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A PSA for Parents-to-Be: Stop Buying So Much Sh*t!

Photograph by Twenty20

As an expecting first-time parent, no one told me what I'm about to tell you. Perhaps people are too polite when it comes to pregnant ladies, or maybe it's because this is the kind of thing that new moms and dads need to understand yet seldom do. Whatever the case, if you're pregnant with your first child and you're excited and nervous as hell and all that, then you need to look me in my cyber eye here and listen to me closely:

Stop.

Buying.

So much sh*t.

For real. You won't need it. I swear to you, you won't.

Trust me, I'm three kids in. I know what I'm talking about. When our first was coming along, my wife and I were enchanted by her very existence. She was coming and she was ours and we were determined to make sure she had every single possible thing she could ever need upon entering this world.

So, like a lot of American parents-to-be, we were sucked into the vortex of baby shopping, that mighty tradition of hurling loot around in the name of the most powerful feeling in this world: baby love.

Yes, that Ramones onesie set you back $35, but fine, you both knew you had to have it. It's all right. Everyone needs one of those.

But what I'm trying to tell you is that you won't need many more fancy onesies. It gets ridiculous. These tiny humans are gross. They're fast and loose with the pee and poop, they drink from boobs, they drink from bottles, they leak everywhere. Your hipster onesies won't last two hours before they're in the dirty laundry.

No one else is going to tell you this stuff. Even my own mom never told me the straight facts about throwing money away before the first baby.

Soon, the memory of buying high-end clothing for your child will be swiftly replaced with packs of cheapo plain white onesies that make you giddy with the knowledge that you don't honestly give a rat's ass at all whether your little slobbering/dripping/projectile/crapping/up-all-night baby soils each of these with their own filth.

No one else is going to tell you this stuff. Even my own mom never told me the straight facts about throwing money away before the first baby.

Maybe people don't want to spoil the entire shopping-for-baby-stuff trip that newbies are so eager to experience. Maybe the endless trips to Target to look at f*cking musical mobiles and $9 bibs for the tenth time in a month are beautiful moments in life in their own slightly twisted way.

All I'm saying is that you can go easy on yourselves. This baby coming into you world is going to change everything. This lead-up to their grand arrival should be kind of peaceful, if you can manage it.

So, paint the nursery. Put up the Winnie the Pooh pictures on the wall. Stock the new changing table with the diapers and the wipes—you'll need the hell out of them. But don't think that you have to have everything. Or that it all needs to be the very best available. Or that every cool little outfit that you have to have will ever get worn. So many of them won't.

You'll haul them off in a trash bag one day, not too long from now, hand them to an expectant mom at the park or at work. Then later on, she'll look through the heap of kindness you bestowed upon her, pull out that badass little Guns N' Roses onesie with the price tag still on it, and wonder to herself why you guys never wore this thing at all.

Soon enough, she will understand.

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