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When Should You Start a Baby Registry?

written by Jen Brady  |  updated March 10, 2022
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Congrats on the arrival of your little one! OK now what? Admittedly I was a bit overwhelmed and frazzled when I thought of creating a baby registry (and asking friends and family for stuff). And not being the best planner, I was like what? how? when? where?

Thankfully there’s lots of help along the way. Let’s dig in.

In This Article:
• What’s the Purpose of a Baby Registry?
• When Should You Start a Baby Registry?
• When Should You Make a Baby Registry Public?
• Where Should You Start a Baby Registry?
What Needs to Be on a Baby Registry?

What’s the Purpose of a Baby Registry?

A baby registry is a list of items that a new parent will need for their child’s arrival. It can be ridiculously helpful to compile this list before the baby arrives, so there are no surprises. Some common items on a registry include a crib, car seat, stroller and high chair.

When Should You Start a Baby Registry?

surprised baby

The typical start time for your registry is around 12 weeks of pregnancy, and it should be completed before your baby shower invitations go out (which is usually around 2-3 months before your baby arrives.)

That’s typical. I can tell you in no way was I starting my registry at 12 weeks. That’s too many weeks spent on thinking about and shopping for baby stuff!?

But as I said, I’m not much of a planner. So if you want to get a head start, then 12 weeks might work for you. And if you’re having a baby shower, you’ll want to have the baby registry ready so all your friends and family have some time to get the goods.

Adopting or have a surrogate? Still plan on having the baby registry completed about 2-3 months before the arrival of your baby.

When Should You Make a Baby Registry Public?

If you’re having a baby shower, your baby registry should be public before your guests receive invitations. This is typically 2-3 months before baby arrives.

No baby shower? The 2-3 months before baby arrives is still a good timeline to let your loved ones know about a baby registry.

And don’t worry about the word “public.” With an online registry, there’s usually an option to set it to private and only people with the link will be able to view.

Where Should You Start a Baby Registry?

In my experience, Amazon’s Baby Registry still wins at being the best. You can easily find a massive selection of organic and non-toxic baby items. And, you can add items from any online store. This makes it considered a “universal baby registry”.

Amazon Baby Registry perks:

  • Get a 10% completion discount or 15% completion discount and 20% off diaper subscriptions for Amazon Prime/Family members.
  • They support a lot of small businesses by having their items available that typically wouldn’t be an option at big-box stores.
  • Amazon carries a lot of organic and non-toxic options that big-box stores typically don’t carry.
  • Returns are always easy with Amazon. They have a free 90-day return policy after your due date (Amazon credit).
  • Group gifting is also an option for those big-ticket items.
  • Emailing friends and family is a simple way to spread the word about your good news. The registry also includes a convenient “thank you list” feature that tracks gift purchases (needed for baby brain).

What Needs to Be on a Baby Registry?

If you’re like me, when it comes to stuff? The less the better. Most registry must-haves have 100+ items. What you truly need is much less.

Here are a few resources to get you started:

That’s all for now, hope this is super helpful. Peace, love and baby kicks.

Care to share?


Jen Brady author crunchy mama illustrationToday Parenting Team Contributor

About the Author

Jen Brady — Chief Green Mama
Mom of two. Wife of one. Holistic nutritional consultant. Amateur biohacker. Guide of the Green Yourself Pregnancy Challenge. Author of the Green Your Baby Registry Guide.

I'm wild about pregnancy and babies (in a sane way) and I need to steer you away from harsh chemicals and hormone disruptors. Stick with me to keep it lean and green.