Warning: the following is a rant about the insane amount of useless stuff that marketing campaigns, websites, blogs, magazines, and people (some of whom are close friends and family) tell me I need to have in order to provide for my babies.
I realized going into this whole parenting thing that I have a very limited knowledge of what baby stuff exists out there to make my babies lives better and to help me get along a little easier. I accept that and I embrace the opportunity to learn but I am getting sick of the buy, buy, buy culture surrounding baby stuff. On one hand, I’m taking this as a great sign that all of the progress I’ve made over the last two years in identifying my needs versus my wants has really taken hold. On the other hand, I’m tired of being bombarded by all the stuff I “need” to get for the babies.
Since this post is purely to allow me to vent, I’d like to list some of the stuff that has been suggested I need (either by a magazine, blog or well-meaning friend)...
- A $70 contoured pregnancy pillow for sleeping. Um, no! I did however break down and get a $14 body pillow from Costco that has made sleeping more comfortable.
- Wipes warmer… yes this one is nice to have but it’s not essential although I do appreciate receiving one at the baby shower.
- A decorative light switch cover (sorry sis but this one had to go one the list). Yes, the nursery would look cuter with extra decorations and maybe the babies would benefit from a more stimulating environment but seriously “need” is the wrong word here.
- Specialized towels for burping, changing, bathing, etc… this one I just don’t get and maybe I’ll change my mind after the babies are here but to me every piece of cloth that comes into contact with the babies including the clothes I’m wearing is going to get something gross on it at some point. Why do I care if I have the right cloth for the exact mess that’s occurring?? Can’t I just have a boat load of soft rags to take care of whatever mess needs to be addressed at the moment? I seem to remember my mom using a lot of old socks, cut up t-shirts, and cloth diapers to take care of our childhood messes. As a matter of fact, I’ve got some old blankets and t-shirts that can be repurposed for just this very task!
I could go on but I feel better having vented a little so I’ll stop here and say that so far my dad has had the best advice (and funniest) on what the babies need: “you have your boobs to feed them and as long as you have a safe place to put them down when you’re tired of holding them, what else do you really need for the first few months?” Of course this comment got an exasperated look and some choice words from my mom, my two sisters, and me but it really did help me put some perspective on what babies really need. They need to be fed, they need to be diapered and clothed, they need to be bathed, and they need a safe place to hang out/ sleep/ travel. As I wade through the bewildering world of baby stuff I just need to remember those basics and get the stuff that helps me meet those needs.