My dear friend Jordan is back on the blog today! If you’re currently expecting (or if you just like to plan ahead), Jordan’s offering some great advice when it comes to your baby registry. Jordan has also shared about establishing routines and hope for midnight mamas.
When I found out I was pregnant with our daughter, I suddenly found myself wandering the baby aisles every time I went to Target, dreamily enjoying the little lacy socks and cute little toys (“Why, hello, Sophie the Giraffe!”) The dreamy-ness wore away, however, when my husband and I stood side by side armed with a registry scanner and a stark realization that we had no idea what we were doing. Did we really need twenty brands of bottles to choose from? What is a “wipe warmer?” How many little lacy socks did an infant need, exactly?
Alex and I try to be fairly minimalist around our home. We want to be prepared, but not buried in baby gear. We want our lifestyle to reflect that our happiness is not in the abundance of things, but in the Lord. And, we want to raise our daughter with the same heart. Thus began my quest to develop a simplified baby registry list. Here, you’ll find some helpful questions to ask as you create your own, along with a PDF download of the list I created!
Before you start scanning, ask yourself:
- What did my mom or grandma do?
Even better yet, ask them! This can be a really sweet, special thing to talk about with older generations as they share their precious memories with you. This is why my daughter is a “kitchen sink bath baby.” We just don’t have the space for a baby tub, so I asked grandma! Many of the items on the market today are luxuries that our parents did without.
- How often will I do laundry?
It is true that babies go through more clothes than most of us. As I write, I had to take a break to change Selah into her 3rd outfit of the day! However, I have yet to meet a baby that can go through thirty onesies in one week! I found that, doing laundry once a week, having around fourteen potential outfits did the trick. More about what I’ve done for clothing is available in the PDF (at the bottom of this post).
- What can I buy second-hand?
A beautiful fact about babies is that they have no fashion sense! All the cute little outfits are much more about mom’s amusement than baby’s. For this reason, I opted out of registering for most baby clothes because I knew I would have plenty of choices at a consignment shop. I just didn’t need them new. Shops like Once Upon a Child have a great selection of cute, hardly-used items from onesies to highchairs to toys. Always remember that thrift is a virtue!
- Is this sustainable with future children?
This question has a double application. First, you can ask if something will last for more than one child. If not, I probably wouldn’t register for or buy it. I opted for gender-neutral colors for almost everything with the exception of clothing. I just won’t be able to afford to buy each child a specially-colored playpen!
Second, you can ask if the rate at which you are buying is sustainable with future kids. Are you buying tons of customized items with baby’s name on it? Will you be able to do this for all of your children? If your second, third, or fourth child will be okay without it, chances are, your first child will be okay without it too.
- Do I need it?
Ah, the most basic of all questions. Not all wants are needs (not all wants are bad either, so don’t get too hyper here). Consider your personal living situation and make decisions from there. We live in a small apartment, so a state-of-the-art night-vision video baby monitor really wasn’t necessary. My friends with kids told me that for the first several months, their babies didn’t really use many toys, so you may not need to register for them (Selah is almost 6 months old, and her favorite toys so far are a silicone whisk from the kitchen and a burp rag!). This question goes hand-in-hand with question 1. Put on your objectivity glasses, and get thinking!
- What’s going on in my heart?
No matter what I’m shopping for, this is the first question I need to ask myself. In the book of Matthew, Jesus teaches that, “Where your treasure is, there your heart will be.” What are your purchases saying about your heart? Do they reveal fear? Greed? Anxiety? Discontentment? Pride? Be sure your hope is fixed on God rather than on things or the false feeling of control things can bring.
“As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy. They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, thus storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life.” – 1 Timothy 6:17-19
I hope this has been helpful! Have a happy time nesting and preparing for the arrival of your little one.
Here’s the free PDF download of Jordan’s baby registry list!
What items (and attitudes and approaches!) have you found to be most valuable in your baby registry process?