Thursday, 3 September 2009

No walk in the park

Last weekend we went to 'Baby Dump'.

The name? Don't ask, I don't know.

While it sounds like the setting for a Stephen King novel, or some sort of shrine to infant excrement, it is simply a baby goods store.

The kind of place that would have made our faces explode just 4 months ago, it still felt more than uneasy walking around there, but we had a scouting mission to complete.

Eye opening, to say the least.

Did you know that you must have 154 different types of baby seat/bassinette to attach to a stroller?

You need one kind to carry the kid to the car, another for in the car, another to remove him from the car, another to bring him back in home, another to rock him to sleep in, another to have him actually sleep in, another for Tuesdays, another if you need to go to the supermarket, and another if you plan on coming home again.

All of these need different adapters to connect to the one Über stroller that you will have remortgaged your house to buy.

You didn't know that? Idiot.

Each of these seats come with their own colour coded set of accessories too. Rain covers, sleet covers, snow covers, fog lamps, alloys, bear traps, fire extinguishers, and flick knives.

All available in midnight magenta and sea-surf blue, all essential enough to make not having them akin to child abuse, and all costing a day's wages.

Then you have the mini sleeping bags because blankets are just so passé, and you never know when your stroll in the park could turn into a trek across the arctic circle.

We left with half a dozen brochures and no idea about what we might need or not need.

What the grump-with-a-bump and I did learn is that transporting nuclear waste is less complicated and expensive than taking a baby to the post office.


61 comments:

Kelley @ magnetoboldtoo said...

you still bitching about this?

you know there are kids in Ethiopia that only dream of getting the extra accessory pack.

Go for the blue. Magenta is the girl dog in Blues Clues and she is kinda a slurry if you ask me.

Angie [A Whole Lot of Nothing] said...

You wanted this.

You begged for this.

Now you WHINE about this?

Also, I'm calling your 'grump-with-a-bump' and telling on you.

neener

Ms. Moon said...

Refuse to participate in the madness.

Claire said...

Ah stop trying to play it cool XBox, you know you are LOVING every minute of this - when Little Fitz is born you will be showing off your all-singing, all-dancing stroller to anybody who will listen :)

Kori said...

Um, and just what is wrong with a sling to actually CARRY your baby when you go places until he is too big, then a small, simple stroller? $50 tops for the pair of them, and your baby won't be spending the majority of her life encased in some ridiculous plastic contraption but instead in your arms where it belongs. Just sayin. I never had anything like that, in fact only one of my kids ever had a crib, even-and they are all thriving.

battynurse said...

Great post. I love stuff that makes me laugh. Hope the shopping starts to make sense and you're able to get away without spending 2 years wages.

Middle Aged Woman said...

Don't skip out on the bear trap. I know it seems extravagant now, but when the bears are at the door knocking you'll feel like an arse without one.

Don't they have baby showers in Ireland? Register online, send everyone some virtual cake, and let the fam ship the gifts direct to you!

mammydiaries said...

DON'T DO IT!!!! With the strength of over 200 mammies behind me, I BEG of you, DON'T DO IT!!!! Leave the "Baby Dump." Put down the carrycot/adaptor/entertainment centre and LEAVe the baby dump and it's sea of brainwashed, commission hungry salespeople behind. If you give in now, you will end up with a houseful of sh!t that you will NEVER iN A MILLION YEARS get your money's worth from and which when you go to sell later on will not be able to shift with a stick. Get as much second hand as you can (the baby won't mind, I swear) and make sure to have a sling as well. Steer clear of anything more complicated then your car, pricier then your mortgage and heavier then yourself.

bsouth said...

Lordy me, what a palaver.

Kori sounds like a sensible soul, I'd follow her advice if I were you.

Grump-with-a-bump? I think you're being a little harsh there.

Ginny said...

Flick knives?? Holy crap, I'm so glad we were poor, and couldn't afford the add ons. Because I'm pretty sure other one of my babies would have shanked me, without hesitation.

Mick said...

Tell me about it! We were also lucky because the in-laws bought all our 'prammy' stuff :-)

I just carry her about in a sling though. It's great. And it doubles as a babe magnet ;-) There nothing beautiful girls love more than a man with a baby in a sling. *don't tell the wife though*

Catherine said...

Hahaha I had to read this out loud to the almost-hubband, great post! I totally sypathise - before the little'un was born we were to be found in Boots staring in confusion at the racks upon racks of baby stuff and wondering what we needed...

As far as transport goes we found a good soft sling indispensable - easier to get round the shops than any pram, and when the little jiggit won't sleep and your wife is on the verge of a nervous breakdown, pop the bub into it and take them for a walk. Almost instant calm and sleep, absolute magic.

We also had a baby car seat that simply clipped into a base unit we'd installed in the car, and could be easily unclipped and clipped into the pram.

Incidently, for when they're older it's best to have a pram which faces back towards you, so you can talk to them and they can see you; and also to have a car seat that faces rearwards til they're about 4 for the safety. We have none of these things and it's OK, but if I had my cash in my hand to buy them again it's what's I definately go for.

Anonymous said...

grump-with-a-bump is possibly the best thing I have ever heard, although I'm afraid to tell my husband in case he starts using it...

Suzanne xox

Lorza said...

I do think "grump-with-a-bump" is the most hysterical thing I have ever heard. Honestly- I can't ever let my husband hear it. :)

I honestly think a new carseat is a must (b/c you don't know if a used one has been in an accident. As far as the rest- I have no clue, as I have no children. I only say the new carseat b/c I worked years as an ER nurse and have seen the bad and ugly from faulty car seats.

Good luck with your stroller hunting.

Amazing how our parents managed with just a basic umbrella stroller huh?

Putz said...

mini sleeping bags....artic treck....-24 below for those sleeping bags made for overnight stays....when only 20 minutes a day in the park is nappy's fair....

Hockeyman said...

Hahaha. Welcome to the poor house.

Here's a real tip: Start buying a pack of diapers, or nappys, at least once a week. You'll need a large supply.

Sniffle said...

We were clearing out a while back, you know, tons of detritus, junk and sentiment. For the most part I was okay but I hit an invisible nostalgia shield on a couple of items. Couldn’t get rid of the disassembled white cot sitting snugly between her dresser and our bedroom wall. And the bear traps too, couldn’t let them go.

Happy days Xbox, good luck now…………….

Mwa said...

Grump-with-a-bump - funniest thing I've heard all year.

Completely unsollicited advice: Don't get the wheels for the maxi cosi! They're useless. You should get a nice pram combo so the baby can lie flat. (You phone me now if you want any more info. I could do you a fifty page essay on the comparative merits of ALL the Dutch options, shops etc. Lucky you! :-) )

Edith said...

hahahahahahaha

We're going again Saturday because we were too shocked the first time to properly look around!

And what about the prices?
400 euro for a baby car seat + base that will last about 6 months!

Rachel said...

I would skip the plastic 'bucket' car seat. The kid will outgrow it in a few months anyway and you'll have to spend another ridiculous amount of cash on a bigger one. And despite thier claims of being light weight, they are extremely heavy when you're trying to carry a diaper bag, groceries and other assorted crap at the same time. And you run the risk of clunking the kid with a can of wayward peas. (Not that I ever did that, I'm just sayin'...) Check out Britax, they make carseats that are like recliner chairs. Pricey, but the kid can use them til he's at least 19.
Yeah, I would keep the 'grump with a bump' comments on the down low. That might come back to bite you in the arse. Hard.

Minze said...

Don't buy a pram without knowing how and where you're going to use it. If you travel mainly by car, you'll need one that folds up small enough for your boot. You won't need hulking big wheels if you never actually take long cross country walks. If you'll take your pram to the shops, it's better to get a pram with front wheels that swivel. Buy it second-hand, because the baby won't care, and any pram looks second-hand after a while if you use it all the time.

Another option is to buy a cheap second-hand pram of the lying-down kind, and then once the baby can sit, to spend the money you've saved on a good stroller.

Also, most baby toys are a waste of time. Our babies' favourite toys were a set of keys that look like ours, a grown-up wallet with some things in it that look like money and credit cards, an egg whisk, and the volume control of our stereo.

frogpondsrock said...

MMM you have already gotten enough advice. So I have a question, are you going to be those parents that run over everyone in their path with their stroller or will you try and avoid all the pedestrians in your path? Answer that and then buy accordingly. I would get the stroller with the honking great truck-like air horns attached to them though. Take that dawdling teenagers Braaaarp.

James (SeattleDad) said...

Little fitz deserves all that crap. Admit it, and pull out your wallet.

Ed said...

I remember the first time my wife and I hit the baby goods store. We literally walked around for an hour, mouths agape and left empty handed. We were shocked and so not ready.

Next time--we dropped a weeks wages in a matter of thirty minutes.

'Murgdan' said...

Gosh. What did they do in the old days, when all they had were, oh, ARMS!

(can't wait to shop for all this crap though...I happily currently find myself finally knocked up).

Shelli (wishes she was) Mrs. Burchett;) said...

Actually, Blue is a girl and Magenta is a boy...Don't listen to Kelley...I hear she had a brain fart...

hotmamamia said...

this really is totally crazy, isn't it?? Too many stupid choices....go for the basics, you will ALL be happier for it and so will your wallet!

aajodie said...

it's all contentious and stuff, but our babies slept in bed with us. Which meant everyone got a lot more sleep - night feeds where no biggie. Also a lot less paraphenalia. They can bath/shower with you too. And you can bath them in the kitchen or laundry tub. Clothes are good, nappies are good. Change table or mat is good, a cuddly sling or papoose is wonderful. And nearly everything can be got after the baby is born.

Veronica said...

Don't forget the 10 different types of cot you're going to need for when it's bigger. Plus the different spoons for different food, educational toys that actually TEACH things, Baby Einstein DVD's, special food processors, special food, supplements for ET's milk supply, a breast pump, nappies in all sizes, 300 different bottle nipples, a huge variety of dummies, all in different colours of course and the eleventy hundred burp clothes and bibs.

Then and only then are you ready to be parents.

Amy said...

Ah, I think overspending is a rite of passage for parents. I am selling stuff I used for a week with this latest one and rejoicing at making a fraction of what I paid for them back. Great times.

(Having said that, the stroller has been bloody invaluable. We lashed out and got one with a toddler seat... I am hauling arse every afternoon with both of them on wheels - trying to shift some flab and shut them up for an hour or so!)

SuperDad-Wanna-B said...

Tell me about it. We went to Baby City - yep a cty for baby's. My wife/mother-to-be loved it! I was scared spitless. To top it off - we want our baby to be cool, but at those prices??? I'm thinking of settling for a cardboard box. Drag him in it, sleep in it, play with it - Perfect! Thanks for the great post!

Xbox4NappyRash said...

@Kelley @ magnetoboldtoo - Shut it.

@Angie [A Whole Lot of Nothing] - nag nag nag....

@Ms. Moon - But we shall be shunned!

@Claire - The getting ready is good, being clueless, not so much.

@Kori - relax....

@battynurse - shopping never makes sense...

@Middle Aged Woman - baby showers are almost unheard of here, as far as I know.

@mammydiaries - you're suggesting we carry it around in a sportsbag?

@bsouth - Harsh? Moi?

@Ginny - that would be a headline

@Mick - you've sold me on the sling...

@Catherine - we had spotted the facing back ones alright, and slings are seemingly popular....

@Suzanne - Enjoy :-)

@Lorza - I have no idea how we made it through infancy!

@Putz - Exactly!

@Hockeyman - I was thinking about that, but how many or what sizes?

@Sniffle - Awwwww.

Thanks sir, it's enjoyable for sure...

@Mwa - Must be a slow year!
the maxi-cosy WAS originally on the list

@Edith - 700 for a stroller, without extras....

@Rachel - Britax - noted. Thanks.

@Minze - Aggggggh. Information overload.

@frogpondsrock - Buggy Bull Bars!

@James (SeattleDad) - the kid owes US money!

@Ed - That is EXACTLY what we were like last Saturday. Exactly.

@Murgdan - Oh wow. That is fantastic, congratulations!

@Shelli (wishes she was) Mrs. Burchett;) - I make a point not to.

@hotmamamia - yes, but, what's basic!

@aajodie - clothes are good...hahaha.

@Veronica - Head just burst.

@Amy - I think this is a big part of it, first timers want to feel they are getting the best.

@SuperDad-Wanna-B - Done. Buy a new TV and use the box to house the kid. Perfect!

River said...

Don't fall for all the hype. Babies don't need all that crap. The basic stroller with the basic bassinet type attachment plus a car seat is fine until he/she outgrows it. Then buy a cot for sleeping and a bigger attachment for the stroller. The things you'll need your money for are nappies, (diapers) and more nappies. Also clothes, but get stuff that's easily washed and dried, there's a lot of washing involved. Did I mention you'll need lots (LOTS) of nappies?

River said...

Just read Kori's comment, she has the best idea. Go with the sling affair, they're great. My daughter had one and her two babies practically lived in it.

River said...

The most important thing is to make sure anything you buy can be easily folded with a flick of the wrist and maybe a foot lever. You don't want to be wasting precious time with wrenches and hammers just to be folding a stroller into the boot. (trunk)

Catherine said...

Clothes ARE good... the trouble is new babies come in every variety from 5 - 10 pounds (or even less if preemie, or more if your wife's unlucky...) - huggge variation. Also, everyone you've ever met, and quite a few you haven't (I'm serious!) will send you a baby outfit. You have been warned. Get one new baby outfit set now then wait and see what appears as if by magic. The shops (amazingly) are still open after jiggit is born and you will still be able to get to them....

Hoho you've opened a can of worms here. You'll be able to see what suits you perfectly, in about two years time. :D

womb for improvement said...

I assume you realise that if you don't buy EVERYTHING you are a bad father who clearly doesn't care. Much in the same way that if you don't spend a months salary on an engagement ring you clearly don't love your intended enough.

I love marketing.

areyoukiddingme said...

Are you crazy? You can't take an infant to the post office! There are people there...with germs...who might infect the baby!!!

Seriously, though, now is the time to troll through all of your friends with children and take their leftovers! Buy a carseat new, and try to borrow everything else. Otherwise, there's always ebay - do they have that in the Netherlands?.

Tara R. said...

Back in the day when I young'uns were small, just going to the market I had to pack like I would be gone for a month.

Enjoy, it only gets more complicated.

Sadia said...

Oh, the STUFF that children require! It only gets worse. Shops overwhelm me, so I tend to go the Amazon.com ratings for the safety essentials for the Doodles.

I held a three-day-old today (not mine). The stuff's kind of worth it.

WhatAboutNovember said...

hee hee.

flick knives and bear traps.

jothemama said...

Heh. Baby Dump. If only you'd known it was there, you could have saved yourself two years of hassle and just picked up a cast off one there.

This is what new parents need to know about buggies.

Get one that is really easy to fold, REALLY light, and pushes smoothly and easily with some weight in it - don't just test it empty.

Hefting giant ones around with a disabled pelvic floor is no fun.

Even if it's purple. And three wheeled. Oh yes.

tiff(threeringcircus) said...

Your grump with a bump may just use the bear trap on you, if she catches wind of that name. :)

Ah the joys of overspending on useless crap.

Enjoy it. It only happens once.
Even when you go onto have others, you suddenly find that you have become a tight arse and your second and subsequent children can sleep in the second drawer down, in the tall boy.

AnnD said...

Keep it simple. Most of that stuff (besides the car seat) isn't really necessary. Though, I would argue that a swing, sling and a good bouncy seat are most of the time. Plus, you never know what your baby will or will not like.

For example, one of my friends' bought a really expensive swing and her baby HATED it. She never used it. So, it sat in the house taking up space for the longest time. I had been told by countless mommies to buy a ton of crib sheets so when the baby spit up, you would have one on hand. My child never spit up and now I have 6 crib sheets that were washed and laundered before she came home from the hospital that I can't return...so don't take things out of their packages either and keep recepits!

We also broke the mold and didn't buy a stroller that our carseat would fit right into. We invested in a jogging stroller that had bigger wheels since we like to "off road" it a bit.

Blues said...

My brother in law and my friend were simultaneously buying new sets of wheels. They both paid the same price. One bought a stroller and the other a used Renault.

Jessabell said...

No. You. Don't. when my little sister war born, all my parents bought was a car seat and a pram. Actually, they were bought by grandparents.

Most of it is really quite unnecessary.

xXx

Tanya said...

No matter how much research you do, or how many people you ask, you will never be fully prepared with what you will use when baby comes along. You just need to get the basics and you will get your own little routine and learn what you guys will need.

Personally... pram, carseat, bouncer, playmat, changemat, baby bath, growsuits/onesies, bibs, towels, singlets, cradle or cot, nappies (diapers)

to start with...

memart said...

Whatever happened to the simpel möbius strip, simple easy to use, and if you use public transportation at all, the best for the first 6 to 9 months. I say strollers should be simple and always, always watch who you might bump into and never, never take them up an escalator. I still love babies even though they are complicated.

Xbox4NappyRash said...

@River - Confused...

@Catherine - I feel ill.

@womb for improvement - I'm going to cry.

@areyoukiddingme - eBay? yes, we have internet here... ;-)

@Tara R. - Oh great...

@Sadia - I dont understand why any strollers would NOT be safe?

@WhatAboutNovember - really feels like it...

@jothemama - A purple pelvic floor?

@tiff(threeringcircus) - I have to buy a set of drawers?

@AnnD - My head hurts.

@Blues - That just about sums it up

@Jessabell - aaaaagh, but which bits?

@Tanya - to start with....

@memart - I have no idea what that is!

Jen said...

Just wait til you have the actual kid and you are invited somewhere. With the first one you still get invited places after the next people stop calling. While you unload the kid, the attachments, the accoutrements, the accessories and all the other things that come with the bump to be your friends and family will laugh and point at you. By the time you unload all of this stuff it's time to load it all back in the car. This is why they stop calling you since you get invited but never actually make it to the party. Congratulations.

Sadia said...

Strollers (for instance) tend to be safe for the kids in 'em, but the quality control on the parent end of the darn things appears to be lacking. Finding something that would fit both of mine, fit through doors, provide me with a shopping basket, and be something I could lift within a few weeks of a C-section was a tall order. Oh, and I had to be able to handle the controls while nursing one. Never did figure out how to open the stroller while tandem nursing ...

A Free Man said...

STAY AWAY from the Baby Warehouses. STAY AWAY. You don't need 90% of the junk that they sell. We paid more for a buggy than the cost of a used Vauxhall and if I had it to do again? Ebay.

Irish Mammy said...

You wait until you have a terrible two year old who screams at the top of his lungs while you try desperately to focus on your shopping list and a 10 week old strapped onto you crying for his bottle - that's stereo crying - combined with angry looks of passers by and you don't know whether to scream, faint or cry.

Then the colour shape, make of the buggy won't matter because it will be covered in appeasing bribes of Liga biscuits, melted chocolate, Barney stickers, sticky raisins and coagulated milk!

My advice go for one that has swivel wheels and that you can wheel with one hand (to open the door) for quick getaways!

Missives From Suburbia said...

Can I save you some time? Spend a lot of money. Buy the Dash. That way, when you decide to have a second kid, you only have to add on the second seat, not buy another stroller altogether. Learn from my mistakes.

Xbox4NappyRash said...

@Jen - that sounds like, er, fun...

@Sadia - gap in the market?

@A Free Man - funny, everyone on the second says the same.

@Irish Mammy - you make it sound so glamorous

@Missives From Suburbia - what in the name of all that is sacred is 'the dash'?

ZDub said...

You don't need any of that shit.

Here's what you need.

-Carseat...get the convertible one, it last until they can wipe their own ass.

-Nappies...cloth or disposable

-Burp cloths...use a cloth diaper

-Clothes

-Socks

-Bottles or boobs, depending on your route

-Breast pump, depending on if Mom is going back to work ASAP and you are breastfeeding

-Gripe water for gas

-Hyland's Teething Tablets

That's it. Honest.

ZDub said...

P.S. Oh, I forgot a swing. Get one. It's the only way my husband and I could have "relations".

Xbox4NappyRash said...

@ZDub -
It's years since I heard gripe water, and regarding the swing for 'relations' - would your bed not have done?

Iota said...

Are you planning on posting your baby somewhere?

Xbox4NappyRash said...

@Iota - boom boom

Dondi Tiples said...

we made do with one bassinet and one one stroller, no accessories, thank you. they were summarily passed down to three other newborn cousins along the years and are getting ready for the fourth.

whatever you do buy, never forget baby wipes. ever, ever!