Thursday, March 24, 2011

You mean you don't have to bring your husband?!?!

Kidding, just kidding. I love my husband and I love doing things with him, just not shopping. We approach shopping in completely different ways (as I am sure most men and women do). I want to research and examine all my options, he tends to just grab the first thing he sees. I saw registering as this major milestone on our path to parenthood and reality didn't quite match the vision in my head. Then of course, I started wondering if this was another thing infertility took from me, so it was helpful to find out that registering is stressful for almost everyone, even those who haven't faced infertility. Admittedly, there was a twinge of grief as I thought about the fact the John and I didn't just get married, get pregnant, and then waddle walk into Babies 'r' us with a big round belly, full of innocence and joy over our impending arrival. But truthfully, it didn't amount to much more than a passing thought. And I also realized that even if pregnancy came easy (or at least relatively so), it doesn't mean there is this idyllic scene of husband and wife lovingly choosing items for their baby (for example, a husband who can't be there because he is deployed).

But mostly, it was just helpful to know that I am not alone in finding the whole process stressful. I thought I had done so much research on the items we needed, or at least the big items. That is why the bottles and sippy cups did me in, I figured I didn't need to research them since they were such small items. How hard could it be to pick a bottle? Then many of the items I knew I wanted, like an Ergo, Target and Babies 'r' us didn't have available in the store. Since so many products are only available online, I am not sure if it is even worth going back to the store. If  I do, I will be taking your suggestions that I bring a friend, or at least call one.

Okay, so I still have to decide on a crib and a glider rocker. I checked Amazon, but it doesn't seem like they have as many reviews on the big items. The Baby Bargains book recommends a Graco Lauren, and it is fine, but when I saw it in the store, I wasn't in love with it. For a little more money, the book recommends Baby Cache. I really do like this crib, but I was hoping for something a little less price-wise. I would say this crib is more my style, but I am not sure about white for a boy. I also like this one. In general, I am not a fan of the high back (the part that becomes the headboard) on convertible cribs, which may be part of why I am having such a hard time deciding since that is how most cribs are designed right now. I did find two cribs in this style I like, this one and this one. Anyone have any experience or opinions about these cribs?

The Shermag gliders at Target are rated fairly well, so I think I will go with one of these once I choose a crib. We have a dresser (painted yellow) that used to be in our room that we will use for Joshua.

As Amy mentioned, we should get Joshua's bottles from his foster mother, but I have heard it is not a guarantee so I want to have a few on hand. What are your bottle and sippy cup recommendations? I selected just a basic bottle from Evenflow - I think they came 3 in a pack and were different colors. I have heard the insulated Playtex sippy cups are good. Also, how many of those little tupperware type bowls for snacks do I need? What about those ones that have an opening so that you can reach in, but the snacks don't fall out (snack traps)? Also, are there levels when it comes to forks and spoons? I thought I saw something about that on some of the packaging in the store.

As far as safety items, I am considering the The First Years Hands-Free gate. For a monitor, I am considering the Philips Avent DECT sound monitor because supposedly they have less issues with interference and you don't have to worry about the neighbors hearing your conversations. Is an outlet cover an outlet cover and a cabinet lock a cabinet lock? Are there any that are better than others (i.e. less annoying for the parents, but still effective at keeping baby safe)?

Thank you so much for all your support and feedback!


Amy said...

Thank you for this post! I know it is for your benefit but, since I am quite clueless about most of this stuff, I look forward to coming back to see what others have to say. :) I have to say, you really seem to have done a lot of research! I didn't even think of a baby monitor, but I am now!

As far as the Ergo, I found mine at a "little" store here in my town called "Storkland". I am not sure if they are in other cities as well. They also sell Britax car seats. Both are similar to the prices online. I wonder if you can do a search off the official websites to see if a store near you carries them? I know that it really helped me to be able to see them in person. I was surprised at how little of the "really good brands" Target and Babies R Us carried.

Happy shopping! :)

The Sherrill Family said...

My husband hates to shop to... seriously we almost lost it registering. I don't remember if I took him when I registered for baby things... at all... I'm totally drawing a blank.

Ok. Here is my 2 cents re your questions:

Crib: I got a simple crib off craigslist. I bought it and a changing table for $150. It's fine, pretty and functional. If I were to have my choice, I think I would like a crib with a drawer underneath it to store the sheets and blankets. I ended up putting them in a tuperware container or drawers and think it just would have been more space effective. Off the first look, none of the cribs you suggested had a drawer. All of them look really pretty though. I do think the first one you listed (this one is more my style) is gorgeous.

Bottles: I've been a big fan of our Avent bottles. Now depending on when you bring Joshua home, he might have "supposed to" transitioned to a sippy cup (this a supposed at 1 year, granted at 19 months I still haven't gotten Roo to give up bottles). For sippy cups, I've liked the Nuk (with and without handles), and Graduates. You really can't go too wrong (although I did get one with a straw that is almost impossible to use). I would just look at how difficult it might be to clean them (those with multiple parts = hard).

Snack traps = I have 4 and I would say at least that or more. I have lost at least 2 of the lids and Roo can now pull the tops off with her teeth so sometimes I feel like they are pointless.

Forks and spoons = Yes there are levels. The gerber spoons that are metal with some plastic around them, i.e. any others like those that are small and flat, tend to be for the beginning of feeding. After that, the spoons get a little deeper and wider. I just got a pack of spoons, forks and knives at Ikea and they've been working great. I've picked up a handful of others here and there. I really don't have a huge preference, maybe someone else will be more opinionated here.

Gate = We borrowed the First Years gate from a friend and it is fantastic. I love it. The only complaint is that it is a little hard to put on our stairway with our molding, but we've put small pieces of wood there to protect the molding. Sometimes I've hit the gate with an infant carseat and it knocks the wood out of place. That probably could have been avoided if I just got another extender and didn't care about damaging the wood or if I screwed the wood into the molding. For ease of going through the gate it rocks.

The Sherrill Family said...

Monitors = I don't have any experience with the one you suggested. I would almost recommend getting 2. One monitor that is just noise and another that is a video monitor. I found the video monitor really drains the battery and I cannot keep it on all night without having it plugged in. So I just use the sound monitor and when she wakes up, turn on the video monitor to check. I have one of the Summer Infant ones and I love it. It really helps being able to see Roo without having to go into the room. It should also (I'm hoping) be helpful during the transition to a toddler bed where you can yell at them if they get up without having to go into the room (like the incredible Oz).

Babyproofing stuff = I just have the simplest outlet covers, they've been fine. But Roo also hasn't paid much attention to outlets. Cabinet locks - I was told to get either the magnetic ones or ones that screw into the door (ones that screw are less expensive). I would not recommend the target babyproofing cabinet locks (the ones that you would use for the spray bottles under the sink). Ours broke. I've used 2 and then just moved all the bottles out from under the sink because they have the potential to fail. I've tried three other locks, but none of them fit my cabinet. Maybe something to think about where you might store cleaning products after the move? I didn't bother with toilet locks or window stoppers. I might have to get the window things this summer because we have a climber or I might just put screws in place so the windows cannot be opened further.

Ok. That's my 2 cents. I'm sure other people will have varying opinions. And my dear hubby wanted me to say he's also very excited about Joshua coming home soon!


(apparently I wrote too much to publish in one post. Oops!!)

Christy said...

Cribs - choose one you like! All new cribs are up to the current safety standards so it's really just choosing a style you want. It doesn't have to be overly expensive at all. I had no idea and just pretty much picked out the color I wanted. :)

Snack traps rock! They help spill less when they're dropped and now they sell those cool lids that go over the kid-lid so that crumbs don't spill out in the diaper bag. Fantastic!!! One of my favorite things!

To be honest we rarely used a monitor so that will depend on the house you're in. Our bedrooms have always been fairly close to the kids and we could always hear them. But there have been times that it's been convenient (gardening during naptime, for example). Not something I'd recommend spending a ton of money on, personally, but having one on hand is a good idea. The video monitors are super cool, just not sure if they're necessary, if you decide to do it I'd love to hear how much you like it! :)

Amy said...

We were fortunate enough to get several bottles for Samuel from his foster mother. They were very basic bottles, nothing fancy, and similar to the Evenflo bottles you mentioned. Everyone I know that has adopted from Korea has received the same basic bottles with little cows printed on them. Something to consider if you do buy a few new a fast-flow nipple. Some bottles come with a slow nipple for newborns. Your little guy will most likely be drinking much faster and his own bottles will probably have a well-used nipple that flows faster than new ones will. A slow nipple may frustrate a hungry boy! :) And, a good transition from a bottle to a sippy cup suggestion...a softer spout. Some of the sippy cups for older babies are hard plastic and may be hard for him to get the hang of right away. I used some Avent sippy cups, but between my two boys they have used Playtex, Gerber, and Avent. Not really particular little guys. Good luck...I love reading about your journey!

Amy said...

Oh, and we LOVE snack traps! So nice for on-the-go snacks! Buy several!

Amy said...

Another baby item both of my boys have used is the Twilight Turtle. Sam has the ladybug version. Super sweet nightlight! My 6 year old still uses his at night. I love that it turns off automatically after 45 minutes.

Michelle said...

Cribs....just have to go with what you like. There are so many different styles and options out there it can be very overwhelming! For the record, I went with a white crib (with espresso wood sides) for Maddyx's room and it works great.
Ergo....have a brand new carrier that we tried using once! Maddyx never liked it, and to be honest, he was just too darn big and heavy for it! And we bought the *best* one for that (carries up to 45lbs, yea right!). What a waste of $125! Now I'll be selling it on craigslist.
Bottles....we got three from Eastern and that's all he's ever used. I'd honestly wait until he's home to invest in too much. Maddyx never really liked the other brand I bought. You may want to look into Dr. Browns...or ones that have nipples designed for older kids.
Yep, snack traps are a must! Get several. Also get several styles and brands of sippy cups. Ones with and without straws. He'll need to learn to use them all! We've got some tommee tippee's for sippy and munchkin cups with the straws. Those are our favs.
Love, love, LOVE the video monitor. It's a must in my opinion! I swear you will thank me! It was our lifeline the first few months home. It was so cool to be able to watch him in his room. Gave us some freedom (from him) but still had piece of mind that he was okay.
The other must have for me is the nasal aspirator (battery operated boogie sucker). It's the most awesome thing ever!
We like the Gerber NUK forks and spoons the best out of all of the ones we've tried. That's what Maddyx has learned the best with.

Good luck!

Flakymn said...

I remember as a new mom making big mistakes. When I took Isaac for his first walk as a newborn I strapped him into the stroller. Then I realized Moms kept them in their car seats while they were little. Oh well. This is why Moms are constantly sitting around going, "What do you do? What should I try? Do yo have any ideas?" Truly, there is no right or wrong way.

I do know what you mean about feeling like a fraud. I sort of felt like that when I registered with isaac because I wasn't "pregnant." But then I realized many people register very early or after baby and don't look pregnant either. And there was no rule for who could register.

I can totally see you and John conflicting on style here and if you need some time to just browse yourself (or go with a girlfriend) that is totally okay too.

I, on the other hand, would just look at something John held up and go, "Okay. Sure. Sounds great." Then someone would email me and give me a new opinion on a product and I'd change it.

Or, after I got the things, I could always return them when I "learned" what worked or didn't work.

You are certainly not alone!!!!

Jen said...

This totally reminds me of my grocery trip yesterday. I was slowly scanning the shelves for something specific when this guy came speed-walking down the aisle literally grabbing things off the shelves and hurling them into his cart without even slowing down. LOL! Anyway, yes, I totally agree that the options are totally overwhelming! I am NOT an options person! I will stand dumbfounded for several minutes if there are too many options... and then most likely decide to make the decision later. Ugh! Sometimes it helps to look at reviews online or ask a friend, but eventually you just gotta bit the bullet and choose. It will be such a relief for you, and I'm sure you will make a great decision on everything you choose. And if you buy the wrong kind of sippy cup, well, you can buy a different one later! I'm not sure if any of this helps, but... good luck!

Niki said...

I wrote a bit long comment and blogger ate it :( So for now I will just say, that I got an email from amazon this morning, and this crib might interest you

Grace said...

i only have a moment, but i have to say, i looooooooooove my video monitor. it's the best and gives me peace of mind and prevents me from going in to c's room a hundred times a night to make sure he's still alive and not choking on anything or suffocating!
snack traps are awesome and as far as sippy cups and bottles go, i say, wait until joshua gets home. c couldn't get the hang of a sippy cup, but took to a straw cup right away, so we never used any of our sippy cups. and we only use the bottles from the FM -- you'll definitely get some. keep all your receipts, because you might be like us and have to return some things because they just don't work for you!

Courtney said...

We also loved our video monitor...almost feel that it is a must have for any mom who has experienced infertility bc we have more of a tendency to worry.

Henry has been self feeding with table food since 9 months but is just now at 20 months starting to learn to use a fork....we have the gerber nuk brand and we like them

Sippy cups-love the playtex slide n lock insulated leaks!!! But u might want to buy the two handle playtex with a soft spout (will say 6 months on age) for transitioning from the bottle

Yay this is fun ask us for more shopping blog shopping!

Tina said...

As a nanny, (not a mommy) - I can speak to the video monitor and the snack traps - Video monitors are really awesome - so nice to see what the noise is about before you drop what you're doing to investigate.

Snack traps are good - I think they're best for the car/on the go rather than around the house. However, most of the kids I work with figure out pretty quickly how to rip the lids off. Another seemingly great idea are the kid-sized plates/bowls with the suction cup on the bottom - so you can stick it to the high chair tray. With this too, they figure out pretty quickly how to pull them apart. Some of these things, like the suction cup bowls and snack traps I'm convinced were invented because they look really appealing to parents- but smart, strong kids, will figure out ways to make eating messy no matter what. :-)