I’m no expert, but after being overwhelmed by baby registries I thought it would be useful to share some of what I learned!
1. Ask a friend. My best friend had a baby a few months ago and I trust her judgment on baby products (and well, everything). I knew that she would have a similar outlook to me on cost vs. quality and wouldn’t send me registering for items that are a waste of time and money. Find someone you know that has had a baby recently and ask them to send you a list of what they registered for. It’s a great way to start.
2. Similarly, refer to blogs and online resources. In addition to the list from my best friend, I brought this registry list from The Wise Baby along when I went to Buy Buy Baby. It was seriously helpful when it came to narrowing down product choices on items I knew nothing about (aka everything). Sabrina also put together this post last week which could be really useful.
3. Prioritize important items. I knew that when it came to registering, there were a few items I wanted to do the most hands-on research for; namely strollers (regular and jogging), car seats and pack-and-plays. I got a few recommendations for each of those and then tried them out in person. I found that this stroller was extremely easy to use (was able to fold and unfold with one hand) and that completely won me over. I even had Matt come in for the jogging stroller and push it around the store to make sure he liked that one too. This one folded up nicely and had some great safety features. Note that I haven’t used these with a baby yet, so I’ll let you know in a few months how I feel!
4. Pick a few select stores. I did a little bit of online browsing and fell in love with Pottery Barn furniture. For the basics and most other things I went to Buy Buy Baby – they have a massive selection and the employees are extremely knowledgeable and helpful. Finally, I used BabyList online (thanks, Lindsay, for the recommendation!). They actually aggregate items from a ton of online stores into one place and make it easy for you to register anywhere. I used them for odds and ends, especially items I wanted from Amazon.
5. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. I felt a little silly at first when I had to ask a million questions in every store, but this is my first baby so I really am starting with minimal expertise. At most of these stores, the employees are patient and are used to a million questions. No one made me feel stupid or unprepared.
6. Consider return policies. Know that you don’t know everything now so you might change your mind when you have the baby. I am probably over-registering a bit, but if I find that I don’t want something later I can definitely return it. Plus, I have a feeling that those store credits will get a ton of use in the next couple of years.
7. Look for coupons. Even if you aren’t making purchases yet, start stocking up on coupons for these stores. Buy Buy Baby always has 20% off coupons available (and I’m pretty sure they accept Bed Bath & Beyond coupons as well). They will probably come in handy when I buy things that haven’t been purchased as gifts.
8. Don’t stress. There are really only a few things that you NEED to have initially. If something else comes up that you forgot about or didn’t know that you needed, that is what the internet is for. Plus, I’m sure there will be friends and family who are happy to help out if you need a last minute run for baby things.
9. Figure out a timeline. We aren’t buying much in advance and actually aren’t sharing our registries with friends and family until the baby is born. However, there are a few items that I know we want / need to have in advance (car seat, onesies, nursery furniture, etc.). The baby is due mid-October so for us, we feel comfortable getting some of these items in September. Do what feels best for you!
10. Have fun with it. I found registering insanely overwhelming, but at the same time, baby stuff is so darn adorable that it’s hard not to get excited oohing and ahhing over the cute little outfits and toys. For every few painful items you register for (diaper pails, nursing supplies, etc.), take a break and pick out something fun like a cute toy for the stroller or a sweet onesie.
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