It’s Not All Mary Poppins

Sleep, baby, sleep

I’m not a gadget gal. All that baby paraphernalia that’s out there? 98% unnecessary. The younger your child, the less it needs. A change table? Baby monitor? Bassinet? Don’t need them.

A thousand-dollar crib? A thousand-dollar stroller? (A thousand-dollar anything. Geez, people, get a grip.) Similarly, designer clothes. Does your child care that it’s wearing Brand of the Month?

In fact, for clothes? For the first year or so you can go for the cheap. A child that age is growing so quickly they won’t have time to wear anything out. Unless you plan a large family and want it to last for handing down through several siblings, the cute-and-cheap stuff will do just fine. We want them warm and comfy. Anything after that is window dressing.

I’m not saying you can’t have any unnecessary fripperies, just that you be aware they are fripperies, that you can live without them, that you’re not a Bad Parent if you don’t have them. Why is Good Parenting so often equated with Spending Lots of Money? Lots and lots of money. It’s nonsense. A newborn needs diapers, clothing (a dozen onesies will do just fine), food (which is free and also blessedly accessory-free if you’re breast-feeding), and a place to sleep (with you works fine; a neatly-padded dresser drawer has also worked for many families; a stroller has done double duty for more than a few).

That’s it. There will be other things that you can accumulate as required. If you wait to purchase until you discover you actually need something, you’ll probably discover you need far less than you expected.

So. Not a fan of Stuff for the sake of Stuff.

Each family will probably find that they have a few discretionary items that for them are pretty much essentials. Often these fall into the baby-soothing category. Some families could not imagine functioning without soothers, or a musical mobile, or a bouncy chair. For me, it was the baby swing. When my children were babies, I had a wind-up swing. I loved, loved, looooooved that thing.

Purists will say that a parents’ arms are far better than a mechanical device, and, though that is undeniably true, to the purists I say “Pfft”. Parents have needs, too. Sometimes a parent’s arms get tired, or are needed for other tasks. I could strap the little monkey on my back, yes (particularly now I have an Ergo!!!) but maybe I want to feel deliciously light and unencumbered for twenty minutes. That’s valid.

And if you’re looking for a baby-soother, I’ve stumbled across one that looks like it could be really, really useful. No more middle-of-the-night car rides to soothe your fractious baby. (Or the in-home variant: putting the screamer in their car seat and setting the seat on top of the tumbling dryer. Baby feels the rumble the vibration, and is often soothed right to sleep. ‘Course, that means you have to stand guard in the laundry room in the middle of the night…)

The Crusin’ Motion Soother is a car ride for baby, right there in your home. Right there on the floor beside your bed, I’m thinking, while you sleep blissfully on…

It’s not an essential. You don’t have to have one. You can probably live without one. Your baby will never miss it if they don’t get one — and will probably still manage to get into the university of their choice when the times comes. BUT! What a cool idea!

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May 23, 2011 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , ,

10 Comments »

  1. Oh my gosh I wish I had known about this when my daughter was younger.

    You couldn’t have! It doesn’t come out until July. Don’t you wish it had?

    Comment by Melissa V | May 23, 2011 | Reply

  2. As someone who drove for hours and hours and hours with a colicky baby, this would have been the most important gadget in my house. Just think of all of the not-driving I could have done!

    Exactly! All the not-driving, all the gas saved, all the sleep gained! For everyone. If it works as it seems it should, it’ll be a very popular item!

    Comment by karyn | May 23, 2011 | Reply

  3. My oldest, who spent 2 weeks in the NICU with an infection (she wasn’t early or in any danger, but needed the antibiotics), got used to the constant noise and motion, etc. I used a vibrating bouncy seat for her. She would nurse down in my lap and then would sleep in the bouncy seat. Until she was 5 months old. Seriously. I felt like the worst mom (I had no other gadgets or hoo-ha things in my house, used a baby sling, breastfed, etc, and this felt so wrong). But it worked. It really worked. And I got to sleep for longer than 45 minutes at a time. Saved our lives!

    Comment by Bridgett | May 23, 2011 | Reply

  4. Wow. What will they think of next? 😛

    Seriously though, I secretly covet it. Having had two fussy babies (and praying that the baby arriving in October will be mellow, but what are the chances?), this might be worth it’s weight in gold.

    Comment by rosie_kate | May 24, 2011 | Reply

  5. If that gadget doesn’t work out, maybe this book would help: http://www.amazon.com/Go-F-Sleep-Adam-Mansbach/dp/1617750255/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1306253667&sr=8-1 😀

    Comment by Matt C | May 24, 2011 | Reply

  6. Oh how I wish I’d had this for my son. I would put him in his baby swing and wind it up, sleep for 20 minutes, wind it up again, sleep for 20 minutes. I could easily cry thinking of it now, and it was 22 years ago! (He also spent the first 2 weeks of his life in NICU, I never thought that the time there could have contributed to our misery. Not that I’m complaining! He needed that level of care and I’m grateful for it!)

    Comment by Jan | May 24, 2011 | Reply

  7. Took our brand new, 22 day old adopted daughter for a check up. Doc asked if we had a crib, and I admitted that we were waiting for a hand-me-down crib to be brought by a relative next month, but for now, we’re using a stroller that converts to a bassinet (a VERY HIGH END stroller, thankyouverymuch, though also a hand-me-down).

    Got home and got a call from the doctor’s assistant, telling me of various charitable organizations that could help me with the purchase of a crib. OBVIOUSLY, I couldn’t afford a crib, since I was using a stroller.

    Ahem. I’m working on not being offended, and trying to see the call as “helpful” rather than “judgemental.”

    My youngest brother slept in a drawer for weeks, and turned out just fine!

    I’d see it as helpful. It’s so contrary to the American culture to “make do” that the automatic assumption would be that no one would do it voluntarily. You couldn’t actually have chosen to use a stroller. That decision must have been forced upon you by direst necessity. Given that assumption, it was a kindness of your doctor to get his busy assistant to take the time to gather and give you the information. Wrong, obviously, but well-intentioned.

    Comment by Carolie | May 25, 2011 | Reply

    • I agree…and rationally, I know that it really was kind of my doc and her assistant. It just seems so silly to spend money on so many things that are not necessary, like a bassinet, then a crib and a playpen, then a toddler bed, etc. I am otherwise very pleased with my doctor, and am grateful for her!

      Comment by Carolie | June 1, 2011 | Reply

  8. That does look like a good idea. We had a bouncy seat with vibrations that sometimes helped soothe babby, although not with any reliability.

    I’m not a “stuff” person either, which is good because (contrarily) I’m a bit of a hoarder. There isn’t much I want to own, but once I own it I hate to give it up…

    I am not a stuff person, and I like to give stuff away (or toss it). This week I’ve given a travel mug to my son, a pizza stone to his friend who just graduated from a culinary arts program, and gave away a pile of stuff through Freecycle. I totally get off on this: seeing the empty spaces where that stuff used to be makes me feel so light and free!!! So… why is my house not a bright and clutter-free haven of clean surfaces and airy space? Damned if I know.

    Comment by IfByYes | May 26, 2011 | Reply

  9. A swing was a GODSEND in our house when Pumpkpinpie was small. It mean I could eat dinner and freed my arms for pumping. She would nap for 20-30 minutes in the swing, so I’d have enough time to pump before she woke, or if not, I could sit in front of her and talk and sing with her as she rocked until I was done. it was wonderful.

    Comment by kittenpie | May 29, 2011 | Reply


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