All the excitement of being pregnant can lead to a little craziness when it comes to buying for baby. What do you REALLY need? Here are some of the essentials that you won't want to leave off your baby registry.
#1: Stroller/car seat. We went for the travel system which includes a car seat with the stroller. These are great but the car seat only goes up to 35 pounds so you might want to consider registering for another car seat like this one that goes up to 70 pounds too. I love my stroller and I like being able to place the car seat on a shopping cart if I want too.
#2: Playpen/Pack and Play/Play Yard. Whatever you call it, these are great for naps, to put in the bedroom, a trip to Grandma's house, or camping. We use ours in our bedroom for now, it takes up less space than a crib and it has an attached changing table. It also has a little storage area on the side where we put the diapers, wipes, and anything else for baby.
#3: Bouncer/Swing. There are space saving bouncer and swing combos that can do both. These are great because you don't have to have both items taking up room in your shrinking living space. Baby stuff takes up a LOT of space, but you will want to have a few key items. We got this one and he loves the little crab that plays music, but it isn't a combo, so we have a swing too.
#4: Changing Pad/Cover. You will love having a place to change baby for the first few months. Babies love to pee and poop while you are changing them, especially in the beginning, so save yourself some trouble and make a special place to change babies diapers.
#5: Highchair. We registered for a highchair that reclines for infant seating as well as converts into a chair for the table. This is nice because again it saves space and is economical. He likes to sit in it while we eat dinner, which started around 2 months.
#6: Crib Sheets, Towels, Washcloths. These are things you will use a lot! We got a few really cute crib sheets, a few hooded towels, and about a dozen washcloths. We use them everyday.
#7: Baby Bath Items. Some people don't use baby tubs at all, but I love mine. I like it because my baby loves bath time and is really comfortable in it. He can lounge back and enjoy his bath and I don't have to hold him the whole time. Plus, this one converts from an infant tub to a bigger one when he can sit up. You will also want baby shampoo and lotion to use.
#8: First Aid Gear. We registered for a thermometer like this one and love it. You could also register for some baby Tylenol, gripe water, etc. These are things you really will use and will come in handy when you have a sudden fever or crying outbreak and you need some tylenol.
#9: Bottles, Bottle Rack, and Sanitizer. If you are going to formula feed or pump and breastfeed, you will need bottles. Having a few on-hand is nice, and a bottle rack and sanitizer make cleaning a breeze. I love the bottle rack in the link above because I can leave it out and it isn't such an eye sore.
#10: Baby Monitor. We got a video monitor and love it. You could register for a simple sound monitor, one that detects heart rate and movement, or go for the video. I love being able to see if he is awake, breathing, or flailing about in his crib.
Where should you register? Choose somewhere with an on-line site that people can view from their home. It is also a good idea to choose somewhere affordable. If you have high end stores you like you can register there in addition to a basic one.
We registered at Target because it was really easy. We registered on-line, but could visit the store to see products in person. It also makes it easy for people to shop for you from your registry. They have a kiosk in store to view the registry from, you can view it on-line, and as soon as an item is purchased it is removed from your list. They also have sales fairly often, which helps.
What else should you put on your registry? Make sure to have a variety of price points. You don't want to have only really expensive items that people may not want to splurge for and vice versa. You will need the small things too, and it gives everyone an opportunity to get you something from your registry. Pick things you think you will actually use and skip registering for clothing and shoes. Your family and friends will love shopping for little outfits and picking it out themselves. Don't you?
Think about versatility when registering/shopping. How long can we use this item? Does it convert to a larger fit for later on or will I have to buy another one? For example: a car seat that goes up to 70 pounds, a highchair that turns into a booster, etc.
I hope this list helps you narrow down what to put on your registry. We just kept thinking, if we can only have a few items, what do we really need? It helped keep the list simple and just essentials.