Baby registries are a great way to help new parents get the baby items they need before their little bundle arrives. Baby items can really add up, so it’s nice to have friends and family chip in with gifts and registries are a good way to give them a bit of direction.
I hadn’t a clue what I was doing when I registered for my baby shower before I had Fern and as such, I thought it might be helpful to share some of the insight I learned through the process in the hopes that it can be quick and painless for any of you planning to do this in the future.
Read my tips after the jump!
10 Tips For Registering For Baby Items:
1. Take a seasoned mama friend
I cannot overemphasize the importance of this. If you’ve never been into a baby store you have no idea how many baby gadgets and gizmos exist out there and if you don’t have someone with you to show you the ropes, it’s easy to want to turn right around and walk out the door. Take a friend with whom you share a similar aesthetic and temperament and you’ll likely end up crossing off all the essentials on your list.
2. Take a poll
Ask other parents what they found to be the most important baby items in their repertoire. For me, I’d say: *our baby swing, *swaddle wraps, and *the Nose Frida snot sucker, but it’s great to hear from other parents as well. First hand recommendations really can go a long way.
3. Do your research
Look up the really important stuff ahead of time and do a bit of research. I would suggest car seats as the most important item to look into since it’s the key component in keeping your child safe on a near daily basis. Read safety reports and think about what will work best for you and your lifestyle. You may also want to look into the other large ticket items such as strollers, swings and cribs as well.
Make a list ahead of time that focuses on your needs V.S. wants. Of course it would be great to be able to have everything on your list, but make sure you tackle the “needs” on your list before adding on a bunch of “wants” – you don’t want your registry to be too overwhelming for people.
5. Bring snacks
This is probably going to take awhile…a LONG while. When I registered it took about three hours and when I went with a pregnant friday this past year it took us four! You will need snacks or you’ll start feeling sick and get grumpy.
6. Safety trumps style
It’s great to find baby items that fit in with your personal style, but don’t sacrifice the safety of an item for style. One such example would be a high chair – make sure it has all the proper safety harnesses, because no matter how good it looks, safety comes first.
7. Give people options
When choosing a place to register, choose a place that also offers online shopping for those who don’t have time to head out to a store or who may not live near the particular store that you’ve registered at. It’s also important to choose baby items at a variety of price points. There are people who will definitely want to splurge on you and your little one (i.e. the grandparents), so don’t feel bad about adding some big ticket items to your list (*you will also get a % off when you complete your registry at most places so adding it can simply be a way to save money later when you purchase these items yourself), but make sure to also include less expensive items also so that everyone can find gifts that fit in their budget.
8. No clothes
It can be tempting to register for clothes, but try to resist. People will always buy you clothes, so you don’t need to register for them. You may want to direct them to things that fit your style, but it doesn’t really matter, because people like buying baby clothes and they probably won’t want to buy what you’ve chosen anyway, but rather what they deem to be cute themselves. Just go with it. The one exception would be registering for basics like solid onesies, gowns, socks, etc…
9. Think multi-purpose
Items that can multi-task are awesome and you should definitely seek them out. Yes, an infant car seat is convenient now, but what happens when your baby outgrows it? Consider items that will go the distance (like this car seat) and that serve more than one purpose (I did a post laying out some suggestions here).
10. Consider the future
It may seem weird to register for items like a high chair right away, since your baby won’t need it for awhile, but register for those things anyway. Babies grow and change quicker than you can ever imagine and you’ll need those items before you know it and it’ll be nice to have them on hand ahead of time instead of scrambling to find them when it comes up.
What were some essentials that helped you when you were doing your baby registry?
Are you baby safety savvy? We’re giving away two Graco SnugRide Click Connect infant car seats! To enter for a chance to win, simply comment on this post with a personal tip on how you keep baby safe in the car.
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Lauren Hartmann is the founder of The Little Things We Do, a blog about life and adventures in Portland Oregon. Follow her on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram or catch up on all of her posts here on Babble.
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