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Baby Gift Registering 101: What You Do and Don't Need

From the car seat to the baby monitor – take the guesswork out of registering for your bundle of joy with this list. Here's what to consider and what to leave off.

Creating a baby gift registry can be so fun – yet so overwhelming. Do you really need a wipe warmer? What bottles are best for your baby, and how many do you need? Thankfully, experienced parents and other baby gift registry experts abound.

Leah Drill is a public relations assistant for Buy Buy Baby and encourages parents to think about which products best fit their lifestyle and to ask themselves a few questions before diving into their registry.

"Does your home or apartment have stairs? How many cars will baby travel in? Do you want to jog with your baby? What will the color scheme for the baby's room be?" she says.

These questions will help focus parents' registry efforts, Drill explains.

"And remember that your registry is a wish list, and you can add items or make changes at any time, so don't feel overwhelmed," she adds. "A registry consultant is the best resource to help you understand what you need and how to choose it."

Registry must haves

  • An infant car seat: You can't leave the hospital without one, and you may want to consider purchasing an extra base for a second car
  • Stroller: You might think about more than one for various settings (jogging, mall shopping, the zoo)
  • Crib, crib mattress and fitted crib sheets
  • Baby monitor: Preferably one that is digital and hence higher frequency, so you'll experience less interference
  • Breast pump and accessories if you are planning to nurse
  • Bottles and nipples
  • Infant tub
  • Diaper bag
  • Swing and bouncer, or a combo of the two)
  • Swaddle blankets or sleep sacks: The tight bundle mimics the coziness of the womb
  • High chair: One that attaches to a dinner table chair takes up less space than stand-alone options.
  • Bibs of various sizes

Nice to haves

  • Baby clothes in a range of sizes for the down the road
  • White noise machine
  • Play mat: Great for tummy time
  • Pack 'n' play
  • Changing table: Not a necessity, but good for bedrooms with hardwood floors
  • Diaper disposal system
  • Newborn baby clothes: You don't need many; they grow out of them fast, and big babies won't fit into them at all

Skip it

  • Baby bathrobe: Simply not practical
  • Crib bedding sets: The bumper pads and quilt present a SIDS risk
  • Electric bottle warmer: Hot water from the tap does the job faster and cheaper without taking up valuable counter space
  • Shopping cart cover: Remembering to bring it is half the battle. Setting it up and getting baby in is the other half. Take advantage of store provided disinfectant wipes instead.
  • Pee-pee Teepee: A burp cloth, towel, blanket or diaper does the job just as well
  • Baby shoes: Baby won't be walking until 9 months or more
  • Diaper stacker: A cute basket or drawer works great
  • Stuffed animals: They can present a SIDS hazard for infants
  • Baby food maker: Use the blender or food processor you already have
  • Baby DVDs: Check your cable provider's on-demand baby programming lineup
  • Lullaby CDs: Stream any of the many Pandora www.pandora.com lullaby channels from your phone or computer

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