Once I found out the baby’s on the way, I started putting together a list of things I would need for the baby. I combed through the internet, magazines, baby books, and a million other places and realized that each of them had their own “MUST HAVES” list and “DO NOT REGISTER FOR THESE” lists. After more research and comparing all these lists, ultimately, I realized that most of the items on these lists are optional, and the best thing that worked for me was to order the essentials first and buy some other things as needed.
I had a really hard time finding a good list of everything I’d NEED (and nothing more) online. So I am going to do my best to help you with a great list of all the items we couldn’t live without and some tips to keep you from over-registering.
So how do you avoid over-registering? Simple…take a list with you and stick to it! Do lots of research BEFORE the laser gun is in your hand. The lists provided by the stores are a great starter…but please know they are there to sell, sell, SELL! You really don’t need everything on the list so in an effort to keep you from pulling your hair out, please see our post on baby registry essentials and things you can live without.
Some Helpful shopping Tips:
- Create a Registry: It doesn’t matter if you are sharing your registry with anyone else, or if it is for yourself. Creating a registry has multiple advantages:
- Friends and relatives will be looking to buy you gifts as soon as you announce your pregnancy or your baby shower, if you are having one. If you have a registry, you will take the guesswork out of gift buying by making sure they know what you want. You don’t need to complete your list just yet, but at least have a selection for them to browse.
- A registry can become your single consolidated list of things you need and helps you keep track of what exact product you need and what you have already purchased.
- Most stores offer discounts on products bought from the registry, even if you buy them yourself.
- Some stores give you up to 10% or 15% cash back on the products you buy from their registry.
- On some websites, you may be able to use the Free Shipping offer when you meet their criteria.
- Talk to New Moms: New Moms have tons of advice, and are always willing to answer questions. You can ask them what worked for them and what they didn’t end up using, and what mistakes they did when they registered. You can use all that knowledge to create your own list and customize it.
- Exchange or Return Policy: Know the store’s exchange/return policy while figuring out where to register. Knowing the ins and outs of these policies is kind of a pain, but the most important step in deciding where to register. Some stores ask for a receipt to return anything, some have a 30-day limit, some ask you to pay for shipping & handling. Do your research.
- Gift Cards: They may look like an invitation to shop like crazy, but do NOT go on a huge shopping spree after receiving all those gift cards at your shower. Use them for the things you NEED but it is also a good idea to hold on to them so that in 6 months, you can have some extra money to spend on baby’s changing needs.
Helpful Registry Tips:
- Can you add items from other websites?
- What is the return policy?
- Do you need receipt to return items?
- How many days for return?
- Free returns? or pay for shipping?
- Is there a completion discount? How much %?
- Is there a Price Match Guarantee? In-store or online?
- What else should I know about it?
Some Top Registry Websites:
- Amazon.com Baby
- Babies R Us
- buybuy BABY
- Crowdrise Charity Registry
- JCPenney Baby
- Kohl’s Little Ones
- The Land of Nod
- Pottery Barn Kids
- Right Start
- Target Baby
- Wayfair Baby
The Ultimate Baby Registry Shopping Checklist
- Customizable, Printable Excel Spreadsheet: The list is formatted as a Microsoft Excel Spreadsheet. You could download this spreadsheet and edit it to suit your needs, and make your own notes in it.
- Quick One-page Printable Cheat Sheet: There is also a quick one-page PDF version of the spreadsheet that you could print out and take with you to the store while shopping for all the baby stuff. You can access it here.
- Amazon Baby Registry:I’m working on an easy to read Wish-List on Amazon.com with all the products that I recommend for each item on the Baby Registry. You could then create an account on Amazon.com (if you do not already have one, that is) and copy the items directly to your Baby Registry. It’s that simple and easy! Watch this space for more updates!
- Blog Post with links to recommended products:My next step will be to with all the products that I recommend with reviews and pros and cons of each item. Watch this space for more updates!