Monday, 24 March 2008

My favourite baby buys!

I'm going to let you in on a secret. You'd better read it quickly since I know that this journal entry will be found and destroyed by Mothercare spider 'bots soon after posting. Here it is (hold on, it is earthshaking stuff): Most baby buys are unnecessary.

Having had the experience of previous 'bundles of joy' (did you want a muslin to wipe up that dripping sarcasm?), I was under no illusions about the necessities of babyhood. So no dual top and tail bowl needed, no baby bath with integral change table, shower and hand dryer. In fact, baby needs somewhere to sleep (yes, your bed will do) some way to be transported (your arms?) and something to wear. Oh, and about six million nappies (either six million disposables since that is how many you will use, or six million cloth because they are just so-damn-cute and irresistable). Everything else are frivolities that can be improvised.

Of course, no-one wants to hear this while they are planning matching duvet and curtains, remortgaging to buy the designer pushchair, embroidering daisies onto the bassinet set, installing cctv to check on their sleeping rugrat or, indeed, buying shares in Toys'r'us to offset the growing pile of plastic in your sitting room. Not, I hasten to add, that there is anything
intrinsically WRONG in any of that (glances at where sitting room floor was last seen, circa 1998, under mound of landfill also known as endless Christmas, Birthday and Justbecause gifts). Also nothing wrong in converting your study, spare room, home gymnasium into a playroom. Or converting the conservatory into a second playroom because the first one is full. It's just, you know, you shouldn't feel you HAVE to do something just because the baby catalogues are so enticing.

Did I have a point? (Checks header) Oh yeah, baby buys. So, the things you 'need' aka the things it is quite nice to have since they will make your life easier.

I'm quite a fan of the family bed. Nothing nicer than a baby nuzzling your neck while you sleep. Also far easier for breast-feeding, with practise you won't even need to wake up. Just kick them out sometime before secondary school or once they start to starfish sleep. You can have a cot if you like, there is no "right" way for a baby to sleep. These grobag things are fab fab fab, how to cut down your washing in one easy swoop! Get grobags.

If you have a car, you need a car seat. No ifs ands or buts. When they are little, it is nice to be able to lift the car seat directly into a pushchair. Saves lugging it around and gaining Popeye forearms. Pushchairs are good. I like the ones where baby faces mummy. Then you can pretend you are talking to baby when you get caught talking to yourself. Slings, wraps,backpacks and whatnots are good too. I like my coorie pouch sling, which doubles as a pram blanket when not in use. I bought mine in burgundy, it brings out the red in my eyes (yawn).

Big tip - babies grow up far too quickly. Keep them in babygros as long as you can, it keeps them "infants" for longer. Once you make the switch to cute outfits, they are no longer newborns. And once you switch from babygro to pjs, they are not babies at all! And babygros, cmon. No ironing, drip dry, wash and wear, all in one outfits. Bit of a no brainer. They should make school uniforms out of them!

Muslins. Yeah you could use old teatowels or cloths, but what isn't to like? Multi use as sheets, sick catchers, nappies, towels, tablecloth, comforter (I BOUGHT her a taggie. SHE prefers the muslin. Go figure). And they come in colours now too, not just boring off-white.

Uh, that's it. I did say most things were unnecessary! I don't even have a baby monitor (if she cries, I WILL hear her, even from another room). I did have a baby bouncer chair, I like those, makes a change from the floor when you can't carry them forever. I do have a changing mat that was bought as a gift, it is lining a toy box (I change her on my lap or the floor). She bathed in the sink when little, and in the big bath after that. I'm beginning to feel defensive and cheap instead of subversive... it's the catalogues, they brainwash you!

PS I did think of another necessity.

Have a thermometer, liquid paracetamol, nappy rash cream, colic medicine, teething gel, appropriate cold remedies and a first aid kit handy. Otherwise you will need it all far long before you think to buy it. Conversely, if you have it all in the house, you will never need it and will have the healthiest baby on the planet. Which is good. Obviously.

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