One of the most exciting milestones for new parents is registering for baby gifts. It’s so much fun to enter your local store, sign up for the baby registry, and head to the baby section, scanning gun in hand.
However, many new parents get to the baby aisles and experience the overwhelming realization that they don’t know what they will need.
It’s easy to get carried away with a baby registry, and simply scan every item that might sound remotely useful or fun to have. The danger of registering for every single item, however, is that you may end up with many items that you don’t really need, and miss out on some of the essentials. It’s a good idea to approach registering for baby gifts with a plan. Here are some tips for choosing items for your baby registry:
- Choose items from all price points. Be sure to offset pricey essentials – car seat, stroller, high chair, swing – with more cost efficient items. These may include bath essentials, towels & wash cloths, burp rags, etc. While immediate family members of close friends may not mind buying larger items, some friends and acquaintances may wish to buy a gift but may not want to spend as much money.
- Limit clothes on your registry to onesies and sleepers. It’s a safe bet that you’ll get a lot of baby clothes (they’re just too cute to resist buying). Instead, register for basic items in a variety of sizes, keeping in mind your baby’s age during each season.
- Keep larger items gender neutral. If you plan on having more children, register for items that can be used for both sexes. You’ll be able to reuse the items without feeling guilty about putting your baby boy in a pink car seat, or using your boy bedding for a baby girl.
- Don’t be afraid to register for formula, diapers and wipes. If you have a specific brand choice, feel free to add those to your registry. Keep in mind, however, that your baby’s skin might be sensitive in a particular diaper brand, or your baby might end up tolerating one formula better than another. Keep the quantity you register for low so that you aren’t stuck with a bunch of items that Junior can’t use.
- Register for gift cards. Many stores have the option of including gift cards on your registry. Gift cards allow you to restock diapers, formula, and other essentials as you run out.
- Test items before you add them to the registry. If you can, fold and unfold strollers to see how easily you can pack them up (with one hand, if needed). Set up and take down a play yard. Buckle and unbuckle the straps on a car seat. This will give you an idea of how easily the item functions, an important factor in deciding which one to buy!
Most importantly, be sure to have fun as you register for baby items! For many parents, starting a registry brings about the full realization of just how much life is about to change. This may also be the last leisurely shopping trip you’ll be able to have for a while. Enjoy it!