Saturday, September 30, 2017

Bye Bye, Buy Buy Baby

Lately it seems like every other post I write is baby-related, but I suppose that comes with the eight-months-and-three-weeks-pregnant territory. I've been spending most of my free time preparing for the baby, shopping for her, and taking classes over at the hospital, not to mention trying frantically to thin my dress hoard. And since this blog is where I talk about all the things on my mind, I suppose it makes sense that right now it's riding the 7:30 express train to Babysville.

Well, that and most of my dresses no longer fit.

eight months pregnant

In any case, even though I've slowed down on my dress shopping, I've still been burning the midnight oil (well, plastic) accumulating all the stuff it turns out you need for a baby. My mom came to visit and help me set up for the baby over Labor Day weekend, and let me tell you, I haven't spent that much time in Target since I moved to LA and needed to furnish an entire apartment from the ground up!

In the past three weeks, I've assembled a bassinet (with help from Mom!), purged a few pairs of shoes, and tidied up the baby's room. I've also picked up a zillion things: a changing pad, baby towels, washcloths, the world's softest blanket, 10 pairs of baby socks, the world's most adorable snowsuit, a Halloween outfit, a fleece dinosaur outfit, crib sheets and mattress pads, a car seat, a baby bathtub, the electric nail file thing I got for my godchildren, and finally, a crib and a dresser (both still in their boxes, awaiting my dad because I'm wayyyyyy too pregnant to assemble it.)

Post-bassinet-assembly Starbucks of Triumph, feat. Mom

Did you notice what's not on that list? Yep, that's right: we have yet to buy a stroller. This is not for lack of trying, either. My mom and I went to look at four different stores and I left every store just a little more frustrated than the last.

What's the problem, you ask? Well, for those of you who haven't had the joy of shopping for baby gear, let me enlighten you. My quest for a nice lightweight stroller that'll last from infancy to toddlerhood has been marred by two things:

1) the hegemonic ascendance of the travel system, and
2) emotionally manipulative sales techniques.

If you saw my recent rant post about travel systems, you already know that I'm not buying one. This has made stroller shopping exponentially more difficult, since it seems like 90% of the ones I've seen in the stores have been travel systems. (Also, at the first Target we tried, the strollers were tethered to a high shelf, so it was impossible to try them out. But that's neither here nor there.)

So after striking out in Target's stroller aisle, my mom and I ventured up to Buy Buy Baby, which involved a) braving Chicago traffic to go to a neighborhood I'd never been to, and b) a truly impressive parallel parking job on my part, thankyouverymuch. Both of us figured that a store that's entirely about baby stuff would have a better selection and more knowledgeable staff to help us out.

We got to the stroller department, which immediately overwhelmed me because 1) there were so freaking many different kinds! and 2) they're not all intuitive to fold up. (Bear in mind that I'd been out and about for hours at this point, and my belly was aching all around my bump.) So we found a sales associate and asked for help.

What followed went something like this. Note: italicized text represents my internal monologue.

Emily: *clutching bottom of belly* "Hi! I'm looking for a lightweight stroller that'll work from birth through toddlerhood, and I absolutely don't want a travel system. Can you please show me what you have like that?"
Sales Associate: "you know, a lot of people say they don't want a travel system, but then come in six months later to buy one because they've changed their mind."
Emilywell maybe, but I don't want one; why would I come back and buy one once the baby's gotten bigger, heavier, and able to hold up her neck on her own? "I'm just interested in a non-travel system stroller that works for newborns as well as toddlers."
SA: "alright, well we have this one. It's the floor model but it also comes in other colors."
Emily/Mom: *looks at stroller, lifts it up, asks how it folds and reclines*
SA: *while showing us how to recline the seat* "We have another one by the same brand that's much better because it has better wheels and a removable bassinet and --"
Mom: "What's wrong with these wheels?"
Emilywhere the hell am I supposed to stash a stroller bassinet in my apartment once she's old enough to ride in the normal part?
SA: "Those wheels are not as big as on this one" *lifts stroller that costs $250 more off the shelf*
Mom: *lines strollers up side by side, wheels them around, glances at the expression on my face, which is a combination of annoyance that he's trying to upsell up and pain because my belly is massive and I've been on my feel all day* "There's like a 5% difference in size here and it doesn't seem to make much difference"
Emily: *grimacing* "Yeah. So do you have others like the first stroller?"
SA: *sees it's time to switch tactics* "What a lot of people prefer about this [more expensive] stroller is that you can have the baby facing you as well as facing out. People like to have the baby facing them so you can keep an eye on them and share stories with them..."
Emilyshare stories with your baby? What hack marketing guide did that phrase come from?
SA: "...So when you take the baby to the store and you're showing them 'that's a green apple, that's a red tomato, that's a yellow pepper,' you can actually show them and know that they see what you're looking at."
Emilythis is the clumsiest appeal in human history to a new mom's fear of not giving her child the enrichment she needs to eventually get into college. And my belly hurts so much. "Ok. So do you have other ones like the first stroller that we could see?"
SA: "Yeah, we have a lot like that" *makes no move to show us any other strollers that fit what I'm asking for*
Emily/Mom: *exchanging A Look*
Emily: "Great, thank you for your time."

Maybe it's the pregnancy hormones or something, but this interaction really, really irked me. I felt like I'd driven all that way to the store and stood around for absolutely nothing. I felt vaguely insulted that I was being treated like I wasn't capable of deciding what kind of stroller I wanted to buy. I felt more insulted by the fact that this store apparently thinks new moms are stupid and gullible enough to fall for these sales tactics, and trained their sales staff accordingly. I felt frustrated because I really, really wanted to cross the stroller off of my to-buy list.

So we left, and I'll be picking up a stroller on Amazon.

Follow this blog on:


  1. This post made me laugh, because of that whole 'telling your baby stories' thing. My mom did that with me and look how I turned out XD
    Also, the crib looks freaking adorable!

    x Envy

  2. That store assistant sounds annoying, but this post is hilarious! 😂😂
    Hope you manage to find a stroller soon.
    Amy xx

  3. What a conversation hahaha but I understand your frustration! Hope you find the perfect stroller on Amazon!

    Jessica & James | /

  4. Oh, I love this post, it brought back so many memories. Various relatives said I should have a stroller where Flora faced me. Umm, no, she saw me all the time, I thought she'd like a break and to be able to see the big wide world. We went for an OBaby stroller that was fab (higher handles too, great as I'm fairly tall), which we bought on ... Amazon! Good luck, I'm sure you'll find what you need online, without any useless sales advice! X

    Lisa |

  5. Congratulations!!!! Lol sales associate was irritating I don't have patience for that! Amazon is great! I'm a little too young for a baby so I can't even give advice lol

  6. Awhhh; congratulations! This post was great - quite the experience you had.
    I am currently super broody, so I love all things baby Lool. Hope you sort out getting a stroller, Amazon is great - I use them for almost everything.

    Ashlee |

  7. Eurgh how frustrating! That's sales assistant sounds like a right pain in the ass and extremely bad at her job considering her behaviour just cost her a customer. Luckily you could find one on Amazon!

    Also, I can't believe how close it is to when the baby arrives! Good luck!

    Lizzie Bee // Hello Lizzie Bee

  8. Oh my gosh that part with the sales assistant conversation was SO damn painful to read, its so true theyre always trying to upset but what is a travel system stroller? I've no idea 🙈

  9. I feel frustrated doing this!! WHEN will sales assistants learn that being good at your job means selling the customer what they want? Wow upselling went out of fashion a longggg time ago, I hope you find the right stroller soon!

    Sarah | xx

  10. Goodness me this sounds like an INFURIATING interaction haha! Why are some people so unhelpful and don't actually listen to what you're saying! You sound like you've been SO busy! It'll all be worth it soon - not long left now (: xxx

  11. Don't apologise about talking about the baby so much. We love to hear about it!
    I love the fact you got a halloween outfit for the baby, thats so cute!


  12. I would be bristling with anger at that interaction!
    Just wait until she's born, then you'll have "helpful" shop assistants putting toys in her hands so you pretty much have to buy them.
    Our problem with strollers was that they were all too big - we're so short in my family and honestly even MY mum (the tallest) looked like a kid with some of them.
    Cora ❤

  13. I know the tone was out of frustration - but to me, it was still comical. I swear....people...pft! I'm glad you've gotten a lot done though! I can't wait to "meet" your little xoxo

  14. Hey, Read my testimony! Getting ex back after a breakup. My boyfriend of a 2 year just broke up with me and am 28 weeks pregnant. I have cried myself to sleep most of the nights and don’t seem to concentrate during lectures sometimes I stay awake almost all night thinking about him and start to cry all over again. Because of this I end up not having energy for my next day’s classes, my attendance has dropped and am always in uni and on time. Generally he is a very nice guy, he ended it because he said we were arguing a lot and not getting along. He is right we've been arguing during the pregnancy a lot. After the break up I kept ringing him and telling him I will change. I am in love with this guy and he is the best guy I have ever been with. I’m still hurt and in disbelief when he said he didn't have any romantic feelings towards me anymore that hurt me faster than a lethal syringe. He texts me once and then mainly to check up on how am doing with the pregnancy, he is supportive with it but it’s not fair on me, him texting me as I just want to grieve the pain and not have any stress due to the pregnancy. I was really upset and I needed help, so I searched for help online and I came across a website that suggested that Dr Ahmed can help solve marital problems, restore broken relationships and so on. So I felt I should give him a try. I contacted him and he told me what to do and I did it then he did a spell for me. 28 hours later, my boyfriend came to me and apologized for the wrongs he did and promise never to do it again. Ever since then, everything has returned back to normal. I and my boyfriend are living together happily again.. All thanks to Dr Ahmed. as it is a place to resolve marriage/relationship issues, do you want to be sure if your spouse is being faithful to you or Do you want your Ex to come back to you Contact.: E-mail: call him on: +2348160153829 save your crumbling home. I suggest you contact him. He will not disappoint you.