There are a thousand and one different sites, blogs, and opinions as to what to add to a baby registry. And while it is true there are no hard or fast rules to go by there are some things I wish I had thought of and asked for on my registry rather than having a registry filled with items you realize later you really did not need. Also if my registry had been a little more concise I wouldn’t have bought frivolous items I did not need or even use. Lessons learned and now I’m here to share those lessons with you.
Lesson 1 – Start your registry whenever – have it finished before sending out shower invites
Some sites will claim you should have your registry all set one month before your shower, some say months before, honestly you can start your registry whenever you like. Some of you may want to wait on adding baby clothes, toys, receiving blankets, etc. if you are looking to make your baby shower gender oriented as the sex of baby cannot be determined until well after 20 weeks. There is no issue on waiting until the last minute to do your registry especially if during your pregnancy a major holiday like Christmas happens along as you may get more baby related gifts during those holidays. But there is no set time when you should start your registry, the only thing I would ever suggest is having your registry all set before you send out your baby shower invites.
Lesson 2 – Take stock of your home
Depending on what type of home you have this could change your registry. If you live in an apartment with not a lot of space you are going to need items that don’t take up a lot of space or if they do take up space they will transition with your baby from infant to toddler. Also if you spend a lot of time in one part of your home during the day and then in an other at night this will also change your registry. This is also the perfect time to look over the home and stock up on simple items like toilet paper, paper towels, canned food, food for your pets if you have them, etc. Once baby comes you will soon realize that trying to zip out to do anything can take you longer to do or may fill you with anxiety. Being prepared and having your house set will put your mind at ease and give you a bit of comfort if you are feeling anxious about being out with baby right away. Also you may realize you need certain things like more night lights or more outlets after you’ve done a thorough walk through and considered how your home will be in both the daylight and at night.
Lesson 3 – Save now for later
If you are pregnant now or thinking of becoming pregnant now is the time to start putting away a little extra money each week. If your work place offers a savings or bond plan where money would be taken off your cheque and put into a savings account or savings bond I would suggest signing up. If not check with your bank and see if you can start a savings account that would take money out of your account each week. This will be a huge life saver down the road if you need to buy something that you did not get from your registry and could help in paying off some debts before the big day.
Lesson 4 – High and low priced items
Almost every site and blog seems to agree that your baby registry should have some high priced items and some low priced ones. This is so that not everything on your registry is out of some people’s price range. Not everyone on your guest list will be able to shell out tons of cash and you should be mindful of this. Plus if you don’t get certain items during your shower you will know how much you will need in your bank account if it is an item you desperately need before baby makes an appearance.
Lesson 5 – Clean up your home
While most women claim on going through a nesting period (I went through three) it is always good to start taking a look around your home and do a bit of a tidy or clean. Once baby arrives you may have limited mobility to get certain chores done and it could take weeks before you rebound and get your strength back. Exhaustion will also take a lot out of you and make it near impossible in the first few weeks to even think straight. If you can tackle one room or get rid of some clutter this will take your mind off some of the other things that may need to be cleaned. Also when the nesting phase does kick in it won’t seem like there is a mountain of work to do and so little time to do it in.
Lesson 6 – Keep your registry concise
It can be tempting to put a million things onto your registry, you will be thinking about having to safety your home to a cute little outfit you saw in the store. But it is better to put your top choice items on the registry and not be disappointed when the flurry of items you registered for are never received. Also if your family is quite small this will keep some of the more frivolous items from being bought that you may have to return or that you never use.
Lesson 7 – Consider your lifestyle
Do you take a car or public transit everywhere? Are you the type to want to jog in the morning or are you more of a lazy riser? All aspects of your lifestyle should be considered. If you’re the type to take public transit everywhere you may need a slimmer stroller but not need a car seat. If you are the type that likes to hike or go for long walks a carrier may be something on your wish list.
Lesson 8 – Pick one or two places to have your registry
You may want to divide your registry between one or two stores. I would not suggest going beyond two stores as this may just get too confusing for those looking for your registry. Most sites say it is taboo to give people your registry number on your shower invites but I find it nice to give the information versus having to field calls later about where you are registered.
In the end you will likely still get some items you don’t use until baby is older or items you just couldn’t do without. But having a registry that is not overblown with items can make life easier in the long run.