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10 items every new parent should add to their baby registry

Essential items and tools that new parents should invest in before the baby arrives. (Getty/File)

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There are so many things to think about when expanding your family. After all, raising a baby comes with a lot of responsibility. There are also a lot of things that you’ll probably need and want to stock up on. (Diapers, anyone?)

You’re not alone if you’re having difficulty determining what to ask for at the baby shower. There are tons of products to consider, but not all of them are essential. For example, a breast pump may be something you want to invest in if you plan on breastfeeding, but what if breastfeeding doesn’t go as planned?

In that case, you may want to ask for gift cards or consider something like Amazon’s baby registry, which allows returns for up to a year. Meanwhile, you can probably avoid asking for basics like clothes, stuffed animals and swaddles, which shower-goers will likely pick up on their own. You could ask for larger items, like cribs, changing tables and rocking chairs, but many parents prefer to pick those things up before the shower.

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Still feeling overwhelmed or looking for more ideas? Here are some practical things you’ll want to have on hand once your new baby arrives.

A car seat

Unfortunately, car seats aren’t one of those items that you can pick up second-hand. Not only do they expire, but if you cannot confirm that they’ve never been in an accident, they’re just not safe. That’s why most new parents opt to get a brand-new car seat when expecting.

When selecting a car seat, consider your budget and whether you want to upgrade it once your baby is older. A bucket seat is popular because it allows you to easily lug newborns around without taking them in and out. However, an all-in-one car seat can grow with your baby through various stages.

 

A stroller

A stroller is another big purchase, and it’s one that you may change your mind about as you use it more frequently. Jogging strollers are great for parents who like to get outdoors often, but they can be a pain when doing the groceries or fitting through smaller doors.

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Before deciding which type of stroller you want, ask yourself how you plan on using your stroller and for what. Speak to fellow parents and test theirs out. Consider how much trunk and storage space you have, as well as whether the stroller has a cup holder, large basket and accessories (like an air pump!).

 

Looking for something more compact, lightweight and easy to travel with? Summer Infant makes an affordable 11-pound stroller that folds up neatly.

 

Bottles and accessories

No matter how you feed your baby, you’ll probably want some bottles to deliver milk or formula.

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This bottle kit from Philips includes newborn nipples that only release milk when the baby drinks, but you can swap them out for different stages as your baby grows. The kit also comes with microwave sterilizer bags and pacifiers to help cover all your bottle basics.

 

You’ll probably want somewhere to dry said bottles as well. Consider this countertop drying rack, which keeps bottles upright as they dry.

 

Want to warm bottles faster? Philips also makes a bottle warmer that heats milk or formula quickly and safely. It has a smart temperature control and automatic shutoff to give parents that bonus peace of mind.
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A bassinet

Even if you have a crib, you might want a bassinet, which you can set up beside your bed for those first few months.

This lightweight model features all-around air mesh to avoid the risk of suffocation and is adjustable for a more customized fit. Use it as a standalone bassinet or attach it as a bedside sleeper.

 

An Activity Centre

Newborns don’t need a lot of toys, but a playmat can be a helpful tool that grows with your baby.

 

This play centre from Fisher-Price includes four stages of activities and three learning levels, plus a bonus piano that plays musical notes. It’s also thick and machine-washable, which anyone who has ever dealt with a poop explosion or spit-up can appreciate.
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A baby carrier

Not everyone will want to or be able to carry their baby in a wrap, but if you choose to do so, it can help free your hands for other household tasks.

We’ve found Ergobaby carriers to be the most comfortable to wear, and we like that they’re adjustable and machine washable. They’re also good for kids up to 25 pounds, so you can get good use out of them.

 

A high chair

Babies grow quickly; before you know it, they’ll eat real food. So, you might want to invest in a high chair to minimize the mess and help your baby sit upright while eating.

This model from Evenflo is a four-in-one high chair designed to grow with a baby. It goes from an infant high chair to a dining chair and tray, to a toddler standalone chair, to a big kid table and chair that children can eat at or colour at in the future.
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A baby monitor

If you want to watch your baby during naps or once they’ve transitioned to their own room, a baby monitor is a fast and easy way to ensure everything is okay.

This reasonably priced video monitor includes infrared night vision, two-way audio and a temperature display.

 

A bouncer

Bouncers aren’t just great places to put your baby while you whip up a quick dinner or take a bathroom break; they’re also great for developing motor skills and helping your baby learn to hold themselves up.

This model features three heights, a machine-washable seat pad, and tons of fun toys.
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A snot sucker

It’s gross, it’s weird, and once you have one you’ll understand the hype. Snot suckers have helped many parents clear their babies’ nasal passages during rough moments, making it one of the most highly rated baby items on Amazon.
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