Baby Registry Tips

Here are some of the major retailers with baby registries:

Amazon is a great option for out-of-state family and friends and avid internet shoppers; a lot of people used ours. They have an excellent return policy for most baby products, but you are limited to what you can buy on Amazon. Generally, Amazon baby clothes are very pricey, so avoid those.

Target stores are widely available. Their baby clothes are very affordable but it is kind of difficult to keep track of designs you want because they rotate their stock frequently. Try registering for clothing at the last minute, making it easier to order online or in store. Target will take products off their website when they are on clearance or low stock, so older styles are hard to find! Target’s return policy limits the amount of merchandise you can return without a receipt, and most people do not send gift receipts like they should. One very nice cashier at our Target gave me a great tip that I hope is true at other Targets:

  • when you go to Target to return items without a receipt, you can only get store credit (a gift card) for the item’s recent sale price, but when you print out your registry list (at the registry kiosk),  ask them to scan your registry barcode when you return items, and you can get a gift card for the full price of the item.
  • Example, you return a pack of onesies that is regularly $9.99 but went on sale for $8 last week. With your registry list (print it out first) you will get $9.99 store credit; without it you’ll only get $8 store credit.

Again, I don’t know if this is true or not for other Targets. Please use the policy honestly so Target can keep this policy going for other moms.

Note: You will have to show an ID for returns without receipts.

Babies R Us (BRU) stores are widely available also but their products are expensive – look for a coupon in baby magazines (usually free ones at the doctor’s office, sometimes come with samples) that gives you a gift card for registering, they also give you a sample bag.

Buy Buy Baby (BBB) may or may not be available depending on where you live. I have started to really like their large selection of items and I prefer them over BRU–it might be that I find the layout familiar because of all my Bed Bath and Beyond shopping experience. It’s almost like going to a brick-and-mortar Amazon with a lot of selection, with some of my favorite brands like OXO Tot, Béaba and Petunia Pickle Bottom. Like Bed Bath and Beyond, they do send out coupons (though many of my favorite brands are part of the exceptions list–darn!). I registered just to get the sample bag and it was better than the one at BRU. Love those samples and coupons!

I highly recommend going to a BBB location to test out strollers and car seats. They have tons of them! Our location even let me try out the carseat in our car, just to make sure it fit. Very cool!

Moneysaver Tip: Most registry sites have a completion discount, around 10%. You may want to register on a particular site, just to get that code.

Petunia Pickle Bottom Boxy Backpack Review

The Petunia Pickle Bottom Boxy Backpack is the only diaper bag I have used. There may be better out there but I haven’t cared to look because despite its few shortcomings, my bag is doing its job.

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I bought my bag on sale at Pottery Barn Kids. For some reason, it was on that sale shelf in the very back with random odds and ends. So after much pacing around the store and deliberating, I bought it.

*I probably would not have bought it full-price.* But now I love these bags and if this one wears out, I may have to get another at full-price.

The pattern is a PBK exclusive and is no longer available. But there are tons of just-as-cute patterns coming out every year.

After 8 months, I’ve used it quite a bit and it’s held up pretty well.

Things I like about it:

  • It is pretty! I know that this seems unimportant, but for a mom who can barely look presentable to go out, this is kind of a bigger deal than I thought initially.  I love how it makes me appear dressed up even when I am in drab clothes.
  • It is big enough. I am a petite girl at 5’2 and 110 lbs so I think this bag is as big as I could handle. A lot of diaper bags are huge and bulky. This one is compact yet roomy enough to fit what I need.
  • I love the changing pad and diaper section in the front. This diaper bag is more designed for changing rather than feeding.
  • The older versions of this bag had velcro closure which was reported to be very loud in a lot of online reviews, but this 2012 version uses snaps and magnetic closure, a huge improvement over velcro.
  • This bag can barely fit under a plane seat. It’s a tight fit but it can fit. We’ve flown American, Delta and Southwest with it.

Things I don’t like about it:

  • The bag is not machine washable. But I haven’t had any issue with this. I usually do not carry open food in the bag. I also pack around small sacks for diapers, so the bag has stayed clean for 2 years.
  • It is not insulated for bottles but this hasn’t been an issue for me because I breastfeed.
  • I wish the bag had a padded strap because I do wear it primarily messenger-bag style.
  • The backpack straps are a good feature but for me, they feel uncomfortable unless I wear a winter coat as padding. I feel like in the backpack mode, the bag sits weird on your back, but that’s my opinion. The hardware also is a bit squeeky at first (Two years later, there is little to no squeak). At home and in and out of the car in surburbia, I use it as a messenger bag. I really only use it as a backpack when I’m traveling (at the airport for instance) or out for long periods of time and need to carry it on my person rather than on the stroller.
  • It can get heavy, if you pack a lot of stuff. It is a heavy bag to begin with.

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Side note: As another option, I’d consider the Petunia Pickle Bottom Glazed Sashay Satchel, perhaps when Baby gets a little older and needs less things. I really like the sleek design (but it is thinner than the Boxy), that it looks like a regular purse, and like the Boxy Backpack, you can wear it as a backpack.

Moneysaver Tip: The Petunia Pickle Bottom outlet site has occasional sales on discontinued designs. Sign up to hear about sales. Select designs are on 30-60% off.

How I Pack My Diaper Bag

You will need:

  • a diaper bag (bag shown is Petunia Picklebottom Boxy Backpack)
  • nursing cover (Bebe au Lait)
  • swaddle blanket (aden + anais – love how thin it is!)
  • burp cloth (homemade)
  • wet bag (Itzy Ritzy)
  • a change of clothes
  • hand sanitizer and facial tissues
  • nursing pads (Lansinoh disposable)
  • wipes and diapers
  • mom stuff: snack, wallet, water bottle, pen, cell, notepad, etc.
  • diaper sacks (optional)
  • small toys (optional) DSC_0535

I use the Petunia Picklebottom Boxy Backpack (review here). I have never used any other bag so I cannot compare. But I do know a lot of reviews say that one of the issues they have with the bag is that it is too deep and hard to access anything at the bottom.

To deal with this issue, I’ve packed the bag with the items I used most on top.

First, at the bottom, the wet bag and a change of clothes. I like to select a piece of clothing that is one piece so I don’t have to deal with multiple articles of clothing floating around:

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Next, I place a blanket, a nursing cover and burp cloth. Baby hates to use the nursing cover but I insist on it in in most public places (like on an airplane or at a restaurant)

DSC_0547DSC_0548Those are the three items from the big compartment that I used often when Baby was young and nursing frequently.

Next, the diapers and wipes go in the front with a mini bottle of hand sanitizer.  I also keep an extra set of nursing pads here. It’s also a good idea to bring a small sack or diaper sack (Sassy Baby brand or small plastic bag from the store) on long trips or visits to friends’ houses.

DSC_0542The side pockets have snacks. The Boxy Backpack also has a “mom” pocket where I stash my phone, notepad and chapstick.

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There you have it! Sometimes on longer outings, I add a few small toys from our Skip Hop activity mat or O-Ball. But usually Baby takes one toy out with him in his car seat. Before eating solids, those things are really all a young breastfed baby needs.

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