My baby will turn 20 in 4 months. And that tells you how long it has been since I cared for a baby and dealt with all of the accessories and equipment that goes along with the job. With the arrival of our grandbaby last November, I have been learning all about how much things have changed. Being me, and a bit stubborn about these new fangled ideas, I have resisted most of them. It’s okay to pause for a moment and feel sympathy for what my son and daughter-in-law are dealing with. 🙂
7 months into this ‘baby of the 2000’s’ experience and I have encountered some interesting things that I thought I would share with you-
1. Nose sucker thing- Okay, this just takes the cake for me! Remember the blue bulb that you got at the hospital? It was pretty simple- squeeze, insert, release. While wandering Target’s baby department, I was appalled and (more than slightly grossed out by this!!!) Now, I always thought people who siphoned gas were crazy but siphoning snot? Ewwwwwwwww Give me that blue bulb any day! 2. Food pouches- Baby food is now available for purchase in pouches. You unscrew the lid and it oozes out like toothpaste. This one will end up on my pet peeve list. Really! When I first saw these, I didn’t see the purpose. In order to feed the baby, you either had to squeeze it onto the spoon- spoonful by spoonful- or squeeze the entire tube into a bowl. It certainly made it a bit difficult to feed the baby half of it. Then it happened. The thing that made my head explode and spin into circles while smoke burst out of my ears.
We had a fussy baby at Target and Mommy explained that he was probably hungry. She twisted off the cap of one of these pouches and held it out to baby, who reached for it eagerly- obviously knowing what to do- and he just sucked the food out of the pouch. (So much for learning how to eat with utensils or any personal interaction. And as far as easy goes- boy, it’s so easy….. ) Can you guess how I feel about these handy little pouches? How do you heat it up? (You don’t. They just suck on it at room temp which isn’t really room temp because it’s a liquidy substance so it’s cool- just like you like to eat your mashed up veggies, right?)
Jars (which are slowly being replaced by pouches and plastic little containers) were so easy- you could open it and easily see how much as left and heating it was up was so easy!)
3. Exersaucers/ stationary walkers- When my kids were first getting around there was nothing they liked better than exploring their world in their walker. Sure, there were a few toys in the tray on the front but they loved the freedom to move around and see things from a different perspective. Nowadays, babies have everything they need right within their reach. No need to look any farther. But if they want to spin around in circles until they puke, they don’t have to worry about their toys every falling off. So, maybe I had to keep an eye on my kids while they were zooming around in their walker but they seemed to stay entertained for longer periods of time with a lot less fanfare.
4. And speaking of their toys not falling off- everything has an attachment! It doesn’t matter what it is- pacifier, toys, bottles, cups….. they are all attached by some means. I have mixed feelings about this one. Sure, when you’re taking a walk there’s nothing worse than finding out that he dropped his favorite toy somewhere back along the mile you just walked. BUT dropping things and learning that they don’t always just magically appear is something he has to learn, too. There’s probably a healthy balance in there somewhere but I’m afraid that these days that gets lost in the convenience of having it all attached.
5. Pacifier wipes. Hmmm, my kids didn’t have pacifiers; they had thumbs. I didn’t use special wipes on their thumbs and I have yet to use one on Beej’s pacifier. It’s easier to swap it out with a clean one or do a quick swipe if the pacifier didn’t actually touch anything. (But that’s just me!)
6. Diapers- They are SO absorbent it’s almost ridiculous. There is one brand that comes with a line down the front that changes color when the baby is wet. The interesting part is that it starts at the bottom and slowly morphs from one color into the other as the baby gets wetter so you can determine how long your baby gets to lay around in his wet diaper. And the scary thing is that these diapers are so absorbent that sometimes you cannot tell they are wet until they are very wet. It took me awhile to figure out which color line I was looking for because I forgot to pay attention when I first put the diaper on the baby.
I prefer the good old days when a simple poke in the front to determine squishiness did the trick. Or a quick sniff, pulling out the back and peeking in….. or gulp, yes, sticking your finger inside the leg hole…
7. Swings have come a long way since 1995. Not only are they battery operated but they come with almost as many options as a new car. They can swing at a vast variety of speeds- from barely moving to whiplash. They can go in different directions. In addition to the boring forward and back traditional swing mode, they can also go side to side and I believe some go in circles. I get queasy just thinking about it. Then there is the music which can get old really quick!! If you’re not into music for soothing your baby, you can switch to nature mode- complete with crickets and frogs…. Then there’s the light show. Yes, there’s a light show. Heaven forbid baby gets bored with looking out at the world around him! He can look up and see something that I’m sure rivals Pink Floyd’s laser light show.
I can’t help but miss the good old days of cranking the baby swing and then when the fussy baby had just fallen asleep, the darn swing would wind down, causing me to have to very carefully- click by click- wind up again praying the entire time that baby wouldn’t wake up. (My husband preferred the ‘rip the band aid’ technique where he just cranked it as fast as he could and left the poor stunned baby whipping back and forth at 80 miles per hour yanked out of a deep sleep unable to catch his breath.)
8. Bumper pads and other dangers. I did not know that cribs were such dangerous places when I had babies. Mine had bumper pads, blankets, and a few stuffed animals. (And just to add to the danger factor, my kids slept in the same crib their father used as a baby in 1965!)
Back in the 90’s when I was having my kids, I didn’t realize how easy I had it. I didn’t have endless gizmos and gadgets designed to make my life easier. I didn’t know that I was doing everything the hard way. And above all, my kids made it adulthood- unstuffed noses, using utensils, curious, rash free, healthy, and alive- all without these things. And if I can tell you a little secret (but you have to promise not to tell Beej’s parents), I ignore most of this new stuff when dealing with him and he seems to do just fine when he’s with me. (In fact, I swear he might be relieved when he sees me!)
What has your experience been? Is there any new baby contraption that you wish was around a few years ago?