Baby Cheapskate Q&A Plus Giveaway

Your baby might come into the world naked as a jaybird, but he won’t stay like that for long: babies need stuff – and because people love to buy newborn gifts, babies get stuff!

But how do you register smartly so the gifts your baby gets are not going to end up in the return pile. For tips, we turned to blogger Angela Wynne, founder of baby gear savings site BabyCheapskate.com.

-Katie Quirk

We’re giving away 3 copies of Wynne’s new book, “The Baby Cheapskate Guide to Bargains: How to Save on Blankets, Bottles and Everything Baby.” Read on to find out how to enter.

Creating a registry can be overwhelming for a first-time mom-to-be. What are your top 3 tips for creating a practical baby registry?
Try to resist the temptation to walk through the store scanning all the super-cute baby stuff and stick to what you need, whether it’s diapers, breast pumps, etc. People are going to get the clothes, toys and other cute stuff anyway. By putting something boring like diapers on your registry, you’ll increase your chances that you’ll get what you need.

When you’re figuring out where to register, consider whether the people buying from the registry will be bringing or shipping the gifts, since shipping and return shipping costs can quickly ruin a good deal.
And when you go to register, bring your spouse or partner. Get them involved in the decision-making processes from the get-go and they’ll stay involved. Another good person to bring is a new mom. A reader shared with me the genius idea of taking a mom who had had a baby in the last couple of years. She’ll have unique insight as to what items are essential to bring into your home and what’s just not worth the hype.

What are some of the top registry items you’re seeing?
Some of the popular “nice-to-have” items my readers are most excited about are Aden + Anais swaddling blankets – these are expensive but can also be used as a nursing coverup or stroller blanket; soft structure carriers like the Ergo; video monitors; jogging strollers; the Nosefrida Nasal Aspirator; and nursing pillows

You mention putting off purchasing certain baby items and waiting until items go on sale to buy. When does it make sense to wait?
Your first priority is to register for and/or purchase items you know 100% that you’ll need within a month or so after the baby is born – like diapers, a breast pump and a car seat. Then add “needs” and things you really want to have on hand for the next 2 or 3 months. After that, consider your space. If you have room to store the things you want for later on (high chair, Exersaucer, umbrella stroller, baby food maker, convertible car seat, etc.), then add them to your registry. If not, you can always add gift cards to your registry and purchase them when you need them. If you’re paying for the items yourself, waiting has the extra advantage of giving you extra time to find a really hot deal or to find the item second hand. You may even find out that you don’t want these items after all or that you can borrow a friend’s for free.
 
What are the best things you’ve learned from your readers about registering?
One reader offered the advice of registering for big-ticket items in a neutral color. That way you can reuse them with subsequent kids without worrying that the color is too “boyish” or too “girly.” Another reader suggested having mom friends look over your registry. Not only can they clue you in on what might be missing, they may also offer to loan or give you items from your list that their kids have outgrown.


In your book you talk about the fun of in-store registering. What about it was most fun for you?
I love to shop, so for me walking around the store with the little scanner thingie was tons of fun because it was like shopping without having to pay at the end! I also enjoyed it because something about seeing and touching all those items brought home the idea that I was about to become a parent in a way that nothing else had up to that point.

To enter to win, add your own tip, or comment on Angela’s, in the comments box below. We’ll be picking 3 winners on May 7.