Baby Registry Etiquette

If you're getting to the end of your pregnancy, you might be wondering whether or not it would be a good idea to sign on with a baby gift registry. Would your friends think you're being tacky? Is it rude to suggest that friends check your registry entries when they ask you what you'd most like for a gift?

Rush-Job Shopping

The quick answer is that most people are relieved to be confronted with a solution to the question of just what items you really want and need for the baby. They'd rather buy you a gift you want than one that bombs out completely. Also, most people push off gift buying until the last possible minute. A registry helps them avoid the stress that comes with this type of rush-job shopping.

If this isn't your first baby, you may already have a number of basic baby items. The register tells your friends what items you still lack and prevents friends from buying duplicate gifts. Signing on with a registry also ensures you'll receive items in colors and patterns that will match the baby's nursery décor. Of course, if a guest still prefers to give you a gift that is unusual, something that wouldn't be found on your wish list, you should be gracious and not show any disappointment.

Then there is the issue of multiple registries. In general, most expectant moms pick just one national chain so that even friends and family from far away have a convenient way to order a gift for the baby. But if you're having a shower, you may also wish to register at a small local boutique. The rule of thumb is not to register at more than two stores. This is thought to be poor form.

Bad Form

The hostess for your baby shower should include cards explaining about the registry along with the invitations. This is considered a helpful gesture to the guests. On the other hand, unless someone asks you outright where you are registered, it's considered bad form for you, the expectant mother, to volunteer this information to your friends or relatives.

It's also important to consider what type of baby gifts you should include in the registry. It's correct to include gifts that span more than one price range, but incorrect to list many very expensive items. Expect that if you list a car seat or a bassinette, that friends or relatives may pool their resources to purchase these expensive items for you. This is a very acceptable practice and each person should receive a personal thank-you note.

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