What On Earth Do I Really Need to Register For?

So friends and family have already started asking me if I’m registered. Seriously? I thought I could hold off until a few weeks before the little one is due, but new mothers tell me it takes a lot of time to research the safety aspects of the items I might want to receive.

I have absolutely no idea where to begin. I googled for baby registries and came across a bunch of sites with long lists of items I don’t think I’ll need. I’m a bit clutter-phobic, (I know I’ll need to get over that once the little one arrives), so I’d really like to stick to the basics initially and then add on additional items as necessary.

This list looked relatively simplistic so I thought I’d pick and chose items from there, but I’d love to get some advice on this one. I know I need a crib, car seat, stroller, bottles (although I plan to breast feed as much as possible initially), breast pump and baby monitor, but what else do I really need?

I don’t know why I feel so clueless. I’ve been to enough baby showers to know what is usually received, but I want to make certain that friends and family buy us items we really need. I hate the idea of anyone wasting money on things we won’t use.

So if you have any thoughts on this one feel free to leave me a comment. Not only what to register for but also where to register for it.

I might need to take a field trip to the store this weekend to familiarize myself with the long list of products.

12 thoughts on “What On Earth Do I Really Need to Register For?”

  1. Don't forget a baby bouncer chair! They are life savers with a baby. šŸ™‚ I borrowed a bassinet from a friend since they are only needed for the first 3 months or so. We always had a good rocking chair as well.

  2. A bouncy chair definately. It is great to have somewhere to put the baby and they can sit up in it and look around. Also a baby carrier the ones that you can carry them in front or also the baby wraps are popular too. It gives you the ability to hold the baby but also have your hands free. These are the things that i used the most. Also burp rags and extra crib sheets. We went through tons of these!! Beware of the HUGE lists most baby stores give you of the necessities!! It was crazy amount of stuff that you don't need. Congrats!!

  3. I actually don't think you need to register for all that much honestly. I was in the exact same boat a few months ago – totally overwhelmed and not knowing what to get. As a mom of a 9 week old, I can tell you these are the definite things we use: a cosleeper (most likely, your sweet babe will sleep with you for the first few months just because of the frequency of night feeds), a stroller, a bouncy seat, swaddling blankets, diapers (we use cloth, but whichever way you go, diapers will definitely be used), burp rags, a baby carrier, and a breast pump. I registered for a ton of bottles and since I mainly breast feed, I haven't used more than 4. Other stuff can wait until the baby gets here – you'll have no idea what size your baby will be, so sometimes newborn clothes can be a waste of money. Same thing with pacifiers (who knows if your baby will take one). I will tell you that clothes and blankets are the things that people will buy you without even asking for them, so don't bother putting them on your registry – we probably have 15 receiving blankets. I wish that was an exaggeration. šŸ™‚ Good luck and enjoy! šŸ™‚

  4. I'm assuming what the others are calling 'bouncy seats' are what we knew as 'pumpkin seats:' they're terrycloth on a flexible angled 'seat' shape — small enough to fit underneath a restaurant table (wonder how I know that!), and you can 'bounce' them with your foot to keep the strapped-in baby occupied. This seat kept our girls happy on many a public occasion.
    Do NOT ask for a 'baby bath:' the kid outgrows these quickly. You can use the tub or a kitchen sink just as easily. Also, don't get kid-sized furniture…they outgrow these too fast, too. Instead, look for multi-purpose that can adapted for something else as they get older. And don't forget a toy chest or set of bins for all the STUFF you're going to accumulate, whether you like it or not.
    You'll need less clothes than you think — and these are always popular baby gifts. The other things you mention are easy to find at garage sales and thrift shops.
    I would consider getting one good-sized stuffed animal that's of better quality. Our 20-something daughter still has her 'Uncle Big,' a large stuffed polar bear with a squeaky in his paw, that she received as a baby. (He stayed in her crib at night, and seemed to be a comfort to her.)
    Also — two baby quilts. One that can be thrown on the floor, dragged around, spit up on. The second, for 'show' when you take the baby somewhere, and can be kept for the future.
    We used hooded snowsuits a lot, as well. Granted, we were living in Colorado — but these zip suits are actually pretty easy to get on and off, and keep the baby very warm. Dave Barry called the indoors version of these "poop sacks," and said you don't have to take them off until they're full!
    Congratulations to you and your husband. This baby will change your life!

    P.S. Keep at least one of the pacifiers, and use it for a Christmas decoration (add a hook) — our daughters' 'binkies' continue to appear on the tree.

  5. I recommend registering for baby clothes basics in various sizes. White long & short sleeved onsies in all sizes (0-3, 3-6, 3-9, 9-12, etc). And defintily solid colored knit pants. We ended up with TONS of onsies and no pants. People tend to pick out the pretty and the cute as gifts and sometimes you just want to put your little one in basics! Sleep Sacks are great, and make sure you register for some large recieving blankets, the gerber brand are really too small for swaddling. You can also register for baby tylenol & motrin, and the breast milk freezer bags from the list you linked to are a great idea – we went through tons. Also, I think breast pumps are now tax deductable! I agree with budget babe about the bottles, even with our first in daycare we only used about four since I was nursing. And, don't forget about books – if you set up an amazon registery, I loved the William Sonoma baby food cookbook!

  6. – a bouncer that has a vibrate function can be a lifesaver. It was the only way I could get a shower. We had one that also had an ipod connection for soothing lullabies.

    – diaper genie if you go for disposables, we loved ours so much we put one upstairs and downstairs.

    – bottles and the freezer bags for pumped milk. I loved having extra bottles and nipples so that I didn't have to do dishes every night after I went back to work at 7 weeks.

    – a crib mobile helps the little one get to sleep

    – a nightlight lets you do late night diaper changes without full light that wakes up everyone fully.

    – lots of swaddle blankets (I used them as burp rags too), crib sheets (we had 3), and my little guy loves the fleece blankets even more now at 2yr than he did when he was smaller.

    the registry list suggestions at the stores are crazy with too much stuff.

  7. Not knowing what you need with your first baby is totally normal and both me and my wife felt the same way. It's overwhelming and there is a lot of advice to take in. I agree on the baby bouncer. We used it a lot because for the first 6 months there's no place to set them down when you're not holding them except maybe the floor or couch or bed. It's just handy. Even getting everything on your registry isn't insurance that you won't feel like you're missing something. You just never know about everything with a baby until you actually have it. Hope all this 'advice' leads to some peace for you!

  8. Thank you, thank you, thank you to all of you who left comments and all of you who sent me emails. This was EXTREMELY helpful. I wrote down notes from all of your comments and plan to take them with me when I register. Who knew a bouncy chair was such a staple!

  9. I registered for a ton of bottles and since I mainly breast feed, I haven't used more than 4. Other stuff can wait until the baby gets here – you'll have no idea what size your baby will be, so sometimes newborn clothes can be a waste of money.

  10. Maybe I can give a little advice – not a mom yet, but I owned a children's resale shop for 5 years. If you plan to have more than one child, invest in a good crib, one without drop sides as most of them have been recalled.

    If you only plan to have one child, think about investing in a good pack-n-play instead of a crib. They are more versatile nowadays and you can get a large one that will fit up to a 2-yr old. By the time your child is just past 2, you'll be thinking about a toddler bed anyway. Most people who brought in pack-n-plays never used the changing attachment, the bassinet portion or the diaper stacker. Spend money on sturdiness, not attachments you'll probably never use.
    Keep the tags on EVERYTHING. Until you have the baby and know how big she or he is, you will likely over or underestimate the sizes for the seasons during the first year. Keeping the tags on may allow you to return items, or re-gift, or sell at resale shops at much higher prices than if you've taken tags off and washed items.
    Invest in good bottles but only AFTER you know if the baby takes to a certain type. Try just one of any brand to start before you buy multiples.
    If you get anything you know you won't use, or doubles of anything, return them right away. Target, Kohls and a bunch of other stores will give you gift cards – you can hang on to these and use them over the first few years as you need them.
    Go for quality, not brands. Some of the best wearing clothing is Carters, for sure, and outlet prices for Carters can't be beat. Gap items are often long and thin and don't fit the average pudgy baby.
    Get just what you need to start. Styles change even over a years' time. You can sell items (mom to mom sales, Craigslist) as your baby outgrows them, unless you plan on have many children – then go for what gets the best ratings. Amazon has great ratings on all the items – read what other people think before you invest.


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