The overwhelming nature of pending motherhood is an inevitable part of the process. There are so many unknowns. Will the baby be: fussy, colicky, healthy, jovial, hungry, happy… the laundry list of mom concern and anxieties are manifold.
You know what other list is long? The amount of PRODUCTS you can add to your baby registry. One quick online window shop through Target’s registry is enough to make any already stressed pregnant lady crawl under her covers and never come out.
Here are TEN HELPFUL TIPS:
1. Register TWO places. Choose one large-scale retailer where friends and family from all-over have access. These include: Target, Amazon, Diapers,com, and Babies ‘R Us. They all have online registries where gifters who are out-of-town can order. Choose one smaller, boutique store. This is great for friends who love to splurge. It’s important to give people the option.
2. Register for everything. This may seem counter-intuitive to some of the below points, but by everything we mean the essentials. Everyone knows that the half the point of the Baby Shower is to give a present. Martha Stewart considers opening presents the main activity. But people will also just go ahead and buy you whatever they want because well, a teeny tiny bathing suit is much cuter to your friend Jen than a breast pump. It doesn’t matter. Even if you don’t get everything you need, you’ve already built the list. That way, after the Baby Shower is over, you can easily go through and determine what you still need to buy.
3. Make a list before you even open the browser or go into the store. How do you choose between 15 different stroller companies? Make the list. A book like this one: 40 Weeks +: The Essential Baby Organizer (which a wonderful mom friend bought me at the beginning of my pregnancy) is so useful, and has a checklist divided into “basics” and “helpful extras.” They make the list for you, you check off what you need and want.
4. This one is a toss-up, but registering for clothing is something many tend to avoid. People will buy you clothes. They won’t be the clothes you want, or clothes that a newborn actually wears, and you will likely end up returning them. Which is fine, because you’ll get a store credit. During the first three months babies do the following: eat, sleep, poop. Do you need said baby in an $80 dress that no one will ever see? No.
5. Don’t be a sucker. Just because it is on the shelf, doesn’t mean you need it. If you wouldn’t spend your money on it, why ask other people to? A bottle warmer? A bath water thermometer? Come on. Your common sense does not evaporate (no matter how tired you are) once baby is born. You know when the bath water is too hot. There is no difference between an infant wash cloth and an adult one. There are products out there simply being made because — as my hubby says– if you want to make money, make products for babies or dogs.
6. Don’t be timid about registering for the essentials. There should be price points of ALL degrees on your registry. That way your grandma can buy the stroller, and your best friend who is still working her way up the corporate ladder can buy you diapers and some wipes. Essentials are just that, and no gift that your baby will actually use, is too small.
7. If you have friends that have second hand stuff, check in with them before you buy new. A bouncy chair, is a bouncy chair, is a bouncy chair. If it bounces, it works.
8. Crib bumpers are not recommended. They are considered a safety hazard. The CDC says, if the baby is under one, the crib should be empty.
9. Do the registry with your partner. Chances are there’s a bit of a yin-yang happening between the two of you. You may be the rational voice that says, why on earth do we need a 700 dollar stroller. Or vice-versa. There’s a reason you work well as a couple, and have decided to embark on this journey together.
10. Send the completed links to a mom friend you trust to be honest. She’ll let you know if you’re missing anything major, or if you’ve registered for some totally ridiculous stuff you’ll never use.