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Baby registry etiquette

Registering for your baby-to-be can be a daunting task. Where do you even begin? How do you decide what to zap with that scanning gun, how many of each and what to walk right past without a second thought? Your family, friends, colleagues, maybe even your partner have ideas about what is a DO and what is a DON’T for the registry. Here are six simple rules to keep in mind to help make the baby registry process as pleasant and as painless as possible!

White Baby Shoes

1. Register for more than enough.

People love to buy presents for expectant moms. The more choices, the better when it comes to your baby registry. Keep in mind that people from all areas of your life may be buying you a baby gift: your family, his family, your co-workers, his co-workers, your friends … the list goes on. Make sure you have registered for enough items so that everyone who wants to spoil you and baby can do so with lots of choice!

2. A first car seat is good to include; a first car is not.

Register for what your baby needs now, in the first year and maybe even the second — beyond that, and you’re really pushing it. People want to buy for your baby – not your preschooler. The baby registry is meant to get you and your little one off to a good start to life, not to kindergarten. So while you may be tempted to include a tricycle or school uniform, don’t. A nice car seat is always a winning idea!

3. Give them choices.

Your co-workers will likely want to pool their dollars to purchase you a high-priced item. Your aunt might want to buy you something special. Your kid sister may only be able to buy you something small. By having different items in different price ranges – maybe even at different stores – on your baby registry, everyone will feel like they can get you something you actually want for the money they actually want to pay.

4. Target - Circo - baby hatsShare some information.

If you know your baby-to-be’s gender and are willing to tell all, include it on the registry. If you want to reveal his or her name, include that as well. If you don’t know the sex or don’t want to share that information, what about the nursery theme or color schemes or favorite children’s authors? The more information on your baby gift registry, the more likely you’ll get gifts that work for you and your baby. People might not be tempted to stray from your registry (see rule #6), if they know it won’t jive with what you’ve got going.

5. Be tasteful.

Not everything you will need after having a baby needs to go on the registry. You can probably buy your own breast cream, nipple pads, hemorrhoid cream … you get the idea. If parental discretion would be advised when opening the gift, leave it off the registry; there’s plenty more to take its place.

6. It’s the thought that counts.

No matter how careful, conscientious and considerate you are about your registry, keep in mind that some people will still ignore it completely. There are those folks who want to buy you what they want to buy you, regardless of what you want or need – “registry, smegistry” is their motto. Remember, it really is the thought that counts. Be kind. Be gracious. And then be grateful for the gift receipt so you can return the crazy clown mobile that truly freaks you out.

While registering for your baby can seem like an overwhelming task, it really can be a wonderful experience. Take in the advice you’ve gotten from the people in your life, the books you’ve read, the websites you’ve browsed and then do what seems right for you. Grab the registry gun, have some fun, keep these common-sense rules in mind and you (and those who want to buy for you!) will be ready to welcome back in a big way!

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