Here’s my best baby registry tips for all you first time moms who are totally overwhelmed by the number of baby products on the market today! (For the record, I was completely overwhelmed too!)
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Creating a baby registry can be overwhelming. Period. You’re trying to decide what products (most of which you’ve likely never heard of before … merlin suit?!) you need to help take care a new person you’ve never even met. It’s also one of a zillion things you’re trying to do before the baby is born. Or just 100 things 🙂 .
Before we had our son, I’d never changed a diaper before. Besides diapers and wipes, I didn’t know what else was needed for a diaper change.
While I had no idea how I was going to take care of our new little one, I was determined to be practical about the purchase we were going to make. Here’s some of the baby registry tips I learned along the way:
1 Rocking Chair: You can spend more on a rocking chair than a used car. While I didn’t go that route, I did research quite a bit. Not all chairs are made the same and some are MUCH more comfortable than others. I was surprised at how few chairs had tall backs. While it’s ideal to test out the chairs in person, reviews are helpful.
I’m so happy we opted for a dark colored chair. Milk spills and baby spit up are an everyday occurrence. I cringe to think of what our chair would look like if it were white or cream. Here’s the rocking chair we purchased. (PS… It has a tall back)
2 Baby clothing: Yes, baby blue, light pink and white make for adorable baby clothes. But guess what’s not so adorable? Light colored clothes that show stains all over. Diaper blowouts are a real thing and stained outfits are no fun. No Declan isn’t dressed in black every day, but I intentionally registered for some darker colored onesies and outfits
3 Same thing goes for bibs. I don’t understand why white cotton bibs even exist. From personal experience, caked on sweet potato puree doesn’t come off. After I learned this, Declan’s bibs got washed maybe once a week. Gross? Yeah maybe. But you probably can’t tell which ones have been washed recently and which haven’t. While it’s inevitable that bibs will get stained, I tried to stick with dark colored ones. Or better yet, these plastic ones.
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4 Think outside the box – room decorations, bookshelves, etc. If you need it, people will buy it 🙂 .
5 I really wanted our nursery to be complete well before Declan arrived. So on my Amazon registry I marked all the nursery decoration items as ‘priority’ so that friends & family would select those items first. I’m a huge fan of registering at Amazon. I even wrote a whole blog post about why.
6 I wanted a nice diaper bag. Make sure you think about how you’ll use it. Some people like the backpack one. Others want smaller ones, or larger. Some want fancy leather ones. I registered for a this-doesn’t-look-like-a-diaper-bag diaper bag at Land of Nod. It makes me feel like something I have on is put together even when I’m feeling (and looking) like a mess.
7 Just because everyone else is buying it, it doesn’t mean you should. It’s REALLY helpful to understand what products are useful to others. Just know that there’s no ‘every single parent in the entire world must have this product’.
8 Make sure your registry has a variety of price points. Some people don’t like adding really expensive items to their registry, but keep in mind that your friends/family can join together to purchase those bigger items. (Several of my college friends purchased our crib for us).
9 Consider your storage space. Many baby items have a very short lifespan. A bassinet may only last 6 months, a Bumbo seat may end up only being usable for a month. Do you want items that can double dip (pack & play with a bassinet on top) or that fold up compact when not in use (this bouncer)? If you’ve got limited space, don’t worry. More and more products on the market are foldable and/or have multiple uses!
10 I found it was worth spending on items that would make my life easier as opposed to picking out cutest wash cloth and towel set possible.
11 Ask your friends for their recommendations, but also take it a step further, WATCH them use the product in action. While you may have never given a baby a bath before, watching a friend bath her baby will give you an idea of what products you may need. (Do you want a foldable bath tub? Do you want a special matt for the floor?)
12 Strollers & car seats: I found that most baby items can be evaluated online. But if I was to go into the store to take a look at an item, it would be the stroller and car seat. (This is the travel system we got. It’s great for tall parents!)
13 Return the gifts you don’t want. Ok, this one sounds mean. A friend gave me this idea and it was a game changer. We all get gifts that aren’t on our registry. Sometimes it’s a fun surprise and something you end up really using. Other times, it’s a duplicate item or something that you just don’t need. Most of the big retailers (Target, Buybuy Baby, Walmart) will accept the item without a reciept if they sell it in their store and give you store credit. Each store will have a different policy on their returns, but if you know you’re not going to use the item, it’s worth it!
14 Sizing: I recommend registering for clothing at LEAST 3 months or larger. You’ll receive clothing gifts not on your registry. People love to buy cute baby clothes. And most people won’t get you the larger sizes. Babies grow so quickly in the first couple months that even if you don’t have lots of newborn clothes, they likely won’t need them for long.
15 No matter how much you prepare prior to your baby arriving, you’ll need to purchase items after they baby’s born. I tried so hard to have everything done prior to Declan’s arrival, including buying everything I thought I would need. But there were still items that I purchased afterwards – gadgets that fellow moms swore by, items I claimed I didn’t have room for (hello bulky swing) that I made room for.
16 Right before my baby shower, I made sure that the only items on my registry were the ones that I really needed at the beginning right after Declan was born. Think: first 2 months of sleeping, bathing, feeding, and diaper changing. I knew these were the most important items for us to have. Yes, there were items, such as sippy cups and bath toys, that I knew I wanted. But Declan wouldn’t use until the later months.
I hope these baby registry tips are helpful for you! If I can leave you with one piece of advice (or words of wisdom??), everyone is overwhelmed with the baby registry! It just comes with the territory!