The Registry – aka Horror of Horrors

According to Momma Sue, 5 items on your baby registry is not enough.

Evidently, a crib and a changing table is not the full extent of what you need when you bring your firstborn home.

Registering for baby stuff is not as much fun as shopping online should be.There are too many options.

I went to a baby shower this weekend, and heard repeatedly from the “Been-There, Done That” Mom contingent “They didn’t have those when I had my kids,” or “They sure have come along way since I was pregnant.”

True. Fair.

But what all these options and all these contraptions do is confuse and befuddle the novice mom-to-be who wants the best for her baby.

There is just not enough time in my life to research all the baby products that are available. At some point you must pull the trigger.

We don’t even have a baby to feed yet. How are we supposed to know what kind of bottle she’ll like?

It’s totally overwhelming and frustrating to register, and when you have to register online, add about 2X the confusion and frustration factor. You can’t try out the stroller to see how it feels. You can’t pick up the car seat to see if it’s even humanly possible. You can’t hear the song the Baby Einstein orchestra plays to see if it will, indeed, make your baby a genius.

But when your sister and your mom are throwing you a baby shower, yes, you do have to have a registry, and no, evidently, it cannot consist solely of the place your child will sleep and a Belly Bandit (for you to get your body back).

So I toughed it out not once but twice. We registered at Target and at Babies R Us. And when I say “we” I really do mean “we”. While working on the registry one evening, the quantity and volume of expletives coming from my corner of the living room became too much to ignore, and The Hubs took over for a while.

In true “Be Prepared” style, Mr. Dub indiscriminately added just about every item that the Babies R Us Registry Builder tool suggested. When I later reviewed his handiwork, I found that we had registered for about 1000 baby hangers, two jogging strollers, toys she won’t use until she’s in the first grade, and several varieties of lotion and cream, the purposes of which I am not 100% sure were clear to him when he added them to our “Needs” list.

So, we’ll be prepared.

Thank goodness for Facebook.

I cried out for help, and moms the interweb-over answered my call.

Recommendations of the best brands, must-haves, life-savers and baby-whispering products came flooding in, and I used this advice to shape the things I added to Baby Dub’s registry. Several friends still had their registries up so I was able to use them as inspiration.

For the first time ever, Facebook saved me some time.

For first-timers everywhere, I have one or two pieces of advice when you set about the daunting task of registering for your new little human.

#1. If at all possible, start your registry AT THE STORE.

If you can’t touch it, you don’t know if you want your baby in it. The internet is tricky and full of deceit – colors, sizes, sturdiness, all can be warped through the “magic” of technology. The big purchases, like the crib, your stroller, car seat, even your baby monitor, require the Touch and See test, and that can’t be replicated online.

#2. Enlist the help of experts.

Talk to your friends who have had kids recently. See if their registries are still available to peruse. Post a desperate comment on Facebook and see how many wonderful and thoughtful friends share their must-have list. It’s doing online reviews one better, because you know the people and see their still-alive-and-healthy babies/kids as proof that the product did not have some hidden flaw that didn’t make the online review scene.

#3. Don’t stress out as much as I did.

You will probably be overwhelmed and you might feel inadequate, but as one wise woman informed me, “All you really need is diapers and a car seat. And you only need the car seat to get her home.” Keep it simple for yourself. You’ll probably end up with a few items that you have to return, and a few items that you use once and discard, and you will come to grips with this and you will sleep better at night.

Follow these tips, and your house will be loud-expletive-free!

At least when it comes to your internet shopping time.

I cannot make any guarantees on other times.

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