As new parents awaiting your baby’s arrival, it can be a very nerve-wracking experience with all the medical aspects and decisions surrounding the birth itself. That should be all you have to worry about…but it isn’t… now it’s time to hit those mega baby stores and embrace your little bundle of joy with lots and lots of stuff!
The amount of manufactured products around the whole baby business is so overwhelming, it can make your head spin. I walked in and out of a mega-baby product store four times before I bought anything. The amount of choices alone paralyzed my decision making process. Add to that being pregnant with “baby-brain”. I felt extremely overwhelmed. Finally on our fourth trip, we bought a bathtub. My husband had such a headache from the noise and lack of oxygen in those places I promised him we would do the rest online! Soon,we became masters at finding great baby products online with free shipping! A simple Google search along with the keyword free shipping will save you time, money and headaches. There are also many sites that offer free coupons to most if not all baby product companies.
At a very personal and special time in one’s life, it is normal to feel overwhelmed by all this materialism. As the due date was approaches, you are suddenly thrust into a world of shopping that you probably never new existed. Sometimes there are certain feelings of guilt in not being overjoyed by the shopping experience. Fortunately, you are not the only one who might feel this way.
Bouncers, Swings, Exer-saucers, activity play mats and on and on. Here’s an important thing to consider: most of it is outgrown in 6 months and you are on to the next stage (with other stuff). If you have a very active baby they won’t like to be contained in a lot of it for very long anyway. We received a swing from our neighbor whose daughter never liked it and never used it. It cost them $100.00. Our daughter would enjoy it for about 15 minutes which helped us have a meal together in those early months.
So how do you get through this daunting task of decision-making and trips to the mega baby stores: Simplify. Go back to your sense and your choice. Decide what YOU are going for, instead of what is available or recommended. Before you purchase a product, think in terms of practicality and efficiency. Research products online and read customer reviews from a variety of sources. We live in NYC where space is very limited and we knew I would be taking public transportation a lot, so we went for portability and stealth with a reasonable price. Almost everything we bought came with free shipping. We went for subdued or natural colors for the larger items because when you put some much stuff in a small space that is brightly colored it can look very cluttered. We new our daughter would get color stimulation through her toys and her environment.
If you are practicing attachment parenting, it’s really important to use a baby wearer instead of constantly placing the baby in some inanimate object for most of the day. There have been many studies that show that their brains develop better with frequent touch. The constant proximity to your heartbeat, your warm body and the sound of your voice is so soothing and comforting to them. Our favorite is the Ergo Baby carrier since it distributes the baby’s weight evenly on the parent’s hips and shoulders as opposed to the shoulders only.
So, next time you find yourself lost and confused while shopping for your baby, remember there are sensible alternatives. It’s a special time in your life that should not be overshadowed by the pressures of mass consumption.