Have questions about creating your baby registry the smart way? We’ve got you covered!
Written by Mia Weber
When you’re expecting a new baby—especially your first baby—crafting your registry can be a daunting task. It’s hard to know exactly what you need when you’ve never had the experience of caring for a newborn before, not to mention the fact that there’s a lot of conflicting information out there, so many different products to consider, and your own lifestyle priorities to consider.
For some expert insight, we consulted the team at NYC-based Larktale retailer Albee Baby, which has been in operation since 1933. We turned to them for an inside look at how to make smart registry choices.
“At Albee Baby, we try our very best to provide an assortment inclusive of all family types. We base our product offerings on the top 3 factors we think play a part in every decision a new parent faces: Budget, lifestyle and geography, and parent convenience and simplicity,” says Alex Kaslowitz, a spokesperson for Albee Baby. “Safety of course plays a crucial part for us, but we only carry leading brands where a high standard of safety should be a baseline in every purchase at Albee.”
Especially during this time when physical retail locations may or may not be open, being smart about how you approach your registry process. “It's certainly difficult to fall in love with your baby gear purchase without being in a store to touch and feel it for yourself. We work closely with our brand partners to provide the very most amount of education and information--especially engaging video content to really give our customers the most in-depth experience possible,” Kaslowitz explains.
So, before you finalize your registry picks, read our handy tips for deciding which product categories to prioritize, how to stay within your budget, how to make sure you feel great about your registry choices, and how to be smart about the products you bring into your home for your new baby.
Do Your Research
The best first step when starting on your registry journey is to do your research. Read up on different brands in the major registry categories (like gear, personal care, furniture, and safety), as well as on different retailers.
Ask yourself questions about whether you want to create your registry all in one place from a service like BabyList.com, or a big national chain (like Target, Amazon, or buybuy BABY), or would you prefer to make a couple different smaller registries through specialty stores or local retailers in your area. Many new parents opt for a combination of one big registry and one or two smaller ones through brands or smaller businesses they really love.
“Not every community has easy access to their closest geographic specialty boutiques, so we try our best to create a practical option across the country for all families and all budgets,” Kaslowitz notes.
Ultimately, you’ll feel the best if the brands and retailers you register through align with your family’s values (like sustainability and corporate social responsibility) in addition to offering the products you want and need. You’ll also, of course, want to make sure the registry service is user-friendly—meaning that it’s a breeze for you to create it and then share it with friends, family, and baby shower invitees.
Finally, one amazing resource to tap into is your own network of family and friends. Ask your cousin which car seat she chose for her newborn. Ask your co-worker which breast pump made the back-to-work transition doable. Ask your bestie which pacifier was the only one her baby would take to.
Evaluate Your Priorities
Choosing baby gear is a tough task because there is truly so much out there. The good news is that the baby and juvenile products industry is closely regulated so safety standards tend to be very high across the board. This means that you can feel free to prioritize your family’s needs without getting too bogged down in what the “best” products are.
Consider qualities like design and aesthetics, sustainability, durability, and price and value. But also look at what’s most important to you and your partner in daily life. If you love to workout and go running, add a jogging stroller to your registry; if you love to travel, add a compact-folding stroller (like the Coast Stroller) or a lightweight stroller (like the Chit Chat Stroller); if you love to hike and go on outdoor adventures, register for a rugged hiking baby carrier backpack; if you live in a chic city, register for a stylish diaper bag that can do double duty as a work tote. Every parent’s pre-baby lifestyle is different, which is going to mean that no two registries look the same either.
When you approach your registry with the environment in mind, you not only do a solid for our planet, but you’ll ultimately end up with a more budget-friendly registry, as well as a safer registry for baby.
In general, especially when it comes to any product that is going to touch baby’s skin (like bedding, swaddles, personal care products, diapers, and clothing), products that are organic and sustainably sourced and produced are going to be safer for baby.
“Parents are prioritizing core concepts like sustainability, reusability, and waste reduction,” Kaslowitz says. “And that might not mean shopping ‘organic’—it may manifest instead as choosing furniture and toys that are heirloom quality and responsibly manufactured.”
Another plus to thinking green when it comes to your baby registry is the fact that longer lasting products and products that convert or have multi-function properties, are going to save you money, as well as space.
“There is a major focus on purchasing strollers, car seats, and carriers that are able to grow with your baby—for example, travel system strollers, convertible or all-in-one car seats, and baby carriers,” Kaslowitz adds. “Our team is always here to help advise parents planning a 'minimalist' approach to purchasing and registering for baby related items that includes only the essentials.”
This might mean a pricier piece up front—but wouldn’t you rather register for items that can be used well into toddler-hood rather than have to keep replacing these items as baby grows? When it comes to baby gear, the less you have to buy over time, the better!