I’m 34 weeks pregnant with my second child, and I’ve never had a baby shower. When I was pregnant with my daughter, several friends and family offered to throw me a shower, and I refused. I haven’t had any offers this time around, either because people don’t think about it for a second baby or because everyone figures (correctly) that I won’t want one this time either.
It’s not that I don’t like baby showers–I love them. I’ve coordinated many showers for friends and even thought about starting a business planning them. If you’re having trouble planning a baby shower, call me–I love this stuff. I love the decorations and the games and the gifts and the excitement of anticipating a new life entering the world. I never miss them.
So why don’t I want one myself?
It comes down to the gender problem.
With my daughter, not finding out the gender in advance felt like a big deal. A really big deal. It’s not like I had bags of leftover baby clothes sitting around in my closet like I do this time, you know? And every time I went to Target or Babies R Us to try to register, I was overwhelmed by pink and blue. The insipid selection of yellow and green looked sickly and small by comparison. By the time I hit the third trimester, I had decided that yellow and green were the ugliest colors in the world, and I couldn’t bear the thought of registering for anything.
And then there was the cloth diaper dilemma. I knew I wanted cloth diapers, but which ones did I want? Prefolds and covers? All-in-ones? Pockets or hybrids? And which brands?–Fuzzi Bunz, Thirsties, Bum Genius, Happy Heinys? It was overwhelming.
So in reaction, I cowered. I told everyone they could throw me a shower after the baby was born. Once we knew the gender. (Right. Like that was going to happen when I was busy with an newborn.) I was fortunate enough to have some friends who surprised me with a basket of “recycled” (i.e. secondhand) baby clothes on me one afternoon, and another friend who gave me several bags of girl clothes that had been passed on to her. Without those gifts, my baby would have spent even more of her infancy naked–by necessity, not by choice.
But for those green, eco-minded mamas who do want a shower, registering can be a real challenge. The trouble is that most of the good stuff–all the eco-friendly baby clothing and the best cloth diapers–aren’t sold at big box stores. Even Amazon doesn’t carry many of my favorite diaper brands. So how are you supposed to compile a registry when there’s no store that carries everything you want?
When my daughter was about a year old, I discovered the answer to this question: TheThingsIWant.com. I love this site, and I don’t know why more people don’t know about it and use it. It creates a compiled registry of items from other sites–any other site. So those awesome trainers I discovered that are made to order by a work-at-home mom and only sold through her online shop–I can put them on my registry. The perfect nighttime diaper I just discovered that’s manufactured in New Zealand–I can put them there, too. And you can create multiple lists, so I’ve got Christmas lists for myself and my daughter as well as for Baby B. You can even add a toolbar to your browser, so if you ever run across something that you want to add, you just click on the toolbar and choose which list to add it to.
I still don’t care to have a baby shower. But I wouldn’t mind a few Christmas gifts for my Christmas baby. So if any of my relatives are wondering what to get the baby for Christmas–now you know.