November 03, 2002
Crib Notes

Scott and I are college graduates, smart college graduates. What we did not realize is that a college degree DOES NOT prepare you for simple things in life. Like shopping for a baby. Well not shopping, but browsing.

So today Mama had the idea of going to Burlington Coat Factory to look at the baby section. This store is huge. We're talking back-wall-recedes-into-the-mist huge, and the area for the baby stuff can keep you occupied for hours. We thought we would get some ideas for the baby room.

So there we were in the store, jaws dragging the ground. SO MUCH STUFF! Where do we start? Over there near furniture? Or do we go up and down each aisle to just see what we are in for? Both of us had this look of fear in our eyes just going down the aisle for grooming accessories for a baby. How many different brushes do you need for something that's normally mostly bald? And the safety items! What, do little kids spend all their free time grabbing boiling pots and licking electrical outlets? The thing that was designed to keep them out of a VCR looked like it belonged on the back door of a chimpanzee enclosure!

Mama suggested we look at cribs, just to get an idea of what we want. (When do you buy the crib?? I still have to paint the damn room!) There were at least 15 cribs to look at. (I know at Babies R Us there is a whole area of just cribs. At least 50 to look at)

So this is where it all gets complicated. Scott and I could not figure out how to slide the crib bars up and down.

Now, I must point out again that, on paper, we would generally be considered at least somewhat above average in the smarts department. Yet we stood there, struggling for 10 minutes just trying to get the goddamned bars to go down. At first we jiggled them, then rattled them, then, as it became increasingly obvious to us that these things were designed by NASA engineers in their spare time, a few really desperate yanks. Moms were protecting their children and walking away quickly when we finally managed to drop the first gate. We're talking NFL dance baby!

Of course, then we spent another 10 minutes trying to get them up. The store clerk, who was giving us this "great, another set fell off the turnip truck" look, came up to us and demonstrated with total ease how the bars actually worked.

Apparently we must be suffering from DIPS (dumbness induced pregnancy syndrome) 'cause we had no idea where to start, what to look at ect... Like I said so much stuff to look at and make decisions over.

The clothing alone for babies in this store had my head spinning. I so wanted to buy some cute outfits, but Scott said NO because I will jinx myself and wind up with the exact opposite for what I am buying for. Then we lost Mama in the jacket aisle! This is not good. She may moan and groan and take five minutes coming up the steps in our house, but put a shopping cart in front of her and a three hundred acre outlet store at her feet and suddenly she's smoking past the Road Runner. After a long period of desperate searching, we finally found her. She was using someone else's little kid... a complete stranger's little kid, to try jackets on for her to see what our nephew James would fit in. When we rounded the corner she was busy stuffing his tiny arm into a jacket... he gave us this look like "would you please do something with this woman?!?"

Needless to say, that was the ONLY baby store we have looked at so far. Many more to go. I even had to buy my first pair of khaki maternity pants today when I found out that my normal pants for work will not button anymore.

Only 6 weeks along, 34 to go. What a rollercoaster ride.

Posted by Ellen at November 03, 2002 04:53 PM

eMail this entry!

So I get to the end of the first sentence in paragraph two, and all I can think is: "Shopping for a baby? They sell babies at Burlington Coat Factory?"

Posted by: Bacchus on November 3, 2002 05:55 PM

it would be easier if you could just buy them at Burlington Coat Factory! :)

Posted by: Ellen on November 3, 2002 05:59 PM

But it is much more fun to carry that little person around inside you for full term (note that the last week isn't as great for most, but I was ok). Not to mention the part of making them (which Scott thought would take longer).
Anyway, wait until you go to a "baby" items store.
BTW, tell me that she was at least looking at a coat that came down over the butt (JT needs a coat that does not stop at the waist, because he's constantly pulling it down over his back).
Oh, what you all are in for. Joys and trials. But always lots of love.

Posted by: Cindy on November 3, 2002 10:32 PM

Crib bars indeed! People, they are talking about crib side rails, I found a sales person to assist. I am mechanically, electronically as well as vertically challenged.Of course I got lost in the toddler coat department, I am 5' tall if I am standing on my tip toes, I could barely see any of the jackets much less get them off the racks. I was merely assisting this very nice lady who was purchasing a jacket for her 3 year old son, the fact that he was the same size as James was just coincidental. LOL He was not, however, very happy trying on a dozen jackets for me and his mom! A small bribe did ease his unhappiness.

Ellen and I will hit "Babies R Us" This afternoon, Scott thinks he gets to stay home. ROTF

Think PINK folks!

Posted by: Pat on November 4, 2002 02:31 AM

Cindy, the jacket is bright red and should fit the little man perfectly fine through the winter.
See you tomorrow. Happy anniversary!

Posted by: Pat on November 4, 2002 02:44 AM

You don't need a crib yet. Wait. And, when you're about 26 weeks along....go to WalMart and spend under $100 for one. The baby will spend remarkably little time in the thing when compared to the time it will spend in a bed.

Clothes: Mint Green. Yellow. Both work well for either gender. AND, buy as many of those little front button undershirts as you can. I work with babies, remember? I've had two kids, right? I've even been a nanny. NEVER underestimate the strength of a small creature to fight a shirt going on over its head. Go for the snaps.

Diaper Genie.

I wish you lived closer. I'd give you the crib. I'd give you the Emmaljunga (or however it's spelled) buggy that was originally $400....but, that I picked up for $150. It's a bassinet AND a stroller. The sweet mobile. The border that I bought for the room...precious! I still have plenty leftover. That Diaper Genie. I'd give you the leftover clothes, receiving blankets, hats, towels, etc that I still have even though my youngest just turned 6.

And, toys. DON'T get me started.

Of course, I gave lots of it away already. There's just tons more that will always resurface. Kinda like cat fur from the carpet even after you've had the carpets shampooed.

Posted by: Da Goddess on November 4, 2002 03:05 AM

wait until mom gets to shopping. she hasnt done that in awhile...

its fun being online while in school. your sites is one of the few that isnt restricted...yet

Posted by: nina on November 4, 2002 11:25 AM

You keep it that way too missy! Tell your friends, tell your neighbors, but don't tell your teachers, 'cos they suck. :)

Posted by: scott on November 4, 2002 11:38 AM

Don't rush on the crib, or anything else just yet. Wait. You have time. Don't get overwhelmed by the mountains of baby stuff available. Most of it you won't need. Da Goddess's suggestion of waiting at least 26 weeks to start buying stuff is a good one. That gives you time to look around and make smart choices and not hurried, caught-up-in-moment ones. You can go shopping, looking and planning. But save the buying for a few months.

For the first few weeks/months our kids slept in a borrowed baby buggy at the foot of our bed. It made getting up to feed or change them easier and avoided my dear wife using the baby monitor as a pillow. Early on a baby will just get lost in the middle of a big old empty crib. You don't want to fill the crib up with stuffed animals and blankets etc. They're a smothering hazard. So there you are with a huge fancy crib and this little tiny baby in a blanket sleeper in the middle of it. A bassenet or baby buggy that lays flat is a much cozier option at first. We moved our babies into the hand-me-down crib in the nursery when they outgrew the buggy.

Don't worry about disturbing your spouse when the baby wakes up, he should get up anyway. If they baby is drinking formula he can feed it. If the baby is still mommy feeding he can help you get settled in a chair, a blanket for your legs, a pllow to support the baby and get you a bowl of fruit or something to drink while you do your cow impression.

When that baby crys in the middle of the night everyone wakes up anyway, whether it's in your room or the nursery. You learn really quickly to fall back asleep while walking back toward your bed.

Don't rush out buying stuff. Spread the word among family and friends. And gladly accept any offers they make. While you will want the best for your kids, the best doesn't necessarily mean brand new. Use the hand-me-downs and loaners. Save money you would spend in new clothes and furniture for private school or college. Babies are amazing expensive. The monthly costs of diapers, wipes, formula (if needed), medecines, etc will really sneak up on you.

The cost of Baby clothes adds up quickly and they always outgrow it after just a couple wearings. We passed on most of our baby clothes to releatives who were expecting and they in many occasions thought they were getting new stuff. The only things that even started looking used were the things that we had gotten second or third hand.

Remember the fancy nursery decorations are for the parents. The baby won't be able to focus their eyes beyond a few feet for several weeks. So you could even wait to decorate the nursury after the baby is born. Makes picking colors easier. Also leaves a lot more options available for people who will want to spoil you with baby showers.

You don't need all that fancy child proofing stuff until the child is mobile (crawling or rolling) at 3-6 months old. Wait.

You will need a diaper genie, or at least you will want a diaper genie. But not until the baby comes home. Then you'll need to teach your mom and/or mother-in-law how to use it. They don't help much when the diapers are just stacked on top of the genie because grandma can't figure out how to work the darned thing.

Finally don't worry about feeling less than smart, children, even pending ones naturally turn normal intellegent people into blithering idiots. Its their job and they are all good at it.

Relax, have fun.

Posted by: David on November 4, 2002 12:38 PM

Thanks for the comments!!!! I appreciate it. :)

Posted by: ellen on November 4, 2002 08:20 PM

Gosh. I like David!

Seriously, though....he's absolutely right on everything. Especially this: "Don't worry about disturbing your spouse when the baby wakes up, he should get up anyway. If they baby is drinking formula he can feed it. If the baby is still mommy feeding he can help you get settled in a chair, a blanket for your legs, a pllow to support the baby and get you a bowl of fruit or something to drink while you do your cow impression."

Where was he when I was nursing?

Posted by: Da Goddess on November 5, 2002 12:57 AM

My nephew is starting to outgrow my sons old clothes, so there are hand-me-downs if they are wanted.
I totally agree with the waiting idea. Of course, there will be a few things that you just can't pass by that are perfect (I had a few and my son still uses the "fishy lamp").
But scouting around and checking things out is what I did. You won't believe how much baby stuff changes in six months. Have you gotten a true list together? Have to haves, would likes, don't wants; or at least started on it. I'm sure you would get a lot of advise on that (mind included).
My sister bought a crib, that turns into a single bed or a day bed. But the basinett was perfect for the first few weeks.
And YES! Daddy can and SHOULD get up too. It's easier to keep the water bottle where you would nurse (if you do that) or Scott will be running to get you a drink about 10 seconds after you start the feeding (and it's not a good idea to interrupt the baby).
It'll be here before we all know it. Enjoy this part.

Posted by: Cindy on November 5, 2002 01:07 AM

don't forget the power of E-Bay. They have that "local" sale section. My better half found a crib, changing table, port-a-crib and something else for under $200 and they were practically BRAND-NEW. We had to drive about 15 minutes to pick it up and met the woman who was selling it. She was wonderful and threw in some clothes and stuff. All-around a great experience AND a friendly person. How do you beat that?

Posted by: Jim S on November 6, 2002 10:30 AM

One thing is extremely important that I'm sure your doctor or midwife has already explained...hopefully? You absolutely DO NOT clean the litterbox(es). Scott will just have to take care of that for the next 9 or 10 months or so....whatever the term is!

Posted by: Gail on November 9, 2002 09:07 AM
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