Like all new parents, I have experienced the challenges faced from the moment the announcement is made that a new baby is on the way. There is much to look forward to and many resources available to help us prepare for the big day. Most “new parent” books and guides are packed with supply lists, recommended daily times, and benchmarks to measure your baby’s growth and development. This kind of information can be invaluable, but I’ve also learned that a good sense of humor, resourcefulness, and stamina are the intangible tools necessary for a happy and sane home. In other words, this event should be much more fun than stressful!

One of the first fun activities most new parents engage in is entering their name and “wish list” on a baby gift registry at a specialty store like Babies R Us or a large-scale department store like Target. As you walk through the store, manipulating a store-provided handheld scanner to create your list, it’s easy to get too focused and distracted by the cute, the soft, and the adorable. However, in doing so, it is possible to lose sight of the utility and cost savings that a well thought out baby registry can provide.

Something that is not always considered is listing a few big ticket items on your wish list. We can often feel embarrassed doing this or feel like we are coming across as greedy. Most gifts I’ve seen purchased for new parents and babies range from $20 to $50, but many families have a friend or relative looking to express her joy for a loved one on a higher monetary level. List your favorite crib, bedding set, baby furniture, and high-end stroller or car seat without hesitation or embarrassment. In addition, this also presents the opportunity for multiple families to pool their gift resources and purchase together a more expensive gift than they could ever afford on their own. Such a gift not only pleases parents and gifts, but is often of high enough quality to be passed down and used by babies-to-be as well.