Newborn Registry Checklist For Parents

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One of the first thoughts to strike a new parent—after feelings of joy, of course—is just how much stuff their new bundle of cuteness requires. Hence the baby registry, a smart way to keep track of baby’s needs while providing loved ones with the chance to give you something they know you’ll appreciate. But creating a baby registry can be an overwhelming process. I remember standing in the middle of buybuy BABY with my all-powerful laser gun, frozen with indecision over which changing pad to scan. There’s just so much stuff out there—and every parent wants the best. To help the over-stressed parent-to-be, we asked the registry experts for their 10 best tips.

1. Start Early. “This gives you plenty of time to consider your choices and change your mind,” says Ali Wing, founder and CEO of giggle, who recommends registering four or five months before your due date. “It also allows for proper lead time on larger items and special orders.” Plus, if the baby comes early, you’ll already have everything taken care of.

2. Use Starter Checklists. “Let someone else do the homework for you,” Wing says. Rather than beginning your registry from scratch, use checklists available at stores like giggle and community websites like thebump.com to help jumpstart the process; they outline the basic gear and clothing that newborns need.

3. Talk To Other New Parents. With so many products on the market, it can be confusing to discern what you truly need. Asking new moms and dads who’ve been there can help. “They can tell you what was great, what worked for them and what they thought was pointless,” says Ingrid Prueher, founder of NYC Baby Planner.

4. Touch And Feel. “It’s important to try out what you’re getting,” Prueher says. You don’t have to leave your home every time you add something to your registry, but it can be a good idea. A baby blanket may appear luxuriously soft on your computer screen but have a very different texture when you actually get your hands on it.

5. Combine Several Registries Into One. Most parents end up registering at several stores. To make life easier for you and gift-givers, Prueher recommends consolidating all your registries into one place by using a website like amazingregistry.com.

6. Strike A Balance Between Stuff You’ll Use Now And Later. “The amount of clothes we get for newborns is crazy because they outgrow them so quickly,” Prueher says. Instead of registering for countless onesies, include toddler gear like a high chair or umbrella stroller that you’ll need later.

7. Don’t Stress Over Price Points. “Unlike bridal registries, it’s typical for a baby registry to have a lot of smaller items and everyday essentials,” Wing says. Choosing items with a range of prices lets you accommodate all budgets. Include splurges, too. “You never know when friends or family might want to go in together on a gift!” she adds.

8. Register For Gift Cards. If you’re unsure of what to register for, include a few gift cards. Family and friends are often happy to give them, and “it leaves room for items you may need later on [after the baby is born],” says Wing.

9. Don’t Keep Your Registry A Secret. People want to give you something you’ll use, so don’t be shy about spreading the word about your registry. Wing recommends taking advantage of stores that have insert cards for shower invitations. “Or ask to see if they have an e-mail template so you can send notifications from their websites,” she says.

10. Remember What’s Important. In the end, what’s on your registry isn’t going to make or break your life as a new parent. “Babies need a home. They need to be loved, to be changed and fed, and they need a certain amount of clothes,” says Prueher. “Everything else is just accessories.”

Spruce up any registry with hand-picked products as suggested by the pros.

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