Preparing for a new addition to the family can feel overwhelming at times. Expecting a baby requires plenty of preparation as you’re busy planning your new life, and knowing where to start when making a list of essentials can be tough. If you’re finding baby preparation to be stressful, you’re not alone. Most expecting parents agree that creating a baby registry is an important, yet overwhelming, part of the planning process.
Setting up a registry is beneficial for many reasons. It allows your friends and family to know specifically what you want and is simple to set up. Registries minimize the chance of getting items you don’t need and allow you to receive things you hoped for and will use. They also help keep you organized in terms of what you want, need, and have already received.
Registries have a wide variety of options to choose from, and you have the ability to easily track baby gear before your little one arrives. Many popular registries have perks such as price matching, a free return policy, and a completion discount. Expecting a little one is an exciting time in your life, and there are plenty of tools to prepare for this major life change.
This answer depends on what timeline works best for you and is different for everyone. Some parents start adding to their registry toward the end of the first trimester, while some wait until they’re further on in their pregnancy. Whether you kick off your registry shortly after learning you’re expecting or you choose to wait until the anatomy scan around 20 weeks, plan accordingly to your schedule. Most registries provide a private mode so only you can see the registry until you make it public for friends and family. Just be sure to have your registry ready and public before sending out your baby shower invitations.
The first step in determining where to set up your registry is to evaluate your specific needs, such as brands you’re looking for, and whether you want to register online or in-store. Expecting parents commonly set up their registry by going to a store. This allows you to walk around and see what you like in person and compare items. Bringing an experienced parent along with you can help steer you in the right direction for items you may need. If you’d like to create your registry online, this allows for ease and convenience. Common registries include Amazon, Target, Walmart, and Buy Buy Baby.
Adding items to your registry is fun and there’s always room to splurge on certain products. However, it’s certainly easy to get carried away and lose track of needs versus wants. Adding too many things is not only overwhelming for you when you end up with unused baby gear, but also for your friends and family who are deciding what to purchase. Baby gear trends often come and go. While there’s nothing wrong with buying fun items like toys, just remember to take a moment to think about what should really be going on your list. Major categories to focus on, to name a few, include bathing, diapering, feeding, clothing, and nursery gear.
Remember, babies grow quickly. Some babies skip clothing and diaper sizes completely. Parents often are finding themselves switching out their baby’s wardrobe every few months to keep up with their growth, so don’t stock up on too many of one size. You may want to stock up for the coming years, but it’s best to focus on the first six months. Preferences change over time, so it’s best to keep things simple with a focus on the necessities at first.
On your baby gear search, you’re going to come across several types of products. Before making a commitment to purchase, take a step back and evaluate your situation. Will the items match your family’s lifestyle? Does your living situation accommodate your growing family? Are you in an apartment in the city or a spacious home in a rural area? The amount of space you have at home reflects how many items you can buy and store. While you’re evaluating, if you realize you’re in need of more space, it’s best to start looking before your baby arrives. Having a baby and buying a house are both expensive, so it’s important to know what a realistic budget looks like with your evolving needs. Once you know what you can afford, you can start looking at homes that will fit your growing family’s lifestyle.
An active lifestyle may require a durable stroller for long distance walks, while others may need a stroller that fits well in a car. Asking yourself questions and reflecting on your current situation will help decipher what products are needs and what products are wants. Every family is different, as is every baby registry. Giving your registry some thought may take some time, but is worth it in the long run.
Expecting a little one is an exciting time in your life. Your life is about to change in many positive ways, but it can sometimes bring stress leading up to your little one arriving. Having a plan will help you feel prepared and ease your transition into parenthood.