How to make a baby registry PLUS what to put on it

If you’re expecting a baby, more than one person has probably asked if you have started a baby registry yet. If a store offers a baby registry, you can visit it in person or online to complete your registration. After you provide your name and basic contact information, you choose items you would like others to give you as gifts to help prepare for your baby’s arrival. The store then creates a list that visitors to your baby registry can access whenever it’s convenient for them.

You don’t have to worry that anyone will think creating a baby registry is in poor taste. Your friends and family understand you have huge expenses coming up, especially if it’s your first baby. They want to help celebrate the excitement of your future son or daughter as well as help you defray some of the cost of acquiring everything the baby needs. This ensures you get what you truly need while saving your friends and family from the frustration of having to return an item you can’t use.

When is the Best Time to Create a Baby Registry?

Although there’s no set rule about this, it’s common for women to wait until they are about halfway through their pregnancy to start their baby registry. This gets them past the uncertain early months when the risk of miscarriage is much higher. Most pregnant women feel better by this stage of the pregnancy too.

This timing also coincides with when many couples learn the gender of their unborn baby. That can make it easier to request clothing in specific colors if you prefer. You don’t want to wait too much longer than about the fifth month to register since you need time to research what you need and those who want to buy you gifts have time to decide which item to pick.

What Should You Include on Your Baby Registry?

From feeding to changing and transporting to dressing, you will need nearly everything related to baby care if you’re expecting your first child. The challenge is to come up with categories and figure which items you need the most from each one. Below are several categories and specific items to consider adding to your baby registry.

Baby Gear:

  • Carseat
  • Infant carrier
  • Stroller
  • Bouncer or baby swing
  • Highchair
  • Playpen


  • Baby shampoo and soap
  • Baby bathtub
  • Hairbrush
  • Hooded baby towels
  • Unscented laundry detergent
  • Soft washcloths
  • Hairbrush
  • Nail clippers


  • Crib mattress pads
  • Fitted sheets
  • Receiving blankets
  • Heavier blankets if you live in a colder climate


  • Undershirts
  • Bodysuits
  • Blanket sleepers, bunting bag, and fleece suit if expecting a baby during the winter months and live in a colder climate
  • One-piece pajamas
  • Dress-up outfits
  • Jackets or sweaters
  • Mittens to prevent baby from scratching himself or herself

Keep in mind that you can request more than one of the above items. Since babies can go through several changes of clothes each day, you might want at least three of each item of indoor clothing.


  • Changing table and pad
  • Diaper bag
  • Diaper cream
  • Diaper pail
  • Disposable or cloth diapers
  • Washcloths
  • Unscented baby wipes to prevent skin irritation


  • Bottles, nipples, and bottle brush if you plan to use formula
  • Nursing pillow, nursing cream, nursing pads, pump, and milk storage bags if you plan to breastfeed
  • Bibs
  • Pacifiers
  • Burp cloths
  • Dishwasher basket to wash small feeding items


  • Thermometer
  • First aid kit
  • Petroleum jelly


  • Bassinet, cradle, or crib
  • Baby monitor
  • Rocking chair
  • Dresser
  • Night light
  • Humidifier
  • Toy basket

With such a range of prices and needs, don’t be surprised if you don’t receive everything on your baby registry. You may also receive larger and higher-priced items from several people who pooled their funds.

Where Should You Complete a Baby Registry?

If you have a discount store near you such as Target or a department store like J.C. Penney, these may be the first places you want to start. This makes it easy for your local family and friends who prefer to shop in person to drive to the store themselves, print out your baby registry, and select a gift to buy from it. With online shopping so popular, you don’t want to overlook sites like to complete your baby registry. Additionally, most discount and department stores also offer the option of registering online instead of in person.

To make things especially easy for yourself and your guests, consider registering online at a site like With this option, you can add items from any store around the country and bring them together into a single list. You just select pregnancy, adoption, or another option that applies to your situation and start creating the list. If pregnant, you start the list by including the baby’s due date and then continue to add your contact information and the items you would like to receive as gifts.

Once you have created your registry on a site like, you can provide the link to friends and relatives if you would like. They will access the registry by looking up your name or the name of the baby’s father. This can be an especially convenient option if you have people across the country who all shop at different stores and want to send you a baby gift. After listing the item, the website tells visitors exactly where they can find it available for purchase.