Becoming a mom is incredible, but it’s also a TON of work. From picking between baby names to babyproofing your home and dealing with pregnancy symptoms, you might feel completely overwhelmed — which is precisely why baby showers are a thing.
Having a baby shower allows your friends and family the chance to celebrate this new stage in your life. And it also allows you to ask them for help with all of the stuff that babies need, like bassinets, bibs, and binkies. A baby registry can help you organize your shopping list and let your loved ones know exactly what they can get you to help you out.
So whether you’re in the midst of planning a baby shower or just thinking about what you might put on a registry, keep reading. We’ll walk you through everything you need to know about starting a baby registry and planning for your newest arrival. little one
When Should I Start a Baby Registry?
When you should start a baby registry is entirely up to one person: You!
Perhaps it feels like one more thing to worry about, and you don’t want to think about it until your baby shower is nearly planned. That’s completely okay. Or maybe you’re an over-planner and need to have your baby registry set up immediately — that’s okay too.
If you don’t feel super strongly either way, we always recommend starting earlier rather than later. It’ll be easier to remember the things you need if you keep a running list as you think of them.
Find an adorable set of onesies you want for your newborn? Put them on the list. Feel like you simply can’t live without that stylish hospital departure kit you found online shopping? Add it to the registry.
If you try to come up with your entire baby registry on the spot, you’ll likely miss some key items. Starting your registry as soon as you begin thinking of things you want on it is the best way to make sure you’ve got all your bases covered before your baby shower.
Six Baby Registry Must-Haves
Just as important as deciding when to begin your baby registry is deciding what to include on it. What items will you need right away, and what can you leave off?
If this is your first rodeo, you might be feeling a bit overwhelmed right now: That’s totally normal. But luckily for you, we’ve got the full guide for you right here.
Here are six things to consider adding to your wishlist:
- Diapering Essentials
Start your registry with the things you’ll absolutely need and will likely quickly run out of, like diapers, baby formula, and baby wipes. Other diapering essentials, like a diaper pail, diaper bag, and changing pad, are excellent.
Your babe will need them right away, and your family can never have enough. Babies can go through eight to 12 diapers a day, for up to 3,000 diapers a year. Diapers in multiple sizes (or plenty of cloth diapers if you’re going that route) will prevent that 2 am trip to the store because the stockpile ran out.
- Big-Ticket Baby Items
Some other things to include on your list are big-ticket items, like a bassinet or crib, a stroller, and a car seat. These aren’t only significant for your baby’s safety and comfort, but they’ll soon be absolute necessities for getting around with your little one.
Don’t throw any old crib into your registry, though. Browse for a while, and make sure you select one in a style that you like, with essential design details such as an easy set-up. Pay attention to safety standards when it comes to products like cribs and car seats.
It’s not only cribs to vet as carefully as you did your OBGYN. Check to see that things like baby toys have been approved by agencies like the Consumer Product Safety Commission.
- Baby Clothing
Next up is clothing. Your baby is going to grow like crazy those first few months, so you’ll need clothes in a variety of sizes, from newborn to six months and up. You’ll want onesies, sleep sets, and cute outfits for photoshoots, or special occasions, like matching with mommy.
- Breastfeeding/Pumping Products
Then you’ll need supplies for nursing, such as baby bottles and feeding bibs. If you choose to breastfeed, there are a ton of accessories you can ask for that will make your life so much easier.
Trust us: ease and convenience in those first few months will be a rare commodity. Gifts like nursing covers, high-quality breastmilk storage bags and pumps, and nipple rescue balm will be game-changers.
- Soothing Toys for Baby
Other less essential but still important baby supplies: a high-quality baby monitor for peace of mind while your little one sleeps; pacifiers and a baby mobile; and age-appropriate toys. (Newborns might sleep the day away, but pretty soon, that tiny babe is going to be a full-grown tot that needs a lotttt of entertainment.)
- Gifts for the Mom-To-Be
Last but CERTAINLY not least, add a few things to your registry that are just for you! After all, you’re doing all the work here — you deserve some self-care.
If you plan to breastfeed, investing in some high-quality nursing tops is also a good idea. These days, stylish and nursing-friendly go hand-in-hand — check out our postpartum favorites for proof. Motherhood can be tough, and having a few nursing tops that you love can make life a bit easier.
The same thing applies to nursing-friendly bras as well. For instance, if you want a bra that can do just about everything, add the Essential Nursing and Pumping Bra to your list.
Or maybe you need something with a little more support, in which case you might choose the Everyday Nursing Bra instead.
Once baby arrives, your life is going to get pretty crazy, pretty fast. Select items that will meet your needs and make your life easier. If anyone deserves that, it’s you.
Baby Registry, Mastered
So there you have it! Begin your baby registry as soon as you start thinking of items you need (or as soon as you want, really — you make the rules), and you’ll be all set by the time baby arrives.
But even if you aren’t — even if you feel totally unprepared heading into delivery — take a deep breath, and remember: you got this. We’d bet that almost no one feels 100% ready by her due date, and that’s completely normal. A huge part of motherhood is embracing the chaos and the mess and knowing that you’ll be okay in spite of it.
Once you’re done, you’ll be such a pro that you could almost add it to your resume. In fact, consider us a professional and personal recommendation — you’re knocking it out of the park.