My eyes widened as they caught sight of a beautiful crib, displayed with great care in the middle of the showroom floor.
I, pregnant mom-to-be, and my husband were deep in our shopping for the baby whose arrival was quickly approaching.
I spotted the crib and was enamored with its features:
A built in changing table!
It converts into a toddler bed!
I was sold. The rational bargain shopper in me, would have insisted on a more simpler (i.e. less expensive option), but I thought, hey, this is an investment. This is something we will use in so many ways, and it will last many years. After all, a baby spends a lot of time sleeping, right?
Turns out, my firstborn spent little time in his crib, and I wound up purchasing a special bassinet which enabled me to safely co-sleep with my baby.
As for the changing table, well, I mostly found it to be a pain, and performed most of my diaper changing on our floor on top of a mat or spare towel.
The drawers did come in handy, and once in a while our child did use the toddler bed, so maybe the crib wasn’t a complete waste.
But could we have done without it?
Seems most parents can look back on those baby days and name at least one item they could have gone without.
From changing tables (wasn’t just me) to bottle warmers, members of my Facebook groupFacebook group shared the things they purchased (or were gifted) for their babies that ended up collecting dust and cluttering their homes.
Often we acquire these items with good intentions — a wipe warmer does sound like it would make the experience more pleasant for a baby. New parents are inundated with promotions, salespeople, friends and family insisting we need to have all these things to be better at raising our babies. We want the best for our children, and we try our hardest to create an environment in which they can thrive.
As seasoned parents can tell you, babies don’t need much at all.
What they need most are people who can love, care for them and keep them safe.
That, and maybe diapers, unless you’re into elimination communication.
Ok, babies do need a bit more than diapers, but the point of this post is to alleviate the guilt of any parent wondering if they’re doing “enough.”
Baby gear is expensive, and, hey, if you can afford it, or have been blessed with friends and family who were able to get you what you want, enjoy it. But, if you can’t, or don’t have that kind of support, and wonder if you are doing enough, remember this, as long as you are providing the basic needs for your baby and doing so in a caring environment, you are doing just fine.
As for you parents-to-be, you will be tempted by the fancy cribs, the convertible strollers and the thousands of products designed to make you better at raising your kids. You will likely purchase at least one thing you will never use, because that is part of the game.
After a year or two, you will look back and laugh at how you thought your baby must have their very own custom laser light show projector.
And, you will ask yourself, “why did I buy this?” many more times through the years.
Because what is parenting, if not buying useless items for your children?