Alternatives to Baby Registries: Unique Gift Ideas for Expecting Parents

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If you’re expecting a new addition to your family, you may be wondering if a traditional baby registry is right for you. While baby registries are a common part of the culture surrounding having a new baby, they may not be the best fit for everyone. Fortunately, there are many alternatives to a standard baby registry that can help you feel more supported, save you money down the road, and increase the value you gain from the gifts you receive.

Opting for an alternative to a traditional baby registry can help mitigate stress and make the gift-giving process more enjoyable for everyone involved. For example, you could consider hosting a diaper party instead of a standard baby shower. Building a diaper stockpile will save you money on recurring baby expenses and you won’t have to worry about last minute trips to the store when diapers run low. Alternatively, you could ask for meals following the birth to help you feel more supported postpartum, or ask for secondhand baby items to reduce your environmental impact. By finding the right fit for you, you can make the gift-giving process more enjoyable and stress-free for everyone involved.

Key Takeaways

  • There are many alternatives to a traditional baby registry that can help you feel more supported, save you money down the road, and increase the value you gain from the gifts you receive.
  • Opting for an alternative to a traditional baby registry can help mitigate stress and make the gift-giving process more enjoyable for everyone involved.
  • By finding the right fit for you, you can make the gift-giving process more enjoyable and stress-free for everyone involved.

A Note on Traditional Baby Registries

Even though you may have skipped sending out a traditional baby registry to friends and family, setting up private baby registries can help you stay organized and take advantage of completion discounts and welcome boxes. Completion discounts give you about 10-15% off any purchase you make from your baby registry shortly before your due date. This is a great way to save money on the final purchases for your baby.

Amazon Baby Registry offers a 15% completion discount for Prime members from 60 days before to 60 days after your due date. You can use this discount twice, which is helpful because there will be items you may not have realized you needed until after birth. Additionally, you will receive a free welcome box with baby swag and samples. The welcome box is a great way to try out different bottles and pacifiers.

Target Baby Registry also offers a 15% discount that can be used once online and once in-person. You will also receive a welcome bag with baby samples, but it must be picked up in-store and availability may vary.

When creating a baby registry, it is important to consider the return policy, coupons, price match, baby registry checklist, free shipping, deals, welcome boxes, and return policies. Amazon Prime members can take advantage of free two-day shipping and Target RedCard holders can save an additional 5% on purchases. Both Amazon and Target offer price matching, so you can be sure you are getting the best deal. Overall, private baby registries are a great way to save money and get freebies while preparing for your new arrival.

Where to Set Up Alternatives to a Traditional Baby Registry

When it comes to setting up alternatives to a traditional baby registry, convenience and ease of use are key. Fortunately, there are many websites available that offer multiple registries, design services, and even the ability to mix listing more traditional baby gifts with favors, experiences, and cash gifts. Here are some sites where you can set up an alternative to a retail baby registry:

  • Babylist Baby Registry: Babylist is a popular option for those looking to set up a baby registry. It allows parents to mix and match traditional baby gifts with cash gifts, favors, and experiences. The site also offers a registry checklist tool and a 15% registry discount. Plus, Babylist offers a bookmark button that can be added to your browser, making it easy to add items from any store to your registry.

  • Amazon Baby Registry: Amazon’s baby registry is another great option for parents. It offers a wide selection of baby products, including high-end brands. Plus, Amazon offers a completion discount, which gives parents 10% off any items remaining on their registry. The site also offers a universal registry feature, which allows parents to add items from any website to their Amazon registry.

  • Target Baby Registry: Target’s baby registry is known for its user-friendly app and website. The site offers a welcome gift with over $50 worth of coupons and samples, as well as a 15% discount on any items remaining on the registry. Target also offers a universal registry feature, which allows parents to add items from any website to their Target registry.

  • MyRegistry.com: MyRegistry.com is a universal registry site that allows parents to add items from any store to their registry. It also offers a cash gift fund as an alternative to a more traditional registry. The site also offers a bookmark button that can be added to your browser, making it easy to add items from any store to your registry.

  • The Tot: The Tot is a high-end baby retailer that offers a baby registry service. The site offers a curated selection of baby products, including eco-friendly and non-toxic options. The Tot also offers design services to help parents create the perfect nursery.

  • Pottery Barn Kids Baby Registry: Pottery Barn Kids is known for its high-quality baby products and stylish designs. The site offers a baby registry service, as well as a completion discount of 10% off any items remaining on the registry. Pottery Barn Kids also offers a universal registry feature, which allows parents to add items from any website to their registry.

Whether you’re looking for convenience, design services, or a wide selection of products, there are plenty of alternatives to a traditional baby registry available. By choosing the right site for your needs, you can create a registry that works for you and your family.

What to Consider Instead of Traditional Baby Registry Gifts

When creating your baby registry, you have the option to include alternatives to traditional gifts. Consider the following options:

  • Cash funds: Monetary contributions can be used towards larger purchases such as a car seat, crib, or stroller.

  • Diapers: Stocking up on diapers is a practical and helpful gift for new parents.

  • Secondhand baby items: Pre-loved baby gear and clothing can be a sustainable and budget-friendly choice.

  • Meals: Providing meals for the new parents can be a thoughtful and time-saving gift.

  • Acts of service: Offer to help with house cleaning, grocery shopping, or other tasks to support the new family.

  • Memories and family stories: Sharing memories and family stories can be a meaningful and sentimental gift.

  • Donations: Consider requesting donations to a charity or cause that is meaningful to you and your family.

Cash Funds as Alternatives to New Baby Gifts

When it comes to baby gifts, many new parents prefer cash gifts over traditional baby items. Cash gifts provide flexibility and can be used to cover a variety of expenses, including big ticket items that may be out of reach for new parents. However, asking for cash gifts can be a delicate matter, and some people may feel uncomfortable with the idea.

One way to make the request for cash gifts more palatable is to provide specific savings goals or costs that the gifts will be used towards. This can help alleviate any concerns about etiquette or the perception that the request is simply a way to ask for money.

Here are some ideas for cash funds that new parents can include instead of traditional baby items:

Education Savings Fund

A gift to an educational savings account, such as a 529 plan, can be a wise investment for new parents. Contributions to a 529 plan can grow tax-free and can be used to pay for qualified education expenses, such as tuition, books, and room and board. Some 529 plans even provide links that you can share with family members so they can give directly to your baby’s education fund.

Childcare Fund

Childcare is a significant expense for many families, and a cash gift towards childcare costs can be a valuable contribution. According to a NY Times survey, over 22% of parents reported paying over $1000 a month in childcare costs. Even if you are not using traditional daycare, a babysitting cash fund is a great gift for the occasional respite.

Rainy Day or Emergency Fund

Having an emergency fund is essential for new parents, as unexpected expenses can arise at any time. A healthy rainy day fund can help buffer the impact of these expenses and provide peace of mind.

Doula or Medical Costs Fund

Pregnancy and birth can be expensive, even with solid health insurance. A cash gift towards medical costs or doula costs can be a wonderful gift for new parents. For many families, additional birth support like doulas are not covered by insurance, even though research shows their association with positive birth outcomes.

Diaper Fund

Diapers are a necessity for new parents, and a cash gift towards diapers can help offset the cost. Even if you opt for the more affordable store brands, you’ll spend hundreds on diapers in the first year of life.

“Oh man, I didn’t know a baby needed that“ Fund

It is impossible to know exactly what you’ll need for your baby until you actually meet them. There will inevitably be things you need in the first year that you didn’t anticipate. A cash fund to help with these pop up expenses may be helpful.

Group gifting can also be a great way to contribute to cash funds. Websites like Babylist allow for group gifting, where multiple people can contribute to a single gift. This can be especially useful for larger expenses, such as a stroller or crib.

In conclusion, cash funds can be a valuable alternative to traditional baby gifts. By providing specific savings goals or costs, new parents can make the request for cash gifts more palatable. Contributions to cash funds can help cover big ticket items, such as education savings, childcare, or medical costs, and provide new parents with the flexibility they need to cover unexpected expenses.

Diaper Parties as an Alternative to A Baby Registry

If you are looking for an alternative to traditional baby shower gifts, consider hosting a diaper party. Unlike a regular baby shower, guests are asked to bring diapers instead of other gifts. This is a practical option that can help you save money on recurring baby expenses.

To make your diaper party more exciting, consider adding a raffle where guests can win prizes based on the number of diapers they bring. This can encourage guests to bring more diapers and help you build a bigger stockpile.

When you receive diapers as gifts, keep them in their boxes until you are ready to use them. This way, you can exchange them for a different size or brand if needed. If you end up with too many diapers, consider selling them on Facebook Marketplace or donating them to a local charity.

It’s also important to note that if you are in-between sizes, it’s best to try a sized-up diaper first before opening a box of the smaller size. This way, you won’t be stuck with a half-used box that your baby outgrew.

Overall, hosting a diaper party can be a great way to build a diaper fund and save money on baby expenses.

Ask for Secondhand Baby Items

When it comes to baby gear, there are some items that you simply cannot do without. However, you don’t need to buy everything new. Secondhand baby items can be a great way to save money and reduce waste. Most used baby items are in excellent condition and can be used again.

Asking for secondhand baby items instead of traditional gifts is a great way to reduce your consumer footprint. It also helps the gifting families to get rid of their old baby gear. So, if you’re looking to ask for secondhand baby items, there are a few options available to you.

One option is SoKindRegistry. This registry allows you to specify if you’d like an item secondhand. Another option is EncoreBaby, which is specifically designed to ask for secondhand baby gifts.

When asking for secondhand baby items, it’s important to note that car seats and sleep spaces should always be bought new for safety reasons. However, nearly everything else can be bought secondhand.

Here are some benefits of asking for secondhand baby items:

  • Reduces waste and costs
  • Helps gifting families to get rid of their old baby gear
  • Most used baby items are in excellent condition
  • It’s a great alternative to a traditional baby registry

By asking for secondhand baby items, you’re making a conscious effort to reduce your environmental impact while still providing for your baby’s needs.

Meals as Alternatives to Baby Gifts

After birth, it can be challenging to prepare meals or go grocery shopping, especially if you are tired or have a hard recovery. Receiving meals or groceries can be a great relief during the postpartum period. If you are interested in receiving meal help from friends after birth, there are several options, including meal drop-offs, grocery drop-offs, healthy snacks, gift cards to food delivery services, and gift cards to neighborhood restaurants.

Meal Drop-offs

Meal drop-offs can be organized using scheduling features like MealTrain and GiveInKind. Loved ones can volunteer for a meal slot and handle all the logistics of getting you a meal at a particular time. This helps you avoid receiving three dinners on the same night.

Grocery Drop-offs

Loved ones can also help with grocery drop-offs instead of prepared meals. This is helpful so that you have basics on hand. GiveInKind’s more flexible scheduling feature, where you can include chores and help, would work well for this.

Healthy Snacks

Easily accessible snacks are so helpful in the postpartum period, when meal time can easily get interrupted or when you are up in the middle of the night. For those breastfeeding, snack needs may be even higher. Consider putting a snack drop-off request on your list.

Gift Cards to Food Delivery Services

Gift cards to food delivery services can be an easy way for out-of-town friends to help keep you fed. However, many food delivery services can be problematic in terms of the fees they charge restaurants and under-compensation for drivers. As an alternative, consider rounding up a list of local establishments or services that run delivery independently.

Gift Cards to Neighborhood Restaurants

If you want to avoid food delivery service companies, consider adding gift cards to a few nearby restaurants to your list. This will give loved ones specific food ideas and help support your local favorites.

In summary, meals and groceries can be a wonderful relief during the postpartum period. Consider adding meal drop-offs, grocery drop-offs, healthy snacks, gift cards to food delivery services, and gift cards to neighborhood restaurants to your list of baby gift alternatives.

Help & Experiences Make Great Baby Gifts

It’s common for friends and loved ones to offer help to new parents, but they may not always know how to help. To make it easier for everyone involved, consider being specific about the kind of help you need. This can be especially helpful in the weeks following birth when it’s hard to keep up with daily chores.

Before the baby arrives, take some time to note the tasks you do every week and identify areas where you could use some assistance. You can then add these items to your baby registry on sites like Babylist, GiveInKind, and SoKindRegistry.

Some ideas for help that you may appreciate after birth include:

  • Childcare for older siblings
  • Dog-walking
  • Housecleaning
  • Errands
  • Lawn care
  • Laundry
  • Holding the baby while you take a shower

Experiences can also make great baby gifts. You can ask for gift certificates for a meal delivery service, a massage, or a cleaning service. These gifts can be especially helpful in the first few weeks after birth when you may not have the time or energy to cook, clean, or take care of yourself.

Remember that acts of service can be just as valuable as physical gifts, and they can make a big difference in the lives of new parents. By being specific about the kind of help you need, you can make it easier for your loved ones to support you during this exciting and challenging time.

Memories, Family History or Advice Compilations

One great way to celebrate the arrival of a new baby is to compile memories, family history, or advice from friends and family members. Instead of a traditional baby registry, consider setting up an online repository where loved ones can share their thoughts and experiences.

There are several ways to go about this. One option is to ask a friend or family member to serve as the organizer and request that loved ones send in short videos to be compiled together. This way, you will have a collection of videos from all your loved ones that you can cherish for years to come.

If you prefer a simpler option, you can create a quick Google Survey Form and ask people to type up their advice or memories. The link can be easily distributed with a digital shower invitation or birth announcement. This way, everyone can contribute their thoughts, regardless of their location.

Compiling memories, family history, or advice is a wonderful way to celebrate the new addition to your family. It allows loved ones to share their experiences and offer valuable insights that can be passed down for generations to come.

Books as a Baby Gift Alternative

Books can be a great alternative to traditional baby registry gifts or cards at a baby shower. Asking friends and family to give their favorite childhood books, with a note in the book, is a sweet way to grow your baby’s book collection. It is suggested to mix this with something else and not exclusively ask for books. Free baby books are easy to come by, and books seem to multiply once you have kids. However, getting some as gifts is lovely and will likely expose you to books you would not otherwise have found. Gifted books are how many parents discover how useful bath books are for babies, not just at bath time. They are perfect to chew and light enough for their little hands.

When choosing books as a gift, consider the age-appropriateness of the book, whether it is a classic or a new release, and whether the book is a board book or a regular book. Some popular books for babies include “Goodnight Moon” by Margaret Wise Brown, “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” by Eric Carle, and “Where the Wild Things Are” by Maurice Sendak. You can also consider books that are interactive, such as books with flaps to lift or touch-and-feel books.

In addition to asking for books as gifts, you can also give books as gifts. Consider giving a book that has a special meaning to you or one that you think the parents will enjoy reading to their baby. You can also consider giving a book that is personalized with the baby’s name or a special message.

Overall, books are a great gift alternative to consider when creating a baby registry or attending a baby shower. They not only provide entertainment and education for the baby, but they also create lasting memories for the family.

Donations as an Alternative to Baby Registries

If you have everything you need for your baby, you may consider asking for donations in lieu of baby gifts. This way, you can support a cause that is important to you while celebrating the arrival of your little one. You can ask your loved ones to consider reaching out to representatives about parental leave or supporting healthcare access and maternal health initiatives.

Here are a few ideas for pregnancy and infant-related organizations that you can donate to:

  • Black Mamas Matter: Black Mamas Matter is working to improve black mothers’ pregnancy, birth, and postpartum experiences and health outcomes.

  • National Birth Equity Collaborative: National Birth Equity Collaborative seeks to improve black maternal healthcare through advocacy, research, and training.

  • Postpartum Support International: Postpartum Support International advocates for and supports parents facing emotional or mental health challenges during pregnancy or postpartum.

  • MomsRising: MomsRising pushes a broad platform of issues impacting women, children, and families.

By donating to these organizations, you can make a difference in the lives of mothers and families. Additionally, you can take advantage of tax deductions for charitable donations.

Looking for more ways to make babyhood more affordable? Check out 9 Ways to Save on Maternity Clothes.

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