Taken Out By the Monitor

The Continuation: Will the second trip to Babies-R-Us treat us more kindly??

With Consumer Reports in hand, we head back to Babies-R-Us for a second go-round.  Having had a good 10 days to reflect on our mistakes and experiences from the first visit, we’ve decided to tackle the task of baby registry.  However, I’m not completely convinced that this visit will be any more productive than our last.  Memories of the wedding registry are playing in my mind.  It took us 4 hours to pick out a place setting at Bed, Bath and Beyond… and I at least know something about place settings!

The registry lady gets us all set up.  At least Babies-R-Us has a good system to work in.  They give you a whole check list to get you started.  And the lady gave us a few inside pointers… 1.) don’t ever come on a Saturday morning or afternoon.  Hundreds of people from all over Louisiana and Mississippi flock to the store as it’s the only one in the surrounding area.  Hundreds of women with big bellies trying to push shopping carts down the isles; un-enthused husbands reluctantly flowing along; crying children.  Got it… avoid Saturday.  2.) All this work can be done on-line.  Hmmm, that’s only helpful if you know what you need, which we don’t.

We set off with the checklist and scanner gun in hand.  Since we’ve actually done research on car seats, we decide to start there this time.  Consumer Reports has given us two options that they say are the best.  Babies-R-Us has both, but in not very exciting colors.  While we want to purchase neutral items, black does not really count as a fun neutral baby color.  My first thought… boring.  We spend another 15 minutes debating on what to do and finally just scan one.  Check that sucker off the list and back to the Infant section we head.

We avoid the massive baby bottle wall and stick to something more simple.  Nursing pillows.  Fortunately, there is only one kind to choose from, but in so many different patterns!  Being a girl myself, of course I’m drawn to the cute, pink, girly ones.  Jeff is skeptical.  Apparently, down the road, he does not want a son being nursed on a pink nursing pillow.  Good grief!  We compromise on getting the non-covered pillow and I pick out a pillow cover I like.  If we get a boy later, I’ll just get a boy cover.  Personally, I don’t think it will scar the boy child for life to lay on a pink pillow while he eats, but Jeff’s the guy, guess he would know.  We have now scanned a total of three items and have only been in the store for a half hour.  Seems like we’re doing…. uhhh ok?

We move on.  The check list has thermometers.  Easy enough until you realize there are 12 different kinds to choose from.  I immediately refuse any that have “rectum” in the title.  Better to stick with something safe, like the “under arm” variety.  However, there is a debate over which one to get and we end up scanning two different ones.  We scan a few other baby grooming type things and turn the corner.  Ahhh, monitors.

One wouldn’t think baby monitors to be that complicated until you realize, as with everything else, there are 30 to choose from.  Did you know they now make video monitors?  Yes, it’s true.  Also High Def.  Apparently you should choose wisely because you can get interference due to your cell phone, cordless phone, wireless internet, coffee pot and curling iron.  Here is where things start going down hill… quickly.  The baby monitors have derailed us.  The vein in Jeff’s neck is starting to make another appearance.  I’m getting a head ache.  We decide to call it a night.

We have scanned a total of eight items.  Hmmm, not sure if I would call that a success.

In conclusion, the moral of this story is:  If you decide you want to buy our little sweet one a gift in preparation for her birth, and you actually have kids, work with kids, know anything about kids, purchase based on your experience, not the gift registry!

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Welcome Aboard…Babies-R-Us

One night a few weeks ago, Jeff and I decided that since we’re having a baby, perhaps it would be a good idea to become acclimated with the items a baby requires.  Where else would we find such items but Babies-R-Us.  So we hop in our very baby-unfriendly Mini Cooper and to Babies-R-Us we go.

We pull into the parking lot with great anticipation.  We’re sure cute and cuddly things await us.  If we had only known…

As we enter we pause a moment to decide which direction to go.  Wouldn’t it be a good idea to just make a big loop around the store? I suggest.  One would think so, so we take a right and enter the Infant section.  A great starting point since all babies start out as an infant anyway, right?  However, the Infant section begins with a whole wall, floor to ceiling, of bottles and bottle paraphernalia.  There are bottles of every shape, size and color.  Some are BHA free, some touting other “Free Of” properties.  I don’t even know what BHA is, but obviously it must be something terrible that could possibly make your baby grow a third eye.  We notice 8 different types of bottle brushes, 12 diffent nipple tops… on and on it goes.    I see Jeff swallow hard.  A vein is beginning to stick out in his neck.  “Do babies in China need all this stuff??”  Uhhh, I don’t think so.  I can tell Jeff is becoming quickly overwhelmed.  He gets cranky when he’s overwhelmed.   A cranky husband in Babies-R-Us is not good.  Lets move on.

After a quick perusal of the remaining Infant section we move onto Strollers.  Holy smokes, who knew there were so many types.  Big ones with every bell and whistle imaginable, medium size ones and little tiny ones.  Some even have cup holders!  I notice prices.  Geez luise, some of these things are like buying a used car!  It’s now my turn to become overwhelmed.  I’m trying to imagine pushing some of these monstrocities through a crowded festival or the mall.  Or even the task of getting it out of the trunk and setting it up.

Car Seat section is next and the process repeats itself.  As we continue through the store we are quickly realizing three things.  One: we have no idea what we’re doing; two: we have no idea what one does with half of the things in this store; and three: we definitely have not allocated enough money to purchase the said items that we’re not sure we need anyway.  By the time we make it out the door, we’re exhausted, cranky and irritable.

Upon further reflection, having never been to Babies-R-Us before, perhaps we should have taken a veteran-ed Babies-R-Us shopper with us….

Thinking we had learned our lesson, we return to Babies-R-Us a couple weeks later.  This time we are armed with Consumer Reports found at the library and a plan.  Will the second time around treat us better??

Tune in again to find out….