Decoding Baby Registries: Tips from the Baby Gear ExpertAug 05, 2023
Peruse any online forum for expecting parents, and you’ll see one question come up again and again…”What should I put on my baby registry?”
Building a registry can be fun for many expecting parents, but often it also comes with a sense of overwhelm and anxiety. With so many companies offering versions of the same thing, how are you to know which is the right choice? Which items do you actually need for life with a baby, and which might be a waste of your money? With marketers clamoring to play on new parents’ fears and lack of experience, it’s no wonder so many end up viewing their registry as a source of stress.
As with so many things in motherhood, part of the reason this process is so overwhelming is because we are inundated with a glut of information–from friends, family, online ads, Facebook friends, Reddit forums, and more, we are pumped with more and more information until it feels almost impossible to find clarity.
Searching the internet for more “Best Items For Your Registry” lists won’t help–in fact, it’s likely to only add to the problem. And without figuring out a way to simplify the process and get the right items for YOUR family, you risk wasting money and energy on items you may never use.
While I understand these problems personally, having been down the baby registry rabbit hole a few times now, my baby gear expertise is limited to my personal experience. So I reached out to Rebekah Kimminau, also known as the Baby Gear Consultant. After years working with new families in her capacity as a nanny (and with plenty of helpful certifications under her belt), Rebekah has developed some strategies that can help new parents make sense of the baby item tornado. Here’s what she has to say:
The world of baby gear is constantly growing and changing, and as a parent trying to decipher which items are important or necessary for your family can feel like a giant guessing game. My biggest belief is that having the right baby gear on hand can set you up for success, and having too many items or items that don’t meet your family’s needs can make the first year of parenthood challenging. I desire to equip new parents with just the baby gear that matches their family’s unique needs.
Here are a few tips you can use to reduce stress as you begin to navigate the world of baby gear, or create your registry.
Think of your family’s values, parenting style, and ideals, and seek out like-minded people for recommendations. If you are a parent who plans to use only disposable diapers, asking a cloth-diapering parent for their diaper recommendations would be pretty useless. Yet I see parents doing similar things everyday–for example, posting to ask their Facebook friends for the most important baby gear. If you seek out recommendations from someone who is currently raising kiddos in a way similar to you, or an expert who has experience with the items you are researching, you will relieve so much stress and decision fatigue and prevent yourself from weeding through hundreds of recommended items that may not work for your family.
Make a list of items that are most important to you, and prioritize them by how much money you are willing to spend. Though many people will not end up purchasing their own baby gear (thanks to baby registries), creating a prioritzed list before you create your registry can help you ensure you are spending you or your loved ones’ money in the right places. Personally, I have seen so many people add a $400 bassinet to their registry, but then feel hesitant to add a $300 crib mattress. In reality, your baby may sleep in their bassinet for three months, but most babies will sleep on their crib mattress for 2+ years (and 12 hours a night, too).
Add the top 2-3 items from each category to your list, and then do some more in-depth research to narrow it down from there. Ex: Add the top three bassinets that have been recommended to you, and then dive deeper into the reviews and nitty-gritty details to see which ones stand out best as an option that will work for your family’s needs. Keep in mind, 2-3 is the ideal number. Trying to read every review for 5 bassinets can give you decision fatigue really quickly!
Consult an expert when you can! If you can afford it, consult with someone (like me!) who helps you build your registry step-by-step and make informed and empowering decisions about each item. However, it is far from necessary! There are many free resources available for parents wanting to make informed decisions on the baby gear they use in their homes.
@safeintheseat is a great resource for choosing car seats.
@amotherscompass is a great resource when picking carriers out (I didn't tell her to say this, I promise 😉 ~ Elise)
@theformulamom is super helpful if you plan to formula feed.
@bemybreastfriend is wonderful if you plan to pump.
@az.breastfedbabies is awesome if you plan to nurse.
At the end of the day, my wish is that building a registry (or simply choosing baby gear) is a pleasant and fun experience for everyone. Try to remember that while baby gear can be really helpful and make certain parts of parenting easier, at the end of the day babies don’t need any specific gear item to thrive–they just need you and your love.
Rebekah Kimminau has specialized in the world of baby gear for over 10 years as a baby gear and baby registry expert. She is an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC), Certified Child Passenger Safety Technician (CPST), Babywearing Educator, Newborn Care Specialist and Postpartum Doula. She owns her own business, The Baby Gear Consultant, where she empowers families to build their dream registries and make important decisions about the baby gear they use daily. You can find her website at thebabygearconsultant.com, as well as on Instagram and Tik Tok @thebabygearconsultant.
Looking for help choosing a baby carrier for your registry? Check out my free Choose Your Perfect Carrier Guide to get started!
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