Friday, March 8, 2013

Where to start...the overwhelming registry

"What the hell do I register for?"

This is the question I was asking myself a few months ago in preparation for the baby shower. For those of you who have been married or are in the engagement period you know how the registry works. You pick a few stores and go in, get a scanner gun and basically swipe the barcode of everything that looks like what you'd want in your home. The difference between registering for a wedding and a baby is, however, that a home is a lot easier to register for things. Also consider the fact you might have an invite list of 200 people like we did and there's really not too much you can't put on your list of wants.A baby on the other hand, you have to consider what it needs. I didn't need a garlic press for my house but I need a car seat. So how do you decide what's important and what's just fluff?!

First let me preface this whole blog by saying that you can register for whatever you want for the baby but people are going to buy you what they want to buy you. End of story. Unlike your wedding you will not get half the things you took the time to pick out. Don't panic, it's ok. Just know this going into the journey and it will make your life a lot easier. Consider the baby registry a check list for yourself and if people actually buy you what you need then fabulous and if you end up with lots of cute clothing and baby shoes that's wonderful too. I admit pre-pregnancy I rarely took the time to buy people what they wanted off their registry. Mostly because Babies R' Us gave me a panic attack every time I set my foot in the door.After having this baby I will be much better at assessing what my friends need and can pick items off their list accordingly.

Here are the two websites I used to determine what to register for the baby. These women have done all the leg work for you. They have researched everything from strollers to car seats and recommend something for each price point.
blog one
blog two

Both were recommended to me by my friend Nikki and I found them extremely helpful in deciding what items we needed. Between my family and friends we got the top items that we needed most. Chad and I of course had to put our own money into the big ticket items because that's what you do when you have a baby. You can't expect someone else to fund your little blessing (better get use to this now right?! you've got 18+ years of funding this kid's existence) so you better start saving your money now. Out of pocket we bought:

This crib from All modern:
The mattress we bought at Babies R' Us.

This dresser from Ikea which of course had to be assembled but I love the quality and the look of it and plan to use it as a changing table as well like this person did in their nursery:
With some money my aunt gave me I purchased this glider as well. It wasn't my first choice but the price was right and it went with the white decor of the room:
My friend Michelle, who recently had a baby of her own knew we needed something practical to keep from losing our minds so she bought us the snugabunny bouncer from our registry:
I registered for the snugabunny swing as well but when we were at target my mom ended up buying us this swing which I actually like better because it is collapsible and portable:
You may be asking yourself, "why would I need a swing and a bouncer?" Apparently you need both my friend. The bouncer vibrates and plays music and is small enough to go into the bathroom with you (you will need a shower at some point and need a way to confine the baby) or even put on the table while cooking dinner but the swing with gently rock them to sleep and moves at various swings. Maybe you can get by with one or the other I don't know I haven't had the baby yet but they are both fairly small and pack up easily so when the baby outgrows one I can move on to the other. According to my mom some babies love the swing some hate the swing...hopefully with all the spin I've been doing the baby will love it.

I received three different carriers as well for the baby. To some this might seem like three too many but I'm one of those on-the-go people so I wanted different ways to transport the baby at different stages. We ended up  with the baby k'tan which my sister purchased for me which is a sling that you can use when they are little. My brother had a baby bjorn that I was able to have which is great for when they get bigger and can hold their head up. Unfortunately the baby bjorn doesn't offer that much back support when they get bigger so that's why I went for the ergo baby as suggested by my friend Casey. Her daughter is 15 months and fits comfortably in it wherever she goes.

Most important you will need a car seat and stroller and if you are lucky someone else will buy these for you as they can be pretty pricey. I originally wanted the Chicco key fit as recommended by one of the blogs I mentioned above but when we went to Babies R' Us that car seat was out of stock. So we looked around and ended up going with the Graco combo stylus travel system with Snugride 30 stroller:
I'll admit I wanted the three wheel jogging stroller but this combo just made the most sense. It was on sale so we got it for a steal and now we won't have to buy a separate stroller because the carseat locks into the stroller or you can use it separate. I'll admit the cupholders sold me as well. I mean who doesn't want cupholders on their stroller?!

I ended up registering at Amazon and Babies R' Us. Both have great return policies and make it easy for those who want to purchase items for you to send them directly to your house if they are out of towners. Just remember that you will have to buy many things for your baby that you need and don't depend on your shower to get all those items. Start stocking up on diapers and wipes as soon as you can. Don't worry about buying blankets because trust me you'll get more than enough. If you are cloth diapering look for a system you can buy with 15 or so in a bundle. You'll need at least 30 to cloth diaper full time. Also stock up on a few newborn clothing essentials. Lots of people will buy you clothes but they will be three to six month size since newborns outgrow theirs quickly. However you still need an outfit for it to go home from the hospital in and most onesies don't have pants. You can't leave poor babies legs out in the cold so look for something that covers them neck to toe.

So that's my registry advice. I did all of it from the comfy confines of my couch instead of bothering with going in-store. Take your time, think about what you need and then know you'll have to front many of the items out of pocket. Make what you can (my mom is making me a bobby, crib skirt, nursing cover etc because they are all essentially fabric pieces sewn together) and enjoy the items you get...take back what you don't need and most of all be thankful for all the support your loved ones show you because that's most important in this whole process!

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