These days part of growing a baby is creating a baby registry. It sounds really fun. But then you actually start – and its not fun. It’s confusing and contradictory. And basically just reinforces the nagging voice in your head that you have no idea what you’re doing.
If you’ve ever gotten married and created a registry – it was probably mostly fun. Either you’re picking all kinds of things for you and your partner or you have everything you need and are asking for cash or donations.
You and your partner are autonomous beings that are capable of coherent thoughts and coherent expressions of those thoughts. One of you might have an opinion on the type, size, and color of the towels you register for. Another might know what kind of pots and pans to get. On the flip-side, maybe you instead wanted to raise money for a honeymoon or to help pay for other expenses. These days that’s totally cool too.
For babies though, they’re kinda quiet while they’re percolating. They don’t have many opinions yet on the type of bottle they might like or if some diaper, detergent, etc gives them a rash. And then there are all the unknown (hopefully nonexistent) health issues that could arise. Its a crap shoot. On top of that, the internet and real world is full of contradictory opinions. “If you buy a wipe warmer you’re an idiot.” “If you don’t buy a wipe warmer, you enjoy torturing your baby.” “Factory-made wipes? What are you a monster? You should make your own unless you want your kid to have genetic mutations!” Some of those might be exaggerations but the sentiment is the same. Everyone has their own opinion on the correct way to raise their kid. Sometimes to validate their own choices these people unknowingly (or knowingly, lets face it sometimes people are jerks on purpose) invalidate other people’s choice. Somehow, you’re gonna need to take all this information in, let it spin around in your brain, and come up with what you think might work for your family. And then always be ok with changing gears when it inevitably doesn’t work like you thought it would. It seems parenting is mostly about swallowing your pride.
I digress. Basically, I spend most of the time confused while looking at baby products. I’m reading all the reports and surveys and I’m sure I’m still settling on things that will probably cause my little girl to score a few points less on an IQ test or not be able to sleep through the night. Or I’ll end up with a bunch of useless junk she hates.
The one tool that I have found so far that has at least sort of helped has been this registry site: Babyli.st. The basic idea is that you can registry for anything from any site and it collects all that into one list. For each item, it also has some sort of bot that goes out on the internet and reports back who else sells it and for what price. So now the people buying the item can stick to the registry but also get the best deal. There’s no sense in making your friends and family pay 20.99 for something when Amazon or Target has it on sale for half price. Genus.
Another one of their genus ideas is the ability to add favors, cash, gift cards, charity donations, and pretty much anything. You’re able to add an item(s) saying that you’re totally cool with hand-me-down clothes or toys. You can ask for gift cards to anywhere (grocery store and home depot!). You can even ask if someone would be willing to walk your dog, do a load of laundry, or bring you a meal. These all might be things you need or want but most stores have no way of communicating them.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go research baby monitors because the one we register for has all kinds of negative reviews now.
Things I’ve found that I really like:
I’m sure someone will inevitably tell me these things will kill me and my baby while we sleep and then assume our forms and take over the human race. Eh, what are you gonna do? (affiliate links below)