Since we are expecting number 7 I guess that makes me the “experienced” mom. At least I am experienced in the sense that I have in fact been here and done this a couple of times. My sister-in-law is expecting her first. So I suppose it is natural to think back to expecting my first and the absolutely uncertainty that I was awash in when I was a first time mom and laugh at myself.
Something that has been amusing me the past few weeks is the “baby registry” phenomenon. What do you need for a baby? I can almost feel that remembered panic setting in with me, the new mom, sure that I was going to miss having that one, ultimate, thing that will make caring for a new baby easy. Especially when you don’t have much experience around newborns it can seem like they are little alien creatures who will break if you don’t care for them perfectly, and marketers are more than happy to exploit these insecurities and sell you all sorts of stuff you don’t need.
The reality is that you really don’t need much for a newborn (under normal circumstances).
Top ten things you probably don’t need:
- A changing table.
- Special baby towels/washcloths
- diaper wipe warmer
- diaper genie
- mobiles/white noise/baby lullaby/ crib vibrators
- full-sized high chairs
- special laundry detergent
- baby food
- diaper stacker
Your newborn spends the entire day eating, pooping and sleeping with occasional breaks to look at things usually to face of whomever is holding them – at first they would be perfectly happy to be held 24×7. As they get older they spend more time alert and quickly start looking for things to do. Baby’s needs can be divided into some basic categories: sleeping, eating, diapering, bathing and care, clothing, travel, and play. These needs are what should drive baby purchases, not marketing.