By Christina VanGinkel
If you find yourself expecting a little one, and then discover that, your friends would like to host a baby shower for you, to help you gather all the needed and wanted gear for your impending little bundle of joy, join a registry, or two.
Registering at several of your favorite shops is a great way to let everyone know just what they could get you. It is simple to do, yet can greatly reduce the time you will spend returning and exchanging unwanted and duplicate gifts. If you happen to have quite a few of the essentials already, a registry is a good way to let your friends know that there are still quite a few items that you are in need of, or to let them know what fun and frivolous gifts you would love to be given.
Both large retailers and many small shops offer registries for expecting parents. Some even offer what is referred to as an essential list from which to build on. The list includes all of a typical first year needs when it comes to raising a newborn, such as diapers, crib sheets, high chair, or maybe a stroller. You can simply go over the list, add, and subtract from it. By starting with a pre-made list such as this, it can often help you identify your needs, especially if you yourself are not truly sure of what you will all want and need.
Other stores may offer guidelines by breaking the registry into sections, such as nursery, layette, feeding, and toys. Again, a list such as this is a good way to provide a new to be parent with suggestions of what they may want and need. In addition, others will offer just a blank sheet for the parents to start with.
If you are in fact unsure, of what to list on a baby registry, you could ask a close friend or two that have had children, to go with you to help you choose. It can be a relaxing and fun way to spend a couple of hours, and looking at all of the baby gear and clothing is a great way to rev you up for the impending birth. If you will be heading out by yourself, or with a friend that is as unsure as you are of what to buy, try to create a list before you go. Sit down with a baby book or two, or browse online for some recommended guidelines for baby's first months as to what you will need, and create your list from there.
If you are not up to an afternoon of shopping, maybe you found out about the shower late in your pregnancy and you are not doing much beyond going to work, taking care of the basics, and getting home and putting up your feet, several online services exist that allow you to register at many small shops nationwide. Large retailers often offer their registry's online for both the receivers and the givers. You can register, build your list, and even check back to see what items might have been chosen. Wal-Mart's Baby Registry even allows you to go back after initially creating the list to remove or add items. They also offer a Tips and Tools section with Checklists, Expert Questions and Answers, Buying Guides, Pregnancy, Baby Tips, and Toddler Tips guides. The Expert Questions and Answers offers questions that many pregnant women have but may not know who to ask, with answers by experts such as doctors who deal with pregnant women all of the time. Questions such as whether it is safe to eat fish when pregnant, color your hair, or fly, and if lack of sleep will affect your pregnancy and baby.
Their Buying Guides though are truly, what the registry is all about, and they have information on the following gear:
Bassinet or Cradle
Choosing a Thermometer
Choosing bottles and nipples
Choosing Childproofing Products
A registry is a great way to help friends who may not have a clue what to get you, or those who might have an idea, but do not want to get you something that somebody else already did, so be sure to register at your favorite stores if a baby shower is in your future!