Welcome to my Weblog!
Welcome to 1 Mother 2 Another! To read my most recent weblog entries, scroll down. To read entries from one category, click the links at right. To read my journey from the beginning, click here. To find out more about me, click here.
Top 5s
Short on time? Click here to go to my Top 5s Page - links to my top five recommendations in every category from Breastfeeding Sites to Urban Living Solutions.

Baby Registry Part I

Congratulations!  You’re pregnant.  Now comes the hard part.
Nope, not talking about labor.  Not talking about raising your kids right.  Not talking about saving for college (though good luck with that!)
I’m talking about the daunting task of creating your baby registry.
When I was pregnant, I was initially ecstatic at the idea of “having” to go through a shopping experience.  Not knowing anything about baby gear didn’t phase me one bit; I was sure that with my thorough research habits, I’d have no trouble quickly narrowing down to the best of each category.  Unfortunately, no one told me the sheer volume of gear you’ll need, or more importantly, that I’d have no idea what most of it was for.  I clearly had my work cut out for me.

Thanks to my Mommy Focus Group, I was able to wade through the trenches and separate the essentials from the esoteric.  I’ve got some girlfriends pregnant right now, and I thought I’d return the favor.  (Yes, Emily, this is for you, and also for little September 23)In addition to passing on what I’ve learned, I polled my girlfriends (and guy pals – stay-at-home-dads have definite opinions!) again to find out what they really loved and what they’d do differently.
First off, choose your store wisely.  Brian and I spent a lot of time debating where we wanted to register.  It was important to Brian, the computer guy, that the store have a great website that was easy to navigate and accurate.  For me, a great online presence meant nothing if I couldn’t return something easily; I didn’t want to have to mail crib sheets back, and insisted on a website with a physical store attached to it.  We also wanted a site that offered competitive prices and a no-hassle return policy. 
We ended up compromising by registering at two sites.  Babycenter has a great online presence, and was one of the few places that carried the crib sheets I wanted, but they have no physical store so returns would be a huge hassle.  Buy Buy Baby was where we registered for the majority of our baby items: with a couple stores within driving distance, an easy return policy, a large selection and good prices, I was sold.  Their one downside?  Their website’s not the best.  Being a relatively small company, their stock fluctuates and you never know what’ll be offered online.  But between the two, we were able to offer both local friends and long-distance relatives easy options for our registry.  Two popular places to register are not my favorites: one is Target – I’ve had friends register there and say returns are nightmarishly difficult.  The other is Toys R Us; shopping through Amazon is easy online, but their stock fluctuates quickly and items you register for one week are no longer available the next.  So make sure you consider if your shoppers will be local or long-distance, tech-savvy or wanting to browse a physical store, and don’t forget easy returns.
Ok, so you’ve chosen your store.  Before you register, really take into consideration your personal situation.  Do you have girlfriends you can borrow bulky items from?  Borrowing an infant car seat from my girlfriend Sandra saved us dough; hers was only a year old and since she lives in New York, barely used.  And best of all, we won’t have to store it.  As you look to borrow, make sure the items aren’t too used – don’t be the tenth person to borrow a car seat, since plastic and buckles can wear down.  And make sure everything’s up to current code.  But if you can borrow that swing or bouncy seat, more power to you.  And think about your personal space – if you’re living in a tiny apartment, you’ll need to prioritize bulky items.  A few well-chosen pieces will stand you in much better stead than several large items you discover you don’t really need.
Now that you’ve got a vague idea where your needs are, head to the store and poke around.  Brian and I walked through Buy Buy Baby three times before registering.  The first trip’s incredibly overwhelming, and will wear you out.  Take notes, head home, and talk there.  Ask your girlfriends if they like the pretty new stroller you saw, or look it up on Consumer Reports.  You and your spouse will fight about this list several times, so don’t get frustrated.  You’ll both have ideas of what’s necessary, what’s cute, and what’s stupid and they won’t always be in the same category.  Buy Baby Bargains, a great book about baby gear that gives you the lowdown on everything.  You can look up that adorable crib you saw in the store and find out if they’ve got a history of shoddy workmanship.  Trust me, you need this book.
And finally, think long-term, both in quality and the type of items you register for.  Take the time now to pick out the convertible car seat you really want; I know you won’t be using it for several months, but 1) someone may buy it for you and save you the cost of buying it later when the Pampers are adding up, and 2) even if no one buys it for you, you’ll have a record of which one you chose.  When you are sleep-deprived and holding a squirmy 6-month-old is not the best time to be comparing Consumer Reports ratings.  Try to register for big gear for the whole first year, not just the first few months.  I promise this list will come in really handy.
So take your time, think things through, do your research, and pick quality items. 

Tomorrow, we get down to the nitty gritty and talk about the essential baby gear.


Post a Comment

House Rules

Here are the rules for posting comments on 1mother2another.com. Posting a comment that violates these rules will result in the comment’s deletion, and you’ll probably be banned from commenting in the future.

1) Register first. If you would like to post a comment, you must create an account with us. Check out the home page to do so.

2) Constructive comments only. If you cannot maintain a respectful tone in your posting, even in disagreement, your comment will be deleted. We’re all trying to find our way in this thing and are struggling to be the best moms we can. If you disagree with something I say, feel free to politely email me. If you disagree with another reader’s posting, you’re welcome to kindly post in reply. Vitriolic diatribes will be deleted. This site is about encouraging and supporting, not tearing down and chastising.

3) Questions welcomed. If an entry raises a question, you’re welcome to email me directly or post it. Keep in mind that postings will result in public replies by strangers and not just me.

4) Don’t steal. All original writings contained within this website are under copyright protection. If you link to us, please credit us as your source and provide a link back to our website. If you're interested in using an excerpt in published material, please contact us.

5) Share your photos! We'd love to have photos from our registered readers to show on our home page under "Maddie's friends". Email us a jpeg of your little one's best photo to photos@1mother2another.com. Please, no photos from professional photographers which fall under copyright protection.