Why We’re Creating a Non-Traditional Baby Registry

Welcome to Pregnancy Without a Filter, my weekly series in which I chronicle my life as a first-time mom-to-be. Read along for insights, outbursts, ups, downs, and the real deal about the crazy adventure of making a person.

Week 24

So I have an awesome older sister. She has two little ones and as luck would have it, they’re going to be just about done with most of their baby gear right about the time when our little guy will need it. And even luckier, my sister is the type of woman who has saved everything, probably alphabetized and color-coded, in pristine condition, “just in case” little sister ever needed any of it. And need it I do.

My husband and I are thanking our lucky stars every day that we’re fortunate enough to have this magical bounty of baby hand-me-downs headed our way. I’ve got no problem with lovingly used baby gear, especially when it’s coming from family and has been so taken care of. The day we headed to the baby registry, though, we realized something — because of all of the gear that my sister is hooking us up with, we don’t need much of anything. Our registry looked pretty barren and kind of bizarre. We obviously still needed some essentials and the few things that my sister will be holding onto. But other than that, there was a whole lot of nothing on it.

Knowing that we’ll be having a couple of baby showers, we wanted to be sure to give family and friends options. You know that old registry game — do you register for nothing and let people choose things you may not need, or over-register in the hopes of providing lots of options at different price points for your peeps? We decided to stick somewhere in the middle. We obviously made sure the essentials were there (diaper cream and crib sheets? Check.). But we also included some non-traditional things that we’d love for our baby to have, once the essentials are covered. We included some favorite books (have you seen these?!), art that we’d love to have in baby boy’s nursery, and a polar bear rocker (my husband has a serious thing for polar bears). All things that we would treasure including in little guy’s daily life. 

Aside from the fact that most of our basics are covered, we really wanted to try to keep the registry within an aesthetic that we would appreciate as much as baby would. I mean, don’t get me wrong — baby stuff is adorable. Some of it just isn’t our vibe. So we used a baby registry service that lets you register for anything from any store or website (along with registering at a more traditional baby store). Kind of brilliant. And this way, instead of registering for things that we only halfway liked, we were able to find things that we loved. Like IKEA’s baby toys! Have you seen them? So cute, and so affordable.

All in all, I think our registry might end up confusing some of our more traditional family and friends. But in the end, it’s really about providing baby with the things that he’ll need, want, and use, and we found a way to do just that.

Moms, I’d love to know — did you have a strategy when you were making your baby registry? It’s an overwhelming job. Share your secrets!

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