Pregnancy is one of very few times in adult life when people are lining up to shower you with gifts—give them a little guidance by defining what it is that you really want and need. While there’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all registry, there are a few universal categories for every mom-to-be to consider. Here’s where to start.
Fill their closets. Think ahead and register for basics that’ll cover you for the whole first year. Build a wardrobe of plenty of comfy cotton onesies and bodysuits in sizes 0-12 months—they’ll fly through them. And if you’re coveting any special pieces (hello, baby barn jacket), add those, too. People love buying baby clothes. Little baby, big stuff. The big ticket items—a bassinet, crib, infant car seat, convertible car seat, carrier, high chair, and primary stroller, require some research (if you travel frequently, add a lightweight stroller and travel crib to the list, too). There’s a whole lot out there, and it’s worth investing some time in these categories to make sure you get what really suits your needs. Sweet dreams. Register for a breathable, organic crib mattress and at least three fitted crib sheets (then, prepare yourself for a whole lot of laundry). Add on two or three changing pad covers, while you’re at it. Sound machines are saviors for many new moms, and you’ll want plenty of swaddle blankets and sleep sacks in varying weights, too. Keeping them clean. An infant tub, some baby-safe shampoo/body wash—we’re currently loving Beautycounter’s baby line—and several of those ridiculously cute hooded towels (again, think lots of wash). You’re about to spend a fortune on diapers, so you may want to consider registering for enough of those (wipes, too) to get you started, and a trust-worthy diaper pail. Bottles and beyond. If you’re planning on nursing, it’s a good idea to have a pump ready to go before the baby arrives (but, you should be able to get that covered by insurance—one thing to check off the list). You’ll probably want a nursing cover and pillow, too. Stock up on milk storage bottles, baby bottles, soft bibs and burp cloths for the first few months. And now’s a good time to choose a baby food maker (if DIY’s your thing)—they’ll be onto solids in 5-6 months. Let’s play. Now, onto the fun stuff. A bouncer and/or swing, mat for tummy time, books, and toys round out the essentials for life with a newborn. And, since they’ll be mobile before you know it, survey your apartment or house and register for as many baby gates are necessary to keep ’em safe and secure. Now, kick back, and add a massage for mama to the list—you deserve it.