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Overwhelmed About Making a Baby Registry? Start Here
Updated on
March 15, 2024

Overwhelmed About Making a Baby Registry? Start Here

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Overwhelmed About Making a Baby Registry? Start Here.
Overwhelmed About Making a Baby Registry? Start Here

As Babylist’s gear editor, I know baby gear inside and out. I’ve helped countless friends, family members and coworkers build their baby registries and have tested hundreds of baby products over the years. But when it came time for me to create my own baby registry, I suddenly felt completely overwhelmed.

That’s because building a baby registry is a lot. There’s research to do, decisions to be made and lots of logistics to figure out—all while juggling the demands of your real life alongside everything that comes along with bringing a new person into the world. If you’re feeling overwhelmed just thinking about it, the good news is you’re not alone. And the better news is there are some easy things you can do about it.

These five simple tips will help ease your stress, streamline your process and get your baby registry off the ground.

1. Do (a Little Bit of) Homework

Wait, the first tip for overwhelmed parents-to-be is to do homework? Let us explain.

For most folks, much of the stress around the baby registry process stems from feeling intimidated and overwhelmed about where to even begin. And both of these emotions are totally valid! There’s a lot you don’t know yet, and baby gear terminology sounds like a foreign language. (What is a convertible car seat, anyway?). Then there’s the endless list of questions likely scrolling through your head. Should I register for big items first, or start with the smaller ones? How many baby clothes do I need—and in what sizes? Is it okay to add items for you or are you supposed to stick to the baby?

Doing a little bit of homework can help. Taking a few minutes to learn some baby basics will help you feel less overwhelmed by the registry process and more empowered to make registry decisions for a tiny person you’ve yet to meet.

Here’s where to start:

  • The Ultimate Guide to Creating Your Baby Registry walks you through what to add to your baby registry and why and answers some of the most commonly asked questions about registry building. Want to dive a little deeper? Check out Baby Registry Hacks for exactly what it sounds like—expert tips to help you make the most out of your registry—and How to Share Your Baby Registry to learn how to get the word out to gift-givers.
  • Next up, Baby 101. There are two areas worth reading about before starting your baby registry: sleep safety and car seat safety. They’re both big (and important) parenting topics, so don’t worry about becoming an expert all in one day. But even a bit of knowledge in these areas goes a long way. How To Keep Your Sleeping Baby Safe from the American Academy of Pediatrics and Ask the Baby Gear Expert: Car Seats are good jumping-off points.
  • And last but most definitely not least, the part you’re likely feeling the most overwhelmed by: all the baby gear. Instead of going down the rabbit hole on every item on the market, take a step back and try to wrap your brain around the basics of what you might need. Baby Registry Must-Haves and 8 Essential Things You Need to Bring Home a Newborn are great places to start.

One more thing to keep in mind as you embark on the first stages of registry-building. It’s easy to feel anxious thinking about all of the things your baby will need during the first few months, let alone the first few years. Pro tip: if you’re already feeling overwhelmed with the idea of building a baby registry, don’t think beyond the first six months or so. While it’s nice to get gifts that you’ll use baby’s first year and beyond, it’s not worthwhile if it’s going to cause you even more stress. Skip it and zero in on what you’ll need in the immediate future instead.

2. Be a Copycat

Copying your best friend’s homework in ninth grade? Probably not a great idea. Copying your best friend’s baby registry? We’re all for it.

Building a baby registry—and being a parent in general, for that matter—is a lot easier with a little help from your friends. There’s zero shame in taking a peek at someone else’s baby registry for a little (or a lot of) inspiration. Even better, find a new parent to talk to about how they’d do things differently if they had the chance for a registry re-do. What products might they have skipped? What can they not live without now that their baby is here? This type of information can help you feel less confused by all of your options and zone in on the really important stuff.

If you want to copy another Babylist registry, you can transfer the items right over to your own Babylist registry in a few clicks and then add and delete items as needed. You can also draw inspo from a huge selection of sample registries such as store-based registries from places like Etsy or Nordstrom, location-based registries for city and suburb life and even lifestyle-inspired registries for minimalists, eco-conscious parents and more.

3. Use a Registry Checklist

Is there anything more satisfying than checking things off of a list? And what if you didn’t even have to create the list in the first place?

A Registry Checklist is the ultimate hack for overwhelmed parents-to-be. It’s a straightforward list of everything you need for baby, located right on the Registry tab of your Babylist registry. Add an item to your baby registry and it’s automatically categorized and checked off of your list. See something you don’t need? You can manually tap it to check it off and it will be removed. Prefer old-school pen and paper? Tap the “Download PDF” link for a printable version. There’s even a tracker up top to show you how far along you are in checking off both essentials and all items from your list.

Registry Checklist on Babylist

4. Embrace Minimalism

Babies need very little in the way of gear, especially over first six months. That may sound like weird advice coming from a baby registry brand, but we always try to keep it real. If your brain is flooded with thoughts of trying to figure out the best bottles and bibs and blankets and burp cloths, take a deep breath and remember the real essentials: diapers, a safe place to sleep and something to eat. Everything else is just a bonus.

Many parents-to-be also find it helpful to break down their baby registry into categories. It feels much more manageable to add ten items at a time to five different categories rather than tackling 50 items all at once. You can choose to categorize your registry however you’d like, but if you’re looking to keep things as simple as possible, try starting with these:

  • Cash, Gift Cards and Help/Favors
  • Baby Gear
  • Transportation
  • Clothes and Accessories
  • Feeding
  • Bath Time
  • Diapering
  • Nursery and Decor
  • Health and Safety

To create categories within your baby registry, go to your “View Registry” page and click on the organize button on the far right side of your registry. (If you’re using the Babylist app, go to the menu bar at the top left corner of your screen, select “Registry,” and scroll down to “Organize Registry,” then just drag and drop items from there.)

5. Slow and Steady Wins the Race

We won’t deny it—there’s a lot to check off your to-do list before you have a baby, and creating a registry is just one more thing to add to the many other tasks you need to tackle. And when you’re overwhelmed, it often feels like you need to get all the things done all at once. But try your best to take a deep breath and slow down. Here’s why.

When you rush through building your baby registry, you often end up adding things for the sake of adding them rather than because you actually want or need them. And when that happens, you run the risk of ending up with a whole lot of gear that’s not all that useful or that you’ll have to replace in a few months. So take your time! Do the amount of research that feels right to you, whether it’s reading product guides or talking to friends or coworkers. Build your list a little at a time, and take a break when you’re feeling stressed or overwhelmed, then dive back in the next day. The more relaxed you can be about the process of building your baby registry, the more you’ll get out of it—and the more likely you are to end up with products and gear both you and your baby will love.


Jen LaBracio

Senior Gear Editor

Jen LaBracio is Babylist’s Senior Gear Editor, a role that perfectly combines her love of all things baby gear with her love of (obsessive) research. When she’s not testing out a new high chair or pushing the latest stroller model around her neighborhood, she likes to run, spin, listen to podcasts, read and spend time at the beach. In her past life, she worked for over a decade in children’s publishing. She lives outside of Chicago with her husband and their two boys, Will and Ben.

This information is provided for educational and entertainment purposes only. We do not accept any responsibility for any liability, loss or risk, personal or otherwise, incurred as a consequence, directly or indirectly, from any information or advice contained here. Babylist may earn compensation from affiliate links in this content. Learn more about how we write Babylist content and review products, as well as the Babylist Health Advisory Board.