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How to Create a Last-Minute Baby Registry

Mar05

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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.

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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.

About the author

Amalah

http://www.amalah.com
Amalah is a pseudonym of Amy Corbett Storch. She is the author of the Advice Smackdown and Bounce Back. You can follow Amy's daily mothering adventures at Amalah. Also, it's pronounced AIM-ah-lah.

If there is a question you would like answered on the Advice Smackdown, please submit it to amyadvice@gmail.com.

Amy also documented her second pregnancy (with Ezra) in our wildly popular Weekly Pregnancy Calendar, Zero to Forty.

Amy is mother to rising first-grader Noah, preschooler Ezra, and toddler Ike.


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9 Responses to “How to Create a Last-Minute Baby Registry”

  1. Heather Mar 05 at 3:41 pm Reply Reply

    Wow, congrats to the letter sender-inner! That’s really amazing and surprising and just darn cool! :D
    Great advice as always from the lovely Amy. :)

  2. emma Mar 05 at 4:00 pm Reply Reply

    don’t forget bottles, in case you are like me and not as fortunate to be able to breastfeed…

  3. Stephanie Mar 05 at 4:18 pm Reply Reply

    Congrats!

  4. JodiElle Mar 05 at 4:33 pm Reply Reply

    This is such a timely post for me. My husband and I have recently learned we’ve been chosen as the adoptive parents for a baby due in approximately a week. We’ve had about 3 weeks to prepare! We’re so excited, and I’m taking Amy’s advice to heart that it’s going to be fine. :) I’m just focused on one step at a time. I’ve got a car seat and some newborn diapers ready. Much love to all the moms here.

  5. Becca Mar 05 at 5:22 pm Reply Reply

    Congratulations to the question asker….how exciting (and how envy-provoking to those of us that were green our first few months with nausea).
    Babies R Us has a great rewards program, if that is an option. PLUS for every 9 boxes of Pampers diapers you buy (club packs) you get the 10th free….and they take coupons and often have other deals on top of this promo. Also, for every $150.00 you spend you will be sent a $5.00 gift certificate when the time period ends (may?)
    There are so many great deals right now….because EVERYONE is feeling a pinch. Their strollers on sale….there is an awesome looking 3 Wheel stroller on sale on the front of the Babies R Us March circular right now, actually! Go check out those deals!
    Also…don’t forget the small businesses (that can always use a bit of business their way). There is probably a store that sells gently-used baby goodies you will need. Great items at a wonderful price!
    Congratulations!!!

  6. Melissa C Mar 05 at 8:45 pm Reply Reply

    Wow, what great news!!!! Congratulations. :) I second the suggestion for a Miracle Blanket, and also tell ALL my pregnant friends to read The Happiest Baby on the Block by Dr. Harvey Karp. Seriously, where was that book when my 8-year-old was born?! It saved my life with the two-year-old, I’m just sayin…
    And since time (time!) is an issue, if you don’t have time to read the book…I will boil it down for you to: swaddle tightly (see above re: miracle blanket) and get a white noise machine for the baby’s room. Makes all the difference in the world. Strange, but true.

  7. Eeek Mar 10 at 5:46 pm Reply Reply

    I also LOVE the i’coo stroller; it is very similar to the Bugaboo, but comes with everything and is a third of the price! Make sure to order it from amazon.com because it is significantly cheaper.

  8. Melissa Mar 11 at 4:26 pm Reply Reply

    I was just thinking about it last night and the rocking chair / ottoman combo that a friend got us has been a life saver. I nursed in the chair, we use it for reading time, he tries to read on his own in his chair and even last night when he randomly couldn’t sleep (he’s two), I rocked him and sang to him. It’s one of the few things we’ve used continuously in the last two years and it reminds me that I have to go re-thank my friend for such a great gift choice.

  9. AmazingRegistry.com Mar 25 at 10:52 am Reply Reply

    If you’re looking to register at more than one baby store, you should take a look at Amazing Registry. It is a free service that allows you to register at as many stores as you like through one amazing registry. You can combine your registries from the stores you love and have your own registry web site, such as amazingregistry.com/babysmith, where your family and friends can go view your selections.
    Now you are not limited to registering at only one store. If you want to register for two gifts from one store and five from another, do it. All of your registries will show up together on one convenient site.
    It‚Äôs so easy…just visit AmazingRegistry.com today!

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