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Aug 2 2012

Babies Don’t Need All That Stuff

By at 2:31 pm

crib in empty room green wallsWhen I left our house to go to the hospital to deliver our firstborn, there was no crib set up. Even though we knew it was going to be a boy, there were no blue walls, expensive bedding, or themed decorations. We were living amongst boxes with a SOLD sign in our front yard. The guest room was sparsely staged and never functioned as the nursery we had planned. While I was recovering and snuggling our newborn, my husband rushed home from the hospital and set up a co-sleeper next to our bed and picked up a changing table from the furniture store.

Don’t get me wrong, I had planned out a nursery in my head and every fiber of my being wished we had the perfectly groomed space to bring our baby home to, but that just wasn’t in the cards for us. When our son was 10-weeks-old, we moved to an apartment in a new city. It took us a while to get things unpacked and our son was nearly 5-months-old before his nursery was complete (featured here on Kveller!). I didn’t have a theme but we used our limited budget to put together a place for my son to learn and explore that was filled with color and meaning.

Now we are expecting our second son in the same two bedroom apartment. Our newborn will sleep with us and then eventually share a room with his brother. We bought a twin mattress for big brother but for now he’s perfectly happy in the crib that he’ll hand down to his brother. Superstition has gotten the best of me, so in keeping with tradition we won’t be setting up the co-sleeper until after our new little guy is born. We’ve talked about sorting through the newborn clothes, clearing out a few drawers, and we ordered a box of newborn diapers. I think we’re ready. When people see my enormous belly and ask if “everything is ready for the baby” I simply answer, yes.

I’d like to say we’re minimalists by nature but I think it’s actually more attributable to budget and circumstance. Sure, I’d love to have separate rooms for the boys, but only because I’m terrified that them being within ear shot of one another will result in me never sleeping again. When I look back at the unused high chair, piles of receiving blankets, and baby shoes that were never worn (why would babies need shoes?) I’m glad that all I bought this time around was nipple cream and new breast pads.

My favorite chapter of Mayim’s book was by far Chapter 8: “Babies Don’t Need All That Stuff.” She beautifully articulates that the things babies actually NEED–love, attachment, food, and comfort–aren’t found on registries or lining the intimidating aisles at Big Box R Us. I was sad to see Kveller feeding into the hype with their call for pictures of a “Dream Nursery,” and I think Tara’s space will come together as a perfect place for her baby to sleep, with or without butterflies. You don’t NEED a bigger car or a second changing table just because you’re adding another child. Of course, in my current hormonal state there are days that I want to go crazy buying more newborn clothes or find myself feeling envious of the perfect nurseries you see in magazines but in the end, I come to the same conclusion: none of that stuff actually matters. I’ve channeled my nesting energy into cleaning our apartment, spending special one-on-one time with my firstborn, and splurging on a babysitter once a week so that I can go to prenatal yoga and clear my mind, focusing only on our newest addition and the amazing work my body is doing by carrying him.

Our second son will be loved just as much in his hand-me-down clothes and shoes. He won’t care that we will bring him home in our paid-off compact car to our two bedroom apartment. He’ll know he is safe because he is near me, his belly will be full of milk, and he will be surrounded by a family who loves him.

My dream nursery has two healthy boys sleeping safely and peacefully in it. I’ll submit my picture in 2-5 weeks.

Note: The opinions expressed here are the personal views of the author. All comments on Kveller are moderated. Any comment that is offensive or inappropriate will be removed. Privacy Policy

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