with The Lists. The Memo was started from a list and we still find it the best way to tick off everything you need for each age and stage of pregnancy and parenting life. Here, we’ll breakdown the essentials of a great baby registry and how to navigate what will best work for you.

The Memo’s Parent-Approved Top 10 Baby Registry Essentials

What comes out as your true MVP parenting tool is different from parent to parent, but there are some things all agree are non-negotiables. Quite literally, the hospital won’t let you leave without a baby car seat installed.

  • Car seat
  • Pram with newborn bassinet
  • Cot
  • Play mat
  • Growsuits
  • Singlets
  • Carrier
  • Change mat
  • Bouncer or rocker

Newborn Clothing

Babies grow fast, and often you only want the softest, easiest options when they’re super small. Save anything more fashion or fancy (dresses, overalls or anything in linen) until they’re at least size 3-6 months. Registry for a range of sizes to have all your bases covered.

Things to know

  • Paediatricians now advise against covering baby’s hands, so no mittens and you don’t need sleeves with the extra hand folds.
  • Footed pants in cooler months mean you don’t need to worry about socks.
  • Zip-ups are much, much easier at the 3am nappy change.
  • Under 6 months, babies can’t wear sunscreen so you need to keep them covered and shaded.

Essential Baby Clothing

Nice-to-have additions

Baby Gear

There are a few big-ticket items that are going to be the most expensive on your list, but you’ll use them everyday, multiple times, sometimes for years, and with subsequent kids (your own, or someone else’s). Let’s talk through these individually because they each warrant some guidance

Pram: Your pram or stroller (the terms are interchangeable at this point) is very personal. Which you get will be affected by where you live, e.g. in a busy city, you might want a smaller pram so you can whip through busy sidewalks, whether you usually drive or walk to leave your house, i.e. if you drive you want a pram that’s easy to put up and down and fits nicely in your car, and where it’s being stored, i.e. are you going to be lugging it up stairs on the reg? Your pram decision may also be impacted by your family plans, will you need a second seat or a toddler board anytime soon? Will you want to attach a car capsule? It’s very common for new parents to invest in a big pram before the baby arrives, and then quickly downsize because it’s too impractical. Hence the popularity of the BabyZen Yoyo and Joolz Aer. There’s nothing wrong with a big pram if it's going to work for you, just make sure it is.

Car seat: There are rear-facing car seats that can be used from newborn or you can use a capsule for the first six months. Capsules are attractive because they clip in and out of the car, so you don’t have to disturb them each time you get in and out of the car. They are usually able to be attached to your pram with adapters, so going from the car to the pram and vice versa is a seamless endeavour. The unattractive side of them is that they’re expensive and you don’t use them for long, six months. If you can, this is a good one to lend or borrow, as they’re made to last much, much longer than three months.

Carrier: You wear your baby carrier, so it’s an important thing to feel comfortable in. Many parents find themselves wearing it a lot more often than they’d realised. There are carriers appropriate from newborn right up to 2 years, but also smaller newborn carriers, which can feel nice if you yourself are a smaller person. The most popular have multiple ways of carrying, great airflow, and have features for sun and rain protection. Think about how you’ll use a carrier, inside, outside, and what you’ll feel most comfortable in.

Cot: Your baby can go in their cot from day one, but many people prefer a bassinet in the newborn days. This can be because you want them to sleep in your room to begin with, but a cot won’t fit. You might be interested in a SNOO, which is used for up to around six months. If you want to put your baby straight in the cot, but have a smaller, secure space for them, the Cocoonababy might be the right choice. It’s a moulded baby mattress that weighs less than 1kg so can easily be moved about and sat in your cot.

Care, First Aid and Changing

Rather than waiting ‘til you realise you really need first aid things when you're in the midst of your first temperature, it’s nice to have them ready to go. Newborns often need their nails trimmed in the first few days and you’ll definitely need nappies ready to go. For the change mat, you can opt for one with a washable cover, or something like the Leander Matty which is wipe-clean. All other changing items: wipe warmer, nappy bin and nappy bin bags you’ll have your own opinion about.

Baby Sleep Needs

Little ones can have their own preferences when it comes to sleep, e.g. white noise sounds or whether they like their arms up or down in a sleep suit, so sometimes it’s good to put things on your registry, but not go too deep until you know what they like i.e. only ask for one arms up suit rather than four. You can also add a gift card to your registry to cover what it is they end up preferring.

  • Sleep bag
  • Cot sheets
  • Baby monitor
  • White noise machine
  • Blackout blinds
  • Comfort toy
  • Swaddles or wraps
  • Night light
  • Dummy
  • Blackout blinds

Feeding Essentials

If you know how you’ll be feeding your baby, you can be prepared, but sometimes feeding journeys take some working out, meaning they are again a good thing to put some trial items on your registry so you can buy deeper on what works once you know. For breast pumps, check if they are covered under your private health fund. If you’re breastfeeding, make sure you add extra care for yourself to the registry.

  • Small bottles and slow-flow teats
  • Bottle brush and drying rack
  • Burp clothes

Essential additions for breastfeeding

  • Nursing pillow
  • Silverettes
  • Nipple shields
  • Nipple balms
  • Body Ice

Essential additions for formula feeding

  • Newborn formula
  • Bibs

Nice to have additions

  • Bottle warmer
  • Formula maker
  • Steraliser


Newborns only need very short spurts of play and stimulation but it is advised they do it daily and this time only grows, so it’s good to have a few things ready to keep them interested.

  • Play mat
  • Play gym
  • Bouncer or rocker
  • Sensory books
  • Comfort toy
  • Rattle
  • Teether
  • Toys

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