700 Children's® – A Blog by Pediatric Experts

Baby Registry Series: The Basics

Mar 02, 2023

There comes a time in every person’s pregnancy when they consider creating a baby registry or wish list. There are endless lists from magazines, stores, and social media detailing the “must have” products for newborns, but those lists often place trends and fashion over safety.

Newborns’ needs are very basic those first few weeks at home: a safe place to sleep, a full tummy, and a clean diaper. This is the first in a series of blog posts which will go more in-depth on a few things to think about when it comes to keeping your newborn safe and healthy:

  • Safe sleep: Babies should sleep Alone, on their Back, in a Crib. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends room sharing - not bed sharing - for at least the first six months of baby’s life. This means you may want a small safe sleep space for baby in your bedroom. No bumpers, blankets, pillows, or stuffed animals in the crib or bassinet - just a firm mattress with a fitted sheet.
  • Feeding: Baby will need bottles (even if you plan on breastfeeding) and something to clean up drool and spit up. If you want to try pacifiers, buy the ones that cannot possibly come apart. Have a comfortable place to feed your baby but remember to put baby back into their own sleep space when you’re feeling tired.
  • Diapering: You can change your baby on top of a towel on the floor. A changing table makes it easier to dress and diaper your baby, but extra care must be taken to keep them safe. If you want to use a changing table or dresser, choose a sturdy changing table or low dresser with framed area for a changing pad with a strap. Anchor the furniture to the wall and set it up so diapers, clothes, and other supplies are near enough that you can reach them while keeping one hand on baby, but not close enough that baby could reach potential hazards. Falls from such a high surface can be serious.
  • Other baby prep: Rather than stress about which “containers” to get for your baby to play or lounge in, focus on tummy time! The only thing you need is a blanket or towel. If you want to get something to put baby in, make sure you’re following weight and length guidelines, supervising them while the product is in use, and not allowing baby to sleep in anything other than a crib, bassinet, play yard or portable crib.

How to Make a Safe Baby Registry

Did you know that even though they are available for sale, some products can actually be dangerous for your baby? When putting together your baby registry keep safety in mind by keeping these potentially dangerous items off your list.

baby registry infographic

There are some things families can do to help keep their children safer before even bringing nursery products into their home. We recommend that parents and caregivers follow the 4 Rs - do your research, check for recalls, register the products, and read the manual. Be sure to have a car seat installed to bring baby home from the hospital!

Remember, newborns don’t care if their house is picture perfect. They just need a safe place to sleep, a full tummy, and a clean diaper. Your baby’s frequent well child visits are a great time to talk to your pediatrician about safety concerns. Stay tuned for posts that go into detail on the above points.

Set Up a Safe Nursery
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Featured Expert

Laura Dattner
Laura Dattner, MA
Center for Injury Research and Policy

Laura Dattner is a research writer in the Center for Injury Research and Policy. With both a health communications and public health background, she works to translate pediatric injury research into meaningful, accurate messages which motivate the public to make positive behavior changes.

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Pediatric News You Can Use From America’s Largest Pediatric Hospital and Research Center

700 Children’s® features the most current pediatric health care information and research from our pediatric experts – physicians and specialists who have seen it all. Many of them are parents and bring a special understanding to what our patients and families experience. If you have a child – or care for a child – 700 Children’s was created especially for you.