You walk around Big Box Baby Store with that high tech gadget in your hand, ready to zap all kinds of nifty Stuff to put on your registry for your baby shower. As fun as that might seem at first, the reality may prove to be just a little daunting as you peruse the long aisles of Stuff that the marketing world would lead you to believe is paramount to baby’s very survival. It feels a little overwhelming, so you ask your girlfriends, co-workers, sisters, and cousins what Stuff you will need. You will get lots of advice and more “well, with my first…” stories than you might desire. But, plug along you will.
There are so many choices! Disposable diapers come in at least ten different brands, not to mention all those sizes and styles. Maybe cloth diapers, then. Oh gosh, those offer about a thousand more choices.
You continue on with your little zapper gun and consider choice after choice for everything from furniture to spoons. It is now commonplace to have a baby monitor with Bluetooth technology, a stroller with a sound system, a baby carrier that costs a week’s salary, and spoons that let you know if the food is too hot. Being bombarded with Stuff will somehow trigger the niggling feeling of inadequacy to start trickling through your previously confident self-esteem. You begin to entertain the idea that perhaps possessing all of this Stuff will make you a better parent. Or make it easier to care for an infant, or produce a safer, smarter child somehow.
So what do you really need? Not Much!
Mostly, your baby simply needs you.Yes, you probably want some kind of diapers, but even that’s not essential, as Elimination Communication advocates will convince you. Or maybe you live in China, where babies do not wear diapers. But generally speaking, you’ll want to collect baby’s waste products in something. Disposable or cloth, both work. Only you can determine your priorities about the pros and cons of each. If you’re not planning to co-sleep, the tiny human will need a safe place to sleep, but again, elaborate or expensive will not make for better sleep habits. A few outfits, a couple of sheets, blankets, and towels are also pretty helpful.
What about all those fancy baby soothing swings, you wonder? Here’s my top doula tip for how to soothe your crying baby >>>