Conquering the Registry Process
By Abby Ludwig, Registry Consultant at Gugu Guru
Registering for a baby (or sometimes multiple babies – I’m a twin mom!) is often painstakingly confusing. There are bottles and burp cloths and binkys, oh my! There are nearly 500 strollers on the market these days and all have different designs and features. It’s no surprise that this process feels complicated and overwhelming to most expectant parents. Some people have baby showers, while others do not. In some cultures, it is even customary to wait until baby has arrived to purchase anything. How can we expect new parents to feel prepared to welcome a new baby (or babies) without some help?!
You will receive advice from everyone once you announce you are expecting. Your sister will tell you her must-haves, your mother and aunts will tell you how they did it ‘in their day,’ and your dentist’s cousin’s wife will tell you that “product xyz was the only thing that helped her baby sleep.” While all of these parents mean well, the problem is that none of them live your lifestyle. They don’t live in your home or follow your daily routine. They also don’t know what your life will look like once you welcome your new little one.
How do I conquer the registry process?!
Figuring out what to register for actually involves making some predictions about your life with baby. Below are a few common trends in the baby world. You will most likely fit under more than one ‘category.’
*The Minimalist Family– If you talk to seasoned moms, they’ll all pretty much tell you the same thing: you really don’t need much for your new baby. Creating a minimalist registry focuses on high quality and practical finds. For an expectant parent, “practical” can mean products that are versatile and may serve more than one purpose. They may be gender neutral or products that can last through multiple babies. They are lightweight, portable, and easy to store. Sometimes high-quality does equate to a higher price tag, but for the minimalist family, it may be worth it. Look for gear that folds flat for easy storage (we’re looking at you, bouncers!), swings that are easy to put together, and playmats that will grow with baby. Convertible strollers (start as a single, convert to a double, and eventually convert back to a single) are all the rage right now. We also love transitional swaddles, which will eventually convert to sleep sacks and a long lasting high chair is a must!
*The Traveling Family – Most families will travel at some point with their kids. Whether plane, car, or train travel, feeling more prepared will do away with any extra stress on travel day. An easy to use, lightweight stroller (and possibly car seat) are essential for easy travel. A good carrier, if you are into babywearing, is a must-have as well. Feed your little one on the way up and down to help with any ear pain and be stocked with plenty of snacks. Once you arrive at your destination, it’s important to bring some familiar sleep options from home (swaddles, sleep sacks, pajamas). Bring your own bottles, pacifiers, and even a noise machine if your little one sleeps with one at home. The more you can keep your routine consistent, the better!
*The Budget-Friendly Family – Obviously welcoming a baby into your family comes with some added expenses. However, there are some wonderful products on the market that aren’t a splurge! There are many budget baby registry finds on the market today, including stylish clothing and gear. Some of our favorite travel finds (like a travel bassinet) are even great for a safe sleep space for baby from day one. There are plenty of high chairs under $100 and you can find bouncers for as little as $30! One of my favorite money-saving secrets is to forego the traditional playmat, use a swaddle blanket and a variety of affordable toys. You’ve immediately created a tummy time activity center! You can also stock up on diapers and wipes at warehouse stores or simply buy the store brand.
*The Active Family – On-the-go active families need products that will help keep their daily lives efficient. Active families may want multiple strollers from day one – one jogging stroller and a second lightweight stroller to keep in the car. Active urban families may not need that ‘car stroller.’ Baby carriers are a must for active families, which allow you to complete daily activities without worrying about a stroller. We love mesh carriers, which promote breathability and comfort. Backpack Diaper Bags make the most sense for our active families, keeping you hands-free when tackling your daily activities. We also love gear that folds up and is easily taken along for transport to the park, beach, or big sister’s soccer game!
*The Eco-Friendly Family – The last current trend in the baby world is the rise in eco-friendly and organic products. Many of these do come with a higher price tag, but there are ways to find affordable options, too! Crib mattresses, sheets, and swaddles are all places that it may be worth the splurge for eco-friendly or organic materials. Looking for specific certifications (Greenguard Gold or Oeko-Tex) can also be helpful when making selections. Organic baby clothing is fairly easy to find these days and hooded towels is also a great upgrade. Sticking with certain materials, like bamboo diapers or silicone teethers/bottles/pacifiers is a great way to make small differences that won’t break the bank.
We live in a society where personalizing each and every experience has become increasingly important. It always puts a smile on my face when the woman at the grocery store recognizes my family, or when the dry cleaner greets us by name. It’s like walking into “Cheers,” where everyone knows your name! Why shouldn’t the baby registry process be the same?!
By Abby Ludwig, Registry Consultant at Gugu Guru – Our goal at Gugu Guru is to personalize the registry process and ensure that you are only receiving product recommendations that make sense for you.