Expecting? Start your baby registry. Dos and don’ts.

Congratulations! You’re pregnant. Now what? You have the next nine months to get ready for the arrival of your bundle of joy, but it’s probably best not to procrastinate until the last minute.
Creating a baby registry is one of the first things you’ll need to do. A registry is a great way for you to keep track of what you or your friends and family still need to buy and to keep track of which brands are the best.
Here’s a foolproof way to create a registry that will help you prepare for your baby’s first year and keep all your loved ones in the loop.

Check out this page to get my one-page registry checklist. Just the essentials, none of the fluff! You can also click on each category to see my buying guides and reviews.

When creating your baby registry, do…

  • Include a range of products in your registry. While it would be nice if other people bought all the big ticket items on your list like strollers and cribs, it could create awkwardness and tension for people with a smaller budget. In addition to expensive items, include smaller things such as teething rings, blankets, burp cloths, or sippy cups.
  • Create your registry with a large store such as Amazon. Not only will this make it easier for your loved ones to shop for you, but lots of stores will also give you perks such as a goodie bag or coupons for signing up. Amazon prime members can get goodies just for creating a baby registry. The gift items change constantly, so check out this list for the most current offers.
  • Create both an online and printed version of your registry. An online version is easy to share with friends and family, but some people (like grandma!) would prefer an offline version.
  • Research thoroughly item by item. Creating the perfect baby registry is a months long project. Dig through reviews of each item to find the best model that fits your needs. Resist the urge to get the most expensive or hyped up brand.
  • Keep quantities in mind when you create your list. You’ll only need one of some things–like strollers–but other items–like pacifiers and bottles and breast milk storage bags–should be bought in multiples.
  • Go in-store to check out bigger and more complicated items like car seats and strollers. You will need to try the items hands on to see if they fit with your car, if they’re easy to use, and if they fit with your lifestyle. I would still recommend buying these items online after making your decision to get the best deal and to avoid the in-store markup!
  • Research breast pumps. Even though insurance companies are required to cover a breast pump, the models/brands they choose are often uncomfortable to use and unreliable. Know which brands you’ll get through the insurance company and if it’s not a good pump, be prepared to buy one yourself. You can keep the one from the insurance company as a spare and use the breast pump that you prefer as your regular pump. When you choose a breast pump, be sure to include accessories such as extra tubing, different size breast shields, storage bottles, and cooler bags.
  • Remember that mom and baby will need items. People often forget about important things that new mothers will need such as a comfortable rocking chair, nursing bras, nursing tops, teas and supplements to encourage milk flow, and nipple cream.

On the other hand, try not to do these things. Don’t…

  • Include lots of diapers (disposable or cloth) in your registry list. While it may be tempting to have all these consumables in stock, this is one of the things that you’ll really need to try once your baby’s arrived to find the right fit. However, if you have several brands of cloth diapers in mind, it is okay to ask for one of each so you can compare the brands. Though I would wait until you find the right brand and size to buy in bulk.
  • Just limit your list to items your baby will need during the first couple of months. You should include things like board books, items for the nursery, childproofing supplies, convertible car seats, high chairs, and toddler clothes.
  • Forget to make notes on your gift receipts. Make a note of who the gift was from and which items the receipt is for. Amazon does a great job of listing all the order details on the receipt, but some stores only include a bar code or receipt number. You’ll also be grateful that you have all this information on hand when you’re writing out your thank you cards after the baby shower!
  • Stress out if your friends and family don’t buy everything on your list. Remember that your baby registry can also be a future shopping list for yourself.
  • List too many toys or onesies on your registry. These are the items that many people default to buying and you may find yourself with more onesies than your little one could ever wear before they outgrow them! Save the onesies and toys for when your baby arrives. By that time you’ll know which styles and which toys will be the best bet for you and your baby.

Most importantly remember to relax and have fun planning your future! Start your registry early so you don’t end up stressing about it at the last minute. Look around on pinterest, ask other moms, and read plenty of product reviews so you can curate the best registry for you and your baby.