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Registry 101

Some of the newly knocked-up simply can’t W A I T to get their hot little hands on the barcode zapper and go to town making a baby registry. For others, it’s a maaaaajor drag.

Do you really need to register? No, of course not (what’s the saying about death and taxes?)

But there are two reasons why you might want to do it anyway:

1. Sanity: Even if you’re not anticipating showers and gifts, making a baby registry somewhere will help you keep your list of wants/needs in one central spot. Trust me, you will FORGET all of the details swimming around in your pregnant little brain, so having it written down somewhere helps you stay sane.

2. Completion Coupon: Many stores will send you a “completion coupon” on a certain date (example, two weeks before your EDD), which is a coupon for everything that remains un-purchased on your baby registry.

I’ve seen anything from 5-15%, so load it up with everything you need to buy because, hey, it’s better than nothing!

When to Make a Baby Registry

You can start registering whenever you please, but you’ll probably want to wait until after the first trimester… just so you’re not holding the keys if (God forbid) (crosses self) you lose the pregnancy. But hey, that’s like… now! So we’re cool.

Further, if you intend to find out the sex of your babe, you may want to wait until after the sexing ultrasound (the “Fetal Anatomy Survey”), which occurs anywhere from 17-20 weeks.

Unless you LOVE everything in yellow and green, the outcome could influence your choice on many items.

I know, I know, you’re a modern parent who will not subject your new human to a gender-specific identity. That’s what we ALL say…

Miss Manners

Are there “rules” for what you can/should put on your baby registry and what you shouldn’t? The short answer is not really.

Big Ticket Items

If you have expensive taste — fine, no problem. Just make sure that you have some items in each price range to suit everyone. Add plenty of products in the $15-$30 range for coworkers and other people who may not like you as much (kidding).

What about more “intimate” items, like a breast pump, nipple cream, etc.? It’s really up to you and how comfortable you are with your audience. If it would embarrass you to open up nipple cream at your baby shower (at the office, let’s say), then don’t put it on your registry. If not, then go for it!

Be Cool

Remember that not everyone will buy stuff from your baby registry, especially the old-timers. You’ll probably receive 17 hand-knit blankets/mittens/gloves. And OH, the stuffed animals! What are you going to do with all of these choking hazards/wonderful toys? I know these might not seem very useful at the time but that’s the stuff that you’ll remember fondly (hopefully).

Where to Register

Can you create a baby registry in more than one place? Yes, of course. Just remember that if you have duplicate items on both lists (which is totally fine), you’ll have to manage the registries manually. Do you have time for this? Maybe. Maybe not. I barely have time to pee, so the answer for me would be a definitive no.

Essentially, there are two types of registries you can make in this world:

1. At a big box store, like TargetWalmart, Pottery Barn Kids. etc. Better yet, support a local baby store in your town (if there are any left!).

2. An online store, like AmazonBabyList.

My Favorites

  • Amazon Baby Registry allows you to add items from Amazon (where even Grandma has an account these days, so that’s a plus) in addition to any item from any OTHER website. Cool? Yes. The best part? They offer a 10% completion coupon (15% for “Amazon Family“!). We. Likie. This. [See all the perks here.]
  • Another good aggregator is BabyList, an online baby registry that allows you to add anything from on (or off) the web. You can register for all the practical items from the retailers of your choice, as well as items from your favorite independent shops or Etsy sellers. This really expands the realm of what you can ask for and lets you get a little more creative.


What to put on your baby registry? We can help!

Because it’s so overwhelming, we’ve broken it down into 10 simple categories, with the basic essentials in each.

Please also refer to my Registry Cheat Sheet (singletons). For twins, go here. Thanks!

What else do you NEED (duuuuuuuhh!)? (sarcasm)

My Pet Peeves

Please don’t expect people to buy you diapers/wipes from your registry. Yes, I know you’ll need them. In fact, you’ll need LOTS and LOTS of them. But you know what else you need a lot of? Toilet paper, paper towels, dishwashing detergent, razor blades… juice, milk, bread. You get the idea. Drugstore items don’t make very exciting or memorable gifts. Just my opinion. 😉 Not a big deal.

Also, please don’t put 5,000 items on your baby registry. Unless you are OctoMom, you can’t possibly need that much crap and really? It’s a little tacky.

Okay, did we cover everything? I hope so. Happy zapping. BEEEEP.

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