Tuesday, March 2, 2010


When attending a shower for a friend, do you generally shop on or off the registry?

I ask because I am a registry person, especially so for babies (in contrast with bridal showers, where I will occasionally go off-registry). My feeling is that the person best knows what they need when it comes to baby items, and I want to be sure they have those things. And I'll go off registry occasionally with a bridal shower because, unless you're just graduating from college, one or both of you probably has pots and pans and dishes and utensils, and you can probably get by a little longer without a gravy boat to match your china pattern, but, when it comes to a baby shower, you probably don't have a spare infant seat. And they won't let you leave the hospital without one. I will sometimes also get a cute clothing item or a blankie or a toy or a book, but I tend to have my main gift(s) be from the baby registry.

This is on my mind because our friends who are expecting twins in June have their shower coming up this weekend. They don't have a ton of cash lying around and are expecting to have two additional people join their household in a few months, so they need a lot of stuff. They kept their registry fairly minimalist in order to ensure people gave them the things they really needed -- carseats, stroller, monitor, etc. I was worried there wouldn't be enough on it, that it would be cleaned out by a week or two before the shower.

Yet, the shower is this weekend, but the vast majority of registry items remain unpurchased. The vast majority. Including basics (at a range of prices) like the baby monitor, crib sheets, changing pad, bathtub, hooded towels, sleep sacks. (Thankfully, the carseats and stroller have been purchased, as have some less-necessary/easy-to-buy-used items (like an exersaucer) that they can exchange if needed.) When BRU was having its big sale over Presidents Day weekend, I even sent an email out to the email list that the shower hostess had used to send a save the date to let them know about the sale and offer to share some coupons I had, but mainly I sent it to remind people that they are registered there. But only five more items have been purchased in the intervening two weeks.

For some reason, this is really bothering me. I am hoping that a lot of their friends/family are real last minute shoppers who will do their shopping Saturday morning in the hours before the shower, or that some of their relatives will give them cash, but I'm not holding my breath. Do other people not shop off registries? Am I the weird one here?


Photogrl said...

You are NOT weird!

I often think the same thing!

I think, sadly, that people just like to buy cute clothes, so that's what they do. But let's be honest, babies grow quick, and don't need a lot of clothes.

Oh, I hope the invitees are just last minute shoppers!

Mommy, Esq. said...

She can but a lot of stuff gently used from MOTs. Also, need to giev you my E-Z twin nursing pillow.

HereWeGoAJen said...

I am an in-between. If I know the person really well, I usually go off registry and get them something I know they'd like. I've been giving baby legs lately, as gifts, since they are totally awesome and you don't usually know that you need them as they are fairly new.

Nicky said...

I often buy on-registry for weddings and off-registry for babies. When shopping for wedding gifts, I assume that people know what they need -- the gifts are usually kitchen or home stuff, and engaged couples have usually been using kitchens for quite some time. They know what to look for to be useful for them.

But first-time mothers don't always know what they need. I certainly didn't. I remember thinking it was absurd that I even had to put together a registry -- surely my friends with kids knew what I needed more than I did!

Now, for baby showers, I usually pick a few registry items that I myself have used and found invaluable, and then I add several off-registry items that I used a lot in the newborn days that maybe the new mom hadn't thought of.

I guess my thought is that there are lot of things that your friend is going to need, and not all of them appear on the registry. Maybe people are filling in other gaps that will be equally useful to her? I wouldn't automatically assume that everyone's just buying her clothes and blankets, because they're cute. That does happen, but it's unlikely to be all she gets.

Ellemes said...

I"m a registry person for the most part unless I think there is something they are totally missing or would love.

It will sound horrible, but I was disappointed with some of our wedding gifts - how many silver picture frames with bells do I need?

Danifred said...

I think that sometimes it's the registry's fault that more isn't gone. Although items are bought, it doesn't necessarily come off the list.
On the other hand, if she really hasn't gotten those things, you can't feel bad about it. Hopefully everyone will be doing some last minute shopping!

Jessica said...

I always shop from the registry for babies since there are so many essentials they need that it doesn't make sense to just buy whatever I think is cute. Now that I'm having a baby, I secretly hope everyone else is like me and will shop from the registry. I'm so anxious to know what people are getting that I even signed up to get text messages from myregistry.com every time someone buys something from the registry!

Rachel said...

I tend to be a last minute shopper, but I do usually go off the registry, unless it is a really close friend. Then I usually make something personal for them.

Yo-yo Mama said...

I use registries whenever I can. But with the websites so prevelant, even if someone has a registry at let's say BabiesRUs, but I can find the same stuff locally at my target and avoid S&H, I'll get it here even though it doesn't get counted against the registry.

My nephew and his wife got a ridiculous amount of clothes for their baby (they knew they were having a girl and I think that promotes unwise shopping by family and friends, personally). They are very strapped for cash and I had all of Aitch's big ticket items that I offered to them (car seat, bases, swing, boppys, etc.) but they wanted NEW and PINK! So here I was stuck with stuff I didn't need and they were buying crap they will use for just a few short months and then they were freaking out about DIAPERS and FORMULA expenses.

I'm ranting. Sorry. Yes to registries. or Giftcards.

Me said...

I always shop off the registry. But lots of people don't. And lots of people wait until the last minute to buy.