What is a baby registry?
A baby registry is a simple and helpful way to provide friends and family or baby shower guests with gift suggestions. It is a list of items you have selected that you need for your new baby and would like to receive as gifts.
You can create a baby registry by simply choosing a store or registry provider that you like and picking items that you want or need. Guests are not obligated to use the registry, but creating one is helpful to both guests and expecting parents!
How does a baby registry work?
Whether you opt to visit stores in person, or you prefer to curate your baby registry online, your registry is comprised of items you will want to have on hand once your baby arrives. Whatever items you choose to add will be displayed in your registry, which will allow your friends and family to purchase a gift that they know you will not only use, but truly love.
You can select everything from color preference to the quantity of any product you’ll need—great for items like baby necessities and nursery accessories—and you’ll start receiving gifts as soon as they’re purchased! Many stores and services include helpful tools, registry-building events for expecting parents, and will assist with any troubleshooting should you have returns or exchanges.
When should I set up a baby registry?
Ideally, you should start compiling your registry before your baby shower invitations are mailed. This usually translates to 2-3 months before the baby’s arrival. Of course, you can begin researching products and adding them to your registry much sooner, and there’s always the opportunity for fine-tuning your wish list up to the day baby arrives—and that’s totally fine!
Does it cost to set up a baby registry?
Not at all! Whether you’re setting up your baby gift list in-store or you’re opting to build it online, you won’t have to pay a thing to make sure your guests can see and purchase the items you’ve chosen. Setting up a registry can often reap rewards.
Check each store to see what rewards they offer. These benefits can include completion discounts, free shipping, bonus gifts and more.
How do you set up a baby registry?
Creating a baby registry can be fun and is relatively simple.
- Select your registry providers. These can be baby only stores like buybuy BABY® and Baby Earth, or traditional retailers such as Target, Walmart, and Dillard’s. Some stores like Amazon and Target even include a Universal Registry option, meaning you can add any item from any store. While most people prefer online shopping, we recommend choosing at least one brick and mortar retail store for guests who are more comfortable shopping in-person.
- Check out a checklist. We’ve created the ultimate printable checklist for helping new parents move from feeling “overwhelmed” to “organized.” Print this list before you register to guide you in making selections. It will help you create a comprehensive baby gift registry that makes it easy to pinpoint what you’ll need.
Where should you set up a baby registry? What baby registries are the best?
Where you decide to register depends completely on your needs. With so many options of retailers and websites, the decision-making process can be a little overwhelming. Luckily, we’ve compiled a handy list of our favorite places for your essentials, specialty goods and more, just for this reason.
Take a peek at the chart below for a quick visual reference of what retailers might be the best fit for you, and check out this blog for more details on choosing where to register.
What are baby registry must haves?
We believe you will find it helpful to think in terms of categories, like “nursing and feeding,” “gear,” “nursery & decor,” “clothing,” and “health and safety.” For a comprehensive list of specific items, check out our Ultimate Baby Registry Checklist. The list is filled with baby essentials that you’ll need on hand when baby arrives!
What stores have baby registries?
For a list of baby registry options, visit our blog post on the best places to create your baby registry. You’ll see big box retailers like Target and Walmart, specialty baby stores like buybuyBaby and Crate&kids, as well as online-only options like Amazon and Baby Earth/Baby Wise.
How many baby registry items should you include?
Instead of focusing on quantity, focus on variety. Guests won’t mind scrolling through a long list of items as long as you include items at various price points, from low to high. Include everything you think you will need. Our Ultimate Baby Registry Checklist is filled with the essential gear you’ll need for feeding, clothing, and caring for your baby, from big ticket items to lower cost basics. It seems like a lot of stuff, but trust us–that little person will need quite a few products to stay comfortable and safe!
What to name baby registry? By baby or parent?
Definitely by parents’ names. All retailers will ask for you and/or your partner’s names, as well as the baby’s due date. Baby shower guests will use your info to locate your registry through the retailer’s website or RegistryFinder.com.
When do you give a gift from a baby registry? Only at a baby shower?
A baby gift is a way to celebrate a baby’s arrival and a symbol of your love and support for the new parents. Baby gifts can be given at any time, but are traditionally given at a baby shower or after the new baby arrives. Many choose to give a gift when they visit the new baby for the first time, attend a Sip and See, or after they receive a birth announcement.
Where can you go to find someone’s baby registry?
Visit RegistryFinder.com to find all of your friends’ baby registries in one place! All you’ll need is the first and last name of the expecting parent.
Which baby registry gives free stuff?
Almost all baby registry retailers offer perks in the form of a completion discount. Some also offer bonus gifts or rewards. For more details, check out our blog on the best places to register. It contains a handy chart which offers a quick visual of various retailers’ discounts and freebies!
What are baby registry must haves? Top products?
The number one must have for babies is a car seat. After all, you can’t drive home from the hospital without one. To choose the car seat that is best for you, one of our new moms has done all the research in her blog A New Mom’s Guide to Car Seats. Of-course another must have is the stroller. We’ve got you covered there too, with A New Mom’s Guide to Strollers.
Any parent can tell you, there are quite a few things you will need. We find it helpful to think in terms of categories, like “nursing and feeding,” “gear,” “nursery & decor,” “clothing,” and “health and safety.” For a comprehensive list of specific items, check out our Ultimate Baby Registry Checklist. The list is filled with baby essentials that you’ll need on hand when baby arrives!
For advice from the experts (moms), check out our article, Ask a REal Mom: Baby Registry Wins + Registry Regrets.
For top products that others are including on their registries, see Our Favorite Baby Registry Gifts from buybuy BABY.
Can a baby registry be private?
Some retailers and registry providers do offer the option of keeping your registry private. They may require a password or link to view. You can share that with only those that you want to see your baby registry.
Can you create a baby registry online?
Absolutely! While you have the option of heading into stores like buybuy BABY, Target, or Dillard’s, you can also create your registry with any retailer from the comfort of your couch!
Here are a few tips to get started on your baby wish list:
- Download our new Baby Registry Checklist and check things off while you’re registering in the store or online!
- Decide where you’re going to register. We compiled this handy registry chart which compares all of the registry perks from our favorite retailers and registry providers. Our recommendations are in our blog, The Best Places to Create Your Baby Registry.
- Go to our Registry Creation page which provides links to all your favorite retailers and get started.
Can you delete a baby registry?
Yes. You will need to visit your individual baby registry retailers’ sites to delete the baby’s registry.
How to add a baby registry to an evite?
You have two easy options:
- The best option is to find the mom-to-be’s registry at RegistryFinder.com. Click on “Copy Registry Link to Share” on their registry results page. This will give you a link (URL) that you can share on your evite.
- Direct your guests to RegistryFinder.com, where they will find all the guest of honor’s registries in one place. Simply add the line, “Visit RegistryFinder.com to shop for [expecting mom’s name].”
What do you do if you want to give a gift but the baby registry items are too expensive for your budget?
While we encourage expecting parents to add items at every price point, sometimes guests are still left feeling like they have no affordable options. We’re here to help! This post is filled with foolproof baby gift ideas, like small toys, safety items, and cute accessories. And there’s always the option of buying a gift card that fits your budget.
Do you create 1 or 2 baby registries for twins? Triplets? Etc.?
One registry is all that’s needed for multiples! While you’ll need double (or triple) the number of swings, car seats, and bottles, you can add the quantities you need to one registry.
Should you create a baby registry for second child? Third? Fourth? Etc.
We definitely think you should register for every child, whether it’s your first or fourth!
Here are a few reasons why:
- If there is a large gap between your youngest child and the new baby, this is the perfect time to create a new baby gift registry.
- Are your children going to be less than 2 years apart? If so, you’re going to have more than one baby in your home, so you may need a few duplicates.
- You’ve discovered a few items that would be helpful for this new baby. Put them on a registry!
- Baby #2 or #3 is a different gender.
- Baby gear continues to evolve and improve.
For more on why and what you should register for your second or third child, visit this blog post!
Which baby registries are the best?
What you consider the “best” all depends on your needs and preferences. With so many options of retailers and websites, the decision-making process can be a little overwhelming. Luckily, we’ve compiled a handy list of our favorite places for your essentials, specialty goods and more, just for this reason. Take a peek at this blog for more details on choosing where to register. It contains a chart to give you a quick visual reference of what retailers might be the best fit for you.
What are the best baby registry items for small spaces? Minimalist?
Our Ultimate Baby Registry Checklist is filled with what we call “essentials,” but minimalists can utilize a few tips to make that long list feel more suited to their lifestyle:
- Go neutral: instead of choosing “pink” or “blue” everything, go for clean, soft, colors that flow with the rest of your home’s decor and can transition beyond the baby stage and for multiple children. This post has more details on why going neutral is a great idea!
- Choose items that serve a dual purpose: a pack and play with built in changing table, a high chair that transitions to a booster seat, a crib that transforms to a toddler bed, and bouncing seat that folds flat are good places to start.
- Storage, storage, storage: for small spaces, we recommend baskets and shelves that easily “hide” the clutter from view!
For some of our favorite dual purpose and storage solutions must haves, please review our blog post, Designing a Small Space Nursery.
Do you create a baby registry if you are not having a baby shower?
Absolutely. While baby showers are traditional gift-giving occasions, expecting parents are free to create a baby registry whether a shower is being held in their honor or not. Friends and family may choose to give a gift at any time before or after the baby arrives, such as when they visit baby for the first time, attend a Sip and See, or after receiving a birth announcement.
What are the stores’ perks for creating a baby registry?
Specific perks vary from store to store, but might include benefits like these:
- Completion discounts
- Free shipping
- Bonus Gifts
- Extended returns
- Design Services
- Registry App
- Registry Events
For more details, this helpful chart offers a quick visual of various retailers’ discounts and freebies!
Also check out our helpful registry creation page which highlights the major benefit and offers links to all the registry pages.
What should you include in a baby registry for a first time mom?
The best place to begin is with our Ultimate Baby Registry Checklist. There, you’ll find all the essentials for nursing and feeding, nursery and decor, on-the-go gear, playtime, and more! We recommend printing this list before you register to stay organized as you make your selections. It will help you create a comprehensive baby gift registry that makes it easy for your friends and loved ones to shop.
What do you include on a baby registry without knowing the baby’s gender??
Whether you choose to find out your baby’s gender or not, the essential items you’ll need are the same, just in neutral colors. The best place to begin is with our Ultimate Baby Registry Checklist. There, you’ll find all the essentials for nursing and feeding, nursery and decor, on-the-go gear, playtime, and more!
We recommend printing this list before you register to stay organized as you make your selections. It will help you create a comprehensive baby gift registry that makes it easy for your friends and loved ones to shop.
What are some common baby registry needs vs. wants?
Almost everything included on our Ultimate Baby Registry Checklist is a “need,” with a few exceptions. The “Extras” category is a good example. Things like a baby memory book, a piggy bank, and picture frames fall within the “wants” category.
Definite “needs” are diapers, a car seat, a place for your baby to sleep, baby blankets, baby clothes, and feeding essentials. A necessary item for one parent might be optional for another. Electronics such as a baby monitor (or camera system) and sound soother might fall into that category.
In addition, some accessories like bows, nursery decor, books, toys, and stuffed animals might be considered “wants”–but they sure are cute! When creating your baby registry, include everything you think you might need. You can always return a gift if you decide it’s not right for you and your baby.
What’s the difference between setting up a baby registry online versus in store?
Think of the difference as convenience versus experience. Some find setting up the baby registry online to be convenient: no need to leave the house or feel rushed to fill up your registry in one day. Others, however, enjoy the experience of going to the store to register, because they get to touch and feel the products they will be using with their little ones. In addition, visiting the store will give you access to staff who may be able to guide you in your decision-making.
One of our bloggers, that is recently a new mom, did just that and wrote about her in-store experience. Check that out here.
If it’s your first child, we recommend visiting a baby store or two to at least “test drive” your stroller and practice opening and folding it. Most other items can be chosen online (reviews are so helpful!)
What are some common baby registry mistakes to avoid?
Here are a few common mistakes we’ve seen:
- Not registering for enough: in a well-meaning effort toward minimalism and graciousness, some new parents don’t want to “overwhelm” their friends and family with an extensive registry. Though their intentions are good, a small registry actually makes shopping more difficult! Don’t be afraid to build a registry that’s truly a wish list for your future baby and home, with plenty of options and price points for your guests to utilize. Our Ultimate Baby Registry Checklist is a great place to start!
- Not researching: We know it’s challenging to navigate the thousands of baby products available, but don’t make the mistake of adding items to your registry without taking the time to read and research which items are worth the investment, work well, and suit your lifestyle. The RegistryFinder GiveIt blog is a wonderful resource for expecting parents! Subscribe to the blog so you don’t miss out on baby tips and trends, including the latest in all-natural baby products, nursery design, and our favorite baby gifts.
Should you include baby registry information on a baby shower invitation? What’s the proper way to word registry information on a baby shower invitation?
This may be hard to believe, but baby registries are a relatively new custom. Wedding registries have been around since the 1920’s but baby registries developed only about 20 years ago along with the technology that supported it, first with in-store kiosks, and then grew more popular with retailer websites and online shopping.
In the past, proper etiquette was to enclose a separate card with registry information printed on it in the mailed shower invitation. However, common practice is now to include registry information at the bottom of the baby shower invitation and everyone seems to accept that this is fine.
The easiest way to word this is to say, “Find all of [new mom’s name]’s registries by visiting RegistryFinder.com.” This way, you avoid listing various store names and websites, and guests are easily able to do all their shopping!
If doing an e-vite or electronic invitation, you can get a specific link or URL directly to all of mom-to-be’s registries simply by searching their name on RegistryFinder.
What are some top baby registry tips?
- Use a Checklist: Have fun building a registry that’s truly a wish list for your future baby and home, with plenty of options and price points for your guests to utilize. Our Ultimate Baby Registry Checklist is a great place to start!
- Start by doing research and reading reviews for the products you’re interested in. This will help you decide which items are worth the investment, work well, and suit your lifestyle.
How long do you have to send a thank you note for the baby registry gifts you receive? Where can I find an example of a baby registry gift thank you note?
The short answer: ASAP! The sooner you send the note, the more appreciative you seem of the gift. Aim for 1-2 weeks after your baby shower, and as soon as possible for gifts sent after the baby is born. While this timeline may seem tight, the following tips can help make writing a meaningful note much easier:
- Stock up on stationary. Keep blank thank-you notes at hand so that once a gift arrives, you are able to write a note immediately.
- Use a template: Here are two examples of thank-you notes new moms can send for showers and after the baby is born:
It was so wonderful to see you last weekend—thank you for traveling all the way from Naples to celebrate at my baby shower and share our excitement as we look forward to baby Kate’s arrival! I absolutely love the adorable outfits you chose for Kate—I’m so excited to start dressing her up! We can’t wait for you to meet her when you’re back in town for Christmas.
It’s always fun to come home to a special delivery, especially when it’s a thoughtful gift from you! Thank you so much for sending the adorable play mat for baby Kate to enjoy—I know she will love playing on it during her daily “tummy time!” We can’t wait for you to meet her!
For more thank-you note tips and etiquette, check out our Guide to Thank-You Notes.
Can you return baby registry gifts?
Definitely! The gift-giver will not be notified if you change your mind about the item they purchased. Even if you return the item, be sure to thank the giver with a timely, handwritten thank you note.
What are the best baby registry websites?
That all depends on your needs! There are several excellent baby registry retailers and registry providers. Use this chart as a quick visual representation of each retailer’s perks, features, and benefits.
For more info, hop over to our post on best places to create a baby registry.
What are some unique baby registry items or baby registry gifts?
Beyond the items that are on our Ultimate Baby Registry Checklist, we always think it’s fun to add a few personalized items to your registry! In addition, subscribe to the GiveIt blog for updates on our favorite gifts and gadgets!
What are the best baby registry Pinterest boards?
We’ve got you covered when it comes to Pinterest! Follow our RegistryFinder boards for new daily pins on the best baby products, gifts, and tips!
Can a baby registry include gift cards?
Definitely! Most retailers will give you the option to indicate if you would like to receive gift cards. Gift givers can then choose the amount.
Is group gifting from a baby registry appropriate?
Absolutely! Many expecting parents place expensive items on their registry with the understanding that a group of friends or coworkers will split the costs. Some retailers, like Target, allow for group gifting through their website. Otherwise, gift givers may choose to split the cost for big-ticket items themselves.
What are some items to include on a baby registry gifts for dad? For mom?
A few of the items on our Ultimate Baby Registry Checklist are actually for parents: for example, you might each consider registering for a diaper bag that fits your individual styles. Same goes for a baby carrier: moms might find one more comfortable than dads, so take the time to try on a few options, and feel free to register for two different styles!
How many items should you include on a baby registry? How many diapers? How many bottles? How many towels? What are the baby registry essentials?
We’re so glad you asked. Our Ultimate Baby Registry Checklist includes all the baby registry essentials and quantities for bottles, towels, clothing and a few nursery items. As for diapers, we recommend adding at least one large box of newborn and a few boxes of size 1 and 2. Depending on how much your baby weighs at birth (and how many diapers they go through a day), you may have to run out and purchase more newborn ones, but overall, it’s amazing how quickly they grow!