You’ve conquered morning sickness. You take your prenatal vitamins like clockwork. You visit the doctor monthly. You’re pregnant – Hooray!
I remember it well. Around the middle of the second trimester, just as your belly is popping and you are becoming obviously pregnant, you start getting questions from well-meaning parents, friends and extended family: “When can we have a shower? What do you need for the baby? Have you registered anywhere?”
Oh yes. The baby registry. People lavishing expensive gifts, toys and clothes on me, my husband and our little peanut. I have to admit, at the time, the whole concept made me more than a little uncomfortable. But I soon realized that babies turn otherwise reasonable people into mushy gobs of sentimental generosity. Babies are expensive and people want to show their love for the new parents by doing anything they can to give the baby a cozy homecoming complete with the latest doodads and freshest technology.
And they want to give you what you want, so a registry is a smart idea: 1) it gives gift-givers peace of mind that they are giving you something you’ll use, and 2) it really does lessen a little of the financial burden on the new parents trying to provide a safe, comfortable environment for their new bundle of joy.
If you think cloth diapering is right for you and your family, it’s smart to add some of the cloth diapering essentials to your registry. If I had to “do it over again,” here’s what I consider as I filled out my registry:
- Stick to essentials. While you may want to wait on purchasing the actual diapers because you don’t know the size and shape of your babe, there are certain cloth diapering essentials you know you will need, so those are the most important things for the registry. Things like wet bags (in several sizes), a dozen or more good quality prefolds (great for anything from stuffing pocket diapers to catching spit up), cloth diaper detergent, wool dryer balls, drying rack, diaper sprayer, basket for storage, snappi for fastening prefolds, cloth wipes, cloth-friendly creams and diaper area wash, etc.
- Visit a local cloth diapering store. Do a little research at a cloth diapering retailer in your area. Many times, the staff in these little boutiques are very knowledgeable and it helps just to touch and feel the diapers to get a sense for what might work for you. Most of these shops offer a registry if that works for you, otherwise many online retailers also offer registry programs (and it may work better for family and friends that are spread across the country as ours were).
- Include gift cards on your registry. Because you’re not sure what will work for your baby until he’s here, having those gift cards set aside specifically for cloth diapers will make sure you have the funds to buy them. If you don’t have a brick and mortar cloth diaper store near you, most online cloth diaper retailers have gift card options available or consider an American Express or Visa gift card with a promise to use them for diapers.
- Don’t forget mama! Cloth nursing pads and “mama cloth” post-baby/menstrual feminine pads are wonderful, comfortable, natural alternatives to the disposable ones. You know you’re going to need them, so why not put them on the registry?!
- Cloth diapers as shower decoration. If close friends or family members are hosting a baby shower, you might encourage them to purchase several newborn AIOs or fitted diapers with covers to use as table decorations or for shower games. They will last longer and be much more useful than the usual floral centerpieces! And the guests – especially those in the grandma crowd – will love to see how far cloth diapers have come and having them around may even inspire another mom-to-be to try cloth. (Not to mention, newborn diapers are so darn cute!!)
Many of you probably have lots of other great ideas for making the most of your cloth diaper registry. What are must-haves? And what should you wait for baby to purchase?
Sarah is a mom of two and blogs about her adventures in motherhood, cloth diapering and everything in between. Catch her “Cloth Diapering Unwrapped” series on the FuzziBunz blog every week.