This past April our youngest son was born, and while there are only 3.5 years between him and our older son, I could not believe the changes that had happened in baby items over that period of time! Preparing for a new arrival can become a daunting task when you begin to research all the products marketed to soon-to-be parents. Most baby registry systems attempt to be helpful and break down the items into major categories, but even with this delineation, there are typically about 10 categories to dive into.
I love a good research project, but there was no way this mama with an active 3 year old was going to have the time to seek out all the latest and greatest products, their safety ratings, and compare prices/clip coupons; so I called in the experts—my mom friends, both virtually and in-person. I knew which products I loved from my first pregnancy (and I also still had many of them stored away), but there were certainly items on my list that I wanted to seek out upgrades for (pumping accessories, babywearing, bassinets, swaddles, etc).
Setting Up The Baby Registry
Like many busy moms, my best work is done at 4am after everyone else is sound asleep, yet I find myself wide awake unable to go back to sleep- Pregnancy Insomnia anyone? Creating my registry this time around began online. I choose to register through Amazon, Babies R Us, Target, and Buy Buy Baby. I know what you’re thinking—“Four registries, isn’t that a little excessive?”—Don’t worry there was a method to my madness.
I chose those four because I could setup and manage each baby registry online, while also benefiting from different company perks (gift bags, completion coupons, cash back, etc). These registries were set as “private” since I was adding duplicate items to them in some cases. As my delivery date approached I opened access to the Babies R Us and Amazon registries for friends and family. I decided to make these two registries public because it made it easy for friends and family to shop in-store or online.
Crowdsourcing Advice From Friends
When I was creating these registries I put a simple call for help out on my Facebook page—“Mom Friends, what products do you love and would not want to live without.” Very quickly lots of mamas chimed in and left comments. Often times these comments included details about why these were must have items, or they would engage in great discussions with one another about the pros and cons of the items.
I was particularly torn on if I wanted to get a Halo Bassinet, however the retail cost of $249 seemed steep for an item I knew we’d only use for 12 weeks at most. Through another Facebook post, I asked the experts and the feedback was completely split, with lots of people recommending the much less expensive Rock and Play. It was so helpful to be able to hear what worked for others and learn what new products had hit the market in the last three years.
If you’re one of the first in your friend group to become a mom, have no fear! There are lots of Facebook groups and other online communities for new moms. If you post in the North Phoenix Moms Blog Neighborhood group on Facebook, I can assure you that you’re going to get great feedback on products that local moms are using and loving.
Also, consider taking the opportunity to register in-store and turn it into a fun social event. Invite a couple mom friends and have them help guide you through the lay of the land. Reward all hard work with a good meal together afterwards, then head home and soak up any nap time you can before baby arrives!