Reduce Reuse Register: Green Baby Registry Checklist List

Right after finding a midwife, creating a baby registry seems to be at the top of the to do list for every new mom-to-be. Maybe that’s because every conversation goes something like this: “I’m pregnant” “Really? When are you due? Where are you registered?”  There is no doubt baby registries are a great thing for well wishing family and friends to find you exactly the gift you’ve been hoping for. However, one trip to Babies’R’Us left us feeling more than a little horrified at the abject consumerism that new babies seem to require in our culture. That is not the legacy we want to leave our child or the values we want to teach him.  After vowing never to return to that over-lit box store filled with new plastic and disposable goods, I took another look at what we really needed for baby. Living as a family of three in a 700 square foot one-bedroom has also influenced our decisions.  This list is revised and improved from the suggested registry checklists (over five pages each when printed!)  available on and  Not only does it reduce consumption, but it also makes having a baby look much more affordable. This is the list of what worked for me, but of course your list should reflect what works best for you.

Consider removing the following items from your list completely.
4-8 undershirts or vests
1-3 sweaters or jackets
Coming home outfit (We had a home birth, so he was already home)
6 T-shirts (Baby t-shirts never stay down over his little belly)
No-scratch mittens

Crib (Consider a co-sleeper or family bed situation)
Crib Mattress
Crib bedding set
Bumper pad
1-2 Heavy blankets
(Last I checked babies aren’t supposed to sleep with blankets. Try blanket sleepers if it’s cold)
Crib Mobile
(BabyE spends exactly zero time in his co-sleeper alone and awake. He wouldn’t allow that, and neither would I.)
(DH cleared out one drawer in our dresser for Baby’s things. They are pretty small after all. Do they need their own dresser?)
Activity mat
Activity gym
(I momentarily considered getting one of these, but now I realize he would have been bored with it within three weeks. There are some wood versions available, and there’s even an affordable one at Ikea)

Changing table (We’re using the top of our dresser)
Diaper Cream
Wipe Warmer (He’s never fussed during diaper changes, but if he did I might consider finding a used one.)
Diaper disposable system
Diaper disposable refills

Baby bathtub (I’ll talk about How We Do Bath Time in an upcoming post. Stay tuned.)
Baby soap (Warm water works just great, and there’s no chance of irritation or allergic reaction.)
Baby shampoo
Baby hairbrush

I know it’s uncommon to have the luxury and/or desire to being with your baby 24/7. You’ll see the whole list of bottle-feeding supplies on the Reduce list because we’re exclusively breastfeeding. At his pediatrician’s recommendation I grudgingly got a manual pump, but he hasn’t conceded taken a bottle yet.
Bottles & nipples
Bottle liners
Bottle warmer
Bottle sterilizer
Bottle brush
Milk Storage Bags
2-4 Pacifiers

Medicine Cabinet:
Consider waiting to see which of these items you’ll actually need. Three months in, and so far we haven’t needed any of them.
Medicine dropper or spoon
Infant acetaminophen
Antibiotic cream
Saline nasal drops
Baby gas drops
Teething gel

Umbrella Stroller
Lightweight jogging stroller (seriously there were three strollers on the Target list!)

Consider getting these used to help divert items (especially bulky plastic ones) from the waste stream. A dear friend gave me all the hand-me-downs from her boys. Some of these you probably already own. Check craigslist or local consignment shops. There’s no need to get everything new just because there’s a new baby. Full disclosure here, I did get a couple of these items new. Sometimes convenience just wins out. Nobody’s perfect right?

Layette: Even if you don’t register for them people will give you baby clothes. They’re just so cute! Who can resist? If there are still some items you need, baby clothes rarely get worn out because they out grow them so fast.
4-8 bodysuits or onesies
4-8 one-piece pajamas or gowns
2 blanket sleepers for winter baby
1-3 rompers or other dress-up outfits
4-7 socks or booties
1-3 hats
Bunting bag or fleece suit for winter baby
Swimsuit for summer baby

Rocking/Arm chair
Music box/sound machine/CD player
Toy Basket
Organizer baskets
Swing or Bouncy Chair

Bath toys

Diaper pail

Dish washer basket for small items
High Chair
Nursing Pillow
Nursing Pillow Cover

Convertible car seat (Only if it is not expired and has never been in a crash.)
Stroller System

Gentle laundry detergent (I used to make our own, but now we use Charlie’s Soap Laundry Liquid.NA)

Co-sleeper or Play Yard with removable bassinet
Waterproof mattress pad
2 fitted sheets
2-4 receiving blankets
Baby Monitor
Teething toys
Cloth grasping toys
Soft or board books
Puppets (that just sounds like fun!)

Changing table pad
2 Changing table pad cover
2 Washable cloth diaper pail liners
3 dozen cloth baby wipes
Container for cloth wipes
Cloth diapers (1 dozen per day, adjust for how often you plan to wash)
Diaper covers (3 per dozen diapers)

3-4 Soft washcloths
2 hooded baby towels

4-8 bibs
1-2 dozen burp cloths
6-8 pairs washable nursing pads
Lanolin nipple cream

Medicine Cabinet:
Baby nail clippers or blunt scissors
Nasal Aspirator (Nosefrida Snotsucker Nasal Aspiratoris amazing! I really like that it’s washable. NA)

Diaper bag
Changing pad
Baby carrier/ sling
Sun shade

Stay tuned for Part 2 of Green Baby Registry where I’ll discuss how to Green the items left on your registry list. I’ll also provide a printable PDF of the list you can take with you while registering. 

shannon Clark, LIFE & FINANCIAL Coach

As a mom, I know what it's like to feel exhausted, overwhelmed by life, and inadequate to meet my children's needs. But I also know you don't have to stay there.

As an author and coach, I've had the joy of encouraging more than 9.1 million moms to find forward motion with their faith, family, and finances — without the frenzy.

Will you be next?