As exciting as a step into parenthood as it is, setting up the baby registry can sometimes be overwhelming to first-time parents. As an owner of The Village Exchange, I have had lots of experience helping expectant mothers fill out their baby registry… I have also helped lots of gift-givers picking out gifts off of registries. Follow these few simple steps as a guide to help make this process a little easier and more fun!!
- Take a friend (or two). Other moms are a wealth of knowledge. Listen to their advice- must-have items and items that were a total waste! Experienced moms are always helpful in building your registry. (One caution: every mom’s parenting style is different and every baby is different… so don’t be afraid to go out on a limb and trust your own mommy judgment; believe it or not, it has already kicked in)
- Register several different places… people LOVE options. Some people love going and looking at everything on your registry… others, not so much. Registering at the big box stores as well as smaller local boutiques will ensure you aren’t gifted with a lot of items you have never seen or will never use. While online options have obvious benefits so does register at local boutiques like ours. We love to talk to our expectant moms and get a real feel for what they love and what they don’t…what is most important to them on this journey, their personal style, concerns with the arrival of their new baby, etc… We use all of this information to guide those shopping for them in that direction. When shopping, especially for a precious new arrival most people still tend to prefer to go to a store and pick out a gift; to touch it and feel how soft it is and add a personal touch that you just can’t get from shopping online. If you and/or your guests are from out of town I recommend registering somewhere online as well.
- Options are important as far as price as well as… people like to give in all different ways. Many times when someone comes into the shop to purchase something off of a registry they already know what they want to give before even looking at the registry. You have some people that like to give lots of little items, people that like to go in together for something big and everything in between. Covering all of your price points helps your gift-givers not feel pressured and allows you to get what you need and want… if you end up with all little items and not your bigger ones, you can always exchange!
- Don’t only focus only on the newborn baby items… as your little one grows they will still be needing lots of items; ie high chairs, toys, toddler car seats, and bigger size clothes. You don’t want to end up with 20 newborn outfits and a naked 6-month-old. 😉
- It’s fun to give nontraditional baby gifts as well: a pair of PJ’s for the expectant mom, artwork for the nursery, or a gift card for down the road… Think outside the box… one gift that my little boys got when they were born was a lifetime hunting and fishing license… something I would have NEVER thought to give but thought was super cool! It’s fun to be creative!
- Make sure you do a little bit of homework on your own. Learn your style, have a plan… think of the things that are important to you… register for those items. Don’t feel pressured to put items on your registry because your mother did or your best friend did. For example, if you know you are not going to breastfeed you will not add it to your registry even though it’s listed as a “must-have” item. The bottom line, if you do a little research on the products and have some discussions with your partner and experienced mom friends you will feel less overwhelmed and more informed through the process.
- Most importantly: Have FUN… try not to obsess over the tiny little details, there will be plenty of time for that during the middle of the night feedings. Just enjoy the process as you prepare for that amazing blessing to enter the world.