If You Can Get Through My Ranting, I Really Need Your Suggestions
*UPDATED* (See below)
I think we've done it.
Between gifts, a few online excursions, and a giant trip to Babies 'R' Us AND Target over the weekend, I think Ish and I have stocked up on the baby basics.
But right. I think. What do I actually know?
Oh, well, I know a few things. I know that the idea of baby "safety" makes everyone completely crazy, and the reports and statistics and number of things that COULD result in DEATH OR SERIOUS INJURY is staggering.
And I'm not buying into it.
Not that I'm planning to hand my infant razor blades, but I seem to be gravitating toward the "it'll probably be fine" end of the parenting spectrum. Because you know? I sorta remember the 70s and early 80s, and cannot imagine that a SINGLE item of baby equipment I was given would be allowed under current regulations. And yet we managed to survive somehow.
I don't want to make light of the standards we have now. I'm glad we have them. I like being informed. I'm glad we've discovered the dangers of BPAs and have a better handle on what causes SIDS.
But I also think that if I went the way of today's super-mom, gobbling up every single piece of consumer reporting available and taking it at face value, I would never leave the house again. It seems so illogical and even somewhat arbitrary.
There is a slight chance your baby might suffocate from a crib bumper. For this reason, bibles like Baby Bargains (awesome book, btw) does not (cannot?) recommend them. However, when they say "slight" do you know how "slight"? I looked into it. Approximately 1 in 3 million, and that's not accounting for other factors that might also be at play in that one child's crib/home.
Do you know what the chances are that you might be in an auto accident with your child in the car? I don't want to scare you (or myself), but it's a LOT higher than 1 in 3 million.
My point is this: Thousands of people will forgo the crib bumper while thinking nothing of packing up their baby into the car.
And I TOTALLY get how that seems reasonable. But it also kind of isn't. And so there's a point where, again, I put the books down and step away from the internet and breathe and try to figure out what I really need to worry about versus what I don't.
No easy feat.
But so here I am. And despite reading lists and books and sorting through all kinds of "recommendations" I still do not feel like we have everything we need.
I feel like there's still that elusive thing, that one we-could-not-have-lived-without-this item we don't know about, that we must have.
So you know? I thought I'd ask you. You seem to know stuff.
My specific question is: What is your list of things that you had (or wish you'd had) when you returned home from the hospital? What did you wish you'd thought of?
Trying not to go overboard, the basics we have:
- A crib
- A bassinet (for our room, where she'll sleep for the first few months)
- A changing table/dresser for her room upstairs
- A Pack 'n' Play with a changing station for downstairs
- Newborn and size 1 diapers
- Infant car seat and stroller frame for it to pop into
- A bouncer
- Clothes/blankets/swaddlers/sleep sacks
- UPDATED: Sorry, forgot to mention: We did also get a Diaper Champ (recommended over the Genie). We got this because we've already actually had one for over a year. Why? you ask? Because it was a LIFESAVER when we had four cats in a single apartment, and no garbage chute nearby. We kept the Diaper Champ next to the litterboxes, and it totally rocked. It's otherwise nearly impossible to stay on top of the cat-poop smell, and this did wonders. It takes regular kitchen garbage bags, and is so handy for cat litter! Figured if it could handle the stench of four cats' best efforts, it can handle a baby's.
And not to be all ULTRA-controversial or anything, but on the subject of breastfeeding...well, I plan to. At least I will try to. We'll see how it goes. I think if I can, I will. For a while. I do not believe that breastfeeding is the answer to all of life's problems, however, or that you are less of a mother if you do not breastfeed.
For what it's worth: I know a few moms who were physically unable to breastfeed and who were demeaned, vilified, and made to feel horribly guilty as a result. WTF? These women are some of the best moms I've ever met. Pressure to breastfeed is overwhelming to me, and it's simply my temperament to be skeptical when "everyone" seems to be "shoulding."
Who knows? Maybe I'll LOVE it. But if I don't or can't, I believe that's okay, too.
[I loved this article in The Atlantic about how the "Breast Is Best" philosophy is at least partly refutable. Of course the article has flaws, but at least it pokes holes in many of the arguments people seem to take as law. That breastfed babies are healthier than formula-fed babies isn't incontrovertible, for example.]
UPDATED: Please read the Atlantic article before telling me not to heed it. The point -- of the article and my linking it -- is simply that there is another side to the YOU MUST BREASTFEED OR ELSE position. Most current studies support the theory that breast is best, but the studies aren't without flaws. Am I willing to believe the entire American Pediatric Association? Of course! Just...not blindly. It's not like doctors haven't been wrong before (remember the decade or so during which all moms were instructed to position babies on their stomachs to sleep?), or that new studies don't constantly change our best thinking. I'm just trying to be sensible, and have a hard time believing there is ever only one "right" way.
But so, okay. Assuming I will be nursing for "a while," I don't have a good sense of what equipment I NEED to have at home right away, and what stuff I can get eventually: bottles? How many? Pumps? What kinds? Even if I'm not working? How does one store breastmilk most efficiently, anyhow? Should I have formula on hand anyway?
Lastly, what are your thoughts on diaper bags? I'm assuming I need one, but what should I carry with me? What do I REALLY need in the beginning? Is this something else I can wait on, or something I should have prepped?
I promise to take your suggestions VERY VERY seriously, so please share as much as you're willing.