So, my neuroses have attempted to focus themselves on something productive – looking at baby items that will eventually end up on our registry. Unfortunately, letting that part of my brain handle this monumental task means I’m up until 1am twitching because if I don’t pick out the right high chair, life as we know it will end.
Also, I’ve found it is very easy to get caught up in the millions of safety & health concerns involved in shopping for baby items. Recalls, JPMA-certified, BPA, toxic paint, fumes… it’s extremely daunting. And who wants to be THAT parent who didn’t read THAT article and is subjecting their baby to ALL THE CHEMICALS and now my kid won’t get into Harvard. Or worse, purchase something that is legitimately unsafe. The problem is that the internet does a terrible job at distinguishing between the two. I recently discovered Consumer Reports’ section on baby gear. The same people that crash test car seats (an important service methinks) tell you NEVER buy a sling because your baby WILL suffocate and die (even though faulty slings have already been recalled and you are never supposed to let your baby’s face be covered when in a sling in the first place – the reason for the recall). This means that I have no idea when they say that you can’t microwave, boil, or put in the dishwasher a platic bottle, does that apply to BPA-free platic? Of course, they also tell you to not listen to the manufacturer’s directions because they are just filthy liars out to make a buck. (as you can see, I don’t do well with scare tactics)
The funny thing is, we aren’t even the types that believe you need a ton of crap to raise a baby. We see the parents in restaurants with their kid having a seizure over Elmo on the portable DVD player and the ones that just let their kid play with the utensils, and we know that we will fall in the latter camp.
However, I’m also a realist. There are things that we NEED (crib, diapers, bottles, car seat) and things that will make our lives much easier (swing/seat, stroller, carrier). Hubby says we don’t need a changing table and that we can just change the baby on the floor; I’m not so sure that he will agree with that sentiment after the baby arrives (he’s never changed a diaper before in his life).
Most people’s response to this would simply be to just get one later if we decide we need one. That really isn’t an option in our world. We aren’t doing great financially. I’m the only one bringing in a (paltry, non-profit job) paycheck. Hubby is currently in law school. That makes our registry like currency, as horrible as it is to say. If people are determined to buy us things, we need them to be as functional and multi-purpose as possible to get the most bang for someone else’s buck. I don’t like being this dependent on other people (and I know Hubby absolutely hates it). I also know that I need to provide for my son, and this is the only way I know how to right now.