*We’ve partnered with Lullaby Baby to help you ace your baby registry.

Registering for your baby gives you the first taste of the many choices you’ll be making along your parenting journey. And while we don’t know exactly what products will be the right fit for you and your baby-to-be, we do know that someone that does...and that someone probably works at your local baby shop.

Your local baby shop has everything that big box retail doesn’t: one-on-one attention, in-depth explanations and tender love and care that’s so critical during pregnancy and postpartum.

With shops like Giggle closing, and retailers like Amazon getting bigger every day, there’s no more important time to support your local baby shop. And a great way to do that is with a baby registry. Here are 5 reasons why we think you should think SMALL stores when making that BIG registry for your baby:

1. You Can Touch The Products Out Of The Box

At a big store, you most likely will have to wait forever to even find a salesperson on the floor. At smaller stores, however, a sales associate is likely to be right there, eager to show you the product that you’re interested in and let you experience it in the store. Many will even let you try it out at home. “A mom with a three-day-old baby will come into the store, in tears because she can’t figure out which Medela nursing product to buy,” says Kayla Kramer, who co-owns the Brooklyn baby shop Lullaby Baby. “At our store, we’ll send her home with, say, two different items to try, and she can just bring back the one she didn’t like. You can’t do that at a big box store.”

2. You Can Learn About Why You Need It

Confused about whether you should buy extra breast pump valves or if you actually need a car seat adaptor for your brand of stroller? First-time parents especially need these things explained. In detail. When you shop in a small store, you’re talking to professionals who not only know their products inside and out, but who want to help you walk away with the most information possible. They’ll arm you with all the right details so you aren’t stuck with, say, a stroller, a car seat, and no way to connect the two.

3. You Won’t Have To Wait

If one of your baby essentials breaks (omg! The baby food maker!), and you need a new one, like YESTERDAY, you don’t have time to wait for an online order to be delivered. If you bought the product at a small store, they will likely replace it for you the same day or provide a great alternative. Some shops might even lend you a substitute until your product arrives, or reimburse you if the product was faulty. Now. Not in 6 weeks from now.

4. They Know You And Your Family

The big stores have no idea who you are. But when you go to the same store for your products as your baby gets older, the store grows with you, too and learns to anticipate your family’s needs. Lullaby Baby’s shop co-owner Kayla says she loves seeing her customers and their families grow. Often, customers will just stop in to say hi in the middle of the day, simply to see a friendly face.

5. They Test and Research The Products They Sell

Small stores rely on the satisfaction of their customers, so they stand behind everything that they sell. That means that they’ve tested these products and researched them to make sure that they are safe and that they are the best products to fit the needs of their customers. At Lullaby Baby -- and probably at your own local shop -- the same team has been there for years! Customers know that behind each product is someone who has experienced or used it with their own kids.

Go open a baby registry at your fave local baby shop, or check out one of ours -- Lullaby Baby -- online.

Original photography by Ren’ee Kahn-Bresler