An alternate title for this could have been “Stuff I Wished I’d Asked For.” When you're expecting, you begin to realize that babies need so much. If you're blessed to have generous relatives, friends, and co-workers who want to celebrate the impending arrival by spoiling the baby and you with gifts, though, a registry comes in handy to give them some ideas of what you'd like your little one to have.
There are lots of great checklists online to help you remember the basics – baby gear, toys, clothing and feeding items, etc. – so I'm not going to go there. This list includes some of the things I've seen expectant parents receive over the years that got me thinking, "what a great idea!"
Photo sessions for baby.
Or even a gift certificate for mom to create a photo book or order prints/photo gifts from an online photo store. Of course, you'll be snapping tons of shots during your child's first year, but it's nice to add a couple of professional sessions to the mix, and a way to physically display photos beyond social media.
Membership to a local baby-friendly place.
Once the baby is a couple of months old, you'll likely want to venture out. What a great treat to be able to experience the local zoo, aquarium, or even a few sessions at a play gym without having to pull out your wallet.
Gift cards for take-out restaurants or gourmet food delivery.
OK, this one is not exactly for the baby, but at some showers I've been to (especially work-related ones), there have been a few treats for mom thrown in. Food-related gifts are great for both parents, since you can treat yourselves to a nice meal, and maybe even turn the evening into an at-home date night! Other "for mom" ideas include a spa session, salon visit, or a gift card to your favorite clothing store (so you can ditch that maternity wear for good!).
A Netflix subscription or iTunes bucks.
As any mom or dad can tell you, middle-of-the-night TV really stinks! On those nights when sleep just wasn't going to happen, I lived on my DVD collection. How nice would it be to catch up on some seasons of your favorite shows.
Cool handmade stuff from Etsy.
Whether it's a handcrafted name banner for the baby's nursery or a sweet hair bow holder (my neighbor just had one made with her daughter's initial – so cute!), having something unique for your baby's room or as a keepsake is a nice idea.
Diapers and wipes.
A lot of people (i.e., me!) forget to add these very practical items. I was recently at my cousin's shower, and on the invitation it asked guests to bring a small pack of diapers (bigger sizes, too!), wipes, or diaper cream in lieu of a gift. What a fabulous idea – she was set for a few months! Another practical thing to include: Baby laundry detergent and cleaning products, which can get pricey.
Dawn Papandrea is a freelance writer specializing in parenting, women's lifestyle, and personal finance. Her work has appeared in Family Circle, Parents, WomansDay.com, and more. She lives in Staten Island, NY with her husband, two fast-growing boys, and a living room full of toys.