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If you are avoiding the task of starting a baby registry… fear not!
It doesn’t have to be overwhelming or time-consuming.
Have you ever heard of this quote, “Once begun is half done?”
It’s really true with most tasks that overwhelm us, and creating a baby registry can be that way for some new parents.
There is also a growing number of new parents who consider themselves to be “minimalists”.
These parents prefer to live on less and want to know what they can realistically do without!
If either of these examples describes you, then help is on the way!
I am hoping that this post will help you get started.
Getting started can often be the hardest part!
I am going to help you evaluate your needs as a new parent, so you can confidently create the baby registry that works for you.
Take out your notebook and let’s get started!
Congratulations New Mama!
If you are like many first-time mamas, you have spent most of your pregnancy researching all things baby.
As a result, you have probably learned a great deal about pregnancy, childbirth, postpartum, breastfeeding, and infant care.
As you are probably discovering, there is a HUGE learning curve when you become pregnant and your life literally changes overnight!
It’s Time to Set up the Nursery!
One of my favorite pregnancy memories was setting up the nursery for my first baby!
It’s probably great fun for you too, but, it can also be a bit overwhelming.
What do you really need?
What are the baby essentials?
Well, it depends on who you talk to…
If you ask ten different experienced moms what they think are essential baby or nursery items, you will probably get ten different answers!
So, what’s a poor mom-to-be supposed to do?
It can be such an overwhelming task!
Well, as a postpartum doula, I have helped many new moms with their newborns and have seen probably hundreds of nurseries and I do have a bit of advice to share on the subject.
But, before you spend a lot of money on things you might not use or need… read on!
Do I Need a Baby Registry?
Yes! Here’s why…
Having a new baby is one of the most exciting events in life, and not just for the new parents!
Your family and friends will be very excited as well.
Not only that, but they will be extremely eager to pick out gifts for you and your baby.
Everyone loves buying baby gifts!
Because people will most likely be buying your baby gifts anyway, you might as well direct them to items that you actually want or need, right?
Once you have a baby registry set up, you can easily share it with friends and family members.
In addition, you are ready when someone offers to host a baby shower for you!
Your host will be delighted to share your registry on the invitation!
Don’t be afraid to list high-buck items on your registry, too.
Sometimes co-workers or those unable to attend your baby shower will prefer to go in on a group gift.
How Do I Create a Baby Registry?
Before you start a registry or spend any money, take a step back and evaluate your lifestyle…
- Are you a minimalist?
- Do you travel a lot?
- Are you a home-body?
- Do you plan to be outside a lot with your baby?
- Will your baby be in daycare or with a babysitter?
- Are you planning to take your baby to work with you?
- Will you work from home?
- Are you a “diy”-er or do you prefer things ready-made?
- How many levels are in your home?
These are all factors to consider in choosing your registry items!
It’s also a great idea to ask experienced moms what products they would recommend, especially with the “big-ticket” items, such as furniture, car seats or strollers.
Most moms love to share their experience and advice with new mothers!
However, make sure to not let all the advice overwhelm you!
What Do I Really Need?
When thinking about YOUR needs, consider your space and budget too.
If you have a very small home or budget, choose items that can do double or triple-duty.
For example, a portable travel crib that can double as a changing table.
Or, instead of buying a changing table, maybe you can just buy a changing pad for an existing dresser or table.
If you really prefer to go the simple-living route, a bath towel on the floor works great too!
As you evaluate your lifestyle and living situation, jot down your thoughts and ideas.
Visualize your home and your lifestyle and bring baby into that.
What do you need? Conversely, what would you prefer to do without?
My Top 14 Baby Essentials List!
This is what I would call a “minimalist list”… what I would consider the bare necessities. Start here and build from this list according to your own lifestyle needs. To make things easier for you, I have included links in the next section below to some of my favorite products on my list.
My Favorite Sleep Product Recommendations!
These are baby products that will help your baby sleep better and therefore make your life easier! I have included a list below of some of my all-time favorites. Incidentally, I am only recommending products that I have personally used and love!
A swaddle is a “must have” for your baby’s sleep! If you want your baby to sleep well, buy a swaddle and learn how to properly use it! Check out my post here on how to swaddle your baby properly. These are some amazing swaddles to make swaddling easier. They are my absolute favorite ones. Check them out!
HALO Sleep Sack 100% Cotton Swaddle
Other Useful Items to Consider
This list is not the final word.
There are definitely MORE baby and new mom items to consider.
In fact, there are WAY TOO MANY, in my opinion. New parents find it very challenging to navigate the waters of “Baby Wonderland” with so many great options to consider!
That’s why I love the option of an online service, like Amazon’s Baby Registry.
Take your time and feel free to just browse a while.
Set up your registry, (It’s totally FREE!) read the reviews, and find out about the free gifts and discounts available to you through this service!
You can always change and update your list later too.
It’s also a good idea to create an “in-store” registry for those who might prefer to see the item before buying it!
Having 2 or 3 registry options is pretty normal these days!
Finally, HAVE FUN and savor this special time of waiting!
Do you have any wisdom to share with new moms-to-be?
What are your favorite “must have” baby items?
Please share in the comments!
FREE Planning Resources for Your New Baby!
If you are pregnant, this is the time to begin planning for your new baby’s arrival!
What do you include on your baby registry checklist?
How do you write a birth plan?
How do you hire a doula?
Who will be helping you during your recovery time?
What should you include in your postpartum plan?
How about a newborn care plan?
How do you set up a meal train?
What are some easy freezer meals to make ahead?
What should you pack in your hospital bag?
These are just a sampling of the kind of planning you will need to do…
But don’t get overwhelmed!
The work of planning isn’t really so bad because I have compiled some great FREE resources for you here.
Download these free worksheets and email courses to get you started with all your planning needs!
Pregnancy 101: Planning for New Baby Free Printables for Getting Organized
Check out this ultimate pregnancy planning post. Lots of free printable checklists, planners, email courses and more! Everything you need to get organized and ready for your new baby!
Planning for Postpartum: FREE 5-Day Mini Email Course for Pregnant Mamas
This FREE course was written by a professional postpartum doula. Free daily lessons to help you prepare for the 4th trimester. Includes printable postpartum plan and lots of planning resources!
How to Write a Postpartum Plan
Download this free printable worksheet for planning the perfect postpartum recovery time. This worksheet is a great springboard for discussion for you and your partner. It provides helpful tips and suggestions for how to organize and plan for your recovery!
How to Write a Newborn Care Plan
Many new parents don’t know about the importance of a newborn care plan. If you are planning a hospital birth, this plan walks you through all the important decisions you will need to make regarding the care of your new baby.
Your Pregnancy Week-by-Week Planning Checklist!
Wow! This is such a great resource for pregnant mamas! Subscribe to Alli’s and Trina’s amazing FREE new mom planning course and get weekly email updates and reminders so you can stay on course and plan for your new baby. Type in your due date and email address and you’re all set! Their weekly emails will both inspire and motivate you as you get ready for the big day!
The Nesting Planner – My Favorite Pregnancy Planner!
Although not free, this affordable planner is one that I want to bring to your attention. As a postpartum doula, I am VERY excited to recommend this great planning resource! Why? Because I have witnessed so many new moms who are not prepared for their postpartum recovery and consequently have a much more difficult time recovering and adjusting to motherhood.
The Nesting Planner is a complete planner for pregnancy, childbirth, postpartum, breastfeeding and newborn care. It is loaded with printable checklists, worksheets and other planning tools. It will help you get organized and stay on track throughout your entire pregnancy. You will never miss a step with monthly checklists and reminders that easily itemize what must be done before the big day! Check out the Nesting Planner here.