Tales from the Diaper Bag

Big Baby Box Store. . Oh, the horror

On a weekend not long ago, my husband attempted to cheer me up when I had totally freaked myself out by reading ahead in my ‘What to Expect. . ‘ book (Tip: Don’t do it. If you don’t know what an episostomy is, count yourself lucky.)  He thought that a trip to our local big baby box store to register would get me thinking about the cute, frilly things about having a baby rather than the gross, bloody things.  So off we go, armed with nothing more than a list of recommended baby products that a friend gave us and a vague notion that we should get gender-neutral items. 

We walked into the store, checked in with the customer service desk and were issued a UPC scanner and a store directory.  After a quick scan of our list and a glance around, I knew immediately that it would not be a cheerful or relaxing trip and we would NOT be there for a short while.  The place was huge. The selection was vast. Our experience with any of these products was nill. Indeed, we must have looked puzzled and/or frightened because a heavily pregnant woman, who came in the store after us, made a point of approaching us to say: “Don’t worry. I was here for HOURS the first time I registered.” Hours? To register for things like burp bibs and rattles? How could that be?

Oh, I’ll tell ya.  Did you know that there are, oh, approximately 456 different kinds of bottles on the market right now? Do you know the difference between glass and plastic? BPA and non-BPA? Angle-knecked bottles and traditional? We sure didn’t. My husband and I stood in front of the bottle display–UPC scanner hanging limply in my hand–each of us staring at the bottles like one of them might spring to life and explain which brand of bottle would be fit for our little angel or at least not kill the kid upon first use. 

And that was just the first item on our list. It only got worse.

Our friend recommended that we buy a bouncy seat, a jumperoo and swing. These are all different items? I had no idea. The jumperoo, for example, sounded pretty bouncy and frankly, it looked like both the bouncy seat and the swing. Further, is it possible that my baby will need as much equipment as an gymnast training for the Olympics? Why would a baby want to be jiggled, bounced and bopped all over the place anyway? I didn’t know, but the advice came from a practical, level-headed mom whose baby is happy and healthy, so I registered for all three.

We agonized over baby monitors and sleep sacks.  Gymninis and first-aid kits. We left three hours later registered for everything on our list but are now painfully aware that we didn’t have a freakin’ clue what we were doing.


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