44 answers

Tacky Registry?

Hi Moms
I have a half-sister that will be having her first child this November. We usually communicate through email and text messages, as we are not very close. Her and her husband struggle and their home will definitely need a remodel before the conditions are safe enough for a baby. Ive tried to help out by giving her anything that i can from my daughter.We are very fortunate to have generous friends and family so i was very excited to help out with items she would need. We did not find out the sex and i received almost all gender neutral gifts. I just found out she registered and decided to look it up online. I was mortified to find some outrageous items that are totally unecessary. I gave her a bouncer that my daughter used twice in perfect condition, she registered for two more.I gave her 3 packs of brand new soothie bottles, but she registered for $100 worth more. There were also Three swings, a $400 camcorder, 4 strollers,over 20 dvds,3 diaper bags, etc. It all seemed very tacky and greedy to me. The best was the $1600 LCD television!!! Do i mention to her that she should change it? They don't have a lot of friends and have strained relationships with the family. There will be about 15 people at her shower. I know what i was thinking when i saw the registry, do i tell her something to save the embarrassment of what others will think or say?

1 mom found this helpful

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Wow!! Didn't expect so many responses. Thanks for all the comments! I'm definitely keeping my thoughts to myself of this one. I'm just going to be happy for her and wish her all the best on her motherhood journey. This is an exciting time for her and I don't want to be the one to burst her bubble. Being that are relationship is distant I think mentioning something would only put a strain on things. Thanks again for all the great comments!

Featured Answers

Tacky to say the least! Who does she think will spend or can or even should spend that kind of money. Not in this day and age. Her parents should come up with the big ticket items if they can afford it otherwise it's up to her and her husband. What's a $1600.00 t.v. got to do with bringing up a baby? Sounds like a gift for the parents. They need to work and buy their own big ticket items. The need to get a life and wake up....

2 moms found this helpful

Maybe it is tacky or maybe it is supposed to be humorous or who knows? You sound a bit judgemental to me and it is unnecessary. Just celebrate the birth of the baby.

2 moms found this helpful

Yes, that is tacky! A LCD TV?
But, don't do anything. Don't rescue her.
Everyone else will think the same as you.
They will only buy what they feel is necessary
or appropriate.
: ) S

2 moms found this helpful

More Answers

Oh my! I can't imagine being that entitled. I do have a 2 sister in laws that are always Manipulating my inlaws with their "hints" of what they would like to have. I find it disgusting..but even more upseting are those that enable women like this by tring to "buy" their love or even worse(and in my sister in laws cases)the parents that continue to buy their grown children things that they can afford to buy themselves in efforts to keep them enmeshed in the family and held as "children" instead of the adults that they are. Urgh!

I understand your frustration and if you choose to say something I trust that all it will do is upset your relationship with her and be pegged as the bad guy. Surely you know that most guests will not be able nor willing to purchase such large ticket items and that will be enough said....when she sees what she receives hopefully her poor behavior will sink in. Hopefully.

Take a deep breath and be thankful you have morals yourself.

Good luck from someone who has gone around this block before.

3 moms found this helpful

Dear L.,
If I were you, I keep my opinions to myself about her registry. First of all, she's going to be a first-time mother and is naturally very excited about the whole process. Secondly, she's probably overwhelmed with the number of choices out there for baby gear/products and unsure what she actually wants. I know that when I registered for my first child, I had lots and lots of multiple items at first. I eventually edited it down. And though I do think that registering for four strollers is a bit insane, I really would bet that she's just not sure what she wants to choose right now. She also just probably doesn't realize that you don't really use all of that stuff anyway (certainly one wouldn't use three swings, unless she's planning to leave one at grandma's, one at the sitter's house... Then that would make sense. When first babies arrive, there are lots and lots of gifts given. She may have several baby showers, who knows? I think you're being a bit judgemental and it's not really any of your business. If you feel like she doesn't want to use the hand-me-downs, then maybe save them for someone else who will really appreciate them.

3 moms found this helpful

Maybe gently mention that since she doesn't need duplicates of stuff like swings and strollers that she should only ask for ONE! Remind her also that they grow out of some of these things very quickly, i.e. bottles! I think such outrageous things will turn people off. Good Luck with that!

2 moms found this helpful

I think you are right, she should be grateful you are willing to help and should not ask for too much especially during this economic when people are struggling. You will be blessed by helping her to get whatever she can for the new baby. My brother's wife is expecting their first baby a girl I just find out, and she is back in Africa where there is poverty, asking me to send baby's clothes through my mom going back home this month, and I haven't even buy a thing, because I don't have money, I am trying to pay my bills, I hope by the time my mom leaves on the 25th I can get some thing, but someone like your sister should be glad to get something for her baby, and not be greedy asking for expensive and double and triple of something, she should be glad with whatever she can get. God bless your heart for helping.

2 moms found this helpful

Like you, I would be very tempted to say something but my advice is to remain silent. Let's be honest, very few people (if anyone) who attend the shower are going to buy those expensive items. Someone else may say something to her and it may serve as a good wake up call without you having to be the 'bad guy'.

2 moms found this helpful

You start out with your letter as "we are not very close"... saying something won't make you any closer and her frivolous choice of baby items is not going to make her any closer to any of her other relatives, as well. I would, personally, let someone else do the talking. She'll need you after the baby is born and you have been very gracious to help with what you have been able to do - kudos to you. You probably feel a bit used - I can see why someone would, considering her choices of things she believes she needs. Her choices are tacky. Hopefully, adding a baby into her life will help her become less selfish.

Good luck to you.

2 moms found this helpful

Tacky to say the least! Who does she think will spend or can or even should spend that kind of money. Not in this day and age. Her parents should come up with the big ticket items if they can afford it otherwise it's up to her and her husband. What's a $1600.00 t.v. got to do with bringing up a baby? Sounds like a gift for the parents. They need to work and buy their own big ticket items. The need to get a life and wake up....

2 moms found this helpful

That is probably the only time in her life that she will even wish for some of these things. Most people sign up for outrageous things for a shower. It is part of the fun of signing up. Do not worry. The people who go will not be able to afford a four hundred dollar camcorder or a sixteen hundred dollar lcd television unless she invited the Hiltons. And you will not have to buy her anything at all. It is her shower and she probably just had fun wishing she could get some of these things. I was actually told to do this when a wedding shower was held for me many, many years ago. I thought it was fun and of course got the traditional towels etc. Just like she will. She sounds kind of funny. If you can put aside your shock you might laugh along side her. She knows she won't get these things. And if you really think she doesn't then perhaps you might get some intervention going to get her some help. I have often looked at shower registrys and some things are aboslutely ridiculous even in an affordable price range. So don't worry. You keep enjoying your baby and leave the shopping to the others. It doesn't matter what kind of relationship she has with these people as it sounds like they don't visit all that often anyway. I have been to showers of people I don't even know and never really saw again. I was just wondering if you are finding it insulting that after you went out of your way to help her that she is also asking for duplicates of what you gave her. If that is the case, do not worry, I am sure she appreciates it. It is possible it is the same case as my husband, although he has a perfectly good car he wishes to have every other one he sees on the street. We are creatures of desire.And registering for showers just creates more of that desire. Go and have fun and enjoy your little baby. Sounds like you are a very kind and caring person. You need not be embarrassed by this girl, if she does embarrassing things it is her problem.

2 moms found this helpful

Wow - that's really something! Don't say anything. You have already gone well above and beyond the call of duty, and have been more than generous already. Obviously, no matter what you do or say, it will not change anything. The good news is that no one will be judging you, so let the invited guests navigate thru the registry, using her entries as a guide. They will all make excellent decisions on their own. If your half-sister is not happy with the purchases, she can return them for the money and get what she wants. Have fun!

2 moms found this helpful

I understand that it's very difficult to hold back advice, when you've been through it and know how others perceive your sister-in-law. Unfortuately all your concerns will probably make no difference on how your sister-in-law responds to your advice, if you choose to give it, especially since your relationship is not that close. All you can be is a good role model in regards to how you raise you child, respond to friends and family, and be available if and when she asks you for your advice. Purchase what you feel is an appropriate gift for your future niece or nephew. Be excited for your sister-in-law and her husband, and try not to be so judgemental. First time parenthood is very scarey and her bravado attitude can be a defense mechanism for her insecurities.

You are being very generous by offering her your daughter's outgrown items, qnd you can feel good about it. Remember "you get more bees with honey, than with vinegar." In otherwords, by trying to be on her side and being there for her in the way she needs and asks for, you have a better chance of developing a reciprocal relationship and therefore giving her advice if she asks for it.

Good luck,

S.L., Child Development Specialist

2 moms found this helpful

Maybe it is tacky or maybe it is supposed to be humorous or who knows? You sound a bit judgemental to me and it is unnecessary. Just celebrate the birth of the baby.

2 moms found this helpful

Let the guests buy what they want, and say what they want. You are best off staying neutral...for the peace of mind for yourself.

2 moms found this helpful

It isn't your job to save your half-sister from embarrassment. Don't say anything about the registry and just enjoy the shower and new baby when it arrives.

2 moms found this helpful

OMG I don't know how you would do it youm may be better off t let her learn the hard way as she may be hearing comments from people on her own. Why did she ask for a tv for her baby shower and why does she need 3 and 4 of things. That's crazy and greedy, maybe she just did not know what she was doing but it does seem ridiculous. Get her what you originally planned and let it go. Maybe her mother or mother in law will say something.Good Luck

2 moms found this helpful

Yes, that is tacky! A LCD TV?
But, don't do anything. Don't rescue her.
Everyone else will think the same as you.
They will only buy what they feel is necessary
or appropriate.
: ) S

2 moms found this helpful

Sounds very greedy. If, as you say, they have many strained relationships with family, you will not do well to say anything. Your sister will not recognize your concern. You are better off to be there for your sister and give her a present which the baby can actually use (if you are going to the baby shower. Hopefully, she will recognize on her own that she is getting unnecessary things. Good luck with the situation. I hope over time your relationship with her improves.

2 moms found this helpful

I wouldn't say anything. You don't know if she and her husband went and did it together and he registered for somethings too (guys don't get it). You are probably the only one that knows what you have given her. Some people like options. So registering for more than one type of toy gives the giver a chance to "pick it out" and feel like they had a choice in the gift. A registry is really just a wish list and when I see one that has things outside of my price range I either go in with other friends to buy one of the higher end gifts or get gift cards to the place so they can be combined and put toward something the receiver really wants/needs.
She will probably not "hear you" if you say something anyway or you will look like you are trying to tell her how to live and either way nobody wins and (from my own experiences with my SIL) your relationship will not improve by saying something.

2 moms found this helpful

All I can say is if they don't seem to care what people think, then why should you? The day will come, hopefully sooner than later, that they will need to change some of their ways when the child arrives. If they don't, then for your own sanity you should just try to accept their behavior. Acceptance does not automatically mean you condone it but it is their life to lead that way and maybe in the distant future they will change their alienating ways. Good luck...

2 moms found this helpful

If you are one of the people hosting the shower, I think it's ok to ask some questions about the duplicates - people may ask you about it, after all. And it may have been an accident that she selected multiples of the same things.

I wouldn't challenge her on the TV and extravagance. That sort of cluelessness usually brings its own rewards (and really, it would be just as silly if she was wealthy herself - I mean, come on, a TV?) She sounds like a very aggravating relative. Good for you for being a good half-sister (and soon to be auntie!)

1 mom found this helpful

Honestly looking at the registry I would just think that she didn't know how to use the scanner and was scanning all kinds of things because she couldn't make up her mind. Honestly do you really think she wants three bouncers, 4 strollers, 3 diaper bags and so on. I think she just messed up.

And if she did intentionally register for all that, then so be it. Who cares what others think. It's her not you. Maybe she's just hoping that by registering for tons of things she might get lucky and get more than she would have otherwise. So she's a little greedy....it's not your problem. Your her half sister, not her mom.

Most people will buy what they want if the registry doesn't ahve anything reasonable. I wouldn't worry about it.

The only person that I think will be or is embarrassed is you. Don't fret about it or her...just do what you can to help out and then let it be.

1 mom found this helpful

My first response when I read about all the stuff on her registry was, "Oh, she's looking for extra cash and is going to return this stuff". You're right, it's a tacky registry. But, it's her tacky registry, and I figure you're not the only one who will think so. That being the case, just keep your thoughts to yourself, and let others decide how to deal with her registry when it comes to getting her gifts. Chances are she won't get hardly anything from the registry anyway if it's that ridiculous.

1 mom found this helpful

Maybe she registered for so many things because she wanted to give people options at different prices? Maybe she wanted to be surprised? The TV...well...let's hope that was a joke. But regardless, you can never know what is going on in someone else's head so it's best not to judge. Let her do her thing and deal with whatever consequences may arise.
It's great your daughter will have a cousin close in age. Enjoy this special time!

1 mom found this helpful

Hi L., with June upon us, I have received many registrys...my husband and I look everything up on the computer to see what gifts they have selected...I've even purchased the gifts off the registry from the computer...but this time I don't feel like shopping and I'm just going to give a monetary gift...this is your sister's first child and I'm sure she is excited...it would be bad to burst her bubble and start telling her about the things she picked out on the registry...it's her wish list...we all have them...I've had wishes, but you never know sometimes they come true...it sounds like she is young...it will be nice to even get a gift, whatever it is...I had a shower for my first child and it was only one gift...back in the 60's everyone was without credit cards and I was grateful that my co-workers even got me a gift...it was unexpected...and I was happy...I lived in California on a military base and so far away from my family...it was hard being away from the family but my loved ones all sent gifts and I had what I needed...life was simple and no registry that I know of...so, try not to feel stressed over your sister's registry...I believe it's only her wish list and I know she will be happy for the gifts that she will receive...she will have fun at the party because it's her turn to be on the receiving end...enjoy being an Auntie...best wishes, J.

1 mom found this helpful

You are a very generous sister-in-law. Many new Moms prefer new items for the first baby. That's just the way it is.
As she finds out more about what baby care items are essential or not, she will appreciate your insight and thoughtfulness, just write it off as on-the-job learning.
Let her know you are there if she needs help and keep encouraging her as a first time Mom. Just like a good sister should.

1 mom found this helpful

I had a friend who had a very expensive sofa on her wedding registry. They were not expecting anyone to actually buy that item for them. The store's policy was that anything left on the registry could be bought by the couple after the wedding for 15% off, so they were just looking for the discount. Anyway, that may be the situation with your sister.

1 mom found this helpful

I wouldn't say anything. It seems as though they are trying to get as much as possible at this gift-giving opportunity, but by registering for so much, they will find they don't get what they really need and will need to spend more money later b/c they've received gifts that are not necessary. I doubt they will receive those big items, so just buy them what you are comfortable with, if anything given all you've given them already.

1 mom found this helpful

YES,YES,YES! She is being an extermely inconsiderate person. What in the world knid of mom will she be. I contend that greed is taught as well as learned--what will her children learn from her attitude?

1 mom found this helpful

it could be that she couldn't make up her find and figured if someone wants to buy any of those 4 strollers she would be happy : ). Also we registered for a bouncer and got one at a garage sale, someone already bought it so we exchanged it. Don't know your friend but perhaps she just wants to have enough big and little ticket items on the list for people to choose from. of course, it could be that she has no clue either. I'm rather up front so I would say something "did you realize you have 3 saucers on your list?". perhaps she's scared to get it wrong? who knows. but otherwise, she'll figure it out in the end when everyone just buys her clothes. HA!

1 mom found this helpful

these kind of people dont embarace

1 mom found this helpful

When my cousin got pregnant, I had given her everything I could think possible (that I no longer needed). When it came time to registering, she hardly had anything on her registry. She had asked for my opinion and I suggested she add anything and everything she thought she would need/want. I knew she was going to have 3 baby showers and people would end up running out of items. As for the bigger items she wanted to add, I told her to go ahead because some people may want to go in together and get her the bigger priced item. She did as I suggested and the only person who mentioned it was my sister. When I explained why she did it, she totally understood.

So, I would say don't say anything, as you never know how many showers she'll be getting.

Besides, depending on where she registers from, she will probably get a discount on all the items she didn't get.

If she asks what you think, you can tell her, but other than that, I wouldn't say anything.

1 mom found this helpful

i agree w/ the other responders.

just other thoughts:

maybe w/ other multiple stuff she's still deciding which ones she wants and will delete some later

i needed multiple bouncer - one on each floor - and other multiple things (like swings) b/c i can't go upstairs easily. Also stuff for the grandparents houses. (Some stuff i got on craigslist myself or borrowed)

we also had multiple diaper bags -one packed for us and extra one for grandparents when they took her. So i didn't have to repack everything

1 mom found this helpful

Sounds like she had fun with the scanner and thought it was funny. (Not my type of humor, but I know poeple who scanned a bag of Doritos...)

Forget about it. She's an adult, whether she's acting like it or not. The people coming to her shower know her, so probably already think she's tacky. It's not like people will buy any of those big ticket items.

Personally, I would just give her diapers and a few board books and call it a day. (I'd also hold back on the hand me downs.)

1 mom found this helpful

Why bother? What is it to you what she puts on her registry? I would mind my own business. Everyone has different opinions and she doesn't yet have experience with what she will need or not need. If people don't find items in their price range, I am sure they will buy something that is not on the registry. As for the camcorder, I have seen several families all group together to buy one for a new parent. There is one I have seen at Costco that I know several friends have - I think it is around $350. My best friend's brothers bought her one when she adopted a little boy. Enjoy your new nephew/niece.

1 mom found this helpful

I just had twins and I didn't register for 4 strollers!

It sounds like you are uncomfortable talking with her, or that you don't think she'll listen to you. I would recommend talking to your mother or step-mother and see how she feels. If not her, someone who is close enough to really make an impression.

It's frustrating to have one's gifts unappreciated, you may mention that if she's not going to use them, you could find someone who can.

I don't know who's coming to the shower, but I would talk with her, she might look back later and be embarrassed at her greed.

Good luck.

1 mom found this helpful

Ignore it. Just celebrate her new baby and the joy it brings to the family. Not your concern what's on her registry. People will buy what they are comfortable with.

Although she may not have much money, that doesn't mean she wants only hand-me-downs. Why not register for new, then fill in the gaps with used items. It's her first baby, let her dream.

1 mom found this helpful

Yeah, I'd look at this registry and think "Oh boy, here we go!" but unless I were super-close with the half-sister, I'd keep my mouth shut firmly. It's her registry, her baby - so why rain on her parade (even if stuff on it if super ridiculous)? Unless absolutely clueless people come to her shower, they'll look at it and think the same thing as you.

Unless it is absolutely necessary to stir the pot, just let it go.

(But know that I agree with you in that the registry sounds ridiculous!)

1 mom found this helpful

Hi,

She is a new mom and I believe you should let her enjoy her blissful time even if it maybe unrealistic...don't squash her dream. People will buy what they can afford. People don't always follow the list anyway because it is fun and that is probably what she did and thought what the heck why not while registering? If she uses what you have give her she will be appreciative in her own way. I think she is worring enough for herself...she doesn't really need your help in this department sis.

1 mom found this helpful

WAU,it's sounds so familiar!!!!
10 yrs. ago I went to my SIL's registry at BabiesRus,I was in such a bad mood and was talking out loud in disbelieve.
I didn't get a babyshower at all from my husbands family,
I could tell,she picked only the most expensive stuff.
Well we didn't have a big budget, so I bought her the diaper bag, she wanted.
I already was upset about her wedding shower gift list,well whole different story !!!
I don't believe, just because you are excited, you must be unrealistic about a baby shower list. I was excited,too but that didn't cloud my judgment.
I wouldn't say anything at all,you are who you are,and the same for her.Unless I would be extremely close to my sister, I would say, are you out of your mind????

1 mom found this helpful

I wouldn't say anything, especially since you're not that close. She'd probably just get offended. If people choose to buy her the high-priced items, great, if they don't, it's her own fault for having those items on the registry. Also, she may just not know what she's doing. When I was registering when I was pregnant with my first, I asked my friends who already had kids what items they registered for that they never used, what they had too many of, etc.

1 mom found this helpful

Are you hosting the baby shower? If so, that is the only reason I would say anythhing to her about her registry...and even then it might just be to say that you feel uncomfortable based on what she has chosen to register for. But it is her registry and her baby shower so she can register for whatever she wants. On another note, if her home is safe enough to live in now (and it passed inspection when they purchased it), how can it be unsafe for a baby? Why would they have to remodel for the safety of the baby? If it is unsafe for human habitation, baby or not, then they would not be able to live there.

1 mom found this helpful

Perhaps you just ask her if she had trouble with her registry since you saw so many of the same type of item, strollers, bouncers, ect. Or tell her you didn't know which stroller she wanted because there was more than one on her registry. In the end, yes it's tacky, and yes it makes her look bad, but that's the thing she'll look bad. So don't sweat it, people realize that you're two different people.

1 mom found this helpful

As far as the ridiculous items, I'd leave it alone. Everyone's going to feel the same way you do. No one's going to feel obligated to buy them one of the unnecessary items, they'll stick to the baby-related things. If you're worried about her looking bad to everyone else, don't - she obviously didn't care about what people would think when she registered for them. There is no way in any state of mind to think that putting a $1600 TV on a baby registry is appropriate. What she did think was, maybe we can cash in on people's pity and sense of obligation to us!

As for the multiple items, you could give her the benefit of the doubt that she thought she'd give people the choice of what stroller or diaper bag to buy... But chances are if she registered for a big-screen TV and 20 DVDs that have nothing to do with the baby, she probably is just that greedy. What she hasn't realized is, what if she did receive all four strollers? What in the world would she do with them?! (That is, besides return them back to the store to exchange for things for herself and her husband.)

As for the items you've already given her, I'd say something like, "Oh my gosh, I saw you registered for two bouncers - I'm sorry, was the one I gave you broken?" And see what she says. Then I'd ask for my things back and give them to someone who will appreciate them.

After the shower is over and she has the baby, she's going to wish she was more wise about what she registered for, because she's going to realize there are so many things she needs for the baby that she won't have and will have to go purchase on her own. She's going to start thinking $1600 worth of diapers is much more valuable than a TV!

1 mom found this helpful

Hi L.! Perhaps your sister registered for several different items so that if someone wanted to get one for her, they would have several to choose from, do the prices vary? That could be it. As far as bottles go, perhaps she doen't care for the ones you passed on and just didn't want to be rude and tell you that. When I registered for my shower, I put a 4,000 dollar TV on it cuz I thought it was funny. It sounds like you do not think much of your sister and may be being a bit judgemental.

1 mom found this helpful

Some times the less said the better.
The one thing she may have done is registered online and fill-out the form wrong so you maybe able e-mail her and nicely ask why to did you register to get 3 swings?
You could also say, I could help but notice that you register for 2 bouncers. Was there something wrong with the one I gave you?
It sounds like she is registering for gifts that she hopes to take back for the cash. You would never ask for more than one swing unless you plan to return the items for the cash. And who buys $100 worth of booties?
I think what you need to do is look deep down and say is this something I really want to address with my 1/2 sister and save her the embarrassment or just let it go, with the thought the less said the better.
One last thought, What does your husband think??

God bless,
S.

1 mom found this helpful

Required Fields

Our records show that we already have a Mamapedia or Mamasource account created for you under the email address you entered.

Please enter your Mamapedia or Mamasource password to continue signing in.

Required Fields

, you’re almost done...

Since this is the first time you are logging in to Mamapedia with Facebook Connect, please provide the following information so you can participate in the Mamapedia community.

As a member, you’ll receive optional email newsletters and community updates sent to you from Mamapedia, and your email address will never be shared with third parties.

By clicking "Continue to Mamapedia", I agree to the Mamapedia Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.