We set our phasers to scan and went all sci-fi shooting action on everything all up in this Babies R Us yesterday. It’s getting real ya’ll.
Here’s our timeline as best we know it:
Jonathan leaves for boot camp on June 4. He graduates on or around August 6, at which time he’ll be told where his school will be located. Then he’ll be sent to A School within the few weeks following boot camp. At this point I will be 4-6 weeks to my due date. Since I want to be near him during his school – which lasts 6 months – I will be moving to wherever in the United States his A School is (though I have a sneaky suspicion that it’ll be in Pensacola, FL). So we will have roughly a month after his graduation to find a place to stay, then move ourselves, our cats, our dog, and our baby things to Who-Knows-Where, USA and get our little world ready to be rocked by a new baby.
The chaos of potentially moving cross country, coupled with the fact that we’re not really going to be experiencing an excess of money till Jonathan is well into boot camp, has our hands tied to buying only the barest of the bare necessities to keep Tessa alive, healthy and happy. Not only that, but I will have to be making the majority of our purchases without Jonathan – which is why it was so important to run the big buys by him BEFORE he leaves to be a tight pantsed sailor suit military man on June 4. That way I can buy the things on our list stress free and without any unpleasant “Here’s what I did with the checkbook while you were gone, honey!” moments.
So yesterday we spent the day in Fresno at Babies R Us and Buy Buy Baby with my friend Bree and her family. Bree is a supermom, who is a veritable guru of baby safety and practicality. Having her help us through the registry and the ins and outs of new parenthood was a life saver. For instance, we didn’t know we could take the jogger and baby car seat we were looking at buying out to our car for a test run. (Yeah, that thing was WAY too big. Potential disaster = averted.) And between using her children as experiments on products to practicing car seat safety on a Hello Kitty doll, Bree gave us the thorough 101 on essential baby purchases.
Halfway through our first stop at Babies R Us I got a huge stress headache. Those stores bombard you with useless crap that look so fun and indispensable. Then inadvertently adding up the price tags of the last 35 pointless diaper wipe warmers / Disney themed pacifier holders / Winnie the Pooh plushies was sending me into a financial meltdown. Again, I don’t know what I would have done without Bree there to keep me focused on the essentials!
So here’s the basics I’ve gleaned:
NURSERY AND FURNITURE – The baby will sleep in our room for the first few months. So we simply don’t need a fully-decorated nursery right away. Furthermore, things like high chairs and play pens and swings won’t be necessary till she’s a bit older and the purchases can be delayed, while some parents dispense with the play pens all together. It’s a kind of have the baby first, THEN buy situation. So you can safely cross this section off right off the bat .
CLOTHES – The biggest and most redundant piece of advice we’ve received from various sources is to NOT buy clothes, especially newborn clothes. From what I hear, not only will we be showered in a mountain of cute baby wear, (and we already have, haha) but once Tessa pops out, all she’ll be wearing for the first few months are onesies and pajamas. Also, we’re told that for the majority of babies, the newborn clothes fit for a very small period of time. For instance, in Jonathan’s case, he was born tall and heavy and didn’t even fit newborn wear the first month.
HYGIENE AND GROOMING – I’m told virtually every essential will be supplied by friends and family at the baby shower. And what they don’t cover, hospitals generally will in “new baby” kits. And as far as baths go, I’m told babies can do without soap or shampoo until week three.
SAFETY – While I hear that Tessa will be a whirlwind of destruction one she arrives, I’m also told that she must first be able to move on her own before she’s in danger of setting herself and / or my cats on fire. Which gives us roughly about five months before we have to seriously baby proof the place.
So, with these points in mind, here’s the breakdown on our list of the bare essentials that we absolutely need to have by day one.
THE BARE ESSENTIALS CHECKLIST
Pack of Onesies
Hat and Socks
Stroller and Infant Car Seat Travel Set
Pack of Burp Clothes
Bassinet with Sheets
Diapers and Wipes
Swaddling Cloths and Receiving Blankets
Baby Grooming Kit
4 Ounce Bottles and Bottle Brush
Baby Sling / Carrier
If there is anything I’m forgetting or overlooking – or anything that would be just plain helpful to have prior to pushing Tessa out my hoo-haw, please let me know! If you can’t tell – we’re totally new at all this. 😉