So, I’m already getting a lot of advice along the lines of “you don’t need all that baby stuff.” And I get it, I do! I’m constantly helping people rework their homes to include more storage for all their excess stuff. BUT this is my first baby, and I’m really, really, REALLY excited. And what I’ve been telling people is that, all this cute stuff isn’t REALLY for the baby. It’s for ME. Searching for it, choosing it, receiving it, placing it in my home: it makes me feel happy. It feels like I am taking care of this baby, in a way that doesn’t involve eating saltine crackers at 3AM. It feels like Christmas is coming, and the joy I get in buying the perfect gift, wrapping it in beautiful paper, and putting it under the tree. (Also, as of late, I can really relate to Santa’s whole bowl full of jelly-belly, in both feeling and appearance.) There’s no denying it now: there is a baby in my belly, and that baby NEEDS a really cute play mat. (Or, as we just determined, I need a really cute play mat for my baby to play on.) Here are the thirteen finalists, alongside some potential baby gym counterparts:

And here is my top pick. Brett did not weigh in on this one. For some reason, he doesn’t hold any deeply rooted feelings about which play mat or baby gym our baby should have. Fortunately, I do! Here’s my final pick!

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