Awhile back, armed with my friend who is also a new mom, I ventured into Babies ‘stupid backwards letter’ Us to create my registry. I wasn’t looking forward to the experience at all. Not even a little. Unlike registering for my wedding, which seemed exciting and fun (“Oooh I like this color Kitchenaid mixer! And these sheets! And blah, blah, blah””), the task of registering for a wee little baby seemed nothing but daunting because it was more Need instead of Want this time around.

I knew the basic needs, but what about all the other crap. Did I need, for example, a swing AND a bouncy seat? The answer is probably no. But what about the advice of all those moms warning that their baby loved the swing but hated the bouncy (or vice versa), and so it was good to have both on hand for trial and error. After all, they said, you can always return one. Just save the box.

Sure, our parents probably didn’t have all this stuff when they were raising us, and we turned out just fine, but if these products are available now and make life a little easier, maybe it’s worth it?

I registered for both. And the car seat, the stroller, the bassinet, the Baby Bjorn, and a handful of other foreign objects that I have never once used, but will probably become well-versed in soon. And then I went home and looked at it all online, reading customer reviews and adding or removing things I previously registered for based on what people had to say.

The registry still stresses me out. Mostly because I picture our already small house swimming in a sea of “essential” baby items and getting smaller every day. Tonight, Michael and I purchased our crib — something I consider to be an actual essential — and while we were there, I showed him some of the stuff I registered for. I know he would have been pulling his hair out had he come along for the actual registering, but he was really great tonight offering opinions and helping me sort through some of the items that have been nagging at me for a while. The “we don’t really need this” items. And after the removal of some things (the Pack and Play, specifically. A monstrosity that is big enough for Kodiak to sleep in.), and the discovery of a new bassinet that I feel good about, I left the store feeling a little less stressed.

I realized that we don’t need all the Stuff. We’ll still have a lot of it when all is said and done, but at least it’s more streamlined than it was. And in the end, as long as he’s fed, clothed, has a place to sleep and is in clean diapers, our little boy is going to be just fine.

More than fine.

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