Back to Blog

Baby Registry Tips from a Pediatrician – What Do You Need to Keep Your Baby Safe and Healthy?

Published on May 28, 2024

As a pediatric resident and a first time mom, there were many decisions to make while getting ready for my baby to arrive. Walking through the baby aisles at my local stores, looking up baby products online and watching product reviews were all very exciting, but also very overwhelming. Questions like if I should choose plastic or glass bottles or what crib and car seat I should choose, to even ordering a breast pump - the list went on and on! Ultimately, I focused on what I needed to keep my baby safe and healthy. Here is a short list of why the things that ended up on my registry were chosen from the perspective of a mom and pediatrician! 

Sweet Dreams and Safe Sleep 

What is safe sleep? Safe sleep means placing your baby to sleep alone, on their back, on a firm, flat surface (such as in a crib or bassinet) and with nothing present except a fitted sheet. As I was looking for and registering for a bassinet and crib that were best suited for me and my family, I began to notice many products that were being associated with sleep that did not actually promote safe sleep. These products included: infant loungers, crib bumpers, blankets, weighted swaddles, and stuffed animals. These products should not be present in babies' sleeping environments. So, I made sure to include sleep items on my registry that I knew would keep my baby safe. Articles from the American Academy of Pediatrics can help you determine what items may be best for your baby. 

Safe Travels  

There are many car safety seats to choose from, so how do you choose the best one? The best car safety seat is one that best suits you and your growing family.  The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) provides a list of car safety seats that can be used as a guide. Things to keep in mind when choosing a car safety seat include:

  • Checking the label for the manufacture date. While hand-me-downs are wonderful, an old car safety seat could put your child at risk to unnecessary dangers. If you are uncertain of the history of the car sear, then a used car seat should not be used.
  • There should be no visible damage to the car seat.
  • The seat should have no recalls.
  • The seat should not have been involved in a car crash previously.

Additionally, to keep our babies safe on the road, car seats should not be placed in the front seat, especially if an active airbag is present. Learn more about car seat safety here. 

Keeping Baby Healthy 

Here are a few more essential items I added to my registry to help keep my baby safe and healthy! 

  • With plans to breastfeed my baby, vitamin D supplementation was added to my registry, because infants require 400 international units (IU) of vitamin D supplementation once daily.    
  • Newborns have small nasal passages and can become congested after exposure to various factors in their environment. Knowing this, a nasal suction and nasal saline were added to my registry to manage this congestion.   
  • Fevers in newborns and infants less than 60 days old can indicate a medical emergency, such as an infection in the blood or urine, or an infection of the membranes that surround the spine and brain. A fever is defined as a temperature greater than 100.4F. Rectal temperatures are the most accurate, followed by forehead temperatures, so I made sure to include a rectal thermometer on my registry. Remember: If a temperature is obtained that is greater than 100.4F, a baby needs to be taken to an emergency department to seek medical attention. Learn the best ways to take a baby's temperature here. 

While there are still many factors to consider when developing your baby registry, hopefully this helps to develop a foundation to try to keep your new baby safe and healthy!   

About the Authors

Hailey Nelson, MD, FAAP, IBCLC is a complex care pediatrician at Valley Children’s Charlie Mitchell Children’s Center. Dr. Nelson enjoys working with children of all ages and abilities and is especially passionate about providing the best possible care to medically fragile children and their families. As the ambassador for Safe Kids Central California, she is a vocal advocate for children’s wellness and regularly appears in news media discussing pediatric healthcare. She is also a licensed breastfeeding consultant, certified by the International Board of Lactation Consultants to support nursing mothers and their babies. Learn more about Dr. Nelson here. 


Dr. Danielle Jones comes to Valley Children's from the Kirk Kerkorian School of Medicine at UNLV and is in her third year of Postgraduate Residency. Dr. Jones believes communications and education are two critical factors in providing patient care and advocates for her patients to ask questions, learn about their treatment and be active participants in their health. Learn more about Dr. Jones and the care she provides to patients here.