Tips for Making Your Baby Registry

Having a baby is a life changing event. Between telling your loved ones the good news and preparing yourself to become a parent falls another task: collecting the things you need to welcome your newborn into the world. 

The list of baby gear can seem never-ending and overwhelming, and it can have soon-to-be moms wondering: what do I really need and what can I do without? 

Whether you’ve just discovered you’re pregnant or your baby shower is around the corner, here are some tips to create a registry with all your baby must-haves. 

What Is a Baby Registry?

A baby registry is a wish list of all the things you’d like to get for your new arrival. They’re mostly used by big-box retail stores and online selling platforms. There are different categories and many products to choose from. You can add anything to your wish list, and after a quick online search, your friends and family can view your registry. 

You’re also not confined to one store or website. Feel free to make several different registries, especially if some stores have products others don’t. Most places will give you a freebie gift for starting a registry with them, and they’ll often offer discounts on products that aren’t gifted to you. 

There’s no right or wrong time to start your registry, but try to have it (mostly) complete a few weeks before your baby shower so your friends and family have time to get you what you want. If you’re not ready to share your news yet but still want to shop around, most websites have a private setting so you can keep your list to yourself until you’re ready. 

Take these points into consideration when choosing the items you want to add to the baby registry:  

Think about your lifestyle. Some new parents might go for a lightweight baby carrier that can easily snap into a stroller base, while others might want a durable stroller made for their city-dwelling lifestyle. 

Go back to basics. Don’t get carried away with fancy baby gadgets, at least not yet. Ensure your little one will have a place to sleep, a safe place to play, and a safe method of transportation before going for the extra stuff. 

Consider different budgets. Select options within different price ranges. Friends and family members probably all want to give you something but might have different budgets.

Focus on the first six months . There’s a long way to go, but it can get tempting to plan for every year and stage of your baby’s life. Focusing on what you’ll need during the first six months keeps you from getting overwhelmed.

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What to Register For

Finally, the best part — choosing your items. Use this list as a guide to help get all the essentials for your new arrival: 

Nursery

  • Baby monitor
  • Bassinet
  • Travel crib
  • Fitted crib sheet set 
  • Rocking or nursing chair
  • Changing table
  • White noise machine
  • Storage bins
  • Blackout curtains
  • Crib
  • Crib mattress

Travel

  • Stroller
  • Car seat
  • Backseat mirror

Clothing and Accessories

  • Onesie multipacks
  • Mitten multipacks
  • Pajamas
  • Soft hats
  • Socks
  • Bibs
  • Burp cloths
  • Soft blankets
  • Soft leggings and pants
  • Zip-up jackets
  • Lightweight sweaters and hoodies

Diapering

  • Diapers
  • Diaper cream
  • Diaper pail
  • Travel change pad
  • Diaper bag

Feeding

  • Bottles
  • Bottle brushes
  • Bottle drying rack
  • Bottle warmer
  • Nipple pads
  • Nipple cream
  • Nursing bras
  • Nursing pillow
  • Nursing cover
  • Breast pump (sometimes covered by health insurance)
  • Breast milk storage bags
  • Soothers

Health and Safety 

  • Thermometer 
  • Nail clippers
  • Nose suction system
  • Nasal drops
  • First-aid kit
  • Humidifier

Bathing

  • Baby bathtub
  • Hooded towel 
  • Gentle soaps and lotion
  • Faucet cover
  • Soft hairbrush

Avoid Getting It Just Yet

Although it’s tempting to splurge on everything you might think you need, sometimes it pays to wait and see. Wait until the baby is born before buying these items or forgo them altogether:

Formula. Formula can be pricey, and it’s tempting to stock up before the baby arrives, but it’s best to wait and see what kind of formula works best with your baby’s needs.  

Baby shoes. Yes, those teeny tiny shoes are adorable, but they can get expensive. Small shoes can easily slip off their tiny feet and get lost, and most babies grow out of them in record time. Skip the shoes and go for some patterned thick socks instead. 

Crib bumpers. It’s not advised to have anything in the crib with your baby except a fitted sheet. Other cute pillows, blankets, and bumpers can be a hazard to your baby.

Wipe warmer. You might want to make sure your baby has the best of everything, even when it comes to diaper changes. But most babies are fine with room temperature wipes.

Finally, keep in mind that not everyone will stick to the registry. Other gifts usually include baby clothes and blankets, so hold back on your personal baby shopping until after your baby shower. 

WebMD Medical Reference Reviewed by Dan Brennan, MD on June 28, 2021

Sources

SOURCES: 

Babylist: “The Ultimate Guide to Creating Your Baby Registry.”

Carter’s: “Preparing for Baby: A Complete Guide to Your Baby Registry.”

Pampers: “The Ultimate Baby Shower Registry List: 93 Items You Need.”

Today’s Parent: “The ultimate guide to building your best baby registry.”

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