Creating a baby registry can be an exciting yet stressful task as you may feel bombarded with advice and suggestions for all the must-have products. There is not a perfect or one list of baby products, every baby is different and will like different things. You don't have to buy everything, and you don't have to buy it all at once.
Instead of thinking about what to buy, here are some things to consider;
Think about your lifestyle and home:
Focus on what your routines have been like without baby and now how those might shift with the baby. How do the things they need fit into your life and home? What will your days look like in the first year? Analyzing what your home is like, think about items that are functional, can serve multiple purposes, but also are space savers. There will be a new rhythm to your home and space once your baby arrives.
Think outside the box:
Don't just focus on the things your baby needs, but also think about experiences for baby, yourself or even the both of you to share together. There are baby gyms that offer musical classes and spaces for little ones to explore. If you are looking to add exercise to your routine, there are places designed to include your babies. Even local zoos, aquariums, planetariums, etc. have spaces for you and your little one to explore. Once you have found a rhythm getting out and about with your baby, can be just the thing you need.
Another great gift option can be birth or postpartum doulas. Doulas provide families with education, emotional support, and physical support if needed. A birth doulas support is focused on a family prenatally and during their birth, while a postpartum doulas support is around the new transition of adding a baby. Gifters can provide partial funds in securing your doula or may choose to pay for the whole service.
Borrow and Buy Second Hand:
You may already have a family member/friend who has some items you were thinking about and is willing to either let you have a trial run with or take off their hands. This option allows you to test run some items for your baby. Being able to see how your baby responds to different things, can save you some time and money.
Take a look at what your local buy and sell retailers or apps may offer, before buying from a larger retailer. At many of these locations, you may be able to get items for 50%-75% less of their actual retail value.
One item, in particular, to make an exception to would be car seats. When buying or borrowing second hand, you run the risk of not being able to verify if the car seat was involved in a car accident or not. Even minor accidents can change the configuration of a car seat, which won't allow it to keep your baby safe.
Create that baby registry, at your favorite baby store, but make sure it is somewhere that has a good return policy. When you start receiving items from friends and family, take inventory and think about the essentials. You'll need the stroller-car seat-something for baby to sleep in. Other items that you may be unsure about you can return to the store and receive store credit. Friends and family gift items with the intention of helping you and baby. While you may not need two diaper pails, you'll find later using the store credit for one, came in handy actually for diapers and wipes.
Creating a registry list can feel never-ending. What we know for sure that is as long as you surround your baby with love, you've tackled the most important part of your list!
Alternative baby registry sites:
With this site, families can add products from any online retailer they choose. For those gifting it's a great site in allowing you to find and buy everything in one place. You also have the option to register for items not found in stores such as home-cooked meals, cash contributions toward diapers or doula services.
Families using Babylist will receive a “Hello Baby” sample box filled with up to $160 worth of samples, along with other coupons and goodies. Getting close to your baby's due date (60 days to be exact) Babylist will give you a one-time-only 10 percent discount on all remaining items sold by Babylist, which you can use for up to six months after your baby’s due date.
A universal baby registry that allows you to add gifts from any store in the world, whether it has a website or not. On the site, they have an "Add to MyRegistry" button that you can save on your browser and click and add to your heart's desire. If you’re in-store, scan any product’s barcode with your smartphone (you’ll need the MyRegistry app) to add items to your registry. Another plus is that you can import your registries at other stores. There’s also a funding option so that families can ask for cash gifts, which can be customized for things such as babysitting, college funds or even a birth/postpartum doula!