Expecting a baby can be such a fun yet overwhelming time! Not only do you have to prepare your home and try your best to get your head wrapped around this big change but you’ll need all the baby stuff too! This post serves as a guide on how to go about working on the baby registry so you don’t get too overwhelmed as first time parents.
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If you came to this post hoping to seek advice on a particular model or brand I prefer for the top baby registry items, you’ll want to check out my Top Ten Favorite Baby Items for Newborn To Four Months, and follow through the loop that continues up to 4 years old!
- DO ask for baby registry advice from other moms. I sent out a mass email to all my mommy friends and asked for advice. I then took a look at what everyone was telling me and still did some research afterwards. If several moms (who’s opinions/parenting styles I respect) said the same thing, chances are it was probably true.
- DON’T work on your baby registry without seeking advice. See my point above. You may think you don’t want any advice but it’s better to hear what they say is good or bad about an item and then form your own opinion afterwards. And make sure to read reviews on safety products that matter, like carseats or strollers. Just because something is more expensive or a newer model doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a better item for your family.
- DO put products with a large range of prices on your baby registry. Everyone has a different budget when it comes to baby showers. Some people like to shop for lots of smaller items, some go for the single big ticket pieces and others chip it together to get something of high value. You’ll be blessed if anyone were to buy you anything and if you don’t get everything you need, at least you’ll have the fulfillment coupon you get after baby comes that you can use towards the purchase of your missing items. Bonus: If you didn’t get something you wanted/needed, you already did the research to know which model or items you want and you won’t have to do that all sleep deprived post baby!
- DO consider what items you want in multiples. We added two car seat bases as Brielle’s car seat could easily snap into either base depending on what car we used. I’d also recommend adding multiples on items which can be dirty easily, like sleepsacks, pacifiers and changing pad covers.
- DO register in store. I registered at Babies R Us (RIP) and Buy Buy Baby, both of which gave a little goodie bag with product samples, coupons, mail in offers and checklists that were helpful in the planning process. My suggestion is to go in store to register, but don’t try to do all your registering right there in the store. You can complete the rest of it at home, but physically seeing things like the car seat or stroller are a big help. The whole experience in store can be overwhelming!
- DON’T register alone! Bring your mom, your partner, your best friend or a btdt (been-there-done-that experienced mom) when you go to register. Mom-to-bes are notorious for having an issue making a decision so another person may help you make that choice.
- DO research only a few topics at a time. There are so many decisions to be made on large items like car seats, strollers, cribs and bottle brands and smaller items like humidifiers, lotions and diaper bags. It can be too overwhelming if you jump around and try to do it all at once. Focus on just one or two types of product, research, decide then move onto the next one.
- DO research car seats and strollers at home and come back to test. Derek and I went to look over the car seat I picked out in the store and for a few minutes couldn’t figure out how to get it out of the base! A helpful employee came out and taught us first time parents how they work and what other features it included. I personally wouldn’t rely on the employees in the store knowing the best in safety features for every product they carry, but they should be knowledgeable on how something collapses and attaches together. Bonus: I believe you can also test these items in your own car when visiting the store.
- DO research which breast pump is covered by your insurance. My insurance allowed for the purchase of a breast pump so I didn’t register for that item. But I did make sure to add the accessory pieces, including extra bottles for pumping, different sized flanges and more tubing. Tip: many working moms get a whole extra set of flanges so lessen the time spent cleaning at the work place and allow to be more efficient.
- DON’T forget to add accessories for mom! This piggybacks off the last point but don’t forget about nursing bras, nursing tops, nipple cream, nursing covers and other accessories that may help mom in the aide of breastfeeding. For more information on breastfeeding items I recommend, check out this post which includes my frozen milk storage system.
- DON’T register for stuffed animals, clothing, diapers, or toys. Ok you can add a few basics on the registry but people love to pick these out, especially as baby gifts after he/she arrives. Don’t waste spots on these items, even if you think they’re cute.
- DON’T forget about baby’s room! You might want accessory items like hampers, wall art, lamps or organizers for baby’s nursery. Don’t be afraid to add them on here! Plus people love to buy items, like a basket, to add little things inside so giving them this option up front is genius! When you’re ready to start setting up the nursery, make sure to check out this post on some tips to setting it up so you won’t have to redo some things like we did!
- DO think past the first few baby months. We put the convertible car seat on our registry even though Brielle didn’t use it for almost a year. We figured that either a) some people might want to pitch in to get a higher priced item (which was true) or b) I’d already have it on the registry as my researched item that we could then purchase later with the coupon they give you after baby comes. That first year flies so people love to help out to support you the first year! Check out my Favorite Products for 5 months – a year here!
- DO register for baby safety items. Your not yet born baby will be mobile before you know it, so start researching baby proofing items you’ll need for your home so you can install some sooner than later. Read this post for product recommendations we used in ours.
- DO add a few books or suggest books as cards for your shower hosts. I didn’t suggest this to my baby shower hosts, as they thought of it on their own, but I loved that my baby had a decent library once she arrived. Check out this post with over 20 bedtime book suggestions you can add!
- Most importantly: after the shower, or after the baby, DO make notes on the gift receipts themselves as which product was given. Babies R Us, for example, does NOT have the products listed on the gift receipt but just a bar code. A stack of gift receipts will get you no where if you didn’t make notes on the paper upon receiving it!
Ok now if you’re looking for specific product recommendations of things I loved (for both my first and now my second daughter) start here for products for newborns to 4 months and continue the loop at the end of each post that moves up to age 4!
Still looking for more advice? Check out my most popular post ever: First Time Mom: Dos and Don’ts.