When I was pregnant, I spent all kinds of time researching baby gear. And why not? It's a fun way to pass the time. At that time I cared a lot about the aesthetic. The design. The color scheme. Did it fit with our house? Or Nugget's room? Did this shirt meet my criteria for cute baby clothes?
And now that I'm enormously experienced at this motherhood thing (ha!) I've come down from my high horse and realized that I just don't care as much as I thought I did. Rather, I care about other things.
Take bottles, for instance. I though these ones were cutest. And I almost paid OVER $10 EACH for them. They were extra special glass and had those cute covers. My baby needed the best, right?
Well then I realized that glass bottles are HEAVY. Who wants that? And my practical (read: cheap) side kicked in and I bought bottles that numerous folks had recommended. Dr. Browns. Because they were supposed to be the best at keeping air out of my baby's tummy. And who doesn't want that?
And then when Caroline finally came along, she decided that she didn't like Dr. Browns. *Sigh*
So you know what I did? I went to the store and bought some of the cheapest, most basic bottles on the market. The Playtex drop-ins. Nothing new or fancy or special about them. In fact, I think my parents used this kind of bottle for me. But you know what? She eats from them! And the drop-in liner is pretty dang convenient.
Basically, I don't care what she drinks from as long as it works for her. Cute bottles? Who needs 'em?
Then take equipment. All babies are so different in this area! In her two months of life, Caroline has taken little interest in her swing, which in my opinion is adorable. If she's already awake and happy, she's fine in there. And if she's already sleeping, she'll stay that way. But it doesn't soothe her. In fact, she'll get pretty PO'd if you try and stick her in there when she's fussy.
We also got the matching bouncer as a shower gift. Also adorable! It plays music and nature sounds and vibrates nicely. However, it likewise doesn't solve any of her problems.
(Mary Kate, I know you're reading this. If you want to borrow the bouncer once your baby comes, you're welcome to it! You can save your $ for cute clothes.)
In fact, we get more use out of the play mat I picked up for $2.50 at a garage sale than out of either the swing or the bouncer.
When we were visiting friends last week in Michigan, Caroline sat in another kid's bouncer seat. That seat was more basic than ours, and actually bounced when I kicked it rhythmically with my foot. And you know what? It soothed her! She liked it!
So a quick trip to Target and $25 later, we ended up with this guy. And lo and behold! I can unload the dishwasher (while bouncing her with my foot) and she's content in there! Or read a book on how to get your child to nap during the day (while bouncing her with my foot.) Is it particularly cute or soft or sweet? Does it play music? No, no, and no. Does it flow with the decor of our house? Nope. But IT WORKS.
Then there's baby clothes. Call me a snob if you want, but always I thought I'd be picky about what she wore. And I kind of still am. But I have very different criteria these days. I used to drool over all kinds of kids clothes from all kinds of different companies. We bought a few things here and there for fun, and also received all kinds of clothes from generous friends and family.
I used to care about only what the clothes looked like on the hanger, or in the box.
Now it's way more important to me to see how they fit her. Dwell Studio clothes (which I love the looks of) have thus far been too wide for my string bean-ish child. They look awkward on her. I do have a Dwell Studio outfit waiting for her in the next size up, and I'm hopeful it work at that time. We have the same issue with Janie and Jack. Carter's clothes, on the other hand, fit her like a glove. And thus, they end up being my go-to clothes for her. I never disliked Carters, but I wouldn't have considered them my favorites, either, prior to Caroline's arrival.
I guess I'm just learning that motherhood is just big fat trial and error experience. A humbling one at that.
And I love it.