My very best girlfriend recently got pregnant for the first time, and I couldn’t be more excited for her new arrival. She and her hubby had walked into a large baby store to consider what to register for, and she was lost. I can totally sympathize as I recall feeling exactly the same way with my first. There are SO many decisions to make for a life change that no matter how hard you prepare, you just won’t know what works until you get there.
We made a date to go together, so she has some mom experience on hand to help guide her through all these decisions. Here’s the advice I will be giving her:
- Skip the clothes – I was surprised that this wasn’t an obvious one for my friend, but for some first time moms, they don’t realize that some people just love buying baby clothes, and you will get plenty at your shower(s). Plus, if you have friends with older kids, you can always count on hand-me-downs.
- Copy copy copy - this is one instance where copying is encouraged. Spend some time with other mom friends asking them what products they can’t live without and what isn’t worth the cash. When I registered, I copied a lot of items from my girlfriend where I was able to see first hand how she used her baby gear with her first born. I knew right away that I wanted the Stokke High Chair based on how it worked for her baby. Seeing how products work in the real world really helped me decide what may work for my family.
- Choose a store with a good return policy and/or rewards program - It’s important to review a store’s return policy, as well as any perks they offer registrants. For example, Right Start gives you $50 cash back for every $500 spent from your registry. Knowing your store’s return policy will help you when you end up with doubles of certain products while other items you thought would be useful never make it out of the package.
- Pace yourself! - let’s face it registering for EVERYTHING in one day will take hours and can be exhausting. At some point, your brain will tap out, and that’s when you start scanning items just to be done! Try doing a lot of the research ahead of time, so you know going in exactly which stroller you want so you aren’t standing in the store aisle for an hour deciding. Picking only a few categories to attack at a time will also help you focus in a store and not get overwhelmed. You can always come back another day or finish your registry online.
- Make use of the “online” registry tools – having a store with both physical locations, as well as an easy online registry service will be a real asset to your friends and family. Plus, as you get further along and remember those last minute needs, you can make additions from the comfort of your couch.
- Buy for Quality - there are certain products where quality does matter. Children put products through the ringer, and if you want it to last through multiple kids, sometimes it pays to get the pricier higher quality item. The My City Select Stroller was an item I WISHED I had put on my first registry. It has stood up to much abuse from my two boys, and if we end up with another, I know it will bring us through that, as well.
- Think Ahead - your baby won’t be a baby forever. Registering for items such as toddler plates, sippy cups or even a convertible car seat for when you move out of the infant car seat can help you later on.
With these tips in mind, I hope you will have an easier time registering for your little one!
What are your tips for registering? Did you wish you had done anything different?