Etiquette Hell

General Etiquette => Family and Children => Topic started by: Calistoga on April 05, 2013, 09:24:20 AM

Title: Another Baby Shower Thread- Or, "Don't Be Prepared!"
Post by: Calistoga on April 05, 2013, 09:24:20 AM
BG- So DH and I are expected our first baby (Yay!) and we're very excited. We've also always prided on our selves on our planning and preparation abilities, so we've started our shopping and saving early. Babies are expensive, and we would hate to be caught without something important. So we've been setting aside money and picking up pieces when we can afford them- mostly lots of diapers, but we also picked up some nursing stuff and have money set aside to go and buy a combination stroller/car seat this weekend. So far the only gifts we know we'll be getting is a crib and a washer and dryer set from parents. And a cowboy outfit from one of my girlfriends for comedic purposes. /BG

Yesterday we came over to my inlaws house to pick up some mail and say hi. Talk turned to babies, and we mentioned that we were going to go to the Big City this weekend and pick up our stroller/car seat thing. My mother in law was quiet for a moment, then asked what we had already bought. We told her about the huge store of diapers and the nursing stuff. She frowned. "You know I want to throw you guys a shower right?" Yes, we know. "So why are you gonna buy all your stuff yourself? No one else will be able to get you anything". We said we just want to be prepared. She was quiet again and we ended up going home.

Then DH gets a phone call on the way home.  We're being selfish, we're being rude, we need to leave gifts for people to get us, our friends and family want to help, long drawn out thing that I missed for the most part. Basically the jist of it was that it was really rude of us to buy all of our baby stuff when we knew she wanted to throw us a shower because then there wouldn't be anything for the guests to buy "That we actually needed".

I'm completely flummoxed here...are we being rude by being too prepared? Neither of us feel comfortable relying on a shower to get all of our baby supplies, but is there an etiquette rule that says you have to leave gifts for friends and family?
Title: Re: Another Baby Shower Thread- Or, "Don't Be Prepared!"
Post by: stitchygreyanonymouse on April 05, 2013, 09:27:45 AM
You’re not being rude at all!

In fact, I applaud your foresight, and I imagine your friends and family (aside from MIL) will as well, when they get to buy you all manner of exciting, cute things, since you won’t need to register for the "basics".
Title: Re: Another Baby Shower Thread- Or, "Don't Be Prepared!"
Post by: Jones on April 05, 2013, 09:37:09 AM
Baby showers are for funsies, not necessities. A bunch of giggling and comraderie as you hold up tiny booties and coo over the preciousness of teddy bears. You are absolutely in the etiquette clear here. Technically, your MIL wanting to throw you a shower is rude, but so low on my scale that I'd give her a pass, so long as she apologised for the blowup. Her reaction to your preparedness does not sound etiquette approved.
Title: Re: Another Baby Shower Thread- Or, "Don't Be Prepared!"
Post by: NyaChan on April 05, 2013, 09:39:31 AM
If I were invited to your shower, I would be happy to see that I could buy the fun, cute things:  party outfits, onsies, toys, items for mom, etc.  I would not be looking at the registry and thinking, "Seriously, no stroller?  What kind of shower is this???"
Title: Re: Another Baby Shower Thread- Or, "Don't Be Prepared!"
Post by: Lynn2000 on April 05, 2013, 09:41:33 AM
You’re not being rude at all!

In fact, I applaud your foresight, and I imagine your friends and family (aside from MIL) will as well, when they get to buy you all manner of exciting, cute things, since you won’t need to register for the "basics".

POD. I get MIL perhaps being a bit disappointed that she won't get to buy "big ticket items" that grandparents often buy--except, she still can, it's not like you've bought everything yet--but she was way over the top to call you rude and selfish.

Not to wade back into the whole baby shower morass, but this is an attitude I personally see a lot. Not the GOH necessarily feeling entitled to stuff, but other people in the GOH's life thinking they're entitled to stuff, and harassing other people (even the GOH themselves!) if they disagree. In some cases I've witnessed it's a tit-for-tat attitude--"I've given huge baby gifts to everyone I know over the years, so now that it's my daughter/DIL/niece's turn, everyone else better pony up." (And of course if daughter/DIL/niece is reluctant to play along, they get pressured, too.) It ends up leaving a bad taste in my mouth, over what should be a joyous occasion including freely-given gifts.
Title: Re: Another Baby Shower Thread- Or, "Don't Be Prepared!"
Post by: Seven Ate Nine on April 05, 2013, 11:29:52 AM
I have gotten the same attitude from a friend of mine.  DH and I are expecting our first this summer, and the nursery is pretty much done (when I get it in my head that something needs doing, I do it!).  I have been keeping an Amazon wishlist, mostly so that I don't forget stuff, but at some point it will go public as my registry.  I do know that my mom and sis are throwing a shower (that will be 90% family and 10% "family" so I think I'm in the etiquette clear).  Whenver I talk about something that we have purchased, my friend looks at me and says "You know you're going to have a shower, right?"  Well, sure I do, and I know that my family will bring gifts, because that's what we do.  But really, does the crib need to be gifted?  With so much stuff on the baby market, I don't think that anyone will have a problem finding something that fits their gifting desire, and I don't have to stress about what I will need to purchase after the shower but before the baby comes.
Title: Re: Another Baby Shower Thread- Or, "Don't Be Prepared!"
Post by: EllenS on April 05, 2013, 11:35:47 AM
Not rude.  And you now have the perfect opportunity for people to give you things for the REST of baby's life - after the newborn phase is over.

It's amazing how many thousands of tiny, newborn onesies you seem to find in the drawers, when the baby is 6-9 months old and only has one pair of pajamas.
Title: Re: Another Baby Shower Thread- Or, "Don't Be Prepared!"
Post by: AnnaJ on April 05, 2013, 11:38:08 AM
Maybe MIL is disappointed that your parent have already promised two big gifts and she feels left out?  If so, she really needs to just ask you guys what you still need and tell you what she wants to get rather than leaving it as a surprise, which seems to be where she's headed.
Title: Re: Another Baby Shower Thread- Or, "Don't Be Prepared!"
Post by: lilfox on April 05, 2013, 11:46:05 AM
My first thought was, there is really no shortage of things that can be bought for a baby, especially a first one!  Sure, you don't *need* a lot of things once you have the basics, but if you have a crib, that doesn't mean you couldn't also use a travel pack n play, or a portable changing table, or another set of bottles, or another pack of onesies/cloth diapers/crib sheets.  If you have two cars, a second carseat or carseat base is really handy.

Her attitude isn't puzzling, but it sure is unpleasant.  The best baby shower gifts I got were the most practical (and incidentally probably the cheapest), particularly because they were things I would never think to have on hand.  I'd hate to think of anyone disparaging those gifts because they didn't come with hefty price tags or a big box.

I agree with AnnaJ that it might smooth things over if you could set aside a "big" purchase your MIL could be in charge of.
Title: Re: Another Baby Shower Thread- Or, "Don't Be Prepared!"
Post by: SPuck on April 05, 2013, 11:56:23 AM
Your MIL is the one being rude here, and you should stick with your original plans and purchases. Big ticket items and anything that is permanent should be the purview of the parents for no other reason that your the one going to live with it. That top of the line stroller a friend is suggesting could be nice in theory, but practically it might be a monster that you can't do anything with. It sounds like there could be other issues going on here, but those are your MIL and there aren't any reasons that you need to explore them. Don't feel guilty, buy what you want to buy, and and be gracious with what you receive.
Title: Re: Another Baby Shower Thread- Or, "Don't Be Prepared!"
Post by: MommyPenguin on April 05, 2013, 12:24:02 PM
I agree, I think it's fine and sensible for parents to prepare ahead of time, especially for the big things that they know they want and that tend to be a bit expensive for baby shower guests.

I do think you might consider waiting until after the shower to buy baby clothes, small toys, books (aside from those that are special to you), and other smaller baby items with a big "cuteness" factor.  That way, you know that your baby got a *ton* of cute little two-piece sets and fuzzy sleepers but no onesies and you need to buy those, or tons of little toys and you don't really need any more of those but no books, so you'll want to get those.  Etc.  You might consider waiting and registering for a pack 'n' play, if you want one, as that's a "big ticket" item that is still cheap enough for people to sometimes want to go in together for it.  Same with baby swing, bouncer, Exersaucer, things like that (in the $40-100 range).  It would depend on your crowd, but sometimes family spends a bit more, so they like those mid-range items, or they might want to go in together, so having a few still available is nice.  Just because you're setting aside the money doesn't mean you need to spend it all now, you can also set some of it aside to spend after your shower.

I do regret waiting too long to buy our carseat/stroller combo, though.  We *loved* this one set, and it was discontinued.  By the time we looked at it again, it was impossible to find, and we had to settle for one that I never liked quite as much.  Still makes me a little sad, as I ended up looking at the one we got for years and years, given that we're on baby #4, and I would have preferred the cheerier look of our preferred set.
Title: Re: Another Baby Shower Thread- Or, "Don't Be Prepared!"
Post by: Minmom3 on April 05, 2013, 12:24:18 PM
On the gifts theme - the cheapo stroller my coworkers bought me was the best stroller I had.  It was very cheap.  It looked cheap and fairly flimsy.  BUT.  It worked perfectly.  It was easy to push, it stayed easy to push, it steered beautifully, and it lasted through all 3 of my children and several of their cousins once it moved to the grandparents house.  The much more expensive stroller I bought because I wanted an 'upgrade' for #2?  Wasn't that great, and broke in multiple ways, had to be given back for a new one, etc, and finally broke for the last and final time when #3 was 3.  After that she walked everywhere.
Title: Re: Another Baby Shower Thread- Or, "Don't Be Prepared!"
Post by: Redneck Gravy on April 05, 2013, 12:32:27 PM
I have gotten the same attitude from a friend of mine.  DH and I are expecting our first this summer, and the nursery is pretty much done (when I get it in my head that something needs doing, I do it!).  I have been keeping an Amazon wishlist, mostly so that I don't forget stuff, but at some point it will go public as my registry.  I do know that my mom and sis are throwing a shower (that will be 90% family and 10% "family" so I think I'm in the etiquette clear).  Whenver I talk about something that we have purchased, my friend looks at me and says "You know you're going to have a shower, right?"  Well, sure I do, and I know that my family will bring gifts, because that's what we do.  But really, does the crib need to be gifted?  With so much stuff on the baby market, I don't think that anyone will have a problem finding something that fits their gifting desire, and I don't have to stress about what I will need to purchase after the shower but before the baby comes.

I was also told that I was rude for buying things prior to the shower for my first DD.  I have yet to figure out how rude it is to fund your own child...

Title: Re: Another Baby Shower Thread- Or, "Don't Be Prepared!"
Post by: LadyR on April 05, 2013, 12:40:01 PM
I think it depends on your social group, really. I've been to showers where the gifts are all in the $20-$40 range and definitely more fun gifts and showers where the gifts were in the $100-$200 and were the necessities. My shower was at 32 weeks, because it would give DH and I time afterwards to buy anything needed, but also let our friends/family buy the things we needed, if they chose. I got some cutesie baby items, but I mostly got the practical items. My shower after he was born, which was for my mother's friends, was all cute little outfits and toys, a very different audience and set of expectations. DH and I had set aside the money to provide for these items if need be, so maybe that's what you and your DH can do? Assuming your MIL wants to throw you the shower before the baby is born and she's agreeable to 6-8 weeks before your due date, I'd set the money aside, but not buy anything else and created a registry or list for your MIL.

I've noticed on e-Hell that my circle isn't the norm though and tends to go for more expensive gifts, so you may want to ignore my advice  :)
Title: Re: Another Baby Shower Thread- Or, "Don't Be Prepared!"
Post by: shygirl on April 05, 2013, 01:23:19 PM
Not rude to be prepared!

I wasn't called rude exactly, but I got the same kind of attitude from my SIL.  The problem I had was that my kid was born 10 weeks early, and spent time in the hospital before coming home.  I hadn't had a shower at the time he was born, and SIL wanted to throw one anyway.  I went ahead with it because my DH wanted to do it, but after getting nagged about the registry I almost cancelled the whole thing!  SIL wanted me to register for more things...things that I couldn't really wait to have until the shower.  Important things like a car seat, since my son ended up getting discharged from the hospital before the shower.  She wanted me to wait to get important things like that, in case people got them for us at the shower.  I was like "ummm, we're not waiting".
Title: Re: Another Baby Shower Thread- Or, "Don't Be Prepared!"
Post by: BeagleMommy on April 05, 2013, 02:04:55 PM
You're not rude to be prepared.  Your MIL's attitude leaves a lot to be desired.  There are any number of things guests to your shower can buy for a new baby.  I was given so many onesies and sleepers in various sizes that I don't think I bought new for the first year of DS's life.
Title: Re: Another Baby Shower Thread- Or, "Don't Be Prepared!"
Post by: Calistoga on April 05, 2013, 04:02:30 PM
Quote
Maybe MIL is disappointed that your parent have already promised two big gifts and she feels left out?  If so, she really needs to just ask you guys what you still need and tell you what she wants to get rather than leaving it as a surprise, which seems to be where she's headed.

Oh, my in laws are the ones that are buying the crib, sorry. When I said "Parents" I meant all the parents.

I'm glad to see that I'm not being rude. I thought maybe I had missed some obvious faux pas. But I think this may stem from a bigger issue my MIL has.

MIL and FIL are up to their eyeballs in debt from helping DH's brother and his 4 kids. BIL is a real failure-to-launch kind of person who is constantly broke and relies on his parents to pay his bills for him. DH has always been really independent, I was raised to be independent, so we don't like to take help and usually we plan well enough that we don't have to. On the rare times we've found ourselves in a financial tight we couldn't fix by cutting back for a few weeks, we asked my parents for help instead of his, and both times my MIL made a fuss about it and was very resentful. She complains that we don't let her help us. So I worry that this is another instance of us "not letting her help" when in reality, we just don't want to rely on other people more than we have to.
Title: Re: Another Baby Shower Thread- Or, "Don't Be Prepared!"
Post by: EllenS on April 05, 2013, 04:12:11 PM
Looks to me like MIL equates giving money/help/material gifts with love and intimacy.  So now you know this is her love language (to the point it is self-destructive).  Is there another way you can ask her for help or something special that ONLY SHE can make/do/give you?  Even if it is something small but that would really help you in a practical way, and is not unhealthy for her?

Freezer meals springs to mind.  Just about the best thing I ever did to get ready for DD1 was to put up 6 weeks worth of frozen homemade dinners (or dinner starters). I didn't have anyone to do it for me, but maybe this is one possiblity MIL could get into?
Title: Re: Another Baby Shower Thread- Or, "Don't Be Prepared!"
Post by: Brisvegasgal on April 05, 2013, 04:33:01 PM
I agree with EllenS and think your MIL was rude (and IMO she was totally rude) but if she is that kind of person it is understandable.  But I think you and your DH are going to have to have shiny titanium spines where she is concerned and not let her (and her rudeness) go unchecked.

Good luck with the baby.
Title: Re: Another Baby Shower Thread- Or, "Don't Be Prepared!"
Post by: SPuck on April 05, 2013, 04:35:03 PM
On the rare times we've found ourselves in a financial tight we couldn't fix by cutting back for a few weeks, we asked my parents for help instead of his, and both times my MIL made a fuss about it and was very resentful. She complains that we don't let her help us. So I worry that this is another instance of us "not letting her help" when in reality, we just don't want to rely on other people more than we have to.

So you don't have an etiquette issue, you have a nutty-in-law issue because a parent getting angry over their children's independence is insane. This might be harsh, but it isn't your job to mitigate your mil's anxiety and security issues when it comes to her place in your family.
Title: Re: Another Baby Shower Thread- Or, "Don't Be Prepared!"
Post by: EllenS on April 05, 2013, 04:45:05 PM
it isn't your job to mitigate your mil's anxiety and security issues when it comes to her place in your family.

Agreed 100%.  I just got the impression that she likes her MIL and wants to make her feel loved/included.  The key words being "like" and "want", not "must" or "should".
Title: Re: Another Baby Shower Thread- Or, "Don't Be Prepared!"
Post by: *inviteseller on April 05, 2013, 05:27:48 PM
You are doing right because your husband and yourself understand that it is your child-your responsibility.  I can't figure out why showers have turned into these set up my nursery parties.  It is nice if a family member wants to contribute one of the big things (crib, high chair, stroller) but it is the parents responsibility.  My shower was fun small stuff...clothes, bottles, books and I loved it!  All the last showers I have been invited to have 3 page registries listing expensive cribs, strollers, high chairs, bedding sets and these were people of means, not some poor kids!
Title: Re: Another Baby Shower Thread- Or, "Don't Be Prepared!"
Post by: Sharnita on April 05, 2013, 06:40:42 PM
Actually, I think there can be middle ground.  People who haven't stockpiled diapers would not be "unprepared" in my book. And people who registered got a stroller, car seat or anything else and waited to buy whatever items they didn't get until after the shower would not automaically get that designation either.

If they had no plan for ever providing the diapers the baby needed, by the time the baby needed it - that would be unprepared. Same with the other items.
Title: Re: Another Baby Shower Thread- Or, "Don't Be Prepared!"
Post by: doodlemor on April 05, 2013, 06:50:22 PM

So you don't have an etiquette issue, you have a nutty-in-law issue because a parent getting angry over their children's independence is insane. This might be harsh, but it isn't your job to mitigate your mil's anxiety and security issues when it comes to her place in your family.

Yup.

Do MIL and FIL try to **control** BIL and his family after loaning/giving them $$$$?  If so, the problem is even more severe.

Whatever their issues are, OP, I think that you and DH need to set and maintain your boundaries now, rather than when your baby is old enough to recognize any family dissension.
Title: Re: Another Baby Shower Thread- Or, "Don't Be Prepared!"
Post by: Slartibartfast on April 05, 2013, 06:52:33 PM
Might I suggest a middle ground?  Go create a registry sometime soon, and include things you don't need to buy a ton of right away - bottles, onesies, bibs, toys, etc.  Voila, options for people who want to buy you something specific but you can still do your own buying (which is half the fun of being pregnant anyway) and you can exercise more autonomy when it comes to choosing this car seat or that one.  Then from now until the baby shower you can continue to stock up on whatever you want.  After the shower you can pick up the last things you need.

Incidentally, some stores give you a % off anything on your baby registry after the baby is born - I think Target gives somewhere around 15% off at the 2-4-month mark.  (Not sure on that - my memories from right after my two were born are kind of hazy!)  So it's worth it to register sippy cups, a Bumbo, and other things you won't need with a newborn and you can stock up on them at good prices later on if you don't find them on sale first!
Title: Re: Another Baby Shower Thread- Or, "Don't Be Prepared!"
Post by: TootsNYC on April 05, 2013, 09:39:38 PM
There's not a rule, really.

but I know, from living in my ILs' family for a while, that in this family it is a KINDNESS to leave the opportunity for others to help with baby things.

The older generation is proud of their ability and willingness to outfit the younger generation. And they *do* want to buy truly useful stuff, not just a couple of cute outfits.

If your MIL were my MIL, I'd tell you that you should continue to set aside the money, but that you should wait until after the shower to actually BUY it. And that you should register for exactly what stroller/car seat combo you want.

Not that you're required. But that the other shower attendees will be glad that there's something on the list to buy.
Title: Re: Another Baby Shower Thread- Or, "Don't Be Prepared!"
Post by: sammycat on April 05, 2013, 10:17:35 PM
  I can't figure out why showers have turned into these set up my nursery parties.  It is nice if a family member wants to contribute one of the big things (crib, high chair, stroller) but it is the parents responsibility.  My shower was fun small stuff...clothes, bottles, books and I loved it! 

This is my experience/mindset too.

I think my mother bought us a highchair and my SIL bought the car seat, but we never asked for, nor expected anyone, to buy these for us. They really really wanted to buy these things, so we let them, but my opinion is - your baby, your (financial) responsibility.

I've never encountered anyone who expected friends to buy big ticket items like pushchairs, cots, etc; it's always seen as the parents' responsibility. If grandparents/extended members want to willingly buy a big ticket item then that's well and good, but I can't imagine expecting my friend (or family for that matter) to spend $200 (minimum here) on a car seat. That's crazy.
Title: Re: Another Baby Shower Thread- Or, "Don't Be Prepared!"
Post by: kareng57 on April 05, 2013, 10:28:29 PM
Actually, I think there can be middle ground.  People who haven't stockpiled diapers would not be "unprepared" in my book. And people who registered got a stroller, car seat or anything else and waited to buy whatever items they didn't get until after the shower would not automaically get that designation either.

If they had no plan for ever providing the diapers the baby needed, by the time the baby needed it - that would be unprepared. Same with the other items.


I agree about the middle-ground.  IME, my mother told us fairly early on that she wanted to buy the crib, and MIL told us that she wanted to buy the stroller.

If families make it clear at a fairly early stage that they want to provide these items, then the parents know not to shop for these items, or to put them on the registry.

For diapers - assuming that they're disposable ones - it's hard to imagine that parents could stockpile enough to last 2 1/2 years or so, even before the birth.  If they see some on sale at a great price, why not?  However, it's also true that within a few weeks after the birth, parents might decide that they have a preferred-brand.  But people attending a shower either before or very shortly after the birth wouldn't know this, either.
Title: Re: Another Baby Shower Thread- Or, "Don't Be Prepared!"
Post by: Sophia on April 05, 2013, 10:50:51 PM
I have a personal theory that each generation gifts opposite of what they got.  My mom's friends threw me a baby shower (not my mom).  I think maybe because since I am an older bride none of them had been to one in awhile.  They gave small practical gifts.  (Like the pee-protector for the car seat)  They all talked about how at their showers all they got pretty newborn clothes.  I know my daughter wore some of the still-new clothes my mom had been given for me.  Whereas my generation bought the adorable clothes.  I did really love that pee-protector.  It is no fun removing one of those covers. 
Title: Re: Another Baby Shower Thread- Or, "Don't Be Prepared!"
Post by: Library Dragon on April 05, 2013, 11:17:00 PM
Not rude.  And you now have the perfect opportunity for people to give you things for the REST of baby's life - after the newborn phase is over.

It's amazing how many thousands of tiny, newborn onesies you seem to find in the drawers, when the baby is 6-9 months old and only has one pair of pajamas.

POD

I always buy 6 months and older gifts.  I have a co-worker who only reads sci-fi and fantasy.  I took advantage of cute Halloween baby items to create her "first vampire collection." Everything had no size.  Not worrying about necessities frees people to be creative. 
Title: Re: Another Baby Shower Thread- Or, "Don't Be Prepared!"
Post by: Minmom3 on April 06, 2013, 12:12:20 AM
One of my SIL's go-to gift for a baby shower is a big honking basket filled with baby 'maintenance and husbandry' items.  Laundry soap. Shampoo and bath gel.  Wash clothes. Nose syringe.  Spit clothes.  Some diaper pins.  A monitor.  A thermometer.  Medicine measuring spoon.  Baby nail clippers and emery boards (paw prints!) I'm blanking on what she puts in those baskets, but the last one I saw had to have a good 20 items in it, all of them highly useful things to have at hand.  None of them will expire as the baby grows, and all of them are items the mom will want to have for the baby at some point.

My go-to gift is a good baby book, with good calming advice.  I'm the book auntie once the children are older.
Title: Re: Another Baby Shower Thread- Or, "Don't Be Prepared!"
Post by: kareng57 on April 06, 2013, 12:21:17 AM
I agree completely.  I think this is a lovely baby shower basket.

I know that I am old-fashioned but I have to disagree with a PP who asserted that baby shower gifts were for frills, not necessities.
Title: Re: Another Baby Shower Thread- Or, "Don't Be Prepared!"
Post by: NyaChan on April 06, 2013, 06:29:32 AM
I agree completely.  I think this is a lovely baby shower basket.

I know that I am old-fashioned but I have to disagree with a PP who asserted that baby shower gifts were for frills, not necessities.

 I think necessities in those cases were referring to big items like a crib, car seat, high chair - or at least that's what I was thinking of in terms of items that I wouldn't really miss if they weren't on the registry  :)  I think the shower basket is a really creative and helpful gift!
Title: Re: Another Baby Shower Thread- Or, "Don't Be Prepared!"
Post by: Sharnita on April 06, 2013, 06:55:32 AM
Actually, I think there can be middle ground.  People who haven't stockpiled diapers would not be "unprepared" in my book. And people who registered got a stroller, car seat or anything else and waited to buy whatever items they didn't get until after the shower would not automaically get that designation either.

If they had no plan for ever providing the diapers the baby needed, by the time the baby needed it - that would be unprepared. Same with the other items.


I agree about the middle-ground.  IME, my mother told us fairly early on that she wanted to buy the crib, and MIL told us that she wanted to buy the stroller.

If families make it clear at a fairly early stage that they want to provide these items, then the parents know not to shop for these items, or to put them on the registry.

For diapers - assuming that they're disposable ones - it's hard to imagine that parents could stockpile enough to last 2 1/2 years or so, even before the birth.  If they see some on sale at a great price, why not?  However, it's also true that within a few weeks after the birth, parents might decide that they have a preferred-brand.  But people attending a shower either before or very shortly after the birth wouldn't know this, either.

The preferred brand thing can turn into an issue - had a friend buy some that "exploded" (they gel leaked out everywhere when it got wet).  In my family it turned out that several of us couldn't wear disposable at all and had to go cloth.  I agree that having some of your diapers on hand and ready is a good plan but I would never think that it was poor planning not to have a large stockpile or to take more of a wait and see approach. 
Title: Re: Another Baby Shower Thread- Or, "Don't Be Prepared!"
Post by: Sophia on April 06, 2013, 08:16:14 AM
I honestly wish I'd been a little LESS prepared.  I am a big-time planner, so probably like the OP.  But, there were tons of stuff we never used and could have been bought at Walmart if the need arose.  Even things that other mothers would have guaranteed we'd need.  Pack-n-play, aka Baby Jail, never used it once.  With a sling there wasn't the need.  Diaper cream, used that precisely one day.  With cloth diapers she didn't get a rash.  Baby shampoo, I soon discovered that her hair did best with my DevaCurl products.  The Pediolyte that my Aunt the RN left us, was expired by the time we needed it. 
Title: Re: Another Baby Shower Thread- Or, "Don't Be Prepared!"
Post by: Tai on April 06, 2013, 08:42:48 AM
I'm a big planner, too.  To the point that we just picked up next winter's ice melt, new snow brushes, and a cute hat and glove set for DD- and the last of the snowbanks aren't yet gone.  They're in the closet with Christmas and kid birthday presents.  So, I get planning ahead!
 
It gets frustrating, because it is a hassle to balance preparing for a new baby and allowing others to help you because they want to.  If you buy something ahead of time, others may be frustrated because they want to help and you may have "stolen" their idea.  Yet, I know I'm not the only one that read hundreds of reviews trying to find the best, most accurate thermometer I could buy, and it seems... rude to say "I want Brand X thermometer" rather than "We need a thermometer".  So a good balance would probably be to keep on stocking diapers and wipes (personally I hated certain wipes, so try them out if you can before you buy a case!) and stash cash instead of clothes for baby- one of the weird things that tends to happen is that you end up with 37 3-6 month onesies and no 0-3's....
Title: Re: Another Baby Shower Thread- Or, "Don't Be Prepared!"
Post by: Cami on April 06, 2013, 12:16:51 PM
People have a really weird sense of entitlement when it comes to buying baby gifts.

 I'm not a big fan of registries, but I was told people wanted to go in on the big things and I "owed" it to them to make that possible.  So I registered for the big ticket items and wow were the people who gave them so THRILLED to have given them. They really had a sense of accomplishment and "doing the right thing."

I was told I was rude and selfish for not finding out our baby's gender so that people would know what colors to buy for my shower.  ???  Two people actually called me multiple times DEMANDING I call the doctor RIGHT NOW and find out because they were out shopping and NEEDED TO KNOW! I was flummoxed that our very personal choice to be surprised at birth was considered "rude" by so many people. But it was.

I was also shocked by the number of people who bought us LARGE decorative items to hang on the nursery walls and truly expected us to hang each and every one of them.  We had not registered for ANY decorative items as my hobbies include arts/crafts and I was going to make them myself. Which ALL of those people knew -- and said they knew but "I couldn't resist. I know you'll find a place for it. Can't wait to see it hanging there!"

Argh.

It's really difficult to be gracious when you get the feeling that the gifts were given not to make me as the recipient happy or my life easier, but solely to fulfill a need on the part of the giver.
Title: Re: Another Baby Shower Thread- Or, "Don't Be Prepared!"
Post by: Zilla on April 06, 2013, 12:40:43 PM
I bought the crib, stroller, carseat and baby monitor.  And left small stuff like diapers, clothes, blankets for the registry.  The most expensive thing I had on there was $25.  I did have a separate registry for my parents and in laws that had pricier items but they requested it.  So if at the very least, I would save for the large item and leave smaller items for the registry.

But I wouldn't call it rude.  Maybe she thinks by.You buying all the smaller stuff she thought it was rude to leave large items for the registry? I would correct that misunderstanding.
Title: Re: Another Baby Shower Thread- Or, "Don't Be Prepared!"
Post by: gramma dishes on April 06, 2013, 01:10:30 PM
...    Pack-n-play, aka Baby Jail, never used it once.  ...

Teeny bit off topic, so apologizing in advance for the slight thread jack.

But I had to smile when I read your description of a Pack-n-Play.  Our kids travel quite a bit and each of the two with children think their Pack-n-Plays are lifesavers.  They needed babies that were "portable".

Both families taught their babies from a very, very early age (think first day home from the hospital) to sleep at least part of almost every day in them.   Then when they traveled, the baby had it's own "crib" and the babies saw it as a comfort zone for them because it was familiar in otherwise unfamiliar surroundings.

They were only used for sleeping.  Never for "play".  The parents wanted the baby to have no confusion at all as to what being placed in it meant.  It meant "Time for sleep!"
Title: Re: Another Baby Shower Thread- Or, "Don't Be Prepared!"
Post by: Sharnita on April 06, 2013, 01:15:38 PM
Yeah, everyone I know who uses a pack-n-play uses it as a place for baby to sleep.
Title: Re: Another Baby Shower Thread- Or, "Don't Be Prepared!"
Post by: Mammavan3 on April 06, 2013, 01:16:58 PM
Your DMIL may be upset because what you are doing is different from what is usual and customary in her experience.  My experience is similar to hers. There are a number of reasons why the parents delay purchasing a lot before the baby is born - superstition (why tempt the fates?); as Toots put it, a "kindness" to those who will want to express their love and joy in a large way, and the desire to avoid waste (DGS had very sensitive skin and could only use cloth diapers and one kind of disposables and creams and lotions. She couldn't use most of the products she received as gifts and a big stockpile of the popular brands of diapers would have been wasted money.).

I do like a registry with a large variety of gift options. I want to get what the parents will like and enjoy, and one person's cute can often be another's vision of cutesy.

And I thought that the "play" in pack-n-play referred to the parents being able to relax while the baby was confined to "baby jail."   ;)
Title: Re: Another Baby Shower Thread- Or, "Don't Be Prepared!"
Post by: gramma dishes on April 06, 2013, 01:24:51 PM
...

And I thought that the "play" in pack-n-play referred to the parents being able to relax while the baby was confined to "baby jail."   ;)

I'm sure it does.  The company that made it no doubt intended it to be used as a playpen.  It's just that in my experience they aren't usually used that way.   Maybe they should have named that item "Portable Snooze Place".   
Title: Re: Another Baby Shower Thread- Or, "Don't Be Prepared!"
Post by: Calistoga on April 06, 2013, 06:36:53 PM
See, I've been to all 4 baby showers MIL has thrown and all of them have been of the cutesy type or the very small 20-40 dollar gift type. No one ever brought big things. So I'm not sure why this one would be different. We ended up not getting the stroller today though. So far we've got diapers and personal
Title: Re: Another Baby Shower Thread- Or, "Don't Be Prepared!"
Post by: Sharnita on April 06, 2013, 06:48:11 PM
See, I've been to all 4 baby showers MIL has thrown and all of them have been of the cutesy type or the very small 20-40 dollar gift type. No one ever brought big things. So I'm not sure why this one would be different. We ended up not getting the stroller today though. So far we've got diapers and personal

I wonder if somebody specifically indicated an intention to get a stroller this time?

I would say that you know what stroller you want, you have the money to get it, you know where to get it - you are prepared, whether you have it at this moment or not.
Title: Re: Another Baby Shower Thread- Or, "Don't Be Prepared!"
Post by: lakey on April 06, 2013, 06:59:11 PM
Your MIL is being ridiculous. First of all you will need a ton of diapers, and there are all kinds of things you will need besides the nursing supplies and stroller. Onesies, nighties, first dishes, toys, bathing things, bibs. You need a ton of clothes because they get them dirty so fast. Also, I usually give clothes for when they are several months old because I figure they will have a lot of newborn things and when the child is 8 months old they'll appreciate some clothes.

Anyway the amount of items you can use for your first baby is so extensive that no one will have any trouble getting you stuff. This is YOUR baby, buy anything you want and have fun.
Title: Re: Another Baby Shower Thread- Or, "Don't Be Prepared!"
Post by: Miss Tickle on April 06, 2013, 07:48:26 PM
Hm...

Let me get this straight.

Someone who calls you selfish and rude for not reading her mind wants you to feel bad because she is planning to throw you a party she hadn't mentioned yet and is mad because you've already bought the gift she was thinking about buying you.

And she doesn't call you selfish and rude to your face, calls you selfish and rude to your husband, therefore hitting two birds with one stone.

I'm totally old-school. I'm a firm believer that family doesn't throw baby showers, because nothing says "We can't afford this baby!" than hitting up your friends and extended family for the "big ticket" items. If your MIL wishes to buy something special for her grandchild more power to her, but she doesn't need to throw a party to show off how generous she is.

Sorry, hits a nerve.
Title: Re: Another Baby Shower Thread- Or, "Don't Be Prepared!"
Post by: Sharnita on April 06, 2013, 07:56:14 PM
Hm...

Let me get this straight.

Someone who calls you selfish and rude for not reading her mind wants you to feel bad because she is planning to throw you a party she hadn't mentioned yet and is mad because you've already bought the gift she was thinking about buying you.

And she doesn't call you selfish and rude to your face, calls you selfish and rude to your husband, therefore hitting two birds with one stone.

I'm totally old-school. I'm a firm believer that family doesn't throw baby showers, because nothing says "We can't afford this baby!" than hitting up your friends and extended family for the "big ticket" items. If your MIL wishes to buy something special for her grandchild more power to her, but she doesn't need to throw a party to show off how generous she is.

Sorry, hits a nerve.

Based on this quote I don't think she expected OP to read her mind about the shower - it sounds like the subject had already been discessed.


"You know I want to throw you guys a shower right?" Yes, we know. "
Title: Re: Another Baby Shower Thread- Or, "Don't Be Prepared!"
Post by: acicularis on April 07, 2013, 09:58:56 AM
I'm sorry, but I just have to laugh at the notion that it's selfish to buy things for your baby yourself instead of expecting other people to!

I can understand your MIL wanting to throw you a shower, or buy you certain big ticket items. But she's going about this the wrong way. Instead of scolding you for buying stuff, she could have said "Don't think you have to go buy everything right now. Remember, I'm throwing you a shower. Why don't you put some of the things you need on a registry." Or "I'd really like to buy you a stroller. What kind do you want? Can I come out shopping with you?"
Title: Re: Another Baby Shower Thread- Or, "Don't Be Prepared!"
Post by: Lynn2000 on April 07, 2013, 11:45:13 AM
I'm sorry, but I just have to laugh at the notion that it's selfish to buy things for your baby yourself instead of expecting other people to!

I can understand your MIL wanting to throw you a shower, or buy you certain big ticket items. But she's going about this the wrong way. Instead of scolding you for buying stuff, she could have said "Don't think you have to go buy everything right now. Remember, I'm throwing you a shower. Why don't you put some of the things you need on a registry." Or "I'd really like to buy you a stroller. What kind do you want? Can I come out shopping with you?"

Yeah, I get the ideas about it being a kindness to allow people to give you things, and how happy it makes them, and having a registry for stuff you actually have a preference for... That can all be very nice and gracious and also pragmatic, when everyone is on the same wavelength. It just gets dodgy when someone insists you do these things, says they are hurt because you haven't/don't want to, and calls you rude and selfish as well!

Like Cami said, "It's really difficult to be gracious when you get the feeling that the gifts were given not to make me as the recipient happy or my life easier, but solely to fulfill a need on the part of the giver." It's better not to go through life assuming that's the motivation, but sometimes it seems so in-your-face it's difficult to ignore. I for one would not be inclined to accept any gifts from someone who literally called me rude and selfish--I'm stubborn that way, which I'm not saying is always good, but that's how I would feel.
Title: Re: Another Baby Shower Thread- Or, "Don't Be Prepared!"
Post by: TootsNYC on April 07, 2013, 01:53:35 PM
See, I've been to all 4 baby showers MIL has thrown and all of them have been of the cutesy type or the very small 20-40 dollar gift type. No one ever brought big things. So I'm not sure why this one would be different. We ended up not getting the stroller today though. So far we've got diapers and personal

Isn't that funny!

I wonder what she's thinking, then. Probably she's got "grandma-to-be" madness. If that's the case (and this sure looks like an early indicator!), try not to take her too seriously right now. She's not herself, or not in her right mind, or something.

I'm sorry, but I just have to laugh at the notion that it's selfish to buy things for your baby yourself instead of expecting other people to!

I can understand your MIL wanting to throw you a shower, or buy you certain big ticket items. But she's going about this the wrong way. Instead of scolding you for buying stuff, she could have said "Don't think you have to go buy everything right now. Remember, I'm throwing you a shower. Why don't you put some of the things you need on a registry." Or "I'd really like to buy you a stroller. What kind do you want? Can I come out shopping with you?"

Yeah, I get the ideas about it being a kindness to allow people to give you things, and how happy it makes them, and having a registry for stuff you actually have a preference for... That can all be very nice and gracious and also pragmatic, when everyone is on the same wavelength. It just gets dodgy when someone insists you do these things, says they are hurt because you haven't/don't want to, and calls you rude and selfish as well!

Like Cami said, "It's really difficult to be gracious when you get the feeling that the gifts were given not to make me as the recipient happy or my life easier, but solely to fulfill a need on the part of the giver." It's better not to go through life assuming that's the motivation, but sometimes it seems so in-your-face it's difficult to ignore. I for one would not be inclined to accept any gifts from someone who literally called me rude and selfish--I'm stubborn that way, which I'm not saying is always good, but that's how I would feel.

I agree with both of these--that the MIL *could* have said the very same thing in a much nicer and more positive way way. (*MY* mother-in-law sure did!)

And I agree on the frustration when the giver seems ONLY focused on themselves.

I sometimes get flack here because I maintain that the choice of gift is ONLY the giver's to make; and that we all give from selfish reasons; and that I give the gift that *I* want to give.

But that doesn't mean I forget the fact that it's a gift FOR the giver. So I may give the brand of baby gadget that *I* thought was useful, or I may want to give baking gear instead of china, but I never lose sight of the idea that my hope is the recipient will LIKE it. (and so, I would never substitute my judgment for hers on a big-ticket item, decor, etc.)

but the phenomenon Cami and Lynn2000 remarked on is just proof that we are all essentially selfish--just some of us can control it or shape it better than others.
Title: Re: Another Baby Shower Thread- Or, "Don't Be Prepared!"
Post by: Calistoga on April 08, 2013, 01:11:05 PM
Heh. After 4 other grand kids you'd think she'd be burnt out. BUT this is my first, so maybe the madness starts all over.

We've opted to follow the advice here and just save up and let her throw the shower in July, so that we'll have 2 months to get anything we miss. We're also putting SOME of our bigger items in layaway now. I've taken MIL shopping once, but I dunno about doing it again...she kept wandering off to shop for stuff she wanted for her older grand kids.

I was kind of surprised when people said the shower was rude itself. That never would have occurred to me, since around it here showers are usually an in-the-family kind of thing.
Title: Re: Another Baby Shower Thread- Or, "Don't Be Prepared!"
Post by: Lynn2000 on April 08, 2013, 01:32:03 PM
I was kind of surprised when people said the shower was rude itself. That never would have occurred to me, since around it here showers are usually an in-the-family kind of thing.

I get the sense that a lot of shower etiquette details are region/social circle-specific. For example, some people feel it's rude for an immediate family member to host the shower; other people say it's okay if the guests are family-only; other people say that's totally normal whoever the guests are. I don't feel strongly about the host myself, as long as it's not the mom-to-be or her partner (although I'm sure some people have been to showers like that and found them perfectly fine, too).

To me a much bigger issue is how the shower comes about--if the host or GOH are badgered into doing it, or the guests are guilted into giving larger gifts than they want, or something like that. That's not cool no matter what.
Title: Re: Another Baby Shower Thread- Or, "Don't Be Prepared!"
Post by: Bluenomi on April 08, 2013, 07:42:14 PM
I think MIL has got herself worked up over nothing. There are plenty of things you can buy babies and not even the most over the top organised parent will have bought everything before the birth.

One word of caution for the OP though, don't buy too many nappies in the same size. Babies all grow at different rates and it may not be in any one size for too long. I know somoene who bought 6 boxes of newborn nappies and their kid out grew them after one box. 5 boxes of nappies wasted
Title: Re: Another Baby Shower Thread- Or, "Don't Be Prepared!"
Post by: Sharnita on April 08, 2013, 08:03:16 PM
If baby does outgrow diapers many communities have diaper banks to help disadvantaged families.
Title: Re: Another Baby Shower Thread- Or, "Don't Be Prepared!"
Post by: mmswm on April 08, 2013, 08:04:55 PM
One of my SIL's go-to gift for a baby shower is a big honking basket filled with baby 'maintenance and husbandry' items.  Laundry soap. Shampoo and bath gel.  Wash clothes. Nose syringe.  Spit clothes.  Some diaper pins.  A monitor.  A thermometer.  Medicine measuring spoon.  Baby nail clippers and emery boards (paw prints!) I'm blanking on what she puts in those baskets, but the last one I saw had to have a good 20 items in it, all of them highly useful things to have at hand.  None of them will expire as the baby grows, and all of them are items the mom will want to have for the baby at some point.

My go-to gift is a good baby book, with good calming advice.  I'm the book auntie once the children are older.

Your friend's go-to gift is similar to mine.  I get a laundry basket and pack it with:

-2 or 3 small bottles of different types of baby shampoo/baby wash
-travel sized packages of several different brands of baby wipes
-A package of cloth diapers (they make great spit cloths if mom uses disposables, but if she's using cloth then she has extras)
-A package of plain wash cloths (baby sized)
-Small bottle of baby laundry soap
-Breast pads (even if mom is bottle feeding, there will still be some leakage while she dries out)
-Paper towels
-Roll of aluminum foil
-roll of plastic wrap
-1 box each of quart and gallon sized ziploc bags
-Small bottle of dish detergent
-Small container of dishwasher detergent if I know mom has a dishwasher
-Small bottle of regular adult detergent
-Box of trash bags
-Bottle of spray cleaner
-Toothpaste and toothbrushes for mom and dad
-Any other "emergency" items I feel like throwing in.

I call it the first 6 weeks survival kit.  I basically throw in everything I can think of that mom and dad might run out of or not realize they need until it's 3am and they have a screaming newborn on their hands. The cleaning items are for getting them through a day or so until they can get to a store. The hygiene items for mom and dad usually get funny looks, but eventually mom comes to me and says something like "I can't believe I was so tired I dropped my toothbrush in the toilet/on the floor/etc., but then I remembered I had a new one from the basket you gave me and I was happy I didn't have to go buy a new one!"
Title: Re: Another Baby Shower Thread- Or, "Don't Be Prepared!"
Post by: gramma dishes on April 08, 2013, 08:44:33 PM
One of the neatest gifts my daughter got was a bag of six Tupperware "shot glasses".  (You know, the ones like they used to give you just for coming to the party?)

She said they were perfect for when he started eating 'solid' foods.  She's just use her tiny food processor to make the puree from whatever she cooked for herself and her husband and then had them in just the right amount.  They were also totally leak proof, so she could travel with them too.

Now that the kids eat real food and have outgrown their baby food need for them, she uses them for the whole family for picnics and other outings.  Perfect for toting salad dressings and things like that.