Thursday, December 16

Bottles and Bedding and Strollers! Oh My!

Well, we created our baby registry for little Brock, and by "we", I mostly mean me (Shelby). It actually worked out for the best that Blaine didn't go with me because it was an incredibly long and incredibly tedious task, and it probably would have been incredibly boring for anyone other than a mother-to-be to have been there. I did feel the need to blog about my experience though since it consumed practically an entire day of my life (although I have a feeling I'm only going to end up looking a little neurotic and obsessive after I tell the tale).

I started out at Babies 'R' Us around 12:30 or so in the afternoon. I felt that I was entering the process as a prepared consumer with a considerable amount of knowledge since I had been researching different items like carseats and strollers over the internet trying to find out which brands/styles/products are recommended and preferred. I also tried to look up beforehand the essential items that someone should register for because I didn't want to include a bunch of stuff that I would never use or need. Babies 'R' Us provided me with a list of "essentials", but I probably would've ended up with a 25-page registry list if I had included all those so-called "essentials". 

So there I was with all my preparedness and my digital scanner in hand, starting in Aisle 1 Bottles and Feeding, and I froze up. How are there 20 different brands of bottles that all look completely different and apparently serve different functions?! Shouldn't they all accomplish the same goal (feeding the baby)? Shouldn't there be some economic or scientific principle that would narrow down the selection... something like survival of the fittest or supply and demand? Of course I want to select the product that performs the best, but what objective means of comparing them did I have there? Ok, skip the bottles... I'll come back to them later. But wait, pacifiers (on the same aisle) weren't much easier. Fortunately, I did have some wisdom from my sister-in-law who had just had a baby in November, so I felt empowered with my fairly quick selection of the Nuk brand. But which colors did I want because there were at least four options to choose from just within that one brand?

Forty-five minutes later as I still stood in Aisle 1, biting my lip and holding my scanner in a much less confident stance, a Babies 'R' Us employee taking inventory asked if I needed any help. Of course I told him I was fine (what kind of mother was I going to be if I didn't know what bottles to register for?!), but I did mention I was just a little overwhelmed with all the options. He apparently recognized my covert cry for help though and proceeded, in a very unassuming way, to give me some useful information about different brands and different preferences he had seen from customers. Dear Babies 'R' Us Employee, I never learned your name, but I don't think I could have made it past Aisle 1 without your input.

The entire process wasn't quite as difficult as it started out to be, but the choices and options were pretty limitless in every category. And I moved quite slowly through the whole thing. I'm pretty sure I saw one or two other moms-to-be start and finish their registries before I even made it halfway through the store. But ultimately, about three hours later, I completed the process and felt fairly confident about the selections I had made.

So that's the end of the story, right? Well, not exactly. I had received a coupon in the mail from Target that if I created a registry before December 17th, they'd give me a $20 gift card. Ok, why not? So I proceeded, in all my mentally overwhelmed state, to head to Target and start the process all over again. This wouldn't be as bad though because I was only going to register for a few items that were either not found or were too expensive at Babies 'R' Us. There was definitely a smaller selection to choose from at Target, which all in all wasn't necessarily a bad thing because I was able to make my choices in a fraction of the time it took me at Babies 'R' Us, and the registry was completed in less than an hour and a half. I'm just thankful I did all this early during the second trimester. I can't imagine what would have ended up on Brock's registry if I was waddling around the stores in the third trimester!

The unfortunate thing about my personality is that I do have a tiny bit of obsessive compulsive disorder lurking around in there, so once I got back home it was pretty much impossible for me to set all the registry stuff aside and be done with it. I cozied up on the couch with my printed lists on one side of me, my laptop in front of me, and my dog on the other side (she's just always right next to one of us.. it had nothing to do with the registry business). I previewed the registries for both stores online and as I did, I realized there were online reviews from previous buyers for most of the products on the registries. What a happy discovery this was (or in hindsight, a very unfortunate discovery) as I could now see how others felt about the products I selected and I could change those selections if necessary. About five hours later, my eyes were bloodshot, my back was hurting, and my enthusiasm for all things babies was completely drained. I asked Blaine to make me stop the madness, and he obliged. So I considered the registries complete and decided to let them be.

That was "our" baby registry experience. If you're still reading this, I hope it was entertaining, and I hope you won't judge me for all my neuroticisms. But anyone who uses registries to buy gifts for showers can rest assured that practically every item I put on ours was selected with hours and hours of consideration and thought. ; )


  1. You should be very proud of yourself Shelby! Great Job! Enjoyed the read!

  2. Baby registries are so overwhelming! I remember being so tired and waddling around Babies R Us. The easiest thing is to register online so you can be comfortable- and there's no reason to do it all in one day. I also liked asking other parents about what they use and like. You did great!

  3. And remember that just because one person didn't like it, doesn't mean that you won't love it! I spent hours at Babies R Us completing the registry for Emily and I already had Caleb but... things change every year... they just don't leave the same products out there. So, you did great and whatever you receive will be great and whatever you don't, you have a list to send Blaine to the store with! :) Byron did a lot of shopping for me from my registry list while I was in the hospital with Emily. You're going to be a great mom!!