OMG! I'm Going to Be a Grandmother and What Are All of These New-Fangled Products, Anyway?

BlogHer Original Post

OMG, having a baby is a whole lot harder nowadays than it was when I was having them. Who knew something so basic could change so much in 25 or 30 years? Seriously, do babies (and parents) really need all of these new fangled products, or deluxe products?

Take diapers, for instance. Even disposable diapers are more confusing today than they were 25 years ago. How do you even know which size or style is the right one? I suppose the newborn version with the little notch for the umbilical cord is nice enough but is it nice enough to pay extra money for? I don't think so. And, do you really need disposables with color changing strips to let you know when the baby needs a change?

Which brings me to the total and complete confusion I feel about cloth diapers. Back in my day, you folded your own diapers and they were pretty much just plain ole white. I wasn't even sure you could buy those old fashioned types 'til I found them online described as "burp cloths," which caused me to roll my eyes. How do you decide which cute, brightly colored cloth diapers to buy? I've been looking at them for three months now and I still can't figure out which is the best choice -- and when I ask folks, I get so many different answers that no one brand screams "WINNER!" -- Does that mean they're all pretty much the same?

Until our trip to Toys 'R Us this morning, I wasn't sure Jenn really needed a Diaper Genie. Well I'm still not 100% sure she needs one, but if the dog really can't get into it then that would make it worthwhile. Totally. If the dog can break into it, then not so much. (And this dog has eaten at least three remote controls in the last year... so yea, I don't think it's going to work, do you?)

I was fascinated by all of the gadgets and accessories for strollers. GOOD GRIEF, the Mommy Hook? Really? REALLY? And the bathtubs for babies -- in my day, the sink was a great place to give a baby a bath. Does Johnny Mac Pippin really need a spa?

Why do swings cost so much? What happened to the basic crank swing? I know it was loud but that was part of its charm and none of my babies ever complained a damn bit about it. I put them in it, I cranked it up, they smiled happily and then they fell asleep. End of story. They didn't need soothing music or fun gadgets stuck to it. Toss a few colorful blocks onto the tray, or a favorite small stuffed animal, and everyone was happy. These swings now don't even look like swings. Does Johnny Mac Pippin need so many bright colors or gadgets to entertain him? Or special music or vibrations to soothe him? -- His mother didn't. We just cranked it up, turned on the stereo or MTV in the background and she was thrilled. Surely Johnny Mac Pippin will be just as awesome a kid as his mom was.

And activity mats? OMG, what are those things? When Jenn was a baby, she didn't even have an activity mat. She had a blanket and we put some of her toys around her and she made her own fun. Even Michelle, who did have an activity center, did just fine with a small one that she could play with while she sat in her car seat or laid on the floor. I felt over-stimulated just looking at them in the store, I don't think Johnny Mac Pippin wants to be over-stimulated. I think he will be perfectly happy with a blanket and a few simple toys and books and stuffed animals. Forget those $150 play centers -- waste of MONEY and space. Who has room for all of these things, anyway?

Let me tell what else I don't understand -- I don't understand the Bumbo. I just don't get it. Why does Johnny Mac Pippin need that? Won't someone sit with him on the floor helping him hold himself up until he's able to do it all by himself? On Amazon, one of the selling points of the Bumbo is that it promotes more close-contact family interaction. Huh? Wouldn't Johnny Mac Pippin have close-contact family interaction without the plastic seat? I know some of you people swear that you love this thing but I'm not buying it (literally). Heck, the Bumbo might not be safe!

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