(Photo Credit: Daria Riabova)
If I could have a do-over during my first pregnancy, I would make some different decisions: like buy a pregnancy pillow, treat myself to the occasional Lyft ride instead of commuting by subway to and from work nine months pregnant in the sweltering summer, take a much-needed babymoon, but the biggest one? That would be to take another stab at putting together my baby registry.
Like the millions of couples going through a first-time pregnancy, I made some classic rookie registry mistakes. I spent way too much time creating nursery inspiration boards (because, let’s face it, that’s the fun part!) and not enough time accounting for practical matters, like how babies spend a ridiculous amount of time sleeping, eating, pooping (did I mention, a lot of pooping) in those first few months of life.
Luckily, I do get a second chance, but this time helping soon-to-be parents navigate this bewildering experience of creating a baby registry as editor of The Bump. Nothing is a better substitute for a timeline, mental preparation and a plan of attack. Start dabbling in research early, in month five or six of your pregnancy. It may sound early, but trust me, your brain will need time to go the stages of shock (wait, what’s a Boppy?!), denial (I have a whole nine months to figure this out, so I’m going to nap on this), frustration (whelp, I can’t decide, there are too many choices!) before it reaches nirvana or, simply, acceptance that the baby registry fairy isn’t going to finish your registry for you.
Start big and go small, as in research the big-ticket essentials first, like the car seat, stroller and crib. Then move on to the accessories related to sleeping, diapering and feeding. Creating these umbrella categories help you focus, so you don’t start drifting into browsing the non-essentials, like the high chair or baby-food maker (which don’t come into play for a few months) or the cute but non-functional items (that plush sheepskin rug for the nursery or the 10 adorable statement onesies), until all the practical needs are taken care of. See our baby registry checklist as a primer.
Once your baby registry research is done, you might feel a huge sense of relief, accomplishment, fatigue or some combination of the above. No matter, now that it’s out of the way, you can spend the rest of your pregnancy fitting in as many cat naps as you can with your beloved pregnancy pillow. Trust me, it’s a great way to spend the remainder of your pregnancy.