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Tips for building a baby gift registry

You might assume that creating a baby gift registry is a no-brainer. All you have to do is select a store or two, then register for items you think are cute or that you and your baby will need. Right?

Woman receiving gifts at baby shower

Fundamentally, that’s true, but there are additional things to consider and investigate before making your selections. Here are a few tips from parenting experts that can help you build a gift registry that will truly fulfill your baby’s needs as well as yours as a new parent.

When to register

If your personal and professional to-do list is jam-packed, you may have trouble finding time to create a baby gift registry. This task can be low on your list of priorities, but don’t put it off until the last minute. Karla Amador, owner of Amador Events, recommends creating the registry in your sixth month of pregnancy. “This will help to ensure that parents have enough time to decide on the color scheme for the baby’s room and, of course, make the baby shower planning process enjoyable and stress-free,” she explains.

Where to register

With so many retailers to choose from — both online and off — you may have a tough time narrowing down where to register. According to Risa Goldberg and Leslie Venokur, parenting experts and co-founders of Big City Moms, it’s best to register with a store that has a great registry website so that friends and family can easily log on and purchase gifts. “This way ‘out of towners’ can easily purchase something that you can return to your local store rather than giving you a gift you don’t like or want from their local mom and pop shop that’s impossible for you to return,” they explain.

What to register for

Although you probably have some general ideas of what you’ll need for the baby, it can be helpful to know what other parents typically register for so that you can pick up some additional ideas. According to Goldberg and Venokur, expecting parents typically register for the following items:

  • Highchairs
  • Strollers
  • Bottle sets
  • Pack n’ plays
  • Swings
  • Bouncers
  • Monitors
  • Blankets
  • Breastfeeding accessories
  • Toys
  • Bathtubs
  • Car seats

Goldberg and Venokur also explain that it’s helpful to register for items at a variety of price points. “Friends, family and colleagues can sometimes chip in and buy you that $900 stroller — you never know,” they note.

When selecting items for the baby gift registry, you’ll also want to be mindful about safety. Bethany Gonzalez Moreno is the founder of, a website that helps moms find safe products for their families. She says, “The most important part of choosing items is finding safe products. You’ll want to avoid PVC (vinyl), flame retardant, BPA and phthalates, which are four common toxic ingredients in many baby products.”

For additional ideas, check out retailer websites that offer registries. Often, they’ll have a list of recommendations for items that would be especially helpful to babies and parents.

More baby registry tips

Eco-friendly baby registry checklist
20 Things to add to your baby registry
Baby shower and registry checklist

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