Baby Registry Road Map: Which Registry is Right for You?

Baby Registry Road Map: Which Registry is Right for You?

Bun in the oven? Super exciting. Creating a baby registry? Also super exciting! Getting ready for baby means pulling together a list of all the items you will need to get you started on the road to brilliant parenting. Baby registries are awesome because they allow you to keep a running list of all the items you will need, AND friends and family have access to it so they can help you out with baby item procurement!

With all of the baby registry options to choose from, how do you know which one is right for you? Should you stick to just one registry? Or are multiple registries in your future? Only you can know which registry will be right for you and your growing family, but I’ve compiled a few of my favorite options to help you narrow down your search. Let’s dive into the baby registry roadmap!

Baby Registry Road Map Mama Brilliance

*Mama Brilliance is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

Babylist

Don’t want to limit yourself to just one registry? Don’t! Babylist was designed with just that concept in mind. The creators realized that there are many registry options to choose from, and trying to pick a single option could be stressful for moms-to-be. Babylist combines the concepts of a universal registry with a few other goodies.

Baby List Logo

Here are a few of the features:

  • Add anything from any store to your registry.
  • Add other registries to your Babylist registry.
  • Chrome extension for easy registry add-ons.
  • Help & Favors registry options for things like cooking, cleaning, or walking the dog.
  • Cash Funds for just about anything. Think: doulas, housekeeping help, childcare, etc.
  • Mobile app for on-the-go registry additions.
  • A customer support team that can’t be beat.

The Cash Funds option is one of my favorite aspects of Babylist. Being able to register for a Doula Fund or a Babysitter Fund is priceless in my opinion. I also love that you can register for help and favors. This is especially helpful for friends and family who want to help you get everything you need for your new baby, but might not be able to contribute financially. They can sign up to help out with meals, laundry and other housework, or even just stop in to help out with the little one so you can catch some extra Zzzs. ‘Cause you know you’re gonna need it.

Target

I love you Target. And I know you love Target too, good reader. In fact, I would be willing to bet a pretty penny that one of the first things you thought after you found out you were pregnant was, “I wonder when I can start my Target registry…”.

Yes?

Thought so. That’s why we are friends. Target is a great place to register for baby items because they have quality products, and a pretty good selection to choose from.

Here are a few of the features:

  • 15% Off coupon to stock up on baby items.
  • Universal registry to add items from other websites.
  • Gift tracking, to see who gave you which items. Plus, it helps you track whether or not you sent a Thank You to the gift giver.
  • Robust checklist to get your registry-building skills warmed up.
  • Group Gifting option for gift-givers to contribute towards larger items.
  • Registry app with barcode scanner for easy additions. Super helpful for if you see an item in store that you love, but don’t want to waddle your pregnant-self all the way back up to the service desk to get a registry scanner.

Target also offers a Welcome Packet in store when you register. If you register online you’ll probably get a little coupon book in the mail that lets you know how to get the Welcome Packet, and maybe even a giftcard for creating a new registry. I received the coupon for the giftcard, but these promotions are changing all the time. If you’re reading this a few months from the publish date you might get something different!

Babies R Us

Ah, Babies R Us: the one-stop-shop for all things baby. Babies R Us is one of the most formidable baby supply stores on the planet. Their registry program is also pretty amazing. I love that there are so many helpful features for new parents, such as a consultation with a Babies R Us associate and in-store classes.

Here are a few of the features:

  • 10% Cash-back through the Endless Earnings program.
  • 1:1 Registry consultation with a Babies R Us consultant.
  • Classes and events held in-store regularly for new parents.
  • 10% Completion discount for the items you’ll need to complete your baby-ready checklist.
  • 1-year return policy on all items.
  • Mobile registry via the Babies R Us app.
  • Price match guarantee.
  • Free shipping on all purchases of $29 or more.

My favorite aspect of the Babies R Us registry program is definitely the Endless Earnings program. You get 10% back on everything that is purchased from your registry; including items that you purchase. About 10-12 weeks after your baby’s due date, Babies R Us will send you an e-gift card with the appropriate amount to your email. This is super helpful for picking up any new items you might need for your growing bundle of joy. Think: bigger diaper sizes, a few new clothes, or maybe a special splurge item that you didn’t receive at your shower. Treat yo’self!

Baby Registry by Amazon

Oh yes friends. Even Amazon has a registry option. Baby Registry by Amazon is a phenomenal universal registry. You have access to register for literally everything and anything that can be sold on Amazon. If you’re thinking that might be overwhelming to sift through, Amazon has actually made it pretty easy to hone in on baby-centric items for your registry.

Baby Registry by Amazon

Here are a few of the features:

  • A universal registry that can add items from any website.
  • Over 270,000 items to choose from.
  • 90-day return policy.
  • Mobile registry via the Amazon App.
  • 10% Completion discount for the items you’ll need to complete your baby-ready checklist.
  • Increased savings and bonuses for Prime members; i.e. 20% off diaper subscriptions. Cha-Ching.

 

If you’re already an Amazon Prime member, a registry on Amazon is practically a no brainer. And if you’ve been on the fence about a Prime Membership, now’s the time to get that gravy train a-rolling. The discounts are significant, and they make it super easy to get everything that you need for your new arrival.

More Options

The number of baby registries is, like, a lot, and I honestly didn’t want to overwhelm you with a ton of other options. Especially because I personally didn’t use any other registry options during my pregnancy.

However, I know that there are more options, and that some moms might want a quick run down of a few other choices. So just for you, mama, here are a few other good options worth checking out:

 

Which registries did you use when you were expecting?

As the founder of Mama Brilliance, Megan is an avid writer, reader, and self-professed coffee snob. You can find her in northern Minnesota with her family, exploring the great outdoors and dreaming of breakfast food.

7 Weird Items You Might Need During Pregnancy

7 Weird Items You Might Need During Pregnancy

In my humble and pregnant opinion, pregnancy is a weird time. And you might need some weird things around the house to keep you comfortable and sane during your 40 week human-building journey. Typically, most pregnancy lists cover things like pregnancy pillows and belly braces. But I’m a practical lady, and I want things that I will use past pregnancy. So without any further ado, here is my list of 7 weird items you might need/want during pregnancy.

Weird Items You Might Need During Pregnancy

Mama Brilliance is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to www.amazon.com.

Keurig

Let’s get this list started out right. Coffeeeeee. 

Personally, I feel like this is something you should have regardless of if you are pregnant or not, but pregnancy is a great reason to get yourself a Keurig brewer. Why is that, you ask? For starters, many women try to cut back on caffeine when they’re pregnant. A single-cup coffee maker can help you better keep track of how many cups of coffee you are consuming in a day, as opposed to a 12-cup coffee pot.

Also, it’s easier to keep clean. Just throw away the pod when you’re done brewing, and you’re done with clean up.

Keurig K55 Single Serve Programmable K-Cup Pod CoffeeMaker, Black

If you’re looking to minimize environmental impact there are many distributors that now use biodegradable pods for brewing! Win-win!

Carpal Tunnel Compression Gloves

Weird, I know, but compression gloves were a must for me. During pregnancy, progesterone causes your ligaments to loosen a bit to get your pelvis ready for delivery. Unfortunately, progesterone doesn’t discriminate, and tends to affect ALL of your ligaments: hands included.

I started feeling carpal tunnel symptoms around just around month 7, and I have to say I was glad that I had these gloves on hand from my hardcore gaming days. I’m on my computer doing a lot of typing almost every day, and these compression gloves helped a TON with minimizing the soreness from carpal tunnel during pregnancy.

Arthritis Gloves by Vive

Also, these were nice because they were very light-weight for my 3rd trimester summer.

Extender Arm

Full disclosure: you’ll need to have a good sense of humor if you get one of these, and you’ll need to be able to laugh at yourself. Because it is a little bit freaking hilarious. But hey, you gotta do what you gotta do.

Let’s face it, when you sit down in your 3rd trimester, you pretty much don’t want to get up. Ever. And bending over to pick something up off of the floor? Forget it.

Reacher Grabber by VIVE – Rotating Grip – 32″ Extra Long Handy Mobility Aid

It’s super cliche, but an extended grabber arm can be a huge help. Drop your phone? Use your grabber. Need something off of the top shelf of the cupboard? Forget the step stool; grabber to the rescue!

Epsom Salts

Your body is changing, and you will be sore. Epsom salts are a lifesaver. Especially if you are trying to manage pregnancy pain without OTC meds. Soaking in an epsom salt bath is a) super relaxing and b) amazingly helpful for easing soreness. I probably took an epsom salt bath every single day in my 1st trimester. My sciatica was a beast, and I had headaches almost daily. Epsom salt soaks took the edge off and helped me function a bit more like a normal human being.

Epsoak Epsom Salt Magnesium Sulfate USP, 19.75lbs Bulk Bag

You can get epsom salts at just about any pharmacy, but I fell in love with these salts because they are high quality and unscented. Plus you can buy these salts in bulk… which is nice when you’re going through them like crazy.

Wedge Pillow

Pregnancy pillows might not be a “weird” item to procure when you’re pregnant, but most of them are gigantic and take up the entire bed. Which is nice if you have a king-sized bed and no one else to sleep next to. But if you need some extra belly support and still feel like sleeping in the same bed as your partner, you might want to consider a wedge pillow.

My friend recommended the Hiccapop pillow, and it has been life changing. This pillow is portable, and super modular. You can use it under your belly, between your knees, or under your back. You can also use it for better lumbar support when you’re driving or relaxing on the couch.

hiccapop Pregnancy Pillow Wedge for Maternity

This pillow will legit turn into a security item for your pregnancy and you will want to bring it everywhere. Honestly, I wanted one for my bedroom, my couch, and my car… but I said, “No, Megan. Settle down. You can get by with just one.”

Built-in-Bra tops

Boobs. Argh. Boobs during pregnancy. ARRRRGGHHHHH.

So. Annoying. Seriously. They grow like the Grinch’s heart when you’re pregnant. Some ladies might be able to go braless, but if you’re anything like me, you’re going to need some extra support. But you don’t want anything too constricting. Underwires are for chumps.

Tops with a built-in-bra can give you just a bit of support without tying you down like Hilary Swank in Boys Don’t Cry. Seriously, my breasts are ridiculous right now, and it’s just not comfortable to have them running around all free-range and stuff.

iLoveSIA 3PACK/2PACK Womens Seamless Nursing Bra Bralette

I loved these camisoles from iLoveSIA. They were comfy, and perfect for lounging around the house without feeling like I was completely on display. Plus, you can purchase an option for a nursing tank that you can use after delivery! Boom! 2-for-1.

Cell Phone Tripod

Selfies are cute and all, but what about bumpies? Bumpdates can be difficult to capture by yourself without the help of a full length mirror or Mr. Fantastic arms. The solution? A tripod and remote shutter release for your phone!

Seriously, I wish I would have thought of this when I was first pregnant. I’ve become a bit of a camera snob, and thought the only way to take decent bumpdates was with my DSLR, but I hated leaving it set up in my kitchen every week with my dogs that would inevitably knock it over; resulting in death to camera.

Acuvar 50″ Inch Aluminum Camera Tripod with Universal Smartphone Mount + Bluetooth Wireless Remote Control Camera Shutter for Smartphones

Just set the tripod up on a table with your phone, and click the remote shutter to take a bump-selfie without a bunch of fuss! So much easier, and much more portable. Can you say travel bumpdates? Yes.

 

Do you have any weird items that were a must-have for your pregnancy? Share them with me in the comments below!

As the founder of Mama Brilliance, Megan is an avid writer, reader, and self-professed coffee snob. You can find her in northern Minnesota with her family, exploring the great outdoors and dreaming of breakfast food.

5 Best Pregnancy Apps

5 Best Pregnancy Apps

You just found out you are pregnant. Congratulations!!! I know you’re all aflutter with emotions and questions and what to do next. One of the best ways to track your pregnancy in today’s technology based world is with a pregnancy app. Pregnancy apps help you track your’s and baby’s growth, symptoms to monitor, and keep track of appointments and important milestones. Some apps even boast large communities of other expectant moms and industry experts.

There are a ton of apps to choose from, but I’ve compiled my top 5 favorites for your consideration. I based my recommendations on personal use, features available, ease of use, as well as user reviews from the iOS App Store.  

Without any further ado, here are my 5 Best Pregnancy Apps!

5 Best Pregnancy Apps - Mama Brilliance

Ovia

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ on iOS

This was the first pregnancy app I used, so I have to say I am a bit partial. I also used Ovia’s Fertility Tracker & Ovulation Calculator. Since this was the app that helped me track my ovulation to get pregnant, I felt confident in using the pregnancy app as well.

I love Ovia because it’s a fully comprehensive pregnancy app with a bunch of features: due date tracker, calendar, community forum, tips and tricks, updates on baby’s development and size. I also love that Gina, the Chief of Product at Ovia, shares her pregnancy with you over the weeks.

Every week on the day that your app resets, you’ll get a short video from Gina talking about the milestones you and your baby are marking that week, as well as what she has experienced that week. During the first trimester, there are videos every 3 weeks or so, and then in the 2nd trimester it picks up to one video per week.

But… my all-time favorite feature of this app is the baby size tracker theme options. You know how most apps will compare the baby’s growth to fruits or veggies? Yeah, well Ovia has a few different options to choose from. And I love them. You can choose from fruits & veggies, Parisian Bakery, Fun & Games, and my personal favorite: Weird-but-cute animals.

I loved that I could associate baby’s size with something other than a grapefruit or a potato. At the time of this posting, my baby is 24 weeks, which under the weird-but-cute animals theme is the size of an Atlantic Puffin! How cute is that?

 

Screenshots taken from Ovia Presskit.

The Bump

⭐⭐⭐⭐½ on iOS

The Bump is a sleek and simple app for pregnancy tracking. It has everything you need in a pregnancy app: weekly growth tracker, community forum, appointment list, new articles daily, and even an option to start your registry in app.

The thing that attracted me to The Bump was the Inside The Bump feature, which gives you a 3D view of your baby’s growth each week. I thought it was cool that this feature was interactive and I could swipe around and see what baby looked like from all angles.

Oh, and The Bump is from the same developer as the wedding app The Knot. So if you used and liked The Knot, you’ll probably like The Bump!

 

Screenshots taken from The Bump iOS App Store.

Glow Nurture- Pregnancy Tracker, Baby Calendar

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ on iOS

Okay… So I’m a little bit jealous that I didn’t start out with the Glow Nurture app from Day 1… because it’s AMAZING. There’s a free and a paid version, but the free version is extremely comprehensive. The premium version gives you a bit more bells and whistles, but I personally wouldn’t feel left out if I just stuck with the free version.

The developers of this app thought of just about everything. In addition to the traditional pregnancy app features such as a growth tracker and community forum, Glow Nurture also features a boatload of checklists. Checklists include a hospital bag checklist, baby registry checklist, and a symptoms chart. If you are a prepper, you’ll freaking love Glow Nurture.

Also, there’s a time lapse photo stream for you to track your bump growth throughout your pregnancy. I thought this was pretty cool because I hadn’t seen anything like this in any other app. Yes, you can track your bump progress in other apps, but this was the first one I had seen that actually put together a time lapse photo stream for you.

And finally, it seemed like the community on this app was very active. So this appears to be the app to get if you’re looking to connect with other expecting mamas!

Screenshot taken from Glow Nurture website.

WebMd Pregnancy App

⭐⭐⭐⭐½ on iOS

A truly medical pregnancy app without a bunch of fluff, WebMd’s Pregnancy App is for no-nonsense mama’s who want doctor approved answers to pregnancy questions. You’ll also have access to the symptom tracker, kicks counter, contraction timer, appointment reminders and a journal to keep track of items like baby name ideas, questions to ask your doctor, and memories along the journey.

WebMd Pregnancy also allows you to participate in a Healthy Pregnancy Study. You can choose to contribute to this study to provide valuable information about your unique pregnancy. This study helps to gather more accurate information about pregnancy to keep medical professionals and other expectant moms informed.

Screenshot taken from WebMd iOS App Store.

Baby Center

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ on iOS

If you’re looking for a streamlined newsfeed style app, Baby Center is the app for you. This app is very clean and simple, and great if you don’t want to be overwhelmed by a ton of additional features. You still get the weekly growth tracker and a community forum to connect with other expectant mothers, but it’s not a feature heavy as other apps I’ve talked about in this post.

Screenshots taken from Baby Center iOS App Store.

Bonus App- Baby Story

⭐⭐⭐⭐½ on iOS

In my research I found another app that I absolutely had to include in this list: Baby Story. While this app isn’t for keeping track of baby’s growth and mama’s symptoms, it is a GREAT app for Instagram worthy bumpdates and first-year baby milestone pics. Yes, there are in-app purchases if you want to stick to a certain theme to keep your bumpdates and milestone markers consistent, but you still have quite a bit of creative freedom with the free version.

Screenshots taken from Baby Center iOS App Store.

 

Are you using any of these apps during your pregnancy? Which app is your favorite?

As the founder of Mama Brilliance, Megan is an avid writer, reader, and self-professed coffee snob. You can find her in northern Minnesota with her family, exploring the great outdoors and dreaming of breakfast food.