Author: Stef Daniel
There is a billion dollar industry in baby products, many of which are bought before a baby is even born. Today’s pregnant mom is heralded through baby superstores and fiercely marketed into making a baby registry so that every person even considered a friend will feel obliged to buy them a gift. Yes, these are happy times – however many people today aren’t making the best use of their baby registry.
The registry is typically made any time after the 25th week of pregnancy. You can choose anywhere to make a registry – at a baby superstore, department store, or even online. If you have a lot of out of town friends and relatives, an online registry can be a good way to make sure everyone knows what your theme is and what you would like for your baby to have. While it is not written in stone, most people only register their baby when it is their first baby.
When done right, a registry can be a huge help in the first YEAR or more of your child’s life. For this reason, you may want to take a seasoned mom with you when you register, and do your best to avoid prodding from the store hostess. Following are some tips for a registry that will really help!
- Avoid putting down too many items such as bottles, pacifiers, or breast feeding pumps and supplies. Many moms are surprised that their baby won’t take certain nipples or that breastfeeding doesn’t work out, which leaves you with an immense amount of stuff that needs to be taken back.
- Register for diapers! Yes, diapers are expensive. In one year, you could spend thousands of dollars on these disposable delights. Rather than stocking up on newborn or size one diapers, register for size 3 and 4 diapers – as your baby will spend much of their first year in this size.
- Infant and newborn clothes are cute, but your baby will grow out of them in lightning speed. Plus, all those frills and cotton button ups will need to be carefully washed and ironed in order to look right. Chances are your infant will wear onesies and one-piece outfits 98% of the time. Make sure to register for clothes that are sized above 3 months and even up to a year.
- Infant toys are ‘sort of’ useless. Instead, register for toys for a 6-month old baby and beyond so you won’t be forced to buy these things when you really need them.
- Make sure to register for your big-ticket items like a car seat, stroller, crib, high chair, changing tables, bouncy seats, and jumping rings. These items should always be purchased new so that you can be sure they are safe, not missing pieces, and you will be privy to recall information.
- Register for some professional photography sessions. Most parents like to get family pictures or baby pictures taken around the 6-month mark, and this can be a nice gift that keeps on giving.
- If you have a themed nursery, avoid registering for everything to adorn the room. Even the perfect nursery doesn’t always last through the toddler years, and they will end up as yard sale items.
- Make sure you have plenty of items on your registry that cost less than $15. This way you don’t unwittingly make people feel like they have to buy something that is more than they can afford.
- Bibs, crib sheets, bathing items, towels, under shirts, socks, baby laundry detergent, and other day-to-day items SHOULD be on the list. While they may not look like they make awesome presents, you will find in the months to come that they do.
- Last but not least, register for gift cards. Gift cards can make the initial months feel like less of a financial burden and allow you to shop for things you really need when you really need them.
The point of a baby registry is to allow everyone to share in your joy of having a baby. If you think past the first few weeks of life – you will realize that having children is a huge financial responsibility. By making a registry based on needs rather than wants, you will be better prepared and slightly less stressed during the first few months of becoming a parent.