The Perfect Baby Registry
Some women may not put much thought into a baby registry while for others, it’s one of the biggest parts of preparing that little cutie! I was very intentional with my baby registry because I wanted to make sure I got the things that I needed for my new baby and I wanted to make sure it was all things that I and the baby would like and would work for us. I would say my baby registry was a success because when baby AJ arrived, there was literally nothing to purchase at last minute and we were able to enjoy our first days with our little one. This was my goal. I did not want to be left without something and have a screaming newborn and trying to find a particular item to calm him because I didn’t think of it before! Before deciding on which specific items to add to your registry consider the following first:
1. What brands are you familiar with and may have a preference for?
This is a first step in planning your baby registry. Know the brands. I worked at a daycare for some years, so when baby AJ was on his way, I already had an idea of what brands I wanted to use. I already saw what worked, what didn’t, and what worked the way that I liked or would work for me. I like brands like Pampers and Avent and Desitin. There are other brands for diapers and bottles and diaper rash cream, but I like these because of how I’ve seen them work compared to others. Other brands may work for best for someone else, but I know that for me and what I want, these are the brands I like and wanted to use for my new baby. I used this plan my registry. I stuck with the brands I liked. For example, if I liked Pampers diapers, I didn’t add Huggies to my registry. I added different sizes of that same brand of diapers. I did the same thing with bottles and other items.
2. What is your style?
Consider your style when choosing items. Do you like things to look a certain way or does it all not matter to you? For me, I didn’t care at first. I just wanted to make sure I had what I needed, forget how it looks! Well, when certain things, like a nursery set, comes together, you tend to want to keep that same flow! Brainstorm how you want the nursery to look. Think about which style strollers you like best, things like that. What colors do you want? Keeping all of this in mind will make it easier to find the things you want to add to your registry quickly instead of being stuck trying to decide or adding too many items of the same thing.
3. Where do you like to shop?
Set up registries where you would shop for your baby. Walk around the store and take note of the things you see that you would like to buy for your baby. These are the things you can easily add to your registry because you already know you want them, plus you’ll get the things you know you will love and can use. Some stores, like Buy Buy Baby will let you set up a registry in the store and give you a scanner to walk around the store and scan in the items you see and want. I love this! Think of it as shopping for yourself (for your baby) and make a list for others to get it for you instead. Plus, almost every store has gift cards if your givers do not want to purchase certain things. Gift cards add up and contribute a lot!
4. Know the details…not just how cute something is.
This was the BIGGEST lesson I learned when I was expecting AJ. I couldn’t decide on what carseat I wanted to get, whether to get an infanct carseat or a convertible carseat. Then, which brands? My husband and I took a visit to Buy Buy Baby one day while waiting for a doctor’s appointment and ended up getting tutorial session on carseats. I had no idea that all of the different features had really good purposes. I was more so just looking at the different styles and colors, but when looking for baby equipment that will protect your baby, you have to look at MORE than just that. There’s weight to consider, crash tests results, material to keep baby from sweating (and they SWEAT in carseats), and other things like side-impact protection to consider. Learn the details of different equipment in order to decide what would be best for you. Some things you can’t decide on just style and colors. Safety needs to be considered also.
5. What are some things you already know you want?
Before you even begin setting up your registry, there are things you know that you already know you want. For me, it was books, a nursing pillow, and some teething keys! These aren’t the essentials, but I knew I wanted these things because I wanted to do lots of reading, nurse my baby, and I know that kids and babies LOVE keys! These things are very easy to add to the registry because you already know what you want and you can just search and add! I would suggest that you start your registry with the things you already know you want to get those out of the way.
6. Sign up for FREE samples!
Yes! Sign up for free samples because this will cover some things on the registry! Walmart has a box they deliver to your front door at each stage of your pregnancy and each stage of your baby’s growth. The boxes include things like bottles, pacifiers, nursing pads, and creams. They are also filled with coupons! Also, many stores like Walmart, Target, Babies R Us, and Buy Buy Baby give you free samples also when you start a registry there in the store. I didn’t think that different brands of pacifiers mattered much, but when AJ was born, he preferred the MAM brand pacifiers over the others. He would spit the others out. All of the pacifiers I had were from sample boxes, so it was nice to have different types of samples to give the baby a chance to use what he likes best. Plus, they’re FREE!! Why not get as many as you can!
7. What are you good at?
By this, I mean things like swaddling and diaper changes. If you are super good at changing diapers and can change diapers with the baby upside down, then a changing table may not be a must. I was willing to change diapers on the floor with a blanket! But I received a changing table as part of a set as a wonderful gift and I love it! Another thing to consider is swaddling. If you are not good at swaddling, then the ready-made swaddles would be best for you to add to your registry instead of just blankets alone to wrap your own swaddles. If you are good at swaddling, then blankets alone may suffice. I’ve never tried the swaddlers, but they look pretty handy! Keep in mind what you can handle on own or what products do you need to have to help you out.
8. What is a deal breaker for you or what can you do without?
For this one, consider the ideas given in the step above. What products are deal breakers meaning you ABSOLUTELY, DEFINITELY NEED to have and what are to the products you can do without. Go for the must-need products FIRST, then go back and add the things you would like to have, but you could do without. These would be the “nice-to-have” items like the cutsie stuff.
9. Make a checklist.
The perfect checklist helped me out. This helps with making sure you don’t forget or overlook something. Most store registries will have a checklist a part of the online registry so that you can choose items by category and start with the necessities. I have a list below of things to make sure you have on your registry and to make sure you have by the time baby is born.
10. Think ahead. When will baby be born? When will baby be 3 months? Etc.
When choosing things like outfits and diapers, keep in mind the growth of your baby. Babies grow quickly and those newborn diapers won’t last forever. Don’t just add those newborn diapers to the list. Be sure to add those size 1, 2, and 3 diapers to the registry. Also, do the same with clothes. The newborn outfits are okay, but be sure to add sizes 0-3 months, 3-6 months, and 6-9 months just to buy you some time. Make sure the clothing is appropriate for the weather of the time when the baby will be able to fit those clothes. For example, AJ was born in February so when it gets cold he will be around 10-12 months so his winter clothes need to be size 12 months. If your baby will be born in July, newborn jackets will not be a good idea. Hopefully your gift givers will keep this in mind also!
11. Don’t just click anything. Be intentional. Add items for specific purposes.
As I mentioned before in number 4, don’t just add anything because it’s cute. Think about the purpose each item will have. What will you need to wrap baby in? What diapers will you need? What will you need to clean baby? What will you use to feed baby? What will baby wear? What will baby sleep in? These are questions you need to answer in order to pick and add things that will serve a needed purpose for you and your new baby. If you decide exactly what you want for each need, your registry will provide buyers with exactly what to get and you won’t end up with things you don’t really need or won’t ever use. Everything you get will be put to use!
To help you out, here are some things to start out your checklist that helped me keep up with what all that was absolutely needed and to check off as I received new items. This way I continued to have an idea of how prepared we were for baby as time got closer for him to arrive. Click on the pdf below to download your FREE printable registry checklist!