Friday, June 23, 2006

Getting Your Baby Registry Right

I recently helped plan a baby shower for a friend of mine who is due with her first baby at the end of the summer. Her husband (who is in on the surprise baby shower) gave us gals a tip that his wife had registered at Babies R Us. She added a second and a third registry at two chain department stores as well. So when it came to gift-buying time, I was thrilled to have three extensive registries to choose from. Problem was, girlfriend didn't have a clue as to what she was doing when she went registry "shopping".

My friend, who knows the sex of her baby, has no rhyme or reason to what she registered for. From the three stores, she has registered for over 2 dozen fleece blankets, 5 baby bath tubs, 5 terrycloth baby robes-- not to mention a bunch of room decor items that have nothing to do with her nursery theme--we're talking she's asking for jungle print stuff, Winnie the Pooh stuff, moon and stars stuff-- you name it. I honestly think the poor girl just went through the stores and put a checkmark next to anything and everything that she thought was remotely cute. The girl has registered for 4 different Boppy pillows but not one bouncy seat, car seat or baby monitor.

I realize that not all first time mom's have a network of Mommy friends to help guide them through times like this. That is why I am here, to guide you to what you should and shouldn't do when it comes to your baby registry:

Do only register at one store. Two at the most. Why? It's too confusing for people to bounce back and forth to see what you already got from where. And in this age of online shopping, any store you pick is convenient for your friends to shop at-- no matter where they live.

Do pick a theme and stick with it. If your baby's nursery is going to be teddy bear theme, try to register for coordinating items. People love to buy cute items like that!

Do ask for big ticket items. Sometimes, shower guest like to pitch in for things like strollers, Pack and Plays and car seats. Wait until you're sure your last baby shower has been thrown before you break down and buy these items yourself.

Don't register for a million of the same item-- you might end up getting them all and even in this day and age of gift receipts it's a real pain to return stuff when you have a newborn in tow.

This is what you need of the following:

Just a few fleece baby blankets. Believe me, someone's Grandma or Aunt Tilly will be crocheting you a homemade one, too. You will soon find that you (and your baby) will like to use the same two blankets over and over. All the rest are overkill.

Baby robes. Cute idea, but not necessary. Your baby will go from the tub straight into to his or her pajamas. There is no time for robes. But if you register for one, it's cute for photo ops. Other than that, it will hang all alone in baby's closet.

Baby gear. Don't ask for 3 kinds of tubs-- pick one that you like and hope that you get it. Same goes for baby monitors, baby chairs and every other type of baby accessory.

Skip the stuff for older babies. Resist the urge to register for stuff that your baby won't need during his or her first year. You will have enough new baby "junk" cluttering up you house that you won't want to deal with stuff that's not needed until the baby starts walking!

Forget gadgets like diaper warmers and bottle warmers-- they just take up space and may even turn your baby into a demanding diva. If you're breast feeding, you will have no need for a bottle warmer and if you're bottle feeding, start your baby off right by serving formula at room temperature. Rest assured, your baby can tolerate room temperature baby wipes, too.

Pick a few fun things. If you see an interesting toy or a book, register for it. Your friends want to buy you gifts that you will love. Help them out by making your baby registry concise and easy to understand!

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