By Emily Harrington
I told myself I would wait until after the holidays before I registered for upcoming baby showers. This should be fun, I naively thought to myself. Then I started to pour over magazines, blogs and Top 100 lists on the Internet. These publications included the “must-haves,” “can’t live withouts” and the apparent fads and gimmicks. Oh my, we are going to need a boat load of stuff.
Picking out something as simple as a stroller became overwhelming: umbrella, running, off-roading, single, double and even triple—is it car seat compatible?
Then I began to ask my friends what they recommend, what is junk and what they can’t live without? One friend recommended a wiper warmer while another said they are a waste of money. One said her crib bumper ties her entire bedding collection together, while another is too afraid to use a bumper because of the SIDS risk.
Each mom had her own list of 40 plus items that she swore by. Some opinions conflicted and some overlapped. One thing became apparent; we need a lot room to accommodate the influx of gear that is recommended to keep this tiny baby happy and healthy.
On the other hand, for centuries babies tooshies have been just find without the warmth of a wiper warmer to ease the chill, so is all this stuff really necessary?
When I visited a girlfriend who had recently had a baby she took me on a tour of her basement. Lined up along one wall of their TV room was the ghost of baby toy’s past. Every tool that had unsuccessfully eased their baby had been banished to the basement. And they had tried them all! It was unreal. Vibrating seats, exersaucers, play mats with dangling animals, rocking swings—even a space aged looking egg chair that makes noise. It blew me away. The amount of money and trial and error it takes to find what works for you and your baby is mind boggling.
I think what it comes down to is this—you won’t know what will work for your baby until the time comes. Maybe he’ll hate the vibrating chair but love the swing. There’s just no way of knowing yet. I can’t blame my friend for trying whatever method possible to soother her infant. If it takes three different swings and a bouncy chair, then that’s what we will have to acquire to get through the fits and crying spells. I can hope and pray for a mild, easy-tempered child, but that’s all I can do. Hope.
So with my research in tow and other’s recommendations floating in my head, I’m headed to the nearest Babies “R” Us. Any suggestions?
By the way, have you seen the pacifiers that clamp shut over the mouth part if they fall on the ground? Genius. I’ll be adding those to the list.
Emily Harrington is a 29-year-old townie on the cusp of full-blown adulthood. She’s a wife still in the honeymoon stage and a mom of a borderline psychotic mini-Australian Shepherd. She has a full-time job in communications/marketing and a full-time life outside of work.