Sunday, March 21, 2010

The Baby Registry. Part One - Tips.

One thing I was excited about when I was pregnant was registering again.  (Okay, I was excited about a lot of things.)  Then, I started registering and I was completely overwhelmed.  Babies R Us gives you a list as a guideline.  Target gives you a list as a guideline.  Your co-worker who is 20 years older than you tells you what you Must. Have. for your baby.  The 15 year old neighbor tells you what you Must. Have for your baby.  So does your mom, mother-in-law, aunt, best friend, and sister.

What do you really need?

The problem is, it's different for every family and every baby.  I could tell you that you absolutely must have a noise machine if you ever want to sleep again.  But, you might not need it.  I could tell you that if you don't have a baby swing you'll pull out all your hair within the first 2 weeks of being home.  But, I think that's a lie because we really only used our swing as a photo prop.

I've decided that this week I'll post the baby items that we loved, liked and could care less about.  I'll also post some registry tips.  I've had some people ask me, so I thought I might as well make a blog post about it!

1. Remember the buyer.
  • I tried to make nearly everything I registered for available in the store.  A lot of people buy last minute.  Also, people hate paying for shipping.
  • If you're registering for something that they have at both stores, chose the store that's most accessible to your shower guests.  This meant I put more on my Target registry than my Babies R Us registry.  Most people are going to Target for something anyway, so they don't have to go out of their way to pick up the gift.  (And, BRU is one the opposite side of town from most people where I live.)
  • If it's something they have at both stores, chose the store with the cheaper price.  This seems like common knowledge, but I see it all the time.  Especially things like diapers, lotion and baby wash will be cheaper at Target.
  • Include a large variety of price points.  After I went to the store I would go online to my registries and sort them by price.  That way I could see if my registry was evenly spread out of price points.
  • Make notes on your registry.  You can do this on, but I don't think it's available at BRU.  For example, I registered for some newborn sized diapers.  I included a note with that saying we planned on cloth diapering after the newborn stage so I didn't get a lot of bigger diapers.  (As it turns out, I sometimes still use disposables because of rashes or traveling.)
2. Think of yourself.
  • When you register for bottles or pacifiers, make sure they're available at a store close to you.  You're not going to want to drive across town on an emergency pacifier run.
  • Even if you know you're having a girl, don't overload on the pink.  If you plan on having another child, it could be a boy.  Do you really want to have to buy a new bouncer, excersaucer, swing, bumbo, etc.  (Yes, I know boys can use pink, but why not just get gender-neutral to begin with.)
  • Try out strollers in the store.  If you're like me, your feet just might kick the basket of half the strollers when you walk at a normal pace.  If you're in the market for a stroller than they don't sell locally, don't be afraid to ask a mom at the mall if she likes her stroller.  I'd be happy to talk about mine.  We're all moms now.  It's like you're part of a not-so-secret club.
3. Think of the baby.
  • Don't register for a convertible car seat.  They have a five-year expiration date from the date of manufacture.  Most newer seats kids can use for that full five years.  If you get one at a shower and the baby doesn't use it until they're 9-12 months old, you might be missing 1 or 2 years of its use.
  • No one's sure what bottle, pacifier, blankie the child will take to.  Don't register for 4 packs of Gerber Nuk pacifiers.  Maybe your cute little daughter won't like the darling flower or dragon fly ones.  (I speak from experience here.  I think Nuks are so cute!  Tillie had another plan.  Namely, trying out 3 styles before settling on MAM.)
Leave a comment if you have anything to add to my list.

Check back tomorrow for Tillie's "Must Haves".


Cohrs Compilations said...

I appreciate your post Amber. I just bought some presents for a friend at her registry at Target for her shower today. I looked at the registry ahead of time, and then called to see what she REALLY needed and was delighted she gave me some real suggestions. I have not had my first baby yet, but am excited for that next stage in the game. I've learned from friends that if you've never been a mom, you won't know what to register for. I know I'll need their advice, but was glad for the reminder that my child might be different. Thanks for the pointers for the near future! I love reading your blog and have some mutual friends, in Lindsey and Rebekah. I've introduced myself before but wanted to say hey again!

Toby and Laura said...

Um, you're going to help me register, right? Or at least save this blog series for me to read again when I need to register?

Amber Lynn said...

Becky, I do remember who you are! I'm glad you still like reading my blog.

Laura, my blog series will still be here, but I can't wait to help you register. Since I won't get to do it again, I'll have to live vicariously through you.

Cara & Jeff said...

I'm not a mom, but one thing I've heard a LOT of new moms say, is yes, it saves time to get EVERYTHING opened and put together before baby is born, but you never know what you might decide you won't need, and then cannot return because it's all put together already. Also, when buying clothing ahead, keep in mind that some babies grow slower or faster than others and might not be in the right size at the season you bought for...and then you wasted the money. And lastly, even though a toy is cool, baby doesn't need a thousand rattles. They could play with the same toys everyday for a month and probably not get sick of them. (These are just things I've heard, or learned in daycare...)

Miranda said...

So many of my friends are doing the pink everything and make fun of my girls for having "boyish" items. I could care less if my stroller is blue. Or hey are always making fun of me because yes my girls have dinosaur sleepers. Currently Zoey is sleeping in a blue Mickey Mouse sleeper. Fit for a boy or if you have a girl like Kaelyn who is Mickey Mouses biggest fan. I am a huge fan of the neutral colors. After 3 girls pink gets old quick.