Creating a Baby Registry: What You Need to Know

Thinking about creating a baby registry, but no clue where to start? This comprehensive guide will take you through the process from start to finish.

Thinking about creating a baby registry, but no clue where to start? This comprehensive guide will take you through the process from start to finish.

A baby registry helps everyone attending your baby shower pick out exactly what you need for baby, but setting up a registry can be a daunting task. Let’s break it all down, including:

What is a Baby Registry?

A baby registry is a list of items that your baby will need for their first year of life and beyond. It typically includes a mix of big-ticket items, like cribs and car seats, and smaller stuff, like onesies and swaddles.

But I’m not having a baby shower…

Even if you’re not having a baby shower, a registry is a great way to help guide generous friends and family members shopping for baby gifts anyway.

Where to Create a Baby Registry

Most major retailers who carry baby supplies offer registry services. Some of the most popular places to register include:

Amazon Baby Registry

Amazon is a popular choice, because they offer free shipping on orders over $50, two-day shipping with Amazon Prime, and a wide selection of items at low and competitive prices.

Buy Buy Baby Registry

Buy Buy Baby is a common choice, because it’s one of the biggest retailers dedicated to babies and toddlers. Registrants like that the retailer has many brick-and-mortar locations for in-person service, too.

Walmart Baby Registry

A popular choice for convenience—both online and in-person—and low prices. The inventory (particularly online) is also quite extensive.

Target Baby Registry

Also a popular choice for its convenience—both online and in-person. The downside? This particular store doesn’t have as many options for natural-minded parents.

Babies R Us Registry

Though it was the most popular place to create a registry, Babies R Us shuttered in 2018. There is, however, speculation that the store might make a comeback—the brand was recently acquired by Tru Kids.

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How to Set Up a Baby Registry

Once you’ve picked a place to register, you can get to work creating your registry by shopping online or in-store.

Setting up a registry online

Each retailer has their own online platform. In most cases, you’ll have to set up a free account to get started. Once you’ve set up an account, you’ll see a button on each product’s page prompting you to add it to your registry.

Setting up a registry in-store

In most cases, you can simply walk in and visit the store’s customer service desk to get started. You’ll then receive a handheld scanner to scan and add items to your registry.

Note: Even if you choose to begin your registry at a brick-and-mortar store, many parents find it’s most convenient to use online systems to adjust quantities and add notes along the way. 

What to Put on Your Baby Registry

Ah-ha—the million dollar question! Though the task seems daunting initially, setting up a registry can be a lot of fun.

If you’re just getting started on your registry, I’ve created registry checklists specific to each of the most popular stores—Amazon, Target, Buy Buy Baby, and Walmart. My lists include only what you really need, so you’ll always be prepared, but you won’t end up with a house full of baby gear that only serves to take up space.

Perks of Setting Up a Baby Registry

1. Get exactly what you want

Friends, family, and baby shower attendees might not know your tastes. And if they aren’t a natural mama like you, they may buy baby products loaded with fragrances and chemicals. A registry is a convenient and polite way to let your guests know what you really want.

2. Avoid unnecessary items

And because the store where you register will keep track of all the items on your registry and update quantities, you won’t get duplicate items (or things you don’t need).

3. Reach far-flung family and friends

Because the vast majority of retailers have their registries online now, too, a registry makes shopping for baby more convenient for family and friends who don’t live near you or the store you’re registered at. Most stores also ship the gift directly to you or to the baby shower location, saving the giver a trip to the post office.

4. Get expert guidance

Some retailers—especially brick-and-mortar stores, like Buy Buy Baby—offer free appointments with employees who can guide you through the registry process from start to finish. This is particularly helpful for new parents who are unsure where to even begin.

5. Get freebies

Many retailers offer registrants a gift bag or box full of free baby items just for creating a registry. This gift is generally full of great samples (think: diapers, wipes, shampoo, and bottles) and coupons.

6. Earn special incentives

Most retailers also offer some form of a completion discount to parents who create a registry through their store. A completion discount is a coupon on any items that remain on your registry as you get closer to your due date. The specifics vary based on the retailer, but a completion discount is generally between 15-20 percent.

Congratulations on you pregnancy and best wishes for your baby registry!

Genevieve Howland

About the Author

Genevieve Howland is a childbirth educator and breastfeeding advocate. She is the bestselling author of The Mama Natural Week-by-Week Guide to Pregnancy and Childbirth and creator of the Mama Natural Birth Course. A mother of three, graduate of the University of Colorado, and YouTuber with over 130,000,000 views, she helps mothers and moms-to-be lead healthier and more natural lives.


  1. Great list! Will be sharing this post with my nanny who is recently pregnant. 🙂

  2. I love you book, Natural Mama.

    Does anyone know of sustainable and ethical baby registries? I just want to make sure the gifts I might receive aren’t using child labor in unsafe conditions.

  3. Have you heard of BabyList? It compiles a registry from ANY and all stores you want to include so you don’t have to choose just Target or Amazon- it all rolls into one!

    • I used babylist too. Thank God my friend told me about it just in time.

  4. Amazon’s registry gift is awesome! You have to jump through hoops for it, but it has really nice products (swaddle and clothes and pacifiers were in mine) all for free.
    They require you to add one item from each of Amazon’s registry checklist of “must haves” which was ridiculously long. Also, not my first baby, so I definitely didn’t need everything. I filled it up and got the gift before making my REAL list on Amazon.
    Good luck!

  5. I don’t have baby shower but i really need too much items for my baby

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