Hello and welcome to a strange new world. You have traveled far through the desert, only to be met time and again by one empty oasis after another. You are lost and alone, wandering, wondering if someone, anyone, knows how you feel. And just when you think you can't go on, and no one could possibly understand your struggle, a hand reaches out to you, lifts you to your feet, and carries you to the promised land. He feeds you knowledge, shelters you from the self-righteous (and the ridiculous), and provides you with the tools you need to survive in this brave new world. You are a stranger in a strange land, but you are not alone. Let him be your guide. Follow closely as you travel together on this adventure of a lifetime. For now, you are a foreigner to "Fatherhood" but soon YOU will be the master of this realm.

"No Man is Expendable!"

This is Fodder 4 Fathers...


To every first-time dad to be that uttered the words, "Baby Registry... my wife can do that," all I have to say is: Are you insane! Who lets a pregnant woman - with the hormones and the unpredictable mood swings and the hormones - shop alone for baby products? Lazy men who don't see the big picture, that's who! You think it's a waste of your time? Okay-  give your wife and two of her best friends carte blanche to go and pick out items from a showroom full of colorful clothing, cozy furniture and outrageously crazy prices, and we'll see what's worse- wasting your time, or wasting your (well, somebody else's) money.

In marketing, a need and a want are not the same. A need is something that you cannot do without. A want is something you merely convince yourself you cannot do without, until you actually don't need it, and either never use it or use it once, or let it sit in a box in the basement to grow mould and fungus. And you trust your pregnant wife (shhh...don't mention the hormones) to make that distinction? Hell no! So get your a$$ off the couch, and let's go... we're going to learn the ins and outs of registering for baby crap - man style. )

Rule # 1: Do Your Research. 

Never, ever walk in to as baby store unprepared. That's like asking to overpay for sh@#. It's like walking through the front door and saying: "Hi, I don't know anything. Can your please show my wife to the most expensive item in the store, tell her that it's the best on the market, and then show me the price tag so I can develop an ulcer. Thanks." ...Talk to family. Talk to friends. Ask anybody and everybody their opinion on the best products to buy, but take it with a grain of salt. At the end of the day, your goal is to be like Goldilocks- not too expensive, not too cheap, but just right in the middle of the two. If it has a rating that is acceptable to your wife, her friends, the store clerk and your budget, write it down. It made the list.

Rule # 2: Forget Your "Wife's Wish List," and Instead Choose from Your "What We Can Afford List." 

When running around the store, pointing that gun at every price point, down every aisle, remember to be practical. If you can't afford it, don't point that gun at it. Because, the truth be told, you may have fun clicking every item in the store, but most items on your list will never be gifted to you, and unless you want to pony up the dough for a $40 sleep sheep or a $199 mobile your kid will use once, the less you put on your registry the better. Keep your list to large items (furniture, strollers, car seats) that you can use or small items (clothing, bedding, bottles toys) you can exchange (to buy the larger items).

Rule # 3: Never Let Them Out Number You

The rule of thumb is never let them (women) double, triple or quadruple-team you; whether it's your wife and your mother, your wife and her mother, your wife, your mother and your wife's mother, or your wife, your wife's mom, your mom, and the female store clerk looking to make a commission, don't let the solidarity of sisterhood wear you down. Be strong, and do what any sensible man would do- plug your ears, say "I'm not listening," and run away to another aisle. But, no matter what, never let a group of women try to convince you that there is something in a baby store that you cannot do without, because there isn't... as long as there are garage sales, hand-me-downs, opportunities to barter with other parents, and grand parents, your kid will never be without.

Rule # 4: Be Honest with Friends and Family...Even if it Embarrasses Your Wife

Lots of people make this mistake. Maybe it's to be polite? Maybe it's so you don't offend Aunt Millie and her incessant need to buy the same gift for everyone? Who knows. Who cares. It doesn't matter. The fact is it takes a rare breed to tell the truth about what they really need when it comes to gifted baby gear, and it should come as no surprise that those people get exactly what they want. These people don't pussy foot around what they want. You ask. They will tell you.

"What do you need?"
"A three-thousand dollar stroller.!"
"K.... And what's second on your list?"
"Something I don't need as much as a stroller!"

And, this works for what you don't want as well. Don't want to receive 20 embroidered blankets with your kid's name on it (so you can't re-gift them)? Don't want to get ugly clothing that your kid will never wear? Don't want to have to fake excitement over a gift that actually makes you want to shake the person and ask them what they were thinking when they bought it? Tell the truth... " Please only buy items from our registry... but if you are tempted to buy something useless, or ugly, or something I will be unable to get store credit or a refund for, stop yourself, return it and buy us some size one or two diapers and wipes. We can always use those...For sensitive skin...Thanks." Works for me!

Rule # 5: Only Register at Stores that Have a Favorable Return Policy

There is nothing worse than store credit to a store that is either over priced, under stocked or too far out of the way. So choose a store close to your house with a favorable refund policy (i.e. cash). Don't be fooled into store credit. That's as useless to you as the original gift you're returning.

That's the gist of it...

And you wanted to send her to the store by herself? Good luck to you!

Here's some more tips, from less reliable sources (in my opinion only):


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