Creating a wedding gift registry is easy: you choose your favorite retailers (or charity) and select items that suit your lifestyle, whether it's camping gear, or bone china, or both. Creating a baby gift registry is an entirely different ball game. How do you know which items will be right for you and your baby when the baby hasn't even arrived?! We've got some helpful tips for how to create and manage your baby gift registry, and what the heck to add to it.
Why create a baby gift registry?
Creating a gift registry is a helpful way for friends and relatives to acknowledge this happy time in your lives with a present they know you will need and enjoy. Maintaining a registry should also avoid duplicate gifts, which saves you the hassle of returning items. Be sure to include a variety of gifts in every price point so people can feel comfortable purchasing you or your baby a gift, regardless of their budget.
Do your research. Poll friends and relatives with kids for their favorite products: there are multiple brands of baby carriers, for example, but which one do people find most comfortable? Online reviews and forums can be helpful, too. Carrying multiples? How will your needs be different than parents with only one baby? Should you add a fancy-schmancy Mamaroo swing when a cheaper one will do? Start your research early so that you'll be informed when you arrive at your appointment with a registry consultant.
Having a baby on board means that you'll soon have lots of baby gear on board, too--in every room of your home! Do your best to find items that are affordable, compact, and essential--and keep everything in the box until your baby reaches the stage when he or she needs it. You just might find that baby items you thought would be essential were never opened and can be returned. Hang on to those receipts!
Even the largest home can feel cramped when full of baby gear, so avoid items that are bulky and unnecessary. Are there some items that you can borrow from friends or family members? Choose the items that are essential and stick with them if your home is short on storage space.
Maintaining your gift registry.
People will buy you gifts at various stages, whether it's when they hear about your pregnancy, attend your baby shower, or meet your little one for the first time. Be sure to update your registry regularly. If someone bought you an item that wasn't on your registry but very similar to something on your registry, remove the one from your registry so that you don't have duplicates. If you haven't had your baby shower yet and you're running low on items in any price category, add more so that people have lots of options.
Remember that nothing is set in stone. Maybe you registered for the purple bedding and then decided you wanted to paint the nursery teal instead? Or maybe you borrowed a Bumbo Chair from your sister-in-law and don't have a need for a brand new one? No worries, you can simply return or exchange any items that you receive but no longer want. That being said, be sure to discuss the store's return policy with the registry consultant to be on the safe side.
What the heck do babies need?
Some baby essentials are obvious (stroller, carseat, clothing), but there are lots of items that you don't need, or you don't know that you need yet because you've never heard of them! Before you create a registry, read our 13 Must-Have Baby Items All New Parents Need checklist--it could save you a lot of time and frustration. Once you're done that, head on over to another very important list: 7 Baby Items That Are A Total Waste Of Money.