The first time we went into a store to look at baby gear I hyperventilated in the car seat aisle. Well, not really, but I did stand there frozen like an idiot while my husband picked things up and read tags. I promptly wandered over to look at cute baby clothes.
It’s funny how some baby gear seems complicated (car seats, strollers, carriers) and other stuff doesn’t (sleepers). So in absence of any ability to make a decision about a car seat you buy a really cute sleeper and then when your baby is born you learn the sleepers that snap all the way down both legs — as opposed to the full zip ones — are easier to use (and don’t freeze your baby’s tummy in the middle of the night). I think most people just look at how cute the Winnie the Pooh sleepers are and don’t realize it matters how the darn things do up.
In any case, before Connor was born Rich and I did end up doing what he calls “web-based research” and chose stuff we thought would meet our needs. We didn’t register for baby gifts because ohmygod I hate being the centre of attention at things like baby showers. (Hint: Not registering doesn’t mean you’ll get out of being the centre of attention at a baby shower.) We talked to people in stores (salespeople, not other random parents, because we’re not freaks like that. Okay, yes we are, but most of the new parents we saw looked frazzled and sleep-deprived so we figured we’d leave them alone). We asked questions about how things work and what to consider, but you don’t really know until you have a baby, do you? Still, if it weren’t for a helpful salesperson we would have ended up with a car seat that didn’t fit in our car.
Before I get into sharing some info with you, I’d like to know: Do you have any tips for expectant parents about what to register for?
Aside from my incredibly insightful sleeper suggestion and the tip to try the car seat out in your car before you buy it, I would say this: Don’t buy a whole bunch of soothers until you find out if your baby will take one. And also: If your baby refuses a bottle by screaming his head off, it probably won’t matter if you buy 16 different kinds to try. He’s not going to drink from any of them and you’re just going to have to suck it up and be on call to feed him at all hours of the day.
Again, just me? (Have I mentioned that Ethan is a much easier baby?)
Anyway, now that I’ve scared all sorts of expectant parents I will switch modes into being the bearer of good news: There are places that can help!
Sears Baby Registry and Checklist
You can put together a baby registry at Sears Canada and they even have a registry checklist to help you out. I will admit that trying to do this online on the Sears website confounded me (another tip: do this before your baby is born and you’re sleep-deprived). But if you go into the store you get to browse and scan stuff, which is way more fun, and from talking to the associates they do tend to know what they’re talking about. (See above re: getting help knowing what to get for your baby.)
“Waiting Game” Contest
Another fun thing about Sears Canada’s baby registry is that they have the “waiting game” contest, where if you correctly guess your baby’s arrival date you can win the value of everything on your registry. (The most recent winner won just over $3000 to spend, which is a good argument for registering for lots of stuff if I’ve ever heard one.) You can change the date up to two times, at least 60 days before the “guesstimated” original date. I would have been way wrong with both my boys, but it would have been fun guessing (and pretending I’d get to spend all that money).
Sears Baby Days Sale
And since we all love sales, especially when it comes to buying baby stuff, Sears has Baby Days on now. Until January 24, almost all baby merchandise will be on sale, like 15% off cribs, strollers, travel systems, travel accessories, nursery furniture, high chairs, boosters, play yards, bouncers, and swings, AND 20% off all humidifiers, monitors, carriers, gates and Halo sleepsacks. (Oh, that reminds me – I need some sleep sacks but I’m in denial that we’re going to need baby gates again…) You’ll find even bigger discounts listed in your local flyer, so keep your eyes out for that.
“Spot the Seal” contest with PTPA
Sears is sponsoring a “Spot the Seal” contest with Parent Tested, Parent Approved. The contest will run for three weeks (January 11-31, 2013) and you can win by taking a picture of yourself with the seal you’ll find in the store and sharing the photo on Twitter or PTPA’s Facebook page. To enter, tag your photo with #SpottheSeal and @PTPA.
The grand prize winner will be selected on February 1 and will get:
- Stork Craft Carrara nursery (two cribs and a two-drawer change table)
- Tfal steamer and blender
- Angelcare movement and sound monitor
- Crane animal-shaped humidifier
A value of $929.95. (Nice!)
Other prizes include three weekly $100 gift cards (which would also come in handy).
The PTPA Seal of Approval will be found on every cash desk in the Baby’s Room at all Sears stores, so get out there and get clicking. And remember, if you win, choose sleepers that snap all the way down.
Don’t say I never told you anything useful.
Disclosure: I am part of the Sears – The Baby’s RoomAmbassador program with Mom Central Canada and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are my own.