November 17, 2005

We Are Continuing Our Research

. . . into baby furniture and small layette items. Today we looked at cribs and changing tables.

We're starting to get an idea of what we want: it's just a question of finding it at the right price. Simple styling; sturdy and safe. Natural wood finish. Converts to a toddler bed.

With respect to things like onesies and diapers, I'll proably get a few of everything, but keep the receipts so everything can be exchanged if we get a one-year-old rather than a newborn, for instance.

But I'm flummoxed on bottles. Eventually I'll need a lot of them, since I probably won't attempt breatfeeding.

Plain old bottles, or one of those systems (e.g., Playtex) that keeps the baby from swallowing so much air? I'll make myself a sampler pack, I guess, and see what works.

Posted by Attila at November 17, 2005 02:44 AM | TrackBack

Yeah, skip the breatfeeding.

I vote for the liners as opposed to the old-fashioned bottles.

My advice--relax. it's nice to prepare, but no preparation is as important than the ability to pay attention to the child itself. i ;learned a lot of useful (rather than theoretical and sweeping) stuff from Brazleton.

Just as my kiod was born, Parent's magazine had an article comparing having a child to being a member of a cult. You know, you're completely taken by a charismatic character upon whom you focus all your attention. You exist on little sleep, and your diet becomes hit and miss, while you spend everyday making sure that the cult figure gets the best diet and plenty of sleep. And so on. it turns out to be pretty accurate. You end up meeting with members of other cults comparing the the daily facts of life for those in these cults. You talk of little else but your cult figure. And you should be smiling a lot, when you are not to tired to turn up your lips.

Soon after the baby comes home, have hubby let the baby sleep on his chest skin to skin. That way, he is sure to join you in the cult, and he will understand his loss of central position better.

Studies have shown that well over half of all mothers have imprinted on Dreft. i suggest using it.

One of the best lessons i ever had came from a friend. He was a very tactile person, having grwon up with twoblind parents. he had a child shortly before mine, and one day i was visiting him and his baby. At one point, he sniffed, smiled, and said, "Oh, boy, it's changing time. that's about the most fun time we have, at this age."

He proceeded to get down on the blanket on the floor with the baby, and spend a long time interacting with his voice,his face, his hands. he took his time getting the job done, obviously making the baby the center rather than completion of some task. For me, not then a touchy-feely kind of person, it was a great lesson. I never had a problem with diapers at all.

Don't worry about the bag. get the one you want, that does what you want. It doesn't matter if it has flowers and paisleys on it, your husband will gladly use it.

And ignore anyone who dwells on negatives. Especially those who say things like, "sure, they're cute when they're babies, but just wait until...." You know, the terrible twos, when they are teenagers, whatever.

Just remember that at an early age, thigs go by so fast that you should never put something off until later. take that picture now.

Try to make the intellectual realization that once the baby time is over, you will miss it immensely somewhat visceral, and enjoy it as much as you can.\

Don't worry about the housework or the dishes, your makeup or whether the clothes are wrinkly. It doesn't matter to the cult leader.

Babies don't need a lot of clothes. no baby needs a dress. If people insist on buying you clothes for the child, encourage them to buy larger sizes of functional clothes (we liked tees and Osk-Kosh Begosh overalls). that will help defray your costs when the child gets old enough to need clothes, basically, when the child starts to move on his own.

Paper diapers work better than cloth. We learned this fact the hard way. They are expensive, start saving now.

Repeat after me: the TV is not a babysitter.

Repeat after me: it won't kill the kid if you use the TV to baby sit once in a while.

Sorry this got long and preachy.

mostly, just relax. Trust yourselves.

Posted by: Averroes at November 17, 2005 04:59 PM

Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Posted by: Attila Girl at November 17, 2005 10:43 PM

Amen on the larger sizes – no two companies use the same size chart, and even average sized kids outgrow stuff way too fast. They sure don’t care if you have to roll up sleeves or cuffs for a few months.

As for Dreft – it’s a waste of money– all it is, is regular detergent watered down. I checked the patents (AG knows I’m a chemist). You can water Tide down yourself at 25% of the cost. After the first few months, the kid gets used to regular detergent at regular strength anyway.

I would have recommended Childcraft furniture after our first kid, but the stuff we got for my son a year ago was much lower quality – the drawers in the dresser stick in extremes of humidity – easily fixed, but for the money we paid, I expected better. The bed’s pretty good, and converts into a toddler bed and then into a twin. On our new one they changed the wood design and it’s easier for a babe learning to walk to find a place to grip and pull himself up. If they have a design like this

that you like, it’s a good crib. Our new crib does not have that curved piece on the top of front vertical slats, they replaced it with what is essentially a two inch diameter dowel. There is a gap between the end of the vertical slats and the dowel that the putz can put his hands in to pull himself up. The harder that is to do, the better.

Posted by: John at November 18, 2005 07:25 PM

John, youmay be right about Dreft, but my recommendation is based on perfume.

I was thinking about that recently. It seemed to me odd that Dreft is used almost universally. I thought about all those mothers imprinting. It seems easier somehow to always imprint on Drefft.

But yur suggetion is certainly ok. Since you are so money concious, i'm surprised that you didn't reccomencd the store brand.

Attila, when i made the comment about "breat" i was taking a crack at yur spelling--i feel i have the right since i can't get anythng typed right most times.

But breast-feeding is great. if you can do it, you might try.

But i will tell you this. When my wife had an infection about four months after our baby was born, and had to give up breast feeding while taking an antibiotic, the baby took hapilly to bottles, and refused to return to the breast when ist was later offered. We thought it might have to do with my wife's huge breasts. Seems the baby was happy handling the bottle on her own, and was reluctant to give up her new found control.

She has always had a mind of her own.

Posted by: Averroes at November 18, 2005 07:57 PM

Hey! Everyone knows I take off my "proofreader's helmet" when I blog! How funny. But I will have to do some bratfeeding . . . Actually, I've heard that statistically almost no adoptive mothers are successful at nursing, and I know formulae are more sophisticated these days, so I've just decided not to worry about what the La Leche League might say.

I am going to look for unscented detergent. Lord knows I do now, because my allergies are so unpredictable (not bad like K's--but troublesome). Whether I'll be willing to spring for Dreft, I'm not sure. I'm pretty cheap. But sensitive to allergy issues . . . oh, the delicious agonizing I have ahead of me! (I might even play the "dad's a cosmetic chemist" card, and get him to find something unscented at the wholesale level. Or the "mom's a Costco junkie" card: "Mom? Could you pick up a drum of Dreft for the baby?")

Thanks for the tip on crib design. That's exactly the sort of thing I'm looking for: cheap, sturdy, safe. I'm looking at the best cribs now, and I'll likely get something second-hand that I trust to stand up to a second child. (Meaning mine: Attila the Hub and I will likely only have this one.)

Hey! This might even be fun!

Posted by: Attila Girl at November 18, 2005 10:40 PM

For stuff to last for the second child, make sure it either has threaded brass inserts or barrel nuts to hold hex nuts into the wood. Wood screws placed directly into wood can't really be retightened when (not if) the kid's jostling loosens the structure. Personally, I've found barrel nuts to be better than the brass inserts. I tighten them about once per year, in October when the New England humidity swings from 90% to 20%.

Posted by: John at November 19, 2005 10:22 AM

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