11 Baby Registry Etiquette

baby registry etiquette
When creating a baby registry, consider the financial status of your friends and family. Avoid including too many expensive items, and provide varying price points. Create the registry around the 20-week mark and categorize items for easy navigation.

1. Registry Must-Haves

Essential items will help ensure you have everything you need for your baby’s arrival, making your life as a new parent much more manageable.

Here are some of the essential registry items to consider:

  • Diapers and wipes: You’ll go through many diapers and wipes in the first few months, so stock up on these essentials.
  • Baby clothes: Choose clothes in different sizes, from newborn to 6 months. Look for clothes that are easy to put on and take off, and consider the weather in your area.
  • Breastfeeding or formula-feeding supplies: If you plan to breastfeed, you’ll need a nursing pillow, milk storage bags, and other accessories. If you plan to formula-feed, you’ll need bottles, nipples, and formula.
  • Bathing supplies: You’ll need washcloths, towels, baby-friendly soap, and shampoo.

When choosing items for your registry, consider your lifestyle, budget, and personal preferences. You can also read reviews and ask other parents for recommendations.

The number of items to register for will depend on your needs and preferences. Avoid registering for things you know you won’t use or are too expensive.

2. Timing Is Everything

Create a baby registry sometime during your second trimester or around the 20-week mark. By this time, you’ll know what items you need and still need to purchase before the baby arrives. This will also give you enough time to research products and compare prices.

You can start sharing your registry with your loved ones as soon as you create it. This gives them ample time to purchase or send the gifts directly to you. 

Keep your registry open for as long as you need to viz., usually until a few weeks after your due date. This allows people who may have missed the opportunity to purchase a gift before the baby’s arrival a chance to still do so. 

3. Spread The Word

Share the registry early, ideally around the time of the baby shower or a few months before the due date. Share it through multiple channels like email, social media, or a dedicated registry website.

When sharing the registry, avoid demanding or pushy language. Never demand specific gifts or request that guests spend a certain amount of money.

Keep the registry organized and easy to navigate. This could include grouping items by category, providing clear descriptions and photos, and avoiding unnecessary items.

4. Registry Management

Managing your registry means updating it regularly to ensure your guests have an accurate list of required items. Avoid making frequent updates or adding expensive items at the last minute.

Many stores offer online tracking tools that allow you to keep track of which items have been purchased and by whom. Use these tools to avoid duplicate purchases.

5. Price Points Variety

Include a range of price points on your registry because the financial status of your friends and family varies. 

It will increase the likelihood of your registry being fully purchased. People may choose to buy multiple lower-priced items instead of one expensive item.

Include affordable and luxury items on your registry to allow people to choose a gift they feel comfortable with. It also shows that you have thought carefully about your baby’s needs and wants. 

Manage duplicate items by checking your register regularly to see what items have been purchased or reserved. 

6. Thank You Notes

baby shower thank you note
thank you note for baby gifts

Sending thank you cards shows gratitude and appreciation to those who took their time and effort to gift your new baby.

Be organized and track who gave you what so you can thank them accordingly. Here are some tips for tracking gifts received and thank you notes sent:

  • Make a list of all the items on your registry and note who purchased each item.
  • Keep track of when you receive each gift and the giver’s name and contact information.
  • Set a goal to send out thank you notes within two to three weeks of receiving a gift.

When writing thank you notes, remember that they should be personalized and sincere. Here are some examples of appropriate thank-you notes:

“Dear [Name], Thank you so much for the adorable [item] from our baby registry. We are thrilled to have it for our new arrival and are grateful for your thoughtfulness and generosity.”

“Dear [Name], Thank you for the beautiful [item] you gifted us for our new baby. We are grateful for your kindness and can’t wait to use it when our little one arrives.”

7. Registry Faux Pas

When creating a registry, it’s easy to get carried away with all the cute baby items available. Keep in mind practicality and functionality when creating your registry.

It’s easy to focus on items for the baby, but don’t forget about items that will help you during the postpartum period, such as nursing pads, comfortable nursing bras, and postpartum care supplies.

Tips for avoiding registry mistakes:

  • Start as early as possible so you can take your time to research and add items to your list.
  • Consider your lifestyle and what will work best for you and your baby. 
  • Talk to close friends or family members who have already undergone the baby stage.
  • Focus on quality items that are within your budget.

8. Group Gifting

Online groups gifting platforms like MyRegistry.com and Giftster.com allow multiple people to contribute to one gift. You can add items from any store or website to your registry and enable the group gifting option for particular items. 

You can also set up a cash fund on your registry for a specific item or for general expenses. This way, people can contribute any amount they want towards the fund. 

When it comes to thanking the group for their gift, there are a few ways to go about it:

  • Send a thank you note to the entire group, thanking them for their contribution and expressing your appreciation for the gift.
  • If you have the contact information for everyone who contributed to the gift, you can send individual thank-you notes to each person.
  • You can also call or video chat with each person to thank them for their contribution. 

9. Cash And Gift Cards

When requesting cash or gift cards on your registry, follow these etiquette guidelines:

  • Be subtle: Avoid explicitly requesting cash or gift cards on your registry. Instead, you can include a brief note on your registry page that states that you appreciate any contribution to your new family.
  • Provide context: Explain what you plan to use the cash for, such as purchasing baby gear or covering medical expenses. 
  • Include a range: Rather than specifying a specific amount, include a range that guests can choose from.

10. Return And Exchange Policies

Understand the stores’ policies where you purchase and any specific guidelines related to the items you select. Check for any exclusions or restrictions, such as a time limit or requirement for unopened packaging.

Some baby items like car seats and strollers have specific return and exchange policies due to safety regulations. Ensure you understand these items’ policies and communicate them to your guests.

Include information about the return and exchange policies in your registry details or on your baby shower invitations. Provide clear instructions on how to make a return or exchange, including any required paperwork or packaging.

11. Keep It Positive

The baby registry process is an exciting time for expectant parents but can also be overwhelming and stressful. One way to manage this stress is by maintaining a positive attitude. 

A positive attitude can help you approach the registry process with enthusiasm, gratitude, and a sense of adventure.

Tips for managing registry-related stress:

  • Give yourself plenty of time to research and make decisions.
  • Ask for help and advice from experienced parents, friends, and family members. 
  • Know how much you can afford to spend to narrow down your options.

How to graciously handle registry-related conflicts:

  • Communicate openly and honestly. Talk to the people involved in the conflict and express your concerns calmly and respectfully. 
  • Listen to other perspectives. Be open to hearing the opinions and concerns of others involved in the conflict. 
  • Focus on the big picture. Remember that the registry process is about preparing for your baby’s arrival and creating a loving and supportive environment for your growing family.

What Is The Difference Between A Baby Shower And A Gift Registry?

A baby shower is a celebration where guests bring gifts, while a gift registry lists specific items that expecting parents would like to receive as gifts. While the two are related, they serve different purposes, and guests may or may not use a gift registry to choose a gift for a baby shower.


Tabitha is a curious and enthusiastic writer who believes in the power of words and the importance of good manners. Etiquette is her passion, and she enjoys sharing her knowledge with others. When she isn’t writing, she enjoys traveling, reading, and spending time with her family.

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