Friday, January 27, 2012

Toddler Thursday

Confused yet?  Because it's totally Friday night at my house.  I've been wanting to start a series of things that have to do with babies/toddlers/kids for a while now and honestly life has just gotten in the way.  Ha!  There is lesson number will get in the way!

I decided this would be the week I started and then all of the sudden Thursday was over but I don't want to wait a week so I'm going to start now. 

I have so many sweet friends who are waiting on babies in one way or another.  Some may want advice and others don't.  But for those who like my advice I thought it would be nice to get it all in once place.  So I thought I would start at the beginning.


I don't know about you but I literally walked into BabiesRUs to buy someone a baby gift long before I was pregnant and almost walked out.  There is SO MUCH STUFF in that store!  There are like 95 versions of a pacifier.  There are pacifier holders, drink holders, stroller, bouncers, jumpers and tons of other "ers" that are totally confusing for a Mommy and Daddy to be.

I'll admit that I'm a total nerd.  I wasn't about to buy just any bouncer or stroller.  I wanted to read the reviews.  And that is one thing that is great about the internet.  Lots and lots and lots of information.  However it is hard to wade through and make good decisions based on a stranger who is upset that they spent 100 dollars on something that was broken in a week.

So here is my advice for registering...

1. Do It Online

I never darkened the door of a store to make a baby registry when I was pregnant with my first.  I did the whole thing online.  It was fabulous.  Some things are easy.  We're having a boy.  We can either get a swaddler that has ballerinas or is camo print.  I'm going with the camo print.  But other things are really hard.  Which breast pump is the best?  What type of video monitor do I want?  I would narrow my choices down to two or three and then do a little reading in the comments section.  Sometimes I would register for both if I wasn't ready to choose. 

2. Cheat

I had a lot of friends who paved the way and were pregnant before me.  BabiesRUs saves your registry for quite a while.  So being the internet stalker that I am I totally went on other people's registries to see what they were registered for.  Sometimes the online location of certain products (it took me weeks to find a changing pad) is not super intuitive.  If something is on another registry you can simply click on the item and add it to yours.  Many thanks to many friends for help with my registry!

3. Learn the Lingo

What's the difference between a receiving blanket and a swaddler?  Tandem...huh?  There are so many baby words to learn!  Upon the suggestion of a friend I bought the book Baby Bargains when I was newly pregnant.  Second only to my baby name book and of course "What To Expect" I used this book religiously when picking out everything from furniture to a pump.  The people who write this book do so without any compensation from any company so their opinions are fairly unbiased.  The rate items based on safety, price and how important those things should be to you.  For instance, if you want to buy super expensive crib bedding they don't care but it's going to probably have a lower rating than something that is reasonable and well made. 

I loved this book!  It helped me weed out what I could do without and what I might really need.  It helped me weed out certain brands based on safety.  I used it for almost everything.  They come out with a new version yearly that way things like carseats etc are current.  This is a must have if you are trying to register!

4. Range

Register for things in a large price and age range.  People tend to spend less on baby gifts than on wedding gifts and there is nothing worse than going to buy a gift and finding out everything on the registry is over 100 dollars to purchase.  I also suggest registering for some clothes.  Why?  Because people are going to buy them for you anyway, especially if you have a little girl.  For some reason people can not resist little baby girl clothes.  So register for some that you like and you can always take them back and get the credit if you decide you don't want them! 

Also, register for things in a large age range.  That tiny little baby is going to be growing out of his bouncer and into his jumper before you know it.  It's kind of like wedding china.  You probably aren't serving a ton of meals on it as a newlywed but you'll be happy you have it when you're entertaining your boss in your home one day.  I suggest books, rattles, carseat toys etc.

5. Restraint

You do not need everything the books say you need.  Find a trusted Mommy friend that you've enjoyed watching.  Ask them questions.  Find out what they did.  Don't take all of their advice because you are an individual.  Each person is going to tell you something totally different, which is why I suggest finding someone who's parenting style to which yours will be most similar.  If you are an avid runner, don't ask someone who never runs about strollers.  If you plan to work outside the home right away find a Mama who does that and ask her about pumping and milk storage.  Don't simply register for something just because the books and magazine and registry guide says you need it!

Next week I'll add some of my must have's and can live without's!


AFG said...

I agree with pretty much everything! I loved the Baby Bargains book, too.

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