Registering for a baby as a first time mom is overwhelming to say the least! SO. MUCH. STUFF! How do you determine what you need? There are so many brands and price ranges on products, how do you know what is best for your baby? How much of something do you need? All the while you’re registering, you’re bombarded with products that sound great in theory, but do you NEED them?
Fortunately, I’ve spent the last couple years watching my sister raise her 2 little girls. I got lots of “ya, you don’t need that” or “you really don’t need 8,000 bottles” when asking her questions. Not to mention, I am NOT a fan of clutter. I can’t do it, and I won’t do it. So I think I like more of a minimalist approach when it comes to a baby. I don’t want 8 million toys they will never play with because they’re going to find my car keys, or a water bottle and be thrilled for 20 minutes! I think so many of the products are gimmicky. Mom’s have been taking care of babies for YEARS without half the products on the market today. It’s an industry that is meant to profit. Of course they’re going to try to sucker you in with “convenience” and “latest technology” nonsense. My baby won’t know a difference if she has a warm wipe or a cold wipe. She will get used to it, and it won’t hurt her.
So we decided to register at Target, and I actually did the process online… which could have been a bad idea, because then you see ALL the options, and their ratings. Which obviously led to me reading pages, and pages of reviews. Don’t do it!
Here are some tips I tried to stick to that worked for me while registering:
- Talk with other moms – I have talked to so many moms that told me they had so much unnecessary stuff that they NEVER used, and what they really needed or what kind of products they loved! Find moms near you and hear their opinion! They can help point you in the right direction before you register!
- Register for the obvious needs (i.e. car seat, stroller, etc.) and choose what brand will work for you. I do recommend researching these, because there are so many options, and will vary based on your uses. Car seats should obviously be researched for safety ratings. Chances are these are the more expensive items that will not necessarily be purchased items for your shower (unless it’s grandma and grandpa), but it gives friends/family the choice if a group wants to go in on items together and purchase it for you. Also keep in mind if you register at Target, they provide you with a 15% off coupon for the remaining items on your registry that were not purchased. This saves you money if you do have to purchase it on your own, so you might as well throw it on your registry! Always check the incentives where you’re registering because they vary by store!
- Don’t register for clothes, baby blankets, stuffed animals, etc. – I think it’s almost a given, that baby clothes are adorable, and at any baby shower I’ve gone to these items are given. Let’s be real they’re adorable, and soft, and what woman can resist when they see baby things like that?!
- Don’t go overboard on bottles and pacifiers – The truth is, you probably can never have enough pacifiers for your baby, but there are so many different kinds, and your child may only take a certain kind. So stock up on a few, but wait until your baby arrives so you can learn what he/she likes. Same goes for bottles. Register for 1-2 brands, and see if they work for your baby. They sell all sorts of bottles now with “benefits”, but really I think a bottle is a bottle. So choose what you like best and see how it works for you after baby arrives! (Granted I could be wrong on this approach since I’ve obviously never had real life experience, but this was just my approach while registering!)
- Diapers and Wipes – You can ALWAYS, ALWAYS use more of these! So don’t forget to register for them, even register in a couple sizes. Just remember to attach gift receipts to boxes in case you need to bring one back and trade it in if you’re baby outgrows that size before you can use it! In my case I registered for cloth diapers, but I also registered for some disposables as well.
- Keep Budget in Mind – Apparently the stroller I fell in love with was the “Cadillac” of strollers. I fell in love with it based on reviews. Then after I registered for it, I realized it didn’t come with ANY accessories. No cup holder, no snack tray, no car seat adapter for infant use. So this stroller itself was over $350 and all the accessories ranged from $15-$60 each. I honestly felt guilty after I looked at it on the registry, there is no way I would spend that kind of money on stroller, and I sure as heck wouldn’t want anyone else to spend that kind of money on a stroller for us! So I went back through and registered for a MUCH cheaper stroller, with all the accessories included, and great reviews. It’s easy (especially with your first baby!) to get carried away and want EVERYTHING and the BEST of everything for your baby. You don’t NEED the best of everything, your baby won’t notice, and she would probably rather you ensure she is safe, happy, healthy, and you’re going to start saving for college before you break the bank on a stroller.
These are just some of the guidelines I used while registering, and you may feel differently or have even more tips to add! Have fun when you’re registering, but at the end of the day, remember that you’re registering for a baby, and yes it is so exciting, but it is also expensive. Don’t get too carried away and go overboard!