If you have ever registered for gifts, or helped someone do it, you fall into one of two categories: those who get euphoric over the experience, and those who get overwhelmed by the experience. No matter which category you fall in, registering for a baby takes research, planning, and an understanding of what you will really need. If you are getting ready to get all click happy with a registry gun, here are some do’s and don’ts for being a SmartMom registry pro, and a guide to what things to register for baby.
Must Have Registry Items
Register for baby bedding. From the crib and mattress to the sheets and bumper, this is some important stuff that you will actually need. Be sure to register for two or three sets of sheets, because there will come a time where they will need to be changed more than once a day! Add in some soft blankets, such as Aden and Anais swaddlers. These were constantly on my baby or layered under a heavier blanket.
Register for more than one brand of bottles and pacifiers. Two sets should be a good starting point. Babies can be particular about bottle feeding, so having more than one kind on hand can be a life saver in a dire moment. From the SmartMom app, I’ve learned breastfed babies seem to prefer Como Tomo Bottles and Dr. Brown’s Bottles are a crowd favorite. My son strongly disliked the adorable Wubbanubs, while he adored Tommie Tippee pacifiers. If I didn’t have both on hand, I would have assumed he disliked pacifiers altogether!
Register for breastfeeding essentials. If you plan on breastfeedng, then nursing pillows, breast pads, ointment, milk bags, a nipple shield, gel cooling pads and a nursing cover are valuable items to have on hand. I tried a few different brands, and Lansinoh was the best quality in my opinion.
Register for “big” items. Don’t be afraid thinking they’re too expensive! Often people will pitch in together to buy big items for the mom-to-be. Big items, such as strollers, car seats, high chairs, pack and plays, swings and activity centers are great gifts that parents need. If you have two cars, consider registering for two car seat bases instead of two car seats. I ended up getting two strollers: one heavy duty jogging stroller, and one lightweight umbrella stroller for traveling.
Register for personal care items. If nothing is registered, people may make the decision for you! Shampoo, lotion, nail clippers and thermometers are all items your baby will need. Smell the different options, research ingredients and read reviews. If you are uncomfortable giving a thermometer rectally, consider registering for a digital thermometer.
Register for toys. Yes, this seems obvious, but consider what kind of toys you should register for. Teething toys, such as rings, keys, and multiple-textured items are huge baby pleasers. If they have a way of attaching to something, even better! My son loves his Sophie giraffe, but he drops it so much that I am constantly cleaning her.
Register for books. If you don’t have any favorites, ask your friends or family for advice. There are so many fantastic children’s books authors to share with your little one, such as Eric Carl, Sandra Boynton, Nancy Tillman and Margaret Wise Brown to name a few.
Registry Items to Avoid
Avoid registering for clothes. Yes, there are going to be adorable items, but you have no way of knowing the sizes your child will be in what season! The best thing to register for is plain onsies and sleep sacks, which are extremely useful. People will buy you all sorts of cute clothing because they “couldn’t resist”, so use gift cards to fill up your little one’s wardrobe later!
Avoid registering for items you will need further down the road. Items such as sippy cups, toddler feeding items, and potty training tools will get stored away, lost, outdated or forgotten. Save those gift cards to get those items later on. The best thing to register for is spoons small enough for an infant, soft plastic bibs and burp cloths.
The list of do’s and don’ts could go on and on! Above all, register for what you need. Stores will give you a guide that lists what every registry should have on it, but stop and ask yourself: “Will I really need this?” If the answer is “I’m not sure”, remember you can always buy it later. Hey, that’s what Amazon Prime is for!
Going to start registering for my baby shower. We have all the basics, crib, car seat, stroller. I was wondering if there was something people wouldn’t normally think of that you found very helpful with your first LO?