1. Hahahaha, how did they ever feed babies before the baby keurig????? It’s a miracle any survived.

    The ToysRUs baby prep list was an eye opening experience. They have some insane tech now that costs a small fortune, baby heartbeat monitor sock, a changing table that is a scale…… I feel like some of these contraptions would make we worry more.

    • Yup. Another coworker lent us her doppler that she used to listen to the heartbeat. It’s in the box. Because if I can’t find it myself, I know I’ll be at the emergency room. Definitely not made for someone who is already anxious!

      • Cara

        Yes, they specifically recommend against those for that EXACT reason! Turns out you’re actually supposed to learn how to use them–with some kind of medical degree, or something! 😛

  2. Oh Penny, I love these posts.

    Since I don’t have kids this is eye-opening to me. A baby Keurig?? I’ve never heard of that before, and most of my friends have kids — how did they ever survive without one??

    You definitely need to share more of these throughout your pregnancy, since I’m guessing these conversations are occurring on a near-daily basis. I find them fascinating 🙂

  3. Oh wow! Non-parent here, but I’ve helped a few friends register and they love going with another mother with a bunch of kids who will tell them, “No, you won’t need that” to almost everything. Some onesies, some washcloths, a nose Freida, lots of diapers, and some nail clippers and you’re good to go.
    For more advice, have you heard of the Mighty Mommy podcast? She’s a mother of eight with some pretty good advice.

    • Oooh, I will check out that podcast for sure. That was how I did my wedding registry. Mr. P went with once, but he lost interest very quickly. So I recruited a cousin who basically helped me look at what was actually useful versus what is just trendy or neat.

  4. I only learned of the brezza thing a few months ago. Friends adopted a baby and it was a godsend for them, because he was on bottles 100% of the time – milk bank or formula. (After the first few months, when they have to be on sterilized glass or something.) I thought they were super cool and looked up how much they cost. HOLY EXPENSIVE BATMAN.
    I think they have their place, but that most people don’t need one.

    Good luck navigating the “you are a horrible parent if you don’t buy X device” minefield :-/

    • And I thought maybe the formula refill K-cup things wouldn’t be so expensive. JEEPERS! They make they initial cost of the machine look like nothing. Thanks for the luck. I think I’ll need it! I’m trying to appreciate the guidance without getting overwhelmed.

    • Cara

      I don’t think that people think you’re a horrible parent if you don’t buy it–it just makes them feel really insecure that they DID buy it … so it’s more like, Oh, well, if you’re so TOUGH and don’t NEED it … (still not a comfortable conversation 🙂 )

  5. kim domingue

    Seriously? A baby Keurig? And I thought I’d seen it all when I was asked to go in on a….. I don’t remember what it was called. It was a machine kind of like a seal-a-meal, only for dirty diapers instead of food? The mom-in-waiting got two of those gizmos! I have it on good authority that one of those diaper sealing machines was returned and the other ended up as “decorative clutter”…..In other words, not used.

    Luckily, the hubs and I were both blessed with having grandmothers who had raised their families during the great Depression and the lean years that followed. Their advice was pretty simple. They said that for the first few months babies eat, sleep and poop. You need a few bottles if you don’t breast feed, something to place them in while they’re sleeping and diapers. One grandmother breast fed while the other bottle feed her last two because her milk dried up. I breastfed. Cheaper and more convenient. The milk came prepackaged, at the perfect temperature and the formula was just right! I did save my pennies to buy a bassinet even though the grandmothers assured me that all I needed was a Moses basket. Well, my babies ended up sleeping with me and the bassinet ended up being a catch-all for onsies, gowns and receiving blankets. We did borrow a crib when they were a little older. At that point, the cute diaper caddy became a place to put the onsies and gowns because the diapers stayed in the package they came in and lived under the crib, lol! Never had a changing table. I changed diapers on a towel on the bed and, later on, in the crib. As they got bigger, we acquired a couple of things. An umbrella stroller, easy to use, lightweight, folded up, easy to toss in or pull out of the car. A baby swing, a hand-me-down from a friend, for the second child who had tummy issues. One of those round things with wheels and a sling seat in the middle that can be used before they can walk. And, of course, we bought car seats. Amazingly, both of my children survived their infancy without a baby Keurig, lol! I survived as well!

    Continue to regale us with tales of the things people think you will “just die” if you don’t have them when the baby arrives! We are prepared to be amused and dumbfounded, lol!

  6. For this baby shower I did everything used. Just give me any of your used stuff you are done with, or buy something used from a facebook group, or a box of diapers or wipes. It was awesome! I had given all our baby stuff away (because I really thought there were going to be no more babies in the picture!) But I ended up with everything I needed, plus a lot more. The only thing we bought was a used swing for $45 which we sold after 3 months for $40. Most of my friends are seasoned moms, so I got what I needed. And a few new cute outfits from everyone else. As the baby grows I go through every three months and pass on everything already outgrown to the next mom with a baby.

    But I agree the “becoming a mom” thing is super awkward. And it just keeps getting worst! I went to some hot springs with a few mom friends last week, and one pumped breast milk while we drove. With out a cover. And honestly, we just don’t care. After you have seen a few milky boobs, you’ve seen them all. 😉

  7. Bonnie

    As someone with a now-3.5-yr-old, I’d say that the vast majority of “must haves” that people either gave us or recommended turned out to be “never used” or “waste of money/time.” 🙂 You don’t know what YOU will need or, more important, what your baby will like/need until after the fact, in a lot of cases. (For instance, our baby hated the swing, hated being “worn” in a Baby Bjorn, etc.). I found the things I used the most were the things I bought AFTER she arrived, after I knew her better and thought, you know, “I wonder if XYZ exists, because I could REALLY use XYZ.” You need food, clothes, and diapers (and how!), and everything else is kind of just extra.

    • That’s awesome input, Bonnie. I suppose the one plus side to registries is that it usually makes returning things easier. I’m going to try to be really purposeful with what we put. But I’ve also heard that if you don’t have enough, people just buy tons of clothes for newborns which isn’t really that helpful. Gah. I’m sure it’ll take some adjusting!

  8. I’m completely out of the loop here, as my kids are grown now, but do they seriously have baby stuff at Pottery Barn? I had to look for myself, and there it was, a whole tab just for baby. Yikes! You’ll find your way when the time is right, I’m sure.

  9. My sister was also really ambivalent about having a baby shower, but we settled on having a small one after pressure from family. It was basically just her bridesmaids plus a few family members. Maybe impossible in your big family, but something to think about! It’s ok to be ok with people giving you stuff at this point in your life! You need (some) stuff! But I think you can have some expectation about not letting it get out of control.

    Also: baby keurig, LOL ?

    • We’re having a shower. It will be big. Bigger than my wedding (but I paid for my wedding, so we cut the guest list. A LOT). And I’m OK with that. My mom has 50-some cousins, and it’s a big Italian affair to do these kinds of showers. I’m trying to just lean in and let people do what makes them happy. People are free to not attend, and I’m looking at it as an opportunity to catch up with people! I’m going to get my attitude right now…before I’m teetering around like a whale and cranky! LOL

  10. I don’t talk about money all that much in real life. Or at least, not too seriously. Else I think most would be awkward, as I have completely different ways to a lot of people I know.

    But I did want to comment cos I think I actually have some good advice. I don’t even have kids but I’m seeing fit to share this with you. I discovered it when my sister entrusted me with my 5 month old niece. You might like it 🙂

    So, if you’re gonna formula feed, there are bound to be times when you’re not prepared so you’re dealing with screaming baby plus recently boiled water. If you get a load of ice cubes frozen, you can plunge the bottle in the water plus ice and it cools it super fast. A bog standard ice cube tray will do it, you’ve probably already got one. If not, you can add it to your registry 😉

    • I’m so glad you shared that, Sarah! I had thought hard about zapping in the micro or putting it back in boiling water if it wasn’t hot enough, but I guess I was doomed to cross that bridge blind if you hadn’t suggested that. Thank you!

  11. shakti

    Enjoy that people love babies, specifically YOUR baby!
    Here is my advice as a fellow new momma:
    Take your friend up on that nursing bra offer (if you plan on nursing), exchange those 45 newborn onsies you get as gifts for diapers in size 3+, and accept ALL freebies. For everything else, find a good kids consignment shop.

    • I am definitely feeling the love. And I know people mean well! Truly, I do. That’s such a fantastic tip about swapping clothes for diapers. I’ve heard that there will be a flood of newborn clothes!

  12. I just recently found your blog, and this post made me laugh! I recently had baby number 3 and so we’ve pretty much sussed it at this point, but I so remember the overwhelming feeling of not having a clue when faced with so many choices. By this one we just dragged out the sleepsuits and vests, a sling, some nappies and the crib for our room and that was that – her room is STILL not sorted.
    I’m sure you’ll find your way through it, at least with a shower it can give you some control. I’m in the UK so we don’t really do that, it made for a few – ahem – ‘interesting’ gifts (I’m obviously very grateful for the thought that went into them)
    Good luck! And fab blog 🙂

    • Oh, wow! Thank you for stopping by, Michelle! 🙂 You made my day.

      We are so lucky to have registries. Not that it stopped my in-laws from giving me whatever they wanted for our wedding shower, but it’s the thought that counts. And I’m pretty good at returning things! LOL

  13. I used to have creepy strangers come up to me in stores and tell me they KNEW what sex the baby was. I nearly punched a dude for trying to touch me. If he’d made physical contact, booyyy howdy.

    For your shower, you’re welcome to borrow a page from our book: we asked for used clothes up to size 12 months and favorite books. It kept the clutter down really well. And repeats of diapers meant that we could return some boxes and buy what we really needed if necessary.

    Here’s a funny thing: babies LIKE the warm milk but some really DGAF about the temp. JuggerBaby was SO PISSED I was taking so long to heat zir bottle one time that I just gave it to zir room temp. Sucked it dry. I even gave zir fridged milk (COLD) – same thing. I maybe wouldn’t try that with a newborn but if the kid has an appetite, you’re probably fine not even heating the bottles. You’re not supposed to heat the milk when it’s in the bottle to avoid creating hot spots in the milk because it might heat unevenly so we either preboiled and precooled the water, and set it aside for use or purchased gallons of nursery water (at a buck a piece, it was worth the ease of not boiling water).

    Also wipes warmers made me laugh. Warm wipes did not make the child any less angry. I mean, it must be nice to be wiped with a warm cloth but you couldn’t prove it by JB’s reaction.

    There’s a TON of things on those lists you don’t truly need – but it *is* easier to figure out what to add after you meet the kid than before so your approach of planning to return some things is a smart one. Just think about directing people to the stores that are easiest for you to return to. For me, free mailing returns were the best because I could get the packages ready and PiC would drop them at the post office or the UPS store. Saved me precious time not standing in line.

    • I knew I could count on you for amazing advice. All the comments today have been so helpful! Teach me all the things, everyone!

      I’m going into this assuming I know nothing. I’ll trust my intuition, but I’m really looking forward to learning from Baby (aka Half Pence ). I’m sure I’ll have at least eight zillion questions for you between now and then!

  14. I guess I had cheaper friends, they all knew I was a Target mom. We spent a bit more on the car seat and stroller, but we knew they were the really big ticket items.

    And maternity clothes were super expensive, but I appreciated the fact that they actually had clothes that fit my height and weight…they were some of the few pants I didn’t need to get hemmed.

    We used stadium cups to heat the bottles. Nuke water in the cup, put bottle in the cup and wait. Worked just fine. We’re redneck like that, though.

    • So my maternity pants will definitely be too long in the spring, but I have a low-wedge bootie/shoe thing that I can rock with them right now. Amazingly, one of my coworkers lent me ALL of her maternity clothes. It’s like I went to the store and bought one of everything! It might not all be quite the right fit, but good enough.

      I did want two pairs of dress pants and two pairs of casual pants that fit really well, though. For $120, I don’t hate that investment.

      And I am filing away that bottle heating strategy!

  15. I’m pretty sure every mom in my friend group has been very clear with me that a) all you need is plain onesies, and more than you think you need, because babies vomit more than a 19-year-old in Cancun on Spring Break b) a dresser with a pad on top is a fine and versatile changing table and c) literally that’s it.

    OK, car seats too. But then that’s really it. People need to calm down with the baby things. A friend recently said no gifts for a one-year-old’s birthday party, and thank god we ignored her and brought money for kiddo’s college fund, because hot damn people love shopping for a baby / child / young human.

    • That’s the BEST, Des! So far, all I’ve been willing to buy are burp clothes ($10 off $10 purchase at Kohls) and books from my library. I want my kid to be well-read, but I am also expecting a lot of bodily fluids.

      Someone seriously asked me if I wanted a special stroller for running. I could not LOL enough. Maybe if the kid wants to push me.


        I have a friend who was the youngest Canadian to run the Boston Marathon her first year running it

        She owns a gym

        THAT’S who needs a special running stroller. (Apparently they’re really hard and like, a huge workout! COMING FROM THE MARATHON RUNNER! They can keep their running strollers as far as I’m concerned.)

        • *cough* so.. funny story. Someone who knows way too much about spending money for their lot in life bought a husband (who might want to remain unnamed for this story) a running stroller because he is the type to use it and he’d take JB out with it every so often. It’s a really comfortable ride so ze would fall asleep frequently in it. He let go of it for 2 seconds once, not realizing the ground wasn’t level, and it rolled down half a flight of stairs and toppled over!

          *stifled laughter* ze was strapped in, and the seat is really deep, so ze was totally fine but he about had a heart attack.

  16. Father O’Four here chiming in (that’s an actual father of 4, not an Irish priest). Two things.

    1. My awkward money conversation was about the ol’ snippity snip, whether or not I’d had the procedure done. If not, would I consider it? If so, did it hurt and how much did it cost?

    2. My advice to you is to ignore the advice and do what feels right. You got this!

  17. No kids on the horizon here, though one of my best friends is expecting with his fiancée very shortly and another good friend and I went halves on buying them a a car seat (one that should take them all the way to age 8, boom!) I pretty much only buy secondhand clothing except for underwear and can’t wait to start thrifting for baby gear. Given how fast some kids grow I bet there’s a ton of barely worn stuff to be had!

  18. Ha! People are ridiculous but these stories are hilarious! Never having been pregnant I don’t have any baby awkwardness but I do have a good (bad?) example from work.
    I had a call the other day from a guy wondering if we offered a ‘personal assistant service’ (my description) that would help his wife figure out their finances if he happened to become disabled or die. You know…with the regular, everyday paying of bills, filing taxes, etc. Clearly we were not on the same page when I suggested he could perhaps walk through a few of these things with her so she would have a basic understanding in the tragic case of his death…queue *crickets* on his end of the line. He would actually prefer to have his wife pay someone to teach her their finances than do it himself. Ugh!

  19. OMG and yes, yes, yes . . . I should warn you about the lists you’re going to receive when you go to register, telling you all of the things that you absolutely NEED for your baby. There is so much crap on those lists that you don’t need. My favorite is the wipes warmer. Babies don’t need warm wipes for diaper changes. If they feel too cold, you can always just hold them in your hand for a second or two. And, I always wondered what happens when the baby is used to warm wipes and then you go out somewhere and use a cold one. They probably freak out.

    But you definitely should register – they give you bags of free goodies and a discount on anything on the registry that you don’t receive after your shower.

  20. Cara

    Baby #3 coming in the next two weeks, so I’m going to chime in here 🙂

    1) Congratulations! I do love hearing good news from bloggers I’ve followed–even though you’re anonymous, I feel like I know you!

    2) Two things that will save you the most money are the two toughest/most awkward to talk about: nursing and cloth diapers. Not everyone can breastfeed successfully and NO, you’re not a terrible person if you can’t … but REALLY most people can and don’t be intimidated if it doesn’t go well at first! Find support–La Leche League, even paying a time or two for an expensive consultant I’m sure would pay for itself quickly vs. formula. Also, insurance now pays for a pump–they literally give it to you at the hospital and the bill goes straight to insurance. Anyway, it’s a tough conversation to have to be encouraging without making people feel bad if they didn’t do it, but it really is so worth it … Same with cloth diapers–I’ve been cloth diapering for 4.5 years and it’s not REMOTELY as hard or as awful as the disposable diaper companies want you to believe it is. And while studies find ways of making the environmental impact of cloth vs. disposable look like a wash (I don’t know how that’s possible, but I’ve been told millions of times), the one thing NO one can argue is that cloth saves a TON of money–and that’s even if you use it once. Our size 1 diapers are about to go around for the third time! (They get worn from birth – 9 months, give or take, and so are not as hard-used as Size 2, which go from 9 – 24+ months … until the end 🙂 ). Kelly’s Closet is the website where I got most of my diapers, and my favorites are Thirsties Duo Wrap snap covers (sizes 1 & 2) and prefolds (the cheapest!) for little ones and Flip stay-dry inserts for older (hold more fluid!). (And if you’re having a huge shower, you could literally get every diaper your baby would ever wear!! Register for a few different types to see what will fit your baby best, and also register for a diaper-sprayer!)

    3) Mini-cribs are awesome. Regular cribs are really ridiculously large for small babies, and mini-cribs are cheaper and the mattresses are cheaper! (Cosleepers can be even cheaper if you’re willing to go that route.)

    4) If you’re willing and able to carry, wraps and carriers are cheaper (and easier to maneuver) than strollers. (Depends on your lifestyle and where you live–I’ve never needed a stroller.)

    Also, the person above was totally right with, You never know what your baby will need. I got a nursing pillow because of COURSE I would need that! I’ve nursed two babies and almost never used it!

    Good luck!

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