Monday, September 30, 2013

The Best Baby Registry

I have to take a minute to tell you about babyli.st 



Before our baby shower, I was encouraged to start a baby registry of things we would need and/or like for our baby.  I knew of one big box store and a few independent stores that offered registries.  But none of them offered the right mix of options for me.  I wanted some basic supplies, some gender-neutral clothes, some design elements for the nursery, and anything else unique/homemade/locally-made that friends and family wanted to give.

Enter babyli.st

Babyli.st works sort of like Pinterest (with a button on your Bookmark Bark), and allows you to add items from other websites, to create one centrally-managed list.  But which stores gift-givers decide to purchase items from is entirely up to them to decide.  If they have a local baby store they want to support, great!   If not, they can shop at the big box stores.  Heck, if they never want to leave their house, they can shop online.  Babyli.st allows the gift-giver to "reserve" an item off the list, regardless of where it was purchased, and that indicates that it has been purchased and prevents duplication.

Another great feature, is that you can add more generic items to your registry.  For instance, I knew I wanted receiving blankets.  I really didn't care which colour, brand, or pattern was on them - I just knew I would need a stock of them.   If I was to register at any one particular store, I would have to choose a particular pack of receiving blankets, and it would only be taken off the registry if someone bought the pack with the matching barcode.   But using Babyli.st, I was able to indicate that I would like receiving blankets, and I added a personal note to say "any colour, any brand, any style".  One of the big box baby stores near us is CONSTANTLY out of stock of everything!  So it's very difficult to purchase registry items for others there, since they never have the items on the registry.  I think many of my friends don't get much off their lists because of that.   Using Babyli.st meant that it didn't matter what stock was available at that one store - gift-givers could get me whatever they could get their hands on, from wherever they could get their hands on it.

Indicate generic items


Babyli.st is also set up to show prices at various stores - so a buyer can shop around a bit online before choosing what to buy.  This works especially well for US stores (I think it automatically looks for the item on amazon.com, but this doesn't work quite as well for Canadian users yet).   The quantity required can also be set - and "unlimited" is also an option.


Indicate multiple stores and their prices


One other feature, which I didn't use, but that is impressive, is that you can print off a list of who purchased what.  Very handy when doing thank you notes!

Downsides?   I suppose this is a bit tech-saavy for the older crowd.  My Grandma definitely needed help from my Mom.  Also, you can't go into a store and get help pulling up the registry, since the store is not involved at all.   You either need to have a smart phone with internet access, or you would need to print the list before you left home.

Tips?

  • Definitely add personal notes so buyers know which items you want specifically to match your list versus those for which you're not fussed about the item being an exact match.  
  • Think outside the box!  I added spice racks from Ikea which I'm using as bookshelves.  I also added a note to say that I would welcome homemade gifts.  And I'm glad I did!  I got beautiful blankets, a mobile, and other wonderful gifts made with love by family and friends.
  • Resist the urge to look at the list to see what is purchased before your shower!   I didn't look, and it really makes it a nicer surprise at the shower.  
  • After your shower, update the list to indicate anything that was purchased that wasn't "reserved" (especially by aunts and grandma's!).   This way, if you have any more gifts coming your way, the list is current.

Spice racks?  On a Baby Registry??  (Thanks Pinterest for the awesome idea!_


In any case, I was very happy with Babyli.st.  This post is NOT sponsored in any way.  I just wanted to share a tip about something that I found to work very well.  (And it's run by a Mom!  It's no wonder!).

Stay tuned, I'll come back soon with a post about the registry items I most loved, was most disappointed by, and that I most wished I had on my registry but didn't.

1 comment:

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