Dominating the Baby Registry

I am a champion. CHAMPION.

After weeks of putting it off, I finally tackled and defeated my mother-fricking registry this weekend. This two day tour de force was a group effort, mostly thanks to my friend Sparrow.

Some of you may recall my recent freak out at a local mega baby store. Given that I’d like to avoid a police record before my child is born, I decided that doing this online with a similarly pragmatic mom would be a better alternative. So I parked my butt on Sparrow’s couch on Saturday, and we got down to work. After a few hours, I had narrowed down to the things I *think* I need.

Sparrow was sooooo helpful in large part because she gets where I’m at. I don’t want a whole lot of stuff, I just want things I’m actually going to use. My goal is safety and sanity. That’s it. At no point did she imply I would be a terrible mother if I didn’t get something. It was the exact opposite of Mega Store David.

Armed with Sparrow’s advice, I set down to actually create the registry on Sunday morning. I chose to work from Baby List, which I’ll wax on poetically about in a few minutes. Though this site was really easy to use, the actual decision making wasn’t so straightforward. All of a sudden, I was faced with two frustrating realities.

  1. Gender neutral stuff is reeeaaallly hard to find. Let’s say that you’re searching for onesies. If you’re on Target, your first result set will turn up 65+ options. If you narrow it down to neutral, you get 10 at best. I would find a bib or footie pajama that I liked, and it would be coupled within the boy/girl set encouraging Chick to be either a truck driver or a princess. (Though I would gladly welcome clothing that encouraged all children to become truck driving princesses…)
  2. There are some truly ugly things for babies out there. Like, sweet baby Jesus wouldn’t even be caught dead in some of this stuff and he was born homeless in a barn. This realization lead me to freak out about anyone else buying bedding items, which I broke down and bought myself on Zulily. (Why bedding? I have no idea. Blame the baby hormones.)

I settled in for the registry building at around 10:30. I wasn’t done until 1:30. THREE HOURS LATER. After I was done, I brought in Mr. O to see what I had done. In 5 minutes, he declared it good enough, and shuffled out of the room to resume cleaning of our office/soon-to-be nursery.

In some ways, I’m fortunate because I’ve gotten a ton of stuff from friends and co-workers. Thanks to them, a lot of the big ticket items have either been donated or are “spoken for.” Even so, when I calculated everything on my list, the grand total in gifts comes to $1,314. Yes, babies are expensive.

All in all, this process was still fairly overwhelming to me. When it comes to subjective things like clothes, blankets, sheets, etc., I realized even with my meticulous selections, people will buy whatever the hell they want. It sounds ungrateful of me to be critical of people who just want to give me and Chick presents, but… this is more than just aesthetics for me. It boils down to my own philosophy of parenting, which is to allow Chick to become whoever he or she wants to be. My job is to provide as blank a canvas as possible. That is a lot harder than I thought it would be.

But before I sign off, get ready for a little product promotion… I am absolutely in love with Baby List. It will aggregate all your registries into one list, and allow people to shop from a number of online stores. It also has space for you to ask for non-monetary gifts, like home-cooked meals and baby sitting.

My favorite part is that they will generate a personalized checklist based on answers to a survey, including questions like

What’s your shopping strategy? (My answer “Go thrifty or go home!)

Which celeb most personifies your approach to baby planning? (I went with “Beyonce, a busy mama on a mission.”)

It was helpful to do this after I created the list so I could double check to see if I had missed anything.

So all you mamas-to-be, good night and good luck on those registries.



  1. InfertileGirl · April 20, 2015

    Well done! I set up a registry on Babylist, and I love it too! (Though I don’t have much on it yet).

    • thecommonostrich · April 20, 2015

      I had to do it a band aid– get it over with all at once. You’d think I’d be more excited about people signing up to shower me (and by me I mean my baby) with presents, but I found this so hard. SO HARD.

      • InfertileGirl · April 21, 2015

        Ah, see and I get overwhelmed so I have to do little chunks at a time. Plus I research the bejeezus out of everything ha ha. It is immensely overwhelming though, no matter how you tackle it.

  2. My Perfect Breakdown · April 20, 2015

    I’m so happy you went with the online route! Seriously, no-one needs to experience the Mega Store David!

  3. thecommonostrich · April 20, 2015

    No one needs Mega Store David! No one!

    It definitely saved my sanity a bit because I could take a break when I needed to. I could also compare shop much more easily.

  4. thebarrenlibrarian · April 20, 2015

    I went with Amazon and Target. Amazon, because you can add stuff from all over as well. Target because some of my family will want an in person shopping experience (Chief’s mom, basically. We set up Target for Chief’s mom). Glad you got it tackled!

  5. Molly · April 20, 2015

    I did mine entirely online, too. No way did I want to have to deal with stupid salespeople trying to tell me what I need. Plus, I love how all of the online registries have checklists that you can go through AND you can take your time and read reviews and compare while doing it all. I considered Baby List because I loved the flexibility, but in the end, I decided that I loved the registry completion discounts at the other stores more.

  6. julieann081 · April 20, 2015

    Congrats on finishing your registry! I used Babylist too. It has worked nicely. I also put things on another registry that I didn’t share with anyone in case I wanted a completion discount. Best wishes to you!

  7. makingalittlea · April 20, 2015

    Congrats on getting the daunting task done!!! I’m dreading this, myself… and you have confirmed my suspicions that going gender neutral will present its own problem! Argh! So jealous you’ve done it! Lol

  8. AndiePants · April 21, 2015

    Love baby list although -just a warning- our less technological friends and family struggled a bit so we registered at target as well. The gender neutral struggle only gets more intense. . . We literally couldn’t find a pair of newborn size pants that weren’t either navy blue or with a bow. Gah!! So glad you conquered the registry monster!

  9. Awaiting Autumn · April 21, 2015

    I made a Babylist the other day too. It’s private for now but such an awesome idea to be able to shop from multiple sites.

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