While all the latest baby gear was meant to make our lives easier... Sometimes do you ever feel like it just makes things more complicated? Yes, there are definitely baby gear items that are life changing-ly fantastic, but there are absolutely others that simply complicate things and add to the already giant diaper bag you're toting around. I'm not writing this article to discuss specific items that are necessary and those that are unnecessary because I honestly think that it is a personal thing.
As a brand new mom, I remember wanting to ask every mom I knew...So, what do I really need?!!! What should I register for and what is worth skipping? And then I started listening to them and just got confused because one mom would say, I desperately needed a Diaper Genie in every room of the house, where as another said to just use a regular trash can with a top. Then, I would be told by one mom to always carry a convertible high chair in the car to be prepared for any place you might be that either does not have a highchair, or that does not have a clean highchair, and another mom told me that's crazy and just bring a bib when you go to a restaurant. There is also a wipes issue... did you know there are actually wipes for hands, wipes for butts, and even wipes for boogers?! Am I seriously expected to carry around three types of wipes at all times?! My back is aching just thinking about how heavy it would be to hold my almost 30 lb toddler and a tote bag that weighs almost half that.
But, do you ever go somewhere, like say the park... and your mom friends bust out all this cool gear like, hand wipes and snacks in these cool portable spill proof carriers, and a travel mini recliner for their kid as well as a picnic blanket that can also become a tent? Are you sometimes like, oh man, I just brought this bag of pretzels. I need to seriously step up my game!???
But here's the thing... I've noticed that sometimes the moms with ALLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLllllll the gear are also the most overwhelmed and exhausted. They are always the ones saying they are not sure if they could handle another toddler because it's just soooooooooooo much work! And of course, yes it is absolutely a TON of work. But if you are spending half your day packing and unpacking gear, just to make your life easier, at what point do you pause and say...wait a minute...is this actually simplifying things?
The worst part is that once you get really used to toting a bunch of gear around, you almost have a panic attack when your kid sneezes a juicy one and oh no!!! You forgot the booger wipes!!!! What will you do now?! I know, sounds silly, but it's true. You start to feel like that's the only way to do things
So, I started taking a good hard look at my "gear" and starting asking myself... what do I really need here? For example, when we traveled and our daughter wasn't quite sitting up in the tub yet, instead of dragging a baby tub, I just held her in the tub and washed her. When we leave the house, I make sure I have at least one diaper and some generic wipes. Those wipes will have to do for hands, butts, and boogers. If we go to a restaurant, I try to remember a bib, but if I forget, that's what stain removers spray is for. And if we are at home, I skip the bib completely and let my toddler eat without her shirt on.
I try not to cut off the crust on a sandwich and I hand my toddler a banana with the peel still on it because all of these things help to simplify my life.I'm also making a concerted effort to start teaching my toddler to help me do simple things like wipe up her highchair tray after lunch (I just hand her a baby wipe), or throw away her trash into the trash can, help me unload the dishwasher by handing me each item (except the knives of course), and helping me put the wet clothes from the washer into the dryer. It hasn't made my life much easier just yet, but I know in time, she will be able to do these things well and without my help.
So, my suggestion to all you new and old moms, is to take inventory on your baby/kid gear. What is really necessary? And does it add more stress and weight (literally) to your life and your tote bag? Because, you CAN rethink how you do things...even if you have been doing them that way for years. Every mom's needs are different so you cannot expect to just ask one mom what you really need. For one mom, it actually makes her life less complicated to have a wipe for every situation, but another mom might find that to be too much to keep up with. Trust your own instincts and don't apologize for using the gear that makes sense in your life or not using the gear that doesn't because in the end, there are many many ways to wipe a booger.