Q – I am having my first baby and need to start buying baby products and registering for my shower. With so many options, how do I know what to get?
Dawn M – Acworth, GA
A – Congratulations on your baby news. Shopping for a new baby can be daunting and expensive , especially for first time mom’s, you are not alone!
A baby registry can really get things off to a good start. You can get exactly what you want and need and avoid duplicates. Keep in mind, many people love to shop for babies because the items are so cute, but sometimes they don’t realize that mom doesn’t really need another onesie with a collegiate logo.
To get the most out of your registry, “do just as much homework for your registries as if you were paying the tab yourself,” says Sandra Gordon, author of Consumer Reports Best Baby Products.
Gordon offers the following “registry rules” for expectant parents to help them hone their gift list:
–Check for recalled models at www.recalls.gov before registering for baby gear. Recalled items must be pulled from retail shelves. But products can fall through the cracks.
–Request practical items. Put diapers, diaper wipes and diaper rash ointment, breast pads, pacifiers, a nursing bra or two, a digital rectal thermometer, breast milk storage bags, baby bottle liners, formula, baby body wash on your registry. Necessities like these may not seem gifty, but you’ll be so glad you have them on hand later.
–Ask for big-ticket gear, too like a stroller, glider, a crib with stationary sides and a mattress, a baby monitor, changing table, high chair, and an infant car seat. In this economy, putting pricey baby items on your list can be guilt-inducing. Still, friends and family may chip in as a group to buy them for you.
–Register at more than one store. Gift givers like lots of options. If you’re registering online, some Websites, such as www.amazon.com have retail relationships with third-party merchants such as Target and Baby Age so you have a wider selection of products to choose from. Consider registering for money, too. Sites such as www.myregistry.com and www.depositagift.com allow you to tastefully request and accept cash gifts. You can then use the funds to buy as you go, even after your baby is born, or just have a stash of cash for the future for unexpected expenses.
–Feel free to wonder outside the baby gear aisle. These days, new moms and dads are requesting items on their baby registry that aren’t typical, such as spa certificates, a smart phone, or a digital camera. If you don’t have a digital camera by the way, now’s the time to ask for one. You’ll need it to capture those precious memories of your little one and e-mail photos to Grandpa and Grandma.
–Don’t register for baby clothes. Don’t waste your baby registry “dollars” here. Clothes are the most popular new-baby gift. You can count on getting plenty of them to last you awhile from well wishers after your baby is born.
Good luck and enjoy your pregnancy! I highly recommend using this website, www.babyproductsmom.com the blog, the book and online video clips. You will save hours of research and eliminate some of the guesswork. Don’t miss the links page for consumer reports and recalled items. The book is great and would also make a nice gift for Mom’s who haven’t discovered Sandra yet!