Oh, the many joys of having a baby! From choosing nursery decor to checking out car seat options and beyond, you'll quickly discover you need lots of items for Baby. Someone is bound to throw you a baby shower as a celebrated custom, so creating a baby registry is a must! But, what if it's not your first baby?

There's no set rule for who can and who can't sign up for a baby registry. Of course, everyone does it for their first child. You start from scratch and need support and help from friends and family. Baby registries are so those friends and family members know what it is that you and Baby need. Maybe you have several years between kids and you no longer have baby items at hand. So, why not set up a registry for subsequent children? It's a celebration for Baby, and every baby deserves recognition, right? Surprisingly, some people don't feel that way, and if you're one of them, you don't have to come to the baby shower or buy anything at all. Perhaps your best gift is simply staying away.

Why all the Fuss?

You have probably heard moms bash a pregnant mom who's set up a baby registry for her second or third (or more) baby. Some of the comments are ones like, "She's just doing it to get free stuff" or "She doesn't really need anything since she's already had a baby" or "What's the big deal? She's had a baby before."

The problem is that no matter what number child you're on, there's always a need. It doesn't matter if you're rich or poor or somewhere in between, every little bit helps. And, when you help a pregnant mom, you're giving her support and love which can do wonders for her self-esteem. Besides, most moms don't save everything. When you've got years between kids, items like cribs, car seats, strollers, etc., can become outdated. Most moms get rid of everything once done with it to make room for other items. Besides, a baby registry helps keep repetitive questions like "What do you need?" at bay and helps indecisive shoppers decide on what to get for the expectant family.

When to Create a Registry

Many moms encourage new moms-to-be to start early. They say it's important to do your research on items and check for recalls, but do this for those big-ticket items. You don't want to register for something that you could potentially not want in the end because of bad reviews or defects. However, for smaller items — like decor, theme-related items, clothing, etc. — it's best to wait until about four weeks before the baby shower takes place. Just don't wait too long as many people like to shop early once they've received the invitation for a baby shower (if there is going to be one).

The main reason for the wait is sometimes those smaller items may be discontinued, put on sale, they were seasonal, etc. Some items could become no longer available. When the season changes, the clothing options change accordingly. So, make it easy on yourself and your friends and family. Adding those smaller things to the baby registry later is actually faster than you think.

Oh, and if you have a set theme planned, do tell. You don't want to have to feel bad about returning items that don't match. And, just be prepared to learn that not everyone shops from a baby registry list. They'll most likely get you whatever they want to get you ... and that's OK! They're celebrating Baby with you and any little thing counts. Even if you don't have another baby shower, friends and family love to buy gifts for new babies anyway. The registry just lets them know what you really need.

So, go out there and have some fun with it. Don't worry about all the gossiping mom-bashers out there; they're just jealous they're not the one in the spotlight.