For those of you that aren't pregnant and/or don't really know what to get for a new parent, check out Michelle's (aka Crazy Running Legs) blog post that I found to be very accurate. If you have no interest in pregnancy or babies, um, why are you reading my blog?
Kelly's Registration Tips
1) Don't register too early. I know it is super exciting to have a baby (speaking from experience) but I think it is important to wait until closer to your shower (a month or two) before registering. I registered early and then by the time my shower rolled around, items were discontinued or no longer available.
2) Talk to your friends to see where they registered. What was their experience like when it came to returns? How is the store's return policy in general? Is the website easy to use? Do they have coupons and/or accept competitor coupons? These are all great questions to look into before deciding on where to register.
3) Spend the time and effort researching the right car seat/stroller/travel system that works for you. This is probably one of the largest and most expensive items on your list (other than the crib) so it is important to find a good fit. I went with Graco for mine because I loved the style of the system and it was reasonably priced without being too cheap or too expensive. Many of my friends purchased Britax strollers and enjoyed them. You have to find out what works best for you (and what is worth spending money on)
|Out for a walk with my baby in my travel system|
4) If you plan on having more than one child, be sure to chose gender neutral big-ticket items. We didn't know what we were having so we purchased everything gender neutral. I would recommend have fun picking something like bibs or burp clothes that are gender-specific as those things might not last until you have a second baby.
5) If you haven't checked already, talk to your insurance provider about the possibility of them providing a double electric breastpump free of charge. MOST insurance companies do, but some don't. Some insurance plans also let you upgrade to a better pump and you pay the difference. Check out your options beforehand. (This link has lots of information on your available options.) I didn't know as much back then as I do now about my options. I chose one of the pumps my insurance offered and it turned out to be a pump that wasn't able to keep pace with a full-time working mom. I ended up purchasing one out-of-pocket and now my insurance pump sits at home, tucked away, as my backup. If you have any questions about breast pumps, do not hesitate to email me. If I don't know the answer, I can help point you in the right direction. I'm mentioning this in the registry section so that if your insurance doesn't cover the cost of one, you can add one to the list. I received the Ameda Purely Yours from insurance but now use the Medela Pump In Style Advance. It is like night and day. The use of a good pump can make a big difference!
6) Take a look at all the baby carrier options and find what works well for you and your spouse. This is something that I didn't really do. I just assumed that there was no difference between carriers other than price and so I just went with the Baby Bjorn. Well, turns out that there are lots of options available!!! I now own the Baby Bjorn, Moby Wrap, and Ergo. I like them all for different reasons and I like having a variety. This site has info on a variety of carriers so you can chose one that works well for you.
Left: Patsy snuggled up in the Moby Wrap. Right: Dad babywearing Patsy in our Baby Bjorn at the zoo
Must Have Items
|Laying on Mommy's Boppy inbetween meals|
4) Burp Cloths. I didn't register for many of these and then I had to go out and buy a bunch. You can never have enough! And get the good ones too, that are sturdier. I have some that are flimsy and they don't work very well. I really like the Aden + Anais one that I have although it is a bit pricier.
5) Video Baby Monitor. I love this! We aren't using it right now because we are co-sleeping (um not what I had planned on doing, but it is what we're doing now) but I loved this! We will be using it again once we start sleep training but it really is quite amazing. I went by recommendations from my SILs that worked as nannies as well as a co-worker's recommendation.
|Nursing Patsy at the Ann Taylor LOFT outlet!|
7) Sleep Sheep. This is something else I didn't register for but love! It is a great white noise maker that works well for both parents and baby. When she first came home, I think she had trouble sleeping in silence so we used the heartbeat option. Now that she is a little older, we use the "soft rain" sound. Pepper did not like the whale sound.
|Nice and toasty, unzipped in her bunting.|
Items NOT Worth Registering For
2) Wipes Warmer. I didn't really see the need for this. I have heard it dries up the wipes faster. As our baby is passed around from house to house while I'm at work, it just didn't make sense for me to get one at home if she's going to be using non-warm wipes for all of the non-home diaper changes.
3) Training Potty. These are adorable but won't be used until your child is 2 or 3 years old. It seemed silly to me to buy one of these just to put it in storage for a long time.
4) Baby food making system. I use a hand immersion blender for purees (for $25 from Target) and some food cups I got at Marshall's and Target... But we've been doing Baby Led Weaning with our little girl so the need for a large amount of purees isn't there.
5) Bottle warmer. As I've mentioned before, I'm a breastfeeding mom. When she gets bottles of my cold or frozen milk, her caregivers run the bottle under warm water and it seems to do the trick. Bottle warmers are $30+. In my opinion, there are other things worth registering for that are worth $30.
6) Clothes. People are most likely going to get you clothes whether you register for them or not, so I think it is best to offer up other options.