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Tips for Putting Together Your Baby Registry

Shopping for baby products is definitely one of the more fun things about being pregnant. What’s even more fun? Registering for baby products! It provides all the pleasures of shopping without spending the money.

It’s even easier, nowadays, to register online at many places. Of course, your hubby will get a kick out of getting to use the electronic scanner as you walk around a brick-and-mortar store and select your favorite products. But if the novelty of this wore off during your bridal registry, you may as well stay home, climb into your favorite comfy chair with your laptop, and register online!

I do recommend trying out certain items in the store. However, a combination of online reviews, information from books such as Great Expectations: Best Baby Gear and Baby Bargains, and your own ‘trial runs’ in the store, where you can actually try out products such as strollers and high chairs, will help you make the best decisions.

Here are a few more tips for registering:

  • Register early. Bridal showers may be held anywhere from 3 months to 1 month before your due date. Some people may throw your shower after the baby is born. But register early, just in case out-of-state friends and relatives want to buy presents before your shower. I recommend registering as soon as you find out if it’s a boy or a girl (somewhere around 20 weeks). My theory on this, too, is I have no idea how I’ll be feeling in the third trimester. Right now, I feel great. Also, it is a great way to feed that ‘nesting instinct’ on a budget!
  • Include items in a wide range of prices. This lesson came to me from an engaged friend, whose family complained she had ‘nothing expensive on her registry.’ Close relatives may want to spring for a crib or a travel system, so don’t be shy about putting them on your registry. People may even want to chip in to purchase a big-ticket item. By the same token, include lower-priced gifts (under $15) and gifts in the middle range ($15 – $60). If all the mid-range priced gifts are taken but a shopper wants to spend more, she can always put together a lovely gift basket of inexpensive products.
  • Choose a variety of sizes. Babies grow quickly. When I fell in love with an adorable pack of pink ‘Princess’ onesies, I registered for both the 0 – 3 and the 3 – 6 month sizes.
  • Register in more than one store. Everyone has shopping preferences, whether they are determined by geography, store credit cards or coupons and sales. Give your gift-givers at least two options. If you have a lot of family and friends in other regions – especially rural areas – you may want to make sure your selected stores also offer shopping online.
  • Include practical items. Everyone loves adorable baby clothes and receiving blankets in soft pastels adorned with cute little animals. And you’ll definitely need them. But what you’ll really appreciate in those first few months are diapers, bottles, formula. Don’t be afraid to put some of these consumable necessities on your registry, too. Some stores offer discounts on merchandise from the registry that is purchased by the parents after the fact, which is added incentive for registering for every item you may need to buy.

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