Do you need all the baby stuff?

One big piece of advice I wish I’d gotten (or listened to!) was to wait until the baby is born before your load up on baby “stuff.” in the first days home you realize what you need more of (swaddle mes! Changing table covers! Washcloths!) and what you can do with out. Plus, since every baby is different, it helps to see your baby’s temperament and likes and dislikes before you get the gear. If you are a first time parent, you might not understand this notion. In my pre baby naivete, when another mom told me they had 3 new swings because her son didn’t like them, I thought, that’s ridiculous! If the baby has nothing to compare it to, how would he know what he did or didn’t like? He’ll like what you give him! Not so. I discovered soon after we brought our baby home that he didn’t like anything we had bought for him.  Not the bouncy seat, co sleeper, neither of the 2 strollers, baby bath tub, car-seat, bottles, pacifiers, toys, nothing.  Basically if it was man made he wanted no part of it. We joked that he would be the easiest baby in the world if one had absolutely no money and couldn’t afford any of this stuff. I just wish I knew this before I muddled up our new York city sized apartment with all of the baby paraphernalia! Those items are supposed to be for convenience, yet they left me with an underlying feeling of stress as I tried to get my baby to use/like these things.  As we approach the new territory of solid foods, I’m recognising familiar ground already covered. He prefers regular drinking glasses to spouted cups. My food versus the baby food I have so carefully prepared, etc. My suspicion is that most babies are like this.  Of course when they become toddlers, which happens so quickly, those strollers will be useful, but until then, and especially before your baby is born, you can relax knowing you have time to figure it all out. Believe me, no matter how prepared you think you are, your husband or mother or both will be making a babies-r-us run a few days after your little one is born for the things you now realize you need. I say wait until that trip and the ones that follow to buy selectively.  Integrate things you already own into your new life with baby.  Bathe him in the kitchen sink.  Bounce him on your birthing ball. (my son preferred this over our newly purchased rocker/glider from day one.) use tupperware and wooden spoons as fun and imaginative toys. And my number one piece of advice, carry your baby! *

* the things I do recommend buying are a variety of slings, wraps and baby carriers.  You’ll use each at different times and for different stages.  Click here for more on baby wearing.

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