Most new parents will tell you that building a baby registry is a very personal and daunting task. It's the first step in nesting for the precious new life you're bringing into the world. You'll find yourself asking: Do I really need everything on that checklist? How do I know if the stroller my friend swears by will work for my family? And how many baby monitor reviews do I really need to read?
There are no wrong answers, but navigating the process can be tough.
We know you want it to be perfect, and we're here to help you get started. Here are five helpful tips to know before creating the registry of your dreams:
1. Consider your lifestyle and living situation.
Evaluate your housing situation. Do you have stairs leading to your front door? Do you plan to travel a lot with baby? Is it important that you can easily hop in a cab to meet friends for brunch with baby in tow? Evaluating how you live and how much space you have will help guide you in the right direction when choosing baby gear.
2. Do your research.
Just because your friend with a house loves her giant baby swing, doesn't mean you need to cram one into your small apartment. Baby gear is not one-size-fits-all-families, and it's possible that alternative products might work better with your lifestyle. Read reviews and test items at a local baby store to determine what's best you for.
3. Consider the weather.
Think ahead and register for the appropriate clothing and outdoor gear you will need during your fourth trimester. Also, think one season ahead. By the time you come out of the newborn fog, you'll be needing that winter bunting or hiking carrier you've been eyeing. Be smart and plan ahead.
4. Don't stop with baby gear + nursery decor.
Most mamas add baby gear and nursery decor to their list first. Who doesn't love a cool gadget? Think beyond things and add birthing classes, meal services, a visit from a postpartum doula or even a maternity leave fund with Babylist on your registry. We promise you'll be so glad you did.
5. Invest in items that matter.
The two pieces you'll want to spend the most money on are your car seat and crib mattress. Obviously everyone wants to be sure their baby is safe while riding in cars, but babies also spend a lot of time snoozing during the first year of their life, so it's important their mattress be safe and free from toxins. Luckily, mattresses made from all-natural materials are available in a range of prices, meaning you can afford one on almost any budget.