Why You Should Use A Baby Registry Consultant: Podcast Episode #188
Kristin chats with Audra Geyer of Gold Coast Doulas about why you should work with a baby registry consultant. You can listen to this complete podcast episode on iTunes, SoundCloud, or wherever you find your podcasts.
Welcome. You’re listening to Ask the Doulas, a podcast where we talk to experts from all over the country about topics related to pregnancy, birth, postpartum, and early parenting. Let’s chat!
Kristin: Hello, hello. This is Kristin with Ask the Doulas, and I am so excited to chat with one of our own birth and postpartum doulas, Audra Geyer. Welcome, Audra!
Audra: Hi! Thanks for having me!
Kristin: So our main topic today is all about baby registries, but I would love to start out a bit with your background as a doula and also your professional background that is very related to baby registry services.
Audra: Yes, so I have been a birth and postpartum doula for almost three years now. I did my training through Pro Doula and immediately began supporting families through their pregnancy, birth, and then during that postpartum phase, as well, doing day support, overnight support. And then my background is in speech language pathology, and I’m actually a pediatric SLP. I work with kids with a variety of different diagnoses, but one of the areas I work on is feeding.
Kristin: Yes. So again, feeding is one of the biggest registry concerns. So I thought having you on our registry team would be ideal. We started – I remember meeting you for the first time at a baby expo that Gold Coast had a booth at, and you became a client and then got into birth and postpartum work. So it’s been quite a beautiful journey.
Audra: Yes, I had no idea, really, about what a doula was until I met with you at the birth expo when I was pregnant. And I was first time pregnant. I had so many questions. I wanted to make sure I was doing everything the right way, even though there’s not really one right way. But I just wanted all this information and was feeling so overwhelmed by all the information coming at me, and it was so good to have a team of doulas to help support me throughout my pregnancy, my birth, during my postpartum phase, as well. Just having other support from people on my journey who knew kind of what I needed in that moment, and knowing that what I was doing was okay and I was doing a good job, and then just being that resource there for me when I had questions and things I was not sure of.
Kristin: Beautiful. Now, do you remember your own experience with your baby showers and setting up your own registry, since your pregnancy was much more recent than my own?
Audra: I do remember it, and I remember being so stressed out about it. I think every day, I went and either added something new, deleted something off my registry. I was so concerned about, well, how many of this do I need? How many washcloths do I need? And I actually remember my sister-in-law texting me like, well, make sure you have baby washcloths. There’s a difference? And do I really need those? I actually remember going to a baby shower for someone who was due a few months before me, and they had three different kinds of baby pillows that they had gotten. And I was like, wait, I need all this stuff? What is this one for? What is this one for? Like, how do I use all of these? I was feeling totally overwhelmed. And I am a researcher; I’m a planner. I like to have lists. So I used Amazon for my registry, and like I said, I think every day I would go and change things. I would add something new. I would think, oh, I have to have this because that’s what a friend told me or what I saw on Instagram or Facebook. And so I don’t really think I need this, but everyone is saying I do, so I’ll get it. And I’ll admit, I did end up with a lot of things that either I never used or they’re still sitting in my storage to this day. So I just remember being very overwhelmed with the whole process.
Kristin: Yes. I have a similar memory. Now, my daughter’s 12, and I remember having three different baby showers. You know, one family, a couple friends groups. So that registry process was overwhelming because, again, you hear from friends and family members and go into mom groups and try to get all the best options. Breastfeeding pillows, bottles, pumps, all of that. And really trying to figure out the best swaddle, and you don’t want too many clothing items, but you want to register for some cute baby things. With my son, I didn’t have any showers. I had a blessing wave with him and his birth a couple years later. So, yeah, I didn’t have that stress, but I do remember feeling like I had too many things, as well. A lot of things that I registered for, I didn’t even need until Abby was one. So yeah, it’s like – you know, a lot of the toys, and obviously, you can read books, but some of the things were just taking up space until they’re a bit older. So I do remember trying to be very intentional about supporting local businesses, so I set up registries at baby stores, and having some eco-friendly options was also very important to me, outside of, again, listening to friends and family members and looking at the recommendations for the car seat and swings and all of the things. Again, I had a lot of very generous friends who gave me hand me downs like their own baby outfits and some baby carriers and things like that.
Audra: Yeah, I definitely did some of that, too. I have a niece and a nephew who are a little bit older than my daughter and some friends with kids, and when I got pregnant, they kind of offered some things, and that helped me to decide, okay, are some of these things objects that I can reuse, or do I need to buy my own, and that definitely did help me narrow down, hey, like, I don’t need to get a baby jumper because my friend has one I can use. That helped a little bit with that process. But yeah, it’s so hard to keep track of all these different tools and different ages and what I need for newborn versus three to six months and as my baby is growing. When do I need certain tools, and why would I need them? I remember a big one for me was a thermometer and not knowing the right one to get because someone had told me that it is best for a newborn to only use a rectal thermometer. That’s how you’re going to get the best answer, and I was all about safety, doing whatever’s best. And had my daughter, and then COVID hit shortly after, so fevers were a big thing to be on the lookout for. But then I had other people telling me, well, no, just get the forehead scanner because that’s the easiest and you’re never going to use the other ones. And so I was like, okay, what is right for me, though, and what is going to make me feel the most comfortable, because it was different for some of my family members and friends, what their comfort level was. So really, having to do my own research and figure out what works for me right now.
Kristin: Right, yeah. Totally, because we have unique needs. I’m really excited to again start this baby registry service at Gold Coast because it is so different for each individual based on their living situation. Do they live in a condo or a downtown apartment, or are they in the country? Do they have grandparents caring for their child or children, and will they be transporting the baby or babies in their own vehicle. What are the needs with the stroller? Does the stroller need to be more urban, or do they want a jogger or a double stroller if there are other kids? Figuring out exactly what they need, and hopefully, our goal is to avoid a lot of the headache and hassle of setting up a registry and also do some research on product recommendations based on what their goals are.
Audra: Yeah, I think it will be such a great tool. You know, I wish I could have had someone to just sit me down and go through a list of, okay, here are the things I would recommend you getting. Here are some things that it’s up to you, your preference, if you want them; it’s not a necessity. Or based on your lifestyle, here are some even, like, brands or specific products you would recommend because there’s so many different products out there. So many different reviews, and what is the safest for my baby? What is going to be the product that will be the most beneficial for me and my lifestyle?
Kristin: Exactly. And then again, as postpartum doulas, we’re in clients’ homes, and we’re seeing the products that they’re using and giving suggestions on anything from swaddles to baby carriers to sleep sacks to, again, things like the feeding options and pumps and making sure that the nipple size is correct for bottles. So many options.
Audra: Yeah, and especially with the feeding component, and sometimes when we’re pregnant, we’re not really sure what feeding is going to look like as part of our journey, or we might have one idea set in our head and it looks totally different than what we expected. Or, hey, I’ve heard these bottles are the best, but my baby won’t take these bottles, and how we can really help set up a registry for your situation that you at least have something and you can try something and then know what works, what doesn’t work, versus maybe spending or registering for lots of one specific kind of thing and learning down the road that that’s not the best for your baby at that time.
Kristin: Exactly. So getting into some of the background and training that we have as far as the registry consultations go, I did go through an eight-week certification program through Be Her Village, a brand new program. So I am a certified gift registry expert, and I wasn’t sure that there would be eight weeks’ worth of content, and I was amazed. Every session, I learned more and more and with the homework and certification process, it was very eye-opening because I felt like ten years as a birth doula and childbirth educator, coming on eight years as a postpartum doula, I thought I had a good handle on things, until we really got into it. Kristin Morter is also joining us as a baby registry consultant, and she is a birth and postpartum doula with us. The three of us took a course on baby registries, as well, and I felt like even with all of my experience through the certification process, I still learned more through that course. So putting our experience and some of this training together will certainly benefit our clients. So getting into the offerings: so we are going to be offering standard baby registry consultations with a one hour virtual consult, baby gear and product recommendations based on lifestyle and needs, and then assistance with community resources. And this service is virtual, so it doesn’t need to be limited to West Michigan clients only. We’re able to work with anyone anywhere in the world. And so that consultation is $125, and then we have a more intensive program where we would actually help with your set up. And so, again, taking the work out of creating a registry, we get into what your unique goals are and have an extensive intake form on your lifestyle and then also include that one hour virtual consultation and really help set up the registry, not only with the products that we talked about, everything from feeding to sleep to toys, but also getting into services that could be beneficial to set up on a registry. And that set up is $350. And then we offer in-store shopping for our clients who are local to West Michigan only, and that is up to three hours of time in a store, helping to select baby gear and registry items based on goals and lifestyle. Again, that would include an intake form to really specify what your goals are and help set up that registry and also help you shop for everything from strollers to high chairs and all of the baby gear.
Audra: I’m so excited. I think this will just be such a great tool for families who are expecting a baby, just helping to reduce some of that time and stress that goes into all of this. And at the end of the day, knowing that you’ll have a registry that will fit your lifestyle.
Kristin: Exactly. And then we do certainly look into the quality, performance, and safety recommendations. We’re looking into recalls. And then also showing our clients how they can monitor recalls for items that are purchased and how to handle returns and so on. So what are your top tips for our listeners, whether it’s first time baby or whether they’re having a sprinkle if it’s baby number two or three, for setting up that registry on their own if they’re not interested in working with a baby registry consultant?
Audra: My top tips would be, there are so many great online tools, like using Amazon to help build a registry. I know Bed Bath & Beyond or Buy Buy Baby that’s going out of business?
Kristin: They’re all under one ownership.
Audra: Yes. That won’t be there anymore. But having a location, one spot where you can make a registry to help keep track of where things are, because it can get really challenging have multiple different places that you’re looking and adding things. Okay, added the crib to this store, and now I’m adding this one to another store. So having one place to keep track of everything. And I also think it’s really beneficial to keep track of what you get as your pregnancy goes on. I know I got a lot of things that maybe I didn’t register for where people were just sending me gifts. So having a place that you can store, whether it be a file on your computer or a file at your house that keeps track of what you have and when you got it so that you don’t end up having too many of one object or not enough of another. And then also just knowing that when baby arrives, baby just needs a place to sleep, food to eat, and clothes to keep them warm, and knowing that if you have those things, you’ll be okay and that there are services out there to help you and as you go along, you will figure out what you need. But we are always here to help, as well.
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Kristin: Exactly. Great tips, Audra. And certainly using some of the online registries, like baby lists you can add services. Many of our clients add postpartum doula support, birth doula support, to their online registries. And we are also partnered with Be Her Village, which is all about registering for services versus products. So everything from, again, newborn care specialists and postpartum doulas to birth support to classes to other services related to pregnancy and the postnatal phase. So we’re happy to help with that. And then we’re also partnered locally with EcoBuns Baby + Co. in Holland, and they have a registry and really help with shopping and specific goals, whether it’s eco friendly or cloth diapering, for example, selecting the right baby carrier. Marissa is a certified baby carrier specialist, and so she can help with some of that selection process. I know for my two kids, they needed different carriers. So certainly giving options outside of the big brands. You know, you can get into local stores, and then also some of the national retailers for family and friends who are out of town.
Audra: Yeah, and one thing I know with wedding registries that’s becoming popular is people are adding a honeymoon fund or ways to contribute for this honeymoon that they take; buy them an experience or give them money towards it, and what a great resource to say, hey, I would like, instead of baby clothes, money going towards postpartum services or birth services or lactation to help set me up for my birth and postpartum journey. It’s just such a great tool to have and a great way for people to help support you.
Kristin: Exactly. And again, it’s not that hassle of registering for everything. Just because I remember even for my wedding registry, it’s like I was overwhelmed at what I needed to add to that. So baby registries are very similar, and sometimes you end up with things you never use or that don’t work. So it’s all about really saving that hassle and avoiding things sitting in your house and creating clutter that, depending on your personality, may end up stressing you out.
Kristin: So with your professional background, what tips are you seeing for working with infants and with feeding and palate issues? Any tips for parents who are trying to figure out the best feeding options and work on speech?
Audra: Yeah, definitely. There’s so many different types of bottles out there, and so many that claim to be breast-friendly and this bottle and nipple shape is just like a mother’s nipple. There’s just so much information, and same with pacifiers. So really looking at some of the research out there, and there are some specific bottles that are more friendly for if you are planning to nurse, but then also bottle feed, and there are different nipples for a pacifier with the same thing so that your baby doesn’t get nipple confusion. So there’s lots of different tools out there, but I think my number one tip for feeding is if you are having any concerns or any difficulties, to reach out for help. Reach out to a lactation consultant. Reach out to a speech language pathologist, and really see what is going on to make sure that baby’s oral motor muscles are moving the proper way, that there’s no tongue tie, lip tie, anything that might be affecting the latch. You know, they look at positioning and support and how you’re holding baby. So really just reaching out for help and seeing, okay, what could be going on, and always being curious and investigating.
Kristin: Love it. Very helpful, Audra. So as far as working with Gold Coast, you can reach out to us at our website. We do have a page on our website all about the baby registry services. You can also email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. And if you are interested in working with a baby registry consultant in your area, I recommend you search Google or look at Be Her Village. Again, they are starting up this certification process, so there will be certified baby registry experts all over. But again, we can work with you no matter where you live. So thanks for sharing all of your tips, and it was lovely to chat about baby registry support with you, Audra.
Audra: Yes, thanks for having me, and I’m excited to start offering this service.
Kristin: Same! Have a great day.
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