Lucas in a foot tunnel

If you’ve been following me on social media lately, then you may have already heard that there will be a new addition to my family this fall. As you may suspect, I am both excited and terrified about becoming a new father. And we have a lot of shopping to do ahead of Baby Kwan’s arrival.

Experts, Newbies and Baby Talk

Several years ago, I wrote a blog post about choosing a smartphone and how it is more difficult for “gadget geeks” like me than it is for someone who doesn’t know as much about that kind of technology. Now that I’m shopping for baby things–and I really know so little about all these baby things–I’m finding that the decision-making process is arguably even more difficult.

We all go by the assumption that more choice is better. The problem is that we can get paralyzed by indecision, not only because there are so many products and variations on the market, but also because we are now armed with near limitless information via the Internet. Before we choose a new crib, playard, bottle warmer or diaper pail, we feel compelled to go online and seek out customer reviews.

And let’s not forget about all the added complexities of baby jargon. Prior to embarking on this little journey of ours, I had no clue about “convertible” car seats and how they are different from “travel systems.” If you thought consumer electronics and technology had a lot of lingo with our gigahertz and megapixels, you haven’t entered a baby store.

The Good Ol’ Days?

In speaking with some people from the “older” generation, the parents who would have raised their kids in the 70s and 80s, they tell me that things were so much simpler then. They could walk into a department store, see a reasonable-looking car seat and be done with it.

Now, we have to consider all these different systems and features and how they all tie into a larger ecosystem by companies like Britax and Graco. I’ve also learned that even if they are completely identical, a baby car seat sold in the United States is not “certified” for use in Canada.

It’s Not About Me or You

Choosing between all this baby “stuff” is more challenging for me than deciding on a new smartphone, a new laptop, or a new piece of furniture. With those, even if I don’t end up getting the “best” one, the faults are relatively minimal and the inconvenience falls on me alone.

When it comes to buying supplies for my child-to-be, the perspective shifts, and I absolutely have to put the baby’s best interests first. Realistically, most commercial baby seats and strollers are fine, but sometimes “fine” just isn’t “good enough.” And that’s why we’re left frozen in indecision again.