Tuesday, March 19, 2013

How to Prepare Yourself for an Indulgent, Needy, Whiny, Gassy, Bald Narcissist

Act #78:  Manage new parent consumerism.  Save your money for their college fund.

Six years ago, when I was about  seven months pregnant, I found myself standing in the car seat aisle of Babies R Us, and bawling my eyes out.  I was asked to register for an upcoming baby shower and all of a sudden I found myself confronted with 18 car seat choices with 3 different consumer reviews on each.  Terms I never even heard like boppy and snappi.  Devices I had no idea what to do with like swaddling blankets, food mills, and car seat covers.  Already facing the looming notion of lifelong parental responsibilities, now I was also overwhelmed with the pressure to over-prepare for the pending arrival of a helpless human being who would be 100% dependent on me.  Here's an actual list of recommended new baby items similar to the one that I armed myself with that fateful day in 2007.  If a new parent were to go out and purchase everything on this list, it would cost them anywhere from $1000 - $2000.  

Clothing Your Baby
Sleepers and/or gowns
Snowsuit bag

Bathing Your Baby
Baby tub
Baby toiletries
Baby washcloths
Baby bath towels

Carrying Your Baby
Front carrier, sling, and/or backpack

Breastfeeding Your Baby
Boppy (or other nursing pillow) and cover
Breast pump
Breast milk storage and feeding set
Insulated carrying case for transporting milk safely

Bottle-Feeding Your Baby

Assorted nipples
Utensils for formula preparation
Sterilizer, if recommended
Bottle and nipple brush

Feeding Your Baby
Baby utensils
Food mill, for grinding up food for baby
Plates and bowls

Stimulating Your Baby
Board books

Soft blocks
Teething rings

Soothing Your Baby
Receiving blankets (for swaddling)

Music CDs

Taking Your Baby Places
Diaper bag

Wipes carrying case
Car seat

Exercising with Your Baby
Jogging stroller

Gift certificates for mom and baby yoga or stroller fitness classes (Stroller Strides, etc.)

Diapering Your Baby
Diaper pail

Changing table or changing pad

Cloth-Diapering Your Baby
Cloth diapers

Cloth wipes
Wet bag (for carrying wet diapers in your diaper bag)
Waterproof diaper covers
Pins, "snappi," or other diaper fastener (if your diapers don't have snaps or Velcro)

Disposable-Diapering Your Baby
Disposable diapers

Disposable wipes
Wipes warmer
Diaper rash cream

Putting Your Baby to Bed
Co-sleeper and/or bed rails (if you plan to co-sleep)
Sheets and accessories for co-sleeper and/or crib
Portable crib
Waterproof crib pads

Baby-Proofing Supplies
Outlet covers
Baby gates
Door latches
Toilet latch
Non-slip tub mat
Padding for sharp table edges
Doorknob guards
Stove knob guards

For Mom
Belly casting kit

Nursing tops (for breastfeeding moms)
Some women choose to hire a doula (a professional labor assistant) to increase their chances of a smooth delivery. If you'd like to hire a doula, but can't afford it, consider adding requests for contributions to your registry.

For the To-Be Parents
Parenting books

Child development books
Magazine subscriptions
I'm offering a revised, stress-free list for new parents that in my opinion, more realistically reflects the actual needs of a 1-day old child.  Please take careful note.  You won't want to miss these critical items.  I hope you figure out how to best prepare for the arrival of your new bundle of joy - but  more importantly I hope you figure out how to invest your time and resources on the things that truly matter in nurturing your lifelong relationship with your child.
Jane's list of must-have baby items:
A nipple of some sort (can be attached to a human or to a bottle)


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