Baby Stuff Overload


Blargh, so, I’m completely confused regarding baby items. We decided to just walk through Babies R Us (EDIT: and Buy Buy Baby) to see what was out there and just start getting an idea of what we’ll need and now I’m completely overwhelmed. My main confusion lies in strollers and cribs (they each get their own upcoming posts), since they seem to be the biggest purchases, but here’s a list of other questions I came up with as I walked around the store:

1. When we do register, do we register even for things that we won’t use for a while, like highchairs or really anything related to solid-food eating? Or do we just register for the immediate need stuff?

2. Bouncers/swings – do we need both? Is there much variation in quality here or do you just pick whatever you think is cute? How about the different motions – do we need a swing that goes back and forth AND side to side? Just one or the other – and which is better? One that has multiple recline settings? And what about that new one that glides? Both stores we went into, the gliding part was either broken or really jerky, so maybe not?

3. Monitors – Are the ones with video helpful or over the top? I’m a bit of a worrier and I can see myself finding peace of mind in the video – to be able to see that the baby’s still breathing, but Chris DOES NOT pay for peace of mind and thinks they’re over the top.

4. Pack n’ Play – What exactly is this used for? Do we leave it downstairs in the family room and put the baby in there for naps (if so, why not just take them upstairs?)? Or do I use it in our bedroom for the first few months so that I’m not smothering the baby in our bed (egads, I am waaaay too afraid to put the baby in our bed for fear of rolling over. Plus it’s a pretty soft mattress, and I’m pretty sure I’ve read in quite a few places that it’s unsafe for baby’s breathing and whatnot. Besides, I’d kinda like to keep it Chris’s and my bed.)? Is it just a playpen for later on? I don’t really get the concept.

5. If the above isn’t really intended for the first few months in the bedroom, what do you get? A bassinet or something? And how do I keep the cat out? Tossing her out of the room isn’t really an option because a) her life is already going to be disrupted – I’d rather not throw her out of her sanctuary as well, and b) I’m pretty sure she’d scratch at the door and meow all night, keeping everyone up anyway.

6. Baby gates – I guess this doesn’t really apply till the baby’s mobile, but if we put one at the top of the stairs, how does the cat get over it without tumbling down the stairs and breaking her legs? Anywhere else in the house, I don’t really foresee a problem.

<sigh> I expected today’s trip to be fun and light-hearted. But now, I’m overwhelmed and I have 33 tabs open in my browser researching baby stuff. I’m not even exaggerating. 33. I’m pretty sure I’m about to crash teh intarnets. Someone out there, just tell me what to buy.

EDIT (6/24/10): I have actually made some leeway in putting together a potential list of things to register for, but the questions above remain.


4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Marcie
    Jun 26, 2010 @ 20:42:09

    First, take a deep breath. The only thing your baby really needs is love, food, and a clean diaper. 🙂

    1) IMO, you should register for everything you’ll need from when the baby is born to the time of the next gift-giving holiday. In your case, that makes anything you’d want for the first year a viable registry gift. Also, keep in mind that some babies will start eating solids as soon as 4 months, which isn’t very long at all. Even before they start eating, we had ours hanging out at the table in their high chairs, watching us eat.

    2) By bouncer, I’m assuming you mean a bouncy chair (and not a Jumperoo). The primary reason we use our chairs (notice that’s not past tense and our boys are 1yr!) is in the bathroom so I can get a shower. When babies are little, you stick it on vibrate, turn on the music/lights, and they’re entertained where ever you need to be to get things done. Swings don’t move around the house as easily, even the travel ones. That being said, babies get bored in one place too long, so the swing is a good option to mix things up. Also, some parents swear by them to get their little ones to sleep. If I could do things over, I would get the type that goes side/side and front/back. We had one that only went front/back and one that did the gliding in an arc. The boys didn’t like either much, or swings in general. As far as the seat goes, they’re probably only going to use it in the fully reclined position. If you want to borrow our gliding one, though, we’re more than happy to loan it out.

    3) For me, I couldn’t see how video was going to help. My primary concern was them not breathing, and my understanding is the video part is more about seeing a foot stuck in the bars of the crib or something. Instead we got a regular monitor and Respisense clip-on breathing monitors (do a search on Amazon for them and you’ll see my review). I wanted notified or woken up via an alarm if one stopped breathing, and for us the Angel monitors that go under the mattress weren’t going to work. Over all, it was more expensive, but totally worth it imo.

    4) There are multiples purposes for a Pack ‘n Play. Primarily it can be used as a travel crib, either if you actual go some place, or like you said, a place they can sleep downstairs. It can also be an alternate changing table (depending on the type you get) or a bassinet that goes by your bed. Once the baby is bigger and sitting up (~5-6mo), you can buy some balls and turn the playpen part into a ball pit. We actually have two of these, a proper pack ‘n play downstairs, and a co-sleeper. We used the arm’s reach co-sleeper next to our bed for the first 3 mo. I basically set everything up by the bed so I wouldn’t have to get up at night (every 2 hrs!) to feed and diaper them. You’re going to find that you’re so tired the first few months, running up and down the stairs a bunch of times isn’t going to be fun. We set up a whole second baby station downstairs. If you’d like to borrow our Pack ‘n Play or co-sleeper, just let me know!

    5) You can always get a stand alone bassinet thing. I don’t have much experience with them, though. I do know you can get anti-cat netting for cribs that might work for pack ‘n plays. I’m going to be honest with you about the cat. Before the boys, our cats were our lives. We bent over backwards taking care of them. Once the boys were on the scene, the cats instantly took a second seat. Half the time Frodo gets his water from the toilet and if I knew of a good home for them, I’d probably send them packing. It’s hard to believe that now, but the protective feelings you have for your baby are SO much stronger than anything you feel for your pets. Add in the fur everywhere (constantly getting it out of the boys’ mouths), litter, puking up furballs, and the potential for scratches… *Sigh* We shut the door to our room because I absolutely didn’t want to take any chances and I didn’t want newborns around that much fur. After the second night, they stopped scratching/meowing at the door. The noise never woke the boys up, either.

    6) We just put up our baby gates. Basically while the boys are sleeping, the gates are open, giving the cats free range. When the boys are up, the gates are closed and it’s up to the cats to decide what side they want to be on. If they ask, I’ll lift them over the gates. You’d only need the stairs gate closed if you and the baby were actively up there, doing stuff. The cat can chill for that small amount of time.

    You’re more than welcome to borrow any of our baby equipment. IMO, since it’s only used for a such a short time (usually only a couple of months per item), it’s better to borrow what you need and save the money for things like diapers and paranoid doctors visits. 😛


  2. Marcie
    Jun 26, 2010 @ 21:03:27

    Ok, so I made an Amazon list of all of the baby gear we’d lend you guys. Be sure to read my comments on each item. If you’d like to come see the stuff in person, we’d be happy to have you over for dinner sometime!


  3. sleepymel
    Jun 26, 2010 @ 22:00:02

    Wow, thank you so much for all the info!! It’s nice to have the opinion of someone who’s just been through it all! I’ll definitely look up that breathing monitor and the co-sleeper.
    Also, thanks so much for your offer to let us borrow a few things! We’ll look into some stuff and let you know. 🙂


  4. chii-wey
    Jun 26, 2010 @ 22:18:30

    oooo i’m so taking notes on this one, marcie!!! 🙂

    we gave a friend of ours the video monitor and they loved it (or so they claimed!). marcie does have a point though –

    i think we will register for wipes and diapers only. haha. on one hand there seems to be so much available nowadays but just remember, our generation probably didn’t even have a third of the stuff they have for babies now (disposable diapers? what?) and look how well we turned out!

    i think we’d be most worried about the dog getting used to the baby when our time comes. i can’t imagine ever giving cajun away but it’s interesting what marcie said about the cats. hmmm. cajun better start mellowing down or he’s gonna have to live outside or something!


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