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Baby Shower Etiquette: Creating Your Registry

Alison Wood |26, August 2013


Only a few months until your due date, and baby showers are being planned and discussed. So, now you have to do what you've been looking forward to for six months—registering!

It really is a lot of fun to go around and click everything you could possibly want for you and your baby. Now, you have the option of just sitting at home, enjoying your decaf caramel frappe while you click away at all your dream baby gear.

But, wait a minute. There are a few items of etiquette you need to remember before you start clicking. Sure, it would be great to have everything the store advertises, but slow down and think things through using the following tips as a guideline for your baby registering experience.

Think realistically.
Everyone has seen the baby shower invitation where the guest of honor has registered at four different stores. You go online and check out the registries—what? She registered for four different cribs and five different strollers? Talk about head-spinning confusion!

Don't be "that" girl.
Pick out one pattern that strikes you as "the one" and stick to it. Choose one crib, stroller, port-a-crib, highchair etc. Ok, you can grab an umbrella or jogging stroller too, but you get the point. When you register for multiple large items, that are the same, but just a different style, you are creating much confusion. The gift-giver doesn't really know which one you really want. Plus, they never know if someone already purchased one of those large items. In the end, they may just throw up their hands and grab huge cases of diapers and wipes. If you want to make sure you get all your matching gear, try registering only at one place, two at the most.

Avoid the unnecessary items.
Those wipe warmers seem like a great invention, but are you going to be lugging that thing around with you when you go to the mall or your friend's house? Probably not. Get your baby use to room temperature wipes early to avoid unhappy outings. Diaper genies? They do help the smell, but so does a lidded trash can in your kitchen that you keep emptied on a regular basis. Baking soda helps with the smells too. Hooded bath towels? They are cute, but your little one can be easily wrapped up in any soft towel that will keep their bodies warm after a bath. Think through the items you need before you begin "zapping" all your dream items. It is possible that you end up with too many extras and not enough necessities.

Don't over-do it.
Sure, everyone loves getting loaded down with gifts galore, but do you need to register for 50 packs of diapers? No, just registering for your fave brand will let people know what brand you want to use. Everyone, including non-parents, knows babies need diapers. Also, if you are planning on using cloth diapers, make that clear in the invitations or only register for cloth diapers. Registering for both is confusing. Don't forget about the baby's layette. Choosing 150 outfits in size newborn is not what you really need. Babies grow fast. Keep that in mind while you register and choose baby clothing in several different sizes. Don't forget about the changing of seasons. No baby wants to be sporting a onesies out in the snow!

Don't sneak and peek!
Everyone can see what's been purchased online—including you! Don't spoil the fun by peeking at your gifts before your shower. You want to make sure the happiness and gratitude you express at your baby shower is genuine. What if you want to plan and mark off things that were purchased? If the baby shower is before your due date, most likely you will have plenty of time to purchase items you did not receive. Just be patient, everything will work out!

Check about free invites.
Many times a store will offer perks for registering with their store. If so, ask about free baby shower invitations. This will save your hostess a little dough and will let your guests know where you're registered—just in case they forget to read the details of the shower!

Don't rush.
Take your time and enjoy this adventure. Try to imagine your little one wearing that pink dress with the matching hat and shoes. Go ahead and giggle when you push that amazing stroller and imagine you and your little one at the park. Want to make it more fun? Invite your hubby or close friend to tag along! Then, you can make a lunch or dinner date afterwards to celebrate the upcoming bundle.

Don't stress about your baby shower.
It will come together. The invitations, the guests, the food and the gifts will all work out to bring you a happy ending to your 9 months of baby bump!

Alison Wood is a stay-at-home mom of six and freelance writer and blogger. She enjoys raising her six children and desires to share her experiences to help other mothers.

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