As an expecting parent, you anticipate a lot of happy tears and a lot of sleepless nights. Several surprises are in store, however — and you’ll want to be thoroughly prepared for anything that life with a new baby might throw at you. This means equipping yourself with all the essentials: bassinets, swaddles, and, of course, lots of diapers. All this can add up quickly.
Enter the baby registry. This helpful tool allows loved ones to chip in for newborn essentials, plus supplies to make your life easier throughout that challenging first year of parenthood.
The current ritual is as follows: parents select items to place on a registry with one or more stores. Later, baby shower guests and other friends or family members purchase items from the registry as gifts.
This seems simple, but the process can sometimes prove quite complicated. How do you know which store or website to use? How should you alert baby shower guests? And how do you know if products are safe? Keep reading to find out.
Think Carefully About Registry Selection
While traditional baby showers called on store-specific registries, today’s parents are quickly abandoning that approach. Instead, many prefer to use websites that allow them to request items from a variety of retailers. Amazon is a widespread favorite, but Babylist also provides an excellent all-in-one registry.
Of course, exceptions to this rule exist. If you primarily use a specific store and find that it offers a compelling discount in exchange for setting up your baby registry, it might make more sense to go the traditional route.
For example, Target provides discounts for both online and in-store purchases to parents who create registries there. Welcome boxes stocked with samples may also make specific store registries more desirable.
Take a Close Look at Recalls
The unfortunate reality of baby products is that items that seem incredibly helpful can also be shockingly dangerous. Recalls happen with alarming frequency, so it’s important to know which products, exactly, are worth your while. However, with so many products available and so many deemed unsafe, it’s tough to know what you can use with confidence.
The solution? Check the Recalls page on the Consumer Product Safety Commission website. It might seem like a hassle, but it’s worth your while to enter each and every product into the search before you add it to your registry. Similarly, you’ll want to look up secondhand baby items on this site before accepting them.
Make Loved Ones Aware of Your Registry
A common problem: Parents-to-be spend a ton of time researching products and setting up registries, only to receive items they don’t want from friends or family members. Sometimes, the explanation is simple: Not enough people are aware that the registry even exists. To circumvent this issue, encourage baby shower hosts to display registry information on invites and online event updates prominently.
Tailor Your Registry to Your Lifestyle
While it’s impossible to predict exactly what life will look like after your bundle of joy arrives, you can make some simple guesses based on where you live and work. For example:
- If you have a small house, large items such as swings or walkers might not be desirable.
- If you’re intent on cloth diapering, you don’t need a dozen boxes of disposables.
- If you intend to use formula from the get-go, nursing supplies such as breastfeeding pillows are probably unnecessary.
- If you love running, a jogging stroller is essential.
While loved ones enjoy purchasing cute items for babies, the registry is ultimately about you, the parent. Approach the process accordingly, and you’ll find it far easier to complete this important step on the way to becoming an amazing mom or dad.