First off, I wish that we had taken pictures of registering for our baby showers. We got up to some hilarious antics while registering at Target, Babys-R-Us and Buy Buy Baby with one of our guide parents and the maid-of-honor from our wedding, Corey. There’s nothing quite like testing every single glider available, I can’t even explain to you how much fun registering is. Its like mythical Christmas for soon-to-be parents, in anticipation for being sleep deprived and mentally foggy for the next umpteen months. Truly magical.
Our journey began last month when we registered at Buy Buy Baby and Target in the same day. Now I know what you’re thinking, a little ambitious maybe? But I swear Holly said she was fine to continue to the second store. Buy Buy Baby was so much fun. It’s like a baby version of Bed, Bath and Beyond (it really is) and it is so easy to get overwhelmed by just how many things a baby needs. We had a really nice woman take us all the way through the store, showing us things other people tend to buy, making recommendations and she was a really great help, which reminds me of something important that needs to be taken into account.
It is incredibly awkward for less feminine partners in an LGBT parenting relationship to go and do baby registries.
We literally walked up to the desk at Buy Buy Baby to register and one of the ladies there called me a dude. Now I know, I dress like one and I look like one, but its 2016 and families come in all shapes, sizes and varieties. If you’re in the service industries you need to learn that. In contrast, the woman that actually helped us was fantastic, she was thoughtful to let me scan the things so I felt important, she went out of her way to make me feel comfortable throughout the process, and for that I was really grateful. When we finished there we went on to Target.
Target was a bit of a let down, especially when you start with Buy Buy Baby. Their selection is mediocre in comparison and we got done way faster than we should have. This was a blessing, as my wonderful wife was trooping through it so hard, but was becoming tired for being on her feet for so long. Another notable thing is we basically duplicated a lot of what’s on the first registry because most of the products are the same. It would be nice to see more originality out there, but its Target so I’m like “duh”.
In between registering at Target and at Babys-R-Us was about a month, a nice break if you ask me. Again we headed out with our dutiful guide parent Corey to register for more fun stuff even though it was hot as death outside. When we got there we were helped reasonably quickly, given a paper to fill out, free waters ( a constant at most baby registering places) and once we were done, the coveted scan gun. As we walked to the first section, baby monitors and breast feeding stuff, we got about 4-6 items in when the scanner died. “No big deal, we’re super close to the origin place for the scanners, I’ll just replace it real quick,” I thought, and went over to replace the gun with a new one. Off we charged to do more scanning! We looked at carriers and high chairs and strollers, oh my!
We had just gotten to diapers when the scanner died again, this time on the complete opposite end of the store. No matter, I reminded myself, its good to get more steps in, so I walked back up to the front. This time, there wasn’t anyone there, desert living at Babys-R-Us. I saw a worker walking by and asked if she could call someone for me, she was helping someone else but she said “I’ll try”, and continued walking. Wait, wait, wait some more, still no one coming. Finally, I get tired of waiting and asking several times for someone who can help to be paged and walk back to the gliders. We’re talking about the scanner issues when an employee hears us and offers to call someone to bring us a working scanner. In seconds, problem is solved! How magical. Now if only the 4 other employees I had talked to had been able to do the same thing, imagine the possibilities.
10,000 bedroom accessories and toys later, we finally finished and felt quite accomplished. I went back to return the scanner and again, ghost town. Naturally, I got distracted waiting for someone and tried to find myself a diaper bag (you’ll find that on the registry), very successfully. When we left, we had been there for 2.5 ish hours, gone through 3 scanners and that brings me to my last bit of advice.
Bring your patience, because I didn’t and found myself getting frustrated at the crappy customer service I kept encountering everywhere. Remember, its retail. Don’t expect as much as I did.
After all of this I found myself comparing all of the experiences at the three different places we registered and came up with pros and cons for each location.
Buy Buy Baby
Pros: good quality stuff, lots of selection, helpful people, simple to register and use the scanner.
Cons: overwhelmingly huge, prices are a bit more expensive, some registry items (varieties in color, patterns, etc) can only be registered for online or through a computer with assistance, not as many locations as other retailers.
Pros: big box retailer/easily accessible to many, has the basics that you’ll need, not a lot of traffic in the baby section, surprisingly nice selection of baby monitors, simple to register (via iPad) and use the scanner.
Cons: limited variety, limited selection (depending on the store size), zero helpful people, limited manipulable displays so you can’t easily interact with the products, no gliders or real furniture to look at (some, not a lot).
Pros: if you can get to a just “Babys” store the selection is massive, easy registering process, lots of choices per category of need, most big stuff displays are able to be touched and used, lots of locations (many “Toys” stores have a portion set out for Babys products), cool gift box options (see registry for details).
Cons: helpfulness of people is limited and varied, scanner issues (don’t know if that’s common or not), lots of items on clearance, some essential items difficult to find, store layout is a bit wonky.
Hope you enjoyed our adventure by reading as much as we did by doing it! I also hope, for those who haven’t yet registered or are going to soon, that this info helps you decide where to register best.
Next up: “Our Greatest Adventure Yet”