Since about our 5th month of pregnancy we have been asked by our parents and friends what we need for Baby P. Pretty much everything! We are working on a registry we tell them. Where is it we are asked? All will be revealed soon we say - after Christmas. There's no rush our Baby P is not due until early April.
Steve and I had never registered for anything before. We held a tiny wedding ceremony 8 years after living together, our home was complete so we didn't register for gifts at that time. But now for Baby P - we sure could use some help. Where do we begin? To quote a friend with two babies; "There is so much crap, I mean, 'accoutrements' out there for babies that are just useless - just go with the basics."
I have read that for the first few months all the baby needs is you, a clean diaper, warm clothes and blankets. I agree, but, if we ever want to leave the hospital we also need a safe car seat and then because we sleep in a temperpedic bed (the most awesome sleep ever for us not good for infants) we need a co-sleeper, for outings a sling and a stroller. That should do right? Right?
We have been consulting friends and our siblings with children asking for brands of products they liked or did not like, scouring web sites to find the best prices and of course checking up on selected products with consumer reports. My head swims with images of pack and plays, swings, high chairs, bottles, blankets, monitors, Bumbo seats, breast feeding pillows, mobiles, carriers, cribs, rocking chairs, baby sign books, Einstein CDs, and the list gets longer. I hear the advice of mothers all around on who's kids liked which product and who's kids hated them. It amazes me that an infant of 6-12 lbs who sleeps 18 hours or more a day has such discerning tastes and needs so much STUFF!
Stuff - we don't want a house full of stuff. Especially expensive stuff that the baby will use for a month and then turn it's nose up at or grow out of. We are also very particular about "what stuff" comes into the house and where it comes from. We have worked hard to get Baby P here now we don't want to dress baby in pesticide covered, flame retardent clothing and bedding or let Baby P knaw away on cheap plastics full of cancer causing chemicals.
Steve and I are all about living as naturally as we can. We have a house filled with solid wood antiques and hand me down and used furniture we have carefully refinished. We try our best to really think about the impact certain purchases will make over the long run. Only the best will do for Baby P and only products we can justify as "green" will make the registry.
There I said it in 2009! GREEN, GREEN, GREEN the catch word for 2008 banned by Lake Superior State U's 34th Annual list of words to be banished from the Queen's English for miss-use, overuse and general uselessness in 09. But it fits. We want to raise a baby by creating as little impact to our earth as possible. It's doable. We have researched well and are on board with cloth diapering, BPA & PVC free products and will be purchasing gently used and organic products for Baby P. We encourage our family to do the same via our registry.
I found a very user friendly site called myregistry.com where we have chosen to register for Baby P. The coolest thing about the site is that we can add to our registry from any chain, boutique or web based store in the world! Such a genius invention. The site is super easy to use with lots of great features. We created a welcome page and even sent out e-vites to view the registry. The site keeps track of all the purchases and will even generate a thank you note for each individual's purchase! Given that half our family are living in Canada and the other half in the United States this type of registry allows everyone to purchase and ship directly to our home and most of the stores we have added to the registry will ship for free. How cool is that?
We are also - for now- a one car family. We had been living in a big city and had a fantastic public transit system we often used. We could make due sharing a vehicle, electing to walk, ride bikes and rent a car from time to time as needed. Now we are in small town USA with NO public transportation and our pediatrician is 21 miles away. We need a second vehicle! So we put a PRIUS on the registry...why not? We are kid-ing. Kinda.
Other notable products we have added to our registry are:
* The ERGO Carrier available at La Stella Blu. This is a super cotton carrier which can take us from newborn to a child up to 60lbs! Recommended by my sister in law Jen. She has two of them for her kids.
* We chose the Britax Boulevard CS car seat in super stylish cowmooflage. Yeah, the colour is cool but the selling feature is that it is rated number one in crash tests with consumer reports. This car seat comes with side impact protection and it will also take us from new born to a child of 60 lbs.
* Upon scouring used furniture stores and Craig's list and coming up dry for a decent condition solid wood dresser we found one from this line- ten trees are planted with each purchase. A renewable feature that suckered me in.
Starting to see our theme? Buy once to last a few years and maybe even amortize cost and product life span over more than one child.
It's so easy to get sucked into all the cute tiny adorable toys and clothes and other stuff for babies. We just hope that when we are sucked in it's for the good stuff. Books, organic cottons, PBA & PVC free stuff. Easily available and pretty reasonably priced. If we look for quality we will find quality and that is what has made it onto our registry.
I know it's easy to say now, before Baby P is here, that we won't buy into the latest fad in baby accouterments. Yes, I may come back to Mother Ship to eat crow as I blog about my midnight trip to Walmart to purchase a rainforest swing to put Baby P in so I can try to get an hours peace. For now we have an ideal and we would very much like to try to make it real.
Write and let me know if you have favorite products for your children. We want to hear about your experiences with your registry and baby products. What was excellent and what sucked. Did you ever have items come in and go straight back out of your house and why? What is an item you couldn't live without and will buy for all your expectant friends?