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Baby Registries: Tips to Rock Your Budget

For expectant parents, picking out baby supplies and making a baby registry can be overwhelming. There are so many products available, it’s mind-boggling to discern between what you need and what you don’t need. During our "Happiest Baby" class, Ryan and I are often asked: “What do parents really need to buy to take care of a baby?”

While the answer to that can vary by family, we thought it would be helpful to share some tips to consider when creating a new baby registry.

Make sure products meet or exceed safety standards.

Keep in mind that baby store employees are not safety experts. They may be able to offer advice, but they're still in the business to sell products. If you're not sure about the safety of a product, you can visit the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission's website at and the American Academy of Pediatrics at Both websites can be very useful. It's important to do your own, independent research so that you can make informed decisions when purchasing items for your baby.

Buy what’s absolutely necessary.

Having a baby is a pretty amazing time in a parent's life. It's also a very expensive time. You may be shocked by how much it costs to raise that bundle of joy. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, it costs more than $233,000 to raise a child from birth to adulthood.

With that being said, make a list of your must-haves and consult it every time you’re trying to figure out whether you really need to buy something. Will your baby really need a warm wipe with every diaper change?

Convenience may be worth the cost.

Let's face it – being a new parent is overwhelming for most people. If a product is safe and it makes your life easier, it may be worth the investment. For me, a good diaper bag was that item. I wanted a versatile bag that could also serve as a purse and easily fit all my baby essentials. This made leaving the house much easier for me and helped me feel more organized.

Register all your new baby items.

I know, that's the last thing you want to do in the midst of breastfeeding, diaper changes, laundry, dinner, and cleaning spit-up. However, if you register each item, a manufacturer will be able to contact you if its product has been recalled. This happened to us with our crib. We are so thankful we took that time to register it.

We hope these simple guidelines help make shopping for your baby less stressful. For seasoned parents, we'd love to hear what you recommend for a must-have list.

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About Adrianna and Ryan Walden

About Adrianna and Ryan  Walden Ryan and Adrianna Walden have been married for 14 years. The two met when she was working for an arena football team in Norfolk where he was playing football. Ryan is a service coordinator with the Chesapeake Early Intervention Program and Adrianna is a Licensing Specialist for Children's Programs. Both have enjoyed teaching CHKD’s "Happiest Baby" class together for the past eight years. Together they have one daughter, who despite early health issues, is now a thriving and happy school-age child. The Walden's also lead a weekly community group through their church for married couples and their children.