One of the most exciting and also overwhelming parts of having your baby is deciding what to put on your baby registry. You don’t need to be having a baby shower to need a registry. In fact, I didn’t have any true baby showers until my third, and by that point, I already had most things I “needed.” But that’s the point, the registry is about needs AND wants. So, a registry is essentially a list of items from a store (or a few stores) that you’re planning to buy for your baby, and anything can be included. You let your friends and family know where you’re registered, and frankly, it helps you avoid people buying the same things for you or worse, buying random stuff you don’t want and then need to return. I also used my registry to remind me about things I needed to buy later…was so much fun using the shopping scanner at the store and then I could edit my registry from my computer or phone anytime. And I did, like 10x, until I felt I had just the right products on there.
So, how do you decide what to register for when you walk into a store or go online? Buybuy BABY was my go-to because I loved the service—you were greeted by a registry consultant who walked you through the process, gave you a printed-out checklist and showed you around the store. But, truthfully, that depends on you, and your parenting plan. Cloth diapers? Disposable? Breastfeeding? Formula feeding? Both? Only you can answer those questions, and it’s okay to change your mind later, and luckily, places like buybuy BABY even offer a 15% discount on any items remaining on your registry (so you can add items online anytime, day or night, and buy later).
Here are my top five picks for items to add your registry…
Infant car seat. In my opinion, an infant car seat is a must have, and an item that your friends and family could chip in for without breaking the bank. I love that companies are coming out with car seats that last from birth to elementary school age, but nothing is quite like an infant car seat when the baby is little and you can snap the seat in and out of the car and carry it into places with you. My favorite car seat and the one I most recently used is the Chicco Fit2. It lasted for 2 plus years, rear-facing only. It’s safe, comfortable, visually appealing and has an amazing lever built into the base taking it from infant to toddler position in literally one second. The seat perfectly fit my child as she grew and I felt so at ease with her strapped into this particular seat. ($279)
Stroller. Another great item for friends/family to chip in and buy for you together is a great stroller, and it doesn’t have to cost thousands to be excellent quality. Pricing CAN be anywhere from a few hundred dollars to thousands for strollers, and everyone has different taste. And what’s best for you depends on your lifestyle. City? Suburbs? Jogger? Double? My tried and true stroller recommendation is the Britax B-Lively. It’s easy to use and fold with one hand, lightweight, has a big basket to store stuff, great recline for baby naps, and their B-safe infant seat snaps into it. I have used A LOT of strollers over the years, and none compares to this one for a child from birth up to 55 lbs. ($229)
Sleep. Sleep is underrated, and I truly became a better mother when I was well-rested. I finally felt like a human being again when I slept a full seven hours, thanks to a truly magical sleepsuit!. Baby Merlin’s Magic Sleepsuit has the most amazing and safe product for helping your child sleep. The sleepsuit is cozy and the best swaddle transition product. It’s designed with parents’ peace of mind , offering double zippers to make diaper changes easy, scooped neckline to keep fabric away from the baby’s face and open hands and feet to keep the temperature comfortable for the baby. This is the kind of item a best friend should buy you from your registry—the gift that keeps on giving (sleep!) ($40)
Feeding. I know 4-6 months seems like so long from now if you’re pregnant or just had the baby, but it will be here before you know it. Solids are introduced around that time and you need the proper feeding items to make dining easy and safe with your baby. That’s where OXO Tot comes in. They’ve basically thought of it all. Their roll-up bibs are genius, as is their grape cutter. But I’d recommend registering for one of their sets. My favorite is the OXO Tot Mealtime Essentials Set, which includes the Mash Maker Baby Food Masher, two Silicone Feeding Spoons, a Baby Food Freezer Tray with Silicone Lid, and a Roll-Up Bib. This is something your two college friends should buy you, the ones who watched you eat ramen for four years straight and now they’ll watch you make your child’s baby food! ($50)
Bath. One of my favorite memories with each child were those first baths I gave them. So little and so cute. It can be a beautiful, relaxing time for you and the baby, but water safety is so important to keep in mind. I loved the Baby Delight Cushy Nest Cloud Bather. It’s portable, which I needed because we used different sinks/bathroom depending on the day (mother of 3, aka chaos), and we travel quite a bit. It has an oversized frame, which made it safe and also fit into both sinks and tubs. The seat pad was removable so it could be hung dry or machine washed. Basically, anything machine-washable is my favorite. This is the ideal item for a family member to buy…and then come over and pitch in with bath time sometime! ($25)