How to Create the Perfect Baby Registry—Stress-Free

How to Create the Perfect Baby Registry—Stress-Free

Here’s how to streamline the process of creating a baby registry

If you're having a baby shower, chances are you're working on creating a baby registry so friends and family can gift you what you need to set up a nursery. But don't get overwhelmed! Experts share tips for crafting the perfect wish list—and we have a downloadable checklist to make it easy!

Babies may arrive in their birthday suits, but these tiny humans need a whole lot of gear, products, and clothing on hand from day one. The task of creating a baby registry for all that stuff can be overwhelming. “And it doesn’t help that the market is oversaturated and ever-changing,” says Molly Pross, a baby gear expert and founder of Bump Bestie, a baby-planning service. 

Parents should register for 85-120 items, according to Pross. But which items are must-haves, and which can you safely skip? We asked experts—along with parents, the ultimate pros—to identify their picks for registries, along with advice for crafting a just-right list for your growing family.
   

Do you need a registry?

If you’re planning to have a baby shower—or anticipate that friends and family will gift your little one with presents—it’s a good idea to have a registry or wish list in place. That way, you can avoid receiving multiple sets of bassinet sheets when you don’t have a bassinet (or getting sheets that don’t fit your particular bassinet). You don’t want to worry about complicated exchanges and returns after baby’s arrival. Creating a registry also helps you get clear on what you’ll want and need to have on hand.

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Where should you register?

Thanks to the Internet, registering is easier than ever. You can choose from any number of brick-and-mortar stores or online establishments, such as Target or Amazon. You can also create a registry that pulls in options from several retailers with sites such as babylist.com and myregistry.com. In general: Be mindful of the store’s return policy (just in case you change your mind), as well as perks the store may offer to parents who register with them.

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In addition to registering online, Pross recommends registering at a local boutique. That way, people can touch and feel items, and you’re supporting a local business.

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How do you make your wish list?

Try thinking in categories, Pross suggests. “Organizing into buckets gives you a much better picture and helps you prioritize. For example, nursery furniture can have a ten- to fourteen-week lead time [for delivery], so it’s best to get the big items ordered first,” she says.

And while it may be tempting to add tons of items to your list—every single adorable outfit and every might-be-helpful product—Pross suggests a better strategy is to keep your list focused. “If you have everything on there, guests may end up buying things that you don’t need immediately,” Pross notes. It can be helpful to create a private section of your wish list—that only you and your partner can see—to save items you’re considering and to track the items you’ve purchased yourself, Pross suggests. 

Safety is an important consideration as you add items to your registry, says Joe Shamie, president of Delta Children. “Parents should check that the products they are interested in are Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association-certified,” he advises. Products with that certification meet the standards of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, as well as ASTM International, which develops standards used around the world.

And don’t shy away from practical essentials, says Liz Jeneault, vice president of marketing for Faveable, and a Philadelphia-based mom of a toddler. Diapers, she says, are especially critical (since you’ll go through so many) as well as baby laundry detergent. 

Download the printable checklist now!