I am continually amazed by the kindness that people show towards pregnant ladies and their still-to-be-born babies. Yesterday brought a sweet surprise in the mail–a package from our friend Sarah in Boston, expert knitter and children’s lit aficionado! She handmade this little bee hat for Baby ‘Bee, and sent along a book about busy bees that actually buzzes! How sweet. I know Baby ‘Bee will love it. (And Sarah, we already read the book to my belly last night!)
There have been several instances where I’ve been reduced to tears over the sweetness and thoughtfulness of baby gifts. We’ve heard from friends near and far, and so many of you have sent gifts that somehow reflect the uniqueness of your own lives and personalities. I can’t wait to tell him/her about all of you, our vast and varied network of family and friends 🙂
I’ll admit it, I was more interested in seeing which strollers looked cute and were easy to push….and then Super Dad over here stepped in, and showed me that you have to try out every last inch of accessibility, convenience, and portability. Here is a tutorial for those of you curious at home. I got the one-hour version, you’ll get the Cliff Notes here 🙂
“Today we’re going to investigate these new-fangled “travel systems” that I see so many parents pushing around town.”
“Many parents think they just have to worry about how smooth the stroller is to push, and how easy it is to steer. Not so…”
“We’ll be using a baby monkey as we test drive today. Be sure to check and see how easy it is to strap your infant [monkey] into the car seat. The buckles should be secure, but not so tight that they pinch.”
“Next, be sure to practice lifting the car seat out of the stroller contraption. Be sure to keep the baby monkey level, so as not to upset nap time. There’s nothing worse than a cranky baby as you’re heading into the mall.”
“Test drive the stroller with one hand while carrying your precious cargo in the other. Can you maneuver easily with just one hand?”
“And finally, practice collapsing the stroller. Many travel systems can be collapsed with one hand, allowing for easy manipulation while still holding your sleeping monkey level. It’s easier than it looks**. Really.”
[**No, it’s not easy. Those things pinch and jam, and they weigh 30 pounds without the baby monkey!]
“And there you have it. The travel system, explained.”
I’m not even a mom yet, and I’m overwhelmed.
Safety ratings…product reviews…consumer reports…SIDS…bumpers or no bumpers….Bumbo seat recalls…
When on earth did the baby world get so complicated? I’ve spent the last few weeks drowning in a sea of baby websites and attempting to choose the right crib, the safest carseat, and the best stroller. Unlike our wedding registry, it’s not enough to just be a cute product that fits our kitchen colors or will spice up the living room. This is real stuff. It has to be durable. It has to be safe. And it should be cute.
Do you think our mothers and our grandmothers had to navigate the abyss of Amazon to find the cribs we’d sleep in? Today’s moms can literally lose themselves in a never-ending-click-fest of comparison shopping, devouring reviews (mostly written by moms with way too much time on their hands) and second guessing themselves. At the end of the day, I’d rather have those hours back for a prenatal massage, a walk with Fred, or even just some time to read a book. A book that’s not about babies and pregnancy.
I’ve chosen a crib, but who knows if it really is the right crib. I’ve chosen a pack n play, and hope that it will both fit in our bedroom, and maybe hold up for a few years. I’m close to choosing a carseat, but the safety factor freaks me out. And I haven’t even begun to tackle the baby monitor or breast pump issues!
The problem is that if I don’t do all this research, I might feel like a bad mother because I didn’t dissect every last product review on diapers.com and buybuybaby. Worse yet, I might end up with a product that stinks. Or worse still, one that is unsafe. When is enough enough?
Moms have been raising babies for hundreds of years without the internet and the safety hype and the time-suck. And we all turned out just fine….right? So for tonight, I’m stepping away from the keyboard and closing the computer screen. I will bake cookies and watch MadMen. But before I go to sleep, I’ll probably still sneak a peak at babycenter.org.