I did a lot of prep. Bought a book by Consumer Reports and read up on baby things, and also the Girlfriends' Guide book on buying for the baby, and got the layette list that Babies R Us uses at their registry desk. It helped to compare brands and all, and the gals at the registry desk at Babies R Us (at least in my town) were really sharp -- they knew off the top of their heads what car seat was selling the best and things like that.
The only problem with shopping early, to me, is that I think it would have entirely slayed me if I had done any happy, anticipatory shopping of cute little baby things, and then had miscarried and had to take the things back for that reason. If you have a good person on standby who would do that for you, probably you could shop a little earlier.
The other thing to keep in mind is that if someone is giving you a shower (or showers), you will get a whole lot of the cute stuff on your registry list. Nobody I've ever heard of ponies up for a crib mattress, for example, but all the darling little outfits, hats and blankets you'll ever want, come rolling in at showers. So save yourself a little duplication of effort and resist all the darling stuff for a while.
ps -- I give you permission to sneak one little cute outfit in under this prohibition. Who could resist? lol
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