During my first pregnancy I honestly had no idea what I would need to make motherhood easier. I never bought a crib – Avery coslept or slept in her pack and play (which I now know isn’t exactly the most comfortable bedding for a baby once she outgrew the bassinet stage). We had a hand-me-down stroller that was hard to turn as well as being downright ugly but hey, it was free! Our carseat and bases were my sister’s; since my niece was only sixteen months older than Avery it didn’t make sense to purchase a brand new carseat. We knew that it was never in an accident and that it wasn’t stored in an attic or anything that might warp the materials and make it unsafe. We bought new clothes but received the cuter stuff from my niece as she outgrew it. Our swing was used (another hand-me-down from my niece). Basically, we didn’t spend much before the baby was born.
After she came into the world we suddenly needed THINGS. I had to get a breast pump and that is by far the most I’d ever spent on something for “myself” in my entire life. After that we upgraded our stroller and purchased some large toys (exersaucer! play kitchen! battery-powered quad!) for our little one. I bought a couple of baby wearing apparatus and used those more than the stroller. She was so small that I could carry her for hours and it didn’t bother me.
We bought her a Bumbo and used that as her high chair – we plopped her into the squishy lavender seat right on top of the kitchen table. She sat in between my husband and I and we would give her homemade baby food and either place it on her tray or spoon-feed it to her. Once she outgrew the Bumbo we got a seat that strapped onto a regular dining chair. Nothing fancy, just a seat with a tray.
I never felt like she was deprived. Does a cosleeping infant need a crib? No. This time around with Filbert we’ll probably just skip the pack and play (again, not an ideal place for a baby to sleep for long stretches of time) and have him/her sleep on a floor bed in the master bedroom until he/she is old enough to move into Avery’s room. We will re-use all of Avery’s toys and feeding gear.
With that said, I WANT SOME NEW THINGS! I went through about half a dozen diaper bags and I wasn’t in love with any of them. It always felt like I was carrying something that was cute but not really me. None of my diaper bags ever resembled a purse and maybe that’s where I went wrong. In trying to find something cutesy I missed the point – my kid isn’t using the bag, I am. It’s MY bag. I carry baby stuff in it but it has to carry my stuff too so why shouldn’t I have a bag that is more Lauren and less Gymboree?
I realize that material possessions don’t define who you are but they ARE a reflection of your style and personality and well, while I like Hello Kitty I’m not a big fan of rocking a HK bag like a six year old. However, that’s exactly what I did. And I didn’t mind it, of course. But as a new mom I was kind of self-conscious of just how NEW I looked to other moms. I never looked put-together. I often appeared to be unorganized and a little frazzled even if I felt the total opposite.
So, even though we aren’t having a baby shower I sill have a wish list in my head that I should probably create on the internet somewhere just in case someone is feeling generous enough to get it for me. Or, I’ll just buy it for myself. I can treat myself, after all, without having guilt over spending money on something for myself or the baby. At least, I hope I can. A $200 diaper bag is something I may not be able to justify even to myself.