Nov 9, 2012

Twin Registry Checklist

Those of you who explore the pages and posts around this here blog may have noticed a new link on the Baby Registry Page and the Buying all the Things Page.
(To see the full list, updated regularly, click the link)
There has been a lot of discussion on twitter recently about what to register for. I am obviously completely clueless (the whole never had a baby thing), but if you know me, you are well aware of my love for all things list. I like to write things down, check them off, put them in a spreadsheet, etc. The best kind of spreadsheet has formulas and automatically keeps track of important information for you. When the twitterverse discussion started I was happy to share the list I had made!
I had taken 4-5 of the twin registry checklists I found online and combined them in excel to make them do what I need. While literally thousands of registry checklists exist for single babies, not as many exist that help decide what items you need two of and what you can get away with one of. For example, for a single baby spreadsheets typically say 2-3 crib liners. But, for twins they don't recommend 6 because it is unlikely both babies will wet through multiple times in the same night. Most twin registry lists said four was plenty. So, I took all of this information and (shocker) made a spreadsheet. Well, actually, I've made three iterations of the spreadsheet!
Since sharing this I have changed it and added to it as experienced Moms have weighed in with what their twins really used and how many of each item they actually used. Some of the feedback has been conflicting (you can't live without two bouncers, I didn't use a bouncer at all) but for the most part, twin moms are in some level of agreement about what they used. I am taking full advantage of all the advice they have to give!
The iterations:

The first version of this list I made is reminiscent of my buying a car spreadsheet. It took the list of needed items (big things only) and allowed me to compare and contrast our top few brands/versions. It helped me narrow down our car seats, stroller, packnplay, decide rocknplay over bassinets, etc. This was really helpful starting out as it let me figure out what features were important to me in all of the high dollar baby items.
Once I had chosen what we wanted, version two of the spreadsheet was born. This version took the items we were interested in and did price comparisons across stores. I looked at Amazon vs Target vs Buy Buy Baby vs Babies R Us vs Burlington Coat Factory vs WalMart and in some cases even compared prices for the item new on eBay. From this spreadsheet I learned that price-wise, registry location didn't matter. Each store had items where they were the cheapest. None of the differences were big enough to make me decide to only register for an item at one store (although this is how I learned that Babies R Us was discontinuing selling our very high end car seat and so had it clearanced for a savings of OVER $100 per seat!)
After completing that list, I started working on this one that is shared. It is useful because it finally got into some of the smaller dollar items like bottles and pacifiers and layette and allows me to compare how many I have purchased/been given to how many I need. It also gives happy smiley faces each time an item is completed. As I said, I like excel formulas and I like smiley faces. Win Win.
I also keep a separate gift list that lists the item, who gave me the item and has a check box to mark when I have written and sent a thank you note. This list is not so much part of the regsitry checklists, but it is an important part of my registry organization. I want to make sure anyone who generously gives to Pip and Pop knows how very appreciated they are! So far I have a decent number of thank yous written, but I keep forgetting to stop at the post office and buy stamps so a big whooping ZERO are mailed. Fail. I really need to get these thank you notes mailed, don't I!
Don't miss out on today's other post, Fragments for Friday, with crib progress, a name update and much, much more!

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