Registry?

My now-husband and I struggled a bit with the idea of a wedding registry, at first believing we could get away with not having one. But then (you see what’s coming) people started asking us – and our families – where we were registered, to the point that we gave in and registered at a couple of places to be helpful to them.

Incidentally, on a rare trip to the mall, we registered for like three way overpriced things at Williams Sonoma. I couldn’t bring myself to scan one more thing given my propensity for scoring the same stuff at Marshall’s at a much lower price. On our wedding day, we were surprised to see a beauuuuutiful serving bowl set in a gift from my husband’s boss. What the…?  Oh, right, neither of us remembered to delete the registry; my husband’s boss’s wife is rumored to have exclaimed, “But who registers at TARGET, for goodness sakes? Have they never been to a real store?”

Despite their ridiculous mark-up, the bowls really are beautiful and we use them constantly (though we don’t ‘fess up that the best use for the biggest one has been as a pet watering bowl).

Clearly we started out with some registry awkwardness.  And now we’re having a baby, and best as I can tell from reading blog posts and talking to our friends, most people get beaucoup stuff from their registries, to the point that they don’t (have to) buy almost anything.

We’re not planning on that, though, for a few reasons. 1) See awkwardness above. 2) All of my peeps live across the country, so I’m not sure I’ll have a family baby shower, and most of my peeps are family. 3) My husband is adamantly opposed.

The first two are self-explanatory. The third is a particular quirk of this man I married: he honestly believes that if you tell people not to give you gifts, they won’t.  I don’t believe this to be the case, having awkwardly handed over any number of little handmade baby things when one of our friends announced their pregnancies.  I couldn’t help it!  Not one bit of social obligation was at play, I promise you. There’s just something really fun about buying baby things.

Well, when they’re not for yourself. Since that second pink line showed up on the pregnancy test, I’ve had little desire to buy or make baby stuff, though I have out of a sense of obligation.  Go figure: the obligation comes into the picture when it should be fun.

So my husband doesn’t want us to put anything “big” on a registry, despite my input that grandparent-type people often like to give one large/ useful gift rather than a change of clothes that’ll last a few months. They like to see pictures of their grandkids in that ____ they bought for them. But hey, I see his point. My family will incur plenty of cost in traveling out here; his parents are close to retirement and paying close attention to their finances.

We have, to-date, purchased a crib, glider, car seat and cloth diapers (long story for another day here).  I figured if the item is something to be picky about, we should buy it ourselves.  I am not planning to buy one item of clothing (see odd aversion to buying baby things a couple of paragraphs back) so if random people don’t take it upon themselves to give some as gifts, this kid will be wearing onesies and pants 100% of the time, perhaps in different colors.  That’s how his/ her mama dresses, after all (in the same clothing but different colors, not in onesies and pants, specifically).

Sweet Mandy sent a few items off our cobbled-together registry (two bottles! and some diaper liners!) and our neighbors gave us a Sleep Sheep (yay!) and Snuggle Sack for Christmas, but I’m wondering what else to put on the registry. I think I have a Moby wrap, a few more bottles and a changing pad thingie on there. I want the gifts to be fun for people to give, not just practical for us to get, so I’m not sure what else to include.

Any ideas? We’re cloth diapering and I’ll have bought a decent stash by the time we spawn this kid. I’m making cloth wipes. We haven’t bought a crib mattress but that’s a very expensive/ no fun gift. Pack ‘n Play? Clothes? (You know I’d just choose a couple of packs of onesies and pants, right?)

I guess what I’m saying is that, unlike most registries that try to arm-twist people into spending their gift money on practical things*, we don’t mind some frivolity from the folks willing to give a gift.  What should I do?

*Best registry story ever: a person who shall remain unnamed put a bunch of stuff on registries at three different places with lots of items duplicated, many of which she didn’t even want. Right, she registered for multiples of things she didn’t even want, then after her shower, returned most of them in exchange for diapers. Many, many diapers.  Why do I think this is awesome? (I totally do.) Most registries are an attempt to force gift-givers into giving what the recipient wants, but most gift-givers find joy in picking out “the perfect thing to give,” whatever that means.  This person very elegantly allowed the givers to give whatever they wanted while still ending up with a practical outcome, and nobody had to have the “can you just ask them to give cash or diapers because they really don’t want ____” discussion with anyone. Score!

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4 thoughts on “Registry?

  1. I’m posting tomorrow about what we put on our baby registry. We had three baby showers, which- do not get me wrong- was awesome… but it was stressful when it came to registering. I was amazed at the stuff people got for us… and I do think it’s nice to be able to plan what you get… because people will get you things regardless!

  2. I started working on our registry very early as I started researching different baby-related products. We tried to keep it very basic, only putting on there things that we’d really use. I tried to stay budget friendly for our guests. I wish babies’r’us would do more cloth diapers, as w registered through Jillian’s Drawers for cloth diapers, but everyone except for one opted to go to Babies R Us.

  3. You are absolutely right that people will give you gifts whether or not you tell them not to. You’ll also get a lot of clothes and other things that aren’t on your registry. And probably five billion baby washcloths (which I hear make great cloth wipes) and hooded baby towels (because evidently you aren’t allowed to use regular towels on babies, or something. I dunno. I have about 5 hooded towels upstairs right now, and only that many because people took the tags off of them before they gave them to me.)

    I agree with Diana that it would be nice if BRU would do more cloth diapers — we registered at Kelly’s Closet and no one used that registry. To that end, be prepared to receive a LOT of disposable diapers as gifts from people who don’t believe you’ll stick with cloth for more than a week.

    I’d suggest doing a Google search of baby registry checklists (the Advice Smackdown at Alphamom.com has a good one that’s divided up by “buy now” and “buy later”) and see what you think you might need/want.

  4. http://www.amazon.com/Skip-Hop-Pronto-Diaper-Changer/dp/B000F1MX68/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=hpc&qid=1299029710&sr=8-2

    This changing pad/diaper bag kit may appeal to your minimalist sensibilities. Basically, you can turn any bag into a diaper bag by tossing this thing in. I registered at amazon.com, which was also where we did our wedding registry. What would your hubby’s boss’s wife say?!?

    You could always put a boppy pillow on there. People like to buy them, and I’ve found mine very useful, not just for nursing, but for resting and for tummy time.

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