Creating a registry for your first baby is a lot of fun - and pretty overwhelming. A lot of people either end up registering for way too much stuff or not enough - so we're here to give you some tips to help find a good balance. | This post contains affiliate links |
Bring a Recently New Mom With You
If possible, bring a relative or friend who's had a baby within the last two years - but someone who won't be overbearing and force all their choices on you. This mom's insights will be invaluable as you navigate the overwhelming selection of Babies 'R Us. Show her the products that catch your eye and get her honest feedback on them - she'll think of things you haven't thought of (how hard something would be to clean, how often you'll actually use it, how quickly baby will outgrow it, etc). She'll also help you think of items you maybe hadn't thought of (like a carseat mirror, a mattress cover for your own bed, etc).
Less is More
As tempting as it is, don't put every single cute thing you see on your registry. Make sure to only put what you *really* need (plus a few fun things too of course). The reasoning is, there's a good chance family and friends will just buy a lot of the fun stuff on your list and overlook some of the most important items, leaving you to purchase the necessities.
Wide Variety of Price Points
Not everyone can afford shopping at Pottery Barn, or will be able to afford to buy you the $500 crib or $200 car seat. Yes, many baby essentials are expensive - but make sure you have items that everyone can afford on your list too. Think bottles, sheets, teethers, wipes, etc.
Think Beyond Newborn
Don't just register for newborn items - make sure to think ahead to what your baby may need their whole first year. Eventually they'll need a high chair, feeding items, a push toy, etc. Make sure to think beyond the first three months and include some items for when they get a bit older.
Choose Products to Grow with Baby
If possible, choose items that do double duty and will grow with your baby. Carseats are a big one: you have the option of choosing an infant carseat (one with a handle that detaches from the carseat base) and then buying a toddler or convertible carseat later that year when baby outgrows it. -OR- you can choose a convertible carseat from the get-go, one that's good from around 4-70 pounds, so you just buy one carseat and you're good for the next six years or whenever it expires (yes, carseats do expire). Other items that you can choose to grow with your baby are convertible pack-and-plays, high chairs/boosters, and carriers.
Don't Register for Baby Clothes
Other than some necessities (side snap onesies for newborns, sleep sacks, etc), don't register for clothes. Why, you ask? The most practical reason is that clothing availability changes so often (sometimes a few times within a season) - so when you add a cute outfit to your registry today, there's a good chance it will be unavailable in a month or so. Another reason is that shopping for baby clothes is so special and enjoyable for your family and friends, you don't want to deprive them of that. And yes, you probably will end up with some outfits that aren't in your taste, but if it makes Great Aunt Madge happy it's worth it.
Start a College Fund
Politely let your family and friends know that contributions to your baby's savings account are welcome. It's important to start saving early and even if it's small, it's worth putting money away little bit, by little bit.
Something for You Too!
Don't forget Mama too! Ask for something practical that you need or that will help make things a bit easier. Maybe a gift card to a maternity shop so you can invest in some great nursing bras or nursing-friendly clothes. Or maybe a one-month subscription to a meal delivery service, because every new parent knows how rough that first month can be (and the last thing you want to do is drag your sleep-deprived self and a newborn to the grocery store).
I hope I gave you some helpful tips on planning your baby registry! If you're looking for some ideas on specific items to get, be sure to check out our Top Baby Must-Haves post.