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!

May 23, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , | 10 Comments