Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Analysis Paralysis

So, it has occurred to me that almost everything baby related has a million different choices to be made. For instance, take a simple thing like a crib. You would think this would be straight forward. It is not. There are a ton of different options, colours, brands, features, and gizmos. All of which you, as parents, must choose. And don’t even get me started on the price. You can get your baby a solid wood cherry finish Cadillac that costs $2000, and we are sleeping on a $150 Ikea special. And once you get through the impossible task of choosing a crib, you have to choose a stroller. That’s almost worse. Do you go with a travel system? A jogger? Do you want cup holders? One handed folding options? Off-road capabilities? The possibilities are endless for every single thing you buy for your baby. And the retailers totally play this up. OF COURSE you want this feature; it ensures the safety of your baby. Once they play the safety card, they know they have you hooked, even if it actually does nothing. Everything is made to be more convenient, more streamlined, has more gizmos and gadgets, different looks for different moods. It’s insane. The only industry that seems to come close to this is the wedding industry. And in both cases it’s because they know you are going to eventually shell out the cash for it, even if it’s twice the cost of the same product without the word “baby” on it. How do you even begin to decide what to buy? What features will I actually NEED on a stroller? I have never had to use a stroller in Calgary before. How will I know if I will need it to go “off-road”? I don’t even have my freaking baby yet!!!!

And even if you can somehow navigate through the crazy jungle of baby products, you are still faced with lifestyle choices, which inevitably lead to more product decisions. Diapering is a good example of this. Should we use disposable or cloth diapers? This is such a complicated choice to begin with. Once you do weigh the pros and cons and research the costs, you are then faced with another decision of which brand of diapers to use. It never ends, really. It’s an endless cycle of decision-making. And what about choosing a name?! I tell you, it’s impossible!

I mean, it’s nice that we as parents (to-be) have choices, don’t get me wrong. But honestly, it is all too much. Preparing to become a parent is mentally exhausting and overwhelming in itself. Layer on the millions of decisions you need to make about what your baby uses and it’s enough to make one lose their mind. And while I was overwhelmed planning my wedding, that was essentially just a party. This is another human being. There are simply way too many things that need to be decided upon, all while I am an ever-enlarging blimp of hormones. Too many options, too many choices to be made, all leads to analysis paralysis. I physically and mentally cannot analyze or compare or weigh pros and cons anymore. Does. Not. Compute.

So far we have decided on a crib, and it’s sitting in the future nursery right now. After months of looking at every brand, wondering if we need a convertible style, deciding which finish to get to match the other furniture, Hubby and I saw a sale at Zellers and went in and bought it. We didn’t even have a choice of colour. And you know what? Best decision ever. It fit perfectly into our budget (i.e. we didn’t have to sell our belongings to afford it), it’s sturdy, and it took 10 minutes to put together. This, to me, means that it is good quality, as there are no moving parts or complicated installing procedures that we could have screwed up which would result in disaster down the line. But I know that every decision will not come as simply as this, just as I know that the decisions will not end when baby is born; there will only be more decisions to make. After all, as Hubby said, we are now responsible for a tiny little human. We have to make choices for him until he is old enough to be overwhelmed with options and bombarded with choices by himself.

So, where do you begin? Anyone have tips on how to deal?


  1. Registering for baby stuff was way more stressful than registering for our wedding. My husband literally walked around the store with a copy of consumer reports in his hands. I asked a lot of friends for advice and read a lot of reviews. I still stressed out about buying a breast pump...you would have thought I was shopping for a car.

  2. Haha. Totally true. We are also thinking about buying a car, and it is remarkably similar to trying to buy a stroller...

  3. Hi Amy,
    Nice blog. Found you at the mommyblogs and i'm now your follower hope you can visit my blog and follow me too. We can also exchange link if it's okay.Thank's a bunch:)


  4. Just visiting. Thank's for the add and for leaving a comment.

    Have a nice day!

  5. I live in Calgary too and I would say to go with a more sturdy Stroller with Big wheels since our weather is so unpredictable.. I have 4 kids going on 5 been threw like 10 of them and now I am on the hunt for another... best prices are on Kijiji :)

  6. Thanks so much for the advice! I had a feeling that something with bigger wheels would be better, after seeing all the gravel and slush last week. Any recommendations on which ones worked well for you?


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