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What do you really need? 15 mom-tested tips for building a baby registry

Oh baby! Setting up a baby registry sounds fun, but where to start? Here are some time-tested tips from TODAY Parenting Team contributors.
/ Source: TODAY Contributor

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Oh baby! Setting up a baby registry looks like fun, but where to start? You may be surprised to learn how easily you can get along without some so-called "necessities" (baby-wipe warmers) and that some things you never thought of (water delivery) can be a true saving grace for new parents.

We asked our TODAY Parenting Team contributors to share their advice for what to include and what to ignore, and we compiled the best tips and tricks below.

If you’ve got ideas for helping new parents, we’d love to hear them! Please join in this ongoing conversation by becoming a member of our team, and stay connected to TODAY Parents updates on our Facebook page.

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1. Don't shun used items (Bridget Jones, via Shannon Wilburn)

"Buy your big equipment used. Strollers, swings, Pack 'n Plays — you can usually find a great one second hand already built for you. Have you ever assembled one of those suckers? It’s awful."

2. Forget the fluff (Marisa Clark, via Shannon Wilburn)

"Beware of the fluff items. There are tons of them. Like crib bumpers. They’re cute. And useless.

3. Sometimes, new does matter (Jennifer Hundley, via Shannon Wilburn)

"If you’re going to buy something new, stick to things like nipples for the bottles, because they deteriorate over time and your baby is going to chew them to pieces, and underwear for your toddler, because who wants to wear previously loved underwear?

4. April showers (Eileen Cordero, via Shannon Wilburn)

"Since I have three boys, ages 5, 3, and 4 months, I’ve been given my fair share of wee-wee covers. Let me just tell it to you straight, they won’t help."

5. You only need one thing (Sarah Maizes)

"Sure, things might be nice. These things might be useful. You might really enjoy having tools, gadgets and accessories around and showing them off to all of your other mommy friends, but things are not essential. People are essential. Just ask a baby ... and your mother-in-law. "

6. Some hands-on help (Danielle Lucia Schaffer)

"Those first few months are brutal with the lack of sleep. If you can register for a night nurse, GO AHEAD!"

Danielle Lucia Schaffer with her newborn baby
"You will also need a trustworthy babysitter and today's prices are ridiculous," TODAY Parenting Team contributor Danielle Lucia Schaffer writes. "Interview one now and start a babysitting fund."Courtesy of Danielle Lucia Schaffer

7. Think further down the line (Danielle Lucia Schaffer)

"Never mind the cute newborn clothes — register for clothes that can last up to 2 years old. They grow so fast you will not need 50 newborn onesies. Instead space out the clothing size and get things like a jumper and Bumbo for when the baby is ready to sit up."

8. Skip the baby-wipe warmer (ladySIR)

"Aside from numerous complaints that the diaper wipe warmer dries out diapers, bacteria and mold growing on the wipes have been an issue as well. Also — unless you’re sticking your wipes in the freezer before using them, your wipes aren’t going to be that cold. And what happens when you’re out in public (in the park, in the car, at a party, at the mall)? Will you really be running to the nearest plug to warm those suckers up?"

9. No changing table required (ladySIR)

"You will use (a changing table) for one hot second. (Maybe for the first couple of days after you bring the baby home.) Then you’ll change the baby anywhere. The couch, the bed, the floor, the back of your SUV. You will end up using the changing table in the way people end up using treadmills."

10. Love the Boppy nursing pillow (Allaya Cooks-Campbell)

"If you're nursing, you need this. Trust me. You back will thank you after you're nursing for literally the hundredth time."

11. Stay hydrated (Allaya Cooks-Campbell)

"I was so, so thirsty. A month after I got home from the hospital, I set up a Poland Spring delivery — that’s how much I was drinking. We still have it and I love it."

12. Items you can't buy in a store (Kathy of My Dishwasher's Possessed)

"First thing you will need, Nerves of Steel. Don’t look for the bargain brand. You are going to need the top-of-the-line, best-that-money-can-buy nerves. Remember these are going to have to see you through the diaper and spit-up years where you will be on the receiving end of bodily fluids of diverse colors and smells that no written description can do justice to. They will have to last well past the day your sweet little one gets his driver’s permit and puts the keys into the ignition of a real car, not the little plastic, toy one that your sister got him on his third birthday that required him to use his feet to 'drive.'"

13. The nose knows (Kimberly Chacon)

"One thing nobody told me when I was pregnant is that a baby with a stuffy nose can ruin your life. It seems so simple, but here's the thing. Once you have identified the problem, you must engage in booger removal. The baby has a little tiny nose and it's difficult. There is an old fashioned bulb method that is also going to ruin your life, so don't go down that road. This can save you a night of sleep and possibly save your sanity. Buy the NoseFrida, you will thank me later."

14. Sweet silence (Heather Godwin)

"My number one must-have is a white noise machine ... for you and baby. Trust me, you will still hear that sweet precious cry over that machine ... so no worries. Sleep while you both can."

Kate Casey's baby
TODAY Parenting Team contributor Kate Casey also recommends investing in "a cell phone charger, because you will drain plenty of battery taking 50 pictures of your new baby sitting in one position."Courtesy of Kate Casey

15. Keep it real (Kate Casey)

"(Every registry needs) a plane ticket to meet your college girlfriends once you’ve stopped breastfeeding."