Congratulations! You just found out you're expecting a baby!
There's a whole lot to plan for, but you have (hopefully) somewhere around 40 weeks to finalize all of those details! If you're a first-time mom, you might be a little bit overwhelmed when you think about welcoming a baby into your home. It's not just a life change in terms of your day-to-day activities - it also means you're going to need some gear that you haven't needed before. Not to worry! People love to celebrate babies. With any luck, you'll have family and friends who will beg to throw a baby shower in honor of your new bundle of joy!
Just like weddings, baby showers often involve registering for the gifts that you would like to receive. Registries are great because there are about a million different baby gear options, or outfits, or feeding tools...etc. etc. etc. What works for one family might not work for the next, so being able to have input into which items you would like to receive for your little one is incredibly helpful. Previously, I've shared a few tips for which items you might want to include on your baby registry. This time, I'd like to take a little bit of a different approach. I fully recognize that what works for my family might not work for yours! So instead of telling you items to add to your baby registry, I'd like to help you create a frame of reference (or maybe even a sort of rubric) on how you can go about deciding which items you'd like to have - and where you'd like to register.
Give Yourself Plenty Of Time
First, don't rush into your registry by waiting until a few weeks before your shower! It's perfectly okay to start planning really early. In fact, the earlier the better - in the instance that a baby is born prematurely, parents often don't yet have the things they need to care for baby. And with a newborn in the hospital, building a registry is probably the last thing on their minds. Make a day of it! Take your partner, your mom, your best friend - or all three - and enjoy yourselves!
Choose Stores Wisely
Ok, there's a few ways you can take this one. I personally chose stores that were accessible to the guests at my baby shower. It made it easier for them to shop for things in person, although I personally shop more frequently on Amazon. Some people like to make the gift-selection process an event! On the other hand, you might be very invested in a specific local store, or a certain brand carried at only one retailer. That's okay, too! Just consider what's more important to you.
Organize By Category
When I was worried that I wouldn't have enough of the "big gear" items, my mother-in-law reminded me that babies can sleep in dresser drawers. Something about that kind of made a lightbulb click on for me. Babies don't need as much as we think they do, usually. They eat, they sleep, they poop, and they play. So when you build your registry around these categories, it becomes easier to pinpoint exactly what you need. Eat: bottles, cups, tableware, breastpumps and bags, or formula. Sleep: pajamas, linens, swaddles, scratch mittens, cribs or something like the Snoo bassinet. Poop: diapers, wipes, ointment. Play: toys, play gym, rattles, teethers.
This is my favorite protip to share with you! Some stores offer a completion discount on their registries. Completion rewards are offered after the baby shower is over. If there's anything left on the list that parents haven't received, they can get those items at a discount! This is usually ten or fifteen percent, but varies from retailer to retailer. Be sure to ask if the store you're building your registry with has a completion discount!
What other tips have you used to help organized your own baby registry? Tweet me your best stuff @pi3sugarpi3 with #BuildBabyRegistry!