With a baby on the way, keeping things simple probably sounds good to you. Setting up a gift registry is a great way to take some of the stress out of planning your baby shower, and to help make sure that you have everything you need once the little one arrives. People are going to want to buy you all types of gifts once they hear you’ve got a baby on the way, and this is your chance to make sure they actually get you things you want.
With a baby shower registry, you go to a specific retailer and set up an account with a wish list of items you want. Your family and friends can then go to the account and see which items have already been purchased and select one of the remaining items based on their budget. It’s really a win-win – you get to pick the gifts you receive ahead of time, and your loved ones get the freedom to choose a gift that matches their budget, with the knowledge that it’s something you really need.
Universal Gift registry
Cash gift option
|Buy Buy Baby|
|Babies r Us|
|Pottery Barn Kids|
-What are you looking for?
Deciding what to put on your wish list can be a bit tricky, but luckily, it’s all up to you what’s most important. First, start off by asking relatives or friends what if any hand-me-downs they have so you can avoid doubling up on gifts, and make sure your registry is just must-haves. There are certain essentials that expecting parents need, including bottles, a stroller, changing station, infant clothes, and a car seat. Exhaustive baby registry checklists are easily found online, and make a good reference point.
When creating your list, make sure to include the essentials first, which should free you up to add fun stuff like wall decorations, stuffed animals, and those adorable onesies that are almost impossible to say no to. Typically people start planning their gift registry several months before the birth, though some chose to wait until they know the baby’s gender.
When planning your list:
If this isn’t your first baby, a gift registry is still a solid way to re-up on essentials like bottles and diaper bag supplies, and to replace items from the first baby. You also may need a second infant car seat and stroller, depending on the age of your first child. Simply put, even though you got a lot of essentials out of the way with the first baby registry, a second one can be a real relief. Besides, this time you might even have twins.
Selection, affordability, and flexibility are key when deciding where to set up a baby shower registry.
When it comes to selection, you’re going to want to find a store that has a very large inventory of its own, or which can include items from other retailers as part of a “universal gift registry.”
Companies that combine both include MyRegistry, Amazon, and Target. With Amazon, you have access not only to the world’s largest online marketplace, but you can also add items from any other store to this registry.
Target allows you to make a universal gift list including items from any other online store, and they offer a “price match guarantee,” meaning that if you found any item advertised for less at one of a list of other retailers or at the Target website, they’ll match the price.
Features that count:
Most gift registries offer competitive shipping prices, if not free shipping altogether after a certain level purchase. Keep an eye out for other deals and bonus options, such as with Buy Buy Baby, where you can get a $25 coupon on any purchase over $100 if you refer a friend.
Another handy feature to look out for is a “completion discount.” Chances are your loved ones might not make it through everything on your list. If there are items left unpurchased, then with a completion discount, you can buy whatever’s left on your list at a discount. This can be significant, like at Babies r Us, where you get a 15% discount on the rest of the unfinished list. With Pottery Barn Kids, the discount runs up to 20%.
Some of the more creative and unique gift options can really help you take a load off. With Babylist, you can put a diaper service or homemade meals on your registry, and can even add classes with a doula or a couple visits from a dog walker. SoKind takes it a little further, adding not only help with household chores and pet care, but also gifts like cooking classes, massages, or vouchers for well after the birth, like skydiving or kayaking trips.
Though not everybody feels comfortable asking for cash as a gift, it’s really an ideal way for you to have a little extra money, especially if you’re going on maternity leave. Not only that, but the funds can usually be put into a college fund or some other sort of savings account for the child. Babylist, MyRegistry, and Zola, all have cash gift options that you shouldn’t feel shy about putting on your list.
Ease of Use
Convenience is no small factor when you’re expecting. All of the major online baby registries have mobile apps that are easy to use and available for iOS and Android systems. These apps will let you adjust your registry on a rolling basis with a quick flick of the finger, without you even having to get up off the couch. Most major suppliers also offer extensive customer service which can be reached by phone, email, or online form even outside normal business hours.
A generous return policy is also worth prioritizing. Not only that, but you’re also going to want a long-term one. You’ll be busy after the birth and probably not in the mood to run to the store and return gifts anytime soon. Amazon offers free 90-day returns, while with Babies r Us the return policy is good for an entire year.
Baby gift registries take care of the hassle and give you an extra hand in making sure that you have the supplies (and extras) you need when the baby arrives. You get to customize it, ensuring that you won’t be re-gifting anything or leaving a toaster to collect dust in the attic. With online gift registries, you also make it easier for your loved ones, who don’t have to worry that they’ll drop the ball and waste their money on a gift you don’t need. Best of all, leading online gift registries have wide selections and are easy for anyone to use. There’s really no reason not to give it a shot.