When it comes to creating a registry the choices are endless. Where do you start and where do you go? When do you start? What should you add? What should you keep away from?
Let me help you so you don’t make the mistakes that I made!
Where do you start and where do you go?
If you’re a first time mom it’s pretty fun hitting up great baby specific stores like Babies R Us and Buy Buy Baby, mostly because it’s almost guaranteed that they’ll have the items you are looking for but you also get personalized service and a swag bag with a lot of free and great samples. For first time moms that would benefit from the personalized concierge service – this is a great place to start.
If this is baby number 2 or 10 you might know exactly what you need or want so head on over to easy to use online registries such as Babylist or Amazon Baby Registry. Babylist is an extremely user friendly app that allows you to add items from anywhere you can think of. Even small shops from Etsy or specialty online shops.
- Shop Amazon – Create an Amazon Baby Registry
- Sign up with Babylist or get the App
When do you register?
Jumping the gun and registering in your first trimester can be tricky for several reasons. For the sake of being completely forthright, things may happen in the first trimester that are beyond your control and frequent reminders from a baby registry that you won’t be using can be extremely painful. Most parents won’t know the gender either so even if you want to be completely gender neutral and purchase everything in highlighter yellow – there are some things that you might find are more geared towards a specific sex like those fun little shields you put over tiny penises so you don’t drink projectile pee.
The best time to register is going to be between 25 and 30 weeks. A lot of milestones, including finding out the gender happen at 20 weeks so it gives you the chance to wrap your head around the sex, particularly if you were already preparing for a specific sex and need a minute to let it sink in. For parents that love shopping for tiny baby clothes, this will also give you the chance to select items according to season. Adding tiny sweatpants and sweaters to a baby registry for a baby born in June is not practical and guessing what size you need is also problematic, more on that later. Adding seasonal items closer to your due date will be easier as they’ll be available in the stores you choose to register from.
10 Baby Registry Must Haves
Most immediate family members will want to get together to get you some of the harder to afford baby items. Mostly the car seat, crib, etc. For every large or important baby item you add to your registry make sure you add 2-3 affordable ones. This list will alternate between 1 big need and 1 small need but they’re all pretty important and will need to be the first added to your registry. You’ll notice that I won’t be adding a crib or changing table because I feel those are a given despite the fact that Jack didn’t use his until he was 6 months old and we only used the changing table for about 4 months. Every family is different and since this registry is for the things you’ll absolutely need or that you’ll be relieved to have when you need them, I’ll be leaving that out.
- Number One – Car Seat – this is probably the most important thing you’ll need when having a baby because you can’t leave the hospital without one. It’s also important that you read up on reviews and there are a ton of blogs online that can help you find affordable and safe car seats. My top three picks from most affordable to most expensive but a must buy if you can:
- Number Two – Diapers and Wipes – We are a cloth diapering family but I recognize that this isn’t an option for a lot of families. That being said getting started on one of the most expensive parts of having and raising a healthy baby comes in the form of diapers and wipes. A lot of babies react differently to different types of diapers and wipes so you don’t want to go and add a lifetime supply of Huggies only to find out your child has a sensitivity to them. Instead, add a few boxes to your list as well as wipes and try them out before deciding on a brand that’s perfect for your nugget. This also gives your guest an easy last minute option to grab before your baby shower. Once you’ve decided on a brand you can go and get a great subscription and save up to 20% on diapers and wipes! Here are some great go to disposable diaper brands as well as wipes and just in case you want to try cloth diapering, I’ll include that as well!
- Number 3 – Stroller – Whether you are on your first child or third, a stroller is always needed. You may think that you’re going to baby wear and only baby wear, while that’s an awesome idea it’s not realistic and being able to take baby for a stroller ride while you walk by the lake or just while you shop is really nice when you are feeling over touched. Not to mention, if you’re a family that gets out a lot like us you’ll want it to carry the thousand things you’ll suddenly need to carry everywhere you go. 🙂 Keep in mind that you can purchase travel sets these days which include the carrier AND the stroller. Some really fancy strollers don’t have a carrier set so you need to buy adapters but it’s an easy fix. I’ll list one travel set, one that will need an adapter for your favorite carseat, and one stand alone that’s just a great stroller. The one with the adapter is the one we own and it’s a Mutsy Evo and it’s pretty amazing.
*Will need adapter – We’ll be using the MaxiCosi infant carrier and adapters.
*Great for Austin Festivals, outdoor activities, very durable, and just a great stroller.
- Number Four – Breastfeeding Essentials – if you aren’t going to nurse, change this out to bottle essentials and add a variety of bottles and nipples to your list because like diapers and wipes, baby might not like a lot of the options out there so it will be great to try several before you commit to an entire line. As for breastfeeding essentials , you are still required to receive a free breast pump from your insurance company. Check with your provider and usually they are extremely inconvenient and require that you call the day you give birth so they can ship it to you and it will arrive a billion years later. Pretty annoying but never fear because your hospital can often times rent a pump to you until you get one. Essentials consist of a nursing pillow, and you’ll be surprised to find that Boppy isn’t your best choice, nipple pads – yes add them to your registry, and a few other things. Here’s a list of my favorites and they’re all affordable and easy to purchase.
*These are great for newborns as you can just add the nipple and go and they are more realistic as to what you’ll pump in the beginning (most women) so you don’t feel like a failure when you pump 2 oz. into a 10 oz. bottle. You’ll feel like a champ filling these. 🙂
- Number 5 – Cozy Sleeper – While you may have purchased an amazing crib the odds of you using it at all for the first 6 months are slim for most parents unless you really commit to it from the get go which most of us are so sleep deprived we rather just have baby attached to a nipple in bed with us. That being said a safe and cozy place for baby to rest is essential, particularly one that you can easily move from room to room and that can work as a co-sleeper. The Graco Little Lounger below is what we used but DISCLAIMER: Baby should not sleep in it for long periods of time. It worked for us because he was waking frequently and I could check on him as he was right by my bed. I’ve read horror stories of parents leaving babies to sleep in their own rooms for 8 hours straight only to find that the unimaginable has happened. A baby left unattended in these is a super mega no. If they can sleep in their own room, unattended for several hours, use a crib with a breathable sheet and no blanket, toys, or pillows.
- Number 6 – Newborn Medicine Cabinet Essentials – I didn’t think I’d use half of these items but I definitely ended up needing them and it’s so much better if they are on hand so you don’t have to go rush out and buy them when you need them at 2am. Yes, this happened to us.
*this will be your game changer. If you think you can’t use this because the idea is so gross…trust me, you can and you will.
*While the forehead thermometer isn’t that accurate I guarantee that it’s still pretty good and you can avoid the rectal one if you need to because when baby has a high fever you’ll know and the threshold for a high temp in a baby is much higher than in an adult.
*This was a surprising help when trying to bring a fever down quickly and also when you unexpectedly return to life hailing the red moon and hoping you could get pregnant without being pregnant. hah.
- Number Seven – A Swing – So we tried this out with Jack and it was a major flop BUT for about 70% of babies this is a huge hit. I’ve also been told that if you didn’t use it for baby #1, you’ll definitely use it with baby #2. I’m going to list the one that every mom wants, buys, and that has great resale value.
- Number Eight – Mommy Essentials – These are the things that will undoubtedly help you cope with the sudden fact that you need to haul everything, including the kitchen sink, to all the fun baby events you’ll be checking out…or just to buy milk at the grocery store. This will have you covered from grocery shopping to sudden blow-outs and ruined outfits.
- Number Nine – Prenatal, Birth, and Postnatal Services – The actual cost of having a baby can really add up in our country and we assume as parents that everything we get at the shower should be exactly what we need. We often forget that getting family members to pitch in for services we might need before, during birth, and after birth will take the edge off of the $30,000 baby you would easily pay at least double for. Haha. Apps like babylist let you add these services and it’s easy just to add them to an invitation or tell your family you’d really like to get these services to help you and your family out when you’re in the thick of it and need it the most.
Revdoula is your go to for multiple services. You might not think you need a doula but they help take a lot of the guesswork out for mom during labor and when you’re at home and your support is an Obgyn appointment 6 weeks post partum. Stephanie also offers lactation services and offers great childbirth classes. She’s an amazing local mom that’s been featured on the Birth Hour and she’ll be the one to help you out. Click on photo for more information.
This round I’ll be getting my placenta encapsulated and it’s a procedure that takes a master. Colleen is that master and I highly recommend getting yours encapsulated. Think I’m crazy or you don’t know what I’m talking about? Check out our video on placenta encapsulation and be enlightened. Click on photo for more information.
Maternity and Newborn photographs are a rising trend. We all want those adorable newborn photos so we can remember how tiny they were their first few days. They change so much in one month that it’s easy to forget how small they were. Maternity photos are equally as important. It’s your time to show how amazing, magical, and simply put; fucking awesome your body is. You want to remember that not only did you grow an entire new organ but you grew a human and your child will appreciate this memory of you. Jennifer Najvar does an exceptional job of capturing both of these services for you. Not only that but she’s a prenatal and postnatal guru that has started a company called Austin Expecting just to help life be a little easier for parents that already have too many new decisions to make.
Balancing good nutrition after baby and meal planning is a huge challenge. Even before baby, if you have any nutritional limitations like I do with my gestational diabetes you find yourself burnt out and wanting a little help when you feel like you’ve been eating string cheese and steak for 4 months straight. This is where Misti from Balanced Foodies comes in and it’s a great idea to help your family get started and back on track with health and nutrition. One more thing you can take the guess work out of when your elbows deep in baby poop, sour milk, and unwashed hair.
- Number Ten – Remembering Dad and the Fun Stuff You Are Dying to Buy – poor dads always get the shaft when it comes to registries. As mothers the thought of making a giant list of super cute things we want and need for baby sounds like the best part of being pregnant. Remember to add dad to the mix because he’s your partner in all this and he’ll be doing a lot of the work too. ‘The Dad’ is so important to our household. He’s been putting Jack to bed since he was a year old, including shower, story, song, and bedtime cuddles. He was also my relief on the days I just couldn’t handle a tiny human and needed a few hours alone. On those days he had his own fun and cute stuff to take along with him to parks, story times, etc. It’s not necessary but they appreciate it. One of these might seem like a joke but you might be surprised to see how much dad uses it. As for the Fun Stuff – that’s going to be clothes. I list this as one of the least important because we had a 6 pound baby and the smallest size clothes we received at our shower was for a 3 month old. Jack only used about a 1/4 of his clothes, the rest seasoned out and he never got a chance to use. I’ll be adding basics that you’ll need in excess but wait to buy the fun stuff like tiny shoes and tiny jeans.
* Dad’s light up with their own diaper bag. I’m not joking either. Diaper dude is a favorite of ours and kind of fun for moms because most of them carry a list somewhere inside the bag that itemizes everything dad will need to take with him for baby…including the baby. Diaper Dude has a sense of humor.
*Tactical vest or baby carrier? You tell me.
*These were my favorite because they are so easy to toss over your shoulder and you don’t have to worry about folding a cloth diaper or tiny blanket. They’re also super soft and we used them over and over again.
So there you have it. This list took 3 days of work and research so that I wouldn’t be pawning off another generic baby registry list to a new mom. The beginning of motherhood is so challenging and we don’t have a lot of support if any. Taking out a lot of the guesswork and making it a little easier on you is why I created this blog to begin with.
** I have used affiliate links through this blog post. If you appreciate this post and decide to use this as your registry “go to” click through to an Amazon item. Any purchase you make after that from this blog will help me out by paying me a small percentage. I support local moms, dads, and their businesses and for them I work pro bono. 🙂