Before I ever had kids, before I even got pregnant, I had this idea of what raising kids was like. Everything I thought it was came entirely from my perception of my own upbringing. Although I’m positive it came with it’s own challenges (which my parents can attest to) it seemed, at least in a material sense, pretty simple. There were the basic items that everyone obviously had… but NOW…. I’m not even sure the word basic is even in the vocabulary of a mom these days. From the second you get pregnant, and honestly probably even before then, you are a target audience for products. Products to help you get pregnant, stay pregnant, enjoy pregnancy, get through childbirth, heal from childbirth… honestly every single second of your existence as a mom is targeted. That’s not to say that there aren’t great things that exist to make our lives easier, it just gets EXTREMELY overwhelming (and might I add expensive) so darn quickly and, at least for me, getting pregnant (not to mention with twins) was overwhelming enough. Having new babies was overwhelming enough!
It’s impossible to not feel like you’re doing the wrong thing, or you have the wrong stuff. If you can’t afford the most expensive things (which we couldn’t because so many things we had to buy in twos It’s frowned upon to let newborns share a car seat FYI) there’s this inherent feeling that you aren’t doing what’s best for your baby. If you don’t/aren’t able to spend $600 on a car seat do you care less about your baby’s safety?? If you aren’t buying a crib that’s thousands of dollars does it mean you don’t care about your baby’s sleep quality?
There were such an incredible amount of choices we had to make so early on that I thought it would be fun… (fun? is fun the right word? painful?) to list out some of the STUFF we had to choose between as new, inexperienced, overwhelmed parents.
Car seats (hands down the most stressful). There are probably 100 car seats you can pick from and I have no clue what determines which are the “best” ones (although you can be sure every single one says that they’re the best and safest). The price range is so extreme you honestly can’t help but feel like you’re being neglectful of your child’s safety if you choose one on the lower end of the scale, even though that car seat had to pass the exact same safety tests as the most expensive one did. I DON’T UNDERSTAND. We picked ones that were more light weight as I would be carrying two of them regularly.
Cribs/Bassinets. Should you put your babies in your room? Should you put them in their own room? Will co-sleeping give your child bad sleep habits and make them dependent on you? Don’t forget to have deep intense paranoia about SIDS 24/7. Did you pick a bassinet that has breathable fabric? Does it vibrate? Does it play music? Does it do your taxes? (Hey Siri, is there a bassinet that will raise my child for me?)
Bottles. Honestly….why. Why are there so many different types. Logically, fine, I get it. Nipple shapes are different, flow is different… ok great. But could there really not be like 3 kinds and that would be enough? Does there need to be 50 types of bottles that all give you different bullet points for all the problems they’ll solve? That doesn’t even touch on all the flipping accessories that come with bottles.
Diapers. My newbie mom self legitimately thought there were two brands of diapers before I had babies. Oh no, no, no. I was so naive to the judgement that can come from diapering a baby. I didn’t realize that the things my babies pooped in needed to be fashionable, eco-friendly, chemical free & scented like lavender. Listen, I’m all for there being products that are organic and chemical free and more natural. But again, comparable to the car seats, if I can’t buy a pack of 12 (honestly why are there so few in a package) all natural diapers because I have twins that go through diapers like it’s for fun and I have to buy the bulk (I guess by default the FULL OF CHEMICALS kind) does that mean I care less about my baby?! Also the thought of trying cloth diapers just seemed a bridge too far once I factored in everything else I have to do in a day.
Formula. This one, I do understand why there are so many options but it doesn’t make it any less overwhelming or intensely expensive. Different babies respond to different formulas… and this involves a LOT of trial and error. I’ll have a whole soul crushing post outlining how expensive it is to formula feed twins… but that’s for another day.
Swaddling… dear god could there be any more sleep products for babies?! There’s so many I honestly don’t know how I possibly got a second of sleep when I was an infant and none of them existed. The number of infuriating velcro swaddles we purchased that our hulk babies burst out of immediately was enough to drive us insane. This is the single BEST baby tip I legitimately have and will pass it to every single new mom I know: THE SUPER SWADDLE. It sounds ridiculous but it is the literal reason our twins slept through the night from 3 weeks old and it’s with things you probably got an abundance of at your baby shower: a swaddle blanket and a receiving blanket, that’s it. If you’re struggling with a new baby not sleeping… TRY THIS.
I think that’s enough to get my point across but it doesn’t even come close to the number of choices you have to make going through pregnancy and parenthood. The items I listed are even just essential items you legitimately NEED. It doesn’t include the things you’re made to believe you need.
Our boys are now 9 & 1/2 months old and although it’s still fresh, the small bit of hindsight I have to offer is …. most of the stuff…you do not need. Plenty of it looks nice and I’m sure a lot of it works as advertised, and if you have the disposable income to toss around hey, power to you! But if you’re like us and had to use conscious spending while still wanting the best for your babies… keep it simple.
One of the best things I read shortly after the boys were born was “your baby doesn’t need more toys, they need you to get on the floor and play with them” and honestly that could not be more accurate. I am a built in jungle gym and a fall safe for my boys. 10/10 safety rating!
Cheers to (almost) getting through another week & fingers crossed the only decision you have to make this weekend is whether to have hot or iced coffee ♡♡