Walking into a baby store for the first time can quickly become overwhelming and even confusing. There are often several options to choose from in one product category and it can seem like there are never ending aisles of products you don’t know how to use yet. And as new moms, it seems there is a very long list of things you are “supposed” to have. However, with a little research and preparation beforehand you can ensure your time spent with that little registry gun is going to end with a rock star registry!
The last thing you want to do when you are in your third trimester or have a little baby at home is running around making returns. Check out these tips to ensure that you create your ultimate baby registry and after your shower that your home is full of things that you need and none that you don’t:
Take a deep breath!
When you walk into a baby store don’t get overwhelmed right away by the amount of products to choose from. Most baby products do work for someone but it doesn’t mean you need them all or even one item from each category. Ditch the list provided by the store as they are typically created based on each section of the store and not what your new family needs.
Don’t spend time too much time in the layette.
Yes, your baby needs plenty of body-suits and side snap shirts (seriously these are the best when you first bring baby home and haven’t mastered getting something over their head) but don’t spend too much time registering for clothes. Get some great basics (we absolutely love Finn and Emma organic body suits) and know that lots of cute outfits are one gift that you can depend on receiving.
Think about baby’s first year.
Most stores that offer baby registry will give you a completion coupon for any items you don’t receive as a gift so don’t be afraid to registry for some things you aren’t going to use for a while. Think about what baby might need when they are 9-12 months like a convertible car seat but don’t get carried away and registry for a potty seat. Remember, this is your baby registry and not a toddler registry.
Invest your dollars where they matter most.
If you are on a budget, the items where you want to spend the most are the infant car seat, mattress and stroller. Those are the places that your baby will most likely spend a lot of time and should last through at least their first year. Invest in those pieces now to ensure they are safe, comfortable for you and baby and will hold up with lots of use. Don’t worry about putting a few more expensive items on your registry as it gives your co-workers or cousins a gift to go-in together on.
Add things from all price points.
Just like you are going to add items that work best for your family even if that means an expensive stroller you really want, you want to make sure to add some low costs items as well. If someone wants to get you a gift at a certain price point it is nice to have some lower cost items for them to bundle together. A good place to do this is items for the bath so in addition to registering for a baby bathtub make sure to also register for hooded towels, wash cloths, spout covers and a few great bath toys.
Look for products that combine fashion and function.
Don’t be tempted to choose something just because you think it is cute or it matches your nursery theme. Look for items that are multi functional, are created to grow with your baby and fit into your design aesthetic. Make sure you test out your baby carrier and take strollers for a test drive in the store. We love the Finn and Emma play gym because not only does it look great in any nursery but it grows with baby and the toys can be used to entertain just about anywhere.
Don’t register for too much or too little.
If you don’t choose enough items for your registry people will start to purchase items for you that they like and not what you need (picture getting lots of blankets and monogrammed items). Although you want to registry for items at all price points, we don’t suggest including personal items such as breast shields or stocking items like infant gas drops.
Don’t just register for items that can be found online.
Amazon is a great place to register but there are some things you just need to pick up and touch. You might also have guests that don’t want to order your gift online and will look for a store they can go in and shop for your gift. Having a registry at a local baby store as well as an on-line option is great for friends and family near and far.
Do just enough research before you head into the store.
Ask your friends their favorite products and check out some books or blogs but the real research starts with you and your partner. Ask yourself some questions about your lifestyle before you get there:
- At the time of your due date what will the weather be like?
- Are you a physically active family?
- Does your family enjoy traveling (even if it is for day trips)?
- Do you plan on using cloth or disposable diapers? Do you plan on bottle feeding, breast feeding or both?
- Will you be headed back to work after you have the baby?
While it might seem overwhelming at first, try to enjoy this process and rock your registry!
By Guest Blogger Julie McCaffrey