A Realistic Guide to the Baby Registry

Your belly is growing by the day, and your little one will be here before you know it. Expecting your first child is an exciting time, and one of the most exciting parts during this last trimester is the baby shower! While the shower itself is a joyous event involving your friends and family, sometimes the act of registering for baby’s items can be a little daunting. Here are a few tips to help simplify the registry process and help you and junior get the most out of it.

Look for items that have multiple functions or grow with your baby. One great item is the pack and play that includes a newborn napper and a changing table. As the baby gets older, you can take the newborn napper off and then use the item for naps or as a play time. Instead of getting a changing table and a dresser, look for a dresser that includes a changing table surface on top. Also, consider a travel system that includes the infant car seat, base, and stroller that will grow with baby as well.

Think about size. All of this stuff has to fit into your home, so look for items that aren’t necessarily full size. A good example of this is the baby swing. You can register for a large baby swing that will take up a full corner of your living room or a smaller, travel swing that will sit lower to the ground and take up considerably less room.

Don’t register for too many clothes. Your friends and family will have a ball picking out cute little outfits for the baby, and you’ll leave the party with tons of outfits for the little one. Also, the baby will grow very quickly- don’t get stuck with a dozen 0-3 month outfits when the baby’s already moved on to 3-6 months.

There are a lot of must-have items that you may not need. Just because it’s on a list doesn’t mean you need it. If your home is small, and your bedrooms are close together, you may not need a baby monitor. Also, there are a lot of accessories for the crib that can be forgone. A sheet saver on top of the sheet and mattress pad may possibly be overkill, and crib bumpers don’t do a whole lot and are also attributed to SIDS. Also, bottle and wipe warmers sound like a good idea, but are definitely luxuries and not necessities.

Don’t be afraid to register for bigger ticket items. Your friends and family members may be looking for larger items to go in on for you, so be sure to register for your crib, the high chair, and other pricier items that you may not have initially considered including.

Don’t register for too many gender specific items. For most moms, you only get one shower, and that’s for your first born. Registering for a pink stroller and a heart and butterfly themed swing may seem like a great idea for your daughter, but when your son comes along in another couple years, it’ll be back to the drawing board for a lot of your items.

Create registries at two stores to allow your guests a little more flexibility. Choose larger chains like Babies R Us and Target that are easily accessible for your guests.

Don’t forget about the future! Eating solids, potty-training, and sitting in the next level of car seat may seem like it’s eons away for your baby, but babies are notorious for growing much too quicky. Don’t feel silly about registering for items that baby may need in over six months to a year, such as the high chair, the convertible car seat, and potty chair. There won’t be another baby shower for this baby- so register for the things you’ll need now!

Check your store’s policies and programs. Make sure your registry stores of choice have a simple return policy for when you need to swap out duplicates or if the baby comes and you find that there are certain items you just don’t need. Also, many baby stores have great reward programs that you’ll want to be sure to take advantage of. Signing up for reward cards may yield coupons or free perks such as diapers or formula after in-store requirements are met.

Look for kits. Instead of registering for separate grooming and first aid items, for instant, a lot of these items are sold in pre-bundled packages for convenience.

Ask your friends for recommendations. If you’re unsure of what items you think you will truly need and what specifications these products should have, ask your friends about what they learned and the items their baby likes. While every baby is truly different, you will gain a lot of insight from hearing the lessons your friends and family members learned in real time, and their perspective will hopefully be helpful and, depending on the friend, entertaining!

Make a list, take your time, and most of all enjoy! Don’t let registering for your baby be overwhelming. Set aside plenty of time and consider your list of must-haves before heading out. Then, have fun! Registering for baby is a great time, and it means that baby’s on his way!