Thanks to Allyson Downey, CEO and Founder of weeSpring, for lending her expertise on baby registries! weeSpring is a platform that helps you share advice with your friends about baby essentials, like bottles, strollers, and diapers. Expecting parents use weeSpring to ask their friends about the things they couldn’t live without, and find out what they wish they’d never bought.
Walking into a baby store is enough to turn even the sanest expecting mom into a hot mess. From shelves of bottles to aisles of strollers and an entire wing devoted to swings, it’s tempting to register for one of everything and call it a day. But narrowing down your list doesn’t have to be stressful. It’s actually really fun. Check out these simple tips on how to register for the right stuff.
- Do your research. Before you go click-crazy or step foot into that store, talk to other parents about their tried and true must-haves. Expecting moms and dads use weeSpring to get the scoop from their friends about the things they couldn’t live without, and find out what they wish they’d never bought. Log-in with your Facebook account to instantly see your friends’ favorite products. Then click “want” and add items to your registry weeList. Being organized makes the whole process much less daunting.
- Be realistic. Don’t go overboard (especially if you live in a small space). If your registry is insanely large, you may not get some of the things you actually need. It’s not necessary to register for 3 different bouncy seats (thanks to tip 1, you won’t need to!). You don’t need 20 swaddle blankets. And those adorable hoods with animal ears? Get a couple, not the entire collection. Make sure your focus is on the functional products.
- Think Ahead. Don’t forget to register for bit ticket items beyond the newborn phase, like a highchair, mat, carrier, monitor, activity center, interactive toys, and lots of great books. Your friends and family can join forces and go in on an expensive gift together. So, don’t shy away from including them.
- Go neutral. If you know the sex of your baby, don’t go into pink or blue overload. You can use these items for baby #2, so choosing neutral colors is smart.
So what are the newborn necessities for a new parent?
- Seventh Generation Diapers: I didn’t want to have any artificial fragrances, and I like that these are just plain diapers.
- Seventh Generation Wipes: Ditto on artificial fragrances.
- A+D Ointment: When Logan was born, we just used Eucerin, but this has since replaced it for us.
- Phil and Ted’s Nest: Logan slept in this at home for the first few months, but it is also amazing for travel because it fits in a duffel where you can pack everything for baby.
- aden + anais Swaddle Blankets: More than just a swaddle! Used this as a burp cloth, a blanket so I could lay him on the floor, a nursing cover, a shade for the stroller… and so on.
- Happiest Baby on the Block DVD: There’s nothing more reassuring than a laid back Californian pediatrician telling you that a) it’s normal for your baby to cry and b) how to get your baby to stop crying.
- Chicco Keyfit Infant Car Seat: Can’t leave the hospital without it.
- Fisher Price Bathtub with Sling: We started with one of those European pod tubs, and it was impossible. The sling on this made it much less scary to bath a newborn.
- Elle Macpherson Maternelle Nursing Bra: Buy one or two at nine months pregnant, but don’t stock up until your milk comes in and you know what size you are.
- My Brest Friend Pillow: Using this pillow was the only way I could nurse… and let’s face it, you’re gonna spend 10+ hours a day nursing.
- Carter’s Side Snap Shirts: Putting a onesie over a newborn’s head is absolutely terrifying for a first time parent. This is all Logan wore for the first month.
- Booginhead Paci Grip: They’ll give you a paci in the hospital (usually the Soothie), and this is the only strap that fits it.
Remember, a registry is a work in progress. You can always add, remove, and return if you have second thoughts!
Ally Downey was inspired to create weeSpring after having a meltdown in a Babies R Us. Her entrepreneurial spirit dates back to elementary school, when she had a face-painting business for birthday parties, and it’s carried her through roles in publishing, politics, the non-profit world, and Wall Street. As you’d probably guess, she’s pretty Type A and is dogged in pursuit of the safest and best products for her toddler. You can follow her on Twitter at @allysondowney and @wee_spring.