Becoming a mom is one of the most joyful moments in a woman’s life. The whole experience is different, from the day you do your test to your first visit in the doctor and up to the time you start to see the bump on your belly.
Apart from taking care of your body and the little one inside you, there’s another important thing that you should start thinking about – your baby’s stuff!
It’s both fun and overwhelming process especially if you are a first-time mom. What types of clothing does a newborn need? What should you have in the nursery? How many bottles should you buy? What kinds of fabrics will give your baby the most comfort?
When it comes to baby stuff, there’s nothing like ‘too much’. As you start to identify the things you need, you will be surprised at how the list seems to be endless.
That’s why you need a baby registry
Similar to a wedding registry, it refers to a list of baby items you would like to have once your baby arrives. You register this list to a store of your choice in advance. This does not only make baby gear shopping easier for you, but also for your friends and relatives. They can conveniently purchase items off this registry as their gifts to welcome your baby.
The best thing about creating a baby registry is that it eliminates the possibility of duplicates. Sure, there’s nothing wrong with receiving 20 pairs of baby outfits of the same color or a dozen of blankets. But wouldn’t it be better if you can get at least one or two of all the baby items you will need? And wouldn’t it be much better if you receive the baby products with a specific type, style, color and brand you prefer?
After registering your list to the store, the manager ensures that there aren’t duplicate purchases and that everyone with access to the registry can access a list or purchases for sending ‘thank you’ notes.
When should you register for a baby?
You can start registering for a baby at any time you wish but most moms do it at around their 12th week of pregnancy. It may still seem a little early but once you start creating the list, you will realize the whole process can take a lot of work. The struggle is real when you are a first-time mom. Of course, who would expect you know everything about baby care and the things you will need? You probably just knew a few items – baby bottles, crib, mattress, clothes and that’s all. But wait until you actually do a research. From pillows to toys, pacifiers, strollers, thermometers, diapers, wipes and so on – it can be challenging to create a registry without missing out on something important. Add the fact that there are numerous brands and models of baby items out there and you need to specify the products you want. There are several factors to consider too, including your budget.
It’s better if you can start making your list by the time you find out your baby’s gender so you can streamline your search. If you decide to get your prenatal ultrasound on your first trimester to find out if it’s a boy or a girl, that would be around 12 weeks. However, if you hold it off until your mid-pregnancy ultrasound, it could be closer to week 20. It’s up to you if you’d like to add gender-specific baby items in your list or not. If you prefer to have a theme for your baby’s stuff (say all blue or all Disney-inspired), you will need to make sure that you already found out the gender of your baby.
Again, don’t wait too much longer until you complete your baby registry. You want to give yourself time to put up the list before sending out the baby shower invitations.
Where do you register for a baby?
Once you have made a rough list of the baby items you need, the next thing you need to do is decide where to register. When looking for the perfect store, there are a few things you need to consider.
- Does the store allow shoppers to buy from your registry online? Not only is it convenient, but it also allows friends and relatives from afar to send their gifts to your baby.
- Will the store ship and assemble big items such as the crib? If yes, will there be a charge?
- What is the return policy? After you give birth, you won’t be buzzing around town until after several weeks so look for the store that gives a longer product return period, at least 30 days.
- Can you update the registry online?
- Is the store accessible to the people in your area and to your out-of-state friends and relatives? If it isn’t possible to find a store that is accessible to everyone in your baby shower guest list, consider registering in two separate locations. You also have an option to set up an online universal registry which pipes in your list from several different stores and locations.
Below are the most popular stores in the US where you can register for your baby:
Babies R Us – a one-stop shop for all your baby’s essentials. They have everything from clothing to health items, furniture, toys, and so much more. They offer 10% back on purchases made by registrants.
Pottery Barn Kids – if you prefer personalized stuff, you should check out this baby store. They offer unique products as well as organic collections and offer 10% discount too.
Amazon – the best thing about Amazon store is that anyone from across the globe can purchase their gifts and send it right to your doorstep. Amazon also offers great discounts.
Target – great store for parents looking for fun, colorful clothing and nursery accents. Their baby registry has a universal feature wherein you can add items from other retailers. They also offer 15% discount on any remaining registry essentials.
The Land of Nod – great store for specialty items. They also offer free nursery design services. Once all the items in your wish list have been purchased, they will give you10% discount.
Baby Registry Checklist for the First Child
Now that you have a pretty good idea of what a baby registry is and where to sign up, it’s time to make your homework much easier. You need not stress yourself out researching for the things you need once your little one arrives. You can get started with the following checklist:
- Crib & mattress
- Changing table or pad
- Glider or rocker
- Infant car seat
- Baby carrier
- Portable crib or play yard
- Diaper rash cream
- Diaper bag
- Diaper pail & liners
- Breast pump and pumping accessories
- Bottle brushes
- Burp cloths (6 to 12)
- Bottle-drying rack
- Dishwasher basket for bottle parts
- Bottle warmer
- Nursing/feeding pillow
- Breastfeeding accessories
- Sleepers/pajamas (at least 5)
- One-piece outfits (at least 5)
- Shirts (at least 5)
- Leggings or pull-on pants (at least 5)
- Socks & booties
- Hats (2)
- Outer layers (at least 5)
- Mittens & snowsuit
- Wearable blankets (2-3)
- Swaddling blankets (at least3)
- White-noise machine
- Crib sheets
- Waterproof mattress pad
Health & Safety
- Baby first aid kit
- Digital thermometer
- Nail clippers
- Baby nail scissors or clippers
- Soft-bristled baby brush
- Baby monitor
Baby Registry Checklist for the Second Child
If the registry is for your second or third child, you need not add a lot of items especially if you were able to save stuff from your first baby. Just make sure that such items are still in good condition and meet the current safety standards set by the Consumer Product Safety Commission.
- Car seat (since it expires)
- Baby carrier
- Clothes (at least five)
- Cloth diapers
- Feeding bottles
- Baby monitor
- Disposable supplies (wipes, bath supplies, pacifiers, diapers, etc.)
What items can you skip at this stage?
There are a lot of important items that should be included in your baby registry. You may be tempted to list down all that relates to baby care. However, you should know that there are some things you can skip:
- Crib bumpers – the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) discourages the use of crib bumpers because they pose a risk of suffocation, entrapment and strangulation.
- Wipe warmers
- Baby shoes – infants won’t need them just yet.
Shopping for baby items is no doubt fun but it can be overwhelming too. The list seems endless and you should know which ones to prioritize and prepare for the arrival of your sweet precious little one. Setting up a baby register makes the entire process easier and ensures that there won’t be duplicates in the items you, your friends and relatives will buy. It is important to create your baby registry at the soonest time possible to give yourself time to put up the list and send them out to your family and friends. Remember to take into account the different factors mentioned in this post when choosing a store to register.