Baby things propagating
Published June 29, 2005
Having had children almost six years apart, I’m amazed at all the baby products on the market that weren’t around when my oldest was born.
Six years ago, I couldn’t protect my child from grocery cart germs the way you can now with those padded seats you can take home and wash. This is the perfect idea for moms like me who suffer from germ neurosis. (The first time I put my youngest in a grocery cart, she chewed on the handle! Ack!) We also now have Gerber Fruit Puffs. Except we don’t call them Fruit Puffs. We call them happy pills. They come in a variety of flavors (cherry is the best, and I am speaking from personal experience) and they have the ability to keep our 10-month-old happy long enough for me to unload the dishwasher with both hands.
And then there’s the vast realm of baby food. Babies are no longer limited to squash and peas. I picked up a jar of beige-colored glop at the store the other day. The label read “Turkey, Rice and Garden Vegetables Dinner.” I guess that sounded better than “Beige-Colored Glop” to the label-writers at Gerber. Curiously, the “Turkey, Rice and Garden Vegetables Dinner” is the exact same shade as “Chicken Noodle Dinner,” “Country Vegetables & Brown Rice” and “Banana & Orange Medley.” I suspect the baby food companies are putting a big one over on the moms of America. But our babies don’t care — as long as they get their glop.
I’ve also found that “baby experts” have changed their advice over the past six years.
When Julia was a baby, a committee of know-it-alls with a bunch of letters after their names announced that nightlights in babies’ rooms caused myopia. I was shocked at this finding. Especially since I had thought myopia was a country in Africa. So, no nightlight for Julia. After about a year of ramming my shins into her bedroom furniture in the middle of the night, those same experts announced, “Oh, never mind. Nightlights are perfectly safe. In fact, failure to use nightlights could cause extensive damage to parents’ shins.”
So Jenna has a nightlight. But she has no wipe warmer. Apparently, wipe warmers — electric devices that protected babies from the unimaginable agony of cold wipes coming into contact with their bottoms — had a tendency to burst into flames. So naturally, the experts started advising against them. After we had let a wipe warmer sit in Julia’s room for a year.
I’ve come up with my own list of products I’d like to see developed over the next several years to help moms of the future:
• “Gerber Carrots: Now! With Unisom!” Talk about the perfect bedtime snack.
• Subliminal tapes for baby with titles such as “Don’t Wake Up ‘Til It’s Light Outside,” “Using the Potty Will Make You Rich” and “When You’re a Teenager, Be Really Nice to Your Parents.”
• “Mommy’s Little Helper: A Prosthetic Third Arm for Busy Moms.” Sure, you look like a freak, but now you can hold the baby and tie your shoes — at the same time!
Remember, you saw them here first.
Deana Nall’s column appears every Wednesday. Her e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.