This post also appeared on www.capecodonline.com/blogs in the opinion section of the Cape Cod Times, a division of Ottaway Newspapers, Inc.
If you haven’t had kids, you’ll be absolutely amazed at the variety of gifts you get. MJ had her baby shower a couple of weeks ago and people were beyond generous. We’re truly blessed to have so many people who care about us, so much so that we don’t even have room for all the stuff we got. So this is not me complaining in any way, shape or form.
However, I cannot believe the baby products out there. In my mind, we needed a crib and a bunch of diapers for this kid. And when I thought of a crib, I pictured a very small, modest contraption where the baby would sleep. How naive I was. The crib we have is not just a crib. It is a “sleeping system” and it converts into a toddler’s bed and eventually a “big boy/girl bed” when the time is right. It’s beautiful, don’t get me wrong, but it’s a little more elaborate than I expected. Not only that, but it’s part of a set which I also didn’t realize we needed. The crib came with a bureau and a changing table. I’m still a little confused as to why we need both the bureau AND the changing table, since the changing table seems to be a regular bureau with a small frame on top for a changing pad. When I asked my wife if we really needed both, she simply looked at me and then quickly away, as if my question wasn’t even worthy of ridicule. This is a look I’m becoming more and more familiar with by the way.
But it didn’t stop there. I was told we also needed a closet organizer (despite having existing shelves in the nursery closet). And a bassinet. Don’t forget the swing, high chair, pack n play, glider and ottoman. Oh, and I had to paint the nursery a very specific shade of green, take off and replace all the base board, add a chair rail around the entirety of the room and stencil moons and stars on the walls. And silly me, I thought when we accomplished all of this I would be done. Little did I know that baby showers bring you more stuff than you’ll possibly use…
Blankets. We have more blankets than I know what to do with. And that’s not a bad thing, because several of them are handmade and I love them. We will have the warmest child on the planet.
Onsies. I didn’t know what a onsie was 8 months ago. Now I’m drowning in them.
Car seats. First of all you need the base. I think we have four bases. Then you need the car seat itself. We have one of those which is also a carrier, and we have two “convertible” car seats for when the baby gets older. Safety is of the utmost importance, no question, but these things are nuts. First of all, I’m taking it to the fire department to install because it looks beyond my comprehension. Levers, knobs, straps…I get confused just looking at it. Furthermore, they are really built for comfort. Ours has so much padding and it’s so soft, I feel sleepy every time I touch it.
Strollers. I learned you can’t have just one kind. You need the gargantuan stroller which you can plop the infant car seat into, that’s a necessity. But you also need a lighter, smaller stroller that’s just a wire frame which the car seat goes on. I’m told this smaller one is for when you don’t want to deal with the hassle of dragging the supercharged stroller around. I laugh when my wife tells me this because the beauty of the supercharged stroller is that it folds up at the push of a button. But I don’t argue…
Baby monitor. Or more accurately, CIA-grade surveillance equipment. I’m convinced Babies r Us is selling leftover spy equipment from the Patriot Act and re-packaging it to parents.
Red Sox and Patriots clothing. These are the best things I’ve ever seen. No complaints here.
All kinds of wipes and creams. From run of the mill baby wipes to something called “Butt Paste” we have it all.
And last but certainly not least, the most intriguing gift we received was some sort of machine that warms up the baby wipes before you use it on the kid. I’m not kidding, our baby will not have to suffer the indignity of a cold bottom. This gift ensures a warm and comfortable change 100% of the time. I find it hilarious that such a machine exists, but I’m sure it’s useful or people wouldn’t be buying it, right?
Breast pumps, bottles, bottle warmers, pacifiers, burp blankets, bibs, Baby Einstein videos…there’s so much stuff it’s spilling out of the nursery and taking over the house. I can only imagine when the kid is born, and then becomes mobile what the house will look like.
But rest assured, everything will work out. We have a baby wipe warmer!