Registering for your firstborn: Part I

8 years ago

I was extremely thankful to have my mother-in-law accompany me to register for my baby shower when I was pregnant with my oldest, Kate.  I was a first-time mother and felt overwhelmed about choosing the “right” things for my daughter.  Because my mother-in-law successfully raised four boys, I felt that she would know the “staples” I needed to include on my registry. 

Today, as a mother of three, I can vouch for many things I’ve come to find necessary over these last few years (and other things that have been a waste).  You can use this information as a guide to help you with the process of registering for your baby shower, and if you still feel uncomfortable, don’t hesitate to ask a close friend or family member with children to come along and help you.

carseat Photo by Ikoka

Convertible Car Seat: Necessary

Travel systems have become extremely popular, but I feel that nothing can replace a convertible car seat.  Convertible car seats are a better financial choice because most last baby from birth to 40 pounds.  The convertible car seat starts out rear-facing from 5-30 pounds and can then be turned forward from 30-40 pounds.  Convertible car seats are generally less expensive than travel systems, and a convertible car seat easily outlasts the “pumpkin seat” that comes with a travel system.  Most “pumpkin seats” have a weight limit of 22-24 pounds and you may find yourself upgrading to the convertible car seat before baby hits one year. 



sling Photo by Crimfants

Sling: Necessary

I cannot tell you the lifesaver that my sling has been.  Temperament varies from one baby to the next.  Some don’t mind being put down in a bouncy seat or a bassinet, but many prefer to be close to you, especially during the first few weeks home.  A sling not only makes breastfeeding easier, but also allows you to get everyday things done while holding baby.  I remember baking Christmas cookies with Kate asleep in her sling when she was just a month old.  Many slings simulate the position baby was in while in your womb and they’ve come to know you in the nine months you’ve carried them, so it’s a comfort to them to feel close to you, and your warmth, voice and smell soothes them.



 clothesPhoto by Micah Sittig

Clothing Staples: Necessary 

There is no need to register for the cute little outfits—you will receive them, regardless, and you will likely receive more of them than you’ll know what to do with!  There are some clothing staples that I see left off of many registries, but they truly are needed.  Staples include:

  • Onesies (sometimes called Bodysuits)
  • Bibs
  • Socks
  • Sleepers

The best thing you can do is to register for a variety of sizes that will last you through baby’s first year (0-3 month sizes, 3-6 month sizes, 6-9 month sizes and 9-12 month sizes).  Bibs are usually OS (one size) and socks for infants generally run by 0-6 month sizes and 6-12 month sizes.



baby Photo by Modenadude

Bottles: Necessary

Even if you are planning to breastfeed, it is necessary to have a few bottles on hand in the case that you will need to leave baby with someone else while you run errands or go to an appointment.  A lot of breastfeeding mothers are concerned about using bottles at all while still establishing a feeding relationship with baby, but the Adiri Natural Nurser is highly recommended because it does the best job of mimicking the breast.  If you are wanting to breastfeed, be sure to register for a pump and milk storage bags or bottles, or contact the hospital you will be delivering baby at and ask about renting a breast pump, which may prove to be more cost-effective for your family.  If you are a first-time mother having questions or concerns about breastfeeding, you can request to see a lactation consultant while you are in the hospital.  If your hospital does not have one on-staff or the lactation consultant is unhelpful to you, the La Leche League has been of help to many women.


A Few Tips:

· Practice “registry etiquette.” Some shower attendees like to pitch in as a group to purchase a larger item on your registry, such as a stroller or car seat, while others prefer to buy a few of the smaller gifts on their own, so try to make sure you’re including a variety of price ranges on your registry.

· Keep in mind that some attendees will not shop off of your registry and will instead purchase outfits or give a handmade gift.

· If you are planning to have more children in the future, keep the patterns of your big ticket items (i.e. high chair, car seat, etc.) in mind while registering. I suggest choosing unisex patterns that you will be able to use again in the future if your second is another sex, as many women are only thrown showers for their first child.


Next Up: The things you can live without!

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