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When the Onesies Won't Stop Coming

As mentioned in yesterday's post, I am filling in this week as On Parenting blogger during Stacey's well-deserved vacation. Because I am a new mom -- I have six months of experience under the old belt -- I am still discovering the elation and frustrations of parenting. Hopefully that will lead to some interesting posts, and spark lively conversations among you regular On Parenting readers.

Around the time my son Luke turned four-months-old, a friend of mine posed an interesting question: What is the most surprising thing so far about motherhood? Many things immediately sprung to mind. The exhaustion? The amount of time required to clean and sterilize bottles? The fact that I now use terms like "Boppy" and "nipple shield" in casual conversation?

Ultimately, I concluded that the biggest shocker -- and one whose impact continues to be felt -- is the number of gifts we have received for our son from people we barely know. There's something about a new life that clearly brings out the generosity in distant family members and casual acquaintances.

On a weekly basis, my mother-in-law walks into our house with a fancy, polka-dotted gift bag of some sort. "Oh, here's a present from Random McRandomson and her husband," she'll say. Or: "Remember the Hasenfluffers, my third cousins? They sent a little something for Luke." At this point, if she came in with a package from Art Vandelay, Dr. Rosen Rosen or McLovin, I don't think it would faze me for a second.

Who are these people? And why do they want to give my son so many Carter's onesies and copies of "Pat the Bunny"? It's both baffling and touching to see how a baby -- one single, tiny life -- can bring so many people together. Hillary Clinton famously wrote that it takes a village to raise a child. Apparently everyone in that village decided to buy a Baby Einstein DVD for my kid. And for that, I am most grateful.

Now, I pose the question to you: What surprised you most about becoming a mom or dad? What continues to surprise you? And how many copies of "Pat the Bunny" did you receive after the birth of your first babe?

-- Jen Chaney

By Jen Chaney |  August 7, 2007; 8:15 AM ET  | Category:  Babies
Previous: Can Your Kids Unplug? | Next: The Safety Dance

Comments


I also have a 6 month old son and experienced much of what you discuss here. I thought it was amazingly wonderful and touching that so many people reached out - particularly as I live far from my family and community in which I (and my spouse) grew up. My co-workers and friends here were and continue to be an excellent surrogate family when my own can't be here. Interestingly, I find myself also sending baby gifts to really anyone I know who has a baby. I like thinking I'm helping out if only a little.

Overall, the experience of people reaching out and caring about us and our little one was a delightful surprise and it is neat to know that others are experiencing that welcome blessing as well.

Posted by: Alexandria Mom | August 6, 2007 9:11 PM | Report abuse

I've always chalked up the deluge of baby gifts to the fact that it's so much fun to shop for baby things. Even after 20 months of living with nonstop baby stuff, I'm still excited to buy presents for new kids.

We didn't receive a single copy of Pat the Bunny. We did, however, receive Goodnight Moon from a mystery benefactor. The package had no note, no packing slip, and no way to determine who'd sent it. None of our friends or family have claimed responsibility. Ultimately, DH and I concluded that it must be some kind of law that all families must have a copy of Goodnight Moon, and this was just some anonymous person's way of making sure we were up to code.

Posted by: NewSAHM | August 6, 2007 11:44 PM | Report abuse

I had the same happen - coworkers of my mom (whom I've never met) sent gifts, one -made- blankets! It's was so touching, and astonishing. I hope I'll remember to do the same when I hear of a new baby that I don't know at all.

Posted by: Moira | August 7, 2007 8:46 AM | Report abuse

The baby gift situation sounds like a gift registry would be handy, particularly on the question of the one-pieces and the copies of Pat the Bunny.

And seriously, speaking as someone who has a horrible time buying gifts for others, there are many of us out here that prefer if you have a gift registry. That way we don't have to try and guess if someone has already bought you a set of Beatrix Potter.

Posted by: David S | August 7, 2007 8:49 AM | Report abuse

I too was the beneficiary of so much generosity!!! I received 2 copies of pat the bunny and too many blankets, onesies, and washcloths to count. 4 people made quilts for my daughter. It really did floor me! I kept a word file to keep it all straight - it is 8 pages long.

My daughter is now 16 months old and I am surprised at how fast our lives completely changed and how hard it is to imagine how things were before. It's much more fun than I'd thought it would be too!

Posted by: MaryB | August 7, 2007 8:54 AM | Report abuse

You wrote that a new life brings out the generosity in people. That is true, we have four children (and one on the way) and people do make an effort to welcome a new life. I also found out, unfortunately, that people's generosity also emerges on the passing of a life. My mother passed away two months ago and I was truly touched and impressed with the outpouring of sentiment from people I hadn't seen in many, many years. I guess there's something about "life" that engages people.

Posted by: An Dliodoir | August 7, 2007 8:59 AM | Report abuse

While we didn't get any copies of Pat the Bunny, we did get several copies of Green Eggs and Ham. And we got more blankets than we knew what to do with. I was surprised that people who work with my step-mother threw a little shower for my baby.
I think the thing I found most surprising so far--he's only 9 months old, so I'm sure there are more surprises to come--is how much little annoyances don't matter. Covered in spit up; soaking wet from comforting him when he banged his head on the tub; exhausted from soothing him through teething and ear infections...I'm amazed at how unimportant they seem to be compared to how the baby is doing.

Posted by: New Mom | August 7, 2007 9:01 AM | Report abuse

We received 4 copies of Pat the Bunny (2 were gift versions that came with Pat - the bunny) Also more frilly dresses than she'd ever be able to wear.

We recently had a baby shower in the office - it was OUT OF CONTROL! It was so funny. She must have gotten $1,000 worth of stuff, at least. A month later we had a wedding and no one cared.

There's jsut something about babies. I think it's great. It's the most common miracle on the planet and never seems to lose its lustre. I love it.

I, personally, am a big fan of gift cards - it's hard to not give what I feel is the MUST HAVE gift, but not all things work for all people.


Posted by: SAHMbacktowork | August 7, 2007 9:17 AM | Report abuse

I am amazed by how many people decided to give baby clothes for when the baby was older-- no one seemed to want to take the risk that the item will be too small, so they all went the other way and provided clothes at least 3 months and up! And I didn't buy any newborn clothes because the "excepted wisdom" was that it would be foolish to buy such things since everyone else will OF course buy adorable newborn clothes! Too exhausted to return for smaller sizes, I think I just ended up doing a lot of tiny loads of laundry and probably moved the kid into oversized clothes before he was ready!

LOVE the numerous blankets people gave us. But can only shake my head over all the stuffed animals-- and "bathrobes"!-- why design a bathrobe for an infant? It's not like they can walk around! It's just easier to wrap up in a towel than to get their little floppy arms into the sleeves of the bathrobe.

Posted by: Jen S. | August 7, 2007 9:17 AM | Report abuse

We got two copies of Pat the Bunny for our first, and kept one at Grandma's -- which was great when the second one came and our original was worn out, we just got the extra from Grandma's!

We also have three copies of Goodnight Moon (board book, hardback, and paperback) and that's after giving some other copies to other babies. When our second was born, the paperback copy was in the Va. package of information for new parents.

Even with the second we were amazed by people's generosity. We were not expecting any showers and had three (the children were 7 years apart). Friends of friends, co-workers, distant family members, everyone has been so generous to us. I hope that we are as generous to others.

Posted by: HR | August 7, 2007 9:29 AM | Report abuse

The exhaustion was surprising? Maybe you mean the level of exhaustion. because it's not like this is a well kept secret about parenting.

Posted by: SSMD | August 7, 2007 9:31 AM | Report abuse

I made toyboxes for four of my friends when they were pregnant. One of them lived near Chicago and I had the finished box shipped to her. All I told her was to expect a gift from me and let me know when it got there. She was astounded I'd go to the trouble of both making the toybox and then shipped it to her, and was so pleased with it she has it in a place of honor right next to her front door.

Posted by: John L | August 7, 2007 9:40 AM | Report abuse

I think you meant "faze," not "phase." Sorry, no offense meant; it's just an obsession.

Posted by: CS | August 7, 2007 9:42 AM | Report abuse

Surprises? Just wait. My latest was finding myself in tears in a restaurant as my 18-month-old reached for her drink and used the straw all by herself. After all the nursing, bottles, and sippy cups, it just seemed so... independent. :D

Posted by: DC Expat | August 7, 2007 9:46 AM | Report abuse

another thing that surprizes me is the lack of standardization of baby clothes sizes-- I think it is Lands End that makes HUGE clothes for kids. It seems like Hanna Anderson is the only one that gets the sizing right-- becuse it is based on lenth of child, not a guess at what size they could be at 6 months! It takes some time to calculate the length/height of a child in centimeters, but it really seems like a better way to go. Wish more companies did that.

Posted by: Jen S. | August 7, 2007 9:55 AM | Report abuse

So, what did you all not get, that you wish you had? My sister is about to have a baby and I've been waiting to buy a present to fill in any gaps.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 7, 2007 9:57 AM | Report abuse


"nipple shields" reminds me of how incredibly painful breastfeeding was. My baby just wouldn't latch correctly and the first few months of breastfeeding were absolute hell. Worse than childbirth-- and I didn't take pain killers during childbirth!

But wow I had no idea how much love I'd have for my little guy. Surprized by my capacity to love.

Posted by: Jen S. | August 7, 2007 9:59 AM | Report abuse

i wish I had received more of those 100% cotton super soft terry baby washclothes. Difficult to find, but so soft! I also wish I had received kimono style wrap shirts since getting the wobbly head through a ones can be a challenge. I dont know if there are any drawbacks to kimono style clothes-- any one compair the two style and actually prefer the onesie?

Oh, and diapers-- those super expensive cloth diapers. I never tried them before, because I didn't know they were avialable. I would think just a few to try out would be a nice present.

Posted by: Jen S. | August 7, 2007 10:03 AM | Report abuse

That is so easy. They are giving it too you because they are trying to clear out the toys they don't want! It is like regifting, it gets passed along. I remember when my wife was pregnant, a couple gave us a trash bag full of toys. We were so grateful- We were also SUCKERS!!!!.

Posted by: anon123 | August 7, 2007 10:22 AM | Report abuse

We missed Pat the Bunny but we got multiple copies of Good Night Moon and Go Dog Go. It was pretty crazy who randomly sent gifts like friends of my mother-in-law who had never met me or my husband. It's funny because I would never think to send a baby present to someone I didn't know. However, my mom has given baby gifts to some of my friends who she hasn't met (or met once), so maybe it is a generational thing or maybe we'll understand when we get older.

Posted by: ClaireB | August 7, 2007 10:33 AM | Report abuse

I don't think we got Pat The Bunny, but to echo a previous poster, we did get Goodnight Moon - which, as my first son got older, became his favorite book. What has surprised me is the volume of gifts I received for my second child born this spring. I was pretty meticulous about packing away my older son's clothes and toys because we knew we wanted another child, so I was surprised that once again I got a bunch of onesies and receiving blankets for our baby.

Posted by: bandwagon blues | August 7, 2007 10:50 AM | Report abuse

I love this topic. We received so many gifts from people and I love to buy people gifts for new babies. The gifts that were most surprising were from my husband's coworkers. He works with all men in the tech world and they got together and sent gifts. And some of their wives sent really nice gifts. It really was very touching.

Posted by: Raising One of Each | August 7, 2007 10:55 AM | Report abuse

Great topic, Jen Chaney. I agree that one of the most surprising things about motherhood is the sheer number of people that come out of the woodwork with presents. I personally didn't think that a birth announcement meant that people should send a present, but maybe I was wrong -- I just figured cousins and old friends would want to know if I had a baby. Though this generosity was very heartwarming, I found myself with lots of duplicate/triplicate items and more dress clothes than any baby would ever need. I was somewhat thankful when I had my second that the gifting was far less extensive.

We received 4 new copies of Pat the Bunny for our first, thankfully in 3 different versions -- 2 board books, a cloth book with bunny, and a large-format hardcover book. Goodnight Moon won the contest with our first baby, with 6 different copies in our house within a couple weeks of her birth. BTW, my daughter recently received 3 copies of Ten Little Ladybugs for her 2nd birthday...

One other thing I've found somewhat surprising is the almost neverending source of love, patience, adaptability and tolerance that comes along naturally with parenthood.

Posted by: another Jen | August 7, 2007 11:00 AM | Report abuse

I'm still flummoxed by the sizing problems. Some companies have the age range (0-3 mos.), which makes sense (and I have a totally average-sized baby). But others--Carters and Target, to name two--use just "3 mos." In my sleep deprived haze I'm supposed to remember that means she'll OUTGROW it by 3 mos., not fit into it by then. We've had a lot of misfires on gifts (and I've returned tons of my own purchases) because it's not intuitive.

Posted by: SSat home | August 7, 2007 11:01 AM | Report abuse

I have to agree with the sizing conundrum others have mentioned. Hanna and other euro companies have this down... much easier to guage. I think the adult clothes should move toward standardization. This weekend I took in a size 6 skirt - my waist is 28" and hips 38" - that is not a sub-6 size!!!!

Posted by: MaryB | August 7, 2007 11:19 AM | Report abuse

I'm a bit surprised at how becoming a parent makes it so hard to be the awesome aunt I used to be. I miss being the favorite aunt.

We didn't find out our baby's gender, and I was surrpised, though now I don't know why, that people refused to buy gender neutral clothes. I had to buy everything! Once "it's a girl" was announced, they started rolling in.

The generosity is incredible. And as much as I love the new stuff, the hand-me-downs are the cornerstone. I've spent less than $100 for clothes in 7 months (and most of it was the newborn gender neutral stuff!).

Posted by: atb | August 7, 2007 11:22 AM | Report abuse

I always make baby blankets for friends' babies - and sometimes wonder if I'm being weird by extending it to acquaintances, too. (They're fun to make! And people claim to love them!) But I guess if people are giving presents to their nieces' coworkers' stepkids' babies, I'm not so weird after all. Yay baby!

Posted by: h3 | August 7, 2007 11:34 AM | Report abuse

How do you all feel about baby showers for second and higher babies? I'm pregnant with my second girl and feel a little strange about having a shower since I pretty much have most of what I need.

Posted by: kk | August 7, 2007 11:38 AM | Report abuse

Duplicate favorite toys and books are great-- We keep a bag of them in the car, so we never have to worry about entertaining the little one when running errands, especially impromptu ones.

Posted by: Penny | August 7, 2007 11:41 AM | Report abuse

We have friends who are having a baby girl (as we speak I think! we haven't heard back). I made then a small scrapbook, each page has a number (for the month), a blank spot for a picture, and a small block with space and title for height, weight, and firsts.

There are 12 pages for months 1-12, and the book came with a large stuffed bear and directions. The object is to take a picture each month of the baby with the bear, you can see how she grows in the first year.

They loved it, and I can't wait to see it when it's finished.

Posted by: HockeyGirl | August 7, 2007 11:42 AM | Report abuse

"Ultimately, DH and I concluded that it must be some kind of law that all families must have a copy of Goodnight Moon, and this was just some anonymous person's way of making sure we were up to code."

I completely agree with that law. "Goodnight Moon" was my favorite book as a small child and I can STILL remember the words (and I'm 27).

Posted by: Anonymous | August 7, 2007 11:42 AM | Report abuse

I have to add my agreement about being surprised at people's generosity when our girl was born. I got so many washcloths that I didn't know what to do - but you know what? I now use the washcloths after meals to clean up and they get pretty funky after a while, despite hot water and bleach washes. I actually bought more! There can never be too many! And I was also grateful to the people who bought larger size clothing - like 12 and 18 months - that were seasonally appropriate. When my daughter got to that size, I was pretty much buying everything she needed, and the few gifts that had been waiting in the closet for a year were greatly appreciated.

The thing that surprised me the most about being a parent? That it never, ever stops. It's obvious, I suppose, but you can't turn a baby off. But I wouldn't go back for a second.

Posted by: mom to 2 year old | August 7, 2007 11:53 AM | Report abuse

Don't worry, once your kid hits a year old they will all forget about him and move on to the next, cuter baby. Only the hardest core family members will want to hear more than two words about him.

P.S. Nipple shields saved my life!

Posted by: mmc | August 7, 2007 11:57 AM | Report abuse

Hockeygirl, i get the impression that you are not a parent yourself. I received several of these type of presents and although I enjoyed the thought behind it, it frankly started to become a chore. Perhaps I will in time appreciate it, but right now, if I were to get another cute little project like that, I'd scream. Our house is tiny and becomes disorganized very quickly and each little project just adds to the chaos and the feeling that I can't keep up. I'm sure your friends are more organized than I am, but just thought I'd share my reaction in case you aren't a parent yourself.

You know what may work? How about if you tell the parents that every month YOU will be the one to take the picture with the bear and you will get the film developed and inserted into the album. I'm sure the parents would LOVE you you for taking on that little task and leave them only the task of fillin gin the info part.

Posted by: jen S. | August 7, 2007 11:59 AM | Report abuse

My son is also 6 months old. I was transfered to a new city for my job when I was 7 months pregnant with him and I didn't know any of my new co workers. Before I went out on Maternity leave (3 weeks after starting joining them), they threw me a baby shower. Everyone in the office gave me a gift from onesies to a brand new walker. It was great and very touching. Even six months later, it is a regular occurrence to come into the office and have one of my coworkers hand me a bag of "something small" that they picked up for the baby over the weekend.

Posted by: Cutenewmama | August 7, 2007 12:03 PM | Report abuse

Some things like kittens, puppies & babies make a lot of people feel really good. It is FUN to share in the promise and joy of a new life.

Posted by: pyewacket | August 7, 2007 12:10 PM | Report abuse

Okay, I frequently give baby gifts - but I do limit it to friends and professional colleagues I know directly.

I will keep away from stuff like "Pat the Bunny" from now on, not that I usually gave it. I usually give a 5-year diary. If you haven't seen these, it's a diary that's set up to jot short entries on a day, but the page holds slots for the same day over five years.
http://www.artkrafts.com/zoomimages/insidedouble-5year.jpg

Some parents have loved it, some have hated it. Basically, it requires less effort/thought than a baby book, and you can note untraditional stuff like "first green liquid poop", "first temper tantrum", "first time child talked back to me"....

Posted by: Chasmosaur | August 7, 2007 12:15 PM | Report abuse

I just had daughter #2 and am surprised by 1) how many people got us gifts and 2) how many of those gifts were clothes! I know I sound like an ingrate, but clothes were really the last thing we needed. I'm someone who gets overwhelmed with too much stuff and I feel bad if I don't make good use of something so 30+ outfits for a newborn just stresses me out. I ended up just putting most of the new clothes aside, tags still on, for a regift pile. THe best gift we got was a $100 gift card for Costco, from my husband's coworkers.

Also, I have to agree with the vents on sizing. My daughter weighed 7lbs, 5 oz at birth and even the newborn clothes were too big! I bought some clothes that said "preemie" on them which were even bigger, she just now fits into those, at 4 months! go figure...

Posted by: Anonymous | August 7, 2007 12:21 PM | Report abuse

Great topic. My husband and I are expecting our first any day now and I have been both touched an overwhelmed at the level of generosity from family, friends and coworkers. It makes me feel as though this baby is loved before she has even arrived. She has more clothes than I think she will ever need although my mother swears that I'll go through each item. It's gotten so overwhelming that I've had to develop a spreadsheet just to keep track of everything we have which includes over 40 onesies and over 18 stuffed animals. There are times when I feel that it has been too much but then I realize that people want to feel a part of the experience and I really feel blessed to be so lucky to have those people in my life.

Posted by: Kim | August 7, 2007 12:35 PM | Report abuse

he he... I got no clothes at all at our baby shower. I think this is because most of the guests were men (coworkers from before I left my job). I actually got a lot of really practical stuff- baby gates, little spoons, and whatnot.

Posted by: va | August 7, 2007 1:38 PM | Report abuse

Okay, something completely different here.

Biggest surprise for us was what a great dad my husband turned into. He was the guy in the office who always stuck his hands into his pockets when coworkers walked in to show off their new baby. Didn't want to risk them trying to had it to him, and dropping it, or something awful.

When our first was born (he's 15 now), there was just a little bit of hesitiation when the nurse wanted DH to hold the new baby, but I got a wonderful picture of him cuddling our newborn the very first time.

It was an auspicious beginning. DH has been the SAHP ever since, and he's terrific at it.

Posted by: Sue | August 7, 2007 1:39 PM | Report abuse

I always give the thick cloth diapers and the super thin cotton receiving blankets. The cloth diapers were great for any emergency from spilt formula to burp-up to throwing under butt during an emergency diaper change. The thin blankets are great even in the winter - they shade the sun on a stroller walk, are great on the floor and don't take up much room.

We got 1 Goodnight Moon, 1 Pat the Bunny, and about 40 picture frames or small photo albums. I will never use them all. I usually throw them in the gift bag with a note that they are a regift!

Posted by: Burke Mom | August 7, 2007 1:43 PM | Report abuse

it is never too early to turn our babies into branded superconsumer carbon copies of ourselves...

Keep Carter's in business! If you don't buy 3 more onesies by this afternoon CRI might close below $20/share!!! HURRY!!!

Posted by: dittospend | August 7, 2007 1:54 PM | Report abuse

What surprised me most about my nephews births: The immediate and absolute love and protection for them. I'd never felt anything so sudden and so deep. There was no "choice" involved for me- they were in my life and I was there to help care for and protect them.

What surprises me most about other people having kids: How often and blithely they excuse sucky and unprepared parenting with "no parent is perfect"

Posted by: Liz D | August 7, 2007 2:06 PM | Report abuse

I was completely overwhelmed by people's generosity when I was pregnant with my son. Even now - 18 months later - I am still surprised when someone slides a gift our way.

On a funny note...I received, I kid you not, 77 onsies for my son. 77! Obviously, I took all back but eight or 10 and traded them in on things that I truly needed.

People are really amazing when it comes to celebrating the birth of a baby.

Posted by: Tracey | August 7, 2007 2:16 PM | Report abuse

Regarding second showers, how close in age will they be? Are we talking 5+? Things change a lot in the span of 5 years, but I think second, third, fourth showers are not necessary. Perhaps a luncheon? Or an arrangement for a premade "meal a night" after the baby's home? I have known people to register for their next babies, and I thought that was odd.

On a side note, I was born a month early (and days before Christmas) and ended up being at my shower -- the women in my mom's life were too busy with Thanksgiving/Christmas planning I guess. I'm 33, never owned Pat the Bunny or Goodnight Moon! I did have (still do) The Very Hungry Caterpiller in hardcover (not a board book).

Posted by: WDC | August 7, 2007 2:17 PM | Report abuse

WDC,
The two girls will be ~27 months apart so I suspect not that much has changed. About the only thing I can think of is a jog stroller, which we never asked for with the first one, or a double stroller, which we didn't know if we would ever need. The meal a night is a fabulous idea! Or clean-a-room-a-week. Maybe I'll suggest that to my friend who wants to throw me a shower.

Posted by: kk | August 7, 2007 2:20 PM | Report abuse

kk --
27 mos. is pretty close. Another thought is a "spa" day (either before or after). I still think the meals are a good idea -- it will make life a little easier if you can throw a homecooked meal from the freezer into the oven or microwave on a harried night.

My friends daughters are 5 years apart and she was amazed at what had changed. She didn't have another shower, but did get a double stroller (front/back, not side by side -- they're tough to manuever) and new carseats (esp. after 5 years). And because the first was born in November and the second in May, new clothes because she had different sizes at the different seasons. Good luck!

Posted by: WDC | August 7, 2007 2:37 PM | Report abuse

WDC, you seem disappointed that you attended your own baby shower-- do i have that right? I don't understand-- what is the problem? i would think that an infant would love to be held and cuddled and fussed over and that the guests would enjoyplaying with the baby. My baby shower was just a couple of weeks before the baby was born and I was happy with it, but if the baby had come early, I'm sure I still would have enjoyed the shower.

Posted by: Jen S. | August 7, 2007 2:54 PM | Report abuse

Um, how could I be disappointed? I was probably a month old when it happened. Poinsettas were the gift that year -- one of my favorite baby pictures is me sitting in the infantseat surrounded by the red pointsettas.

It does stink to have a birthday so close to Christmas (we're talking 5 days before) -- think of birthday presents wrapped in Christmas paper, "combined" gifts, the "I'm sorry I forgot it was your birthday since I got too wrapped up in the holidays" excuses, lots of sweaters, lots of holiday sweaters, having to plan three parties (okay that's not THAT bad) since the house I grew up in couldn't accommodate my father's family, my mom's family, and my friends inside all at once, etc. The worst is that if I didn't get something I wanted for my birthday and then I didn't get it for Christmas, I wasn't getting it! When you're a little kid, that's frustrating. Now, I just buy it myself!! :0)

Okay, this heat has made me grouchy!!!

Posted by: WDC | August 7, 2007 3:13 PM | Report abuse

WDC- That does suck. My brother was born on Dec 20th, too. I'm glad my daughter was a week late, just so her birthday would be a touch more past Christmas. It's Jan 12. I was progressing in Dec so well that they thought she'd come before the new year. Phew.

Posted by: atb | August 7, 2007 3:23 PM | Report abuse

OK, I get it-- it wasn't so much that you were at your shower as that you were surrounded by Christmas stuff and have been ever since for your birthday.

I'm actually a rather superstituous soul and secretly prefer showers/ welcome home party, etc. after the baby is born.

Posted by: Jen S. | August 7, 2007 3:25 PM | Report abuse

i can't believe you kept only 8 to 10 onesises. my son could go through that many in a day. when my son was an infant he could spit up and/or poop like there was no tomorrow. i had probably 50 onesises & i made sure i used every single one of them before i did laundry. another 20 - 30 outfits would have been wonderful.

i want to add my disgust at the sizing of children's clothes. i had a favorite brand; miniwear which i like because they fit and weren't overly cutesy. there was another brand i liked but they made the head holes in their clothes way too small so i didn't buy too many. the brand that fit my son the best were carters which i hated due to their overly cutesy designs.

Posted by: quark | August 7, 2007 3:27 PM | Report abuse

Sizing issues are a common occurance.
DD age 5 1/2 is barely into her 5 jeans (not enough tummy) but yet wears a 5 dress. A lot of her friends already wear 6x.

She lived in her two preemie onsies and she was not premature just small. I have
tried to pass on her clothes especially to those who have just immigrated to America.

I had four copies of "Good Night Moon" and one "Pat the Bunny." DD knows both by heart.

Posted by: shdd | August 7, 2007 4:20 PM | Report abuse

Re: Quark 3:27


Yep, I only kept 8-10 onsies. I washed laundry every day, and I was fortunate that my son didn't require multiple outfits per day. Sorry you had such an opposite experience.

The onsies that I did return allowed me to trade-in for items that I truly needed and appreciated....you know, like that surround stereo system to drown out the crying. :) I'm joking, I'm joking, I'm joking......

Seriously, I did trade in and purchased diapers and multiple items that I left at my mom's house for when she cared for him. It sure beat lugging around things from my house to hers when she babysat for me.

Posted by: Tracey | August 7, 2007 4:21 PM | Report abuse

I was overwhelmed by people's generosity when I had a baby. Now, I really love giving baby gifts even more than before because it kind of reminds me of that special feeling I had when I first had mine.

Posted by: MdMom | August 7, 2007 4:25 PM | Report abuse

Well, great, just great. CRI closed at $19.84. Someone didn't buy that extra OshKosh jumper. Shame on you all.

Posted by: dittospend | August 7, 2007 4:37 PM | Report abuse

Regarding the washcloths - the best thing I have found is at Burlington Coat Factory, at the Baby Depot - they have, in the 99 cent section, packages of 6 washcloths - soft, cheap, easy to use and keep or toss. They are the best!
The best gift we received was two weeks of dinners - friends got together and put together a schedule and each night someone different brought over dinner. It was a lifesaver!!!

Posted by: jl | August 7, 2007 7:50 PM | Report abuse

I didn't end up having sizing issues with DD -- we live only a few minutes from a Carter's outlet, so pretty much all of her clothes came from there in the first nine months. Made sizing incredibly easy!

I wish I'd received a few swaddling blankets and/or wearable blankets. They seem gimmicky, but they're incredibly useful. Also, very expensive, so we only bought one of each.

Posted by: NewSAHM | August 7, 2007 7:57 PM | Report abuse

I always thought my kids were odd on the sizes because they are Chinese. My older daughter wore size 6-12 months clothes when I got her at 11 months, and was still wearing size 12 month at 19 months old. Now at 8 1/2 (47 1/2 inches, 50 lbs) she wears some size 6, some 7. My younger daughter just turned 6 (44 inches and 38 lbs) and size 4/5 fits her the best. Both are so skinny that jeans can be hard to fit. They like the stretchy jeans that look like they have been painted on, because they fit. Also the kind that have the adjustable elastic in the waist. Or leggings; again, the stretch factor allows for a better fit. They love dresses because they can wear them for so long before outgrowing them. Both have dresses they have been wearing for 2 years or more and going strong. The 8yo can wear the 6yo's dresses as long as they are long enough (and since she is only 3 1/2 inches taller, many are long enough).

Posted by: single mother by choice | August 7, 2007 9:11 PM | Report abuse

I found the outpouring of gifts to be quite humbling -- and appreciated -- when my daughter was born. There's no such thing as too many onesies... However, the thing that surprised my most -- and still does, nine years later -- was how, each day, I could look at my daughter and think, "I can't imagine that she could be any more beautiful or that I could love her any more than I do right now." Then, by some incredible miracle, I would look at her the next day and find myself loving her even more, and seeing even more beauty.

Posted by: Josette | August 8, 2007 10:21 AM | Report abuse

warning: this post contains a gross visual.
to tracy - whatever works. if 8 - 10 did the trick then there is no reason to hold on to others. i would purposely make my son wear every single onsie he had including the pale yellow one that looked horrible on him. i knew that a spit up or a poop that would overflow the diaper was never that far away. i couldn't have managed laundry every day. i didn't even manage a bath for myself never mind laundry. however, everybody's experience is different but trust me, you've never lived until your little 10 pound bundle of joy does a poop that goes all the way up his back into his hair & down both legs. once, my son did 2 of those 5 minutes apart.

Posted by: quark | August 8, 2007 12:13 PM | Report abuse

I'm not a mom but I've done lots and lots of small child -- new to about five years old -- care.

You can never have enough onesies and washcloths. Babies have so much output and it's not good to leave them icky. (House rules, if you/adult find bebe dirty, clean it up, that includes diapers)

Posted by: dragonet2 | August 9, 2007 12:34 AM | Report abuse

Toys/Babies R Us used to take ANYTHING back without a receipt for a store credit, and recently changed their policy to requiring a receipt - damn them. We keep a stash of duplicates for regifting, but the really useless stuff we'd return to TRU - not anymore. Now I've got a baby-wipe-warmer at home that is going to collect dust forever...

For those looking for useful baby gifts, we give a bag of essentials - Miracle Blanket (aka baby straightjacket), Gripewater, Mylecon, bottle brush, pull-over-head bib, and a memo of baby care tips.

Most surprising about parenting - I thought babycare was something my wonderful husband and I could do together, but we mostly take turns doing it. Getting less now that the baby is two.

Save the stuffed animals - they get to a sorting/stacking/piling phase at age two.

Posted by: tucson mom | August 9, 2007 12:42 PM | Report abuse

hey tucson mom, that baby wiper warmer doesn't have to collect dust. salvation army/goodwill/cosignment shop will take care of it.

Posted by: quark | August 9, 2007 2:20 PM | Report abuse

We didn't get any Pat the Bunny and one copy of Goodnight Moon (glad we're up to code!).

People mostly bought off the registry I set up to organise my own babyshopping.

As for clothes, we really didn't get many. We did get pick from a hand-me-down collection but they were mostly in a pretty sorry state. We actually had to go buy some. Now at 2 months we're starting to get a lot of clothes from people but they tend to be ones I'm afraid to have him wear.

Who buys $60 white footie pajamas for a kid who tends to pump liquid poo up his back???????

Posted by: Xandermom | August 9, 2007 2:58 PM | Report abuse

If you are getting overloaded with onesies or other baby clothes, I'm sure a local women's homeless or domestic violence shelter would be happy to take them.

Posted by: lco | August 14, 2007 11:04 AM | Report abuse

Xandermom,

See if there is a Once Upon a Child children's resale shop in your area.Type "Once Upon a Child stores" in your Internet search engine to find their website They have fabulous gently used and sometimes new infant to size 16 kids clothes at fantastic prices (most items average $4-5). I found a beautiful brand-new fall jacket for my daughter at my local Once Upon a Child store, with the department store tags, including the $70 price tag. The resale shop was selling the jacket for $20! I went home with 6 really nice outfits a piece for my kids (I have 2), plus a few jackets and toys for about $150.

Posted by: lco | August 14, 2007 11:09 AM | Report abuse

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