From Extras to Essentials, Part 1

Every first time mom can relate to being bombarded with all the advertisements for “mommy must-haves”. Every single day it seems there’s a new latest and greatest baby appliance that you simply cannot live without…or at least that’s what retailers hope to convince you of.

While the nine months spent growing your baby can be exciting and beautiful, it can also be scary and anxiety-producing. Think about it: you’re growing a life inside of you for the first time, feeling foreign sensations and watching your body morph into something you don’t recognize. Yeah, it’s intense, lol. The last thing any of us needs at that point is to be made to feel like we’re ill-prepared for the moment our cute bundles of joy decide to exit their human incubator!

Why do we do this to ourselves? Why do we allow catalogues and sales posters plastered on store windows to persuade us to scurry out to every baby boutique and warehouse to buy more “stuff”? Sure, it’s fun to gush at all the cutesy things at first. It’s even amusing to contemplate purchasing that clever little never-heard-of device that promises to make life with the new baby easier. But when you’re 30+ weeks and feeling gargantuan, waddling around a store worried about not having everything is hardly pleasant.

While some things are extremely handy to have, others are just plain ol’ wastes of money. Here are two things I learned along the way that might help my e-Mommy tribe.

Baby Wipe Warmers
This one is definitely an “extra”. Skip it all together. I know what you’re thinking: who would want an ice cold wipe on their soft little baby bottom? It’s a noble thought, but here are other things to consider. First, rarely are baby wipes freezing cold. Are they warm? No, but your baby will adjust; eventually the shock of being changed  with a cool wipe won’t produce blood-curdling screams each time. If you start out with warm ones, you’ll inevitably find yourself out somewhere without the warmer, and the calm infant you’re used to will transform into The Hulk and leave you in distress! Okay, not really, but babies are smart. They get accustomed to warm wipes, and… well you get it 🙂

Bonus tip: they often scream when getting changed with warm wipes, as well. They’re babies; that’s what babies do.

Toys R You
“Extra.” Halt! Step away from the toy store! Okay, parents know this is a tough one. When you are preparing for the arrival of your little one, and especially after baby is home, buying toys comes naturally. You’re out, you see the cuuuuuutest little stuffed animal. Or, look! This toy lights up and plays ABC’s when you press the button. It isn’t an exaggeration to say that purchasing new items daily can become a habit. After all, who wouldn’t want to spoil that cute little face, right? Wrong. I learned quickly to get three toy bins for my two sons. If toys didn’t fit in those bins, it had to go. My kids are hardly deprived of fun toys to play with and enjoy, but a funny thing happened: I bought tons of toys for them and watched them still find a random object while at dinner, like a straw or pebble, and have the time of their lives.

Pro Tip Essential: Find one or two toys that fit into your purse and can be readily available. Allow these to become your child’s faves. Leave everything else at home. Kids are easily amused. Never forget that when you’re spending money on the “extras”.

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The moral of this lighthearted story is that you will inevitably buy unnecessary items for your children. It’s part of the fun. I just urge any new moms to remember to keep all things in perspective. Don’t overwhelm yourself with gadgets and gizmos. Things will be convenient at times and harder than you think at others. Through it all, you and baby will be just fine.

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