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Babies may not come with instruction manuals but they sure come with a lot of stuff. I got THREE diaper bags full of swag this morning, all from formula manufacturers. THREE full sized black bags with diapers, formula, magazines, coupons and who knows what else all magically appeared in my room while I was brushing my teeth. Now you know why parents drive SUVs – you need one as soon as you try to bring the baby home.
You know what’s really weird? There are tiny pastel spoons in my silverware drawer. And bibs mixed in with my pot holders. There’s formula next to my coffee maker, baby bottles in my dish cabinet, a car seat by my back door, three high chairs in my dining room, a cradle in my entryway, a co-sleeper in my bedroom, crib sheets in my dryer, itty-bitty washcloths in my bathroom, and a Baby Einstein Discover & Play Entertainer in the corner of my family room. It’s incredibly strange to have all this baby stuff when I still can’t imagine what it’s like to have an actual baby.
The answer to the hamburger-hot dog question will finally be revealed on Thursday at 1 pm. Up until now, I’ve put off buying pretty much anything baby related with the claim that until I know what I’m having I can’t be really prepared. But the truth is, I’m having a human child and all human children need some basic crap – car seat, crib, stroller, diapers, etc – that doesn’t have to be pink or blue. I said before if my baby came home now it would have to sleep in a drawer…but I don’t even have one of those. I spent my weekend reading product reviews and recommendations and comparing prices and options online. Now I am even more confused and overwhelmed.
If you do not have a baby or a baby pending, you have no idea how much stuff there is to buy. You don’t put an infant in a crib, you use a bassinet. If you want to move it around you can get a travel play yard/bassinet/changing table. If you plan to breastfeed the baby books suggest youget a bassinet-co-sleeper combo so youdon’t have to get out of bed every 2 hours. BUT! The bassinets I’ve been looking at are only good up to 15 pounds (although the idea of caring for a living human creature weighing less than that scares the bejezus out of me). Since I’ve heard having an infant can be tiring – apparently they cry a lot – I doubt I’ll be eager to go crib shopping in the first month or two, so I need to buy one before I give birth. Ideally, a couple months before, so there is little to no chance of my contractions starting while I’m deciding between the cherry or white finish.
If baby sleeping sounds complicated, don’t even try to research car seats/strollers/car-seat-stroller systems. I know science is busy curing erectile dysfunction and genetically engineering tomatoes to be redder, but couldn’t they take a few months off to invent a way to get a baby from point A to point B without spending $900 or making it’s parents burst into tears? Seriously, $900 for a stroller. But wait, if that’s the most expensive one, doesn’t that make it the best? Am I saying my baby isn’t WORTH $900?? Oh my God I’m a terrible mother. The people at the hospital are going to take one look at my $150 infant car seat and call Child Protective Services, since I am obviously unfit.
You know what else apparently makes you unfit? Stuffed animals. And crib bumpers. And blankets. And pretty much anything else you might want to put in your baby’s crib to make it comfortable. All those things can cause Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. Or at least the experts think it might. Scientists don’t really know, so they’ve decided to frighten parents as much as possible about what is basically a random act of nature. Did I mention it can happen any time in the first year? I think the real reason mothers are exhausted is because they stay up for 365 days checking to see if their baby is breathing. I can barely sleep now, and I’m the one doing all the breathing.
Next weekend we’re going to Target to register for real (so far, all I have on the registry is Ohio State onesies, a Baby-Bjorn and a packet of spit up cloths), Babies R Us to try out cribs, changing tables and strollers, and then trekking up to USA Baby to look at the fancy, expensive versions. In theory, we will also pick a color and get started on painting the nursery, picking out light fixtures and rugs, and perhaps bribe my sister into painting a mural to match whatever theme we choose. In reality, I will probably lie in bed taking deep breaths because I am almost 20 weeks pregnant (HALF WAY) and completely unprepared. Luckily, right now all I am unprepared for is being responsible for a baby. I’ve totally blocked out the process of having the baby. Maybe once science gets done with that baby carrier they can work on a totally pain-free way of getting this invader out of my uterus. I’m thinking teleportation, but I’ll leave the details to the experts.