Translational regulation plays a critical role in erythropoiesis, as it reflects the translational needs of enucleated mature erythroid cells in the absence of transcription and the large translational demands of balanced globin chain synthesis during erythroid maturation. In addition, red blood cells need to respond quickly to changes in their environment and the demands of the organism. Translational regulation occurs at several levels in erythroid cells, including the differential utilization of upstream open reading frames during differentiation and in response to signaling and the employment of RNA-binding proteins in an erythroid cell-specific fashion. Translation initiation is a critical juncture for translational regulation in response to environmental signals such as heme and iron availability, whereas regulatory mechanisms for ribosome recycling are consistent with recent observations highlighting the importance of maintaining adequate ribosome levels in differentiating erythroid cells. Translational deregulation in erythroid cells leads to disease associated with ineffective erythropoiesis, further highlighting the pivotal role translational regulation in erythropoiesis plays in human physiology and homeostasis. Overall, erythropoiesis has served as a unique model that has provided invaluable insight into translational regulation.