Ten years ago, a couple of days into postpartum delirium, I remember staring at that perfect, yet still foreign creature and thinking the following two things: First, the staff at the hospital had made a terrible mistake by allowing someone as unqualified as me to bring a baby home. And, I was also reasonably certain that if I didn’t focus all my energy on looking at her, she would stop breathing.
Before I became a parent, I thought I knew worry and uncertainty. I was wrong. After baby, I moved into the big time when it comes to apprehension. In fact if worry were an Olympic sport, I feel like I would have a shot at making the national team.
This anxiety started when I was pregnant, so I will admit I responded the best way I knew—by BUYING THINGS. I surrounded myself with a mountain of protective gear, because more must be better.
The average weight of a newborn baby in North America is 7 ½ pounds. To fully appreciate how small that is, imagine roughly the size of a sack of flour with maybe a large can of tomatoes thrown in as a head–a sweet little gluten and lycopene bundle of joy.
It really is amazing something that tiny demands and/or attracts so much stuff.
According to my grandmother, my dad spent the first few months of his life sleeping in a dresser drawer and so far he has made it to almost 70 years old. Yet today, as new parents we obsessively research and agonize over the BEST and SAFEST item for our kid, and more is better, cribs, carrying devices, hundreds of little outfits, and of course, this year’s diaper disposal system. I think you might even get arrested if someone found your child sleeping in a dresser.
For instance, I fell into the Baby Einstein trap. We actually owned a set of DVD’s designed for babies, to supposedly make them smarter. Then at some point after my kids had already spent some quality time in front of those videos the Journal of Pediatrics published a study that announced TV doesn’t make babies smarter even if Einstein is in the title, it makes them duller. Although, I still think they are useful for parents who need to occupy their child for a few minutes to take a shower. If my kids don’t get into Ivy League because of my need to occasionally be clean, so be it.
Now I am older, more regularly showered, and I hope wiser.
Currently, I have a friend who is expecting her first child. I have been trying to mentor her a bit about buying used and give her my thoughts on what is TRULY needed for a newborn (like this list which is not mine, but a good one.) She humors me and seemed generally appreciative when I gave her a basket filled with gently used baby items at her shower.
While she is much better at buying used items that I was and even accompanied me to a resale fair last week, I have noticed she is well versed on all the latest trends in baby gear and brands. But, she proved that the two could mesh when we scored a Dutalier glider and ottoman in great shape at that fair (for less than half the original price).
Environmental responsible and TOP OF THE LINE. I’d say that was a win.