Baby’s arrival is getting closer and closer, and your shower is on the horizon. But what does a first-time mom need, and how on earth are you expected to pick items from the sea of options? Relax moms, we’ve got you covered. As you may have heard, we’ve been in the baby business for 100 years! Drawing on our vast experience, we’ve pulled together 10 tips for creating the perfect baby registry for your growing family.
- Put your friends to work
While every mom and baby are different, soliciting suggestions from your mom friends is a great place to start. Ask them what products they consider lifesavers and which they wished they’d saved their money on. And most importantly, find out why they’ve formed these opinions. Their explanations will help you decide whether to take their advice or go it on your own.
- Comb the reviews
Once you have insights from trusted friends, it’s time to dive into the varied and vast array of juvenile products on the market. This is where customer review sites will come in handy. Start by looking up your friends’ suggestions to see if other moms sing their praises as well. Then look at the top rated competitors to be sure you’re not missing out on a new and improved car seat, breast pump or other baby gizmo. A site like WeeSpring is great because it has a chock full of reviews, highlighting those from your closest acquaintances.
- Consider your lifestyle
Think about what your day-to-day life with baby will look like. Will you have a nanny or have you found the perfect daycare? Will trips and overnights to grandma’s be frequent or rare? Will you nurse or bottle feed? The answers to questions like these will help steer you in the right direction. For instance, city moms are more likely to splurge on strollers since it’s their main means of transportation—not to mention the status symbol that cars represent for their suburban counterparts. On the other hand, for those families who are more likely to drive everywhere, a top-of-the-line, indestructible stroller isn’t really a priority.
- Shop small for hands-on advice
This is the best tip we gleaned from Mommy Nearest: while you’re still in the discovery phase of narrowing down what you want, start at your local baby shop rather than a big box store. Why? The neighborhood boutique is more likely to give you hands on service, walking you through the pros and cons of your options. At the mega stores, you could be left to your own to wade through a sea of unfamiliar brands and products.
- Cover your needs before your wants
We know it’s so tempting to go nuts with the registry wand. And why not? Everything in the baby section is so darn cute. But you must try to keep your composure or you may end up with a list full of fun but not-so-practical items. So stick to your list, and ask yourself if you really need that $80 pair of baby booties. Think of the things you’re likely to use every day, especially items that will still be essential days and weeks down the road. Rookie Mom‘s registry checklist breaks everything down in order of importance.
- Don’t be afraid of big-ticket items
Listen, new babies require loads of new things, and many of these items come with a hefty price tag. But before you fret about looking greedy if you add your nursery furniture or car seat/stroller combo to your list, remember some people in your life will be happy to chip into a group gift. Think of your friends at the office or your favorite cousins. Plus, even if no one purchases these big-ticket items for you, some stores offer a discount on the items you end up purchasing yourself if they were on the registry.
- Sprinkle in smaller items
Beyond the big purchases, be sure to add in smaller items for friends and family who might want to help you celebrate the new baby but on a more modest budget. In fact, many of these “little” things are actually the most essential—and over months or repeated purchases, they really add up. Be thankful if someone wants to get you started with a pack of diapers or formula. And binkies? You’re likely to cycle through those at an alarming rate as baby grows and they get lost along the way. And as for bibs and burp clothes, they’re the MVPs of any registry!
- Double check your list
With so much to think about in the days and weeks before baby’s arrival, it would be easy to forget something. We suggest that before you finish your registry, you consult an official checklist to make sure all bases are covered. For instance, Baby Center has a handy guide to preparing for baby with links to top-rated picks in each category.
- Be clothes minded
Lots of lists will tell you to go easy on the clothing for your registry because you’ll receive plenty of apparel gifts anyway. And while we agree, we would suggest you add at least a few clothing items for a couple of reasons. First, so your friends and family can see your tastes and get an idea of your favorite brands. Second, so you have the necessary items for dressing baby in those first weeks like gowns (great for middle-of-the-night diaper changes), footies (the unofficial uniform of infants everywhere), and bibs (the key to keeping any well-dressed baby clean). And of course, we have loads of take-me-home options, including our Pima Cotton collection is a super soft option for stylish, comfortable clothing.
- Be selective
Just because items are on the typical registry doesn’t mean you have to get them. For example, city moms, consider that you may have less space than your suburban friends who have the luxury of stock piling gadget and gizmo that hits the market. Take a tip from Mom 365, and add a couple of gift cards to your registry to give yourself the flexibility of picking up some items down the road once you determine you’ll definitely need them.