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The first time you enter a big box store with that registry scanner can feel overwhelming or exhilarating. For me, I was so overwhelmed that I couldn’t make a decision. “Buy all the car seats,” I thought. “We need every pacifier out there just in case,” I reasoned with my husband. Thankfully, my husband is an accountant and with that comes a whole world of detailed knowledge. He made, yep, you guessed it right: a spreadsheet. We used that lovely spreadsheet for almost every major product we scanned in on our baby registry. Car seat, stroller, travel system…you name it, he had a category for it. Not everyone thinks that way, however, which is why it’s imperative to know your options when it comes to where you register.

Here are your options on where you can create a baby registry (in my humble opinion):

Shop Small, the locally owned retailer

There’s something exhilarating about being able to support a small business retailer. They’re the little guys and if you’re like me and you tend to route for the little guy this is the way to go. Whether it’s the conscious decision you’ve made to support local or the personalized service you receive from the shop’s owners and employees, you’d be surprised by how many small retailers offer gift registries to their expecting parents. Most the time you don’t even need to be present to register! Many of these same retailers offer online registries which is convenient for out of town friends and family who wish to bless you and your bundle of joy. A few of our favorites small businesses to register are:

The Big Box Store

Not every person who wants to love on your baby is going to be privy to shopping small or even shopping online which is why it’s nice to present an option at one of the big box stores. While these stores do lack the personal touch that shops and boutiques offer, there is something to be said about familiarity and that is one thing that a big box store has: every location looks similar to each other. A few of my favorite national options are:

The Online Retailer

Shopping in-store, especially at a mall, is something of the past. Many people, myself included, would rather shop online on a major website than set foot in a mall.

The awesome thing about Amazon’s baby registry is that you can specify an Amazon shop you’d like to register with.

MyRegistry.com – Once you create an account with MyRegistry.com you create a universal registry where you can register for items anywhere and it’s all housed in one place. It works similar to the Pinterest button that you can add to your browser’s toolbar. See something you like? Click your MyRegistry.com button and add it to your registry. You can also sync up the registry you’ve created in-store onto MyRegistry.com so that everything is in one nice spot. I totally wish this had been around in 2008 when I was registering for our first baby.

Still confused about MyRegistry.com? Watch the video!

Really, registering doesn’t need to be rocket science and certainly where you should register shouldn’t be anything to stress you out. Think of your friends and family, what would be easiest? Then think of a small business you’d like to support and be sure to register there as well as emphasize your desire for people to try to fill your registry at the shop. Whatever happens, people are amazingly generous when a baby is on the way so be sure to mind your manners like your mama taught you. Write thank you notes and don’t stress if a gift isn’t on the registry!