I went to a baby shower Sunday for my niece Jessica, who will be having her first baby — a boy! — in the next few weeks.
As I watched my niece open gifts, I considered the plethora of new gadgets and goodies that were never around when I was having babies but that new moms today — including my own daughter, mother to Bubby and Mac — couldn't and shouldn't live without.
(My great niece, daughter of my nephew.)
A temporal scan thermometer — These wonders of modern technology are far more safe and accurate than the thermometers of our day.Taking a baby's temperature used to scare the bejeezus out of me when I was a new mom, especially when temps had to be taken rectally. Gah! I was certain the wiggly baby would break the glass thermometer and be ruined forever in some way far worse than just having a high temp. After reviewing one of these — and Megan telling me she truly could not live without it — I firmly believe this is a necessity. (And it comes in handy for checking Grandma and Grandpa's temps any time, too.)
Baby monitor — Another thing that scared me when I was a new mom was leaving baby to sleep in her own room. I was up and down all night — until each of my babies were at least two years of age, no joke — ensuring they were still safe... and breathing. But keeping the kiddo in the room with Jim and me was nearly as bad as going back and forth to the baby's bedroom, especially if we had the child in the bed with us. With the advent of baby monitors, there's no longer the need to have baby sleep between Mom and Dad (which is rather unsafe anyway) or even in the same room. Monitors keep parents alert to baby's movements and more, day or night, even when stories and stairs separate parents and the slumbering babe.
Diaper disposal system — Before seeing one in action when Bubby was born, I thought these were silly and an extravagance for spoiled new mommies. Uh, not the case, I quickly learned. These systems — think Diaper Genie and such — are a necessity for reasons beyond the stink factor. For one, with such a thing, diaper disposal is more sanitary and more safe than having to take stinky diapers out after every change, especially for those middle-of-the-night diaper explosions changes when Mommy is oh so tired and trudging out to drop it in a garbage can is downright silly... and dangerous.
Battery operated nasal aspirator — Oh, the horrors of those blue bulb syringes sent home with every new mom when she leaves the hospital after birthing her baby. I'm pretty sure they're the reason blue is one of the first colors children learn. Okay, I don't know that they do learn blue any sooner than other colors, but I do know they learn right away to turn their head and scream and cry and refuse to let Mommy suck out even the smallest bit of snot. At least in my experience. The nifty high-powered aspirators are, without a doubt, more effective and less traumatic (for baby and Mommy) than those dreadful hospital-issued suckers.
Multiple car seats — Considering that many moms and dads both work outside the home, it's pretty much a necessity to have a car seat in both of their vehicles. Plus, car seats for daycare providers — which may very well be the grandparents! — are a must, as well. Considering the hassle and importance of correctly installing a car seat, it's much better for there to be a permanently installed carseat (well, as permanently as these things get) in each vehicle regularly used for transporting baby. Yes, the required car seats are expensive. Which is exactly why grandparents may want to consider pitching in and providing a second or third, especially if said grandparents will regularly travel with baby on board.
What modern baby gear do you most wish was around when you were raising kids?