My daughter and son are adults now. Somehow, my husband and I managed to raise two well-adjusted adults through the 1980s and 90s without a baby monitor and with only four well-used Tupperware sippy cups and dozens of cloth diapers.
I’m friends on Facebook with some of their friends who have reproduced as well as young parents from church. It floors me to see the kinds of things available to raise kids these days.
I almost fell off my chair when I say this:
A plastic “grass” mat to air dry child feeding tools. One less than one square foot is just under $16.00. One just about a square foot is $30. Then the little plastic sci-fi looking flower things are $6 a pop to hold nipples or whatever. So we’re looking at about $50.00 worth of plastic here. Plastic, people. To actually change seasons, you can get a winter version in all white with gray twig-like structures.
This is how my kids’ feeding things were washed and dried. Then I’d just put the bottles/nipples/cups/lids any place they landed without falling on the floor. Sometimes I used nothing more than a clean dish towel.
And of course, I always smiled when leaning oner the sink doing dishes. My favorite thing in life.
(The woman is more from my mom’s mothering days than mine. But the technology was the same.)
Here’s a new baby swing. $120 worth of plastic that needs batteries or a plug to work. Of course, it does play 16 songs and includes nature sounds AND rocks back and forth or side to side.
We had one like the picture below. It’s metal with a cloth seat and runs on crank power that often wakes a sleeping baby up when you go to rewind it. It had a soothing click-click-click sound as it swung in its only direction. When the kid gets older she can practice hand-eye coordination by reaching for and grabbing a front leg and stopping the swinging motion. This means more parent/child engagement when you go and restart the thing and the baby smiles and chuckles to see you again.
One of our favorite things was the jumper. I’m glad to see they’re still available. We had a doorway jumper like this:
Both kids loved it and they laughed and laughed as they jumped. Now you can get the hyper-stimulation model:
What babies NEED most are loving parents, food, shelter and security. That’s how infants have become adults for thousands and thousands of years. If anything else gets in the way, stresses parents to provide or care for, frustrates the baby in some unnecessary way or otherwise detracts from the peace of a home (which babies are known to do to begin with!), it’s worse than useless.
Modern baby equipment may or may not be better or even safer. Babies are huge business and new parents can be easily induced to feel guilty about what they can or can’t provide for their children. Good strong loving parenting is what every baby even needs the most of. Don’t let stuff get in the way.
What do I think? I think you speak the truth. Babies don’t need fancy, trending gadgets. Investing in your child’s well-being is what should be trending. It has worked for centuries.
Thanks for you comment!
To be fair to the modern mother (err… me), I’m sure the 50’s era mom thought the crank swing and sippy cups were silly trends. There are some silly things out there and some super useful things out there, too. Luckily (except in rare circumstances) us moms know what’s important as soon as we hold that little baby.
thanks for your comment! Honestly, I think a lot of super-trendy stuff is for marketed for grandparents and such to buy. Parents mostly want diapers!
I raised my four kids on Tupperware sippy cups, clothes pins and jar rings for teething and the old crank swing. They turned out fine. It is all a money making thing now. Kids would rather play with boxes and dirt than all the expensive toys in the stores…..