Today I washed the dishes, hung diapers out to dry, and cleaned the house. I had a blast. I wrapped E in his Moby wrap and he "helped" me. I love his look of wonder whenever a plate appears magically out of the dishwater. His constant head turning in an effort to see every bird in the yard while we hang laundry. Everything is brand new to him, and he's able to participate in our world so much more because I've chosen to wear him most of the time.
We have very few of the "recommended" baby products - so much of it seems like silly junk to us. But one thing we aren't lacking in is baby carriers. We have more carriers than bottles. E loves to be snuggled right up next to you, and wearing him means my arms are still free. It means he gets to see and experience everything I do. It means he doesn't have to stare at a mobile or plastic toy while I vacuum the floor.
Just like so much of our world, the world of baby-having is filled with STUFF. There is so much that is marketed to new parents as "must haves" that's it a bit overwhelming. Well... more than a bit. I know a certain BIL who nearly had a breakdown in the babybigboxmart because there were too many products to choose from.
POSSLQ and I were very sure from the start that we didn't need all the things associated with raising a baby. We both agree that babies have simple needs: to be fed, to be clean, to be warm, to be able to rest, and to be loved. So with that philosophy in mind, we set off to start our collection of baby stuff.
To be fed... The tools we needed to feed baby were already here. We did pick up a few bottles for when I went back to work, and of course things like nursing tanks and pads.
To be clean... I'm so grateful we didn't spend a heap on baby washes and lotions. E is allergic to everything but Ivory soap, and he gets moisturized with lavender infused oil. We did end up getting a baby bath that fits over the sink. Diapers? We use cloth, and it seems like less work than 'sposies. POSSLQ changes just as many diapers as me, and he likes cloth just fine.
To be warm... Thanks to the generosity of friends, we will probably never have to buy a stitch of clothing for E. Plus mama is pretty crafty - he wears a lot of handmade.
To be able to rest... We have a bed. There's room for a tiny person. Judge us if you want - we like having E in bed with us. And we've felt well rested from day one.
To be loved... Well obviously that's something you don't have to buy. We parent E with what feels right. We pick him up before he cries. We soothe him when he is fussy. We talk and play when he does. We snuggle when he snuggles. He is teaching us how to be parents.
We try to meet E's needs in the simplest ways possible. And he has a need to be right with us most of the day. So the simplest way is to acknowledge and embrace that need. Thesimplest way is to snug him into a carrier and go about my day. When he gets tired, I turn him toward me, and he falls asleep with his little ear over my heartbeat.