There are a ton of guides out there telling you what you need on your baby registry. But the truth is that there is really no one size fits all answer! Everyone has their own approach to parenting. And everyone has their goals and then the reality of how they parent….which usually don’t look the same haha.
So. Before you start going down the rabbit hole of what you “should” be putting on your registry for that new baby, here are a few things to consider.
How much “stuff” do you want?
Are you an #allthethings type of person? Do you prefer to keep it pretty minimal?
There is no right or wrong answer, but knowing which way you are leaning will definitely impact your registry.
If you want it all, be sure to put it allllll on there. (For me it helps to think of my registry as a shopping list of what I want and need. So put everything you think you want on there so you can keep track of what you have and what you still want to get!)
If you want to keep it pretty minimal, don’t register for a bunch of odds and ends. Only register for the things you actually think you want and need. Some “registry guides” will tell you a minimum amount of things you should register for. I say register for the things you actually want without stressing over the number. It will be ok!
Where will baby sleep?
Whether you plan on using a crib from day one or starting out with a bassinet/pack n play/cosleeping situation, your baby will need a safe place to sleep.
With my first, he went straight into his crib from day one. We also had a Moses basket he occasionally napped in which was also convenient but not necessary. (See above about whether you want just one thing or lots of options!)
This time around, baby will be sharing a room with me before transitioning to her big brothers old crib so we are in the market for a bassinet instead.
What will baby eat?
Formula? Breastfeeding? Some combination? Fed is best, but having an idea of how you plan to feed your baby is important for your registry.
I’m not an expert on formula, but I’m going to assume you need more bottles.
If you plan on breastfeeding, you then have to consider whether you will be available to baby at all times or if you will need to pump.
Does your insurance cover a pump and supplies? Mine did so I didn’t need to register for a pump or milk storage bags.
Since I was not a stay at home mom with my first, we did need a few bottles for during the day while I was at work.
Disposable or cloth diapers?
If you are using disposable diapers, they are obviously a great thing to put on your registry. Keep in mind that different brands work best for different babies. There’s no one “right” diaper. I would recommend getting a variety to start with!
Cloth diapers are actually similar in that there is no one diaper brand/style that works best for every baby. But what you will actually need to register for is totally different.
Do you plan on having more kids?
If you are planning on having multiple children, it can make the most sense to go gender neutral on the big things. I admittedly had an easier time with this because our first is a boy. You can get all the white and grey things and not feel like you are missing out. Now that we are having a girl I want everything in pink with glitter and ruffles. (I’m a girly girl and not sorry about it lol.)
For us, this meant making sure big items, like our crib, would look/work just as well for a girl. It is also something to consider with things like car seats, strollers, and any infant carriers/baby wearing items you might register for.
How many (and what kind of) car seats do you want?
If you and your spouse will both be driving the baby around equally, you may want a car seat for each car. Do you want an infant seat or would you rather skip straight to a convertible car seat?
We had planned to skip straight to a convertible seat but my mother in law (wisely) gifted us an infant seat that we did get a lot of use out of. (More info on how to pick an infant seat here.) When our son was young we also didn’t have to swap the seat from car to car very often so just one seat worked well for a while. We got a convertible car seat when he was about three months old and used that in my car while we left he infant seat in my husband’s car.
Just like everything else, there is no right or wrong way to do it as long as you have a safe way for your baby to ride in the car! This is all about deciding what will work best for you.
Answer these questions and you are ready to start your baby registry!
Of course it is possible to go into the whole process without this checklist…it can just feel much more overwhelming! Having an idea of your parenting approach will, however, make the registry (and shopping) experience a lot more enjoyable.