2nd Trimester

Is there a tactful way to ask this?

I am trying to go as natural as possible.  This includes using homemade baby powder, cloth diapers, etc.  Basically I don't want a bunch of products I won't use being given at my baby shower.  It's a waste of the gift giver's money, it's unfair to them to buy these overpriced products that I won't use.  Is there a way to state I don't want certain things being given at my baby shower, but tactfully? 

Should I state something about not going off the registry?  Should I make a theme of green products, or should I simply state that I have all the staples (baby powder, diapers, rash cream, etc) and don't need any?

My sister is planning it, but I want to be able to make it easier for her by at least having my more annoying requests handled.

I'm really just trying to spare people from wasting their money, I hate being wasteful since I spent so much of my life being a wasteful person.  If I turn out to be wrong and it doesn't work for me, then fine it's MY debit card and sanity that's taking the hit when I have to go out with a screaming infant.

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Re: Is there a tactful way to ask this?

  • She could put that you plan to cloth diaper, but I would just not register for these things. If you do get things you won't use just exchange them for in store credit to put toward things you will use.
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  • I think your intentions are good, but I don't think there is an appropriate way to tell people how to spend their money.  Perhaps the best thing you can do is to put as many green-themed products on your registry and hope that everyone gets the point.  But I'd still expect to receive some gifts that you may not want. 
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  • I don't think there really is a tactful way of saying that. If people buy you things you don't need or want, just return them and buy things you do need. Then their money isn't wasted because you've put it to good use. I would just tell your sister how you feel about all that, and then as people ask her about your registry and things you may want in addition to it, she can just tell them your preferences. 
  • image nola78:
    I think your intentions are good, but I don't think there is an appropriate way to tell people how to spend their money.  Perhaps the best thing you can do is to put as many green-themed products on your registry and hope that everyone gets the point.  But I'd still expect to receive some gifts that you may not want. 

    This. Also, Walmart is great about taking things back, even if they weren't bought in their store. I took all the Huggies diapers I got back because I decided I liked Pampers better. You will at least be able to get store credit from them. Good luck!

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  • I think that gifts are gifts, and it's difficult to tell people what to do.  That said, I would register for items that you would like, which will increase the chances that you get only those items.  You will still get plenty of things from people who mean well.  I would hold onto those items because you may find that they do come in useful, and if they don't, you can give them to friends or donate them to a woman's shelter.  No matter what, they will not go to waste.  They will simply be re-purposed.

    Also, have you considered not having a shower?  Showers are generally about gifts, and if you're concerned about waste, maybe just a cake and coffee party to meet the baby after he/she is born would be more your style? 

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  • There's really no way you can say something about how you don't want products you won't use, or to not go off the registry, or even say something about how you have all the baby products you'll need - without being extremly tacky and rude (in my opinion). 

    You can mention to your friends and family that you are going as green as possible and are going to be making your own baby products (and FYI I was always told baby powder is really bad for babies) and using cloth diapers.  Maybe register for supplies to make the products, or for the cloth diapers.  As for stuff you don't want, people are going to get you what they want to get you and it is what it is.  You can always try and return it later or even donate it.

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  • I dont think there is a good way to tell people this on the invite. I would defiantly not register for certain things and hopefully people will take the hint.  You could also tell your sister that if anyone asks she can verbally tell them you are trying to go as green as possible.  If you do get some of these things you can always exchange them for items you need or donate them.
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  • No.  There is no way to really tell your guests what to buy and what not to buy.  Don't register for that stuff and if you get them, just return it.
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  • I donated baby products given at my shower that I knew I wouldn't be using moving forward.  The registry is a guide but people will choose to buy things they think you need, which usually includes disposable diapers, Dreft detergent and J&J products.  Be grateful they're generous and donate it to somebody who will be even more grateful.
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  • Most registries have a place for you to write notes. I would indicate in your notes that you plan to CD. Also, register for the brands you DO want. But no. There is no right way to tell people how to spend their money. Worst case scenario, you return/exchange things or donate them to a women's shelter.
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  • I would just make a point to tell everyone that you would like to go as natural as possible. Maybe as for some of the ingredients for the home made powders. I don't think it's rude at all...but if you can't tell them...exchange the things they buy for other things you might need. Everyone just wants to get something that will help you so if you tell them you want everything natural I think they'd be fine with getting you natural things.
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  • I think something can be mentioned in the shower invitation that you're going green with products, and it can be mentioned in a fun kinda way (like "since she's been 'green' her whole pregnancy, she'd like to keep green once the baby gets here...) or something like that.
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  • image nola78:
    I think your intentions are good, but I don't think there is an appropriate way to tell people how to spend their money.  Perhaps the best thing you can do is to put as many green-themed products on your registry and hope that everyone gets the point.  But I'd still expect to receive some gifts that you may not want. 

    This. I put the products I plan to use on my registry as a hint (Burts Bees) that we don't plan to use J & J, but I still am expecting to receive those things. There is no tactful way to include that you don't want specific gifts. It would be nice if people would stick to the registry but they don't. 

  • image Tash13:
    I donated baby products given at my shower that I knew I wouldn't be using moving forward.  The registry is a guide but people will choose to buy things they think you need, which usually includes disposable diapers, Dreft detergent and J&J products.  Be grateful they're generous and donate it to somebody who will be even more grateful.

    This.

    And ditto everyone that said register for obviously eco-friendly products of all kinds. When I see those things on the registry, I go out of my way to buy organic, etc. 

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  • Do you have a baby website set up?  You could put a note on that about going green/natural.  Don't mention gifts specifially, but if people see that when checking out your baby page, they may avoid buying non-green/natural products.  Whatever you get and don't want to use, donate.  There are lots of people down on their luck in this economy who could really use baby supplies.  At least that way, they aren't wasted.
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  • image hterry85:
    She could put that you plan to cloth diaper, but I would just not register for these things. If you do get things you won't use just exchange them for in store credit to put toward things you will use.

    This. Wal-Mart takes back everything! I can't tell you how many bottles of J & J lotion I returned for store credit. I don't even know if these were bought at Wal-Mart, but they took them back! 

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  • You can also be very verbal in other places about your intentions about going green. It might be a little annoying to some people but you could post on facebook "Just found a great way to make my own baby powder! So excited to put this to use!" ... things like that. If you're verbal about the things that you plan on doing yourself, people may remember that when it comes time to buy things for the baby shower. You can also put in the notes section of your registry, "ilovelife and her hubby have chosen to cloth diaper their little one, so diaper related products are not included on the registry." That way people know that it was an intentional omission and not an oversight. If I saw that on a registry I wouldn't be offended at all, but it might be weird if I saw it on an invite.
  • Like the pps said, I would make a mention of a "green theme" in your invitation and register for the green friendly items that you DO like...california baby has some great products and they are available at target and babies r us. Either way, you are going to get stuff you are not going to use.......you can either then return it or donate it to a food pantry.  They are always looking for baby donations at food pantries. 

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  • Here's an idea, could your sister theme the shower around your concept?

    IE Join us for a fun afternoon of food and crafting while we help DanaConrad prepare for her new bundle?

    I am thinking invites printed on seed paper with eco-ink,

    and yes your registry is where you can "tell" people what you want. Some places even have  a place where you can make a note to people.

    Good Luck!

     

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  • I feel the same way about not wanting people to spend money on something that won't be used. I know returns can be made, but I am treating this how I'd want to be treated: if there was something the parents to be didn't want, I'd want to know so I can instead decide to spend my money on something they DO want. So, please, do tell me how to spend my money, in a sense... I don't have a lot of it (who does these days?) so if I'm buying a gift, I want it to be useful.

    Our registry is on Amazon and along with a ton of diaper covers, I also added Green Mountain Diapers prefolds using Amazon's option to add items from an outside website. I explained this in the note section at the top of the registry, how we will be cloth diapering and I have added the diapers we'd need through potty training to the registry via an external site, just to avoid people clicking on it and being caught off guard by being directed to GMD's (admittedly low tech) website. Nothing is mentioned on our invitations except the registry, though.

    Other things we have added, like cloth diaper safe cream, organic lotion and soap, I'm hoping will give the hint that we're not interested in a bunch of Johnson & Johnson stuff. But that stuff is relatively cheap, so I feel less bad about exchanging it if I need to. Diapers on the other hand are not as cheap and I'd feel bad if someone brought me a gargantuan case of diapers that I'd have no use for; my only option with those, if I had an option at all, would be to return them to a store for store credit and hope they sell some diaper covers online or something. You can't just walk into Walmart and buy CDs.

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  • Usually people include gift receipts with baby purchases- or at the least, Walmart takes back any unused unopened item, so even if you don't want to purchase baby products, you could still purchase organic fruit or something with the credits you receive?
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  • image hterry85:
    She could put that you plan to cloth diaper, but I would just not register for these things. If you do get things you won't use just exchange them for in store credit to put toward things you will use.

    I agree with this. You can't control whether or not people buy off the registry. At least most stores have good return policies for gifts! 

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  • image J'snewwife:

    I think that gifts are gifts, and it's difficult to tell people what to do.  That said, I would register for items that you would like, which will increase the chances that you get only those items.  You will still get plenty of things from people who mean well.  I would hold onto those items because you may find that they do come in useful, and if they don't, you can give them to friends or donate them to a woman's shelter.  No matter what, they will not go to waste.  They will simply be re-purposed.

    Also, have you considered not having a shower?  Showers are generally about gifts, and if you're concerned about waste, maybe just a cake and coffee party to meet the baby after he/she is born would be more your style? 

    I just wanted to say this is the only way around it. I didn't want a shower for my DS and he's no worse off Smile


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  • IMO people who are intent on not having their money be wasted will ask what you want or stick to a registry.  People who have their own ideas in mind will buy what they want.

    Baby Showers are like other gift giving occasions where it is considered impolite to tell people what gift you want unless they specifically ask.  For example, every year my GMIL gets me kitchen towels as a small Christmas gift.  She has never asked if I wanted them, used them or like them.  She simply gives them generously out of the kindness of her heart.  Yes, many of the kitchen towels she gives me are a waste of her money because they don't get used, but that doesn't matter.  Her gift was simply that, a gift and I would never call her up and say " Hey, by the way you can stop giving me towels now, why don't you get me this."  I feel that Baby showers are the same.  You can certainly point out your registry for people who choose to use it, but for those that don't, oh well.  The items they buy can be returned or donated. 

  • Everyone else is right. The only thing I thought of is there is usually a spot on the registry for a short message. Mine says that we are planning to cloth diaper. You could say that you are trying to use all natural and organic baby products. I wouldn't add any more than that. Anyone who is going to read it and get it will. Others won't get it no matter what you ask.  
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  • I put my CDs on the registry. I didn't ask for a whole lot of stuff, and it seemed practical. I also registered for a few of the baby products that I wanted. I was able to exchange some stuff (like the typical J&J baby line) for products I liked and donated the rest. Definitely did not have anything on the shower invite or make specific requests, but my mom and other family members just knew me and my taste so if anyone had any questions they may have asked her, I'm not sure. I didn't get a ton of stuff off-registry anyway.

  • I love your sentiment (I'm the same, I really don't want people spending money unnecessarily) but I have to agree with PPs that there's not really a tactful way to go about it. The PP with the husky siggie (didn't catch your name, sorry) has a great idea with donating the unwanted things to a womens shelter. It won't give your friends their money back, but (how do I put this tactfully?) the items will be going to someone in need rather than just giving their money back to you for you to choose something 'better'. Sorry if that sounds snarky, because it's not meant to!

     The only thing I can suggest really is maybe, in the run-up to your shower, go facebook/pinterest-crazy for things like homemade baby powder, baby shampoos etc. Steer well away from making it very obvious: in other words, no "hey everyone, I'd rather have this than store-bought stuff!", but keep it to "this is an awesome idea, I had no idea it was so easy!", that kind of thing. Hopefully people will see it and realise that you want to go down that route. Who knows, they may even have some tips!

  • I would advice buy what you like but before that make sure you are spending under your monthly budget level.

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  • I would just take the stuff back.  I've learned it doesn't matter how many people you tell about your plans, they still do their own thing.

    Maybe on the invite put Baby goes green shower or something. I don't know.

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