Time for a baby gear garage sale… and he’s only 7 weeks old

The rate of baby ‘stuff’ accumulation has been remarkable over the past couple of months. We made a conscious decision not to make major baby-related purchases prior to the birth. Call us superstitious… but with the exception of a crib and a car seat we didn’t buy much in advance. It’s a good thing we didn’t. Since Jr’s arrival we’ve accumulated a shocking number of things. Clothes, toys, burp cloths a bassinet, play mats, our beloved Cooshee and on and on it goes. Looking back we’re getting use of a remarkable number of these items, though there’s an almost equal number of items that are taking up space. Some of you may find the following helpful:

Stuffed Animals
Don’t buy these. Other people will at a rate that you’ll find quite shocking. There is one exception to this recommendation. Many of the stuffed toys you’ll receive will be… well… your typical stuffed animal while there are actually some pretty fun and interesting plush toy options available these days. As such I’m actually planning to purchase one (1) plush toy for Jr despite the herd already taking up space in our bedroom. Despite my well known penchant for UglyDolls I have my eye on a little beast from Monster Factory.

Clothes, in particular onesies
Again, you’ll get a ton of these from folks after the birth, and during the various baby showers that are bound to be scheduled. The number isn’t the issue, in fact you’ll want as many of these as you can get your hands on since your baby will be burping, peeing and pooing all over them with abandon. The issue is that they appear to size these things very optimistically. I suppose it could lead to more sales, but man… at 7 weeks Jr fits comfortably in 3 to 6 month onesies and can’t extend his legs when squeezed into 0 to 3 month outfits. Don’t believe the tags, ask people to buy reasonably rather than for cuteness and unless your kid’s a preemie make a point of returning your 0 to 3 in exchange for something that will fit.

Burp cloths and swaddling blankets
We got a lot of these. We need a lot of these. You will need a lot of these too. If someone offers, take them cause you’ll need them.

Diapers and wipes
If they’re not on the boob taking milk in, they’re preparing to expel it from all orifices in quantities that will blow your mind. Again… you’ll never have enough. Stash piles of them everywhere… in your diaper bag, the stroller, your car, every room in the house. One of the best tips I got shortly after Jr arrived was that when preparing to change, lay him on the new diaper before you take the old one off. Further, when you undo the first diaper, use the front of the diaper itself to perform the initial poo wipe to trap the bulk of the solid matter in the old diaper. Then use wipes to get the rest while cautiously guarding against pee in the face. Once wiped, roll up the wipes and the old diaper and throw them in the garbage (one can in every major change room) then quickly do up the new diaper which is already positioned under his butt, which by this time is probably read to fill it. Placement of diaper #2 and use of #1 for wiping are both key. Thank me later.

Anyway, a few tips to guide accumulation where it will be needed and avoid it where it won’t. Good luck!

When A Child’s Toy Is Not A Child’s Toy

Since about 2002 I’ve been a huge fan of the urban vinyl craze (see Kidrobot for examples) and all the figures, art and toys that it’s spawned. At times I’ve taken those items and gifted them to kids as birthdays and other occasions presented themselves. Lately I’ve noticed that one has to be more and more careful when purchasing vinyl and plush items as all-too-often what seems funny at the checkout seems entirely inappropriate at home as its being wrapped. I’ve collected a few examples below. Enjoy.

The Daily What recently featured this disturbing bambi plush figure.

I have this Gloomy Bear plush figure on my desk as I type this. I still find it hilarious, but the bloody lips and rather sharp plastic claws make it a risky purchase for kids.

The greatest uglydoll of them all, the octopus with chest hair apparently sheds that chest hair and so had to be taken away from the kid I sent it to. Unfortunate as it was a hilarious doll… but seems to have been discontinued as I don’t see it on the uglydoll site.

Anyway, you get the picture. With the trend toward innocent toys for adults its sometimes tempting to try and transfer them on to children which in some cases can be pretty risky. Not to mention the fact that many of these are made in China, and as a result the messaging regarding age groups is not always as clear as it might be. Case in point the mustached labbit I recently bought for a friend’s baby. It wasn’t clear whether it was to be kept away from children younger than 3, or whether that applied to the plastic bag it was purchased in.