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Baby Registry Must-Haves

If she's lucky, your baby will enter a world filled with real and honorary aunts and uncles, people who are ready to shower her with love. This show of affection and support begins at baby showers, when all your nearest and dearest arrive with gifts. Creating the perfect registry, which guarantees you'll receive items you truly need and want, requires balance.

Everyday Basics

Don't overload your registry with decorative diaper bags and adorable shoes she'll outgrow before she walks. Once the baby arrives, you'll appreciate having a month's worth of diapers and wipes more than attractive but impractical keepsakes. Register for diapers in newborn sizes as well as the next few sizes up. In addition to these basics, list a diaper trash can, a changing pad, bottles, a breast pump, a bottle brush, a nursing pillow, baby soap, a baby tub and bibs.

Clothing and Linens

You're bound to receive a variety of onesies and hats even if you don't register for them, but filling your registry with specific pieces in a variety of sizes guarantees you won't end up with nothing but newborn clothes that your baby will outgrow quickly, or with cute-but-impractical pieces with tons of snaps and buttons. Registering for clothes also helps you keep track of what you still need to buy after your shower. "Parenting" suggests starting out with at least eight bodysuits, three pant-and-shirt outfits, four one-piece outfits, one sweater and two sleep sacks. A few hooded towels, three or four fitted crib sheets, receiving blankets and at least 10 washcloths fill out your registry.

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Big-Ticket Gear

For very close friends and family members or for groups of pals who want to chip in for big items, register for some of the pricey gear your baby needs. Some essentials, like a crib and car seat, may end up being your responsibility, especially if your showers are close to your due date. If you go into labor early, you'll need these items already purchased and ready to go. A stroller, high chair and a baby bathtub are must-haves. You may also feel that a baby sling, a vibrating swing, a rocking chair and a "pack and play" are essentials.

More Must-Haves

Register for a baby monitor, which provides much-needed peace of mind during the nervous first few weeks at home with your baby. And look beyond the newborn stage by adding teethers, mobiles, a baby food maker, sippy cups, bowls and baby feeding spoons. Toys that stimulate your baby's senses -- like musical stuffed animals, soft blocks and toys he can push or pull -- will delight her in several months. Use your registry to cover some of your childproofing bases too. In addition to small such as outlet covers and edge guards, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission suggests using screw-in baby gates on staircases and window guards to keep little ones safe.

RELATED: 10 Basics You Need for Your Newborn

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