Baby Registry 101

In follow up to my previous post on what my new mommy must haves are, I want to share my thoughts and a few tips on baby registries. The experience is completely different from when you register for your wedding (if you’re married). Those normal household items are easy for your guests, friends, and family to identify with because they’re so universal (i.e. towels, toasters, and blenders…EVERYBODY has those!).

When you register for your baby, however, those items are harder for people to purchase because they shop with their own personal preferences. For example, one mom told me that the Diaper Genie was a waste a money because she never used it, so in turn, she wouldn’t purchase it for another mom.

The key to registering for your baby is finding out what you need – which, admittedly is hard to do if you’re a first time mom! I had no idea what I would really, really need once baby came. Do I need toys? How about these crib sheets? Oh, and what type of bottles? It was a little overwhelming.

So now that I’m on the other side…I’m here for you! This is what I think will get a new mom and dad through the craziness that is registering for baby.

First off, DO NOT get caught up in the hype of Babies R Us or Target – especially BRU. You have to remember that their goal is to MAKE MONEY, which means the more items you register for, the more money they can potentially make if/when people come to purchase your items. The little booklet they give you has every item under the sun…most of which you won’t need right away. Plan to register for items that will be of the most benefit to you the day you come home from the hospital…not just 6-9 months from then.

What are those items, you ask?

Here’s a quick list of the items I found to be the most crucial in these early days:

Diapers, diapers, diapers! You cannot have enough of them! We didn’t put them on our registry, but we did offer a raffle at our baby shower that people could enter if they brought a package of diapers. It went over very well and as a result we’re good on diapers for a little while. We have them in all sizes, which is also helpful. Don’t forget the wipes, too!

Bottles – even if you’re planning to breast feed, it’s helpful to have at least some bottles on hand because you simply never know!

Onesies – these are also good to have right away because they’re so practical and baby can’t be naked all day! Get all types-short sleeve, long sleeve, and in neutral colors (just in case you start your registry before you find out the sex of the baby, if that’s what you plan to do).

Burp cloths – these are your catch all (for baby’s boogers, drool, milk, etc.), so you’ll need lots of them. We got two packs of 12 (thanks Sheka!!!!) and have been using them non-stop.

Blankets –  We have a lot of receiving blankets (a lot!) and the thicker ones come in handy because although my shower was in early fall when it was warm, it’s winter now so it’s much colder.

Baby hygiene products – very helpful to have on hand (including baby friendly laundry detergent) and pretty much self explanatory.

Other tips:

  • Make sure to research reviews for the bigger ticket items like the crib, stroller, and high chair before you list them on your registry so that your family and friends can shop with confidence. has reviews on virtually every item you can think of!
  • Don’t register for clothes! When people don’t know what else to get you, they will buy you clothes; bags and bags of clothes in a variety of sizes. Mark my words!
  • As you’re going through everything after the shower, write on the back of the gift receipt (if there is one) exactly what the item was so that you don’t forget once everything gets hung up or put away. Once you discover that something needs to be returned, it’ll be a headache trying to match the item to your random stack of gift receipts. Collect them all and keep them together in one envelope that you can easily retrieve later. You’ll make a few trips back to the store to return or exchange items, so you’ll want the receipts to be easy to find.
  • A final tip to help put those Target gift cards to use (after your shower) is to stock up on items you’ll need but may forget to buy after the baby arrives – things like soap, deodorant, lotion, toilet paper, etc. It’s been nice not having to worry about those things over the last few weeks.
  • Other than that – have fun! Feel free to follow the guide in the stores, but make sure to go for essential items first and then scan the fun and extravagant stuff. If your list is too long, people won’t want to print it out and sort through it. They’ll give up and just head to the register and get you a gift card (which isn’t necessarily a bad thing). So if there are items you really want – keep the registry clean, short, and to the point!

Happy Scanning!

Got a suggestion you’d like to add? Post it in the comments!


Posted on January 6, 2011, in The Rattle: Everything Baby. Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. This post is very helpful Amber. Thank you for rushing to put it on your blog. I will definitely take your advice this weekend when we register. I will also share with you how it goes.

  2. Bibs, wipes, stroller, socks, hats, and knit pants are all great items to add to your registry as awell. With the exception of the stroller the rest of very inexpensive and shower guests can buy you tons of them!!

  3. I agree with everything you said! 🙂 cloth diapers 4sure are a must!

  4. You know I was smiling the whole time as I read this…*wink*
    By the time you’re lil prince arrives you will be a pro at this “Mommy Thing”
    I must admit…I’m a Gift Card Giver…LOL makes my life and the recipients life easier. hahaha

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