How I’m Tackling My Baby Registry

Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Crate and Kids. Thanks for supporting the brands that support this blog.

For the past two months, I’ve spent a large chunk of my free time figuring out what the heck to put on our baby registry. I’ll be the first to admit that when it comes to newborns, I am absolutely clueless. Yes, I have a niece and nephew and plenty of friends with babies, but I never really paid attention to all of the stuff that comes along with a new baby. And holy smokes, it’s overwhelming!

Tips to Tackle your Baby RegistryTips to tackle your baby registry

My sweet friend Christina and my mom are throwing me a baby shower at the beginning of March (can’t wait to share more soon!), so I needed to put together a baby registry before sending out the invitations for the party. I seriously had no idea where to begin and I kept saying, “How can such a small human need so.much.stuff?!” I would spend night after night on the couch, surfing the web, feeling overwhelmed trying to decide what the heck to add to my baby registry.

At this time, I was also starting to plan our nursery design. I’m so excited that we’re partnering with Crate and Kids on the room (Finn keeps saying it’s going to be the nicest room in the house, and he isn’t wrong!), and I noticed that they sell a lot of newborn and baby registry items too (many of them totally exclusive to their brand). Diaper bags! Toys! Books! There are soooo many adorable items, but which ones would be right for Baby Finn and her nursery?

Luckily, I finally got a handle on what we want for baby girl and I wanted to share all of my baby registry tips with you (in case, you are also paralyzed with indecision on what to add to your own registry!). I’m in no way an expert, however, these tips have helped me to curate a baby registry that is right for us.

Talk to Your Mom FriendsTalk to your mom friends about what to register for

Okay, so the very first thing I did was reach out to my mom friends. Five of my friends have had babies this year and since they’re all still in the thick of the newborn stage they had A LOT to share. There are lots of “baby registry checklists” out there and I ended up consulting this one from Crate and Kids to get a good baseline for what I would need. But I also wanted to hear, firsthand, what I really needed to get for this child. I’m a minimal person and didn’t want to add random items to our house if we wouldn’t even need them.

All of my friends had different insights to share.  My best friend, Bridget, provided me with a list of essential things to get (something to sit in, something to stand in, a mat to lay on, etc.), whereas other friends sent me direct links to their must-haves. This combo was super helpful to narrow down and check off what I actually needed to add to our own baby registry. I’m so grateful to all of my mama friends for sharing the scoop and offering some real talk on their lifesaving gadgets and those that are not worth getting. When in doubt, consult someone who has been there before.

Borrow Where You Can

Once I had a good sense of what I needed to get for our baby, I consulted my sister-in-law. She has two kids and lots of baby gear! Because her youngest (my niece, Janie) is two years old, she has outgrown all of the baby and newborn items. There are so many swings and bassinets that you only need for a short period of time when your child is teeny tiny, so these items quickly become useless. Luckily, she held onto them and I’ll be borrowing a few of those bigger baby gear items that we will only use for a few short months. The same goes for the bassinet that we will use in our bedroom those first few months. My friend, Kaitlyn, is letting us borrow hers so we don’t have to buy it!

Borrow when you can! I promise your friends will be happy to have some of the baby gear out of their house (even if it’s just temporary!).

Don’t Forget About the Nursery

Because I found myself borrowing a lot of those big-ticket items, that left a lot of room on my baby registry for other items. I think a lot of women forget to add nursery items and decor to their lists because they get wrapped up in the gear, which is totally understandable. Those items are necessities to keep your baby happy!

Adorable nursery decor - baby registry tipsI would urge you to add some special nursery decor items to your baby registry because you might not splurge on them, yourself. We love Crate and Barrel (half of our living room is from there!) and we’ll be using Crate and Kids for our nursery (I can’t wait to share the nursery design soon).  When you think about it, these are items that you’ll use every day, so it’s wise to invest in quality items that will last. Crate and Kids has the absolute cutest stuff and it was hard to narrow down all of the adorable items. But here’s a sneak peek of some of the items for our nursery. These are all exclusive to Crate and Kids, so you can’t find them anywhere else!

  • Bow Hooks: OMG, I can’t wait to hang these on the wall (I got three!). The brass is gorgeous.Elephant blanket from Crate and Kids
  • Elephant Blanket: We aren’t doing a themed room, but we’ll have a few elephant references in here because we love this intelligent animal so much!Changing pad
  • Changing Essentials: I went with this changing basket and this changing pad cover.
  • Mobile: This one is stunning. I can’t wait to hang it in the nursery!Baby registry tips add cute etched blocks for nursery decor
  • Etched Blocks: Will she play with these? Maybe. I think I’ll actually have more fun decorating with them on her built-in shelves. Ha!
  • Wicker Hamper: Perhaps we’ll use it for laundry or perhaps we’ll use it for toys. Either way it is secret storage for the win.Crib sheets for baby
  • Crib Sheets: The quality of these sheets can’t be beat. I went with the pink stripe and these floral ones (I’ve heard it’s good to have multiple sets of sheets in case of middle of the night accidents!).Crib skirt for the nursery
  • Crib Skirt: Don’t forget a crib skirt! I went with this one in the color linen grey.

Other Items That Caught My Eye: this rainbow wall hanging, this bunny removable wallpaper, these bow dresser knobs, and this pretty mirror.

Don’t Include Lots of ClothingBaby registry tips - don't add to many clothing to your registry

One of the baby registry tips I heard over and over again was not to register for too many clothes (which is hard because they’re all so tiny and adorable). My mom friends said that most people will gift clothing on their own when they come to the shower or visit you after the baby is born and you’ll find yourself swimming in clothes! Instead, they suggested adding a few special items that you’ll want to put the baby in at the hospital (for that first photo shoot, of course!).Choose a special onesie for hospital photos

I got this floral one-piece set, along with the hat and I can’t wait to see baby girl in it! Bath towels for babyOh, and they did say to get cute hooded bath towels because they’re just too adorable to not use on your new baby. I got a few of these baby bath towels and this hooded one too.

Remember Every Baby Is DifferentChoosing what to put on our baby registry

Onesie & Hat // Elephant Blanket // Etched Blocks // Koala Teether

Another baby registry tip…every baby is different. Just because one person swears by an item for her child, doesn’t mean it’s going to be the magic solution for your child. And that’s okay! In fact, my mom friends suggested not registering for tons of swaddles, bottles, or pacifiers because you have no idea what kind your baby will like. Instead, buy a few different brands (they even sell variety packs!) and try them out those first few weeks to figure out what your child likes. That’s our plan!

Include Some Special ItemsElephant blanket for the baby's room

Remember every single item doesn’t have to be super functional and practical. People love gifting special items that you’ll keep forever. This monthly milestone mat would be so cute to take those monthly baby pictures (still trying to plan exactly what I’ll do for those!). And don’t forget a baby book to commemorate all of your baby’s firsts! Oh, and I wish I would have gotten this pregnancy journal to chronicle the time before she arrives (maybe for baby #2). I’m really most excited about this soft elephant blanket…it makes my heart so happy!

Include Items for Mom & Dad

I stressed over what diaper bag to get and after doing lots of research (and reading tons of reviews), I settled on this one. I love that it can be worn many ways (as a backpack, shoulder bag, crossbody, etc.) and it isn’t too girly (so Finn can use it too). Plus, the vegan leather is so pretty and wipeable. Another item you might not think to add for you, the parents? A hard drive! I added one to our registry because I just know I’ll be taking tons of pictures of our new babe and I want to make sure I preserve them forever.

Books, Books, & More BooksBe sure to add baby books to your registry

We didn’t put many toys on our baby registry (besides this rainbow teepee we’ll be adding to the basement for our eventual playroom and this portable playmat!) because I’m just not ready for all of the toys to infiltrate our home. But books…that’s one item I can’t wait to have lots of!!! Crate and Kids sells lots of wonderful children’s books (you can find them all here) and they’re all pretty unique for your collection. Instead of a card, I’m asking guests to bring a book to the shower and write in it for baby Finn. I figure that’s a great way to begin our collection.

Baby registry tips for first time moms

Onesie & Hat // Elephant Blanket // Etched Blocks // Koala Teether

Moms to be, I highly recommend Crate and Kids for your baby registry, especially because they have so many exclusive items (and the cutest stuff for the nursery!).

And there you have it…all of my baby registry tips! I’m in no way an expert (first-time parent alert!), however keeping all of these tips in mind helped me as I crafted my own baby registry. What was at first an overwhelming task, eventually turned into one that was exciting and full of joy for us! Now, time to get this girl’s nursery in order so I have a spot for all of her new goodies…


The Year of Casey

Hey there!

I’m Casey Finn, the voice behind The DIY Playbook. I’m a Chicago gal teaching you how to design, DIY, and maintain your home…by yourself! Learn more about me right here.