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Baby Registries

May 25, 2007

This topic comes because Swistle is blogging about baby registries (her post and the comments are must reads if you’ll ever be at a baby shower).

When it was my time to register I brought my SIL and MIL with me. I’m bad at asking for things and I knew that they would be good at making sure I registered for the stuff I needed. I’m also a frugal person. I have trouble paying, or asking someone to pay, $60 for a baby swing that will be used for 3 months (if the kid even likes it) when I can buy a perfectly good one at a consignment shop or on craigslist for $10. So MIL and SIL came in handy by explaining to me rather patiently why it was okay to (for example) register for a $40 bouncy seat even though I saw it on eBay for $3.99.

Ironically, 4 days after we registered we had an ultrasound and found out we were having twins. So a lot of the stuff I originally registered for got deleted anyway. Babies R Us is a huge store when you’re waddling around 5 months pregnant. I wasn’t interested in going again to re-do my registry so I pretty much just deleted the stuff I deemed frivolous and doubled what I thought was good. (I also gave thanks for the fact that I lived in the age of the internet and could do all of that from my couch.)

When we found out it was twins we ended up buying a lot of things ourselves at different MOMs Club sales and consignment shops. Especially things that are special order at Babies R Us like the Double Snap-N-Go. Still the registry had a respectable 40 items ranging from $1.00 (teething rings) to $150 (double stroller).

I did a lot of research so I didn’t make too many registry mistakes. Between the book “Baby Bargains” and the great ladies over at twinstuff.com, I knew what we needed and what was useless. In fact, I really wish registries came with a do not buy list. Looking back, I wish I hadn’t registered for the diaper bag. It’s really big. Too big. I only use it if I’m going to the grandparents’ house and need to bring 6 hours of toys, 2 meals, and pajamas. What I really needed (especially with twins) was a backpack because I never have enough arms. We also returned the two highchairs when we realized how much room just the boxes were taking up. (Love the First Years 4 stage feeding seats that sit on top of my kitchen chairs!)

The best thing that I got that was non-registry was the Swaddle Me. Sure they looked like giant burritos but they just loved being swaddled. Naturally, this was given to me by a mom. I loved the gifts from veteran moms. They know the best products because they’ve been using them. Diapers were my other favorite gift. (Because diapers are the one thing you CAN’T buy secondhand. Hehehee.) We ended up with so many that we didn’t actually have to buy diapers for a full month. This is a big deal when you use 200 per week.

The other best non-registry item was also kind of a worst. We received a really beautiful keepsake box with special compartments for a bunch of stuff including baby’s first tooth, a lock of hair, and a baby book. I love it but do you notice that everything I said was singular? I’ve been trying for 17 months to find a second one that’s just as nice with no success. I guess whoever is last to lose a baby tooth is stuck with a shoebox.

I love going to baby showers but, like Swistle, I have to laugh at these first time mom’s and their white bibs and $30 baby shoes. My favorite registry of all time included ev-er-y-thing. I’m talking 150 items from jogging stroller to breast pads and lanolin. Really, do you want your family and friends to sit there while you ooo and ahh over nipple cream? I was really disappointed that I couldn’t make it to that shower.

Now a “veteran mom” myself, my gift at every shower is diapers and a gift card to Wawa or Target. Two things you are guaranteed to use. My deepest apologies for all of those “bad” gifts I gave before I knew better. Especially to C. who four years ago I gave a really impractical frilly dress in a size I bet was too small before little M. was even born. Oops.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. Swistle permalink
    May 25, 2007 1:01 pm

    LOVE this post. Love.

    Even after having a girl and knowing she couldn’t really wear the frilly party dress in size 0 except long enough for me to take a photo, I still can’t help buying that kind of thing for people having girls. It’s a sickness. I try to divert to frilly socks or frilly-trimmed overalls when I can.

    Totally agree about diaper bags. I used one only for my first baby–and it was too big then, too, it’s just that I had room to carry it with me. I had a backpack for the twins, but I mostly use the bag I bought as a “quick outing” bag, which turns out to be practical for all but the most disastrous barf-all-over-the-car situations.

  2. Marie Green permalink
    May 26, 2007 2:22 am

    Mommy Brain,
    We have a lot in common! I was also about 5 months pregnant when my ultrasound revealed that I was expecting twins. I’ll never forget that moment. I went in hoping to find out the sex of the baby, and came out with an altered world and a pale and trembling husband at my side! Also, my twins real names start with A and R too! They are identical, how about yours?

    Love this post! I hate the diaper bag I registered for too. When my daughters were your girls age (between 1 and 2), I would wear a backpack, put one in a sling on my hip, and carry the other one on the other hip. This way I had at least one hand (on the sling side) to open doors etc. I employed this method only when the double stroller was not an option, mind you.

  3. Marie Green permalink
    May 26, 2007 2:44 am

    One more thing: We’re a desitin family too. =)

  4. mama k permalink
    May 27, 2007 3:21 am

    Great post! My friends are all having babies now and I laugh at all the useless crapola they put on their registries. Don’t laugh, but I honestly DO give nipple butter and breast pads! If I have a good friend that I know is planning on nursing, I’ll put together a “new mama” basket with nursing supplies, a nursing book, Luna Bars, socks for the hospital, pamper mom items and stuff like that. It’s stuff I know they’ll use and stuff they might not think to buy for themselves.

    Oh and I must add that you can buy cloth diapers second hand. LOL (Basically the same as using a diaper service dipe.)

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