Creating the perfect baby registry can send any expecting parent into a dark hole of online reviews, price comparisons, and pinterest boards. New mom Alyssa Birkhofer offers words of advice to those thinking about their baby registry, now that she's been immersed in baby products for over a year.
About the author: Alyssa Birkhofer is a new mom to her baby boy Cameron, dog mom to her mini goldendoodle Molly, and long time resident of Hoboken/Jersey City. She’s a healthcare public relations specialist in NYC by day, gym rat by night, and a forever Huskies fan/UCONN graduate. Follow Alyssa on IG: @AlyssaBleiHoff
Creating Your Baby Registry? What I Wish I Had Known...
Preparing for your first baby’s arrival is one of the most exciting, daunting and overwhelming parts of the journey to motherhood. We all get such joy in selecting linens, and frustration in figuring out which car seat is the absolute best. Now that Cameron is one year, I feel like an expert when my expecting friends talk about creating their baby registries. The truth is, every baby and parent is different – there is no perfect registry for everyone. However, looking back I want to offer a few words of advice to those of you currently thinking about each and every item you add to your registry, and those of you selecting gifts for these expecting ladies.
If only I had known...
I’d be using the humidifier every single night. Babies are congested often – especially daycare babies – and sleeping with the humidifier helps provide a comforting night’s sleep. While I think my humidifier is great, perhaps I would’ve done more research on this product instead of selecting whichever one I saw first.
There is no smell-proof diaper genie. Let’s get real – a diaper genie holds used diapers. It should be no surprise there is sometimes an odor associated with it. I remember being absolutely obsessed with finding the most perfect, odor-free diaper genie. And guess what? My diaper genie will smell over time – it’s just part of the process. As long as the diaper genie does its job of eliminating diapers easily, and you remove the waste frequently, then the product is what it is.
I wouldn’t be breast feeding. Most of us dream and hope of breast feeding our babies and fill our registry with tons of breastfeeding supplies. Truth is, not everyone will be able to breast feed or will decide they want to do it after trying. Thank goodness for the Jersey City moms groups on Facebook that enabled me to give away some of these items taking up space in my kitchen! I would’ve preferred to receive other gifts instead.
People would gift me beautiful stroller blankets anyway! And to be quite honest, the gift blankets were much more beautiful than those I registered for and some of them came with Cameron’s name embroidered. No need to register for a ton of these.
That my son’s mobile is still a necessary part of the bedtime routine. I always thought of a mobile as a decorative piece, but in fact my son loves it still and recognizes it as a cue it’s time to fall asleep for the night. Finding a mobile that looks good and matches your nursery theme is an added bonus. Check out the adorable BlaBla Pom Pom Mobile at Hazel – it looks good in any nursery!
How clueless I would be about daycare supplies. I’ll never forget the week before daycare started not knowing what type of bag to use daily. I surveyed friends and family and nothing stressed me more. Thankfully my friend Courtney is a genius, amazing friend AND a mind reader. She came to visit that week and without even having a previous conversation about it, brought along a personalized daycare bag for Cameron – the one she’s always used for her boys. Phew! That bag is probably the best gift I’ve received.
Bandana bibs would be a regular part of his wardrobe in year one. The drool factor is real for most babies. Instead of him coming home in a new shirt from daycare every day because the original top was soaked with drool, I began opting for super cute bandana bibs. There are some really stylish bibs out there like the ones made by Finn+Emma that truly made them fun to pick out every day. I recommend adding a few to any registry.
My son would have eczema. And those fancy lotions and other products people but in baskets would go to zero use. Personal care is going to be trial and error.
You can never have enough books! Books are by far the BEST gift out there in my opinion. Books mean spending quality time with your little ones, educating, sharing, and most importantly, they don’t take up a ton of space. If you have some personal favorites, add them to your registry. We love the All Aboard National Parks book! I know at my baby shower we asked everyone to bring a book instead of a card and it helped start a great library.
Ultimately, your baby’s personality and product preferences will be a surprise to you and your significant other. You are bound to buy different types of products over and over and have others still in boxes in the back of your closet a year later. Building a registry is an exciting time and while it may take hours in person and many hours following online, enjoy the process.