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The baby registry: Pros and cons of this popular practice

Know if a baby registry is the best way to get all of that gear ready for your little one

Pregnant woman on computer.
PH888 / Shutterstock

After the initial shock of finding out you’re going to have a new human in the house wears off, your mind shifts to thinking about all the stuff you need to buy. You start making a list of things, and it grows and grows until you want to cry like a baby yourself.

But then you remember you could create a baby registry, and that will take the stress away. Or will it? Does walking through various stores or browsing endlessly online to create the perfect baby registry help the parents-to-be? Or does it create more stress of needing to have everything you want for the baby thought out and planned earlier? 

If you’re pregnant, baby is coming, and you need things like diapers and wipes and onesies no matter what. You’ll need to decide whether those items come from a baby registry or an afternoon shopping trip, so here are the pros and cons of a baby registry to keep in mind.

Pregnant woman standing over wooden crib in rustic nursery
Ömürden Cengiz / Unsplash

Pros of having a baby registry

You’ll get what you want in the proper quantity

You know when there’s a potluck for the holiday party, and everyone brings the same three things, no one brings silverware, and there are enough napkins to last for the next five years? You don’t want that when getting set up for baby. Using a baby registry helps ensure you get what you want in the amount wanted. Most of the time.

You’ll be able to prepare for what additional items you need

Once you have everything from the registry, knowing what else you’ll have to buy will be much easier. Creating a budget to get the rest will be so much simpler.

Returns are a breeze

Changed your mind on the color of something or received multiple of an item? Returns and exchanges are less stressful if purchased from a registry.

You’ll get coupons

You will most likely get coupons to get the rest of your registry. Most stores will give you a coupon for a discount to get any remaining items on the list. If you weren’t a couponer before, you will be one now. Welcome to parenthood.

You might score free swag

Some stores give out little goodie bags to expecting moms as a thank you for using them for your registry. Additional coupons to the store, sample-size items, mini packs of wipes or diapers, or travel-size lotions and creams could all be nice gifts from the retailer.

A pregnant person, sitting in profile, holding a smartphone.
Syda Productions / Adobe Stock

The cons of making a baby registry

You have to be patient

If you commit to making a baby registry, you can’t buy anything until the end date. If you aren’t someone who likes being patient, this may not be for you. Once you sign up and give the information out to people, you have to sit on your hands until the registry closes before you can change your mind or buy anything yourself.

You’re pressured to throw a baby shower

The whole point of the baby registry is to open the gifts at a baby shower. But maybe you don’t want a shower, maybe you can’t afford one, or maybe you don’t have anywhere to throw a party. Maybe having everyone stare at you while you try to lean over to grab the next present while not completely falling over doesn’t sound like a good time. You don’t have to have a shower, but the pressure is there once that baby registry goes live.

You don’t want stuff

If you’re a minimalist, already have a child, have plenty of family members to gift you second-hand items, or just won’t want your house filled with baby stuff, you don’t need to have a baby registry. If your goal is not to have every gadget out there, skip the registry. There are so many things pushed on expecting parents to buy that you will never, ever use anyway, so you could avoid that if you don’t pressure yourself with a registry that you need to fill up.

You want to buy it all yourself

If you want total control of buying the baby things, a registry won’t be for you. Some parents love the idea of being the ones to physically purchase and take home the items in real time. If you don’t want anyone else to be the one to buy the items, don’t make a registry. Instead, ask for cash or gift cards to the stores you know you’ll purchase the items from.

Before you spend days figuring out how to put the crib together, the crib needs to be purchased. Having a baby comes with having a lot of stuff all the time, even if you only have the minimum. You need the necessary items to keep your baby happy and healthy no matter where they come from, so see if creating a baby registry fits with how you want to bring baby home.

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Dannielle Beardsley
Dannielle has written for various websites, online magazines, and blogs. She loves everything celebrity and her favorite…
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