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The Practicality of Pink (or Blue)

Sep10

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Hi Amy!

Long time reader, first time writer. I’m beginning to register for my first baby, and I need some advice. I’m having a girl, and I’m being pulled by the siren of cute strollers with pink accents, with matching pink carseat, matching pink Pack-N-Play, matching pink swing, you get the idea. (PREGO WOMEN NEED MATCHY!) But, I’ll probably have another baby within the next few years, and there’s no way to guarantee that that baby is a girl.

So, I need advice. Splurge on the super cute girly items, and hope that baby #2 is a girl? Or go boring and gender neutral? And while we’re at it, are there non-hideous gender neutral products out there? I refuse to let a Winnie the Pooh themed Pack-N-Play into my house.

Sincerely,
(Trying to Be) Pretty In Pink

A few days after our First Big Ultrasound, my husband and I hit the Big Box Baby Store, registry-zapper-gun in hand. And proceeded to have many, MANY discussions about going blue vs. gender neutral for probably every piece of baby gear we encountered. The resulting baby registry was a hodge-podge of random: a blue Pack-n-Play and car seat (in matching fabric, even though they have nothing to do with each other, but because PREGNANT), a red stroller, gender-neutral crib bedding and swing but then a blue high chair because I DON’T KNOW.

Prior to getting pregnant, I had all kinds of High-Minded Opinions about gender stereotyping and the pink vs. blue establishment, but then something happened to my brain. Every time I went shopping pre-ultrasound I would stare at the gender neutral offerings for such a long time that they stopped LOOKING gender neutral to me after awhile. That brown is too boyish. That green pattern looks flowery. That yellow is ugly. Once I found out I was having a boy it just seemed easier to walk up to All The Blue Things and mindlessly zap at them. The decisions were overwhelming enough already without fretting over repeat use in the hypothetical future.

Of course, it helped that I proceeded to have two MORE boys, thus making any concerns over a mismatched Pack-n-Play pretty much moot.

But! If I were your baby registry shadow, here’s the do-as-I-say, not-as-I-did advice:

Car seat: Depending on the spacing of your children, an infant car seat can be a one-kid purchase. They tend to have expiration dates around five or six years, after which the company will no longer test them for defects, wear-and-tear, and will no longer issue recall information. So you could hypothetically go all floofy pink on this one and then still decide to buy a newer model for a second child, even if it’s another girl. You could ALSO use the same frame/base but swap out the fabric cover. Most manufacturers will sell extra covers and you can find a TON of custom covers on Etsy. (They can be pricey, though.) You can also dress up a “boring” neutral seat with inexpensive custom strap and handle covers from Etsy as well. But note that the car seat is something you probably won’t be able to sell, due to the complications regarding expiration dates and recalls and such.

Pack-n-Play: I love our Pack-n-Play. I hate the fabric choice we made, but I still love our Pack-n-Play. (I feel like there are sooooo many nicer/cuter options now: we had a choice between navy blue with teddy bears or khaki, and that was pretty much it.) But it simply doesn’t matter what it looks like and I’ve never considered upgrading because of aesthetics. We don’t keep it out around the house: We toss it in the back of the car and travel with it. We shove it in a corner at friends’ and relatives’ homes, toss a sheet over the bottom, etc. I love how small and light it folds up, how easy it is to carry around and put up, and I really doubt I would have cared at ALL if we had a girl and she spent nights at her grandparents in a blue Pack-N-Play. So basically: Buy which ever one you like the best and be done with it. (You can also sell Pack-N-Plays on Craigslist, should you ever change your mind.)

Stroller: Here’s the thing: I actually don’t think it’s always worth it to buy a stroller before your baby arrives. (Unless you are a non-car, walk-everywhere family — if that’s the case, go high-end. Rubber tires, shocks, super-sturdy frame — not the lightweight coordinating travel systems with plastic wheels. And since those high-end strollers typically cost as much as a mortgage, go gender neutral for future use and ease of selling.) For those of us occasional-stroller users, a Snap-n-Go car seat stroller frame will usually be just fine for the first six months or so, especially if you plan to use slings or baby carriers. (And those you match to YOUR wardrobe and personal taste anyway, NOT your baby’s gender. Whee!)

Once your baby can sit upright around six months, your stroller choices expand AND you’ll likely have a better sense of the KIND of stroller you need, beyond appearance. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, but the wrong kind of stroller will make you hate your life: too heavy or hard to open/close, too lightweight or hard to maneuver, too wide, not enough strorage, etc. etc. Are you walking on uneven city sidewalks or park trails…or mostly steering around clothing racks at the mall? THESE are the things you consider when buying a stroller, not the fact that it’s matchy-matchy, no matter how irresistible it feels right now. (And I know. It feels pretty irresistible.)

But on the other hand: Eh, you can probably sell it on Craigslist, if you go for pink and then later want blue. (Though a nice green, orange or red are usually good choices too. And black goes with everything!)

Swings/Bouncers/Jumpers/Exersaucers/Etc. One question to ask yourself: Do you actually have SPACE to store all this crap in between babies? Because unless you have an attic or basement or other generous storage option, you might not even want to hold onto everything. It takes up a ridiculous amount of awkward space. It might be easier to sell or give away and simply plan to re-purchase or re-borrow down the road. Not to mention that motors die, battery compartment covers get lost, fabric seats get unspeakably befouled, etc. And one baby may love swings while another hates them and only likes vibrating bouncers. So this is another place where it’s probably no big deal to just buy what you love without worrying too much about being impractical.

As for finding the nicest of the gender-neutral options, I generally find that 1) shopping online will ALWAYS give you a better selection than what you’ll find at say, Babies R Us or Target and 2) the higher-end you go, the more aesthetically pleasing things are, unfortunately. Bugaboo and Orbit look cooler than Graco, it is true. (And stores like Giggle can make your brain melt and your credit card light itself on fire.) Some of these splurges might be worth it for you (see: stroller, carriers, stuff-that’s-out-in-your-house-all-the-time like high chairs, etc.). Or at least worth registering for just in case someone else wants to splurge on you.

But if you’re on a Graco budget, consider registering on Amazon’s Baby Registry instead, because you’ll find 25 different fabric options instead of two or three. By the time we got to Ike, I don’t think I bought a single thing at an actual store. If it wasn’t on Amazon Prime, we didn’t need it.

(Unless it was on Etsy. I did do quite a bit of damage on Etsy.)

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If you’re considering an online baby registry, we recommend our affiliate Amazon’s Baby Registry, which offers free 90-day returns on baby store purchases. You can even add items from other websites (like Etsy) onto to your baby registry.

About the author

Amalah

http://www.amalah.com
Amalah is a pseudonym of Amy Corbett Storch. She is the author of the Advice Smackdown and Bounce Back. You can follow Amy's daily mothering adventures at Amalah. Also, it's pronounced AIM-ah-lah.

If there is a question you would like answered on the Advice Smackdown, please submit it to amyadvice@gmail.com.

Amy also documented her second pregnancy (with Ezra) in our wildly popular Weekly Pregnancy Calendar, Zero to Forty.

Amy is mother to rising first-grader Noah, preschooler Ezra, and toddler Ike.


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34 Responses to “The Practicality of Pink (or Blue)”

  1. Albinokittycat Sep 10 at 12:05 pm Reply Reply

    Hi there :) 

    For strollers, if you want a fabulous quality and affordable travel system (or just car seat or stroller) I bought the BabyTrend Expedition ELX. 

    It is a jogger with three actual wheels, not plastic. Like bike tires. Rides like a dream on every surface I have used it (grass, rocks, snowy parking lots, malls, dirt trails etc…)

    It is nice looking and at $350 for the travel system a good investment for us. It is still more than those plastic wheel sets, but infinitely more usable. 

    Also it is still cheaper than a Peg Perego or another fancy one. Actually I had a lady at the mall ask me about my stroller because she paid $600 for a Peg Perego and she HATED it.

    So ya, that was a novel, but this stroller is amazing and it comes in many color options so you can be gender neutral or not. We bought black & purple for our daughter :) If we have a boy in the future he wont know or care that he had a purple stroller :)

  2. Stephanie Sep 10 at 12:21 pm Reply Reply

    We had a girl our first time around and bought almost everything gender neutral, in case our second was a boy. Our second wasn’t a boy though, but we’re still happy with most of our choices. Our Pack N Play is heavily used and it has a cute green elephant thing going on. The car seat is light blue, so everyone assumes our daughter is actually a boy. I completely and wholeheartedly agree with Amy on the Snap-N-Go – it’s cheap, it’s easy to maneuver, and you really don’t need anything else. We did splurge this time around and buy a B.O.B. jogging stroller, and I really wish we had the first time. It is like pushing a feather. I love it so much. The car seat adapter is great and we’ll be able to sell it on craigslist.

  3. Alissa Sep 10 at 12:23 pm Reply Reply

    We had a boy the first time around, and mostly borrowed the big things.  Our car seat has long since expired before the current baby in my belly (a girl).  Our stroller is black.  Our Pack-n-Play was fairly innocuous (zoo animals, or something).  We’re borrowing big items again for this baby.  And do you thing I give a damn that the swing is blue?  And the bouncy seat is blue?  Hells no.  I care that they are borrowed and therefore FREE, and I can give them back in 6 months and don’t have to store them.  Clothes I am having issues with.  I hate pink, but the options for non-pink are limited.  That being said, this baby girl SHALL be wearing her brother’s blue pajamas, because, again, FREE.  And because I just don’t care.
    Anyway – none of that was advice, right?  Except for the borrow large items because they are free part.  Best of luck to you with your baby girl!

  4. Olivia Sep 10 at 12:32 pm Reply Reply

    I had a girl first and went gender neutral (or even “boy”) with all the baby equipment in case our second was a boy (he is) and I just found them to be more pleasing. The care seats were picked based on how they went with our car interiors, the pack n play was a sort of neutral, but sort of boy since it’s brown and blue, the swing was a hand me down and blue, and everything else was various shades of blue.

    For me it was more about not getting questions from strangers I didn’t want to explain things to. If you have a girl in blue things and even “boy” clothes, it doesn’t get commented on much. But, a boy in “girl” colors gets raised eyebrows and (stupid) comments. Seriously, I’ve gotten it with my boy wearing pink cloth diapers an being covered in a pink blanket. It’s just so easy and acceptable to go neutral or “boy” with a girl, that I think it’s the wise financial choice if you are planning on having another baby in 2 or 3 yrs.

  5. KR Sep 10 at 12:59 pm Reply Reply

    We have a 1-yr-old girl and are hoping for more down the road.  Before she came along, I was the QUEEN of the snobby anti-gender-stereotyping camp.  And I do still feel like that’s ideal.  But also . . . “gender neutral” is kind of a lie.  If people see a baby item that’s not pink or purple, it’s assumed to mean BOY.  Which sometimes annoys me, but other times . . . eh.  Our compromise was to go gender neutral (= apparently boyish) on all the big-ticket items – orange stroller and high-chair, green and grey carseat, (hodgepodge of used) birch nursery furniture – and just give in and buy girly clothing and smaller items.  Because beyond the newborn stage (adorable ducky sleepers! frog bibs!) most clothing is pretty obviously meant for either boys or girls.  And let’s be honest, I love adorable toddler dresses!  
    As for non-hideous gender neutral things, I was impressed with Chicco’s color options for their car seats and such – as well as with BOB strollers.   

  6. Autumn Sep 10 at 1:03 pm Reply Reply

    We averted our gaze during the big ultrasound, so we didn’t know when we were registering.  I was convinced we were having a boy, but out popped our spunky little girl.  Her room I had painted in this light seafoamybluegreeny color as I wanted to redo the guest room (now the baby has the good bedroom, the MR has his office, and guests are in the basement and MIL doesn’t care for that!)  I wasn’t going to repaint a room again especially while gestating, so I went with stuff that coordinated with that.  Bedding was cream/”natural” colored, glider is dark wood with cream upholstery.  Dark wood crib and shelving unit with cream boxes (I know MATCHY!)  

    The infant carrier is black/tan cause it coordinates with my car, The convertible in the Mr’s car is grey/blue and is perfect with that car (Honestly it looks like Honda made it to match, it’s kinda scary almost)  Our bouncy seat is khaki, pack and play is khaki with a green mattress which gets covered by a cream sheet.  We splurged on a Keekaroo high chair cause I did NOT want a plastic monstrosity at my table for a couple of years, and I wasn’t going to start solids until she could sit on her own (just my quirky developmental thing)

    On the stroller front, we coughed up the cash for a navy Bob with car seat adaptor.  LOVE it, but not the best for tight stores, so we later bought a used Peg perego off of crags list.  Both because it was smaller and I wasn’t letting Delta baggage dudes near my bob.  

    Overall, I picked out things that I liked to look at in a neutral palate base on how well it matched the environment its going into.  I estimate I spent about $3000 getting everything for her, including cloth diapers but not clothes.  I feel it was worth it cause I bought stuff I like, and I could use on future kids.  And 75% of her clothes are pink, so you will have Plenty of pink in your life

    One other thing, we spent the money on stuff for the first because we know we won’t have the same disposable income around with the second.  I was working 30 hours/week before kid 1, now maybe 20/week plus child care costs.  Hope this is helpful!

  7. Jill Sep 10 at 1:07 pm Reply Reply

    I have two boys but didn’t find out what I was having either time, so everything is pretty much green and you know what?  After awhile you don’t really see it anymore.  We used the same infant seat both times and honestly?  I couldn’t even tell you what the pattern is like.  Ditto the pack n play.  I don’t agree with Amy about buying accessories for the carseat; most of them will say right on the packaging that you should NOT add other straps and attachments and such.  But that said, buy a neutral pattern you like and then go ahead and dress your daughter in super girly clothes/blankets/hair stuff etc.  If you do have another baby soon, and a boy, you will be glad you don’t feel the need to replace a bunch of uber girly pink stuff.
    It is easy to go really girly on things you will most likely want new for the next one anyway: crib sheets (I had a bedding set the first time that we pretty much never used, so now it’s just about the sheet for us), burp clothes, bibs, all the stuff that gets gross from just one kid.  Even sippy cups, spoons, plates etc can be really girly, and are you going to care if a hypothetical future boy is eating with a pink spoon?  Probably not.

  8. Autumn Sep 10 at 1:12 pm Reply Reply

    And a little more rambling from me on your last point:  I was very anti “branding” no winnie the pooh, etc, and I hate the plasticy look so I went to a couple of the “high end” baby boutiques in the area to scope things out, and then hit up amazon.  Crazy thing about some amazon pricing is different colors can cost different amounts.  Actually, our crib, mattress, and glider were the only big box baby store purchases.  Ikea for her shelving unit, and dresser we already owned used as changing table.  

  9. Becky Sep 10 at 1:14 pm Reply Reply

    I should probably start with the disclaimer that my mother, after complaining how hard it was to find “cute” clothes for my son, once grumbled at me, “Even if you had a GIRL you probably wouldn’t dress her in cute clothes.” And even after we found out we were having a son, my husband and I gravitated toward gender-neutral bedding and decor — we’re suckers for safari animals, and we disliked the hyper-masculine decor of SPORTS! and TRUCKS! and TOOLS!

    However, maybe you could find a middle ground? Cute gender-neutral stuff at the base, and then pink accents in the forms of toys or pillows or blankies? Those are the sorts of things that won’t get passed down, anyways, because they’ll either be ruined or your older child will form a strong attachment to them. You could also try frilly accents in more neutral colors, which makes it cute and baby-ish without being too girly. (i.e. my parents have a brown-and-tan pack-n-play with ruffles on it — sweet and cute for a boy or girl!)

  10. Courtney Sep 10 at 1:19 pm Reply Reply

    We went with gender-neutral for the “big items” (infant car seat, pack and play, convertible car seat, stroller, bouncer, swing, high chair, diaper bag) and gender-specific for clothing, bedding, changing pad cover, breastfeeding pillow cover. We lucked out and I have actually used everything big-ticket item from my first (a girl) for my second (a boy) and will again for my third (to be figured out in a few weeks I hope!). It’s nice to know we have all of the basics no matter what. Our infant car seat was khaki with a bit of green and blue, pack and play was green with elephants, convertible car seats were black and grey (to go with car), bouncy seat was brown and khaki (sound hideous but it was and is my favorite baby item – the baby bjorn bouncer). Worked for us, but we didn’t inherit things from others, If we had, I wouldn’t have been super picky about it.

  11. Karen Sep 10 at 1:34 pm Reply Reply

    Went gender-neutral for all major items and dressed our daughter only in yellow ducks from Carters. Ok, no we didn’t. She had no hair until she was 18 months old and despite the pink clothes and dresses, people still thought she was a boy. You can’t win. Then we had a boy and I used a pink BreastFriend and you know what? He still nursed exactly the same as if it was blue. Buy whatever makes you happy. Chances are you will like/dislike/have no luck with/regret things you buy no matter how much thought you put into it.

  12. Kaela Wheeler Sep 10 at 2:25 pm Reply Reply

    What is it about pregnancy brain that makes you think these things are SO important?! I know I got totally hung up on things too. We tried to be as gender neutral as possible (Indian exotic animal prints in light blue and cantaloupe, reen pack n play, etc.) We lucked out and found a beautiful travel system in blue/mint/brown in a girlier damask pattern, but honestly, like other people said, unless it’s really pink/purple dominate, it always reads boy, not girl. I don’t think gender neutral really exists! That being said, we won’t be changing anything for the next baby, she’ll probably just have to wear girly headbands everywhere! It will probably bug me when I take candid pictures of her sleeping in that ugly pack n play for the first few weeks, but that’s about it. Good luck and definitely get. thee. to. Amazon!

  13. Lucy Sep 10 at 3:24 pm Reply Reply

    I don’t have any useful advice, but… does anyone else HATE the name Peg Perego? Why is it so annoying? Every time I see that brand I just… ugh. I hate it!

    • Autumn Sep 11 at 12:51 am Reply Reply

      It’s a great brand.  We have the infant car seat and a stroller.  And we can refer to our strollers by name, they are Bob and Peg.  Yes, I’m weird, and totally fine with it.  

  14. KimC Sep 10 at 3:43 pm Reply Reply

    I have two girls and the only thing I can really warn you against is this: Do not buy a car seat that has pink in the buttock area of said carseat.  Also, do not buy a car seat in light colors for a toddler.  Babies leak and toddlers are dirty.  You might also want to check that the covers of both of those are both washable and easily removable.  You might want to go gender neutral on the highchair- we ended up pulling the cover off ours at about the 8 month mark because it was easier to wash bare plastic or wood (two different seats for two different kids.  Crevices are your enemy with those things.)  Granted, when we had our first girl, we were poor and took everything that was safe for us to get as a giveaway, then with our second, we didn’t have much space.  So there is that.  Oh, and as far as the stroller went, I hate all of them that I have ever had- from the one that came with the infant seat, to the jogger, to the umbrella from costco- except for that beautiful Maclaren that both of them (at five and 2) can still ride in if they need to.  So you might want one of those in gender neutral, but it is more for six months and up so you have time.

  15. anon Sep 10 at 4:33 pm Reply Reply

    My advice is buy gender specific clothing, but gender neutral big ticket items (stroller, car seat, pack ‘n play, swing, bouncer seat. You will likely get tons of hand-me-down clothing, so if your second is a boy it won’t be a big deal to pass your girl clothing on and make use clothes you get passed down. (Even if you don’t think you’ll get hand-me-downs now, I can pretty much guarantee that by the time your little girl is 2 or 3 you’ll have a bunch of parent friends that you meet through pre-school, daycare or playgroups, and people are always dying to get rid of their old baby clothes.

    The big stuff is more important to get gender neutral.

  16. Hi, I'm Natalie Sep 10 at 4:34 pm Reply Reply

    Also: A baby boy won’t care if he’s sleeping on pink bedding or riding in a pink carseat. Before we found out we were having another girl, I told our in-utero baby that s/he would be sleeping in a pink bassinet not matter what was hiding between his/her legs. A girlfriend of mine who did have a boy for her second just puts the kid in pink stuff – he really doesn’t care.

  17. AU Sep 10 at 4:40 pm Reply Reply

    We knew we’d probably get pregnant again around 18 months, and we did even though we’d changed our minds hahaha. Luckily we had an extra room with a walk in closet and a huge storage closet so we bought gender nuetral. I’m not regretting it at all. We bought the Laguna Bay pattern from Graco for the high chair, pack n play, and swing which all sat in our living room/dining room/kitchen area together for a while so matching was worth it for my sanity. We bought a Chico stroller that came with the key fit car seat if and got them in green and YAY is not expired. We got the crib in brown because I think white is girly. The only pink thing we got was a 30 dollar bouncy seat and bedroom decor. I have to say blue and green stuff looks so cute with a fuzzy pink blanky. So if you have the storage space gender nuetral is great, or if you dont mind using pink for a boy get pink they won’t know the difference, if you don’t have space don’t splurge but get whatever color you want.

  18. Heather Sep 10 at 4:48 pm Reply Reply

    We chose to have a delivery room surprise, so we bought everything gender neutral and are so glad we did, as we will be able to reuse everything for subsequent kids.  There aren’t as many options, but there ARE options if you look. We bought both carseats (infant and convertible) in black.  We bought a green UppaBaby G-luxe as our lightweight/travel stroller and an orange BOB for running and other purposes.  Bouncy seat, swing and pack n’ play were gender neutral as well.  For a highchair, we got a Boon Flair in a very light bluish/gray, which I highly recommend.  (Looks nice and modern, all one piece construction (i.e., no crevices!), and a reasonable price considering its design).  Our little girl had gender neutral newborn clothes, but she had no shortage of anything girly once she arrived because everyone went absolutely nuts with gifts.  We don’t have a lot of storage, but I can’t imagine buying all of this stuff and then getting rid of it, and having to get it again for each child.  You can definitely make your dollar stretch more if you go gender neutral.

  19. AU Sep 10 at 5:13 pm Reply Reply

    Oh I forgot to say that the infant car seat carrier is not necessary if you don’t go for lots of walks. We do so it’s nice to have your newborn cacooned in the stroller and carrier away from the cold wind. If you don’t need it though I would splurge on a nice convertible car seat. We bought a 300 dollar Graco one when our daughter got too tall for the infant seat, whichever is the steel frame, and got it in pink, purple, and brown. It’s the last car seat she’ll need and won’t expire till she’s almost 11! Also we’ve hardly bought clothes for our daughter and she’s 20 months, maybe like five things a size. Her grandparents love sending her clothes so they’re mostly pink. There really aren’t gender nuetral clothes in my eyes though people have always assumed she’s about in her pink outfits and big hairbows because she’s wearing pants, but if this little one comes out a boy he’s gonna look pretty cute in his sisters pink pjs.

  20. April U Sep 10 at 10:37 pm Reply Reply

    We knew we were having a girl the first time around. I picked the pack and play and high chair that went best with my family room/kitchen decor since that’s where they were going to be used the most. (We used the pack n play for our ground level changing table and bassinet for first few months so we wouldn’t have to run upstairs all the time) They are blue/brown Graco owl print. So glad I did that, and now they will be used with our upcoming boy. The exersaucer, swing, and bouncy chair are all also gender-neutral craigslist/garage sale finds. We also did the snap n go stroller with carseat until she could sit up. Clothes were not gender-neutral but I didn’t dress her in light pink, bright (still girly) colors are much more fun in my opinion. :-)

  21. Autumn Sep 11 at 12:43 am Reply Reply

    I forgot to mention on the pink baby clothes, I was the oldest, and had plenty of pink clothing I have been told.  My younger brother wore most of my old clothes (except my dresses) when he arrived around the house, my dad’s one request was his son did not leave the home in a pink sleep n play.  Probably worked cause no digital cameras, so there aren’t any pics of my brother in pink, but might be harder now.  

  22. Jennifer Sep 11 at 10:55 am Reply Reply

    We didn’t want to know boy/girl before the baby arrived, so we kind of went neutral, but also what was cute.  We’re a dog family and I love the color blue, so a lot of stuff we registered for was probably considered ‘boy’ stuff, but it was adorable and I didn’t care.  When the baby came out girl she was adorable in all of it!  We did end up more neutral on the big items, but I am not a fan of all one color of anything, so we went with more colorful patterns and styles.
    As for a stroller, we got a lighter umbrella style stroller with a solid flat (and adjustable) back – goes almost completely flat – that was actually rated for infants!  (I believe the brand is Chicco) So we’ve been able to use just that one stroller so far (daughter is now 2) so the little more expensive price was very worth it (and I don’t feel like I’m trying to maneuver a tank when we’re in a crowded place).

  23. Wendy Sep 11 at 11:00 am Reply Reply

    Idk… see my first one is a boy. We didn’t know what gender our baby was until he was born, because we didn’t really want to know. We had a lot of people (all with boys) offer us their boy’s clothes, and other stuff (like, all the THINGS, as amy would say) and i picked out heaps and heaps of kind-of-gender-neutral things. But now I actually doubt that I would dress a next kid in those jeans and sweaters if it were a girl.. because gender neutral or not, I’ve dressed my boy in it in the past, so I guess now, it is all boy stuff in my brains.. sound ridiculous, huh? We have a baby blue babycarriage that can be converted into a stroller. I will not buy a pink version if I ever have a girl.. it’s blue, so what. I actually like to carry my kid in carrying cloths anyway.

  24. Myriam Sep 11 at 1:47 pm Reply Reply

    When I was pregnant with my daughter, we were really lucky to get a lot a THE THINGS used from a friend who had two boys. So, we ended up with a fish-themed blue pack and play, and a black/grey stroller+car seat… My daughter is now 21 months and has no hair, so I try to dress her in girly clothes, but for other items, I agree to match with your home decor, or take whatever is free, no matter the look. It’s crazy how important that stuff seams before the baby gets there, but after, you won’t even notice the pack-and-play color scheme, just choose something you like, because I would rather look at something blue and cute, that pink and ugly!!!

  25. Tamara Sep 11 at 1:52 pm Reply Reply

    I am expecting a girl this fall. I registered for mostly non-pink/purple things because I figure people will fill in that gap with the clothes. I didn’t do brands either. Just solid, bright colors or cute patterns.

  26. betttina Sep 11 at 2:13 pm Reply Reply

    We didn’t find out the gender before birth, so we got neutral items and then people gave us lots of girl clothes after she arrived. I personally would prefer to still dress her more neutrally – more yellows, greens, orange, red, blue than just PINK! and PURPLE! but if she’s wearing a yellow shirt people assume she’s a boy and don’t even look at the pink shoes. I tried and tried to find plain boring white sneakers for her and ended up with pink plaid. Whenever I find plain t-shirts I buy as many as possible because I don’t like clothes (either gender) with words and slogans and Disney. I don’t want my kid, boy or girl, to wear a shirt that says “Diaper loading in 3..2..1…” I just think it’s icky.

  27. Julie Sep 11 at 4:30 pm Reply Reply

    I inherited the Winnie-the-Pooh Pack n Play and all it takes is one little sheet over the mat to cover those romping little weirdos up.

    You know, with a first girl, you can’t bottle up that girly shopping impulse. It’s okay to let it out. A future hypothetical boy will not care that his bathtub is pink and if other family members do, consider it a fun, harmless way to piss them off.

    I couldn’t convince myself that I did not need an adorable crib bedding set and matching valances and decals even though I KNEW you couldn’t use half that stuff in the crib and that she would never even spend a day in “her” room. But I just HAD to.

    And I’m still not sorry. I needed to do that with my first baby. It’s out of my system now.

    Right?

  28. kimtoo Sep 12 at 12:01 am Reply Reply

    I didn’t find out with my first, so we have all gender neutral big items: ocean themed nursery, fish swing, green and brown car seat. And I kept going, even as my first got bigger – her convertible carseat had a denim cover (she outgrew it by the time she was 2 – both girls did. WASTE.) Even when I knew my second was a girl, the big stuff stayed neutral, because there’s so much gendered stuff, why not? And I dressed my first little baldie in blue doggie and lion pjs, because she looks awesom in blue and loves lions and doggies. I knew she was a girl, who cared what anyone else thinks? Buy what you love – your kid isn’t going to remember it anyway.

  29. Emily Sep 13 at 3:27 pm Reply Reply

    I love all my gender neutral items. We didn’t find out until DD arrived and I think my stuff is ultra cute. I never would have created a pepto pink world anyways. We did a wildlife theme (I’m a wildlife biologist) and then when she arrived, I supplemented with more girly stuff. So her first outfits were blue and green and neutral and had animals and such on them. Then she had plenty of pink and kitty cats and flowers and butterflies and all the other things that we wanted to buy her. I love her room and we’re going through it now trying to decide what is hers and what will be this next baby’s. Not finding out the gender this time either, but I feel certain it’s a BOY! Anyways, we’ll be set for the newborn phase, but if it’s a boy, we’ll have to buy clothes. That’s it. Stroller, carseats, packandplay that she absolutely hated and refused to sleep in, crib bedding. It’s all there and it’ll work and I am excited about getting my money’s worth.

  30. Rochelle Sep 15 at 8:20 am Reply Reply

    Just a note on the car seats – I’m a car seat technician and we advise against buying “after market” car seat covers.  If they come directly from the manufacturer, you’re good to go (although, enough time could pass that, while the seat isn’t expired yet, they don’t make that seat any more, so they wouldn’t make covers for it, either), but if you buy it from any other source, it’s a no no. For one, most covers aren’t made specifically for your seat – they’re kind of a one-size-fits-all deal. Which means you don’t know how that cover will interact with the seat if you’re in an accident- will it interfere with the straps and cause them to fail? Will it slip off the seat? Will it cause the baby to slip around in the seat? You get the idea. They’re also not flame retardant, like the cover the seat came with, which could cause it to catch fire if you’re in an accident where the car catches fire. I know a lot of parents who don’t care about the flammability, so that’s probably not the biggest convincing point, but it also voids your car seat’s warranty and releases the seat manufacturer from any liability, which is huge. Every single car seat company says not to use after market products of any kind. Period. Basically, if it didn’t come with your seat, don’t use it. If you do use it, and god forbid something goes wrong, the manufacturer can say “we didn’t test the seat with that (insert product here) and we told you not to use it, therefore, what happened is not our fault and we don’t owe you anything.” Ultimately, as the parent, you have to be the one to decide whether or not you feel safe using a product like that, and if you feel comfortable doing it, then rock on. Personally, it scares the crap out of me and I know it’s not something that I would feel comfortable using with my children. I have twin girls and we don’t plan on having any more children, but just in case we do, we bought red car seats.  I would say buy gender neutral, even though it’s not as cute. I know those pregnancy hormones make you want to buy the cutest, pinkest stuff you can get your hands on, but when the hormone cloud wears off, you might end up kicking yourself. Look at it this way – you can always get your pink frilly fix through her wardrobe! 

  31. Amy J Sep 16 at 9:39 pm Reply Reply

    I’m pregnant with my first and was feeling overwhelmed when looking online at all the options for EVERYTHING!  I thought that I’d have to find out the gender (my husband does not want to find out) because how could I possibly plan for this kid without knowing which colors to buy?!?  Thank you for all the tips and advice.  It’s so true that the baby will not care about the color of anything – why should I??  I feel better going forward without all the pressure I was putting on myself.  Thanks again!

  32. leslie Sep 17 at 4:29 pm Reply Reply

    I knew I was having a girl the first time around, and I still went gender nuetral with the big ticket items. Carseat/stroller are orange, PnP is green, etc. I love them. And I guess, personally, I kind of hate frilly pink stuff anyhow. Trust me when I say that the moment that kid is born, you’ll get so many pink/girlie things you won’t know what to do with it all. And you’ll be glad to have a bit of a respite with the gender nuetral items. And then there is no pressure to buy all new stuff should your second be a boy. There are tons of very cute gender nuetral items out there. There is no reason things have to be pink b/c it’s a girl. Save that for the clothes/shoes/hair accessories, etc.

  33. Mel Sep 17 at 4:37 pm Reply Reply

    I second the recommendation for a Snap-N-Go stroller frame. I bought mine for $30 on Craigslist because I thought it would probably be $30 worth of useful, but not $70-$100 worth of useful if bought brand new. After having it for several months, now think it’s totally worth the full price if you have to buy it new.

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