Monday, December 22, 2008

Baby Equipment: Second Child Edition

It's amazing how much you learn about baby "stuff" after you have your first. There is a long list of things that are marketed to first time parents as absolutely necessary, that you learn are completely superfluous. However, there are certain accessories that remain indispensable, although their usage may change...

The Cradle - Description: A beautiful, hand-crafted wood piece of furniture - the best-looking piece in our house, I might add, thanks to the talents of my brother. Provides a comfortable resting place that rocks gently, lulling the baby into peaceful slumber. Advantage: A high, safe place to put the baby, complete with pin that stops it from rocking to prevent little fingers from 1) slamming into the wall, and 2) rolling the baby roller-coaster style.

The Bouncy Seat - Description: light-weight seat that bounces gently with baby's tiny movements, which continuously calms them for either awake or sleepy periods. Advantage: Lightweight enough to pick up and move to higher ground to prevent that gentle bounce from becoming a catapult. ("Baby bounce!")

Sling - Description: comfy baby-wearing, snuggles baby close, easier on the back and allows mama to be a little more hands free. Advantage: Also doubles as toddler's back-up blanket.

Diaper Bag - 1st Child: An over-sized shoulder bag into which you put 2 changes of baby clothes, 25 diapers, wipes, rattles, camera, 2 pacifiers, your own wallet, cell phone, baby book, nursing pads, change of shirt for mama, extra keys and hair clip, baby tylenol, mama tylenol, receipt from last doc's appointment, granola bar and bottle of water. 5 months later: you change the style of bag because your back is killing you. 4 months later: you clean out the bag, realize how much junk is in there, and make the switch to a small bag that holds your ID, 2 diapers, a baggie of wipes since Toddler has pulled them out of their original container, and a quiet toy and book for Mass. On good days it may hold your camera, too, but let's not push it. Second Child: Back to the large bag, but this time it's full of newborn diapers and wipes, some toys for toddler, one larger diaper ("did I remember to bring one?") and your camera. Realize once you're at the doc's office that you forgot your insurance card again, which also means you've been driving without carrying your license again ("for how long?" you wonder). Your back is still killing you, but now it has nothing to do with the diaper bag.

Pacifier: That little plug you resist for the first baby for weeks, until her crying is so bad that you want someone else to hold her and not have her nurse 23 hours a day. It then taunts you for the next ___ months while you remind yourself that you weren't going to use it; it's only because she was so fussy. Second Child: she's sucking on one before you leave the hospital.

Yes, with experience comes wisdom, and with wisdom comes humility, and with humility comes... more children from which to become wise and humble.