- Register at one online store and one brick-and-mortar store.
- If you are finding out the sex, consider waiting until after your shower.
- Don’t register for too many blankets or towels.
- Test out some products before adding them to your registry.
- Don’t register for too many of any one kind of bottle.
- Do research before using after-market products in or near the car seat.
- Think ahead.
1. Register at one online store and one brick-and-mortar store. Some people prefer to purchase your gifts online, while others prefer to walk through the aisles and see everything in person. I recommend registering with one online store – like Amazon – and one brick and mortar store – like Buy Buy Baby. The Amazon Baby Registry offers a 10% completion discount. However, if you join Amazon Family, that discount jumps to 15% and you can get 20% off diaper subscriptions. Actually, register as many places as you want so you can take advantage of that completion discount. But most people agree that the proper etiquette is to limit it to two, or maybe three places on your shower invitation.
2. If you are planning on finding out the sex, consider waiting until after your shower to find out. That way, the gifts you receive will more likely be things you need and not a lot of gender specific clothing. I assure you that if you know the sex before the shower, many people who would otherwise get you things you need off your registry will end up getting you gender-specific clothing instead. While this is generous, their taste in clothing may not be the same as yours, you may end up with enough newborn to 3-month clothes to last a year but nothing past that point, and you won’t have much of the items you really need. Even if you know the sex of your baby, register for gender neutral products (car seat, Rock n Play, stroller, crib sheets, etc) if you plan on having a second baby.
3. Don’t register for too many blankets or towels. You will get a lot of those anyway. I’m not saying to eliminate them completely from your registry, you should definitely add the ones you really like. But you will likely receive additional ones as well. Someone buying your infant bath tub may throw in an adorable hooded towel and washcloths. The person buying you that white noise machine, may throw in a few blankets. Your mom’s friend may knit you a blanket and your aunt may sew you a quilt. Once the baby is born, you may receive some embroidered towels or blankets with the baby’s name. You will get gifts that aren’t from your registry, and blankets are a popular one.
4. Test out some products before adding them to your registry. Test drive different strollers and try folding and unfolding them. See how difficult different playards are to set up. Try on different wraps and baby carriers before choosing what you want. Test how easy different diaper pails are to open when you have a baby in your arms.
5. Don’t register for too many of any one kind of bottle. You may end up with a baby who is very particular. My daughter took any bottle, but we had to go through about a dozen different kinds before finding one my son would take. You can read more about this on my Baby Bottle Buying Guide. The same tip goes for pacifiers. Many babies have strong preferences for the shape of a bottle nipple or a pacifier.
6. Do your research before using any after-market products in or around the car seat. I’m referring to things like the back seat mirror, car seat inserts for warmth or padding, etc. Things like mirrors are considered unsafe because they can become projectiles in a car accident. After-market seat covers and car seat inserts are considered unsafe because they are not crash tested with the car seats and can impact the effectiveness and safety of the car seat in an accident. For more on infant car seats, read On the Go: Infant Car Seats.
7. Think ahead. When adding toys, feeding supplies and clothes to your registry, think ahead past the newborn stage. Add clothes for bigger than 6 months, add toys for crawlers, and add sippy cups and placemats. You’ll be glad you don’t have to buy all these things later.