April Showers: Preparing for Baby

* This post was originally published in {April, 2016} and has been updated for freshness and accuracy. 

Pregnancy and welcoming a new life into your family are wondrous and life-changing events. It’s difficult not to get consumed with the preparations of this little miracle coming into your life. Part of these preparations includes outfitting your nursery. But this task can be a daunting and overwhelming process. After all, how can such a little person need so much stuff?! Well, the good news is, it’s a wonderful time to have a baby. There are so many products to choose from, and whether basic necessities or luxury items, there are products to fit your lifestyle and budget.

Outfitting a nursery takes careful planning to ensure you create a safe and happy environment for your baby. In order to make this happen, you need the support of family and friends. This means that at some point in your pregnancy, you will most likely have a baby shower. A baby shower is a great way to get some of the things you need prior to, and after, the baby’s arrival.

Here are a few key points to help when registering for baby items:

  • Choose a store that’s easily accessible to all guests, either locally or online.
  • It’s okay to register at multiple stores, especially since each store may offer different products.
  • Plan early. Baby showers are typically held one to two months before your delivery date, so start the registry process as soon as you feel ready.
  • Do your research at home first, and create a list to guide you in the store.
  • Ask friends for recommendations on products they selected and use every day.
  • Don’t expect to register for everything in one day. It’s okay to register in parts. Maybe do big ticket items in one day, smaller items another and missed items online.
  • Register for items that you need other people to buy you, not items you plan to buy yourself.
  • Include as much information as possible to guide your family and friends on their purchases (gender of the baby, nursery theme, colors, etc.).
  • Register for items with a variety of price points.
  • Use the registry checklist and other helpful resources that the store offers.
  • Ask questions! Make sure you know what you are buying (or receiving). This is especially important for those big ticket items like cribs, car seats and strollers. Your baby will spend a lot of time using these products, so make sure you know how they work and the safety features before selecting them, so you pick what’s best for you.  
  • Don’t get trigger happy. It’s easy to go into the store and just point the scanner at anything and everything. In doing so, you may get a lot of items you don’t want, and miss out on the items you really need.
  • Whenever possible, register for a JPMA Certified product (2,000 products in 23 categories) for added assurance that the product went through an extra set of rigorous testing.

Lastly, don’t forget about Dad -- he is, after all, 50% responsible for that growing belly. Getting Dad involved in preparing for baby will help him ease into his new role, and show that you value his opinions. Keep in mind that Dad will be using these products too, so select items that accommodate and complement him as well.

Most importantly, remember that a baby registry is a wish list, meant to help those around you help you! Registries are relatively new, and not everyone buys into the idea. Appreciate any support offered, whether through the registry or not. Ideally, the nursery you create will be a safe and happy haven for you and your child for many years to come. 

Don't forget to keep safety in mind when you begin using your product. Reference the manufacturers' instructions and Safe & Sound for baby for help.