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Skipping the Baby Registry: Yay or Nay?

By Amalah

Dear Amalah,

I know this isn’t beauty advice I’m seeking but you always have the smart answers so I’ll try…

My husband and I just got married 3 months ago and in fact got pregnant on our honeymoon. Some friends and relatives are pressuring me to register for baby gifts. The problem is we are still writing thank you notes for hundreds of wedding registry gifts and I don’t want to seem greedy by asking for more stuff. Also, being Jewish, it is traditional for us not to have a pile of baby stuff in our house before the actual baby arrives. Is it OK not to have a baby registry? Since this is our first baby I wouldn’t even know what to put on there except the Dyson vacuum cleaner and silverware still waiting on our wedding registry (just kidding).

Thanks,
S

It is absolutely OK and acceptable and OK to not have a baby registry. I feel like I could pretty much end this column here, because seriously. It is just that OK .

Did I ever tell you guys that Jason and I didn’t have a wedding registry? We were super-young, obviously, and we did need about everything on the planet (between the two of us we had five dinner plates, four twin-sized sheet sets and two coffee makers). But immediately after the wedding we were 1) moving to a new apartment at Penn State, and then 2) moving to another apartment in Maryland four months later. An apartment we didn’t officially have yet, and thus knew nothing about, except that it was also going to be a temporary thing. (We ended up moving AGAIN six months later.)

We did all these moves by ourselves, with a two-door Honda Civic and the tiniest U-Haul you could rent, and honestly, it seemed stupid to register for a ton of stuff that we’d just have to pack up multiple times and lug to walk-up buildings. Why register for nice dishes when you KNOW a few of them will get broken? Why fill up a tiny kitchen full of appliances we’d never use? (I mean, we were COLLEGE STUDENTS. We needed a colander and a pot for macaroni and cheese, and a microwave for reheating all the free food I borrowed from the restaurant I worked at.)

So we didn’t register. We told people not to bother with gifts. (Secretly we were just hoping for some rent money, but obviously we never said that to anyone.) My mother threw me a shower and gave people ideas — if they asked — when they RSVP’d.

And sure, we got too much Corningware and a lot of crystal candlesticks and this one damn ugly serving plate shaped like a turkey. And we wrote thank-you notes and exchanged a few things and ended up lugging a box of crystal candlesticks to four apartments without ever opening it before finally donating it to the Salvation Army.

Jason has one relative who is apparently still a little bitter about the registry thing (since she bought us Corningware that we had to return since we got so much of it), but other than that? Nobody cares. Nobody remembers and we managed to be a functional human couple who bought our own pots and pans.

I think your reasons for skipping the baby registry are solid ones. I loved our baby registry, even though we really ended up with too much stuff and not really all the right stuff. So you can completely survive without one and will probably make better choices if you wait to see what your particular brand of baby requires.

(Honestly I think my dream job would be a baby registry consultant of some kind — because I cannot keep my mouth shut at the baby stores when I see pregnant women picking out the wrong/useless/unnecessary crap; it’s a freaking sickness of mine.)

If someone wants to throw you a baby shower later, you can always reconsider. There’s no law that says you must register by 12 weeks along or that you can’t register after the baby is born. Or just give the hostess a list of ideas that she can suggest IF PEOPLE ASK. (And I’ve known a few Jewish couples who simply keep all the gifts at the shower-giver’s house until the baby arrives.)

And baby registry or no baby registry: you’re gonna end up with way too many receiving blankets.

Don’t forget to check out and sign up for Amalah’s hysterical Weekly Pregnancy Calendar.

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If you DO consider a baby registry, we recommend our online affiliate Amazon’s Baby Registry, which offers free 90-day returns on baby store purchases. You can even add items from other websites onto to your baby registry.

Amazon Baby Registry 1

Published November 9, 2007. Last updated June 26, 2018.
Amalah
About the Author

Amy Corbett Storch

Amalah

Amalah is a pseudonym of Amy Corbett Storch. She is the author of the Advice Smackdown and Bounce Back. You can follow Amy’s daily mothering adventures at Ama...

Amalah is a pseudonym of Amy Corbett Storch. She is the author of the Advice Smackdown and Bounce Back. You can follow Amy’s daily mothering adventures at Amalah. Also, it’s pronounced AIM-ah-lah.

If there is a question you would like answered on the Advice Smackdown, please submit it to [email protected].

Amy also documented her second pregnancy (with Ezra) in our wildly popular Weekly Pregnancy Calendar, Zero to Forty.

Amy is mother to rising first-grader Noah, preschooler Ezra, and toddler Ike.

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