Expectant Austinites, grow your family local!

Register with these five awesome grown-in-Austin businesses for your grown-in-Austin baby:

1. FOOD: Dinner Elf
Stock the fridge after baby comes home. Dinner Elf provides affordable personal cooks that come by to make a wide menu of healthy and nursing-friendly dinners (starting at $10/serving). Create a registry, and then schedule convenient appointments when you need some extra help after baby comes. If you have lots of out-of-town family or busy friends, it’s a great option for when the first week of neighbor casseroles run out.

2. PHOTOS: Little Love Photography
A newborn photo session is a gift your bundle of joy won’t outgrow. Little Love Photography, Austin’s premier newborn portrait studio, offers an easy on-line registry to help new parents divide the costs of one or more photography sessions. Your registry comes with beautiful baby registry cards to include in shower invitations.

3. GEAR & CLASSES: Enlightened Baby
Stock your nursery with baby needs that are environmentally conscious, safe, functional and adorable! Enlightened Baby offers tons of locally made products, as well as variety of amazing classes on topics like sibling prep, breastfeeding basics and baby sign language. Get the stuff you need and connect with a community of other like-minded mamas! To register, come by the store at 515 S. Congress Ave for a personalized consultation with their registry specialist.

4. BOOKS: Book People
Don’t end up with 10 copies of Goodnight Moon. Book People, Austin’s own independent bookstore powerhouse, has hand-selected a “Modern First Library” of titles that every child should grow up with on their bookshelf. The awesome BookKids staff have paired beloved favorites with other gems that reflect the diverse, global society of the 21st century. They don’t offer a registry option yet, but you can send the bookworms in your family here for an easy on-line purchase option.

5. DIAPERS: Diaper Squad
New mamas, add this to your #squadgoals. Newborn babies go through about 70 diapers a week. Diaper Squad is an Austin-based diaper service that offers a variety of cloth diaper service plans, and has a handy registry option to help divide the costs among all those friends who offer to, um, “help with shit”.

To sum up, stay local and avoid the overwhelming trip to big box baby store. Your little Austinite will turn out way cooler.

Nicole Vickey is co-founder of Dinner Elf, a company that helps busy families sit down to home-cooked dinners.