The first thing strangers ask me after my due-date is, “Where are you registered?” I’m not totally sure why that is important, or what that means to people I barely know but I tell them. They then give me an approving nod, like I somehow just passed the first test of motherhood, in their eyes. I think this is all a bit weird. I also kind of think that making a registry is super weird. But, love them or hate them, a baby registry is widely deemed a necessity for first-time moms.
Organizational nerds like me can unite in excitement by putting everything you need onto one list and sending it off into the universe for well-meaning friends and relatives to buy you your pre-selected gifts. It sounds easy, and fun, even. But… it’s not. Truth be told, building my registry kind of sucked. When I look at it, it is full of items that I not only have no idea what they are, but I’m not even 100% sure why I need it.
Building a Registry
My husband and I haphazardly built our registry in a rush; trying to meet the deadline for a Baby Shower invite being sent out by our moms’ friends. We group-texted our friends who are parents, asking them for their lists of top “stuff”, and I went after every twin mom I knew asking them specifics about cribs, strollers and car seats.
Within an hour, we had some semblance of a registry created on Babies R Us (the only place we could think of at the time) and I kind of thought that was it.
Then, one day I walked through the WalMart baby section and saw most of my registry items for at least 25% cheaper. Turns out, Babies R Us is suuuper expensive compared to WalMart, Target, and even Best Buy!
We started doing research on the products we selected and found a host of cheaper alternatives, better-reviewed alternatives etc. and I ended up having a bit of a panic towards our registry.
Hand-Me-Downs and 2nd-Hand Options
I started searching on the mom-to-mom Facebook buy and sell groups, Kijiji (Canada’s Craig’s List) and other resale sites and found almost everything at less than half price of retail stores, and most in like new condition. Cue me feeling guilty about having a registry full of brand new items when there are perfectly good hand-me-down and second-hand options out there.
As my husband I passed sale links back and forth, purchasing some items, pinning some for later, I realized that my registry is full of shit that though I might need, I don’t really want. Aside from big-ticket items that require safety checks, there is no reason I can’t get most of the supplies we need second-hand from friends or the resale sites.
The Space Issue
Aside from the cost realization, we also had a big one regarding our living space. Not that we EVER had any illusions as to what could fit in our 800 sq. foot condo, but once you start making a list of baby crap, and the doubling most of it, it starts to feel like the walls are closing in around you. The things we put on our list are not all appropriate for newborns, which means that we will need storage space for 6 months – 1yr (hello, mom and dad’s basement!) until the twins are big enough for — insert random baby product here.
What I Really Want on my Registry
At the end of the day, we do not have space for much, and I would rather upcycle and existing item than buying brand new (where safe and hygienic). But there are things I would LOVE that would help us out a ton once the babies are born. This is my wishlist:
- Cleaning service. Anywhere from 4-6 weeks, maybe bi-weekly.
- Dinner meal service. Not the ingredients boxes (they take up too much fridge real estate and take too long to make the actual meals) but prepared meals for dinner, specifically.
- Hourly rental of a handy-person. Build that crib, change that burned out light bulb, install that car seat… seriously. I can no longer put on my own socks. Please do these things so I don’t have to.
- Cineplex date night coupon. Includes 2 movie passes plus popcorn and a drink. And a guaranteed 2-hour excursion.
- Post-natal massage gift certificate. x1000
- Salon credit. A pre-purchased haircut and color to use 3 months down the road would be Ah-mazing.
- Laundry/dry-cleaning service. I know that there are places that will pick up and deliver folded laundry… this is the extreme wish list. I’m sure this will make me sound super lazy or whatever, but we have a condo-sized washer and dryer. That means it fits approximately 1/4 the number of clothes of full-size appliances. Our washer also takes over an hour to complete a load; same for the dryer. It also doesn’t really clean that well.
I can only imagine that with newborn twins, the loads will be like their poop — fast and furious. Not having to do 8 hours of laundry each day would be greeeeeaaat.
- LCBO or liquor store gift cards. Keep ’em coming.
So that’s my wishlist. Am I crazy? Or are some of these a good idea? Experienced moms, what would you have put on your registry in hindsight? What was something that you received that you didn’t need at all? HELP ME.