How to Create a Last-Minute Baby Registry
Photo by sierraromeo
Oh ever-wise Amy, I need help… and fast!!!
So, I just found out 4 days ago that I’m 6 months pregnant! I know! You hear about it but are always thinking “Oh could she not have known?!” Well, let’s just say the top 2 names on our list at this point are OMG and WTF. Now that the news has finally sunk in, we’re totally thrilled. Baby #2 comes after years of infertility with our first and years of “wouldn’t it be nice to have another baby?” and then years of “oh well, make peace with the little miracle God gave you…”
Here’s the thing though. With a tentative due date in early June, I have about 3 months to get ready for the baby. Over the last few months, we have given EVERYTHING away. Just last month, we gave our neighbor 2 strollers, car seats, a crib mattress, and a toddler bed. You know, when I was *5* months pregnant and thinking “hmmmm, that’s odd. Why am I drinking so much milk lately? And, dude, have you taken a shower because I totally can’t stand the way you smell.”
After we went to the doctor and confirmed the pregnancy, we stopped off at Target because mah word, we have nothing! My head is spinning. We’re already overwhelmed with the news, but on top of it we last had a baby 7 years ago. We’re starting all over and aren’t sure about what to get. The morning after I had 4 positive pregnancy tests, I read your Zero to Forty Week by Week Pregnancy Column (Kudos, BTW. Hysterical!). I’ve made a list of your suggested baby registry items and what to buy now and later. The last time, I knew exactly which stroller was considered THE stroller… which monitor everyone said I had to get. Where do I go now to find out all the best recommendations? I bought the Baby Bargains book that was invaluable last time, but the newest edition is from 2007, and I’ve already learned how fast things change in the baby merchandise business. You’ve just been through this whole thing with the adorable boy genius, Ezra, and not too long ago with the ever adorable Noah. PLEASE point my clueless, no-it’s-not-early-menopause-dumbass self in the right direction.
Thanks, and please feel free to edit down my epic tome of an email if need be.
Shocked in the South
Okay, first! We breathe! We all remember to breathe! Three months is plenty of time to buy everything baby you need. Because really, truly and honestly, newborns DON’T NEED THAT MUCH STUFF. And then as they grow up and you need more stuff, you go to the store and buy stuff. On an as-needed basis and everything. Because while things DO change quickly in the baby-gear world, a few things haven’t changed: newborns need diapers and boobs and maybe a few other things designed to keep their bodies warm and dry.
If you really loved Baby Bargains, you may want to continue your deep breathing until next month, when the new edition comes out. *Now available on Amazon*. Again, I know you are dealing with a CRAZY SHOCK and LOST TIME and that’s bound to amp up the Pregnancy Twitchies, but still. You have time.
Lots of women wait until the third trimester to buy stuff. Lots of women wait until after the baby is born! (Jewish tradition believes you tempt the evil eye by bringing any baby stuff home or setting up a nursery before the baby arrives.) The hospital WILL let you bring the baby home even if you don’t have THE stroller or THE monitor. (You will need an infant car seat. I advise getting one that fits in your car! And you know, isn’t 10 years old and lying on the side of the road and stamped with recall notices and covered in caked-on sweet potatoes. Other than that, they’re all pretty good. And has not been in an auto accident before. Durrr.)
What we did, personally, was make up a general list of stuff we wanted from day one, then poke around user reviews here at Alpha Mom and Amazon to get a sense of what was the most highly-rated and what the common complaints were. Once we narrowed an item down, we would decide whether we really needed it new or could go secondhand (Craigslist or Freecycle). And that’s about it.
We ended up with some stuff that we don’t totally love or Ezra REALLY doesn’t love, but that’s unavoidable. You can read every recommendation in the world but whether a product works for you or your baby comes down to personal preference. Ezra hates baby swings. It didn’t matter how much we agonized about the swing or made sure we had the same swing our niece practically lived it for the first six months or her life or the swing I always saw bloggers recommend. Ezra. Hates. Swings. The. End. (Fisher-Price Cradle Swing, by the way. A great swing. If your baby is into swings. Noah was SUPER into swings. Ezra…no.)
I’m guessing with your situation your friends will be ALL OVER throwing you a much-needed baby shower. Tell them to aim for the end of May so you can have some time for the BREATHING and the researching and some time with Baby Bargains to get a baby registry in order. Don’t feel obligated to put a ton of stuff on there. Register for the basics that you’re pretty sure you really want and need and then as the items get purchased, let the baby shower organizers recommend gift cards. If you end up with something that isn’t right or decide to wait on a stroller purchase for a few more months, those gift cards will be INVALUABLE, for both your wallet AND your piece of mind. Because they’ll buy you TIME, which I’m guessing is something you could really use right now.
(And not to repeat the theme of a recent maternity clothes column, but have you talked to the recent recipients of all your hand-me-downs about your surprising situation? Again, I kind of think you’re within your rights to expect some backsies.)
(And congratulations! You’re having a baby! And you didn’t puke for six straight months, like me! It’s really, really going to be fine! My newborn needed boobs, our arms, Miracle Blankets, and itty bitty socks that looked like shoes. And that’s it.)
You may also like: Our Ultimate Baby Registry Checklist
Don’t forget to visit Amalah’s must-read weekly Pregnancy Calendar.
If you’re considering an online baby registry, we recommend our affiliate Amazon’s Baby Registry, which offers free 90-day returns on baby store purchases. You can even add items from other websites onto to your baby registry.