As noted many times, FutureBaby is due in July, which means we’re at the point in the process where we need to start acquiring, or at least registering for, Stuff. Of which there is a frightening amount.
Kate’s big on consumer research, so we picked up the Baby Bargains book that several people recommended (this being 2008, they also have a blog), and Kate has been going through it carefully. I’m more happy-go-lucky than she is, so I’ve been a little more casual about it, just reading the chapter-opening lists of essential information, and not the reviews of specific products.
I have to say, this has been the most terrifying experience since our little adventure with the first-trimester screen. It’s not just the sheer amount of Stuff, or the froofy crap (there’s a discussion of how to make your own window valences out of extra dust ruffles, and I’m like “Dust ruffles? Window valences? I didn’t sign up to be Martha goddamn Stewart…”), but the constant menace of DEATH!!! and DOOM!!!
The crib and bedding chapters were the worst. There are about fifteen reminders that soft bedding is suspected to be related to SIDS (“Sudden Infant Death Syndrome,” probably the best example ever of the Medical Naming Punt). There are constant reminders that allowing anything soft to come near a sleeping baby means CERTAIN DEATH!!! Don’t buy a soft mattress! Don’t put a quilt in the crib! Don’t put blankets in the crib! Don’t put multiple sets of sheets on your rock-hard crib mattress! You’re giving the child a fluffy stuffed animal?!?! What are you, some kind of INHUMAN BABY-KILLING MONSTER?!?!?!?
I’m like “OK! OK! I get it! Soft Equals Death! I won’t buy soft bedding, honest!” But then, I started thinking, “Wait a minute, why am I contemplating spending $100 on a mattress in the first place, if Soft Equals Death?”
I mean, isn’t that just wasted money? Why not avoid the problem altogether, and just put the baby down on the bottom of the crib directly? OK, maybe they’re designed to require some sort of spacer in there, but you know, we have lots of books, and none of them are soft. Or, hey, we can buy our baby bedding at Borders– an infant’s not much bigger than a coffee-table book, after all. We can just hit the remainder table in our local big-box store, and FutureBaby can nap the days away atop deeply discounted art books and unpopular ethnic cookbooks. There won’t be any danger of suffocation, and there’s a chance of acquiring culture by osmosis…
I think I need to find some new reading material.