pregnant woman in a pink dresspregnant woman in a pink dress

What Is a Baby Registry? Do you need one?

By Babe

So you’re expecting — congratulations! Getting ready for your new baby is a lot of work, and you probably have a ton of things on your to-do list, like planning a baby shower.

One of the most important parts of the baby shower (and one of the best things you can do to get ready for parenthood) is creating a baby registry. Baby registries are just as much a rite of passage as the baby shower itself and can go a long way toward helping you stock up on the baby essentials you didn’t even know you needed. 

Whether you need inspiration on what baby registry items to include or you’re still trying to figure out if you even need one in the first place, we’re here to help. Keep reading for everything you need to know about creating a baby registry.

What Is a Baby Registry?

A baby registry is like a birthday wishlist, except you register it with a specific website or at an in-store location. If you’ve created a wedding registry before, you’ll be more familiar — it’s an almost identical process.

Registries aren’t complicated and can be fun to create, sort of like adding that perfect spring maternity dress to your cart and waiting for someone else to buy it for you.

You can create a registry for as many websites as you’d like, although it’s easier to create a universal baby registry to provide to baby shower guests. Guests can then browse your universal registry (that sources from multiple places) and shop directly from it.

That’s the great thing about baby registries — your guests know they’re buying baby items that you actually want. And you don’t have to worry about returning items or getting duplicates, either — with most baby registry lists, once one of your guests has bought an item, it will show as no longer available on the list.

Registry FAQs

  • How do I let people know where I’m registered?
    • To make it easy for guests to find the list, expecting parents will add the registry to the baby shower invitations.
  • Can I add a gift card?
    • Yes! There’s something to be said about the simple elegance of including a gift card: This is especially good if you aren’t quite sure what you want yet. 
  • Ok, what’s a “completion discount”?
    • This discount is one of the hidden perks of a registry. After the date of your shower passes, some items on the list are discounted for you to buy yourself. No one gets that baby carrier or nursing pillow? No prob. You’ve got you

But Do I Really Need a Baby Registry?

Maybe you still aren’t convinced a baby registry is for you. Trust us: we get it — you’re busy getting ready for baby’s arrival, and your friends and fam know you pretty well! True: Your inner circle does know you, but without a bit of guidance, you might end up with a ton of onesies and bibs that reference your fav TV show but not that super-specific breast pump you needed. 

While it’s totally up to you to decide if you want a registry or not, consider that it may make your life easier in the long term. Managing your pregnancy symptoms (morning sickness is no joke), picking out nursery decor, and building the perfect third-trimester wardrobe is a lot of work, but things will get even crazier as your due date approaches.

Putting all of your baby gear essentials on one list can help you feel more organized and in control of your life. One easy way to do this is to keep a running list in your Notes app or on your fridge. Every time you think of something you’ll need during the first year, like a bassinet or diaper pail, add it to the list. You’ll have the best baby registry ever before you know it.

Baby Registry Must-Haves

So what exactly do parents-to-be need? While it’s totally up to you what you include, take a look at our baby registry checklist for 

The Big-Ticket Items

The first things to put on your list are those big-ticket items. These can include a stroller, a baby swing, a high chair, and more.

Take your time to research different brands and styles — there are a million strollers out there, but what features are most important to you?

Maybe portability is most important, and you need a stroller you can pack up and take in the car. Or perhaps you want the stroller that can come with you on your morning runs. Spend a little time thinking about your priorities before you add one of these larger items to the list.

Another thing to add to your list of items is nursery furniture. Aesthetics totally matter, but consider if that vintage wooden rocking chair will be as comfortable as the plush glider with the lumbar support pillow. 

Finally, double-check that the cribs, car seats, and bassinets you include on your baby registry list meet federal safety standards

Baby Gear Essentials

One baby item you’ll never have enough of: diapers! (Believe us, even if you think you have more diapers than you could ever need, you don’t.) 

For your home, add:

  • Changing table
  • Baby wipes
  • Diaper pail
  • Lotion

When it comes to diaper bags, you don’t have to sacrifice style. These can be as chic as your go-to designer tote. Look for added functionality; diaper bags equipped with an attached changing pad will be your best friend. 

Beyond diapering, you might appreciate burp cloths and baby bottles. Pacifiers, washcloths, and baby monitors are little things that can make a big difference.

Note: When you add baby products to the list, check the retailer’s return policy.

Maternity and Nursing Clothes

One thing that new parents aren’t in short supply of are baby clothes. Everyone loves to wrap oh-so-precious swaddle blankets and itty-bitty mittens for your new bundle of joy.

These gift-givers have the best of intentions, but sometimes we forget the real star of the show — mom. Baby gifts for baby aren’t the only thing to register for. You can’t exactly fit into your pre-pregnancy wardrobe, so it’s time for a *shopping montage.*

Maternity Jumper

Most of your baby registry might be devoted to, well, your baby, but that doesn’t mean you can’t include some things for yourself on there. Once you reach the second trimester, you’re going to need some new clothes to fit your ballooning belly. So yes, include things like that maternity jumper you’ve been eyeing on your registry.


You’ll need a special outfit for your baby shower. For an adorable spring-themed baby shower fit, check out our newest obsession, the Annette Dress. This flowy floral gown features a handkerchief hem with sheer detailing, a V-neckline, and a drop waist for an overall glamorous and feminine vibe. 

Another one of our favorite options for the baby shower dress is the Easy Slip Dress, which comes in shades of Rosewood and Jade. The cowl neckline, flowy bias cut, and adjustable straps make this dress both incredibly flattering and incredibly comfortable for any dressy occasion.

Nursing-Friendly Attire

Aside from maternity clothes and baby shower fits, if you’re considering breastfeeding, you may need to invest in a few pieces of nursing-friendly clothing. Having to take off your whole outfit and your undergarments to breastfeed can be a huge pain, and having some good nursing bras and nursing-friendly tops can make your life just a bit easier during the fourth trimester.

Consider adding a reliable nursing bra or two to your baby registry, along with nursing-friendly pieces like the 24/7 Feeding Jumpsuit. This 100% cotton jumpsuit has a button-up front and huge pockets (for stashing baby bottles and other mama things), making it the ultimate wardrobe essential for breastfeeding or pumping.

Plus, it features a lovely pointelle pattern and flattering wide-leg cut, so you don’t have to keep this item in the closet — feel free to rock this jumpsuit all over town. Consider your breastfeeding wardrobe handled.

Baby Registry? Yes, Please

Whether you were sold on having a baby registry from the start or needed an extra boost, we hope we’ve convinced you that this pregnancy ritual is a must for every new mom. Not only will it help you get fully prepared for your baby, but it also lets your loved ones celebrate you and your incoming little one. 

After all, that’s what this time is all about – celebration! You deserve it.