Baby Registries

Baby Registry Basics - Where to Start with So Many Options

As a first time Mom, I struggled to put together a registry. There's so much stuff out there! The best help I got was a list from my sister-in-law (SIL) of the things she used the most after my nephew was born. My intention is to create my own list here, linking each item to my review of it. I've been pretty slow (so far) about getting the posts written, but here is the list of items I plan to review. As I write the posts, I will link the items.

Things you NEED:
  • Diapers - we use Pampers Swaddlers. They have a convenient yellow line that turns blue when the diaper is wet. I have heard from lots of people that Huggies leak. We received some Huggies as a gift and they did leak a couple times. I'm not sure if they have different versions that are better, but we've had great success with the Swaddlers, so we've stuck with them.
  • Wipes

Specific Items I Recommend:
  • Night Lights - OXO Candela Tooli, Set of 2
  • Boon Grass Countertop Drying Rack Spring Green and White
  • Fisher-Price My Little Lamb Infant Seat - This chair was great for us because: 1. it's not too expensive, 2. it's reclined far enough back that a small infant can use it, 3. it vibrates, 4. it's soft. I wish that it had an option for it to run longer, but overall this chair was a staple at our house until Marshall was old enough to try to get out of it!
  • Wee Gallery Flash Cards
  • Baby Einstein Melody Makers - Panda
  • Phil & Ted's Wriggle Wrapper Baby Chair Feeder
  • Baby Einstein Lights & Melodies Mirror
  • Tiny Love Classic Mobile
  • Evenflo Johnny Jump Up Classic Baby Exerciser 
  • Summer Infant SwaddleMe Microfleece
  • Sophie the Giraffe Teether
  • Munchkin Dishwasher Basket

General registry items you should include:
  • Bibs - you can never have too many!
  • Burp Clothes - you can never have too many!
  • A Play Mat - We have this one, but there are a lot of good ones out there
  • Sleep Sacks - Carter's has a lot of really cute ones. Their selection is better in the store than online
  • A lovie - Baby M has one along the lines of this. Some of them have rattles in the head, but you don't want that because your child will likely sleep with the lovie and a rattle can wake them  up
  • A Stroller (or two) - the umbrella strollers are cheap and handy for keeping in your trunk or carrying on an airplane; they're a great 2nd stroller to have
  • Baby Thermometer - preferably one that allows you the option to take temp orally, rectally, or via the armpit
  • Receiving blankets / swaddling blankets

Registry items that are usually more of a personal preference:

The Boppy vs. the Brest Friend... (vs. neither)
For me, I didn't like the Brest Friend because the foam is hard and it sat right on my c-section incision and it was uncomfortable. However, I know others that swear by the Brest Friend. Personally, I love the Boppy. We have 2 of them, affectionately (and logically) named: Upstairs Boppy, and Downstairs Boppy. The Boppy is great because it holds the baby at the perfect height for breast feeding, the baby can be propped up in it on his own (pero, no para dormir!! as it says all over it), and it even works nicely as a neck pillow. I also like that the cover is removable and can easily be thrown in the wash when it's covered in spit-up. Plus, there are lots of cute Boppy covers on Etsy. M is almost 4 months and we still use it every day. That said, my SIL hated the Boppy and never used it.

A Sling
Some people aren't comfortable using a sling, and some babies don't like slings. If you can get used to them though, they're pretty handy. Personally, I am not very comfortable wearing our sling, but my husband loves it. Baby M loves it too. Make sure you get one that fits - there are videos out there that show how best to use them and how they should fit. You don't want it to be too snug or too loose.

Items to stay away from
  • Newborn clothing with hoods - unless you're watching the baby while they have it on, there's a risk of suffocation
  • Cute baby clothes just because they're cute. People will buy you lots of cute baby outfits and they will all be small. Most babies outgrow the small stuff pretty fast, so you don't need all that much of it. Register for the baby clothes that you need (sleep sacks/bags, long-sleeve onsies/bodysuits, etc.) and let people pick the cute things on their own - OR - if there's something cute you can't resist adding, add it in a larger size, such as 12 or 18 month
  • Prince Lionheart Travel Wipes Warmer - this died after a few weeks. In defense of the wipe warmer, it is marketed as a travel warmer (which is odd since you have to plug it in) so perhaps it's not meant to be plugged in and in use constantly. However, the rubber "teeth" that dispense the wipes crumbled apart within weeks as well.
Where to Register
There are way too many choices here, so these are the ones I would recommend and why.
  • - You may as well get started now... will become part of your regular routine! With the ease and low cost of ordering diapers, wipes, and just about everything else, there's no reason not to use them. They are so amazingly fast, it's unbelievable. For certain items, such as diapers, if you place an order before 7 or 8 PM, you get your shipment the next day. For the registry specifically, I like that they don't delete your registry after any given period of time. I still use the registry regularly to help the Grandparents know what to buy if they are inspired to send something. I typically find that I also get the best prices on; It's not always the case, but usually. 
  • Amazon - The coolest feature of the Amazon registries is that people can go into your registry and mark items as purchased - even if they didn't buy it on Amazon! Pure genius. Some might think that's bad business, but I beg to differ - the more conveniences you offer your clientele, the more likely they are to return to your service again and again. Also, like, Amazon won't delete your registry after a given period of time.
  • Babies R Us OR Target - It's good to have at least one registry with a store that has physical locations. More than a few of your baby shower guests will wait until the last minute and will need the option of swinging by the store to pick something up on their way. One thing that completely aggravated me about both of these stores is that they deleted my registry after a while (some time not long after the date I provided as the baby's due date). An additional note specific to Target - while I love, love, love the Target stores - I hate their online business with almost the same passion that I love their physical stores. Everything about it is poorly run. I'll try not to go off on a rant here; I'll just say their website (and registry specifically) is poorly designed and managed, and almost every item that I have had shipped has either been the wrong item and/or has been damaged and/or is missing pieces. You've been warned.
There are so many others. I also registered at Land of Nod because they had a few items I couldn't find elsewhere, but they are very expensive. Buy Buy Baby is pretty popular too, but how many registries do you need?! 

Other Tips
  • Think about registering for the high-priced items, even if you won't need them in the first few months. It's nice to get some of those items (high chair, baby gates, car seats, etc.) checked off the list.