My wife, our unborn daughter and I spent an interesting hour or so at a baby store on the weekend and it dawned on me. Hardly anything there is for the baby, it is all for the parents.
Let’s face it, all our baby is going to be doing at the start is eat, poop and sleep. On the most basic level; assuming she can breast feed, she’ll require virtually nothing for eating, she’ll need a huge amount of diapers for the poop and a wee box/drawer/bed to rest her weary body. That’s it!
So, that leaves a huge store full of stuff that ranges from very helpful to downright ridiculous and it is all there to make our lives easier (it is a lot of fun poking, prodding and laughing at a lot of the stuff!). Now, given unlimited funds and a home the size of Downton Abbey thee are so many gadgets out there, I think you could go virtually without touching your child at all. However, if I had that I would probably prefer a nanny and a night nurse, so my daughter is surrounded by people rather than gadgets.
Of course, the is the time when we are also being flooded with advice from friends, family and perfect strangers. Everyone has a completely different story to tell about what was best for their child, but they all insist on being experts on what our child will need. At times I wonder if they are trying so hard to tell us that a ludicrously expensive gadget they found to be invaluable, because they don’t want to feel like they wasted their money and convinced themselves that it was essential.
Given the huge disparity in their tales I have a funny feeling it may be best to wait and see what our daughter is like, and what aspects we can cope with and what we can’t before buying everything under the sun. I’m sure we will very rapidly capitulate when sleep deprivation corrupts our rational thought centers, but in the mean time I want to attempt to stick to the line that “less is more” and people are better than things.
I am excited for her arrival and a little scared that I will mess up her life, but if she is anything like her mother she will ignore me anyway and turn out funny, lovely, clever and brilliant!