Friday, 19 February 2016

7 Quick Takes 26: Geriatric Mother - Baby Needs What??

Because Lent is about humility, and there's no better way to cultivate humility than becoming offensive to everyone, I offer up a geriatric mother's opinion on modern babyhood. It's been a long, long time since we entered the world of babies, and much of what I encountered just left me scratching my head.Yes, yes, I know that the bumbo-bath-hammock-with-automatic-coconut-oil-dispenser was your lifesaver, but, as I'll probably being saying before a judge one day, Your honor, I had a baby at 45. Case dismissed and award that woman a two-week spa vacation.

1. Activity centre 
The only reason I could see to use one of these is to get your baby to pass out from sensory/plastic overload. It nearly made me pass out just from looking at it. Blocks and books, people, blocks and books.

2. Baby sleeping wedge
... And a myriad of other baby sleep/recliner devices that look like segments out of a roller coaster. Maybe this is just me, but (bar medical reasons) if you have to wedge your baby in place, doesn't that tell you it isn't a natural sleeping position?

3. Bath hammock 
The first baby item I bought when pregnant this time around was a baby bathtub, because I happened to walk into the thrift store when they were having a half price sale on baby items. Only later did I discover that the world of washing babies has changed... but I'm not sure why. Even I can wash a baby one handed. In fact, for thousands of years, people have managed not to drown their babies while bathing them. The only reason I can think of to sling your baby up in a bath hammock is to have a free hand for your coffee/margarita/ tranquilizers. Or maybe to grab the cat who got over excited by bath time and is crouching down to pee in the corner of the bathroom. OK, two reasons.

4. To which I'm going to add the Sink flower for the same reason. I just don't understand why you'd want one unless your name is Ann Geddes. My parents have some great cine film footage of my brother having a tantrum while being washed in the sink at Pontin's ca. 1974. I'd so post it here if I could.

This is the way to go...

... because afterwards, it becomes this:

This won't chill your wine when your child has outgrown it.

5. Breast milk alcohol test strips 
As if breastfeeding mothers don't hear enough 'advice' from all sides. A tip: if you think you need these, you're drinking too much. Or you're really paranoid, so you'd better go have a nice, chilled glass of white wine to calm down. Except you can't because you bought a sink flower.

And, by the way, I looked up images for this topic, and this turned up:

Maybe it's a warning about what will happen to your baby if you drink and breastfeed? Or use alcohol testing strips? Any suggestions?

6. Bumbo 
Hand on heart, when I first saw this, I thought it was some kind of giant potty. Apparently, they are fashionable, and people like them, bar some physical therapists. I almost caved in and bought one second hand, but then I noticed a war had erupted over them. Yummy mummies versus crunchy moms or something. We just propped our baby up on the sofa or actually held him.

Here is our Luddite child, wedged up in his wooden high chair (no, we don't let him sit there without the tray - this was for the photo) with an old cushion for a seat and tatty quilt for backing because we care about his little head, but in a cheap, old fashioned way. Note also the view of our ripped up, bifurcated kitchen floor.

7. Food pouches
I know they managed to market these to crazy cat ladies - but now parents? I included this because my husband and I had a debate on how to use it. I assumed you squeezed the food out and heated it; he thought you just gave the whole thing to the baby to suck on, a la gogurt. Maybe that is a male/female attitude. Anyhow, we bought one, but only because it was reduced, and because our kitchen floor is half plywood and we have no dishwasher, so the baby finally has to slum it with a few jars (and pouches) of prepared food.

There, now I feel suitably humble. To commune with more Thoroughly Modern Millies, head on over to This Ain't the Lyceum.


  1. 😀 I will say this. Activity center is lovely so the baby can "play" with her big sisters or keep herself occupied for a bit without being trampled by those running loony sisters while mama picks up.

    1. I'm sure it does - this was just my tongue-in-cheek look at being baffled by all the new paraphernalia out there! I'm just trying to stave off the day when my house is filled with brightly-coloured plastic again!

  2. I don't get all the "stuff" parents think they need either. I just had baby #10 at 42. 22 years ago they didn't even have most of this stuff. I've managed to raise my children without all these things. Besides, who's got room for all of it. LOL

    1. Congratulations on your new baby! When I was expecting Alcuin, someone asked if I had a baby registry - I didn't even know there was such a thing!

  3. I love it! #1 is right on (although we do have one given to us as a gift and my baby seemed to like it, I still can't look directly at it without having a seizure.) #2 - has no one ever heard of a rolled-up towel with rubber bands around it? We had to try to prop my son up a little because he insisted on sleeping on a spot on his head that was becoming very flat (still is, but whatevs. Hair mostly covers it.) I do LOVE our Bumbo, though. They're pricey but we found one at a yard sale for $2 and it was the best $2 we ever spent - as soon as they can support their own head, they can sit in the Bumbo, and our daughter always liked to be wherever we were so it was usually up on the kitchen counter so she could watch us make dinner or on the washing machine while I folded laundry. It was a lifesaver.

    1. If I'd seen a Bumbo for $2, I probably would have caved in!

  4. I don't belive that cinefilm of you brother in a sink exists. You've made that up. Like film of him having a tantrum in a pushchair. Doesn't exist. Must be your baby brain. Anon.

    1. Maybe you're correct, brother - I mean, Anon.

    2. I will definitely try and find it- seeing as you've digitised all your Dad's cine film ANON !!!