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Do you need to have a PHD to setup a Baby Registry?

2010 August 12


Setting up a baby registry is not unlike trying to pack for a trip to Mars. There’s just no way you’ll ever be prepared, and chances are you’re going to over pack. Do I need a jet pack? Maybe. What about gravity boots? Likely. Diapers? For SURE, but which ones are the best?…

As a typical guy the thought of shopping can be nauseating. Even with online shopping there’s a problem: you can’t see how things work. I’m not your typical guy so I’m totally into comparing the quality of strollers, or the engineering “design” of how infant carrier/stroller/car seat systems are made, and picking the smartest, best designs that won’t infuriate me (and blow my smooth dad vibe). So I loved our hands-on approach to our online registry. Danielle spearheaded this entire operation and set up our dates to go “hands-on” at Target or to visit our new-parent friends to learn more about what the hell all this shit is.

But here’s the thing, in the end there are two things that really matter and two that really don’t.

  1. Your baby’s safety. As a future parent you’ll go through the following though process: “I like my baby. I want the car seat that will withstand a formula 1 scale impact,” meanwhile supporting their chicken-neck IMPORTANT
  2. In the end the “baby-stuff” market is exactly that… a market. Don’t buy the things you don’t need. NOT IMPORTANT
  3. Apparently babies grow FAST. So, if someone buys you 46 cute outfits, well… tell them to stop being a jerk and to get you diapers instead (they’ll go through all of those for sure!). Clothes don’t make the baby. NOT IMPORTANT And, for the record, American Apparel makes the most baby friendly onesies around.
  4. Let’s talk about diapers. Apparently babies crap 12 times a day. Sweet. This will be just like my Alpha Tau Omega days, living in a house full of sh*t. Diaper systems can backfire (literally!). And some look cooler than others. Rule of thumb, if you’re buying it because it looks pretty, or it’s “baby-chic” it probably wont work well. VERY IMPORTANT


What’s totally mind numbing, incredibly challenging, rage inducing & a major stress reliever all at once? Baby Registry!

Mind Numbing: At the end of the day, we’re shopping. It doesn’t take a PhD, MD, MBA, GED or ADERALL to shop… unless you’re obsessed with finding the perfect brand, model, style & color for each & every item, which I was. WHY was I obsessed? Because I had a theory that whatever we got wrong on the registry we would end up paying for ourselves. I can’t say whether or not this is the best approach but whatever. Our registry ROCKS!

Incredibly Challenging: How in the hell do you even get started?!? You first have to declare the type of parent you’re going to be. Am I eco-friendly? Am I old school? Am I in denial? Am I an idealist or practical? Am I a runner or walker? Am I an anal thermometer or an ear thermometer? Now, my suggestion once you forecast your entire parenting style is to reach out to parents you feel are of the same parental breed & ask them 1. What was the stupidest thing you registered for? 2. What saved your sanity &/or sex life? 3. What would you get more or less of? 4. WTF is a [insert ANY baby item here].

Daddy Jon teaches daddy-to-be Adam how to swaddle a baby.

Rage Inducing: If you’re anything like Adam & me, you’ll have never spent real time with a baby much less baby jargon & baby stuff. Most of the baby registry websites you’ll visit are seemingly written for twice- or thrice-around-the-block parents. They’re not going to explain the difference between an infant carrier, car seat, stroller, travel system, car seat adapter & a snap-n-go system… or anything else for that matter. We made in-person visits to stores & friends’ houses to wrap our minds around it by getting hands-on learning. Which was actually a lot of fun, so don’t fret too much!

Stress Relief: Now that I’ve scared the shit out of you, let me point out some things that may make it easier: You’re picking out things for other people to buy you/your baby. The whole idea of a registry is a beautiful thing & will make life much easier in the long run. Some websites have pre-created registries all ready to go for you if you’re capable of giving up the control & trusting that they chose the best items for baby & not just the items people paid them to put on there. Whether you register there or not, provides an abundance of awesome customer reviews. When in doubt or in need of guidance, visit the Amazon.

May I suggest you not register for a ton of clothes & toys. Register for the items you NEED. Everyone’s going to buy toys & clothes anyway. You need to let them know you also need things like breast pumps, swaddles, slings & pre-folds (Don’t be impressed by my baby jargon. I cheated & looked at our list.) Visit friends’ registries to see what they registered for. Chances are they’ve done a lot of the research already. We’re registered at & if you want to check out our lists. They’re under Danielle Thomas &/or Adam Garner.

We have to thank these lovely parental units for their wisdom & patience in dealing with our ignorance & anxiety: Jim Reed & Heather Wagner, Ethan Andrus & Brooke Roeder, Jon & Amy Pattillo, Jefferson & Caroline Burruss, Elaine Garza, Kelly Ramsey, Nanette Labistida, my sister, Casey & my mom, Rebecca. Had it not been for them we would still be crying on the stroller aisle of Super Target (forego regular ol’ Target. Go to Super Target to cry. At least they have more styles to cry in front of).

What was the stupidest thing you registered for?

What saved your sanity &/or sex life?

What would you get more or less of?

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6 Responses leave one →
  1. August 12, 2010

    Clothes are evil to the people buying things off your registry. They are nearly impossible to find in the store.

    For sanity, I’m a big fan of white-noise machines (purchased not at a baby store).

    Also the Ikea high-chair is SO much cheaper and easier to clean than it’s uglier chain store counter parts. We’ve gone through two kids now and it still looks brand new.

    Aside from that, the problem with all this stuff is you won’t know which things will be the key to your sanity until you need them.

    • Danielle Thomas "Mama Bear" permalink
      August 12, 2010

      You’re so right-on, Tim! We’ve definitely had the realization that no matter how much we try to plan, we could be totally off-base & won’t know what Baby G will actually like or use until he’s here. Adam said it right… it’s like shopping for a trip to Mars. Never been there & won’t have any idea what we’ll really need ’til we arrive.

      Thanks for the IKEA pointer. Someone else suggested their $56 crib. I’m in!

  2. Carol permalink
    August 12, 2010

    Its been a while, but back in the day I found that one of those baby swings was a lifesaver.

  3. Amy permalink
    August 12, 2010

    Oh I think I pee-cryed-laughed through this entire blog! I love it… are expressing things that no one is willing to. WE DON’T KNOW WHAT WE ARE DOING BUT WE ARE GIVING IT AGO…..there is no doubt in my mind that anything you guys pick will be perfect and used and if not it will be passed down to other new mommies and daddies…..things like wipe warmers…..crap…..pee pee tee pees….stupid…….bibs with out platic backing……. and someone giving you 8,000 new born oneies….useless, but things like boppy pillows..L.O.V.E.D it….baby swing of any kind…..must have…..white noise or soothing music…..want it, gotta have it….a crap load of baby blankets, crib sheets, and burp cloths….priceless…diapers….are you guys using reuseable diapers? do you have a service in town? If you do, HOLY “SHIT” BATMAN ……if not buy all of them and I have used EVERY diaper on the market….and and pampers swaddlers are the best when they are new borns, but after that its anyones game…..I love you!

  4. Gigi permalink
    August 12, 2010

    They should have a “Gigi Registry”. Y’all are going to need all kinds of things when I come stay with you ;)

  5. Elizabeth Nichols permalink
    August 20, 2010

    Overwhelming is an understatement when it come to setting up a baby registry. You can never have enough diapers, wipes, socks and blankets to swaddle your precious one in. I agree is a great place to do research based on everyone’s reviews.

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