Why is it that as soon as you announce that you’re expecting, everyone has an opinion about everything? Everything, it seems, except how to register for the things you’ll really need once baby arrives. There are so many choices that you’ll make throughout your pregnancy, and unfortunately completing your baby registry doesn’t come with much of a user’s manual. I have fond memories of registering for my wedding, scanning my way to homemaking bliss. But when I was pregnant and standing in aisles that were overflowing with baby stuff, I felt clueless as to what I really needed. If you’re anything like me, your pre-baby excitement will quickly be overwhelmed by the bottles, baby carriers, strollers and car seats.
My first piece of baby registry advice is to register at more than one store. I usually recommend one large store for the practical stuff (Target, Babies R Us and Buy Buy Baby seem to be most popular) and one local boutique for the fun stuff! If you can’t seem to narrow it down to two stores, check out MyRegistry.com—a site that allows you to create a registry with items from as many stores as you want, but you’ll only have to list one website on your baby shower invites.
From baby bottles to strollers, here are a few more helpful tips for any soon-to-be mom. Feel free to listen to all of my advice or none of it—this is just what has worked for me, and I think it’s a good starting point for registry basics.
Baby Bottles. Breastfeeding or not, you’ll still want to have a few bottles at your disposal. But don’t get too excited just yet because you have to pick a bottle and nipple style, as well as consider features like colic-friendly, latching-pro and disposable liners. Overwhelmed yet? Don’t be, because babies will let you know which bottle and nipple they like best, and you don’t want to buy stock in one brand just to have that little munchkin pick another. My advice is to register for a few different brands of baby bottles, try them out and then stock up later on the ones that work best for your baby.
Sleeping Options. So you’ve just finished designing this gorgeous nursery, but guess what? That sweet newborn is going to spend at least the first few weeks sleeping all over your home. Having a few options you can set baby down for a snooze during the day will make your life easier.
Car Seats & Strollers. Where do you even start? There are so many choices for car seats and strollers that it can be extremely overwhelming to narrow it down to what works best for you. Personally, I like the Graco and Chicco car seats because they offer lightweight options, and they have great ratings. Plus, they work with almost any stroller on the market!
As for strollers, I’m going to save you a little time and frustration by telling you there’s not ONE perfect stroller. You’ll need one that you can click your car seat into and one that folds easily. You’ll need one that is good for travel, one that is good for toddlers and one that will work for baby #2! And you should want the one you can exercise with too. The closest thing I can find to meeting most of those requirements is the City Mini by Baby Jogger. If you know of a better one, please share it in the comments!
Other Must-Haves. A swing will be your go-to extra set of hands. Make sure to pick one that rocks both side-to-side and front-to-back. Breastfeeding pillows aren’t just for breastfeeding! They also make great baby positioners. There are so many to choose from, but these are some of my favorites. Finally, add a few different brands of swaddle blankets to your registry too, because just like bottles, every baby is different, and what works for one baby might not work for another. Here are a few options for great swaddle blankets.
Gift Cards. Don’t be afraid to request gift cards! There will be countless items that you need after the baby is born, and there’s nothing sweeter than a loaded gift card for all those last-minute necessities.
Now that you’ve heard my baby registry advice, I’d love to know what some of your favorite registry items are. What could you not live without?