Those who aren’t parents have little knowledge of baby gear. And you need to thank your lucky stars for that very reason.
If you were to ask what the most traumatic thing about the whole pregnancy process, without a doubt Lover fo’ Life and I would both yell out “BABY STUFF!”
Baby Stuff: the researching, registering, purchasing implementing and packing of baby products. A fate worse than Wal-Mart, if you ask me.
The moment you find out there’s a new piece of you on its way into the world, you’re slammed with the afterthought: “I don’t know what the flurk I’m doing.”
And there they are, vultures salivating to feast on your primal and biologically encoded fear: Baby Gear Peddlers. The premise behind all baby products simple: you need this to keep your baby alive/safe/happy/healthy.
True Story: The one and only time I’ve ever had a panic attack about parenthood took place the first time my pregnant self walked into a Babies r’ Us. All of the products, furniture and appliances terrified me. It would be months before I could go back to (gulp!) register.
After the better part of two years in the realm of baby crap, both shopping and utilizing, it’s safe to say: I’m a simpleton.
Yes, I’m an idiot, that point has been proven time and time again on this honeydoodle of a website. But more than that, I believe in keeping baby stuff simple. My philosophy is this: the time you spend with baby is constantly transitional, what you swear by today is quite literally outgrown tomorrow. Save your money, time and energy developing your child’s future, not procuring useless gear.
Real Talk: Every item I thought was “essential,” pre-baby, turned out to be completely useless once I had the baby. What you need in the beginning is very limited.
And keep this additional gem in mind: For each product one parent swears by another finds it to be a DUD, results vary from baby to baby.
And now, without any further rambling I give you:
MY 3 STEPS TO BABY STUFF SUCCESS!
1. Buy on an as-needed basis.
Example: Every Baby is born a little meatball lump. No need to purchase the “Excersaucer” before junior’s eyes can focus. Wait until he gets to that stage in a few months, you might find he isn’t into jumping or better yet, you have a pal who is looking to unload one. Which brings me to personal rule#2
2. Share baby gear, toys and clothing with pals and friends of friends.
I am veddy lucky to have a group of friends from college who are now momgyvers with me. One of the friends, FabBab, is the mother of twin girls. Because of this and the fact she has a shopaholic mother in law: FabBab literally has two of everything. Rather than be a hoarder jerk and try to sell it to us, FabBab told Jojo and I while we were pregnant: “Don’t buy a thing, you can have every toy, gadget and scrap of clothing I have. TAKE THIS CRAP OFF MY HANDS!”
I’ve totalled it up through Jojo, and FabBab’s free-cycling attitudes, I’ve saved over $1,000.00 in stuff I would have had to purchase on my own. And as Jojo prepares to have her second child(!!!!) I’m quietly cleaning and packing a whole bevy of delights for her to use.
Side Plea: If you are a person at this very moment with baby clothing that is too small for your kiddo…wash it, pack it up and GIVE IT AWAY. Be it to charity, goodwill, friends, whomever. Don’t try to sell it.
Why? No, not because I hate money, but because you’re never going to make $$ off of your stuff. See, a million people are selling the same used baby rags. Besides, there’s too much of it, you can’t unload the clothing fast enough. Oh sure, save a coupla big-ticket items that you think will do well on Craigslist but the rest of it, give it away when you’re done with it.
3. Buy safe but be frugal.
Your kid doesn’t care if the furniture is solid teak imported from the virgin forests of Namibia. Buy safe but cheap. Example: After extensive research we bought the safest crib on the market when I was pregnant with Angry Baby, know what else? It was less $140 bucks and from IKEA.
Sorry, I’m not one of those people who got jazzed by nursery furniture. I know it’s a preference, but due to the fleeting time of infancy, a $5,000 suite of furniture with some pieces that will be used for 2 years or less, doesn’t appeal to me.
Because let’s face it folks, everything that comes in contact with your child will be spit up, chewed on, puked on and much worse. No need to piss money away on that which will be peed on.
I assume some of you are the polar opposite of my “Simpleton” approach, and that’s ok. IT TAKES ALL KINDS MY BEAUTIFUL BABIES!!!!!!!!!!