A baby registry can save money on baby gear and other essentials, but it pays to consider your finances -- and resources -- first.
"If you're looking to save money, or get the most from your registry, then this is a critical step," says Carly Kirsch, owner of Newly Nested, a Connecticut-based baby-planning service. Some key questions to answer while building your list of "must haves": Will you have a dedicated room or space for a nursery? Are you thinking of breastfeeding or formula feeding? Will you be traveling with your baby often? Will you and your partner be sharing the duties of chauffeuring around your precious cargo? Your answers will help you save money because you'll avoid buying or registering for unnecessary items.
Before you even go shopping or set up a baby registry, consider getting the word out that you're open to hand-me-downs, says Kirsch. That goes for maternity clothes, too. "Check first with family, friends and even neighbors. Not only is it a green practice to reuse these typically gently used items, but check consignment stores, too, that have higher standards on what they accept."
She points out that most products such as swings, bouncer seats and highchairs have removable covers or liners that can be washed and sanitized. Just be sure those items meet safety standards and aren't on any recall lists.