I’m about six months into my second pregnancy and baby is extremely active! I’m wondering if this is indicative of how active they will be once outside the womb. One of my favourite and most exciting parts of pregnancy is the baby shopping! I mean, I love shopping in general- self-proclaimed shopaholic over here- and baby items make no exception. I actually prefer shopping for the kids over myself. Mum problems, huh?
This pregnancy, I’m doing things a little differently to my first and quite fitting, too, given the current climate we’re in. During my pregnancy with Liam, I opted out of having a baby shower and instead had a small, intimate get together for the godparents to meet and become acquainted with each other. This time around, as much as my sister may have intended to plan a shower for me, given the current climate it is looking unlikely. However, I’m creating a baby wishlist to send to my friends and family. As most mothers learn, baby showers are the perfect way to have your friends come together to celebrate your pregnancy but also to receive gifts. Baby shower gifts really help to eliminate a lot of the upstart costs which come with having a baby by supplying a lot of your baby shopping necessities. If you’re planning to have a baby shower, often times you may create a baby wishlist to guide your friends and family as to what you really need for your upcoming baby journey. In the current world of virtual replacements for social gatherings, baby wish lists are the perfect alternative to baby shower gatherings.
Lists are advantageous for two main reasons. Not only do they specify what you really need so you don’t end up with a bunch items you will never use, but they also help maybe some of your less experienced buyers on what type of items are appropriate. Baby wishlists have evolved a lot over the years and there a number of online sources now which provide baby wishlist services. You can create a simple wishlist on websites like Amazon where everything can be found in one place, or if you have some help, you can create a more compound list like on BabyList, where your gifts options come from a number of different sources and websites but all compiled into one viewing list.
I spent two years as a baby registry specialist- baby wishlists were essentially my job. With baby number 2 on the way and the ever-changing world of baby products on the market today, I’ve decided to share some tips on how you can create the perfect baby wishlist.
Do your reasearch
Whether you’re a first -time mum or not, doing your research is always a good idea. As a first time mum, don’t be afraid to explore examples of baby wishlists which can explain what and why certain items are placed on a wishlist and decide for yourself if it’s something you think you may need. If you’re an experienced mum, you may discover items you may have listed previously were not much use or suitable alternatives to products which may not have worked for you in the past. With a plethora of new and improved baby products coming up on the market, you may come across advances in some items that can make mum life a little easier. Also, as time and science evolves, the needs associated with motherhood change, too. This pregnancy around, I have found myself obsessed with more natural products with ergonomic features- something I didn’t come across much in my purchases for baby number 1. One thing to always keep in mind is a lot of baby items are accumulated along the way as we learn so if it’s not on your list originally, don’t panic.
Expensive items? Add them!
One thing I came across a lot as a baby registry specialist was the reluctance of mothers or friends assisting with the list to add expensive items. Of course, “expensive” is relative to the person but this mainly applied to items over £100 with some even having limits as low as no more than £40. My advice to you is, don’t limit yourself. In reality, the most expensive items in babydom are also generally highest on the list in terms of necessity. Items like baby cribs, sleeper beds, car seats, play gyms, sterilisers and so on. While there are some economical options on the market for some of these generally pricier items, to ensure quality and longevity, may mean spending a pretty penny. When it comes to adding these items there are a few things to keep in mind to help you decide whether the price is justifiable. Firstly, consider how much use you will get from the item. Items like cribs and car seats are items you will use not only every day but also for a substantial period of time so you should not be too concerned about sparing costs for these items. Secondly, I always encourage mothers to create a list as if they were buying it for themselves. In reality, you need to consider and be prepared for the eventuality that not everything on your list will be purchased and you may find yourself purchasing the remainder out of pocket. Keeping this in mind can help streamline your list to items of absolute necessity but also to put items on the list you can justify the price for if you were buying them yourself. Lastly, what’s the worse case scenario? Worse case scenario is no one buys it for you! You literally have nothing to lose. If you’re lucky, you may have a group of buyers who come together to contribute to the cost of your pricier items so by all means, add them!
Itsy bitsy baby clothes are addictive. Trust me, I know. I have to stop myself from clearing out the enitre selection everytime I come across the baby section in a shop or on website. While baby clothing and accessories usually have a range of sizes from newborn onwards, in reality, newborn sizes are either too small for the average 5lb-6lb newborn and if they do fit, they won’t for long. Liam was premature by about 3-4 weeks and was born at 6lb 11 oz. He maybe got one to two wears out of his newborn sized items before he moved on to 0-3 months. When adding items to your baby list, clothing or otherwise, add a mix of items which support each milestone in your baby’s development, usually at least up until a year. This means adding items like larger sized clothing and diapers, weaning products such as bowls and spoons and advanced toys and books. Not only does it add more variety to your list but can help lessen some of the hassle of accumulating products for every developmental stage on your own and allows you to be better prepared for when they come.
There is no such thing as too many items on a baby list. If you think to yourself ” I don’t have many people to send this to so I’ll keep it short”, you may want to reconsider this. I would often advise having enough items to at least satisfy 3-4 gifts for every one person, especially if you have a mixture of lower-priced items. So, if you have 20 individuals to send the list to, you should have a minimum of 60-80 items on your list. This may seem excessive, but the one thing you don’t want with your baby list is for your buyers to run out of items. What tends to happen with the lower-priced items is you may have a bundle- buyer (someone who likes to give multiple gifts in a gift package rather than one large gift). I consider myself somewhat of a bundle-buyer as I find more value in spending £100 and satisfying 4-5 items on a baby wish list than £100 on one item. Realistically, this may mean the recipient will not get a lot of their more expensive items. However, running out of items on a list will encourage duplicated gifts and gifts which may not have any real value or use. Also, you want your list to appeal to every one of your buyers- those who have no problem splurging and those who may want to spend a little more cautiously. If it’s your first baby, you can expect your list to be quite extensive as opposed to if you have other children in the home. Keep in mind, many of the items not satisfied on your list you will probably purchase yourself so add them to your list for easy reference and access, too.
In the name of doing things differently with this pregnancy, one of the main aspects of this pregnancy different to my first is I have decided to not find out the sex of the baby beforehand. I am trying to hold out until the end for a surprise. In the world of gender reveal parties, this is a rebellion. A lot of expectant mothers who I have spoken to have all but called me crazy for not wanting to find out, expressing they could never wait until the end. But I intend to stick it out- be strong! Contrary to popular belief, finding out the sex won’t make you anymore prepared for the journey ahead. While many parents prefer the idea of having gender -specific items, I have always personally loved the more neutral palettes such as pastel green, yellow and gray. If you’re somewhat more adventurous, brighter colours such as turquoise, mint and orange are quickly becoming part of the neutral colour wheel for baby items and are incorporated into a lot of quirky prints, too. Whether you know the sex of your baby or not, I encourage you to have a higher percentage of neutral items on your list than gender-specific. If you’re intending to grow your brood after this baby, neutral items serve as great hand-me-downs so you can diminish the amount of items you will need in the future. On the rare and unfortunate occasion that the determined sex of the baby is incorrect, having gender neutral items are just a safer bet. Additionally, gender neutral items often have a variety of colours in comparison to the often single-toned gender specific items which can help with your babies visual development, colour recognition and other sensory engagements, too.
Whether you’re tackling your list yourself, or have friends helping you, baby wishlists are a great way to start your baby journey in an organised fashion. Much like a wedding list- you don’t want three toasters and a load of crystal champagne flutes- it’s important to write a list for friends and family of what you actually need and want. In the absence of a baby shower, they have proven to be helpful in allowing your friends and family to make contributions to you and let’s face it- who doesn’t want to feel a little spoilt?