Tips to Making the Most Out of Your Baby Shower

I am a big fan of any kind of party where you get free stuff. Baby showers are great- you get pampered, you get to sit in a cushy chair and have someone bring you cake. Sounds like a rockin' good time to me! Unfortunately, too many first time moms end up getting burned. You will spend hours creating the perfect registry and you hold off on buying stuff (even if you find it on sale, or cheaper somewhere else) in the hopes that your friends and family will come through in the end and buy everything on your list. Then the big day comes, you get all dressed up,you open presents,and you go home with: 48 outfits of pink or blue all in size 0-3 months 2-3 pairs of baby booties A diaper pail system (that will end up costing you hundreds of dollars in refills over the course of a few months) Various baby toys A pack of bottles (usually not the ones you registered for) A needlepoint picture of a teddy bear to hang on your wall 26 receiving blankets A kit to make a plaster handprint of your baby And if you are lucky, a couple of gift cards or money. Think I am joking? I just typed up the list of items out of my son's baby book.

So, then you have to waddle to the nearest baby store at the last minute to get all the stuff on your registry that you didn't get at your shower. The result- you end up spending way more than you budgeted for. So, how do you prevent this? Here are some tips: If at all possible, do not tell anyone the sex of your baby. Keep it between you and your husband, and maybe grandma. But swear them to secrecy! Once everyone gets word that's it a boy or a girl, they can't stop themselves from buying little frilly pink things or little blue things with puppy dogs on them.

It's impossible. Don't put a single stitch of clothing on your registry. You are going to get clothes regardless, but don't put the idea in their head. Do include things on your registry like cases of diapers, baby soaps, wipes, diaper rash ointments, baby medicines and gift certificates. Take the scanner out of the baby department and head towards the diapers and formula. Baby Tylenol is $8 dollars a bottle- and you will go through it like water when your baby is teething.

Most registries give you a place to include a note for shoppers: use this space to repeat the fact that you would like diapers and wipes.

Sarah Jones is a first time mom to a young son, and runs a blog entitled "The Adventures of Super-Mommy and Spitup Boy! She has just published her first book "Diapers on a Dime", which is available on her website.

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