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Baby Registry Basics

giggle founder and CEO Ali Wing gives us the ABCs of the building the perfect baby registry.

Baby Registry Basics

My first registry experience was like that of so many other mamas I know: overwhelming, emotional and generally disappointing. I spent a good portion of it in fetal position in the crib section (oh, the irony), and the rest of it at the nail salon across the street. I registered for exactly zero items.

Two weeks later, I tried it again -- this time at giggle. The beautiful baby shop was a breath of fresh air -- the sales staff was knowledgeable, the store was easy to navigate, and the product selection was curated perfectly. The giggle experience was downright civilized. It made me excited for baby to arrive, and helped me feel confident about my future role as a mama.

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I -- and so many other city mamas -- have Ali Wing to thank for that. The giggle founder and CEO has made sure that all of her shop is more than just a shop; it’s a resource for new and expectant parents. Below she offers advice on building the perfect registry and picks her fave 5 items for the day you bring baby home.

How can parents-to-be prepare for registering before they come into the store?

Buying for becoming a new parent is as much (maybe more?) about the kind of parent you want to be as it is the baby. Bottom line is that most baby products are really new parent-products – to help you with the baby! To that end, my universal “before you start shopping” advice is to assess you and your partner. Specifically, assess your lifestyle. How do you live? Do you live somewhere you have a lot of space or not? Will you (plan) on working out of the house after the baby is born? Will you have help at home or out of the house? Do you live somewhere you will drive, walk or take mass transit a lot? Do you travel a lot?

As a general rule, how would you describe yourself as a consumer – over-prepared/a little bit of everything, minimalist, eco-minded, quality over quantity, etc. These are the type of “lifestyle” factors that should drive your product decisions to make sure you get the best products for you. (The good news is that there are so many good products out there today, so getting a great product is not the hard part. Getting a great product for you and how you live is the key!)

What's the benefit of doing your registry in the store vs. online? If you can't get into the store, what tips would you suggest to make online registering easier?

Touch and feel – in addition to personal, educated service – can often put a new parent set of nerves at ease. With all of the great digital tools, expecting parents can learn a ton about products online that didn’t use to be available. However, hands-on time for “how to’s” and “demos” can go a long way.

If you cannot get into the store, my giggle registry advice is threefold: (1) Take advantage of our quick-start registry tools – they really help with the basics! (2) Don’t try to do all the “technical” (gear) categories at once; take your time and leverage our “Gear Guides” for the lifestyle questions you would otherwise be covering in store with a sales associate to help you opt into the best product for you. (3) Take advantage of our onsite chat and call center – we’re here to help, and our teams are trained just like in the stores!

What questions should parents-to-be ask of their registry associate?

In addition to the above suggestions, I always recommend being up front with the associate about what things are most important to you in your product choices. Is it the best “value” for each product? The most “eco/green” for each product? Most contemporary or modern designs? Things that work in a small space? Use our giggle Criteria to help you – they were gleaned by talking to new parents week over week, year over year …to understand exactly these lifestyle questions that really make the difference between a good product and a great product for you!

Are there certain big-ticket items that you'd encourage new parents to buy for themselves rather than register for? Or smaller items that your friends and family are less likely to buy?

Very few new parents register for their nursery furniture – unless:

1. They want take advantage of the registry close-out savings for their big ticket items and are willing to push those purchases close to their due date.

2. They decide sharing their choices helps people see their “style” pick.

3. Parents or friends are looking to “go in on/share” in a group gift. All of these are great reasons to include the big items along with the little items on your registry.

Our big advice is that you do include a healthy balance of price points on your registry. Gift-givers spend on all levels, and many also like to combine items, but everyone has a budget. Give them options.

Last but not least, most better registries – and certainly at giggle – allow you to get a store credit for things you want to exchange. Extras can always be used towards the items you didn’t get.

Give us 3 baby product trends for 2014.

1. Muslin. More and more, American parents have bought into the notion that muslin is an important nursery fabric.

2. Sleep sack. Very few parents will skip the AAP recommended approach to sleepsack (and/or sleepsack swaddle) sleeping. And why not?! It’s easy and safe.

3. Monitor. And probably one that has some sort of iPhone interface viewing on-the-go and everywhere. This is a category that has changed a ton recently, and is now working with phones versus being separate devices.

How much do you REALLY need for baby?

As an overall philosophy, for most of this, less is more. You already have to buy enough things when you become a new parent. It’s better to not buy a ton of each before you get to: (1) know your baby a little; and (2) meet yourself as a parent. You will find out a lot about what you like/don’t like once you get in the game. The best example is things like diapers or even basic layette items. Whether it’s a type of diaper closure or a kimono-style or crew neck, your baby’s body -- and your fingers – will tell you which you prefer with some practice. Most people do end up having some very clear preferences.

Of course, if you are happier having absolutely everything ready, then weigh how relaxed that will make you feel vs. the risk of needing to trade out some choices after you get going and discover your preferences.

Ali’s fave 5 items for the day you bring baby home:

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These challenges from Nike PLAYlist are exactly what my child needs to stay active

Plus a fall family bucket list to keep everyone moving all season long.

While it's hard to name anything that the pandemic hasn't affected, one thing that is constantly on my mind is how to keep my family active despite spending more time indoors. Normally, this time of year would be spent at dance and gymnastics lessons, meeting up with friends for games and field trips, and long afternoon playdates where we can all let off a little steam. Instead, we find ourselves inside more often than ever before—and facing down a long winter of a lot more of the same.

I started to search for an outlet that would get my girls moving safely while we social distance, but at first I didn't find a lot of solutions. Online videos either weren't terribly engaging for my active kids, or the messaging wasn't as positive around the power of movement as I would like. Then I found the Nike PLAYlist.

I always knew that Nike could get me moving, but I was so impressed to discover this simple resource for parents. PLAYlist is an episodic sports show on YouTube that's made for kids and designed to teach them the power of expressing themselves through movement. The enthusiastic kid hosts immediately captured my daughter's attention, and I love how the physical activity is organically incorporated in fun activities without ever being specifically called out as anything other than play. For example, this segment where the kids turn yoga into a game of Paper Scissors Rock? Totally genius. The challenges from #TheReplays even get my husband and me moving more when our daughter turns it into a friendly family competition. (Plus, I love the play-inspired sportswear made just for kids!)

My daughter loves the simple Shake Ups at the beginning of the episode and is usually hopping off the couch to jump, dance and play within seconds. One of her favorites is this Sock Flinger Shake Up activity from the Nike PLAYlist that's easy for me to get in on too. Even after we've put away the tablet, the show inspires her to create her own challenges throughout the day.

The best part? The episodes are all under 5 minutes, so they're easy to sprinkle throughout the day whenever we need to work out some wiggles (without adding a lot of screen time to our schedule).

Whether you're looking for simple alternatives to P.E. and sports or simply need fun ways to help your child burn off energy after a day of socially distanced school, Nike's PLAYlist is a fun, kid-friendly way to get everyone moving.

Need more movement inspiration for fall? Here are 5 ways my family is getting up and getting active this season:

1. Go apple picking.

Truly, it doesn't really feel like fall until we've picked our first apple. (Or had our first bite of apple cider donut!) Need to burn off that extra cinnamon-sugar energy? Declare a quick relay race up the orchard aisle—winner gets first to pick of apples at home.

To wear: These Printed Training Tights are perfect for when even a casual walk turns into a race (and they help my daughter scurry up a branch for the big apples).

2. Visit a pumpkin patch.

We love to pick up a few locally grown pumpkins to decorate or cook with each year. Challenge your child to a "strongman" contest and see who can lift the heaviest pumpkin while you're there.

To wear: Suit up your little one in comfort with this Baby Full Zip Coverall so you're ready for whatever adventures the day brings.

3. Have a nature scavenger hunt.

Scavenger hunts are one of my favorite ways to keep my daughter preoccupied all year long. We love to get outside and search for acorns, leaves and pinecones as part of our homeschool, but it's also just a great way to get her exercising those gross motor skills whenever the wiggles start to build up.

To wear: It's not truly fall until you break out a hoodie. This cozy Therma Elite Kids Hoodie features a mesh overlay to release heat while your child plays.

4. Have a touch-football game.

Tip for parents with very little kids: It doesn't have to last as long as a real football game. 😂 In fact, staging our own mini-games is one of our favorite ways to get everyone up and moving in between quarters during Sunday football, and I promise we all sleep better that night.

To wear: From impromptu games of tag to running through our favorite trails, these kids' Nike Air Zoom Speed running shoes are made to cover ground all season long.

5. Create an indoor obstacle course.

Pretending the floor is lava was just the beginning. See how elaborate your personal course can get, from jumping on the couch to rolling under the coffee table to hopping down the hallway on one foot.

To wear: These ready-for-any-activity Dri-FIT Tempo Shorts are perfect for crawling, hopping and racing—and cuddling up when it's time to rest.

This article was sponsored by Nike. Thank you for supporting the brands that supporting Motherly and mamas.

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Time-saving formula tips our editors swear by

Less time making bottles, more time snuggling.

As a new parent, it can feel like feeding your baby is a full-time job—with a very demanding nightshift. Add in the additional steps it takes to prepare a bottle of formula and, well… we don't blame you if you're eager to save some time when you can. After all, that means more time for snuggling your baby or practicing your own well-deserved self-care.

Here's the upside: Many, many formula-feeding mamas before you have experienced the same thing, and they've developed some excellent tricks that can help you mix up a bottle in record time. Here are the best time-saving formula tips from editors here at Motherly.

1. Use room temperature water

The top suggestion that came up time and time again was to introduce bottles with room temperature water from the beginning. That way, you can make a bottle whenever you need it without worrying about warming up water—which is a total lifesaver when you have to make a bottle on the go or in the middle of the night.

2. Buy online to save shopping time

You'll need a lot of formula throughout the first year and beyond—so finding a brand like Comforts, which offers high-quality infant formula at lower prices, will help you save a substantial amount of money. Not to mention, you can order online or find the formula on shelves during your standard shopping trip—and that'll save you so much time and effort as well.

3. Pre-measure nighttime bottles

The middle of the night is the last time you'll want to spend precious minutes mixing up a bottle. Instead, our editors suggest measuring out the correct amount of powder formula into a bottle and putting the necessary portion of water on your bedside table. That way, all you have to do is roll over and combine the water and formula in the bottle before feeding your baby. Sounds so much better than hiking all the way to the kitchen and back at 3 am, right?

4. Divide serving sizes for outings

Before leaving the house with your baby, divvy up any portions of formula and water that you may need during your outing. Then, when your baby is hungry, just combine the pre-measured water and powder serving in the bottle. Our editors confirm this is much easier than trying to portion out the right amount of water or formula while riding in the car.

5. Memorize the mental math

Soon enough, you'll be able to prepare a bottle in your sleep. But, especially in the beginning or when increasing your baby's serving, the mental math can take a bit of time. If #mombrain makes it tough to commit the measurements to memory, write up a cheat sheet for yourself or anyone else who will prepare your baby's bottle.

6. Warm up chilled formula with water

If you're the savvy kind of mom who prepares and refrigerates bottles for the day in advance, you'll probably want to bring it up to room temperature before serving. Rather than purchase a bottle warmer, our editors say the old-fashioned method works incredibly well: Just plunge the sealed bottle in a bowl of warm water for a few minutes and—voila!—it's ready to serve.



Another great tip? Shop the Comforts line on Comfortsforbaby.com to find premium baby products for a fraction of competitors' prices. Or, follow @comfortsforbaby for more information!

This article was sponsored by The Kroger Co. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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Chrissy Teigen/Instagram

When Chrissy Teigen announced her third pregnancy earlier this year we were so happy for her and now our hearts are with her as she is going through a pain that is unimaginable for many, but one that so many other mothers know.

Halfway through a high-risk pregnancy complicated by placenta issues, Teigen announced late Wednesday that she has suffered a pregnancy loss.

Our deepest condolences go out to Chrissy and her husband, John Legend (who has been by her side in the hospital for several days now).

In a social media post, Teigen explained she named this baby Jack.

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"We are shocked and in the kind of deep pain you only hear about, the kind of pain we've never felt before. We were never able to stop the bleeding and give our baby the fluids he needed, despite bags and bags of blood transfusions. It just wasn't enough," she wrote.

She continued: "We never decide on our babies' names until the last possible moment after they're born, just before we leave the hospital. But we, for some reason, had started to call this little guy in my belly Jack. So he will always be Jack to us. Jack worked so hard to be a part of our little family, and he will be, forever."

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