Baby Gear—Figuring Out What We Need, What We Don’t, and What We Really Want

I realized today that we are exactly six weeks away from Bean’s arrival, assuming nothing unexpected occurs before then. I’m personally skeptical that we’ll make it all the way to our surgery date, because I can’t, for the life of me, fathom this baby growing any larger. Her cute kicking has morphed into painful ninja moves that give everyone the visual heebie-jeebies. If this kid gets any bigger, I won’t be able to walk upright because of the sheer force of my stomach’s gravitational pull. My lungs are already squished to the point that I’m constantly short of breath, and yes, I have officially hit the waddle stage.

My OB laughed manically when I asked her where the hell else this baby can possible grow, because my abdominal cavity is officially out of room. Clearly, she is used to those eighth-month blues, when a pregnant woman finally crosses the line between cutesy and glowing, to uncomfortable and fed up. However, as much as I’m starting to fuss, I really can’t complain with any degree of seriousness, because this pregnancy has been ridiculously easy and uneventful. We know we’re very fortunate for this, but it’s still easy to let the hormones and discomfort get the best of me sometimes.

With the six-weeks-until-D-Day realization, I’m also at the point when my hormones are kicking into nesting overdrive. Though I’ve slowing been purchasing the big-ticket necessities, we are still woefully unprepared in terms of baby gear. I’m having trouble prioritizing those “must-haves” from the “sure-would-be-nice-to-haves.” As my husband and I learned with our first two heathens, buying baby gear is kind of like gambling, because each item’s usefulness is sometimes entirely dependent on the personality of the baby. Take baby carriers, for example:

My oldest child barely tolerated being carried in one, while my youngest child practically lived in his (thereby saving my sanity). We also learned the hard way that some items are complete trial and error, and not to invest in too much of one thing until we’ve test-driven it first. I can’t tell you how many pacifiers, baby spoons and sippy cups ended up in the reject pile during the boys’ first year, until we finally found the perfect item they each would tolerate. Babies can be dang persnickety.

I know that some items are relatively safe bets, like a swing:


G-Man probably would have been an only child if not for the salvation of a good swing. A Boppy was a must with both, because C-sections incisions and newborns must be handled with care:


So, I went ahead and bought one as soon as we got past buying the car seat and the stroller…but then I hit a roadblock.

Despite this not being our first rodeo, I’m quickly learning that many of the “usual” items we normally would have stocked up on by now have changed A LOT in the past eight years, and I’m still trying to figure out how they all should be prioritized in the budget. Baby monitors can now come with cameras:


Receiving blankets come in specialized “swaddle” versions, which I have a feeling may be as much of a preference issue as the right pacifier is:

And don’t even ask me what the heck this is:

They even make strollers now with iPod jacks, and I confess my inner-geek took that into consideration when I was shopping.

Among my inner-debate about modern baby gear, I also have the secret yen for a few items I probably really don’t need, like an overly expensive diaper bag:


And cute nursing covers:

And this thing, which is a handheld device for sleep-deprived parents of newborns:

It keeps track of naps, feedings, timing and other important info. It’s either is the best idea ever, or a waste of money, but I have a feeling it’s another “won’t know till ya try it” kind of thing.

As you can see, I’m spending entirely too much time and brain power thinking about this stuff. Even as I keep telling myself that, my inner pregzilla keeps whispering “six weeks, six weeks, six weeks…”

Excuse me, I think I need to go find a large cup of Sonic ice and some chocolate. That usually shuts her up for a while.

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