Baby registries have come a long way over the years, but one thing that has been slow to evolve is how they’re built out. Unlike a lot of platforms, the new Monica + Andy Registry doesn’t expect parents-to-be to know exactly what they need to register for, instead, it offers custom recommendations and a bundle of other features to help make things a little easier. Honestly, the platform’s setup will offer expecting parents a little relief from all of the research they’ve been doing and the decision fatigue they’re probably experiencing from it all.
The new registry platform, which launched October 2021, was created by Monica + Andy after consulting with several hundreds of parents, getting insight and feedback on the features and tools that they think would be the most helpful when building a baby registry, and what was the most painful when they did. While this new platform offers many of the standard elements you’d find on similar sites (product recommendations, the ability to organize by category, and the option to add items from outside vendors), with the new M+A Registry, parents-to-be can get tailored product recommendations based on their location, color palette, spending habits, and style preference. And the site provides a pretty extensive checklist, eliminating the need to separately search “what to add to a baby registry” in a separate window.
Like many new launches, the M+A Registry was created because the M+A team saw a hole in the market based on their own personal experiences. “As a team that is over 85% parents themselves, we know the needs, joys and complexities of preparing for a baby firsthand. We wanted The M+A Registry to address these needs that traditional baby registries typically don’t - the need for services, the need for funds and the need for parent education + support both leading up to and after baby’s arrival,” Monica Royer, founder of Monica and Andy, tells Romper. They tried to address every point of frustration people had when they build their baby registry, aiming not only to make the experience less overwhelming, but also more enjoyable. “From easy access to information and reviews and personalized recommendations to empower their decision making, to the ability to determine when products are shipped to you and to choose cash instead if you no longer need (or want) something. We also embraced the universal truth that has long been left out of the registry experience — that much of the most needed help isn’t just a product, it’s support with things like meal delivery, lactation support services and future costs of childcare.”
How It Works
To set up a registry, expecting parents will fill out a quiz that asks where their parenting journey starts (adoption, surrogacy, pregnancy, or trying to conceive), information on the baby such as the due date and gender, and the parent’s approach to spending so that it can start accurately filtering recommended products. Registrants also have the option to input climate information for where they live, so that the platform can recommend seasonal clothing options.
Once the setup is finished (which takes a couple minutes at most), the platform creates the empty registry and checklist that’s organized into categories (play, gear, travel, health, etc) and sub-category (crib, stroller, travel stroller, play gym, pacifiers, etc), and product recommendations for each category.
If registrants don’t like the auto-generated recommendations, that’s okay. They can seamlessly add in products from any other website (simply by dropping in a shopping link) and create additional categories of their own. Additionally, those who don’t want to start from scratch also have the option to review and use sample registry templates instead to make things quick and easy.
The registry doesn’t go live until the parents-to-be make it public, and they look at the “guest view” so that they know exactly what the registry looks like from the other side.
What’s Different About It
In addition to offering tailored product recommendations based on the growing family’s location, one major element of the M + A Registry that differs from a lot of other popular registry platforms is the option to literally ask for cash for things like diapers, childcare expenses, a college fund — anything really. Instead of receiving monetary gifts in the form of gift cards or using PayPal or Venmo, registrants have to enter their banking information into the platform for the money to drop directly into their bank account. Understandably, this might make some people feel uncomfortable, but a M + A rep informs Romper that data protection is a top priority and that they use a trusted security technology to keep the information safe. A workaround for those who wish to receive a monetary gift could always add gift cards to their go-to stores.
There is also the option to receive cash for any item that’s listed in the registry, as opposed to the product itself. That means, from the purchaser’s point of view, it will look like the gift is being sent directly to you, when in actuality money for the gift will go directly into your bank account. This gives the expecting parents the option to purchase the gift at a later time when it’s convenient or the flexibility to purchase another item they might want or need instead.
As a new site, the M + A Registry is sure to go through some changes, big and small, but they’re already thinking about the future of their registrants and how they can support parents beyond the newborn stage. They already have a sprinkling of affordable classes for expecting and new parents available on their site. “Our longer term vision is to expand The M+A Registry to include access to our educational classes, services and experts, says Royer.
All of the small touches and the site’s ease of use make it clear that real parents had a say in the development of the platform. The site is really user-friendly, informative, and the recommendations feel tailored. Overall, this platform does exactly what it sets out to do: it makes building a baby registry easy for parents-to-be who have no idea where to start.