But we're not in my perfect world, which also means babies don't come with all the copious amounts of stuff they need when they finally see daylight at the hospital (what a suitcase that would be...) so we parents have to register ourselves for all that stuff, which really means mommas have to do it while the dads wander around scanning random items all over the store. They are just. so. helpful.
But if I know anything, it's that you can't be random when registering for a baby. And, I would attest it's much harder to register for a baby than to register for your wedding. With a baby, you feel like everything matters so much more than what fork you eat off of - I mean you could seriously injure your child if you give them the wrong brand of bottles - or maybe just give them gas - or maybe neither because maybe, just maybe, that's all just a huge marketing ploy by the bottle companies. But regardless, as a new momma, EVERYTHING MATTERS when it comes to your unborn child.
I'll never forget the first time I tried registering for my son. Let's cut to the chase, the keyword here is: TRIED. Mike and I went to Target, and I practically waltzed to the customer service counter and with a flourish of my hands I nearly sang to the 17 year-old pimple-faced teenage boy - that CLEARLY loved all things baby - "I'm pregnant with my very first baby and I'm here to register!"
He looked at me with the most dull, annoyed eyes, slapped a scanner-thingy on the table and shoved it across the counter to me. "Congratulations."
I quickly realized, to my great confusion and shock, he wasn't as excited about my news as I was, so I quickly snatched the gun and got outta there before he could rain on my parade. Mike and I walked to the baby section and I gleefully carried the scanner-thingy in both hands with a grin like Macaulay Culkin in Home Alone. It was my first time ever visiting the baby section of any store and I couldn't wait to check it out.
As we walked up and down the aisles, getting a general lay of the land before we dove in, I started to get more and more overwhelmed.
Did you know there is half an aisle dedicated to pacifiers? PACIFIERS! Do I get the orthodontic or the round pacifier? Wait, I thought my baby didn't come with teeth. Why is there an orthodontic choice? Silicone or latex? They both sound disgusting. I wouldn't want to to put my mouth on either of them so why would I give them to my baby? Mike's addition to our pacifier-dilemma: "Football or basketball? I'm so torn, I love both sports. Can we register for two?" GAH!
And with that, I started to bawl, right there in the middle of pacifier-land because I just realized how big the world of baby-stuff was and that I didn't know anything and I needed to learn everything in just a few months - not only what baby products to use, but like, how to keep a baby safe and alive, and - well, preferably happy. I mean I thought I was ready to register, but I'm totally not, in fact, I'm not so sure I'm even ready to have a baby. But I am having one, so get it together Laura, so just make a decision on what pacifier to give your baby that won't cause permanent damage to his mouth, because if you don't get this choice right you will definitely be the worst mother in the history of the world.
Yes, all of that from a little pacifier.
Kinda funny that Eli never ended up taking to them. That's my boy.
With the onset of my flood of tears, Mike realized that it wasn't the time to be registering, so 10 minutes later my big, tear-filled eyes and I returned the scanner-thingy to the pimple-faced teenage boy and walked out of Target, not registering for one item. (Hold that thought - actually, we did - I found out later Mike snuck in a few DVD's he wanted while he was testing out the scanner. Thank you sweetie, I'm sure that Eli will love them when he's 15.)
Suffice it to say, I went home and started to do some research. It was extreme, but I even created an excel grid to track what I needed, what brand I wanted, and where to find it online. Overkill? Maybe. Okay definitely. But it helped me feel informed, prepared and made me feel like I could wrap my arms around everything we needed, so I wasn't stressing out about forgetting that item I read about or remembering what brand a mom-friend told me to register for.
I've been getting a lot of requests for the must-have baby items, so this week I'm sharing it all. What worked, what didn't, what I wish I had registered for and what I shouldn't have. I'll tell you what things I think you should care about, and what stuff to just let go of.
Because little, tiny people like the one below? They require a boat-load of crap. Expensive crap. Good thing they're adorable.
Get excited, cause we're starting tomorrow.
Update - here's the entire series!
- What to Register For and Buy
- What to Wait On
- Best Maternity and Baby Deal Sites
- Six Great Online Sources to Build Your Registry