Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Registries are awesome, until they're not

Gift Registries are so amazing!  You actually get to make a list of all the things you want and then give it to people and watch as they buy your wish list for you!
Whoever thought of the Gift Registry was a genius!
So, when I got pregnant I knew there was a registry to look forward to down the road. I thought about how fun it was to register for my bridal shower. I walked the stores and picked out all of the things I loved and wanted as well as needed. It wasn't as fun for my future husband because he didn't care about all of the little things, but he perked up at some things like the super soft towels and sheets we put on our list. 
I started reading baby magazines and researching products online so I could be prepared when it came time to make the trip to the store to register. I had no idea what I was in for. 
Registering for baby gear is HARD!
You're not picking things for yourself, your picking things for this tiny little baby who is going to need them. It's not about the cutest stuff. It's about the safest products. 
We decided to register at BuyBuyBaby. If you've ever been to Bed Bath & Beyond and been overwhelmed by their floor to ceiling displays of kitchen gadgets and cooking tool then you can imagine how I felt walking into Buy Buy Baby. Except it wasn't kitchen tools, it was bottles and bibs, teethers, first aid. Floor to ceiling onesies and swaddlers. 
There were rows of car seats, strollers, cribs and pack & plays. My husband and I didn't know where to start. We got our scan gun and were left to our own devices. We spent almost an hour staring at strollers, trying to figure out how to open and close them. We were finally saved by a salesperson who noticed how helpless we looked. He took us around the major baby gear sections, strollers, car seats, playpens, and showed us the differences and gave us great info and suggestions based on what we were looking for. 
We didn't get very far with our registry that day. When we returned the scan gun the lady was very shocked. I think we had maybe 10 things on our list and we had been there for over 2 hours. She suggested we make an appointment with a registry consultant, which we did for the following week. 
Our second visit was a very different story from the first. We met with the registry consultant immediately upon entering. We were given a scan gun and she accompanied us to the floor. She asked questions about what types of things we were interested in and used our input to make very informed suggestions as she took us from section to section. This was a much more pleasurable experience. It was like having a guide to the world of unknown baby gear. We were much more efficient this time and wrapped up our registry in around 2 hours. We had everything from bedding to bath products, bottles to toys. It was fantastic. I was happy with all of the things we picked and it felt like we would be very prepared once we had everything. 
As time went on, I did go to the website a couple of times and add things that I read about in a magazine or got a suggestion for from a friend, but for the most part our registry went forward with all of our choices from that second trip. 
Lesson learned!
Don't attempt to navigate thousands of products that you know little to nothing about on your own. There are very knowledgable, experienced people in those stores who are willing to help you through the registry process. And the services are free!  Trust me, you don't want to waste time wandering a store for hours when you're five or six months pregnant. It's just not fun. Get help the first time you go and it will be a much more enjoyable experience. Then you just have to sit back and wait for those wonderful presents to come to you :)

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