Registering for a baby shower can be a total clusterfuck. It was probably one of the most stressful experiences I think I’ve ever had. (Yes, I know how obnoxious that sounds.) You just want everything to be right; it’s your first test as a new parent. It doesn’t help that most stores convince you that having one of everything they carry will guarantee your kid gets into an Ivy League school. Bring an experienced mom with you and your patience. Don’t register when you are in your last 2 months of pregnancy because your patience will be on vacation indefinitely. Quite honestly if I had to do it all over again I would screw going into a store and register sitting in my maternity underwear at home in front of a computer eating chips. Amazon.com and Diapers.com all the way baby. But you can’t convince a new mom to do that. We need to touch and feel and see with our own eyes. We need the Mecca. We need Babies R Us (Baby Hell.) I fell apart moments after walking into Baby Hell to register for the first time. Why this establishment would put the breastpump accessories in the front of the store and the pretty soft bedding in the back of the store is beyond me. It’s like walking into Dr Frankenstein’s lab.
I took one look at the scary apparatuses and bee-lined for the purple chairs they have (conveniently) perched next to the cash registers. Mom calls to Sis that I need compression, STAT. Sissy comes over and hugs me. I plead for a Xanax and a glass of wine. She thinks I’m joking but what I wouldn’t do…
For the record I find the whole process of going into a store, picking out your own gifts, and then opening them while people watch, really bizarre. Don’t get me wrong, I love getting gifts. (Want my address?) You need so much shit when you have a baby it’s really nice to get the essentials off your registry. But I like leaving the essentials for other people to buy when going to a baby shower. I like going rogue. Listed below is a smattering of “rogue” baby gifts that I’ve given, gotten, or witnessed others giving/getting. I have yet to see any of these on a baby registry. That said with 10,000 readers **You all rock** …maybe we’ll start seeing them pop up.
FOR THE WOMAN WITH A GOOD SENSE OF HUMOR: “Baby, Be Of Use” Books.
(My favorite line from Baby Mix Me A Drink: “Now scoot baby, mama’s hungover.”)
FOR THE SENTIMENTALIST: Personalized Baby Blanket
My Aunt bought me the sweetest, softest, baby blanket. It’s called “My Blankie” and the company lets you print whatever you’d like around the edges. Think of something clever/witty/sweet to say and personalize it.
A favorite childhood book that is now out of print and hard to find.
My mother presented me with the book “Jelly Beans For Breakfast” at my shower and I cried on the spot. I must have read that book 100 times as a kid thinking how damn lucky those little girls were for getting to eat jelly beans for breakfast. We sold it in a garage sale in the 80’s and it has since been out of print. Mom searched high and low and finally found it on ebay for a fortune. But it meant the world to me and I’ll pass it down to my grandkids.
FOR THE PARTYER: Preggatinis: Drinks for the Mom To Be Book
FOR THE FOOD LOVER:
Fill their freezer with mail order frozen gourmet dinners (Omaha Steaks, Legal SeaFoods, etc.). Because it’s impossible to cook with a newborn and you get sick of take-out quickly.
FOR THE FASHIONISTA:
Mini Shatsu Retro Style Baby Clothes. I know, the brand sounds like fecal matter. But they carry adorable, unique clothing with amazing attention to detail.
FAVORITE GIFTS THAT WERE ON MY REGISTRY (among many:)
– Hooter Hider
– 3 Sprouts Canvas Toy Bin
– Baby Cook
– Boon Grass for Bottle/Parts storage
– Phil and Ted Lobster HC. We take this thing everywhere with us.
2 Bonus Hints: (What Not To Buy A New Mom)
1. Clothes sized Newborn or 12 + Months. Stick with 3-6 months. I received so many adorable expensive newborn outfits for Miss P. She then came out almost 9 lbs. and couldn’t fit into any of them. I was also annoyed with getting 12-24 month clothes because really all it meant was I had to find a place to store them. And then not forget where I put them once P could fit into them.
PS: I hope I didn’t just piss anyone off that bought me those sized clothes. Love you, mean it?
2. Anything she’ll have to hand-wash. Wait until the baby is at least 3 months old. Whenever I received a hand-wash-only item as a brand new mom I would go down a spiral of emotions. First happiness because it was so beautiful. Then annoyance because the tag read “hand wash only.” Then guilt because I felt I HAD to wash it before putting it on my newborn and take a picture of her in it for the gift-giver. Then stress because when the hell was I going to have time to hand wash
let alone a sweater?
Follow me on Facebook: