We were so blessed by family and friends with baby showers for Lyla. Andrew’s family threw us one, one of my childhood best friends threw us one at my home church, and our Sunday school class here in Lexington threw us another! As first-time parents, we truly would not have been able to get everything we needed for baby if it hadn’t been for the generosity of loved ones. We are so grateful that Lyla is already so loved and cared for!
When it came time to create a baby registry, I was completely clueless. Now that we have everything ready and waiting for little miss to make her debut, I wanted to share the tips that were helpful for me!
Do your research
Do not…I repeat…do NOT just walk into a baby store and start scanning. They will have you convinced you need every gadget on the planet. Before you register, do some research on what you’ll actually need. I asked friends and posted a new mama SOS on Facebook. I found Lucie’s List helpful. She’s practical and her info keeps up with current safety regulations.
As far as advice from others, remember that every baby is different. Try to take in what’s helpful and forget the rest. I’ve personally found that other moms are happy and willing to offer their insight in a non-judgmental way. Don’t feel bad if you get overwhelmed. Learning about car seats alone made me feel like I was earning an online degree. No one knows what they’re doing the first time around, but thankfully there are lots of great resources out there.
Register for everything…except clothes
We had serious sticker shock as we realized a lot of our baby must-haves were big ticket items. We didn’t expect people to spend tons of money on our baby, but we also wanted to be honest about what we needed. We registered for everything from our crib and rocker to small items like baby shampoo and Infant Tylenol. Having a range of price points on the registry will allow people to select a gift in their budget. Having larger items will be helpful for family who want to gift you one of your major needs, and allows groups to go in together on a gift.
Some people advised me to register for clothes so people will know your style. Truth be told, baby clothes are the most fun thing to shop for, and people are going to get you the clothes they think are cute regardless of what’s on your registry. I registered for a few basic onesies in varying sizes to make sure she had simple things to wear at home. Other than that, I personally wouldn’t use my time to pick out clothes. Trust me…you’re going to get them anyway.
Location, Location, Location
Think about where your baby item buyers live before you choose where to register. The truth is, there really aren’t that many options when it comes to baby stores. Make sure the places you select have a user-friendly online option where people can view and purchase from your registry. We registered at Buy Buy Baby and Target. Our hometown doesn’t have either of those stores. I tried to register at Walmart, but their registry system was so difficult to use I gave up after three attempts. I explained to friends and family back home that they could view our registries online and were welcome to purchase similar items at Walmart instead. Many people chose gift cards, which allowed us to complete our registries after the showers without spending much money. Also be mindful of the customer service at the places you are registering. Do they offer any discounts on non-purchased items? How do they handle returns? For example, Buy Buy Baby was very easy and fun to register with, but their return policy is very strict. I ended up having a much easier time returning things purchased from Walmart.
Don’t be afraid to edit
Don’t be afraid to make updates to your registry as your pregnancy progresses. I took items off and swapped things out as I learned more about baby gear. You may also have to make updates as you receive gifts if those shopping didn’t scan your registry. If your registry gives you a coupon for items that didn’t get purchased, make sure to add anything and everything you may need as those coupons are often for a one-time use and only apply to items on your registry. I ended up adding a floor lamp and a storage cart to our Target registry before completing it. Discounts on larger items like that really adds up.
Remember, at the end of the day, all your baby actually NEEDS is love, food, a car seat, and a safe sleep surface. Everything beyond that is just for convenience and…let’s be real…fun! Other mamas, what are your baby registry tips? What do you wish you’d known when you were registering? What are your must haves and what did you never use? Spread that mama wisdom wealth in the comments!