A Guide To Creating the Perfect Baby Registry
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I distinctly remember the first time I set foot in buybuy BABY. I was about five months pregnant and someone told me that it was time to make a baby registry. I checked in at the desk and they handed me a scanner so I could walk through the larger than life store scanning things to add to the list. I just held the scanner and looked around. Paralyzed. Unable to click anything. OK, I thought to myself, let’s start with something I know I will need – baby bottles.
This oughtta be easy, right? WRONG.
Do you know how many different types of bottles buybuy BABY carries? 498!
I left the store deflated having only added some diaper cream to my baby registry (made a wild guess between about 20 kinds) and a babyproofing kit (because, my immobile newborn needs this right away, right?!).
I decided to go home and do some research. Now that I have two kids and lottts more experience, here are the things you definitely need (and don’t need!) to survive the first 3-4 months.
What you Don’t Need On Your Baby Registry
Cute newborn clothes! Most babies grow out of those clothes in about 15 minutes. When they are tiny and floppy trying to get them into anything besides a onesie or sleeper is going to be an ordeal that makes you break into a sweat and consider popping a bottle of wine.
IF you DO spend the time and effort changing the baby into a 3-piece suit, he will surely have a massive blow out within 5 minutes. Plus you’ll get plenttty of cute babies clothes from friends and family. Trust, I’ve still got newborn clothes with tags on them two kids later.
Instead, make sure you have a good supply of soft baby sleepers and onesies. Sleepers with zippers are better than ones with buttons for MOTN (middle of the night) diaper changes. These Boody Baby sleepers are my all-time favorite splurge, but these Carter’s ones absolutely do the trick.
Another item you definitely don’t need on your baby registry for a newborn is a full-size stroller. Not yet anyway. Most regular strollers require a baby to be about 6-months to safely ride. You’ll definitely need this down the road, but if money is tight or you are trying to prioritize, cross this one off or your list for a few months.
Instead, you definitely need a very good baby car seat. Lots of websites have wonderful car seat advice. Car Seats For The Littles is a good place to start. My kids did wonderfully well with the Chicco KeyFit (also on Amazon here). It got us through two kids, so was well worth the money. If you don’t want to splurge on the big stroller yet, you could just buy this $55 Snap and Go. The baby car seat easily snaps right in to great for car transfers, etc. Some of the bigger strollers do have baby car seat adapters but be aware that the adapters come with an additional cost, typically around $40-$50.
If you have a generous aunt, uncle, friend who is planning to buy you a stroller, I highly recommend the Bugaboo Chameleon. I know, I know, this thing is pricey, but being completely honest with you – it’s held up extremely well with two babies and I have no doubt it will continue to perform with any additional babies down the line!
The whole shopping for baby thing is a lot, and if you plan to just have one child you may do better with something more affordable and less durable like the Baby Jogger City Select. However, if you are a newly pregnant mama planning for more than one cute baby to snuggle, it is 100% worth the investment to buy well made products that last for years!
You don’t really need excessive amounts of waterproof sheets on your baby registry. One thing I thought was a bit over-rated was waterproof sheets. Yeah, is it good to have a sheet that protects your mattress, sure, but some of these new parent guides that tell you to layer sheet, waterproof sheet, sheet, waterproof sheet are just over the top! Two kids later and I have never needed the waterproof sheet.
Instead, invest in a good, firm crib mattress. I love “>this. We’ve used them for cribs and now both kids use them in their toddler beds (when they actually sleep in their beds!) If you want to register for a protective cover, I like this one as it’s cheap and gets the job done.
Don’t Need – Full house babyproofing when baby is two weeks old. When I was pregnant with Ari, my husband wanted to be PREPARED. He purchased the book Commando Dad and baby proofed our entire house Navy Seal style when I was 8-months pregnant.
As if it’s not hard enough to bend down and plug your phone in when hugely pregnant I now had to remove the outlet covers that blanketed my house.
I definitely didn’t want to discourage him, so I said nothing, but as an FYI, your baby won’t be able to move on his/her own for at least 3-4 months and likely won’t be crawling or scooting for at least 7/8months. Baby proofing is essential for older babies before they become mobile, but you have some time on this, so don’t waste valuable baby registry space!
Instead, adding items to your baby registry that will keep them safe as newborns is essential. A good baby monitor, for example, is priceless. Also, heart/oxygen monitors like The Owlet can help with peace of mind. (Full disclosure I did not have one of these because I didn’t want to spend the money, but I did stay up staring at my newborns for wayyyy too many hours in the middle of the night to make sure they were safe. If/when I ever have a third baby I would make this my first purchase and catch some extra ZZZs!)
You don’t need ALL the baby books (but you may need a few). Baby books are hit and miss. Honestly, some of them can create more stress and anxiety. Look, none of us are perfect – we’ve all made mistakes, but some authors can get a bit preachy from time to time.
Word of advice – if the author is smugly smiling or drinking a cup of coffee in their photo, abandon ship and run for the hills. No mom of a baby under two calmly sips hot coffee and that is A FACT.
A few books that did help me immensely were Happiest Baby On The Block – this helped us survive “fussy time and the witching hour”. If you are intrigued and want to read more about those lovely topics you can do so in a separate post.
I also highly recommend the Wonder Weeks app and book. It can be super tough to understand what’s going through a newborn’s head and why they are acting in a certain way (let’s be honest, I don’t even know what’s going through my adult husband’s head half the time!). The Wonder Weeks is like a baby decoder. It doesn’t completely help you solve the issue, but helps you understand what might be going on inside that tiny head.
In summary, creating a baby registry and trying to figure out what you need for baby can be overwhelming at first, but try to think about what you need in 3-month increments instead of over the first ten years, and you will do just fine. Remember to breathe. You got this, Mama!