Thinking about what to add to your baby registry? We asked been-there-got-that moms for their best tips. (Hint: Skip the clothing. Get the diapers.)
For someone so small, a baby definitely needs a lot of stuff. As a first-time parent, you've probably scoured the books, asked for advice on Facebook (and from your fellow mom besties) and Googled to see what you need to add to your baby registry—and what you don't.
Luckily for you, these veteran moms have been through the registry tango already and can keep you from making their same blunders.
1. Don't strictly follow those baby registry checklists
Mom of one Megan Westbrook did her research online to find the must-haves for her baby's room. But instead of being helpful, she realized that those long lists can be les than helpful, since every family's situation is different. "Don't register for something just because it's showing up on some sort of registry checklist. Chances are, if it's cheap enough, someone will buy it and you'll never use it. I really used swaddle blankets, burp cloths, diapers, diaper pail, boppy pillow, bottles, pacifiers, baby bath stuff and first aid stuff, like nail clippers, and an Exergen thermometer," she says.
2. Don't register for something just because it's trendy
Mom of two Tamera Davis learned that while many things change over time, what you need to take care of your infant stays about the same. Yes, there are always new gadgets, but it's the basics that will serve you best. "With the first baby we went way overboard with all the crazy modern gadgets," she says. "With the second we knew how to keep it simple by just asking for diapers in all sizes, wipes, baby bath products, and gift cards."
3. Don't forget gift cards
Speaking of gift cards... think back to your wedding day. You probably remember how nice it was to get an influx of cash gifts after an event that was rough on your wallet. The same goes for having a baby: Expenses will come up, and it's nice to have some extra dough on hand. As mom of one Janell Blatt Truncer reassures, it's not tacky to register for gift cards, and they "come in handy for the items you didn't think of."
4. Don't register for all the teeny-tiny clothing
Clothes for your baby-to-be are basically the cutest things you've ever bought. But many mamas warn against adding a lot of clothes to the registry. You'll get plenty of clothing, and most of the time, way more than your baby could ever possibly wear. If you do register for some cute clothes, go for bigger sizes that your baby can grow into.
5. Don't just register for newborn diapers
You've been warned already, but that sweet Instagram-worthy infant face that you'll instantly love will come with a lot (and we mean a lot) of poop. That means you'll go through plenty of diapers. But remember: Your baby will also grow—fast. As long as you have the space to stash them, register for larger sized diapers so you're set for several months down the line, too.
6. Don't shy away from big ticket items
If there's a super-expensive stroller, car seat, or baby carrier that you've been lusting after, go for it. Those who will be showering you with baby gifts all have their own budgets, or they might be willing to go in together to get one really nice thing for you so their gift is more impactful.
7. Don't just register for one type of bottle
Even if you plan on breastfeeding, it's important to have bottles, too. But mom of one Nikki Roberti Miller says to register for a collection of different styles of bottles and nipples, so baby can have her pick. "Don't register for a ton of one bottle. Even if you think you're picking the best one, there's a chance your baby won't like it or could even have issues with the nipple. So register for just a couple so you have them on hand," she advises.
8. Don't forget OTC medicines
It might not be the most exciting package to open up at your baby shower, but it's an important one that could ease your stress and your worries several months down the road. Mom of one Hayden Whitley says medicine is a necessity for your registry. "It's nice to register for Tylenol and Motrin so you have it when the time comes and don't have to run out and buy it," she shares. While you should check with your pediatrician before giving baby any sort of medication for the first time, having these baby-specific meds at home will help you in a bind.
9. Don't go budget on the diaper bag
There are few things you'll use as often as that trusty diaper bag, which will replace your purse, your gym bag, your everything, for the first year of your baby's life. It'll hold all of baby's things when you're out and about, and so you want to make sure it's super stylish and comfortable to carry. "You will use it everyday so keep that in mind when choosing," says Megan Palmer, mom of one. "I ended up picking a book bag that has easy access pockets for wipes/diapers/pacifiers and has a insulated pocket for bottles/water/snacks etc. I love it!"
10. Don't get a fancy changing table
Mom of two Virginia Bates Ford says to skip a diaper changing table, since it'll only be useful for a short period of time. "That big fancy changing station will only last a few months. When that little peanut starts alligator rolling on you mid-diapering, the safest place to change them is on the floor," she says.
11. Don't forget to check out the store's completion policy
Fun fact: If you don't get everything off of your baby registry, some stores will cut you a deal on anything that's left on it. "Some stores give you a flat 10 to 15 percent off to buy the items you didn't receive as gifts. The registry we used gave us a one-time 15 percent off coupon," mom of one Lauren Pena shared.
12. Don't forget plenty of crib sheets
You'll be changing your baby's bedding a whole lot more often—so mom of one Valerie Langdon suggests having as many fitted sheets as possible to save you a lot of hassle. "If they spit up or have a blow out, you'll want a backup while the other one is being washed," she shares.
13. Don't neglect your boobs
Yes, baby will be receiving the majority of the new items, but mama needs a little love, too. And if you're breastfeeding, your girls will need some extra TLC. Elizabeth Tudela, a mom of one, says to invest in a good pump along with lanolin cream, reusable cotton pads, and nursing bras and camis. This way, you'll have what you need to begin that super-important (and special!) bonding process ASAP.