I remember when we were pregnant with Bean, one of the things that went over and over in my mind was how exactly it would work having a baby. What were the logistics of a newborn? What would I use? What equipment would I need? What would I do if I didn’t have something I needed? Sometimes, I would go on crazy binges of online consumer and product research. And then other times, I’d just lay on the couch, close my eyes, and try to make myself believe that first the baby would be born and then his suitcase full of necessities would show up by stork. Unfortunately, our stork got lost and no suitcase arrived. Which meant that Chris and I were left to figure out what we needed. We decided to register for EVERYTHING possible. What if I needed a pee pee tee pee in the middle of one dark and stormy night? I had these full on conversations with myself about how I might be scarring my child if I didn’t give him the option of using a pee pee tee pee. Later, I learned that babies can pee through felt just as much as they can pee through anything else, and it was really just a matter of cleaning pee off the wall or off the changing table. So, we found better uses for the pee pee tee pees.
Over time, we narrowed it down to a few basics that we really could not have lived without. I mean, we loved the tiny blue (and later, pink) baby towels. And the bottle warmer was nice…the two times we actually used it. And having a beautiful bedding set made a lovely nursery, but we didn’t see it for about three months while the baby slept in our bedroom. But there were a few staples for both of our kids that we couldn’t get by without. I hesitate to say what you really need to go buy because every baby is different and every family has different needs. But here’s one piece of advice I can give you about whatever it is you are thinking of purchasing for your wee one. TRY IT OUT!
My lovely sister taught me this when I was registering for Bean. She called me one afternoon and told me she new exactly which swing I needed to buy for him. She started describing it to me and she was using phrases like, “It’s just so comfy!” and “It’s so soft and cushy!” “Gin,” I said. “How exactly do you know how comfy the swing is?” “Because – duh! – I got in it!” My sweet sister crawled her 25-year-old self up in a swing at the store all by herself one afternoon. She said she got down on her knees and contorted herself all up in odd positions until she was just about laying down in the swing. She played with the toys and snuggled in the padding and after half an hour and who knows how many swings, she declared it the most comfortable and insisted that’s the one that I go with. So, I did.
Two weeks later, Ginny came to town to visit with my parents. We headed to the baby store with a simple task of selecting a crib mattress. Being a rational, adult human being, I stood two mattresses up next to each other and compared prices and padding thickness. After a few minutes of this, Ginny threw her hands up in frustration and said, “You’re doing it all wrong!” And with that, she threw the mattresses down on the floor and laid down. And then she began rolling around. “What are you doing?!?!” I laughed. “I’m rolling around like a baby. Don’t you want to know what the mattress feels like? That’s what will matter to your baby.” And, once again, she was right. Of course that’s how I should determine the mattress. Just like I would buy my own mattress.
We spent the rest of the night at the baby store trying out everything. We climbed in cribs (and were promptly asked to get out of them…), we wrapped blankets around us, we sat in rockers. We did it all!
At first, it felt slightly odd. I mean, no one else was USING all of the baby products before scanning them with the registry gun. But by the time we were all done, I felt so good about what we’d picked out because there wasn’t a product on our registry that I hadn’t used myself. So, whether you’re registering online or in person, be sure you stop for a minute and look up from your consumer reports. Put your hands on the products. Test ‘em out. Roll around in ‘em. Get to know ‘em. Then, when you hit that trigger on the registry gun, you’ll know exactly what you’re bringing into your home.
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