I’ve gone through the exercise of red-lining baby registries for friends on more than one occasion. Because when you’re a parent-to-be, without the experience of having that first baby, you really don’t have a clue what you actually need.
And, as it turns out, most gift-givers don’t really know what you need either.
According to a new survey commissioned by PlaytexBaby™ (conducted by TripleScoop Premium Market Research), 42 per cent of gift-givers are unaware that they may be gifting completely impractical things.
This same survey, which asked Canadian moms what gifts they’d like to receive, suggests that:
- About six-in-10 consider gift cards useful. And I have to agree. But I’d strongly encourage new parents to wait to use the cards until after Baby is born. The gifts will continue rolling in after you give birth as people come to ooooh and ahhhh over your new bundle of joy, so you probably won’t know what gaps you need to fill for a few weeks. And now until October 31, 2016, when you spend $40 or more before tax on most PlaytexBaby™ products at Babies “R” Us, you’ll receive a bonus $10 gift card to use on your next purchase*. You can either include the $10 gift card with your PlaytexBaby™ gift for the new parents, or keep it for yourself to use the next time you visit Babies “R” Us (I’ll never tell)
- Seventy per cent of Canadian moms think diapers are helpful gifts. Ohmigod, yes! Not one person gifted us diapers between our two kids, and it was a huge miss. Sure, those fancy diaper cakes weren’t a thing when I had my babies, but don’t underestimate the power of a simple box of diapers. I suggest gifting a small pack of newborn size and a large box of size 1, though, because babies grow out of the teensy ones pretty quickly and last in size 1 much longer
- Sixty-three per cent of Canadian moms will thank you for onesies. But remember that people just love to buy those little newborn sizes, and babies grow FAST. Mom will appreciate having sizes in the 3-6 and 6-9 month ranges, too. And don’t forget that in these early weeks and months, babies born in colder temps can also live 24/7 in footed PJs. In both cases, organic cotton is the softest against tender baby skin
- Car seats (42 per cent) and strollers (40 per cent) also make the cut for useful gifts. But remember that these are very personal choices. Just because you loved your infant seat clicked into a special stroller system doesn’t mean that it’s the right choice for the new parents-to-be. If you’re going to collect money for a big group gift like this, ensure that you get input from the people who will ultimately be using them
WHAT SHOULD BE ON A BABY REGISTRY?
After birthing two whole humans and providing advice to new parents based on more than four years of testing every kind of baby gadget and gizmo, here are a few other things I think you need:
- An amazing diaper bag. Something that doesn’t look like it’s for a baby will yield more years of use because it can easily transition to a gym or work bag. PRO TIP: you can never have too many pockets!
- Face cloths. At least half a dozen (if not a full dozen). We used these a few times a day to wipe those chunky neck rolls that sneakily hide baby grime, wipe spit-up and maybe even sop up a few of my hormonal tears. Note that organic is usually a softer option
- One baby bottle with two or three different nipples – seriously, just one bottle and one of each nipple to start. Even if you’re planning to exclusively breastfeed, there’s no harm in getting your infant used to a bottle in case there’s an emergency or if you’d like to one day hand over even a single feeding to your partner. Once you know which nipple your baby likes best, then you can go crazy. We went through eight or nine different brands before The K Man finally accepted the Playtex Nurser Bottle with Drop-In Liners and they turned out to be the most convenient for me, too, because of those liners
- Baby nail clippers. To this day, I still use the same pair I got in 2008 on my five and eight year olds
- For moms who are breastfeeding, nothing beats a good nipple cream. Look for one that you don’t need to wipe off before your baby nurses
- A non-toxic, hydrating baby wash that doubles as shampoo
- A comfortable baby carrier. To me, this is even more practical than a stroller because it makes you both very portable. If you search “babywearing” or “baby carrier” in the search field on my home page, I’ve reviewed many that are worth considering
AND A COUPLE OF MAYBES
If you live in a multi-floor home, a video monitor can make a great gift – because the good ones aren’t cheap. They’re also not all created equally, so before buying, be sure you read reviews that test them in real-life scenarios. For those in a one-bedroom condo, however, a monitor will be a wasted gift.
If your baby will be sleeping away from home regularly, a good portable playard will be handy. Find one that offers room to grow; it’ll be a better investment.
Unless you know with absolute certainty that you’ll use a breast pump, don’t get one at first. For women who have difficulty with their milk in the first week or two, a store-bought pump isn’t going to cut it anyway; you’ll need to rent a commercial-grade one from the hospital. Down the road, once you know how much you want to express on a daily basis, this can guide your purchase. For example, if you just need to express enough for one bottle a day, don’t spend the money on an expensive double pump. You can do a single electric or even get away with a $40 manual pump.
Bottle warmers, bottle driers, bottle organizers…these are great to buy as-needed. The K Man wouldn’t take a bottle for eight months, for example. If you only plan to formula-feed from the beginning, however, you will need these things so move them to the top of your baby registry!
A LITTLE HELP FROM YOUR FRIENDS
If you have any questions about your baby registry, don’t hesitate to reach out. I’m always happy to help.
And so are PlaytexBaby™ and Babies “R” Us!
Remember that until October 31, 2016, when you spend $40 or more before tax on most PlaytexBaby™ products at Babies “R” Us, you get a bonus $10 gift card to use on your next purchase*.
* Offer valid in-store and online; excludes Diaper Genie products. If the offer is received online, you can use your online $10 gift car toward an in-store purchase.
I was compensated for this post, but the opinions, advice and selected products are all completely my own.