Feed on

I know the !Kung tribe in the Kalahari reportedly have babies that never cry and own practically nothing, but as an American it is my cultural heritage to acquire stuff. Plus, I’ve tried to soothe with only my voice and arms, and I failed mightily. So below is a list of some of Simon’s (and my) favorite things. It doesn’t include wild geese that fly with the moon on their wings, but it certainly includes many items that arrived at my doorstop as brown paper packages tied up with string.

The Baby Swing: This gizmo has transformed my days, literally. I can plop Simon in this and he’ll swing his little heart out happily for quite some time, allowing me to eat, shower, fold laundry, etc. Bonus feature: On many days it will swing him to sleep, meaning he’s gotten better daytime naps lately. And better daytime napping begets better nighttime sleeping. Ours is the Fisher Price Power Plus, but I’m sure any swing will do. Yay swing!

The Rocking Cradle: A few months before Simon was born, my dad brought over a cherry Shaker rocking cradle that he made for us. I adored it but was worried I’d never actually use it. Between his crib and the Moses basket, when would Simon need a cradle? Answer: All the time, starting yesterday. Turns out Simon loves rocking. So if he’s on the cusp of sleeping but can’t quite get there, I can put him in this, rock him to sleep, and then leave him there. With other calming devices (like the swing, infant seat, my arms, etc.) I have to move Simon to a bed after he nods off, transfers that inevitably wake him up. Yay cradle! (Thanks again, Dad)

The Kiddopotamus Swaddle Me wrap, aka “The Autoswaddler” (TM Matt): I registered for these fleece swaddle wraps because they seemed like a very cool idea. Then I hardly used them because I was wicked good at swaddling with receiving blankets and liked showing off my skills. Swaddle Me wraps were for amateurs! Then Simon got bigger and my swaddling got less effective. With the autoswaddler, there is no chance that Simon’s arms can escape. Until he learns that those things clawing his eyes are attached to him, we’ll be swaddling, swaddling away. Yay Swaddle-Me!

The Snuggle Nest: Designed for safe co-sleeping, the Snuggle Nest has rigid side walls to keep babies in place and to prevent parents from rolling over onto them. I’m sure it’s brilliant for co-sleeping, but Simon and I love it for other reasons. Simon hates sleeping on his back because it startles him and frequently makes him vomit. With the Snuggle Nest, I can easily put Simon down on a slight incline and on his side, a position that makes him feel better and sleep better. Best of all, I put the Nest in his cradle, crib, or anywhere else we happen to be. Yay Snuggle-Nest!

Zantac: OK, to be honest Simon hates the stuff. Every time we dose him with it he cries. But that two-minute cry from the nasty taste has replaced–for a full week as of today–the all day off-and-on cry of acid reflux. Yay Zantac! (Thanks Glaxco Smithkline!)

The Dutalier Glider: I’d kill myself if I didn’t have this glider. No joke. It helps me sit in the perfect position for nursing, then lets me relax, recline and glide with Simon afterwards. Matt and I have both logged countless hours gliding away in a semi-comatose state in this sucker. Yay Glider!

NPR: Matt and I play DVDs on our TV set and that’s it: we have no access to broadcast television shows. Many friends advised strongly that we get cable (or at least an antenna) for the countless hours we’d spend in a semi-comatose state while feeding or soothing a new baby. I resisted, partially because I am a mule and partially because I have a bad history of addictive TV watching.

Thankfully, PBS has rescued me from, well, myself. Now I spend countless semi-comatose hours learning about world news, the history of the cocktail, the future of Gallaudet University, and trends in Israeli rock music. So Michael Krasny, Ira Flatow, Terry Gross, Neal Conan, Diane Rehm, Robert Siegel,etc. I thank you and I salute you. Yay NPR! (I guess I should join, now, huh?)

Mylanta: Zantac is great and all, but babies with reflux still urp a lot. And Zantac can’t zap all the acid in the body, so sometimes those urps burn. Mylanta truly does coat and soothe. Plus, Simon seems to enjoy its minty taste. I’ve taken him from screaming to smiling on the turn of a dime more than once thanks to the blue bottle. Yay Mylanta!

The Gumdrop Pacifier: When Simon was in the NICU, they “plugged” him with a funky, peach colored pacifier. It has a hole in the middle so you can position the sucker in the baby’s mouth, is countoured to the young baby’s face, weighs next to nothing, and is lactation-consultant approved. The Gumdrop doesn’t always keep Simon from crying, but when it works it really works. Yay Gumdrop Pacifier!

My Fair Lady: When Simon was a 35 week-old work in progress, I went to see My Fair Lady at Actor’s Theater and he kicked around every time music started up. He loved it! Now, as a newborn, some of his favorite songs still come from My Fair Lady, with The Sound of Music running a close second. Yay Lerner and Lowe!

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.