Tuesday, July 6, 2010

adventures in registering: the debriefing

I've been simultaneously eagerly awaiting, and dreading, registering for baby items. Look back at four years of infertility and it's probably not hard to understand the dread part: too many trips over those past four years to Big Box Baby Store to buy Darling Registry Item for Yet Another Pregnant Friend While Trying Not To Burst Into Tears in the Diaper Aisle, or something like that. On the other hand, it's an experience I've longed for myself - not the registering part, but what it signifies - and I wanted to enjoy it.

So, step one in the enjoyment process: leave husband at home. Don't get me wrong: my husband is very, very excited about this baby. I can hardly go five minutes at home without him chasing me down to put his hand on my stomach to see if the baby will move. (The baby is apparently very aware of this and has already started to play 'hard to get' by ceasing movement the second dad gets near.) But this is a man who hates shopping. I save my energies to drag him out once a year, before school starts, so we can update his wardrobe. And it's all I can do to make that trip happen without killing him MY GOD JUST BUY THE DAMN KHAKIS ALREADY WHY CAN'T YOU MAKE UP YOUR MIND.

I, being the daughter of an inveterate Consumer-Reports-Reader (thanks, Dad) had prepared in advance by devouring Baby Bargains, which I highly recommend. I admit to feeling fairly self-righteous upon entering Babies R Overwhelmingly Expensive, with my prepared knowledge about "all the crap I won't need, because I refuse to fall victim to the Baby Industrial Complex." (Can you tell I am going to use cloth diapers? Yes. Let the lessons in humility begin.)

It was surreal, being there with my list of Stuff You Will Absolutely Need Otherwise Your Baby Will Surely Perish And We Are Not Kidding. Fighting my way through the crowds of pregnant women and small children and utterly bored dads (while congratulating self on leaving husband at home). I took my price gun and my slightly punctured pride over to the bottle/feeding section.

Some advice: don't start there. I had no idea how many kinds of bottles there were. I knew what brand I thought I wanted, but it's not quite that simple. BPA-free? Yes. Newborn size? I guess so. 3-pack? 6-pack? Special Newborn Starter Pack? Colic-prevention? Nipple Confusion Deterrent? (I don't think that one actually existed, but I got kind of lightheaded there for awhile.) What kind goes with the breast pump I want? Oh, wait...where are the breast pumps? And they come with pads? And bags? So, do I get bags and bottles? Because the kid can't drink out of a bag, right? But then, are the bags a waste of money? Or will I be up at 2am crying because the only thing I forgot to register for is a bag for the breast pump and now I'm a complete failure as a parent?

I skipped the bottle aisle.

Surely we will have better luck with bibs. How hard can that be?

Never utter that last phrase in the Big Box Baby Store. It will beat you to a pulp and leave you weeping in the corner.

Okay, skip bibs. Go to strollers. Surely easier.


Hmmm. Have not actually registered for a single item. Surely will have better luck with carseats. I know exactly what I want. And yes, indeed, I found it, clicked on the bar code, and voila: the registry is officially started. Breathe a sigh of relief.

It did get slightly better after that. I wandered around clicking on crib sheets and mattress pads, white onesies and a tub spout cover. I skipped a lot of things we don't want or need, and undoubtedly I left off things we'll realize we should have gotten on day one - but that's all a part of the adventure, I suppose.

I'm sure I looked like a perfectly ordinary pregnant woman, with my clipboard and list and price gun. If it were possible to register for "more relaxed attitude," that would be great: but, alas, that appears to be the only thing unavailable for purchase.

Meanwhile, month 6 kicks off tomorrow. Summer weather has finally arrived in my part of the world. I do not have to return to Big Box Baby Store for quite some time, as I can sit at home in my pajamas and play around with this registry online (and don't think I haven't).

According to the ticker, we have113 days to go. Hard to believe.


  1. Heheheh. I cannot BEGIN to tell you how many times I've attempted to begin the bottles-for-breastfeeding/pumping/bags/storage system registration process & have given up & gone to hide in a corner.

    Please, let me know what you decide! Bottles (and strollers! and bibs!) are hard...

  2. Woo hoo! For the 6 month thing.

    I hated the registry thing. I also don't recommend ENDING your trip, an exhausted, hungry, and tired pregnant woman, with the bottle aisle. FYI, the bags are for storing the milk semi-long-term in the freezer, while you don't want to tie up all your bottles in there. If you have breast pump questions, I'm your woman.

  3. Oh, registering... This was actually almost harder for us than even getting pregnant and it felt like it took us as long. :)

    I love your version of the process. And it reminded me that there were some areas I never bothered going back to. Hmm...

  4. wow - I remember registering - it was a nightmare. So overwhelming. If I can offer one suggestion on the car seat and stroller - I went with the Chicco Keyfit 30 and the Chicco travel system stroller - they're ranked quite high on consumer reports. Anyway - best of luck with your registry!

  5. Wow! What a milestone! It's funny how it's simultaneously exciting, tedious, and anxiety-provoking. But yay for 6 mos!

  6. lol 'register for a more relaxed attitude' - that just cracks me up! :) It sounds like a terrifying experience!

  7. registering sucks. glad you survived. you were so kind to leave hubby at home... kind to him, but not so much to you!