It’s finally time to register for baby gifts for your little one! This is one of the most fun parts of planning for your bundle of joy, if you ask me! However, once you get to your location of choice, you become overwhelmed with all the cuteness. From outfits to bedding to books, everything looks like a necessity. You can get lost in what your baby registry is really supposed to be for. Pricier items that your family and friends can help you with.
Where to register:
Here are a few things to consider before you start your baby registry.
- How accessible is the store that you’re registering at? Is there only one location in your area? That may become inconvenient to some of your friends and family. The point in having a registry is to make it easy for gifting. Look at retailers that offer coupons/discounts or even free shipping.
- What is their registry completion discount? Some retailers will offer you a discount for finishing up your registry. This is super important because you won’t necessarily get everything on your registry. Or you may add things later that you didn’t think you needed.
Where I registered and why:
I registered at 3 places. Even though I registered at 3, I would recommend no more than 2. I registered at Target, Amazon, and Dillard’s. My husband works for Dillard’s so we definitely wanted to support their business, but it also made it easy for his co-workers. I registered at Target, because it’s widely accessible online and in store. I also registered at Amazon. Almost everyone has Amazon Prime and it’s definitely one of the easiest ways to send gifts.
Retailer Registry Comparisons:
*See below for additional details
You can register for gift cards! How cool is that? And super handy. I think I appreciated all the gift cards we received more than anything. You never know what you’ll need to pick up after the baby arrives. For us, it was newborn diapers. We didn’t register for a lot (more on this later).
Target also does group gifting! I thought that was a pretty neat feature if your family/friends want to chip in for a pricier item.
Completion discount is good starting 60 days before your due date. Plenty of time to wrap up your shopping.
Easy returns! I cannot say this enough. If you have something that could have been bought from Target (diapers, bottles, etc.) you can return them even if you didn’t have them on your registry. They even used my registry for some maternity clothes I never wore because I used a gift card and didn’t have my receipt anymore. I’m pretty sure I can still return things using my registry!
Amazon does give you a welcome gift, IF you 1) complete your checklist and 2) make a $10 purchase. Sometimes the welcome gift is sold out and you have to wait until it comes back in stock, which is a little annoying. However, it was worth the wait. It says it’s a $35 value, but I might say it seemed like more. Also, to complete your checklist, I added all the items they say you should register for and deleted them later.
In the chart, it says Amazon has a completion discount of 15% for Prime members. There is a discount if you don’t have Prime, it’s 10%.
Completion discount is good starting 60 days before your due date.
As far as returns, I’m not sure. I didn’t have to return anything. It does make for easy gifting for family/friends that may be far away.
Buy Buy Baby
As you know, I never registered for Buy Buy Baby, so take this with a grain of salt. The reason I didn’t register for Buy Buy Baby is because there’s only two locations in the metroplex “near me” (they aren’t close). And I knew that I only wanted to register at two places (three if you include Dillard’s).
I did use their checklists and bought a ton of stuff from them, though! That 20% off coupon is amazing! And I feel like I get one every month. Tip: You can use Bed, Bath, and Beyond coupons at Buy Buy Baby as well!
Buy Buy Baby also has a registry referral program. If you refer someone, you’ll get a coupon for $25 off a $100 purchase.
To be honest, I would skip registering at Wal-Mart. There is zero incentive since they are the only retailer on this list to not give a completion discount. Boo!
What NOT to register for?
Now, I don’t want this to come across as tacky, but we’re all friends here, right? Don’t register for anything less than $15-$20. There is always going to be someone that wants to give you a gift basket. And those are great, don’t get me wrong. But you don’t need 5 tubes of diaper cream! I’m still trying to use them up almost 10 months later!
If you’re wanting a specific brand of baby care, register for the set instead.
You can totally pick up all those smaller items closer to the due date using your completion discount. You just add those items at the last minute.
Clothes. This is going to sound weird, but seriously. Especially, if you’re having a girl. People are going to buy you a ton of clothing! Why? Because they’re adorable! If you find a few things that you just have to have, by all means, go for it! I never registered for plain white onesies either. I think there are so many cute designs out there now that are just as inexpensive!
People love blankets! You’ll get plenty.
Newborn diapers. Probably controversial again. If you do, maybe 1-2 boxes. Here’s the deal: 1) you don’t know what brand your baby will do best with 2) you have no idea how long they’ll be in them. My little one was a big girl. She was only in newborn diapers for 3 weeks. We also switched diaper brands from newborn to size 1. The hospital had Huggies, and boy those are soft! The Pampers Swaddlers just weren’t as soft. However, Huggies leaked! Not good the bigger she got. Trust me. Register for all the 1s, 2s, and 3s!
We were pretty smart on the bottle front. We used the ones we got in our Welcome Gifts and bought just a few different types. You never know what your baby will like. You hear tons of great things about the wider mouth bottles. My little one uses the smaller type from Dr. Brown’s. She kept spitting up with the Avent Naturals.
We didn’t give her a pacifier until she was 2 weeks old. Pacifiers can cause confusion if you’re trying to breastfeed. Even if you decide to give your little one a pacifier, you never know what they’ll prefer. When our little one did use one, she liked the MAM ones early on and NUK later. Thankfully, she just stopped using them at about 4 months.
Items for babies 6 months and older
Ok, I’m not talking about bouncers, activity centers, and high chairs. Those are pricey and you definitely are going to need them. I’m talking about toddler car seats, pack n’ plays, toys, baby food makers. These are all things you can get later. You might change your mind about making that homemade baby food. Or maybe you don’t need that pack n’ play until you’re little one is mobile. We bought one for $50 to go on a vacation. And it was really nice! You don’t want to clutter your life just yet. It’s coming. Don’t worry.
Must have items:
If you’re a two-car family or even if your baby care plans involve grandma/grandpa daily, you’re going to need multiple car seats, or bases! Do your research! We knew our little one was going to be on the tall side, so we found one that accommodates up to 32”, most only go to 30”.
Find one that your baby can grow with. We went with the Maxi-Cosi 5-in-1 Travel System. I’ll link my review below. Spoiler alert: I love it! I think travel systems are definitely the way to go, but you’ll need to see what fits your lifestyle best.
We did not put a baby monitor on our registry. We got ours on a Prime Day deal from Amazon. It’s the Arlo Baby Monitor. Some of the features are awesome. You can see the temperature of the room and the video is really clear. However, the issue is that it connects with WIFI and there is no handheld monitor. You view it in an app on your phone. Yes, it’s very convenient. But what happens when the internet goes down or the power goes out? I would do some research. Most that we looked at had mixed reviews.
We were gifted the Owlet Baby Monitor. I had a love/hate relationship with Owlet. If you’re interested in a review, please let me know in the comments below.
Like I said earlier, you won’t have enough of 1s/2s/3s. And they are an extremely easy item to return. As for wipes, you use them for everything. There is no possible way to have too many.
There is a difference between a typical trash can and a diaper pail. I did quite a bit of research on this topic and think I’ve found the perfect one! The Bubula. I got ours from Buy Buy Baby with that nifty 20% off coupon. It’s pricey. I get it. But here’s the deal. It takes regular trash bags! And it definitely keeps the smell of dirty diapers contained, which is exactly what you need.
So, the Bubula is $89.99 and regular kitchen sized trash bags from Target are $8.99 for 60. We can go a whole week without changing the liner! Think about it. That’s 36 diapers x 60 liners. 2,160 diapers!
The famous Diaper Genie is $39.99, but the refills are $19.99 and hold “270 diapers” per insert. My sister had this one and there is no way it held that many. I also have the Litter Genie for my cats and can confirm that we’ve stopped using it because it so irritating to replace the bag.
The point is, find a diaper pail that you can use regular trash bags in and thank me later.
Tummy Time Activity Mat
I didn’t know tummy time was such a big deal, but it is REALLY important for your little one to gain the strength to hold their head up, roll over, and even crawl. And with not many activities your newborn can enjoy, this is worth the investment.
It doesn’t matter what type of swing it is. 4Moms Mamaroo or the Graco Swing or something else. Babies love swings. You might even find that it’s the only place they’ll nap for a while. P.S. Don’t forget the newborn insert for the Mamaroo!
As your baby gets stronger, they’ll want to play more and more. Find something like an activity center or a bouncer to keep them interested and learning. We have two that I’ll link below. The variety in having two is really nice if you can swing it. If I could I only pick one, it would be the Skip Hop Activity Center. It grows with them and I think it had a lot to do with how quickly our little has been hitting physical milestones. Along with tummy time!
I have the classic boppy and there are just so many uses for it. We used it for nursing, to prop her up on, to put behind her when she was learning to sit up, and now to feed her bottles on her own.
I never had the newborn lounger or a Dock-A-Tot, but they are both things I would consider for a future baby.
White Noise Machine
Want to make your baby sleep more restfully and be less bothered by noise in the rest of the house? Get a white noise machine. We have the Hatch Baby Rest Sound Machine. After our little one stopped sleeping in our room, my husband and I even missed it being there.
Register for what you need, not what you want. Have fun. It’s an exciting time. And here’s the bottom line, you’re going to need things after the baby comes no matter how prepared you are. Don’t sweat it! And take what I say with a grain of salt. This is just my 2 cents. If you want to register for 20 newborn outfits, you do you!
Thanks for hanging with me through this longer post. Let me know what one item that you cannot live without for your baby or one item you hope to get as a gift! And as always, thanks for stopping by!