Ask a group of moms about their baby registry must-haves and you’ll end up with completely different answers from each one. After going through the process myself, as well as helping many friends along the way, I thought I’d share a few of my baby registry do’s & don’ts. As always, these are not hard and fast rules — they are just some guidelines that I have found to be personally true and helpful for my nearest & dearest.
Baby Registry Do’s & Don’ts
1. DO register items at a variety of different price points.
Everyone has a different budget. Not all of your guests can afford to buy you the stroller or the car seat, so include a variety of items for them to choose from, especially under $50. The most purchased registry items are in the $10-15 range.
2. DON’T register for baby clothes.
Okay, you can include a few basics like these white onesies, but for the most part, people love shopping for baby clothes. It is one of the simple pleasures in life. Don’t take that away from your friends and family! It’s no fun to just go pay for the cute outfits you already picked. You will have PLENTY of time to pick out clothes for your child.
3. DO think about what you’ll need after the newborn phase.
People tend to focus on the cutesy items for the nursery or the basics they’ll need in those early days. Trust me, the first 6 months fly by in the blink of an eye. Before you know it, you’ll need the high chair and baby spoons, walking toys, etc. Not to mention child-proofing items and travel gear for the next stage. This is a great time to have your guests help you get set up.
4. DON’T register for baby shoes.
Babies don’t need shoes. They just don’t. Not to mention the fact that they grow out of clothes and shoes at an unbelievably fast rate, so it’s smarter to invest in socks and a few pairs of slippers, then you’ll be set. Pick up those cute baby shoes at the end of season sales, if you just have to complete the outfit, but don’t waste space on the registry for them.
5. DO think about wants vs. needs.
Baby showers are a time when friends and family want to feel like they are really helping you get set up for bringing a baby home. Babies need A LOT of stuff, but there’s also a lot out there that is totally unnecessary. Focus on the things you absolutely need right now.
6. DON’T register for books and toys.
Some people might balk at this at first, but hear me out. I suggest not registering for books or toys because these are items that people love to pick out themselves. There might be a favorite book in their family that they want you to have and think of them whenever you read it. Same with toys – let your friends and family help build your collection with tried and true favorites. They might pick something you would have never even thought of! Some of our family favorites include I Love You Stinkyface, Pajama Time, VTech Sit-to-Stand Learning Walker and Green Toys Shape Sorter.
7. DO think about your specific lifestyle and space requirements.
There isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer when it comes to baby gear. There are endless choices for every different item, so spend some time thinking about your specific needs. We decided to go with items that could grow with our children and family, whenever possible. That’s what led us to the stroller (it can become a double stroller with an added seat, and even accommodate a 3rd child with the piggyback board) and high chair we picked. But the same high chair might not work for families with limited space in an apartment. Take the time to consider the choices and their pros + cons, instead of listening to what other people tell you that you will need.
8. DON’T register for blankets (with the exception of lightweight swaddle blankets).
At my baby shower, I received 6 handmade blankets. Our family poured many, many hours into making these beautiful blankets for our child and I hold them very dear. They are way better than any fancy store-bought blanket. But you’ll get tons of those too, so save the registry requests for other must haves!
9. DO register for diapers and wipes.
You will underestimate how many diapers your adorable little poop machine will go through in those first few months. Everyone does. Don’t feel bad. Just stock up now.
10. DON’T stress over building the perfect registry.
The honest truth is that it’s sort of a crapshoot if your baby will even like what you’ve spent hours researching and carefully picking out. Some babies love being in a swing, some scream bloody murder the whole time. So don’t stress out about it now – just pick the items you think you might need and know the store’s return policy. And remember that no matter how ready you think you are, there are always a few surprises in those first weeks. Be prepared to make lots of runs to Target!