Written January 19. 21.5 weeks.
I’m a planner. I love being on time and knowing what I’m talking about. I adored registering for our wedding because I was choosing things that looked good and were functional. I had a vision that I was able to complete.
Registering for things for a baby did not go well with my “loving knowing what I’m talking about” trait.
It was overwhelming and stressful and, frankly, not that much fun. In general, I am not a HUGE researcher when it comes to products. But now all of a sudden when I have to be less concerned about something looking good and more concerned about safety and functionality, I felt like I needed to do my research.
Jenna has been my main source of information because the internet is really overwhelming and filled with wayyyyy too many opinions, followed closely by my friend Lindsay – formerly L but screw anonymity, and I type out Lindsay all the way anyways before deleting to just L. They have honestly both been God-sends, and I would have been a much bigger wreck in Babies R Us on Saturday had I not had their help and expert opinions.
When we arrived at Babies R Us, I don’t know what I was expecting. Some sort of light to shine down on the products that we should register for? A big sign over products that says “SARA THIS IS THE ONE YOU SHOULD GET”? My motherly instinct to suddenly kick into full gear? I don’t know.
Anyways, when we got there, we learned that there was a “Baby Registry Party” going on. A neat concept, don’t get me wrong, but that meant that there were a LOT of people in the store. Which heightened my anxiety. Because there were so many people milling about, I felt like I couldn’t take my time and read the labels, etc.
We got our registry all set up and learned about this little party where they would be going over their best-selling products and hosting a raffle. We were less concerned about the party and more concerned about the raffle. We didn’t win.
We decided to work our way from the back of the store to the front. The back has all of the baby bedding, but we are registering for that at Pottery Barn Kids. Side note: at Babies R Us all gender-neutral bedding is animal/jungle themed. Not quite what we had in mind. We got a blanket here, a hamper there… Not so bad yet!
Then we came up to the diapers. I walked past them because do you know how many diaper options there are? A LOT. I told Pete that I was too overwhelmed by them and wanted Jenna’s opinion.
We walked through the baby furniture in hopes of finding the crib and dresser that we want. I mostly wanted to see the color, because I have a vision of gray furniture, and I don’t entirely trust the computer screen. They didn’t have it, so now Jenna’s mission is to find that set at a Babies R Us in the Chicagoland area and report back on the color. I trust her wholly.
Then we got to the strollers. I knew what stroller I wanted because of Jenna’s research on best strollers around, and this nice little video that walks through the pros and cons of the top 10 strollers. Since Jenna has two kids, I trust her in knowing what she’s talking about for strollers. Lindsay added some very valuable advice in saying that MAKE SURE YOU CAN COLLAPSE IT. Because that is make or break in many cases. Very good advice that I wouldn’t have thought of.
My online research had informed me that the stroller that I wanted was available at Babies R Us and Target. Of course when we were IN the store, they didn’t have the one I wanted, so I thought I’d give a different one a try. After struggling to get a damn stroller off the 5 inch high shelf and almost knocking down the domino-row of about 25 strollers, I decided that I didn’t want to try and collapse it right then and there. There were a LOT of people milling about, and it just was not worth the high potential of embarrassment. So we moved on after Pete said, “Sara, I’ll be able to figure out anything; that’s what YouTube is for.”
Pack and play, activity centers, car seats, swings, bouncy chairs. All took some thinking and sweating, but we got it narrowed down essentially to the most basic (pack and play), the least amount of noise (activity center – Peter wanted the ability to control the amount of noise in our home while he still can), the lightest (car seat – also had to be compatible with the stroller), and the one that takes up the least amount of space (swing and bouncy chair).
We also registered for some more basic things like a changing table pad, covers, a Boppy, etc. But those were more on the level of “which one is gender neutral and/or will match the baby’s room”.
I had two “favorite things” to register for: the high chair and the baby bathtub. I know; I’m wild. Both Jenna and Lindsay highly recommended a high chair that just strapped on to a table chair instead of the entire unit. Sounds great to me! There were only two to choose from, so that was splendid.
When it came to the baby bathtub, Lindsay recommended one that compacts so you can take it places and shove it under the sink for storage. Those baby bathtubs are very large units, and seriously I KNOW that I wouldn’t have considered having to store that thing until after the first bath. So the compact feature made it very easy to register for one – there were only two to choose from. My kind of item!
When we were almost done, we got to the WALL OF BOTTLES. Where I almost lost it. Honestly, one more second and I would have burst into tears. In hind sight, we should have either avoided this area completely or gone to it first.
We scanned three different bottle brands that I remembered using in my nannying days, and then I told Pete that I wanted to go home. He gave me a kiss on the cheek and said, “Ok, and let’s stop and get you an ice cream too.”
The man knows me so well.
When I’ve told people that we registered on Saturday, most people ask me how Pete handled it. You guys, he was a champ. I think for two reasons:
1. He got to hold the scanner.
2. He could tell that I was on the brink the entire time, so he kept it together for his fragile wife’s sake.
As we were driving home and I was able to talk without the fear of tears coming, I figured out why I was such a wreck.
How were we supposed to choose things for a person that we haven’t met? How are we supposed to know what they are going to like? What they’re going to hate? What will make them feel safe?
And those thoughts honestly overwhelmed me. With this baby, Peter and I are going into territory that neither of us has been, and being a planner, it’s actually kind of terrifying. I am sure that we will do fine, but this unknown stuff… it makes me antsy. Call me crazy, but I find it so reassuring that every first time parent goes into the situation the same way we are, and they are able to figure it all out.
We’re headed to Target this weekend, and then THANKFULLY Jenna is coming up in February to help me refine the registry. I’ve never needed her more.
Peter and I still can’t believe we’re going to be parents.
On that note: I
want need this if the baby is a girl.
When we were walking through the clothes section, Pete said that it made him nervous to go through the clothes, and I said, “Why? Rest assured, our child will be the best dressed at daycare.” His response?
“That’s what makes me nervous…”
All he saw when we were walking through the clothes section was dollar signs.
All I saw were tutus and sweater vests.