Where to Register for a Baby Shower

Selecting the best options for gift registration

pregnant woman on laptop
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It's not required, but if friends and family are going to throw a baby shower to celebrate your pending arrival, it's nice to have some needed baby items purchased for you. To avoid getting three cribs or a changing table that doesn't match your nursery decor, baby registries can be a convenient option.

If you choose to register, you will want to start the process about half way through the second trimester, but don't wait until the last minute. It will only stress you out, and won't give would-be gift-givers time to choose something they want to give you.

Getting on the Same Page: Baby Budgets and Essentials

The first thing to do is make sure you are communicating with your partner. How much money do you plan on spending? Do you anticipate someone will host a shower for you? What really is essential for you to have and what can you do without? 

Discuss what stores are available and readily accessible in your area and to those out of town friends and family. If you find it impossible to find a store that is central to a majority of people, consider registering at two separate locations. Another possibility is to make one of your registries at an online universal registry. Universal registries allow you to pipe in your wish list from several different stores and locations. You may want to check out:

You also may want to talk to other parents and find out their thoughts on your local stores. A favorite for many parents-to-be is Babies R Us, which has a pretty easy return policy. 

If you do not have a Babies R Us near you, pretty much any department store will have baby registry options (Baby Depot at Burlington Coat Factory, Sears, Target, Wal-Mart, etc). You may also find a small, local baby boutique that handles registries. But be advised that for larger department stores, return policies can vary, which can be problematic if you get duplicate items or something is not a good fit. Be sure to read the registry and return policy carefully before deciding where to register, to prevent headaches for you and your baby shower guests. 

Once you've chosen a store with an easy registry policy, the next step is to begin browsing their selection of products. Do not make the mistake of registering for gifts without much forethought to what you need or want. Make a trip to the store if possible, or browse online at what options are available (not to shop, just to peruse). These excursions need not be long and drawn out. They can merely be a simple trip through the aisles or browsing through their website to know the selection of products available to you.

After choosing your items and your stores or website, be sure to let your friends and family know where your registry is and how to access it. And while you don't want to be checking it day and night, it's smart to keep an eye on the registry as people make purchases, because there will inevitably be one item you need that no one picks up (diaper pails aren't thought of as very fun gifts, for instance).

Just remember that baby registries are suggestions only and don't be surprised if you get presents from well-meaning relatives that aren't part of the script. Once baby arrives, you'll be happy to have all the supplies you can get, regardless of whether you asked for them or not.