I’m going to write something right now that is going to make every single mom (and dad, probably) roll their eyes and say “duh.”
Prepping for a baby is a LOT of work.
I mean, I knew it would be a lot of work – obviously. I didn’t think that I was going to get pregnant and life was suddenly going to become easier, but I didn’t realize how many little, seemingly trivial, things were going to absorb crazy huge amounts of my attention.
For the most part, my husband and I are very much on the same page with the big things concerning the baby. We agree on things like vaccines (totally for ’em – for the baby and for visitors), #fedisbest (but I’ll definitely be giving breastfeeding the good ol’ college try – along with pumping), taking baby CPR/First Aid classes, and having the baby sleep in our room for the first few months in a bassinet before moving him to his crib. We’ve had some differences of opinion on silly things, like what color to paint his room (I wanted to go with grey – my husband said he refused to live in a house where the majority of the rooms are grey, so it’s now a lovely shade of blue, but more on that later!), whether the nursery would have a “theme,” and when to allow visitors at the hospital. Little details that aren’t a huge deal in the grand scheme of things and won’t affect the health and well-being of the baby at all.
But then there’s the other things. The things that didn’t really come up until I started putting together my registry for my shower. Now, to be clear – husband and I are NOT arguing about these things. It’s not even that we’re not on the same page about them – it’s just that we literally have no idea what the right answer is (if there even is a right answer). And it’s so weird. These things include such fun conundrums as:
What brand of diapers will we use?
Initially we planned to start stocking up on diapers of various sizes early… and then we realized that not all diapers are created equal (apparently), and that the fit of some diapers fits the actual body shape of your baby better than the fit of others… so how the heck are we supposed to decide which ones to buy when we don’t know which ones will work?
Same dilemma with bottles.
Since I am planning to pump (TMI? Too bad.) so that husband (and babysitters/visitors) can get in on some feeding time action we decided to register for bottles. But apparently bottles have the same problem that diapers have – certain babies seem to prefer certain bottles over others, and there’s obviously no way of telling which ones will be their favorite until you’ve gone through some trial and error. Which means it might be better to have a small sampling of bottles from a bunch of different brands on hand at first – but then we have to go out and stock up once we figure out which one is working. Or we can just register for whatever has generally good reviews and seems to be popular and hope that the kid cooperates. (Side note: has any baby in the history of humankind ever cooperated?)
How many of each thing do I register for?
So first let me say this – putting together a registry is weird. Obviously you’re registering for items in the hopes that it makes things a bit easier for your beloved guests to get you something that you definitely want/need rather than ending up with 65 of the exact same item, but it feels so greedy. Not to mention that with completion discounts at most stores/online retailers that have registries it makes sense to register for everything, and then purchase whatever you don’t get as a gift at a 15% discount. So please don’t judge me for having a billion things on there! I only did it so later I can go shopping and not completely break the bank!
But once you’re actually in the throws of registering for things – comparing the 50billion lists you’ve found on the Internet and soliciting advice from friends and family – it becomes difficult to decide what you need versus what you want, and how many of each thing to register. Take bibs for example. I had two people look at my registry to give me feedback on whether or not I was on the right track, missing anything, etc. One of them told me I had way too many bibs on my list, whereas the other said I didn’t have nearly enough. I guess at the end of the day it comes down to how often you want to be doing laundry and how spitty-uppy your child ends up being… but there’s no right answer! (For the record, I’ve decided to go with a “more is better” approach – the kid will be using bibs for a while right? And I can shove extras everywhere.)
What brand of formula to use?
Like I said, I plan on breastfeeding but my husband and I are also being realistic – there’s a million reasons breastfeeding just might not be in the cards for us, and so we plan on being ready with formula the day we come home from the hospital so that we don’t find ourselves in any precarious situations… but how the heck do we know which brand to go with? Right now we’ve got a couple containers of two varieties of one brand sitting on our kitchen counter because they were randomly sent to us, so right now that’s the front running but for no reason other than convenience. I’m sure if I do end up needing to formula feed on more than an emergency, once-in-a-while situation I’ll do a boatload more research into the best formula brands ever … and then be sufficiently confused all over again.
Is this thing even worth it?
Now, obviously I’m not talking about the baby – of course he’s worth it! I mean the (insert whatever expensive item I’m contemplating adding to the registry here) thing. Early on I fell in love with a certain brand of bassinet and, of course, I registered for it. But then my cousin told me that her newborn son dislikes the one she received for her shower and will sleep pretty much anywhere except in that bassinet. Now, I’ve been told 1,000 times by 1,000 people that every baby is different, so I know that my kid could end up loving it and refusing to sleep anywhere but there … but it’s so hard to register for something expensive and essentially ask someone to buy it for you when you have no idea if your child will like it! I’ve heard so many stories of moms and dads who shell out on the priciest, highest-safety-rated item for their baby, and then their baby ends up loving whatever is the least expensive thing they own (a blanket on the floor, the ever-popular Rock in Play, etc.). And at the same time… how do I know what my kid will think? Here’s hoping that he enjoys living in the lap of luxury for a bit, because I really love that darn bassinet!
Another issue I’ve been having while prepping for my son’s arrival (which is only a few weeks away at this point!) is figuring out my “maternity leave.” Since I’m self-employed and work primarily from home this seems easy at first glance… except for the fact that it totally isn’t. But that is another post for another day!
For now, I would love to hear what your favorite or most-used items on your baby shower registry were, or what you thought you had to have and ended up never using!
Fill me in in the comments or on Facebook or Twitter!