If you’ve ever started Googling “best baby gear” or “baby must-haves” and looked up two hours later just to close your laptop in total overwhelm, me too. Baby gear can be intimidating; there are so many things, so many options, and so many people trying to sell you the latest and greatest. When I started my baby registry I found half of the internet telling me I needed so many things I’d have to take a second mortgage out on our house, while the other half of the internet told me that babies don’t need anything other than white onesies. Like every other soon-to-be first-time-mom out there I just wanted to register for the right things for my little girl.
Eventually, I found what worked for me, and once Maddie was born we ended up having mostly everything we needed. Here are some things that I learned along the way that will hopefully help make your baby registry process a little bit easier.
Don’t Overdo It On The Clothes
It’s so hard. The clothes are so cute and so tiny and how can you not buy or register for 20 different outfits?? My advice is to register for basics like long and short sleeve onesies, double-zip pajamas, and socks. We had so many cute outfits and guess how many Maddie wore in those first few months? Zero. People will always buy you clothes because they can’t resist either so it’s likely that you end up with plenty of clothes even without registering for them.
Take The Opportunity To Ask For Bigger Items
Baby gear adds up, fast. A registry allows you to get help on some big-ticket items like the stroller that you’ve been eyeing. Most registry sites (I like Babylist) offer group gifts where people can contribute to a portion of a larger item without needing to pay the full price. It’s a great way to take some of the financial pressure off of yourself while giving others the opportunity to gift you something that will be useful to your family for years.
Don’t Stock Up On Unknowns
It can be tempting to want to stock up on things like bottles or pacifiers but it’s impossible to know what your baby’s preference will be. I’m sure there are a lot of families that end up with a full Dr. Brown’s (one of the most popular brands) bottle system in their cabinet just to discover that their baby will only take a different brand. In this case, your best bet is to register for one bottle from a few brands so you can test them out on your little one. A lot of sites also offer a “sample pack”, like this Babylist Bottle Box, for items like this where you can buy a box of different options to learn what they like before stocking up.
Focus Your Research Where It Matters Most
The things that keep your baby safe are the most important items you will buy. It can be overwhelming because there is tons of information out there, but doing your research on these items will save you a lot of trouble and work in the long run. Car seats, for example, are very confusing; there are so many brands, so many types, and so many sizes, and it’s easy to feel lost. You’re going to want the best one for your family, and that isn’t always the most popular brand or most expensive model. For car seats specifically, I love @SafeInTheSeat on Instagram. Michelle’s content is informative, approachable, and focuses on what is best and safest for you and your baby. For other safety items like cribs, mattresses, carriers, strollers, etc. – do your research!
Don’t Be Afraid To Wait
You don’t need to nail this in one try. If you’re unsure about needing something, just wait! You will quickly figure out if you need it or not after the baby comes. When I was registering I wasn’t sure if we needed a baby bouncer. I went back and forth on it and ended up not registering for one. About 6 weeks into mom life I ordered a bouncer for next-day delivery because I quickly realized I didn’t have anywhere to set my child down which was necessary for me being home by myself. And guess what, it ended up being one of the things I used the most and I was happy that I knew it was needed before adding it to our home.
This is such an exciting time. A baby is coming! Making a registry can be really fun and is a great resource for friends and family that want to support you by contributing to the baby’s needs. There are plenty of things to worry about with a new baby joining the family; hopefully with these tips your registry and baby gear won’t be one of them!