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Tacitly Yours

Just how big is a baby?

It just dawned on me the other day that I have reached a new phase in life. Instead of shopping for shower presents in the picture frame aisle or looking at vases to give to the soon-to-be bride, I am shopping in the baby aisle, trying to figure out just how many pounds a newborn weighs.

When one of my good friends announced she was pregnant last summer I was excited. It was the first baby I was going to get to shop for, and it was the first baby shower I was going to get to organize.

But I soon realized that her announcement was the first of many I would be hearing over the course of the next year. Since my good friend made her announcement, I have organized one baby shower, attended two showers and heard five other couples announce that they too were pregnant.

Not being a parent myself, preparing for baby showers and the entering of a new baby into the world can bring with it some unique challenges.

I remember a few years ago shopping for a baby gift for one of my husband's cousins, who had just had a baby girl. I made the mistake of bringing a friend shopping with me. I say it was a mistake because she was also not a parent. So we stood in Baby Gap, among a myriad of expecting mothers, trying to figure out how many pounds a baby could possibly weigh when it is first born so we could buy an outfit that would be an appropriate size.

I still remember telling my friend that most infants were about "...this big," gesturing with my hands to show something about the size of a football. Then we tried to figure out just how much that football of a baby could possibly weigh.

Looking back we must have looked like idiots, standing there whispering about how big a baby could possibly be.

I'd like to say that since that initial shopping trip I have gotten better, but I'm not so sure that's the case.

When I was shopping for my most recent baby purchase I made the mistake of going by myself. As I stood there looking at baby clothes I realized there is a difference between newborn-sized clothes, and 0-3 months sized items. I was totally stumped and ended up buying two outfits, one in each size. Of course, that came after a quick phone call to the office to see if anyone there could help me. But who answered the phone? The other woman in the office who has no parenting experience under her belt.

I guess that since I'm going to have so many babies to buy for in the near future I should think about either figuring out how this whole sizing thing works or I should start limiting myself to looking at baby gifts that require no sizes. But for some reason, blankets and bottles aren't as fun to shop for as little clothes.

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