Note: This topic was covered in several posts on my old personal blog, Rebelle of the Ball. Those posts have been condensed and republished here.
Oh, baby registries. One of the many nerve wracking parts of pregnancy or adoption. So many choices to make right up front, before your baby is even here! When I was pregnant, I began neurotically working on our baby budget and registry right after the line turned pink. It grew, shrunk, and evolved a hundred times before anyone ever saw it.
If you’re an expectant mom, lost in a sea of baby products, I feel you, girl. And here’s my ultimate guide to figuring out what the heck you even want or need and building your baby registry.
Start with some introspection.
Before you even begin building your registry, I suggest you ask yourself a few questions and get yourself sorted.
Picking Your Registry Store/Website:
- What kind of shoppers are your guests and family members? If you plan to invite a lot of your friends, who are tech savvy and comfortable ordering online, store locations aren’t that important. But if the bulk of your guest list are your great-great-aunts and grandparents, they may want the in-store shopping experience. Also, consider your friends and family’s budgets. If you aren’t related to the Rockefellers, you’ll want to make sure there’s a range of items at a reasonable price point. I’m sorry, but there’s nothing worse than logging into a registry and finding nothing under $100. Make sure you have a range of items and price points, so that all of your guests who want to spoil you can!
- What stores are convenient for your guests and family members? If your friends and family are going shopping for you, make it convenient! Think about where most of your guests live and narrow down your registry store(s) to somewhere they can easily visit. For instance, our closest Babies R Us is a 45-minute drive, so it wasn’t practical for us to register there. You may also want to consider which stores offer free shipping, if you’ll be doing an online-exclusive registry.
- Are the registries user friendly? Once you have an idea of where your guests might shop, look through a random registry on their site. Is it easy to identify the products and quantities and mark them as purchased? Can you find what’s in stock in a store? Etc.
Planning Your Registry:
- How many guests are invited to your shower (and how many will realistically attend)? If you’re having multiple showers or have a huge family, you can go registry wild! Add all the things, for the next couple of years of baby’s life! Feeding and teething supplies, clothing in a variety of sizes, toys for baby to grow into, a million wipes, walking toys, add it all! If you’re having a smaller shower (like mine, my guest list was about 30 people), you may want to streamline your registry to the necessities, since there will be less shopping happening.
- Do you plan to have any gift-driven baby shower games? If your shower host is planning to do a diaper raffle or “books instead of cards”, make sure you register for the things you want (the type or brand of diapers you plan to use or books you’ve been wanting).
- Do you know any baby whisperers? If you have a close friend or family member who seems to have the baby thing figured out, ask them to help! Take them with you to register or even offer to buy them coffee if they’ll take a loop through the baby section with you and give you some advice on things you’ll need.
- What do you already have or plan to buy? If you’re like me, you probably already started picking up little things here and there. Think about what you already have, so you don’t register for 10 more blankets when you’ve got a closet full. We also planned to repurpose some furniture, had received some hand-me-downs, and found some great deals on big ticket items, so those things got crossed off our list.
- What does your lifestyle (and location) look like? Be realistic. If you’re not an avid runner, you probably don’t need a jogging stroller. If you’re not particularly close to your parents, you may not need duplicates of things for their houses. Conversely, maybe you spend a lot of time there or they’ll be baby’s primary babysitters and it’d be nice to try to outfit them with some essentials! It’s also worth counting out baby’s age on the calendar to see approximately when you’ll need certain items. If baby is going to be born in the middle of winter, you probably don’t need a swimsuit. Middle of summer and you probably don’t need newborn fleece footie pajamas.
- What can you absolutely not afford to buy on your own? If money is tight and you really need certain items, make sure you give them priority listing! Don’t fill your registry with junk you don’t need, when you really need a crib or car seat!
Figure out what you want and what you need.
Now that you’ve thought about some basics, it’s time to make some decisions! This is the truly overwhelming part, right? There is a baby gadget and gizmo for every possible situation. How do you even figure out what you want or need? The truth is that this will be different for everyone. There’s some things that every baby needs (like diapers), but then there’s a lot of stuff that’s just about convenience.
With that in mind, here’s an ultimate list of baby stuff – and my two cents on whether it’s a necessity or a convenience.
Think about where your “baby command center” will be – whether that’s a designated nursery, a corner of your bedroom, or even in your main living area.
- Crib – This is a need. Baby needs their own safe sleeping environment. I’m not here to preach safe sleeping, but I do follow the AAP guidelines and don’t support bed sharing.
- Crib mattress – This is a need. When choosing a crib mattress, we considered longevity. Your little one will be using it in their crib and most likely in their toddler bed too. This is where we chose (so, here’s the want part) to splurge on the crib mattress, because it would get so much long-term use.
- Bassinet – This is a want. As soon as your baby starts to roll over, it’s no longer safe to let them sleep in a bassinet. So, if your budget allows for one, it can be nice to have baby closer (and more portable) in those first few weeks, but it’s definitely not something that every family needs.
- Changing table & pad – This is ultimately a want. There are a ton of good alternatives (some people put their changing pad on a low dresser or use their Pack & Play’s if it comes with that option) and you can even change them on the floor. I promise baby doesn’t care, as long as there’s a clean diaper at the end. We chose to purchase a changing table, because I wanted the extra storage underneath.
- Rocker/glider/recliner – This is a want, bordering on a need. If money or space is tight, this is something you can skip. But it’s really so nice to have a comfortable place to sit for late night feedings and soothings. We chose to buy a La-Z-Boy recliner, instead of a glider, when we found a great price on one. It’s a lot more comfortable than most rocker/gliders and it’ll live a second life when it’s done in our nursery.
- Other furniture – This is all wants… and also a place to not be seduced by “nursery” labels. A dresser is a dresser is a dresser, you know? We chose to repurpose other furniture to complete our nursery, because I had some awesome antique furniture that I’d inherited. You may want a dresser, bookshelf, and nightstand. If you have a great closet or shelving/drawers on your changing table, you may not need a dresser. If you won’t have a ton of books in the nursery, you may not need a bookshelf. I made good use of a small nightstand in our nursery. I kept it by the recliner to hold my water and snacks during nursing sessions, bibs or burpcloths during bottle feedings, and other random bits.
- Bedding – Of course, this is a need, but maybe not as much as you’d expect. The AAP safe sleep guidelines suggest only using a crib sheet. That’s right, no bumper or comforter draped over the side. Just a crib sheet. It may not be as “cute”, but safety trumps style in my world! I suggest getting at least 2 waterproof crib mattress pads (even if your crib is already “waterproof”), so you don’t have to squeeze in laundry between naps. We also kept 3-4 crib sheets in our rotation too. We had a waterproof liner for our changing pad and 2-3 changing pad covers.
- Monitor – This is a need, in most cases, but ultimately comes down to where baby will be sleeping. Both of our girls slept in their own nursery from day one, so a monitor was a major must for us. If your baby will be roomsharing, this may not be a need, but there are also likely times you’ll be out of earshot while they’re sleeping. They can also come in handy when baby is older and having independent play out of your line of sight. In my budget post, I talked about video monitors and I’ll repeat myself here. If you’re looking at a video monitor, consider getting a security camera instead. We got one for significantly less than a “baby video monitor” and it comes with a heck of a lot more features and we can monitor it from all of our devices and computers.
- Accessories – These are of course mostly wants. Things like laundry baskets, toy organizers, wall decor, nightlights, crib mobiles, and humidifiers are all nice to have, but they aren’t essential to your baby’s survival. I would argue that our white noise machine has been essential to all of our survivals, but that’s a personal preference. We have found that both of our girls sleep dramatically better with a little rainfall in the background!
Most moms have a clear idea of how they plan to feed their newborns, whether it be breastmilk or formula, breast or bottle. That’s a totally personal preference and I think a fed baby is a healthy baby. From personal experience, I can say that breastfeeding sometimes doesn’t work out the way that you plan and it can be nice to have a backup plan. Ultimately, prepare for whatever you think is best for your family.
- Breast pump and accessories – This is a need, IF you’re breastfeeding and IF you’ll be spending time away from baby. Before you add it to the registry, you may want to consult your insurance company about receiving one free. Many doctor’s offices have resources to help streamline this process too, so ask at your next appointment. Also, your hospital may send you home with a manual pump and other accessories, so these are all things you may want to hold off on registering for. You may want to add breastmilk storage containers (or extra bottles) and sanitizing bags to your registry. The sanitizing bags came in handy for non-breat-pump-related things when we traveled!
- Nursing cover – This is a want. If you’re a modest person who will be spending a decent amount of time outside of your house, you may really want one of these. Personally, I used my nursing cover for the first few outings while I worked out the kinks in feeding on the go and not flashing everyone, but then took a “If you don’t like it, don’t look!” attitude. You don’t need to cover up, so don’t let anyone (other than your own feelings) tell you that you do!
- Boppy or other breastfeeding pillow – This is a want. Personally, with my large breasts, it was like my third arm and I can’t imagine having nursed without it. I also used it for bottle feeding.
- For the nursing mom – These are all wants, bordering on needs. You’ll want nursing bras and tanks, but your breasts will likely change size after birth and again and again as time goes on, so you may not want to register for those and just shop for them as you go (and grow). If you plan to breastfeed, you definitely want to have nursing pads on hand, so you don’t leak all over your clothes. The first time that Lucy slept through the night, I woke up with a drenched shirt and sheets. Your hospital will likely send you home with lanolin for your nipples, but I personally preferred other nipple creams. You may want to have some on hand, as baby works on their latch and you build up endurance.
- Formula – If you’re planning to formula feed, you’ll obviously need this. My suggestion is that you don’t stock up on any one type of formula until you see what baby tolerates. Ruby went through three formulas, before ending up on an elemental formula in a matter of weeks. You’ll also likely receive multiple formula samples from your doctor, hospital, and/or through the mail. If you are planning to breastfeed, you might still consider having some on hand (thosesamples will do), but that’s up to you.
- Bottles – This is another need, if you’re planning to feed baby formula or expressed breastmilk. A wise friend suggested that I try a few types of bottles before stocking up on one brand and they were right. We went through a few brands with both girls before finding the right “fit”. Register for a few brands and keep them sealed, trying one at a time. If you find a winner, exchange the rest for that one.
- Bottle brush & drying rack – This is a need, in my opinion. We routinely used our bottle brush, especially if a bottle sat overnight or had a clump of formula clinging to the side. We also found that our dishwasher didn’t dry tall bottles completely, so our drying rack was used constantly.
- Dishwasher basket – This is a want, depending on, of course, if you have a dishwasher and if that dishwasher has a basket built in. You’ll likely want to wash nipples and rings on the top rack, so this will come in handy.
- Bottle warmer – This is a want. In my experience, both of our girls took lukewarm bottles, because they didn’t know there was an alternative. If you’re planning to feed expressed breastmilk, you may want a bottle warmer for milk straight from the fridge.
- Sterilizer – This is a need, if you’re following AAP guidelines. There are a lot of options, from microwave sterilizers to standalone units. You can also just boil your bottles and parts. Choose what works best for your family and budget.
- High chair – This is a need, to some extent. Baby needs a safe and clean place to sit and eat… eventually. You won’t use a high chair for the first few months, so it’s something that can wait. There are also a ton of options, from traditional to portable to clip-ons, so explore what’s out there and what will work best in your space.
- Bibs & burp cloths – This is a need and in large quantity! I didn’t quite believe my friends when they suggested how many we’d need. But babies are gross. They drool, spit, spit up, spill, rub food into themselves. You’ll be happy to have as many as you can, unless you want to change their (and your) clothes 100 times a day or do laundry constantly.
- Baby Bullet and other food processors – This is a want, for a few reasons. There are tons of great premade baby foods on the market, so making your own isn’t necessary. You may want and have the time to and that’s great. But you may also choose to go the baby led weaning route and skip purees all together. Both of my girls went straight to regular foods pretty quickly. We had a Baby Bullet and used it, like, twice.
- Feeding utensils – This is a need, eventually. These items are relatively low priced and can take up a lot of valuable kitchen space, so it may be something you want to hold off on until you’re ready for them.
- Pacifiers – This depends on your parenting style, but if you want to use them, it’s a need. Just like bottles, don’t get attached to what kind of pacifier your baby will use. They’ll let you know what they like. Also, take a critical eye to Wubbanubs and other similar pacifiers, since they’re difficult to clean and sterilize with the plush attached. They’re cute, but a pain, in my experience.
- Teethers – This is a want. Much like feeding utensils, teething toys are inexpensive and can be purchased later. Ruby was a dream while teething and barely used hers. Lucy, on the other hand, let us know for days before each tooth came in and made good use of hers. And like bottles and pacifiers, your baby may prefer different types, so you may not want to stock up on too many. Ruby preferred wooden teethers, while Lucy preferred the frozen teething rings.
My girls have been both cloth and disposable diapered. There are so many options in the world of diapering, so my suggestion is to not get too ahead of yourself when stocking up on these items.
- Diapers – This is an obvious need. Whether you are cloth or disposable diapering, you need some kind of diapers.
- Cloth Diapering – There are so many options for cloth diapering that I can’t even begin to cover here. If you plan to cloth diaper, I highly suggest joining some groups and reading up on your choices before buying any one diaper in large quantities. I have a Cloth Diapering 101 post that can help you familiarize yourself too! You can also check around with local baby boutiques to see if anyone provides a rental service, where you can try out different styles before committing. Ultimately, you’ll want to have 20~ diapers, so you’re not constantly doing laundry. You may also still want to have a box of disposable diapers on hand, in case you have fit issues initially (lots of cloth diapering moms report not being able to get a good fit on newborns, even with newborn sized cloth diapers) or fall behind on laundry.
- Disposable Diapering – Baby will average 10-12 daily diaper changes in the beginning. Like 3000 diapers in the first year. That’s not a typo and a lot of diapers. That being said, not all diapers are created equal. Much like bottles, different brands work best for different babies. Ruby did great with Huggies, while the Honest Company caused her to break out in rashes. Lucy had the best fit with Up&Up. I know it’s tempting to stock up, since you’ll need so many. I suggest registering for gift cards and adding a note on your registry that they’re for future diaper purchases, as a gentle suggestion to friends and family that they give a gift card, instead of a diaper brand you won’t use.
- Wipes – This is another need. You literally can’t have enough baby wipes in your life. We use them for everything, from diaper changes, to wiping dirty hands, to cleaning up spills. I don’t know how we existed before baby wipes came into our life. Some babies may be sensitive to certain wipes, so that’s something to consider if skin issues run in your family, but we had good luck with most brands that we tried. If you’re planning to cloth diaper and want to extend that into making your own wipes, you’ll still want to register for 10-20 wash cloths or reusable wipes and the supplies you’ll need to make them “wet”. I used wash cloths and kept a squirt bottle with my wipe solution to wet them as I went, before life pushed me towards disposable wipes.
- Diaper Cream or Ointment – This is a want, as you won’t necessarily need or use it, possibly ever. We went months without needing it, but when we did need it, I was glad to have it already stocked. If you plan to cloth diaper, make sure you use one that’s safe for cloth and won’t stain or affect absorbency.
- Diaper Pail (like a Diaper Genie) – This is a total want, if you even want it. We opted for using a small trash can that was regularly emptied, rather than one of these contraptions with expensive refills. After a friend found maggots in the bottom of her regularly emptied Diaper Genie, I could never bring myself to buy one!
- Wet bag(s) – This is a need, if you’re cloth diapering. I kept a large wet bag by the changing table for soiled diapers in between washings and also had a couple that were rotated through with laundry for my diaper bag. Even if you aren’t cloth diapering, wet bags can still be useful for keeping soiled clothes, bibs, and burp cloths in while you’re on the go.
- Diaper sprayer – This is a want and only if you’re cloth diapering. We found that having a diaper sprayer was a great convenience for pre-rinsing diapers, especially because we had a lot of diapers that kept us from having to do laundry as often. You can look for “bidet” sprayers that are often more reasonably priced than diaper sprayers and do the exact same thing. Gotta love marketing, right?
Travel and Car Safety:
When it comes to traveling with baby, you’ll have to really consider your lifestyle and community. If you live in a walk-able neighborhood, your needs may be different than someone living in a rural or suburban area. If you travel for work or fun, you may need more portable gadgets than someone who prefers to stay close to home.
- Stroller – This is a need, in most cases. Take a look at your lifestyle and decide what kind of (or if a) stroller is right for you. There are hundreds of strollers out there, so there’s truly something for everyone’s needs and aesthetics. You may want a travel system, something with a bassinet, a jogging stroller, or just an inexpensive umbrella stroller… or maybe multiple strollers. My suggestion is to physically go to a store and try out the strollers you’re considering. Don’t pick a stroller just based on looks or brand. Fold and unfold it by yourself, clip and unclip the car seat (if its a travel system), push it around the store. Look at the basket’s storage capacity and accessibility and if it has an organizer and cup holder, of it that’s something extra to register for. If you have a smaller vehicle, you may want to measure your folded stroller and make sure it’ll fit in your trunk space.
- Car seat – This is another need, in almost all cases. It’s important to remember that all car seats must meet federal safety standards, so you don’t have to spend more to keep your baby safe. It is important to always buy a car seat new – you don’t want to take a stranger’s word for it that their seat hasn’t been in an accident. You may want an infant bucket seat, where you can remove the seat from its base and carry baby in the seat or transfer them to a base in another vehicle. Studies have shown that it’s not safe for baby to sleep in their infant seat, outside of the car, because of positional asphyxiation, so don’t get an infant seat with plans to let them sleep in it for any reason. Eventually, you’ll need to get a convertible car seat for when baby outgrows their bucket seat. You can opt to just start with a convertible car seat, as they’re designed to grow with baby from infancy through childhood.
- Car accessories – These are all wants, some more handy than others. I’m always amazed by how many gadgets they’ve created for cars! We opted to get seat protectors, to protect my leather seats from wear and tear. We also got sun shades for my back windows, to keep the sun out of the girls’ eyes and keep the back seat slightly cooler in our unrelenting summers. I highly recommend getting a mirror, so you can keep an eye on baby while driving.
- Car seat accessories – These are not wants or needs. I repeat, these are neither wants nor needs. There are tons of aftermarket car seat accessories out there and none of them are safe. I repeat, they are not safe. As a new mom, I was shocked to learn that all of these accessories are available for sale, both online and in stores, yet are totally unregulated and considered unsafe. Yes, it’s tempting to get those gorgeous minky car seat covers with names embroidered, fuzzy strap covers, and patterned head supports. Until you watch a video of how quickly those things go up in flames. Car seats are safety tested as a complete package and made to be fire resistant. When you add anything between baby and their seat or onto their seat, you’re affecting their safety. Just don’t do it. Again, safety trumps style in my world. Don’t risk your baby’s safety for a fashion statement. Just don’t do it.
- Baby carrier – This is a want, bordering on a need. Personally, I can’t imagine getting through infancy with either of my girls without my carriers. Just think about a simple trip to the grocery store and you’ll see why! There are a ton of styles out there (soft structured carriers, ring slings, and wraps being the most popular) at a variety of price points (from $20 all the way up to the hundreds). If you aren’t sure which style will work best for you, look for a local babywearing group. Many of these groups have lending libraries and meetings where you can get hands-on experience with carriers before buying your own.
- Cart/high chair cover – This is a want, but also… shopping carts and restaurant high chairs are basically crawling with germs. Unless you’re keeping a major supply of disinfectants with you, you might find it nice to add a barrier between your baby’s mouth and the shopping cart handle. Just saying.
- Diaper bag – This is a need, to some extent. You certainly don’t need an official diaper bag, but you will need some kind of bag that’s large enough to carry the essentials with you. I’ve gone through a lot of diaper bags over the last few years and suggest you find a style that’s comfortable for your body (messenger, tote, shoulder, etc), fits in your stroller well, and has lots of organization potential. Like your stroller, I suggest that you try these out in person and imagine moving around with a baby in your arms. You may already have a bag at home that’ll work best!
Hygiene & Health
This is another area where the marketing teams have gone wild! There are a million products out there that all essentially do the same things, so it comes down to practicality for you.
- Bath tub – This is a need, but you can choose to what extent. We ran the gambit here, starting with a foam insert for bathing them in the kitchen sink as newborns to a more traditional baby bathtub when they got a little older. You can also just get a bath seat to set in your full tub. Technically, you could even go without and just get in the tub with them, but I prefer to shower by myself and not get wet unnecessarily!
- Towels & washcloths – This is another want. You can totally just use your own towels and washcloths for baby, but you miss out on the cute factor! If you do register for baby towels and washcloths, plan on 4 towels and 8 washcloths, depending on how often you plan to bathe baby and do laundry.
- Other bath accessories – You’ll need baby soap and shampoo, using your own preference of brand. Somewants you may consider are: a bath kneeler (to save mom or dad’s knees while bent over the tub), faucet cover (added safety), a bath alarm (to let you know if water is too hot, although a sensitive area on your own body is just as good), and water toys (not necessary until later though).
- Baby hygiene kit – This is a need, although you can choose how. You can buy these kits or the items individually, but what you’ll need is this: baby nail clippers/scissors, bulb syringe or nasal aspirator, medicine dropper, and soft hairbrush or comb.
- Thermometer – This is another need. You can choose what type of thermometer will work best for you, but I suggest trying it out on yourself for accuracy before relying on it. We had a very expensive forehead thermometer that never gave us an accurate reading!
- Medicines – This is another need, although hopefully you won’t truly need them. We like to keep Tylenol, Benadryl, and saline drops on hand. Be careful getting these things too early though, as the medicine will expire! Be wary of homeopathic and natural types of baby remedies that aren’t federally regulated and always consult your pediatrician first. I remember panicking about the belladonna recall for teething tablets when Ruby was a baby.
- For the adults around baby – Lots of hand sanitizer, antibacterial soap, and tissues!
Other Baby Gear
Here’s the catch-all of random baby gear.
- Swing – This is a want. If your baby loves it, you may feel like it’s become a need though! Ruby loved hers, while Lucy could care less. It can be a great tool to keep infants soothed while you get things done, but remember that it’s not a safe sleep option.
- Vibrating chair/bouncer – this is a want too, much like the swing. If I had to choose between this or a swing, I’d choose this. They’re so easy to move around the house with you. It’s the only way I showered or did dishes when my girls were infants!
- Walker/exersaucer – This is a want. Your little one won’t be ready for it for a few months, but it can be great down the road, when you need to contain little crawlers while trying to get things done. Remember that baby’s time should be limited and they should never be left in a walker unsupervised!
- Bumbo – This is just a want. Some people swear by them, some hardly ever use them, and still others swear them off for safety concerns. You be the judge. If you decide to get one, just please remember that it is meant for the floor, not raised surfaces!
- Tummy/play mat – This is a need, in my opinion, although it could be replaced by a blanket. These mats come in all different shapes, themes, styles, and sizes, so find one that fits your style. Both of my girls weren’t big fans of tummy time, so these mats were real sanity savers.
- Play yard (Pack ‘N Play) – This is a want. If you travel a lot or spend a lot of time at relatives’ houses, this could be more of a need. They can double as bassinets, changing tables, and safe sleeping areas in a pinch. We had one that we liked to use outside, so that the girls could get fresh air without getting into trouble while we did yard work.
- Clothing – This is a need, but really think about what you’re registering for. Register for things you’ll get a lot of use out of. Consider how often you plan to do laundry, remembering that you’ll probably go through 2 changes of clothing each day, plus jammies (see: bibs and how babies are gross).
- Socks, booties, and shoes – Mostly needs. I’m pretty sure Louisiana could solve our coastal erosion problem with the amount of socks my kids have lost. You’ll probably want 8-10 pairs on hand, so maybe register for 20. You think I’m joking. Infants obviously don’t need shoes, but gosh they’re cute!
- Mittens – This is a want. Not the snow kind, but rather the “don’t claw your own eyes out” kind. Neither of my girls tolerated or used them, but you might want a pair or two on hand (pun not intended, but now staying).
- Hangers – Another want. You’ll probably be able to accrue enough with clothing purchases to not need them, but I opted to buy matching hangers to keep their closets looking tidy. It wasn’t an expensive splurge and my eyes thank me.
- Blankets and swaddles – This is another need, although you should determine the quantities and thickness based on your climate. My girls largely preferred the muslin swaddle blankets to all other styles (and we now have a huge collection), but also made good use of some of the thicker and cozier blankets in the winter. We rarely used the flannel receiving blankets, so I ended up cutting them up to use as washcloths and reusable wipes!
Start your registry!
You’ve contemplated, you’ve assessed, now it’s time to actually register. By now, you probably know which stores or sites you’re leaning towards.
We chose to go with two registries, at Target and Amazon. Our Target registry was made up of things that were found “in stores”, while our Amazon registry was obviously all online. One of the great things about having a registry at a physical store is that you can not only add items as you physically see them, but also that it usually pretty much gives you a hall pass for returns without receipts. Conversely, one of the biggest pluses for making a baby registry on Amazon (or another online site like Babylist) is the universal registry feature. I liked that most of our items were Prime (which most people have), but that we also had the option of adding a few items from local boutiques and other websites like Etsy shops too.
When you start building your registry, you may want to set it to “private” while you work. I was really surprised how quickly people jumped on our registry, some making purchases before we even had a shower scheduled! I’m still not even sure how they found it.
As you go, review your list of needs and wants. Some registries will have a feature where you can set “priorities”, which is a nice way to easily share the most important things. I tried to focus on the things we needed first and then fill in the wants.
If you’ve decided to have two registries, I suggest adding all of your stuff to one list first. We opted to add everything to Amazon, since they had a wider selection. Once we were happy with our registry, we moved things over to Target and deleted them from Amazon.
If you come across two similar items, add them both! You’re still in the creative process and hopefully set to private, so give yourself time to think and compare. Add now, ask questions later! Seriously, add, add, and then add some more.
Once you think you’ve added everything you could possibly ever want and need, step back and take a hard look at your list(s). Do you really have everything? Did you add 50 pairs of cute socks, but forgot to add bottles? Or maybe a theme has organically developed and you want to swap some items to match?
After you’re feeling pretty good about your list, send it to committee. Ask that baby whisperer you talked to earlier to look over your registry and make suggestions. They can give you first hand experience to take under advisement and make adjustments (or ignore!) as you see fit.
…and you’re done!
Make your list public and send it to whatever friend or family member is hosting your shower, so they can pass it along. Take care of yourself and get ready for a bunch of cute baby things to head your way!