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5 Ways to Empower Your Baby Shower

By Sandra Gordon

Shopping for a new baby should be fun and exciting, however sometimes can turn into a daunting experience. A targeted baby registry can alleviate the guesswork for friends and family, help you get just what you need, and avoid unwanted or duplicate items. In my book, “Save a Bundle: 50+ Ways to Save Big on Baby Gear,” I offer ways to get the most mileage out of your registry:

“Do just as much homework as if you were paying the tab yourself. Test-drive strollers in the store, for example, to get an idea of how they handle. If you're registering online, visit retail stores first to get familiar with the products you're considering. Selecting baby products is a process so expect to make several trips to fine-tune your product picks.”

Registry Rules

In my book, I also offer the following guidelines to help expectant parents hone their gift list.

Think big. In this economy, putting big-ticket baby items on your list, such as a stroller, glider, a crib, a baby monitor, changing table, high chair, and an infant car seat can be guilt-inducing. Still, friends and family may chip in as a group to buy them for you.

Register at more than one store. Gift givers like options. Consider registering for money, too. Sites such as allow you to tastefully request and accept cash gifts. You use the funds to buy as you go or just have a stash of cash for future expenses.

Wonder outside the baby gear aisle. These days, new moms and dads are requesting items on their baby registry that aren't typical, such as a smart phone, which is great for capturing precious memories of your little one, e-mailing photos to Grandpa and Grandma and posting cute baby photos on Facebook and Instagram.

Request practical items. Put everyday items such as diapers, diaper wipes and store brand infant formula on your registry, if you anticipate using formula. Store-brand formulas, such as Parent's Choice Infant Formula, must provide the same, complete nutrition as name-brand formula, yet costs up to 50 percent less. The savings can make a big budget difference later, when your registry stash of formula runs out, adding up to $600 a year.

Learn More

For more baby product advice, visit

About the Author

Sandra Gordon is a consumer products expert, a writer, and a mother of two. She has appeared on NBC's Today Show and as a baby safety expert on The Discovery Health Channel's “Make Room for Baby.” A Consumer Reports author, her latest book is Save a Bundle: 50+ Ways to Save Big on Baby Gear.

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