Why Registering is Like Baby Care 101

by tinysneakers

Registering for gifts for big events like weddings and babies is a bit of an odd tradition, but it’s a tradition, so we do it. I think registering for a baby is by far more useful than registering for a wedding- there are a lot of things you need, and it would be weird if you already had them. {I don’t know anyone with a car seat that doesn’t have a baby…}

baby registry

I’ll admit I use the word “need” flippantly. Yes, there are few things a baby actually needs, besides love, food, and things to keep it safe and healthy. But let’s be practical. If you want your baby to come home from the hospital, you need a car seat. You need some way to hold your baby and still have your hands free occasionally. Unless you’re an extreme outlier {and a bit crazy in my opinion}, you need diapers. So when I say “need”, I mean useful; helpful; nice to have available.

Baby Stuff Galore

Have you ever looked at a list of the things you’ll want to have for your baby? It’s a lot. Whether you register or not, you need to figure out which of these things you’ll be using. It’s probably best to think about those things before the baby comes along. More importantly, it’s more than just stuff- it’s your first lesson in baby care.

picking out baby items with husband

I was excited to register- if I could have done it the day I found out I was pregnant, I might just have done that. But of course we waited. Eventually I was able to drag the husband to the baby store to start the overwhelming process of zapping a gun haphazardly at a bunch of items we had no idea what their purpose was.

registering for baby gear

Thank goodness we registered- otherwise I never would have stopped to think about whether I wanted my baby to use an infant car seat or not. Whether we wanted the baby to sleep in our room, or in the crib right from the get go. I wouldn’t have known there was more than one way to carry a baby around. I wouldn’t have known mattresses don’t come with cribs, or changing pads need covers. We wouldn’t have been talking about disposable vs. cloth diapers, or have debated the swing vs. bouncer conundrum. We may not have talked about how the husband would be able to help if I’m able to breastfeed- whether we’d use bottles or pacifiers, etc.

baby furniture

I may not have known a breast pump can come in handy even if you’re not planning on pumping routinely. I also may not have known all the things out there that can help make breastfeeding more comfortable. {Why would I ever know gel packs and nursing pads exist if I hadn’t been forced to walk by them on the way to the bottles?} And by the way, did you know babies need their fingernails clipped probably before they even leave the hospital? Yeah. That’s why the fingernail clippers are hanging next to the thermometers- they hope you’ll use them.


These may seem like trivial things, but what if they’d never come up? You don’t know to learn about things you don’t know about. There’s nothing like walking into a store filled wall to wall with baby supplies to get you asking, “hmmm what’s that for?” and “why would we need that?”.

Sometimes the answer is you don’t need it, or it’s a piece of junk. But sometimes the answer’s extremely important.

baby gear

So registering forced us to pick out a car seat and a stroller, yes, but it also forced us to figure out what we’re going to do and how we’re going to do things when this baby comes along.

Of course, it also left me wondering how on earth you’re supposed to make some of these decisions before you’ve even met your baby…


P.S. Don’t add up the list of prices of everything you register for unless you want to have a heart attack. Those aren’t recommended during pregnancy. Or ever.

Do you have any registry or baby gear advice?

{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

Katie @ Healthy Heddleston October 6, 2011 at 3:24 pm

I am sooo excited to register!! I definitely have some of my favorite products in mind that we’ll be registering for, but I also have products in mind that I didn’t like or know I won’t need (this is all through nannying experience).

You mentioned the swing/bouncer situation, but another one to chat about with mr. hubs is the pack and play. I’m SOOO on the fence about it because I never used the set-up pack and play at people’s house when nannying (other than as a changing table, which I could have done on the floor or up in their room). When asking parents if they find it useful, I guess it just depends on how much you travel — but even still, you could just make sure you stay at hotels that have cribs/pack and plays for use and just bring your own sheets. Okay, so sorry I wrote a book about pack and plays, but that’s currently our biggest registry discussion point lol.


Kelly October 6, 2011 at 4:49 pm

I swear some of these companies know how to get your money! As far as car seats… not sure why (if you know, tell me!) they even sell convertible car seats for infants. One of the benefits of having an infant car seat, is being able to take it in and out of the car with baby in it. The convertible (usually 5-70lbs) stays in the car, which can make it difficult while they are still tiny and not able to sit in high chairs, shopping carts, or even if they are still asleep and you don’t want to wake them to take them out of the car! SO – IMO – register for an infant car seat and a convertible!

chiming in on pack and play. I use mine daily (and not just bc there are two!) It is nice if you are cooking dinner, need a shower.. it’s a safe place to play and even have independent play time 🙂

hindsight.. i wish i had registered for more things past the first 6 months!

can’t wait to shop off your registry!


tinysneakers October 8, 2011 at 8:30 am

Apparently the AAP recommends only keeping a baby in a car seat in the car- which takes away the advantage of letting them sleep in the infant car seat, and since you need the convertible anyway, it saves money. Although there’s no way I’d be able to skip the infant seat with two to tote inside! 😉


tinysneakers October 8, 2011 at 9:08 am

Oh and what kind of things for past 6 months? 🙂


Christina October 6, 2011 at 5:38 pm

New reader, and new mom here. To add to the pack and play discussion above, if you have a big house, or a two story house with the nursery upstairs, I find the pack and play to be very helpful. We have one with the changing table and a newborn napper (infant sleeping area in addition to the bassinet feature). First, if you are sore from childbirth or a c-section, you will want to change diapers at waist level so you don’t have to bend. Second, you don’t want to trek your child with a blowout diaper across the house. Lastly, some babies sleep great in a pack and play but not in the crib. Even with the best intentions of sleeping in the crib from day one, at some point, you do what you have to do to get sleep!
The other suggestion I have is to look into the Kooshee changer (amazon). It is a wipeable changing pad which is helpful because babies make messes. Laundry is such a pain!
But as you said, a baby only has a few needs. Everything else is for our convenience. If you keep packaging, you can wait to decide if you want to use something and if not, return it for something else or credit!


tinysneakers October 8, 2011 at 8:27 am

Thanks for the tips! 🙂


Kelly October 6, 2011 at 8:40 pm

I actually buy lots of baby toys/clothes/gear for my mother-in-law’s store as my job so I feel like I know a ton about lots of things – but I don’t have kids, and don’t have much real life experience using these products. That being said, I would love to share my opinions about things if you want them, I just don’t want to pretend like I know as much about them as actual parents. 🙂


tinysneakers October 7, 2011 at 7:46 am

I’d love your opinion. 🙂 If you’ve touched baby gear, you know more than me!


Tina @ Faith Fitness Fun October 6, 2011 at 9:12 pm

It is AMAZING how much stuff there is. I wish I could go walk through the store with you and tell you what’s crap and what’s not. I will say though that a breast pump and nipple cream are HUGELY important. And the tri-fold basic Gerber cloth diapers make the best burp cloths.


tinysneakers October 8, 2011 at 8:31 am

I wish you could come do that too! 😉


Bethany @ One Girl's Taste On Life October 7, 2011 at 8:32 am

I loved registering, but I (and my husband) will tell you the registry today looks NOTHING like the registry did the day we left the store. I came home, researched nearly everything we put on the list, and edited to my hearts delight. I added, took away, and contemplated everything! I asked friends and family what they were thinking about putting on their list and why. I got a lot of info from my sister-in-law who, incidentally, is having her third girl in about an hour! My advice…get as much input from others as you can, especially those with children or people like Katie who work around kids all the time. Good luck, Mama!


tinysneakers October 8, 2011 at 8:34 am

I put a whole bunch of stuff on there just to remember to research it later. 😉 And so exciting for your sis-in-law!


Louise October 7, 2011 at 12:23 pm

First time mom here…

“I was excited to register- if I could have done it the day I found out I was pregnant, I might just have done that.”

That was pretty much me! I started our registry online at MyRegistry.com suuuuper early because I was excited and needed to do something to start preparing! I actually really liked doing it that way though because I can go back and edit it really easily whenever I want. Also, you can add from any store so I have had the chance to shop around and look for the best products and prices w/out worrying about having a zillion registries. Even w/ me shopping the deals though I can’t believe how much we’re spending/people are spending on us!!


Louise October 7, 2011 at 1:32 pm

My comment won’t show up. 🙁 Idk if it’s your website or mine!


Kate October 7, 2011 at 2:57 pm

Haha! In NZ registering for baby gear would be the worst kind of etiquette faux pas!! You buy what you need, and you get whatever people decide to get you. So I have no choice but to add up everything on our list- it’s all going on our debit card 😉


Kate October 7, 2011 at 2:57 pm

(PS- if that sounded like I was criticising you or the tradition, I wasn’t- I’m just a bit jealous that I can’t just head out with a zappy gun!)


tinysneakers October 8, 2011 at 8:36 am

Haha I think it’s a strange tradition too, but not one I’m going to argue with at this point! 😉


Kristen @ The Concrete Runner October 7, 2011 at 5:56 pm

Registering was way overwhelming for me. We went together once, I realized I knew NOTHING about what we should register for, and came home and researched like crazy. I went back 2 or 3 times until I was finally done. But, it definitely forced me to learn some things. My biggest dilemma was the breast pump. Do I want an manual or automatic? Dual pump or single? Which brand is the best? I ended up not even registering for one because (1) I have no idea if I’m even going to be able to nurse and (2) you can rent them through most hospitals (and I get a 20% discount at my hospital). I also knew I would rather people buy things like our cloth diapers + monitor than a breast pump. I totally agree that registering teaches you A LOT about your baby.


tinysneakers October 8, 2011 at 8:40 am

That’s one thing I left off too- first I thought it was weird that people might by me something like that, and second, I have no idea what kind to get! I’m guessing I’ll only really need to be pumping to have some extra supply for the husband to feed the baby, etc, so I don’t know if one of the crazy expensive double electric ones is worth it, or if it’s just as a much of a hassle no matter where/when you do it. That’s awesome you can get a discount from your hospital!


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: