Doing Your Baby Registry - A Fun Time or Horrific Afternoon?

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Words don't really describe the emotional roller coaster that we recently experienced when we finally got a day off together to do our baby registry. I personally find it interesting that no two books can agree on proper registry etiquette. How many stores do you go to? What sort of items do you place on the registry? is it alright to put an Xbox on the registry? I mean Dad needs to play some Modern Warfare 3 after all to relax at the end of an exhausting day right? It depends on who you ask.

Actually getting a day off together seems like winning the lottery now a days, so the Mrs. and I finally decided to spend some time and take a look at all the baby related items that we thought we would want. I personally thought it would be like our wedding registry: I would scan all the stuff I wanted, and she would promptly remove the items from the list because she thought it would be too extravagant. I mean, come on, every newlywed couple news a nice brand new garage tool box and air compressor from Sears right? To my surprise it was very different then our wedding registry. We already had a few items that were graciously given to us from friends and family, some hand me downs, and some stuff that people purchased just because they knew we were having a baby, but for the most part our house is not really ready for a baby just yet.

So there were were, in the middle of Babies R Us, with a scanner gun in hand and just waiting to scan every item on the shelf that we could possibly think of. We did the row by row method and scanned critical items that we think we would be needing in the near future. We were aware of pricing, and we were sure to put a wide variety of items in our make believe shopping cart. Every thing from baby bottles to baby monitors. It wasn't so much the scanning of the items that seemed to make a pit in both of our stomachs, but the realization that we had no idea what in the hell most of this crazy stuff was actually used for!

That's right, which bottle brands to buy? What is the right size nipple to purchase (sorry just had to add in nipples to this post, such an interesting word), is this really the best type of baby monitor? We spent about an hour or so in the store checking item by item for things that we would want, trying not to go too overboard, but boy were we overwhelmed. By the time we were done, exhaustion had set in, and I'll admit quite a bit of fear as well. Would these be the best items to buy? Are was asking people to buy us too much? How does a breast pump work? The list of fears just went on and on.

When we politely returned the scanner gun, the employee must have been able to smell the fear on us, because he was very reassuring and even checked out our list to see if he had any recommendations. We were handed a bag full of freebies and coupons, and were sent on our mentally frazzled way. Wait.. Backup the bus here... Free stuff? That's right we were rewarded for fake shopping with a bag full of coupons and free stuff. A few diapers, a few wipes, it was actually pretty cool. So we hit up one store on a fake shopping spree, but what if our friends and extended family don't live near a Babies R Us? We also decided to go to Target and experience the same highs and lows there. I was impressed however, because in Target I was able to buy a few snacks and a drink to keep me going through the process. They too offered us a bag full of goodies, but when the cashier went to the back to get one, apparently they were all out..

So now that we realized we might just go insane with all this baby stuff, there were a few bright spots and recommendations that I have for all the new dads that will be going through this process:

- Whatever you do, don't just agree with whatever she wants to put on the registry.. Now is your time to speak up. That doesn't mean you will get your way, but it does mean that you might spark a genuine conversation about a particular baby issue.

- The worst thing you can ever say is "Just pick whatever you want!" She will think you truly don't give a darn about the situation.

- An Xbox apparently is not appropriate for the baby registry, although the stores certainly welcome you to scan the items.

- Select a wide variety of items with varying price ranges. Some of your friends might be better off than others, and you never know what you will receive as a gift.

- Try to stay away from the clothes and what not, often times you can find brand new baby clothing items at thrift shops or even yard sales. Besides, odds are people will buy these for you anyway because they think it will be cute on your kid.

- As a man you have ZERO say as to what breast pump system SHE wants to buy. Just be supportive and don't make jokes about the Dirty Jobs episode when Mike Rowe goes to the dairy farm.

- It's OK to register at multiple stores, but don't go crazy. My personal recommendation is 2 stores. Besides that was all the baby shopping immersion I could personally stomach in one day.

- Remember, after the fact you can do more research, it's not a permanent selection. For example, the baby monitor I wanted to get apparently got horrible reviews. It's no big deal, you can always go back to the store to update your registry.

- Now that they have the Interweb on Computers now a days (Simpson's Reference), you can actually update or change items online without going to the store as well.

- Don't expect to get everything on your registry. You're relying on friends and family to help, but not entirely provide for your new child.

Remember, this process should be fun, so just be sure to go with the flow!

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