5 Tips You Can’t Forget When Building a Baby Registry

A man is sitting on the floor and assembling the baby crib on his own

Building a baby registry is supposed to be one of the fun parts of pregnancy, right? Yet so many mothers struggle to figure out what exactly to put on their lists. Your registry should be done after a leisurely afternoon, not months of revisions.

To make the process simple and enjoyable, here are five tips you shouldn’t forget when making your baby registry:

1. Start with the must-haves

Go to any shopping website targeting new moms and you’ll see hundreds of cool, shiny objects competing for your interest – and you’ll feel like you need every single one of them. A jogging stroller, travel system and a rough terrain stroller? Of course – you never know when you’ll take your baby hiking or on a road trip. Steam-powered bottle sterilizer? Certainly – an old-school pot of boiling water just won’t do.

Before you get carried away with the extras, focus on the must-haves. List one stroller, one diaper bag, one burp cloth, etc. Once you have those nailed down, then you can start padding your registry with fun extras.

2. Remember the messy stuff

Let’s face it – babies can be downright gross at times. Drool, vomit, dirty diapers and endless snot are simple facts of life. It’s good to keep this in mind when creating your registry so that you don’t fill your list with only cute or convenient things like toys and blankets. Diapers are an obvious must-have, but don’t forget about diaper cream and rubber suction bulb syringes.

A sick baby with a fever. Don’t forget about the things you’ll need when your baby is sick.

3. View a product in person before committing it to your registry

How frustrating would it feel to find what looks like the perfect registry item online, only to open it during your baby shower and find out it’s nothing like you imagined? Maybe the quality is lacking, or the color is less vibrant and more dull and dreary?

See if you can find the product in stores before adding it to your list of must-haves. If possible, take it for a mini test run. Maneuver the floor model of a stroller to get a feel for how smooth it is, or pick up a baby carrier to test its weight.

4. Listen to other parents, not products

Every diaper brand says it’s the best at preventing leaks, but they can’t all be No. 1. The best reviews come not from commercials but from other moms. And lucky you, there are tons of forums, blogs and other resources online full of parents ready and waiting to impart their wisdom.

If you have a product in mind, head to Google and search “[product name] review” to get a seemingly endless list of opinions. If not, there are tons of blogs with top-10 lists for every item you can imagine to help you choose.

5. Think beyond the first few months

Yes, you’ll need tons of diapers, newborn clothes and other items for when your baby first comes home, but what about after that? If you rely on your registry to supply everything you need without thinking about how your little one will grow, you’ll quickly run out of appropriately sized clothes and diapers.

If you really want to prepare, put things on your registry that you’ll need throughout your baby’s first year of life. (After a year, most baby items on the market will be updated in terms of style or functionality.) A list like this may not supply everything you need during the first month, but it’ll help prepare you for the 11 after that.

Don’t let the thought of creating the perfect registry add more stress to your life. Just set aside a breezy afternoon and consult these tips to make choosing items a breeze!

Looking for more baby registry tips? Check out this advice from thrifty mom Angela Wynne of BabyCheapskate.com!

Autumn Green is an artist-turned-writer who traded the sweet tea of the south for the deep dish pizza of Chicago. Her favorite subjects include art, culture, design, small business/entrepreneurship and healthful living.