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All About Pregnancy

What to Know Before You Register

Being strategic with your baby registry can save you money and time—and make the whole experience more fun

Setting up your baby registry is one of the best parts of impending parenthood—and while you're waiting (and waiting...and waiting...) for Baby, you deserve some no-holds-barred shopping. But registering for baby gear can be a little overwhelming, too. (So many choices!) We asked moms to share their secrets for making the process easier, more productive, and more fun.

Poll all your mom friends

“Essential” depends on who you ask. For every mom who loves her pricey diaper pail, there’s another who thought a regular trash can was fine. Crowd source to see which baby must-haves appear on everyone’s list. 

Add inexpensive items 

Everyone appreciates having a range of gifts they know you want. Small ideas to consider adding to your list: Board books, bath toys, washcloths, bibs, and even those cute monthly milestone stickers.  

Skip the outfits 

Teeny outfits and impossibly soft blankets are such a delight to buy, so you are guaranteed to get plenty from your visitors. Unless there's something you can't live without, wait and see what gifts you receive before signing on for more.  

Consider gift cards...  

Adding gift cards to your registry is okay! Not only do they allow more price points for well-wishers, but you can use them to purchase those utilitarian basics like nasal aspirators and nursing pads that people tend to skip over for the cuter stuff.  

...and Diapers!

Any been-there-bought-that parent knows that diapers are the one thing you can never have too many of. So don't be afraid to add some (in all sizes!) to your registry. They're a super-practical add-on to something cute and, well, less practical. 

Double up

If you're a two-car family, you'll need two car seats (and later, two booster seats). So double up on your model of choice when you're creating your registry.

Think ahead

You only get one windfall of gifts. So there’s no shame in adding a size 2T snowsuit, toys, a toddler bed, or a big-kid booster seat to your list. 

Go beyond baby

Whether it's a mommy-and-me class, membership to a children's museum, or even a nursing bra that's actually pretty, go ahead and add a few things that aren't totally baby-only. It's not tacky—it's modern! 

It's not your last chance to shop 

Don’t obsess over whether you’ve ticked off every single little thing you might possibly need. Do your research, make your registry, and call it a day. You can always shop online at 2 a.m. as you feed your newborn!