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Registering for Stuff We Don't Yet Understand.

Snoopy's Breast Pump/Sno-Cone Machine?We prepared like it was war.

"Okay, so we have a print out of what we need the most, right?"


"And we'll just go in and like jump right in?  Just grab that gun and beep stuff?"

"We're all over this."

And with that, Team Sparling stormed "Babies R Us" and tried to make sense of the chaos.

(Sidenote:  My best friend's water actually broke at Babies R Us.  Just goes to show you how much cute overload goes in that store.  Basically makes people give birth on the spot.  /sidenote)

We started with the big items, like car seats and pack-and-plays and a stroller, because those were items we knew that babies used.  (And we knew what these things were - double win.)  This very nice, old woman, Evelyn, helped set us up with our registry and gave us a "handy checklist" of items we'd want to add to the list.  And then she gave us the beeper gun thing, which we used to scan items and add them electronically to the list.  

"This thing.  I love.  Like from when we did the wedding registry," I said, trying to find some kind of familiarity with the words on the car seat boxes (like "key fit" and "bubble level indicators" and "OMG you're having a baby and you're going to put it in your CAR?"). 

"Yeah, but with that stuff, we knew what it was.  I don't know what half this stuff is."  Chris had the scanner gun in his hand and was brandishing it like an actual rifle.  

"Me, neither," I admitted.  

Aisle after aisle of intensely cute items that looked like bomb parts to me.  What is a boppy, and why do I need one?  How exactly is that little sock going to stay on her teeny foot?  How many bottles are we supposed to have?  Or burp cloths?  (Burp cloths threw me for a loop, because the burps I am most familiar with do not require wiping up afterwards.) Or little no-scratch mittens to protect her little face? 

After about an hour, we both needed a snack.  (My blood sugars were holding on the low side, thanks to walking around the store endlessly, and I think Chris's were too.  We snacked on protein bars and nuts, leaving a trail of crumbs as we meandered aimlessly.)

After two hours, we were losing our minds a little bit.  And then we ventured into the section with all the bottles.

"What.  On.  Earth.  Is.  That?"  I pointed to the machine that looked like a hybrid of Snoopy's Sno-Cone Machine and two megaphones.

"That's the breast pump.  Right?  That's the pump?"

"I do believe it is.  And we're going to have one.  In our house.  Another pump.  I love pumps.  Don't you?"  At this point, my mind cracked right open and started to pour out in a panic on the floor.  I went, in a hurry, over to where the shelves of baby powder were and started beeping the bottles.

"I know what to do with baby powder.  This is safe.  Let's get some of this."

Chris and I are bright people.  We both went to college, we are reasonably educated, and we can string a sentence or two together without sounding like we need a break.  But something about this baby has us completely tongue-tied.   After doing our best registering, we went to a nearby restaurant to grab lunch.

And we sat there for about fifteen minutes, not talking.  Just sort of glazed over. 

"She's going to live in our house.  We get to keep her.  Like, forever."  I said outloud.

He nodded and grinned.  "She's our friend.  Permanently."

We both stirred our drinks with the straws.  

"Holy crap, this is really happening."  BSparl gave me a quick kick in the bladder to make her presence known, and I rubbed my hand along the side of my belly.

"We love you, kiddo.  A lot.  Just forgive us in advance for having no clue what we're doing, okay?"



Oh how this made me laugh Kerri, because as anyone who has ever been a parent can attest to, NO ONE knows what they are doing in the beginning. Absolutely no one. You will look back on this post a few years from now and laugh, you really will. Cause you'll be a member of the club then :0)

You will also wonder, on the day you are 'discharged' from the hospital with her, how and why they are letting you leave with her, then, what to do with her once you get her home! Every parent thinks this with their first one. Then, by #3, it's yeah, yeah, I DO know how to do this stuff. The newness of it all is the beauty of it all.

You and Chris will get the hang of everything. You will not need half the stuff you purchase, cause the baby will not want anything but YOU and to be held, endlessly.. leaving you pondering why you bought the pack n play. Everything comes in handy, but each in it's own time.

Love Chris's quote about BSparl being your friend, permanently. How darling.

My favorite baby-related story is from my mom when she brought my older sister home from the hospital.

Mom brings her in, lays her down, and she and my Dad sit there staring at her in awe. Awwww, isn't sure cute, awww, isn't she sweet.

Then my dad says, "so now what do we do with her?"

HA HA HA! Great story, Kerri!

Ahh, I loved that gun thing too. I was zapping other customers on the back of their heads while we registered.

Part of the fun and terror is learning all this stuff as you go. You'll do great!!!

Kerri, you'll find that burp destroys clothes and despite those cloths you'll end up with on you. Make sure to get the stain remover (can't remember name) that actually removes that stuff. For my later kids, we survived a LOT on various hand-me-downs, don't be scared to ask friends for those.

I was not prepared at all for my baby. No one I knew had one, but I figured I was smart enough to figure stuff out. She was a C-section and did not cry for a few days, I told the nurse that MY baby did not cry. I did not realize that C-section babys take a few days to "wake" up. She cried as soon as we left the hospital and did not stop for a few hours. I wondered where my "good" baby was and who was this baby. I did a few goofy things (like when I first gave her the liquid vitamins I opened her mouth and just emptied the dropper into her mouth, she choked. No one told me to put it inside her mouth by her cheek and she would suck it) I learned that when you put a baby in the bassinet in the bathroom and you take a long steamy shower then she gets all steamy too, it's not a fever...I also learned that no matter how much advice other people give you, it is always best to go with your instict. What is right for others may not be right for you guys...you'll figure it out, we all do.

Lots of burp cloths definitely and oh how I remember the breast pump!

I wish I could remember something about my pregnancy foibles, or even something witty or supportive, but what really caught my eye today was the sno-cone maker. I had totally forgotten about that thing until now! Now I'm wracking my brain thinking: "did I have that, or a friend?"

You guys are going to do great!

You reacted much better then I did when I first saw the breast pump. My poor husband trying to console his hormonal blubbering wife crying that she was NOT going to be milked like a cow.

When I was feeling like that before my daughter was born, my mom gave me the best advice. "No matter how little you feel like you know, you will always know more than her, so go with your gut, and wing it, she'll never know the difference." I think that will be just as important at 16 years old as it was at 16 days old.


Things you do not need to register for b/c people will give them to you anyway, in overwhelming quantities:

- baby blankets
- stuffed animals
- baby clothing
- itty bitty baby toys

I would definitely register for...

Ergo carrier (will last you much longer than Baby Bjorn)

and more later when I don't need to get off the internet and pretend to be working... so excited for you!

You guys will need LOTS of onesies in multiple sizes and colors because according to my friends- you go through them like water!
Also, I bought my friend Jill's baby a Sounds of The Ocean CD because the nursery faced a busy city street in Philadelphia. Her daughter would go to sleep listening to the sound of the waves instead of the sounds of the city. She's now three years old and still listens to it when she goes to sleep!
Kelly K

I don't have one...but I've worked w/ them enough in my life to let you know that no one EVER has a clue what they're doing at first. It's a guessing game. And you and Chris will do great because you want her so badly. :) And as I say all this, I'm quite sure that when I have my first one, I'll have the exact same freak out that you are having right now. :P

I remember walking in the house after No. 1 was born and thinking "What the F do I do now?" Seems to me there was a comedian not long ago talking about all the preparation people are given for being pregnant and while pregnant and then when the baby comes out they disappear and are like "Good luck with that."

I found the DVD "The Happiest Baby on the Block" to be a godsend. It teaches you how to calm the baby down. It worked very well for us.

And on a related note - SWADDLE! :) I guess not all babies like it, but ours loved it. We used "Swaddle Me" and Miracle blankets.

Those two items were our best friends the first few months.

Kerri. I loved this pump. Registering at the baby store was mind boggling and exhausting. I am going to give you my two cents on what's important to have. Not that you asked, haha!
1) The boppy is great, not only for nursing, but for a sleeping infant next to you on the couch or something.
2) The protector for shopping carts/restaurant high chairs. A MUST HAVE. germs = gross.
3) Bouncer. Your best friend. Will keep the baby entertained, great for napping. You can place it wherever you want - even the bathroom floor while you shower.
4) don't skimp on registering for a GOOD stroller/car seat/high chair!!

Skip this stuff:
1) wipe warmer - not necessary
2) crib cd player - batteries wear out in no time!
3) don't bother registering for clothes. People will buy you plenty anyway!

I hope this isn't an overstep! Just someone who's been there.

PS breast pumps... aren't so bad once you get used to them. :)

did i really say I loved this pump? I meant to say post!! I have pumps on the brain! I literally laughing out loud at myself!

That was great! You brought back some clueless moments!

I remember my sister in law and her cousin being completely freaked out at my baby shower (both were still in college) because one of the aunts gave me a "nipple brush" that looked like a miniature cannon ramrod. They didn't realize it was for the bottle nipples, not mine!

Boppy - oh, yes. A hundred and one uses - unfortunately our 101st was as a tug-of-war object between sons #1 and #2 - fluffy filling everywhere and an inconsolable #3 son, who loved to nap in it!

I would suggest a dozen burp cloths - and at least six crib sheets too - more if you wont do laundry every day. And no, the socks will not stay on - they are designed to make new moms trackable by the clothing left behind...

This post made me laugh - but by the end I had tears in my eyes too. Good tears though!! I was at a baby shower on Sunday for my friend Keri who is also having a baby girl next month - and I had to lean over to my friend with 3 kids and ask what a boppy was too. They were all going on and on about boppys and boppy covers and what their kids did with the boppys later and I was so freaking clueless!!! LOL

I loved this line the best: "I know what to do with baby powder. This is safe. Let's get some of this."

We never once used baby powder with either of our girls. In fact, I was cleaning out drawers not too long ago and found three bottles of it we had received as gifts (my daughters are 9 & 7 and we've moved twice since my youngest was born) ;-)

Burp clothes, diapers, wipes... you'll go through faster than test strips (I'm serious). And, if BG Sparl is anything like my 1st daughter - you'll be back at the bottle aisle at least 18 times trying to find just one with a nipple she'll tolerate so you can use that nice breast pump and get away from her for three hours.

You are doing great, and thanks for sharing. You are bringing back many memories of diabetes & pregnancy.

Thank you so much for this post! My husband and I are also starting to wonder, "Just what does a baby need, anyway?" And don't get me started on the whole breast pump thing. Is that a torture device? I hope you don't mind, but I am scavenging your comments for ideas!


LOL! Oh, I remember those confusing days... we never actually went into a store to register for baby stuff. I just did it online on Target's website.

Couple things...

1. Baby powder, the actual powdery stuff, is a no-no. It's a carcinogen. Look for the lotion powders (Huggies used to make one - Johnson & Johnson might still. I've also found some no-name brand in Dollar Tree.)

2. Diaper rash creams are a good thing. Boudreaux's Butt Paste is good for baby butts AND laughs. LOL

3. Cloth baby diapers make excellent burp cloths. They're cheaper and larger than the things marketed as burp cloths.

4. Ditto on the stain remover, a kind that removes proteins - there's a kind that Babies R Us sells that's refillable (at least they used to - my baby's 5 now, so my info is a little out of date).

5. Lots of BATTERIES are a good thing, esp. if you get a bouncy seat or a swing or whatever. We had a Fisher Price bouncy seat that vibrated and played music - Wyatt LOVED it and it was a great place to stash him when I needed my arms but the thing ate batteries like crazy.

6. Those things called "lap pads" are great for keeping your changing pad cover clean a little longer. Stick one under baby's tush for diaper changes and it can help confine the mess.

7. You'll figure out your own preferences (and BSparl's!) when she arrives. Some people insist on the wipe warmers, some people think they're stupid. Same thing for Diaper Genies, baby bathtubs and half a dozen other things. You'll figure out what you need and use (this is when gift cards and Craigslist can be very helpful!).

Whoops! My mom just read this post and had this to say about my comment...(I stand corrected!)

SUCH a cute post. Because who the hell knows what all that stuff is??! (I don't…and I've had 2 kids/2 grandkids!) And 90% of it you don't need.

Only one comment on your reply -- it's a cute story, isn't it? BUT, it was ME….the MOMMY….who said "now what do we do with her?" I hadn't the first single clue. And she survived. And even thrived. So will BSPARL. :-)

I hate to tell you there is a whole debate over using baby powder. I am only an aunt so am not sure why but I know just like how to place the baby for sleeping there are people on both sides of the debate. I am sure someone on here can provide more information.

Do you know who the vlogbrothers are? Well one of the brothers (John) and his wife are having a baby VERY SOON (like possibly sometime this week). Anyhow, John's vlog from yesterday is all about how he has no clue what he's doing. It's funny yet quite touching at the same tim. ENJOY!

If you breastfeed, the boppy is nice, but not a necessity. You do want the burp cloth, and one of those cloth covers for restaurant high chairs and shopping carts. Don't register any stuffed toys, they breed in the closet along with wire hangers.

"Baby Bargains" has awesome advice on what to skip, what to skimp on, what to really spend on, and what to buy used. We only got six weeks' use out of a swing (weeks 6-12) and about the same out of one of those bouncy jumpers. Just sayin'.

Also, one stroller is never enough. After they can sit up (around 6 months) a quality umbrella stroller (think Maclaren) is your best friend especially for travel.

Oh and the Snoopy Snow Cone Maker is a piece of crap. You are much better off with an electric one; it's a nice thing to have on hand for an older child with a sore throat or anybody else in the summertime.

You are going to have the BEST time with this child!!!! We could only have one and I just wish every child could be so...craved.

kerri, as a pwd who is only a few weeks into my first pregnancy at this point, i am finding all your pregnancy-related posts very helpful - i love when you post details about your appts., etc. - it gives me an idea of what to expect! and we are far away from registering for baby stuff still, but i'm getting great ideas from your post and from the comments!

Wait until they tell you to take her from the hospital, that is a moment of shock and awe. They're really going to let you take her home. It's the most scary and exciting moment of your life.

As someone who is still intimidated and not entirely on board with the idea of reproducing, I found B.R.U. to be completely confusing and freak-out-inspiring. But watching you and Chris go through it makes me feel a bit more like it's okay to go into it feeling not 100% ready. Plus, it's nice to get a sense for what to REALLY expect, both the relevant and the goofy (since, to my mind, the goofy makes it worth it). Thanks for the commentary - looking forward to the oncoming cuteness!

Gift cards from Babies R Us were the best gift, because we could buy exactly what we needed when we needed it.

Also, a Snap & Go stroller (with a car seat that snaps into your car) is all you need for the first six months, but you may want a more heavy duty/jogger stroller later on. Craigslist is excellent for this.

I rented an electric pump from the hospital, which was much stronger than one I could have bought--and I'm glad I did.

Ditto on the stuffed animals and many clothes--you'll get a ton as gifts. Also, another thumbs up on the Baby Bargains book, the Miracle Blanket, a baby sling (I used a friend's, a HotSlings brand, which was great. Hands-free baby wearing so you can blog/surf the net/do stuff around the house with ease), and I swore by the pump car converter so I could pump breast milk in my car, along with the Easy Expressions hands-free pumping bras. My life changed for the better once I got two of those.

You can also call your local police department and have them install your car seat so that it is installed correctly.

HAHAHA...oh yes, like all the others have said, none of us really know what we're doing. We all have this moment of panic either bofore or after or both when you think OMG I have made the biggest mistake of my life, I have no clue what I was doing, please can I take it back?

Christine said it best though: you are older and smarter and you'll always be older and smarter (until she's a grown woman) It's a parenting tool that few really use to their full advantage. :) IN the beginning you can just make stuff up...and what is she going to know? She'll believe whatever you say.

And pumps. won't go there.


Oh, I remember those days - with a smile and a chuckle. RE Burp cloths - a cloth diaper works great

IF you are using disposable diapers, a disper gene is a good thing

Pumps/bottles etc, and qty - those are decision that depend on little things like 1)Are you going to breast feed, for how long, if you intend to work (and therefore pump/store for when you're at the office, or when your out and Chris needs to feed BSparl)

There are a LOT of things you think you may need that you won't, and things you don't think you need that you'll want, but guess what, you won't need it all the 1st day, and you'll figure it out

MUCH APPRECIATED feedback, guys. Obviously, Chris and I have no clue what to even look at first at a store like that, nevermind knowing what to do with our little girl once she's home with us.

But I am sure that she's busy in there (kicking like a lunatic right now), and I'm going to have so many questions between now and her arrival that my brain might melt. :)

THANK YOU for all of your help!!

I want to buy you the Snoopy Sno-Cone machine.

No, I want it.

Okay, if it comes back into stock we both get it.

(Remember, I have beagles, and so of course, collect Snoopy stuff).

Oh this was too funny. Yes, bringing them home from the hospital is an exciting yet scary moment. OMG, we're the PARENTS now. Who allowed this?

Seriously, when it comes to baby gear, here is my input. Of course my "baby" is now almost ten, so I can't give details on brands as it's all outdated I'm sure!

1) Burp cloths-don't bother with the thin pretty ones. If you have a spitter you'll want the big thick Gerber brand cloth diapers. They work great as burp cloths and after baby is past that, great for cleaning up household messes.

2) Car Seats-The absolute most important item. Research and buy the best you can.(I highly recommend the Baby Bargains books and various online car seat forums for input on car seats.)

3)Bottles-don't buy a ton now as you may have a child who is particular about the type you use. Buy one or two of each of the most recommended brands and then buy more of what baby likes best later.

4) Carter's makes flannel crib pads that cover the entire crib sheet. We used these and all messes got on this and not the sheet. You just pull it up and replace. No need to pull off the actual crib sheet (which is a huge pain) very often at all.

Good luck, I hope I didn't write too much here lol.

Too funny... because I never used baby powder,but I used LOTS of burp cloths!!! My kids had juicy (and at times projectile) burps! Cloth diapers are the best to use & easy to wash =) Good luck!!

I gotta tell you, that's exactly how we felt too! I had NO idea what to be registering for except the big things like you said.

I've gotta tell you, those boppy pillows are awesome. Seriously. I had one given to me and it was amazing. After giving birth its awesome to sit on - which is totally something I didn't think of on my own, a friend suggested it to me and it worked like a charm while you're all sore. Also, if you're planning on breastfeeding (even if your not!) you can lay baby girl on the boppy while it's on your lap - freeing up your hands to... blog... or whatever else. haha!

Anyways. I'm sure a lot of very well meaning friends and mothers who have already "been there done that" will help you out with what you forgot! That's what happened for us!

I find it kind of depressing that I can't have children but I know what everything in Babies R Us is for. Trust me the only thing you won't have fun learning to use is the Breat Pump and Boppies are a God Send! I like the Bumba (I think thatss the name) seat that you put them in and it helps them sit up,not all babies like them though. Have fun with it Kerri!

boppy - yes, after she no longer needs it to eat/sit/sleep in, it makes a wonderful stuffed animal nest. get more onsies than you think you'll ever need. the first time she poops and it goes up her back into her hair, you'll be glad you did because that one gets thrown out. the no scratch mittens are a waste of time, they stay on about as well as the stupid socks do. cloth diapers will pull double and triple duty as burp clothes, emergency bibs, somewhere to lay her down once you peel the poop-cover covered onesie off, and are great for waxing the car once she doesn't need them anymore

The best thing is? You'll figure it all out. AND have that little bundle to help you.

It's crazy how advanced all this new stuff is for kids these days...and scary to think of all the crap we had as kids. I saw a picture of my car seat back in the 80s...I can't believe they thought that thing was safe!!!

Anyway, I'm not a mom (hopefully in the next few years though), but cheers to figuring out how to take care of a little one!

You may regret some things in your child rearing ... but you'll never regret adding a boppy to your registry.

I read all the comments and still don't know what a "boppy" is.

Kerri, I'd recommend Luka Bloom's CD Before Sleep Comes. Our youngest loved falling to sleep with it, and it's relaxing for us also.

Don't forget to stock up on laundry detergent. Your going to need it. Thanks so much for a great expression of parenthood.

Haha, I blogged about this exact same thing this week, although not nearly as eloquently. This stuff is confusing!! Just wait until all that stuff you worked so hard to figure out that you wanted/needed/was the 'perfect' one... goes out of stock, which happened to our Target registry! YIKES!! Thankfully Babies R Us doesn't change stock as frequently, I think that one is still safe. I am totally registry obsessed, mainly I think I am just waiting for it all to make sense and I think if I keep looking at what I registered for it will all come together... it hasn't :) Insulin resistance has nothing on the confusion this new baby stuff is bringing on, haha! Good luck!!

And thanks to all those commenters! It's been a great help to me, too!

Hee hee, great post! Every mother has been there! And you know what.... you really don't need most of the fun stuff that's out there. As long as you covered diapers, wipes, clothes, bed, and your chosen feeding method, you're good to go. ;)

For the record: a Boppy is a u-shaped pillow that can be placed around the waist of a seated person feeding a baby. It can also be used later to prop baby up on the floor.

Oh dear, oh dear - we forgot to tell you to start small with registering - BRU is completely overwhelming - too many choices, plus hormones = meltdown. BUT - three thoughts:
boppy -yes! Good for nursing, good for propping Bsparl when she is learning to sit up but still falls over sometimes, good for tummy time so their face isn't in the carpet - many uses. ALSO - buy a couple of extra covers in case she's a spitter (see: burp cloths).
Two: ziplock bags. No one ever includes these on baby registry lists, but they have SO many uses when you have kids (snacks, keeping pacifiers fuzz free until you need them, putting the stinky diaper into something when you've done a road-side diaper change and there's nowhere to discard it - I'm just getting started!)
Three: Putumayo Dreamland CD. World music lullabyes - love, love, love.

Similar to the previous poster who said that they don't know you don't know - I will add: they start out immobile, so you have time to learn - then they add movement and language and attitude, but by then you're catching on - they're designed to allow you to learn at about the same speed as they're developing - it's a pretty good system, really! good luck!

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