It is a challenge to create a baby shower registry if you are a first time mom. People have their own ideas about what you may need, but you may not even know yourself what is truly essential for a new mom. Many women end up with very cute gifts at their baby shower, almost none of which actually help them get through the first year of parenting. This is our list of the most essential items for your baby shower registry.

Car Seat. Guess what? If you don’t have a properly installed car seat, the hospital won’t let you bring baby home. (Unfortunately that’s about the only instructions they send you home with!) Ideally you will use a car seat that can easily snap into a stroller, which will be convenient for your baby’s first five or six months.

Stroller. When it comes to strollers, think light and safe rather than bulky and heavy. Many first time parents apply their car-buying principles to their first stroller. That means you wind up with a stroller that looks and feels like an SUV. This is not a great idea. While you want your baby to be as safe as possible, the most important thing in a stroller is mobility, so it has to be light. The first year your baby will need to go everywhere with you, so pick a stroller that is easy for you to maneuver.

Bouncy Seat and Swing. Some babies prefer to swing and some like to bounce. If you’re lucky, your first child will respond well to both. The movement of swings and bouncy seats is soothing to babies and can help them get to sleep. They also give tired moms and dads a break to cook dinner or take a shower. There are seat/swing combos on the market that give you great bang for your buck.

Diaper Bin. You’ll get plenty of diapers at your baby shower, but unless you and your husband want to carry out the trash at least once a day, you’ll also need someplace to put them. Select a nice diaper bin, such as the Safety 1st Diaper Pail, the Diaper Dekor or the Diaper Champ.

Baby Bathtub. You can try to bathe your child in a tub, but you’ll need to be very hands-on and careful. This is not the best option, or the safest. Instead buy an infant bathtub. There are many different choices: inflatable tubs, plastic tubs, baby spas and foldable tubs. The best option for the first three months is to get a tub that fits inside your kitchen or bathroom sink. Your back and knees with thank you for it.

Baby Monitor. Yes you need one. You’ll want to be able to put baby in the other room with peace of mind. There are many video monitors on hand now. I think audio works just as well, as long as the monitor has lights that show you if baby is distressed. The key is to make sure the audio or video is loud and clear so you can hear if your baby needs you.

Crib Sheets. One thing you’ll find out quickly is that baby will run through sheets almost as quickly as clothes. Make sure you have plenty on hand. Many companies are making sheets from the same jersey material as they do full sized bed sheets, which are easy to wash and nice for baby to lay on.