Basket filled with stuff for baby's

Baby Registry: What it is and when to start

Yay! You’re having a baby! So…what now? Don’t worry; whether you’re pregnant, partnering with a surrogate, adopting, or supporting your partner who is having a baby—we’ve got you covered with tips, tricks and all the things you need to know when creating your baby registry.

What is a baby registry?

Technically, a baby registry is just a list that tells your friends and family what gifts you’d like to get at a baby shower. It’s also a helpful source of organization, letting friends and family know what’s already been purchased and things you’d like that are still on the list.

How to create a baby registry?

Decisions, decisions. The first and only step to creating a baby registry is to choose the store or website you’d like friends and family to shop at. When deciding, consider a place that has both in-store and online shopping for those who prefer to go in person. Or you can also have registries in more than one place, for a wider selection and less chance of things being sold out. If you do go the multiple registry route, be careful not to ask for the same things to save yourself the hassle of returning gifts.

When is the best time to start a baby registry?

It’s completely up to you. Some soon-to-be parents start early, while some wait until the 20-week mark when they find out the gender. It all depends on what you’re comfortable with and how much you like to plan ahead. And for those waiting to find out the gender at the very end, the same goes for you. You can get a jump-start with gender-neutral options or stock necessities, like bottles and diapers, then decide on gender-specific things later on.

When to make a baby registry public?

Again, deciding when to make your registry public is completely up to you. However, if you’re having a baby shower, you’ll want to make sure your registry is up and running by the time your invitations hit inboxes and mailboxes. Many parents wait until the end of the second trimester to share their registry, which is a good rule of thumb if you’re not having a baby shower.

Baby smiles while crawling on the floor

Tips for building a baby registry


Choose your baby registry platform wisely

When deciding on where to host your baby registry, it’s good to consider who will be buying you gifts. More than likely, it’s a wide range of people with different comfort levels of in-store shopping versus shopping online. To make it easier for everyone, consider hosting your registry at a place with in-store and online shopping. Or create separate registries and let people decide where they’d like to purchase a gift.


Ask for gender-neutral items

Going neutral means you start earlier, instead of waiting to find out the gender. Also, if you plan on having more kids, you’ll have plenty of hand-me-downs for either gender, which is definitely a win.


Keep it simple

Organize your registry into categories and then narrow it down to just one option per need. Even if it’s super hard to decide between the yellow or the teal crib, just choose one.


Include items at a variety of price points

Make sure to include options for everyone regardless of their budget. Dreft Stage 1: Newborn liquid detergent and other essentials are cost-friendly options that friends and family will appreciate. Pro tip: Including options with different price points will likely lead to more gifts, and less baby shopping stress for you later on.


Ask for things to grow with your child

Don’t forget about toddlerhood! It may seem forever away now, but kids grow faster than you can imagine. Adding in a few toddler learning toys like stacking rings, letter fridge magnets, or block puzzles will help you be prepared for their growing future.

Pro tip: Plan even further into the future by creating a college savings account and adding the contribution link to your registry.


Remember to register for you as well

For new parents, those first months are a doozy. Remember to add things to the list that’ll help make the transition easier for you as well. For example, food delivery gift cards are perfect for when you’re way too exhausted to make dinner.

Making the leap from soon-to-be parent to actual parent is a lot to think about. Luckily, you can save yourself plenty of stress by planning ahead with a registry that has all the things you need to make your transition as smooth as possible.

Frequently Asked Questions About Baby Registry

  • Things not related to your new baby or parenting in general probably shouldn’t be included. Save the flatscreen for something else. But you should definitely include things that you’ll need regularly, like Dreft baby detergent.

  • There’s no real number. If it’ll help make your, and your baby’s, life better or easier, put it on the list!

  • Totally up to you! You can start early or wait. 20 weeks is a good rule of thumb if you’re planning on adding gender-specific things.

  • If you plan on having a registry, it’s good to share your registry a few weeks in advance. Otherwise, it’s totally up to you!

Get ready for baby