The Essential Minimalist baby registry

Do you have a tiny apartment? A limited budget? Or maybe you’re a minimalism fan looking for a minimalist baby registry? You’re in the right place!

5 things to know before starting a baby registry


What is a baby registry? What does it mean to have one?

A baby registry is a list of baby products or better said gifts. That you wish to receive from your family or friends. Think of it as a wishlist for your baby or a list of gifts your relatives get you.

What does this mean? Well.. it’s a service provided by a store (either online or brick and mortar type store). It helps expectant couples to provide their friends and family with gift preferences.

That’s how baby lists come to life. This list then becomes available to the relatives. If somebody bought a certain gift, the list will update on its own. That’s going to prevent duplicate gifts or unsolicited ones.


Should you make a baby registry?

Yes! You’ve got nothing to lose.

First of all your family and friends are going to be very grateful for it. I can guarantee that they are all wondering what to get you. They also wonder what you might already own for your baby. Plus, you are one step closer to getting the things you want and need for your baby.

Second, this baby list is also good for you. Think of it as a shopping list, but for baby essentials.

Not sure whether is applicable for you or not, but I’ve got so so many times the wrong gift. It ended up thrown away in the back of my closet. So the baby gift registry is something you want in your life.

When should you start a baby registry?

There isn’t a set in stone date for when to start a baby registry. It’s totally up to you, but it’s quite a long process if you ask me.

Some mommies are more comfortable with it after their pregnancy announcements. It depends on you. If I were you, I would wait for at least 12 weeks to be safe. Many women decide to start an early list and make it public around 20 weeks. This is also the time when you are going to find out the gender of your baby. Great if you’re looking to add gender-specific items to your list.

You can keep your baby registry private until it’s ready for the public. Like I said earlier, it’s up to you. You should choose what’s best for you. Make sure you have it done at least 2 weeks before you send out your baby shower invitations.

 

What are the benefits of an early baby registry?

There are plenty of benefits if you get started earlier than later. But today I’ll outline the most important ones for you to get the idea.

Plenty of time to research – if you’re going to be a first-time mom, you’ll have a lot of questions. So start early.  You will have more time to speak with experienced moms or read more reviews.

Create the ideal baby list – the more time you have, the better your list will get.

Access to coupons and discounts – who doesn’t love a good discount? If you’re early you’ll gain access to all the discounts provided by the baby registry.

Extended return policy – this is one of the greatest benefits. With some providers, you can have up to 12 months to return your items. This is a lot better than a month (that’s the timeframe you get when buying something yourself).

How do you start a baby registry? Step by step guide


Step 1 Choose a baby related store

Babies ‘R’ Us, Buy Buy Baby, Walmart or Target are great stores to choose from. It’s one-stop to everything you need for your baby. A huge bonus is that you can find them everywhere. It makes it even easier for your out-of-state relatives.

If you’re looking for online alternatives, Amazon or Babylist are a great start. Babylist is a perfect choice if you want to add items from different shops into one place. You can add any item from any store (even Etsy). Plus you get a free Hello Baby Box when creating your baby registry.

Step 2 Decide on the products you need

This involves A LOT of time and research. Especially if you’re a first-time mommy and have no clue whatsoever about baby products. Or what you actually need for him. Not to worry, I’ve got you covered in this article. Keep on reading to find out the baby essentials that you should include in your list.

Step 3 Check the return policy

Don’t forget to double check the returning policy. Make sure returning is easy. It’ll be a huge lifesaver to be able to return duplicates or maybe things that you don’t like.

Step 4 Register online or in store

We are in the Era of Technology, so most stores offer the possibility of registering online. Not sure whether a store has a Baby Registry? You can search for it on Google “baby registry [insert store name here]”

Step 5 Choose the must-haves first

You should definitely start with the must-haves first (cot, stroller, etc). Then be sure to add a variety of products in different price ranges. Everybody can contribute and be helpful.

Step 6 Review it after a few weeks

It’s always a good idea to go back to the baby list and review it. You’ll look at it with fresh eyes and for sure you will add or remove things from the list.

Step 7 Submit & Share

Once everything is ready to go, share it with the person in charge of your baby shower.

Baby Registry DOs and DON’Ts

What is appropriate to put on a baby registry?

If I were you I would list items in different price ranges so that all my family and friends can afford them.

Another good idea is to don’t list expensive items only. The most important and expensive items are the crib, stroller, and car seat. You should add the things you need and don’t try to focus on the budget too much. If your items are very cheap, they can always get you more stuff. Or they can gather money and buy a crib for you or a stroller. But, in the end, it’s up to your relatives.

Don’t forget to add practical things to the baby list as well. Things such as diapers, creams, shampoo or wipes. You’ll need a TON of them, so why not stock up?!

Think in advance and add items that you can use after a few months or even years. You’ll be surprised how grateful you’re going to be when you CAN take stuff out from storage.

Baby proofing is a must and before you know it, you have to baby proof your entire house.


What do you really need for your baby?

Things that are absolutely necessary for your newborn baby. These are also the things that will make your life so much easier.

So, here’s a list of the things you absolutely need for your baby: 

  • Clothes – your baby won’t need more than 2-8 items from each category – vests, onesies, hats, socks, etc
  • Diapers – you’ll need a lot of these, but make sure you don’t buy a lot from the tiny or newborn sizes, babies grow very fast. So you’ll end up wasting your money.
  • Carseat – you can’t go home without a car seat!
  • Stroller or baby carrier – in the beginning, I would go for a baby carrier and only a few months later I’d invest in a stroller. Newborns want to be held a lot, so it’s a lot easier with a baby carrier.
  • Cot – that’s all you need for your baby to sleep in. You’ll use it a really long time. If you decide to buy one that’s going to transform into a toddler bed, you’ll save a lot of money.
  • Baby Care kit – Hairbrush and nail clippers are a must if you ask me. Babies nails grow so fast, so you want to keep them as short as possible. You don’t want your baby to scratch his skin, do you?
  • First Aid kit – nasal aspirator (electric one), thermometer, nappy cream, and saline drops
  • Bathtub – if you have a massive kitchen sink, you don’t even need a bathtub for your baby. For bath time I would also buy baby soap instead of baby shower gel and water thermometer.

What do you need immediately for a baby?

Here’s an overview of the things you need from birth, while in the hospital. If you are looking for something more in-depth. Please check out this article about what to pack in the hospital bag for your baby.

  • Clothes – weather appropriate clothes
  • Hats – this is a must, especially while in the hospital.
  • Diapers
  • Wipes
  • Blanket
  • Burp cloths or muslin squares

What you DON’T actually need for a baby?

There are so many things that you don’t need for your baby. Many first-time mommies think that they need a lot of things. Because that’s what they saw or heard on blogs, YouTube or other influencers. It’s all about marketing my friends! A baby is very low maintenance, they don’t NEED a lot of stuff, especially in those first few months. Sadly, as first-time mommies, we go out and buy things just because they look pretty or it sounds nice.

But, let’s go back in time for a little bit. Do you think when our parents were babies, they had wipe warmers, sterilizers, bottle drying racks, and other fancy stuff? Nope, I don’t think so. Here’s a list of ridiculous things you don’t need for your baby.

Moses basket – Mommies buy them because it looks pretty. Or just because they want something mobile around the house. Having said that, I still wouldn’t buy it. I would prefer to buy a bouncing chair (or something similar like Mamaroo from 4moms). You can use it for months and months.

Dock-a-Tot – I had one for my baby. I bought it because I heard all the mommies on YouTube about how they love it and how useful it is for your baby. Well…for us it didn’t work. My baby didn’t like it there. I guess all babies are different. I ended up purchasing something that I didn’t even use and it was too late to return it.

Wipes warmer – if you ask me, this is another waste of your money. I heard from other mommies that it dries up the wipes, so you end up using more.

Sterilizer – I bought one because I thought I would need it for sterilizing bottles, but I didn’t need it. Yet I used it to sterilize toys and teething accessories. But even if you’re bottle feeding you don’t need one. All you need is a large pot with boiling water and boom, you’ll have sterilized items very soon.

Bottle feeding equipment – another miss for me. I wanted to be prepared, but my son didn’t even take a bottle. He wanted to be fed just from my breast. So it’s best to wait a little bit to see whether your baby actually accepts a bottle before buying all this fancy equipment.

Bottle warmer – even if you are bottle feeding your baby, this is another fancy thing you don’t need. It takes forever to warm the milk up for your baby, so it’s best to put baby’s bottle in hot water.

Bottle drying rack – I bought one because I thought it looks so cute (grass looking and tree), but I didn’t even use it as much. This could be because we didn’t bottle feed our son, but not necessarily. You can use a dish drainer or a towel. Much cheaper if you ask me, so why waste it?

A ton of clothes, especially newborn size – babies grow so quickly. In a matter of days or even overnight, you can’t fit your baby in the newborn size. So you end of with a huge pile of clothes that weren’t even used once.

Changing table – I didn’t have one. I found it very expensive. So I bought a changing mat that I put it on top of my desk (I transformed it into a changing table). Sometimes I used to put the mat on the bed and it worked out perfectly.

Baby oils and lotions – these are another thing I thought I would need. I was open about using them at first. But after seeing my son’s skin reaction to his baby shower gel and baby lotion I shifted completely. He had the worst allergy ever, so I stopped using them immediately. Now I am completely against using oils, lotions and even shower gels on babies.

Nursing tops – I found them so helpful at first or at home. But if I were to go out I find them very eye-catching and revealing. So I would rather wear a larger top and lift it when nursing. If you’re worried about your tummy out in the open, nobody can see it, because your baby hides it.

What should you not put on your baby registry?

Clothes, blankets & towels – You’ll get them anyway. These are the biggest thing that most people can’t resist too. They are too cute and so tiny. For sure you’re going to receive them as a gift.

Breast pump – If you’re in the US, you can get it for free! All you have to do is call your insurance company and they’ll let you know what to do to get one.

Baby carrier – for some people this might be a surprise. The main reason why I decided to put this item here is because you can’t use a baby carrier if you’ve had a Caesarean section. So it’s best to wait. You should also decide whether you want or not to carry your baby around.

Minimalist baby registry

Finding the best baby registry

Which baby registry is the best?

What are the benefits of Target Baby Registry?

  • They offer a free welcome kit with over $100 worth of coupons and samples. You can pick it up from Guest Services
  • You get 15% off from everything left unpurchased (you can add even more). 8 weeks before your due date.
  • Amazing return policy. No need to keep all the receipts and you have up to 12 months to return or exchange the unwanted items.
  • You can find popular brands such as: Graco, Huggies, Fisher-Price, Honest, Munchkin, Aveeno Baby.
  • They’ve got some amazing tools: universal registry, gift tracking, checklist, group gifting. They also offer a personalized page and custom URL, registry app and lots more. Find out more & Register here

What are the benefits of Amazon Baby Registry?

  • Upon registration, you’ll get a surprise box filled with items for parents and baby with up to $35 worth
  • Universal registry meaning that you can add items from any sites.
  • If you complete your baby list and you are a Prime member, you save 15% (not on all the items)
  • Probably the largest product list with millions of items to choose from
  • The return policy is 90 days
  • Group gifting, which means many people can contribute towards a bigger gift. Find out more & Register here

 

What are the benefits of Buy Buy Baby Registry?

  • Free goody bag filled with coupons, samples and a Registry Guide. Pick it up in store.
  • You’ll get 15% off from all the unpurchased items on the baby list
  • Free shipping for your baby’s first year – double check the restrictions.
  • You’ll get a reward for referring your friends
  • Offer tools to make your life easier such as: interactive checklist, registry analyzer, thank you list or ask a friend
  • Shop from exclusive brands: Graco, Medela, Summer infant, Britax, Baby Jogger, Chicco, UppaBaby, 4moms, Fisher-Price, Skip-Hop, Carter’s, Bugaboo and lots more. Find out more & Register here

 

What are the benefits of Babylist Baby Registry?

  • You can add items from wherever you like
  • Register for help or favors – it can be anything from home-cooked meals to walking your dog.
  • You can support small businesses and makers – from websites such as Etsy.
  • Start a cash fund and they’ll transfer it straight to your bank account
  • Mobile app
  • They also offer free insert cards for your baby shower invitations
  • They can link or transfer items from an existing baby list

Find out more & Register here

  

What are the benefits of Walmart Baby Registry?

  • Free Baby Box
  • App available to access your baby registry
  • Free returns
  • Price match guarantee
  • Exclusive premium, plant-based brands

Find out more & Register here

What stores give you free gifts when you do a baby registry?


Target – offers a welcome kit with over $100 worth of coupons and samples

Amazon – offers a surprise box with items worth up to $35

Buy Buy Baby – offers a goody bag filled with coupons, samples and a Registry Guide.

Walmart – free surprise box for babies and mommies

Where should you put your baby registry?

Many of you would think that’s totally fine to add the baby registry list onto the baby shower invitations.

However, etiquette experts say completely the opposite. You shouldn’t add it straight to the invitation itself, but you could add some sort of an insert on the side. Even this insert is a bit suspicious and some people might be thinking that you are looking only for gifts.

So the solution to this ”issue” is to share your baby registry information with the right people. These might be your parents or baby shower hostess. They can spread the word for you.

Of course, there’s nothing wrong to share your list when people ask you directly. Most of the guests are going to ask you anyway, so I wouldn’t worry too much about it.

But if they don’t ask for it? Well… don’t be upset about it. A baby registry is just a suggestion type list or a wish list (like I mentioned in the beginning) not a mandatory list.

A gift is a gift and you should be grateful for every single one of them.

 Minimalist baby registry infographic

Baby Registry Essentials

Please note that this list doesn’t include clothes. Like I mentioned in the beginning of this article. People will buy clothes for your baby even if you don’t add them to your baby registry.

Carseat – this one is a must, especially if you own a car.

Stroller – I would recommend to invest in something qualitative and that grows with your baby.

Crib & Mattress – another item that should “grow” with your baby.

Baby carrier – this maybe something that you’d want to wait until your baby’s born. If you are going to have a C-section this is definitely not for you (right from birth). I had an emergency C and bought a baby carrier after 2-3 months. Something to keep in mind.

Changing mat or table – I’d definitely choose a mat over a table.

Bath-tub – make sure it’s suitable from birth or have a newborn insert. I would recommend going for a fabric or mesh infant insert. You want to keep your newborn as warm as possible.

Blankets – other items that you really don’t want to register for, because you’ll be gifted with a couple (at least). Unless you want something specific or maybe personalized, feel free to add it to your baby list.

Wipes – you’ll need A LOT of them, you would want to wait and actually use them. Your baby might have allergy or maybe some sort of reaction to a certain brand of wipes.

Diapers – you’ll need a bunch of them, but I would be very careful in stocking up on a specific size. Infants grow very fast so you will need a bigger size literally overnight.

Bottles – keep in mind that your baby might not want to take a bottle. Don’t be like me! I purchased everything I needed for bottle feeding and my son rejected the bottle, so it was a huge waste of money

First Aid Kit – body thermometer, nappy cream, saline drops, nasal aspirator

Baby Monitor – an absolute necessity if you have a big home and you want to monitor your baby

Baby Care kit – this should include hair brush and nail clippers or scissors. In my opinion, nail files and other grooming utensils are pointless for a baby.

Towels – something that you might be gifted anyway. You can always use a regular towel, not necessarily baby towel.

Burp cloths or muslin squares – you’ll need a lot of these!

High chair – there are a lot of high chairs that can be used from birth (eg. Polly Progress Chicco 5 – read a full review on it here). Not for mealtimes of course, just for your baby to chill in the living room.

Play gym or mat – perfect for tummy time.

Bouncing chair – it’s not a must-have, but you’ll have a safe place to keep your newborn while doing work around the house

Books – you’ll never have enough books!

Mommy Registry Essentials

Who said that you should register for baby related items only? It’s completely wrong! Be a little bit selfish here. Think about the first few weeks on even months. You’re still recovering and adjusting to your new life with a newborn. Life with a newborn can be very hard, so why not make things easier for you and your partner?

Here is a list of things you will find helpful after you gave birth:

  • Netflix
  • Amazon Prime
  • House Cleaning Services
  • Food Delivery
  • Frozen/Ready Meals
  • Massage or SPA day
  • Dog Walker

Minimalist Baby Registry

I hope this super helpful post explaining the essentials of a minimalist baby registry helps you! Please let me know in the comments when you’re baby is due! Congratulations!!

Hi, I am Kinga! The founder of KingasCorner.com. In real life, I am a wife, a stay-at-home-mum to a beautiful toddler and a huge coffee lover. One of my biggest desires is to help other first-time mommies out there to “survive” their new life with a baby. And because I’d like to make your life much easier, I’ve created a few free resources that can help you along the way. Check out my Resource Library here. See you there!