When people think of babies, one of the first things that comes to mind is shopping for these adorable mini-people and filling their lives with all the cool things that we all wanted ourselves as children. Whether it’s your own baby or someone else’s, there’s something so fun about shopping for tiny clothes, plush toys and whimsical blankets.
As a creative person (and, admittedly, a bit of a shop-o-holic), I couldn’t wait to get shopping for our baby’s nursery and for the essential items he would need during his first year here on planet earth.
What I quickly discovered, however, is that while creating a baby registry can be a lot of fun, it can also be a little overwhelming. I wanted to share my research and experience so that perhaps I can help some other, frantic first-time parents out there and also provide some insight into the beliefs and philosophies that drove our registry.
So, let’s start from the beginning. The first question I had to ask myself:
Which Baby Registry Should I Use?
For me, this was a no-brainer. I knew about Babylist from friends and co-workers before getting pregnant and loved how it allows the parents-to-be to curate a registry from across the web. All of your favorite items can be brought together in one place, regardless of the manufacturer or seller.
Having shopped the site as a baby-shower guest in the past, I also knew that it was an easy-to-use shopping experience. This is super important if you’re hoping for people to purchase items from your registry!
Another plus? For a $10 shipping fee, they send you a Hello Baby box which is full of samples, coupons and other, fun baby items. Check out what came in my Hello Baby box in the photo below – I can tell you that the value was well over $10! Not shown in the photo is a stack of useful coupons and discount codes for various baby products and websites. Also included in the box, or mailed to your house for free by request, are registry inserts to include with your baby shower invitations.
A final plus to this baby registry site is that one month prior to your due date, you can shop your own registry with a 10 percent off discount. This allows parents to do some last-minute shopping for items they may not have received at their shower.
What Should I Include On My Baby Registry?
OK, this is the big question. There were a few things that I knew we would need (onesies, pacifiers, a car seat, etc) but I also knew there were a lot of things I had no idea I needed. Here are some of the research techniques I followed to build our registry:
I read: Just like this blog post you’re reading right now, I read many different articles on what to include on a baby registry. I also found a really helpful guide in the book “What to Expect: the First Year.” What I liked most about this guide is that it broke down how many of each clothing item (approximately) you would need.
I browsed: Another benefit to using Babylist is that you can browse other people’s registries. I liked browsing through stylish, curated registries that the site put together but also enjoyed looking through the registries of my friends.
I asked: Who would know better than other parents? I posted the big question to my IG stories and was so pleased by how many responses I got! I asked parents to share their registry must-haves and also give a little insight into what products they thought they would need that ended up being pretty useless. It was great how all the moms and dads included their reasoning behind the products they recommended. It was fun seeing how everyone’s philosophies are different and how much of what they actually needed was dependent on the baby. Here are some of the most-received tips I received:
- Buy a variety of pacifiers. You never know which one the baby will gravitate towards.
- Baby swings, bouncers and sound machines are all must-have items.
- If you plan on nursing, make sure you stock up on self-care items (balm, pads, etc).
- Diapers, diapers and more diapers! Whether you plan on buying ahead of time, registering or holding a diaper raffle at your baby shower, stock up and stock up some more. I also learned that many parents use cloth diapers as burp clothes.
Our Baby Registry Philosophy
In case I’ve made creating a baby registry sound like a lot of work, I should emphasize that I had a ton of fun putting this registry together. Researching all of the items made me feel more connected with our unborn son, as I would think of him using all of the different items in his everyday life.
As a communications professional, I’m also a big believer in brand affinity and want to raise our child with products that are in line with our own personal beliefs and philosophies. Here are a few driving ideas behind our registry:
Manufacturing Matters: I really tried my best to find products in our price range that were responsibly produced. I looked for items that were made in the United States because Andy in I both believe in supporting our county’s economy as much as possible. When I couldn’t find products made in the U.S. I looked for those made in Scandinavian countries — my blog is called Hygge Inspired so that shouldn’t come as much of a surprise.
The Less Chemicals the Better: When possible, I looked for products that are organic as I believe in keeping our son’s life as chemical-free as possible. Some of my favorite organic baby brands that I have found so far include Burt’s Bees and Baby Bjorn.
Quality Over Quantity: While there are products available in a all price ranges in the baby market, I tended to look for items that were made with quality being a top priority. It’s my hope that many of these items can be re-used for our next baby and then gifted to someone in need after that. As someone who tries to lead an eco-conscious lifestyle, the less plastic and poorly-made toys and clothing I contribute to the landfill, the better. One high-quality toy brand that I’ve come across is Lovevery. Reading their mission statement, I was drawn to their dedication to quality and nurturing a developing mind and eagerly registered for both their play gym and block set.
Personalized is Always Better: When creating our registry, I didn’t necessarily want a list of items that could belong to anyone else. I wanted to create a registry that reflected myself, my husband and the person we’re looking to raise. That’s why when you browse through it you’ll see Star Wars onesies, a Norwegian high chair, and a camera lens and outfit for newborn photos. I’m also not about the “boys should wear blue” mentality and have been looking for clothing items outside the typical blue color pallete and fire truck prints. One brand that I’m currently loving for clothing and nursery textiles is SpearmintLOVE (don’t be sketched out by their website, I promise it’s legit).
Tips for Creating a Baby Registry:
- Do your research! Read some articles, ask around. Something I’m finding is that the parentnig community is incredibly warm and welcoming. Everyone is always looking to impart their knowledge and help make your journey a little easier, perhaps, than their’s was. That registry will fill up before you know it!
- Stay true to you. Always, always, always. Follow you gut, forget trends and register for things you love.
- Variety is fun for you and gifters alike. From feeding supplies, to clothing, to nursery essentials and bath time gear, keep your registry fun for shoppers by registering for a variety of products. Up your inclusivity but also registering for products that span a variety of price ranges to be respectful of everyone’s budget.
- Have fun! This is a special time in your life. Whether this is baby #1 or baby #10, each pregnancy is unique and each baby is their own, unique self sure to bring new levels of joy. Enjoy this special time and have fun picking out things you love for your newest addition.
Check Out Our Baby Registry!
If you’re interested in browsing our baby registry, click on the button below!