There's no denying it: When you're preparing for the arrival of your baby, creating a baby registry is one of the most fun tasks. It's not only an opportunity to shop your heart out and lovingly guide friends and family members in the right direction, it's also a special opportunity to visualize how life is going to look when your baby makes their big appearance.

Now, there is a slight learning curve when it comes to registering for baby items. After all, how much thought have you given the best bassinets or strollers in the past? But don't sweat it, mama: We'll help you get back to the fun of it by giving you a quick primer on creating the baby registry of your dreams.

Here's what you need to know.

Step 1: Decide where to register

The fact that you have to take this step is a no-brainer, but deciding where to register can be a bit overwhelming as there are so many options. Take this pro tip from us: You can't go wrong with Target's baby registry , which features Target's Year of Benefits program. Just by starting your registry, you will enjoy Target's welcome kit with $120 in coupons plus free samples. The savings continue with two 15% off coupons to help you complete your registry at Target for the first year after your baby's expected arrival. And for expectant parents who also sign up for Target Circle, there's also a full year's worth of exclusive discounts thanks to the brand new Year of Exclusive Deals benefit.

It's also helpful to consider the shopping styles of the different people who may purchase gifts. With Target, your gifters can just as easily buy online or in a store. Better yet, friends can even team up to contribute to the expense of larger items. You can add more than just products from Target, too: The online registry allows you to add items from anywhere on the internet.


Step 2: Start with the essentials

Thinking about everything you need for your baby can get a bit overwhelming, to say the least. But you've got this, mama. Just like when you are creating a grocery shopping list, start by checking off the essentials that immediately come to mind. In this case, think about the items you can add without spending too much time weighing options and evaluating pros and cons, such as diapers , wipes , bathing items and more.

Still stumped for ideas? Turn to an essentials checklist that can help you get started.


Step 3: Research the best gear

As your registry confidence builds (see, this is fun!), turn to the gear items that call for a bit more commitment. In fact, about 20% of the items you're going to want on your registry will take up about 80% of your decision-making time. We're talking about your car seat, stroller, baby swing, activity station and the other items in the "slightly more complicated" category.

Thankfully, mama, you don't have to go into this without a guide. The beauty of online shopping (especially with a major, trusted retailer like Target) is that you can lean on the reviews of hundreds of other parents.

We suggest starting with a single item you want to nail down, such as your car seat and/or stroller . By filtering options based on rating, you can either make an informed decision from your device or you can go into the store with an educated short list.


Step 4: Add some personal touches

Now that you're really rolling it's time to select the items that will furnish your baby's room, clothes to hang in their closet and more touches that suit your lifestyle —like budget-conscious essentials , eco-friendly items and more.

Also, remember, there are no hard rules or restrictions to what you can add to your registry, so think about what will make your life as easy as it can be once the baby arrives. If that means some comfy pajamas or spa supplies for yourself, go for it, mama! Target will even give you two 15% off coupons to apply toward any unpurchased registry items, so there's no reason not to add a little something for yourself. You can even use the coupons toward "hidden" registry items.


Step 5: Crowdsource for items you have have overlooked

You're getting there! By this point, you should have the major items that come to mind when you're getting ready for your baby. But what about the things that only mamas who have "been there, done that" know to recommend? For example, do you have refill bags for your diaper pail ? Or what about a bassinet for when your newborn is bunking in your room? It's time to call in a friend or turn to some checklists for items that may have slipped your mind earlier. And don't fret: If you do miss something, Target's Year of Exclusive Deals perk (which comes with a Target Circle sign-up, as of August 2020) gives you discounts on baby essentials for a full year.

Once you fill in the gaps, it's time to share your registry with your friends and family! The great thing about your baby registry is that it can be dynamic, so there is no harm in adding something that comes to mind later. You've got this!


The final tip? Have fun—which is easy when you start your registry at Target and enjoy the Year of Benefits featuring a Year of Exclusive Deals available via Target Circle, two 15% off coupons, a year of hassle-free returns, a free welcome kit and more!