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Your guide to creating a baby registry

When you're expecting a baby, it can feel like you have multiple things to do before your bundle of joy arrives. One of the most important priorities you may have is creating your baby registry. Your family and friends will likely be eager to pick out gifts for you and your little one, so you might as well put together a list of things that you need and want. Read on to discover a guide to creating a baby registry.

How do baby registries work?

A baby registry can be defined as a list of baby products that you would like to receive from family and friends in preparation for your little one’s arrival. Baby registries are usually organized by stored and can either be an online baby registry or a physical one. Some registries are set up to allow combining lists from a variety of retailers.

Many well-established baby registries also come with perks such as price matching, free returns, discounts on select items, and a welcome box of free items. You may also come across helpful online features such as an app that allows you to monitor your baby registry on the go or a handy gift tracker for thank-you notes.

Where should you register?

If you are at a loss when it comes to where you should register, look at it this way – the baby registry that is best suited for you will depend on your unique needs, such as the product brands you prefer, your budget, or whether you want to register in-store or online. Here are some of the most popular places to register in anticipation of your new arrival:

1. Amazon

Amazon’s appeal is the fact that it’s universal, which means that you can pick and choose baby items from almost any retailer, which gives you a wide variety of options. Plus, if you have Amazon Prime, you can have all the items shipped to you in two days, in addition to envy-inducing discounts.

2. Target

Target offers a wide selection of baby essentials, especially when it comes to clothes and nursery accents. You also have the option to add items from other retailers using the universal feature.

3. Pottery Barn Kids

Pottery Barn Kids can be your go-to if you want to create a stylish nursery décor with sophisticated touches, like organic collections, gilded mobiles, and boho-inspired quilts.

4. Walmart

If you are looking for great discounts, Walmart is the best place to put together your baby registry. When you sign up, you will get a pre-populated registry that you can edit if you don’t like what you see.

5. Buy Buy Baby

Buy Buy Baby features a wide selection of baby essentials, from car seats to baby clothes and cleaning materials. When you register, you will receive a goody bag filled with coupons and samples.

6. Crate & Kids

Crate & Kids is a great place to register if you’re looking for trendy specialty items. They also offer free nursery design services, as well as several discounts.

When is the right time to make a baby registry?

While it is entirely up to you to decide when to create a baby registry, most expectant parents start to go through their baby registry when they’re approaching the 12-week mark.

If you intend to find out the baby’s sex, you might want to wait until you get the confirmation (typically at around 20 weeks) before you create your registry. This is because the baby’s gender could influence the color choices and designs you go with. However, you don’t want too long as you want to give yourself ample time to research what you need, plus your friends and family will also need some time to go through your registry.

What items should you put on a baby registry?

When it comes to compiling a list of items to put on your baby registry, there are no wrong or right answers – what you put on your checklist is entirely up to you. However, there are some must-have essentials that you will need, especially in those first few weeks. Here is a baby registry checklist that you can use as a guide:

Baby clothes

  • 4-8 onesies with loose legs and wide head opening 
  • 6-10 undershirts
  • 4-8 footie pajamas
  • 4-6 pairs of socks 
  • 1-3 cardigans or jackets
  • 2-4 pairs of no-scratch mittens
  • 1-3 blankets
  • 1-3 hats (soft caps for a winter baby and sun hats for a summer baby)
  • 1 snowsuit for a winter baby
  • 1-3 sleep sacks


  • Baby-safe shampoo and body wash
  • Baby bathtub
  • Baby hairbrush
  • Soft washcloths
  • 2-4 soft towels
  • Baby-safe lotion


  • 2-4 fitted crib sheets
  • Crib mattress
  • Waterproof mattress protector
  • 4-6 soft, light swaddling blankets


  • Diaper cream
  • Baby wipes
  • Diaper bag 
  • Soft washcloths
  • 6-8 diaper covers, 6-8 diaper cloth diapers, and 2-3 large packs of disposable newborn-size diapers
  • A changing table or a cushioned changing pad
  • Cotton balls and swabs

Feeding essentials

  • Nursing bras
  • Nursing pillow
  • Breast pump
  • Baby bottles and nipples
  • Bottle brush
  • Breast pump
  • Nipple cream
  • Formula
  • Burp cloth
  • Bibs
  • Bottle drying rack
  • High chair

Baby gear

  • Stroller 
  • Infant car seat
  • Baby carrier

Nursery items

  • Crib
  • Bassinet
  • Baby monitor
  • Rocking chair
  • Storage bins or baskets
  • Nightlight
  • Dresser
  • White noise machine

Medical must-haves

  • Baby thermometer
  • Saline nasal drops
  • Baby-safe nail trimmer
  • Rubbing alcohol pads

What items don’t belong on a baby registry?

Some items that you can safely pass on when creating your baby registry include:

  • Wipe warmer

Unless this is something you want, you don't need to add wipe warmers to your registry. Many parents reporting never having to use one despite including it in their registries, which means it's not a necessity.

  • Crib bumpers

All your baby’s bassinet or crib needs is a fitted sheet. You won’t need crib bumpers, blankets, pillows, or stuffed animals, as they pose a risk of suffocation, entrapment, or strangulation.

  • Multiple toys

Although you will need some playtime items, don’t go overboard on the toys.

Final thoughts

Consider putting together a baby registry to avoid getting stuck with a bunch of baby items that you’ll never take out of their packages. Setting up a baby registry doesn’t have to be stressful – it can also be fun, and it will ultimately make your life as a parent easier in the long run.

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