marathon shopping

The biggest news of the weekend: The Alphababy has arrived! My cousin Cat and her husband Tony welcomed their bouncing baby girl early on Sunday morning. Hooray!

I think it’s worth noting that although the baby wasn’t technically born until the 24th, Cat’s due date was the 23rd, and she started having contractions at 2:30 a.m. on the 23rd. That is one seriously punctual baby.

I can’t wait to see photos. (Hint hint, guys. Get on it. You’ve had 24 hours to recover already!)

Since I had the day off on Friday (as I always do – man, I do so love this part-time gig), I headed out to look for baby stuff, hoping to avoid the weekend traffic. The other perk of going on a weekday is that Dave wasn’t expected to go with me. Because honestly? Yes, there are a couple of things, like furniture, that I want his opinion on before I buy them. But as a general rule, shopping is more fun when I don’t have someone tagging along who’s constantly whining about how long all of this is taking because he’d rather be home playing World of Warcraft. So we were both much happier with this little arrangement.

First, I hit one of the local baby furniture stores to look at cribs. For those of you who have kids: how on earth did you decide on this stuff? Because I can find a crib that seems perfectly nice at Target for somewhere in the $200 range, but the baby specialty stores have those gorgeous Italian imported cribs that are like $700-800. I can’t quite justify spending that much money on something that’s only going to get used for a few years (assuming that we have more than one baby), and that we’ll probably end up selling on Craig’s List someday, but I also don’t want a piece of crap that’s going to fall apart in six months. Help? I’ve been using my Baby Bargains book as a general reference point, but my god, there are just too many choices out there. I’m lost.

After the baby furniture store made my head spin, I headed over to Babies R Us to start our registry. It’s less of a gift registry and more a list of things that I absolutely have to remember to buy before the baby arrives, because woe betide us if we forget to buy a diaper pail. (There is some gift-y stuff on there too, because I felt bad about only putting the high-priced “need to have” items on the registry. And also because a few people have warned me that I should register for way more burp cloths and receiving blankets than I think I’ll need.)

I really had no intention of buying anything at Babies R Us, I was just there to do the registry. But I made the mistake of wandering through the clothing section, just to look at the little girl stuff (mostly to compare it to Target and see if they had a better selection). And then, I came across this little pink cap that had a cat’s face embroidered on the front, and the cap had kitty-cat ears, people. And matching kitty-cat booties, too. I really didn’t think I’d cave to the cutesy pink stuff, but my god. I’m only human. That was pretty much it for me.

Overall, I did pretty well. Everything I bought (ahem, except for the pink cap/booties) was on sale, because I limited myself to the clearance racks. And I bought a few sizes ahead – everything was in the 6 or 9-month sizes, since people keep telling me that I’ll get more newborn clothes as gifts than I’ll know what to do with. So I stayed pretty reasonable about it, and I think Dave was shocked that I only came home with one bag of stuff (although it was one very big bag).

I ended up spending about three or four hours on my feet at Babies R Us, so I basically collapsed when I got home that evening. The next day was better, but we kept the rest of the weekend pretty low-key to give me time to recover. It was lovely. I plan on taking full advantage of lazy weekends while I can still have them.

Now, if I can just figure out this whole baby furniture dilemma…

5 thoughts on “marathon shopping

  1. We (actually, my grandmother) bought Gaby’s crib in Buy Buy Baby, and it was about (if I remember correctly) $400. I have a friend who bought her crib at Wal-Mart, and it survived one kiddo and is on its second, and also served as a toddler bed for a while. I think you’d probably be fine at Target or some sort of similar store. Seriously? I think people who shop in those specialty stores have a lot of expendable income, I can’t figure out the type of people who spend $700-$800 on a crib.
    We did buy a really nice mattress, because we felt strongly that it was important to do so. Both the crib and the mattress are tucked away in a closet right now.
    One piece of assvice on the clothing — buy the 3-6 month clothes, but I wouldn’t extend much further than that. You have no idea yet how quickly she will grow, or how big she’ll be when she’s born. My little chunk was always at least a size up from where she was age-wise, partially because she was roly-poly, partially because she wore cloth diapers. I have a friend who never buys newborn or 0-3 month clothes — her babies are all 8-9 pounds when they’re born, and she has no need for them.

  2. Yeah, most of the furniture that I saw at the specialty stores was beautiful, but… dude. Talk about sticker shock.

    One perk of living in the Northwest is that the temperature doesn’t change that drastically, so I don’t have to worry too much about how fast the baby grows versus season-appropriate clothing. The two things I bought in 9-month sizes were lightweight, long-sleeved outfits. So she could potentially wear them on one of our cooler summer days, or one of our milder winter days, or anytime in fall. So, a nice wide range there.

  3. A friend of mine got hers from Jc Penney.
    Take a look. Maybe on the website.
    Hers has made it through 2 kids and still looks good.


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